Shadowrun Play > Character creation and critique

[SR5e] Action Hacker

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Hi all,

I have tried to create a hacker that is good at hacking, but also in action scenes. The goal was to have a character that can be fun in combat (with guns and hacking) nd action scenes (driving and running), but also in the leg work phase and for serving the hacker role against hosts (rating 8-9).

I would like to know what you think and if there are areas where I can improve the characater to better fit the role. I haven't set the knowledge skills (i haven't decided on the background yet) yet and some karma and nuyen is still available.

 == Personal Data ==
Street Name: White
Name: Unnamed Character
Movement: 12/24; 2m / hit
Swim: 4.5; 1m / hit
Karma: 0
Street Cred: 0
Notoriety: 1
Public Awareness: 0
Human (None)
Composure: 5
Judge Intentions: 5
Lift/Carry: 6 (45 kg/30 kg)
Memory: 12
Nuyen: 33,023.33

== Priorities ==
Metatype: D
Attributes: C
Special: E
Skills: B
Resources: A

== Attributes ==
BOD: 3
AGI: 4 (6)
REA: 2 (5)
STR: 1 (3)
CHA: 2
INT: 3
LOG: 6 (7)
WIL: 3
EDG: 5

== Derived Attributes ==
Essence:                  0.20
Initiative:              8 +2d6
Rigger Initiative:       8 +2d6
Astral Initiative:         
Matrix AR:                 
Matrix Cold:             7 +3d6
Matrix Hot:              7 +4d6
Physical Damage Track:   10
Stun Damage Track:       10

== Limits ==
Physical:                 5
Mental:                   9
Social:                   3
Astral:                   9

== Active Skills ==
Automatics                    Rtg:  5   Pool: 11
Computer (Edit File)          Rtg:  6   Pool: 13 (15)
Cybercombat                   Rtg:  4   Pool: 11
Electronic Warfare            Rtg:  4   Pool: 11
Etiquette ([Culture or Subculture])
                              Rtg:  2   Pool:  4 (6)
Gymnastics                    Rtg:  2   Pool:  8
Hacking (Hosts)               Rtg:  6   Pool: 13 (15)
Hardware                      Rtg:  2   Pool:  9
Longarms                      Rtg:  5   Pool: 11
Perception                    Rtg:  2   Pool:  5
Pilot Ground Craft            Rtg:  4   Pool:  9
Pistols                       Rtg:  5   Pool: 11
Sneaking                      Rtg:  2   Pool:  8
Software                      Rtg:  2   Pool:  9

== Knowledge Skills ==

== Qualities ==
Addiction (Moderate) (Generic Uppers)
Allergy (Uncommon, Mild) (Grass)
Codeslinger (Hack on the Fly (1 Mark))
Distinctive Style
Restricted Gear

== Lifestyle ==
a ( Medium) 1 Month
   + DocWagon Contract, Basic [+416.67]

== Cyberware/Bioware ==
Cerebral Booster Rating 1
Flare Compensation
Low-Light Vision
Mnemonic Enhancer Rating 2
Muscle Replacement Rating 2
Reaction Enhancers Rating 2
Sleep Regulator
Wired Reflexes Rating 1

== Armor ==
Armor Clothing                           6
Urban Explorer Jumpsuit                  9
   + Biomonitor
   + Music Player

== Weapons ==
Ares Alpha
   + Smartgun System, Internal
   Pool: 11   Accuracy: 5 (7)   DV: 11P   AP: -2   RC: 4
Ares Light Fire 75
   + Silencer, Ares Light Fire 75
   + Smartgun System, Internal
   Pool: 11   Accuracy: 6 (8)   DV: 6P   AP: -   RC: 2
Ingram Smartgun X
   + Gas-Vent 2 System
   + Smartgun System, Internal
   + Sound Suppressor
   Pool: 11   Accuracy: 4 (6)   DV: 8P   AP: -   RC: 4
Unarmed Attack
   Pool: 5   Accuracy: 5   DV: 3S   AP: -   RC: 2

== Commlink ==
Meta Link (ATT: 0, SLZ: 0, DP: 1, FWL: 1) 2
   + Commlink Functionality [Camera, Micro, Chip Player, Credstick Reader, Earbuds 1, GPS Guidance System, Micro Trid-Projector, Music Player, RFID Tag Scanner, Shock- and Water-Resistant Case, Touchscreen Display]
Novatech Navigator (ATT: 6, SLZ: 5, DP: 4, FWL: 3)
   + Sim Module, Hot
   + Universal Connector Cord (Meter)
   + Commlink Functionality [Camera, Micro, Chip Player, Credstick Reader, Earbuds 1, GPS Guidance System, Micro Trid-Projector, Music Player, RFID Tag Scanner, Shock- and Water-Resistant Case, Touchscreen Display]
   + Agent Rating 6
   + Edit
   + Configurator
   + Browse
   + Signal Scrub
   + Search
   + Toolbox
   + Encryption
   + Track
   + Exploit
   + Baby Monitor
   + Decryption
   + Smoke and Mirrors
   + Paintjob
   + Stealth
   + Armor
   + Hammer
   + Agent 6
   + Armor
   + Baby Monitor
   + Browse
   + Configurator
   + Decryption
   + Edit
   + Encryption
   + Exploit
   + Hammer
   + Paintjob
   + Search
   + Signal Scrub
   + Smoke and Mirrors
   + Stealth
   + Toolbox
   + Track

Apologies for the delayed response. Hopefully some of this is still helpful.

First question is to ask yourself what is fun. It sounds like you always like having something to do, both in combat and out of combat. Hackers are great for that, as they excel at legwork and are often critical contributors during the actual execution of the run.

As for combat, you have to decide how you want to be effective. Do you want to hack and harass the enemy, or do you want to be laying down some lead? If you want to lay down some lead, you need to decide how you want to do that, since it will inform what you want for 'ware.

Currently your dice pool for shooting is 11. Depending on what you want to do, this might be fine. One thing that folks who aren't primary combatants can do in a firefight is to lay down suppressive fire. It's not the sexiest, but if you can reliably generate a -3 modifier for multiple opponents - plus encourage them to keep their heads down - then that is very productive.

But if you want to be a pistolero, using fancy called shots to drop folks, then 11 dice won't cut it. In that case you may wish to consider a cyberarm. An Agility 9 cyberarm only costs 49,500, or 37,125 if you buy it Used. Plus it will have tons of capacity if you want to upgrade it with things like armor (great choice), or an internal air tank, or your implanted cyberdeck (so that it doesn't cost you Essence separately).

Now if you go the cyberarm route instead of muscle replacement, you'll be a better shooter overall [with weapons that only require one hand]. You won't have as much Agility for full-body tests, like Sneaking tests, but with Agility 9 for shooting you'll be able to peg a flea's hoop mid-hop. The cyberarm also costs less Essence than the muscle replacement, if you want to free up some space for other 'ware. Again, it's up to you to decide what sounds fun.

Speaking of shooting, I would not spend your 5 skill group points on the Firearms skill group. I would pick one gun skill - informed by what you decided above - and stick with that. In addition to suppressive fire, Automatics are great for chewing up defensive dice pools with burst fire. Go with that if you don't have a strong opinion otherwise. Then that frees up 5 skill group points to invest elsewhere.

It looks like you have 33k leftover. If that's the case then consider upgrading your Novatech Navigator to a Renraku Tsurugi for an extra 9k.

You have guns with smartgun systems, but nothing that will enable you to interface with them. Get some R2 cybereyes and put in a smartlink system (along with the Flare Compensation and Low-Light Vision you already bought). Vision Enhancement is another easy layup. The R2 cybereyes will only cost you an extra 0.10 Essence vs. what you currently have. Or if you're feeling Essence-hungry, dump all those vision mods into some combination of contacts/glasses/goggles and ditch the cybereyes.

On a similar note, get some earbuds with an audio link and audio enhancement too.

What did you spend Restrictive Gear on? Maybe I'm missing it but I don't see anything with outrageous Availability that's jumping out at me. Generally speaking Restricted Gear is not the greatest value. That's 10 karma that you could invest elsewhere.

Speaking of which, how did you spend your karma?

Hope that helps. Let us know which direction you go.

Thanks for your detailed response. I named the character "Action Hacker" because I imagined a character that can activly participate in action scenes, like combat, chases and sneaking. The tip with the skill group is good. I think that automatics would fit the style best and the automatic firemodes will help to hit enemies. In situtations where I would prefer a pistol, I can rely on hacking and using the environment.

You are right, I totally forgot the SmartLink. It can be used without cybereyes right? I spent the restricted gear on a level 6 agent. It would be sufficient to delete the character constantly from cameras (like the gear) and help with hacking or do some hacking alone.

 I spent my karma on Qualities and level 2 skills. But if I change the skill group, then I will have to change that.

What I am not sure about is, how much dice a hacker would need. Being on-site for helps for most hacking tasks that support your team (controlling devices). But stealing or changing files on a host (lvl 8-10) is really risky. The limit can easily boosted with programms and the agents and overlocked for a +5 for edit and hack on the fly. But dice...

The short version is that R8-10 hosts are scary and hopefully your GM doesn't feed you to one early in your career. If that's the case then don't do anything remotely: get your hoop on-site (you're an Action Hacker after all) and direct connect to vulnerable points like maglocks. That can be an easier way to get marks on the host and accomplish what you came to do.

To your point about dice pools, it's tough because there are relatively few ways to boost Logic, and the options we do have - like Cerebral Boosters - are intensely expensive. You do have quite a bit of nuyen left. If you move your eye mods into contacts/glasses/goggles, you could free up enough Essence for Cerebral Boosters R2.

If you free up some karma from skills, see if you can find 10. Then drop Charisma down to 1 and buy it back up to 2 with 10 karma. This frees up an attribute point that you could put elsewhere. Agility 5 would make you better at sneaking and shooting, while Intuition would improve your Initiative and help you dodge incoming attacks. If you can find 20 karma I would do the same thing with Reaction too.

Personally I would get an R4 agent and save the R6 for after gameplay begins. Yes, Availability 18 is steep but right now you're paying 10 karma (equivalent to 20k) to have it immediately. Is it helpful? Certain, but it's more a question of value or opportunity cost. Is it worth whatever else you would do with 10 karma (like the attribute point trick above)? That's up for you to decide. But advancing attributes is expensive - going from Agility 4 to 5 would be 25 karma - so I usually prioritize attribute points during chargen.

Smartlinks can go in cybereyes or in contacts/glasses/goggles. They are more effective when they are in cybereyes (+2 vs. +1).

I had this image in mind, when I planned the character:

The agent and charisma are good advices. I will try to update the character soon with your tips.

About the smartgun: I thought it is possible to buy eye updates without cyber eyes, if you pay the essence costs and don`t use capacity.

But cyber eyes save you essence of course.


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