[SR5] Help me with my Face/Infiltrator Character

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« on: <11-21-18/0440:22> »
Hi all,

I have created my first SR5 character (and third in total). The character is a famous DJ in Seattle and does runs to support his high life style. I want the character to be an infiltrator who cracks locks and sneaks and climbs into buildings. He is a bit like an action hero.

The basic character was taken from the movie "XXX: The Return of Xander Cage". There was a character named "DJ Nick". And the reason that he was added to the team was "It is just cool to have him along."

But somehow I am not totally happy with him. I thought about adding a bit hacking, but that costs a lot of money. Or maybe being an adept? But being a normal human is somehow cool in such a weird setting.

How can I round up the rough edges? Is Edge 7 a good idea?

== Personal Data ==
Street Name: Troy
Name: Troy
Movement: 12/24 (2m/hit)
Swim: 4.5 (1m/hit)
Karma: 0
Street Cred: 0
Notoriety: 0
Public Awareness: 2
Human männlich Age 28
Height 177 Weight 75
Composure: 8
Judge Intentions: 8
Lift/Carry: 6 (45 kg/30 kg)
Memory: 8
Nuyen: 228.33¥

== Priorities ==
Metatype: C,2
Attributes: A,4
Special: E,0
Skills: B,3
Resources: D,1

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

== Derived Attributes ==
Essence:                                6.00
Initiative:                             7 +1d6
Rigger Initiative:                      7 +1d6
Astral Initiative:                     
Matrix AR:                              7 +1d6
Matrix Cold:                            8 +3d6
Matrix Hot:                             8 +4d6
Physical Damage Track:                  10
Stun Damage Track:                      10

== Limits ==
   Automatischer Dietrich [+6] (Only for picking mechanical locks)
   Chamäleonanzug [+2] (Only for Sneaking, Must be visible)
Physical:                               5
   Automatischer Dietrich [+6] (Only for picking mechanical locks)
   Chamäleonanzug [+2] (Only for Sneaking, Must be visible)
Mental:                                 6
   Medkit [+3] (Only for First Aid and Medicine)
Social:                                 7
   Lokale Berühmtheit [+1] (Limited to Single Sprawl)
Astral:                                 7

== Active Skills ==
Artisan                                 Base: 0          Pool: 5
Computer                                Base: 0          Pool: 7
Con                                     Base: 5          Pool: 11
Disguise                                Base: 2          Pool: 5
Escape Artist                           Base: 0          Pool: 8
Etiquette (Media)                       Base: 2          Pool: 8 (10)
Free-Fall                               Base: 0          Pool: 4
Gymnastics                              Base: 6          Pool: 14
Hardware                                Base: 0          Pool: 7
Impersonation                           Base: 5          Pool: 11
Locksmith                               Base: 6          Pool: 12
Negotiation                             Base: 0          Pool: 7
Perception                              Base: 2          Pool: 5
Performance                             Base: 5          Pool: 11
Pilot Ground Craft                      Base: 0          Pool: 5
Pistols                                 Base: 6          Pool: 12
Sneaking (Urban)                        Base: 4          Pool: 12 (14)
Unarmed Combat                          Base: 6          Pool: 12

== Knowledge Skills ==
Architektur                             Base: 4          Pool: 9
Bars und Clubs                          Base: 4          Pool: 7
Clubmusik                               Base: 4          Pool: 9
Sicherheitsdesign                       Base: 4          Pool: 7

== Contacts ==
Dante Houseman; Seattle; Polizeibeamter (2, 3)
Josè DuGamba; Seattle; Clubbesitzer (2, 4)
Melissa Summer; Seattle; Decker (2, 4)

== Qualities ==
Code of Honor (nur wenn der Gegner als erstes tötliche Gewalt einsetzt, keine Zivilisten)
Day Job (10 hrs) (DJ)
Fame: Local
Natural Athlete
SINner (National) (UCAS)

== Lifestyle ==
Penthaus (Oberschicht) 1  Month
   + DocWagon Contract, Basic [+416.67¥]
   + Grid Subscription (Global Grid)
   + Grid Subscription (Local Grid)
   + Grid Subscription (Public Grid)

== Armor ==
Armor Clothing                           6
Chameleon Suit                           9
   + Insulation 4
Clothing                                 0
   + Electrochromic Clothing

== Weapons ==
Ares Predator V
   + Smartgun System, Internal
   Pool: 12   Accuracy: 5 (7)   DV: 8P   AP: -1   RC: 2
Defiance EX Shocker
   Pool: 12   Accuracy: 4   DV: 9S(e)   AP: -5   RC: 2
Grenade: Flash-Pak
   Pool: 5   Accuracy: 5   DV: Special   AP: -   RC: 2
Grenade: Smoke
   Pool: 5   Accuracy: 5   DV: (10m Radius)   AP: -   RC: 2
Shock Gloves
   Pool: 12   Accuracy: 5   DV: 8S(e)   AP: -5   RC: 2
Unarmed Attack
   Pool: 12   Accuracy: 5   DV: 3S   AP: -   RC: 2
Unarmed Attack
   Pool: 12   Accuracy: 5   DV: 3S   AP: -   RC: 2

== Commlink ==
Hermes Ikon (ATT: 0, SLZ: 0, DP: 5, FWL: 5)
   + Commlink Functionality [Camera, Micro, Chip Player, Credstick Reader, Earbuds, GPS Guidance System, Micro Trid-Projector, Music Player, RFID Tag Scanner, Shock- and Water-Resistant Case, Touchscreen Display]
   + Certified Credstick, Silver
   + Mapsoft
   + Edit
   + Encryption
   + Toolbox
   + Signal Scrub
   + Browse

== Gear: Equipped ==
Ammo: Gel Rounds (Heavy Pistols) ×50
Ammo: Regular Ammo (Heavy Pistols) ×20
Ammo: Taser Dart (Tasers) ×50
Autopicker Rating 6
Bug Scanner Rating 6
Climbing Gear
Contacts Rating 3
   + Image Link
   + Flare Compensation
   + Thermographic Vision
E Skateboard
Fake SIN Rating 4
   + Certified Credstick, Standard
   + Fake License (Driver's License) Rating 4
   + Fake License (Pistol License) Rating 4
   + Fake License (Concealed Carry Permit) Rating 4
Flashlight, Infrared
Gecko Tape Gloves
Grenade: Flash-Pak ×2
Grenade: Smoke ×2
Lockpick Set
Medkit Rating 3
Medkit Supplies ×2
Restraint, Plastic ×20
Sequencer Rating 4
Subvocal Mic
Tool Kit (Hardware)
Tool Kit (Disguise)
Tool Kit (Artisan)
White Noise Generator Rating 6

== Vehicles ==
Yamaha Growler (Off-Road Bike)     
   + Sensor Array Rating 2
« Last Edit: <11-21-18/0528:09> by Fatespinner »


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« Reply #1 on: <11-21-18/1209:29> »
You are trying to do some difficult build. Infiltrator needs a combination of social and agility based skills. Edge 7 is a good start for a mundane human.  Being so strapped for skills you still invested in unarmed that does very little for you and pistols is just not very versatile. I suggest automatics, but you do what you like ;)

Perhaps: Skills A, Attributes A,  resource C. - now I just said you need edge but did not place priority points into it. The trick is to use the karma for it. You get 25 karma, 50 if you max qualities. Use that karma to take edge up 3--> cost 20, 4-->5 costs another 25 - 45 karma for edge 5. (not bad for priority E).  The 5 extra karma should go for a decker quality (I suggest perfect time).

140k should get you a cheap deck and perhaps get yourself lightly augmented. I'd consider cerebral booster, or muscle replacement, an implemented smartlink, a dni and some of the cheap bone/skin enhancement depending on your style.
« Last Edit: <11-21-18/1220:22> by gilga »


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« Reply #2 on: <11-21-18/1351:24> »
I'll second what Gilga said about this being a hard combo to pull off.  Made all the worse because most locks that you will encounter will be maglocks (you need at least hardware and locksmithing to deal with them), and at that getting through doors is only so helpful if you can't deal with the rest of the security (such as cameras), and for that you need hacking skills .... basically the whole 'infiltrator' idea is nice, but doesn't work very well in SR5 because either you become a hacker, or you can only deal with half the job.

Having said that, I'll make some suggestions, but they are just my thoughts -- you need to make a character that you want to play.

As for your build, most noticeably, your social skills pools are too low to have much success, since social rolls are pretty much all opposed.  Even average people will be resisting with six dice, but you need to be ready to beat 10 dice fairly reliably.  The high edge helps with that (you can afford to use edge often), but right now the character is not so much a face as an edge master who can get by socially by edging.

If you are willing to be a bit flexible around the face/action hero idea, perhaps Face+stealth?  His gymnastics and stealth skills are already really high, and adding in edge when needed will make him spectacular on that front.  That would let him improve his social skills, and if he drops logic by a couple of points then he could also improve his intuition which will help perception, dodge, and give him two actions per turn more often.  He could perhaps keep locksmith and hardware at one point so that he can make edged rolls there if necessary?  Even at logic 3, locksmith 1, with edge he'd be at 11 dice even before pulling out an autopicker for extra dice.

And agreed again with Gilga that those points in unarmed combat won't help him much in the current build, he may hit sometimes but he won't really do much if any damage.  He could go for shock-gloves to use with unarmed combat (although he'd still struggle against more prepared foes with non-conductive armor). My suggestion would be to drop it to one point, get shock gloves, and use edge in the rare circumstances that he has to drop someone hand-to-hand.  Use the saved skill points to add a specialization to some of his key skills, to make him even more awesome in those core areas :)

Whatever you do with him, I hope you have a lot of fun, he sounds like a fun character :)

Tipperman  --

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« Reply #3 on: <11-21-18/1504:27> »
Well... a couple of contrary opinions.

Hardware isn't really likely to be necessary as the Locksmith skill is still used to crack open a covering and mess with the guts of a maglock.  Hardware is really only used twice near as I can tell: while picking a lock that uses a transponder-embedded key or (more likely) when you want to go thru a portal that uses an alarm that isn't disabled when the lock is unlocked.  Either way, you're looking at extended tests where you probably won't need more than 5 or so hits (so a die pool of 6 {8 if you want to rely on buying hits}is all you need, and don't forget you get +2 dice for free when in AR for technical tasks so really all you probably need for Hardware is a whopping 4 dice between skill and attribute)

Cameras and other security sensors: Area Jammers are your friend.  Most device ratings don't go above 3, and most cameras and so on really should be only DR 2. A cheap jammer pretty much lets you walk around undetected... although granted a bunch of sensors going to static in systematic patterns as you move thru the facility is in of itself detectable...

Something you can do as an infiltrator is just literally hide from the camera (presuming you see the camera in the first place.. so invest in Perception!). So long as you have something to hide in, say darkness, the observer has to still roll to see you. And it usually won't be rolling much; certainly less than a specialized sneaker tricked out with a camo suit and etc.  Pages 360-362 list all sorts of various security sensors and what skills are used to defeat them.  Even before factoring in having a decker just hack them.
« Last Edit: <11-21-18/1507:42> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #4 on: <11-21-18/1649:22> »
Iirc, mooks add their PR to resisting socials?
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« Reply #5 on: <11-21-18/1708:15> »
Iirc, mooks add their PR to resisting socials?

That is rules as written.  Based on the number of people who seemed surprised when I mentioned it on here one time, I suspect not all groups use that rule?
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #6 on: <11-21-18/1727:54> »
Iirc, mooks add their PR to resisting socials?

That is rules as written.  Based on the number of people who seemed surprised when I mentioned it on here one time, I suspect not all groups use that rule?

I was today years old when I learned that rule.

If it were also referenced in the "Using Social Skills" rules I bet more people would know about it.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.


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« Reply #7 on: <11-21-18/2058:54> »
I'm not sure if you haven't done any cyberware due to simply lack of funds or if it's character concept.  That said, if you don't want to invest a lot into cyber/bioware, you still need to be up towards the higher end of mundane/non-augmented initiative.

When allocating attribute points consider leaving Body at 1 and using your 25 Karma to buy it up to 3.  That would enable you to do something like this:
Body 1 (3 with karma)
Agility 6
Reaction 5
Strength 4
Charisma 5
Intuition 5
Logic 3
Will 3

That gives you the Agility and Charisma you need but also gives you 10+1d6 initiative (2 actions per turn which most mundane non-augmented opponents won't have) and 10 dice on defense (16 with agile defender on full defense).

I would suggest switching Metatype C and Resources D, you still end up with 5 Edge which should be more than enough most of the time, but you get $140k, which at the least would allow you buy a van in which you can keep your shadowrunning gear separate from your 'normal' life.  You can also explore some cyber/bioware if that keeps in your character concept.  There used to be a 'Synthlink' in prior editions for muscial types to control their gear during performances... I think it's back in one of the books - but if nothing else a datajack or a set of trodes would be useful for your dayjob side of things.

I second the idea of switching pistols for automatics.  As an infiltrator combat will likely be close quarters if (when) it happens, but a plain pistol just won't cut it if things really go bad and you have to do a hot cut-n-run.  Consider the Ares Crusader II Machine Pistol - same concealibility as your Predator, but capable of Burst Fire and comes with a 2 points of recoil compensation, a smartlink, and a 40 round magazine standard, and machine pistols use the Automatics skill.  Or the Fianchetti Military 100, which can even do Full Auto and let you do a round of suppressive fire if needed.  Plus if the mission calls for a bit more firepower you can use a submachine gun.

As always, do what works best for your character concept.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #8 on: <11-21-18/2232:37> »
With regards to Pistols:

The advice upthread isn't wrong.  However, as a counterpoint to that advice I'll say there's still a few reasons to take Pistols instead of Automatics.

1) Tasers use the Pistols skill.  Yeah, you can use Stick-n-Shock ammo for ranged nonlethal options, but a Taser is easier to get into places in the first place. Which segues into...

2) Automatic weapons (SMGs, Machine Pistols, Assault Rifles) tend to require more ammo than say your semiautomatic Light or Heavy Pistol.  If your infiltrator needs to get past Chemsniffers, you don't want to be carrying 20 or 30 rounds of ammo. And if you're not carrying much ammo, there's little reason to go with Automatics.

And of course there's

3) Light/Heavy Pistols are a lot more concealable than SMGs/Assault Rifles.  Even Machine Pistols usually have/require features that give them concealability drawbacks versus the compact semi-automatic.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.


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« Reply #9 on: <11-21-18/2308:32> »
i strongly disagree re pistols vs automatics.

an excellent option is the fichetti executive action light pistol.

it is easy to conceal, accurate, can burst fire and has a good ammo capacity.

in fact it's a better combat choice than almost all the machine pistols.

+ just as important for a face: light pistols are more socially accepted than a machine pistol.


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« Reply #10 on: <11-22-18/0300:33> »
Many thanks for all your replies. I am really astonished about the quality of your tips.

I selected pistols for the mentioned reasons. They are easier to conceal, easier to get, taser use the pistols skill and most people (including the police) would but make a big issue of it, if you own one. Automatic guns are mostly used for illegal reasons.

The first thing I will change is reducing Unarmed Combat a lot. Because it won't happen often, my character is not really strong and in emergency cases I can use Edge to boost it.

I didn't took cyberware, because of the money and because I wanted to create a character who can easily walk through security scans without much trouble. Most really effective cyberware is considered restricted or illegal. If I want to assume the identity of a corporate drone to get into a facility, then cyberware would make this more difficult.

The Decker approach and the stealthy Face approach sound cool. I guess I won't need the most powerful Deck if I will mostly use it for overcoming security measures and hacking comlinks. My approach would be to use B&E and infiltration skills to get into a position where I can use the direct connection to a hardware or where I don't have to get access from outside and where I can use an intranet to get data.

What Face would be important to have?

What equipment can I use to improve my infiltration skills? I have the camo suit, white noise generator, automatic lockpicker, sequencer and climbing equipment. Could the bug detector be used to detect wireless cameras? What hardware could be used to detect motion sensors and similar sensors?


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« Reply #11 on: <11-22-18/0311:13> »
Whatever you do with him, I hope you have a lot of fun, he sounds like a fun character :)

That is my goal. I want to have a character that is fun to play and with a reasonable skill and equipment selection. It is difficult to find a good mixture between flavor and capability.


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« Reply #12 on: <11-22-18/0752:57> »
I did the following changes:

Str -1
Int +2
Log -1

Disguise + 3
Etiquette + 2
Locksmith -2
Sneaking +2
Unarmed Combat -5

I removed the Shock Gloves, ComLink software and White Noise Generator. Instead I added a Directed Jammer with rating 6. An area jammers is really obvious.

So my character is now better and sneaking and talking and to get past sensors. Logic is now weaker, but logic 4 is still more than the average is still very useable.

Replacing the motorcycle with a van for the equipment looks like a good idea (if possible). This way it is easier to separate normal life and shadow life.

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« Reply #13 on: <11-22-18/1004:41> »
I'm playing a covert ops/infiltrator character myself in the SRM Neo-Tokyo campaign. My thread where I got advice may carry over somewhat to your idea as well... although my character is embracing cyberware.  (and in revisiting my old thread, I do see that the final form I settled upon does have a different priority array... I did end up deciding Attributes A was the way to go)

I know you said you're leaning against cyberware, but I'll tell you some pieces I got and why:
Skin Toner + Fiber Optic Hair: Not only is it fun at parties to do chameleon tricks, it's pretty useful while sneaking around, too. Combine with Electrochromic clothing for easy disguises on the run. Sometime (probably soon) I'll get the False Face implant, too.

Internal Air Tank: sometimes the best way in is thru some underwater approach. And hiding scuba gear is such a pain.

SkillJack + Skillsoft Subscription: Worst part about posing as an employee is not knowing what an employee should know. My infiltrator just needs a couple seconds and BAM at least I can talk with the basic knowledge whoever I'm impersonating would know.

Cyberears w Wide-Spectrum Hearing + Hearing Augmentation: I find motion sensors just by hearing them.

Balance Augmenter and  Audio Analyzer: Since I got cyberears, I packed in some more useful mods. The former gives +1 die to a wide array of active skills useful to infiltration (like Sneaking, Free Fall, etc) and the latter dovetails nicely with...

Voice Modulator: I don't need to record people's voices to play them back to fool voiceprint readers. I just impersonate their voices very dang well!

Tailored Pheromones: Pretty much a no-brainer for anyone attempting to use social skills. As an upside, as bioware it doesn't show up on cyberware scanners!

Enhanced Articulation: It's like a bioware version of Balance Augmenter.. it adds a stacking die to Escape Artist but the even bigger value is the flat +1 Physical Limit boost. Especially so if you do go in light on augmentations and don't have jacked up physical stats to get an impressive Physical Limit to begin with...

Anyway, some gear you might find useful:
Electrochromic mod for clothing/armor
Contacts/Earbuds with Vision/Hearing modifications.  Even if you don't get them as cyberware, you still absolutely need to get perception enhancers.  Sensors you don't detect are sensors you can't defeat...
Hardware Toolkit and Locksmith Toolkit are kind of a trap.. you need them to defeat alarms and maglocks so don't be caught without them.  Lockpicks don't count.
And for that matter, the Autopicker is kind of useless.  Not to the point that you should drop it, but don't expect to need it very often.  Noone uses tumbler/key locks anymore in the Sixth World.  They're all maglocks...
A gas mask or respirator is usually a good idea.  Especially so if you're planning on lobbing smoke/gas around yourself.
A piece of B&E tech I've found useful is the Keycard Copier: just steal an employee's badge, swipe it, then you return it so he never knows it's gone.. then you use the data captured in the copier to make your own passkey!
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.


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« Reply #14 on: <11-23-18/0227:41> »
You tips are really good stainless. I will see what I can do.

Your character looks cool. How do you mostly play your character? Any tips on how to play a good infiltrator? How useful is Gymnastics really? I sounds like a cool skill, for many cool actions and climbing and for getting into buildings...but is it really used and is a high value needed?

I will make also a Infiltrator/Decker variant of my character, because I am not sure, how well I can play a face.