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[SR5] Sensors

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RickDeckard

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« on: <12-21-20/0853:15> »
So I've read the sensor rules at least 10 times. I've watched the tutorial on Complex Action, and I've Googled till my fingers bled. Still I lack some clarity on how sensors work.

I know how they're installed, capacity, housings, ratings, all that, but I don't get how you use them.

Are they an ALTERNATIVE to doing a standard Perception+Intuition [Mental] test whereby you then replace the limit with the sensor rating? That would be relevant only if you have sensors rated higher than your Mental Limit then.

Example: Sam Street has Perception 5 and Intuition 5, mental limit 5, so he rolls a Perception test to see if Jomo the Ganger is carrying a weapon. Alternatively he has a MAD sensor installed in his shades. Any wearable sensors are limited to rating 2, making his limit for the test 2 instead of 5. Not an improvement even though he is using high tech sensors...

Reading about the Olfactory Scanner (assuming this is also a sensor) it now says the DICE POOL is equal to the rating, which would be 2 if you've sensor installed in your gear somewhere, and you need 2 hits to be successful. So an Olfactory Scanner is only useful if installed in a vehicle or similar size housing?

How do I even use an X-Ray sensor?

Is there some scenario where it's worth having a sensor array installed in something like a ballistic mask? Cause it seems awesome to me, but by the RAW it's mostly useless.

HALP!

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: <12-21-20/1346:12> »
Well, by my reading (admittedly I've brain dumped 5e a good bit in the past year...so I only took a cursory look back at the relevant stuff) your questions seem to fall into the realm of the art of gamemastering, rather than the ostensible science of rules.

What do I mean?  Well, let's use your example of Sammy the Samurai trying to spot a weapon Jomo the ganger may or may not have hidden.  Sammy has a mental limit that is pobably higher than many sensors, but Sammy is subject to numerous factors that a sensor such as a MAD wouldn't be.  See the environmental conditions modifiers (pg 175, SR5) and perception test modifiers (pg 135, SR5).  Sensors, unlike Sammy, will ignore darkness, glare, being distracted, etc.  They'll also ignore Jomo's palming skill successes, which Sammy would still have to overcome.

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.

RickDeckard

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« Reply #2 on: <12-21-20/1532:19> »
Yeah good points. But the basic use of sensors is correctly assumed a standard Perception check using the sensor as limit, and then with an output of "whatever the sensor does"?

With Olfactory Scanner as the exception, for some odd reason?

Are glasses/goggles with sensors even worth it then? Can't quite figure that out.


Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #3 on: <12-21-20/1555:25> »
So, sensors can be used in many different contexts.  And the mechanics of the test will be different in various contexts.  I think that's your issue?  If so... again I say it just comes down to the art of GMing.

So, for example:

A sensor might be a wall-mounted metal detector.  Like a chemsniffer (pg. 361, SR5) a doorway-mounted metal detector basically just makes an unresisted test against a threshold based on the size of the weapon passing through.  A metal detector doesn't care if the lights are on or off, it can't be distracted (unless the GM decides that a lot of matrix noise counts as a "distraction"), etc.

Now instead if you have a doorguard who wands everyone who goes through, then you introduce the element of metahuman fallibility. The sensor is unaffected by darkness and so on, but the NPC who directs the sensor might be.  Personally, I'd probably say that that kind of context raises the possibility of the guard being penalized by darkness and distraction because his own visual perception factors in to knowing where to direct the sensor (rather than the sensor passively doing its own thing without human direction), but palming successes won't count against him because he's using the sensor rather than his tactile perception for a pat down.


Your question:
Quote
But the basic use of sensors is correctly assumed a standard Perception check using the sensor as limit, and then with an output of "whatever the sensor does"?

I'd say it's not a simple yes/no answer.

Sometimes the sensor is passively scanning 24/7.  Security devices, primarily.  They make their own perception rolls.

Sometimes the sensor is being employed by a metahuman.  This is the tricky part.  Either it makes its own perception roll in place of the character's, or the character makes their own perception roll but is rewarded in some way by simply "having" the sensor.  it's similar in theory to sensory augmentations... low light vision for example lets you mitigate darkness.  If you have a cyberware scanner built into your goggles, it might simply allow you to "see through" clothing and flesh and you still make your own perception roll. And for good or for ill, you'd replace your limit with the sensor's.  Of course, if Sammy the Samurai has a mental limit of 5 and only a rating 3 cyberware scanner in his goggles, his limit would go down but without that sensor, he couldn't even "see" the cyberware inside someone at all to even make the attempt in the first place.
« Last Edit: <12-21-20/1600:15> 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.

Reaver

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« Reply #4 on: <12-21-20/1601:47> »
Yeah good points. But the basic use of sensors is correctly assumed a standard Perception check using the sensor as limit, and then with an output of "whatever the sensor does"?

With Olfactory Scanner as the exception, for some odd reason?

Are glasses/goggles with sensors even worth it then? Can't quite figure that out.


Sensors are mostly used by drones and vehicles.... Which in other cases could limit a runners Perception. Especially when they are jacked in and in a comatose state.

For most drones and vehicles, their sensors are the only way you are going to be able to roll a perception test. Consider the humble Fly-spy drone, whipping through a building under orders from its Rigger.... The drone and the Rigger are separated, so the Rigger is not going to get to use his perception dice based on his attributes and skills (and why should he, he isn't there, its his drone!), instead he has to rely on the sensors of the drone  to spot anything of interest.

Worn sensors, as you have noted are often going to be below the thresholds of a typical Runners Perception test, so what good are they? Well that depends on the runner, and the sensors in question. Running a sensor package that doesn't expand the Runner's senses beyond his normal limit isn't going to help him at all. But, paring up a sensor or 3 for things he can't do naturally can be a benefit. -But is also going to require more thought and effort on the half the GM.

An Olfactory Scanner might detect the presence of explosives or gunpowder on a person -leading to finding a hidden weapon...
X-ray scanners may show you implanted tech (bone lacing, internal commlinks/routers), or items hidden on the body (by passing the palming test as the x-ray scanner sees through soft materials like FLESH, skin, clothing, and only sees dense objects like BONE, METAL , PASTICS  (so, like 95% of all tech out there, minus some bioware),


Basically worn sensors give a runner an extra option, or the ability to scan for or notice something that is normally beyond the range of human abilities. OR to extend the range of their natural perception past there normal range. (There is an Argument out there that a X-ray scanner could let you see through walls... something that would normally block a Runner's line of sight, for example)

But things like a low light sensor for an elf runner? Why? The Elf's eyes already see in low light, so the sensor is not going to help him at all.. (unless he is so brain dead that his limit is lower then the sensor..)
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

RickDeckard

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« Reply #5 on: <12-22-20/0437:23> »
Alright, thanks chummers, I think I got it now. This was more or less what I imagined, but I just couldn't find any RAW to confirm it. So that's how I'll play it =)

Hanzo

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« Reply #6 on: <01-22-21/0906:17> »
So the Sensors ... These tricky little things ...

As I understand this section of rules:

Just go and read the GM section for Sensor Application))) Everything is in there. The samurai doesn't need a hell of dices to generate 1 HIT (not NET HIT) as the sensors work in other way then ordinary perception. When you use sensor the Roll you make is unopposed, but affected by different modifiers like Plastic Components for Firearms, and you only need 1 solid HIT. Your GM can ask you for a roll cause handheld device can only give you (Device Rating)d6. And usually it's only 2.

Description about Sensors given in the housing section is for Riggers only. As the only sensors-users are them. For riggers Sensors become the limit for Perseption action. As all the rigger have Rig Module that increases all the limits in Jump In state so that even Sernsor Ratin 3 can become 5, if you have Rig Module 2, which is available at CharGen.

As for the X-ray... welllll... It's narrative based... If your GM is aware of x-ray penetration properties, then... maybe... it's worth buying. But generally, it's a fluff. As far as I know, this sernsor mod was errated. For good.

Xenon

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« Reply #7 on: <01-22-21/1122:32> »
Are they an ALTERNATIVE to doing a standard Perception+Intuition [Mental] test
In most cases, yes.

SR5 p. 445 Sensors
When you use the sensor array for Perception Tests, you may use your Electronic Warfare skill in place of your Perception skill, and you may use the sensor’s Rating as your limit.


he has a MAD sensor installed in his
MAD scanners have explicit rules for how to resolve them.

SR5 p. 366 Magnetic anomaly detectors (MADs)
To determine if the detector finds a weapon, make a test using the device’s rating as the dice pool; a single hit detects any ferrous-metal weapons or objects (guns, knives, etc).

SR5 p. 446 MAD Scanner
It has a maximum range of 5 meters.

SR5 p. 425 Streetline Special
Magnetic Anomaly Detectors (see MAD Scanner, p. 446) suffer a –2 dice pool modifier to detect it.


Reading about the Olfactory Scanner
Olfactory scanners have explicit rules for how to resolve them.

SR5 p. 365 Olfactory scanners
To detect explosives or ammunition, roll a dice pool equal to the chemsniffer’s rating against a threshold 2 (3 if the explosives/ammo are hermetically sealed). Apply modifiers as noted on the Chemical Detection Modifiers table.

SR5 p. 452 Olfactory Booster
Add the booster’s rating as a dice pool modifier to your scent-based Perception Tests.


Description about Sensors given in the housing section is for Riggers only.
No, they are not only for riggers.
« Last Edit: <01-22-21/1127:30> by Xenon »

 

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