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If you are the team's only matrix expert then I think you will limit yourself by not picking up cracking.

Technomancers are also in a really good position in this edition.

But can it be done? Sure...
Rules and such / Re: Attacks Against Players in VR 6e
« Last post by Xenon on Today at 03:52:42 »
I'd say your physical body can't really defend against physical melee and ranged attacks while in full VR or Astral Projection, but that you still soak with body as normal (then again there is no "Unaware of Attack" modifier in this edition (in this edition you get to defend against attackers you don't see or attackers you are surprised against) so I am not sure what the actual intent is here...

An advantage of going with the team (besides that it is often more fun for everyone) is that you can Spoof commands to maglocks etc by using direct connection. No need to first gain access to, and enter, a host. Having said that, it have been clarified that devices still get to defend with matrix attributes provided to them from the network they are connected to (even if under attack from a direct connection) which kinda limit the usefulness of joining the team.

In this edition handshake range is no longer unlimited - noise doesn't only make it harder to hack, it also put a hard limit on the maximum distance you can be at (which mean hacking from a stationary base of operations might be tricky, but hacking from a mobile base of operations seem to be highly possible or perhaps even encouraged).
RAW does a Technomancer need to spend skill points on Cracking, Tasking, and Electronics?  Reading through the 6E rules and inspired by the Advanced Matrix rules from 5E, I'm trying to theory craft myself through the options of different TM builds. My goal is to get the variety of builds within TM that Shaman/Mages have and ensure the TM plays differently than a typical Decker. One of those builds is intended to be a complex form sorcerer.  (No tasking/sprites, No "illegal" matrix actions).  Meet M3RLIN, the complex form slinging matrix specialist.  Can MERLIN conduct a simple data grab without an illegal matrix action; just using complex forms?

Example to test the theory...a simple data grab.
Using the basic Host Structure (Core pg186), M3RLIN starts in the Matrix with Outside Access to HOST A. Unfortunately, the data is in in the Office Host and nested behind A. So M3RLIN is stuck.  He can't see the Office Host and he can't "enter" Host A without cracking (e.g. Brute/Backdoor/Probe) actions.  (I assume there is no way for Puppeteer or Resonance Veil to give yourself user/admin access).  This means M3RLIN needs a physical back door to the Office Host (e.g. Workers Desktop PC inside the building).  With device access (such as Wireless Data Tap or Skinlink to a Office PC), M3RLIN would have Outsider Access to the Office Host.  He now needs to find and then access the file.  If it was "unprotected", it would be a simple Matrix Search / Matrix Perception then Editor CF to copy.  However, if the TM is looking for the file it is likely protected.  So, M3RLIN will have to use Hash Check to find it.  Bad News this is illegal. Good news, it uses Electronics versus Cracking.  So, M3RLIN now has an Overwatch score, but hasn't had to use the Crack Skill.  Now M3RLIN uses his Editor CF and copies/clones/resonance cheats the file. With the file "in hand", he uses Cleaner CF to remove the Overwatch as he walks away. Now that feels very TM-like per the fluff, but none of that was opposed.  The key is getting a team to get you to the device (which is crux of a Shadowrun data grab for the majority of the team).   

What RAW am I missing? If this mostly works, then you can add in a puppeteer and a resonance veil to "disrupt" some devices during combat.  This could be a subtle & useful matrix character without requiring the Cracking Skill or the Tasking Skill. This would open up a lot more karma/priority for TM build diversity.
I'd say the best practice is to let your players figure that out for themselves.

For rigging, a common thing is the rigger sits in the soccer mom van in VR and jumps into the drones accompanying the the team.  That way when the team is ready to make their escape to the getaway vehicle, the rigger's already there...

likewise, many hackers might reason they don't need to worry about sneaking and athletics and combat skills if they spend their time in VR on matrix overwatch.  it's hard to say that's a wrong way to play!

As you intuited, Noise works as a mechanic to encourage matrix users to physically accompany the rest of the team.  In the case of hackers, there are additional tricks to "encourage" them to physically come along... like hardlined security devices (no wireless signal to hack...) and nested host architectures (you can make a shortcut to the end of the VR maze by establishing a direct connection to the right physical device...)

Note that hacking and drone controlling CAN be done in VR is absolutely necessary!  (ok, VR *is* absolutely necessary to jump in, but you CAN control a drone without jumping in!  That's why you paid for a RCC...)
Rules and such / Re: Attacks Against Players in VR 6e
« Last post by Winky on <07-23-21/1926:50> »
Thanks, I appreciate the help!

As sort of a corollary, I'm a newish GM and I'm curious if I'm designing scenarios well with a rigger/decker in mind. Should I be forcing my decker/rigger player to be in the same physical location as the action is going on, or should I make it more feasible for them to operate from a safe base of operations nearby (either back at home base or in the van parked outside)? The major impediment to that seems to be the noise system. Is the idea that the decker/rigger will be right there in the middle of the action while the rest of the crew has to defend their VR-comatose body, or that the smart decker/rigger won't be in the way of combat to begin with?
Rules and such / Re: Wild die and rerolls
« Last post by Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <07-23-21/1917:02> »
If the rerolled dice do not affect the wild die's prior resolution, then when the wild die was 1 it logically follows that rerolled dice showing 5s must still stand as not-hits.
Sorry if this is a basic question, but I couldn't find the answer anywhere. What happens to a character when they are in VR and get attacked? Are they able to roll React+Intuition and Body against it as normal?

My understanding is that a character in VR is effectively unconscious.

That's a very good question.

I think it's illustrative to look at the Stilled condition (pg. 53).   The game effect of this state is -10 DR, and a nix on the otherwise "always available" defense test.  But even then, you still get Body to soak the damage with.  Therefore there is precedent inside 6e to deny an "always available" defense test, but still not one for denying a Body soak roll.

I think this nicely represents a physical attack on a comatose target employing VR, since being in VR is so much like a physical paralysis.  I wouldn't extend the other aspect of Stilled to being in VR though... as slumping into VR won't make your body stop burning if it was on fire :D
Rules and such / Attacks Against Players in VR 6e
« Last post by Winky on <07-23-21/1900:54> »
Sorry if this is a basic question, but I couldn't find the answer anywhere. What happens to a character when they are in VR and get attacked? Are they able to roll React+Intuition and Body against it as normal?

My understanding is that a character in VR is effectively unconscious.
General Discussion / Re: Air Dance
« Last post by Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <07-23-21/1624:07> »
The most relevant lines seem to be:
"Characters may never start a player turn with more than 5 Minor Actions." This sounds ambiguous to me between "can never start one of their own player turns" and "can never start a turn of any player", leaning towards the later. It also feels ambiguous to me if there exists time to take actions, even anytime actions, between round start and the first players turn. So, the actions are lost unuseably if either it's any player's turn and you can't act before the first turn, or if it's your turn, you can't act before the first turn, and you go first.
"A character can also trade 4 Minor Actions to perform 1 Major Action." This sounds more like it requires you spend the minor actions when you take the major action than like it allows you to save the major action, but the word "trade" does suggest that you gain a Major Action, not that you are spending 4 minors in place of spending a Major

I agree that there's a degree of syntactic ambiguity on those sentences.  However, I feel it's more likely that "Characters may never start a player turn with more than 5 Minor Actions" means "Characters may never start their own player's turn with more than 5..." rather than "Characters may never start anyone's turn with more than 5..."

Likewise, the example of "trading" 4 minors to execute a major action is in the context of also being allowed to spend a major action in place of a minor action.  This, IMO, is contextually so strong that there is no reasonable argument to be had for "trading" 4 minors into a major that is then held for future use, rather than spent immediately.  So long as the major action is performed as soon as you spend the 4 minor actions, the language all works fine enough.

On the topic of whether there is or is not a "timing phase" between start of the round and the first turn... I'd say there absolutely is one... implicitly via the example of the "Add +3 to your initiative score" Edge boost.  Its text explicitly mentions this can allow you to jump ahead of someone in order.  So implicitly, this must mean you can spend that edge boost before the first character to steal their spot at the top of the order.  And if you can do one thing between start of round and 1st turn, then some sort of in between phase must therefore exist.
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