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Catalyst's Shadowrun Products / Re: Whisper Nets Campaign Book is Out!
« Last post by Aria on <04-06-23/1639:34> »
To anyone who has picked this one up… is there any crunch in it or is it background material, NPCs etc??

Character creation and critique / Re: [SR5e] Action Hacker
« Last post by Tecumseh on <04-05-23/1702:37> »
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).
Character creation and critique / Re: [SR5e] Action Hacker
« Last post by Fatespinner on <04-05-23/1111:18> »
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...
Character creation and critique / Re: [SR5e] Action Hacker
« Last post by Tecumseh on <04-05-23/0110:03> »
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.
Gamemasters' Lounge / Re: Fixing Assassin Nation SRM 04-09
« Last post by mcv on <04-04-23/0535:20> »
I think their various contacts should each have one piece of the puzzle, so the runners can put all of those pieces together.

So their original fixer can point them to Freemont. Maybe also about the hit on Project Freedom.

Bull can definitely tell them about the hit of Project Freedom, and may also be aware of the existence of Anarchy, but not be entirely sure of what he's up to or who he's working with. He definitely knows Gordo Buck is important in the Ork Underground and connected to the Skraacha. Not sure if he's aware of Gordo Buck's mafia role, but if he is, he probably knows of Freemont's gambling debts to Gordo Buck.

Tosh knows Dana Oaks is alive, and can tell them that Freemont works for Blackfern. Maybe he also knows about Freemont's gambling debts.

Mafia or Ork Underground contacts might also know about Gordo Buck or Freemont's gambling debts.

The hit on Freemont could point to Gordo Buck and tells them about Harbinger.

But how do the figure out that Gordo Buck, Blackfern, Anarchy and Harbinger are all working together and where they are?

I also feel like with all this impersonation going on, maybe Anarchy should have access to a mage with the Mask spell.
Hey Chummers,

Lookin for players in the Los Angeles area for an ongoing tabletop Shadowrun Sixth World campaign. The GM has many SR editions worth of experience and brings the dynamically magical and futuristic world of Shadowrun to life with gritty and real cyberpunk-style storylines and by developing the player characters as well bringing the NPCs in the world to life.

If you're interested send the GM an email here and he'll fill you in on the rest.
Hey Chummers,

Lookin for players in the Los Angeles area for an ongoing tabletop Shadowrun Sixth World campaign. The GM has many SR editions worth of experience and brings the dynamically magical and futuristic world of Shadowrun to life with gritty and real cyberpunk-style storylines and by developing the player characters as well bringing the NPCs in the world to life.

If you're interested send the GM an email here and he'll fill you in on the rest.
Gamemasters' Lounge / Re: Fixing Assassin Nation SRM 04-09
« Last post by mcv on <04-03-23/1653:10> »
One idea I just had: if the group's hacker ever hacks into a system, maybe he discovers Anarchy active in that system too. For example, if he decides to hack into the system at the brother where Freemont is staying, maybe Anarchy is looking there at the same time, to figure out which room Harbinger needs to hit. The hacker might notice Anarchy (is that possible?), and if he gets too nosy, Anarchy hits him with some sort of ridiculous attack that shows this isn't just anyone. The player might just spot an anarchy symbol before he jacks out.

But all of this depends on the hacker deciding to hack into a system that Anarchy also has an interest in. That's by no means guarantees, so this is only an extra.
Gamemasters' Lounge / Fixing Assassin Nation SRM 04-09
« Last post by mcv on <04-03-23/1645:50> »
I've been running my group through the SRM4 Ork Underground missions (interspersed with lots of other unrelated adventures). Assassin Nation sounds like a grand climactic moment where lots of tension from earlier comes together into a massive chaos, but now that I'm actually prepping it, I admit I'm a bit disappointed. It's actually very railroady, and all the interesting investigation happens off-screen by NPCs.

It starts with the PCs getting hired for a data steal from the DA's house. This turns out to be a setup and they're being framed. I'm absolutely fine with this. It can suck to screw the players over nothing, but considering their involvement so far, I consider this totally fair. However, at first all their contacts know nothing, except for two journalists who are mostly fighting their own vendetta, but one of them points them to a hotel/brothel where they can find the guy who betrayed them. They get interrupted by tons of goons shooting them. Then they get saves by Knight Errant arresting them. Turns out they're lead by a familiar face who leads them to all the important NPCs who have already solved the case for them, and now they only need to kill the final bad guys, but without the help of Knight Errant this time.

Having KE there en masse (to give the runners no option but to surrender) and then leaving them out of the confrontation with the real crooks, is weird. Worse is that all the interesting stuff, tracking Anarchy and Harbinger, connecting them to Gordo Buck and Blackfern, has already been done by Bull. Anarchy and Harbinger will mean nothing this way, not to mention that it takes away agency. So I want to fix that.

I'm also going to change the start, because I already have a much better alternative for that. One of the players has a foreign (Tir) SIN and isn't totally SINless. He also has a dependent (teenage sister). After Burn (04-07), they were expected to leave the city or get arrested, so I gave them a long mission away from Seattle, cleaning up some toxic waste for three months in Timshian (from Bloody Business). When they get back, stuff has gotten out of hand, but the authorities managed to track down the foreign SIN and arrested the sister. So instead of getting hired for a datasteal on DA Beatty's house, they find an informant with info about the arrested sister who says they can find it in DA Beatty's house.

But what can I do to give them more to figure out about Anarchy and Harbinger? It would be nice if they hear from him before they go for the final confrontation, and even better if they can figure out some of Bull's info by themselves, but how?

The steps in the mission as written are:
  • Meet Mr Johnson/informant (Leonard Freemont)
  • See Joe Martin, but he's useless right now
  • Shit hitting the fan at Beatty's residence, KE starts their manhunt for the runners
  • Their fixer informs them that they've killed the Project Freedom leadership (he doesn't know about Beatty yet, I think)
  • KSAF/Athena Tatopoulos contacts them
  • Their fixer contacts them again, this time to tell them to talk to Joe Martin (in a public place; I doubt they'll do that, although Joe's info is slightly better than Athena's)
  • They talk to either Athena or Joe Martin, and get the lead
  • Visit and question Freemont, who gets sniped by Harbinger (how does he know they're here?) followed by a Skraacha/mobster attack
  • KE + Tosh saves the day
  • Tosh, Dana Oaks and Bull tell everything: that Gordo Buck and Mark Blackfern are in this together, and Anarchy and Harbinger are really behind it, so go kill them now without us
  • Final confrontation with Anarchy and Harbinger

That penultimate step is the main problem. I'd like the players to uncover some of that. One issue is that Bull is their main fixer (I figured the initial fixer for this is someone), and they may call him at a much earlier step already. If Bull knows everything already, why do they even need to talk to Freemont? So Bull shouldn't even know everything, but he should have one clue for them that they can follow up on.

One thing they can figure out is that Freemont works for Blackfern, an perhaps also, through contacts in either the city or mafia (possibly even Tosh) that Freemont has gambling debts with Gordo Buck.

Another thing that can put them on the trail of Gordo Buck is the hit on Freemont: they may figure out that the sniper is the same guy who killed Beatty, and the combined Skraacha/mob attack smells of Gordo of course. Maybe they can fight them off without Tosh or KE.

But how are they going to figure out about Anarchy, Harbinger or the meet? Bull or Athena might know about Anarchy, and of course they see Harbinger when he kills Freemont. Will they be able to track Harbinger straight to the meet? Will they contact Tosh, or be contacted by Tosh, who tells them Dana Oaks is still alive? My group has a pretty good hacker, so maybe he should be the one to find out about Anarchy and the meet, but how?

I'm looking for ideas here. I don't want to draw it out too long, but I do want to give the players a bit more agency than they're getting from the mission as written. Any ideas?
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