Shadowrun Play > Rules and such

Does a Technomancer need the Cracking Skill in 6E?

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wadsworthpu:
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.

Xenon:
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...

Xenon:
Tasking cannot be defaulted to.

Tasking is used for Sprites. Compiling them. Registering them. Recompiling them.

Deckers don't have access to sprites and they do just fine, but this mean you no longer have access to sprite powers such as Camouflage, Cookie, Diagnostics, Electron Storm, Hash, Override, Phantom, Stability, Suppression, Trap and Watermark...... :-(



Same as Tasking, Cracking cannot be defaulted to.

Cracking is used for Crack File and Disarm data bomb. Which mean that without Cracking (and without Tasking) you don't have any method of removing the file protection nor disarming data bombs (to be honest, this is probably a show-stopper).

Cracking is used for Data spike, Tar Pit, Crash Program as well as Resonance Spike. Which mean that without Cracking (and without Tasking) you don't have any method of bricking devices or programs or generally causing matrix damage.

Cracking is used for Snoop. Which mean that without Cracking (and without Tasking) you don't have a way to eavesdrop on communications or snoop on live camera feeds.

Cracking is used for gaining access on networks (either via Brute Force or Probe + Backdoor Entry). This mean you can't take several Electronic actions (such as Format Device, Reboot Device, Trace Icon, Jump Into Rigged Device, ...)

Cracking is also used for random actions like the Hide action and the Jam signals action, but they are not really that important I guess.




Having said that, there are also a few actions you can sort of still emulate;

An alternative to Check Overwatch Score action would be to learn and use the Emulate (Baby Monitor) complex form.

An alternative to Spoof Command (and to some extent Control Device) would be to learn and use the Puppeteer complex form (if the device is on the inside of a non-public host then you also probably need to first establish a direct connection to the device).

An alternative to Edit File action would be to learn and use the Editor complex form (but I don't think there is a way to establish a direct connection to a file that is on the inside of non-public host and I also don't think it let you bypass data bombs or edit files that are still encrypted).



Overall I would suggest against skipping both Tasking and Cracking. At least if you are the only Matrix Specialist of the party.

wadsworthpu:
 I'm very biased on the use of Editor Complex Form. I think Editor CF should bypass Data Bombs. If not, then I agree it is a show stopper. Using emulator (Edit) and the standard edit file action is using the matrix vs using resonance.   Similarly, outsider access is critical as there is no way to gain user/admin access without cracking.

My hope is that future supplements and editions will continue to clarify and separate the mechanics of the Matrix. There should be a way to attain the matrix results with different approaches.  Similar to Close Combat, Firearms, and Exotic Weapons for physical combat and Shamans with Spirits vs Mages with Spells for magical effects.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat:

--- Quote from: wadsworthpu on --- I'm very biased on the use of Editor Complex Form. I think Editor CF should bypass Data Bombs. If not, then I agree it is a show stopper. Using emulator (Edit) and the standard edit file action is using the matrix vs using resonance.   Similarly, outsider access is critical as there is no way to gain user/admin access without cracking.

My hope is that future supplements and editions will continue to clarify and separate the mechanics of the Matrix. There should be a way to attain the matrix results with different approaches.  Similar to Close Combat, Firearms, and Exotic Weapons for physical combat and Shamans with Spirits vs Mages with Spells for magical effects.

--- End quote ---

Editor doesn't say it ignores Data Bombs.  Heck, it doesn't even say it ignores file protection of the mundane sort that requires the Crack File matrix action (pg. 180).

Editor only says it does one thing: allows you to ignore any prerequisite access when executing the Edit File matrix action (pg. 181).

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