NEWS

Creating a deck from scratch

  • 16 Replies
  • 4664 Views

AJBuwalda

  • *
  • Chummer
  • **
  • Posts: 195
« on: (18:04:41/11-10-10) »
Ok, lets say I would like to make a custom deck for a new hacker character I'm creating. I could choose the stock commlinks and OS, but I want to invest in something better within the GMs availability limit. Can I simply buy a Commlink and add components from the hardware/software table (Pg. 240) and add programs from the table on page 228?
Greetings from the Netherlands, comrade!

Chaemera

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 797
  • I may be a mouse, but I have a chainsaw.
« Reply #1 on: (19:05:36/11-10-10) »
Page 240. . . ? Oh, okay, you've got non-Anniversary book. I'm going to list references for both books, non-Anniversary first, since that's what you're using.

As a GM, I'd be in favor of buy the off-the-shelf 'link (SR4 pg. 317 - 319, SR4A pg. 327 - 328), upgrade the hardware (and only the hardware) using the "Buying Upgrades" rules (SR4, pg. 240, "Upgrading Devices" SR4A, pg. 222).

Please note, if your GM is using the 20th Anniversary edition, you also need to download the Changes Reference Document and observe the limitations denoted under the heading "The Wireless World". Check with your GM about that.

Now, we're at software. Since you want the custom, tricked out toys, buy your OS "piece meal" using the chart on page 228 of SR4 (pg. 232, SR4A) then, buy the rest of your programs using the same. If you do come across a 20th Anniversary edition, keep in mind that if you aren't buying a package Commlink/OS "off-the-shelf" you can't benefit from the discount "Common Use Program Suites".

The reason I specifically say "buy your OS" before buying the rest of your software is this: Program Rating is limited by System Rating, I wouldn't buy more than you can use.
SR20A Limited Edition # 124
Obsidian Portal Profile: http://www.obsidianportal.com/profile/chaemera

AJBuwalda

  • *
  • Chummer
  • **
  • Posts: 195
« Reply #2 on: (01:08:06/11-11-10) »
Thanks mate!
Greetings from the Netherlands, comrade!

Chaemera

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 797
  • I may be a mouse, but I have a chainsaw.
« Reply #3 on: (15:57:15/11-12-10) »
No problem. I'm just glad I didn't pitch my non-SR4A copy once I bought my second copy of SR4A. The local hobby shop had one of those leather-bound limited edition copies. . . how could I resist?
SR20A Limited Edition # 124
Obsidian Portal Profile: http://www.obsidianportal.com/profile/chaemera

AJBuwalda

  • *
  • Chummer
  • **
  • Posts: 195
« Reply #4 on: (08:06:07/11-13-10) »
No problem. I'm just glad I didn't pitch my non-SR4A copy once I bought my second copy of SR4A. The local hobby shop had one of those leather-bound limited edition copies. . . how could I resist?
You rightfully couldn't :D
Greetings from the Netherlands, comrade!

Dakka

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 477
« Reply #5 on: (17:05:19/11-22-10) »
As a GM, I'd be in favor of buy the off-the-shelf 'link (SR4 pg. 317 - 319, SR4A pg. 327 - 328), upgrade the hardware (and only the hardware) using the "Buying Upgrades" rules (SR4, pg. 240, "Upgrading Devices" SR4A, pg. 222).

This doesn't really answer the question (that's come up in my group as well) of is it possible to create a commlink from scratch by going to your local Fry's Electronics 2070 equivalent and buying the hardware and the costs/time related to doing so.  I was wondering this as well helping my friend make a new hacker character.  The description of Using Hardware on SR4A pg 227 implies that it's POSSIBLE, and the table on the next page outlines times and thresholds for the extended test, but the process of "Upgrading" on SR4A pg 222 limits upgrades to base device +2 and I can't find much on creating hardware from component parts. 

I know the EASY way is to take a Transys Avalon and upgrade it with a module, but I'm interested in thoughts on creating a Transys Avalon analog from scratch and without the corporate logo on it, or even a 6/6 base rating commlink (because you never know, you might find a response 8 module locked away in that military lab you are breaking into).  I suppose the simplest way would be to have parts cost 50% of the list price on the Transys Avalon and outline an Extended Hardware test to build the thing. 

Chaemera

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 797
  • I may be a mouse, but I have a chainsaw.
« Reply #6 on: (17:48:48/11-22-10) »
Create from scratch commlink would be governed by the "Using Technical Skills to Build or Repair" rules (SR4, pg. 125, SR4A, pg. 138). Unless they introduced something new in Arsenal / Unwired to specifically cover commlinks separately.

A lot of this is GM's discretion, but I would consider a commlink to be an Intricate (Threshold 12) device, requiring a Workshop (SR4, pg. 322-323, SR4A, pg. 332) with an interval of 1 week (I'm nice and like things to move quicker, other GM's might say 1 month, or even 3 months, you are making a commlink here!). The applicable dice pool would be Logic + Hardware.
SR20A Limited Edition # 124
Obsidian Portal Profile: http://www.obsidianportal.com/profile/chaemera

Nomad Zophiel

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 414
  • Zophiel by name. Nomad by profession.
« Reply #7 on: (18:22:55/11-22-10) »
Create from scratch commlink would be governed by the "Using Technical Skills to Build or Repair" rules (SR4, pg. 125, SR4A, pg. 138). Unless they introduced something new in Arsenal / Unwired to specifically cover commlinks separately.

A lot of this is GM's discretion, but I would consider a commlink to be an Intricate (Threshold 12) device, requiring a Workshop (SR4, pg. 322-323, SR4A, pg. 332) with an interval of 1 week (I'm nice and like things to move quicker, other GM's might say 1 month, or even 3 months, you are making a commlink here!). The applicable dice pool would be Logic + Hardware.

If you literally soldering components into place, I'd agree. If you're going out and buying a motherboard, wireless Matrix card, buying an off the shelf but very advanced OS etc. (ie paying the full upgrade cost for each of the Matrix stats) then its more like slotting together a desktop computer. Open case, insert parts, boot and let the OS auto-install do the heavy lifting. Probably a single Logic+Hardware to install the lot, maybe a Logic+Software if you had to get a custom Hacker OS that isn't use friendly.

Chaemera

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 797
  • I may be a mouse, but I have a chainsaw.
« Reply #8 on: (19:32:10/11-22-10) »
In my mind, you're talking more of a smartphone than a desktop, these are pocket-sized, portable, pre-built devices. Not 2 foot tall, 8 inch wide machines rooted in one spot. With decreased size comes decreased customizability.

Speaking as an electrical engineer, you probably are soldering the darn thing together at that point. And probably having to custom-make your own case, I doubt people who make money selling over-the-counter super-smartphones are going to make generic cases terribly prevalent.

This is why the numbers I gave are for how I'd probably handle it. My view, putting together a smartphone-sized complex computing device is not cheap, easy, or plausible for most people. hot-swap circuitry only gets so small before you hit the thermal-breakdown points, &c.

It is 2072, I'm sure they've made some advancements (though I can't tell a difference between my droidX and the stats for a Transys Avalon running Novatech Navi*), so I wouldn't scream if someone running a game told me that I could purchase pre-fabbed modules for building my own comm-link, along with a generic case and power supply to host it all in, it just doesn't fit my style or knowledge base.

* Before anyone gets started on AR, VR, etc, need I remind you those are accessories and network protocols, not the core commlink/smartphone technology. In fact, since we're talking about the droidX the primary ad-hoc wireless networking component is in there.
SR20A Limited Edition # 124
Obsidian Portal Profile: http://www.obsidianportal.com/profile/chaemera

Kontact

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 3147
  • You called?
« Reply #9 on: (10:03:49/12-12-10) »
Using the rules as they're laid out (explicitly, so no GM interpretation) the best possible starting commlink setup is as follows.

Transys avalon (base 4/4)
Response 6 chip (restricted gear 1)
New stats (6/4)

Upgrades:
Armor case 6 (Potentially 10 if your GM isn't a stickler for gear over 6 at start.  I mean, come on, it's armor.)
Hardening 6 (might as well do it now)
Customized Interface (+1 response)
Optimization (+1 to any one test)
Simsense Accelerator (Restricted Gear #2 - gives you a 4th IP in hot sim.)
Non-standard Wireless link R6 (now you've got your R6 antenna, and it's only 6R availability instead of 16)
Response Enhancer R5 (Restricted Gear #3 - now your persona response (matrix initiative,) in hotsim is 13.  That's like having a Reaction stat of 13.  Handy when it comes to piloting drones or kicking ass in cybercombat.)

Software:  System and Firewall of 6 and 6.
Hacking progs at R6
Common progs at R6
yadda yadda.  Buy program options in game.  Software is modular, so they can be tacked on.  No use in raising the availability of your softs before start.

Final stats (6/4(6)/6/6) +1 threshold to be detected by scans. 4IPs in hotsim, 5IPs with a Simsense Booster. Initiative of 13 before Intuition comes into play.  Give this to a rigger with an intuition of 5, a Steel Lynx with an HV-modded Ingram WK and an auto-adjusting underbarrel weight and he's tossing fully-compensated high-velocity bursts at the top of every pass for 4-5 passes a turn.
« Last Edit: (04:53:46/12-13-10) by Kontact »

KarmaInferno

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1873
  • Armor Stacking Cheese Monkey
« Reply #10 on: (02:05:22/12-13-10) »
I think the Transys Avalon is possibly the best selling commlink of all time.

:)





-k

Nomad Zophiel

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 414
  • Zophiel by name. Nomad by profession.
« Reply #11 on: (05:24:58/12-13-10) »
I'd be willing to bet the Novatech Airware with IRIS Orb outsells it. Its a good price for an OK system, perfect for non-Hackers who still need a little computing power. That or the Meta Link, the commlink of the masses. Its ideal for people who mostly just need the equivalent of a phone and web browser.

Kot

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1675
  • Meaow
« Reply #12 on: (06:32:06/12-13-10) »
"And a six-pack of disposable comlinks please. Oh, and some peppermint soygum."
I'd be great to always have at least one of these on hand. Especially since a skilled hacker can get them online, and for example create a botnet, crappy agent army, or provide some barrens spot with matrix access.

P.S. I think one of the best businesses you can do in Barrens is with a satellite link and a bunch of cheap comlinks. A good way to make your place a neutral zone.
Mariusz "Kot" Butrykowski
"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup."

Nomad Zophiel

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 414
  • Zophiel by name. Nomad by profession.
« Reply #13 on: (06:42:00/12-13-10) »
P.S. I think one of the best businesses you can do in Barrens is with a satellite link and a bunch of cheap comlinks. A good way to make your place a neutral zone.

Or get it slated for "urban renewal".

Kot

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1675
  • Meaow
« Reply #14 on: (07:14:00/12-13-10) »
You mean 25 kg worth of foam explosives, and only you knowing where and how to detonate them? Tricky, but doable.
Mariusz "Kot" Butrykowski
"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup."