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ProCamming in the shadows

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Ghost Rigger

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« on: (20:53:18/02-09-19) »
So, let's talk about ProCams. First I want to say that in some respects I'm disappointed with we've been presented. A capacity of only 12 is embarrassingly low when core rulebook cybereyes can have capacities up to 16, and the new cybereyes in No Future can go all the way to capacity 24. Speaking of cybereyes, I noticed that there were higher levels of vision enhancement available, but since they were only statted as cyberware I must assume that they're not available for regular visual devices. This is an ongoing nitpick I've noticed with fifth edition: outside of the core rulebook, none of the vision enhancements are statted for visual devices, only for cybereyes. As such, you'd never, ever have more than *checks notes* 9 capacity of visual enhancements, and you need cybereyes to use all the cool stuff like microscopic lenses. Of course, with how availability works for visual devices and vision enhancements, getting a visual device with lots of visual enhancements is obscenely difficult anyways. If it weren't for the dramatic disparity in cost, I would question why anyone would bother with these heavy, shoulder-mounted cameras when cybereyes can get higher quality footage. And you know, this is kind of unrelated, but I'm also disappointed that there was no audio equivalent of the ProCam; you introduce advanced musical instruments, advanced cameras, but no advanced studio-quality microphones? For shame!

Now that said, it's not all bad; after all, there is that dramatic disparity in cost I mentioned. While more expensive than any of the usual devices, it's not prohibitively expensive. It's far more cost effective than cybereyes, and if you can handle the bulk it's cheaper than sensor enhancement for vehicles or drones. To boot, the limits it provides can go obscenely high. Paired with the press pass, the applications for legwork are immediately obvious: go in posing as a news crew and get whatever footage you need. If you can get it with your ProCam, great, it's an actual useful device. If you can't get it with your ProCam or you're not looking for footage at all, then it's a necessary yet expensive part of your disguise. Maybe if a press pass isn't applicable, you pull the same trick under making a documentary or being a film school student or whatever other plausible excuse you can imagine.

But using gear for its intended purpose and slight perversions of its intended purpose is only two thirds of being a shadowrunner. The other third is using gear for purposes it was never intended for, and that's what interests me above all else. So I ask you: how do I effectively abuse ProCams? I already have some ideas: like I said, it's cheaper than enhancing the sensors of your vehicle or drone provided that you can handle the bulk. So it's not feasible for your Flyspy, but a viable option for larger spy drones. Alternatively, if you're going to stick a ProCam on a roto-drone to pass for a film crew, you might as well mod it up to be a stealthy spy drone after the fact. And if one has a large viable with a heavy weapon mount, well, maybe there's the way to stick it onto the side of a very large gun.
After all you don't send an electrician to fix your leaking toilet.

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