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'Special Forces' Hacker

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user-unknown

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« on: (14:45:36/11-06-12) »
Hi, my group is fiiiiinally starting a shadowrun game.  Still haven't actually played yet, but looked around a bit on here over the last year or so and have hopefully made something relatively decent...

Character creation guidelines from GM - all PCs start as members of a special forces group, but are going to be disavowed shortly into the first session.  We are apparently playing in a game world without magic, so no other metatypes allowed.  Have to stick to cost limit but apparently we can take gear of any rating (including forbidden) at character creation. (EDIT - however I am trying to keep my character within the guidelines, and think/hope I have done so far).  Also we are allowed to take hacked programs at character creation  ;D  We are also going to be given a certain number of extra points for contatcs, but I don't know how many yet, so haven't included any contacts below.

My idea for the character is kind of a Daniel Jackson type 'specialist' who has been assigned to the time as their electronics support person.  I have also tried to make him relatviely competent in combat, but not sure if I've succeeded.

[spoiler]
Daniel 'Delta' Ellis

Daniel came to the notice of the agency after hacking into one of their secure servers - presented with the option of prison or signing up, he chose to join the agency as a cyber security specialist. He has received the standard training and implants to bring him up to the fitness standard required by the agency, but is still very much focussed on matrix and EWAR support. His criminal background however leads many of the agency staff to regard him with suspicion, if not outright hostility...

Attributes

BOD 4
AGI 3 (4)
REA 3
STR 2 (3)
CHA 3
INT 5
LOG5 (7)
WIL 3

Edge 4

Positive Qualities
Analytical Mind
Codeslinger (Hack on the Fly)

Negative Qualities
Bad Rep
Implant Induced Immune Deficiency
Oblivious
Records on File (with Agency)
SINner (Daniel Ellis)

Skills
Electronics Group 4
Athletics Group 1
Outdoors Group 1
Automatics 4 (SMG +2)
Cybercombat 1
Electronic Warfare 4
Etiquette 1 (Hackers +2)
First Aid 1
Hacking 6 (Exploit +2)
Infiltration 1
Pilot Ground Craft 1
Pistols 1
(Dodge 3 + Unarmed Combat 3 - from skillsoft)

Knowledge
Cantonese 2
Combat Tactics 1
Firearms 2
Gaming 2
Military 2 (Special Forces)
Security Design 5 (Government)
Security Tactics 5 (Matrix)
Shadow Community 3
Underworld 4 (Matrix Crime)

Cyberware
* Biomonitor
* Cybereyes 3 (Low Light Vision, Smartlink, Thermographic Vision, Vision Enhancement 3, Vision Magnification, Flare Compensation)
* Cyberears 3 (Damper, Audio Enhancement 3, Spatial Recognizer)
* Datajack
* Encephalon Rating 2
* Math SPU
* Skillwire Expert System
* Skillwires (Rating 3)

Bioware
* Cerebral Booster (Rating 2)
* Enhanced Protein Exchange: PuSHeD
* Muscle Augmentation (Rating 1)
* Muscle Toner (Rating 1)
* Synthacardium (Rating 3)

Gear
Commlink - 5, 5, 5, 5 - Fairlight Caliban, Iris Orb OS, Hardened 6, Optimization: Exploit, Response Upgrade 5, Customised Interface, Sim Module (Hot), Response Enhancer 3
HK 227-X
Ares Predator
Backpack with general survival gear (GPS, rations, light stick, flares, etc.)
Subvocal Microphone
Armor Jacket
Medkit (Rating 6)

Programs

* Analyze 6 (Ergonomic, Optimisation 2)
* Browse 6 (Ergonomic, Optimisation 2)
* Command 6 (Ergonomic, Optimisation 2)
* Reality Filter 6 (Ergonomic, Optimisation 2)
* Scan 6 (Ergonomic, Optimisation 2)
* Edit 6 (Optimisation 2)
* Encrypt 6 (Ergonomic, Optimisation 2)
* Armor 5 (Ergonomic, Optimisation 1)
* ECCM 5 (Ergonomic, Optimisation 1)
* Sniffer 5
* Stealth 5 (Ergonomic, Optimisation 1)
* Track 5
* Attack 5
* Blackout 5
* Biofeedback Filter 5 (Ergonomic)
* Defuse 5
* Decrypt 5
* Data Bomb 5
* Medic 5
* Spoof 5
* Exploit 5 (Mute, Optimisation 1)

=== Agents ===
* Agent 4 (Adaptability 3)
* IC 4 (Homeground 3)

=== Other Programs ===
* Knight Errant Self-Defence Skillsoft Cluster
* Tacsoft 2

[/spoiler]

This looks pretty decent to me, but if anyone has any comments I would really appreciate some help :)  I am aware that my gear is pretty lacking - currently have 8.5k spare but not quite sure what to do with it.  I haven't seen the other PC sheets yet so not sure what else is covered by them, but I imagine if no one else has things like autopicker, tag eraser etc. it would be useful to get those.  I would quite like to get some additional initiative passes, but only have 1.75 essence left and everything that grants extra seems to use 2  :-\



« Last Edit: (18:29:16/11-06-12) by user-unknown »
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All4BigGuns

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« Reply #1 on: (14:50:55/11-06-12) »
I suggest you get the War! book and look at the NPC special forces in there. I haven't done the math for BP yet, but for the karma generation, special forces needs WELL OVER 1000 karma. I'd probably say somewhere in the realm of 1500 to 1600 at least.
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user-unknown

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« Reply #2 on: (14:54:05/11-06-12) »
Yeah, I have mentioned this to the GM but we're going to be sticking with 400 BP character creation :)  That was part of my reasoning behind making this character - it seems like I can make a pretty decent hacker with 400 BP, and the relative lack of combat skills / attributes can be written off as being due to being a new recruit / 'civilian specialist' type person.
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All4BigGuns

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« Reply #3 on: (15:08:10/11-06-12) »
Yeah, I have mentioned this to the GM but we're going to be sticking with 400 BP character creation :)  That was part of my reasoning behind making this character - it seems like I can make a pretty decent hacker with 400 BP, and the relative lack of combat skills / attributes can be written off as being due to being a new recruit / 'civilian specialist' type person.

Well, there's still no way to be anywhere near spec forces, so the most you'll be able to do is build a normal Hacker (which it looks to me like you've got a pretty good start). Better suggestion would be to get sledge hammers and approach your GM menacingly until he gets scared enough to give you enough points to actually build what the game concept is.
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Thrass

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« Reply #4 on: (17:21:04/11-06-12) »
Do yourself a favor and think about getting a commlink out of War...
Response is normally THE limiting factor for a hacker and if you can get your hands on a response 6+ commlink go for it...

Response 7 should be well enough and allows for later modification up to rating 10 (absolute maximum) (you can only ever upgrade commlinks by 3 points max)
And of course you can go for rating 6/7programs with additional options (like multiple targets on your attack program)
You could then probably strip the optimization form your current programs to get back a bit of money you just invested.
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JustADude

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« Reply #5 on: (18:11:11/11-06-12) »
Response 7 should be well enough and allows for later modification up to rating 10 (absolute maximum) (you can only ever upgrade commlinks by 3 points max)

Not quite... it's maximum of +2, so he'd need Response 8. The Renraku Suterusu (Response 8, Signal 7) would fit the bill perfectly, since he's got no Availability limits..


Also we are allowed to take hacked programs at character creation.

Big question here is... will your GM enforce Program Degradation?

--If so, it's going to ding you in the long run if you get too many of them. Probably only worth it for programs you plan on upgrading later.
--If not, then get everything you can at Rating 10, Optimization 2 and follow the below advice. Optimization means you don't have to spend that 192,000¥ on upgrading to Response 10.

Either way, Optimization 2 is still a good idea.

Also, be sure to slap Ergonomic on Analyze, Browse, ECCM, Edit, Encryption, Purge, Scan, and Stealth, as well as putting Mute on Edit, Exploit, Spoof, and anything else that might be used in a foreign node.

--- --- ---

Non Degrading Programs Advice

1) Get "War!"
2) Buy a Renraku Suterusu - 32,750¥ - 40F availability - Response 8, Signal 7.
3) Get System 8 - 32,000¥
4) Get Firewall 10 - 50,000¥
5) Buy every program you might ever want a Rating 10, Optimize 2.
6) Profit.

Total cost = 82,000¥ plus programs.
« Last Edit: (18:17:19/11-06-12) by JustADude »
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user-unknown

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« Reply #6 on: (18:27:30/11-06-12) »
Also we are allowed to take hacked programs at character creation.

Big question here is... will your GM enforce Program Degradation?

I have a suspicion the game is not going to run long enough for that to be a problem...  If it does turn out to run longer than I expect, then I guess I can replace them as I go along. 

Regarding getting a higher rating commlink - this would make me more effective, but although we are allowed to take things of any rating, I don't really want to. AFAIK everything at the moment is legal for a starting character.  I guess my main concern is that this is going to be the first game my group plays with Shadowrun, and I would prefer to keep to the original plan as much as possible :)  It seems like if we go too far off piste we are probably going to end up being massively unbalanced, and end up thinking the game is way too easy and get bored with it.  I am also trying to avoid making a character that is massively powerful compared to the other characters as I'm almost certain theirs will be somewhat... less powerful (I have already had a discussion with one of our players about why their special ops character would probably not have Unfit, and their highest physical attribute at 2...  ???)

Also, I only have about 9k nuyen left.  I suppose I could drop encephalon to 1 and raise the commlink and programs with that though...  Have also tried to ensure that various programs which looked the most useful can still be used by my IC and Agent programs, and AFAIK the highest you can ever get those is rating 6? 
« Last Edit: (18:31:19/11-06-12) by user-unknown »
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JustADude

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« Reply #7 on: (20:13:28/11-06-12) »
The book "War!" goes into actual military-grade computer technology. There's pricing in there for up to Rating 10 for Programs and Commlink hardware.
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Thrass

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« Reply #8 on: (10:39:58/11-07-12) »
Come to think of it you could probably buy a nonrestricted agent rating 10 together with what JustADuded said and let it hack on itself with better results then you whish for...

I jsut can't find the cost for agents in War, are there no Agents above rating 6 or do they fall into a category which is provided by war?

Then take the remaining 350BP to make a zero Nuyen Mundane Sniper or the like (since Adept is out of the question iirc)...
« Last Edit: (10:45:06/11-07-12) by Thrass »
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JustADude

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« Reply #9 on: (11:20:43/11-07-12) »
Agents are basically an automated "skill replacement," which means they're limited to Rating 6, since skills only go up to 6 (barring Aptitude, of course).
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WellsIDidIt

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« Reply #10 on: (12:17:29/11-07-12) »
Quote
Agents are basically an automated "skill replacement," which means they're limited to Rating 6, since skills only go up to 6 (barring Aptitude, of course).
And Spirits.

I wouldn't worry too much about the amount of points you've got vs. special forces in War!, really the important thing is how skilled you are in your specialty. The Spec Forces grunts tend to be at 4's in most things they're heavily trained in and 5+ in their gunning things down. Since your a hacker, you've got a six in your hacking, seems appropriate. You can hold your own with an automatic and you've got veteran level ratings in your other electronics/cracking skills (other than cybercombat which probably wasn't used much honestly). In all reality you've made a guy that seems to be the Spec Ops Van Guy.

As for what you've got statwise, you're not really gaining a whole lot from your cerebral boosters since your hacking (and other matrix skills) are always Program+Skill instead of Logic+Skill.

Honestly I'd would get rid of the Cerebral Booster, Math SPU, and Cybereyes/ears (they're just a more costly version of what you can get through Goggles/Glasses/Contacts and Earbuds/Headphones except for the Damper).

If you can scrounge up the points, slapping a 1 into Pilot: Aircraft would let you handle flying surveillance drones (and fly any enemy drones you manage to hack into). You can't default that though (of course you could snag a skillwire for it).

As far as your commlink goes, if you decide not to use War! (which is a good decision for your first game), a decent way to get a good link in your case (since you're making spec ops characters with no avail limit) would be Light Military Armor. It's expensive as all get out, but comes with a military commlink installed with rating 4 Response, Signal, System and Firewall. You can upgrade it to rating 6 hardware (Response/Signal) for 8500. You would have to put a mobility upgrade into it so that you wouldn't be encumbered, but all together the cost would only be 33,000.

In addition, it comes with Image Link, Smartlink, and Flare Comp built into the helm already, and you can slap some other vision mods into the helmet.


All4BigGuns

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« Reply #11 on: (14:34:18/11-07-12) »
[quote author=WellsIDidIt link=topic=9109.msg161069#msg161069 date=1352308649
I wouldn't worry too much about the amount of points you've got vs. special forces in War!...
...if you decide not to use War! (which is a good decision for your first game)...
[/quote]

As to the first comment, the NPCs in War! actually have the appropriate skills to be considered special forces, and this is the reason that 'former special forces' concepts tend to raise eyebrows in most groups--starting points unless REALLY, REALLY high are not enough to have the necessary skill.

As to the second, why don't people stop trying to hoodwink people into banning the book just because they dislike it and don't want anyone else to like it?
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Thrass

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« Reply #12 on: (14:52:10/11-07-12) »
I can understand if anyone wants to restrict himself to book x and y,
but if the rest of the group dosn't it can get really really fast really really unbalanced and it can start to lack fun that way.

Therefore I'ld really ask myself why do I think I'll have more fun when I'm not using the gear my GM specifically allows.
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All4BigGuns

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« Reply #13 on: (15:02:59/11-07-12) »
I can understand if anyone wants to restrict himself to book x and y,
but if the rest of the group dosn't it can get really really fast really really unbalanced and it can start to lack fun that way.

Therefore I'ld really ask myself why do I think I'll have more fun when I'm not using the gear my GM specifically allows.

That's one thing, and I can understand it. My problem comes from the War! haters who just take every opportunity to down it (and bash the company for producing it) in an attempt to skew opinion of it in the direction of their own view.
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user-unknown

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« Reply #14 on: (15:34:44/11-07-12) »
I don't think we are using the War book anyway as none of us have it - we are only using the corebook, Runners Companion, Augmentation, Unwired and Arsenal.  If the game continues, I may look into getting it but will have to ask GM if it's allowed.
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