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'Special Forces' Hacker

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Mad Hamish

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« Reply #15 on: (18:36:49/11-07-12) »
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.

Yeah just imagine people who constantly bring up their own feelings about things like, say, magically active characters shouldn't use bioware or cyberware at all ever....

Thrass

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« Reply #16 on: (23:23:14/11-07-12) »
I just tried to see how far one could get...

With Born rich and 60 BP in Nuyen + in Debt for 30k you come as far as:

1 Comlink Renraku sutenusu
1 Firewall 10
1 System 8
2 "Hacking" Programs at rating 10 with Optimization 2, ergonomic

I'ld go for stealth 10 and Exploit with mute

There is about 14k left
If we lower the Firewall to 9 we can add in a unrestricted Agent at rate 6
and be left with 8450 Nuyen...

If the GM would be so Kind to unlimit the BP to Nuyen option then we possibly indeed could go beyond normal limits and create some super hacker Agent but Money is too limited
Increasing a Hacking Programs rating from 6 to 7 is upping costs from 6k to 49k which is insane.

Considering this I'ld go
1 Comlink Renraku sutenusu
1 Firewall 10
1 System 8
1 Stealth rating 10 with Optimization 2, ergonomic
114,450 Nuyen left for all the rest of the programs at 6 with half of them ergonomic attacks options with area and mute
And don't forget to get together the stuff for 5 hot sim initiative passes

You'ld still have a huge benefit from the rule:
- you can suddenly run 16 programs instead of 5 before degragation happens
- you have all programs running at 6 plus options, which will still make hacking easy
- with that stealth and firewall no ordinary target will catch or hack you
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WellsIDidIt

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« Reply #17 on: (10:40:07/11-10-12) »
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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?
I suggested that it was a good decision not to use it for their first game. So that people could learn the rules without the massive power increase. Doesn't really matter how you look at it, good or bad, War! is a massive power creep.

Now, you can disagree if you want, but all I have to do is ask a simple question: Is a rating 10 device more powerful than a rating 6 device?

Now, rating 10 commlinks were not available before War!, neither were 7-9. Blatant Power Creep.
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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.
They lack any knowledge skills at all, any social skills at all (other than instruction and intimidation), any mechanic skills at all (Ok, I'll give you first aid since that's effectively Human Mechanic), any hardware skill for actually disabling hardware, and any diving or watercraft skills.

So yes, they have all the skills required to be a real Special Forces operatives. The main issues are that BPs are so restrictive to a generalist character type and that Spec Force characters (realistically) would be trained in just about everything at a general level and most combat skills at a professional to elite level.

With a Karma Build the skills would only cost around 450 karma, which means it is feasible (if you ignore that Firearms is over the starting cap), but it would leave you a little light in the attributes and gear departments. Bringing the Firearms group down to 4, you could easily go with that skill set up (429 karma) which is a combat grunt spec ops member, not a specialist) and still have stats of 3/5/3/3, 3/4/3/3 (265 karma), have 10 points of contacts (20 Karma), have 20 karma worth of Knowledge skill and 40k worth of gear.

Or, you could make an ex-spec ops character that wasn't just a combat grunt.
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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.
I have no issue with the company producing it. I do think it's title was horribly misleading (should've been Bogota! in my opinion) and that the actual gameplay section was on the light side, but the only real issue I have with the book is the horrible quality of it. The editing work was abysmal, and it really really shows. Much of the gear is set up to be horribly ambiguous in description, and a lot of it seemed half though out in the writing.

I apologize that my advising a new player to not jump into the power creep book first thing has deeply offended you senses. I suggest alligator skinned clothing.

Stonefur

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« Reply #18 on: (17:14:51/11-10-12) »
Marshmallow and flames aside...I used to get this request for a player to play "Special Forces" something or other with various systems, and really its the GM who needs to step in and rationalize it.  Its not the Hacker part i am debating, the "Special Forces" tag is the bullseye.   Most successful well trained "Special Forces" work for and are pretty much the property of the govt.  Ex- should probably accompany any starting "Spexial Forces", and with a suitable background explaining why you are not dead, with you head full of high end military knowledge and training, its hard to make a clean break when you are worth so much to you "parents."   Just my 2 cents, but after a certain point, its like just going through the motions with dice...If you start that high, whats the point?  Hack the planet until you come up with something else that has to have huge numbers to even compete, which has yet to account for the other players and how they will interact and if its even possible to balance against the other roles.  Rigger gets a Tank?  Gauss Gannons for the Troll Artillery Platform? unless thats all you want to do, cause I find it gets stale,  Its almost like when you use the cheat codes in a video game and it loses its desire much faster.  Its all about the level of involvement.  They brain wash loyalty, and all other kinds o things to make it to where there is no other life but the one they trained you for.  So, again, just 2 more cents on the OP subject, as a Gm i have to ask myself seriously, "Do i want such a pervasive influence on my game? To the point where its becomes almost a waste of time to roll dice?"

user-unknown

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« Reply #19 on: (17:40:01/11-10-12) »
Marshmallow and flames aside...I used to get this request for a player to play "Special Forces" something or other with various systems, and really its the GM who needs to step in and rationalize it.  Its not the Hacker part i am debating, the "Special Forces" tag is the bullseye.   Most successful well trained "Special Forces" work for and are pretty much the property of the govt.  Ex- should probably accompany any starting "Spexial Forces", and with a suitable background explaining why you are not dead, with you head full of high end military knowledge and training, its hard to make a clean break when you are worth so much to you "parents." 

Uh  :o As my original post says, the 'special forces' bit was mandated as part of all character's background by GM as we start the game as an active team.  He has also let slip that the 'ex' part will follow soon into the first mission... ;)

Anyway, I know it's not the 'correct' point range for what people consider special forces to be, but since this is our first game I'm going to assume the GM is going to balance it around us having this number of points.  Ignoring the 'special forces' bit then, is this a decent starting hacker with combat skills?
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Stonefur

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« Reply #20 on: (18:34:27/11-10-12) »
, and really its the GM who needs to step in and rationalize it.   

Uh  :o As my original post says, the 'special forces' bit was mandated as part of all character's background by GM as we start the game as an active team.  He has also let slip that the 'ex' part will follow soon into the first mission... ;)

Anyway, I know it's not the 'correct' point range for what people consider special forces to be, but since this is our first game I'm going to assume the GM is going to balance it around us having this number of points.  Ignoring the 'special forces' bit then, is this a decent starting hacker with combat skills?


I was referring to the "Get this book, Break Character rationale" of some of the other posters.  Not  OP.

"Special Forces" is just a label, so its up to GM to define what makes them so special
« Last Edit: (18:37:23/11-10-12) by Stonefur »

Crunch

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« Reply #21 on: (18:36:49/11-10-12) »
with you head full of high end military knowledge and training, its hard to make a clean break when you are worth so much to you "parents."   

Organizations that don't allow retirement tend to suffer in recruiting quality.

Stonefur

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« Reply #22 on: (18:39:35/11-10-12) »
There is a difference between you retiring at the end of your career, and them losing assets that are in their prime and have been actively invested in with R/F Wares and Gears out the wazoo. 

WellsIDidIt

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« Reply #23 on: (22:46:34/11-10-12) »
They get to a chance to leave at the end of their tour if they want just like everyone else. They're usually several tours in by the time they make the cut to begin with though.

As for ware, it can be pulled out and reused. I have a hard time seeing the military use anything better than Alphaware for these guys, just so they can reuse and reuse and reuse. Normal gear, you're not going to be taking home anyway so that's not really an issue.

The only thing they'll usually be bringing home is any cybernetics that they paid for (that aren't F) and/or an easier time getting a CCW license in some cases. I know that some states are currently considering enforcing a minimum time after service before you can get a CCW license (or legally buy a firearm in the state) due to PTSD concerns, but it's met a lot of resistance.

Crunch

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« Reply #24 on: (00:22:56/11-11-12) »
They get to a chance to leave at the end of their tour if they want just like everyone else. They're usually several tours in by the time they make the cut to begin with though.

As for ware, it can be pulled out and reused. I have a hard time seeing the military use anything better than Alphaware for these guys, just so they can reuse and reuse and reuse. Normal gear, you're not going to be taking home anyway so that's not really an issue.

The only thing they'll usually be bringing home is any cybernetics that they paid for (that aren't F) and/or an easier time getting a CCW license in some cases. I know that some states are currently considering enforcing a minimum time after service before you can get a CCW license (or legally buy a firearm in the state) due to PTSD concerns, but it's met a lot of resistance.

I suspect that in a lot of cases its cheaper to leave the old cyberware in. Especially if there's a reserve term pending. I also wouldn't be surprised if cyber lengthened your enlistment.

JustADude

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« Reply #25 on: (00:37:33/11-11-12) »
I suspect that in a lot of cases its cheaper to leave the old cyberware in. Especially if there's a reserve term pending. I also wouldn't be surprised if cyber lengthened your enlistment.

Oh yeah, definitely.

I could easily see an army, especially the ones that aren't yet "for profit" organizations, giving you some basics as a "Standard Issue" package, along with necessary prostheses, as well as a stipend to help pay for optional upgrades, since they directly improve your value as a combat asset.

You can "spend ahead," of course, but then they own your ass until you've paid back the cost of your implants... probably a discounted rate based off the army's wholesale / bulk-discount rate, of course, but still enough to need 15-20 years to pay it all back if you get chromed out to the level of a Prime Runner-grade Street Samurai.

Less of a problem for Elves than for Orks, of course, but who said life in the Sixth World was fair?
« Last Edit: (00:43:50/11-11-12) by JustADude »
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WellsIDidIt

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« Reply #26 on: (10:34:01/11-11-12) »
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I suspect that in a lot of cases its cheaper to leave the old cyberware in. Especially if there's a reserve term pending. I also wouldn't be surprised if cyber lengthened your enlistment.
When you get right down to it, it's only half about cost; the other half is a matter of logistics. The person retiring doesn't need his old implants anymore as far as they look at it. In addition, if he keeps his military grade implants what can he do with them? Sure some may be legal to own, but what happens if he sells his military models to the highest bidder so that they can reverse engineer and design better streamlined viruses, bugs, etc that just affect military X's ware.

Cost is important, but it's not the only factor on the board.

That said, I believe military surgeons are usually paid around the same as a Lt., which is only around 4,000¥ or 48,000¥/year. The surgeries wouldn't be nearly as expensive (to the military) as the costs in Augmentation for independent docs. Assuming a surgery a day,

I would really assume that most service areas would have required packages (for mundane) that are included in enlistment. Augmentation is so rampant that they have to augment soldiers for them to be a viable combat asset. In addition, the time served, pay off formula is a lot riskier in military service avenues than it is in Law Enforcement and Security Firms because the risk of injury to the asset is much higher.

Crunch

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« Reply #27 on: (12:46:26/11-11-12) »
I honestly think you're over thinking things.

1) I suspect most soldiers have minimal to no cyberware. About 80% of what you can get out of cyberaugmentation you can get as an external option on a milspec armor suit. Vision, Hearing and Com augmentations I suspect are all handled exterior to the soldier. Remember, the kind of concealment  issues runners care about largely don't matter.

2) The costs of cyberware are trivial compared to the cost of training and supporting a soldier. Right now in real world terms the cost to keep a single American Soldier in a combat theater is between 850,000 and 1 million dollars. On that scale the 100 bucks you save repurposing the datajack is chicken scratch. Besides which by the time Joe Soldier musters out his ware is probably 5 to 6 years behind the SOTA. I know that at the RPG scale we largely ignore that kind of issue but if we're talking in universe that's a pretty big argument against trying to retrieve it.

3) Remember that in Shadowrun, unlike the real world, the market to recruit soldiers is highly competitive. There are literally dozens of private, public and para military organizations hiring. I suspect that if Corp Army A scoops out all your ware at the end of your term and Corp Army B doesn't make you undergo massive invasive surgery then corp B is going to get a much better grade of recruit. The same goes for national armies which are competing in the same recruiting pool. In fact I suspect that a fairly powerful recruitment tool in the SR verse is prosthetic devices for people who can't afford them.

4) Everyday in the real world people leave the US armed forces with skills that are many times more dangerous and in demand than any piece of Cyberware. In the real world our response to this has been to trust them and keep an eye out for problems. That's worked pretty well.

5) Armies in the SR world train combat mages and adepts all the time and don't seem to worry about the same issues.

My suspicion is that it works like this.

You take whatever your military branches version of the ASVAB and they determine that your not worth training as a mage or adept.

At this point everyone probably gets a datajack, but that's a trivial cost on the level of military training. If you joined up to get Cyberlegs to replace the ones you lost in that car crash, or a pair of eyes to cure your blindness this is where it happens.

If your MOS is logistics or aviation maintenance or something that's probably it. You may have some optional ware made available to you if you pay for it.

If you get a front line infantry combat MOS you might at this point be looking at an initiative enhancer of some kind or some supplemental ware. Again the costs are pretty trivial compared to the costs of training a soldier.

If you end up as a pilot or tank crewman you probably get a vehicle control rig. Again this is a trivial cost.

More extensive ware may come as a reup bonus or with a rider extending your term, but you don't want to deter your best recruits from applying from the positions you need your best people in.

I suspect that most rookies in special forces are second enlistment or later and are signing up for something like a 6 year term followed by a like term as reservists. Like Nuclear Power Plant technicians and Hazmat disposal guys in the real world I suspect that they are required to maintain some contact with their parent body and possibly maintain some of their security clearances. But remember by the time they muster out your spec ops trooper is sporting ware that is close to a decade old, even if it was continually upgraded up until the begin of their reserve tour.

WellsIDidIt

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« Reply #28 on: (13:37:17/11-11-12) »
Remember Military Armor is expensive and tailored to the individual. It's not a cheap way to stave off cybering your troops, it's a tool for your assault teams.

A lot can go into Armor and External devices, but many things like your Wired Reflexes, enhanced Agility, Reaction Boosters, ect. aren't as widely available. Law Enforcement rely on drugs since actual combat is relatively rare for them, but soldiers that will be deployed need these to stay viable against other threats that have this sort of advantage.

Costs may be trivial, but you can bet that the corporation is going to collect every single penny they can. That's how corporations work and a military functions just like a corporation in essence. Sure, the ware might be getting old, but you can recycle and upgrade it between users a lot easier than while it's in one. Many corporations look at factors in the fractions of a penny, I don't really see this being any different.

You can't get rid of a skillset that someone has learned, but that doesn't mean you have to turn them out into the population with a loaded gun. Some ware may not be military proprietary and the soldier may pay off on his own (after all even at 2-3 grand a month, they have lifestyle paid for so they can save up a good 10-15k easy on a two year tour if they want), but you can bet they'll be taking the combat grade stuff out if for no other reason than to avoid a PR nightmare "Ex-Ares marine butchers family of 8 with Military Grade Anti-Human Reflexes," ect. The media isn't exactly known for being truly accurate.


Crunch

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« Reply #29 on: (13:56:10/11-11-12) »
It's a lot easier to retailor a suit of armor than rip out ware though, and again I suspect that your average grunt is depending a lot more on the coordination provided by military tacnets than he is on ass kicking reflexes.

Even with mil spec gear I suspect that deactivation is more common than removal.