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Petnomancers – A guide for 5th Edition Technomancers as a pet class

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Hobbes

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« on: (18:06:22/03-07-15) »
Petnomancers – A guide for 5th Edition Technomancers as a pet class

Hoi!

First things first thanks to Triskavanski  and this 
http://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=16224.msg285388#msg285388

That got me started. 

I'm going to show you how Technomancers can routinely throw 16+ dice at most Matrix actions, and as a bonus not be a complete victim in meat space.  There will be some tips on pet class etiquette and how to cope with your first run as well. 

Character generation, Priorities.

   Resonance:  A, B, or C – With a B or C make sure you've got enough special attributes from Metatype to get Resonance up to 6.  Complex forms are cheaper than stats or skills and you really only need a couple.  The skill points are great, but you're likely trading off more overall points compared to bumping up your Skill priority.  My own recommendation is C or A, depending on Metatype priority.

   Attributes: A or B – or go home.  You're going to want 5 points for Will, 4 each for Int and Logic.  13 points right there.  A for Humans, B for other Metatypes. 

   Metatype: D or C.  D Human (3)  is my recommendation, but Elf or Dwarf at C will work well too.

   Skills: Highest you've got left after other priorities.  B for Humans likely, D for Metas.

   Tech: E.  Sorry, you're broke.  Something has to have an E.

   So for a Human Technomancer I'd go with
Attributes: A; Skills: B; Resonance: C; Metatype: D; Resources: E

   Dwarf
Attributes: A; Skills: D; Resonance: C; Metatype: B; Resources: E

   You could also get by with Elf (or other Meta) at D
Resonance:A; Attributes: B; Skills C; Meta D; Resources E.

   Metavariant notes; you may need to put Resonance at A to make up for lack of special attributes.  But a Dwarf with the bonus to will power and body, or an Elf with Charisma and Agility can certainly be viable.  You'll may be a min Charisma Elf or a really skinny Dwarf, but you'll still be able to max out the important Technomancer stats. 

Stat allocating:

   Willpower is king for the Petnomancer.  It should be your racial max.  Int and Logic are next and should get 4 points each.  Charisma 2 at least, 3 if you can.  Agility, Reaction, Body try to get to 3, Strength 1.  You're a 12 year old girl, get over it. 

   As stated above, non-human metatypes may be leaving some stats at racial min.  Elf with Charisma 3, Dwarf with a Body 3 for example, but you'll need the stat points elsewhere. 

Examples:
Human stat array (Priority A stats, D Metatype, C Resonance, B Skills)
B:3 A:5 R:5 S:1 W:6 L:5 I:5 C:2  Edge 2 Resonance 6 
or
B:3 A:4 R:4 S:1 W:6 L:5 I:5 C:4 Edge 2 Resonance 6

Elf (Priority A Resonance; B Stats; D Meta; C Skills)
B:3 A:4 R:4 S:1 W:6 L:5 I:5 C:3 Edge 1 Resonance 6 – Buy another point of Edge with Karma at chargen is recommended. 

Dwarf  (Attributes: A; Skills: D; Resonance: C; Metatype: B; Resources: E)
B:3 A:5 R:5 S:3 W:8 L:5 I:5 C:2  - with 2 more points to spend.  Edge 2 Resonance 6.  Buy another point of Edge with Karma highly recommended.


Skill Allocating:


   You need Compiling, Registering, and Software at 6.  So 18 points.  After that (in no particular order)
Electronic Warfare
Computer
Cybercombat
Hacking

Other skills you'll consider:
Pistol or Automatic
Sneaking

One point wonders to buy with Karma early or at chargen
Palming, Gymnastics, Forgery, Perception.

   Meta's with a D in skills have some hard choices to make here.  For example
Compiling 6  (From Resonance A +1 skill point)
Registering 6 (From Resonance A +1 skill point)
Software, Computer, Electronic Warfare, Hacking at 5.

   Grab Cybercombat and a gun skill with Karma, possibly specialize.  For 22 Karma a Dwarf could have Pistols (SemiAuto) 2 (4) and Cybercombat (IC) 2 (4).  Not the best but workable. 

   Humans with a 36/5 are pretty straight forward:
Cracking group at 5, Registering, Compiling, Software, Computer at 6.  And you've got points to burn.  Grab a gun skill up to 6, possibly sneaking, or throw around some specializations. 

   If you wound up with a C ; 28/2 and an A Resonance you're in fine shape too.
Compiling, Registering; Software at 6. (8 points spent)
Computer, Electronic Warfare, Hacking, Cybercombat at 5.  And 2 group points to spend.  If you've got the Karma, Cracking skill group at 2 and then 35 Karma gets you to 4.  Frees up 15! skill points.  Two more maxed out skills and a three specializations?  Something to think about. 


Qualities: 

   
   Focused Concentration of level 1.  Just take it, you'll need it later.  Consider it required.
Trust Fund.  You've got E Resources, but still want to live indoors?  Trust Fund if it fits your concept. 

   Lots of other positive qualities are tempting but likely your Karma is better spent elsewhere, especially if you're a Metahuman. 

   Negative qualities:  In Debt of 2 to 4 levels is fine.  Gets you that Runner Starting kit, and you're not doing much with your cash after.  Its better than burning starting Karma on cash.  Codeblock Set Databomb is an easy one.  Hide is funny (you'll see why later).  Its pretty easy points if you're struggling to come up with something. 


Complex Forums:


   Static Veil – Required.  You'll be firing this one off as soon as you wake up and most times as soon as you compile a new sprite.  Occasionally you'll use it on yourself too.

   Puppeteer – Your go to for getting rid of most Spiders and non-IC persona's.  Once you line up a couple Sprites to assist your threading roll you'll frequently be able to re-boot most Spider's decks.  Full turn plus change to finish up whatever you were doing.  Combined with Suppression from a Crack Sprite any you could set off an alarm and still have a turn or two with no interference to finish, run, or preferably, both. 

   Other Forums, I like Resonance Veil personally.  Stitches, Transcendent Grid are both personal favorites.  Really after the first two, its to personal taste. 

Sprites:


   Sorry it took so long to get here.  You're going to want to register these ASAP.  Duh.  Assuming 5 Logic my suggestions are:

   #1 and #2 slots are Level 4 Crack Sprites. 
   #3 and #4 slots are level 4 Machine Sprites.  Level 4 because you'll want to run up lots of services on these guys.  Double digits if your GM doesn't mind.  Think of these four guys like a Street Samurai's guns, a Rigger's drones, or a Decker's deck.  You'll wake up in the morning and strap a couple of these guys on like a favorite pair of shoes.  Level 4 or 5 is recommended.  Level 6 you've basically got a 50/50 chance of losing a service when you attempt to re-register.  Once you're a few hundred Karma into the game and you've leveled up Resonance and the assorted skills you can start bumping up the levels on these guys. 
   #5 Big ass Fault Sprite.  Level 6 at a minimum, higher if you think you can.  Compile that bad boy, take a box or two of physical damage (abort if you take three), then Register it.  You'll likely wind up spending edge to get a net hit.  12 of your dice vs 14 or 16 of its.  You really only need one or two services on this guy because this is your final “Oh shit!” button.  Think Panther Assault Cannon.  You shouldn't be bringing this guy out on every run.

Care and Feeding of Sprites:

   Every day you're going to get up and brush you teeth, shower, get dressed, compile a level 4 Machine Sprite, Thread Static Veil at Level 1 on the little critter and head out the door.  You're going to give the little guy the following command “Use Diagnostics to assist me whenever I shoot my gun.” and scratch off one service. 

   If you're expecting trouble you're going to whistle up a compiled Machine sprite and do basically the same thing.  If you're on a run you're going to have a compiled Crack sprite handy with the command “Assist me whenever you can.”  So any Computer, Hack, or Electronic Warfare check you've got a helper.  Any time you've got to shoot a gun, you've got two.  This is your standard walking around on a run set up.  I wouldn't bust out three sprites unless you're on the clock.

   With just the single Machine sprite ready to go you've got 7 dice to assist you on any shooting you may have to do.  That's an average of +1 limit and +2 Dice pool.  If you're on the clock you'll have two of them going.  +2 Limit, +4 Dice pool, often +5.  Personally I'd have the Machine Sprites helping out the Gun Bunny, and focus on hacking stuff in a fight, but YMMV.  Sometimes its nice to let the team know you can handle yourself. 

   Remember, you're only using two registered sprites and one compiled and veiled sprite.  And Static Veil is at level one.  Its an easy, unresisted test and with Focus Concentration level 1, no penalty to maintain.  You've still got two registered sprites in reserve. 

   Now, once you get to the Matrix part of the run you'll send your un-registered Machine sprite off and call up a Level 4 or 5 Crack Sprite and Static Veil it.  You've probably got some “easy” tests to make, jumping from Grid to Grid, perception checks, and the like.  So don't give it the go command yet.  You may even want to burn a service to end the Assist command from your registered sprite if you know your GM likes a lot of foreplay.  As long as you're not doing anything to set off an alarm you won't need them.  You may even consider not compiling the new Sprite until you need it, and use Static Veil on yourself. 

   So, its time to start hacking.  Yay!  Once the scouting around is done you're going to have a registered Machine Sprite, one registered Crack Sprite and one unregistered Crack Sprite assisting you on every check you make.  You're going to have your second registered Crack Sprite using Suppression anytime you're doing something that may cause IC to spawn. 

   Any Computer or Electronic Warfare check you'll have three assistants.  Any Hacking check you'll have two.  At level 4 its eight dice each time.  On Computer and Electronic Warefare checks typically you're going to be adding +8 Dice, and +3 Limit to your skill checks.  Hacking checks are only slightly less silly with +5 Dice, +2 Limits.  Even with your skills pools around 10, you'll be out hacking the Decker when you're set up correctly. 

   And if you do blow it (happens) any IC should be slowed by Suppression.  Spiders you're going to line up with a couple Crack sprites and re-boot their deck with Puppeteer.  And if none of that works, and you absolutely need to stick it out, call in the big guy and let him rip the place up. 

   After each encounter, likely your Sprites did something Illegal.  No respect for the law those Sprites.  They'll be accumulating OS, so will you probably.  You'll have to use a service to send your registered sprites to Stand-by mode.  You'll also want to dismiss and compile a new Sprite, probably re-boot yourself too.     

   During your downtime you're going to be re-registering these little guys.  If your GM is nice he'll let you use and recover a point of edge per day.  If he's really nice you'll know how many days of downtime you'll have so you can plan it out and start the run with full Edge.     

   Re-registering a Level 4 is your 12 dice vs 8.  And it costs a service to re-register.  Without edge you're likely breaking even.  Specialize early if you can so either Machine or Crack Sprites are 14 vs 8 and you can steadily churn out a service per day on one kind of sprite.  You can use your one Edge per day to build up a service on whatever you're not specialized in.  Your down time will be basically a eight hour work day.  Re-register a level 4 Sprite, 4 hours, take a nap and grab lunch, Re-register another level 4 Sprite.  Head to the pub for a pint and dinner.  Lather, rinse, repeat the next day.   

   One short run will wipe out a weeks worth of downtime activities.  If you're doing a lot of hacking, you'll burn through your entire stable of Sprites.  Lucky, they're free.  Still, if your GM likes to throw a lot of little tests you'll have to micro-manage your Sprites closely.  It'll shoot your action efficiency all to hell to give three command actions every time you really want to roll the dice, but its better than burning up a Sprite before you need too.  Your un-registered sprite you should use on every check and just compile a new one when it expires.  Level 4 shouldn't be causing you Fade very often.
   
   Other fun Tricks to keep in mind.  Sensors let you use Electronic Warfare instead of Perception.  Do you know who had Electronic Warfare?  Sprites.  Buy yourself a handheld sensor suite and keep it in your pocket.  Need someone to watch your back while your in VR mode?  Sprites in a sensor can.  Bedtime in a shady hotel?  Sprite in sensor.

First Run Blues:


   Okay, you've gotten through chargen and got 0 Registered Sprites.  How do you get through the first run?  Typically you get a call from a Fixer about a meet with a Johnson and the game starts.  Ask the GM when did the Fixer call, and what time is the meet?  X hours?  Register an X -1 Level Sprite.  After the meet there is typically legwork.  Use that time to Register a level 4 Sprite.  You get a call during that time from the team that says its go time?  Its go time, no Sprite for you.

   Get a day or so before its go time?  One does of Longhaul is 50 Nuyen and one dose isn't going to cause addiction.  Probably.  Depending on the specifics, its certainly an option to pull a couple all nighters. 

   You won't have Bruiser the Fault Sprite to back you up, so be careful.  And use your un-registered Sprite for everything.  If you manage to get a registered sprite, think carefully about when you call it up. 

Pet Class Etiquette:

   You're playing a pet class.  Make sure your GM is okay with the above playstyle.  A heads up during chargen of “Hey, is it okay if I tell my Sprite to assist me whenever it can and leave it on autopilot?”  If its not, consider making a Decker.  Seriously.  If in order to approach equality of dice pools you need to use an additional simple action for every Matrix action the Technomancer just isn't worth the effort.  You're going to simply take too long to get anything done.  Either you or your Sprites will max out on OS and you're done.  Technomancers are already stopping to compile a new Sprite every few actions anyway, adding an action efficiency penalty on top of that is too much to consider.

   “Constantly re-registering is cheezy!”  Ugh.  Really?  You're going to be carefully managing your downtime to include re-registering in addition to the other things you're spending Karma on.  And you're picking up two net services per day of downtime.  You use two services just to call up two Sprites and have them wait to do something and another two services to put them back on stand-by.  Two days worth of work to do nothing.  You've got to think of registered Sprites as Reagents.  Short little boosts that you can gather for free. 

   Also, as a pet class, its your responsibility to make it run smooth.  Know how many dice, have the Sprites stats right there with your character sheet.  Know the teaming and assisting rules backward and forward.  If you need to double check each rule and check twice to calculate a dice pool someone at the table will eventually punch you in the throat.  Your actions are going to take longer anyway even if you're well prepared. 

Thanks for sticking with it till the end!  Comments and suggestions always welcome.
« Last Edit: (21:35:53/03-11-15) by Hobbes »

Darzil

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« Reply #1 on: (05:38:07/03-08-15) »

Interesting.

You've overdone the limit increases on teamwork tests, they only increase by one per assistant that rolls a hit, not one per hit. Doesn't invalidate anything though.

Core rulebook pg 49:
"For each assistant that scores at least one hit, the
relevant limit for the leader’s test increases by one"

Ech0

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« Reply #2 on: (06:33:30/03-08-15) »
Thanks for putting this together, Hobbes!

We'll run a test with our Technomancer, who will soon have to face a Renraku Host. He'll need all those dice.

Hobbes

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« Reply #3 on: (10:19:43/03-08-15) »

Interesting.

You've overdone the limit increases on teamwork tests, they only increase by one per assistant that rolls a hit, not one per hit. Doesn't invalidate anything though.

Core rulebook pg 49:
"For each assistant that scores at least one hit, the
relevant limit for the leader’s test increases by one"

Thanks!  Updated!

Danny Montanny

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« Reply #4 on: (12:52:17/03-08-15) »
Great read. I have decking down pretty solid, and was looking into the techno stuff and this helps. With that being said, couldn't I just have an army of Machine Sprites run Diagnostics on my deck, log off, then log in with my deck with crazy dice pool and limit bonuses? The sprites continue to do the task even if my living persona isn't in the Matrix anymore, so it should work. Or am I just way off base?
« Last Edit: (13:51:08/03-08-15) by Danny Montanny »

Whiskeyjack

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« Reply #5 on: (15:05:41/03-08-15) »
Great read! Would you suggest any Priority changes in Sum-to-10? Or is it not worth it to do Sum-to-10 with a TM?
Playability > verisimilitude.

Triskavanski

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« Reply #6 on: (15:44:24/03-08-15) »
I of course, totally agree with maxing out will. This is kinda totally the single most important stat for a technomancer to me, as its the basis of not becoming dead on the matrix.

I didn't see why Hide was funny though, it seemed to be missing.


And yes, I cannot stress enough, Talk to your GM before you play a technomancer. For some reason, people are perfectly cool with a mage being able to lift cars with their minds, and turn people into goop, but like for some reason demand that technomancers play to the "physics" of the matrix to the point that you really can't do much of anything other than act like a really crappy decker.
Concepts are great, but implementation sucks. Why not improve it?

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Danny Montanny

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« Reply #7 on: (15:53:55/03-08-15) »
Great read! Would you suggest any Priority changes in Sum-to-10? Or is it not worth it to do Sum-to-10 with a TM?
Sum to 10 Human with A in Attributes and Resonance, with C skills should be pretty bad ass. Only 8 points to get your top 3 skills maxed, then you should have enough to spread around to the others.

A Resonance with B Attributes and Skills Human will have a huge amount of points to allocate and more meatspace options.

Hobbes

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« Reply #8 on: (16:08:59/03-08-15) »

I didn't see why Hide was funny though, it seemed to be missing.


Because you're (almost) always dragging along a small army of Sprites.  It's like using a couple trolls to carry a bush for you to hide in.  Ultimately its a futile exercise.   

Hobbes

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« Reply #9 on: (16:19:16/03-08-15) »
Great read. I have decking down pretty solid, and was looking into the techno stuff and this helps. With that being said, couldn't I just have an army of Machine Sprites run Diagnostics on my deck, log off, then log in with my deck with crazy dice pool and limit bonuses? The sprites continue to do the task even if my living persona isn't in the Matrix anymore, so it should work. Or am I just way off base?

*shrug*  Should.  But your deck doesn't inherently have "more" dice.  It's still (essentially) Stat+Skill.  Plus building a Technomancer with a couple hundred thousand Nuyen to spend on a deck is a challenge.  You'll be very compromised on stats and skills.  Certainly possible though. 

Now a Technomancer using Sprites to support a Decker would certainly have silly amounts of dice to throw around.  But you can say that about any two Shadowrunners. 

Triskavanski

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« Reply #10 on: (18:01:53/03-08-15) »

I didn't see why Hide was funny though, it seemed to be missing.


Because you're (almost) always dragging along a small army of Sprites.  It's like using a couple trolls to carry a bush for you to hide in.  Ultimately its a futile exercise.


Yes, you've got a lot of sprites, but in the matrix stealth isn't just "I'm not here."  It is also "You can't target me." thats why its something to use after you've been spotted.

With a Static Bomb, you can ninja poof your way out of site of everyone who's spotted you. Still gotta deal with those who have marks on you though, but now they can't see you.

Its part of the dealio for my matrix ninja character
Concepts are great, but implementation sucks. Why not improve it?

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Danny Montanny

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« Reply #11 on: (18:19:37/03-08-15) »
*shrug*  Should.  But your deck doesn't inherently have "more" dice.  It's still (essentially) Stat+Skill.  Plus building a Technomancer with a couple hundred thousand Nuyen to spend on a deck is a challenge.  You'll be very compromised on stats and skills.  Certainly possible though. 

Now a Technomancer using Sprites to support a Decker would certainly have silly amounts of dice to throw around.  But you can say that about any two Shadowrunners. 
Nor does your Smartlinked gun have "more" dice but when you use it (Stat + Skill) the Diagnostics will make the device perform better. So if it works for a gun, it makes just as much sense (if not more) that it'll work for a deck.

Points Buy or Life Module might be the way to do it. You wouldn't need the greatest deck since the limits of your actions will be increased by however many sprites are running Diagnostics. An Overclocked Microdeck Summit can have 7 Firewall (Encryption) at all times with 4/6/6 limits (basically a Renraku Tsurugi) for your actions with 3 sprites. 2-3 dice per sprite should put your pools at 20+. I suppose having some Crack sprites assist you in your tests will get you there too, but they're limited in actions. This way you won't be limited and have big pools for every Matrix action with only a 60k investment. Not to mention not taking damage if you happened to get whacked while you're hacking. You could even have all of your registered sprites come along and command them, as you'd just transfer them over to your deck persona. So a Crack Sprite running Suppression and a big bad Fault Sprite mopping up the IC.

Hobbes

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« Reply #12 on: (23:42:54/03-08-15) »

Nor does your Smartlinked gun have "more" dice but when you use it (Stat + Skill) the Diagnostics will make the device perform better. So if it works for a gun, it makes just as much sense (if not more) that it'll work for a deck.


You're aiming to save on services.  Sure.  But for 60k you're in the ballpark of getting a couple levels of Cerebral boosters aren't you?  And a Micro-deck is 4 3 3 1.  Overclocking is +1, Encryption is +1, each sprite is a +1.  Not sure where you're getting the rest of the buffs from.   *shrug*  anyway.  Cyberdeck implies Data Jack so you're losing a point of Resonance, so why not grab the Cerebral boosters?  Flat +2 to most Matrix Actions.  But your way certainly works too.  Its a personal preference of mine that Technomancers don't use decks, Deckers do.  But Diagnostics on a Technmancer using a Deck would certainly reduce the micromanaging of the Sprite Services. 

Unless you're decking with 'trodes or some such.  Then you're at -10 to cool.  : ) 

Danny Montanny

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« Reply #13 on: (00:32:03/03-09-15) »
You're aiming to save on services.  Sure.  But for 60k you're in the ballpark of getting a couple levels of Cerebral boosters aren't you?  And a Micro-deck is 4 3 3 1.  Overclocking is +1, Encryption is +1, each sprite is a +1.  Not sure where you're getting the rest of the buffs from.   *shrug*  anyway.  Cyberdeck implies Data Jack so you're losing a point of Resonance, so why not grab the Cerebral boosters?  Flat +2 to most Matrix Actions.  But your way certainly works too.  Its a personal preference of mine that Technomancers don't use decks, Deckers do.  But Diagnostics on a Technmancer using a Deck would certainly reduce the micromanaging of the Sprite Services. 

Unless you're decking with 'trodes or some such.  Then you're at -10 to cool.  : ) 
Would be 6, not 7 on Firewall, then. Must've read the wrong line when I typed it the first time. The +3 is for each sprite adding to the limit of actions. So basically a limit of 6 for anything, or even 9 if you know how to configure well on the fly. It's all just theory crafting anyways. Maybe will do a life module where a corp spider gets the ability so he heads for the shadows to keep from being found out.

8-bit

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« Reply #14 on: (00:59:26/03-09-15) »
The thing about using a deck as a Technomancer is that it means you aren't using your Living Persona. I could pull up the various quotes, but suffice it to say, you can only have one Persona at a time - using a deck creates a mundane Persona. Whether you can access your sprites while not using your Living Persona is dubious; I personally would say no, but some GMs might allow it.

Edit: I might even allow the use of sprites. However, the amount of tasks that you are going to use up is enormous, and I certainly wouldn't allow you to compile more Sprites without using your Living Persona. That definitely requires Resonance abilities, which you wouldn't have access to while using a mundane Persona.
« Last Edit: (01:01:36/03-09-15) by 8-bit »
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