Technomancer feedback for a new book!

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« on: <05-27-15/2226:45> »
Hi! I haven't introduced myself, but I'm Amy Veeres, a freelancer with Catalyst. I've written some stuff for Chrome Flesh and a new book in the 10 ______s series, but this thread is about something you'll see from me either late this year or early next, a book entirely about Technomancers!

So yeah, Technomancer supplement! I'm doing it with Dylan Stangel, the guy that wrote the TM rules in Data Trails, so don't worry, it's not "Oh god, they're letting the new girl go nuts, we're doomed." As an additional measure, this thread exists. I don't want it to just be my and his perspective.

What I'm looking for is all the feedback and suggestions you have on Technomancers. Positive, negative, neutral, personal attacks on devs and their writing, whatever you want. Maybe not that last one, but you get the idea. Tell me what works, what doesn't, what you miss, what you want gone, and I'll go through all of this and keep it in mind as I'm developing this book.

I'm not gonna make any promises that every single idea will be incorporated, but I'll read this regularly and keep as much in mind as possible. It would help if you explained why you want this or that, so that I get where you're coming from.
« Last Edit: <05-28-15/1700:10> by Yue »

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« Reply #1 on: <05-27-15/2305:59> »
The following are my opinions of what I think would make technomancers more attractive and more playable.

1. Skinlink should be a base ability, not an Echo.
Reasoning: For 70 nuyen a technomancer can buy a set of trodes and get the ability to create a direct connection. Requiring a submersion and an Echo is too much for too little, and is in my opinion nowhere near balanced

2. Fade values are far too high for what you get.
Reasoning: Puppeteer is a great example where other abilities can achieve the same thing for less; coupled with the fact that technomancers take Matrix damage as stun/physical damage, and fade values make for one unconscious technomancer very quickly

3. Emulating programs should be a single echo, not one echo per program. Comparatively, a Decker spends less than 5k nuyen and has access to every single program available, while a technomancer would need to spend hundreds of karma to achieve the same thing. Technmancers should not be deckers, but not having access to certain programs (Browse in particular) for their living persona and/or having to use a deck (or commlink with a program module bow) is again nowhere near balanced from a mechanical perspective.

4. If changing the above is unfeasible, consider making technomancer so uniquely distinct from deckers that they don't at all fit the format for what most people consider to be a "magician of the Matrix).
Reasoning: technomancers are supposed to be intuitive users of the Matrix, but unfer current rules it is nearly impossible to make a technomancer accomplish some of the same things a Decker can. They went from being the Swiss army knife of the Matrix in SR4 to being an Aspected TechnoMagician in SR5, and they are hard to build well, hard to play well, and personally, I feel they don't really have a lot going for them currently. They're just kind of meh, in my opinion, because they are either discount hackers, or sprite commanders.

5. Please, please, PLEASE bring back streams and paragons, and explore the deep resonance and dissonance in more detail. More background on Pax and her quest to create dissonance pools would be awesome, but more info on the realms in general would be most excellent.


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« Reply #2 on: <05-27-15/2344:09> »
Following up on Herr's things.

1) While I never specifically thought about it, I pretty much do agree with the skin link being something more of a base ability of a technomancer, rather than an echo. Pretty much for the same reasons.

1a/3) Further more Echo's should be something actually powerful, not something that gives a slight nudge. A +1 in a matrix attribute is hardly something to write home about. But in the corebook, that is what we've got. Most of the things in there only give a slight nudge to the technomancers growth. Looking to the thing that is closest to technomancers we've got mages, who have the ability to completely rework the fabrics of reality and rules of their magic. With the centering metamagic, they start with a slight nudge to their ability to resist drain, that much is true. However, the important part is that they don't have to ever take that metamagic again. And now every time they submerge, they get another die for their drain tests.

Thats what the Technomancer's enhanced abilities should be giving him. Something like 1/2 submersion grade - minimum +1 to that particular echo's matrix attribute. The same is with the program, as it too quickly becomes too little too late with it. Also, they shouldn't have two echos that do the same thing.

2) The Fade values. Like Puppeteer in Herr's example, with its +4 fade value, so you can control 1 action. While Mages have the ability to control as many actions as they want or until their target beaks free with a -1 drain value, coupled with drain dice resistance, give mages the ability to do a lot more. Especially since 95% of the matrix actions are complex actions, and the only ones that are simple actions are pretty weak. I'm not even sure what matrix actions are free actions.

IMO You should want to have a Technomancer in your team because he can do stuff a Decker can't. But you don't want the technomancer to exactly replace a decker either. They should be able to help cover some of the stuff a decker, but ultimately they've got a lot more tools than deckers, but for things outside of what a Decker would normally do. Like complex forms that they can use in the physical world, such as my "The One" complex form that gives a technomancer a slightly better ability to avoid danger by reading and calculating bullet paths by sort of hacking into the smart gun systems. A technomancer should be able to do pretty much everything in Ghost in the Shell, as far as hacking someone's cybereyes in the middle of combat to make him disappear. Or hacking every camera and cybereye within a certain distance to cover his face.

Lastly.. And this is really really important.

Technomancer stuff shouldn't be ambiguous. Like for example Resonance Veil. What exactly /can/ you do with this? Well that depends on the GM and what he's willing to allow happen. Same with Editor and Puppeteer. Even the CF that increases noise is fairly ambigious on how long it lasts.

Concepts are great, but implementation sucks. Why not improve it?

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« Reply #3 on: <05-28-15/0012:20> »
Hello Amy!  I've always been kinda interested in Technos (I was a bit of an Otaku fan in 3rd) but felt that they tended to sorta fall flat; SR5 is sadly no difference.  Rather then list a bunch of demands, I'm just sorta going to categorize where I feel their current strengths and weaknesses are, mostly in comparison to Deckers.

Price of Entry
- In order to make a Techno with all the bells and whistles, the current cost is significantly higher then that of a Decker.  Deckers and Technos both need high resources/resonance and skills, but while Deckers only need good logic and intuition, Deckers need all four mental stats.  Likewise, Technos have Techno-only skills they need on top of normal hacking abilities!
- Resources A will get you not just a real good deck, it can also buy you lots of OTHER good stuff too!  Resonance on the other hand scales up your technomancer abilities...but not much else.  It is possible to ignore Resonance, sprites, and CFs, and just go "classic Otaku" style, but I personally think doing this misses out on why you'd want to make a technomancer to begin with!
- The decker specific "goodies" are mostly programs, but programs are really good.  Consider that a program to upgrade Sleaze costs a handful of nuyen, whereas a technomancer has to spend an entire submission on it!  Likewise, a Rating 6 Agent is a must-have and costs one immediate payment of nuyen, while sprites need to be created each time and potentially hurt you whenever you do it.
- Deckers can make up for lower physical stats with 'ware (the decker I last played made good use of a single expenditure of muscle 'ware to keep him actually mobile!) while technomancers are strongly shooed away from using 'ware...which unfortunately cuts down their ability to dump physical stats the way a decker might.
- A Decker can by default hardlink into a device to access a host, bypassing the huge firewall - which is great!  It helps incentivize deckers to be on-premise and with the group, rather then just nap in the back, and keeps them in the action.  Unfortunately, Technos can't do that...unless they spend a fairly good chunk of karma on one of their submissions.
- A Techno can never protect their buddies' gear (or their own, in fact) the same way a Decker can.
- Use of 'ware gives Deckers a large variety of options Technos don't otherwise have.  The Decker I mentioned playing had a pimped out cyberarm with a hidden holster for his gun; if he couldn't hack it, he could shoot it.  Deckers can also side-line as Riggers - or at least have some drones on command - with far more ease then Technos can.  Technos are basically always going to be doing one thing: hackin'.  Deckers can add other stuff to their resume.
Cost of Upgrade
- Simply put, a Decker can upgrade themselves using both nuyen and karma; a Techno can only use karma.  Nuyen after a certain point is all but worthless to a Techno, unless they want to save up and retire, but where's the fun in that?  ;)
Cost of Ability Usage
- Techno fading numbers are absolutely insane.  Puppeteer is a really cool ability - the best technos have, probably - but it costs more then twice flat out mind control does in stun damage.  CFs are rarely used when even the smallest one is going to knock you out of commission.

- Most CFs are bad, but there are two or three that are so awesome they almost make up for the bad ones.  Everyone knows how versatile Puppeteer is.  Resonance Veil can also be extremely potent depending on your GM. 
- Likewise, there's no Gremlins ability for Deckers.  A fault sprite can wreck havoc that Deckers could never dream of.
- Assuming your GM is ok with it, machine sprites and Diagnostics is the best "buffing" ability in the game.
- Depending on how you build your stats, Technos can choose to always have their entire ASDF be high, rather then one high, two middling, and one low.  This will likely become far more useful in deep runs into the Foundation, where you can't change out your deck.
Cost of Upgrade
- Buying a new deck out of chargen is beyond expensive; I've found it only seems to happen when the GM gives you a mission with a new deck as part of the payout.  For Technomancers, it is relatively easier to save up enough karma to either upgrade a stat point or to gain a stat increasing submission.

So as it stands, Technos have a small number of abilities that are awesome, but they're almost all Matrix-only, cost way too much, and depend somewhat heavily on GMs being lenient.  In workhorse mode, they fall behind Deckers rather badly.  Worse yet, technos seem to lack some of the more basic necessities that Deckers get immediately.  Because they can't use nuyen to upgrade themselves, this leads to them eternally falling behind; the longer the game goes on, the greater the lead between the two.  While mechanically technos can be compared to mages, they lack the huge array of spells, only effect the Matrix, have nothing similar to foci, their sprites are more limited, and their drain/fading significantly more severe.


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« Reply #4 on: <05-28-15/0116:26> »
Something needs to be done to improve techno viability at creation. As it stands now the only techno build that is viable is the Sprite Summoner build.
There has been a lot of threads on this topic, between the character review section and several long threads on house rules to fix technos, many of which were simply 5th updates of previous edition material. Given that the class is both very multi-attribute dependent, and requires it's own priority for resonance, means it's at significant disadvantage in terms of resources as everyone has pointed out. This is further complicated by the fact that like Mages, technos can't really afford to lose essence. So something needs to be done to expand the basic power set to address the viability issue.

The place to start in my opinion is CFs. For example the Smartlink CF, As you know, I'm sure, we had this back in 4th,  and it was very helpful in most basic sense of increasing initial character viability.  More CFs that can assist the Techno's in the meat world directly are critical steps in the right direction. CF are costed as spells, but they don't have anything like the utility of spells, and that really needs to change. A CF that allows a Techno to simulate an echo while it's sustained would be ideal, but something to address those issues is needed.

Clarification on Techno's relationship to Icons, and connecting to devices is also an area that really needs to be looked at.  There has been some debate over whether Techno's are able to use Icons, or even maintaining connections to devices. The debate was based upon the wording in the SR5 core, and even I had to agree that it was confusing. While I do think the touch-link thing fairly clearly shows that they can, the mechanics of that are not very clear, and need to be specified.

Drones and Technos also need to be clarified, the biggest question I had when i looked at this was can sprites pilot drones? If not, then can we get  a new type of sprite that does? A rigger Techno would be a great alternative that's very difficult to do under RAW, some support would go a long way to fixing that. Also I personally would like clarification upon what happens when you diagnostic a drone? Does it add to the whole system or A specific subsystem etc?

Finally I'd really like to suggest that some kind of Foci icons perhaps somehow linked in with wireless bonuses would be my suggestion. They could easily be based upon echos or sprite powers, or be like sustaining foci to keep up CFs. The fact that only one build is viable needs to be addressed, the ability to sustain certain powers; particularly diagnostic (for its bonus die to equipment use) could open up plenty of other paths. They also really need to be an avenue for techno's to spend money on, as it's basically completely lacking right now.

Thanks for taking time to listen Amy. Good luck with the book.
« Last Edit: <05-28-15/1005:36> by Marcus »
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« Reply #5 on: <05-28-15/0144:17> »
Something needs to be done to improve techno viability at creation. As it stands now the only techno build that is viable is the Sprite Summoner build.

Oh right, I've had some thought in that myself.

Its one of the things I've wondered.. Why do Technomancers start off with 5 CFs, and Mages start off with 10 spells? Why do Technomancers get points into two skills within only one group While mages have three different groups they can get?

Some of the things I've been thinking of with the houserules, is setting it up that you can put those free points TMs get in Cracking, Computers or Resonance skills.

Also, Why TMs don't need to have all the CFs mages do in spells, Perhaps, not losing 3 of them if you go from A to B would be nice?
Concepts are great, but implementation sucks. Why not improve it?

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« Reply #6 on: <05-28-15/0156:49> »
Mesh Reality! By default! For everyone!

So in SR4 Mesh Reality allowed TMs and technocritters to have access to their physical initiative and virtual initiative at the same time. But they can't have more physical passes then they have, and would have to use the rest of their passes on VR actions. To explain these rules with the current initiative will be very tricky. Basicly, a character will need to roll twice, once to find their VR init and again to find their physical init. Then see how many passes they can have for each.

Now the reason I think everyone should have Mesh Reality, including deckers and all characters really, is to make Matrix actions a bit easier to blend with the meat game. This way everyone can run down a hall while being chased by HTR, and the hacker and hack doors or other security devices and run at the same time. But if you only give it to TMs...I guess i'd be okay with that...

So one of the big problems with TMs right now is their sleaze. Its based off of int, and int can only go up to 6, 7 with exceptional attribute, and higher with some cheese from surge and metavariants, which I wouldn't recommend. I think that's a bit of a problem considering that sleaze is used to defend against Matrix Perception. Its not very difficult for a decker to get sleaze up to 8 at chargen, and now with Data Trails up to 9 without too much trouble.

Nuyen sinks. TMs need more ways to burn money to progress. The awaken, who are also karma heavy archetypes, have foci and reagents to burn nuyen on. Deckers and Riggers are heavy nuyen sinks. And Street Sams seem to have a pretty good mix with ware and skills to burn karma on. Unless a TM goes rigging, they don't have anything worth wild to spend their nuyen on, unless they want to cyber up, which leads to resonance problems.

Fix submergence cost, this will hopefully be done with errata to core.

More sprite powers! Sprites are awesome because they give a lot more tricks for TMs, but spirits have EVEN MORE TRICKS and on top of that can fight in the meat world while being immune to weapons. These things are clearly not equal. Its hard for people to attack sprites, but they can become totally immune to them by turning off wireless.

Can we have different categories for complex forms which TMs can specialize in. Kind of like how mages can specialize in combat spells, which affects all combat spells. Right now, TMs have to specialize in ONE complex form. Seems pretty unfair.

Can we maybe used physical attributes in place of mental to calculate the living persona. Or possibly make it easier to raise mental attributes. Or make it so there is less of a reason for TMs to need to max out mental attributes at chargen. Being able to use physical attributes might help make orks and trolls more viable as TMs. As opposed to where they are now, which is terrible. The way it is now also makes elves too damn strong for Matrix attack actions.

Less skills! TMs need like 9 skills. That's insane, and makes it hard for them to branch out. So either make those 9 skills do all the most amazing things, or somehow allow them to not need 9 skills to do their job.

Tools to help TMs get into hosts at chargen. Maybe a complex form or something.

I actually don't think fading is that bad. TMs have no cap on resonance, so at some point, they'll get it so high that fading becomes trivial.

Paragons and Streams, of course.

Ally Sprites? Sprite packs? Other ideas totally stolen from magic.

Clearly MCT made cyborg TMs without affecting their resonance. Rules to make those would be awesome.

Sustaining focus. I guess sprites can handle it...but having something that works like a focus might be nice.

Latent Technomancy. I realize that all the Latent qualities were chargen traps in SR4, but I did have a player that took it.

PANs. Though, I'm not sure about that, I think Data Trails might have solved this problem with the sleaze dongle for commlinks. Hell, I could infuse that and get sleaze up to 10.

TM Priority is all jacked up. At priority A Resonance is something like 80-ish karma while for mages it's over 100. This discrepancy is very problematic when you consider how much stronger mages are.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. I might add more later.
« Last Edit: <06-09-15/1855:17> by DeathStrobe »


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« Reply #7 on: <05-28-15/0339:24> »
Hello Amy! Glad you are so interested in feedback. I wanna share some thoughts too.
The biggest problem with technomancers is that currently they require a HUGE amount of resources to build and even then they still are not that good. I mean, any other archetype can effectively contribute to the Run in multiple ways, and Technos are limited to Matrix. Technomancers are so multiple attributes dependant and multiple skills dependant that they cannot afford to spend their valuable build points on anything other than their Living Persona and Matrix&Resonance skills. That means Technomancer characters and players don't have a lot to do in the game. Shadowrunners tend to be specialists but Technomancers are kinda one trick ponies. Seriously, technomancers can do like ONE thing now: they can hack things. Yeah they have Sprites and some unique abilities and mechanics but they still can only do one thing. Being unique doesn't make you more useful or fun if you just sit around and don't participate in the gameplay, and when you do participate the other players don't because you're in the Matrix.
Honestly I don't know how to fix it without breaking everything. Technos are 'high cost - mediocre reward' so maybe lower the cost? They don't need to be more powerful in Matrix. Different rules for Living Persona stats? Change Resonance priority selection to BCD (similar to what adepts and aspected magicians have)? Maybe make Resonance attribute unaffected by essence loss to cyberware? Or maybe you could make technomancers less skill dependant by letting them use their resonance skills instead of their matrix skills for some occasions?
TL;DR technomancers should need less resources to build so they could afford to interact with the meat world more.
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« Reply #8 on: <05-28-15/0612:02> »
Good Morning everyone,

well ... I am not nearly as experienced than others who posted here ... but ... the general theme here seems to be "Please ! Fix Technomancers!" (and I'm totally on board with that)

But for many things, it is already too late. Skinlink Echo isn't going away, Core Fade Values aren't going away, and I do not think the priority table will be updated in favor of Technomancers.

What I would like to see:
Sprites - Sprites everywhere ! And when all of the pages are filled with nothing but sprites, add some more ! And perhaps equivalent Positive / Negative Qualities the Mages have.
Perhaps Sprites could have Programs, like spirits have additional Powers. Or they have additional powers. That would also work I guess.

Something like a Focus -  When it comes to Complex Forms, when going ALL IN at Character Creation a person can end up with about 12 Dice for Fading (Res 6; Will 6). Since there is no real reason to cast a complex Form below Force 4 (because Force is your Limit and you always go against 2 Enemy Attributes) there is practically no chance to not get out with no damage to yourself. If one, for some reason, starts with Resonance 3 or 4 and if you went completely insane with the thought that Logic might be more important than Willpower and also have that only at 4 or 5, there is practically no use for complex Forms whatsoever, if you don't blow edge on them. A Focus for increased Limit on CF's or reduced fading, or increased dice Pool for Fading Damage would be very helpful. Or -any- other way to reduce the Damage to your own Face when you try something, that isn't just copying what a Decker would do.

Paragons and Streams for obvious reasons.

Something that lets me use Smartguns without the Smartlink upgrade in Eyes, Contacts, Glasses. (Just a personal preference, as I always just "see" the AR, my character refuses to put anything over his eyes that would bloat his vision even more. Think of it ... ARO's from the device overlaying what you would normally see, and changing everything all the time on two different "devices". Must be a chore and must feel really weird as a character)

In the end, the TM's are separated into some Archetypes:
Zoomancer - With an Army of Sprites he brings down his foes. His own Matrix Abilities are rather weak but the two fault Sprites on his Sides are a force to reckon with.
Hackermancer - He is a Decker, without a Cyberdeck. If necessary, he sacrifices his resonance for Cyber/Bioware (like cerebral booster) and only uses his awakened abilities to improve his hacking skills even more or in extreme dire situations. (The most and easiest way to play - but a mundane Decker is just plain better here)
Dronomancer - Doing everything a Rigger does, but it costs him 40 Karma instead of 100.000NY, and he may or may not get a cable with it (RAW) depending which book you hold in your hands.

Which is basically ... Conjurer, Combat Mage and Alchemist.

Why not Adeptomancer ? - Not only his Brain can emulate machines, but his Body as well. Buffing himself with the Powers of Cyberware, without having any.

The Problem is: Zoomancer burns through his Sprite like a crazy Person and needs heavy investment in Both Skills and Attributes while they can't do much more than what you would do on your own.
Hacknomancer has no versatility as he cannot reconfigure, has only access to programs after investing a heavy amount of Karma in submersion, needs very high mental attributes as well as very high skill levels. This will get a character so heavily Karma starved, that it seems he runs through a desert all his life.
Dronomancer: Cannot be played without your first submersion. And even then it is a little weird.

These should have new merits for themselves. So far everyone tries to get a mix between Hacking and Sprites and has the Feeling, that a mundane decker with a few Agents would do the same but probably better in most cases. This isn't a good feeling. :/

Good Luck, Yue !
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« Reply #9 on: <05-28-15/0748:14> »
I guess I'm a little different in that I would like to see a little more fluff in the book showing some of the ways that Technomancers are not just Deckers without 'decks.

A lot of the complaints I read seem to boil down to "Why can't my Technomancer do everything the Decker can?" (The obvious answer would appear to be "Because then he'd be a Decker".)

Most players can easily grasp the difference between a Street Sam and a Physical Adept, but there is more confusion over the difference between a Decker and a Technomancer, and I believe that a Technomancer e-book would be the perfect place to show that difference, rather than lumping them both together under "Hackers".
"His name is Sterling. He’s an ex-pat Brit making a living as a fixer and a hacker in Metropole. He’s a rare blend of upstanding and fun...(so) listen to his experience."
>>Data Trails, p.82

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« Reply #10 on: <05-28-15/0825:48> »
Actually, here's the issue I tend to see, first with 4e, and now with 5e: the technomancer fails at being even a decker, when they are meant to be decker-plus.

The only thing an otaku/technomancer should not have (IMO) is storage capacity; I like that restriction. But a technomancer needs to be able to do everything a decker can do, self-generate all the programs a decker can run (within limits, perhaps like the guy with the deck the technomancer is only being able to carry a certain number of programs in his (literal) memory at a time), do everything that a decker can do - and then do things that the decker cannot.  The technomancer, like the mage alongside him, is meant to break the standard rules of physics, only it's the physics of the 'trix he violates.

Allowing technomancers to dial some things back, or change a few tidbits, is nice and neat and all, but it honestly doesn't do the job when it comes to that sense of wonder, the Rule of Cool, that technomancers are meant to have.  Violate causality for us.  Or enable us to do so.  As it stands (well, from 4th, honestly), it ... kind of went away ...
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« Reply #11 on: <05-28-15/0833:09> »
I guess I'm a little different in that I would like to see a little more fluff in the book showing some of the ways that Technomancers are not just Deckers without 'decks.

A lot of the complaints I read seem to boil down to "Why can't my Technomancer do everything the Decker can?" (The obvious answer would appear to be "Because then he'd be a Decker".)

Most players can easily grasp the difference between a Street Sam and a Physical Adept, but there is more confusion over the difference between a Decker and a Technomancer, and I believe that a Technomancer e-book would be the perfect place to show that difference, rather than lumping them both together under "Hackers".
Making Technomancers more distinct from Deckers would also be an acceptable option.

Unfortunately they don't have that, outside of a few highly specific builds. Either they need to be able to keep up with Deckers, or they need to have their own spin on things that's actually worth using.


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« Reply #12 on: <05-28-15/0854:13> »
I'm not so much complaining that they're not like a Decker.. I get, and encourage them being something different. What my issue is they're simply a bad hacker. Just as there's a difference between a Street Samurai and a Physical Adept, but both are good at physical combat, there should be differences between Deckers and Technomancers, but both being good at hacking. An the Technomancer just... isn't.

Also your analogy kinda falls apart... both Street Sams and Physical Adepts are known for their lightning fast speed, one does it via 'ware the other does it via power points... the effect is still the same, it's just arrived at by different means. So yes, they are different, but they have different means of achieving the same end goals, the goal for a Decker and a Technomancer is to be a hacker, something Deckers massively excel at... and something Technomancer a completely piss-poor at unless you now EXACTLY what you're doing.
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« Reply #13 on: <05-28-15/0857:53> »
I'm all for making deckers and technomancers distinct--I think that's really important, actually.  At a basic level, both should be able to perform similar tasks, but how they go about doing it can vary wildly and there absolutely should be "technomancer-only" and "decker-only" stuff.

I'm going to assume that the ebook isn't backwards looking--that is, if Puppeteer's FV is going to get reduced, that will happen in errata to the core book, not in a new product.  The TM's MAD issue is what it is, but adding content to make their ultimate ceiling higher can make the chargen buy-in more attractive.

Something I slipped into DT was the idea of progressive echoes: FFF can't be your first echo.  This could be built upon in various ways that address some of the concerns raised in this thread without resorting to wholesale errata.  For example, a second-tier echo that includes the abilities of skinlink with some other nifty power that are thematically related or an echo that mimics programs that gets progressively more powerful with each subsequent submersion (TMs have a distinct storage problem, so getting all the programs in a single dump seems anti-thematic).  Additionally, you could have echos with prerequisites of other echos, giving TMs more branching options.
Killing so many sacred cows, I'm banned from India.


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« Reply #14 on: <05-28-15/0902:47> »

It feels like the TM in SR5 is suffering a bit of an identity crisis. In SR4 they were Matrix-Swiss-Army-Knives, doing things with code that a Decker WISHES they could do. Granted this was part of how hacking/decking has changed in SR4 to SR5. When programs were KING it made total sense for most of the TM's core powers to be based around the concept of "i know some scripts that will work...i just gotta super charge it" or "ok, let me cobble something together, gimme a second" Sprites haven't actually changed in their use so i'll talk about them later.

With the change of programs to be essentially mods to pre-existing actions, that left a gap in the TM's functionality, their identity. I'm not trying to start a debate on purpose, just saying my own thoughts on the matter. As it stands, a TM to me feels like a mediocre decker substitute with a few powers that are completely unique...but not at all useful to the task at hand. I know some people are going to want to argue with me but a way to view the TM should be a "magical decker" Should they be able to achieve the same goals as a Decker? Yes, but in very different ways. Someone said Decker + or the comparison from a Street Sammi to an Adept. If a TM can't handle all the jobs a Decker can do in SOME way. Then why have one on your team instead of a Decker?

There are a lot of posts here already that compare the TM to the Mage, this isn't a bad place to start. The trick is that the CFs need to be relevant to Matrix life, but can give that extra BOOST that differentiates a TM from a decker. Prime example: The CF that allows you to exist on all grids at once. That is the kind of thing that a decker WISHES he could do, and because he's not acting across grids, it makes it easier for him to act. There need to be more CFs like this one. The overwatch cleaning CFs are in this same category, it helps the TM in his role as a hacker but in a very different way.

I'll agree heavily with what has already been said:

Skinlink should be a core ability (i'd also add in that they also have the innate equivalent of the Wrapper power to change icons outside the basic matrix parameters..I think it makes fun roleplay)

Fading too high with little to no way of mitigating it (an old gaming adage, is if something is so good EVERYONE will want it, then something needs to be fixed) Who WOULDN'T play a TM with Otaku to TM for the assist in fade resistance?

Skills! - Too many of them. its this extra load that makes a TM just a little bit harder to make them viable

An echo that essentially provides a program slot (can even have it be a number of programs equal to submersion grade)

Bring Back Widgets and the other advanced echoes such as skillsoft emulation (DAMN that was useful!)

The fastest way to fix the dronomancer concept, some kind of piloting sprite or Dog-brain emulator. The issue i'm seeing is the Sprite's overwatch score, and limited number of tasks, but something along those lines. Perhaps a CF that lets you jump into a drone, as a temporary mimic of a Control Rig, but the echo gives you a permanent ability. That would allow the differentiation between a TM who wants to use a drone vs a TM thats ALL about the drones.

I really also want to see what its like being a TM in the new matrix, some solid, this is how a TM perceives and interacts with the world around them. Do they see AR all the time? How the heck do you message a TM if they aren't using any devices? (does anyone know the commcode for my head?) I know we've all got our own interpretations of how this all works, but i'd like to hear yours.