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Shadowrun 5E and Rigger 5.0 Rigger Rules (Clarification, concerns, conflicts)

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Arkanis106

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« on: (17:35:14/09-28-16) »
Bringing this thread from Reddit, I'm going to be starting a player and redditor-based discussion on Rigger rules and issues people have with them.  I'll be breaking these both into Shadowrun Core Rulebook and Rigger 5.0 for clarification, and citing page sources.  Please do the same when contributing to the thread to make it easier on everyone working hard here.  To start here, I'll post a short, to-the-point list of general concerns and discussions that will be followed in more detail:

- Sensor rules confusion
- Vehicle repair rules
- Speed and ramming
- Vehicle weight, shape and visuals
- Restricted to who?  Forbidden outside of which groups?
- Which stats are used where?
- Errata cheat sheets for actions


I Sense a Disturbance in the Force
Sensors and sensor operations covered under Electronic Warfare are a major part of what makes Riggers good at what they do.  Fly Spies, helmet-equipped sensors, handheld, all of those are incredibly handy and work very well for us.  The following is from page 445 SR5:

Sensors need to be placed in a housing or case of some sort, or built into another device. Sensors can record data themselves or forward it wirelessly in real-time or as files to other devices. Sensors are available in seven ratings (2–8) and two types: single and array. When you use the sensor array for Perception Tests, you may use your Electronic Warfare skill in place of your Perception skill, and you may use the sensor’s Rating as your limit. Sensor array: This sensor package includes up to eight functions listed under Sensor Functions. Single sensor: This is a sensor that can do only one function listed under Sensor Functions.

Sensors can be put into devices that have capacity. Most vehicles and drones come factory-equipped with a sensor array (at a rating listed with their stats). What you can put your sensor in is limited by the Rating of the sensor (see Sensor Housings table).


Two instances of 'may', implying choice on whichever is better.  Perfect.  Another issue brought up is that this implies vehicles and drones need to choose Sensor Functions from the table, up to their Sensor rating.  Some clarification if there's any "freebies" would be good, or how they will function without cameras.  Most come with a Rating 2, which means Camera and Microphone would be appropriate fits.

This is from page 199 SR5:
Sensor is a rating representing the suite of information-gathering or detection devices that are built into every vehicle in the Sixth World. Sensor acts as the limit for Perception and other detection tests using the vehicle’s systems

This is from page 269 SR5:
A drone observes its surroundings with a Pilot + Clearsight [Sensor] Test. If you’re jumped into the drone, you make a Perception + Intuition [Sensor] Test. Either way, you get to use the drone’s entire sensor suite, if it has one.

Three conflicting sides here.  The original sensor and sensor array says you can use whichever stat or limit you prefer.  It also goes on to say that the same type of sensors are placed in vehicles and drones, which then follow Perception [Sensor] rules.  Vehicles imply Electronic Warfare with "other detection tests" and drones simply apply Perception.  I'm under the impression that following the baseline Electronic Warfare [Mental] is legal, as the section makes it clear that it is an intended mechanic.  Perception could also get knocked down a peg or two for something else to take it's place when equipment is used. 

Coming from Rigger 5.0, we have the wonderful Target Device Action:
Pick a wireless-enabled device you’ve spotted on the Matrix. You can target that device and feed targeting data to any pilot program or person with a Sensor rating or smartlink that is slaved to your RCC. For the rest of the Combat Turn, the slaved attackers receive a dice pool bonus equal to your net hits when targeting the device you’re tracking for them. Your RCC’s Noise Reduction rating is added as a dice pool bonus for this action.

This clearly implies drones and vehicles as great targets for bonus dice.  "Wireless-enabled device" is a broad category, and my first though was adding bonuses to Called Shots or normal attacks on wireless-enabled armor.  Just looking to get some clarification in the action's description on what's allowed and not.


You Kicked My Drone!  You Fragging Guy!
Ahh, good ol' repair rules for Riggers, the eternal discussion.  As it stands, Riggers are just as equipment dependent as Deckers, but have a risk so high that they fit into their own category.  Drones and vehicles are expensive and hard to replace with Shadowrun games.  Losing a car can mean multiple runs of nothing but eaten costs, not to mention the fact that you're down a critical component of your character.  Some would say this is a balancing factor, some would say this is just too punishing.  I subscribe to the belief that if the Rigger isn't a dick, the GM shouldn't be a dick.  Riggers straight out of chargen can bull some pretty ridiculous moves with slaved drones, but stealing the show and breaking the game isn't (usually) fun for everyone else.  I don't blame the GM that pulls out the rocket launcher to destroy the swarm of Assault Rifle Rotodrones that just crashed through the windows of the office building.

SR5 Page 270:
Drones have two damage tracks, Physical and Matrix. Fill up either one and it’s bye-bye birdie as the drone is either irreparably destroyed and joins the spare parts collections, or it gets bricked and it’s time to completely rewire its guts. But up until that final box is filled, damage done to a drone can be repaired. Repairing Physical damage follows the rules for building and repair on p. 145. To repair Matrix damage, check out Repairing Matrix Damage, p. 228. If the chassis and the electronics of your drone get trashed, it will probably cost you more to fix it than buy a new one. But if it has sentimental value, ain’t it worth it?

That's pretty harsh, and the rules for repairing weren't terribly fleshed out, however we have this little nugget from Run Faster Page 221:
A garage is a large covered area with enough space to park and maintain a single vehicle. With the purchase of a Shop (p. 443, SR5) related to the vehicle, 1 box of damage to the vehicle can be repaired per week without additional financial cost, as the cost is absorbed by the lifestyle. Purchasing a Facility increases the repair rate to 2 boxes of damage. Use the Build and Repair rules for quicker repairs (p.145, SR5, and p. 143, Run & Gun). This asset can be purchased more than once so that multiple vehicles can be serviced at the same time. The points cost, monthly nuyen cost, and minimum lifestyle depend on the nature of the vehicle, as listed in the table.

Awesome.  This is quite sensible.  It doesn't clarify if you can do it to drones of the appropriate Garage type, but I'd assume so.  Hell, given small drones, I'd say it's fair game to give them more boxes back, since vehicles are a larger job and bigger cost.

Thankfully, there's some clarification from Rigger 5.0 Page 29:
To repair a vehicle or drone, you need to have the parts on hand. These can be purchased from any shop, hardware store, or junk yard for five percent of the cost of the vehicle or drone per box of damage on the Condition Monitor that needs to be repaired. You can also scavenge parts off of similar vehicles—more about that later on. If you don’t have sufficient parts for your repair, you’ll take a penalty to the Extended Technical Skill Test, depending on how short you are: Increase the interval to one day, and for every box worth of parts you lack, you take a –4  dice pool penalty.

You can tear parts out of a working vehicle or drone (the target) for use in the repair of a similar vehicle or drone (your gamemaster will tell you if your scavenging victim is similar if you’re not sure). First, decide how much damage you’re willing to inflict on the target, in Condition Monitor boxes. Then the target takes that damage (with no chance to resist) and you make an appropriate Mechanic skill + Logic [damage inflicted] Test. For every two hits, you scavenge one box worth of parts for your repair job.


Awesome, the scavenging part makes perfect sense and adds another layer of depth to rigging.  The 5% per box rule is very strange, because it doesn't scale properly with how the damage box system works.  We also have a number of reasons why the damage box system is already confusing and doesn't work properly with vehicles and drones.  It was designed for meat bodies, and has no problems there.  Vehicles may take a ton of damage from an Assault Rifle, shredding the cab and killing the occupants three times over, but that doesn't translate properly to "The vehicle is now broken, unusable, and can never be repaired).   The following is a Reddit thread I started ages ago that has some good discussions detailing the issues with it:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Shadowrun/comments/4fjpmq/rigger_vehicledrone_damage_houserule_ideas/

Differentiating between superficial, component, and structural damage would go a long way for vehicles.  Unfortunately due to varying drone / vehicle size, weapon types and such, I don't have a good solution for what would be a relatively simple way to define what type of damage each is.  Requiring Called Shots on vehicles with certain weapons may be a viable solution as well.


Perhaps today is a good day to die! PREPARE FOR RAMMING SPEED!
I can't speak for anyone else, but sometimes the most brainless, crude and brutish options are the best.  I am of course talking about ramming.  And with ramming, we have to talk about speed.  I'll just link this one Reddit thread because the math is so well-known to be silly:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Shadowrun/comments/3bw7fg/vehicle_speeds/

Decent vehicles with Control Rigs or even Speed upgrades can hit hundreds or thousands of km/h easily.  For the most part this isn't really a big deal as any GM would houserule "You're not going to break the speed of sound in your stupid motorbike and survive".  Adding in the optional rule of extra defense dice per level of speed gets pretty funny too.  That guy moving at 300 km/h is only getting a few dice penalties instead of being essentially impossible to hit?

Switching over to ramming, we have the ramming chart on SR5 Page 203:
If a driver wants to ram something (or someone) with the vehicle, treat it as a melee attack. The target must be within the vehicle’s Walking or Running Rate (a –3 dice modifier applies if the driver has to resort to running). The driver rolls Vehicle skill + Reaction to attack. The target rolls Reaction + Intuition if a pedestrian, or Reaction + Intuition [Handling] if driving another vehicle. Pedestrians may use the Full Defense (p. 191) or Dodge (p. 191) Interrupt Action but not Block or Parry. If the driver gets more hits, he rams the target. Make the Damage Resistance Test as normal. The base Damage Value of the attack is determined by the ramming vehicle’s Body and speed, as noted on the Ramming Damage Table. The ramming vehicle must resist only half that amount (round up). Characters resist ramming damage with Body + Armor – 6 AP.

1-10 Body / 2
11-50 Body
51-200 Body x 2
201-300 Body x 3
301-500 Body x 5
501+ Body x 10


The funny part here is that the damage is only based upon the ramming vehicle, not his target.  Taking the Ares Roadmaster (Body 18 and Armor 18), an excellent ramming vehicle, this is what the chart ends up looking like:

Less than 15k/h = Half Body  (9P -6)
15km/h - 65km/h = Body (18P -6).  This sounds about right for killing a pedestrian with a big vehicle
66km/h - 250km/h = Body x2 (36P -6).  Note that the Roadmaster has 18 Armor and can't take damage from this.
250 km/h - 350 km/h = Body x3 (54P -6).  Goddamn, hope you didn't like whoever got hit by that.  With this, the Roadmaster is taking a 27P hit.  The question of vehicle Hardened Armor comes in to play (Hero Lab agrees it's hardened and it makes sense.  Should it work for crashes and hits?) and either way, the vehicle is realistically surviving this hit without much damage.

Let's take a look at a Hyundai Shin-Hyung, a little more sensible vehicle.  Body 10 Armor 6.

Less than 15k/h = Half Body (5P -6)
15km/h - 65km/h = Body  (10P -6).  No damage at this point with 6 Hardened Armor, or rolling 16 to beat 5P, so probably zero damage.
66km/h - 250km/h = Body x2 (20P -6).  Only has to resist 10 damage with 16 Boxes (Or 7 with Hardened Armor benefits).
250 km/h - 350 km/h = Body x3 (30P -6).  17 Physical Damage boxes and the MAXIMUM damage that can be done here is 15.  Realistically that car's still driving away after crashing at around 300 km/h.  Safety standards to make anyone proud.

Not much else to say.  Definitely needs to be looked at, and to consider the ramming target.  Rigger 5.0 Page 176 has some more clarification upon ramming, but it still has the same general issues.  At least it covers head-on collisions.


"I'm not making that out too well.  What is it, Hudson"?
"You tell me, man.  I only work here."

This issue I've had isn't a gamebreaker, but it's probably added some confusion at more tables than just mine.  Many of the vehicles and drones are given pictures and comparable real-life counterparts.  Unfortunately, 'most' does not mean 'all', and it gets especially tricky when dealing with drones and equipment that is unfamiliar to most laymen.  Adding a few more fluff stats to the equipment would go a long way to helping alleviate some of this confusion.  Weights, dimensions, pictures and comparison to an average human would be awesome. 


Licenses and Legalese
This falls a little more into general Shadowrun concerns, but it definitely hits Riggers because of their variety of equipment.  Whether an item is Restricted or Forbidden, it's not made clear who is actually legally allowed to use it.  In regards to Restricted for players, or possibly Forbidden and Con shenanigans, it would be nice to see a descriptor for what kind of license and job would be fair game for who can have a license for the item.  A number of vehicles and drones are clearly intended for law enforcement, emergency response, military, private investigator use, and so on.  Not a huge issue, but it comes up.


Crunchy!  Soft!  Crunchy!  Soft!
The question of which stats are appropriate to use for jumped in and not jumped in.

Manual Control
Pilot Vehicle - Reaction
Gunnery - Agility
Sensors - Questionable
Stealth - Reaction vs. Sensors (SR5 Page 184), Intuition vs. Lifeforms (SR5 Page 270)

Remote Control
Pilot Vehicle - Reaction
Gunnery - Logic
Sensors - Questionable
Stealth - Reaction vs, Sensors, Intuition vs. Lifeforms

Jumped In
Pilot Vehicle - Questionable
Gunnery - Logic
Sensors - Questionable
Stealth - Reaction vs. Sensors, Intuition vs. Lifeforms

Sensors remain questionable because of the original Sensor topic posted early on.  SR5 Page 270 clearly states that Jumped In Stealth is Intuition.  SR5 Page 205 says that Vehicle Defense tests are Reaction + Intuition, nothing to do with piloting.  The debate concerning Reaction vs. Intuition boils down to not using meat stats while jumped in, where Reaction is kind of in a funny position of being half and half.  Then there is the concern of splitting a fundamentally critical skill for Riggers into separate stats based upon the situation.  What's balanced?  What's sensible?  It could go either way, just hoping for clarification.

The very last thing I would like to mention is an official cheat sheet detailing these charts for easy access instead of ripping through the book every time.  Thank you all for your hard work, I hope we've helped with our feedback and playtesting.
« Last Edit: (19:44:16/09-28-16) by Arkanis106 »

Finstersang

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« Reply #1 on: (10:46:16/09-29-16) »
Another big issue would be Movement Speed in Tactical Combat, especially when rigging a Vehicle or Drone. The quadratic increase is kinda silly in itself, but when combined with an RAI (but probably not RAW) Rating 3 Control Rigg, you can eightfold(!) a vehicle´s movement rate by increasing the Speed Rating by 3. The german rulebook explicitly states that the Attribute increase only effects the limits because of this.

Also, Sensors and Targeting: It seems strange to me that almost all of the Signature Modifiers (P. 184) are negative ones, especially the modificator for targeting critters and metahumans. Picking up Body Heat, Scents, Heartbeat etc. seems like something a Sensor Array should be quite good at. If any, the Signature modifier should be positive unless the target uses countermeasures like termal dampening and the like. Instead, it´s a negative Modifier, and a whopping -3 to boot.
This makes both types of Sensor Targeting almost completely pointless against the majority of targets on a typical run: The Drone/Vehicle/Rigger already wastes a whole action phase for the targeting test (while it is only a simple action, there´s hardly any usefull vehicle action left, since they all are complex ones), and then there´s a high chance to gain nothing from it. 2/10 would not use.
(Note: I´m even suspecting this might be an unrecognized typo. It seems odd that there are 3 seperate rows for target classes with the same Modifier.) 

Fabe

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« Reply #2 on: (10:39:36/10-01-16) »
Quote
Jumped In
Pilot Vehicle - Questionable
Gunnery - Logic
Sensors - Questionable
Stealth - Reaction vs. Sensors, Intuition vs. Lifeforms

Pilot uses reactions while jumped in,that's been confirmed in other threads.

Trillinon

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« Reply #3 on: (00:43:49/10-05-16) »
Quote
Jumped In
Pilot Vehicle - Questionable
Gunnery - Logic
Sensors - Questionable
Stealth - Reaction vs. Sensors, Intuition vs. Lifeforms

Pilot uses reactions while jumped in,that's been confirmed in other threads.

I spent days trying to find an answer to this when it first came up. Even now, knowing that it's Reaction, I have a hard time accepting it, because I naturally assume that Rigging would work like decking, where you are disconnected from your physical attributes.

Personally, I'd like to see Intuition used, but short of that, I think that it should be made overwhelmingly clear which attribute is used and why. If it is Reaction, that rule and the reasoning behind it needs to be explained.

SR4A has a chart for rigger actions. One should be added to SR5.

Fabe

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« Reply #4 on: (00:56:03/10-05-16) »
Quote
Jumped In
Pilot Vehicle - Questionable
Gunnery - Logic
Sensors - Questionable
Stealth - Reaction vs. Sensors, Intuition vs. Lifeforms

Pilot uses reactions while jumped in,that's been confirmed in other threads.



I spent days trying to find an answer to this when it first came up. Even now, knowing that it's Reaction, I have a hard time accepting it, because I naturally assume that Rigging would work like decking, where you are disconnected from your physical attributes.

Personally, I'd like to see Intuition used, but short of that, I think that it should be made overwhelmingly clear which attribute is used and why. If it is Reaction, that rule and the reasoning behind it needs to be explained.

SR4A has a chart for rigger actions. One should be added to SR5.

 Deckers are operating in pure virtual environment,Rigger are operating in the physical world. They're just using the matrix to connect what they're controlling.
 
Instead of suppressing your movements like in normal VR, The control Rig reroutes all the neural signals used to control your meat body to the drone or vehicle you're jumped into . That is why reactions is used.
« Last Edit: (01:01:49/10-05-16) by Fabe »

Kiirnodel

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« Reply #5 on: (05:09:00/10-05-16) »
Also remember, that unlike magicians Astrally Projecting (and fully shedding their physical bodies), Riggers and Deckers going VR are actually still "in their bodies" they are just interacting with the electronic environment at the speed of thought.

Remember that dropping into VR doesn't do any of the "replace mental attributes for physical equivalents" like Astral space does. For example, VR Initiative doesn't replace your Reaction because you don't have it anymore, it replaces it with the Data Processing of the machine you're working through because it's response time ends up mattering more under those circumstances.

If it helps, Riggers still using Reaction to Pilot vehicles could be based on the concept that it is still about reaction time and reflexes to pilot the vehicle (which is what the Reaction attribute covers).

Fabe

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« Reply #6 on: (10:08:02/10-05-16) »
Also even a non-rigger using the Control device matrix action in full VR would still use Reactions to control a vehicle. They just don't get the cool bonuses that a jumped in rigger gets.

Trillinon

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« Reply #7 on: (17:08:06/10-05-16) »
Quote
Jumped In
Pilot Vehicle - Questionable
Gunnery - Logic
Sensors - Questionable
Stealth - Reaction vs. Sensors, Intuition vs. Lifeforms

Pilot uses reactions while jumped in,that's been confirmed in other threads.



I spent days trying to find an answer to this when it first came up. Even now, knowing that it's Reaction, I have a hard time accepting it, because I naturally assume that Rigging would work like decking, where you are disconnected from your physical attributes.

Personally, I'd like to see Intuition used, but short of that, I think that it should be made overwhelmingly clear which attribute is used and why. If it is Reaction, that rule and the reasoning behind it needs to be explained.

SR4A has a chart for rigger actions. One should be added to SR5.

 Deckers are operating in pure virtual environment,Rigger are operating in the physical world. They're just using the matrix to connect what they're controlling.
 
Instead of suppressing your movements like in normal VR, The control Rig reroutes all the neural signals used to control your meat body to the drone or vehicle you're jumped into . That is why reactions is used.

By that reasoning, Reaction should be considered a mental attribute.

Outside of rigging, Reaction is treated as the physical portion of your reflexes. It's labeled as a Physical attribute. It's added to Intuition, a mental attribute, for initiative and defense. There is a clear divide here. Your total reflexes is the combination of your physical and mental reflexes.

When you enter VR, your device takes over for your body, and you add Data Processing + Intuition. When you enter the Astral, your body is replaced with an astral form that uses your mental attributes. The same premise occurs when diving into the resonance. You no longer use your Reaction at all, because you no longer are using your body.

It's consistent throughout the ruleset. Reaction is the responsiveness of whatever body you are enhabiting.

But with rigging, you still use Reaction even though your physical body has been replaced with your vehicle. The most logical solution would be for the vehicle or drone to have a Reaction analog just like in VR. Perhaps its handling, or a rating value for it's rigger adaptation. In a way, it already does, since it's a device with a Data Processing attribute, and you're connected to it through VR.

Using Reaction also become strange when you bring in augmentations. Wired Reflexes increases Reaction through a life-altering invasive procedure that places wires throughout the body. Synapic Boosters works through increasing the width of the synaptic pathways, again throughout the body. Neither of these should benefit a rigger sprawled out in VR in the driver's seat.

The whole ruleset makes it clear that Reaction is a physical attribute, and you are separated from in while in VR. Rigging is a strange exception. Now, you're not wrong about the RAW. Your explanation is as close to official as it gets. Heck, I can even live with that explanation. But It really, really needs to be called out in the rules specifically, because it flies in the face of the rest of the system.

Fabe

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« Reply #8 on: (19:21:42/10-05-16) »
 Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the whole  thing with mental stats replacing physical stats in the matrix a house rule made by people who think that the matrix should be the same as astral space?

Trillinon

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« Reply #9 on: (20:25:55/10-05-16) »
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the whole  thing with mental stats replacing physical stats in the matrix a house rule made by people who think that the matrix should be the same as astral space?

Your cyberdeck attributes replace your physical attributes in the matrix (but see below), unless you're doing a resonance run, in which case it's your mental attributes. Technomancers use their mental attributes for their living persona in place of a cyberdeck.

The thing is, in the Matrix, there are only a handful of situations where you use your device attributes in a dice pool. Usually, it's treated as gear and provides a limit to a skill + mental attribute test. I'm not sure there's any point in the game where a dice pool consists of a skill + matrix attribute.

Which is why I favor Vehicle Skill + Intuition for Riggers.