Combat Decker (Urban Brawler)

  • 5 Replies
« on: (17:48:24/12-28-17) »
Concept: Hybrid Combat Decker/Infiltrator

Background:  Former Urban Brawl player who briefly rose to the big league with the Renraku Invincibles for two seasons before suffering an inevitable injury that was more expensive to fix than bring up yet another prospect from the feeder leagues or corporate prisons.  Subsequently stayed in the sport as technical support on the sidelines, until the notorious Chicago Sensations' "Spygate" scandal of 2074 led to the team blaming the illegal intelligence gathering all on one "rogue" technician and disavowed her to the shadows.

Priorities: A: Attributes  B: Skills  C: Resources  D: Human Metatype  E: (No) Magic

Attributes:  Body:3 Agility:4 Reaction:4 Strength:3 Charisma: 3 Intuition:5 Logic:6 Willpower:4 Edge:5  Essence: 4.6

Skills: Close Combat Group 3, Athletics Group 2, Computer 6, Cybercombat 5, Electronic Warfare 4, First Aid 1, Forgery 1, Hacking 6, Hardware 4, Locksmith 1, Negotiation 1, Perception 1, Pilot Ground Craft 1, Pistols 4, Sneaking(Urban) 1, Software 4
Knowledge Skills: Area Knowledge: Chicago 1, Corporation: Renraku(Rumors) 1, Data Havens 2, Matrix 3, Popular Culture 2, Small Unit Tactics(Urban) 4, Sports(Urban Brawl) 4, Sprawl Life 1
Languages: English N, Polish 3

Qualities:  Natural Athlete, Overclocker, Codeblock (Control Device)

Augmentations: Aluminum Bone Lacing, Datajack, Image Link, Smartlink

Limits:  Physical 5, Social 5, Mental 7

Non Cyberdeck Gear: Ford Americar w Spoof Chip and Camera 1/Laser Rangefinder 1 Sensor Array, Armor Jacket w Rating 6 Nonconductivity (14 armor incl. cyberware),  Biomonitor, Earbuds R3 w Sound Link and Select Sound Filter 2, Glasses R2 w Flare Comp and Vision Mag, Medkit R3 w 4 Stimpatch R4, Laser Microphone R3 w Audio Enhancement 2 and Sound Filter R1, Hardware Toolkit w Autopicker R2, Bugscanner R1, Data Tap, 5x Electronics Parts, Keycard Copier R4, Lockpick Set, Maglock Passkey R1, Sequencer R4, 2x Certified Credsticks

Weapons: Combat Knife, Stun Baton, 1xGrenade: FlashPak, Ares Predator V w Concealable Holster, 2 spare clips, +20 Gel rounds, +50 Regular Ammo rounds, Unarmed Atk (enhanced by Bone Lacing)

Microdeck Summit (ASDF 4331) w Fake SIN R4 (inc Rating 4 Permits for Cyberdeck, Firearm, Concealed Carry Firearm), Vectored Signal Filter.  Programs: Armor, Decryption, Defuse, Edit, Encryption, Exploit, Fly on the Wall, Sneak, Stealth, Toolbox, Track, Virtual Machine

Meta Link (ASDF 0011) w Fake SIN R1.  Programs: Wrapper

Lifestyle: Low w Basic Doc Wagon 1xmonth

Contacts: Fixer 4/1, Deckmeister 3/2

Leftover Nuyen: 3443

Everything in green was chosen due to the background.  Other than those concessions, I tried to build as good a decker as I could given resources was neither A nor B.  I could have afforded the next cyberdeck up, but it would have taken almost all the available resources and I felt that was putting way too many eggs in one delicate basket.  So, given that the decker is armed with the 2nd worst cyberdeck in the core rulebook, I tried to do my best while still being plausible as an ex Urban Brawler.  The stats are meant to show being about 5-10 years past athletic prime, and having focused for a while on the mental side of the house even if the character is brand new to the Shadowrunning Biz proper.

Comments? Critiques?  Suggestions?  This is a character for SRM missions play.  For what it's worth, what's posted is the tweaked, post "played it once and taking advantage of the rebuild rules" before playing a 2nd time.  In the first adventure, the character earned 6 Karma, 11,500 nuyen, and earned a Mr Johnson 4/2 contact.
« Last Edit: (00:55:06/12-29-17) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »


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« Reply #1 on: (14:35:24/12-29-17) »
You may be better served by less Attributes, more Resources and lots of Cyberlimbs.  If you want to shoot, stab and hack all on one character.  Redliner, Biocompatibility Cyberware and four Cyberlimbs will get you a lot of survivability and the Agility/Str you'll want to be stabbing and shooting.

Skills, make sure all your Rating 1 skills are purchased with Karma, not skill points.  Get some specializations on your hacking skills, you'll need dice pools of 16 or more to deal with more difficult hosts. 

Max out your Negative Qualities, starting Karma is pure gold. 

8 Dice in a Combat skill is not good.  7 or 8 Dice in four different Combat skills is really not good, don't do that. 

There are a couple different ways of building a Decker that can hang with the Samurai's in a firefight, but it involves dump stats and a lot more cyberware, and more focused skill point allocation.  I can throw a couple of examples up if you're interested.

« Reply #2 on: (15:32:57/12-29-17) »
Thanks for the thoughts.   A couple points of clarification:

I'm not going for a frontline combatant who also decks... I'm going for a decker who doesn't need to be carried by teammates (literally or figuratively) during the action part of the 'run.  Even fill in as the B&E gal for a team lacking a dedicated specialist.  Segueing into:

Also this is a character for Shadowrun Missions... where the nature of organized play is there's no recurring team makeup, so no reliable specialists to cover the bases on any given run.  Not being very familiar with SRM but having played plenty of Paizo's organized play for Pathfinder... I'm suspecting that SRM adventures are written to a general lower threshhold of threat (the incarnation I played was way worse at decking than this version with pools of 8s and 10s, and still even then almost no troubles inside the Matrix.  Almost.  Go figure, I couldn't open a security door with my Codeblock knocking me down to 6 dice).  But having only played once, I can't say for sure how consistent that threat level will turn out to be :D 

The 16 dice conventional wisdom yardstick seems kinda hard to do anyway for a range of skills as wide as a Decker's.  The SR5 core decker character does it only for one matrix test.  I'm guessing the 16dice test doesn't consider the pregens as viable characters?  Going back to the previous thought, I've got a hunch that the SRM missions are tuned to a level commensurate to challenging the pregens but still allowing them to succeed with their stats as is.

Specializations: Seemed on the Decking skills to be less ideal than usual.  I honestly can't see either Hosts or Devices being more common than the other..either one is almost all the time :D  But I take your point.. having specialization in neither is worse than having a specialization that isn't applicible for this test.

One of the changes I made was to quit using skill group points for decking skills.  I was able to get much higher dice pools for the primary decking skills by breaking out the secondary crud to skill groups, which is why the multiple sub-optimal combat skills showed up.  What would you recommend instead?  Put all skill group points into one skill group (probably athletics, I'd think) then cannibalize some tall stacks for a single emergency combat skill?
« Last Edit: (15:36:23/12-29-17) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »


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« Reply #3 on: (15:45:38/12-29-17) »
Looks like a fun build. Optimized well enough to do your job while still having some fun. 

As Adzling said, going more cybery may help with some things, even without cyberlimbs. 

Ex. Switiching Resources/Atts can probably let you get Reaction enhancers, muscle augmentation, cerebral boosters, other fun 'ware like Narco if you want to use drugs,  etc. you may end up with similar with similar dice physical dice pools and better overall decking stuff. 

Notes... most folks pick Body/Willpower at odd numbers, as they scale at odds, without a ton a benefit from one extra die at even.

putting skillgroups into close combat may not be giving you much. You get low dice pools in a lot of ways to not reliably hit people. If going to split your group pool, putting those groups into something that fits your strengths may be more useful (Engineering or Outdoors come to mind, putting a skill group into a social can get you enough dice for a solid hit when you need them at Cha 3).   

You may want more perception, as it is often called for. 

High investment in cybercombat is often uncalled for (unfortunately). It just doesn't have a lot of good uses. hand to hand combat in the matrix with other personas are mostly against IC, which are neverending and always a losing battle (better to avoid he the fight or run), and dataspiking is usually not very efficient. You may be able to put more of those points elsewhere.
« Last Edit: (15:00:04/12-30-17) by FST_Gemstar »


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« Reply #4 on: (16:19:46/12-29-17) »
Hacking in Missions is easy until it's not.  Every now and then it's a rating 6 or more host.  Just an FYI from a Missions GM.

"not be carried".. .honestly I'd dump combat skills for social skills in that case.  Your combat skills are simply not meaningful, but 8 or 9 dice to assist on a social test is actually useful, especially with 5 Edge if you happen to not have a face.  Maybe throw all 5 group skill points into your favorite Social skill and pick up a nice suit?  Shuffle a point of Willpower over to Charisma?  10 Dice and 5 Edge go a long way on routine social skill tests.

« Reply #5 on: (16:38:35/12-29-17) »
"not be carried".. .honestly I'd dump combat skills for social skills in that case.  Your combat skills are simply not meaningful, but 8 or 9 dice to assist on a social test is actually useful, especially with 5 Edge if you happen to not have a face.  Maybe throw all 5 group skill points into your favorite Social skill and pick up a nice suit?  Shuffle a point of Willpower over to Charisma?  10 Dice and 5 Edge go a long way on routine social skill tests.

I see a lot of wisdom in that advice. 

I'm thinking about putting all 5 skill group points into Athletics.  Not just for ninja shit, but also relying on Gymnastics instead of combat skills to not get killed in combat.  Offensively, obviously the job here is in the Matrix whether it's AR or VR.  Using close combat rather than hacking (or defending against hacking) is a waste of action, I agree, no matter how skilled or unskilled.  So may as well go unskilled.  I'll justify the ex-Urban Brawl experience as having played at the Scout position, which totally jives with Athletics group.  No combat skills at all is harder to justify, but maybe some karma towards a single skill can be found (esp w maxing out Negative Qualities) and I can say "well it was higher back in my playing prime, of course".

Bleeding some high stacks (esp Cybercombat) can get me a handful of social skill points, esp Etiquette which was something I was not happy about having left barren anyway.
« Last Edit: (16:42:55/12-29-17) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »