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Noob Decker help

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ArtaSoral

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« on: (19:03:17/02-10-18) »
Hey guys brand new shadow runner here, sorry in advanced if I'm posting in the wrong place or something.

So I'm a brand new player joining a fresh new group of players and I'm playing the decker (the two experienced players basically said "Not It" so I know im in for a fun easy time ::) .) I read through the book and have looked at alot of advice online so I have some grasp on the concept and implementation but I have two related questions that I couldn't really find an answer for:

1. Do I stay with the group when they go somewhere dangerous? I might be misunderstanding something but it seems that my body is (or could be) a bit of a liability in most situations. Couldn't i do most of my hacking from a safe zone outside through VR?
2. Do I do combat through VR or AR? While I do have a halfway decent smartgun it seems that my main strength even in combat is hacking; messing with implants or smartguns etc. I'd be better at that through VR (because of the extra Initiative dice) but couldn't use my fun that way (i think.)

There's a lot more that i don't understand yet, but I'm hoping I'll be able to either learn on the way or pick up from more forum posts :)
Thanks all

Jack_Spade

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« Reply #1 on: (13:30:01/02-11-18) »
Way to get the short end of the stick, having the newbie be the decker  ;D

Ok, there are a few hints that will make your life a bit easier:
Combat decking: Don't
In most cases it's just more opportune to actually shoot the opposition or provide suppressive fire for your team. Why? Because it usually takes at least two full complex actions to do anything with hacking.
Staying in a safe place isn't the worst idea, but you'll need a lot of noise compensation. Hacking anything further away than 100m will bring dice penalties for you.
Get some datajacks installed for this.

talk think matrix

To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield
Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

Marcus

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« Reply #2 on: (13:41:16/02-11-18) »
It's certainly possible to build a decker who also reasonably capable combatant, but really comes down to your image of the character and how you want to play.

The decking rules are reasonably complex, and doing decking right is deep skill commitment (Computers, Hacking, Cyber-combat, Electronic Warfare, Hardware, and Software)  having the added distraction of combat is probably not going to be super helpful.

So review the rules for bricking things, it's very possible to build a character who can brick tech, very effectively.  Now keep in mind if you start bricking tech often invites same from the GM.

So things to keep in mind, there is plenty of things to do in decking, it simply comes down to what interests you in the concept.

Beta

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« Reply #3 on: (16:01:44/02-11-18) »
One common decker trick -- given that they need to set resources fairly high anyway -- is to pick up a cyberarm.  Can compensate for weak physical stats to allow them to be decent with a gun, and maybe give a bit of armor or some other tricks.  You still don't want to be in a firefight so much, but can end up being a useful support in a fight when decking is not what is needed.

ArtaSoral

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« Reply #4 on: (20:04:30/02-11-18) »
Thanks guys for the advice. I completely understand (and agree) that being a van decker would be boring, that's kinda why I was looking for a good in game reason not too, but I'll definitely go with the team. And yeah the VR vs AR question really made more sense in conjunction with the choosing to be a van decker.

The not hacking in combat I get, or at least understand, but it does seem, if it's true that I'm rarely hacking in combat that the huge section of the book on matrix actions that I sweated over is kinda less useful, specifically all the minutiae that are time or damage related. They would only come up in Matrix combat which (since it would end up being just me right?) probably is going to be a rare occurrence (I just can't imagine running an encounter for one player is something the GM would go for) or is there something I'm missing?

« Reply #5 on: (21:12:56/02-11-18) »
Some matrix actions you might reasonably perform during a firefight:

Brute Force & Hack on the Fly: As mentioned upthread, it normally takes at least 2 complex actions to do any sort of hacking.  That's because the first complex action is gaining marks on your target.  You can do it in one of two ways, and there are pros and cons to the choice beyond which skill you happen to be better at.  Brute Force allows you to deal matrix damage as a byproduct of scoring hits so if your goal is to brick the target then Brute Force is the efficient method.  Hack on the Fly is described as a subtle "attack".  Even though the target gets to make an opposed roll to resist it, the GM might arguably allow a successful Hack on the Fly to not tip off off the opposition that a Decker has begun to slot with them and so they don't immediately begin acting accordingly before your next pass.

Data Spike: Bricking is, as mentioned above, intensely useful.  The sammie won't be getting so many initiative passes after you brick his Wired Reflexes.  The gun specialist can't shoot anyone with a bricked gun.  etc.  Just keep in mind that as a rule, it's faster to just physically kill a target than it is to brick his crucial piece of gear.  So don't pick a target to go after who's just gonna be dead anyway by the time you can generate 2 actions.

Edit File: Lots of NPCs have cybereyes.  If you got marks on the cybereyes via Hack on the Fly, the target may not even know he's being hacked.  That's the kind of golden opportunity where you can just edit teammate(s) out of your victim's vision just as you would a security camera.  Works better than invisibility magic that might get resisted!

Control Device:  Make the gun eject its clip.  Make the security drone turn on the security guards.  Best of all is making grenades explode while still clipped to guards' belts.





« Last Edit: (21:14:50/02-11-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

Marcus

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« Reply #6 on: (13:52:54/02-12-18) »
Thanks guys for the advice. I completely understand (and agree) that being a van decker would be boring, that's kinda why I was looking for a good in game reason not too, but I'll definitely go with the team. And yeah the VR vs AR question really made more sense in conjunction with the choosing to be a van decker.

The not hacking in combat I get, or at least understand, but it does seem, if it's true that I'm rarely hacking in combat that the huge section of the book on matrix actions that I sweated over is kinda less useful, specifically all the minutiae that are time or damage related. They would only come up in Matrix combat which (since it would end up being just me right?) probably is going to be a rare occurrence (I just can't imagine running an encounter for one player is something the GM would go for) or is there something I'm missing?

Don't say it's not useful, Just try to think about initiative tracks as relative things, Matrix initiative implies a couple different things from normal initiative, it's not say they aren't related, it simple implies something about what your character is doing. Stuff happens fast in the matrix, Full VR +3d6 that's as fast as the fastest street sam can go. So just understand how those matrix actions you studied can effect the "real" world. Bricking is the easy  simple one. But the other discussed here work too. 5th is fine with you bricking folks gear, in fact it's what the system intends for you to be able to do. Just understand there are options and find the ones you like. The system isn't simulationist, it's about being cool future hacker. Run with it.