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Theorycrafting Mys Ad Decker Post KC

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SmilinIrish

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« on: (18:12:28/01-23-19) »
I've only been able to play in a couple of games over the years and my choice has been to play a mage detective type (Dresden much?).  One thing I see a detective doing is hacking comms and such to trace user, look at call logs, etc.  Never really been able to "dip" decker on a mage detective before, but I've also loved the idea of an adept decker (separate concept from my mage detective).  The times in the past I've tried to build an adept or Mys Ad decker, there were just too many compromises.  Either I had great dicepools and crappy deck attributes, or I had mediocre dicepools and a good deck.  With Kill Code out, you can make a custom deck.  Sleeze is way cheaper than Attack in this set up.  So I've attempted to put together a Decent Sleaze Decker. Mys Ad for two reasons:  Improved Reflexes and Improved Ability from adept, and Increase Attribute from Mage.  There were still compromises, primarly to Magic (Magic 5 after applying spec att points).  Needed skills and attributes to cover decking and basic mage stuff, needed resources at C to actually afford a deck.  Biggest compromise I think is Edge 2 on a Human. 



== Personal Data ==

Human
Karma: 0 Nuyen: 4,230

== Priorities ==
Metatype: E,0    Human
Attributes: C,2
Special: B,3      Mys Ad Magic 5 (after points)
Skills: B,3
Resources: C,2
== Attributes ==
BOD: 3         CHA: 2
AGI: 2          INT: 5 (9 after Increase Att spell cast and sustained by character)
REA: 1 (3)    LOG: 5 (7-9 after Increase Att spell cast and sustained by spirit of man)
STR: 1          WIL: 5
EDG: 2          MAG: 5


== Derived Attributes
Essence: 6.00                             Initiative:             8 +3d6  (12+3D6 after Int boost).  Should have 3 passes most of the time.
Physical Damage Track: 10          Rigger Initiative:   8 +3d6
Stun Damage Track: 11               Astral Initiative:   10 +3d6
Physical: 3                                 Matrix AR:            8 +3d6
Mental: 7                                   Matrix Cold:          5 + DP +3d6
Social: 5                                    Matrix Hot:           5 + DP +4d6
Astral: 7


== Active Skills ==        (most skills will be boosted by attribute boost except for social and magic)

Computer Base:                10
Con (Fast Talk)                   6 (8 )
Cybercombat (IC)               8 (10)
Electronic Warfare (Hide)   11 (13)
Hacking (Devices)             14 (16)
Hardware                         10
Perception (Visual)              6 (8 )
Sneaking (Urban)                6 (8 )
Software                            10
Spellcasting (Manipulation)  11 (13)
Summoning (Man)              11 (13)

20 points worth of knowledge skills.  Security protocol, matrix security, Magical Theory, Area Knowledge, maybe a couple languages at low pools. 

== Qualities ==
Addiction (Mild) (Psyche)
Data Anomaly
Fade to Black
Incompetent (Firearms)
Lightweight
Mystic Adept
Ninja Vanish
Overclocker
Perfect Time
Phobia (Uncommon, Moderate) (Dogs)
Prejudiced (Specific, Biased) (Trolls)

== Tradition ==
Chaos Magic, Resist Drain with 10 (14 after attribute boost)

== Spells ==

Alter Memory
Clout (Limited) Thunder!!
Control Actions
Increase [Attribute] (LOG)
Increase [Attribute] (INT)
Lightning Bolt (Limited) (maybe swap for lightning ball) Lightning!!
Mind Probe

== Powers ==
Astral Perception (unbonded qi focus, need to buy some assensing with karma)
Attribute Boost (AGI)Rating: 1  (for when you need to run)
Facial SculptRating: 1  (to cheap not to have.  Will add rank of disguise with karma)
Heightened Concentration     (for ignoring the sustaining penalty from one spell - Increase Intuition
Improved Ability (skill) (Hacking)Rating: 3
Improved ReflexesRating: 2    (need enough initiative passes to go full defense and still have actions, plus AR hacking)

== Lifestyle ==
Apartment (Medium) 1 Month
+ Grid Subscription (Local Grid)
+ Grid Subscription (Public Grid)

== Armor ==
Armor Jacket 12  When slumming
Ballistic Mask +2
Zo: Executive Suite 12  When not


== Weapons ==
What schmuck needs weapons?  If you can't clout it, lightning bolt it. 
If you can't lightning bolt it, send a spirit after it


== Gear: Equipped ==
EX Custom Deck DR5 A 2/ S 5/ D 5/ F 3
+ Vectored Signal Filter 2 [Electronic Parts 2]


Fake SIN (Johnny Johnson) Rating 3
+ Fake License (Mage License) Rating 4 6 (various licenses:  Mage, Security Decker, Combat spell, etc)

Qi Focus (Astral Perception) Rating 4 (unbound)
Fetish x2 for combat spells.  Maybe two rings:  Thunder and Lightning

Programs:
Armor, Baby Monitor, Biofeedback Filter, Bootstrap, Browse, Configurator, Decryption, Defuse
Edit, Encryption, Exploit, Fly on a Wall, Fork, Guard, Paintjob, Search, Shell, Signal Scrub,
Smoke and Mirrors, Sneak, Stealth, Toolbox, Virtual Machine







So he has about 4K left for gear after deck, programs, armor and lifestyle and SIN.  Don't say vehicle.  He's made to play on a team, not Missions sessions with strangers. 
Post gen, he needs some etiquette with karma.  Has passable Con and Sneak.  Perception will be boosted by Increase Intuition.  Needs skill specializations for computer.

So the EX Custom deck has fixed attributes.  His is made to Sleaze.  Only thing he'll use attack for is to erase marks (should the cybercombat points be moved to counterspelling maybe?).  He'll be running silent with 22 dice to avoid matrix search, with Sleaze of 11.  The deck can run 7 programs and will run with -6 to noise penalties.  So he'll run with Smoke and Mirrors maxed, Stealth, Sneak, Fly of the Wall (or baby monitor), Exploit, Encryption, and Virtual Machine with Config program ready to swap to evasion set up.  He'll have 20 dice to hack on the fly. 

With so many program slots, and a deck that can't reconfigure, the Perfect Time/Quick Config trick isn't really necessary.  Reconfigurator programs says it remembers the configuration.  So have it set for your SHTF setup with armor and shell and filters, plus the program that helps erase marks.  With Fade to Black, if you do get made, just erase and hide with your high dicepool of 17.  Your overclocker ability will usually be stuck to firewall, but you can switch to attack if you really need it.  Worst case scenario, you have Ninja Vanish (always save that last Edge).  And that is the biggest thing this character needs is more Edge. 

The plan is to be Aces for legwork.  Not a liability on the run while he tags along and AR hacks cameras, doors and such.  Combat options are two combat spells (can realiably throw F8 clout without taking drain (that's 8S + net hits with AP of -8).  Lightning bolt for drones.  Air or Fire Spirit if needed (would have to drop Increase Logic Spell for that since its being sustained by the Spirit of Man...wasn't room in the build for Binding).  Defends with 12 dice (17 if full defense). 

Am I missing anything here?  Is there an Achilles Heel besides the low Edge?  Post Gen advancement will be adding a few low level skills (etiquette, assenssing, aracana, disguise), then alternating saving up for Edge purchases with adding useful spells utility spells.  Mentor spirit Raven was on the initial build, but dropped for Ninja Vanish.  Bonus dice to computer and manipulation spells would be good.  Probably worth 10 karma post gen.  Maybe don't need Perfect Time?  Swap for Mentor? 


I envision him as a kid who was working for a low level corp as a security guy using a high quality fake SIN purchased by his parents.  Maybe they knew he used magic to boost (adept) but didn't know he could cast spells.  Dunno.  Turned out to be an Ed Snowden type and leaked a bunch of confidential information for the principle of it.  Now he's stuck working in the shadows.  Maybe he's an idealist thinking he's going to make a difference and stick it to the man.  He's definitely not intended to fill the primary mage role.  More of a primary decker who traded matrix combat for magic utility.

« Last Edit: (19:29:29/01-23-19) by SmilinIrish »
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FST_Gemstar

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« Reply #1 on: (22:40:07/01-24-19) »
I always find being an Edge 2 decker is hard enough as it is, let alone combining with a lot of other things. 

It is fun to theorycraft (and storycraft), but I have never made a mysad decker that I think would be actually fun to play, especially with a group. 

Adept deckers, aspected deckers, yep, I think lots of fun, but mysad deckers who also want to be solid magicians? I think it tends to be too much.

Are there specific KC things that help?

« Last Edit: (22:43:11/01-24-19) by FST_Gemstar »

SmilinIrish

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« Reply #2 on: (11:38:19/01-25-19) »
Ended up crossposting this to Reddit and had some discussion.  The specific thing I took from KC was the custom deck.  I don't 90K for a Hornet deck is good (not enough program slots), but with the custom deck rules you can get a decent deck with fixed attributes but 7 program slots.  Those extra programs can make up a lot of ground.  Previously I had made my mystical deckers with modified commlinks, but they were never great. 

A glaring problem with this build is that I didn't understand how Heightened Concentration worked.  You activate with a complex action so you can do one other action.  I assumed you activated when you gained the penalty (sustaining a spell) then maintained it.  The build relies on sustaining both Log and Int boosts without penalty.  That oversight kind of breaks it. 

It appears that some people dislike magic accomplishing things easier than cyber.  They consider the attribute boost spells and use of spirit powers to be cheese, because they accomplish things to easily compared to mundane methods.  I guess it depends on who you play with.  So in practice Edge two decker is very difficult?  Some issues with the character would have to be fixed with karma from the first several runs.  It would take time to get Edge up to 4.  Probably never get it to 5. 
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kyoto kid

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« Reply #3 on: (17:57:21/01-25-19) »
...you have to be wary of background count. particularly with Adept powers that affect DPs like Attribute Boost, Senses, and Improved Ability. I would consider several points of Combat sense as  as that not only adds to your dodge, but grants you a perception test which adds dice to your surprise test.  At least he uses Psyche which reduces the penalty to -1 for each spell sustained. 

Only bound spirits can sustain a spell the character casts. and then only for its force rating in combat turns. So if it is a force 6 that means for only 18 seconds.

Under the Chaos tradition, Spirits of man are aligned with Illusion spells.  Spirits of Earth are the ones aligned with Health spells.  In the straight Hermetic Tradition Man is aligned with Health spells and the drain pool is Logic + Willpower.

Page 41 of the Grimoire:

["Assigning tasks outside of the general area of their tradition will not receive a response from the spirit (for example a Buddhist Mage telling an air spirit to heal him will get no response as Air is a Combat Spirit in that tradition, while the Health spirit is Earth)."] 

My Mystic Adept Wednesday (Black Magic Tradition) only uses Spirits of man for Manipulation spells (and only grants them Manipulation spells) which is their domain in that tradition.

Also the way I read Heightened Concentration (misnomered in SSP as "Heightened Concern") it only works for on a single "situational" modifier, not sure if spell sustaining falls under that (I could be wrong).  Now there is the Heightened Concentration quality, but that would need to be bought up to the force of the Increase Attribute spell (rating:  5 x 4 Karma = 20 Karma to cover a minimum force 5 spell).  Better off just buying several hits of Psyche as each would last for 9 hours with a 3 body, and he has 10 dice to avoid increasing the addiction (get Pharma grade and the addiction threshold is reduced by 1).  I would also ditch the "lightweight" quality as that reduces the addiction pool by -2.
« Last Edit: (18:17:17/01-25-19) by kyoto kid »
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FST_Gemstar

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« Reply #4 on: (20:33:36/01-25-19) »
I just find when playing, decking ends up being edge intensive. The processes of hacking thing out of a host (the things deckers tend to do) requires many sequential opposed tests, where failing a test at best starts the process over again, but often can just cause a lot of problems. Just variability in hit likelihood with decker dice pools over several tests makes failing one of these tests quite likely. Because of this, having some edge to spare is helpful.

Marcus

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« Reply #5 on: (20:40:27/01-25-19) »
FST_GEMSTAR!!! Your Alive!!
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Hobbes

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« Reply #6 on: (22:19:37/01-25-19) »
FST_GEMSTAR!!! Your Alive!!

Yes, now the question is was it his TMs that were crashing the forums or bringing them back?   

SmilinIrish

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« Reply #7 on: (18:19:30/01-26-19) »
...you have to be wary of background count. particularly with Adept powers that affect DPs like Attribute Boost, Senses, and Improved Ability. I would consider several points of Combat sense as  as that not only adds to your dodge, but grants you a perception test which adds dice to your surprise test.  At least he uses Psyche which reduces the penalty to -1 for each spell sustained. 

Only bound spirits can sustain a spell the character casts. and then only for its force rating in combat turns. So if it is a force 6 that means for only 18 seconds.



Also the way I read Heightened Concentration (misnomered in SSP as "Heightened Concern") it only works for on a single "situational" modifier, not sure if spell sustaining falls under that (I could be wrong).  Now there is the Heightened Concentration quality, but that would need to be bought up to the force of the Increase Attribute spell (rating:  5 x 4 Karma = 20 Karma to cover a minimum force 5 spell).  Better off just buying several hits of Psyche as each would last for 9 hours with a 3 body, and he has 10 dice to avoid increasing the addiction (get Pharma grade and the addiction threshold is reduced by 1).  I would also ditch the "lightweight" quality as that reduces the addiction pool by -2.

Damn, hadn't considered what would happen to this character with both background count and noise.  Thats a big problem too. 


Not talking about a spirit sustaining a spell I cast.  Talking about having a spirit of man cast and sustain a spell using the "innate spell" power.  Seems generally accepted that they can sustain their own spell for one service.

The quality is called Focused Concentration.  Any mage I've ever built uses it, but this build couldn't spare it.  Well, I suppose he would could drop 20 Karma of other qualities, but those little tricks and abilities are the fun part.  Part of what makes him so hard to catch.
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Hobbes

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« Reply #8 on: (21:04:15/01-26-19) »
Decrease Noise spell should handle your noise.  Psyche for your Sustains. 

I'd drop the combat spells for Debuffs.  And Influence can replace Mind Probe and Control whatever.  Influence "Tell me about your boss."  or "answer my questions"  "Jump"  "Go check the backroom"  ect. 

Personally I don't think mages need initiative.  Reckless cast Gravity Well and Mananet (or whatever you've got) and then drop behind complete cover.  Let the team mop up.  YMMV. 

You may have troubles if you need to sneak past any kind of Magical defenses.  You're dependent on sustains and spirits to do your basic hacking job.  Walking through a checkpoint you need to hack while juggling a sustain and a spirit could get dicey if there happens to be an Astral layer to the security. 

And, as mentioned, Noise and Background count will be problematic.  It's not uncommon for there to be both.   

Marcus

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« Reply #9 on: (21:42:12/01-26-19) »
FST_GEMSTAR!!! Your Alive!!

Yes, now the question is was it his TMs that were crashing the forums or bringing them back?

This tragically is probably a fair question.
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kyoto kid

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« Reply #10 on: (00:42:13/01-27-19) »
...you have to be wary of background count. particularly with Adept powers that affect DPs like Attribute Boost, Senses, and Improved Ability. I would consider several points of Combat sense as  as that not only adds to your dodge, but grants you a perception test which adds dice to your surprise test.  At least he uses Psyche which reduces the penalty to -1 for each spell sustained. 

Only bound spirits can sustain a spell the character casts. and then only for its force rating in combat turns. So if it is a force 6 that means for only 18 seconds.



Also the way I read Heightened Concentration (misnomered in SSP as "Heightened Concern") it only works for on a single "situational" modifier, not sure if spell sustaining falls under that (I could be wrong).  Now there is the Heightened Concentration quality, but that would need to be bought up to the force of the Increase Attribute spell (rating:  5 x 4 Karma = 20 Karma to cover a minimum force 5 spell).  Better off just buying several hits of Psyche as each would last for 9 hours with a 3 body, and he has 10 dice to avoid increasing the addiction (get Pharma grade and the addiction threshold is reduced by 1).  I would also ditch the "lightweight" quality as that reduces the addiction pool by -2.

Damn, hadn't considered what would happen to this character with both background count and noise.  Thats a big problem too. 


Not talking about a spirit sustaining a spell I cast.  Talking about having a spirit of man cast and sustain a spell using the "innate spell" power.  Seems generally accepted that they can sustain their own spell for one service.

The quality is called Focused Concentration.  Any mage I've ever built uses it, but this build couldn't spare it.  Well, I suppose he would could drop 20 Karma of other qualities, but those little tricks and abilities are the fun part.  Part of what makes him so hard to catch.
...yeah Focused Concentration is great for spells that rely mainly on hits rather than force.  My Mystic Adept Wednesday had Focused Concentration 1 to hold up an Improved Initiative spell as that is based on the number of hits scored. She uses Reagents to increase the limit to get the maximum hits possible and casts it as force 1. Yeah another mage if they assense her and notice it can blow it away after which she can simply cast it again
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FST_Gemstar

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« Reply #11 on: (10:25:12/01-28-19) »
FST_GEMSTAR!!! Your Alive!!

Yes, now the question is was it his TMs that were crashing the forums or bringing them back?

This tragically is probably a fair question.

Still kicking, folks! Lots of non-shadow life things going on. And my TMs know better to get near these dissonant forums!
« Last Edit: (13:03:13/01-28-19) by FST_Gemstar »

SmilinIrish

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« Reply #12 on: (12:49:42/01-29-19) »
Decrease Noise spell should handle your noise.  Psyche for your Sustains. 

I'd drop the combat spells for Debuffs.  And Influence can replace Mind Probe and Control whatever.  Influence "Tell me about your boss."  or "answer my questions"  "Jump"  "Go check the backroom"  ect. 

Personally I don't think mages need initiative.  Reckless cast Gravity Well and Mananet (or whatever you've got) and then drop behind complete cover.  Let the team mop up.  YMMV. 

You may have troubles if you need to sneak past any kind of Magical defenses.  You're dependent on sustains and spirits to do your basic hacking job.  Walking through a checkpoint you need to hack while juggling a sustain and a spirit could get dicey if there happens to be an Astral layer to the security. 

And, as mentioned, Noise and Background count will be problematic.  It's not uncommon for there to be both.

Thanks for the constructive feedback.  Influence is one of my favorite spells.  Trying to choose a different load out than my normal Heal, Improv Invis, Levitate, Influence set.  Figured a guy with poor social skills would be drawn to the mental manipulation spells.  I'd let that play out in character to how people react to it.  I'm surprised by how often people are saying drop combat skills (or telling the decker to sit tight during combat and let the Sams have their fun). As for mages needing initiative, I've found it critical for my current chaos mage as I usually go full defense right away, and still want to have two passes. 

Sneaking past magical security is one thing that is tripping up my current mage.  I love my drain stat boost and my initiative boost, but its pretty eye catching.  Picked up masking, grabbed a couple more spells with my last karma, extended masking is next, then flex sig.  But yes, needing them up to do basic hacking at a check point could be a problem. 

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kyoto kid

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« Reply #13 on: (16:45:35/01-29-19) »
...I've been in groups where it's "Geek the Mage" first then "Geek the Decker" (or TM) next.

Nice to have a little extra ability help one survive in the meat world instead of just be a bullet catcher.
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