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Smartlink through the ages

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sigfriedmcwild

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« on: (19:30:49/09-18-19) »
Fueled by the disappointment in SR6, I've been diving into my old books and started looking at what the same character would be like across editions.

Anyway I was looking at Smartlink/Smartgun and what it required across editions:
  • 3rd: Game effect: -2TN to hit and allows switching mode and ejecting clips as a free action (there's also a smartlink-2 and some accessories you can add)
    Smartlink is an implant, if you don't want an implant, you can get smart goggles for a -1TN (and nothing else)
  • 4th: Game effect: +2 bonus on attacks and allows switching mode and ejecting clips as a free action
    Smartlink is a vision enhancement, you can put it in cyber eyes or goggles, nobody cares?
  • 5th: Game effect: +2 Accuracy, wireless bonus: +1/+2 bonus on attacks allows switching mode and ejecting clips as a free action
    Smartlink is a vision enhancement, you can put it in cyber eyes or goggles, you get the higher bonus to hit if it is implanted. There's some mention of a smartgun needing DNI for the wireless bonus, but I'm not entirely clear if that restriction is intended. Also if a character is wearing trodes which provide DNI without an implant can they get the wireless bonus? Do they still need the vision enhancement part?
  • 6th: Game effect: +2 Attack Rating, with DNI allows changing modes and reloading as a minor action, wireless bonus: +1 bonus on attack, gain a minor action when changing mode or reloading
    Smartlink is yet again a vision enhancement, there doesn't seem to be any bonus to implanting. Again DNI is mentioned as a requirement for getting the wireless bonus, which leads to the same questions as 5th

Does this seem correct? Did I miss something obvious? Is 4th really the best edition for the gun toting adept?

GuardDuty

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« Reply #1 on: (19:44:10/09-18-19) »
Could you clarify what you mean by nobody cares in your entry for 4th?

I was under the impression that going from -2TN to +2 dice was a pretty big nerf, myself, but I could be wrong about that.

sigfriedmcwild

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« Reply #2 on: (19:57:55/09-18-19) »
Nobody cares if the smartlink is implanted or not.

Yes, -2 TN is a much bigger bonus than +2 dice, but without implants in SR3 you only get -1TN (still a big bonus) and lose all the free actions.

SR4 is where not having an implanted smartlink is the closest relatively to the implanted smartlink in the same edition (SR6 may also be there, depending on how the DNI requirements are interpreted)

GuardDuty

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« Reply #3 on: (20:03:30/09-18-19) »
Personal preference in SR3, I'd take the implant and something else small like a datajack or cybereyes/ears, then geas the lost point.  Pretty dangerous with Improved Ability (preferred firearm skill).

mcv

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« Reply #4 on: (05:09:00/09-19-19) »
Yeah, -2 TN was huge in 2nd and 3rd edition. It was the only cyberware my overpowered 2nd edition shaman got, because there's no way you're going to shoot guns without it.

By comparison, the 5e +2 bonus to your limit was disappointing. The wireless bonus does more than the implant itself, which feels weird. Although you could argue that without wireless you can't even contact your gun, so maybe it makes sense that wireless is pretty much a requirement for this.

sigfriedmcwild

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« Reply #5 on: (06:03:16/09-19-19) »
Yeah, SR3 -> SR4 -> SR5 is a steady stream of nerfs to smartlink it feels like.

And yeah, getting the implant and geasing that magic point is definitely a very strong option.

Xenon

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« Reply #6 on: (18:25:38/09-19-19) »
::5th edition::

The smartgun features are accessed either by:
 
universal access port cable to an imaging device (like glasses, goggles, or a datajack for someone with cybereyes)
This give you the following bonuses:
1. Built in camera (which let you shoot around corner without taking the blind fire modifier)
3. Built in laser range finder
4. Keep track of ammunition, heat buildup, and material stress (which increase the accuracy limit by 2 if you have a smartlink)
5. Firing the gun as a simple action without pressing a physical button
6a. Eject clip as a simple action without pressing a physical button
7a. Switch firing mode as simple action without pressing a physical button


...or by:

a wireless connection working in concert with direct neural interface.
This give you the following bonuses:
1. Built in camera (which let you shoot around corner without taking the blind fire modifier)
3. Built in laser range finder
4. Keep track of ammunition, heat buildup, and material stress (which increase the accuracy limit by 2 if you have a smartlink)
5. Firing the gun as a simple action without pressing a physical button
6b. Eject clip as a free action without pressing a physical button
7b. Switch firing mode as free action without pressing a physical button
8. Compensate for wind 1 category
9. Gain both Accuracy and Dice pool modifier at the same time from Take Aim actions
10. Positive dice pool modifier of +1 or +2 dice (external or internal smartlink)



There's some mention of a smartgun needing DNI for the wireless bonus, but I'm not entirely clear if that restriction is intended.
Without DNI you can't send free mental commands to eject clip or change firing mode and without DNI the smartgun system cannot move your body in real-time to compensate for wind or target movement etc which give you bonus dice to hit.

You don't need DNI for firing around corners, gaining +2 accuracy, taking a simple action to eject clip, fire gun or change firing mode without physically touching the gun (for example by using an AR glove to modify an ARO).


Also if a character is wearing trodes which provide DNI without an implant can they get the wireless bonus?
Yes. You can get DNI by wearing trodes or by implanting a datajack, cyberdeck, commlink or control rig.


Do they still need the vision enhancement part?
Yes. A complete Smartgun System consist of both a Smartgun firearm accessory (internal or external) and a Smartlink visual enhancement (internal or external).
« Last Edit: (18:39:12/09-19-19) by Xenon »

darthor45

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« Reply #7 on: (22:00:25/09-19-19) »
This actually seems to be a little more nuanced (and some might say complicated) in SR6.  Personally speaking, I don't see this as a bad thing, but it's a little in depth.

For one thing, pg. 251, all firearms have a Wireless bonus now.  If your gun's wireless bonus is turned on, you get a digital ammo counter and an ARO that tells you what kind of ammo you have loaded.  And if you have DNI with your wireless firearm, you get a bonus Minor Action when you eject a clip (for weapons that have cilps) or change firing mode if your weapon has an firing mode.  Something to note, however, "Reload a Smartgun" is distinctly a separate action from "Reload Weapon."  So the wireless bonus doesn't change the action type, it just gives you a bonus Minor Action.  Since reloading your non-smartgun is a Major Action you're getting... half credit(?) when you have wireless on a standard gun now and you reload?  A little weird, but harmless, I suppose.

Basic bonuses of a smartgun system in 6e is the camera and range finder which allow firing around a corner without penalty (and the camera has capacity for upgrading).  It also lets you keep track of ammo.  And if you have DNI, you can eject a clip and change firing mode.  This might sound the same as any gun now since all guns have that option with wireless but the smartgun will do that without having wireless on.  You'll need to connect via a data cable to do that, I suppose, but you don't have to expose your gun to a hacker to control the gun like you would a standard gun.  The computer and software are pre-loaded on the smartgun instead of needing to outsource it over a network.  You can also pull the trigger of the gun without needing to actually touch it, which is something a smartgun can do that a standard gun can't.

Reading the system as written and in order, you need the smartlink system to get the +2 Attack bonus.  So no visual enhancement, no increase to your gun's accuracy.  If you skip to the smartlink visual enhancement, it's basic function is that it displays all the visuals that your gun is spitting out (presumably, with or without needing an image link system).  It also provides a targeting dot to targets within line of sight.  Presumably, again, this means that if the target isn't in your line of sight you don't get the +2 Attack bonus for using the smartgun since that applies "when using a smartlink" and that doesn't seem to work on targets out of line of sight (like when firing from cover or otherwise using the smartgun camera).  I'm okay with this strict interpretation of the RAW because that seems logical.

Last step with the smartgun is that if you are using wireless and connected to a network, then you get +1 dice to the actual attack roll and bonus Minor Actions when reloading (which is a Minor Action when reloading a smartgun) and changing firing mode.


--TLDR, smartguns in 6e are more like any other gun than they were in previous editions, but can do quite a few things that regular guns can't.

Universal Data Connector:
1) They allow you to do some of what other guns do wirelessly without wireless being required
2) They'll let you fire without pulling the trigger which standard guns don't do
3) Simply by the nature of the Actions themselves, they're faster to reload so you only need a Minor Action regardless of wireless on/off
4) If linked to a smartlink that you're able to use for the action, they give a +2 Attack bonus
5) Fire from cover without penalty (may or may not lose the +2 Attack when doing this depending on interpretation of smartlink)

Wireless:
6) Everything above plus... you get +1 attack dice and get the Minor Actions that any gun gets when wireless now
« Last Edit: (22:02:24/09-19-19) by darthor45 »

sigfriedmcwild

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« Reply #8 on: (03:45:17/09-20-19) »
Thanks for the clarifications on SR5 and SR6

Xenon

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« Reply #9 on: (12:52:43/09-20-19) »
For one thing, pg. 251, all firearms have a Wireless bonus now.  If your gun's wireless bonus is turned on, you get a digital ammo counter and an ARO that tells you what kind of ammo you have loaded.  And if you have DNI with your wireless firearm, you get a bonus Minor Action when you eject a clip (for weapons that have cilps) or change firing mode if your weapon has an firing mode. 
This is nothing new. Wireless firearms (both wireless smartguns and regular wireless firearms) had the exact same behavior in SR5.



Basic bonuses of a smartgun system in 6e is the camera and range finder which allow firing around a corner without penalty (and the camera has capacity for upgrading).  It also lets you keep track of ammo. 
This is also SR5 benefits
(smartgun comes with a built in camera, firing from behind cover was -6 dice in SR5 or -3 with a camera, while Cover IV is -2 in SR6 or -0 with a camera)


You can also pull the trigger of the gun without needing to actually touch it, which is something a smartgun can do that a standard gun can't.
This is also a feature from SR5.

Reading the system as written
Smartgun SYSTEM consist of both a smartgun and a smartlink.


Presumably, again, this means that if the target isn't in your line of sight you don't get the +2 Attack bonus for using the smartgun since that applies "when using a smartlink" and that doesn't seem to work on targets out of line of sight (like when firing from cover or otherwise using the smartgun camera).  I'm okay with this strict interpretation of the RAW because that seems logical.
It is in your line of sight since the smartgun comes with a camera. The dot will show up on the line of sight of your camera that your smartlink visual enhancement will display to your eyes / brain.

Was the same in SR5.



Last step with the smartgun is that if you are using wireless and connected to a network, then you get +1 dice to the actual attack roll and bonus Minor Actions when reloading (which is a Minor Action when reloading a smartgun) and changing firing mode.
Also in SR5.

darthor45

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« Reply #10 on: (15:04:39/09-20-19) »
Not sure if you meant to come off as condescending as you did, but thanks for the clarification!

I was referring specifically to SR6, not comparing. But I can see how the way I started my post might have come off like I was disagreeing with you and I should have been more clear.

Sorry about that! My pedantry gets away from me sometimes.

Seeing it side by side is helpful, though
« Last Edit: (15:20:29/09-20-19) by darthor45 »

Marcus

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« Reply #11 on: (17:24:12/09-20-19) »
So yes, there is no doubt that 6e's Smartlink is pretty much the worst one was have seen to date, but that's not surprising as the same can be said about 6e in general. Now AR is just slightly less useless then DR, don't get me wrong it's still mostly useless.  But of the two AR vs DR, if the thing is going to work then AR is the one to bet on. Yes sense all you can get for success is a point of edge, and as I think we have gone through there is just too many points of failure and thus we see it achieve mostly uselessness. As with ADPS ammo, the advantage is we can now remove smartlinks from the need to buy list. So that's some kind silver-lining.

 


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darthor45

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« Reply #12 on: (18:06:13/09-20-19) »
So yes, there is no doubt that 6e's Smartlink is pretty much the worst one was have seen to date, but that's not surprising as the same can be said about 6e in general.

Well, that's not what I took away from it, but your gaming table, your interpretation, right?

ZeroSum

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« Reply #13 on: (21:11:22/09-20-19) »
Anyway I was looking at Smartlink/Smartgun and what it required across editions:

Ah, a reason to dust off my old books! Since 1st and 2nd was not on your list, I've brought out my old copies and provided them below:
  • 1st: Game effect: -2 Target Number, used in Resisted Success Tests during Fire Combat. No effect on reloading.
    Requires a smartgun, which is either a built-in version or an adapter type, as well as an implanted smartgun link (without this, the smartgun "hardware is just dead weight"). Incompatible with Smart Goggles, which are -1 TN
  • 2nd: Game effect: As previous, but also adds Change Smartgun Fire Mode and Eject Smartgun Clip as free actions (smartgun must be readied in order to use these).
    Requires a Smartgun System, which is either Internal or External, and a Smartgun Link or Smart Goggles (which determines the modifier). Interestingly, this edition adds Laser Sights, which for all intents and purposes are compatible with Smartgun Systems as far as I can remember / find.

Not much change from 1st through 3rd, honestly. I would be interested to review if the overall dice pool changes throughout the editions further changed how the TN reduction / dice pool modifier impacted the benefit of a smartgun. But, that'll have to wait until tomorrow.

GuardDuty

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« Reply #14 on: (22:48:42/09-20-19) »
    Anyway I was looking at Smartlink/Smartgun and what it required across editions:
    • 2nd: Game effect: As previous, but also adds Change Smartgun Fire Mode and Eject Smartgun Clip as free actions (smartgun must be readied in order to use these).
      Requires a Smartgun System, which is either Internal or External, and a Smartgun Link or Smart Goggles (which determines the modifier). Interestingly, this edition adds Laser Sights, which for all intents and purposes are compatible with Smartgun Systems as far as I can remember / find.


    SR2, p. 240, under laser sights:  "Such sights may not be used with any kind of smartlink system."