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Skillwires in 6th

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Chalkarts

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« on: <01-08-20/0812:50> »
I'm still researching 6e.
The Jury is still out.
One of my favorite pieces of cybergear since the early eaditions, has been the Skillwires.
I know a lot of people have problems with them in 5e because they were pricey and they didn't benefit from edge, but I've never stopped loving them.

From what I've seen of 6th I have to ask, as it pertains specifically to Skillwires, what did they do to them?
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: <01-08-20/0827:52> »
I'm away from my books, but IIRC the nuyen cost is the same but the essence cost went down. Most cyberware has lower essence cost now compared to 5e. And that's before the retuned grade rules that make used cyber so very attractive. (50% price for +10% essence cost? Yes, please..)

Another thing new is you can indeed spend edge on skillwires skills...as a wireless bonus.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Chalkarts

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« Reply #2 on: <01-08-20/0838:12> »
I'm away from my books, but IIRC the nuyen cost is the same but the essence cost went down. Most cyberware has lower essence cost now compared to 5e. And that's before the retuned grade rules that make used cyber so very attractive. (50% price for +10% essence cost? Yes, please..)

Another thing new is you can indeed spend edge on skillwires skills...as a wireless bonus.

A: That could be cool, the Skillwire character I have built for 5e has used skillwires
B: I still can't decide how I feel about 6e edge, but with what they've done to it, it makes sense that you can use it on everything, even chipped skills.
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Sphinx

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« Reply #3 on: <01-08-20/1147:01> »
Skilljack (rating 1–6) = Rating x 0.1 Essence, Avail 4, Rating x 20,000¥
Skillwires (rating 1–6) = Rating x 0.1 Essence, Avail 4, Rating x 20,000¥

Note that, although the nuyen costs are the same as they were in SR5, skills in SR6 are much broader (essentially the same as an SR5 skill group), so it's a much better value.

Chalkarts

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« Reply #4 on: <01-08-20/1300:15> »
Skilljack (rating 1–6) = Rating x 0.1 Essence, Avail 4, Rating x 20,000¥
Skillwires (rating 1–6) = Rating x 0.1 Essence, Avail 4, Rating x 20,000¥

Note that, although the nuyen costs are the same as they were in SR5, skills in SR6 are much broader (essentially the same as an SR5 skill group), so it's a much better value.

6 only works in skill groups, not individual skills?
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Sphinx

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« Reply #5 on: <01-08-20/1359:47> »
6 only works in skill groups, not individual skills?

Pretty much. For example, Firearms is a single skill in 6E, incorporating what used to be Automatics, Longarms, and Pistols in 5E.

Chalkarts

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« Reply #6 on: <01-08-20/1445:25> »
6 only works in skill groups, not individual skills?

Pretty much. For example, Firearms is a single skill in 6E, incorporating what used to be Automatics, Longarms, and Pistols in 5E.

Did 6e do for SR what 4e did for D&D?(Probably a question for another thread)
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Trigger Lynx

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« Reply #7 on: <02-15-20/1845:07> »
Did 6e do for SR what 4e did for D&D?(Probably a question for another thread)

I felt the same sort of vibe as well. While everyone's opinion will differ, the latest editions from both brands feel like a "spiritual successor " to the 2nd edition rules of DnD and SR.

I'm also a fan of skillsofts from SR2, and I enjoyed how they were handled in SR4 with Knowsofts/Linguasofts being ran from your commlink and Activesofts running off your 'ware. The only thing that didn't make Skillwires a viable alternative to natural skills was the prohibitive cost and maximum Rating due to Availability at chargen.

Not sure how I feel about SR6's iteration though. On the one hand, you can slot a bunch of Rating 6 Activesofts and be an ultimate badass if you have the nuyen for it, with the drawback that if your Skillwires get hacked you're virtually worthless. On the other hand, Skilljacks are completely unnecessary from a world-setting point of view. A year ago you could run Knowsofts and Linguasofts from your commlink, now you have to have cyberware to do it.  And the Rating/Essence/Nuyen increase of Skilljacks only effect Linguasoft/Activesoft Ratings, which could have been easily mitigated by making the software cost more instead of removing a technology that's existed for 15 years and replacing it with the technology from 30 years ago.

EDIT: Spelling.
« Last Edit: <02-15-20/1851:34> by Trigger Lynx »

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #8 on: <02-15-20/1855:27> »
The argument 'it worked a year ago' shouldn't be used, unless you absolutely insist on receiving some canon explanation that people then angrily discard. In the end, any edition rebalances will mean tech changes. Merely saying 'knowsofts/linguasofts used to be allowed to use cloud computing, now they're no longer allowed by matrix protocols' is already enough to explain the nerf, and honestly, does it matter? Ware became cheaper, more expensive, cheaper over editions. We no longer use individual skills. Metatype points changed, qualities changed, the entire system is rebalanced and so there's no point in going 'well things worked differently in previous editions'. We're living in this edition, and we're arguing from what we have here, not what we had in the past.
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penllawen

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« Reply #9 on: <02-15-20/1856:37> »
For example, Firearms is a single skill in 6E, incorporating what used to be Automatics, Longarms, and Pistols in 5E.
Alhough, Firearms also used to be a single skill in 2e, it didn’t get split up into the pistols/automatics/etc until 3e. (It included LMGs too, in those days.) I don’t mind this change. I’m less keen on the slightly weird mutant that is 6e’s version of Athletics, though. 

Trigger Lynx

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« Reply #10 on: <02-15-20/2022:18> »
The argument 'it worked a year ago' shouldn't be used, unless you absolutely insist on receiving some canon explanation that people then angrily discard. In the end, any edition rebalances will mean tech changes. Merely saying 'knowsofts/linguasofts used to be allowed to use cloud computing, now they're no longer allowed by matrix protocols' is already enough to explain the nerf, and honestly, does it matter? Ware became cheaper, more expensive, cheaper over editions. We no longer use individual skills. Metatype points changed, qualities changed, the entire system is rebalanced and so there's no point in going 'well things worked differently in previous editions'. We're living in this edition, and we're arguing from what we have here, not what we had in the past.

Right, but we have canon explanations for why things have changed over the course of different editions:

The Unified Magic Theory explains why the Traditions work differently than they did in the past, how Force/Drain works, what type of different spirits can be summoned,  etc.

The Wireless Matrix Initiative completely redefined what the digital world was and how deckers and Technomancers accessed and manipulated the information within it, while the Grid Overwatch Division represents the "in-game enforcer" of why the new Matrix rules work the way they do.

Qualities such as low-light vision and dermal deposits are available to all Metatypes at chargen, with SURGE and geneware being examples of why they have that option instead of needing augmentations that were necessary in previous editions.

Between 2078 and 2080 something happened that warranted Skillsoft technology to get blasted back to 2050. This doesn't just affect the Shadow Community, as it's been stated repeatedly throughout editions that the majority of "skilled labor" is represented by chipped wage slaves. That's a huge, world changing decision without even a summary explanation. I'll just assume it has something to do with the fear surrounding Cognitive Fragmentation Disorder or somesuch.

There, I made a plausible reason for having to nerf he second-most important, pervasive tech in the world. You can have that one for free.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #11 on: <02-16-20/0251:06> »
CFD was the in-universe reason why Ware prices changed significantly between SR4 and SR5, and there were people who complained about it and came with the same complaints you mentioned about Skillwires. So eh, I don't think many complainers would be satisfied to begin with.
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Trigger Lynx

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« Reply #12 on: <02-16-20/0935:07> »
CFD was the in-universe reason why Ware prices changed significantly between SR4 and SR5, and there were people who complained about it and came with the same complaints you mentioned about Skillwires. So eh, I don't think many complainers would be satisfied to begin with.

Fair enough, omae. I have no real working knowledge of SR5 mechanics, just the basic outline of the various metaplots.  So it's not too far a stretch that CFD is responsible for Skilljacks coming back. That's all I needed.

Hobbes

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« Reply #13 on: <02-16-20/1000:28> »
Just realized, Skillwires can't do Exotic Weapons.  Exotic Weapons are Specializations, which Skillwires don't do.  Can't imagine it matters to any real character out there.  But instant Monowhip Expert, not a thing.  Go out there and Practice, Practice, Practice....

penllawen

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« Reply #14 on: <02-16-20/1010:58> »
Skilljack (rating 1–6) = Rating x 0.1 Essence, Avail 4, Rating x 20,000¥
Skillwires (rating 1–6) = Rating x 0.1 Essence, Avail 4, Rating x 20,000¥

Note that, although the nuyen costs are the same as they were in SR5, skills in SR6 are much broader (essentially the same as an SR5 skill group), so it's a much better value.
I was curious so I ran the numbers on that.

Assuming a simplistic scenario where you just get R6 Activesofts, in SR5, a skillwire system pays for itself at 5 skills. To get five skills to rating 6 in SR5 costs 210 karma; to get a skillsoft system with five ActiveSofts at rating 6 costs the nuyen equivalent of 195 karma.

Under 6e, with the "skill increases cost 5x new rating" rule, the crossover point at which skillwires become cheaper than real skills is just two. Getting two real skills to rating 6 costs 210 karma, but getting two ActiveSofts at rating 6 costs the equivalent of 150 karma. (Caveat: you can't use Edge on the skillwire rolls. Still not bad though.)

That's a significant buff.

Note that you could replicate this buff very easily in a 5e game by keeping everything the same but making ActiveSofts cover whole skill groups. I'm tempted to do this for my campaign; I think skillwires are unimpressive in 5e's RAW.