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Skillwires in 6th

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Chalkarts

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« Reply #15 on: <02-16-20/1034:46> »
I think skillwires are unimpressive in 5e's RAW.

Which depresses me to no end.
My first character, 3rd ed, was a skillwire face.  He was awesome.  I have always had a soft spot for Skillwires.
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Hobbes

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« Reply #16 on: <02-16-20/1849:42> »
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.

Skillwire's main cost is the opportunity cost of the Nuyen at chargen for other Augments.  R6 Skilljack, and Skillwire (both used), is 120k and another 30k for each skill.  4 Skills at 6, so you're up to 240k Nuyen.  24 Skill points for 240K Nuyen.  And you've still got to get Attribute and Initiative Augments in, somehow.  Even at A resources that's going to be a challenge.  And you've given up 8 Attribute points by dropping Attributes to at best a B.

If it's your Concept, absolutely, dive in.  But at Rating 6, you're really committing.

Personally I think Rating 2 is also sweet spot.  Dump Skill Priority, grab your off skills with Nuyen, load up on cheap Knowsofts and Linguasofts.  feasible to add to any build and you're the team's Jack of All trades.  You'll only need 10 or so Activesofts to have all the Active Skills, then it's just grab random Knowsofts for Triva night.

penllawen

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« Reply #17 on: <02-17-20/0444:45> »
Those are all good points. I chose R6 slightly randomly, might be fun to do R2 ones though.

The other thing at play here is the different optimisation strategies of priority gen vs karma gen / character advancement, of course. SR’s two very different character creation paradigms complicate analysis like this.

There’s also 5e’s skillwires-plus-initiative move-by-wire to consider. I started running numbers on that as an option but it’s really hard to evaluate. If you want skillwires and you want high initiative it can be quite good value though, I think.

I wonder if there’s an iteration of the SR rules where skillwires become the iconic mainstay of faces and infiltrators, like wired reflexes for sammys or VCRs for riggers...

Banshee

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« Reply #18 on: <02-17-20/1600:00> »
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.

Well there is also the argument that 4E commlinks were broken since they were effectively ipod sized super computers that could do any and all matrix activities for a extreme minimal investment. 5E corrected that and 6E continued it.
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Trigger Lynx

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« Reply #19 on: <02-17-20/2055:17> »
Broken? As compared to what? It's not like they came out of the box as game breaking hack machines. You needed to buy an OS, programs, Agents, IC, accessories, etc. to be an effective hacker, and those were far from an "extreme minimal investment".

Banshee

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« Reply #20 on: <02-17-20/2132:54> »
Broken? As compared to what? It's not like they came out of the box as game breaking hack machines. You needed to buy an OS, programs, Agents, IC, accessories, etc. to be an effective hacker, and those were far from an "extreme minimal investment".

What you just described was the problem with them though. All you needed was a commlink with a halfway decent OS ... minimal cost there and anyone can buy them. Then if you didn't have the skill just buy an Agent ... again just some nuyen and no need for any real investment. The rest is just more stuff you could buy but wasn't neccessary.

So the end result is everybody on the team was a at least passable hacker by the time they went on 5 missions at most. Completely deluted the matrix specialist role.

So no not broken for game mechanics exactly but was definitely broken for parity.
Robert "Banshee" Volbrecht
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Trigger Lynx

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« Reply #21 on: <02-17-20/2311:33> »
You make a point with "everyone on the team can buy the goodies ", but the same could be said about everything else other than magical items. Everyone could buy weapons, armor, vehicles, drones, 'ware, etc. And without having any Electronics skills, the only way to do anything Matrix-wise had to be done with an agent. I do see where you're coming from, I just don't think that commlinks are exclusive to possible "cross-class" abuse.

Banshee

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« Reply #22 on: <02-18-20/0855:37> »
You make a point with "everyone on the team can buy the goodies ", but the same could be said about everything else other than magical items. Everyone could buy weapons, armor, vehicles, drones, 'ware, etc. And without having any Electronics skills, the only way to do anything Matrix-wise had to be done with an agent. I do see where you're coming from, I just don't think that commlinks are exclusive to possible "cross-class" abuse.

To a certain extent yes ... but for all of those other "cross class" situations the best you can hope for is a splash without significant nuyen and karma/time investment... 4E hacking could be done with just nuyen

Ultimately though is what I getting to is that back to the topic of this thread... commlinks only allowed skillsofts use in 4E because they were capable of much more than commlinks in any other edition. 6E skillwires are functionally identical to 5E and extremely similar to 2e and 3e.
Robert "Banshee" Volbrecht
Freelancer & FAQ Committee member
Former RPG Lead Agent
Catalyst Demo Team