PDA

View Full Version : [Shadowrun 4e] Wireless Cyberware?



Laniius
2011-03-29, 08:51 PM
I'm going to be running a shadowrun campaign shortly, and want to know what the benefits are to players for having their equipment (from binoculars to cyberware) networked. Or is networked the default? I have a paranoid group and this is my first time running it or playing in it, so I don't know what the rules are on having networked vs nonnetworked gear is. I want to be able to hack the street samurai's cyberarm once in a while, but I don't want to ban non-networked gear if an option exists. Help a chummer out? I've never played in or ran Shadowrun but played the Genesis game back in the day and was practically raised on the books (cheesy though they were) so want to do right by it.

Another question while I'm at it: spirits. Should the GM run them or should the PC? If the PC runs them it seems to give them too much power in their court, and if the GM runs it it seems to take away from some of the fun of the class. I don't recall there being any definitive answer on this in the books either.

TheCoelacanth
2011-03-29, 09:44 PM
The relevant rule is on page 304. By default, any electronic or mechanical device is assumed to be wireless-enabled. The wireless functionality can be disabled on command. Permanently disabling the functionality takes a Hardware + Logic (8, 10 minutes) extended test.

Seerow
2011-03-29, 10:00 PM
Another question while I'm at it: spirits. Should the GM run them or should the PC? If the PC runs them it seems to give them too much power in their court, and if the GM runs it it seems to take away from some of the fun of the class. I don't recall there being any definitive answer on this in the books either.


I think strictly by RAW, the GM controls the spirit. I had a personal experience with a new player being given a conjurer using that ruling though, and it was a terrible experience for that player, and turned them off to the game for a while. Consider if you have a character where all you can do is "I summon the spirit. Okay now I'm going to sit in the corner and play WoW on my laptop for the next 30 minutes til the next turn is up" it really sucks. On the other hand, if you're doing something a bit more well balanced, where you have summons going on, a spirit or two on your side while you also have 3-4 initiative passes yourself and are doing a lot on your own, I'd argue that letting it stand with the spirits in the GMs control is fine.

Basically, I'd say leave it up to GM adjucation, taking into account what it is the character is actually contributing.


The relevant rule is on page 304. By default, any electronic or mechanical device is assumed to be wireless-enabled. The wireless functionality can be disabled on command. Permanently disabling the functionality takes a Hardware + Logic (8, 10 minutes) extended test.


Translation of this: You can start out basically saying it's off, and most smart runners probably will. That test means it takes about 30 minutes for anyone halfway competent to do it, at no cost.

If it's not another runner you're dealing with, it's more of a GM call whether they'd think they would have it disabled or not. For example, a corporate lackey might have all his cyberware wireless enabled so the local spider can install new upgrades to his software on the fly, or to allow for easier diagnostics/upgrades or whatever. (Though this is generally an argument for something like Skillwires as opposed to full cyberlimbs, which generally have less reason to be left wirelessly enabled)

fazzamar
2011-03-29, 10:14 PM
The question that comes to mind is how easy is it to turn the wireless back on. Long gone are the days of DNI's being required for mental control, or are they? Can you turn off and on your cyberarm and move-by-wire's wireless with a mental command or does it require more physical methods, while not a problem for a cyberarm, a move-by-wire, not so easy. I have yet to see a reason for a shadowrunner, merc, security guard, or cop to have wireless running on something other than a smartlink and whatever they use to see it with (cyber eyes, contacts, what-not), and even then it's iffy having it wireless cause hacked cybereye or contact = blind.

TheCoelacanth
2011-03-30, 01:19 AM
The question that comes to mind is how easy is it to turn the wireless back on. Long gone are the days of DNI's being required for mental control, or are they? Can you turn off and on your cyberarm and move-by-wire's wireless with a mental command or does it require more physical methods, while not a problem for a cyberarm, a move-by-wire, not so easy.

Page 304 says that you can turn it off mentally, but you have to turn it back on physically, unless you set it to turn back on at a pre-determined time.

comicshorse
2011-03-30, 08:20 AM
I have yet to see a reason for a shadowrunner, merc, security guard, or cop to have wireless running on something other than a smartlink and whatever they use to see it with (cyber eyes, contacts, what-not), and even then it's iffy having it wireless cause hacked cybereye or contact = blind.

I may be misunderstanding how this works but I can see a reason for security gaurds or cops to have wireless running, at least for their cybereyes. It enables the bosses safe back at base to observe whats going on.
Even if you kill the security gaurd he's still a witness as everything he's seen will have been seen by Control (and probably recorded as well). Not to mention would you dare slack off if you knew your boss could be looking through your eyes at any given moment (" Ah reading the Seattle Enquirer on duty again are we, we must speak about that")
For cops there's the fact that it means any crimes he's present at are recorded for evidence, and is going to make people a lot more wary about attcking him. Not to mention the possibilities of having the feed from his eyes hooked up to a database of the Most Wanted.
For Mercs. recon will be much better when you senior officers don't have to hear your report they can view what you see as you see it. Also a lot of the Corporate Mercenary stuff, particularly Desert Wars, is done for T.V., live images of the action from the Mercs point of view would be very popular.

Mark Hall
2011-03-30, 10:19 AM
I'm going to be running a shadowrun campaign shortly, and want to know what the benefits are to players for having their equipment (from binoculars to cyberware) networked. Or is networked the default? I have a paranoid group and this is my first time running it or playing in it, so I don't know what the rules are on having networked vs nonnetworked gear is. I want to be able to hack the street samurai's cyberarm once in a while, but I don't want to ban non-networked gear if an option exists. Help a chummer out? I've never played in or ran Shadowrun but played the Genesis game back in the day and was practically raised on the books (cheesy though they were) so want to do right by it.

Having your stuff networked kind of depends on the stuff and the character. In some cases, it's simply cosmetic... your networked binoculars can be controlled cybernetically by you, rather than fiddling around with the controls. You may also be able to use head memory to store things seen, depending on the image enhancement used (optical or digital).
For a smartgun, you need to have a wireless link, unless you're going for the old-fashioned wired link (either through the arm or a cable running up to your jack/eye enhancements). A networked smart gun also keeps the ammo counter in your eye, can eject clips with a thought and the like... even fire at mental command if placed on a table a few feet away (they don't have a big Signal score).

What you want to do is have your hacker sit down with everyone and turn most of their gear either off. Sure, you need to turn on your connectivity in your arm every now and again to get driver updates and the like, but most runners are going to want it off unless they're sitting safe.



Another question while I'm at it: spirits. Should the GM run them or should the PC? If the PC runs them it seems to give them too much power in their court, and if the GM runs it it seems to take away from some of the fun of the class. I don't recall there being any definitive answer on this in the books either.

Generally, I let players run their conjured spirits, but with the DM acting as a brake or veto, and setting their personality. "My spirit flys into the cyclotron" isn't going to happen outside of rare circumstances, but if the player has conjured a Spirit of Man and wants it to cast a spell, there's no real reason to prevent the player from rolling for it.

If the player is interrogating the spirit, then the DM plays it. For example, if you've summoned a watcher spirit and told it to follow someone, the GM plays it when it flys up and starts babbling about whatever it saw.

Think of it as a friendly, temporary, NPC of known abilities (like a fighter henchman hired by the party). There's no reason not to have a PC control it, mechanically, even if the DM can still say "No, he's not going to do that" when it comes to choices.