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Shadowrun: Riggers and their drones

   
Riggers and their drones

Hi, everyone


While trying to build a Drone Rigger in a 4E Shadowrun game, I bounced into the following problem: the average drone, with Autosoft, has 6 dice in anything they do, 3 from the Pilot and 3 from the Autosoft, unless you upgrade its Response, System and Pilot and/or Autosoft. But this gets really expensive, really fast, and only goes up to 10 dice.
Now, AFAIK, a rule of thumb is that a shadowrunner needs to have 12 dice in their primary focus, and best a good deal more. Obviously, if your primary focus is drones and hence cannot go over 10, and even that at prohibitive - I get 28,500 Nuyen in upgrades alone, before any extra sensors, modifications, the drone itself, and possibly weapons- prices, then you have a problem.

So. Say, I have a budget of 150,000 Nuyen for Drones alone. What kind of drones can I acquire that, on one hand, have a chance of hitting the opponent in combat, or spotting them if they try to sneak past, or at least doing something halfway worthwhile, and on the other hand don't spend my time jumped into my one solitary 100,000 drone doing what the Street Sam could probably do better, albeit with slightly more risk for his survival and slightly less vulnerability to hackers?

Any advice concering cyber- and bioware and various other Rigger suggestions are also always immensely welcome. Thanks in advance.

First, software can be purchased once for all of your drones, so that saves some cash (unless you were already factoring that in).

Further than that, drones have an advantage that runners don't: numbers. You can have 4 Dalmatians with LMGs without too much difficulty, or a dozen of the drones with the little vibroblades, etc. Instead of LMGs, try fitting your Dalmatians/Steel Lynxes with grenade launchers. You now have a makeshift artillery battery to support you. Drone riggers should not be like "regular" riggers: focus on swarm tactics and having many drones, rather than rigging into your ultracool blinged out Nimrod (or whatever). When I play a drone rigger, I only rig into the drones very seldom, and only for the most delicate work (recon in tight quarters, for the most part). Cyber and bioware is the usual stuff, the INT enhancing bioware, the sleep regulator, PUSHED (or whatever camel case it is), etc. The math SPU can be handy, and if you can afford the money or the essence, the encephalon is kinda cool. Also make sure you have the best possible Signal and ECCM, to the point of having repeater drones and laser/microwave links if necessary - even Pilot 4 isn't so smart that you want it acting unsupervised.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minchandre View Post
First, software can be purchased once for all of your drones, so that saves some cash (unless you were already factoring that in).
Only if I crack the software, in which case that software decays over time. And I'd rather not have to re-buy all of my software every two months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minchandre View Post
Further than that, drones have an advantage that runners don't: numbers. You can have 4 Dalmatians with LMGs without too much difficulty, or a dozen of the drones with the little vibroblades, etc. Instead of LMGs, try fitting your Dalmatians/Steel Lynxes with grenade launchers. You now have a makeshift artillery battery to support you. Drone riggers should not be like "regular" riggers: focus on swarm tactics and having many drones, rather than rigging into your ultracool blinged out Nimrod (or whatever).
Is the advantage of having four buckets of bolts firing slingshots at the enemy over having a single T-1000 blast at them really significant enough to provide an advantage, though, especially at the cost it requires? Four Lynxes with Ares Antiochs and each a single clip cost 100920 Nuyen, and will be firing with 9 dice each, probably at enemies who are built to withstand 15-die attacks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minchandre View Post
Cyber and bioware is the usual stuff, the INT enhancing bioware, the sleep regulator, PUSHED (or whatever camel case it is), etc. The math SPU can be handy, and if you can afford the money or the essence, the encephalon is kinda cool.
The INT, I presume, if mainly there for construction skills, right?

This assumes, of course, that the rigger is leaving the drones in autonomous mode at all times. If he's remotely controlling the drone, his attacks are Command + Gunnery. Command is easy enough to get up to 5, maybe six with a hot 'link, and Gunnery is a skill like any other.

If he actually jumps into the drone, he gets a +2 for hot sim bonuses, and the attack rolls are Sensor + Gunnery. I believe that Arsenal has rules on how to goose up your sensor ratings without it being too ridiculously expensive, and you're in a much better place.

I took the dice rolls from a summary table on page 247 of the SR4A rules.

It's still not perfect - you can only be jumped into a single drone, for example, but it does quickly allow one to get past the 6 or 10 dice limitations.

You might go the route of simply hijacking other drones. You don't have to front the cost for the drones and blowback/trace falls on the owner (likely the security agency you're up against). In that case, you're looking to rig up just the one drone with hijacking ability and range extending abilities. This drone doesn't go into the fight so it is less likely to get wiped out.

Drones are expensive. Are you getting paid enough from the run to cover the cost of even one lost drone?

Reading threads like this makes me wish I still had a Shadowrun group. I haven't played since 1e. *sigh*





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