Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Let's Build: A Rigger

I'm going to let you in on a dirty little secret. I love Riggers. I rarely get to play, and most of my groups don't have a PC rigger, so it's a rare day indeed when I get to show my love for the guy in the van with the shotgun. Did you ever notice the Rigger almost always has a shotgun? Or, is it just my groups. Anyway. In honor of Gun H(e)aven 3, and my now un-closeted love of Riggers. I'm going to build a PC rigger. Normal build rules, no street level here, and we shall see how he comes out!

As you may know from my earlier Let's Build, I prefer human characters. However, I'm going to set myself a challenge with this one, and will build a Metahuman rigger. I'm also setting myself the goal of building a character that isn't going to be content with sitting in his car, and letting his drones have all the fun.

Now comes the hard choices.

I want to have a large pool of money, so my initial thought is to assign Resources to Priority A. However, I've said I'm not going to run a Human, and if I want to run a Troll, I really should make Metatype my Priority A. I think, in this case, I'm going to have to let money, and my leftover Karma keep me afloat. So, Resources gets Priority A.

With that settled, Priority B gets Attributes. As I strongly feel that your attribute scores should be as high as possible.

That leaves me C, and D. If I make C skills, then D has to be my Metatype, which in this case would mean Elf (0) Which, if I must admit, is hardly ideal. However, I don't want to have 22 skill points either.

Elf (0) it is then.

Resources: A - ¥450,000
Attributes: B - 20
Skills: C - 28/2
Metatype : D - Elf (0)
Magic: E

Body: 3/6 - 2 pts.
Agility: 6/7 - 4 pts.
Reaction: 5/6 - 4 pts.
Strength: 3/6 - 2 pts.
Willpower: 3/6 - 2 pts.
Logic: 5/6 - 4 pts.
Intuition: 3/6 - 2 pts.
Charisma: 3/8 - 0 pts.
Edge: 1/6

I went for a more general spread, maxing out Reaction for the piloting skills, but at the same time, not leaving any real holes in terms of a weak attribute, or a low limit. The advantage of playing a non-Human character is that you don't have to spend points on the boosted attribute, to still have a solid attribute. Charisma in my case, with no additional points, is still a 3.

As I've stated earlier I love qualities. I think it's a great way to add flavor to a character. For my Rigger, I had a few in mind. However, I have a slight issue, my Edge attribute is a 1. This, is a very bad idea. So, I'm going to plan on bumping this to a 3 with Karma. However, that means that my 25 Karma I'm given has been spoken for, so any positive qualities must have a matching negative quality to balance out the Karma.

SINner - Corporate SIN: This is a huge 25 point negative quality I take very rarely. However, I love the back story possibilities that come with it. In my case, I'm going to say it's a Mitsuhama SIN

Juryrigger: This is another favorite of mine, I love the idea that I can coax just a little more life out of scrap, and it dovetails nicely with...

Gearhead: Yep, I'm the pilot you're looking for. This is a great 11 pt. positive quality. It let's you get just a little more bang out of your equipment when you really need to. Plus, when added to the bonuses from Juryrigger, you can make a drone do magic, for 1D6 minutes, then well, it bricks itself.

This leaves me with 4 extra Karma, for Contacts.

Next, we need skills. This is always a hard part for me, as I want to take points in absolutely everything, and then have to scale back until I'm in budget. For this character, budget means 28/2. Let's start with the skill group.

For the skill group, I'm going with Engineering. This gives me Aeronautics Mechanic, Automotive Mechanic, Industrial Mechanic, and Nautical Mechanic at a rating of 2. Useful for a vehicle based character.

For the rest of my skills I've taken the following:

Perception: 4
Gunnery: 4
Heavy Weapons: 3
Automatics: 3
Pilot Aircraft: 5
Pilot Ground Craft: 5
Hardware: 2
Electronic Warfare: 2

Skill Group:
Aeronautics Mechanic 2
Automotive Mechanic 2
Industrial Mechanic 2
Nautical Mechanic 2

While I'm not going to be a rock star in combat, and I'm out of my depth in social situations, the character has a good spread of combat skills, vehicle skills, and can fix his own gear, a valuable skill set for someone who's expensive toys get shot at.

Next, I get to spend my money. This part always makes me feel like a kid at Christmas. Remember we took Resources A, so we have a whopping ¥450,000 to spend.

Let's start with the easy stuff first. Lifestyle: Low, 3 months. This takes ¥6,000 but guarantees me a safe place to sleep, and a place to park my vehicle. I'm also going to add on the Special Work Area perk, bringing the per month cost up to ¥3,000 and the total bill up to ¥9,000. For the sake of back story, I'm going to say I live in a loft over a garage.

With Lifestyle in the bag, I usually buy my armor, primary, and secondary gun. In this case, I'm going to hold off, and skip to the vehicles and drones next as they will take up a large portion of my money.

For starters, my two vehicles. One for work, the other for play.

GMC Bulldog (¥35,000)
- Rigger Interface (¥1,000)
- Standard Weapon Mount (¥2,500)
- Standard Weapon Mount (¥2,500)
Suzuki Mirage (¥8,500)
- Rigger Interface (¥1,000)
- Standard Weapon Mount (¥2,500)

I took Gunnery, and Automatics, because I wanted to be able to un-mount the guns from my vehicle if needed, and carry them.This obviously packs more punch with machine guns, but the assault rifles are not exactly weak tea. This helps to make the character more well rounded, as well as keeping me from being tied to my vehicle. Having two weapon mounts on the Bulldog lets me un-mount one gun, while providing covering fire with the second weapon. While Ideally I'd love to have Heavy Weapon mounts, the availability is simply too high.

For the vehicles, and later the drones, and as my personal weapon I'm taking the Colt Inception from Gun H(e)aven 3. With an Accuracy of 7, and a 10P damage code, it's a rock solid assault rifle. Keeping one rifle across the board makes life easier as you can share clips, and ammunition across all your vehicles.

Colt Inception x 4 (¥9,000)
- 10 clips (¥50)
- 1000 Rounds Explosive (¥8,000)
- 1000 Rounds APDS (¥12,000)
- External Smartgun (¥800)

One thing I found when playing Shadowrun 5th Edition is that when buying restricted gear, especially ammunition, it's best to buy in bulk at character creation, as it can be a pain to source in game.

Now, drones, this is one area where we have far too few choices in the core rules. There are, in total, 11 drones in the core rules. Eleven. Some of those 11 are not restricted. The ones that are, some are well worth the money. My personal favorite is the MCT-Nissan Roto-Drone. It's highly modifiable, and that makes it ideal for Shadowrunning. On the ground, the GM-Nissan Doberman is a rock solid choice. For less offensive operations the Lockheed Optic-X2 is a great VSTOL spy drone, and it's not even restricted!

Remember, you don't have to bring every drone on every mission, and it helps to have a variety back at home, so that you can pick and choose to fit your mission profile. With that in mind, I've grabbed the following:

1 x GM-Nissan Doberman (¥5,000)
- Built in Standard Weapons Mount
2 x MCT-Nissan Roto-Drone (¥10,000)
- Standard Weapon Mount (¥5,000)
1 x Cyberspace Designs Dalmatian (¥21,000)
- Standard Weapon Mount (¥5,000)
1 x Steel Lynx Combat Drone (¥25,000)
- Built in Heavy Weapons Mount

For the heavy weapon mount, I'm going to pick up a really inexpensive LMG from Gun H(e)aven 3, the Krime Wave. At (¥2,000) it's an absolute steal. Also, it can handle a clip, and belt, and can switch feed sources. I'm going to add a smartlink for the following setup:

Krime Wave (¥2,000)
- 2 clips (¥10)
- 500 Rounds Explosive (¥4,000)
- 500 Rounds APDS (¥6,000)
- External Smartgun (¥200)

This stable of death and destruction gives me a wide range of options for mayhem, and for a surprisingly reasonable price tag!

So far, I've spent ¥175,060 of my ¥450,000 budget.

Let's look at what else I'll need.

Ares Crusader II Smartlink (¥830) (my backup gun)
- 2 clips (¥10)
- 100 Regular Rounds (¥200)
- Concealable Holster (¥150)

Actioneer Business Clothes (¥1,500)
Urban Explorer Jumpsuit (¥650)
- Helmet (¥100)

Hermes Ikon Commlink (¥3,000)

Fake SIN Rating 4 (¥10,000)
- 10 x Fake License Rating 4 (¥8,000)

The point of the fake SIN, and licenses, is that it gives me a cover story, to help put a line of defense between myself, and the corporate SIN I bought as a quality. Plus, it gives me the option to carry some of my restricted gear, including the drones, and the guns on them, legally. Always a good idea.

Aircraft Mechanic Shop (¥5,000)
Ground Vehicle Shop (¥5,000)

Now comes the other expensive part of the package, Cyberware. First on the list has to be the Control Rig Rating 2 (¥97,000, 2 Essence) and the Smartlink (¥5,000, Capacity 2) in a set of natural Cybereyes Rating 3 (¥10,000, 0.4 Essence, 12 Capacity) in addition, I'm going to pick up Low-Light Vision (¥1,500, Capacity 2) and Vision Magnification (¥2,000, Capacity 2) Here's the cyberware in list form:

Control Rig Rating 2 (¥97,000, 2 Essence)
Cybereyes - Natural Rating 3 (¥10,000, 0.4 Essence, 12 Capacity)
- Smartlink (¥5,000, Capacity 2)
- Low-Light Vision (¥1,500, Capacity 2)
- Vision Magnification (¥2,000, Capacity 2)

So far, I've spent ¥325,000 of my ¥450,000 budget.

One piece of gear that I've not yet bought is a Rigger Command Console, mostly because the table for them isn't in the gear section. With that in mind, I want to pick up the most expensive one I can afford. With an Availability of 12, I can get the Proteus Poseidon. Device rating 5, Data Processing 5, and Firewall 6. For the low, low, price of ¥68,000

On top of that, I need to pick up a few autosofts, and cyber programs. Autosofts, are programs that run on drones, enhancing their abilities. The cost for these isn't listed in the first printing of the core rules, but has been released in the errata as follows:

Availability: Rating * 2
Cost: Rating * ¥500

Note: Don't take the above as gospel, always check your rule book, and any published errata.

I have the following drones:

GM-Nissan Doberman, MCT-Nissan Roto-Drone, Cyberspace Designs Dalmatian and a Steel Lynx Combat Drone so any model specific autosofts will need to be bought for the different drone models. This is another reason to only carry a small number of models.

I'm looking to buy the following list of Autosofts:
Clearsight 6 (¥3,000)
Electronic Warfare 6 (¥3,000)

[MCT-Nissan Roto-Drone] Evasion 6 (¥3,000)
[Cyberspace Designs Dalmation] Evasion 6 (¥3,000)

[MCT-Nissan Roto-Drone] Maneuvering 6 (¥3,000)
[Cyberspace Designs Dalmation] Maneuvering 6 (¥3,000)
[Steel Lynx Combat Drone] Maneuvering 6 (¥3,000)
[GM-Nissan Doberman] Maneuvering 6 (¥3,000)

[MCT-Nissan Roto-Drone] Stealth 6 (¥3,000)
[Cyberspace Designs Dalmation] Stealth 6 (¥3,000)

[MCT-Nissan Roto-Drone] Targeting 6 (¥3,000)
[Cyberspace Designs Dalmation] Targeting 6 (¥3,000)
[Steel Lynx Combat Drone] Targeting 6 (¥3,000)
[GM-Nissan Doberman] Targeting 6 (¥3,000)

That's ¥42,000 worth of software.

So far, I've spent ¥435,000 of my ¥450,000 budget.

I also want Encryption, Signal Scrub, Toolbox, Virtual Machine, Armor, Biofeedback Filter, Guard, Shell, and Sneak cyberprograms. That's ¥250 * 9 = ¥2,250 I'm also going to pick up all the Common cyber programs, for another ¥560.

This is the point that I really like, I've bought all the necessities, now I can buy things that are just silly. That is, bits of gear, or cyberware that I want, but don't consider critical. Unfortunately, I'm sitting on a measly ¥12,190. I'm going to spend that on a few extra hard to find bits of equipment.

- Krime Wave (¥2,000)
  - 500 Rounds APDS (¥6,000)
  - External Smartgun (¥200)

This brings me down to ¥446,010 spent, giving me ¥3,390 + (3D6 * ¥60) to start the game with.

All that's left now, is to assign contacts, and spend my karma. Remember, I'm boosting Edge to 3, which leaves me 4 karma to add to my contacts. For Rigger contacts, I like to keep it simple.

I start with Charisma x 3 in free Karma, that's 9 points. With the 4 leftover Karma I have from Qualities, I can spend 13 karma on Contacts. Some people like to have a few very close contacts, while I find that can be helpful, I like to have a larger number of contacts. However, there's not much I can do with only 13 points.

Fixer: 2/2
Mitsuhama Inventory Clerk: 4/1
Parts Store Owner: 1/3

I grab the usual Fixer, and a Scrapyard owner, think your local Autozone, good for getting parts for the legal vehicles in my fleet. The Mitsuhama Inventory Clerk is your average middle-management drone, left over from my corp days. He can possibly provide me with sensitive parts, and intel, from within Mitsuhama. Not the best contact, but flavorful, and could open other options.

Final Attributes
Body: 3
Agility: 6
Reaction: 5
Strength: 3
Willpower: 3
Logic: 5
Intuition: 3
Charisma: 3
Edge: 3
Initiative: 8 + 1D6
Essence: 3

Mental Limit: 6
Physical Limit: 5
Social Limit: 4

There you have it! Feel free to comment if you think I've gone off the deep end, or more likely if my math is wrong!


  1. No RCC means no easy sharing programs and jumping from one drone straight to another, that's missable. But I really miss Autosofts here. Without Maneuver autosofts a drone only rolls 3 dice to dodge and without Targeting autosofts the drones roll 3 dice to hit. With Autosofts, that's 9 dice each.

    1. Good point! I had a mental checklist for gear, and as I was going through the gear section the RCC table, and autosoft prices aren't in the gear section. Total goof on my part. I'll update the build accordingly.

  2. I also realized that the autosoft prices aren't anywhere in the core rules, I was able to find some errata with them in it, but it's not official. We'll have to see if that changes.

  3. its in the official errata now, check the catalyst game forums

  4. i would advocate tricking out your main combat drones sensor suites, low light/flare compensation etc on the cameras are a must, otherwise one well placed flashbang means you can't shoot straight.

    1. You know, I was on the fence about this. I went with the bare bones approach, as I don't like having too much money sunk into one drone. If that drone gets hacked, or trashed, I'm out a huge investment. However, I can see your point as well. Thanks for the flash bang suggestion, I'll use that the next game I run.

    2. In our table, I'm the rigger. What I did was buying a high rate at Engineering group, and my char herself customize the drones during the course of the campaign, what needed a few house rule about costs, but lowered considerable the final costs of the tricking - we suppose the book costs include the installation/ mechanic work, not only the pieces. (we made a comparison with D&D rules for making magic items, where the cost is half if you are doing it for yourself - we don't used the "half" but lowered a bit the costs)

  5. Hi, I realize I'm late to the party, but I just started playing Shadowrun 5th ed. I haven't played SR in years and decided to build a rigger, but with with C for resources. We played our first game online last Friday, but I had gotten busy and didn't make the time to buy my equipment. Any advice for what you'd buy with 140,000?

  6. APDS costs 120¥ per round. 1000 rounds would cost 120000¥.