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Which strategy would be more advisable for a Technomancer at character creation: buying a smaller number of high-rank Complex Forms that you know you will need, and using Threading or Sprites to do the rest, or just buying lots of lower-rank Complex Forms and not relying as much on Threading and Sprites?

To give a little context, our GM is going to be running a Shadowrun campaign where, instead of playing as Runners, we're playing as police investigators in charge of tracking down and apprehending Runners and/or cleaning up the messes they've made, consequently, our campaign will focus less on stealth/breaking-and-entering and more on combat/searching. Our GM was also generous enough to give us a standard-issue basic gear package that included a police authorization key compatible with most legitimate nodes and security systems, so hacking will probably not be as big an issue for us than most Runners because if a security system won't accept our codes, chances are we won't care that they know we're just smashing our way through to them.

Consequently, I have built my Technomancer mostly around Cybercombat and Analysis, with the intent to use Sprites for such things as tracking down escaped suspects, spying, providing backup/support in cybercombat, and stealth infiltration, should the need arise.

Does this strategy sound like a good idea, or should I reconsider? Would providing my stats give a better idea of how well this would work?

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The common opinion is that technomancers should stay as far away from cybercombat as possible. The reason is simple: when the hacker loses cybercombat, he is disconnected and possibly suffering from dumpshock. When the technomancer loses, he's as good as dead.

As for your question, it depends on your character generation method and required power level. Generally, under BPGen you want to have few high-rank CFs (same story with almost everything), whereas under karmagen you can afford to spread out, while having 1 or 2 at a high rating.

At any rate, you still have sprites for whatever you cannot achieve with CFs.

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Well I do have 5's in Attack, Blackout, Armor, Shield, Response and Firewall... And yes, we did start with BPgen, with more points free to stats and CF's since standard issue gear and income will be provided by the GM. Plus, last I checked, Technomancers only take Stun damage from cybercombat, which can be resisted and only knocks you out. – Cobalt Jul 23 '13 at 12:46
@Cobalt Being inconscious is still a lot worse than just being disconnected. Basically, any Cybercombat is at least as dangerous as fighting Blackout IC. Get rid of Attack and Blackout, you won't need them, and take Stealth and Command instead (VERY useful). And Response and Firewall are not CF, not sure if that's what you meant or not. – Cristol.GdM Jul 23 '13 at 13:42
@Cobalt right, stun damage only. – Jeor Mattan Jul 23 '13 at 15:04
@Scrollmaster Actually, you roll Response + Firewall (+ Shield complex form) to defend against attacks in Cybercombat; if you get more hits than they do, no damage is dealt, and if they get more hits than you do then you roll Armor + System and deduct each hit from the damage dealt by their program. – Cobalt Jul 23 '13 at 21:19
@JeorMattan, Scrollmaster That said, you do make a rather interesting point; I think I'll talk to my GM some more about it before I make the change. After all, nothing says "law enforcement" quite like high cyber damage skills, but then again I guess that's what Tank Sprites are for. Plus if I get KO'd, I won't need to worry about the feds coming after us while I'm out because we are the feds, but still... – Cobalt Jul 23 '13 at 23:04

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