If Jimmy Two-Tusk, ork decker extraordinaire, wants to hack an enemy's commlink, he rolls his Hacking + Logic + hits on the assist test from his R6 Agent, an autonomous program whose programming allows for helping deckers on Hacking, Cybercombat, and Computer tests. But now Jimmy wants to snoop around on some matrix traffic, and thinks his Electronic Warfare + Logic isn't going to cut it.

Drones can have Pilots, autonomous programs that follow orders to use the drone's equipment (guns, communication, Autosofts, etc.). Autosofts are programs loaded onto a drone that allow the drone to use the skill listed on the autosoft. Pilots range from consumer-grade "dog brains" to milspec VI's, capable of logical reasoning and learning.

My question: can a drone roll its Pilot + Electronic Warfare (Autosoft) to assist a decker's Snoop attempt? Recent drones from Rigger 5.0 with the Electronic Warfare Autosoft seem to corroborate this, as they are employed by the Grid Overwatch Division with the express purpose of watching Matrix communication and would be rather useless if the drone could not roll its Pilot + Electronic Warfare to do Matrix actions such as Snoop.


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As far as I'm aware the only restriction on performing Matrix actions like Snoop - besides the obvious Matrix connection and ability to take actions at all - is possessing the necessary attribute (e.g. you can't take Sleaze-based/-limited actions if you don't have a Sleaze attribute).

According to page 269 of the core book, a drone's Device Rating is equal to its Pilot Rating, so all of its Matrix Attributes are also equal to its Pilot Rating. However, in general devices don't possess Attack and Sleaze stats unless explicitly noted, as in the case of Cyberdecks and IC programs. Even a Rigger's RCC doesn't have them, they only have Data Processing and Firewall. As such, it seems like drones can't take offensive or sneaky matrix actions at all - just as a Rigger can't.

It looks as if you're out of luck on this one. The only thing the EWAR drones seem to be good for is non-Matrix action-related use of the Electronic Warfare skill (as they lack the necessary Sleaze and Attack attributes).

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    \$\begingroup\$ "According to page 269 of the core book, a drone's Device Rating is equal to its Pilot Rating, so all of its Matrix Attributes are also equal to its Pilot Rating (implying it has all of the necessary attributes)." This doesnt mean they have a sleaze or attack attribute, just like a commlink's device rating doesnt give it sleaze or attack. AFAIK, only cyberdecks are given these attributes. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Jan 7, 2016 at 10:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a very good point, you're correct. There are a couple of other things that have Attack and Sleaze (most notably Hosts and their IC) but in general devices don't possess those attributes. That's kind of torpedo'd half my answer, need to do some editing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chris0386
    Jan 7, 2016 at 11:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ You are correct, i forgot that hosts are like extra big cyberdecks and also have those attributes. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Jan 7, 2016 at 12:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ On page 66 of Data Trails the Add Matrix Attribute device modification lists that you can add a matrix attribute to a device that does not have one, given that modification would they be able to assist on tests? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jake H
    Feb 2, 2016 at 6:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't have access to that book, but based on your description that sounds like it would work. If you can add a Sleaze and/or Attack attribute to the drone, that would remove the only obstacle I can see. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chris0386
    Feb 2, 2016 at 19:15

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