I am considering playing a Decker and wanted to know if I could use an agent to help with certain gear functions? Such as having them report status of weapons or armor that can be networked? I'm not 100% sure I have the concepts right, so any clarifications on that would be helpful. Thanks!
Yes that's something a Agent can do, with the following restrictions:
- It must be a Matrix action
- The Agent is not very intelligent and could easily screw things up (they are as flexible as pilot programs)
- The only skills they have are Computer, Hacking and Cybercombat. They cannot use Software, Hardware or Electronic Warfare, since you cannot default on those. This limits their use, since Sensor arrays and the Control Device matrix action require those skills, with the exception of actions that are done using a skill check for the latter.
- An Agent is not a replacement for a Personal Integrated Tactical Network (Run & Gun, p. 104f), which BTW costs a lot more at level I than a Agent with rating 6 (12000 vs 115000 Nuyen according to the latest Errata of the German version of the book). Instead of having all info available at once the Agent would probably go through all the devices it should observe and probe them for information.
- Your gear may not provide the data the Agent needs. As a GM I'd require the gear to have a appropriate Wireless Bonus, unless common sense tells you that the gear is capable of this. E.g. checking the ammunition of a firearm with a Smartgun should be no problem, but without a Smartgun it would be impossible; by default Armor would't allow to check the status, but if the Bio-Monitor modification is build in, the status of the wearer can be determined; A Agent should have no problems checking, if there's a incoming call for a comlink...
- No teamwork tests on checks for actions in the physical world. There is just no way a Agent can provide better information than a Smartgun does ect... And there is definetly no way a Agent can pull something like this of: https://youtu.be/7JRuqmFZZ-8