Resonance

Technomancers

As a professional software engineer, I can’t keep a straight face talking about threading Complex Forms and compiling and decompiling sprites, so I’ve substituted terms that make more sense to me. Assembling isn’t great for sprites either, but linking wouldn’t be distinctive enough.

Technomancers are people who discover the mysterious ability to access the Matrix, and hack it, without a cyberdeck. This discovery is called Emerging. In 2050, they are extremely rare: about one person in ten million, worldwide, and the oldest of them are almost out of adolescence. In 2065, Emergence becomes much more common— about 1 in 100,000 people are Emerged (SR4 p44)— and happens to adults.

Having the Resonance Edge precludes having the Magic Edge. With the Resonance Edge alone, you can access the Matrix intuitively, as if you had a cyberScape, and have to suppress your connection through an act of will.

Once you learn to use your abilities, you need this stunt:

Technomancer (1): you are a technomancer, one of the rare people with the mysterious ability to transmit and receive wireless Matrix signals from the depths of their own brain. Within the Matrix, you can work wonders, weaving Complex Forms, assembling sprites, and overwriting devices and even cyberware to run Emergent firmware.

Technomancers have a living persona in the Matrix; they do not spend their downtime coding it. Matrix stress applies directly to their mental stress track. They cannot store digital information themselves, but they can direct it to be downloaded to any device linked to the Matrix. They are always in hot sim DNI mode; if they want the safety of a cyberdeck, they can cultivate the Hack Edge, write a traditional persona, and use their gift to interface with the deck via short-range wireless, with the link secured by means that only another technomancer can penetrate.

The living persona is a construct separate from the technomancer’s mind, and this biological node can be hacked into by other Emergent entities, who can attempt to eavesdrop on or hijack the technomancer’s active connections, or even crash the node (which inflicts mental stress and renders the technomancer Disoriented as they recreate their node). The node has no storage of its own, though it is common to connect external storage to it. The physical senses are available as input devices, and, with the right echoes, the body may be available as a drone. The biological node defends with Focus+Resonance+2. If they are not link-locked, they can change the state of their firewall with an action:

Technomancers can create libraries with APIs by thinking carefully, using Make+Resonance, but the source code is not open to inspection, and the function reflects the technomancer’s intuitive understanding rather than a conscious specification. If they learn the Hack Edge and write traditional code, their deep, intuitive understanding still comes in handy when they ponder edge cases and error handling.

Chrome interferes in Resonance much as it does in Magic; a less-chromed technomancer can tag this when engaging a more-chromed technomancer. Some technomancers install chrome and Overwrite the firmware, getting results quickly; others take the longer route of learning to hack their own bodies through the Resonance.

Resonance and Essence

Standard Shadowrun uses Essence as a hard limit on the amount of chrome you can put in your body. In Fate, we’re using stunts as the limiting factor, so Essence is a matter of relative position: when two Emerged characters are in conflict, the one with lower Chrome adds the difference in Chrome to their rolls. The difference is not perceptible when one Emerged character faces off against an unEmerged one.

Frameworks

Technomancers have developed a number of different perspectives on technomancy, which they call frameworks.

Sourcerors

Technomancers who see the Resonance as a tool to be wielded rationally are called sourcerors or infomages. They tend to get their start when they forget their Scape one day and intuitively access the Matrix anyway. They focus more on weaving and take a pragmatic approach to the Matrix. (Unwired p138–9, Kill Code p91)

Technoshamans

Technomancers with an animistic approach to the Resonance call themselves technoshamans. They get their start with encounters with a Paragon or with numerous spirits of the Matrix, who tear them apart and replace their bones with code and put them back together again, or plant a seed in them that grows into their technomancer abilities. They place greater emphasis on assembling. (Unwired p140, Kill Code p91)

Dronomancers

Some technomancers get their start when their devices start acting unusually intelligent because they’ve intuitively conjured sprites into them. They are called dronomancers, machinists, or vehicle empaths. They are oriented around the physical world and see the Resonance as an animating force for machines. For them, every robot, drone, and vehicle is a creature ready to awaken, often as a pet. They usually learn the Machine Mind echo and often Overwrite gear. (Unwired p138, Kill Code p90).

Cyberadepts

When technomancers get Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, they tend to jailbreak their chrome and Overwrite the firmware with their own code. They trade tips with other technomancers taking the same framework and call themselves cyberadepts. They achieve many of the same feats as biohackers, faster, but at the cost of their connection to the Resonance. (Kill Code p88)

Biohackers

Biohackers see their own bodies as another medium in which to hack. They learn the Biohacker echo and crank up their own nervous system to match the video games they play. No amount of biohacking can provide the telescopic vision of the cybereyes that many cyberadepts sport... but a determined biohacker can learn the Image Processing echo, mount an Overwritten set of drone sensors on a hat or headband, and map that data feed into their own sensorium.

E-scapists

E-scapists see virtual reality as primary and the physical world as mere substrate, and have a passionate vision of a future where panhumanity lives in an online paradise while machines tend the infrastructure. They learn the Biowire echo so they can spend more time online while a sprite takes care of their body. They often have legitimate jobs creating MMORPGs and sculpted Matrix environments. (Unwired p138)

Singularitarians

A small group of technomancers, many following the paragon Eschaton, who believe that they are the heralds of a fundamental transformation of the nature of being, where the realms of the physical, astral, and Matrix will merge and become one, and they wish to bring it about as quickly as possible. They have a few magicians— mostly chaos mages— as collaborators, and take shady jobs to fund their researches. Even transhumanists are a little worried about the zeal of the singularitarians, and are concerned about the prospect of a haphazard Singularity that leaves the rest of panhumanity with a big mess to clean up. Singularitarians pursue prospects of intelligence enhancement— they usually have as much brain-enhancing headware as they can afford, as well as Neural Synergy and a Resonance Mesh with a network of fellow travelers— and range from hypercaffeinated Ray Kurzweil fans to philosophers inspired by Teilhard de Chardin. Their opinions range from upload everyone to Paradise ASAP to once everyone who wants to upload has done so, we can easily create a physical Paradise for everyone who isn’t ready to join yet. (Unwired p139)

Weaving

Technomancers weave patterns they call complex forms. In the Matrix, complex forms manifest as Matrix protocol streams that contain snippets of code that bears no resemblance to any known development environment. They have thus far developed the following schools of hackery:

You can keep Focus+Resonance persistent Complex Forms running. Many Splice and Warez Forms are persistent.

Weaving complex forms costs mental stress, called Fading. The Level at which you weave the form (usually equal to the relevant skill) is an attack against your Force+Resonance, which is modified by the first two dice in your weaving roll; stress goes first to your mental track and exhaustion conditions, then your physical track, then your consequences. If you roll ++--, while your outcome on the spell is 0, you take two less Drain than if you rolled 0000.

+0Single-target Flame complex forms. Complex forms that create an advantage on a single target.
+1Complex forms that entangle two icons, such as Arc Feedback.
+2Area effect Flame attacks and complex forms that create an advantage on a zone.
+3Complex forms that affect the host, such as Switcheroo.

Learning complex forms requires study of the Resonance Library, an ever-growing file passed around from technomancer to technomancer containing their annotated notes on Complex Forms. To anyone but a technomancer, the Library appears to be a very large file that starts with a protocol header followed by white noise. Technomancers keep copies on datachips stashed in odd places, as well as on hosts where they have dropboxes. In 2050, only the most basic Warez have been created; if you want that skillsoft Complex Form, you may have to spend a few months encoding it yourself.

Complex Forms

Assembling

Technomancers can assemble their mysterious code into sprites, which appear as sentient programs, with a data stream going into the technomancer’s data connection. Sprites have a Level that is comparable to a spirit’s Force. Assembling a sprite is tiring; the technomancer rolls Face+Resonance in a contest against the Level of the sprite. Whether or not the technomancer is successful, the technomancer suffers Fading: add the sprite’s Level to its roll in the assembling contest, subract the technomancer’s Focus+Resonance, and the technomancer takes that as mental stress.

If the technomancer equals the sprite’s roll in summoning, the sprite is there for a single task. Each shift after that is two more tasks. A task can be a single use of a power; one action that applies to a specific job; or help me out in cybercombat that lasts until the combat is over through defeat or flight. They can also be sent on a remote task, which will use up all remaining services.

A sprite can be registered by hacking permissions that will keep it from getting automatically garbage collected. This takes a number of hours equal to the sprite’s Level. Roll Con+Resonance against the sprite’s Level; if you match it, you have a registered sprite are free to assemble a new one. Each shift that exceeds it is two more services.

Registered sprites can do anything a regular sprite can, and in addition:

A technomancer can have up to Schmooze+Resonance sprites registered.

Sprite types include:

Sprite Powers

Overwriting

Jailbreaking devices is common in the shadow community. Some shadow techs merely install custom code that gives greater control over devices than the manufacturer intended, such as advertising routines and tattletales that profile end user behavior. Others install complete open source replacement firmware, to be certain that there aren’t any annoying surprises lurking in the manufacturer’s code. And then there are the technomancers who overwrite devices and cyberware with Emergent code.

Once a device is overwritten, it can no longer pretend to be original work; a technomancer must weave Spoofs if they want it to pass as such.

Overwritten devices fulfill their original purpose, but in a more idiosyncratic way. The more animate ones may wake up and develop their own personalities, which merge smoothly with sprites when the same creator assembles them.

When a piece of Chrome or Tech gear is particularly smart, when overwritten, it may use your Resonance Edge instead. (With overwritten chrome, you must already have allocated your slots for the ware to get your Chrome bonus.) Overwritten gear needs regular updates and becomes quirky and then unusable when in the hands of the unEmerged. Commonly overwritten chrome and devices include:

Paragons

The Deep Resonance contains mysterious patrons that offer their insights to technomancers in exchange for service. Technomancers, and some sprites, report encountering them, but they appear to dwell in the Resonance and do not appear outside it. Some consider them the gods of the Matrix, while other see them as archetypes, or highly evolved sprites. Having a paragon as a patron means taking a character aspect reflecting this.

Submersion

Technomancers can deepen their connection to the Deep Resonance through submersion, where they gain self-knowledge as well as skill. Submersion makes it possible to enter the Resonance Realms and learn new echoes.

Echoes

Aegis (1): your living persona can take an additional moderate consequence whose aspect only applies in the Matrix, such as Glitching Icon. (Kill Code p101)

Biohacker (1): Your advanced hacking of your own nervous system and use of predictive analytics allows you to use the Resonance Edge with Move and Hit, and you can use Extra Actions in the physical world. You can also use Bod+Resonance to fend off diseases with an artificial fever, or enter hibernation to conserve oxygen or last longer until the paramedics show up. (Unwired p147, Kill Code p101)

Machine Mind (1): you gain the benefits of a Control Rig and can control vehicles and drones using Ride+Resonance, target their weapons with Hit+Resonance, and run fab labs with Make+Resonance. (Unwired p145, SR5 p258, Data Trails p59, SR6 p195)

Resonance Realms

Copies of the Resonance Library can be stashed in and retrieved from the Resonance Realms.