Just some thoughts on selecting 'ware to survive the shadows of Awakened Worlds CE.
CP dice can be allocated to help you dodge ranged attacks, soak damage, and/or attack. Unlike canon SR3, CP dice aren't depleted by actions in a combat turn, so you get all the dice, all the time (unless surprised). Base CP is calculated from (quickness + intelligence + willpower)/2, round down.
|'ware for CP||max bonus||effect on CP|
|cyberarms + cyberlegs||+6 qui||+3|
|tactical computer||+4 CP||+4|
|muscle toner IV||+4 qui||+2|
|cerebral booster II||+2 int||+1|
NOTE: if your (quickness + intelligence + willpower) total is odd, then adding a suprathyroid gland (+1 quickness, plus other bonuses) is worth +1 CP
Melee attacks can't be dodged. The only defense from melee attacks (other than soaking) is winning the opposed melee test. CP dice can be allocated to offense, meaning they're added to your ranged and melee combat rolls. So, also take a look at the above section on CP.
|'ware for melee dice (along with pretty much all physical skills)|
In most cases, the damage you take from attacks is reduced by rolling your body against the power of the attack, where the power is also reduced by ballistic or impact armor. CP dice can be allocated to soak, meaning they're added to your body for this purpose. So, also take a look at the above section on CP. Most of your armor will come from worn armor, which is limited by your quickness, so the quickness 'ware listed for CP do extra duty.
|'ware for armor|
NOTE: armor from 'ware do not count against worn armor vs quickness
|'ware for body|
Being wounded gives you TN penalties, making it harder for you to succeed on actions and so more likely to die horribly.
|'ware to reduce wound TN penalties|
Typically, a damage compensator is not recommended with a trauma damper because the damper doesn't function unless the damage to be taken would cause you to exceed your compensator rating. But consider the combination of platelet factories, a trauma damper, and a rating 1 compensator. If you are undamaged and take a physical hit scaled to Moderate (3 boxes), you will end up with no wound penalties (factories reduce the hit by 1 box, the damper moves 1 box to mental, and the 1 remaining box along with the 1 box of mental cause no penalties because of the compensator). A similar argument can be made for the case of being undamaged and then taking a hit scaled to Serious (e.g., a surprise manabolt from an invisible spellcaster), with a rating 2 compensator to reduce the resulting wound penalty to +1, or rating 4 to negate the penalty entirely. That said, while a rating 1 compensator has a low tradeoff vs damper effectiveness, higher ratings have correspondingly higher tradeoffs and the situations where they are ideal may be much less likely to occur.
NOTE: pain resistance from the adept power or drugs will offset penalties without disabling the trauma damper!
The knockdown test rolls your body and soak (from CP) against a TN equal to the power of the attack (plus wound modifiers, etc). So, also take a look at the above sections on CP and soaking damage.
|'ware to reduce knockdown TN|
Any wounds you can inflict before the enemy can act penalizes their ability to do anything in return, assuming you don't outright knock them out or kill them. Initiative includes reaction, calculated as (quickness + intelligence)/2, round down. So, also take a look at the quickness and intelligence 'ware listed in the above section on CP.
|'ware for initiative/reaction|
NOTE: enemy spellcasting does not cause you to enter combat, meaning you don't automatically roll for initiative. Spellcasting can only target those in the same room. If you need to be in the same room and the spellcaster is aggressive, unless you are a particularly quick typer, it will probably be necessary to queue up entering the room immediately followed by an attack command in order to cause the initiative roll before the spellcaster can do any casting. Once in combat/initiative, spellcasting works like any other attack (one per pass, in order from highest to lowest intiative). Most MUD clients have some way to queue commands, or you can make an alias (see: HELP ALIAS). If the enemy spellcaster is using improved invisibility, you don't pass the spell resistance check, and you don't have astral perception, you will need to use ultrasound to detect them. If the spellcaster has friends in the same room that you can shoot from outside the room, do that first, as their deaths will increase the room's background count, which applies a TN penalty to spellcasting.
Landing an attack on the spellcaster before they can cast means either they can't cast (because you hit them hard enough that they're unconscious or mortally wounded) or they take wound penalties to casting. See the above section on initiative.
An opposing spellcaster's TN for manabolt and stunbolt are set by your willpower.
|'ware for willpower|
NOTE: the adrenal pump can cause significant damage when it wears off, and the pain editor when active disables the trauma damper.
Ranged manipulation spells can be dodged. See the above section on Increasing CP.
Half your impact armor, round down, is subtracted from a ranged manipulation spell's power. See the above listing on 'ware for armor.
An opposing spellcaster's successes when casting an ignite spell is reduced by half your body, round down. Your body also serves as their TN for powerbolt. See the above listing on 'ware for body.
Light and weather conditions inflict TN penalties to many actions. Where combat is concerned, this includes shooting, melee clashes, and dodge. All vision from cyberware is always considered artificial and so is generally worse than either (1) natural thermo, or (2) natural lowlight + flashlight + thermo shades.
Natural thermo is better by 1 TN in heavy rain, whereas natural lowlight + flashlight + thermo shades is better by 1 TN in partial light. While natural thermo is currently only available through race or adept improved sense, natural low light can be implanted in the form of cat's eyes bioware.