5hadowrun Rigger 2.0

Following on from my previous post, and with a little feedback from the community (thanks krispykremeguy!), I’ve updated my Rigger ‘conversion’. The main changes are:

  • The class now uses intelligence rather than wisdom for its abilities. I think I’m going to keep most technology-based abilities to be intelligence, leaving wisdom for the mystical nature people.
  • The archetype features have been rearranged and remade so that each archetype gets a mix of combat, exploration and interaction abilities.
  • ‘Targeting Computer’ added at level 11. This is essentially a restricted extra attack. Might be too much, I’m not sure yet.
  • Rewrote and clarified a few points in the drone, and modified a few of its improvements (so it can’t end up with AC 26!)

wp-1450881658703.jpgAn oil-covered human artfully disables the lab’s defense turrets, while her floating drone circles the room, watching for incoming corporate security.

Abseiling down the building, the orc guides his armoured drone into position inside the ventilation duct. After disabling the security cameras, he crashes through the window, orc and drone beginning the assault in perfect synchrony.

A Rigger is the master of technology, having an almost innate connection to the ‘matrix’ and automated systems. Most Riggers are competent hackers, but tend put their skills towards more physical systems, such as vehicles, drones and guns. Riggers are recognisable by the heavily-customised (or in some cases, custom-built) drones that invariably follow them, which are regarded more as trusted friends than tools.

They are more than able to defend themselves in a fight, but tend to favour ambushes and hit-and-run tactics over an all-out firefight. Relying on stealth and skills to out-manoeuvre their enemies, some employ high-tech gadgets to control and confuse their foes.

  • Hit dice: 1d10 per Rigger level
  • Proficiencies: simple and martial weapons, handguns and proper guns, light and medium armour
  • Saving throws: Intelligence and Dexterity.
  • Skills: three of Athletics, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, Perception, Stealth and Survival.
  • Starting equipment:
    • RentaCop body armour or leather jacket
    • A simple melee weapon
    • A rifle or shotgun
    • Usual other crap

Class Features



At level 1 you gain a DataJack and proficiency with it. You may use the jack to make an Intelligence check to hack computer systems, defence drones, vehicles and others. [hacking rules TBD]

City Explorer

This functions exactly as the Ranger’s ‘Natural Explorer’ but only in urban environments. Tracking and foraging should be re flavoured to be patching into security cameras, hacking vending machines, etc.

Fighting Style

At level 2 you may choose a fighting style. Choose from Defense, Duelling, Grenadier, Marksman, Spray-and-Pray, or Two-Weapon Fighting. See fighter class for gun-related fighting styles.


At level 2 you build or gain a drone companion. You also may improve your drone at levels 6, 9, 13 and 17. Full drone rules below.

Targeting Computer

When you reach level 11 you upgrade your body for more rapid targeting and attacks. You may use your action to make three attacks against a single creature, or to make one ranged weapon attack (not burst fire) against any number of creatures within 10 feet of a point you can see.

This addition upgrades the damage output of the Rigger, probably putting them slightly ahead of an equivalent Ranger (although a Ranger’s spells might narrow the gap). However the Ranger is generally regarded as a little underpowered, so I thought this would be ok.

Mind Shield

At level 14 your constant technological improvement has affected your own mind. You gain proficiency with Wisdom saving throws.

Matrix Senses

When you reach level 18 you have a near-constant connection to the technological matrix around you. While in a technologically-dense area (city, building, etc) you gain 30ft blindsense, as you feel the presence of creatures around you.

Matrix Slayer

At 20th level your technological mastery guides your attacks. You may add your intelligence modifier to your attack and damage rolls.


At level 3, you may choose one of either Matrix Scout, Operative or Gadgeteer archetypes. You gain class features according to your archetype at level 3, 7, 10 and 15.

Some abilities have a save DC, which is calculated as:

8 + proficiency bonus + intelligence modifier

Also, while some Rigger abilities replicate the effect of spells, the abilities are technological, not magical in nature (hence dispel magic etc have no effect).

Matrix Scout

tumblr_ngb0nimBxv1tfza0go1_540The Matrix Scout favours hit-and-run or guerilla tactics, specialising in simply not being where the enemy expects. They are often employed by the mega corporations for runs that need to be carried out quickly and quietly.

Reflex Enhancer

Beginning at level 3, you may weave through the melee, relying on your upgraded reactions to dodge foes that strike at you. Once per turn, you may force an opportunity attack made against you to have disadvantage.

Wire Walk

Once you reach level 7 you can digitise your entire body, allowing it to be transported through the matrix. You may use your action to jack into to any computer and transport your body to any connected system within 500 feet. You must finish a short or long rest before you may use this ability again.

Active Camouflage

At level 10 you create a short-term cloaking device. You may use your action to become invisible until the end of your next turn. You may use this ability a number of times equal to your intelligence modifier per day.

Phase Walk

At level 15 you may disrupt your physical form to phase through solid objects. When you move, you may move through other creatures and/or up to 1 foot thickness of solid material (walls, doors, etc). You must end your movement in an empty space or take 2d10 force damage and be pushed into the nearest empty space. You must finish a short or long rest before using this ability again.


An Operative is a master of combat technology, using it to create gaps in their opponents’ defences and strike where they can do the most damage. Often military trained, an Operative is an excellent battlefield leader and tactician.

Hit Them Where It Hurts

When you reach level 3 your attack systems detect the weakness of injured foes, allowing them to be terminated more effectively. Once per turn, you may do extra 1d8 damage with your attacks if the enemy is below maximum HP.

Getaway Driver

At level 7, you may use your innate skill with tech to gain proficiency with any vehicle you successfully hack into. The proficiency only lasts while you are patched into the vehicle via your DataJack.

FoamCrete Grenades

Beginning at level 10 you may create modified grenades that deploy a rapidly hardening foam. No creature other than you may use the grenades, and you may carry a number equal to your intelligence modifier. You may use one as part of an attack action, using it as you would any grenade. All creatures within a 10ft circle (centred on the grenade) must make a strength save or be restrained. They may repeat this save at the end of each of their turns to remove the condition. You may create new grenades during a long rest.

High Velocity Rounds

At level 15 you may spend a long rest interfacing with the systems of one of your firearms, allowing them to penetrate armours more easily. Your attacks with this weapon count as one calibre size larger. This effect is lost if a creature other than you uses the weapon.


a28f2d9e2d9b4648847258f89afad28eWhile all Riggers use technology to improve their abilities and attacks, a Gadgeteer goes even further, using their skills to produce effects even a mage would find impressive. Many end up working in the R&D divisions of a mega corp, either voluntarily or otherwise, although most find that their creativity is greatest living on the edge, carrying out runs.

EMP Shot

At level 3, you can release a small electromagnetic pulse, preventing the use of a technological item or weapon for a short time. You may use your action to force one opponent within 30ft to make an intelligence save or have their weapon/item hacked and be unable to use it for one round. Items that can be affected include most guns (not revolvers or other simpler designs), drones, vehicles, and computers, with others at DM discretion.

Disguise Printer

When you reach level 7, you create a nano 3D printer, allowing you to change your appearance. You may use your action to gain the effects of the spell Disguise Self, a number of times equal to your intelligence modifier per day. You do not need to concentrate to maintain the effect, and the disguise lasts 1 hour or until you use an action to remove it.

Bot Swarm

Beginning at level 10, you can release a cloud of nanodrones to block an area and protect you. Create a 50 foot long, 15 foot high, 1 foot thick wall of bots. The wall lasts up to a minute, or until dismissed by you. Firearms and ranged weapons cannot penetrate the wall. Anyone trying to cross it or caught inside it takes 4d8 piercing damage (dex save for half). You may use this ability a number of times equal to your intelligence modifier per day.

Mobile Attack Drones

At level 15 you can deploy mobile attack drones, to harass your enemies. You may use your action to gain the effects of the spell ‘Conjure Animals’ as if it were cast with a 5th-level slot. The beasts are mechnical in nature, but otherwise use the same stat block. You do not need to concentrate to maintain the effect, but the drones will only remain active for 1 hour due to their limited power. You may deactivate the drones before this time if you wish. You must finish a long rest before using this ability again.


You might notice the mechanics of the drone companion are very similar to my beast master rework from a while ago.

At level 2 you acquire or build a drone companion. The drone can have any form, so long as it is medium or small sized: it could be a wheeled tank, a walking robotic dog, an insect-like form, or a hovering spheroid. Choose one of the basic forms below, either flying, or non-flying, as applicable.


The drone will always attack any creature who attacks its Rigger or itself, and will follow its Rigger, but will otherwise wait for instruction. It acts on your initiative and you may use your bonus action to give the drone a simple command: attack (specific enemy or group), guard (area or creature), move, pursue, patrol, etc (DM discretion). It will carry out this command to the best of its ability until complete (e.g. the enemy is defeated) or told to stop. You may spend your action to control the drone directly, allowing more complex actions. You may at any point choose to see (and/or hear) through your drone’s sensors, but you are blind (and/or deaf) to your own body while you do so. You must be within 100 feet of your drone to control it or give it commands. As the commands are delivered by neural link, you do not need to speak to deliver the command.


As a Rigger, you are always tinkering and improving the drone: add your proficiency bonus to the drone’s AC, attack rolls and any skills it has proficiency in. The drone begins with 7 hit points and gains 1d6 (plus its constitution modifier) more per Rigger level. In addition the drone has d6 hit dice equal to your Rigger level that may be spent during a short rest as normal (as the drone’s repair routines work). If your drone is destroyed or lost, you may spend 24 hours creating a new one.

At level 2, you gain a basic drone. At levels 6, 9, 13 and 17 you may improve your drone. If you replace your drone, the new one has the same improvements you chose previously. For each improvement, select from the following:

  • Armour plating: your drone gains +2 AC.
  • Multiple redundancies: your drone gains +2 to its Constitution score, increasing its hit points (and hit points recovered from hit dice expenditure) as normal.
  • Repeater turret: your drone may use burst fire for its ranged attacks.
  • Tractor beam: your drone gains proficiency with the Strength(Athletics) skill and may attempt to grapple as its action.
  • Increased sensors – your drone gains expertise with the Wisdom(Perception) skill (add double your proficiency).
  • Improved sensors – your drone gains either 60ft darkvision, keen hearing, or keen sight. You may choose this improvement multiple times, selecting a different choice each time.
  • Silenced actuators: you drone gains proficiency with the Dexterity(Stealth) skill
  • Grenade launcher: your drone may attack with grenades.
  • Targeting system: increase the damage dice of your drone’s attack (d4 → d6 → d8 → d10). You may select this improvement multiple times, increasing the dice size each time.
  • Support system: as an action the drone may deliver medical support to any creature within 5 feet of it. That creature recovers 1d8 hit points. The drone may perform this action a number of times equal to half your Rigger level, per day.

5 thoughts on “5hadowrun Rigger 2.0

  1. As far as flair goes I am not a big fan of the Wire Walk ability and the Phase Walk ability. These seem like technological advances that are equal to Star Treks tech level and not really a cyberpunk feel to them.


    1. I know what you mean. I was trying to match them to equivalent ranger abilities/spells (like tree will) that don’t give a massive combat boost, but a few more exploration or sneaky options.


      1. Maybe after you write up the hacking section something may appear that would be better suited. It looks like you are combining the decker and rigger into one class (Not a bad idea), with that said in shadowrun they had Sprites and Agents – which are like self thinking programs that search the web and carry out your orders with out your direct supervision. Maybe something along these lines may help. Another option is allowing them to do things quicker on the web, something that normally takes a standard action now takes a move or 2 swift actions. I may be alone in this but I am not sure teleportation is in the cards for cyberpunk except as extremely advanced/hidden technology or of course, magic.

        I also think the Disguise printer needs to be re-skinned to a holographic projection Suit or something along those lines. Otherwise I imagine the character waiting by a 3d printer waiting for their ‘disguise’ to finish.


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