Author Topic: Matrix Feedback for the new Sourcebook  (Read 369 times)


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Re: Matrix Feedback for the new Sourcebook
« Reply #15 on: (05:08:26/12-07-17) »
I recently stumbled upon a reddit thread with a similar notion. Thought Iīd link it here, just as I linked this thread over there:

Many many good ideas there. One that really stood out for me is the "Deckless hacking" mechanic described by user rieldealIV, although itīs probably better described as "Hacking without a Persona". Basically, this covers something you can see in countless movies and thatīs a lot more "realistic" than the usual cyberpunky VR-codeslinging: A Hacker hacking the device in question through its own interface (keyboard, control panel, touch screen...) and not by connection with his own ware. Examples would be snatching someoneīs  commlink by con or pickpocketing and then typing in a quick hack, using a control terminal in a corporate facility to manipulate devices connected to them or searching the paydata directly on the execīs desktop computer. These devices have their own controls waiting for commands, so why would you need special equipment or a virtual persona to hack them?

My take on the original idea would go like this:
  • This method of hacking is called "Dry Hacking" < idk, sounds fitting to me. If someoneīs got a better idea, let me know  ;)
  • "Dry hacking" can be taken as a specialty for all skills in the Electronics and Cracking skill groups. < Always good for Archetype building.
  • To dry hack a device, it has to offer you an active(!) control panel or a similar interface that allows for the manipulation of the deviceīs whole software makeup. < This means that a security panel designed just for typing in a door code will usually not be hackable in this fashion, as the panel only allows for limited input (i.e. the numbers 1-9 for the code). This limits the use of dry hacking to certain GM-approved contexts, unlike "real" hacking with an actual persona. You have to be tricky in meatspace to gain dry access to a device - commlinks might have "lockscreens" like our smartphones f.i., so you have to snatch them while unlocked.*
  • When using dry hacking, you can use (almost) all Matrix actions as if you have enough Marks on the device whose interface you are accessing. Since you donīt have a persona, you use your Mental Limit instead of the appropriate Matrix attribute. However, you take a -2 Modificator and add another -1 modificator for every missing Mark, up to a modificator of -6 for ownership actions. < Yes, you can perform ownership actions with this. Why the hell wouldnīt you? This may also include the Spoof Command Matrix Action, if there are devices around that accept orders from the device you are hacking.
  • Notable Exceptions: You cannot perform (and wonīt need) Brute Force or its stealthy counterpart to gain Marks, and you canīt make the device Dataspike itself or other targets.
  • If you fail any illegal action, the device is alarmed and will try to communicate this in an appropriate manner. A commlink might start to beep and show a warning sign, a terminal will tip off corporate security etc. The device will know that it was hacked through physical interface access, so expect the guards to know where they need to look for you. The device will probably also go into lockdown by shutting off access through the interface.
  • Just because you have physical access, Dry Hacking is not to be confused with hacking via direct connection. If the device in question is protected by a master device or host, it still rolls the higher of each defense attributes. However, your Matrix Action usually donīt suffer from wireless Noise (an exception would be Spoofing a wireless command)

Adding something like this as an official game mechanic would really close a gap IMO. It would also make the Cracking skill group valuable even for characters without a Deck or Resonance Score, so you can get a taste of Matrix fun without paying 50k+ for equipment or being born as a tech-wizard. And all of it can be done just in a couple of Paragraphs  8)

*Or use your wits to find out the unlock code, f.i. by using Thermal Vision to track the heat marks of the last user. Or by using the Con skill to pose as Matrix security expert who really needs to have a quick look at the setup. Or by using your fist to smash the ownerīs teeth in until he tells you the code. See how this is making the creativity flow?  ;D
« Last Edit: (07:59:48/12-07-17) by Finstersang »
But at least we got fearies n' shit... *cough*