Author Topic: Matrix Feedback for the new Sourcebook  (Read 707 times)

Finstersang

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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:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Shadowrun/comments/7hszqe/houserules_matrix_overhaul/

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 »
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HP15BS

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Re: Matrix Feedback for the new Sourcebook
« Reply #16 on: (13:21:18/12-18-17) »
I like it.
+1
Me gusta.
私は好きです

(Not so hot on the name, but that's not too important. And it's still better than what I'd call it, since psuedoHacking doesn't have that slang ring to it lol)
« Last Edit: (13:30:53/12-18-17) by HP15BS »

Finstersang

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Re: Matrix Feedback for the new Sourcebook
« Reply #17 on: (12:29:17/02-01-18) »
Sooo, we have a title for the Matrix Sourcebook AND the forum seems to be a bit more stable than usual. High time to bump this thread again  ;D

Lets talk about two extremely important aspects of Shadowrun that are massively linked to the Matrix, but almost nonexistant in the current Matrix Crunch:
Money and SINS (+ Licenses).

First, teh Moniez:
The Nuyen and and allmost all other 6th World currencies are digital, so there should be at least some opportunities for Matrix interaction (and thus: fragginī RULEZ) here. First, the legal means of interaction: What authentification methods are used for transactions, how long does a transaction take, what Matrix Actions are used etc.? Then, the illegal parts: When you can pay with your commlink, someone else might be able to do the same, at least in a limited way. Maybe smaller transactions can be done with only a few marks and without the mysterious "ownership privilege" nobody evers dares to explain :>
Complex Forms/Programs/Matrix Actions to spoof legitimate transactions or shaving off little "transaction fees" would be cool, if balanced reasonably.  If I remembered correctly, 4th Edition also offered rules for "lifestyle spoofing": Think of a hacker organizing her lifestyle by small everyday hacks, like using fake digital coupons at delivery services or saving money on electricity by hacking the power meters. Fun, flavourfull and fitting ;)   

Second, SINs:
What are they? Just a number with Data attached to it or more? According to the Core Rules, your SIN is also stored in a File on your commlink, so it can be broadcasted in public spaces. What if I copy a SIN? What if I delete my or somebody elseīs SIN? In the infamous Technomancer feedback thread, multiple posters (including me) suggested complex forms to spoof a SIN. And even if a SIN is unhackable because reasonsTM, what if I aim at the verification devices? To works, these surely would need a connection to the Matrix?

« Last Edit: (12:15:35/02-03-18) by Finstersang »
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firebug

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Re: Matrix Feedback for the new Sourcebook
« Reply #18 on: (16:56:40/02-01-18) »
I wanna add to this, but really all I have are Dead Sea levels of salt and the most passive-aggressive (or blatantly aggressive) suggestions to read the Technomancer Feedback thread, fire the awful woman who barely did anything regarding TMs (well, she's probably freelance so I guess just don't hire her again and politely let other employers know that she's not a star employee) and just please for the love of god give the part of the game that interested me the very most in 4th edition some attention, take it out of the cellar, rehabilitate it (because at this point it's retarded and malnourished) and do it some dang justice.
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Marcus

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Re: Matrix Feedback for the new Sourcebook
« Reply #19 on: (19:34:18/02-01-18) »
I wanna add to this, but really all I have are Dead Sea levels of salt and the most passive-aggressive (or blatantly aggressive) suggestions to read the Technomancer Feedback thread, fire the awful woman who barely did anything regarding TMs (well, she's probably freelance so I guess just don't hire her again and politely let other employers know that she's not a star employee) and just please for the love of god give the part of the game that interested me the very most in 4th edition some attention, take it out of the cellar, rehabilitate it (because at this point it's retarded and malnourished) and do it some dang justice.

To be fair that book hasn't come out yet  to my knowledge, so I'm not sure we should throw stone yet? It's the company that deiced release dates not the free lancers? (Feel free to jump and tell me I'm wrong Free Lancers) Unless you have some inside Info Firebug?
I'm in generally happy with the matrix rules, I am in generally epicly unhappy with the TM rules.

how does that compare with everyone else's thoughts on the matter?

Mirikon

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Re: Matrix Feedback for the new Sourcebook
« Reply #20 on: (19:49:50/02-01-18) »
The TM book basically got shat on for so long that they're rolling it into the matrix book. So instead of a complete rewrite like TMs need, we'll probably get a chapter of mostly fluff that does jack shit to fix the problems.
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Finstersang

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Re: Matrix Feedback for the new Sourcebook
« Reply #21 on: (21:47:20/02-01-18) »
Itīs gonna probably be something in the middle for TMs, I suspect  :-\
SR5īs Core System offers to many traps for good game design, the worst of which is Limits. Sooo many gear and other options for useless limit boni, ughh...
Many design ideas to the archetype will fall in these traps, just like many other useless options other supplements: "What, you think a bonus dice (not to speak of any unique ability) sounds to powerfull?! Just make it a useless limit bonus and call it a day!" However, TMs are so fucked up right now that even those would be helpfull :P*

But maybe, just maybe, some of the more interesting ideas for TMs might stick. Also, keep in might that the Matrix content is generally sub-par in SR5, mostly because Data Trails turnt out to be an almost total dumpsterfire. Thatīs also a reason why I started this thread instead of digging deeper into the TM saltmines. Iīm not mad that the TM content is rolled into a second matrix sourcebook. For all I care, there is no "Matrix supplement" worth the title so far.

* But if you still want to blow it, you could always add limit boni to Actions that donīt exist, like the Mathemagics Echo. Seriously, how much less can you care?!**
** Ok, but thatīs it with the TM salt ! Letīs stay constructive here  ;D***
*** Seriously, tho...
« Last Edit: (07:19:01/02-02-18) by Finstersang »
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