Author Topic: Getting rid of CFD [Dark Terrors]  (Read 888 times)

Jack_Spade

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Getting rid of CFD [Dark Terrors]
« on: (16:16:39/01-01-18) »
I've been meaning to examine the new rules for CFD for a while, but each time I wanted to post the forum crapped out.

Although I'm happy that CFD no longer means automatically losing your character, I don't like the fact that some of the new rules blatantly contradict rules set by previous books like Stolen Souls.

The essence of the new rules (Dark Terrors p.83ff) is that each CFD swarm inside a person is a device on which an AI runs.

You can use expensive hunter nanites to scrub that device from your body:

NanoScrub is the surefire method: Put a higher number of them into the infected than its nanite volume and the infection is gone (and if you are unlucky so are some of your cyberware implants)
Overwriter Nanites are cheaper and could in theory beat the infection with much less investment, but since you are rolling opposing dicepools of 2x overwriter rating vs. 2x Nanite Volume against a limit of the rating, that's likely a bad idea.
Oh, and you should have some form of first aid ready to restart the victims heart when the CFD tries to kill them out of spite.

The much cheaper solution is to hack the nanites (forgetting for the moment that Stolen Souls ruled that option out). All you need is trodes on or a data jack in the infected person.
Annoyingly, Dark Terror refers to Data Trails for quite a lot of this, but doesn't elaborate which option it's referring to:

Monads are AIs and
use their Mental Attributes for Matrix Combat,
Matrix Entity Concentration (MEC) for Depth,
Nanite Volume (NV) for Essence and Device Rating
NV+Int= Ini base +4d6 (hot sim) for initiative
They have a Core Condition Monitor (CCM) and a Matrix Condition Monitor (MCM) based on their MEC and NV respectively.

Monads are said to be running on a home device, but we don't know if occupying a brain is akin to piloting a vehicle/drone or more like a commlink/cyberdeck/RCC. Probably the latter, which means a Monad can get quite a severe bonus to one of its matrix attributes, also they gain the +2 Hot Sim Bonus to all Matrix Actions.
Also, they are supposed to have the ADSF Attributes, but it seems as if the writers neglected to mention how you determine those. So far their are three options:
Living Persona: CHA=Attack, WIL=Firewall, LOG=Data Processing, INT=Sleaze
Head Case Matrix Attributes from Lockdown: WIL+0,5NV=Attack, LOG+0,5NV=Sleaze, INT+0,5N=Data Processing, CHA+0,5NV=Firewall
or the base rule: Device Rating = Matrix Attributes

So on to the fun part: How to kill CFD:

There are two options mentioned: Fill the Core Condition Monitor with damage or fill the Matrix Condition Monitor.

The first one is a pretty save option with only one problem: Doing Core Damage to an AI that never leaves its home device is really hard. Data Trails mentions a Deicide Program that's supposed to be able to do so, but never gives any rules for it. An AI that realigns is susceptible to Core Damage as well. It's just a pity that Monads don't seem to realign - at least it isn't mentioned anywhere.
Format Device followed by a Reboot Action seems to be the intended way to do so - that's why the writer gave CFD a bonus to resist that action.

The second one is easy but dangerous: Doing Matrix Damage is as simple as throwing data and resonance spikes until the nanites fry. Unfortunately you can do that only if NV is lower 4 or you cause brain damage to the victim. You can use dialysis to reduce the NV by half (Stolen Souls p.194).
If you give the Monad a chance to repair matrix damage between attacks it will lower its NV by 1 per "injury"[sic!] (which is another unclear point: Did the writer mean per attack or per box of damage?)
So, if you have a fresh infected team member you can pretty safely just data spike the shit out of the nanites. But since CFD can increase the NV by 3 every month naturally (not to mention adding nanites from other sources like a nano hive) this becomes a pretty crappy solution quite soon.

And then there is the third, hidden option:
Crash Program.

Data Trails p.156 explains that AIs hit with the Crash Program action lose a point of Edge. Edge can't be higher than Dept and Dept is limited to 6 unless the AI has taken the horrendously expensive Exceptional Entity quality.
If Edge is reduced to zero, the Monad is forced into realignment which would allow you to capture it with an Extended Software + Logic [Data Processing] ([(Firewall) + Depth], 1 Combat Turn) Test.
While realigning all Matrix Damage done to the AI is also automatically Core Damage. This is where a high NV value hurts the Monad: The core track will be full a lot sooner than the matrix track and therefore safely annihilate the CFD personality.

All that presumes that you have physically restrained the head case.


tbc
talk think matrix

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Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

Tecumseh

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Re: Getting rid of CFD [Dark Terrors]
« Reply #1 on: (15:01:11/01-02-18) »
Great write-up, thanks. I have Dark Terrors but haven't gotten very far because I've been bouncing back and forth between it and The Complete Trog.

Does Dark Terrors suggests what happens after the process is success? Does the original personality return or is the character a blank slate?

I have a campaign where the PC started with CFD. He has a dilemma about how aggressively to treat his CFD, given that his previous personality is gone and he barely remembers it, so who is to say that personality 2.0 is any better or worse? There's no sense in getting rid of it if doing so will turn him into a bunraku puppet.

Jack_Spade

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Re: Getting rid of CFD [Dark Terrors]
« Reply #2 on: (16:28:23/01-02-18) »
Yes, actually.

If you get it out soon enough you can get away without serious repercussions (it's recommended to take a few negative qualities to represent the PTSD of being prisoner in your own body without being able to act)
If you have been subsumed for longer there is a high chance you are going to get the Blank Slate negative quality, where you need a persona fix to be more than an apathetic wreck.
It's a good idea to create a persona fix of yourself before you interact with any CFD related things, because the only other option to get yourself back is a deep dive into the resonance to get the necessary data from all your previous matrix interactions. 
talk think matrix

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Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

SavarWallk

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Re: Getting rid of CFD [Dark Terrors]
« Reply #3 on: (15:21:26/01-09-18) »
Look up Chrome Flesh pg. 25
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Jack_Spade

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Re: Getting rid of CFD [Dark Terrors]
« Reply #4 on: (16:20:00/01-09-18) »
Only works under very specific circumstances (willing, xenosapient and technomancer who has this pretty rare complex form)
talk think matrix

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UnLimiTeD

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Re: Getting rid of CFD [Dark Terrors]
« Reply #5 on: (08:15:40/01-13-18) »
So, I haven't read it yet, but basically, they decided that CFD was silly, and now they backpedal through more books?
Economically speaking, clever, but I'm still not happy about it. Then again, the Matrix never made a lot of sense. Maybe in 6th Edition.
Still waiting on a Vector-Thrust Liminal Body.

Jack_Spade

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Re: Getting rid of CFD [Dark Terrors]
« Reply #6 on: (14:00:18/01-13-18) »
Well, CFD wasn't that original to begin with (yey, another body snatcher. Get in line with bugs and shedim)
And it's not silly as such, but the fact that they first called it unstoppable/incurable and then turned around and made it pretty easy to deal with with already available methods feels like it wasn't thought out pretty well.
talk think matrix

To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield
Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

UnLimiTeD

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Re: Getting rid of CFD [Dark Terrors]
« Reply #7 on: (15:36:08/01-13-18) »
The whole thing wasn't.
Nanites were completely over the top.
Then they created something even more ridiculous and sort of unfitting to get rid of the "problem", and now they tune that down again.
And I have a feeling everytime it's someone else doing it, and they aren't communicating much. 
Ah well, planning ahead also costs.
Still waiting on a Vector-Thrust Liminal Body.

Reaver

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Re: Getting rid of CFD [Dark Terrors]
« Reply #8 on: (16:40:33/01-13-18) »
Or, its an evolution of technology to a specific problem, in this case CFD.

For those of you old enough to remember, all refridgeration was once done by CFC chemicals. Then we discovered how harmfull CFCs were!
As governments moved to ban them, the refridgeration industry cried out that they were going to kill people and increase wastes as people had to throw away appliances with no subsitute available!
Then someone figured out how to use the same system, just slightly modified yo run off of amonia and other chemicals...

Could be the very same thing here, an improvement in tech specifically brought about by an adversity.
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Tecumseh

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Re: Getting rid of CFD [Dark Terrors]
« Reply #9 on: (16:54:03/01-13-18) »
I think we're being a bit unfair.

Stolen Souls has a street date of April 2076 and the Boston Lockdown went into effect in June 2076. In Storm Front, FastJack pins his infection on a run he did in "early 2072".

Dark Terrors, which introduces the resolutions that Jack_Spade has summarized, has a street date of December 2079. So, CFD has explicitly been a part of the metaplot for 3.5 years and been a background factor for almost 8 years.

This is a long time, and to me it seems like the timing is right to have the plot arc bending toward conclusion. Remember, even Chicago was only quarantined for 2.5 years (August 2055 to February 2058). And, as the posts above describe, even if the CFD is "cured" it will still have lingering effects.

If anything, I would be concerned that the combined technological resources and research might of the megacorporations hadn't figured out a resolution after all this time.