Author Topic: Why do MAD scanners even exist?  (Read 2848 times)

swliner

  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 37
    • View Profile
Why do MAD scanners even exist?
« on: April 15, 2011, 12:27:41 PM »
So I'm flipping through the Gear section, and I noticed something:
1) Cyberware scanners cost the exact same as a MAD scanner of the same rating
2) Cyberware scanners are more available
3) Cyberware scanners can have a higher rating
4) Cyberware scanners can detect weapons of any composition, metal or not
5) Cyberware scanners can detect out to 15m, while MAD scanners can detect out to 5m

So, with all of this going for it, why would anyone EVER use a MAD scanner?

The_Gun_Nut

  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1583
    • View Profile
Re: Why do MAD scanners even exist?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2011, 12:38:54 PM »
Because cyberware scanners have to beat a certain threshold in order to detect the item.  MAD scanners just need one.  Per page 262 of SR4A, standard cyber or a weapon just needs 1 hit on the cyberware scanner.  Higher grades have a higher threshold, all the way up to "5+" for Delta gear.

So, basically, a rating 3 MAD scanner will, on average, pick up whatever is being hidden.  A cyberware scanner will have a harder time with the higher grades, even with a larger device rating.  The cyberware scanner is more versatile, however, since it can pick up more details.  However, the MAD scanner is not vulnerable to jamming like the cyberware scanner:  the CS uses radar and advanced software, the MAD scanner uses magnetic fields like a blunt instrument compared to the CS.
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

Sid

  • Chummer
  • **
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
Re: Why do MAD scanners even exist?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2011, 12:59:45 PM »
That's a mechanical reason; I think in-setting it would be a mix of privacy issues (not so much the rights of the individual, but corporate choice to withhold right to detailed non-invasive security devices in an area) and employment issues. A MAD scanner just needs someone nearby to register that it beeped / did not beep. MWS needs someone to make a judgement call on scanning results.

Click here for current MWS tech. (warning: digitised blue genitalia may cause Watchmen flashbacks)

The_Gun_Nut

  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1583
    • View Profile
Re: Why do MAD scanners even exist?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2011, 01:05:26 PM »
With advanced software packages, you don't even need a person present.  This does end up making the CS scanner more expensive, as you need to upload an agent (with the appropriate skillsoft) into the scanner.  And those guys are not cheap, like the MAD scanner.
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

CanRay

  • Freelancer
  • Mr. Johnson
  • *****
  • Posts: 10883
  • Spouter of Random Words
    • View Profile
    • CanRay's Artistic Work
Re: Why do MAD scanners even exist?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2011, 05:52:22 PM »
So, you go cheap with a MAD Detector, or you go expensive with a Cyberware Scanner (With the added cost of software or a living person to increase said cost.).

MAD Detectors would be used in low-risk or low-funding areas.  Stuffer Shacks that are in high-crime areas, so the store manager knows to take the safety off the shotgun when the scanner goes beep in case the slot tries something.  Or public schools due to funding cuts to security.
Si vis pacem, para bellum

Kontact

  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 3147
  • You called?
    • View Profile
Re: Why do MAD scanners even exist?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2011, 07:21:00 PM »
Um.. you just roll the cyberware scanner's rating.  It doesn't use any skills or receive any bonuses from having a person watch it.  It's a completely automated system.

Also, they look for known shapes and ignore unknown shapes.  If you break down your weapon or disguise it with wifi-inhibiting paint, it won't recognize it.

The_Gun_Nut

  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1583
    • View Profile
Re: Why do MAD scanners even exist?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2011, 05:20:06 AM »
But you still run into the problem of cyberware grades.  The MAD scanner won't see them at all, but it isn't intended to.  The cyber-scanner has a chance to see them, but it isn't a good one.  That's where I'd factor in an agent program or a meat-body standing there with a perception test (or the like) to figure out what's there.
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."

CanRay

  • Freelancer
  • Mr. Johnson
  • *****
  • Posts: 10883
  • Spouter of Random Words
    • View Profile
    • CanRay's Artistic Work
Re: Why do MAD scanners even exist?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2011, 10:19:35 AM »
And that, children, is why you shouldn't buy your illegal cyberweapons at standard grade.  :P
Si vis pacem, para bellum

Sid

  • Chummer
  • **
  • Posts: 110
    • View Profile
Re: Why do MAD scanners even exist?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2011, 11:54:49 AM »
Um.. you just roll the cyberware scanner's rating.  It doesn't use any skills or receive any bonuses from having a person watch it.  It's a completely automated system.
Tree, forest, sound. If a scanner goes beep at a checkpoint, but nothing is ready to monitor it, do you still get arrested?

CanRay

  • Freelancer
  • Mr. Johnson
  • *****
  • Posts: 10883
  • Spouter of Random Words
    • View Profile
    • CanRay's Artistic Work
Re: Why do MAD scanners even exist?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2011, 12:17:38 PM »
Tree, forest, sound. If a scanner goes beep at a checkpoint, but nothing is ready to monitor it, do you still get arrested?
And that, Corp Children, is why you have an Auto-Turret aimed at the doorway to go off when illegal cyberware is scanned.  :P
Si vis pacem, para bellum

Kontact

  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 3147
  • You called?
    • View Profile
Re: Why do MAD scanners even exist?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2011, 05:53:17 PM »
Um.. you just roll the cyberware scanner's rating.  It doesn't use any skills or receive any bonuses from having a person watch it.  It's a completely automated system.
Tree, forest, sound. If a scanner goes beep at a checkpoint, but nothing is ready to monitor it, do you still get arrested?

Just because a dude is trained to stand at a door with a gun doesn't mean he has the training to be able to recognize things that an expert system can not... or even access to that level information, namely a list of things that every visiting corp exec brings into the building.  But, if you've got a MAD scanner and a cyberwear scanner, you're covered on both ends.  The cyberwear scanner looks for identifyable objects, regardless of their metallic composition (actually, it's really really hard to disguise a bullet,) and the MAD scanner tells them when someone is walking in the door, packing 10 kilos of metal.

swliner

  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 37
    • View Profile
Re: Why do MAD scanners even exist?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2011, 06:49:13 PM »
You obviously need someone to monitor the scanner either way, otherwise why have it.  It's just that as far as detecting weapons, the Cyberware scanner has the MAD beat, hands down, which considering that's the stated purpose of the MAD (Magnetic anomaly detectors detect metallic substances for the purpose of finding concealed weaponry. ) seems like a bad thing.

Although, someone mentioned that it was possible to jam a Cyberware scanner?  Where is that option described/how does it work?  If it's actually a feasible option, that would swing the argument back to having both.

Chrona

  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 3793
    • View Profile
Re: Why do MAD scanners even exist?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2011, 07:02:06 PM »
You obviously need someone to monitor the scanner either way, otherwise why have it.  It's just that as far as detecting weapons, the Cyberware scanner has the MAD beat, hands down, which considering that's the stated purpose of the MAD (Magnetic anomaly detectors detect metallic substances for the purpose of finding concealed weaponry. ) seems like a bad thing.

Although, someone mentioned that it was possible to jam a Cyberware scanner?  Where is that option described/how does it work?  If it's actually a feasible option, that would swing the argument back to having both.
it's under the scanner cyberlimb accessory in augmentation that they can be jammed i think

Kontact

  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 3147
  • You called?
    • View Profile
Re: Why do MAD scanners even exist?
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2011, 07:04:16 PM »
Again, a guard doesn't need to stare at a screen that an expert system is monitoring.  The guard stares at the person.  The machine scans the person.  If the machine decides that the person is doing something wrong, the alarm goes off and the guard draws at the person.  The corporation likes machines.  If it could make every person act as regularly as a machine, it would.

As to jamming, that's not explicit, but rather implicit from the description of the Radar cyberwear, which also functions as a millimeter wave scanner.

The_Gun_Nut

  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1583
    • View Profile
Re: Why do MAD scanners even exist?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2011, 10:04:54 PM »
It's radar, as opposed to a simple magnetic field.  I suppose one could jam a MAD scanner, but that would just create a bunch of false positives.

You know what?  That might be fun, too.  :D
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."