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Running silent - causing deckers to pass like ships in the night...

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Lobo

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« on: <10-14-13/0854:05> »
Ok, I just want to see if I am reading this properly.

So my understanding of Matrix Perception is that if an icon is not running silent, and is within 100 meters of your PHYSICAL location (not VR location), you spot it automatically.  If not, you can make a Matrix Perception test to spot  it.

page 235
"You can automatically spot the icons of devices that
are not running silent within 100 meters of your physical
location. No matter where you are in the Matrix, your
commlink or deck (or your living persona) only has its
own antenna for wireless signals, so this distance is measured
from your physical location no matter where you
are in the Matrix. Beyond this distance, you need to make
a Matrix Perception Test (p. 241) to find a specific icon."

So far so good.

Now, if an icon is running silent, you first need to make a matrix perception test to see if something is running silent and then make another perception test to see what is running silent.

Page 235
"If youíre trying to find an icon thatís running silent (or
if youíre running silent and someoneís looking for you),
the first thing you need to do is have some idea that a
hidden icon is out there. You can do this with a hit from
a Matrix Perception Test; asking if there are icons running
silent in the vicinity (either in the same host or within 100
meters) can be a piece of information you learn with a hit."

Now, notice that they use that same 100 meter distance(or same host) as the limit to whether or not you can spot the silent icon.  It doesn't specifically say the second time "within 100 meters of your PHYSICAL location" - but it doesn't seem a stretch to read it there.

Here is where I think (again, unless I'm reading it wrong) the problem comes in.  So imagine a team of shadowrunners is infiltrating a corp facility, and they are running silent.  Does that mean if the corp spider is not on site, or if the facility is big enough that the spider can be more than 100 meters away from the team, that he cannot spot them at all?

Does this mean that effectively the decker HAS to be in on all the physical penetrations of the team if he wants to mess with the guards' equipment?  I know that if he is just hacking into the Host, he can always see the Host from anywhere in the world, and once inside the Host, he can see anything in that Host, but as far as hacking the guards' equipment (which would not be slaved to the Host), if they are running silent, then he just couldn't see them from VR overwatch?  Not only that, but if the corporate spider, who is running silent and physically over 100 meters from the team (who are foolishly not running silent) can now start attacking them, while the team's decker can't do anything to the spider, since he is more than 100 meters from the spider, and the spider is more than 100 meters from the teams decker, therefore as long as both are running silent neither can see one another?

Imagine a different example in AR, where a team is outside.  Decker A (hostile) is north of the team, but moves to a position where he is within 100 meters of the sammy, but not Decker B.  At this point, the sammy can now come under Matrix attack (assuming either he is not running silent or Decker A makes a successful Matrix Perception test), and Decker B has no chance of spotting Decker A, and if Decker B is running silent, Decker A has no chance of spotting Decker B).  They may be able to spot him physically, but not see what his Matrix Persona is doing.

Is that right, or am I misreading this?


Crunch

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« Reply #1 on: <10-14-13/0934:18> »
What you're missing is the chart on the page before Running Silent. It specifies that if you know at least one feature of an icon you don't have to make the test to see if there are any silent running icons.

So while an off site Spider might not be able to scan for any hidden icons, he could roll matrix perception for the icon of the persona that just triggered the alert.

At least that's the way I would run it. 

Xenon

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« Reply #2 on: <10-14-13/1415:03> »
a security rigger is not really looking for your wireless devices. his job is to protect the physical facility from intrusion and will use his cameras, sensors, drones etc and co-ordinate with security patrols to locate your team.

a security decker is not really looking for your wireless devices out on the grid either. his job is to protect the network and the host from intrusion and will work together with IC programs to to find your decker if he decide to take a peak inside the host.

emeketos

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« Reply #3 on: <10-14-13/1428:15> »
also generally its not the spider that notices first its the host which would be at range 0

Lobo

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« Reply #4 on: <10-14-13/1548:41> »
@Crunch,

I must be missing that chart - what page is that on, because I don't see it.  I mean, I am happy if that is the case, but as far as I can tell, the only way you can attempt to spot a running silent icon is if you first make a successful Matrix Perception test to see if it is within 100 meters, and then if you succeed, you get a random sampling of icons, and THEN you can attempt to find the actual icon you are looking for.

I mean, if I have to come up with house rules, that's fine - but I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything in the RAW.

@Xenon,

Good info, but that doesn't change the circumstances I'm laying out - which is that two people who are running silent in VR (and not in hosts) cannot see one another at all if they are running silent and their bodies are more than 100 meters away.  It means that if you are running silent, any decker not within 100 meters of you cannot affect you at all, and any decker attempting to defend you against an attack from someone who is more than 100 meters away from your decker's host body cannot do so.

@emeketos,

The host doesn't spot your persona unless you are actually inside it.  If you are inside the host, then yes, anything inside the host can see you (or attempt to) regardless of where their bodies are.  But if you are outside the host, nothing in it can see your persona/devices at all.

FasterN8

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« Reply #5 on: <10-14-13/1712:51> »
Here is how I see the RAW of what you quoted:

The first quote specifically says that beyond 100 meters you have to make a matrix perception test to spot a non-silent icon.  It does not set a limit on how far away that might be, so at some point you're definitely going to be using antennas other than your own comlink.  Maybe that's 101 meters or maybe some distance further out, but the point remains that spotting a specific icon across the city or state is possible, but at that point you're definitely not using your own antennas, which is probably why you need to make that test.

The second quote tells you, "...the first thing you need to do is have some idea that a hidden icon is out there."  Well, duh.  Thank you, designers for telling me why I'm trying to find a incon thats running silent.  Besides being redundant, I think the question it poses, "are there any icons running silent in the vicinity" is not the only question one might use to find out if there were hidden icons, nor is the 100 meter vicinity the only location that might be specified when searching for hidden icons.

The requirements are terribly non specific, but I don't see the example they give as exclusive.  Here are some other examples of matrix perception "questions" that I think a spider might ask.

Are there any hidden icons on this host (besides the ones I already know about)?
    - we already know this is one other possible "location" to use for matrix perception checks
Where are the hidden icons in the south section of the building on the 5th floor? 
    - "Because I can see you mouth-breathers on the security cameras!"
Where is the icon of that guy I'm looking at through my sniper scope?
    - requires a simple test if non-hidden, opposed test if hidden
Where is the icon of the guy that just triggered the automatic door on the 3rd floor to open?
    - this would just be a super small area search for commlinks near the automatic door

In all these cases except the first, you'd most likely be using antennas that were not your own commlink or deck, but you'd be sniffing around the traffic in that area the same way you'd try to spot a non-hidden icon that was outside the physical range of your commlink/deck. 

Edit: All tests would be opposed tests instead of simple tests if the target is hidden, but in the case of the last 3, you're dealing with a non-zero distance since the targets are not in the host, and the spider would have to leave the host to look for them, making his physical location relevant for distance and noise.  This is also why the best security will have the Security Spider on site, rather than a contracted, remote site "telecommuter".
« Last Edit: <10-14-13/2120:55> by FasterN8 »

Xenon

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« Reply #6 on: <10-15-13/1037:55> »
...that two people who are running silent in VR (and not in hosts) cannot see one another at all if they are running silent and their bodies are more than 100 meters away...
To spot a silent running icon you first need to have some idea that a hidden icon is out there. Matrix Perception and asking "If there are icons running silent in the vicinity" can be a piece of information you learn with a hit. Useful if you are looking for all icons running silent in the vicinity. If you are not looking for all icons running silent in the vicinity you can ask something different...

For example: "I want to spot the icon that just attacked me".


Edit. The "100m" is not a hard limit. It just showcase that it is easier to spot things closer to your jack in point. Everything closer to your jack in point is brighter and more vibrant. The further away you get the more latency you get.... but you can spot a matrix icon anywhere in the world as long as it is out on the grid and you know enough information of the icon to make the search come up with a single distinct icon.
« Last Edit: <10-15-13/1045:31> by Xenon »

martinchaen

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« Reply #7 on: <10-15-13/1124:49> »
On the topic of running silent; what devices can run silent?

If a character is carrying two commlinks, one running silent and one active (broadcasting a fake SIN), can he also have all the rest of his wireless gear run silent? Would this potentially raise a lot of suspicion?

FasterN8

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« Reply #8 on: <10-15-13/1338:44> »
Any device or persona can run silent.  pg 235

Gear that is slaved to a PAN is normally merged with the persona and not immediately visible even if you aren't running silent.  But in the case you described, all the gear slaved to your silent commlink would also be silent. But I believe any checks to spot hidden devices would first have to spot your commlink before seeing the devices slaved to it.

martinchaen

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« Reply #9 on: <10-15-13/1344:55> »
FasterN8 Thanks, much appreciated, that pretty much answers my question. In other words, don't run silent when meeting Mr. Johnson, just in case he has some Matrix support (and let's face it, he probably does)...

Xenon

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« Reply #10 on: <10-15-13/1401:50> »
On the topic of running silent; what devices can run silent?
All devices can run silent. Personas and living personas can run silent. Hosts as well.
All icons except Marks (but they are well hidden anyway) can run silent.

If a character is carrying two commlinks, one running silent and one active (broadcasting a fake SIN), can he also have all the rest of his wireless gear run silent?
Sure

Would this potentially raise a lot of suspicion?
In some situations. In others it would raise more suspicion not running your stuff (or some) in silent mode.
...kinda like packing a weapon might raise suspicion but might be expected in some situations.


Gear that is slaved to a PAN is normally merged with the persona and not immediately visible even if you aren't running silent. 
Gear you carry on your body all have their individual icons. All non-protected files on your commlink have visible icons that anyone can interact with. All your RFID-tags in your cloths. Music files etc. Most people set their filter to merge all the individual icons into one single icon (called a PAN). It is not the owner that "merge" all his icons. It is everyone else that normally set their filter that way. The filter is also normally set to not merge important or dangerous icons, such as a smartgun.


...But I believe any checks to spot hidden devices would first have to spot your commlink before seeing the devices slaved to it.
This is SR4 PAN thinking.

In SR5 each wireless device is it's own device. Slaved or not. Silent or not.

If you pull out a wireless enabled smartgun that does not show up in their augmented reality heads up display then people will probably assume it is running silent (and can try to spot it if they want to interact with the matrix icon). The smartgun will be harder to spot if it is owned by a decker (as the cyberdeck have an active sleaze rating that help the smartgun when taking his defense test to stay hidden) but you don't first have to spot the cyberdeck in order to see his devices and you can have devices that does not run silent even if the master device is and vice verse.
« Last Edit: <10-15-13/1403:53> by Xenon »

Kincaid

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« Reply #11 on: <10-15-13/1416:42> »
[We interrupt this thread to remind people that toggling wireless functionality is a Free Action.  Don't run your guns silent, turn the damn things off in their holster!]
Killing so many sacred cows, I'm banned from India.

martinchaen

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« Reply #12 on: <10-15-13/1428:43> »
Kincaid Heh, ironically, that's exactly what I was thinking. If I don't want Mr. Johnson or Mr. Thug/Hacker to know how many guns I'm carrying and potentially bricking them in their holsters, I'll just turn them off.

Good call.