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(6) First Matrix Run - some questions

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Tnirb

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« on: <01-21-22/1104:30> »
Hello - once again :)

Doing our first Matrix mini-run where our CovertOps character will need to do some hacking (so we can learn the rules).
The character got skills: Electronic, Engineering and some points in Cracking now and have gotten hands on a cyberdeck (Programs: Decryption, Overclock). Besides that he got a Datajack implanted but no Cyberjack. And he got a Commlink and Cybereyes (with Image link).

The scene is as follows: The character is parked besides a garage somewhere downtown and needs to hack access to the garage. First by opening the doors (host A)to the garage and then access a nested host one level deeper (host B)and get/download a file containing an adress on some important ganger. Host B got a IC Patrol running and will activate a IC: Scrambler trying to get the hacker to reboot and hopefully leave the system.

Host A. Rating 2(User: can Open door). Host B. Rating 3 with IC Patrol/ Scrambler (Admin: Can access files)

1: Using a cyberdeck, commlink and Image Link (cyber eyes) I guess he can access the Matrix in AR or Cold-sim VR? Since Hot-sim requires a Cyberjack?
2: When do we start rolling Initiative? First when encountering the IC Pat at Host B?
3: When he enters the Matrix (he is physically parked around 20 meters for the computer in the garage) do he need to do a Matrix Perception or will the garages Icon be right next to him?
4: When Host A is probed/brute'ed is it correct to use Action: Control Device, to open the garage doors?
5: Can the IC Patrol be "killed" before it get's to activate the SCRAMBLER (if I got a lower initiative) using Data Spike?
6: Is IC Patrol really only doing a new Matrix perception test every 20th Combat Round (1 min)? Seems like the player will have enough time to get done with the job?
7: Would the smartest approach be to use Hide Action before probe/backdoor entry on Host A?
8 Is it correct that a "Security Spider" is another Decker in the matrix? CRB mentiones Spiders but no rules or specifications can be found in CRB.
9: Noise: I guess Noise is only a problem in AR since in VR you can just "move" to the Icon and start hacking?
10: Host B (Got the file with the adress): Would the actions be: Crack File -> Edit File, to copy the adress? After the Hack and Enter Host actions.

Hope my questions make sense!
« Last Edit: <01-21-22/1415:41> by Tnirb »

MercilessMing

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« Reply #1 on: <01-21-22/1305:52> »
YAY!  So glad you are actually doing matrix things and not hand waving it to an NPC.  It's also neat to see a character who isn't a dedicated decker, they've got other things they're doing too.

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1: Using a cyberdeck, commlink and Image Link (cyber eyes) I guess he can access the Matrix in AR or Cold-sim VR? Since Hot-sim requires a Cyberjack?
No, he can go hot sim.  pg. 267 "All cyberdecks include hot-sim modules".  He has a hot sim module (cyberdeck) and a direct neural interface (datajack), those are the two things you need to do hot sim VR.
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2: When do we start rolling Initiative? First when encountering the IC Pat at Host B?
Nah, only if combat starts.  The Patrol IC can't automatically see the decker, because the decker has a Sleaze attribute.  If the Patrol IC spots the decker (its job is to search, after all), THEN initiative can start, cause the decker probably wants to do something about that.
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3: When he enters the Matrix (he is physically parked around 20 meters for the computer in the garage) do he need to do a Matrix Perception or will the garages Icon be right next to him?
This part is up to you.  The GM has to paint the matrix world as well as the physical one.  Would the garage have a public facing icon for people to interact with, or is it secret?  People don't need to make perception tests for things that aren't hidden.
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4: When Host A is probed/brute'ed is it correct to use Action: Control Device, to open the garage doors?
Yes, but it's not the only option.  Deckers can get away with a lot using the action "Spoof Command" - which you can do with Outsider access (ie. you don't have to be in the host).  Think of Control Device as the action you use to sustain use of a device, and Spoof Command as the action you use to do one-shot actions like "open door", "unlock maglock".  To take over the security turret in the ceiling, I need to Control Device.  But if I just want to command it to shoot the guard over there, I can Spoof Command.
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5: Can the IC Patrol be "killed" before it get's to activate the SCRAMBLER (if I got a lower initiative) using Data Spike?
I'm not really up on the intricacies of cybercombat.  But probably yes.
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6: Is IC Patrol really only doing a new Matrix perception test every 20th Combat Round (1 min)? Seems like the player will have enough time to get done with the job?
Treat it like a real guard.  Sensitive areas will be scanned more often.  Alerted guards will scan more often.  Large systems that operate inefficiently (government databases) will be scanned less often.  Treat 1 minute as a guideline, not something to announce to your players.  However, if the decker does good legwork, maybe they find out the patrol interval.  If they're having an easy time of it, maybe give them another scan right before they get the thing they're after.  Yknow, for dramatic purposes.
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7: Would the smartest approach be to use Hide Action before probe/backdoor entry on Host A?
No, it's not necessary.  Hide would only be useful after the Patrol IC has spotted the character.  That's when he becomes no longer hidden.  It has no effect on your OS.  As long as the decker is running silent (pg 178), they are considered hidden and can only be spotted by a successful matrix perception test.
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8 Is it correct that a "Security Spider" is another Decker in the matrix? CRB mentiones Spiders but no rules or specifications can be found in CRB.
Yep, it's a decker that's protecting the system.  Read the Host Hacking examples in the book (pg 178, pg 188) to get a little more of an idea of what they do.  Emphasis on little.  Spiders 'live' in the host - the host is the spider's web.  Low security hosts may have no spider, or perhaps the company has hired matrix security from another company and there's one spider checking on 10-20 hosts simultaneously, so doesn't appear very often.  Even if the spider isn't currently present, you should use their stats when the host's rolls call for it.  It represents the defenses that the spider has set up.  Spiders can leave the hosts they defend, IC cannot. 
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9: Noise: I guess Noise is only a problem in AR since in VR you can just "move" to the Icon and start hacking?
No, it's a problem in VR too.  No matter where you "move" in VR,  you're still tethered to your device's physical location.  Personally, I'm not a fan of the Noise mechanic.  It's there to discourage doing a shadowrun from your bedroom, to keep the decker with the rest of the team, so instead of counting negative modifiers on a chart, I just tell my players they need to be within a couple hundred meters.
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10: Host B (Got the file with the adress): Would the actions be: Crack File -> Edit File, to copy the adress? After the Hack and Enter Host actions.
Here's the possibilities:
It might start with Matrix Perception or Hash Check to find the file, if the player doesn't know where it is/it's not obvious/it's hidden/there's a lot of files to search.
Next might be another Matrix Perception to inspect the file, to get some info on it.  They might learn if it's encrypted, if there's a data bomb, when it was last edited, etc.
Next might be Disarm Data Bomb
Next might be Crack File to remove encryption.
Finally would be Edit File to copy it.

Tnirb

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« Reply #2 on: <01-21-22/1413:54> »
MercilessMing .../bow! 8)

Really helpfull answers thank you! And damn fast repons time.

Now I fell more ready to get some Matrix action going. Gonna be fun to try that part out and hopefully make it fun for the players.

They get an option (in the next run)to hack an old GMC Bulldog Van's security computer (They got the Van as payment for a run well done). If they can get to the 3rd Host and unlock it -  a hidden compartment will open and they get there first Mini-drone (something like a metal-recon-dog with cybereyes and some other things). Then we can try some "rigging" or atleast some remote controlling using there Commlinks.

I probably got some Rigging questions in the future - but the rules seems easier than matrix/magic.


MercilessMing

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« Reply #3 on: <01-21-22/1805:53> »
You're welcome! 

To get some more into the differences between control device and spoof command, I also treat control device as like an override that has authority over and above simple commands.  Like the difference between opening a door, and holding it open.  When you spoof command to open the door, someone else can command it to close - or it can close automatically, if that's the normal behavior for its programming.  But if you're controlling the device, it's not going to listen to anyone else's commands.  Hold it open, hold it closed, hold it halfway, you're in control.  I let my players use Control Device when they want to make things do stuff it normally shouldn't.  Because messing with devices is one of the joys of being a decker.  Say they're in this city alley and they want to make a nearby pipe burst as a distraction.  I'll let them use control device to override safety protocols on whatever this random cyberpunk piece of tech is that we just invented, and make pressure build in the pipe until it eventually bursts.  Or, there's a biomonitor on this target they plan to kill, it'll sound an alarm if the target's heart rate drops below a threshold.  I let them use Control Device to spoof the alert,  so it thinks the heart rate is AOK until the team can make their escape and they stop sustaining the action.

Dreamwalker

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« Reply #4 on: <01-22-22/0735:45> »
Quote from: Tnirb
Host B. Rating 3 with IC Patrol/ Scrambler (Admin: Can access files)
Note that you you don't necessarily need admin access, since user access is sufficient to edit files (as per the Edit File matrix action).

Quote from: Tnirb
do he need to do a Matrix Perception or will the garages Icon be right next to him?
Unless the host is running silent (not sure if this is/will be an option for hosts in SR6), spotting the host itself is straightforward. It should not even require a matrix perception action (as MercilessMing pointed out). However, analyzing the host with that action might reveal valuable information before attempting a breach (take a look at the matrix perception action).

Plus, if you go for the spoof command option with outsider access to open the garage door, you may have to spot the corresponding device icon through matrix perception (opposed by the host) beforehand, unless it is on the public-facing side of the host.

Quote from: Tnirb
5: Can the IC Patrol be "killed" before it get's to activate the SCRAMBLER (if I got a lower initiative) using Data Spike?
You can disrupt IC constructs (including patrol IC) by dealing matrix damage. However, assuming the data spike action is taken in response to patrol IC noticing illegal activity, the hosts ability to launch scramble IC would not be impeded. It is the host itself (which is already alerted) that launches the scramble IC, not the patrol IC.

If you seek to suppress patrol IC proactively by disrupting it before a successful matrix perception action can be taken against a decker's persona, you should keep several things in mind: You will accrue overwatch score in the process and the host is free to (re-)launch IC at the beginning of every combat turn, e.g., to keep patrol IC up and running. Furthermore, the exact trigger conditions to launch IC, the order in which different types of IC are launched, and the conditions under which alert notifications are sent to authorized personnel (security spiders) can be chosen arbitrarily (at present). As such, a host doesn't need to play fair once it's IC is getting attacked (attack-linked actions are not exactly subtle). For example, a host is free to launch more dangerous IC variants (scramble or black IC) in advance to relaunching patrol IC, making it much more fun for a decker to fail resisting a matrix perception test once patrol IC reenters the stage and additional IC constructs linger around ready to strike. By triggering alerts, the host may also invite security spiders to the dance floor to initiate full party mode.

It is typically more advisable to stay hidden and use the time prior to detection by patrol IC to your advantage instead of forcing the situation with attack-linked actions. Although, there may be benefits to suppressing patrol IC (with the right timing and depending on the situation).

Xenon

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« Reply #5 on: <01-22-22/1726:02> »
Plus, if you go for the spoof command option with outsider access to open the garage door, you may have to spot the corresponding device icon through matrix perception (opposed by the host) beforehand, unless it is on the public-facing side of the host.
If it is not on the matrix facing side of the network then you might want to walk up to the door and connect to it directly before you spoof your command to it.