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SR6 CRB 3rd print: Cyberdecks and RCCs

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MercilessMing

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« on: <09-20-21/1144:17> »
One of the clarifications I was expecting in the 3rd printing was around what devices can be combined with a cyberdeck to form a persona, but I didn't find it.  Is it in there, or was it not included?

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: <09-20-21/1216:22> »
We saved that for the upcoming FAQ.  Suffice to say: yes the RAI is RCCs don't work with cyberdecks in the same persona.  You can combine PANs now, so it takes an extra layer of explanation to discuss how the rigger's RCC functions inside a whole-team PAN run by a decker with a cyberdeck.  (Short answer: it still works, but same persona cant combine them)
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Finstersang

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« Reply #2 on: <09-23-21/1454:37> »
Itīs certainly a good thing to put the kibosh on RCC/Cyberdeck networks. Else, RCCs would be mechanically superiour sources for DF Attributes, program slots and general utility (although Cyberjacks also got a nice boost by officially granting Initiative DICE now).

However, Iīm not a big fan of completely disabling Cyberdeck usage for Riggers and further decoupling Hacking from Rigging. First, some players like to play "tech-hybrids", and Rigging is a neat backup tactic for Hackers in environments without good hacking targets. But more importantly, some hacking feats are very crucial for Riggers. Most importantly, the option to get a Sleaze attribute to better avoid detection in the Matrix. Itīs quite easy to beat hidden Riggers in an opposed test when they can only roll with their logic. A cheap Deck on the side can also serve as a digital "sidearm" to defend against Hackers. 

Just an idea here: I found that it makes for good houserule (and visual storytelling approach) to establish the Network of an RCC as more visually and mechanically distinct from standard Personal Networks. So instead of a typical metahuman-sized "Persona" (be it an actual Metahuman, a Teddy Bear or a Pink Squid), the RCC Networks looks more like a bigger "vehicle" (think Chariots, Steampunk zeppelins, UFOs...) with the Riggerīs persona in it, serving as a mobile command beacon for all the slaved devices. Mechanically and visuall, this would place the RCC Network in a spot somewhere between a single Persona and a Host, which also can be entered by a persona. With that visual metaphor in mind, I allow Hybrid Networks at my tables, but in a limited fashion:

  • Slaved Cyberdecks can serve as an add-on to an RCC network and "lend" their Attack and Sleaze Attribute to it.
  • However, while Slaved to the RCC, the usage of the Cyberdeck Attributes and functionality is limited to Defensive Rolls (i.e. Sleaze against Detection and Tracking) and to Hacking actions against targets inside your network (i.e. naughty enemy hackers, although you can probably also abuse this in a sort of security scam).

To do some actual outside hacking, Rigger-Decker-Hybrid characters would first have to decouple the Deck from the RCC (which will then lose the AS Attributes), integrate it in a new "Hacking" persona (hopefully with Cyberjack or at least with a Commlink for DF Attributes), and "step out" of the protective bubble of the RCC Network. The visual metaphor: Hacking - yes, even Brute Force Hacking - is about infiltration other peoples digital homesteads, and the RCC is such a (albeit mobile) homestead itself. You donīt infiltrate another house by driving your camper into it.

(Usually. Iīm sure there are Runners out there who would still consider this approach as "Infiltration" ::))     
« Last Edit: <09-23-21/1510:13> by Finstersang »
"Firing Line adds a ton of Perks that modify Attack and Defense ratings"

"Cool, does this mean that the whole AR/DR comparison has a bigger impact now?"

"Haha No :D"

Xenon

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« Reply #3 on: <09-23-21/1521:33> »
Perhaps we will get some electronic warfare and hacking-esc actions in the rigger supplement. It already seem to be intended that you can spoof commands to enemy drones from your RCC (its not an action that is linked to sleaze or attack so you perhaps technically don't need a cyberdeck here) at least as long as you also have the cracking skill (as you can't default to cracking). Maybe we will get more of that.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #4 on: <09-23-21/1538:23> »
Itīs certainly a good thing to put the kibosh on RCC/Cyberdeck networks. Else, RCCs would be mechanically superiour sources for DF Attributes, program slots and general utility (although Cyberjacks also got a nice boost by officially granting Initiative DICE now).

Yeah, the bonus dice for VR init ought to really cause cyberjacks to look more attractive.

Quote
However, Iīm not a big fan of completely disabling Cyberdeck usage for Riggers and further decoupling Hacking from Rigging. First, some players like to play "tech-hybrids", and Rigging is a neat backup tactic for Hackers in environments without good hacking targets. But more importantly, some hacking feats are very crucial for Riggers. Most importantly, the option to get a Sleaze attribute to better avoid detection in the Matrix. Itīs quite easy to beat hidden Riggers in an opposed test when they can only roll with their logic. A cheap Deck on the side can also serve as a digital "sidearm" to defend against Hackers. 

If the Rigger's PAN is subordinated to the Hacker's PAN, then the rigger's persona and drones are protected by the hacker's sleaze!  Also, riggers have the option to run their drones wireless-off while under autopilot control, or while connected via data cable tether.  That automatically trumps any remote hacking/detection without needing a sleaze attribute...
   
Perhaps we will get some electronic warfare and hacking-esc actions in the rigger supplement. It already seem to be intended that you can spoof commands to enemy drones from your RCC (its not an action that is linked to sleaze or attack so you perhaps technically don't need a cyberdeck here) at least as long as you also have the cracking skill (as you can't default to cracking). Maybe we will get more of that.

Indeed you will.  There's a new mechanic for riggers to do some rigger-appropriate hacking without needing A/S stats.  Flipping traffic lights, stealing control of drones, that kind of stuff.  But it still won't let them steal a hacker's thunder and hack a host.

To do some actual outside hacking, Rigger-Decker-Hybrid characters would first have to decouple the Deck from the RCC (which will then lose the AS Attributes), integrate it in a new "Hacking" persona (hopefully with Cyberjack or at least with a Commlink for DF Attributes), and "step out" of the protective bubble of the RCC Network.

Mechanically, that's pretty much how it is now.  Nothing's stopping you from owning both an RCC and a cyberdeck.  You just can't use them both at the same time in the same persona.  Rigging? Run your RCC.  Time to hack? Reboot, come back online with cyberdeck+some other D/F device.
« Last Edit: <09-23-21/1543:53> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Xenon

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« Reply #5 on: <09-23-21/1610:42> »
If the Rigger's PAN is subordinated to the Hacker's PAN, then the rigger's persona and drones are protected by the hacker's ...
This edition talk about four basic roles.

Arcane Specialist (magicians, shamans, conjurers, sorcerers etc), Face (griefers, social skills and charisma, social infiltrators, leaders, con-artists etc), Street Samurai (muscle, augmented warriors, physical adepts, etc) and Technology Specialist (hackers, drone operators, transporters, mechanics, engineers, etc).

A lot of teams will probably only have one of each.


...riggers have the option to run their drones wireless-off while under autopilot control, or while connected via data cable tether.  That automatically trumps any remote hacking/detection without needing a sleaze attribute...
Is that something that the rigger supplement will expand upon? Because nothing of this is really mentioned at all in the core book...
   

There's a new mechanic for riggers to do some rigger-appropriate hacking without needing A/S stats.  Flipping traffic lights, stealing control of drones, that kind of stuff.  But it still won't let them steal a hacker's thunder and hack a host.
Nice!


Mechanically, that's pretty much how it is now.  Nothing's stopping you from owning both an RCC and a cyberdeck.  You just can't use them both at the same time in the same persona.  Rigging? Run your RCC.  Time to hack? Reboot, come back online with cyberdeck+some other D/F device.
That is how we currently run it as well :)

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #6 on: <09-23-21/1649:23> »
If the Rigger's PAN is subordinated to the Hacker's PAN, then the rigger's persona and drones are protected by the hacker's ...
This edition talk about four basic roles.

Arcane Specialist (magicians, shamans, conjurers, sorcerers etc), Face (griefers, social skills and charisma, social infiltrators, leaders, con-artists etc), Street Samurai (muscle, augmented warriors, physical adepts, etc) and Technology Specialist (hackers, drone operators, transporters, mechanics, engineers, etc).

A lot of teams will probably only have one of each.

The aforementioned mechanic also has a consideration for allowing a rigger to run silent as if they had a good sleaze attribute, which would allow a hacker-less team to still let the (prepared) rigger stand in as a poor-man's hacker when it comes to protecting the team's PAN.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Finstersang

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« Reply #7 on: <09-23-21/1731:07> »
Itīs certainly a good thing to put the kibosh on RCC/Cyberdeck networks. Else, RCCs would be mechanically superiour sources for DF Attributes, program slots and general utility (although Cyberjacks also got a nice boost by officially granting Initiative DICE now).

Yeah, the bonus dice for VR init ought to really cause cyberjacks to look more attractive.

Hell yeah! They can even be an attractive choice for wheelman/dronejockey Riggers that prefer the thrill of jumping in and doing shit themselves. Instead of buying multiple Drones, an RCC and Autosofts, you put your nuyen into a Cyberjack, a better Control Rigg and just 1-2 fully decked out Drones or Vehicles.

And probably a good Doc Wagon Contract, because you will get nosebleed a lot  ::)         

   
Perhaps we will get some electronic warfare and hacking-esc actions in the rigger supplement. It already seem to be intended that you can spoof commands to enemy drones from your RCC (its not an action that is linked to sleaze or attack so you perhaps technically don't need a cyberdeck here) at least as long as you also have the cracking skill (as you can't default to cracking). Maybe we will get more of that.

Indeed you will.  There's a new mechanic for riggers to do some rigger-appropriate hacking without needing A/S stats.  Flipping traffic lights, stealing control of drones, that kind of stuff.  But it still won't let them steal a hacker's thunder and hack a host.

Looking forward to it. An alternative/expanded version of Trace Icon would be appreciated. IMO the thematically fitting Anti-Hacker measure for a Rigger would be to trace the Hackerīs location and send a few fast-flying drones over. Right now, you need to hack any target first to make a Trace possible.
« Last Edit: <09-23-21/1751:53> by Finstersang »
"Firing Line adds a ton of Perks that modify Attack and Defense ratings"

"Cool, does this mean that the whole AR/DR comparison has a bigger impact now?"

"Haha No :D"

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #8 on: <09-23-21/1838:09> »
Looking forward to it. An alternative/expanded version of Trace Icon would be appreciated. IMO the thematically fitting Anti-Hacker measure for a Rigger would be to trace the Hackerīs location and send a few fast-flying drones over. Right now, you need to hack any target first to make a Trace possible.

Well, there is a "pinpoint signal" action which does the same thing as trace, without having to spot/gain access.  However, it's only used to locate the source of an ECM/Jamming field.  But if someone's jamming your drones, knowing where to send a good blast is still useful...

But if a hacker is messing with you without jamming you, yeah dealing with them in their home turf (the matrix) is an uphill battle.  Supposed to be that way, if you're not also a hacker yourself!
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Finstersang

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« Reply #9 on: <09-24-21/0639:50> »
Yeah, I know. Likewise in 5th Edition, you needed 2 Marks on a target for a proper trace - 1 Mark short of the one you get from a failed sleaze action. Itīs one of these "Scissor beats Scissor" things, just like mages being the best/only countermeasure against magic.

Not much of a fan of this philosophy, at least not to such degrees. Maybe Iīll adapt that new "pinpoint signal" action to be also usable shortly after a (failed/noticed) hacking attempt. Iīd argue that counter-tracing a hacker isnīt really so much about beating them on their turf (i.e. the matrix) and more about getting the chance to pull them back into yours (i.e. the real world with real bullets).
"Firing Line adds a ton of Perks that modify Attack and Defense ratings"

"Cool, does this mean that the whole AR/DR comparison has a bigger impact now?"

"Haha No :D"

MercilessMing

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« Reply #10 on: <09-24-21/1210:51> »
Kinda sounds like riggers are getting their own rigger matrix that only they can use.  Doesn't sound like it hits the design goals of having one tech specialist archetype. 

Team network protection is the most basic Tech Specialist function, so if non cyberdeck users are getting ways to hide and attack to defend the network, that's great. It sounds a little crazy to me to invent new mechanics to make that happen though.  Hiding without Sleaze, defending without Attack... let's please not turn this into a *third* set of mechanics in the most complicated realm of the game.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #11 on: <09-24-21/1254:08> »
Kinda sounds like riggers are getting their own rigger matrix that only they can use.  Doesn't sound like it hits the design goals of having one tech specialist archetype. 

Team network protection is the most basic Tech Specialist function, so if non cyberdeck users are getting ways to hide and attack to defend the network, that's great. It sounds a little crazy to me to invent new mechanics to make that happen though.  Hiding without Sleaze, defending without Attack... let's please not turn this into a *third* set of mechanics in the most complicated realm of the game.

That's a fair concern. I trust you'll find it unwarranted in this case, though.  It's not NEW mechanics per se, it's just letting a RCC-user sub in Attack and Sleaze from new gear for certain matrix actions.... preserving the broad archetype of the "matrix guy who keeps the team's PAN secure" without requiring someone to be a hacker if you already have a rigger.
« Last Edit: <09-24-21/1310:50> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Xenon

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« Reply #12 on: <09-24-21/1641:56> »
Kinda sounds like riggers are getting their own rigger matrix that only they can use.
We will see once the book is out I guess, but for me it sounds more like your team can either have two technology specialists (one dedicated rigger without cracking and one dedicated decker without engineering) or a single hybrid rigger (that also have the cracking skill) or a single hybrid hacker (that also have the engineering skill).

MercilessMing

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« Reply #13 on: <09-24-21/1719:39> »
Quote
I trust you'll find it unwarranted in this case, though.  It's not NEW mechanics per se, it's just letting a RCC-user sub in Attack and Sleaze from new gear for certain matrix actions
Great.  I'm definitely looking forward to Double Clutch. 
This convo has really got me thinking about what I would do if I were designing hackers and riggers.  Suffice to say "I'd make some changes around here!"
I do like 'tech specialist' as an archetype.  We'd have three major roles in that archetype: decker, rigger, technomancer. 
The baseline common abilities would be team network defense, cybercombat, and remote device operation.
Deckers would be defined by the cyberdeck and cyberjack, and their specialty would be Sleaze hacking - Probe and Back Door Entry would be theirs alone.
Riggers would be defined by the RCC (and maybe a new piece of cyber) and their specialty would be device control.
Technomancers would be defined by the Living Persona and their speciality would be Sprites and other weird matrix phenomena.
Any of these guys could hack loud, and any of them could Jump In if they got the ware/echo. 
Cyberjacks could still be a thing, and we could come up with a rigger counterpart to the cyberjack that helps delineate them some more.  For example, we could break up the function of the current Control Rig into two parts - one system that allows for jumping in, let's call that the Control Rig, and another system, let's call that the Riggerjack, that gives all the bonuses when you're jumped in, and who knows maybe additional bonuses for drone control. 
Control Rigs would be feasible to get for Deckers, maybe like getting a lvl 1 Control Rig now, and the Technomancer echo would similarly enable Jumping In but without the bonuses.
I think that's a decent outline of where I would begin.  fun to think about.

Xenon

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« Reply #14 on: <09-24-21/1837:16> »
...the Riggerjack, that gives all the bonuses when you're jumped in, and who knows maybe additional bonuses for drone control. 
This (additional bonuses for jumping in and drone control) is pretty much what the RCC already do. It let you jump between devices without first jumping out, share autosofts to devices that are part of your PAN, reduce noise for your devices that are part of your PAN, command multiple drones at the same time in the same action etc. etc.
« Last Edit: <09-24-21/1849:23> by Xenon »