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Double Clutch - Shadowing (chase variant)

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MercilessMing

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« on: <10-08-21/0910:58> »
I generally like the structure of the Shadowing chase, though it's more of a real complex series of opposed tests instead of a chase variant.
But I do have a couple of problems with it!

Matrix shadowing.  It's neat, but the dice pools are out of whack IMO.  Too high.  Here they are for reference:
Quote from: Double Clutch pg 180
SECURITY ZONE RATING    OPPOSING DR & DICE POOL    BONUS DICE
AAA 18 6
AA165
A 144
B 12 3
C 102
D81
Just being in an A or higher sec zone and hacking vending machines is a risky affair for a very talented hacker.  What are these numbers balanced around?  A R:6 Host isn't able to put up the kind of defense that a AAA neighborhood can!  I'm happy to see challenge, but the risk that comes with this is huge just to get some bonus dice.  It's a HIGHLY optimized hacker that can muster 18 dice on Cracking + Logic and not give up Edge to a DR 18.  I DO like though the precedent it sets to tie hacking difficulty to security rating.  This will come in handy for streamlined matrix tests.  Maybe in the future we could see security zones become more integrated with the Matrix rules, maybe used as a difficulty for hacking devices not inside a network.  A super-network of sorts?  A grid?

Also: I don't know if this is an oversight or not, but Matrix Shadowing was not given any kind of attribute link.  RAW, anyone with a Cracking skill can do it, whether they have a cyberdeck/LP, RCC, or just a crusty old commlink with a cracked screen they pulled out of the garbage.

The other problem I have is the section on Wild Dice.  Authors need to get on the same page on whether the wild die is a bonus or not.  The phrase "gains a wild die" implies that this is a bonus.  If this author is treating it as a bonus, they are applying it wrong.  The text says "If the closest shadowers are within Close or Near range, the target gains a wild die on all opposing tests. If the shadowers remain within long or extreme range, they gain the wild die instead on the shadowing tests. "  That means at Close or Near range, the target is getting a wild die not just on their Perception test to notice the shadow, but also on their Stealth test to avoid the shadow!  It makes more sense for both Perception tests to get a bonus at Close and Near, and both Stealth checks to get a bonus on Long and Extreme.  This issue isn't immediately obvious because of the order the information is presented.  We don't learn that there are two stealth vs perception rolls for another four paragraphs.
Side note: I disagree with adding wild dice as a bonus mechanic.  It's randomness.  It's a net positive, yes, but really shouldn't be awarded like edge or bonus dice would be.
 
As far as readability, this could be better.  Just like the Chase section, Shadowing starts with Step 1, Step 2, and then everything else is lumped together in a big section called "Wild Dice".  Within that section, the process is not logically laid out - it starts with ways Range effects the process (why aren't those in the Range section?) then talks about the structure of the scene, then details the tests, gives one of the possible results, then gives ways that bonuses can come into play, then gives more possible results.  Please, authors, group things together better, and don't explain how things modify a test before you tell us what the test is.

I really like the decision to spread out the shadowing responsibilities!  This gets more players involved without bogging down rolls by making everyone do everything.  One player can do stealth, one perception, one matrix, one drones, and no player has to do everything.  There's implied teamwork by letting the best Stealth roll stand for everyone, the best perception stand for everyone, etc. and people who aren't best at anything can help via Teamwork instead of being told to "stay away" because their bad stealth roll might bring down the whole party. 

In the spirit of "everyone gets to help", it's actually a pretty big oversight not to include the astral realm here.
« Last Edit: <10-08-21/1137:54> by MercilessMing »