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Copycat Killer

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Djinnocide

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« on: <11-09-13/1108:35> »
I'm preparing to run a converted version of Copycat Killer for my SR5 group tomorrow and I've come across a bit of a problem. There's a point in the mission where they need to determine who the Copycat Killer is and where he's located. For those familiar, Scene 7: Killer of Trolls is supposed to be the team's opportunity to get some big clues that will lead them to the new Mayan Cutter, but the way the mission is written really doesn't give you enough info to chain the details together and I'm worried that my players won't get it.

Basically, once you've either killed the Troll Killer Gang, or at least obtained the commlink from the gang leader, Arnold, you're supposed to be able to do some Matrix magic and uncover the details of who called hired the Gang to kill the PCs. Once you've got that information, you're supposed to be able to obtain this mystery man's call log, thus leading the players to Shawn Walker, the new Mayan Cutter. However, the mission specifies that the mystery man's commlink is off, which I'm guessing is a plot device designed to keep the PCs from wanting to hunt him down, thus throwing them off the fast track to Shawn Walker.

My question is this, what sort of Matrix Actions in SR5 would be used to locate call logs from a commlink if the commlink is specifically powered down? I'm guessing there's some Matrix Perception, Marks, and Trace Icon rolls in our Decker's future, but I'm having a hard time putting together the required rolls and my Decker is definitely not going to put this together on his own.

I'm afraid that there just isn't enough clues in this mission to steer my mostly hack n slash game group in the right direction.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Kincaid

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« Reply #1 on: <11-11-13/0819:06> »
Tracing the commlink to the killer (Walker) isn't hard.  Tracing things to the guy pulling the strings (Mathers) is hard.  The most recent call on Arnold's commlink was to Mathers' disposable commlink and you have to hack through some bank IC to figure out who's been buying minutes, all of which is pretty tough.  However, the call logs also include a bunch of calls to Walker, who has his commlink on and should be traceable without much of a problem.
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Bull

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« Reply #2 on: <11-11-13/0914:23> »
Tracing to Mather should be fairly impossible, because that's outside the scope of the adventure.  It was kind of designed that way for story purposes, though if you're running this as a home campaign, get SRM 04-05, update it for SR5, and feel free to have the players track Mather down and figure things out instead of Bull.  But for a one night Missions adventure, that's one of those things that will derail a ame badly if the GM lets the players wander down the path. :)

Djinnocide

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« Reply #3 on: <11-11-13/1103:41> »
Ok, I get that the mission is designed to find Walker and not Mathers, but I'm not entirely sure what the steps (matrix actions in SR5) would be done to do so if Mather's commlink is the one with the call logs connected back to Walker and it says his commlink is off.

Does Arnold the Troll Killer gang leader also have a call log connecting himself and Mathers to Walker?

Do call logs exist in the Matrix as an independent file and I'm just misunderstanding it?

I just want to make sure I understand the steps the party Decker is going to need to roll for to find this call log that will lead him to Walker.

Belker

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« Reply #4 on: <11-11-13/1141:09> »
A suggestion to side step the Troll Killers angle is to put the tissue sample (or blood from Rebecca's apartment) more front and center. Those can be used as links for either ritual magic or for spirits to track the killer.
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Kincaid

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« Reply #5 on: <11-11-13/1200:19> »
Overcoming the firewall on Arnold's commlink will require either Hack on the Fly or Brute Force rolls.  Once inside, he can roll Matrix Perception to see what sort of files are on it (p. 241), including the call log.  The commlink is really a plot device, not a major challenge, so I probably wouldn't encrypt the file, but that's up to you.

Once the decker has the number of Mathers' disposable commlink, it's another Matrix Perception test looking for an icon that is over 100m away.  Repeat the same process to break into this commlink (there will probably be distance-related Noise on this attempt), and you should end up with Walker's number.  Since you actually care about Walker's physical location (unlike the disposable commlink), you'll need to run a Trace Icon test, which requires 2 marks.
Killing so many sacred cows, I'm banned from India.

Djinnocide

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« Reply #6 on: <11-11-13/1249:48> »
Thanks for the info. I appreciate you taking the time to lay it out like that, but it seems that this series of steps would be based on Mather's disposable commlink being on, but the Mission as written says specifically that it's off. I realize I can change that and be done with it, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.

Being that I have zero knowledge of Matrix rules for SR4, I'm wondering if there were some rules that I'm unaware of that would allow a decker to hack a commlink that's offline.

Kincaid

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« Reply #7 on: <11-11-13/1359:34> »
Thanks for the info. I appreciate you taking the time to lay it out like that, but it seems that this series of steps would be based on Mather's disposable commlink being on, but the Mission as written says specifically that it's off. I realize I can change that and be done with it, but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.

Being that I have zero knowledge of Matrix rules for SR4, I'm wondering if there were some rules that I'm unaware of that would allow a decker to hack a commlink that's offline.

I never played a hacker in 4E (I missed my cyberdecks!), so I can't say for certain.  For converting to 5E, just say the commlink is on so it's findable via Matrix Perception, but have it someplace that makes it obvious that it's already been ditched (You trace it to a landfill in the Barrens...).  That way the PCs get the info they need from it without creating a weird precedent for later sessions about hacking offline devices but they don't waste table time with a wild goose chase.
« Last Edit: <11-11-13/1422:02> by Kincaid »
Killing so many sacred cows, I'm banned from India.

Djinnocide

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« Reply #8 on: <11-11-13/1406:56> »
That's perfect. Thanks Kincaid!