Chasin' The Wind - I am so confused

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« on: <05-23-18/0029:20> »
(EDIT: Apologies. I've just noticed there's a Missions GMs forum. This probably should have gone there. Rookie mistake on my part. Sorry.)

I know I'm about as late to the party as I can be, but with the anouncement of Missions moving to Tokyo, I decided to start running some Missions modules and, while waiting for the first Tokyo stuff, I'm running my group through Chicago.

I'm currently preparing to run Chasin' The Wind and I am utterly baffled by the whole thing. These questions must have been brought up before, but I cannot find that conversation anywhere. Not here, not the Reddit, not the other Shadowrun forum. So, I am sorry for the topical necromancy. But I need some help, yo.

Here goes...
Quote from: page 6
Meanwhile, the runners have been hired by Quantum Princess to insert wireless transmitters into two matrix nodes just inside the CZ, ostensibly to repair Matrix connectivity in Chicago, but really to allow her to "piggyback” on the new NooseNet Grid (local pirate grid running alongside Chicago’s public grid)
Quote from: page 8
Two matrix repeaters in the CZ are showing signs of failing, and I need you to replace a module in each.
Quote from: page 10
Once the runners finish upgrading the first module...
Quote from: page 10
The gear for the matrix host is in a fake tree...
So... What exactly are the runners doing?

First of all, nodes. I know nodes used to be parts of a system way back when, and I think in SR 4 nodes were just... anything that is now a device? Not sure. Not familiar with 4e. So I'm guessing, like in that core book example, somebody just didn't get the memo that the term "node" was being recycled for Host deep runs. But what exactly are these nodes supposed to be? Quantum Princess says the runners are plugging matrix repeaters into them. I know what a WiFi repeater is, and I figure a Matrix repeater works the same. But I can plug a WiFi repeater in any power socket. Why do the matrix repeaters need to be in these nodes - whatever these nodes are. Or are the nodes the repeaters and the runners are repairing them? Or are they upgrading them? Or are they not doing either of those things, the signal is fine, and these devices do something else? And apprently the tree is a host? The tree can't be a host. Does plugging the device into the tree slave it to a host? What host?

Speaking of hosts...
Quote from: page 14
The basement is of more interest to the runners, with the node (cut off from the upstairs by wireless inhibiting paint)...
Quote from: page 15
Host: Janus Industries
Quote from: page 15
The Janus network has no connections to the Matrix outside; a hacker must be in the basement to connect to the node
I was willing to overlook the node thing before, but now it seems kind of important to know what the author means by node because the team is meant to hack this one. If by "node" it means device, what is the device? There's a commlink, but that's got other stuff on it. From what I can gather, the node is... the host? But...

Quote from: Core Rulebook page 219
Hosts are virtual places you can go in the Matrix. They have no physical location
The wireless inhibiting paint won't do squat to stop you finding the host because the host can't be behind it because the host isn't in the physical world. This is also why the tree can't be a host.

It occurs to me that this all this stuff is old tech. It's been here since before the walls went up in 2055, right? So are they nodes in the 2055 sense and the module is just using 5e rules to guide how you interact with them? That makes a kind of sense, even if I'm not sure how technology 20 years later designed to function with a radically and entirely different matrix plugs into a 2055 system and works fine. But whatever, I can overlook that but... What is the node in this room that the decker needs to plug into? And if that is what's going on, it would have been really useful for a line somewhere in the module that said "We're using the term host to describe the mechanics, but they're not really hosts in the 2075 sense of the word."

Tangentially... Is this data steal even possible without a decker? This is, like, the one scene with no debugging paragraph. If the team has no decker, do we skip the whole thing? Can I assign them an NPC decker to help?

Moving on...
Quote from: page 18
Her biological PAN is still (barely) active.
Look, I've thought Technomancers should be able to use their body for a PAN since forever. But I thought this was a closed case. Technomancers can't form PANs with their living persona. Right? Or is this an exception that we can only learn about by buying this module? Unless... she's made something in her bioware a master in a PAN to connect her Ares Predator too... Surely not...

Okay. So, this next one really REALLY has me confused.
Quote from: page 6
...but really to allow her to “piggyback” on the new NooseNet Grid (local pirate grid running alongside Chicago’s public grid)
Quote from: page 21
She helped set up NooseNet, Chicago’s version of ShadowSEA or JackPoint.
Quote from: page 24
Many suspect she’s the primary SysAdmin for NooseNet, Chicago’s Shadow Host...
So... What the hell is NooseNet? A Host and a Grid are two different things. Apparently it's Chicago's version of JackPoint or ShadowSea? I looked both of those up in the only place I knew to find them, which is Seatle 2072, and I still have no idea what they are. Probably because that's a 4e book. So, I checked the wiki. Not the best source but all I've got...

Quote from: Shadowrun Wiki
Jackpoint is a distributed peer-to-peer (p2p) virtual private network (VPN)...
The ShadowSea page is blank. Seattle 2072 likens ShadowSea to a data haven like Helix and I looked up Helix and Data Havens on the wiki, too, and that didn't help. But I think I know what a p2p VPN is. And it's neither a host or a grid.

So... What is NooseNet? The wiki doesn't have a page for it.

None of this seems to make sense canonically or mechanically. I'm willing to admit that not knowing the exact purpose of the run is probably on me. In my broader confusion, I've lost sight of whether they're repairing the matrix connection or hacking the connection. I don't know because I don't know what the devices are or what they're being plugged into. If somebody could clarify that for me, I'd be so thankful.

And for the rest... The words node, host, and grid seem to be used interchangeably. Hosts don't follow the rules for hosts. Samantha has an impossible PAN.  As I said, I realise this is an oooooooold topic, but I couldn't find any old forum threads about this, here or on the reddit or at the other Shadowrun forum. Can anybody shed any light on this? I'd be so grateful.
« Last Edit: <05-23-18/0041:44> by neomerlin »


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« Reply #1 on: <05-23-18/0044:53> »
I just recently ran season 5 for players at my shop and I just felt the interchangeability of terms was due to the lack of understanding of the matrix that many people had when 5th first came out. I remember when the game came out a lot of people where confused by the new martix.

It is my understanding that NooseNet is Chicago's version of JackPoint.
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« Reply #2 on: <05-23-18/1026:04> »
First: a lot of the missions are pretty confusing :(

I view Noosenet as more like an informal (and spotty) local grid (since there is not corporately supported local grid).  Because it has limited number of people with permission to access it, it has some de facto exclusiveness. 

And given how much of Chicago (especially The Zone) is a dessert when it comes to the new gen wireless devices it is hard to pick up that grid in a lot of areas -- the usual cascade through uncountable devices just doesn't happen.  So I viewed the 'repeaters' as more powerful matrix devices with better antennas (or something like that) which can pick up faint signals and also broadcast over a fairly wide area, lowering the noise in an area.
« Last Edit: <05-23-18/1029:15> by Beta »
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« Reply #3 on: <05-23-18/1106:12> »
This sounds like a 4th to 5th Translation issue. I know a couple of the mods were translated up to 5th, and sounds like this was one them. I wouldn't get to bogged down in it.
« Last Edit: <05-24-18/1026:01> by Marcus »
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« Reply #4 on: <05-23-18/1504:37> »
I believe Chasin' the Wind was written specifically for 5th edition, but like Splintered State, its release so close to the release of the actual rules means that it was likely written and developed before all of the 5th edition rules were finalised.

Unfortunately, it seems in the case of some of the things, it wasn't all updated to exactly match what they did to change some of the Matrix rules.

It mostly makes sense, but the alteration that was made in the tansition eliminated the idea of a local facility have an industrial "node" and it was replaced by everything being "hosts". Personally this is my biggest problem with 5e Matrix...


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« Reply #5 on: <05-24-18/0953:30> »
Chasing the Wind was indeed developed while SR5 was being developed, and as such some of the terminology and such wasn't really firmly established.  A lot of authors were still kinda thinking in SR4 terms more than anything else.

Short answer here, don't overthink it too much.  Its largely a macguffin.  Slightly more complex plot-but-not-rules answer is, as noted, the Containment Zone has really crap wireless connection due to a lack of infrastructure.  The majority of its matrix capability is at best jury-rigged 4th edition matrix wireless, and at worst, jury-rigged out of 2054-era Matrix wired tech still. The phone and cable companies simply don't go in there to set up hardware.

When Bug City happened and the Containment Zone was put in place, the CZ was cut off from the outside world almost completely, and that included Matrix connectivity (especially because then it was all wired, and that was easy to cut).  In the Bug City sourcebook, a group of deckers set up a defacto Matrix inside the CZ that became called Noosenet.  This is named after an area in Downtown called The Noose, the nickname for the neighborhood near the Shattergraves (the site of the former Sears Tower, which was bombed by Alamos 20,000 and killed tens of thousands of people).

ShadowSEA is a BBS like Jackpoint or The Helix, a repository for date and information. Specifically based in and focused on Seattle. It's not totally private, invite only like Jackpoint, but is more like what Shadowland used to be pre-4th edition.  It was hidden away off the public matrix access, but if you knew where to look you could find it and gain access.

Noosenet iin Missions s Chicago's 5th edition equivalent of that.  Basically, a place for Shadowrunners to go for information about Chicago and the CZ, a local BBS.  Unfortunately we never really got a chance to develop it that much in Missions before I stepped down, and I don't think anyone else really picked it up afterward.

So anyway, back to the original point...  The idea of the repeaters is that they're basically cell towers.  Their job is to pick up and broadcast matrix signals into the CZ, providing wireless access to the denizens there.


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« Reply #6 on: <05-27-18/1725:31> »
Thanks for your replies, everybody. They were helpful. I ran the game yesterday and since they ended up not having a decker, I could largely gloss over the the finer details of the matrix issues. Everybody had fun, and that's what matters.

Thanks again.