NEWS

Basic Matrix questions

  • 24 Replies
  • 415 Views

Finstersang

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 279
« Reply #15 on: (04:15:42/10-11-18) »
Really telling that there are two fundamentally different interpretations for WAN interactions floating around. After 5 years. And 2 supplements ::)

  • Version A: Devices slaved to a host can be accessed from the grid and from inside the host, since you profit from a direct connection to them when you are inside the host.
  • Version B: Devices slaved to a host cannot be accessed from the grid, only from inside the host.

Supporting Version A:
  • RAW, devices can´t be in hosts right now, only Files and Personas
  • In fact, nothing in RAW indicates that B is true. I would be a major omission in the core rules if B was the intended interpretation.
  • If B would be true, the Master-Slave-Bonus would never come into play for the protected devices (except industry hosts).
  • I´d like to think that the majority plays it that way. I might be wrong here, though  :P

Supporting Version B:
  • The devices would be even more secure against outsiders. Instead of higher defense pools, it would be actually non-accessible from the Grid.
  • How are you supposed to interact with the device when there´s no icon of it in the host? (I brought this in another thread that I can´t find right now: There has to be some kind of "proxy" for the slaved device in the host for A to make sense...)
  • The new "Industry hosts" in Kill Code would make more sense (at least from a gameplay perspective) if the devices are only accessible from inside the host. Else, there would be no point of entering the host as a Hacker besides data retrieval.

Note that it´s pretty safe to assume that hackers can, in both cases, access the slaved devices by physical direct connections and (ab)use this to get a cheap Mark on the host as well. I think there are even gameplay examples supporting this.

From both gameplay and security perspective, both interpretations are plausible: The host adds protection to the device against "outsiders" (either by the Master-Slave protection or by hiding them devices altogether), while the device becomes a weakness for the host. Getting inside the host to hack devices is a valuable option under assumption A and mandatory under assumption B. Right now, RAW clearly supports Version A. However, with the general quality and clarity of the early 5th Matrix content that that still stinks up the game, it´s cannot be excluded that Version B has always been RAI :P

My suspicion: Assumption A is true, but the freelancer behind the "Industry hosts" thought that B is true. As obvious some players do as well.
« Last Edit: (04:27:27/10-11-18) by Finstersang »
SR5 Summoners in a Nutshell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFuMpYTyRjw

PiXeL01

  • *
  • Troubleshooter
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1869
  • Sheltering Orks in Osaka
« Reply #16 on: (05:08:50/10-11-18) »
It’s A

Normally in a host you’d have a direct connection to all items slaved to a host but Industrial hosts circumvent that rule. Hacking an industrial host just give you easy access without noise distance

Finstersang

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 279
« Reply #17 on: (07:36:33/10-11-18) »
Hah, I forgot about the noise... Now that makes sense, even for industry hosts. Thanks for the clarification ;D

I´m still not sure how Avatars inside the Host percieve the devices the slaved devices it. Or, from a GM´s perspective, how to describe the iconography. So far, I used "proxies" like remote controls, consoles, screens, spellbooks etc. to represent the slaved devices inside the host. I think there would be much less confusion on this if there was a narrative(!) example covering this  ???

One thing that surely takes the edge of the whole thing: After all, hosts are GM-controled anyways. If the vision for the story calls for a host that works like Version B for some or all of its slaved devices, there´s no reason to slavishly stick to the RAW  ;)
« Last Edit: (11:19:27/10-11-18) by Finstersang »
SR5 Summoners in a Nutshell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFuMpYTyRjw

PiXeL01

  • *
  • Troubleshooter
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1869
  • Sheltering Orks in Osaka
« Reply #18 on: (14:20:14/10-11-18) »
How the personas and icons act inside a host depends entirely on the host designer. It could basically be anything not even limited to eyeballs or decapitated heads for sensors etc.. Each host has a theme (normally, in some cases chaos is the theme) where each icon play a part. Reading the fiction some hackers are exposed as intruders because they do not understand the iconography...

brombur

  • *
  • Newb
  • *
  • Posts: 44
« Reply #19 on: (08:08:48/10-12-18) »
My only real question about the hacking outside vs inside the host question is that if the device can be hacked outside of the host would there ever be a reason to go at it from the inside?

From a strictly math perspective  hacking a slaved device that uses Rating + Firewall is strictly easier and much safer than going against a host with its Rating + Firewall and then risking battling IC to get a roll against the device at Rating  x 2. Not to mention in a prolonged run with multiple cameras or systems to hack you either have to hang out in the host and hope you don't get killed or take virtually unlimited, safe cracks at hacking the device from the outside.

PiXeL01

  • *
  • Troubleshooter
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1869
  • Sheltering Orks in Osaka
« Reply #20 on: (09:18:18/10-12-18) »
Well, if you can get a direct connection on a device from the outside of a host then you can circumvent the host’s defense. By making a device slaved to the host you’ll also mark the host itself allowing you easier access should you need it

Finstersang

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 279
« Reply #21 on: (09:34:07/10-12-18) »
If you have

a. A lot of different devices to hack (f.i. multiple cameras and Maglocks along your team´s pathway) and
b. Other things to do in the host (like Datasteals),

going in for reduced noise and lowered defences might be the better option. You´re right, though: The incentive to actually enter the host could be higher than that; And with industry hosts, it´s even lower. I´m still not thrilled about this design decision, TBH.

There´s a deeper problem than just maths and probabilities at play here, though. As a GM, I experienced a lot of reluctance to enter hosts at my tables, because mingling around in a host can get not only dangerous, but also pretty damn annoying once IC comes into play. Get caught, and you face a (usually boring and repetitive) pseudo-combat while the rest of the group is disengaged. In fact, I´ve yet to see an actual combat sequence between hackers and IC, because the hackers usually just log out asap when they get caught. And that´s mostly not because of the danger, but because of the eyerolls from the other players at the table. Even if you stay hidden, you are pestered by the Patrol IC, which requires a lot of GM calls and, if played strictly by the core rules, needs to constantly have its Initiative tracked.  The fact that the defense mechanisms in a host are exclusively proactive is the biggest problem when it comes to host interaction and Gameplay pacing IMO.

(I cooked up a bunch of ideas for "passive IC" to combat this specific problem, though. I will post them soon as part of my houserule series  ;))
« Last Edit: (09:52:38/10-12-18) by Finstersang »
SR5 Summoners in a Nutshell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFuMpYTyRjw

Marcus

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 2193
  • Success always demands a greater effort.
« Reply #22 on: (09:57:36/10-12-18) »
Doesn’t the fact you dara spike anything you can physically see dictate that A is the only possible solutions?
*Play-by-Post color guide*
Thinking
com
speaking

Jack_Spade

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 6354
« Reply #23 on: (11:04:02/10-12-18) »
My only real question about the hacking outside vs inside the host question is that if the device can be hacked outside of the host would there ever be a reason to go at it from the inside?

From a strictly math perspective  hacking a slaved device that uses Rating + Firewall is strictly easier and much safer than going against a host with its Rating + Firewall and then risking battling IC to get a roll against the device at Rating  x 2. Not to mention in a prolonged run with multiple cameras or systems to hack you either have to hang out in the host and hope you don't get killed or take virtually unlimited, safe cracks at hacking the device from the outside.

Gaining a MARK to enter a host is a relatively safe thing to do. There is no IC outside and you can reboot easily after a failed attempt.
Once you are inside, you can crank up your sleaze to remain undetected. Or you can nuke the patrol IC every round and prevent other IC from being launched. (That is of course only viable if all you want to do is hack the slaved device)
It might take more steps than attacking the slaved device directly, but you'll not warn the owner of the device through a possibly failed attempt - especially if you need more than one MARK (in that case the math is extremely in favor of hacking one difficult MARK and afterwards hack two or three easy MARKs at your leisure)

Industry hosts are the attempt to give the GM a tool to stop easy hacks entirely. There isn't much more to it than that.
talk think matrix

To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield
Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

Beta

  • *
  • Ace Runner
  • ****
  • Posts: 1375
  • SR1 player, SR5 GM@FtF & player@PbP
« Reply #24 on: (17:25:05/10-12-18) »
Rolling device rating x2 versus host rating + firewall can be a huge difference in dice pools, which especially matter for repetitive hacks like on cameras where you have to constantly edit the feed of a camera (the old chestnut of 'looping the camera' doesn't seem to be a thing anymore, from my reading?), or have to work your way through a sequence of cameras.

Why it really matters is edge.  A security host could quite reasonably have rating plus firewall of 17 dice, and not many hackers are going to beat that reliably -- but they can probably edge that one Hack on the Fly roll to get a mark without getting noticed, and then pass into the host.  After which they might be facing a much more manageable 8-10 dice resistance from the devicex2 rating. 

As Jack Spade said, there are then tricks for staying unseen inside a host (like running Smoke and Mirrors along with good noise reduction so as not to penalize yourself) -- but also editing a file is not an illegal activity, so if you have a mark and follow the theme of the host in your iconography, you are sitting pretty because you are not doing anything illegal (at least not the majority of the time).

Honestly if I house rule the matrix at some point, one of the two things I'm going to do is put an option for 'blending in with the host' where if you win your roll there (and have a mark), the host accepts you fully  so long as you are not seen to do anything illegal.  In part because it seems to work well with the fluff, but in part to avoid the neverending patrol IC rolls.  (the other thing is to find a way to better incorporate the SR success system into the matrix -- right now part of the reason for so many rolls, IMO, is because it doesn't take enough advantage of the net successes mechanic, and operates more like a traditional d20 type game)

Jawsey  --
speechthought