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Could commcode be changed?

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Youneko

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« on: (02:35:48/12-27-18) »
Well it's basically for TMs. Commcode is necessary for Send Massage action, so I suppose all TMs have one (do they?), randomly or not. If someone realize that it's a living persona, and take note of its commcode, then they can spot and track this persona as they wish, as long as they and their target both stay in same host or outside on grids? Is that right?

Life has been hard for TMs, so I'm planning to set a house rule that TMs can change their commcode as their wish. However, it's kind of unfair for deckers, especially when they hold about 200k Nuyen in their hand. More over, my players are also worried that NPCs could use same way against them, making mission more suffering.

So I'm here looking for advice and any rule details that I missed. Is there any offical way to change commcode? And what solutions have you guys used in your games?

fseperent

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« Reply #1 on: (05:24:19/12-27-18) »
It is theoretically possible to find a commlink number not in use, and use that.
Maybe: Computer(Matrix Search) + Logic [Mental] (24, 1 hour) extended test to find a number not used on the grid you are searching.
Remember the -3 for Obscure and Specialized.
Not sure how a TM would actively change their living persona's personal number.

Most (if not all) places require people to have a commlink to broadcast a SIN anyway.
As for official way to change a commlink's code, contact the 'links supplier and request a new number.

As for tracking, that requires the Trace Icon action (p.243).

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #2 on: (09:39:12/12-27-18) »
The rules don't address changing one's commcode because there's really no point in changing one's commcode.

Well it's basically for TMs. Commcode is necessary for Send Massage action, so I suppose all TMs have one (do they?), randomly or not. If someone realize that it's a living persona, and take note of its commcode, then they can spot and track this persona as they wish, as long as they and their target both stay in same host or outside on grids? Is that right?

The bolded part is very much not right.

If you change it to "if they have a mark on the persona" then yes, then can spot the persona (but not track) as they wish, provided they're inside the same host or neither of them is inside a host".  You can spot things across grids. (you just take a -2 dice penalty for all matrix actions across a grid, but spotting is automatic when you have a mark on the target)

If a hacker (either TM or decker; it doesn't matter) wants to hide from someone who's spotted her Persona, the Hide matrix action (pg 240, SR5) is what you do instead of a hypothetical "Change Commdode" action.  You'll notice that Hiding is pointless if you're marked, so if you are marked you'll need to either first Erase Mark(s) (pg. 239) or even if all else fails Reboot Device (pg 242).




Youneko

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« Reply #3 on: (09:57:45/12-27-18) »
It seems that I didn't make myself clear. Well, it's not about a single Matrix combat or something. Let's say the decker used Matrix Perception to spot an important NPC and took note of her commcode, but when the decker tried to put Marks on that persona, he messed up. NPC got offline immediately, and several hours later, decker wanted to try another time. He must spot that icon first, right?

Matrix Perception shows it's possible to spot icon that's 100 meters away, but it doesn't mention specific requirement. So I have always been like, you cannot find any icon without clue of it, cuz there're so many icons on the grids. Commcode seems appropriate to be used as a clue, for though anyone could easily change their icon with a simple action, commcode seems more solid.

Besides, if commcode could not help hackers to spot the icons they're looking for, how could this work? Just roll Matrix Perception to achieve a threshhold to spot any Icon they want? It seems little bit of…… unreal. Moreover, this also means that their rivals or enemies could try to find them in the same way, right? It's a heavy-Matrix mission so I realy do not want my players to keep offline all the time.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #4 on: (10:08:35/12-27-18) »
It seems that I didn't make myself clear. Well, it's not about a single Matrix combat or something. Let's say the decker used Matrix Perception to spot an important NPC and took note of her commcode, but when the decker tried to put Marks on that persona, he messed up. NPC got offline immediately, and several hours later, decker wanted to try another time. He must spot that icon first, right?

Yes.  And if the NPC fails to Spot the persona icon, he has no way of knowing if the persona successfully avoided being spotted or if it just isn't online at all yet.

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Matrix Perception shows it's possible to spot icon that's 100 meters away, but it doesn't mention specific requirement. So I have always been like, you cannot find any icon without clue of it, cuz there're so many icons on the grids. Commcode seems appropriate to be used as a clue, for though anyone could easily change their icon with a simple action, commcode seems more solid.

You do have to be looking for something specific.  The Commcode works, but lack of the commcode does not prohibit the attempt (so long as you have some other detail diagnostic to the particular Persona you want to find).  Many persona icons have numerous commcodes (Line A is for friends/family, B is for fixers, C is given out in clubs to potential sexytime friends, D is given out to telemarketers, etc) so just changing one (or all) of them is kind of pointless... changing a commcode doesn't change the inherent qualities of your Persona. 

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Besides, if commcode could not help hackers to spot the icons they're looking for, how could this work? Just roll Matrix Perception to achieve a threshhold to spot any Icon they want? It seems little bit of…… unreal. Moreover, this also means that their rivals or enemies could try to find them in the same way, right? It's a heavy-Matrix mission so I realy do not want my players to keep offline all the time.

You have to know SOME detail about what you're looking for. If it's not the commcode, it can be something like the persona's imprint left behind in the security logs on a Host that the hacker had to bail from in a hurry.  Or maybe it isn't even technically matrix based.

Keep in mind that you can accrue Public Awareness and/or Notoriety based on what you do in the Matrix; your Persona is linked to YOU. Even if you're SINless, you still have a digital "bio-metric" fingerprint that includes things like your matrix browsing history, language usage habits, purchasing history, etc etc.  You can't just change those things without changing your own history and even your personality.

« Last Edit: (10:11:41/12-27-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

Jack_Spade

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« Reply #5 on: (11:14:23/12-27-18) »
Personally, I think commcodes are as changeable as personas - or rather your commcode does not necessarily correlate to your persona and/or your devices.

Remember, the matrix is a mesh network where practically everything is done via cloud services.
A commcode can just as well run toward a server somewhere that in turn informs you about the call. (Basically the same as having your e-mail hosted somewhere else).

The alternative is using burner commlinks (although those are mainly useful if you want to drop them somewhere while someone else is busy tracing you to a now abandoned phone)
talk think matrix

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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #6 on: (11:19:42/12-27-18) »
"As changeable as Persona" is a tricky concept though.

On one hand, yes you can change details about your persona on the fly.

On the other, changing those details doesn't inherently change the icon itself.  If someone is searching for your persona icon, changing the icon's appearance, commcode, or anything else is irrelevant to whether or not you're spotted.

Youneko

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« Reply #7 on: (11:42:58/12-27-18) »
Wow, I never thought commcode to be like email address. I always thought it to be more like inherent SIM card. This could help to explain a lot and make our game smoother. Thank you chummers.

Jack_Spade

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« Reply #8 on: (14:53:40/12-27-18) »
@SSDR
Iconography is kind of a big deal in the matrix - especially within hosts. So it must be more than mere cosmetics when you change your persona.
It would be pretty shitty if being once spotted in the matrix would allow anyone to find you again - no matter what.
Since Shadowrunners exist and the deckers aren't throwing away their decks after every run, I am forced to conclude (at least for my games) that every new login to the matrix with a remodelled persona is a completely fresh start.
talk think matrix

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

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #9 on: (15:03:04/12-27-18) »
@SSDR
Iconography is kind of a big deal in the matrix - especially within hosts. So it must be more than mere cosmetics when you change your persona.
It would be pretty shitty if being once spotted in the matrix would allow anyone to find you again - no matter what.
Since Shadowrunners exist and the deckers aren't throwing away their decks after every run, I am forced to conclude (at least for my games) that every new login to the matrix with a remodelled persona is a completely fresh start.

There's another thread around here where Kill Code's lore about what I'm calling "matrix biometrics" was bandied about.  I'll link here when I find it. EDIT: This is what I was thinking about.  I still haven't read that section of KC myself.. looks like I have a reading assignment!

And I come to the opposite conclusion as you.  Your persona is always your persona (arguably with the sole exception of TMs having a Persona when using a Commlink and a Living Persona when not)... or else you'd have to re-notify your entire social circle of how to contact you again after every device reboot.
« Last Edit: (15:49:08/12-27-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

PingGuy

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« Reply #10 on: (15:12:45/12-27-18) »
That leads to the question I keep wanting to ask, but can't seem to formulate properly.

There has to be some separation between the Persona/Icon and the commcode.  As was stated, you can reboot your deck to reset the overwatch score, but that shouldn't stop people from being able to message you using the commcode they already have for you.  Alternately, if there wasn't a separation, then the system would collect your commcode when you gain an OS, and use that to find you eventually anyway, whether you reboot or not.

Assuming that is true, when you hit an OS score of 40, does the matrix security system get your commcode?  Is that when it matters?  Or is there just no way for the system to associate your commcode with your persona.  Like the commcode is the hardware address of your device, for receiving messages and such, but your persona is more of a login to the matrix and the two pieces of data aren't tied together anywhere?

There are things that make sense logically that might not jive with the RAI/RAW, so I'm just curious if this kind of stuff is defined or detailed anywhere?

fseperent

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« Reply #11 on: (16:34:07/12-27-18) »
@PingGuy
I remember reading something about that somewhere but no clue where.
Convergence points GOD agents to both your persona's and physical locations.
It doesn't appear that any of the identifying data is kept, for some strange reason.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #12 on: (17:13:06/12-27-18) »
A fun quote:

Quote from: SR5 pg 235: Devices and Personas
When a person uses a device
to connect to the Matrix, the device’s icon is subsumed
by the persona’s icon, so it’s basically gone from the
Matrix until the persona jacks out.

Consider that.  A commlink's device icon is subsumed by the user's persona icon when that commlink is used to connect to the matrix.

That means the persona icon is both independent of the commlink (ergo: no matter whether you use an expensive Transys Avalon or an expendable Metalink "burner phone", your Persona is your Persona no matter what commlink you use) and more profoundly: because it subsumes a commlink's icon it must exist on the matrix independent of commlinks when you're not using the matrix yourself.  I presume it must be in some sort of dormant state where it simply can't be messed with, only to "wake up" and take over a commlink when you log in to the matrix.

Quote from: fseperent
Convergence points GOD agents to both your persona's and physical locations.
It doesn't appear that any of the identifying data is kept, for some strange reason.

There's no rules mechanic allowing anything to be done to your Persona icon while you're offline, so presumably that even applies to GOD.  It could very well be that once you're knocked offline, they literally have better things to do than continue hounding you if you don't turn up found at your location known at convergence. Public Awareness already exists to track how much interest Law Enforcement has in continuing to chase your hacker after you've given them the slip (yet again).  From GOD's point of view on convergence: Your marks have been removed.  You've been forcibly stopped from doing whatever you were doing.  Any lasting damage from what you got away with prior to convergence isn't GOD's problem. (and again, Public Awareness is an already-existing rubric useable for measuring how able the owners of the Host you hacked are able to track you down to exact revenge)
« Last Edit: (17:21:29/12-27-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #13 on: (05:37:02/12-29-18) »
(Sidenote: 4e was more explicit, with better comm-subscriptions allowing multiple commcodes, and yes you could change them.)
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