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SR6e's caseless/cased ammo & RFID tracking thing

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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #45 on: (03:38:22/08-07-19) »
Pretty clear these bullets are playing by their own rules, but I'd laugh if you could just turn them off.
By the first rule (i.e. that Shadowrunners exist) you can throw this rule out.  There is no mechanic where RFID tags exist and work where they don't end the existence of Runners.  Just as a hint from 60 seconds thinking about it... RFID tags have been used in shoplifting prevention, all it takes is a sensor on the door that reads ammo coming into a building or area followed by armed response and Runners no longer exist.  By logical extension, that means that anyone who manufactures ammo must also share the RFID tag so that the other guys can look up the tag and track it but since runners take inter-corp jobs all the time that means that corps have a vested interest in not sharing RFIDs with their targets.  There is no world in which RFID works and runners exist.

Midnight Creeper and his crew are planning a run against a local Mitsuhama R&D lab. They have sourced Mitsuhama security outfits, proper Mitsuhama security equipment, and ammo. Creeper rewrites the RFIDs embedded in the various items based on Mitsuhama RFIDs he gleaned from the Matrix. When the time comes, the runners slip in, the door sensors registering the arrival of an expected Mitsuhama security detail (thanks to some tinkering Creeper did to the R&D labs schedule via the Matrix).

I think assuming that the corps would use off-the-shelf RFIDed ammo is shortsighted, I could totally see them RFIDing every round they purchase and using a custom internal ID, not only will that allow them to ID their own spent shells from intruders, it also makes inventory keeping easy. I mean, many if not all the corps keep track of their employees via the RFID in their clothing, thanks to dress codes. Wouldn't surprise me if they did the same to even minor office supplies ("whoa, Tim, I'm going to have to ask you to leave that stylus in your pocket at the desk before you leave the building, it's corp property").
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penllawen

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« Reply #46 on: (05:00:21/08-07-19) »
Every GM started out as a rookie at some point. Rules should ideally be written to guide them to success not failure.
Totally agree.

And even one instance of a specific rule that violate this principle (like the RFID ammo topic at hand) has an effect that is magnified beyond those circumstances. Because if the rookie GM absorbs the philosophy behind it ("the players are walking a tightrope, and when they slip, I should punish them for it") then it'll blight the whole game, not just times when the runners buy ammo.

I dread to think how many times I fell into this trap as a novice GM myself. It feels like a very regressive, '80s/'90s bit of RPG game design.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #47 on: (05:29:51/08-07-19) »
It's a public rule. Not a hidden DMG that by secrecy suggests to a GM that they should be sneaky, but a public rule explaining consequences that can exist. The players will be aware of the rule and can decide with the GM how they're going to play it out. If you don't trust GMs, honestly, given how it's Shadowrun? You might as well throw out the entire book and walk away from the entire setting altogether. From 'Johnsons may betray runners', to 'the enemy you kill may have allies that get pissed at you in return', if you're worried a GM will not be able to handle it, then the entire Shadowrun setting is nothing but a trap. This individual rule is nothing but a blip, a mere molehill, not the mountain you're treating it as.

Bad GMs are universal. But a book explaining to both players and GMs what the consequences can be, is not something sinister that pollutes GM minds, it's a proper guide explaining that treason exists. The GM that unfairly throws that around is the problem, not the system that offers guidelines. Or is D&D broken for having traps, which GMs can use to completely wipe players? Is Vampire broken because a Mage can butcher an entire party? Nobody's shouting at D&D for Tomb of Horrors existing, so nobody should shout at Shadowrun for making clear to players and GMs alike that cased ammo is a liability.
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Sendaz

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« Reply #48 on: (05:42:30/08-07-19) »
I really don't see a prob with tagged ammo.  In previous edition they warned you of rid tags in your fragging candy bar after all. ;)

I admit this one is a bit sneakier as they don't broadcast until fired, but that's just something for the cops to help backtrack a crime when they get to a crime scene.

For regular joes on the street its a fact of life, Runners get to cheat and scrub stuff.
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #49 on: (05:45:14/08-07-19) »
Incidentally: Page 231 is very clear on how GMs should not screw over players. Especially this part bears significance in this debate:

"Additionally, a GM is responsible for guiding the PCs through the game—not just with regard to the game plot or narrative, but also when it comes to game rules and concepts. [...] Or they may have forgotten an important rule that could have serious repercussions for them, their team, or even the adventure as a whole."
CorpSec when an alarm is triggered;: "This is so sad, Alexa play Shoot The Runner"

Ghost Rigger

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« Reply #50 on: (09:00:57/08-07-19) »
Also, APDS is rarely made caseless (because the sabot shells are left lying around anyway). And since APDS decrease DV (if I understand it correctly game-mechanic-wise they are now basically just Flechette+) I'm not sure it will be so useful going forward anyway...
Everyone, hold the phone. APDS reduces damage now?
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Finstersang

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« Reply #51 on: (09:02:54/08-07-19) »
I suspect Xenon meant the Defense Value (of the target), not them Damage Value.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #52 on: (09:39:25/08-07-19) »
Actually: Yes, APDS raises AR but decreases DV, just like Flechette Rounds and Stick-n-Shock.
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Hobbes

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« Reply #53 on: (10:33:07/08-07-19) »
Yes, the new "Standard load out" is Explosive Ammo as it raises DV. 

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #54 on: (10:44:10/08-07-19) »
Actually: Yes, APDS raises AR but decreases DV, just like Flechette Rounds and Stick-n-Shock.

So no one will use them.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #55 on: (10:47:21/08-07-19) »
I question the veracity of that statement.
CorpSec when an alarm is triggered;: "This is so sad, Alexa play Shoot The Runner"

duckman

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« Reply #56 on: (11:33:04/08-07-19) »
Midnight Creeper and his crew are planning a run against a local Mitsuhama R&D lab. They have sourced Mitsuhama security outfits, proper Mitsuhama security equipment, and ammo. Creeper rewrites the RFIDs embedded in the various items based on Mitsuhama RFIDs he gleaned from the Matrix. When the time comes, the runners slip in, the door sensors registering the arrival of an expected Mitsuhama security detail (thanks to some tinkering Creeper did to the R&D labs schedule via the Matrix).

I think assuming that the corps would use off-the-shelf RFIDed ammo is shortsighted, I could totally see them RFIDing every round they purchase and using a custom internal ID, not only will that allow them to ID their own spent shells from intruders, it also makes inventory keeping easy. I mean, many if not all the corps keep track of their employees via the RFID in their clothing, thanks to dress codes. Wouldn't surprise me if they did the same to even minor office supplies ("whoa, Tim, I'm going to have to ask you to leave that stylus in your pocket at the desk before you leave the building, it's corp property").

Ok, so here's the problem with this scenario...  Why does Mitsuhama want to know about every bullet in use by every security guard in its employ?  I'm not asking about the rule mechanics or whether or not runners can deal with it.  Why the heck does Mitsuhama care?  In theory, the rules suggest that the goal is to know when a gun is fired (and this is actually totally bogus as a means of doing that when there are better tech and magic options for doing it in the SR setting anyway) but does this tell them that a gun was fired or does it tell them more and if it tells them more, then what can they learn from it (manufacturer, original owner, current owner?).  If circumventing this is so trivial that every go-ganger and flunky in the sprawl can do it then was it ever successful and why is it still in use?  Does knowing this stuff only for LoneStar and CorpSec guns matter and is it worth it?

Why are we wasting space on this in the rulebook?  Why are we simplifying the system by not only making ammo counting matter but by creating a new category of "whose tag is on the ammo" to count?

And finally, if it really works and works well and makes life hard for criminals and runners then it should be able to shut them down completely (it is, after all pretty omnipotent information) and if it doesn't work well to begin with why would any corp still be wasting money on it?  As a GM if you want it as a mechanic to use for deus ex machina then you don't care if it is in the rules in the first place.  There is just no situation in which this makes sense in the rules when viewed as a whole.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #57 on: (11:46:09/08-07-19) »
Ok, so here's the problem with this scenario...  Why does Mitsuhama want to know about every bullet in use by every security guard in its employ?  I'm not asking about the rule mechanics or whether or not runners can deal with it.  Why the heck does Mitsuhama care?

I can think of all kinds of reasons why it matters to RFID tag your guards' ammo.

Not only do you want to RFID tag each and every last thing the company owns in the event of it being stolen or lost, you also don't want guards getting any ideas about thinking they can get away with pilfering rounds out of their company-issued guns.

But since we're talking about ammo here, there's also the issue of after-action investigations. Knowing which casings are the ones left behind by your own guards helps immensely, especially if the guards died in the shootout and didn't have the good graces to file the paperwork prior to expiring.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

duckman

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« Reply #58 on: (11:58:17/08-07-19) »
I can think of all kinds of reasons why it matters to RFID tag your guards' ammo.

Not only do you want to RFID tag each and every last thing the company owns in the event of it being stolen or lost, you also don't want guards getting any ideas about thinking they can get away with pilfering rounds out of their company-issued guns.

But since we're talking about ammo here, there's also the issue of after-action investigations. Knowing which casings are the ones left behind by your own guards helps immensely, especially if the guards died in the shootout and didn't have the good graces to file the paperwork prior to expiring.

Ok, as I understand it, that's actually not covered by the rules they wrote.  It would make sense but it is not covered (why is this wasting space in the rulebook).  And when did this game become about the GM managing inventory for CorpSec (this doesn't have anything to do with the runners so why is this in the rulebook again)?  And if you wanted to have the corp actually do good forensic analysis for your storyline isn't easier to just have an offline set of cameras?  Making use of tags in spent casings is actually easier to beat than simple security measures like offline cameras so we're back to why do we need this rule in a rulebook?

I'm not saying that I can't figure out ways to use this but I don't see it ever mattering to my players in a way that *they* need to have read it.  I mean...  I'm not going into how Dunkelzahn passes waste...  It has to be there but nobody cares.  Why is there a rule for this?

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #59 on: (12:07:35/08-07-19) »
Because if you take the MCT corpsec guard's ammo, both GM and Player are aware that all those rounds are traced. Unless/until the PC takes the time to sanitize them.  (which may, of course, complicate the progress of the shadowrun that ended up putting the PC in proximity with MCT corpsec in the first place)
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.