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Questions about devices

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Annoch

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« on: <06-16-20/1528:40> »
Questions about devices, mainly regarding the matrix/hacking:
  • What is a 'device' in the context of the matrix/hacking interaction?  The rulebook on page 174 has a section entitled 'Devices' but it only mentions commlinks and cyberdecks...
    So, is a device just anything that can be connected to the Matrix?  Is it just things with 'device' ratings?  Just things with wireless bonuses?  What about cyberware, your car/motorcycle, or your home electronics? 
    For example, I assume that a Ruger Super Warhawk is not a device as it is a gun with no electronics on board, but does it become one if I add a smartgun system?
  • Do devices need to be connected to a host/PAN to access/be on the Matrix or can they just exist on their own?
  • What devices are susceptible to matrix attack (data spike, for example)?  It seems obvious from the rulebook that any device with a device rating and Matrix stats can be attacked, but what about other things?  Can my smartlinked Ruger Super Warhawk be attacked if I am using the smartlink, but do not have the 'wireless bonus' turned on?  What about my wired reflexes with the wireless bonus turned on or turned off?
  • Only very few pieces of equipment have any sort of device rating (commlinks, cyber decks, and a few pieces of security equipment).  Are any other devices with a device rating treated as 0 (resulting in 8 condition boxes)?

Sorry to be all over the place.  Thank you in advance to anyone who can provide some clarification.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: <06-16-20/1630:46> »
Rule of thumb: anything that is not a natural object, or made by hand, incorporates wireless and is therefore a device by the matrix rules.

Your guns, your armor, your socks, everything is a device.  Even if it doesn't have wireless bonuses, it can still be tracked via the matrix, and hacked to some degree.  For example, even your bowl of Ramen soup can potentially be hacked so that the nano-flavor enhancers broadcast rotten eggs to your DNI or olfactory/taste cyberware.  Of course if you're not accepting simsense input from your food, hacking your food has very limited impact on you.

By default everything just exists out there on its own, but in practice anything that's supposed to have some modicum of security should be protected by a host or a PAN.

Device rating guidelines didn't make it into the 6e CRB, unfortunately.  But there's no reason you couldn't use 5e's:

DR 1: Expendable, cheap, or single use consumer goods (cans of Dragon Piss, light bulbs, etc)
DR 2: Most consumer goods (Soykaf Makers, your trideo unit, etc)
DR 3: Security goods (cameras, maglocks, traffic lights, etc)
DR 4: Stuff made for police/corpsec use
DR 5: Stuff made for military use
DR 6+: High tech or experimental stuff
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.

Annoch

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« Reply #2 on: <06-16-20/2140:44> »
Thank you.  That is enlightening...

That would explain the brief mention of filters with regard to AR and VR.  I suppose seeing everyone's socks and underwear and soda cans would be overwhelming.

Just so that I am clear, under 'wireless functionality' and 'turning it off' it reads as though taking the wireless bonus indicates that the device is connected, so you get a bonus.  Based on your description it would appear that the game assumes that if the device that has a wireless bonus 'connected' you just get the bonus because there would be no reason not to.  There is no direct link between an item having a wireless bonus and it being hackable or unhackable, correct?

For example, in my post above I mentioned a gun with a smartgun system.  That gun is at risk of hacking if I am using the smartgun electronica, regardless of whether I am taking advantage of the wireless bonus?  So the only way to completely avoid that risk would be to turn off the smartgun system entirely and not get either the smartgun base bonuses or the wireless bonus?

And the same would go for cyberware; so I would need to turn the wireless in my cyberarm off (event though there is no wireless bonus) to avoid it being at risk of hacking?

BeCareful

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« Reply #3 on: <06-17-20/0043:03> »
To attempt to answer all your questions at once, Annoch, if you turn something Wireless OFF, you don't get its Wireless Bonus, but that also means it can't be hacked unless someone sticks a cable from their cyberdeck into your gun.
Normal guns are wireless devices, since they tell you your ammo count and type in AR by default; if it's Wireless ON, someone could brick it with a Data Spike, sure, but all they could really do if they got access to it is Edit that ARO so it'd always say it's full when it isn't.
A Smartgun gives you more stuff, but it also lets a hacker take advantage of that stuff. So you can just presume your Smartgun is Wireless OFF most of the time, and tell your GM when you're turning it ON. This also helps with concealed weapons, as does Silent Mode.
As for someone getting access to your cyberware, they couldn't remote-control your cyberarm (not even extend your retractable weaponry at an inconvenient moment). They could send you fake error messages, or turn your Wired Reflexes OFF, or possibly even brick it with a Data Spike or two. That's why it's better to just keep your cyberware Wireless OFF unless it gives you a bonus.
"Welcome to Shadowrun, where the biggest obstacle is you!"

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #4 on: <06-17-20/0050:05> »
Mechanically, it's best to just have everything that doesn't give a wireless bonus to be running wireless off.  However, certain gear is problematic to run wires to/from.  Oh, like, for example contacts.  Very awkward to have wires coming out of your eyes.

There's also the potential problem of being an AR void when most people are surrounded by a cloud of AR tags signifying all their gear.  You can stand out to security/bouncers if you've turned all your shit wireless off.  Why would you be doing that, if you have no mischief in mind?




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.