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Action to find things in a host? (6e)

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« on: <09-21-20/2218:09> »
Possibly I'm being obtuse, but I'm not clear what you do once in a host, in order to find your target in the host.  For example you make a nice backdoor entry into a security provider, and now you need to find one particular camera out of the hundreds or thousands slaved to the host, or find a particular file (or to combine the two, the footage from one of those cameras, for a particular time period).

Matrix search applies to finding info out on the matrix, and the ten minute interval would be punishing in a host.

Matrix perception says nothing about finding a needle in host-stack.

Is it one of those actions anyway?   Or automatic?  Or am I misssing another option?
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: <09-21-20/2240:49> »
I'd call it Matrix Perception.

Either the thing you need is obvious (once you're inside the host), or it's not. 

If it's obvious, then naturally no test is necessary.

If it's not obvious... perhaps it's because the thing you need is just one of a zillion of others like it  (one file in a datastore, or one specific CCTV camera in the security host for a large campus, etc).  Either way, a Matrix Perception test is the go-to to represent finding it.  GM can set a threshold* based on how messy the host is/well hidden the icon is.  It might even be running silent, and there's an opposed test instead of a threshold!


*edit: I'd personally consider finding an icon an extended Matrix Perception test rather than a success test. Assuming it's NOT running silent or otherwise deliberately obfuscated, it's only a question of how long it takes to find something in a busy hierarchy of icons rather than whether you can succeed at all.
« Last Edit: <09-21-20/2245:01> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
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.

Hobbes

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« Reply #2 on: <09-21-20/2250:39> »
Or Hash Check if you're looking for a file. 

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #3 on: <09-21-20/2306:07> »
Or Hash Check if you're looking for a file.

Forgot about that.

Yes, very good call.
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.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #4 on: <09-22-20/0450:44> »
If you want to find any and all files mentioning, for example, a specific subject, I'd apply Matrix Search. If you're looking for a specific file, definitely Hash Check, which uses a threshold 4 if you only roughly know what you're looking for.
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Xenon

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« Reply #5 on: <09-22-20/1342:18> »
...now you need to find one particular camera out of the hundreds or thousands slaved to the host....
Either you rule that it is immediately obvious (because you automatically spot icons you have User or Admin access on and the camera is not trying to hide from you anyway) and you just take your action on the specific camera without requiring any test or action economy in order to first spot it.

Or you resolve it with a matrix perception test (because finding an obvious thing with your regular perception, like a neon sign, might perhaps require a test... at least in situations where there might be hundreds or even thousands of different neon signs in your field of vision).



...or find a particular file
To find a specific File in this edition you use the Hash Check action (SR6 p. 182).

If you already know the hash value of the specific File Icon you are looking for then the threshold to find which 32 likely candidates is 1, otherwise (like if you are looking for backup footage of a surveillance camera) the threshold is 4. For each extra hit you can divide the number of candidates by 2 (to only end up with one single candidate you need a total of 5 net hits). You can also add more hits by Trying Again. Each attempt cost one Major Action.


(For reference; in previous edition there was no Hash Check action.... instead you used the Matrix Search action, but with a base time of 60 seconds).

MercilessMing

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« Reply #6 on: <09-22-20/1411:37> »
I'd like to piggy back onto this to ask a question about matrix perception.  If a host is running silent and I beat it in a perception check, do I see the host and everything protected by it?
Examples:
I see a camera IRL and do a matrix perc. to search for hidden icons.  I beat the host protecting the camera.  Do I spot all devices protected by the host within range?
Is the answer different if I am "within direct connection range" of the camera and the host is a nested one?
What access is required in order to detect nested hosts?  Let's say I go to the club where they let any Outsiders on property interact with virtual constructs or maybe even an AI or something. The club Host has a nested VIP host or business host, with no physical devices slaved to it.  What's a hacker gotta do to see the hidden nested host?

Hobbes

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« Reply #7 on: <09-22-20/1505:39> »
The best way to think of Matrix Perception is like a regular Perception check.  Do you need one check to spot a gang of Ninjas sneaking up on you, or do you check for each one? 

Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  Depends on the circumstances.

Personally I'd ask for a Matrix Perception check to find anything Running Silent on a Network and let that check stand for anything nearby.  I'd use Noise as a rule of thumb, so distance or obstacles that are meaningful enough to penalize a Matrix Perception check would call for a new Matrix Perception test.

Just how I'd do it.  There are several right answers here.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #8 on: <09-22-20/1710:41> »
I see a camera IRL and do a matrix perc. to search for hidden icons.  I beat the host protecting the camera.  Do I spot all devices protected by the host within range?
I'd say no. The camera gets a boost from the Host, but that doesn't expose the rest. If your teammate gives you a boost to your stealth and you're spotted, that doesn't automatically expose the entire team. If a device is spotted, the network isn't, you still have to go through the motions there.
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« Reply #9 on: <09-22-20/1841:34> »
Thanks for the various responses.  I do somewhat question the conclusion of Hash Check as the action of choice for 'ordinary' files, since the description of that action states "it searches for an encrypted file." Presumably not all standard piles of data (camera footage, in my example question) is encrypted?
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #10 on: <09-22-20/1847:11> »
Unless the file is being actively used or has no intrinsic value, I'd always assume encryption.
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Hobbes

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« Reply #11 on: <09-23-20/0949:50> »
Unless the file is for public use, say like an AR Menu in a restaurant, it's probably encrypted. 

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #12 on: <09-23-20/1012:37> »
Unless the file is for public use, say like an AR Menu in a restaurant, it's probably encrypted.

There's also the possibility (probability?) that even things like AR Menus and jukeboxes are encrypted, when it's a place that has a cover/entry charge.  While you want paying customers to interact with such things, you probably don't want troublemakers outside sanding phoney orders to the Chefbot, or making the jukebox play an annoying song on repeat.  A public key can be issued to paying customers as they enter.
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.