SR3R Project Forum

Decking Summary - What has been agreed upon
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Author:  nezumi [ Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:43 am ]
Post subject:  Decking Summary - What has been agreed upon

From Dumpshock, we have already accepted the following:

- Some utilities and actions have been combined (I don't have the full list)
- Validate and invalidate Account works only on a main user database. All other Validate functions can be used anywhere
- Link utilities are removed, only hardware is required for a wireless link
- Sleaze has been removed. Masking alone determined Detection Factor.
- Combat utilities use decker's skill with the program rating determining power. Killjoy and Black Hammer determine damage based on the host
- Guardian is now gone, replaced by appropriate security hardware
- Hacking pool can be exchanged for Detection Factor
- Tally is kept system wide, brought up to the tally of the highest individual on the host
- Detection modes are removed
- Redirect Datatrail success adds +1 to the Location cycle (making it more time-consuming, not harder)
- IC are just frame agents loaded with appropriate programs
- Prices for non-illegal decks should be moved from the Matrix book to the main manual

Disregarded suggestions:
- Dropping maneuvers
- Dropping memory sizes
- All of the other crazy ideas for tally

Author:  Eyeless Blond [ Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Decking Summary - What has been agreed upon

Re: utilities: here is what we came up with back on DS:
(Copied from original Matrix thread)

Key: Host subsystem names are Huge,
operational utility names are bold,
system operations are normal.

Extensibility notes are provided in case the decker wants to do something that can't be easily pigeonholed into an existing system operation.

Freeze Vanishing SAN
Graceful Logoff

Encrypt and Decrypt
Encrypt/decrypt Subsystem

Extensibility: quite simple, really. If it's an Access operation that doesn't involve encrypting or decrypting, it uses Deception.

Commentary: You'll still be using Access as the TN to do things like crash the Access subsystem, but I don't consider that an Access operation per se (you aren't Accessing anything).

Analyze Host
Analyze Icon
Analyze Process
Abort Host Shutdown
Block System Operation
Crash Host
Alter Icon*
Redirect Datatrail
Relocate Trace
Dump Log
Invalidate Account
Restrict Icon
Validate Account

Encrypt and Decrypt
Encrypt/decrypt Subsystem

Extensibility guidelines: if it involves analysis, stick it under Analyze. If it involves interfering with a running process, use Inject. If it involves falsifying data or otherwise confusing system monitors, Decoy. If it involves logs, user accounts, or using the system's own security systems to allow you to do something or disallow someone else from doing something, it's a Validate issue.

Commentary: Altering an icon at will seems similar enough to the idea of injecting arbitrary code that I stuck it in there with it. Opinion?

Locate System Resource
Trace MXP Address
Locate Icon

Encrypt and Decrypt
Encrypt/decrypt Subsystem

Extensibility guidelines: If it's finding something that's a basic part of the system or can be considered a file, folder, subsystem, whatever rather than an active user (keeping in mind that processes can be users too), it goes under Browse. If it's finding something that has an icon, it goes under Scanner.

Or, to simplify it further: if it moves, it's Scanner. If it doesn't, it's Browse.

Commentary: Self-explanatory, I think. We'll need to define what a system resource is or come up with a better term, though.

Manipulate Data

Encrypt and Decrypt
Encrypt/decrypt Subsystem

Extensibility guideline: this one's really pretty basic. If it has to do with reading data from or writing data to something that isn't a slave or protected by special permissions (logs, user databases), it goes under Read/Write.

Commentary: something about Make Comcall being here doesn't sit right with me. Any thoughts for a better place to put it? Possibly combine Commlink and Triangulate and put them both under Slave? Update: Done.

Control Slave
Edit Slave
Monitor Slave
Make Comcall

Encrypt and Decrypt
Encrypt/decrypt Subsystem

Extensibility Guideline: if it's a slave node, it falls under Spoof. This one's really easy as long as you don't try to make Slave do something that Slave shouldn't do.

Commentary: The exception is for cases like Triangulate. Is there another case someone can point out where additional information might be gleaned from a Slave that would need a program to calculate? Also, see Files commentary. Update: Triangulate no longer uses a separate utility.

Analyze Subsystem
Crash Application
Disarm Data Bomb
Relevant worm
Intercept Data
Tap Comcall
Swap Memory

Encrypt and Decrypt
Separate utilities, but it makes little sense to discuss them separately.

Author:  Eyeless Blond [ Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Decking Summary - What has been agreed upon

So, to be clear, we have, at this moment, 12 operational utilities that interact with the various host subsystems:


Plus two "Special" Operational Utilities that do specialized functions--do we want to keep these, or eliminate them and roll their functions into the above more generalized Operational Utilities:

And of course let's not forget Worms--I know I always do. Should we even bother keeping these, or just discard them as a bad idea from Matrix?

Author:  Kagetenshi [ Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Decking Summary - What has been agreed upon

Intercept Data seems to be a powerful enough operation to justify the continued existence of a separate Sniffer program for it; I think keeping it around is the right call.

Regarding Purge, I don't see a clear path to eliminating it unless Worms are eliminated, so it seems like that's really the question here. I've never actually ended up using one, and as my current campaign has an Otaku rather than a real Decker I'm not going to have a chance to anytime soon; advice?


Author:  Eyeless Blond [ Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Decking Summary - What has been agreed upon

Has anyone here used one before? I haven't even read the rules for worms, myself.

Author:  Eyeless Blond [ Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Decking Summary - What has been agreed upon

I'm not sure, but I think that, for the moment, we're basically agreed to much of the Rejiggering Decker Skills and Cutting Costs threads, at least in general:

Eyeless Blond wrote:
This puts us to six(seven) skills:
-Computer - For "legitimate" tasks
-Decking - For "illegitimate" tasks (Decking is at least as different from Computer as Con is from Negotiate, or Lockpicking is from Blacksmithing)
-Electronics Warfare (for jamming, etc... really need to work on those rules to make them more comprehensible/compelling)
-Electronics B/R (now includes B/R on decks, as it doesn't make much sense to separate them. This IMO would be the skill used to break electronics-based locks; tumblers and safes would need Lockpicking.)
-Programming (essentially Computer Program B/R--in fact that might be a more consistent name for it.)
-Ettiquite(Matrix) --Not really a new skill, but pretty much a basic requirement of anyone wanting to call themselves a competent decker.
-with a possible seventh being Matrix Combat.

Eyeless Blond wrote:
Okay, so the canon rules are ambiguous about whether or not Operational Utilities are required to make system tests. I'm going to say that some operational utilities--we'll call them non-Decking Operational Utilities--are required to make their associated system tests at all. These System Tests need to be made whether you are a "Validated"/legitimate user or not: the measure of their success is not primarily about whether or not you manage to deceive the system, but whether or not you manage to do the action correctly. Such actions use the Computer Skill, rather than the Decking Skill.

For example, take Read/Write and the Edit File operation. For this, the decker is already (illegally) logged into the system, and is attempting to manually edit a file, say to delete some incriminating information. He rolls Computer against a TN of the Files subsystem, minus Read/Write. The host rolls Security Value vs. Detection Factor. Success means that he edited the file convincingly; failure means that there are still telltale signs of tampering, say a backup file or an invalid checksum or something.

This contrasts with Decking programs like Deception, which are not required tests for Validated (or legitimate) users. These use the Decking skill, but otherwise are basically identical to non-Decking tasks, at least in terms of how TNs are calculated.

Given the list of Operational Utilities above, I think it makes sense to split them along these lines:

Deception - Decking
Analyze - Non-decking
Inject - Decking
Redirect - Decking
Validate - Decking
Browse - Non-decking
Scanner - Non-decking
Read/Write - Non-decking
Spoof - Non-decking
Commlink - Non-decking
Encrypt - Non-decking
Decrypt - Decking -- Because reading an encrypted file when you have the key doesn't require Decrypt, and in fact shouldn't require a test at all.
Purge - Non-decking
Sniffer - Non-decking -- I say this because netstat and other packet-monitoring tools have as many legitimate uses (for sysadmins) as they do non-legitimate.

Note that this means only five operational utilities, two of which are used fairly rarely, potentially plus attack and defence utilities, will require the more expensive "Decking" cost modifier.

Having Matrix Combat be a separate skill still seems open for debate.

And yes, it is slightly disturbing that, should we adopt this change and including Matrix Combat, SR3R decking will look a lot more like SR4 decking in the sense that it's skill-based rather than cash-based. Notably, SR4 decking actually requires more Active skills than even our SR3R version:

SR4 Decking skill list:
Electronic Warfare
Data Search

For a total of 8 (though notably 7 of those fit into two skill groups). I'm not sure what to think about that.

Author:  nezumi [ Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Decking Summary - What has been agreed upon

That's a lot of skills. I would tend to put Data Search under Computer, and make that a more generic skill of, well, using computers. Whereas Decking would include both illegitimate and legitimate computer security.

Author:  Eyeless Blond [ Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Decking Summary - What has been agreed upon

nezumi wrote:
That's a lot of skills. I would tend to put Data Search under Computer, and make that a more generic skill of, well, using computers. Whereas Decking would include both illegitimate and legitimate computer security.

That second list is actually the SR4 skill list; I'll edit the post to make it more clear.

The one I proposed for SR3R is further up, with short descriptions of which does what. The quick list:

Electronics Warfare
Electronics B/R
-with a possible seventh being Matrix Combat.

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