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So, what do you think?
My god, it's full of stars! 25%  25%  [ 1 ]
Sounds good, let's test it. 75%  75%  [ 3 ]
Still needs work. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Don't like it; I think this is a dead end. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
You can take away my three VCRs from my cold, dead hands. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Um, you mean SR3 didn't already work this way? 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 4
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 2:44 am 
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Okay, check this out everyone, I just had a great idea that might not only make AR work, but also help bring a whole lot of discordant rules together under one roof. Here's how it works:

((EDIT: 2/13: Separated Pure DNI and RAS Override, to emphasize that they are distinct and independent of Cold/Hot ASIST.))
((EDIT: 2/11: Changed matrix action modifiers, just to make this proposal more seamless with existing rules.))

Navigation:
Mental/Physical Initiative - kind of a prerequisite to this proposal, though it can work without too.
Gear Changes
MMO/RPG Flavor Text
MMO/RPG Mechanics
Brainhacking - screwing people over with the assist of ASIST


The ASIST Interface - How Man Meets Machine

In the world of the 2060s, metahumanity has three different levels in which he can interface himself with computers and other machines:

"Tortoise" Mode- This is the world of keyboards and touchpads, LCDs and low-level tactile feedback units. By the '60s such interfaces are considered quaint or even antiquated, but are still in use because they are also very safe and easy to disconnect from if something goes wrong.
Advantages: No lethal/nonlethal biofeedback possible
Disadvantages: No access to Hacking/Control Pool/Response Increase/pure DNI, +4 TN to all Matrix actions.
Examples: Keyboards, touchscreens, HUDs, image links, etc.


"Cold" ASIST/Simsense- The invention of ASIST (Artificial Sensory Induction System Technology) was a giant step forward for metahumanity. Rather than relying on simple, limited methods of interface like in tortoise mode, ASIST literally writes data directly to your sensory neurons and reads data directly from your motor neurons, allowing you to use your whole body as an I/O device. Using either trodes (a network of electrodes carefully attached to specific points on the brain) or a direct datajack connection, people can now fully immerse themselves in the interface between man and machine. To duplicate this experience with traditional devices, one would have to wear molecular-resolution goggles, a full 360-degree sound system, a full-body tactile biofeedback suit, some sort of odd gizmo to input and output smell and taste data, and he would still need electrodes planted in his head to read and write emotional states.

In many cases, Cold ASIST is used to "overlay" important or helpful data over a person's meatbody perceptions, granting him a bonus to certain tasks. A good example of this is driving, where a datajack-assisted driver can "feel" the turns and the roar of the engine in ways mere mundane drivers can only dream. A Smartlinked weapon user can not only see, but also "feel" the target, as his senses gently prod him toward where he's aiming. A "Knowsoft" interfaces with the memory and recall function of of the brain, allowing the user to "remember" facts he never originally knew in the first place.

Advantages: -1 to all applicable TNs when the ASIST/simsense data coincides with your meatbody data (Does not apply to Matrix actions). Access to 1/2 Control/Hacking Pool, and up to level 1 Response Increase*. Access to Pure DNI (able to use purely mental actions to control properly modified gear). No lethal biofeedback possible

Disadvantages: Up to a +2 distraction penalty on ALL TNs when ASIST/simsense data does not coincide with meatbody data. Penalty can be erased by activating RAS Override (see below), disconnecting from Cold ASIST, or, when physical/mental initiative are different, deliberately "slowing down" mental/Matrix initiative to equal physical initiative. Nonlethal biofeedback/dumpshock possible. +2 TN to all Matrix actions.

Examples: Datajack-assisted driving, datajack-assisted Smartlink weapon use, decking in Cold ASIST. Skillsofts rating 3 or lower, Knowsofts/Linguasofts rating 5 or lower.


"Hot" ASIST/BTL- Some people are just crazy. Nuts. Loco. How else would you describe someone who would willingly "overclock" an interface into his own brain? Reserved for thrillseekers, the bleeding edge, the truly insane, "Hot" ASIST attempts to pipe in more data to the brain through a dedicated brain connection like a datajack (sorry, trodes and other wussy interfaces need not apply) than the brain is truly equipped to handle. The experience is something like trying to drink a waterfall. Through your nose. Multiplied over every sense in your body.

Requiring highly dangerous (and often illegal, or at least highly ill-advised) modifications to hardware, and in some cases wetware, "Hot" ASIST can provide incredible bonuses to people willing to take the risks. Deckers with the right hardware can pipe truly impressive amounts of information into and out of their heads, accomplishing miracles in the coded world of the Matrix. People with high-rating Knowsofts can read and write enough knowledge to their brains to become instant experts in any field.

Even more incredibly, with the proper nervous system modifications, some are able to use foreign objects as if they were actually part of his own body. Properly modified soldiers with a Smartlink cyberware modification truly can feel as if the gun is an extension of their body. Properly-equipped drivers using a VCR and running Hot ASIST can "jump into" their vehicles or drones--a process called rigging--and can literally become the vehicle, feeling the tires and engines and weapons as if they were limbs and heart and teeth.

Of course, red-lining an ASIST interface like this is nearly suicidal. Even the smallest glitch in the code being pipelined into your wetware can cause lethal consequences. But hey, what's a few fried lobes, compared to the power of unlocking the full potential of the metahuman brain?

Advantages: -2 to all applicable TNs when the ASIST/simsense data coincides with your meatbody data (Does not apply to Matrix actions). Full access to Control/Hacking Pool, and Response Increase. Access to Pure DNI (able to use mental actions to control properly modified gear). No modifier for Matrix actions.

Disadvantages: Up to a +4 distraction penalty on ALL TNs when ASIST/simsense data does not coincide with meatbody data (same conditions/solutions as with Cold ASIST). Nonlethal/lethal biofeedback possible. Lethal Dumpshock. May be addictive**.
Examples: Fully smartlinked weapon systems; "jumped in" rigging, decking in "hot sim" AR/VR. BTL chips, Skillsofts higher than rating 3, Knowsofts/Linguasofts higher than rating 5.


ASIST Options

Response Increase-Higher-rated datajacks are potentially a huge advantage to the user of ASIST. They increase your Mental Initiative, allowing you to perform multiple actions in the mental realms of ASIST. However, when your brain is moving faster than your meat your Icon can easily get out-of-sync with your body, which can cause severe distraction. To counter this, users making physical actions must forgo all mental actions above those granted by his physical initiative, to align their physical selves and their mental selves. For the comatose decker, however, piling on the initiative boosters is a no-brainer, as his body is no longer relevant.
Advantages: Response Increase from datajack can be adjusted downward as a Free Action; changes to initiative are not made until the next Combat Turn.
Disadvantages: Any time you make a mental action in the Matrix that your physical body cannot keep up with, you receive the full distraction penalty (+2 to all actions in Cold ASIST, +4 in Hot ASIST) until you spend a Complex Action doing nothing else other than "catching up" to meatbody to your Icon.

RAS Override- In most cases, simsense data is seamlessly overlaid over the sensations from the meat body. Sometimes, though, the input from ASIST can be very discordant with the data coming from a person's body, for instance if a user is browsing a distant host on the Matrix, rigging a vehicle by remote, or if some joker uploaded a spam program into his datajack. In cases like this, a person can activate the RAS (Reticular-Activation System) Override to "switch off" his body's senses and motor functions, allowing him to experience the ASIST interface un-distracted. The RAS Override is present on all trodes and datajacks, and is a Simple Action to activate/deactivate.
Advantages: Since you are essentially deactivating your meat body, there are no longer distraction penalties for mismatched simsense data due to different Physical and Mental Initiatives.
Disadvantages: While active, the RAS Override imposes a Willpower(8) test to perform any physical action, and even if you succeed you face a +8 to all Perception tests and all physical tasks.

Pure DNI- More and more often, devices are being modified to function using pure mental input and output, no keyboard, mouse, touchscreen, or display unit required. Electronics modified to utilize pure DNI generally cost 150% of their original price, and can be controlled directly using either Cold or Hot ASIST. Cyberterminals, cyberdecks, and remote control decks include Pure DNI control by default.
Advantages: Can control properly modified electronics without having to manipulate control devices.
Disadvantages: Requires direct trodes or datajack linkup.

Switching ASIST modes- Switching from Tortoise Mode to ASIST (Cold or Hot), or between Cold and Hot ASIST is a Complex Action. If you are logged onto a Matrix host, you must log out before switching into or out of Tortoise Mode. Attacking Black IC can attempt to lock your ASIST mode (see canon rules)

**- Yeah, need to work on Addiction rules too.


Thoughts? A lot of this is already canon, or a reasonable interpretation of canon, except for the RAS Override part, which is downright crap IMO and needs to change.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:37 am 
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Eyeless Blond wrote:
  • Potential problem: those -1/-2s will have to be integrated into the actual decking system; currently everyone's sort of assumed to be running Hot ASIST. I don't view this as much of a problem, as currently so much of decking is in flux.

This made me think of the -2 TN mod from the attack utility programming option "Targeting" which is sort of the smartlink of the matrix though you may want the mod to apply further than just combat.
Sounds good overall.
One thing I've considered in light of SR4's AR is a sort of sliding ASIST that varies the TN mod based on the level of immersion, sort of like turning up the volume.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:59 am 
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Idea Repository--will flesh out later:

-Borg-man: Matrix Overlay for efficiency at work-->Overlay "on the run"
-Switch between Sculpted mode and Overlay mode-->Sculpted "from home"
--One or the other not available at certain facilities?
-Deck a guard in combat? Blackhammer a sam with a SL?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:10 am 
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"-1 to all applicable TNs when the ASIST/simsense data coincides with your meatbody data. "

Just to be clear...

So if you're cold-ASISTing your smartlink, there would be a -1 to fire. However if you're cold-ASISTing decking without an RAS, you'd get a penalty? I like this line of thought.

You mentioned hardware required for hot ASIST. Would that be a special datajack? A special smartlink?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:56 pm 
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nezumi wrote:
"-1 to all applicable TNs when the ASIST/simsense data coincides with your meatbody data. "

Just to be clear...

So if you're cold-ASISTing your smartlink, there would be a -1 to fire. However if you're cold-ASISTing decking without an RAS, you'd get a penalty? I like this line of thought.
Well, it depends on what you're doing with the decking. If you just happen to be decking something that looks exactly like your surroundings, such that your meat senses and your ASIST-driven senses line up perfectly, you get the bonus. If not, you need the RAS Override or you get the penalty. This whole "Matrix lining up perfectly with meat" bit is the essence of AR, or as I'm thinking to call it Matrix Overlay.

Quote:
You mentioned hardware required for hot ASIST. Would that be a special datajack? A special smartlink?
Well, for smartlinking a weapon via hot ASIST, you'd need cyberware to specifically deal with that: a cyberware Smartlink. To hot ASIST a car, you'd need cyberware to specifically deal with that: a cyberware VCR. The idea is, the more different from metahuman you become, the more invasive 'ware you need to Hot ASIST it. Tacking a gun onto your frame isn't so hard; tacking on a car is a bit more difficult.

Decking may be its own special case, because the Matrix Persona is not "physically" any different from the metahuman body. I guess if you really wanted to you could make your Persona into a car, and force yourself to get a VCR to drive around the Matrix, but... why? Of course the real reason is because we just don't have an extra piece of 'ware set up for them; I suppose if we had to we could come up with something, but we'd be straying from canon to do so.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:37 am 
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((EDIT 2/13: bolded changes, to help clear up confusion.))

Proposed changes to gear:

Cyberware

Datajack- Datajacks now come in different ratings, representing different levels of invasiveness and different levels of Response Increase. I proposed:
Code:
rating   essence   price     Init boost (mental)
   1        0.1      1000            +0
   2        0.6     25000            +2+d6
   3        1.5     60000            +4+2d6
   4        2.4    150000            +6+3d6

but I can see how that may not go over well.

Smartlink- Essence and nuyen costs unchanged, however, you are no longer allowed to install it in a cyberarm, or anything silly like that. Instead of being some sort of processor chip that you are forced to embed in your skin for no good reason, the Smartlink is actually a specialized treatment for your nervous system, including embedded neuroprocessors and various other things, that allows you to connect to your gun using Hot ASIST. This nets you the -2 TN modifier for shooting tests, so long as you are linked up to a Smartlink-modified weapon. There are no distraction modifiers for properly using a Smartlink to Hot-ASIST a properly Smartlinked gun; the purpose of the cyber enhancement is to fool your brain into thinking that you have an extra "gun-graft" onto your arm, that is literally part of that arm, in order to negate that penalty.

VCR- There is now only one rating of VCR, as the secondary functions of the VCR--variable Response Increase and Control Pool access--are going to be available via other methods (Response Increase from variable datajacks, Control Pool increase from Reaction Enhancers, since I also propose cyberware/bioware/etc be able to modify Control Pool). The primary function of a VCR will be to allow you to use Hot ASIST to control vehicles, netting the -2 to driving and all other vehicle-related tests. There are no distraction modifiers for properly using a VCR to Hot-ASIST a properly blackboxed vehicle; the purpose of the cyber enhancement is to fool your brain into thinking that you have an extra "vehicle-graft" onto your body, that is literally part of your body, in order to negate that penalty.
The Essence and money cost of this treatment will be more than a Smartlink, as you're attaching something significantly more complicated than a gun to your brain--I like 1.25 Essence and 25,000 Y, but that's definitely up for debate.

Skillwires/Knowsoft Link- Costs same as in the book. However, A "high-performance" knowsoft link capable of handling knowsofts/linguasofts above rating 6 costs twice as much in both Essence and nuyen. Also, skillwires above rating 3 and "high-performance" knowsoft links use Hot ASIST in order to function, so they have the same permit-required legal code that a VCR has (6P-N).


Gear

Activesoft/Knowsofts/Linguasoft/BTLs- Activesofts rating 3 and below, and Knowsofts/Linguasofts rating 5 and below are unchanged. Above those ratings they have the same legal code that VCRs have (6P-N). In no case does the user of a skillsoft ever receive the -1 or -2 TN bonus for using cold/hot ASIST; those bonuses are subsumed by the fact that you can use the skill at all.

Datasofts- Since there is no canon explanation for what these do, I'll make one up now. Datasofts are used as a Cold ASIST complement Knowledge skills, by providing you with extra data in order to make better judgments. So long as the rating of the slotted datasoft is greater than or equal to the level of the user's natural skill, the user receives a -1 TN to tests involving that skill. Hot ASIST datasofts cost twice as much, and have the same Hot ASIST legal code as VCRs (6P-N).


Possibly more to come with gear changes, but nothing here is really out of step with the underlying assumption made above: that Hot/Cold ASIST is a lot more prevalent, and is one of the big reasons for a lot of the crazy stuff we see in SR3R.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:41 am 
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((Just had a horrible idea a few minutes ago. Oh, you're gonna LOVE this one...))

The New Grid

For years now, managers have been dissatisfied with the growing use and necessity of the RAS Override in daily office operations. The presence of so many slack-jawed, drooling bodies made the office aesthetics suffer, and hourly breaks were required to prevent blood clots from forming. In addition, it was very difficult to determine on sight whether workers were being productive or had turned off their terminals and were actually napping. After one particularly embarrassing incident where a COO was ridiculed for shouting at an employee for slacking off when he had in fact been brain-dead for over two hours, a number of corporations decided to figure out a way around the problem.

The current solution, created by a consortium of megacorporate researchers, was dubbed the Multiplexing Matrix Overlay onto Relative Personal Geography system. The MMO/RPG system was a fusion of wireless technologies with a specially-formulated sculpted Matrix host, resulting in a seamless overlay of ASIST-managed Matrix iconography over the physical office space. This allowed workers the ability to turn off their RAS Overrides and interact with the real world and the Matrix simultaneously, gaining the benefits of both. Now secretaries can keep answering phones even while picking up the boss's coffee; managers can keep appraised of email while hand-delivering important memos; security guards can keep an eye on live security feeds while on patrol.

The trick is in the special sculpting of the Matrix host. Special care must be taken to sculpt the host system into as exact a replica as possible of the office's real-world architecture. In addition, the host must be modified to correctly triangulate and place each Persona and node in the exact same location in the sculpted metaphor as their physical counterparts are in the building. If these conditions are met, then the MMO/RPG system can seamlessly layer Matrix iconography over the real world, allowing each user to interact with both without experiencing undue distraction, similar to the way datajack-assisted drivers have for years been able to drive a car more efficiently with the help of ASIST technology.

Though the technology is still fairly new, the use of the MMO/RPG system is quickly gaining widespread acceptance, especially with recent price declines of small, cold-ASIST-enabled cyberterminals with embedded wireless connectivity. Coverage typically only extends through single buildings, though particularly well-made host networks exist that can extend an MMO/RPG system over an entire office park. Such systems are usually very expensive and tricky to install and maintain, however; dynamically switching from in-building hosts to out-building PLTGs and back typically require a moment of "refocusing" while the ASIST interface refreshes itself.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:43 am 
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Watch this space; more game info proposals forthcoming.

And yes, I absolutely did have to call it MMO/RPG; Kag seems to have a hate-on for "AR", so I figure I'll show him a worse name. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:26 pm 
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Topic moved, because it kind of grew a bit bigger than the "AR in SR" forum in scope. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:28 pm 
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Eyeless Blond wrote:
Watch this space; more game info proposals forthcoming.

And yes, I absolutely did have to call it MMO/RPG; Kag seems to have a hate-on for "AR", so I figure I'll show him a worse name. :)

I'm going to go cry now.

(Though it's not actually worse, in that I don't have to worry about people thinking it really means this the way I do with AR.)

~J

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:54 am 
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Kagetenshi wrote:
Eyeless Blond wrote:
Watch this space; more game info proposals forthcoming.

And yes, I absolutely did have to call it MMO/RPG; Kag seems to have a hate-on for "AR", so I figure I'll show him a worse name. :)

I'm going to go cry now.

(Though it's not actually worse, in that I don't have to worry about people thinking it really means this the way I do with AR.)

~J

I just like the idea of some nerd deep in Novatech's R&D division coming up with the name and snickering at the idea of having a whole new generation addicted to MMORPGs.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:52 pm 
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So no comments on the ideas so far? I figured this stuff would be more controversial.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:52 pm 
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Very little is controversial for me in Tenth Week.

~J, about to go into his second consecutive all-nighter out of a total of three so far this week

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Failure: when your best just isn't good enough.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:12 pm 
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Oh right, the cyclical quarter/semester system. That's one thing I can't say I miss about school, though I still wish I were back.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:51 pm 
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A lot of good things in this and I'm going to apologize for lacking the time to give better feedback.

- I am a little put off about the death of the VCR. The metaphor of a VCR has always been pretty much subverting your medula into car inputs/outputs. If you unify the Assist->datajack relationship then in theory you could use a VCR to "deck" with, because a VCR only serves as an interface to your datajack for your medula.

- I am a little put off with the penalties for split mode. I'm not sure they're necessary. Th penalty for cold assist is implied in your lack of speed and perhaps a reduction in hacking pool. Is that not enough? Why needs there be TN modifiers above that?

- I think its a stretch to consider a smartlink part of the assist interface. Regardless of the metaphor, no one would use a smartlink if it's giving them penalties like the ones introduced above.

- Also if you have penalties for going cold assist, do you get penalties for using your imagelink? For making a headphone call? Whats the difference?

I guess most of my gripe is with the TN penalties for cold assist.

Also I think saying things like "if the system is sculpted to match reality" ... that kind of defeats the purpose no? In theory the interface would be sculpted by your hardware, not by the host. Your interface could see a camera up ahead on the wireless grid and would just represent it with an icon of IT'S choosing and you can mettle with it however you want. The camera could have a couple of properties like a datastream which could lead back to a different host but your interface might represent this in it's own way (maybe a red line leading off into the nether). No need to sculpt the system, just let the interface do it for you. The interface can "see" all physical and logical devices/icons and can represent them in whatever fashion it see's fit. Similar to how your desktop layout is completely arbitrary and doesn't represent the way the files are arranged beneath it beyond some extremely high level concept of directories and containership.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 2:04 pm 
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I guess the cold assist metaphor I am seeing in my head is as follows.

Bob the decker LIVES in cold assist. He gets high off of it. So him and his team are cruising into a facility and he picks up on a security camera up ahead. His eyes see the camera, his cold assist overlays the camera with a box indicating it's "matrix active" and a couple of lines lead out of it in various directions with properties listed next to each line. One might say "heavy encryption". One might say "device controls". One might say "output stream". One might say "IC". Bob wants to perform a bypass on the device so using his datajack manipulates it, maybe he even reaches up and touches the projected icon with his meatspace hands and manipulates it (the true definition of half DNI, half physical decking). He performs a couple of operations that take maybe 6-9 seconds (Bob isn't the fastest person IRL, so his meatspace initiative is usually low). After a couple rounds the camera is bypassed and the team moves on.

In game terms the camera is the "host", everything else icons within it. Bob's free action when he sees it is his sensors test which see's the IC and whatnot. Maybe he performs an analyze host or whatever to see what's up with the camera and thats when the overlay pops up with all the details. Then he performs a "deception" to get into the host. Then he performs a control/edit slave/icon. Then he jacks out of the host.

Of course bob might want to follow the datastream which he could, again by playing with the overlay and a new box could pop up representing the datastore the stream leads to. Bob then does the same operations to analyze/deceive/manipulate that host. Of course if any IC comes at him it could also have it's own overlay, but it wouldn't necessarily look like a monster, although his UI might represent it with a little icon saying "hostile" indicating what kind of IC it is and how strong it's persona is. BoB's UI would also likely have a FPS-style UI with things like his persona's own health and ratings and loaded programs along the outside of his field of vision. So when the IC attacks him a big old red WARNING: DAMAGE TAKEN = 4 might flash over his screen and maybe his view of the camera host and datastream and whatnot might get fuzzy as his persona starts to die.

I guess that's what I picture cold assist being, and I picture it as pretty freakin cool. Bob of course could react to the IC by telling his team "cover my meat" and then drop to his ass and go full DNI (Hot assist) to actually fight off the IC and have a better view of it than his clunky cold assist provides, but you get the point. It's an AWESOME metaphor and making it seamless and easy should be our endeavor.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:09 pm 
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feralminded wrote:
A lot of good things in this and I'm going to apologize for lacking the time to give better feedback.

- I am a little put off about the death of the VCR. The metaphor of a VCR has always been pretty much subverting your medula into car inputs/outputs. If you unify the Assist->datajack relationship then in theory you could use a VCR to "deck" with, because a VCR only serves as an interface to your datajack for your medula.
How do you mean? The VCR isn't going away; it just isn't as impossibly necessary as it is now. Ans you certainly could use a VCR to deck with; it just wouldn't help you any because Matrix Personas don't really require you to accept a car chassis as your physical "body". Someone with a VCR could, I suppose, fashion their persona into a Citymaster and deck with Hot ASIST as a truck instead of a person, but it's not like there's any mechanical benefits for doing so.

Or am I missing your argument?

Quote:
- I am a little put off with the penalties for split mode. I'm not sure they're necessary. Th penalty for cold assist is implied in your lack of speed and perhaps a reduction in hacking pool. Is that not enough? Why needs there be TN modifiers above that?
A few reasons:

1) I still think that comatose should be the default state for decking, or for rigging a remote system. MMO/RPG systems will exist for whatever runs the GM dictates they exist for, but other than that the majority of the time decking should be done the normal way.
2) Without these penalties there would be almost no reason for a decker or rigger to ever activate a RAS Override when decking a foreign system, or rigging a distant drone/vehicle. Deckers hardly ever use all their initiative passes unless they're in real trouble, so speed is rarely something to write home about. Hacking pool is not the issue at all, as that's limited by your level of ASIST, not whether your RAS Override is active or not.
2a) I sense a bit of confusion here. As I tried to write it, your level of ASIST is completely independent of the state of your RAS Override. You can have the RAS Override deactivated even in Hot ASIST, for example, or have your RAS Override activated even if you're using Tortise Mode.
3) More of a flavor issue, I admit, but the concept of AR, and the wholesale integration of Matrix popups into the real world is still in its infancy here

Quote:
- I think its a stretch to consider a smartlink part of the assist interface. Regardless of the metaphor, no one would use a smartlink if it's giving them penalties like the ones introduced above.
Which penalties? The only penalty that might apply to a sam using just a Smartlink, and not wired up to anything else, is the possibility of lethal dumpshock if their SL crashes while they're using it. They do have to be a little careful about linking up with an MMO/RPG interface for an office building, as a decker can theoretically hack the system and hit them with a Blackhammer, or screw with their Icon and give them huge penalties to all their actions, or something similarly awful, but that's the risks he takes for getting both the -2 to shooting from the SL and the benefits to everything else that an MMO/RPG grants (coming soon).

Or am I missing a penalty here that I don't know about?

Quote:
- Also if you have penalties for going cold assist, do you get penalties for using your imagelink? For making a headphone call? Whats the difference?
Again, TN penalties are for when you're doing things in two worlds that don't line up. If you're wandering a satellite RTG constellation--modeled as flying through the stars--while cooking breakfast, you'll take distraction penalties to both actions. If you're using an MMO/RPG interface to assist you in security operations and a decker gains control of the system, he can tweak your Icon to make your virtual self think that he's on fire, or that gravity has reversed itself, or that he's being run over by a pack of elephants, netting you a penalty to trying to gun down the sam down the hall.

On the other hand, it's not like you're using full-bore cold ASIST for headphone calls, or an imagelink anyway. That's all tortise mode, even if it is taking some from your brain to do it. Neither one is overwriting your body with foreign impulses like cold ASIST does; cold ASIST is literally giving you a second body's worth of feedback, as you get with a Matrix experience, or when you're datajack-driving.

Quote:
Also I think saying things like "if the system is sculpted to match reality" ... that kind of defeats the purpose no? In theory the interface would be sculpted by your hardware, not by the host. Your interface could see a camera up ahead on the wireless grid and would just represent it with an icon of IT'S choosing and you can mettle with it however you want. The camera could have a couple of properties like a datastream which could lead back to a different host but your interface might represent this in it's own way (maybe a red line leading off into the nether). No need to sculpt the system, just let the interface do it for you. The interface can "see" all physical and logical devices/icons and can represent them in whatever fashion it see's fit. Similar to how your desktop layout is completely arbitrary and doesn't represent the way the files are arranged beneath it beyond some extremely high level concept of directories and containership.
The problem is that you aren't talking to the camera; you're talking to the host. The camera doesn't know you, and since it's a slave to the host it won't even talk to you, unless you can hack the host and spoof it into giving the camera orders. And, unless the host is configured to do so, it won't be able to tell you which camera "that camera over there" is. It can give you a list of what cameras it has slaved to its system, and you can locate one with your Browse program and figure out eventually which one is the one you're looking for, but that's by no means automatic, especially when you're an intruder into the system in the first place.

Unless the host is programmed to know the locations of all its cameras, and printers, and computers, and whatever-the-drek else is slaved to it, and is programmed to tell everyone who connects to it where things are. That's what an MMO/RPG system is; without it you're stuck browsing around the host until you can figure out that "that camera over there" is SecCam10-47-C in the Slave subsystem.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:40 pm 
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Ah, just read that last post.

Okay, I'll respond in detail later, but I want to make one thing clear: we're not going to play SR4 here. You don't "deck" a camera or other simple object; it's either slaved to a host or it's not.

If it's not slaved to a host you can pretty much do whatever you want with it. Maybe a Computer test is required if the action itself is hard, like live-editing a feed, but otherwise a deck is just so much more l33t than a camera you don't need to see if it discovers you. It doesn't. And even if it did, it can't stop you: you're an l33t d3ck3r, and you're just better than it is. Period.

If it is slaved to a host, then it's just not talking to you in the first place, and you have to go through the host to get to the camera/object. "But I'm an l33t d3ck-" No. Forget it. The camera doesn't want to talk to you; you have to go through the host. Period.

If you don't want to or can't go through the host then you might be able to do some hardware hacking to get the camera to un-slave itself from the host, and then you can do what you want with it because you're an l33t d3ck3r again, but you'd have to physically interact with the machine to do that. You don't get to shoot magical wireless hacking beams at anything and everything you want to like in SR4; you either hack the host or you be a greasemonkey and use your Electronics B/R skill.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:43 am 
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feralminded wrote:
I guess the cold assist metaphor I am seeing in my head is as follows.

Bob the decker LIVES in cold assist. He gets high off of it. So him and his team are cruising into a facility and he picks up on a security camera up ahead. His eyes see the camera, his cold assist overlays the camera with a box indicating it's "matrix active" and a couple of lines lead out of it in various directions with properties listed next to each line. One might say "heavy encryption". One might say "device controls". One might say "output stream". One might say "IC". Bob wants to perform a bypass on the device so using his datajack manipulates it, maybe he even reaches up and touches the projected icon with his meatspace hands and manipulates it (the true definition of half DNI, half physical decking). He performs a couple of operations that take maybe 6-9 seconds (Bob isn't the fastest person IRL, so his meatspace initiative is usually low). After a couple rounds the camera is bypassed and the team moves on.
There's a small difference between your description and how my MMO/RPG system idea works. First off, the camera itself is nothing more than a slave node on the host. To control it you don't hack the device itself; you deck into the system (probably done before you even entered the facility), and use a single Edit Slave action, which would entail a Decking skill check to see how you overpower the system, and a Computer skill check to see how well you edit the camera (and if you fooled the guards).

It's both easier and more complicated. On the one hand, you don't have to worry about Deception-ing your way into each and every camera; once you're on the host system the only time you ever need to Logon to Host again is if the facility switches hosts for some reason (maybe the R&D labs have their own separate MMO/RPG-enabled Host). In fact, you won't even need to use your Browse utility to Locate Slave on the camera; the MMO/RPG interface will advertise the correct camera for you (crunch details this weekend). On the other hand, if you haven't logged onto the host by this point (or if you had logged out), you would have to now: the camera itself won't listen to you, as it's programmed to only listens to the host. You'd need to logon to the host directly, opening yourself to IC and all the other associated nastiness. Note that the security tally will remain, even if you logged out and logged back in again, because it's all the same host (or host network); the system doesn't forget its tally just because you walked down the hallway.

Note also that what we're talking about here is decking without your RAS Override on. These decking actions could be in either Cold or Hot ASIST, even tortoise mode though you're unlikely to deck even the weakest of hosts in tortoise mode unless you're hotter than you have any right to be.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:13 pm 
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Sorry for not posting much. I've been muddle-headed with the flu (and still am), however the more I sit on this, the more excited I get about it. It answers a lot of questions gracefully and creates a framework with which a GM can create all sorts of inventive systems and situations with some ease, plus helps keep deckers in the game.

I assume MMO-RPG is generally wireless based? I can't imagine workers walking around with cords in their heads can be healthy...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:09 pm 
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nezumi wrote:
Sorry for not posting much. I've been muddle-headed with the flu (and still am), however the more I sit on this, the more excited I get about it. It answers a lot of questions gracefully and creates a framework with which a GM can create all sorts of inventive systems and situations with some ease, plus helps keep deckers in the game.
Oh wait till you see some of the more exotic stuff I've got planned, especially the Brainhacking section. As a teaser, let's say there's a reason I'm putting Hot ASIST in so many more places, and that deckers will suddenly have much more interesting reasons to invest in a Black Hammer utility. :D

Quote:
I assume MMO-RPG is generally wireless based? I can't imagine workers walking around with cords in their heads can be healthy...
Well somewhat yes. Sticking a wireless connection on an MPCP 1 cyberterminal is actually fairly cheap. Most of the grunts in an office would probably have mass-market versions of that sort of setup for interfacing with an MMORG system, and would indeed be walking around looking all Borg-like with an optical cable sticking out of their head. This would also be a good reason for a cranial cyberterm/deck.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:11 pm 
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Eyeless Blond wrote:
Oh wait till you see some of the more exotic stuff I've got planned, especially the Brainhacking section.

I suggest ensuring that it is a very, very compelling proposal.

~J

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:41 pm 
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Kagetenshi wrote:
Eyeless Blond wrote:
Oh wait till you see some of the more exotic stuff I've got planned, especially the Brainhacking section.

I suggest ensuring that it is a very, very compelling proposal.

~J

I certainly hope so. Frank's got a lot of good ideas, but his stuff on brainhacking really was a giant put-off, and fairly controversial from what I'd read. At the very least it's going to have to be opt-in, meaning only people who open themselves up to is are vulnerable, and it absolutely won't be the arbitrary mindslave version. It's more to give the decker something cool and decker-related to do in combat on occasion, instead of pulling out that ineffectual backup pistol every time.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:45 pm 
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A question inspired by your initiative thread, what initiative does a character use when operating in two environments simultaneously? Presumably someone with a smartlink would use his normal initiative, but a decker decking a system? A rigger remote driving a truck while physically laying down cover fire? How is this impacted by cold or hot ASIST?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:13 pm 
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The section on Response Increase touched on this, but maybe I should have included another section, especially now that I've had time to think about it. The answer rather depends on your Initiative scores.

If your Mental Initiative is higher than your Physical Initiative, then you can choose to delay your mind to allow your body to keep up. If you do, then they're the same, and everything's hunky-dory. If you don't, then after your Physical Initiative runs down to zero you can still act mentally, that is, you can only perform actions that use pure DNI, like decking actions or remote vehicle rigging actions. Keep in mind that doing the later in, for example, an MMO/RPG situation would cause yor Icon to move out-of-sync with your meatbod, imposing distraction penalties until you took a (Physical) Complex Action to do nothing bur re-align the two. If, on the other hand, you're that rigger from your last example you'll be suffering distraction penalties to everything already, and you may as well suck as much benefit out of that situation as you can.

If your Physical Initiative is greater than your Mental Initiative, then you get to act however you want until your Mental Initiative goes to zero, then your reflexes take over, repeating your last physical action until you run out of physical actions that round. Yes this makes wireheads frightening and out of control and crazy. No I don't think that's a problem. :)

On a side note, one reason I'm going with the distraction penalties as they are is for the same reason people using Astral Perception take a +2 modifier to physical activity. I see Cold ASIST overlays a lot like astral perception; it's another layer of data essentially overlapping and interfering with the normal data you get from your body; it's only natural you'd be distracted. The distraction would be even worse with Hot ASIST, as you're literally uploading and downloading more data into the brain than the brain is physically capable of handling.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:54 am 
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MMO/RPG - Game Information

MMO/RPG Hosts- A host running an MMO/RPG system is, for the most part, very similar to a normal Matrix host. An MMO/RPG host has a Security code and ACIFS ratings, guards datastores and slave nodes, and is accessed by users via cyberterminals, just like a normal host. The nature of the interface, however, is quite different, as are the benefits for utilizing it properly and challenges in interacting with it.

So far, no corporation has managed to create an MMO/RPG system that has extended more than a city block or so. This means that, thus far, no network larger than a very small PLTG has been outfitted with the system.


Accessing an MMO/RPG System- The first way an MMO/RPG host differs from a normal host is the ease of finding an open jackpoint. Jackpoints for an MMO/RPG host are ubiquitous, and most have wireless jackpoints utilizing high-density radio links, laser links, or other wireless connectivity options, as the users of such a system are meant to be mobile. Players would be wise to ensure that they have the proper equipment to interface with the target system, as most of these types of linking hardware are not standard cyberdeck equipment.

Once the physical connection has been established, things are very familiar. Logging into an MMO/RPG host is identical to a regular host. In fact, most System Operations are exactly the same as one would find on a host using a sculped metaphor. Unlike most hosts, however, the decker is not required to activate his RAS Override. The metaphor of an MMO/RPG host has been carefully constructed to conform to the physical world. Icons from the Matrix host are paired up with their corresponding physical objects, which appear "highlighted" in the decker's vision with a vague aura, or a wireframe, or some other visual cue to emphasize that there is more than just the physical object present at that space.


Decking an MMO/RPG System- For the most part, decking an MMO/RPG system is no different from decking any other host. All System Operations that the decker would normally perform with a normal host under his RAS Override are essentially identical to the System Operations he would perform in dual meat/Matrixspace on an MMO/RPG. There are only a few differences:

1) An MMO/RPG system is built to "advertise" Icons, slave nodes and datastores which are in a user's general vicinity. Thus, if a decker is in the same room or same general area as a node or datastore, he does not need to make a Locate Resource/Icon test to find it; the host's metaphor will literally highlight it in the decker's perception. The exception to this rule is anything running a Masking program; such Icons still need to be located as normal. Further objects will still require a Locate operation.

2) The flip side of this "advertisement" feature is that the Index subsystem of an MMO/RPG system is highly advanced: GMs are encouraged to increase the Index subsystem by +3-+6 over a typical host's level to emphasize this fact. Note that the combination of 1) and 2) will encourage runners to physically explore a building to locate system resources, and that even desired files may be hidden in out-of-the-way offices.

3) The restrictiveness of the MMO/RPG metaphor means that Matrix Combat Maneuvers are less effective on MMO/RPG systems. For all combat maneuvers, use half the Icon's net successes (round down), rather than his full successes.


Initiative and Speed on MMO/RPG- One important aspect of using an MMO/RPG system is that the decker will often be decking "in the meat," meaning he will have to consider his Physical Initiative while decking. If his Mental Initiative is greater than his Physical Initiative--highly likely, as most deckers will have datajacks with large Response Increases--he will either have to forgo the extra mental actions granted by his cyberware or face penalties as his mind moves faster than his meat can keep up. See the section on Response Increase for details on the penalties and solutions.

Deckers faced with the prospect of cybercombat will likely slip out of his meat by activating his RAS Override. Doing this puts the decker back into a normal sculpted host, with all the benefits and costs that implies.


Did I miss anything? If I did, check the next section (up ASAP); if it's not there let me know.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:49 am 
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Benefits of an MMO/RPG System- The benefits to an office of being able to coexist simultaneusly in the Matrix and in the physical world are manyfold. The host's assistance provides a -1 to all TNs (-2 if the user is in Hot ASIST mode) where the host's assistance would be useful for a particular work-related task, which depending on the host's purpose could range from office work to large-scale naval shipbuilding.

In general though, one of the primary purposes of an MMO/RPG host is to assist security operations. For this application an MMO/RPG provides incredible versatility and power. For the security guard familiar with the system, the MMO/RPG host provides him with live access to camera feeds, readouts from thermal scanners and other equipment, quick access to drones and defensive measures, and more. As the link is wireless, the guards have access to all this functionality no matter where they are: at home base, on patrol, even in the middle of a firefight.

But, even beyond these strategic benefits, by far the biggest advantage an MMO/RPG host can give a security team is its ability to analyze developing security situations and assist with decision-making capabilities. Not only does the MMO/RPG host provide a -1 TN to the guards' Small Unit Tactics skill checks, but it also adds half its Security Value (round down) as complementary dice to the test. For the guard running on Hot ASIST, the host provides a -2 TN to the skill check and adds its full Security Value as complementary dice.

Note that if a shadowrunner team has managed to validate enough accounts on the host, they can receive the same benefits, though this is generally a more difficult task than just decking the host and messing with the guards themselves.


Risks of using an MMO/RPG System- Aside from some "controversial" rumors about cancer from long-term exposure to high-density radio waves, the real problem with an MMO/RPG system is increased vulnerability to deckers. For a decker, decking into an MMO/RPG system is the closest a mundane can come to feeling like a mage. All of those dangerous gun-toting security guards look to the decker like nothing so much as a cluster of icons, usually cheap-looking, budget-MPCP Icons.

Deckers have many options for messing with MMO/RPG-wired Icons. He can use an Alter Icon operation to change the input or output of the guard's Icon, feeding him false data or spoofing commands to other units. A decker can launch an attack on the security guards' Matrix Icons, damaging them or crashing them. Damaging the guard's Icon creates wound penalties for the Icon, which translate over into the real world as distraction modifiers for the guard as his Icon is knocked slightly out of sync with his body. Crashing forces the guard to endure dump shock, as well as negates the bonuses provided by the host.

By far, though, the most feared weapon in the decker's arsenal are his darker utilities, the ones that hijack the underlying Icon's ASIST interface and mess with the actual guard's meat. See the section on Brainhacking below for details.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 6:22 am 
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Brainhacking - Getting Under Your Skin

As wonderful and revolutionary as ASIST has been for metahumanity, it does raise one potentially huge issue: you are essentially opening a wide broadband pathway directly into your brain. One of the most frightening things that a competent decker can do is to hijack another person's ASIST interface and use it to literally hack someone's mind.

Realistically speaking, the real threat to an average person of being brainjacked by a decker is less than, for example, being mind-controlled by a mage. The first hurdle the potential brain-decker must overcome is being able to access a victim's mind. This is usually the end of most attempts; even in the 2060s few people are moronic enough to feed a fat pipe directly into their brain and leave the other end wide open to the world, which explains why one likely will never see a wireless datajack except in the monumentally foolish. Some brain-deckers resort to kidnapping and its corresponding lack of finese, but others perfer the victims they can corner in the Matrix, especially in MMO/RPG systems where the victim might be helplessly reliant on the benefits of the system and might never see the decker coming until it is far too late.

If the victim is using cold ASIST the decker's options in this area are a bit limited; his best bet is likely to use a Blackout utility, which can knock the victim unconscious. It is an ongoing field of research by many black hat deckers to figure out how to force a cold ASIST connection to switch to hot ASIST, but so far the efforts are fruitless.

If the victim is using hot ASIST for some reason, either because he is connecting to skillwires or a Smartlink while using an MMO/RPG system, using the hot ASIST benefits of the system itself, or some other combination, then the decker has more options. In cases like these a decker can fire up a Blackhammer utility and potentially kill the victim outright. If he's feeling particularly evil, though, the decker can do even worse. This is where BTL programs come in, in particular the Personafix category of BTL, which the decker can use to overwrite the victim's own personality with one of his choosing. For more details on the horrors a decker can visit on his victims, see the sections on Applied Simsense in Canon Companion. The relevant sections start on page 65.



All told, relatively tame, considering the title. I didn't want to invent some sort of custom read/write or spoof utility for brains, though I suppose that would be interesting. So what do you think? Like? Dislike? Don't understand?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:04 am 
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Eyeless Blond wrote:
If your Mental Initiative is higher than your Physical Initiative, then you can choose to delay your mind to allow your body to keep up.


So let's say I have a high-bandwidth smartlink connection allowing me a higher mental than physical initiative. Since the SL means I can fire without physically pulling the trigger, I can keep putting holes in the target as long as it doesn't move. To take it one step further, if I mount my handgun on a body-1 drone which I then connect to, when I run out of physical actions myself, I can still tell the drone to not only keep firing, but to shift to new targets. Correct?


The brain-hacking stuff isn't bad. Basically if someone has a smartlink and connects to the MMO/RPG, the decker can black hammer him or maybe hit him with a BTL or personafix. I'm a little wary of the latter, but yeah, otherwise a lot tamer than I was expecting. The defense is simply don't connect to the MMO/RPG like that. As a question, if you're connected to the MMO/RPG, does your smartlink then become a slave to that host?

Overall I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, it's a great idea. It's very cinematic and looks like it could be a lot of fun. On the other, it is a very, very major departure from current Shadowrun canon, and it will take some real hard though and good testing to really determine if it's open to abuse or not.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:21 pm 
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nezumi wrote:
Eyeless Blond wrote:
If your Mental Initiative is higher than your Physical Initiative, then you can choose to delay your mind to allow your body to keep up.


So let's say I have a high-bandwidth smartlink connection allowing me a higher mental than physical initiative. Since the SL means I can fire without physically pulling the trigger, I can keep putting holes in the target as long as it doesn't move. To take it one step further, if I mount my handgun on a body-1 drone which I then connect to, when I run out of physical actions myself, I can still tell the drone to not only keep firing, but to shift to new targets. Correct?
Yes and no. The "keep firing" one could work, though a real stickler of a GM could rule that since you are taking more mental actions than your physical initiative and impose distraction penalties. It's a creative solution, though, and requires the target be stationary to begin with (which is already another -2 TN), so I wouldn't personally have a problem with it.

The second one I'm a little confuse about what you are describing. Are you rigging the drone in addition to Hot ASIST-ing your own meatbody, or are you using the drone to fire a handgun by itself?

Quote:
The brain-hacking stuff isn't bad. Basically if someone has a smartlink and connects to the MMO/RPG, the decker can black hammer him or maybe hit him with a BTL or personafix. I'm a little wary of the latter, but yeah, otherwise a lot tamer than I was expecting. The defense is simply don't connect to the MMO/RPG like that. As a question, if you're connected to the MMO/RPG, does your smartlink then become a slave to that host?
No more than your arm becomes a slave on the host. The Smartlink is part of your own body, an enhancement that lets you hot ASIST your gun. You have to have hot ASIST running to get its full benefits, which is a problem is you have a wireless pipe running into your brain, but other than that it's still all part of your body. I'm not even suggesting that a decker can go into your body and hack your cyberware; I think that whole idea's a bit iffy all the way around, and doesn't really make the decker any cooler or more useful.

Quote:
Overall I have mixed feelings on this. On the one hand, it's a great idea. It's very cinematic and looks like it could be a lot of fun. On the other, it is a very, very major departure from current Shadowrun canon, and it will take some real hard though and good testing to really determine if it's open to abuse or not.
Well mechanically there's not a whole lot different. The biggie there is the MMO/RPG, and we'd have to test that extensively of course. The rest is pretty much established canon; it just uses a more unified mechanic to bestow its bonuses.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:54 pm 
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In regards to the drone thing, imagine I have a drone which is basically an arm mounted gun mount. You mount your predator on the drone and the drone on your arm, then jack into the drone. If you expect your mental initiative will always be greater than or equal to your physical, that means you just use mental actions through the drone to track your targets and fire on them. Even when you can't move any longer, your gun can.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:17 pm 
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nezumi wrote:
In regards to the drone thing, imagine I have a drone which is basically an arm mounted gun mount. You mount your predator on the drone and the drone on your arm, then jack into the drone. If you expect your mental initiative will always be greater than or equal to your physical, that means you just use mental actions through the drone to track your targets and fire on them. Even when you can't move any longer, your gun can.

What you've described is either a turret (drone), which requires a VCR, or an articulated arm gyromount (cyberware), neither of which is compatible with a Smartlink. A Smartlink is fairly limited; all it does is expand your body's perceptions a very small amount to include a gun as an extension of your arm. In a way, it's a very specialized and limited VCR, allowing you to hotsim a very limited range of equipment (guns) as if they were an extension of yourself.

Now, this does mean that a VCR could, I suppose, be used to control a gun, but frankly I don't see the need. Maybe if your rigger wanted to go for that personal touch and actually use his hand to hold the gun instead of the gunmount turret on his car, but I don't much see the point.

Note that these are both distinct from skillwires, which basically let you hot ASIST your own body, pulling and pushing more data too and from your own muscles than you would normally be expected to. A Smartlink wouldn't help there, neither would a VCR, as with either you are still lacking the shear bandwidth to your own muscles that would be required to run an Activesoft. I guess I could envision a discount for those who have both skillwires and either a VCR or a Smartlink, but they are rather different things.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:03 pm 
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Just to be clear, when you say the gyromount or turret vehicle aren't compatible with the smartlink, you mean with this new paradigm, not under the current rules.

Anyway, my point is just that if we make the VCR + turret drone + mental initiative boost combination too cheap, people will take it over something like wired reflexes. It also means that a rigger isn't just god in a car, it means that when he leaves the vehicle with his little mounted drone, he can keep up with the street sam, shot per shot.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 11:45 pm 
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nezumi wrote:
Just to be clear, when you say the gyromount or turret vehicle aren't compatible with the smartlink, you mean with this new paradigm, not under the current rules.
Well... yes, I think so. But under the canon rules, I'm pretty sure the turret vehicle would use the Gunnery skill and I think might also not be eligible for the -2 for shooting from Smartlink, because the system wouldn't be all cybernetic. You'd only get -1, the equivalent of wearing smartgoggles. Or am I wrong there? My characters tend to stay away from the rigger's job. :)

Quote:
Anyway, my point is just that if we make the VCR + turret drone + mental initiative boost combination too cheap, people will take it over something like wired reflexes. It also means that a rigger isn't just god in a car, it means that when he leaves the vehicle with his little mounted drone, he can keep up with the street sam, shot per shot.
Erm, can't he do that anyway? I mean, drone riggers generally stay in the vehicle, but there is definitely precedent for the more suicidal rigger actually being able to physically maintain control over his body while jumping into a vehicle, otherwise a rigger on a motorcycle would crash almost immediately. So messing around with a drone isn't entirely out of line, I think. Or am I wrong on this too?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:36 am 
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Eyeless Blond wrote:
Well... yes, I think so. But under the canon rules, I'm pretty sure the turret vehicle would use the Gunnery skill and I think might also not be eligible for the -2 for shooting from Smartlink, because the system wouldn't be all cybernetic. You'd only get -1, the equivalent of wearing smartgoggles. Or am I wrong there? My characters tend to stay away from the rigger's job. :)


Current rules, a vehicle can have a smartlink installed, so yes, firing through a turret would benefit from the full -2 (as long as the rigger actually has a real cybernetic smartlink tied into his VCR.

Quote:
Anyway, my point is just that if we make the VCR + turret drone + mental initiative boost combination too cheap, people will take it over something like wired reflexes. It also means that a rigger isn't just god in a car, it means that when he leaves the vehicle with his little mounted drone, he can keep up with the street sam, shot per shot.
Erm, can't he do that anyway? I mean, drone riggers generally stay in the vehicle, but there is definitely precedent for the more suicidal rigger actually being able to physically maintain control over his body while jumping into a vehicle, otherwise a rigger on a motorcycle would crash almost immediately. So messing around with a drone isn't entirely out of line, I think. Or am I wrong on this too?[/quote]

I'm pretty sure with current rules you can either do physical actions (using your physical initiative) and, at best, have your drones rely on their pilot rating to fire OR you can be the turret, taking advantage of the VCR initiative. You can't move your body, talk, etc. while doing that, you just go full vegetable. I'm pretty sure that jumping back and forth basically wipes out your initiative like it does with astral projection. Your rules would allow you to jump back and forth basically at will.

Now I don't know if that's a bad thing or not. I believe the reason they wipe out your initiative when changing modes is to prevent abuse, but your method means that is already accounted for and those rules are unnecessary. It integrates astral, matrix, vehicle and the physical much better. It DOES however mean that characters who have access to those different realms are a little more powerful.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:32 pm 
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nezumi wrote:
Eyeless Blond wrote:
Well... yes, I think so. But under the canon rules, I'm pretty sure the turret vehicle would use the Gunnery skill and I think might also not be eligible for the -2 for shooting from Smartlink, because the system wouldn't be all cybernetic. You'd only get -1, the equivalent of wearing smartgoggles. Or am I wrong there? My characters tend to stay away from the rigger's job. :)


Current rules, a vehicle can have a smartlink installed, so yes, firing through a turret would benefit from the full -2 (as long as the rigger actually has a real cybernetic smartlink tied into his VCR.
I guess the part that confuses me is how the system must be "entirely cybernetic" to get the -2 (p. 32, M&M), and they specifically mention datajack connections to the weapon as one of those things that messes that up and gives you the -1. The way I read that was that if you're holding the gun in your palm-pad hands you get a -2, but if the drone is holding it and you're just connected via datajack you only get a -1.

Quote:
Quote:
Erm, can't he do that anyway? I mean, drone riggers generally stay in the vehicle, but there is definitely precedent for the more suicidal rigger actually being able to physically maintain control over his body while jumping into a vehicle, otherwise a rigger on a motorcycle would crash almost immediately. So messing around with a drone isn't entirely out of line, I think. Or am I wrong on this too?
I'm pretty sure with current rules you can either do physical actions (using your physical initiative) and, at best, have your drones rely on their pilot rating to fire OR you can be the turret, taking advantage of the VCR initiative. You can't move your body, talk, etc. while doing that, you just go full vegetable. I'm pretty sure that jumping back and forth basically wipes out your initiative like it does with astral projection. Your rules would allow you to jump back and forth basically at will.

Now I don't know if that's a bad thing or not. I believe the reason they wipe out your initiative when changing modes is to prevent abuse, but your method means that is already accounted for and those rules are unnecessary. It integrates astral, matrix, vehicle and the physical much better. It DOES however mean that characters who have access to those different realms are a little more powerful.
Do you know where the rules are for this? I mean, the part about the RAS Override being necessary with deckers is all over the place--there's a whole section devoted to it in Matrix, though oddly I'm having a hard time finding the reference in core--but is that the case for riggers? Is it weird that I don't actually know the rules for that?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:46 pm 
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I'll have to find a page, but I'm pretty certain the Rigger is fully RAS-overridden just like the Decker. It's been a subject of some debate how that works with motorcycles, and the best two arguments I've heard for how that works is either that the rider is solidly secured to the frame and the gyroscopes do the rest, or that the system treats the rider like part of the vehicle and automatically maintains uprightness and leaning in the proper direction, but that otherwise they're out as normal.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:30 pm 
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You're right about the smartlink line, but it was errataed, it should say ""(any non-implant substitutions are made)" http://www.shadowrun4.com/resources/errata_mm.shtml. Since a datajack is cybernetic, I would say that counts.

I had also always understood that riggers basically went comatose when jacked in, but now that I look, I can't quote a line supporting that.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:58 pm 
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Rigger 3, page 11: "All perception of the physical world melts away and the rigger loses control of her[sic] physical body."

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:23 pm 
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All right, there you go.

Well, it's not like there isn't precedent in my rules for doing it that way too. All you do is say that, rather than the VCR being an ASIST body "graft" tool like I describe it, it's more like an ASIST body "replacement" tool. That would mean that hot ASIST-ing your drone would be replacing your meat with the machine, and having both active at the same time would invoke distraction penalties. OTOH, I'm not sure I really have a problem with the rigger coming along for the run, just like the decker has to with MMO/RPG. I mean, we just went through all that trouble getting the decker out of the riggermobile; why not have the rigger come along too?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:37 pm 
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Oh, I don't have any problems with the rigger being there in the flesh either, I just don't know that it's a good thing the rigger will be able to get off as many or more shots as the street sam without significant penalties.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:57 pm 
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Hm. So unless we want to put riggers back in coma-land, we have to make the (Essence & nuyen) cost of a VCR, plus the cost of a high-rating datajack and the turret-drone, higher than the cost of WR+SL+gun combo. Yeah, I can see that; the former is far more versatile a setup too.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:06 pm 
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While we're on this line of thought, it also occurs to me that we REALLY want to address the control/combat pool split.

Easiest solution for the first problem might just be to make up a reason why drones of that size can't carry weapons. If any drone small enough to be comfortably carried has a body of 0, it can't shoot. Then you just have to deal with the rigger's drone that's tagging along, but at least in that case he's getting a -1/-2.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:31 pm 
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Er?

Body 0 vehicles have no firmpoints, so their inability to mount weapons is canon (we may want to make an exception for things like tool lasers or built-in explosives, but firearms are out). The nominal mass of a Body 1 vehicle is 20kg, which isn't exactly comfortable to tote around.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:06 pm 
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Ah, I didn't realize the cut off was 20kg. Suitcase dwarf could still be a problem, though!

Truthfully, I am still a little leery of someone rolling in with his dalmation. Under the current rules, he's either fully comatose and guiding the thing himself, in which case he needs to stash his body somewhere, or the drone is running independently with its own low initiative and pilot rating and no pools.

This would let him be two different individuals with two different guns and two different pools to split between them, albeit, with both at a +2 to all TNs. Are we comfortable with this?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:32 pm 
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The cutoff is actually 5kg, with the upper cutoff as 75kg; 20kg is the nominal value.

I haven't had time to go over the whole proposal with thorough attention yet, so I may or may not be in favour of non-comatose Deckers in the first place, let alone extending it to Riggers ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:45 pm 
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FWIW, the non-comatose rigger thing was mostly an artifact of my description; I had originally meant for non-comatose riggers to always get the +4 distraction mods, but nezumi brought up that the penalties might be worth the gain. Now that the idea was brought up, it doesn't seem all that bad. I mean, some of the more outrageous sams have articulating arms with popup gun turrets sticking out of their shoulders, and they won't have to deal with the +4, so why not?

Biggest complication that I see is that this may give support to the idea of VCR-enabled powered armor, running on an MMO/RPG-like interface so the rigger can sit in his drone and get -2 to his actions without suffering distraction mods, and that may step too much on the sam's toes.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:22 pm 
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Forgetting the MMO/RPG for a sec, I'm trying to understand the penalties listed under cold/hot sim. If a rigger or decker is switching in and out of full RAS as is suggested in this thread, do the penalties match that for disabling RAS?
EB wrote:
Disadvantages: Up to a +2 distraction penalty on ALL TNs when ASIST/simsense data does not coincide with meatbody data. Penalty can be erased by activating RAS Override

Going VR without RAS is +4 to actions for splitting your attention between 2 realities (M&M). Should hot or cold affect this? Do your cold/hot sim mods overlap with RAS mods?
Sorry if this is discordant, I'm trying to muddle my way through this.

Other points;
Brainhacking is canon without actual rules. Black IC has been hacking decker's brains via their cyberdecks since SR1 and blackhammer is black IC as an attack utility. There's also pyschotropic IC, PAB reprogramming (Shadowbeat) and has been mentioned, p-fixes.

When the time comes to give an official name for the project code named MMO?RPG ;) how about geo-synchronised (or geo-synch'd) matrix (GSM) , or something else that descibes the effect.

The new DJ; is the point of this to make the rigger/decker the standard archetype (like SR4). A piece of expensive 'ware that is central to both archetypes would make it silly not to perform both roles. I prefer to keep the VCRigger and have the decker be light on cyberware unless they get a C2 deck (which would ideally give an advantage over standard decks).


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:06 am 
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Link wrote:
Forgetting the MMO/RPG for a sec, I'm trying to understand the penalties listed under cold/hot sim. If a rigger or decker is switching in and out of full RAS as is suggested in this thread, do the penalties match that for disabling RAS?
EB wrote:
Disadvantages: Up to a +2 distraction penalty on ALL TNs when ASIST/simsense data does not coincide with meatbody data. Penalty can be erased by activating RAS Override

Going VR without RAS is +4 to actions for splitting your attention between 2 realities (M&M). Should hot or cold affect this? Do your cold/hot sim mods overlap with RAS mods?
Sorry if this is discordant, I'm trying to muddle my way through this.
Oh please, go ahead. There's a lot of information here, and though it's similar enough to canon info it also has enough differences that they can be hard to keep track of.

For instance, the RAS Override I also update here. The blanket +4 to all actions from M&M (or Matrix, for that matter) is replaced by accruing distraction penalties: +2 if you're using cold ASIST, +4 if you're using hot ASIST. These penalties can be negated either by your ASIST data matching up with your meatbod data--for instance using a Smartlinked weapon, which is just a small extension, or by using MMO/RPG to sync your meat and the surrounding Matrix--or by turning off your meat via RAS Override.

Quote:
Other points;
Brainhacking is canon without actual rules. Black IC has been hacking decker's brains via their cyberdecks since SR1 and blackhammer is black IC as an attack utility. There's also pyschotropic IC, PAB reprogramming (Shadowbeat) and has been mentioned, p-fixes.
Yes; I was just reiterating that such tools would still be in effect, and would deserve special consideration in an MMO/RPG environment.

Quote:
When the time comes to give an official name for the project code named MMO?RPG ;) how about geo-synchronised (or geo-synch'd) matrix (GSM) , or something else that descibes the effect.
Heh, GSM. Nice. :D I'm still working on expansions for WIFI and FPS. :D

Quote:
The new DJ; is the point of this to make the rigger/decker the standard archetype (like SR4). A piece of expensive 'ware that is central to both archetypes would make it silly not to perform both roles. I prefer to keep the VCRigger and have the decker be light on cyberware unless they get a C2 deck (which would ideally give an advantage over standard decks).
The VCR itself will still take a pretty big chunk of Essence: ~1.25 at least. I'm also planning on the decker requiring 4 active skills and a whole lot of knowledge skills to function well, only two of which would be any use to a rigger at all (and only because one would contain the Electronics Warfare specialization, and the other would be useful for Pilot programming.)

As it stands, the only thing keeping a rigger from also being a decker is a chunk of cash (or a chance robbery) for a deck, 30 karma for a computer skill, which he may have already for E/W, and maybe a Math SPU. That IMO has to change, but nothing we do here will really change this. That will have to take place over in Deckerville.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 1:37 pm 
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So, anyone else have a chance to look over this yet? I really liked this idea when I first proposed it; now that I've been away from it for a significant amount of time it seems... extremely complicated, but I still like how it combines so many random SR3 rules under a single paradigm.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:56 pm 
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I liked it before, I think I still like it (although to be fair, it's a LOOONG thread and I didn't read over it all). I think it is currently complex, but that's partially because right now we're letting ideas go every which-way. Once we codify it and reduce it a bit, it'll be a little easier. Ultimately it can be summed up in a few lines, which is good ("all technology plugging into your brain changes its benefits based on how fast the connection is, and how different it is from your real world").


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:44 pm 
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That's a good point, one I'm going to have to use for any other major changes I propose. Being able to summarize the change into a short, general principle may make the change easier to swallow, as well as easier to implement in actual games.

And yes, I do need to comb through the thread, maybe collect all the rule/fluff changes into the first post.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:36 am 
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As the the inexperienced guy, I'd have to say that Hot/Cold ASIST + RAS active/override (plus Tortoise Mode for luddites) does not feel overly complicated and gives nice scope for variation on the theme.

On the MMO/RPG -system, other than the security guard getting feeds and controlling security drones, other possible users would be a warehouse worker/manager who could walk in his MMORPG'd warehouse and "tag" this crate for shipment and that crate for shelving and those shelves to be re-arranged in "this-and-that" manner and these orders would then be carried out either by host/ES-controlled "forklift" drones or human workers driving "forklifts" seeing these same instructions in their MMORPG-vision. Or the similar situation on a factory floor by a factory worker/manager.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:18 pm 
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I think the biggest reason I like this idea is that it integrates rules and modifiers that, for the most part, already exist in SR.

For example, there is a -1 modifier for "datajack driving;" this would be modeled in Unified ASIST by the -1 for using a datajack/trodes to gain Cold ASIST benefits in a vehicle.

Far and away the most common type of VCR is rating 2, which gives -2 mods to most vehicle tests; this would be modeled in Unified ASIST by using a VCR to gain Hot ASIST benefits in a vehicle.

Smartgoggles in SR give a -1 to shooting tests; this would be modeled in Unified ASIST by using a datajack/trodes to gain cold ASIST benefits on a gun.

Smartlinks in SR give -2 to shooting tests; this would be modeled in Unified ASIST by using a Smartlink to gain Hot ASIST benefits on a gun.

Riggers and deckers enjoy higher initiative mods when in their element (rigging/decking) than they do meatside; this is modeled by their higher-rated Datajacks giving them significant boosts to Mental Initiative, boosts which don't apply to their meat bodies.

And so on.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:41 am 
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Referring to my last post where I said I think I still like it, I think I still like it.

Can we move this on to testing and/or a vote?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:38 pm 
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A poll I can do. (See above)

Testing may require some more work, and/or some sacrifices. For instance, as written I only have one type of VCR, just like there's one type of Smartlink (as in these rules they do essentially the same thing, just on different scales) and the way it works is going to affect driving TNs basically across the board.

This idea meshes very nicely with Mental/Physical Initiative (I actually got rid of the Pure DNI boost in anticipation of Mental Initiative being higher than Physical Initiative by default), so it'd be nice to decide on both of them together.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 9:52 am 
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I currently have one rigger and no M&M so only one type of smartlink. I'll post it up with my group and ask for their thoughts. I think the rigger will like it because she's actually an adept/street sam/decker/rigger (don't ask) and thusly doesn't have the super-powered VCR.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:45 am 
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Certainly not if she's an adept, yeesh.

What should we price the multi-rating datajacks and the single-rating VCR at?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:35 am 
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Again, let's come to final consensus on what deckers should be spending at chargen. All of the prices for gear should cascade from that (including the VCR, since the basic technology isn't too far different, even if it's a little more difficult and invasive).


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