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> Hackers and Logic, When do they use it?
The_Dood
post Oct 30 2006, 04:59 AM
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When the players each made their characters I explained to them that the basic mechanic was Attribute+Skill. So the player making the hacker naturally boosted Logic (Which is used by the hacking skill group) but during gameplay we've found that hacking primarily uses the mechanic Skill+Program.

So what does a hacker need Logic for?
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Jaid
post Oct 30 2006, 05:16 AM
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oh, hackers need logic a lot.

that is to say, if they intend to program anything at all, they're going to spend a whole heck of a lot of (in game, not RL) time using their logic attribute, on account of it takes months to program just about anything.

(FWIW, a somewhat common house rules seems to be more along the lines of spells... you roll logic + hacking/computer, and the program rating caps your successes, kinda like how magic works. alternately, i believe i've seen at least one place (Frank's rules, maybe?) where it's capped by the program rating + 1, so that you can do limited stuff even if you have no program for it)

this certainly makes it more appealing to have logic as a hacker, since if you couldn't tell from the first part of my post it's not terribly useful for programming anything... (in fact, that would probably also make TMs a lot more appealing, especially if you made another houserule to use resonance + hacking/computer skill capped by CF rating... maybe i'll whip something up real quick to see how that would work for a chargen TM. of course, this just makes them even more unable to take cyber/bioware without screwing themselves over...)
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Chandon
post Oct 30 2006, 05:22 AM
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Script kiddies don't need logic.
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Digital Heroin
post Oct 30 2006, 05:30 AM
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Script kiddies may not, but useful Hackers who actually want to garner some measure of professional respect can't rely on other people's programs.
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ShadowDragon
post Oct 30 2006, 06:08 AM
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Script kiddies shouldn't be as good as an actual hacker with a good logic score.

Add another GM to the list of who uses the logic + skill capped by program rating houserule.
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ShadowDragon
post Oct 30 2006, 06:10 AM
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QUOTE (Digital Heroin)
Script kiddies may not, but useful Hackers who actually want to garner some measure of professional respect can't rely on other people's programs.

Unfortunately this is not a reasonable expectation unless you like turning your shadowrunner in a NPC computer programmer.
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Chandon
post Oct 30 2006, 06:11 AM
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Another possible houserule that might be worth considering is to cap program rating at logic. That way, it works pretty much exactly the way it was playtested - except characters are forced to make sense. The in game explanation would be "it doesn't matter how good the program is if you can't figure out how to use it to its full potential".
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Jaid
post Oct 30 2006, 06:17 AM
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QUOTE (Chandon)
Another possible houserule that might be worth considering is to cap program rating at logic. That way, it works pretty much exactly the way it was playtested - except characters are forced to make sense. The in game explanation would be "it doesn't matter how good the program is if you can't figure out how to use it to its full potential".

that could work, but it's certainly counter to the way the rest of the system works... that is, the standard is to use attribute + skill. it makes sense to continue that trend and use attribute + skill for hacking, and then add in that the program rating limits the number of hits you can get. or at least, it makes more sense than making logic limit the number of successes possible, whilst being balanced still.
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Jack Kain
post Oct 30 2006, 06:29 AM
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Yeah we need to see those hackers with Logic 6 and rating 3 cerebral boosters really using those brains.
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Garrowolf
post Oct 30 2006, 06:32 AM
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The problem with doing the success caps like that is that you are replacing one system unlike the core mechanic with another. I know that some spells are like that but I don't see what the problem is with just adding the program to the Attribute + Skill. It just works like another device. You end up with a fair amount of dice but you would be facing others with the same thing so it balences back out.
Then just make it so that you can't do that action without the program, unless you are slow hacking.
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Garrowolf
post Oct 30 2006, 07:49 AM
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I use this:

Matrix Actions

This returns the comupter system to the core mechanic: Attribute + Skill +/- Device. All character based rolls use this. Agents may use the Pilot + Program mechanic.

Free Actions

* Alter / Swap Icon (pg 211)
* Changed Linked Device (pg 135)
* Detect Wireless Node (pg 225) - Logic + Electronic Warfare /Scan
* Jacking Out (pg 220)
* Speak Text or Phrase (pg 136)
* Terminate Data Transfer (pg 219)

Simple Actions

* Call/Dismiss Sprite (pg 235)
* Deactivate Program or Agent (pg 228)
* Decrypt with key (pg 225)
* Issue Command (pg 221)
* Log Off (pg 220)
* Observe in Detail (pg 217) - Inituition + Computer /Analyze
* Transfer Data (pg 219)

Complex Actions

* Attack (pg 230) - Inituition + Cybercombat /Attack
* Compile Sprite (pg 234) - Resonance + Compiling
* Control Device (pg 220) - Inituition + Device Skill /Command
* Crash Program/OS (pg 223) - Logic + Hacking /Attack
* Data Search (pg 219) - Inituition + Data Search /Browse
* Decrypt (without key) (pg 225) - Logic + Hacking /Decrypt
* Detect Hidden Node (pg 225) - Inituition + Electronic Warfare /Scan
* Disarm Data Bomb (pg 224) - Logic + Hacking /Defuse
* Edit (pg 218) - Logic + Computer /Edit
* Intercept Traffic (pg 223) - Inituition + Hacking /Sniffer
* Intercept Wireless Signal (pg 225) - Inituition + Electronics Warfare /Sniffer
* Jam Signal (pg 225) - Logic + Electronics Warfare /Jammer
* Log On (pg 220)
* Reboot (pg 221) - System + Response
* Reboot Technomancer (pg 221) - Logic + Willpower
* Redirect Trace (pg 224) - Inituition + Hacking /Spoof
* Repair Icon (pg 219) - Logic + Computer /Medic
* Run Program or Agent (pg 227)
* Shut Down a Sprite (pg 236) - Resonance + Decompiling
* Spoof Command (pg 224) - Inituition + Hacking /Spoof
* Track User (pg 219) - Inituition + Computer /Track

Intuition is used in tests requiring reaction or cunning. GM can request that Logic be used instead if it makes more sense in the circumstances.
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Konsaki
post Oct 30 2006, 07:59 AM
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I dont know about adding the program rating into the dice pool... That would allow some people to oneshot another matrix user sometimes, or outright kill them with black attacks.
I would just use the programs as a limiter on how many hits you can get, being Program rating + 1 as the max.
That way, even though you might not have a program, which is often in a TM's case, your base logic and skill knowhow can at least get you something done. Like searching the net (Lets say for Pred IV repair instrucitons), without a search engine (google), the hacker will have to just type out random web addresses to try and find something relavent. (Predator.com, Aresguns.com, NRA.org, etc) Obviously not the most efficient way to do it, but it might get you something.

The hacking actions probably wont work without actually having the program at least at level 1. Attack, armor and the such.
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Garrowolf
post Oct 30 2006, 08:28 AM
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Actually you just hit on something that I have wondered about. Don't they have search engines anymore? Why the data search program on your commlink?
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pragma
post Oct 30 2006, 08:44 AM
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It could be argued that there are no more servers on which to run search engines. If the entire matrix has been replaced by a mesh network, finding someone within broadcast or rebroadcast range who is making a search program (which might contain personal configurations) publicallly available could be a crapshoot, but not impossible as indicated by the option of defaulting to the data search skill. More convenient to have your own adaptive web crawler at your fingertips.
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Garrowolf
post Oct 30 2006, 08:51 AM
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I thought that there was still a Matrix on land lines as a back bone and the wireless part was just access.
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Jack Kain
post Oct 30 2006, 09:01 AM
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All the old hard lines are still there and they even have the old terminals.
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Blade
post Oct 30 2006, 11:47 AM
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In HotSim VR mode, the hacker spends 1 second to do his complex action... Logic isn't really involved here. It's just about having good programs and knowing how to use them.

Logic is invloved when the hacker actually has time to think about something. Hacking isn't all about using programs to do things just like B&E isn't just about using tools to get inside. Sometimes, you'll be confronted with something that'll need some intelligent thinking.

For example, you've got a nifty sequencer and you're using it to unlock a door. The problem is, the door unlocks when you enter some short sequence but triggers an alarm if you don't enter another code afterwards. If you just know how to use the sequencer, you'll get inside, trigger an alarm and get caught. If you're a covert-ops specialist, you'll know about this and let your sequencer run a bit longer.

It's exactly the same in the Matrix : if you're logical, you'll guess that this "TOP SECRET" node is just a one-way node full of Black ICE.

Nothing prevents the GM to ask for a "Logic+Hacking" test from time to time, to see if the hacker will be able to figure out such traps. And nothing prevents the GM to quickly resolve non-vital hacking scenes by simply asking for a "Logic+Hacking" test, the same way he may ask the face to roll "Charisma+Con" to quickly resolve a social encounter.
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DireRadiant
post Oct 30 2006, 03:20 PM
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p. 218 Using Computer Skill
"When you are dealing with a particular device, you roll
Computer + Logic against an appropriate gamemaster-determined
threshold. When you are utilizing a particular program,
you roll Computer + program rating. Standard situational modifi
ers may apply, as decided by the gamemaster."

p. 223 Using Hacking Skill
"When you are directly
interacting with a device, make Hacking Tests using Hacking
skill + Logic. If you are utilizing a hacking program, makes tests
using Hacking skill + program rating."

p. 225 Using Electronic Warfare Skill

"When dealing hands-on with communications technology,
make tests using Electronic Warfare + Logic. When utilizing
programs, use Electronic Warfare + program rating.'

Now for the tricky part, there are lots and lots of examples of doing Skill + Program, but I can't find examples of Skill + Attribute.

But the statements seem to apply that you can use Skill + Attribute to accomplish, what exactly?

In each section there follows a list of tasks using the skill.

It seems to imply you can default to Logic, or simply use Logic instead of the program.
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Moon-Hawk
post Oct 30 2006, 03:37 PM
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Hmmmm, what about:
Program+Skill (max hits equal to program rating+1) for the script kiddies
-or-
Logic+Skill(max hits equal to program rating+1) for the real hackers.
And by "-or-" I mean it is decided at the time of dice rolling, and characters can choose to use whichever method is more beneficial to them?
This idea is off the top of my head, is it crap?
edit: It looks like DireRadiant and I are thinking along the same lines, aren't we?
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DireRadiant
post Oct 30 2006, 03:48 PM
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QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
edit: It looks like DireRadiant and I are thinking along the same lines, aren't we?

I'm happy to admit I don't know. There are many reasonable suggestions that have been made. But they are all suggestions. It would just take one example or explanation somewhere to help interpet the text and make it useful.

The simplest thing I can think of that I would use is

If PC has Computer, they can default to Logic -1 for any Common Use Program.
If PC has Hacking, they can default to Logic -1 for any Hacking Program.

Or more specifically if the PC has Skill that program is associated with, they can use Logic - 1 instead.

e.g. Blackout uses CyberCombat/Hacking, so the PC could use CyberCombat + Logic - 1 in a Blackout test. Limited by system response of course.

Not particulary game breaking, saving money on program, but spending on Logic isntead.
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Eryk the Red
post Oct 30 2006, 04:42 PM
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Now, I use the matrix rules basically as they're written in the book, but I've long thought it'd be better to have programs be like (in a metaphorical sense) matrix gear/cyber, as opposed to the more common proposed change, which makes them like spells. (I would rather see a variation of that applied to TMs.) So Matrix actions are made with Att + Skill, and programs provide bonuses or other benefits to the action (and are often required). For example, a cybercombat attack is made by rolling Logic + Cybercombat. An attack program would determine the base DV for the attack. There could be a wide variety of attack programs that provide other benefits, probably in exchange for a reduced DV (or perhaps all attack programs have (rating) DV plus other effects). The same would go for other actions. Medic, for example, would be very simple. Its rating is added to the Repair Icon test (Logic + Computer, probably), though I would give it a threshold of 2 to bring it more in line with RL first aid.

Just some thoughts. I've not tried to implement it or formally write it up, mostly because my group doesn't hack much.
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ShadowDragon
post Oct 30 2006, 05:18 PM
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QUOTE (DireRadiant)
If PC has Computer, they can default to Logic -1 for any Common Use Program.
If PC has Hacking, they can default to Logic -1 for any Hacking Program.

Or more specifically if the PC has Skill that program is associated with, they can use Logic - 1 instead.

e.g. Blackout uses CyberCombat/Hacking, so the PC could use CyberCombat + Logic - 1 in a Blackout test. Limited by system response of course.

Not particulary game breaking, saving money on program, but spending on Logic isntead.

So if I made a PC with logic 6 and cerebral boosters 3, not only would I never have to buy a program, but I'd be 2 dice better than any hacker who uses programs. How is this not game breaking?
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Eryk the Red
post Oct 30 2006, 05:21 PM
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I don't think that the fact that maxing out an attribute and boosting it as much as you can gets you a benefit, even a major one, makes a rule game-breaking. I don't like the suggested rule, either, but not for that reason.
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DireRadiant
post Oct 30 2006, 05:51 PM
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QUOTE (ShadowDragon)
QUOTE (DireRadiant @ Oct 30 2006, 10:48 AM)
If PC has Computer, they can default to Logic -1 for any Common Use Program.
If PC has Hacking, they can default to Logic -1 for any Hacking Program.

Or more specifically if the PC has Skill that program is associated with, they can use Logic - 1 instead.

e.g. Blackout uses CyberCombat/Hacking, so the PC could use CyberCombat + Logic - 1 in a Blackout test. Limited by system response of course.

Not particulary game breaking, saving money on program, but spending on Logic isntead.

So if I made a PC with logic 6 and cerebral boosters 3, not only would I never have to buy a program, but I'd be 2 dice better than any hacker who uses programs. How is this not game breaking?

Compare the BP costs for the software versus the bioware and attributes.

And you'd still be limited by response.
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ShadowDragon
post Oct 30 2006, 08:57 PM
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Hah well you never said I'd be limited by responce. I suppose it's not game breaking, but I still don't like it. It makes being a hacker too cheap and easy. If logic and programs are required, it's more inline with the investment required to be a good face, mage, or sammy.
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