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> How to incorporate Hacking, without it taking over the game
kriztoph
post Dec 8 2009, 04:42 PM
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Hello,

I'm relativly new to Shadowrun. I've played a little 3e and 4e. Also, I have ran a couple of 4e games and I am currently running one.

Now I know that my group and I have talked about this topic in ad nauseum, and I'm sure you all have to; but does anyone have any good ideas how to make hacking in 4e more seamless.

Now the problem is not that it is to complicated, but that it takes time while everyone else sits and does nothing.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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explorator
post Dec 8 2009, 05:13 PM
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This has been a trouble spot with Shadowrun from the beginning, but it doesn't have to be done 'on the side'. It is tricky to manage, but with practice most GM's should be able to integrate the hacking with the actions of the rest of the group. It is better for everyone if the plot-turning matrix runs are part of a larger action, with the decker having to jack in under fire, or under the noses of Corp suits.

The GM and the Decker just speak a little different language as they weave the matrix narrative into the larger story.

For those side runs that don't really add up to much, just take the Decker player aside and tell them from now on, these little runs are going to be streamlined for the sake of practical game-play, but still take a couple of moments to run the matrix scene, or your deckers will might get bored, which is really not a solution to the original problem.
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Sixgun_Sage
post Dec 8 2009, 05:41 PM
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QUOTE (explorator @ Dec 8 2009, 12:13 PM) *
This has been a trouble spot with Shadowrun from the beginning, but it doesn't have to be done 'on the side'. It is tricky to manage, but with practice most GM's should be able to integrate the hacking with the actions of the rest of the group. It is better for everyone if the plot-turning matrix runs are part of a larger action, with the decker having to jack in under fire, or under the noses of Corp suits.

The GM and the Decker just speak a little different language as they weave the matrix narrative into the larger story.

For those side runs that don't really add up to much, just take the Decker player aside and tell them from now on, these little runs are going to be streamlined for the sake of practical game-play, but still take a couple of moments to run the matrix scene, or your deckers will might get bored, which is really not a solution to the original problem.


This,I always streamline matrix runs when I run shadowrun for the sake of speed, though I do like to keep some detail involved to keep hacker characters busy, on top of that it is fairly simple for hackers to branch out into other fields so that while their focus might be hacking they can take part in the rest of the action too. Talk about it with any players you think want to play hackers beforehand and see if they'll help you strike this balance.
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kriztoph
post Dec 8 2009, 05:56 PM
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That is what I was thinking as well. I just haven't had the opportunity to do it as of yet.

The problem I still have is the Hacker doing major legwork before the run. Such as hacking Ares to find out about an employee. That is some fairly in depth hacking and to streamline it doesn't do it justice, but yet it has nothing to do with the main run.
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Sixgun_Sage
post Dec 8 2009, 06:16 PM
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QUOTE (kriztoph @ Dec 8 2009, 12:56 PM) *
That is what I was thinking as well. I just haven't had the opportunity to do it as of yet.

The problem I still have is the Hacker doing major legwork before the run. Such as hacking Ares to find out about an employee. That is some fairly in depth hacking and to streamline it doesn't do it justice, but yet it has nothing to do with the main run.


You do not hack Ares or another corporation for legwork, you hit the various 'runner boards and hacker networks, see if someone pulled the data you need as part of another run and track down rumors. Hacking your target beforehand is only something you do as a last resort because if you tip off security beforehand you can be damn sure they'll up their security.

PS: I have, in games I've been a player, made an intrusion just so security can find out and increase security on the secret prototype we where not going to steal to drain the talent available to guard the prototype we where going to steal. It only worked because it was a small, purely local company though.
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kriztoph
post Dec 8 2009, 06:56 PM
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QUOTE (Sixgun_Sage @ Dec 8 2009, 01:16 PM) *
You do not hack Ares or another corporation for legwork ...


This was a special case circumstance. I was running the SRM02-02 "Best Served Cold". The hacker in the group wanted to get into Ares's network to get the RFID number to Belenky. I managed to talk him out of it, but I felt bad about doing it though.

I totally agree with you though that something of that magnitude should not be done just wily nily and for such relativly trivial reasons.




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BRodda
post Dec 8 2009, 07:00 PM
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QUOTE (kriztoph @ Dec 8 2009, 11:42 AM) *
Hello,

I'm relativly new to Shadowrun. I've played a little 3e and 4e. Also, I have ran a couple of 4e games and I am currently running one.

Now I know that my group and I have talked about this topic in ad nauseum, and I'm sure you all have to; but does anyone have any good ideas how to make hacking in 4e more seamless.

Now the problem is not that it is to complicated, but that it takes time while everyone else sits and does nothing.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.



I haven't found incorporating matrix runs to be that hard in SR4. In SR3 it was hell though. I do tend to have runners do more in AR than VR though. Still its no more disruptive to the story than the mage going astral to do recon or combat. Just make sure you know what is where in the Matrix and have all the IC and programs stated out.

And having a good idea of how to run decking combat and the decker knows how to deck. I tend to find the big thing that slows down that whole part of the game is people flipping back and forth in the rule books to figure out how to run something.

As always KISS.
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Warlordtheft
post Dec 8 2009, 08:13 PM
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I try to limit it by hand waving the the simple nodes...no challenge, no need to bog down the game. THe other element, is to make sure when real matrix talent is required to try and have your systems features easily remembered. Like if call a system a red 6--All programs roll 12 dice for their attacks, and full defense.
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Karoline
post Dec 8 2009, 09:55 PM
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QUOTE (Sixgun_Sage @ Dec 8 2009, 01:16 PM) *
PS: I have, in games I've been a player, made an intrusion just so security can find out and increase security on the secret prototype we where not going to steal to drain the talent available to guard the prototype we where going to steal. It only worked because it was a small, purely local company though.


Hmm... that's a fairly good idea actually. Do alot of stuff fairly overtly to make them think that one place is going to be attacked, then attack another.

It isn't guaranteed that they'll pull from the other site mind you, but it is certainly worth trying if you think you'll run into alot of security (Of course having them on higher alert overall might backfire as well)
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Blade
post Dec 9 2009, 11:37 AM
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* Skip easy Matrix runs (just like you'd skip the combat if the streetsam is trying to knock out a regular passer-by)
* Have the Matrix run happen during combat (so that the hacker plays as much as the other players)
* Make the Matrix run interesting by having more fluff and less crunch: hide the mechanics behind the description of what happens. Don't forget to use and abuse the metaphors.
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Ascalaphus
post Dec 9 2009, 04:36 PM
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Make sure major hacking targets can only be connected to from inside secure facilities; the rest of the team will have to guard the hacker while he's working. Hold off the security forces for long enough. That can get pretty nasty.
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Sixgun_Sage
post Dec 9 2009, 06:05 PM
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QUOTE (Karoline @ Dec 8 2009, 04:55 PM) *
Hmm... that's a fairly good idea actually. Do alot of stuff fairly overtly to make them think that one place is going to be attacked, then attack another.

It isn't guaranteed that they'll pull from the other site mind you, but it is certainly worth trying if you think you'll run into alot of security (Of course having them on higher alert overall might backfire as well)



Like I said, it only worked in that situation because the target was small enough we knew they had pretty tight limitations on what they had for security. Most of the time in my game group we handwave anything but really important or really devious matrix runs and go by standard rolls. When it really matters or it is a particularly innovative trick.
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