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> More than one hacker, Is this workable?
Aerospider
post Feb 1 2012, 11:23 PM
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Hey folks, I wonder if anybody can help me here.

There's almost always been a hacker (slash decker) in the games I've run and if ever there wasn't it didn't seem too hard to work around. However, I have a prospective newcomer who wants to play a hacker in a group that already has a good one and I'm wondering whether it might be best to encourage him against it, much as I prefer to promote player wishes.

The existing hacker is an AI - all programs at 6, high Cracking and Electronics skills, some very handy qualities and a good social cover. He's a good all-rounder, since he was the only hacker in the group, so it concerns me that another hacker might be somewhat redundant. Plus, it will mean half the group is now made up of hackers and that might make it harder to limit the amount of playing time taken away from the meat world. The magician of the group is technophobic, so all-digital runs are out.

Can this be made workable/fun?
Are there lots of possibilities for cooperative hacking strategies?
I like my Matrix stuff, but can a Matrix-heavy game still be compelling for non-Matrix characters?

I've advised the player that his character would be that much more useful if he upped his social abilities and got more contacts, but couldn't think of anything else the AI was missing. If you had a good all-rounder and could gain a specialist who was better in just one area, what would you consider?

Many thanks in advance.
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Modular Man
post Feb 2 2012, 12:24 AM
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Maybe throw in a few drones and some skills to silently break into places, like lockpicking or Hardware? The AI is unlikely to actually be good concerning hardware, or is he?
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The Jake
post Feb 2 2012, 12:32 AM
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Can't he be a dual role character rather than a pure 100% focused hacker?

E.g. hacker/face, hacker/street sam, logic skillmonkey/hacker, hacker/rigger, etc?

There's enough work happening you can easily fulfil different roles while both being hackers. I imagine a combat hacker with the AI using a portable commlink he's carrying as his primary node to be a powerful combination. Besides, would Fastjack ever say no to an extra set of hands? How many hackers does he hang with? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

On a sidenote, I always wanted to run an all hacker campaign but never got around to it. *sniff*

- J.
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Malbur
post Feb 2 2012, 12:41 AM
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What you could suggest is that they become something of a team, perhaps with the novice starting as a bit of an apprentice to the more formidable player, learning and then in time working with him. Then they'd be a team of hackers. Sorta like a group within a group, though it would definitely require more "in the matrix" time (Virtual Reality?) in game. The way to make it work is to 'force' the need for more than one hacker, be it with stronger security systems, or corp hackers in the system to prevent others from breaking in...

Think like the movie "Hackers" when they all had to team up in the end to beat the baddie...
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The Jake
post Feb 2 2012, 12:49 AM
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Would it make sense for the new player to be mentored by the AI? How familiar is the newbie with the rules? If he's a novice this could work quite well.

- J.
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Malbur
post Feb 2 2012, 01:15 AM
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QUOTE (The Jake @ Feb 1 2012, 07:49 PM) *
Would it make sense for the new player to be mentored by the AI? How familiar is the newbie with the rules? If he's a novice this could work quite well.

- J.


Good point, and if they're not a newbie, but have played SR before, perhaps, they're recruited to the group because they are needed in some role that the AI doesn't cover?
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UmaroVI
post Feb 2 2012, 02:19 AM
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The main issue is that it's very hard to design hacking jobs where 2 good hackers are better than 1 good hacker, because of how teamwork hacking works (doubles your chances of being caught for slight bonuses to break in). You can, but they are always going to be highly gimmicky.
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Lantzer
post Feb 2 2012, 02:27 AM
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QUOTE (UmaroVI @ Feb 2 2012, 03:19 AM) *
The main issue is that it's very hard to design hacking jobs where 2 good hackers are better than 1 good hacker, because of how teamwork hacking works (doubles your chances of being caught for slight bonuses to break in). You can, but they are always going to be highly gimmicky.


I would think that two hackers would often be better working in parallel - one opens the door, then both go in and do different tasks. Multitasking in a way that a single hacker could only dream of.

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Midas
post Feb 2 2012, 02:46 AM
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All good advice so far, I think.

The SR matrix rules are a mess, so having the AI hacker mentor the newb through the mess might be a good for both (and give a good excuse for interaction between them). On the flip side, if the AI is fairly optimized (and has a few karma under its belt) it might lead to frustration for the new player if he is always being outshone.

Would the newb be interested in playing a technomancer? They get some hacking tricks to bring to the party that the AI can only dream of. Could be interesting to roleplay, particularly if the two make up a background where they found each other somewhere in the resonance ...

Otherwise, I would suggest hacker/rigger (drone army!) or hacker/face (shmooses his way through the front door) so he gets a chance to shine outside the matrix. And Lanzter is right, having two matrix goals could be a good way to go - "OK, you go for the security node, while I head to the R&D paydata.", "Can't I go for the pay data this time? I always end up babysitting the meat monkeys ..." .
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