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> More Matrix House Rules Theory, Another stab at streamlining gameplay
BlackJaw
post Apr 15 2014, 03:03 AM
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So I've messed around with this before, but I thought I might take another stab at it. My goal here isn't to rewrite the matrix section or make it more realistic. It's just to make it more playable without taking it too far from the existing rules so that house rules don't spiral out of control as 5th edition builds on the existing content.

1) Signal Range (Addition to the game):
Every device has a signal range which represents it's ability to communicate with other devices without having to bounce the connection through the matrix. A device within signal range can be interacted with wirelessly without worrying about grid related penalties. Noise penalties between you and the target apply to your actions.
Most devices, such as commlinks, have a simple wireless antena that gives them a Signal Range of 10 meters. Specialized devices can have longer ranges. Radio Signal Scanners have a range of 20 meters. Cyberdecks and Rigger Control Consoles have a range of 100 meters, as do the living personas of technomancers. Note that to gain this benefit, the device has to be within your range, but not nessisarily the reverse. A Decker trying to hack a commlink can do so from 90 meters away and thus avoid any cross grid penalties, but the commlink owner would still take penalties from attempting to interact with the decker.

2) Locating Devices: (Clarification)
Any device within your signal range that is running publicly is automatically spotted and located to within about 1 meter. Devices in hidden mode, spotted or otherwise, never reveal their location without being tracked. The owner of a device can always locate that device at any distance as long as it's online.
Radio signal scanners are an acceptation to this rule. They automatically note the location, to within about 1 meter, or any device they locate.
Tracking an icon gives it's exact location to within a few centimeters.

3) Changes to PAN Slaving: (Rules Change)
Commlink or similar device can accept any number of slaved devices as long as they are within signal range of the master. Slaving continues to only provide defensive features, with no direct control over the device. Rigger Control Consoles have a limited number of special rigger control channels, equal to device rating x3, that they can use to link up devices, typically drones or vehicles, that allows those devices to be slaved at any distance via the matrix, and provides the autosoft/noise reduction sharing benefits to the devices in those slots as the existing RCC rules describe. Other devices slaved to an RCC behave normally.
Typically an entire shadowrun team will slave their devices to the cyberdeck of the decker for the duration of a run, so as to gain the benefit of it's sleaze and firewall, at least as long as they remain close to the decker.

4) Detecting The Presence of Hidden Icons: (Rules Change) - Edited with input.
To detect the presence of hidden icons within your signal range, make a special matrix perception test. The GM will compare your number of hits against the Sleaze rating of devices within range. Every device who's rating you tie or beat is detected but not spotted, giving you a count of devices but no details. Any device with a sleaze rating higher than your result must make a Logic + Sleaze roll vs your result to remain undetected. Masters in a PAN make a single roll for all the PAN. Devices you have already spotted to do not count in these totals.
Example: The security spider in a building makes a matrix perception test to check if any hidden icons are within 100 meters of his cyberdeck. He gets 6 hits, but the ratings of his deck limits him at 5. He automatically detects the number of any hidden devices with a sleaze rating of 5 or lower. Devices with sleaze higher than 5 must make a Logic + Sleaze roll to remain uncounted.

5) Marks, not Permission (Clarification)
There are two kinds of Marks: Legal and Illegal. Examining a mark does not reveal what kind of mark it is, but using an illegal mark typically requires a hacking skill roll while legal marks always work as they should. Marks hacked into place through Hack on the Fly or Brute Force are considered illegal marks and follow the typical rules in the SR5 Core book. Marks places through an invitation, including spoofed invitations, are considered legal and allow access to the functions of the device normally without requiring extra hacking rules. Thus a security rigger with 3 legal marks on security drone owned by the corp he works for can jump into the drone no problem, but a hacker/rigger with hacked marks on the drone would still need to make a hacking roll to jump into the drone.
If you have both legal marks and hacked marks on a device, you may make use of any actions on the device for which you have enough legal marks without needing to make a roll, but will need to make a roll for any actions requiring your illegal marks to be used.
If you are taking an action on a device for which you do not have enough legal marks, or no legal marks, but do have more than enough illegal marks, you gain a +1 dice pool bonus for each extra mark you have on the device. For example if you need 1 mark on a device to take a desired action on it, but you have 3 illegal marks, you gain a +2 dice pool bonus to take the 1 mark action.

6) Corporate Ownership (Clarification):
For rules purposes, Corporate Spiders are considered the owners of corp owned gear assigned to their watch. That means a corp spider assigned to a facility is not only the effective owner of the Host and devices slaved to the host, but also the devices in the building that are not slaved to the host, such as the guns and commlinks issued to the guards.

7) Spider Limits: (Rules Change)
Corporate spiders do not accrue Overwatch Scores for actions they take on their corp's turf. That means actions taken against icons owned by the corp, or those on the Corp's grid. Yes that's a serious bonus to AAA corps with their own national grids, but did you expect the Corporate Court to have it any other way? Of course Agents of G.O.D. never accrue Overwatch Scores, but they are suppose to remain somewhat neutral corporate conflicts.
This gets interesting when large corps wage open cyberwarfare on each other. GOD is intended to remain neutral, but in actual effect, they tend to take on a defensive role, with the agents of each corp's DemiGOD defending their own corporate grid while spiders, which are not restricted by corporate court laws, wage cyber-attacks. Of course shadow conflicts using disposable assets, runners, is open season to GOD agents across any grid boundaries.

8) Removing File Protection: (Clarification)
File Protection can be removed, legally, by anyone with the correct pass code. A pass code can be a few lines of text or numbers, a particular file, or even input from a biometric scanner. The particulars are set when the file is protected. A file must be unprotected in order to be interacted with at all.
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Jaid
post Apr 15 2014, 05:38 AM
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point number 4 is pretty ridiculous. if i just sit around with my sleaze at 8 as i can get it on a chargen decker, the expected dice pool to detect me is around 24. now, obviously, you *can* pull it off with a dice pool as low as 8, but typically, if i just run with a sony CIY-720 and set the 7 to stealth and run a sneak program, i am going to be ridiculously hard to find for anyone.

this is also yet another swift kick in the nuts for technomancers, since intuition is a real PITA to raise and fading on the infusion CF is likely to be 7 points (assuming that intuition will become a priority if you make stealth so high in value).
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Sengir
post Apr 15 2014, 12:55 PM
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QUOTE (Jaid @ Apr 15 2014, 07:38 AM) *
point number 4 is pretty ridiculous. if i just sit around with my sleaze at 8 as i can get it on a chargen decker, the expected dice pool to detect me is around 24. now, obviously, you *can* pull it off with a dice pool as low as 8, but typically, if i just run with a sony CIY-720 and set the 7 to stealth and run a sneak program, i am going to be ridiculously hard to find for anyone.

this is also yet another swift kick in the nuts for technomancers, since intuition is a real PITA to raise and fading on the infusion CF is likely to be 7 points (assuming that intuition will become a priority if you make stealth so high in value).

Well, the idea of just a single roll to reveal all devices with Sleaze < X is certainly good. It's just that the required number of dice goes up pretty fast. How about a combination of the new and the existing rule, all devices with Sleaze < #hits show up automatically, and everything else has to roll?
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Jaid
post Apr 15 2014, 01:30 PM
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well it's your houserules, not mine (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

i'm just pointing out something i see as a potential problem that you may not have considered. you don't have to propose anything to me. if it solves the problem for you, then use it (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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BlackJaw
post Apr 15 2014, 01:34 PM
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QUOTE (Jaid @ Apr 15 2014, 12:38 AM) *
point number 4 is pretty ridiculous. if i just sit around with my sleaze at 8 as i can get it on a chargen decker, the expected dice pool to detect me is around 24. now, obviously, you *can* pull it off with a dice pool as low as 8, but typically, if i just run with a sony CIY-720 and set the 7 to stealth and run a sneak program, i am going to be ridiculously hard to find for anyone.

More or less ridiculous than a target 2 test detecting all the hidden devices in range regardless of if they spent $345,000 on CIY-720 cyberdeck? I want a system where spending $345,250 to get a rating 8 Sleaze makes it unlikely that you'll be detected just walking into a facility.
In 4th edition, a system being hacked made a free roll vs the hacker's Sneak program, which is where I borrowed this house rule.

I take your point, however, that dice pools needed to hit a number go up very quickly.

QUOTE (Sengir @ Apr 15 2014, 07:55 AM) *
Well, the idea of just a single roll to reveal all devices with Sleaze < X is certainly good. It's just that the required number of dice goes up pretty fast. How about a combination of the new and the existing rule, all devices with Sleaze < #hits show up automatically, and everything else has to roll?

That could work. I was actively trying to avoid a massive set of rolling. If each member of your team has about 6 devices active (Commlink + Smartgun + Smartlink + 3 more) that's a lot of rolling even still. What if we make it a single roll by the master device for all the devices it's protecting? That means if a Spider makes a matrix perception roll to look for hidden nodes, the team Decker makes a Sleaze + Logic roll to keep his team hidden unless the spider blows the roll out of the water. I think that works.

QUOTE (Jaid @ Apr 15 2014, 12:38 AM) *
this is also yet another swift kick in the nuts for technomancers, since intuition is a real PITA to raise and fading on the infusion CF is likely to be 7 points (assuming that intuition will become a priority if you make stealth so high in value).

I consider fixing Technomancers outside of scope of this post. They need fixing, but I figured I mess with base matrix rules before specifically looking to get Technomancers working right there.

QUOTE (Jaid @ Apr 15 2014, 08:30 AM) *
well it's your houserules, not mine :P

i'm just pointing out something i see as a potential problem that you may not have considered. you don't have to propose anything to me. if it solves the problem for you, then use it :)
Actually it was my house rule, not Sengir's, but your input, that dice pools would need to scale at an unreasponable rate to keep up with accessible sleaze ratings, is helpful.
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Jaid
post Apr 15 2014, 02:16 PM
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to be fair, being able to detect that there is a wireless device that is hiding itself is probably one of the few things that actually makes sense in the matrix.

perhaps not desirable from your perspective, but it's actually quite reasonable. how do you have a device that constantly broadcasts without letting everything around it know that it's broadcasting? well, realistically, you don't.

but i can certainly understand the concern that wireless detection is easy. i just prefer the reverse route; nobody who is really security conscious uses wireless for things that don't need it. there is no need to worry that someone might detect your wireless wired reflexes and reaction enhancers, because the people who designed them are not stupid, and want to actually sell them to security conscious individuals, so they made them work together through an internal connection. there is no need to worry that your wireless enabled cybereyes and smartgun will get detected, because the cable that comes with your datajack is enough to connect the gun to your eyes, and there is no legitimate reason for your gun to need to be attached to the matrix when you've probably got many times the computing power of a modern graphing calculator, and there is no reason your eyes couldn't run their visual enhancement software internally rather than on the matrix.

but again, that's just my solution; i never saw the decker as having a shortage of combat targets, and it just seems stupid to me that the entire world would decide to open up their firearms and spinal columns as potential targets.
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X-Kalibur
post Apr 15 2014, 05:20 PM
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QUOTE (Jaid @ Apr 15 2014, 06:16 AM) *
to be fair, being able to detect that there is a wireless device that is hiding itself is probably one of the few things that actually makes sense in the matrix.

perhaps not desirable from your perspective, but it's actually quite reasonable. how do you have a device that constantly broadcasts without letting everything around it know that it's broadcasting? well, realistically, you don't.

but i can certainly understand the concern that wireless detection is easy. i just prefer the reverse route; nobody who is really security conscious uses wireless for things that don't need it. there is no need to worry that someone might detect your wireless wired reflexes and reaction enhancers, because the people who designed them are not stupid, and want to actually sell them to security conscious individuals, so they made them work together through an internal connection. there is no need to worry that your wireless enabled cybereyes and smartgun will get detected, because the cable that comes with your datajack is enough to connect the gun to your eyes, and there is no legitimate reason for your gun to need to be attached to the matrix when you've probably got many times the computing power of a modern graphing calculator, and there is no reason your eyes couldn't run their visual enhancement software internally rather than on the matrix.

but again, that's just my solution; i never saw the decker as having a shortage of combat targets, and it just seems stupid to me that the entire world would decide to open up their firearms and spinal columns as potential targets.


The last part is where the rules really start to fall apart. I agree with you entirely on that point. At the same time, detecting a hidden mode deck is ridiculous easy. Perhaps running it in hidden mode should be more akin to running passive sensors, it can only detect and not broadcast without opening itself wide open (normal rules) to detection?
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BlackJaw
post Apr 15 2014, 09:03 PM
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I've been viewing it more as concealing the signal in the general noise of an advanced wireless society. If everything from your underwear to your toaster has an RFID chip or more in it, sending, receiving, and mesh-routing data, it's possible to hide your own signals in the existing traffic. Sleaze represents your setup's ability at concealing your own signals and bouncing data off indirect systems. At least that's the techno babble I think best applies here.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Apr 15 2014, 09:09 PM
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QUOTE (BlackJaw @ Apr 15 2014, 03:03 PM) *
I've been viewing it more as concealing the signal in the general noise of an advanced wireless society. If everything from your underwear to your toaster has an RFID chip or more in it, sending, receiving, and mesh-routing data, it's possible to hide your own signals in the existing traffic. Sleaze represents your setup's ability at concealing your own signals and bouncing data off indirect systems. At least that's the techno babble I think best applies here.


Base rules it is an opposed roll, though, right? I seem to remember it as opposed. Your Hidden (protected by Sleaze) signal point vs. the person looking for you...
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BlackJaw
post Apr 15 2014, 09:24 PM
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QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 15 2014, 04:09 PM) *
Base rules it is an opposed roll, though, right? I seem to remember it as opposed. Your Hidden (protected by Sleaze) signal point vs. the person looking for you...

If they are looking to spot your icon? Yes. Their Matrix Perception to spot you vs your Logic + Sleaze. I'm not changing that rule here.

If they are just trying to find out how many hidden icons are within range? Matrix Perception with a Target (2) gives you a count of all hidden icons within 100 meters regardless of Sleaze or anything else. That's what I want to change. It's too easy to find out that hidden icons are present without taking into account sleaze at all. In a secure space, any hidden icons would be a red flag that there is a security breach within 100 meters.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Apr 16 2014, 12:40 AM
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QUOTE (BlackJaw @ Apr 15 2014, 03:24 PM) *
If they are looking to spot your icon? Yes. Their Matrix Perception to spot you vs your Logic + Sleaze. I'm not changing that rule here.

If they are just trying to find out how many hidden icons are within range? Matrix Perception with a Target (2) gives you a count of all hidden icons within 100 meters regardless of Sleaze or anything else. That's what I want to change. It's too easy to find out that hidden icons are present without taking into account sleaze at all. In a secure space, any hidden icons would be a red flag that there is a security breach within 100 meters.


Hmmm... Kinda defeats the purpose of giving a Hacker things to do, doesn't it?
Not that I have an issue with it, but it does come close to invalidating the Utility of the New and Improved Hacker. /sarcasm.

Like has been said, if you are broadcasting you are not truly hidden. *shrug*
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