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> Quick Deck Construction Question, Duh, probably overlooking it...
Cray74
post May 19 2004, 11:33 PM
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How do you calculate the legality of a cyberdeck?

pg56 of Matrix mentions legal cyberterminals have an MPCP rating 4 or less, while cyberdecks have a higher MPCP rating and/or masking & evasion attributes. Is there anything else?

pg303 of SR3 mentions a flat 4P-S for all cyberdecks. Is that it?
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SimpleRunner
post May 19 2004, 11:41 PM
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The things that make the deck illegal are as follows:

MPCP 5 or higher
Any Deck with Evasion
Any Deck with Masking
*Source Matrix p56
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hobgoblin
post May 20 2004, 12:02 AM
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mpcp 5+ is licencable i think...
evasion is allso licencable to any security decker or similar...
masking on the other hand is there to override the very security of the matrix so well its most likely military and goverment only at best...
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Cray74
post May 20 2004, 12:15 AM
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Yes, but does the legality code vary other than "legal" or "4P-S"?
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hobgoblin
post May 20 2004, 01:40 AM
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dont think so...
infact i wonder why the to spot is 4 as that kinda low for something that is connected to chips inside a caseing (that is unless you see someone with a term on the street and ask him for permit that is)...
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Kagetenshi
post May 20 2004, 03:44 AM
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That's the TN to decide to do something about it once it's been identified, however that processes happens to occur.

~J
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Cray74
post May 20 2004, 10:12 AM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
That's the TN to decide to do something about it once it's been identified, however that processes happens to occur.

~J

Follow-up deck question:

How would a police officer know to inspect a cyberdeck?

I mean, say I have my legal (wink wink) Allegiance-Alpha cyberdeck. (Well, it has an MPCP-12, Masking-10, and Evasion-10 uber-deck inside an A-A casing.) Mr. Cop pulls me over, sees the cyberdeck sitting on the passenger seat, and...

How would he inspect it? Look for the "street legal weefle decker" stamp on the back? If he opened it, would he be able to recognize that it was a non-legal deck, since it's just chips like any other deck?
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Xirces
post May 20 2004, 01:49 PM
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I got the impression from (earlier edition) fluff that anyone carrying round a cyberdeck was likely to get questioned - there aren't enough legitimate reasons or users of mobile terminals to not do that. Anyone with valid access to systems would be quite happy to leave a datatrail by using valid terminals wherever they happened to be (home/work/beach) and wouldn't need to carry one around with them...

Hence the use of C^2 and (before that) resource carriers.
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Cray74
post May 20 2004, 03:16 PM
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QUOTE (Xirces)
I got the impression from (earlier edition) fluff that anyone carrying round a cyberdeck was likely to get questioned - there aren't enough legitimate reasons or users of mobile terminals to not do that.

Er...aren't cyberterminals just personal portable computers with good ASIST interfaces? The midway point between pocket computers and home computers?

Pocket secretaries and public terminals are nice, but I'd still want a decent, private computer where I could download my por-...er, email, have enough Mp's to run a decent simsense-intensive computer game, etc. Isn't that what legal cyberterminals are for?
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Xirces
post May 20 2004, 04:18 PM
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Possibly - I think the important think is the ASIST inferface. What makes a cyberterminal different from a computer (since computing power is measured purely in MP I make no distinction between portable or not, other than desktop PCs can have greater potential power)?

It's even more odd when you look at rules for tortoises. If that's just a deck without the ASIST doesn't that just make it a computer..?

I personally find it rather odd that whilst we're seeing convergence of devices in 2004 that in 205x onwards they've reverted to having specialised devices for various tasks (but then most of the electronic devices in SR are rubbish anyway).
Surely if CorpAccountant uses a cyberterminal at work that would become his standard tool - it's either portable, or fixed (in which case he's likely got one similar at home if he needs that do do his job). If it's the former then every man and woman on the street would probably be carrying round a terminal and identifying a deck is nigh on impossible, if the latter then only those up to no good would be carrying one around.

I guess with the general mood of the sixth world and the use of the term wage-slave that large offices with lots of workers are in vogue again (home-working is only a fad). Do the workers want tools to take home? Do the corps want the no-good money grabbing fools to take expensive equipment home with them?

Questions, questions...

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Kagetenshi
post May 20 2004, 04:38 PM
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Home-working is far from a fad, it's in many ways the norm of SR. Difference is, instead of taking your work home, you now live at work.

~J
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Fahr
post May 20 2004, 04:45 PM
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I would expect that an officer could link up a diagnostic device to the input port and find out if it is above the "bounds". if it was, than he arrests you, and leaves it to DA to figure out how far out of bounds it is.

or he may not hassle you at all if you don't look odd.

just my 2 cents.

-Mike R.
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hobgoblin
post May 20 2004, 04:53 PM
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about the convergence vs specialized devices. i would rather have many small devices that do one job but do it nicely (kinda like the philosophy behind the unix shell) but then allow diffrent devices to be hooked together ot exchange info so that i can use my digical camera to take a picture (and maybe manipulete it in some easy ways) and then transmitt it to my mobil phone that will act as the relay and send it on to a email account or webpage or whatever. but this will only happen when the hardware and software corps stop comeing up with new ways to push items that lock you to theyre solutions...

allso remeber that the original shadowrun was created while cyberpunk was strong on its own and in a time when mobile phones where about ot go from being a battery with a carrying handle and a handset to being something you could put in your breifcase (hell its only the last 5 or so years that they have become pocket sized)...

take a look at the chromebooks for cyberpunk 2020. most of the stuff there will look dated or bulky compared to what we have now most of the time, atleast when it comes to portable electronics...

and didnt they just errata a lot of the consealability ratings?
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Kagetenshi
post May 20 2004, 05:02 PM
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I've got a PDA from 1992 that's decidedly more concealable than a heavy pistol, but you're right, that was recently fixed.

~J
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Cray74
post May 20 2004, 07:41 PM
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QUOTE (Fahr)
I would expect that an officer could link up a diagnostic device to the input port and find out if it is above the "bounds". if it was, than he arrests you, and leaves it to DA to figure out how far out of bounds it is.

Why do I suddenly have this image of an agent in the cyberdeck backing up into the corner of the MPCP as a virtual fiber optic probe comes sniffing through the cyberdeck's circuits? :)

So, what's the gizmo's rating? I'd bet it'd be extremely easy for a cyberdeck with that security utility to fake lower software ratings and hide circuits with naughty firmware on them. Lower the clockspeed, hide most of the active memory, open a switch to accelerator circuitry and hardening so they can't be "seen," etc.
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JaronK
post May 20 2004, 07:52 PM
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Wait, where did they errata the concealabilities?

JaronK
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A Clockwork Lime
post May 20 2004, 08:11 PM
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Standard cyberterminals have a legality rating of Legal (Matrix p. 167) whereas cyberdecks (any deck with Masking or Evasion) has the 4P-S legality.

Cyberterminals (as described on SR3 p. 207) are also very rare as most corporations aren't going to hand one out to their employees, so it's going to raise an eyebrow any time one is encountered. For day-to-day computing by the vast majority of the population, a Desktop, Pocket, or Wrist Computer (all three of which are very distinct from a cyberterminal) would be used while hardcore cyberterminals are either at home or at the office.

All that aside, the legality code for a cyberdeck is pretty straight-forward (even if a bit lame). Anytime a security/police officer or anyone else of that caliber spots a cyberterminal, and since they don't have a Concealability rating as far as I know it's a given that they will if you're carrying one around, they get to make a Security/Police Procedures test with a TN of 4. If they make it, bam, they know it's a cyberdeck and will ask to see a permit; no hardware diagnostics required. If they fail, they'll assume it's a legal cyberterminal and never bother you unless you wander by with it again.

So apparently there is something distinct and suspicious about a cyberdeck versus a cyberterminal even if the rules themselves don't come out and say as much. Maybe they require a larger power pack, have more ports, or just hum differently than a legal cyberterminal. Whatever it is, people trained to spot the difference manage to do so with an almost absurd about of ease. But since it doesn't matter if it has Masking or not, they can't actually tell that it's an illegal cyberdeck or just one used by a security decker (with Evasion), it's obviously something superficial.

In my games, I actually jacked the legality up to 8P-S and require a Matrix Security Procedures check to spot the superficial difference, making it hard but possible. Officers can default to Police/Security Proceudres, but that just increases the code to 10P making it that much more difficult (with any other positive modification to the code making it impossible to default to). For hardware diagnostics, I'd just pit the deck's Masking rating against a scanner's rating in an Opposed Test. If the Masking wins, it just appears to be a security deck with Evasion and a high-end MPCP which is legal with a permit. Otherwise, the Masking is detected and no permit's gonna help you.
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Cray74
post May 20 2004, 08:35 PM
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QUOTE (A Clockwork Lime)
For day-to-day computing by the vast majority of the population, a Desktop, Pocket, or Wrist Computer (all three of which are very distinct from a cyberterminal) would be used while hardcore cyberterminals are either at home or at the office.

I need to get back to work on my PocketDeck.

"What's that in my pocket, officer? Why, I'm just happy to see-...I'm joking, joking! Put the gun away! It's my PocketSecretary is all. See? Standard 2061 Sony PocketSec. That's all. It's not like it could be a disguised cyberdeck..."
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Nikoli
post May 20 2004, 08:36 PM
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That'd be a funny joke for an otaku
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Kagetenshi
post May 20 2004, 08:46 PM
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We have an Otaku who goes around with a cardboard box with the word "Deck" written on it.

~J
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Nikoli
post May 20 2004, 08:49 PM
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Did something similair, had an NPC decker with a maxxed out C^2 with an int of 10.... Had a "bread board" case with a barrier rating of 8, inside was just a pass though cable. He always had cover...
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Necro Tech
post May 20 2004, 11:49 PM
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Playing a decker for some time now gives me the idea that portable decks aren't very common on the street. Why? You still need to plug the thing in. Its nigh useless as a computer and lets face it, if you run pure DNI your deck will lack a keyboard. Sure you can go wireless....... for a boat load of nuyen. You need the program, the interface and the actual wireless component. Security sucks and no corp manager in their right mind would let employees log onto wwm.Mitsuhama.com/labexperiments/crimesagainsthumanity from their cell phone. Keep the decks in house because if I saw someone carrying a deck on the street I would mug them for their RAM, propritary software and encoded firmware.
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Cray74
post May 21 2004, 12:33 AM
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QUOTE (Necro Tech)
Sure you can go wireless....... for a boat load of nuyen. You need the program, the interface and the actual wireless component.

I just priced out a deck with a rating-8 cell interface, and it was pretty cheap compared to a Fairlight Excaliber. Like 4000 nuyen for the device and a free utility written by the decker?

QUOTE
Keep the decks in house


The better for security agencies to find your home, of course.

QUOTE
because if I saw someone carrying a deck on the street I would mug them for their RAM, propritary software and encoded firmware.


Given how easy and cheap it is for deckers to pack improved initiative and a high firearms skill of some form, the mugger better be an all-out street samurai or mage, too.

And I'd be amused at attempts to sell a custom-made deck. If the victimized decker doesn't have contacts that can trace the deal going down, or a back-up deck able to hack into local CCTV records & trick LoneStar into sending a big forensics team to the crime scene to ID the mugger, he can probably sniff out his own utilities when they reconnect to the Matrix.

Still, this line of discussion further raises my interest in PocketDecks.
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Phaeton
post May 21 2004, 01:12 AM
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Think a PocketDeck would be like that small CD player-sized thing that Lt. Kusinagi used in the corporation building in the GitS manga?
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A Clockwork Lime
post May 21 2004, 01:25 AM
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A cyberdeck is roughly the same size and dimension as a table top computer (a large keyboard with roll-out screen) and turning a table top computer into a pocket computer has a multiplier of x5. Thus if you really want a pocket-sized deck, just multiply its already outrageous costs by x5. In exchange you get a Concealability of 8 instead of 4 and a 90% reduction in weight.

That makes it consist with canon technology and I doubt if any GM would complain about a x5 cost multiplier in exchange for something so relatively minor.

Edit: Modified post due to errata'ed Concealability ratings.
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