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> Protecting your Digital Self, Will this become too crazy?
FrostyNSO
post May 10 2005, 01:16 AM
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I am a little worried with what I read in the German letter regarding the extent and impact of this "augmented reality".

I just got the impression that the decker/hacker/technomancer/whatever will become the most powerful individual on the street. The way the preview describes it, just about every character will have to focus on being an electronics wiz just to protect themselves. That, or just live "off the grid", but this sounds like it will be even more difficult than in SR3.

I mean, for a criminal, this new digital world and having to be wired in to be a part of it just screams security risk.

I dunno. Maybe I am just reading a little too much into it. Did anyone else get the same impression?
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GrinderTheTroll
post May 10 2005, 05:54 AM
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But if the world of 2070 is really that "plugged in" to the Matrix, then anyone who had an edge and motivation would be very dangerous indeed.
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Edward
post May 10 2005, 07:16 AM
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The following is mostly based on logic and wishful thinking. It may hold no truth whatsoever

The sheer number of signals will make triangulation very difficult so they will not be able to easily isolate your location.

If they allow hackers to hack the brain of random passers buy then the hole world will fall down, consider the implications for a mugging. Ghost in the shell style brain hacks would be disaster if the equipment was more available that it is in SR3. thus I donít think it will be available

There will probably be any number of defensive programs available; I just hope they are effective enough that a non hacker has a chance.

Edward
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hahnsoo
post May 10 2005, 07:49 AM
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There's always the "off" switch, as well. If you don't want to be acquired as a target electronically, simply turn off your electronic devices. I'd also imagine that there are "stealth" chips (similar to masking on a cyberdeck, just remove the IDs) that shadowrunners can put on their equipment so that they can operate without being traced.
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Adarael
post May 10 2005, 08:36 AM
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I've been really hoping for that kind of total digital integration for a long time, actually. Not out of any desire to have electronics-heavy PCs become like unto gods, but rather for a more literary ideal.

I want people to be able to pull the tricks that have been pulled in Ghost in the Shell 1, 2, and Stand Alone Complex. I want to be able to raise the questions in a game that have been raised in those films and series. How does one verify memory? How does one know where the self begins and ends? At what point does one cease being human, and what is the limit of the 'real' versus the 'simulated.'

I'm also 1/2 a lit major, so...
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Critias
post May 10 2005, 09:36 AM
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Right. Because every SR session needs to be full of people quoting ancient oriental proverbs instead of ever using a normal sentence, the way GitS characters talk. That'll be super.

In much the same way I don't think the half-baked philosophy lessons add anything to the Metal Gear series of stealth-asskickery games, I don't think they're necessary for a Shadowrun game.
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Nikoli
post May 10 2005, 11:54 AM
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What, you don't want your PC's and NPC's making obscure quotes from "A Catcher in the Rye"?
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Critias
post May 10 2005, 12:14 PM
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One per, I dunno, campaign? Sure. Every other sentence? No thanks.
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Penta
post May 10 2005, 12:18 PM
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Y'know, I always figured GitS and SR were...distinctly different genres. Seeing the two mix like SR4 is doing is sad and creepy.

Nikoli: "Cather in the Rye" is cool. But not the obscure Oriental proverbs a la GitS.

Y'see, Salinger wrote sentences that made sense.
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Hell Hound
post May 10 2005, 12:34 PM
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If your players come to the table armed with buddhist scrolls, the old testament and the complete works of william shakespeare then its time to worry.

I'm not sure that the ability to hack into the brains of other human beings is going to appear in the new version of shadowrun, I've got no hard evidence to back this up but I think it would be too big a step, and also unnecessary. Magic users can already rewrite human memory and control peoples actions, and BTL reprogramming does the memory bit as well. The idea that all that complex hardware and time needed for BTL reprogramming would be replaced with a far smaller piece of hardware (whatever ends up replacing the cyberdeck) and a single program being run by someone with no psychological skills and it gets done much faster feels to me like a game breaker. Especially since the big change seems to be the transmission method of matrix signals more than hardware and software upgrades.

The main drive behind this change, as I understand it, was to better integrate deckers (and riggers) into the SR team. If the hacker is there in the building getting shot at as they work to override door controls or shut down security camera's they are more a part of the team than they are when doing the same thing from a safehouse on the other side of town, and if everyone can follow the decker on trips into cyberspace and actually be usefull rather than just baggage then the rest of the team doesn't feel left out during legwork.
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Hell Hound
post May 10 2005, 12:41 PM
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Oh, and Penta. The 'Catcher in the Rye' reference is from the first Ghost in the Shell TV series. Stand Alone Complex. I haven't read the book myself so I can't say wether anything other than the writing on the Laughing Man's logos and perhaps some of the quotes thrown around in the final episode are Sallinger's stuff.
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Edward
post May 10 2005, 01:28 PM
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ghost in the shell and SR do have conmen threads, for example they both deal with the dehumanising effect of cyber and technology wear for example but they do it very differently. The way ghost in the shell dose so is however quite different, focusing heavily (but not exclusively) on the internal musings of a couple of characters. This however doesnít work well in at table top role playing game, if there where to be a ghost in the shell RPG I think it would be closer to SR that SR4 will be to ghost in the shell movies.

Anyway, how is a new system going to make you have more corny quotes in your game.

Even in ghost in the shell the computer network is not as pervasive as SR4 seems to be making it, I donít recall anything like AROs and most people where not constantly connected. Cables where in constant use and special cyber wear to allow faster typing was only mildly surprising. I donít think the main characters even had implanted com units.

Of cause I have only seen the first movie and a couple pf episodes of standalone complex (curse you backwards Australian video rental industry).

Edward
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MYST1C
post May 10 2005, 01:58 PM
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QUOTE (Edward)
I donít think the main characters even had implanted com units.

They have!
Even Togusa (the "norm") has interface plugs and headware radio (plus maybe a display device in his eyes, don't remember).
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Nikoli
post May 10 2005, 03:41 PM
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Yes, Togusa has a cyberbrain but htat is the limit of his cyberization (at least up until he gets shot working the Laughing man case, don't have the next DVD yet, so I don't know what happens next). The next lightest cyber member is hte sniper guy with the eye patch thing.

As some recall, most people cannot hack a brain remotely, they need a direct connection. it takes either great skill or special implants to do that via remote. (the Major has both, the Laughing Man has the skill) It's not as pervassive as some might think in GitS:SAC you aren't constantly bombarded by data that only a sub processor could hope to filter and make sense of, more like it's there when you need it and notuntil.
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hobgoblin
post May 10 2005, 03:45 PM
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if your worryed about your security then get the gear hardwired, and turn of the comlink. then your a walking blank spot in a sea of information...
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Gambitt
post May 10 2005, 04:06 PM
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Looking at what they have said about hackers/technomancers able to manipulate the wireless world, and the fact that the wireless world is everywhere, then protection wont be easy.
With the information at hand i would say that my first character is going to be limited WiFi, and just hard wire anything i think is vunerable. So standard wired smart gun link 2... same with any eye wear/cyberwear. If i want to see the virtual world, ill just use the PAN stuff in a limited way... PAN/Commlink with contact lenses for display... and the only information stored on it being "non sensetive" material. Anything i want hidden will be hard wired with no WiFi access.
Anyway thats my take on it without actually having any real rules or information.
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mfb
post May 10 2005, 04:37 PM
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bah. GitS, and especially GitS2, tried waaaay too hard. i mean, i enjoyed them--but if you really want to see what the GitS universe is like, watch GitS:SAC.

at any rate. i think that going on a run without a hacker will be like going on a run without a mage. your comms will be unprotected, and you'll have no way of cracking anybody else's comms, on top of everything else a hacker can do. there are teams that will do it, but almost all of the most successful teams will include a good hacker.
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GrinderTheTroll
post May 10 2005, 05:50 PM
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QUOTE (Critias)
Right.  Because every SR session needs to be full of people quoting ancient oriental proverbs instead of ever using a normal sentence, the way GitS characters talk.  That'll be super.

In much the same way I don't think the half-baked philosophy lessons add anything to the Metal Gear series of stealth-asskickery games, I don't think they're necessary for a Shadowrun game.

Damn son, well said!

A few comments: I think too more and more of the younger generation of RPG'ers are steeped in Anime and it's complicated stories and attempts and making everyone a philosophy major.

My first real "anime" was G-Force, Star Blazers and Robotech and those weren't really called anything except cartoons. No one spouted off quoting obscure things in attempts to be "deep", but it had action, and lots of it. Sure there where moments where the characters had feelings and ideas, but we wanted to see cool ships, lasers and explosions, much how my group of players likes their SR: Not too pretentious or like a novel, although good stories and characters are appreciated.

But this diversity is what makes RPGs great! Unlike *any* videogame or MMOG, you get to make the game what you want it to be. Heck, back in SR2, we even greated a mash of AD&D/SR2, why not GiTS/SR4 or anything else that makes *your* group interested in coming back to the table.
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Edward
post May 10 2005, 07:02 PM
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the easiest way to hack somebody viewing the artificial reality would be to bombard them with AROs so they cant see anything, the low tech solution to this is to wear HUD glasses to display the artificial reality for you and just take them of when somebody frags you around.

With the removal of the requirement for an expensive deck I am suspecting that there will not be an expensive or essence intensive requirement to be a rigger/decker I see teams going in with half the teem taking hacking as there secondary focus, if not more. This is not nesaserily a bad thing just as it is not a bad thing that almost every character takes stealth, athletics, some melee combat and some gun skill.

Edward
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audun
post May 10 2005, 07:07 PM
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Why is everybody talking about GitS? It's augmented reality and wireless network, it's SR catching up with RL tech. Wireless network = 3G, PAN= bluetooth and augmented reality is the most obvious application of virtual reality besides gaming. AR isn't developed to any level yet, but if I was going to invest money I'd invest in a company researching it. If we continue in the same direction the next 15 years we'll be seeing something similar to the wireless matrix.
I can't see anything in it suggesting brain hacking, or about beeing a ghost in a shell of electronics and cyber. Triangulation and others security related issues should come into play with Wireless Matrix, but there's no indiciation that it's going to be more difficult than "turn off the damn thing". If you have a meeting with Mr. J or plan anything illegal you turn off you PAN, just as you would turn off your mobile phone today if you were to plan anything illegal.
The German newsletter is a bit confusing with some stupidity thrown in (why the h**l would a gun have speakers), it might be the reason it's not released in English. Luckily it's the Americans that are doing most of the new development, not the Germans.
I sincerly trust FanPro on the new Matrix, I have no reason to believe it is going to be stupid. There are too many sensible people involved to make a cheesy and unrealistic new Matrix. They might screw up a few other things, but the new Matrix rules would probably be a step forward.
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Penta
post May 10 2005, 08:49 PM
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Are you really sure the Americans aren't dancing to the German tune?

It's worth pondering, given how...divergent the two visions seem to still be. It sounds almost like American SR4 and German SR4 are going to be two very different universes.
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hobgoblin
post May 10 2005, 08:49 PM
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hmm, gun with speaker, blue planet flashback :silly:

i kinda think that blue planet is one of the better hard science sci-fi rpgs out there.

allso, any item that have some sort of electronic component in there have a diagnostic chip. the most advanced of those are called a gremlin and it allows for stuff like warning the user when the item is used outside of recommended parameters :P

still, you could in theory use the speaker on the gun to generate white noice and mask out the sound of the gun fireing :P
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MYST1C
post May 10 2005, 09:57 PM
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QUOTE (audun)
why the h**l would a gun have speakers

To confirm ammo and fire mode selection, of course!
[metallic voice] Hi-Ex, full auto. [/metallic voice]
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post May 10 2005, 10:10 PM
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audun
post May 11 2005, 03:38 PM
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QUOTE (Penta)
Are you really sure the Americans aren't dancing to the German tune?

QUOTE (FAQ)
Q. Who is designing SR4?
A. We have a team of people who have been working on Shadowrun for years: Rob Boyle, Elissa Carey, Brian Cross, Dan Grendel, Adam Jury, Steve Kenson, Christian Lonsing, David Lyons, Michelle Lyons and Jon Szeto. A few other freelancers will also be writing for the book.

Yes, I'm quite certain.

QUOTE
It's worth pondering, given how...divergent the two visions seem to still be. It sounds almost like American SR4 and German SR4 are going to be two very different universes.

Nah, from how it looks it seems like whoever wrote the FanPro newsletter extrapolated from the info they got from teh Americans and added things he thought sounded cool. Some of the German writers (not all) seems to have confused freelancer crack with glue, so I don't trust their newsletter. The Americans already did a few things to reign in the German universe (SoE), and I suppose that SR4 would continue in that direction.
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