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Raife
So I was running my usual game a couple months ago, when during the course of normal rp'ing an NPC starts talking about his brother who was killed. It was a target the players had a contract on a few game sessions prior. Well one of the players thought that this guy knew they killed him, or suspected, so he promised to find the real killers and the team got totally side tracked attempting to find and frame another logical candidate for the murder... all in the hopes of covering tracks I didn't invision being there...

It was a great game, the players were acting like a CSI team, with the goal being obstruction of justice rather than actual justice. So what happens? Well the word gets out, that for a fee, these freelance detectives will look into crimes that lonestar isn't working very hard on. The team now gets requested to investigate all kinds of things, from corporate crimes that need covering up AND solving to murders in the barrens where lonestar doesn't go.

Over the last couple months I've compiled a good amount of CSI-ish information, as well as skills the players can use, a few new spells and the toys/gadgets the team has "acquired" to do their job. I'm gota short list of things they can discover at a crime scene (maybe 200), so anyone who wants can put together a little 'mystery' solving mission.

I'll go into more details once I get my website back up and running since tripod hasn't been letting me update and even set my site back nearly a year. It could be a while but I'll get it up as soon as I can, since I really think a lot of people will like this.

In the mean time, what do you guys think of a CSI-ish campaign, maybe even a full blown Lonestar CSI game? What special hurdles would AR bring? How about magic? I've been doing it a while, I have a REALLY good list from actual running experience, but a fresh take on the subject could really help me out.
fistandantilus4.0
There's a few things to consider with 2060's tech/magic, beyond the normal forensics.
One would be datatrails left everywhere anyone with a commlink goes. That would make it very easy to track someones movemenst unless they were very skilled ant concealing them. Second would be astral signatures, metamagics like psychometry, some murder victims ghost testifying.

Also, the sterilize spell can make things a lot more difficult. So can 'clean', or even fireball for that matter. better have a good mage to hunt mages.
Grinder
Iirc SOTA:2064 has a chapter about forensics, you should check it out.
tisoz
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
There's a few things to consider with 2060's tech/magic, beyond the normal forensics.
One would be datatrails left everywhere anyone with a commlink goes. That would make it very easy to track someones movemenst unless they were very skilled ant concealing them.

How is this done?
Rotbart van Dainig
Checking the logfiles to generate movement patterns.
fistandantilus4.0
for example, bought a soda at the stuffer shack of 5th, made a commcallfrom the park, got spammed and spyware downloaded in the mall.

Also, I would like to point out that by "very skilled ant concealing them" was meant to be at concealing, and in no way was to suggest that bug spirits are good hackers. Although they certainly could be. Ants do tend to get everywhere after all. Going to go now before sleep deprivation makes me start seeing Drop Bears at work sharpening pencils. rotate.gif
tisoz
How is it overcome?

I thought I read how just walking down the street, the character is broadcasting their id. If they have it turned off, they are suspect and a Lone Star drone could be asking for your id to keep you SINless frags off the street. That's a lot of trail to erase and who knows if you got all the wireless points that recorded it.

If you are using a fake, you face the same crap, only you burn through ids. Also if you switch ids, isn't that going to be obvious? One stops, another starts? Or one stops, prompting the drone police, and down the road one starts. It would be a good lead anyway.

The degree to which big brother is watching makes shadowrunning obsolete in SR$.
Rotbart van Dainig
Using Passive or Hidden Mode and hacking all the remaining Nodes still required for Matrix Access to edit the logfiles - or turning WiFi off... or simply spoofing the Access ID.
ludomastro
The other option would be to not have a commlink. You would have some serious problems going through life but no one could track you. Much like people that only use cash today.
tisoz
Page 210, Interacting with the augmented World, Example 3.

If there is this level of Big Brother watching, how can a shadowrunner hope to cover his tracks? How is a SINless person supposed to even leave the barrens? Running no commlink should be interpreted by the drone as 'hiding'.

Running fake ID is going to leave just as much trace. Switching ID should be obvious to follow. Trying to erase them all seems unreasonable, and having to not trnspond any while erasing the previous sets in motion example 3 plus some modifiers for tampering making it more obvious you are/were present.

I am not convinced.
Rotbart van Dainig
Uh... what? indifferent.gif

First off, don't mix Access ID and SIN.
Leaving no Data Trail means spoofing both, but SIN is transmitted at request only, whereas Access ID is the adress of the device, which is required to connect it at all.
In Active and Passive, one does advertize, thus leaving a data trail in the log files of any Node along the way.

In any dynamic setting, just changing that Access ID at random pretty much makes you untraceble, as there is no real way telling what and when your Access ID was changed to.
Raife
If you're running a stealth program, you're just that, stealthed. There is a reason it works in cybercombat, its always running and has an effect on how easy you are to track/trace in the matrix. Now if a police drone spots your meat and can't find a commcode to go with it, well thats another issue.

Spoof also helps a lot here. It spoofs the computer to think you're something else. So if said drone does fly on up, you can spoof it ot make it think you're legit. These two programs together make a person tough to track... which is where the CSI comes in.

My decker has a "rebuild" program that attempts to recreat deleted and corrupted files. What runners choose to delete is often a big lead. They also use high powered browse programs to scrub security files for images, and of course their own Intuition + Perception to look find evidence in pictures background.

If a shadowrunner / suspect has these programs it makes life harder on the CSI team, but not impossible.

Also keep in mind that storage in the 2070 is plentiful because its all wireless, NOT because every cyber-eye/drone has unlimited storage on it. Quite the opposite actually. Why put storage space in a drone that is always goign to be connected to your mainframe? Commlinks and Mainframes are the only places with a good amount of storage. Here is a direct example:

Maestro is trying to find evidence at a home invasion/double homocide. He doesn't go to the cleaning drone, and the door cam and the soycaf maker for all his info, he goes to the homes mainframe. While each of those above mentioned device MIGHT have a snapshot in their internal RAM, they do NOT have the actual files for the murder that happened last night.

This isn't because they CANT put storage in everything, its because there is NO REASON too.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Raife)
My decker has a "rebuild" program that attempts to recreat deleted and corrupted files.

That Program is Called Edit. wink.gif

QUOTE (Raife)
Also keep in mind that storage in the 2070 is plentiful because its all wireless, NOT because every cyber-eye/drone has unlimited storage on it.

That isn't exactly what SR4 states - in fact, it's pretty much the opposite:
For any normal use, storage in eny device suffices - concerning exceptional large amounts of data, either online storage or data chips are required per GM fiat.
Raife
Edit is used to edit... but actually going onto a computers storage device and rebuilding it from the devices remnant storage would be far beyond the scope of an edit program. Edit is a word processor/video editor/sound studio/3d modeling program, and more, all rolled into one. For scouring the actual physical storage device, you would need something else. This is especially important in say... COURT... where using an "edit" program COULD taint evidence (its just as easy to create false evidence) but a Rebuilding and recovery program would be perfectly admissable.

While the storage device on most things is enough "for what they do" it just isn't freaking practical to build the architecture that way. A door camera might store single shots of hte people who came through, but it would store them on the mainframe... why? Cus its more practical, it saves companies money... and they LIKE MONEY!

Yes a corporation could make a door cam that stored every single 100th of a second of what the camera saw, it would also assess the person for whether or not they were a friend, familymember or salesman. This same camera would then send you a message on your commlink, tell you who it is, and ask if you want to let them in or not. This camera would cost nuyen.gif 1000. It would have to have a little processor, a storage device (like a hard drive) and customized software.

Corparation B comes along and says "hey, all that functionality can come on a piece of software run by the homes main terminal, we could sell it, and a camera for nuyen.gif 500! We could sell it in bulk to corporations too cus the manufacturing costs are DIRT CHEAP to produce a data storage devices to ship... OH WAIT WE DONT EVEN HAVE TO DO THAT! We can sell directly over the matrix... after 2 years we have payed our software development prices and it comes FREE WITH THE CAMERA! HOORAY WE CORNERED THE MARKET! In 2 years our camera costs nuyen.gif 50!

So while yes, a piece of hardware has plenty of storage for its day to day operations, this does not mean it would have unlimited space and not store its stuff on the mainframe. It might hold 24 hours of footage, which is a lot, but it would have no reason to hold the lifetime of data, that is stretching the meaning of "Normal Use" and shrinking the meaning of "exceptionally large amounts of data".

Normal Use = Camera on vacation that can store 500 photographs at high resolution with text markings or voice notes.

Exceptionally Large Amounts of Data = 48 hours of footage with sound and anotated data markings.

Then again, I guess thats just my own personal GM fiat to the issue. Corporate culture effects technology just as much in 2070 as it does today, if not more.
chazuli
Umm... isn't the prohibition against being in an area 'hidden' only for highly secure areas? My understanding is that being 'hidden' isn't that uncommon for folks in normal life as a means of avoiding spam.

Best,
Charles Millar
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Raife)
Edit is used to edit... but actually going onto a computers storage device and rebuilding it from the devices remnant storage would be far beyond the scope of an edit program.

Sorry, you are absolutly right - my bad, it's not Edit, it's Medic. smile.gif
"Though legitimate users sometimes use Medic to fix corrupted files, misbehaving programs, and other errors, hackers use Medic to keep functioning after a bout of cybercombat"

QUOTE (Raife)
It would have to have a little processor, a storage device (like a hard drive) and customized software.

Yepp, thats exactly what you get for 50 in SR4... if you don't take it as RFID, in which case you pay 55 for twenty of them.

QUOTE (Raife)
Then again, I guess thats just my own personal GM fiat to the issue.

Pretty much.
Look, those are all nice things to implement as house-rules.
Problem is, they seem a bit unnecessary in the greater picture of SR4.

QUOTE (chazuli)
Umm... isn't the prohibition against being in an area 'hidden' only for highly secure areas?

Yeah.

QUOTE (chazuli)
My understanding is that being 'hidden' isn't that uncommon for folks in normal life as a means of avoiding spam.

That would be Passive Mode most of the time, but, yeah.
Shrike30
If you want an interesting spin on another aspects of RFID's in forensics, the newer Taser pistols discharge a burst of RFID tags when fired, since the theory is you're going to be using the Taser legally... right? Those RFID's contain the serial number of the round that was fired, and the company makes an effort to keep track of where those rounds end up.

In SR, I can see that being applied to all sorts of things. Doing it to every single bullet is a bit much, but what about, say, to rockets (one of my player's favorite high-profile assassination methods), or to area-weapons like Neurostun canisters (it's a lot easier to do a low-profile run if everyone in the office you're raiding is asleep).
warrior_allanon
shrike, this is why i use Ex Explosive rounds that are caseless or caseless capsule rounds
emo samurai
I'm sure Ares has a point on its gun assembly lines in which a robot fires off a basic round into a pool of water and a camera records the ballistics markings on the bullet. Then the data is entered into Knight Errant's computers.
Chrome Shadow
Very good idea...
Krotiez
QUOTE (emo samurai)
I'm sure Ares has a point on its gun assembly lines in which a robot fires off a basic round into a pool of water and a camera records the ballistics markings on the bullet. Then the data is entered into Knight Errant's computers.

Wha?

"Ballistic fingerprinting" is a load of crock.

While, yes, you could ideally discover that the catridges fired by a certain firearm match cartridges left behind at a scene from a crime, consider this.

"Ballistic fingerprinting" works on the idea that bullets fired from a gun and the empy cartridges will have certain marks on them that make the bullets fired by a particiular firearm different from any other firearm.

In practice, either through firing thousands of rounds of ammo, swapping out the barrel and extractor, or a few minute's work with a wire brush you can competely change the "ballistic fingerprint" of any firearm.

Also, bullets tend to go fast. Very, very fast. So fast that they end up deformed little messes where the best you can do is guess at the caliber of the bullet. If the bullet overpenetrated the victim it would likely take an Act of a Higher Power to find the bullet. Spent cartridges are more useful, but it seems to me, the typical shadowrunner firefight would have a lot of cartridges scattered around.

Good luck sorting them out.
Shrike30
You're forgetting... Shadowrun never seems to be able to make up it's mind about cased vs. caseless ammo being the most common. Runner gunfights might leave *no* casings around...
eidolon
QUOTE (Krotiez)
Good luck sorting them out.


Unless everyone in the firefight was using the same weapon and ammunition from the same batch by the same manufacturer, it wouldn't be that hard. Sort by caliber, then manufacturer, then striking point.

Also, IIRC, most weapons' firing pins strike with enough difference that you can compare the impression for a decent match. Yes, a firing pin can be replaced, but who does this every time they fire a weapon?
Overrated
QUOTE (Raife @ Mar 4 2006, 07:12 PM)
Normal Use = Camera on vacation that can store 500 photographs at high resolution with text markings or voice notes.

This, too me, seems like you're too hung up in the present. 60 years from now a reagular camera will be able to handle a lot more than 500 photos at an any resolution.
Krotiez
QUOTE (eidolon)
QUOTE (Krotiez)
Good luck sorting them out.


Unless everyone in the firefight was using the same weapon and ammunition from the same batch by the same manufacturer, it wouldn't be that hard. Sort by caliber, then manufacturer, then striking point.

Also, IIRC, most weapons' firing pins strike with enough difference that you can compare the impression for a decent match. Yes, a firing pin can be replaced, but who does this every time they fire a weapon?

Huh?

Bullets deform horribly on impact. All you can tell (AFAIK) is what caliber the bullet is. If you find a 9x19mm bullet it could've come from a large amount of firearms. You can't tell if it came from a Berreta M92f, a Glock variant, or even a 9mm carbine or rifle.

Also, if spent cartridges are found it's possible to determine if they all came from the same firearm and maybe a gneral kind of firearm (rifle, handgun, etc.) unless that firearm is designed to leave a unique mark on the casing.

Just a little work with a file on a firing pin can change its' signature.

A more proper term for "ballistic fingerprint" would be "ballistic snapshot." It's also as helpful as searching for "a big, strong troll" or "a short, stubby dwarf."
Brahm
QUOTE (Krotiez @ Mar 9 2006, 04:54 AM)
Bullets deform horribly on impact. All you can tell (AFAIK) is what caliber the bullet is. If you find a 9x19mm bullet it could've come from a large amount of firearms. You can't tell if it came from a Berreta M92f, a Glock variant, or even a 9mm carbine or rifle.

You will likely be able to tell between handgun and rifle by roughly the amount of energy it had from the damage it left behind.

Also some weapons have different rifling configurations, and that'll show up on the slug. The more the slug deformed the tougher it will be to determine, but you'll be looking at the base of the slug for the land and grove marks and that's the last to deform.
hyzmarca
QUOTE (Overrated @ Mar 9 2006, 04:16 AM)
QUOTE (Raife @ Mar 4 2006, 07:12 PM)
Normal Use = Camera on vacation that can store 500 photographs at high resolution with text markings or voice notes.

This, too me, seems like you're too hung up in the present. 60 years from now a reagular camera will be able to handle a lot more than 500 photos at an any resolution.

In SR4 the soyburger you ate for lunch has enough memory to store an unlimited number of photographs. If your camera runs out of storage you can just wirelessly transfer the extra images to the meal that you are digesting for later retrieval.
kigmatzomat
QUOTE (Krotiez @ Mar 9 2006, 04:54 AM)

Bullets deform horribly on impact. All you can tell (AFAIK) is what caliber the bullet is. If you find a 9x19mm bullet it could've come from a large amount of firearms. You can't tell if it came from a Berreta M92f, a Glock variant, or even a 9mm carbine or rifle.


First, many bullet don't deform completely on impact. Lots of times the rear half of the slug is intact, which may be enough to possess the distinctive barrel marks. Barrels have different designs; # of lands and grooves, shape of the lands and angle of twist. Simply narrowing down the make and possibly model of gun helps any investigators immensely.

And, IIRC, a Glock uses a polygonal barrel (referred to sometimes as "cyclonic") and the Beretta uses a traditional land & groove barrel. You could probably tell the difference with the naked eye. You might or might not be able to tell if the round was fired from a Berreta 92 or a Berreta Firestorm but you could tell between Berreta and Glock.


QUOTE

Also, if spent cartridges are found it's possible to determine if they all came from the same firearm and maybe a gneral kind of firearm (rifle, handgun, etc.) unless that firearm is designed to leave a unique mark on the casing.

Just a little work with a file on a firing pin can change its' signature.


Firing pin marks are nice but it's more likely they'll look for the marks from the ejector and any unique deformation of the casing caused by the chamber. All it takes is gouging a small groove in the chamber while levering out a jammed shell to make your gun distinctive forever.

Krotiez
Hmm. Yes.

It looks I posted without double-checking.

Anyway, it seems mostly academic to me since it will be difficult to get the firearm in question from the runner unless it gets dumped or taken when the runner is captured or killed.
eidolon
@kingmatzomat: Nice. Thanks for the extra info. I knew I wasn't remembering everything I had read. smile.gif

@Krotiez: Yes, yes it does. wink.gif I was speaking of the casings. They aren't hard to sort, you just have to know what you're looking for.

Regarding mods like filing a pin, my style would still lead me to question whether a character would do it, based on the character's personality, usual M.O., and whether they had any kind of knowledge (backed by skills preferably) to warrant them doing such a thing. If it were in character, sure, but just because a player watches too much CSI? Nah. Besides, most of my players don't get down to brass tacks like that very often.
kigmatzomat
I am apparently one of those "brass tacks" individuals. I tend to avoid the ultracustomized firearms and go for the mass market weapons that can be discarded fairly cheaply once they've been used for something illicit. It isn't anything new; the smartest criminals today only use a gun once before throwing it out. Chucking it in a river or landfill is preferred to selling it so it can't be traced back to you.

I prefer to swap makes and models of weapons completely; keeping one clean weapon as my "public" sidearm (for meets and going to Stuffer Shak) that is a completely different make and model from what gets used on runs. The idea is that if you are known to have a favorite Glock with you at all times you won't be a prime suspect when a Colt was involved. Yeah, you'll get attention for Glock events but you're always gonna be suspected of something and at least the Glock is safe. My one foray into custom weapons (a modded full-auto shotgun for a troll sam) required caseless ammo and a barrel change after every run.

FYI, barrel changing for heavy automatic weaponry is pretty common; the M60s were generally fielded with at least one extra barrel and heat-resistant gloves to help with the change in the middle of combat. Not sure what the guidelines are on barrel life for current-gen assault rifles and LMGs.
eidolon
That's cool. Different areas of focus for different players. I would still ask myself, were I GMing, if it fit the given character at all. But that's just my GMing style.

No need for the FYI. I'm about four months away from having 6 years in the Army. That, and I'm a some-times weapon system nerd. (Not weapon system Gorb, like AE and Raygun and company, mind you.) But thanks. smile.gif

It's not a matter of what's possible or the best way for me. It's "would the ganger kid that's super proud to finally have his own Predator II really get rid of it after shooting it in a gang brawl?" The answer, IMO, is probably not. If the question were "would the ex-beat cop-turned-ballistics-lab-guy-after-getting-injured-turned-runner-after-a-bad-run-in-with-IA do that?" I assume he would.

There's also the opinion debate between "every one of my characters has this one trait in common" vs. "expanding your horizons by never playing the same thing twice", but this isn't the thread.
hyzmarca
Another thing to consider about forensics is will anyone care enough to investigate? Most street level violence, particulary in Z-zones, the answer is no.

Sure, the mayors of Redmond and Palyup may try to rattle their sabers and get Lone Star's attention, they might as well be the kings of matching piles of dog excrement for all the power their offices give them. Lone Star doesn't even patrol these places except under exceptional circumstances.

And if a random SINless person is gunned down in a nice neighborhood it is just as likely that the Medical Examiner will list the cause of death as "acute organ failure exaserbated by heavy metal toxicity" and check the "natural causes" box.


Runners who do wetwork will take precautions because they are killing people who are worth paying to have killed. A ganger in a street brawl won't but he simply doesn't have to because no one will care except other gangers.
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