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Over the last couple of weeks I've been working through character creation repeatedly just to get an idea of the different characters I (or my players) might make. I've played SR3 before, but the whole wireless thing has me a bit confused.

My streetsam has the following cyberware and computer equipment of note:
Two cybernetic arms, one with a hidden weapon
Two other guns that have smart links
Cybereyes with AR display
Cyberears with AR audio
Subvocal Microphone
Implanted Comlink

The way I understand it, the implanted comlink would be running in passive mode when not on runs (in order to AR things like mall maps, and the general consumer crap) while running in hidden mode on a run (for team communication and AR tactical overlays.)

Having all of this linked together would allow the following Functions:
Tactical Overlays sent via comlink from the team hacker
Subvocal Communication (both ways) between teammates
Smartlink Overlays from whichever gun is currently in use (as well as other smartlink functions)
Automatic Deployment of the hidden gun in the cyberarm

But it doesn't seem like a very secure way to do things. If that one comlink was hacked, no only would communication be messed up, but the hacker could fritz the cyberarms as well, correct? Anyone want to recommend a setup that might be safer?
One of the ways you can make various items (like your cyberlimbs) safe from through-the-commlink hacks is to remove their wireless capability and not route their functionality through your commlink. The cybergun (which is smartgun equipped by default) in the one arm can be left wireless, or for added security you can skinlink it instead.

Any device, if properly subscribed to your commlink, should be protected from direct hacking attempts (ones that do not go through the commlink). The commlink itself should be running a pretty beefed up set of security protocols... high Response, Firewall, and Analyze are useful for detecting incoming attacks, and putting some ICe on the commlink will also help protect you.

One way some of my players got around the whole commlink vulnerability issue was by using Radio Transcievers rather than commlink comms. They eventually decided they'd rather have access to AR than comms that couldn't be hacked, because jamming was much more common than comms hacking.
So skinlinking something allows you to control it directly with mental commands? I was under the impression that mental commands would have to go to an implanted comlink or over a data jack to a comlink or computer of some sort before they could be relayed to the arm.
Samaels Ghost
Skinlink will allow you to avoid using a hackable signal. Think of it this way:

Internal comm is used to make a mental command/e-mail
This command is sent via skinlink to anything within range of the body's natural electronic emissions.
[subscribed device] responds accordingly.

Thought -> Internal Comm -> Skinlink -> Device
The skinlink simply prevents your commlink from having to broadcast wirelessly to talk to the device. If you want your commlink to "run silent" (and therefore be safe from the outside world) you simply turn off the wireless access entirely, and use skinlink to talk to the various devices about your person (I interpret skinlink as working out to about an inch from your body, so things like your gloves don't interfere with it).

Obviously, this screws with your team's ability to talk to you smile.gif One other reason to like radio transcievers, I guess.
So you could have your main implanted comlink skinlinked to all the gear and wireless shut off. Then you could have another comlink with wireless on in order to do the communications with the rest of the team. That comlink could be skinlinked to your implanted link, which then links to the rest of your gear. That way you could just toss the wireless comlink if it was ever breached.
One other thing, in your set up, most of those devices have a signal of 0, so for some one to directly hack those items. They'd have to be with in 3m. Adding agents or IC to your commlink is one of the best defenses you can have, besides firewall and programs that is.

Also, you can have multiple commlinks, so you could have an internal for cyberwear, and then an external for publicity and for AR/and communication. if you then turn off the wirelessness of the internal comlink, your cyber becomes essentially unhackable (especially with skinlink).

edit: err what you said dewar
Excellent, I think I'm starting to understand this now. That bit about the signal of zero was helpful too. It seems like it's an awfully dangerous world to have a comlink in.
Only your eyes, ears, and subvocal would need to be subscribed to a commlink and thats only if you wanted to let the others see or hear what you see and hear.

Your two arms and the gun hidden in the arm use direct nueral interface and dont need anything else to make them work. Your guns with smartlink need skinlinks in your palms/hands(i dont agree that your body's energy field extends past your physical body). Once the guns interact with the skinlinks the info would be fed to your brain or eyes trhough direct nueral interface.

Your eyes/ears/ and voice would be subscribed to your commlink so you could transmit information to your team mates. And even then I wouldnt have them subscribed non stop, only when i needed them to see or hear something important.
In order for a smartgun to talk to a smartgun link, you have to have them both subscribed to the same commlink, which serves as a hub. Skinlink is *not* a DNI, it's simply an alternative to wireless communication. If both the smartgun and your commlink are equipped with skinlink, you can pick the gun up and subscribe to it, then have the commlink relay the signal to your eyes.

Your body's energy field, extends beyond your physical form in the same way that the electromagnetic field generated by a wire with current flowing through it extends beyond it's physical form. All that skinlink does is modulate that field very slightly to send signals to devices within it. While I could see saying that a thick armored vest or some other similarly thick object between your body and the device might interfere with the field pickup, it's easier for playability's sake to say that it's a non-issue. The thought that something like a couple of millimeters of leather in some gloves might interfere with the field is amusing. Cyberlimbs tap into this field for their power (which means they've got ridiculously low power requirements), thus it makes sense that the field continues to extend around the limbs.
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