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Garrowolf
The Wireless World 4.1

This returns the comupter system to the core mechanic: Attribute + Skill +/- Device. All character based rolls use this. Agents may use the Pilot + Program mechanic.

Free Actions

Alter / Swap Icon (pg 211)
Changed Linked Device (pg 135)
Detect Wireless Node (pg 225) Logic + Electronic Warfare /Scan
Jacking Out (pg 220)
Speak Text or Phrase (pg 136)
Terminate Data Transfer (pg 219)

Simple Actions

Call/Dismiss Sprite (pg 235)
Deactivate Program or Agent (pg 228)
Decrypt with key (pg 225)
Issue Command (pg 221)
Log Off (pg 220)
Observe in Detail (pg 217) Inituition + Computer /Analyze
Transfer Data (pg 219)


Complex Actions

Attack (pg 230) Inituition + Cybercombat /Attack
Compile Sprite (pg 234) Resonance + Compiling
Control Device (pg 220) Inituition + Device Skill /Command
Crash Program/OS (pg 223) Logic + Hacking /Attack
Data Search (pg 219) Inituition + Data Search /Browse
Decrypt (without key) (pg 225) Logic + Hacking /Decrypt
Detect Hidden Node (pg 225) Inituition + Electronic Warfare /Scan
Disarm Data Bomb (pg 224) Logic + Hacking /Defuse
Edit (pg 218) Logic + Computer /Edit
Intercept Traffic (pg 223) Inituition + Hacking /Sniffer
Intercept Wireless Signal (pg 225) Inituition + Electronics Warfare /Sniffer
Jam Signal (pg 225) Logic + Electronics Warfare /Jammer
Log On (pg 220)
Reboot (pg 221) System + Response
Reboot Technomancer (pg 221) Logic + Willpower
Redirect Trace (pg 224) Inituition + Hacking /Spoof
Repair Icon (pg 219) Logic + Computer /Medic
Run Program or Agent (pg 227)
Shut Down a Sprite (pg 236) Resonance + Decompiling
Spoof Command (pg 224) Inituition + Hacking /Spoof
Track User (pg 219) Inituition + Computer /Track

Intuition is used in tests requiring reaction or cunning. GM can request that Logic be used instead if it makes more sense in the circumstances.

Security
People maintain varying levels of security on their computer. Most people would like to have as much security as possible but maintaining high security can slow down most users. Characters can keep a security level equal to their computer skill Ė2 or their system rating, which ever is lower without suffering the difference in penalties to all computer use.
Many people have little security and just trust their Firewalls. They donít bother with clearing their caches, add separate admin levels, restricting access, etc. No security means that once you are past the firewall you have admin access. Usually only systems with a dedicated security sysadmin will keep their security above a 2.
If someone hacks your system they have the security level as a threshold for all tests unless they slow hack and make themselves a normal user.

Hacking
A hacker must have the appropriate skill and program in order to fast hack, otherwise it is an extended test. If there is no listed threshold the base threshold for Hacking is 3. Most computer use is a 1 or a 2.
Programs can either add to the hack test or reduce the threshold. The same program can be used either way depending on the circumstances.

Ex: Exploit Program
This program acts a sort of AP vs Firewall. It reduces it by itís rating. If the Exploit is higher then the Firewall then it adds the difference in dice to hacking rolls. If the Exploit is lower then the difference is added to the threshold for hacking test. Exploit will not reduce the security threshold.

Technomancers
Technomancers write normal code. They can teach the normal computer skills to others. They use the same computer skills as anyone else. They can not teach any of the resonance skills to a non-technomancer. They normally write all their own programs but they can trade them with others.

Complex Forms
Complex Forms are a sort of bit of Resonance coded to boost a program. They represent a set of tricks and preferences as well as a bit of spirit of the machine. They can be used as programs themselves or they can be added to another program of the same subject. This is the standard usage.
There are several limitations on this:
A technomancer can only create complex forms of a rating equal to half their Resonance rounded up.
Complex forms canít be higher then their threading skill.
The technomancer must pay Karma for each complex form equal to itís rating.
A technomancer canít use a complex form with a program higher then they could have made.

Therefore they would use the following for most computer use (donít use Resonance as the attribute):

Attribute + Skill + Program + Complex Form

Complex Forms are actually in the Resonance so they donít effect the response of any system they are used on.

Sprites
Sprites are no longer weird versions of spirits. They are Complex Forms of Agents. They can be used as IC, Agents, or Pilots. They can be created to run errands or they can be registered and bonded to an agent. The same restrictions apply to Sprites as Complex Forms. You have to have been able to have created the Agent at that rating in order to turn it into a Sprite.
The registering cost on Sprites is a bit higher because they are supposed to act more autonomously. It is the rating of the Agent + the rating of the Complex Form in XP. Ignore all the stuff about services for any registered sprite. They donít drain mental resources. You can have a number of unhoused sprites equal to your Charisma at one time. Housing a sprite means it becomes the long term pilot program for a drone or the only sprite IC in a system. Keeping a sprite around as an agent counts as unhoused.
Sprites usually develop a personality focused on the Technomancer as their master or best friend. They will show some traits of their master or can copy others. They will always follow orders. Their master can alter them in any way they want. They never resist or try to go free.
It doesnít matter if they get too far away from their master. They can travel around just like agents.


Living Persona

This works the same way as the complex forms. Start with a commlink. You must be able to have programmed the Firewall and the OS in order to get the complex form benefits. The only difference is that you add half the commlinksí traits to your traits instead of the other way around. Round up on the math. The exception is to use the highest signal rating. Technomancers also take the damage to the commlink themsleves. They have no condition monitor unless they get advanced ability Shell. Think of the commlink like a toolbelt they are wearing but they are bare whereas a Hacker is in a suit of power armor but less tactile sensation.

Coding Your Own Programs
(pg 240) - The section of the table will be altered to the following:
QUOTE

Software                          Threshold      Hacker Interval    Tech Interval
Agent                                Rating x 3        8 days                  5 days
Autosofts                          Rating x 2        15 days                10 days
Common Use Programs      Rating              2 days                  1 day
Firewall                            Rating x 2        15 days                10 days
Hacking Programs              Rating x 2        8 days                  5 days
System                            Rating x 2        30 days                20 days


This will produce a bare bones program that does what you want it to do but is not very user friendly or polished. To make a sellable version double the threshold. If you give it to a friend you can either make a sellable versioin or spend a lot of time training them in how to use your program (which may irritate them but hey they're getting it for free - aren't they?).

The advantage is with coding your own programs is that you are assumed to be keeping up with the SOTA. If you buy programs then the GM can roll each time you use a purchased hacking program and incorporate higher thresholds without telling you, unless you have a hacker bring your programs back up to SOTA. (At least check each month when you pay for lifestyle)

Characters canít write programs with a rating higher then their skill, either in Software and in the relavent skill that you would use it with. Hacking programs max out at your hacking skill or software skill, whichever is lower.

Edit: Characters can get by without the other skill if they either have instructions at that rating (could cost money) or if someone with that skill is working with them.

Most of the common use programs are already in an OS at the system rating. You don't have to buy them seperately.

Agents cover Agents/IC/Pilot programs. If you can program one then you can alter any agent into an equilavalent IC or Pilot. Therefore you only need to program one.
GrinderTheTroll
Neat, but you might want to wait for Unwired unless you need some rules you can't live without. wink.gif
wilcoxon
Looks pretty good. I'll have to let this soak in my brain for a while (and re-read a few times). I like the intent - I hate the current official matrix rules (skill+program with attribute not mattering at all? Highly inconsistent and very unrealistic).

The one immediate comment I have is that limiting the max rating of a program you code to the min of software or the relevant usage skill is very unrealistic. I am a computer programmer (good software skill) but have often wrote programs that users have been very happy with that are used in areas where I know very little. It's also inconsistent with the Arcana skill in Street Magic (where a mundane can be very good at creating things he can't use).
Cognitive Resonance
QUOTE (wilcoxon)
Looks pretty good. I'll have to let this soak in my brain for a while (and re-read a few times). I like the intent - I hate the current official matrix rules (skill+program with attribute not mattering at all? Highly inconsistent and very unrealistic).

I disagree with it being unrealistic, most hackers in the real world are script kiddies (Meaning they don't necessarily even understand the technical side of the exploits they are running).

My favorite example is the edit program in SR4.


You can create anything you could possibly create in Photoshop using a unix command line. The average person has neither the genius or the time to do so.

It's with a program, and some skill with using a computer that allows us to quickly do things.


I find the SR4 system to more closely mirror the real world than attribute+skill.
wilcoxon
QUOTE (Cognitive Resonance)
QUOTE (wilcoxon @ Oct 5 2006, 04:42 PM)
Looks pretty good.  I'll have to let this soak in my brain for a while (and re-read a few times).  I like the intent - I hate the current official matrix rules (skill+program with attribute not mattering at all?  Highly inconsistent and very unrealistic).

I disagree with it being unrealistic, most hackers in the real world are script kiddies (Meaning they don't necessarily even understand the technical side of the exploits they are running).

You can create anything you could possibly create in Photoshop using a unix command line. The average person has neither the genius nor the time to do so.

It's with a program, and some skill with using a computer that allows us to quickly do things.

I find the SR4 system to more closely mirror the real world than attribute+skill.

I completely agree with everything you said except your conclusion.

Most hackers in the real world are script kiddies. However, the best hackers are not script kiddies. At an absolute minimum, SR4 should have rules for the non-kiddie hacker. Deckers from previous versions were the elite of the hackers - why should all PC hackers in SR4 be ignorant script kiddies?

skill+program says that any two people with the same hardware, software, and training (skills) will perform identically over time. That's not even remotely true in the real world (attributes matter).

For a pure rules argument, why is hacking the only thing (that I've found so far at least) that does not use attribute+skill? It's inconsistent with the rest of the rules (which is almost always a bad thing).
Garrowolf
Well I think that the Matrix system should follow the core mechanic. It's not only slilly not to but it makes it SOOOO hard to remember the rules.

The skill level limiting program rating was more of a way to encourage skill growth and that I want skills to be very important to programmers.
I have always hated systems that said that the software and hardware were more important then the skills to hacking. I know a bit about programming but I never got very good at it. However I have a friend that has done some major things with a Trash 80 just for a challenge. I haven't a clue how he did it but he is an incredibly skilled guy at computers.
Basically my thinking is there needs to be some way of showing the difference between a low skilled beginner and a highly skilled hacker. The number of successes on the roll could be used to reflect a very nicely put together program - this could even be reflected by having one threshold for functional and a higher one for sellable and user friendly. The rating is just a measure of usefulness.

The part about requiring another skill could be replaced by having good instructions on what to do or someone worknig with you that knows the other skill. This would be up to the GM.
Garrowolf
check it out now
Aaron
QUOTE (wilcoxon)
[QUOTE=Cognitive Resonance,Oct 5 2006, 06:51 PM] Most hackers in the real world are script kiddies. However, the best hackers are not script kiddies.

That's true, but what separates the real hackers from the script kiddies? I put forth that it is the fact that the real hackers are finding exploits and writing scripts that the aforementioned kiddies then use.

When writing programs (like, say, Exploit), you use Attribute + Skill. So it does follow the core mechanic.

Initially, I didn't like the way Boyle et alia handled hacking. It seemed silly to diverge from the core mechanic so blatantly, especially since they had just cleaned up spellcasting. But I changed my mind for three reasons.

First, it's true that you don't really need your Attributes to use programs, just your familiarity (skill) with them. This is how you get people who say things like "You shouldn't violate the law because that's illegal." that make wiz spreadsheets.

Second, because it's handled with Program + Skill, it's a lot easer to be a Hacker/Something_Else. Hacker/Samurai, Hacker/Rigger, even Hacker/Magician. This means that a team can have Matrix support without banishing a player entirely from the rest of the game.

Finally, it just makes sense that the Matrix doesn't work the same way as magic does. Which also counterpoints the implied connections with magic that fill the technomancer's domain.
Dranem
I don't think I like your rules on Technomancers... primarily cause I like my Techno's to be some sort of modern spooky Otaku - rather than just a variant of hacker....

There are also lots of threads already on Technos and how people feel they may not add up to the potential of a hacker... I may need to re-read again, but it sounds like you're limmiting them even more... meaning no one would want to play a TM under your rules.
Cognitive Resonance
QUOTE (Aaron)
[QUOTE=wilcoxon,Oct 5 2006, 07:59 PM] [QUOTE=Cognitive Resonance,Oct 5 2006, 06:51 PM] Most hackers in the real world are script kiddies. However, the best hackers are not script kiddies. [/QUOTE]
That's true, but what separates the real hackers from the script kiddies? I put forth that it is the fact that the real hackers are finding exploits and writing scripts that the aforementioned kiddies then use.

When writing programs (like, say, Exploit), you use Attribute + Skill. So it does follow the core mechanic.

Initially, I didn't like the way Boyle et alia handled hacking. It seemed silly to diverge from the core mechanic so blatantly, especially since they had just cleaned up spellcasting. But I changed my mind for three reasons.

First, it's true that you don't really need your Attributes to use programs, just your familiarity (skill) with them. This is how you get people who say things like "You shouldn't violate the law because that's illegal." that make wiz spreadsheets.

Second, because it's handled with Program + Skill, it's a lot easer to be a Hacker/Something_Else. Hacker/Samurai, Hacker/Rigger, even Hacker/Magician. This means that a team can have Matrix support without banishing a player entirely from the rest of the game.

Finally, it just makes sense that the Matrix doesn't work the same way as magic does. Which also counterpoints the implied connections with magic that fill the technomancer's domain.

Perhaps there is some mechanic we could institute where programs crash but skill doesn't?
Perhaps there should be a mechanic where the elite crackers get a bonus because they essentially have zero day exploits instead of scripts?
Aaron
QUOTE (Cognitive Resonance)
Perhaps there is some mechanic we could institute where programs crash but skill doesn't?

Huh? You mean like on page 223 of your hymnal?

QUOTE (Cognitive Resonance)
Perhaps there should be a mechanic where the elite crackers get a bonus because they essentially have zero day exploits instead of scripts?

Such as, perhaps, allowing the hits from a Logic + [Appropriate Knowledge] roll to add dice to a Hacking + Exploit roll? I'm not sure this actually adds much value to the game.
Garrowolf
Well I want all skill rolls to follow the same core mechanic. THere is no reason not to. There are other examples of attribute + Skill + device in the game. I can understand that they are wanting to keep the dice pools down but I don't think that it will be that bad.

If you want other characters to use hacking as well then at least keep it easy to remember what they need to roll. That way the players don't get so irritated with the system that they stop using it (which is what happened to my group - they relegated it to NPCs).

Now I can use a Technomancer as a player character for main hacking or call up a hacker as a contact. I let the other characters gain some skill for intrusion and lock by passing. Otherwise I don't have them go on Matrix runs.
Aaron
QUOTE (Garrowolf)
Well I want all skill rolls to follow the same core mechanic. THere is no reason not to.

So ... are you refuting the arguments made by a couple of people that the ability to use software has little to do with the intelligence (Attributes) of the user, as in the case of the script kiddie, or just ignoring them? If the former, I look forward to hearing your refutation; I, for one, may have overlooked something. If the latter, you may be inadvertently supporting the point. =)
The Jopp
How to solve the problem with Hacking VS Skill+Attribute

We have a simple solution for that. We limit the potential of a program by the intelligence and intuition of the hacker in question.

A hacker cannot use a program with a higher rating than (Logic+Intuition)/2 (Round Up).

The reason for this is that a rockhead with the IQ of your local chewing gum has no clue in how to use a program to it's highest potential - it requires Logic to understand the actual program and Intuition to come up with imaginative ways to exploit it to it's potential.
deek
QUOTE (The Jopp)
How to solve the problem with Hacking VS Skill+Attribute

We have a simple solution for that. We limit the potential of a program by the intelligence and intuition of the hacker in question.

A hacker cannot use a program with a higher rating than (Logic+Intuition)/2 (Round Up).

The reason for this is that a rockhead with the IQ of your local chewing gum has no clue in how to use a program to it's highest potential - it requires Logic to understand the actual program and Intuition to come up with imaginative ways to exploit it to it's potential.

That's actually not a bad idea.

Granted, I have already houseruled in my group that we go with Skill + Attribute (which is normally Logic) and limit total successes by the lesser of Skill + 1 or Program Rating + 1.

Like Garrowolf, I just don't see any reason why hacking uses a different mechanic than magic or physical actions. Once we put that in place, everything just fell together and made perfect sense. That still lets everyone hack, as have a few points in Logic is pretty normal anyways, but definitely shows a difference between hackers and non-hackers, as well as hackers able to use a program rating to is fullest, versus those that just have a program rating 6 at their disposal.
wilcoxon
Here's my take on attributes having effect or not.

There are script kiddies and they can hack. Attributes should not be a limit on program usage as Jopp suggested. I'd guess most script kiddies are not the brightest people. However, you don't need to be bright if you have a good program and good step-by-step instructions on how to use it.

However, there will always be times when any program runs into problems (something that it can't deal with, a bug, or just something the programmer didn't think of). That is when Logic (and arguably Intuition) come into hacking.

I could almost buy the argument that attributes only come into it when "hacking on-the-fly" but not quite (and there's still no reason for hacking to use a different mechanic).

If I ever GM SR4 (instead of play), I think I'll just make hacking attribute+skill+program (and tweak thresholds).

Maybe something in Unwired will convince me to (even remotely) like the SR4 hacking rules but I doubt it.
De Badd Ass
QUOTE (Garrowolf)
Well I want all skill rolls to follow the same core mechanic. THere is no reason not to.

Here is a simple example: sorting. Anybody with a IQ above 90 can sort a list into alphabetical or numerical order manually. Anybody who knows MS-DOS can sort that list on a computer using nothing more than cut and paste.

I don't care how high her IQ is, or how good she is with DOS, I can sort 1,000 items faster using Microsoft Excel than a genius can using cut and paste.

A more complex example would be decryption. Given the key, I can decrypt a code using pencil and paper. Given time, a roomful of crypto analyists can find the key. Computers make the job easier and faster. Decryption programs make the job easier and faster still.

So the question becomes, are the two methods even on the same scale. I know that I can't decipher even a simple code as fast as I can read: J lopx uibu J dbo'u efdjqifs uijt wfsz gbtu. No way could I dicipher comm traffic in real time without a decryption program. Show me someone who can, and I will agree that the game mechanic needs changing.

In case you missed my point: it's not just about how smart you are, it's also about how fast you are. That's why the program rating can't be higher than the computer's response and the OS.

If your brain operates at computer speed, that makes you a technomancer.
deek
I guess we have two camps divided here, both with good points. Some of us believe that its the hacker's skill and mental ability to use a program, whereas the other side is believing the program is doing the majority of the work so a hacker's mental attributes do not come into play.

The thing is, if you are putting more workload on the program itself, then I would think the dice pool would be made up of Program Rating + Attribute, as it really takes no skill to follow directions or just run something...i.e. the script kiddies. The attribute comes into play more, because that is just understanding how to follow directions...you don't have to be super smart or super skilled to do that, but I think that the ability to read and follow step-by-step directions is more aligned with attributes than skills.

And then the other side of that, is the "hacker" that uses more of his skills and smarts within the parameter of a given program...so I go back to my personal favorite of using Skill + Attribute with Program Rating + 1 being a cap.

I guess if I ever needed to differentiate between a hacker and a script kiddie I could do that. Or I suppose that I would actually just use the stats from the system the script is being run from, and take the script kiddie out of the equation...assume the script acts like a low-level agent or something.

It obviously depends on the GM and how the matrix is setup for that particular campaign. I don't think of hackers being a sum of their program ratings...I see their programs allowing them the potential to do certain tasks, but it is their own skills and brainpower that is getting things done...
deek
QUOTE (De Badd Ass)
QUOTE (Garrowolf)
Well I want all skill rolls to follow the same core mechanic. THere is no reason not to.

Here is a simple example: sorting. Anybody with a IQ above 90 can sort a list into alphabetical or numerical order manually. Anybody who knows MS-DOS can sort that list on a computer using nothing more than cut and paste.

I don't care how high her IQ is, or how good she is with DOS, I can sort 1,000 items faster using Microsoft Excel than a genius can using cut and paste.

A more complex example would be decryption. Given the key, I can decrypt a code using pencil and paper. Given time, a roomful of crypto analyists can find the key. Computers make the job easier and faster. Decryption programs make the job easier and faster still.

So the question becomes, are the two methods even on the same scale. I know that I can't decipher even a simple code as fast as I can read: J lopx uibu J dbo'u efdjqifs uijt wfsz gbtu. No way could I dicipher comm traffic in real time without a decryption program. Show me someone who can, and I will agree that the game mechanic needs changing.

In case you missed my point: it's not just about how smart you are, it's also about how fast you are. That's why the program rating can't be higher than the computer's response and the OS.

If your brain operates at computer speed, that makes you a technomancer.

But you are simply talking about speed...MS-DOS my be considered an Program Rating 1, while Excel may be a 2 or 3. You aren't doing anything better, just faster...the program is just better.

Now a genius cutting and pasting is potentially going to be able to do it a lot faster than an average intelligent person doing the same task, using the same program. I think I am pretty smart and have better than average computer skills. You put me up against someone else that is not as smart, but good computer skills, and I am sure I would find a way to sort the list in MS-DOS faster. Seeing patterns, using hotkeys...all of that, I believe factors in.

I agree, computers do make jobs easier and faster, but I still think a program gives you the ability to do certain tasks and provides you a threshold for success...unless it is driving on autopilot, the hacker's skills and brains still come into play.

I just had a thought...assuming MS-DOS is Rating 1 and Excel is Rating 3 and using your sort example, in SR4 game terms. I would probably make the hacker using MS-DOS to roll an Attribute + Skill test, while the hacker with a program 3, wouldn't need to roll anything, because the program is just able to do that as a built-in task.
De Badd Ass
I thought we were comparing attribute + skill vs. program + skill.

Do you think you can keep up with comm traffic?

QUOTE (Garrowolf)
...the program is just able to do that as a built-in task.


My point, exactly!
deek
QUOTE (De Badd Ass)
I thought we were comparing attribute + skill vs. program + skill.

Do you think you can keep up with comm traffic?

QUOTE (Garrowolf)
...the program is just able to do that as a built-in task.


My point, exactly!

The program 3 vs. program 1...is what I was referring to as a built-in task.

And yes, that is what I assumed we were comparing as well, skill + attribute (program as a cap to success) and progam + skill (with no sign of attribute being a factor).

I am not saying it is wrong, but I just can't justify (in my game) that two people with Program Ratings 6 and a Skill 3, with differening linked attributes, could do the same thing at the same ability level.

If that was the case, then as long as everyone has Microsoft Office at work and went through the same training, they would all be equal...

I think what is being missed is that there is a difference between a program rating 1 and program rating 6...granted, that is more of an abstract GM discretion, but the way I do it is to use the program rating as a cap to max successes. So, if decrypting an insanely tough transmission needed 6 successes in a single test (just for example), then someone would have to have a program rating 6 to do it. Even the smartest person with the most skill in the world, couldn't do it with a lower rated program...

Bottom-line, skills are linked to an attribute for a reason, and it just doesn't make sense to me that the only place attributes are meaningless are when rolling tests using a program...
De Badd Ass
Here is another way to look at it: Think of your commlink as a computer, the OS as UNIX, and programs as utilities.

Using the standard game mechanics, you roll attribute + skill to launch a utility. The result determines how well you configured the command line parameters, represented by a positive dice pool modifier. The program runs on the stream of data. You roll system + program + hits on the configuration test to determine how well the program works.

The problem with that is you roll two tests for every operation - a hacker skill test to setup the program, and a second test to get results from the program. Many non-hackers don't care to sit and watch hackers make roll upon roll.

SR4 tries to compress the two tests into one. Instead of rolling system + program, you just roll program. Instead of rolling attribute + skill to get a dice pool modifier, you just add skill. This may seem unfair to players with high attribute and low skill. It may also seem unfair to players whose commlinks have high system and low program. A good system does not make a crappy program work better, and when you are dealing with UNIX, there is no substitute for skill. You need to know the library, the syntax, and the command line parameters. Sure, as someone else pointed out, attribute + skill makes sense for programming - writing shell scripts.

(You need to understand UNIX to appreciate this analogy. UNIX is an operating system conceived by communications engineers at Bell Labs, designed to employ small, fast, single-purpose utilities on data streams. These utilities aren't interactive, they are setup and go. They are designed so that the output of one utility can be the input to another utility. You can connect a series of utilities together on the command line like pipes. Developing UNIX utilities takes intelligence, intuition, logic, knowledge and skill; using them takes intelligence, intuition, logic, knowledge, and a different skill.)

Anyhow, what makes it possible to compress the two tests into one is a corresponding reduction in the success threshold. If you were rolling system + program instead of just program, then the threshold would have to be twice as high. At the same time, you would need to roll attribute + skill to get a correspondingly high dice pool modifier.

When you look at it that way, you will realize that what they did was eliminate the Hacking Pool, which in SR3 was (intelligence + MPCP)/3. or (Logic + System)/3 in SR4.
deek
Interesting, and quite a new way to look at it...you make quite a good argument and I appreciate it. I have no problem with either method, in all honesty. I just know that since I am using success caps in my game, that the mechanics needed a tune up to gain a better consistency across the board.

When I looked it over, a program rating was synoymous to the force rating of a spell, which is why I use the method I do. I agree, keeping actions down to a single roll is paramount to a game session flowing smoothly. Both methods, IMO, are balanced and really don't create a problem, its just I like consistency.

I would agree, the most accurate way for hackers would probably be what you mentioned, two rolls. One based on the attribute + skill for the setup and a second based on system + program for the execution.

Seeing that a comm's system effectively only limits the rating of the program being run, I didn't find it too much of a leap to make the program just limit successes on a test. I guess the biggest reason that I use the system the way I do is drawing a further conclusion on what you said:

This may seem unfair to players with high attribute and low skill. It may also seem unfair to players whose commlinks have high system and low program. A good system does not make a crappy program work better, and when you are dealing with UNIX, there is no substitute for skill.

While I agree that a crappy program won't work better on a good system and skill is important with UNIX, I see a hackers attribute allowing a character with the same skill, to better utilize the same level program. Its a fine line between whether that is actually the skill or the attribute, which is why I like to factor both in.

So to me, comparing a program at 3 to 6 rating, having the potential to score three more hits (my current method) versus having three more dice (RAW), is close to the same, with my current method allowing me to factor in an attribute as well, all into one roll. System is already factored in, as it limits the program rating. So, in my method, all four factors, which we both agree on, are being used. Whereas in RAW, Logic, doesn't factor in at all. Plus, seeing that just happens to be the way (skill + attribute) every single other test works in SR4, I am happy to make that change in my games.
De Badd Ass
QUOTE (deek)
I see a hackers attribute allowing a character with the same skill, to better utilize the same level program. Its a fine line between whether that is actually the skill or the attribute, which is why I like to factor both in.

The question then becomes will a genius (Logic 6, skill 1) outperform the average UNIX Pro (Logic 3, skill 3).
deek
QUOTE (De Badd Ass)
QUOTE (deek @ Oct 6 2006, 02:55 PM)
I see a hackers attribute allowing a character with the same skill, to better utilize the same level program.  Its a fine line between whether that is actually the skill or the attribute, which is why I like to factor both in.

The question then becomes will a genius (Logic 6, skill 1) outperform the average UNIX Pro (Logic 3, skill 3).

Not completely...don't forget to factor in the program rating.

The genius with 7 dice vs. UNIX Pro with 6 dice are pretty equal, really. Seeing I also use skill caps, in this example, the genius is only ever going to get a total of 2 successes, whereas the UNIX Pro can get up to 4. Therefore, neither of them would be able to fully utilize a program rating above 4.

Because the program rating is a cap, "outperforming" still has a lot to do with the program. A program 6 is a program 6, its really just a comparison on which one of these two could fully utilize the program...since neither of them can get more than skill + 1 successes, we are only ever talking about how many dice they can throw.
Cognitive Resonance
QUOTE (wilcoxon)
If I ever GM SR4 (instead of play), I think I'll just make hacking attribute+skill+program (and tweak thresholds).

I like that. That'd make a lot of sense, script kiddies can get into a lot just with program+skill, but the best of the best will be using stat of the art program, problem solving ability, and tons of knowledge about computers. And they will be pulling off the biggest jobs.
Cognitive Resonance
After re-reading everything, I think the conclusion is that we need a steep SOTA for exploits. Basically this sovles the attribute problem because you have to make checks to upgrade your code. Also it is very realistic because the code that was amazing half a year ago isn't worth anything today.


(I also like the idea of patched vs unpatched nodes, and zero day exploits.)
Suitcase Murphy
Going back to what was mentioned earlier about needing brains to write the scripts but not neccessarily to use them, there's a rather different fix that could be made if this is truly problematic: make the Software skill useful. If it becomes faster to write software than it is right now - significantly so - and you tweak the system such that doing so will allow you to raise your power level, people will care about attributes again.

Fast SOTA degradation combined with shorter software intervals would accomplish this, as would moderate SOTA degradation combined with significant Availability restrictions on programs. This would make it so that the difference between a powerhouse character and a starting one is in their software suite, and so that an intelligent hacker could upgrade said suite much more cheaply and efficiently.
Cognitive Resonance
QUOTE (Suitcase Murphy)
Going back to what was mentioned earlier about needing brains to write the scripts but not neccessarily to use them, there's a rather different fix that could be made if this is truly problematic: make the Software skill useful. If it becomes faster to write software than it is right now - significantly so - and you tweak the system such that doing so will allow you to raise your power level, people will care about attributes again.

Fast SOTA degradation combined with shorter software intervals would accomplish this, as would moderate SOTA degradation combined with significant Availability restrictions on programs. This would make it so that the difference between a powerhouse character and a starting one is in their software suite, and so that an intelligent hacker could upgrade said suite much more cheaply and efficiently.

If you wanted to make it like the real world, you could make coding very fast, and debugging very slow, and keep the same times.
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