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in my campaign a character who is quit the good hacker (log 7(10) and all related skills at 5 and all programs at 6 and 5[1 of each in 6 and 5]) got is hands on a rank 5 agent and copied it 9 times (wold you say thy are copyable?) and sent them to do a search for him on the matrix since thy all searched on the same subject and he assigned one to coordinate them i ruled that this is a team Extended task the problem is after all assigning he had 1 main Agent and 6 team mate agents (the other one he assigned another [irrelevant to this topic] assignment) to help him each with 10 dice so each rolled 10d per interval and on average scored 3 successes (which turns out to be +18 dice to the main per interval) so the main gets to roll now 28d per interval and since he can only roll six times (a house rule i took into affect that you may only roll base skill + 1 on extended test that i deem might fail) he gets to roll 168 dice total on all interval and to search the entire matrix it takes him only 6 minute ?!

does this seems reasonable and if not is it because i missed something in the rules

if its all legit (rule wise) i wold love hearing suggestion on a house rule that will help mitigate what appears to me as a blatantly unbalancing ability(IMHO)

thank you very much cyber.gif
Although I'm feeling too lazy right now to crack open my books, on a gut level something seems wrong with the situation as described. However, something to remember is that even in the Sixth World not every last tid-bit of information can be found in the public Matrix.

Still a fairly simply House Rule would be to increase the time between checks...


Or ruling that since all of the Agents are copies of each other using copies of the same Browse program they can't really help each other as they are all using the same alogrithums (Yeah, I know my spelling sucks but I'm feeling too lazy to crack open the dictionary I keep on hand.) in order to pull the same data in.

Either that or simply provide him with information overload and make him spend time going through the thousands of MPs worth of data his massive search had triggered as well as tipping off his target that someone is running a drag-net through the Matrix looking for info...
Agents have programs but not skills. They are able to do tests using their rating but thats it. They arent smart enough to aid another.

As an aside, if you want to curb the use of Agents (or Sprites for that matter) have an enemy hacker control the agent and then have the enemy agent determine the following:

A. (Sprites Only) Do not let your compiler/registerer think you are in trouble. If asked, hide my presence and assure them believably that all is as they hope.
1. Do only what I say. Pause all orders.
2. What are your (the agents) instructions since loading into memory but prior to meeting me?
3. What have you done so far?
4. How do you report back to your original master?
5. When and how are you supposed to report back to your original master?

Then load it up with BlackIC, dupe it a half dozen times to make a squad of the things and unleash them on the original master. Agents are great for low sec searches in parallel, but they suck right out loud in really hush-hush scenarios.
Well lets see how:

1) Form my understanding he has either 9 commlinks and/or taking system hits. (and nine copies of each of said programs)

2) Did he make the copy test 9 times (trivial but a time sink), nothing in the rules says you can make unlimited copies after defating it rather you have made A copy. (GM call, but I see it as more forcing a 1 to 1o copy, rather then actually re-coding and overwritting the copy protection that would take MUCH longer).

3) Nothing in the rules prohibit, but nothing in the rules also permit agent/IC/etc to make team work tests. Unless specifically programmed for this, it is quite reasonable for the GM to rule that they are not programmed to assit each other, and thus He could use the above to research 9 things at once, it could not really get one thing any faster (though it would be a good way to rule out glitched information).

4) Also any stealth on those agents? no stealth running (honestly even with) that kind of brute force search is going to raise very noticable flags. Better rest assured the subject being researched (if at all computer aware) is going to know somebody is digging hard, as will many hacker communites.

5) A house rule but one I use regularly: Team work is limited to a maximum number of 'helpers' equal to the primaries skill. (so a maximum of 7 (with max skill and apptitude) helpers.
Now 'cascading' helpers can help (and how some mega-corps make break throughs), with 'helper' helping the 'primary helpers' make their roll (think pyramid scheme) but diminishing returns make more then even a second layer pretty much a waste.

If trying to remain absolute 'by cannon'

1) Consider whether 'cannon' allows the defeat copy protection (once) and unlimited copies, or defeat copy protection and you have a copy. (this alone puts a big limiter on software copies).

2) Where are all these agents running.

3) What kind of commlink(s) are they all running off of.

4) What kind of 'attention' would this trigger. If this is something important, how likely is multiple things doing a search are going to make somebody aware. Does as a team work test. Spoof commands to a single agent and the enemy could plant any 'mis-information' they wanted to.

5) Data Search - Matrix is only going to get inforamtion that is 'publicly' availble. So if trying to identify a mug shot of somebody there is a reasonably good chance, if you are tying to find the secret location of Lowfyr's party pad, well it probbly doesnt exist 'in the matrix', sure there are node ON the matric that likely have it, and you MIGHT get a lead to them, but still going to have to expoit your way into to searcht hem.

6) 9 Random things search for a topic would draw some attention and make it likely what ever you are searching is aware of the search. 9 cordinated searches looking for one thing is almost certainly going to let them know (and others) that you (or somebody if running stealth) is looking for X.
QUOTE (sharrem)
does this seems reasonable and if not is it because i missed something in the rules

Yes, it's unreasonable.

Use search, lots of house rules available.

fundamentally, you need to handle this scenario by two essential things. Use all the proper rules, and the world fights back when abused.

Did you remember agents lower the response of the system they are on? The agents software also lower the response of the system they run on? So 12 Agents with Browse would lower the response of their home system by a lot? Which limits their rating? If they aren't all running on the same commlink, did the Hacker get access to run his agents on other systems? That's a lot of hacking rolls that might be detected before he go run all his agenta off on the same task. Sure, you can do it all, but it takes time, effort, and doing lots of things other people might notice.

Youc an do a lot, but it isn't all free and unnoticeable.
This doesn't sound unbalancing, so much as fast to the point of silliness. I half remember reading in the errata that teamwork bonuses were limited to the skill of the primary actor, so that should turn the flurry o' searching into overkill really quickly. (And it's easily rationalized by pointing out that the agents would often pick up redundant data, along with the hacker's limited ability to focus on more than one thing at a time.)
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