Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: A cyberterminal and a cellular phone network
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
I've seen a fair few movies with the kind of semi-gritty/semi-hollywood surveillance thriller aesthetic use this. In the Bourne trilogy, Enemy of The State, and a whole lot of similar movies, some computer whiz will whip out a pocket computer, plug it into some-ones shiny SOTA telephone and engage in some light hacking or information searching. I would like to see more of this in SR3. I've had a quick look at the cellular link rules in Matrix third, and I'm not sure if it's what I want.

I like the idea of the mobile hacker, not to the point of using the SR4 ruleset. I like the SR3 Matrix (we all have our quirks, right?). It's restrictive that the decker either has to be at home (inadvisable when the trace leads a squad of heavies outside your door ASAP), or have to B&E some-one' home telecom or maybe slice a fiber optic trunk and spoof MSP account. Of course there's the one that is just mechanically awful for at least one character. Babysitting the decker under the desk in the corp research office while he rolls dice and talks to the gamesmaster, who occasionally asks you what side of your mouth you chew the gum on.

But I digress. With the advancement of wireless/cell/radio etc. technology in the sixth world (hell by the early 60's we've heard of the Transys/Erika wireless matrix initiative, but that's a whole new system. Matrix 2.0) I see no reason why it's not common amongst Shadow techs and every remotely tech savvy spook.

I imagine it at a stressful negotiation with a Johnson. The decker, from where-ever he chooses to sit, whether it be next to the rest of the team at the meeting booth, in a separate booth, maybe even standing in the corner if he takes to RAS Override like a horse standing asleep, decides to do a quick search. He lays his deck down on the table and jacks it into his cellular wristwatch/handset/pda/headware radio/headware telephone and sleazes the airwaves with a hacked account over the (most likely)"previously owned telecommunications device". Punching out onto the Sea-Tac grid from the phone companies host he has a few options. Maybe he decks back through the Armadillo's cheap slave node and accesses a camera in the bar, checking the parking lot for extra hired gunsels, maybe disabling a white noise generator/surveillance counter-measures so that something can be clandestinely recorded or observed to confer a later advantage.

Maybe our man forget's the bar node and decides to dig up some leverage in the form of behind-the-name info on our Mr. J. This could be done in the normal way, by racing about the matrix referencing and cross-referencing, but depending on how we rule it, that could take HOURS that you just don't have. So maybe this electron cowboy decides to take advantage of this beautiful wavecom technology yet again and hit the Johnson's PDA/Cellphone. This might be tricky, if he hasn't called you with it throughout your business relationship, but maybe he has. Incoming message? "We're out of cat food, and don't get the dry stuff. Minerva only likes the best, honey" Oops, could "Martha" Ingvald be his wife? He did look a little bit like a Pole I once knew, and where was that message from? A home telecom? Could our friendly neighborhood Johnson live at this 22B Lenora St, Downtown Seattle?

-"Hey Silvertongue, you know your boyyyy-friend, the one you're in the heated argument with about some "double-cross" or something? He's not being very understanding! Anyway, I didn't mean to pry into your close relationship, but did you know he has a WIFE!? What a cad! Anyway, in-case you or he were interested, I pulled a Martha Ingvald, 22B Lenora St, that's just around the corner, isn't it?"

Ok, in game, a decker could probably have done one of those many things with luck, the right gear on hand and chill talent, but it's interesting to consider. And yes, most of that could have been done from the decker's doss. But there's some cool strategies in it. I like the idea of being inside a target, riding the waves outside of the location, riding the wires back in from the grid and messing around.

For example, imagine you're making your way through a train station after a run in Atlanta hoping to catch a maglev out of dodge with your tech and deck in your shoulderbag. Your impressive fake SIN and forged licenses for the deck and computer gear got you through with null perspiration. But things are about to get a little edgier. You receive line on your pager. "I know Aunt Connie's gone now, but she's watching over you as we speak, try not to take it too hard." Oh shit, the CAS Fed's are crawling the place. They're not as slick as they think, and some of them still think they have to hold their finger to their ear for their earbuds connected to that shiny cell phone on their belt to work, but it's Big Brother that has you worried, and there's at least a dozen eyes scanning your path through . You find a blind spot quickly enough, maybe inside a photo-booth or arcade game. Luckily you're a drek-hot decker. You and your toys are worthy of a large scale CAS operation, so you're going to try your best to give the team of at least a dozen cowboys who have commandeered the station's security system's and are watching the monitors and directing the muscle.

The photobooth isn't wired into the the station system, and you haven't prepared any cellular links to access points or optic trunks, but your cellphone has a beautiful bandwidth and a lead jack. If you're running full DNI (A hot decker probably would) you wouldn't even have to remove your deck and phone from your backpack, as long as you've got them wired together. The line is clean but how are you going to get into the system, even if you can weave back to the Atlanta Telecommunications Grid, or even the station public system, how do you get through into a closed circuit system? Well if the fed's are doing it, and this little fiction paints you as Fastjack incarnate, you do as the romans do. Let's say the feds communications overwatch is a moving operation, say a converted bus, a semi-trailer rig (ala Die Hard 4) or even a big enough helicopter. They're getting co-operative assistance from the shlubb manning those cctv's, and he's patching the slave node operation (the camera) into their op vehicle over some sort of wavecom. Being the genius you are though, you noticed those feds out on the crowded terminal floor were all carrying that shiny new Renraku phone. So you interrogate the Atlanta communications grid, find the carrier that most of these new pieces are broadcasting on and Decept your way up the lines and into the op vehicle's systems. It'd be foolish to try and take on a federal team directly, especially in their own system and over a cell (which of course doesn't match up to an optic cable), so you ride into the stations security system, load your impressive Crash utility and just take the whole Slave down. Oops.

So the cameras go blank for about eight seconds while quaint sixth world expletives are thrown, coffees are spilled on laps, and the boys looking down the lines get the feed back up. Luckily that's all you need to cross the crowded floor and board your train. Oh, why didn't the muscle pick you up? some-one caused some sort of electrical feedback loop in one of the photo-print booths and the whole thing went up in flames, not to mention the neighbouring t-shirt stand.

As for the discussion, I'm not trying to make Deckers omnipotent in every situation. I would like some stable systems for doing this kind of thing under the SR3 Matrix rules. And by "this kind of thing" I mean rewarding deckers for using the wired world of the pre-70's (because we know that wireless networks, cellular nets and radio communications didn't begin with SR4 and the 70's).

I've seen some very cool Matrix solutions on dumpshock, from elegant CCSS system conversion systems and cyberdeck components to the Revised Operations/Utilities that were brought together when SR3R was still here (which I use). I'm almost sure we even had an attempt at SR3 wireless with the SOTA:65

I'm deadly tired at the moment, so I hope you'll excuse the rant, and I look forward to any contributions and discussion.
I run the cellular link hardware as capable of running with the mobile network if you have spoofed an account with the telecom. As such you can run from anywhere in the sprawl with network coverage with the same risk of trianglulation to pinpoint you. The usal 100mp download/upload is in force. For me the cellular link piece of hardware is interchangeable with high end mobile phone, to a point. A rating 8 link would be custom built modem affair.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012