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Wakshaani
As usual, this is me trying to trot out something from my brain echos to try and make a little sense out of them and to make some guidelines for general use. This provides me teh ability to say "Teh section of twon you're going to is a '3', so, dress accordingly" and know that, say, the Troll won't trot out his full chrome spurs and then be upset when the police stop him. It also tries to explain how Shadowrunners can exist in a way that makes sense. (IE, the really good tech is expensive and in the hands of the well-off... common folks aren't as well protected, thus creating shadows to hide in)

Still early in the development cycle, tho, so, as always, I happily accept advice (and criticism).

That said, here's teh beta version for y'all to look over. (Anyone know good size headers, by the by? This board's sizes are different than my usual, so...)



Shadowrun Security Levels

In the Shadowrun universe, security ranges from the barrens, destitute and hopeless, where the streets aren’t safe to walk at night, to the corporate high-rises, full of the most advanced security gear, high-powered security guards, and magical shields. What kind of protection does the common man get, you ask? Well, wonder no more; presenting Wakshaani’s Security Levels. Feel free to comment, as usual.

The Scale

The Scale is a simple measuring metric in the 4th edition style, rating the local security conditions from one to six, along with suggested types of security features found in each level. Ratings of devices, skill levels of those involved in the area, and so on can be based on the security level as a handy shorthand. For example, in a Security Level 3 area, the Lonestar officers have Perception 3, Rating 3 SIN readers, Firewall 3 on their Rating 3 Commlinks, and so on.

Rating 1

Aka “The Bad Part of Town?, found in, for example, the Redmond Barrens. Rating 1 sections are basically not patrolled by law enforcement, but are visited, eventually, when a call comes in. Fifteen, twenty, even thirty minute delays between ‘emergency’ calls and reactions aren’t uncommon and the general feeling in these areas is that law enforcement simply doesn’t care. True security is provided by street gangs and/or organized crime. Technological sensors are all but unknown, with whatever few cameras that are placed being destroyed by gangers taking potshots soon after they are installed. On the positive side, Sin readers are uncommon and the economy is often cash based, since Commlinks and, indeed SINS, are a far cry from ubiquitous, making this an area many Shadowrunners call home. Matrix connections are spotty at best, while magical security is unknown.

Rating 2

aka “Most of town?. For the majority of city dwellers, this is the normal level of protection. Security is light, based more on societal norms and hope than any true protection, while crimes are dealt with by after the fact investigation, rather than active on-site battles. Patrols are rare, with many having never really noticed a patrol car in the area, but calls are answered in a matter of minutes. Panicbutton ™ is installed in every residence, while doors are given simple cardkey locks with a keyboard backup. In an apartment complex, there is an additional “Buzz up? system, with camera feed, to gain entrance to the building itself. Matrix security is minor, consisting of a simple firewall and encryption software, but most security comes from the sheer annonimity of such a place ... there’s not likely to be anything worth stealing and, even if there were, searching through millions of common nodes for the one with actual goods is so time consuming that it isn’t worth the time. Magical security is still unknown.
Cameras have decent coverage, but always some blind spots, and are focused more on businesses than the average citizen’s dwelling. Most cars are on GridGuide ™ and GridLink ™.


Rating 3

aka “The good parts of town?. Better neighborhoods, businesses, and low end corporate property falls into this category. Patrols are at least daily or nightly, with some areas getting a car every few hours. Cameras are in most areas, here, with every business being protected and homes that pay a bit extra having a security camera mounted to watch over them. Fully wireless, most locks are simply opened via commlink, but some still use a combination of cardkey and passcode. Biometric locks are uncommon, but not unknown, used more at the managerial level than at a store level. Law enforcement is usually able to respond in under three minutes, even less in aeas that pay a bit extra for a ‘ready’ car, and while after-crime investigation is key, on-site prevention is common enough to discourage bold crime. A person’s SIN will be checked at every transaction in these areas and, indeed, people are expected to keep a public broadcast as well ... running ‘silent’ in this area is reason enough to cause a stop and questioning, plus a SIN check. Racism starts to crop up at this level as well, with Orks and Trolls in particular feeling unwelcome and prone to on-site security watching them, more frequent law enforcement stops, and very little understanding should a SIN check come back inconclusive.

Matrix defense at this level tends to be as strong as the average person will encounter. Not only are systems firewalled and data encrypted, but white ice, such as data bombs or traces, are employed. Law enforcement will furthermore investigate matrix crime at this level, meaning that those who leave a trail could be in for some trouble. Matrix-reliant businesses will usually have an on-site decker during certain shifts as well while most other businesses will not. Magical security is limited to simple wards in most businesses, but magical themed businesses will also have bound elementals or have a magician on-call.

Rating 4

At this level, the real Shadowrunners are separated from the wannabes. Gated communities, well-protected corporate communities, large businesses, and more all fall under this level of protection. Law enforcement patrols are seen hourly and, furthermore, on-site protection is the norm, while commlinks and biometrics link every device. No angle is left uncovered by cameras and additional security systems, such as cyberware scanners, are posted at chokepoints or entranceways. SINs are checked automatically not only at an entranceway but inside the building as well, to verify peopel are who they claim. Running silent can be done, but, again, will attract questions from on-site security who, at the least, will be discrete about such things. In emergencies, law enforcement can be called in under one minute, in general, if only for light drone and helicopter overwatch until officers can arrive. In addition to cameras that provide near total coverage, roving drones patrol known blind spots, with additional sensors, such as pressure-sensitive grids behind security walls, being rare but not unknown. “The good part of town? requires security to be unobtrusive as well as effective, making it easy for a ‘runner to be caught unawares.

Matrix security is top notch, with white and grey IC and off-site Decker security on call, or on-site in the case of matrix-themed businesses. Magical warding is standard, plus either on call magicians or bound spirits, while magical-themed businesses always sport bound spirits
and an on-site magician.

Rating 5

Rarely seen by most people, this represents cutting-edge security found in important corporate offices or the wealthiest citizenry. The only communities given this level of protection are arcologies, otherwise concentrating on blocks, homes, or building complexes. Security is always on site, with rapid response teams as well, with genetic scanners taking the place of biometrics... finding homes that respond to pre-keyed settings based on the person last to enter are the norm. Running ‘silent’ in these areas is strictly forbidden and usually results in a detainment, if not flat-out arrest. Extraterritorality is commonplace at this level, meaning a whole new set of rules to follow. Matrix security is air-tight, with an on-site decker at all times while Matrix-themed businesses will have three man teams on-site and black IC. Magical security includes seriously powerful warding, an on-site magician at all times, several bound spirits, and, for magic-themed businesses, ritual teams and free spirit protection as well. Spiders running entire buildings, odorless and colorless gases, and the latest security found for sale will all be found at this level. Approach with extreme caution.

Rating 6

The sky’s the limit, chummer. Squads of on-site security, backed with rapid response teams, military grade weaponry, personal elite bodyguards, you name it, they have it. The Matrix is locked tight, magical security is through the roof, and, in truth, in less you have some inside influence, you just aren’t getting in there. The most vital of corporate offices, secret R&D labs, the home of a billionaire ... it’s what safety’s all about.

There are two other levels that should be noted, but aren’t standard.

Rating 0

The infamous Zero Zones, there’s no security in these areas other than what you make. Anarchy rules and the strong take what they want. Law enforcement doesn’t enter these areas but does man the border, to keep people from escaping. You’re on your own. On the plus side, no one will come looking for you.

Rating 7

Found only at delta clinics, corporate headquarters, the White House, the Zurich Orbital, and similar unique locations, security is beyond tight or modern. If you’re not a Prime Runner, don’t even consider it. Black IC is on everything, you have a cadre of physical adepts as a personal guard, and you may very well have a Great Dragon handling your astral security. Life, as they say, is good, and you, good sir, don’t have to share it with anyone.








Synner667
Looks good.

Would a Rating 0 area be what used to be called a De-Militarized Zone [DMZ]...
...Or could it refer to one of the Free ones ??

How about expanding it...
...Safety, weapon tolerance, etc - then you could have an area rated as 666 !!


Rating 1-6 is much better when it means something [I thought there was something similar to this in the one of the SR books, but I can't find it]...
...And has to be almost logarithmic in nature [big increases between what the numbers represent], rather than a rubbish linear scale [small increase between what the numbers represent].
nezumi
There already is a rating system like this, AAA-F. I'll sit down and map it more precisely once I get my 'first' in.
imperialus
Also there might be confusion between your 0 zone and a Zero Zero Zone which is the highest security available. Zero Zero stands for "Zero Penetration, Zero Survival"
nezumi
First note, I believe the official term already used is 'Security Zones', since it refers to a geographic region. Might be wrong on that, however.

QUOTE (Wakshaani @ May 15 2008, 07:30 AM) *
Ratings of devices, skill levels of those involved in the area, and so on can be based on the security level as a handy shorthand. For example, in a Security Level 3 area, the Lonestar officers have Perception 3, Rating 3 SIN readers, Firewall 3 on their Rating 3 Commlinks, and so on.


This is a neat idea, although I worry it's a bit ineffective. After all, in your 'rating 1' area, there aren't cops with 1 in all attributes, rather there are gangers with 2-4 in most attributes. On the flip side, in your rating 6 zone, they don't have 6 in all attributes, they have 10s. More importantly, in your Zone 1 there are 0 cops (or if there are cops, they're traveling in a huge convoy with tanks and air support). In zone 6 cops are pretty common, and if there's a commotion you can assume there will basically be hundreds of cops and cop-owned gear available in short order.

QUOTE
Rating 1

Aka “The Bad Part of Town?, found in, for example, the Redmond Barrens.

These bad areas are measured as 'Z' - no police support, no public services. Worse than just Z (as in in the middle of a ghoul nest) is ZZ or ZZZ. I've never seen an area labelled as ZZZ however, since presumably those places just get carpet bombed.

QUOTE
Rating 1 sections are basically not patrolled by law enforcement, but are visited, eventually, when a call comes in. Fifteen, twenty, even thirty minute delays between ‘emergency’ calls


From what I've read (and this may have changed in SR4) this isn't the case. Response in a Z zone is 0 - never. The exception is if you're a very, very important fellow, in which case they'll send in a LOT of gear. Basically Z zones are held by the gangs or whatever nasty critter is in there, and they don't like Lone Star interference (but DO like Lone Star equipment!) Cops are shot on sight. Docwagon of course is more likely to be tolerated, since DW doesn't involve itself in gang-feuds and works very, very hard to avoid pissing anyone off.

Otherwise seems right.

QUOTE
Rating 2

aka “Most of town?.


This sounds like C zone. You described it basically perfectly. Response time is generally around 15 minutes, if memory serves.

You are, however, missing D zones - zones on the edge of Z zones. Not quite the barrens, but pretty lousy. Response time is up to half an hour, lots of gang activity and so on. Basically as bad as it can get while still receiving public services.


QUOTE
Rating 3

aka “The good parts of town?.


This is a B zone. Again, described pretty well.

QUOTE
Rating 4
At this level, the real Shadowrunners are separated from the wannabes.


A zone.

QUOTE
Rating 5
Rarely seen by most people, this represents cutting-edge security found in important corporate offices or the wealthiest citizenry.


At this point you're blurring the line between AA and AAA zones. AAA are basically controlled arcologies and the really-super-wealthy areas, while AA are generally just the business areas, where they don't want anything to happen, but they're not going to be crazy about blowing money on super giant drones or the like. The details on an AA versus AAA zones are really up to the GM, but if you read the Lone Star source book, you'll never be tempted to run in either ever again.

QUOTE
Rating 6
The sky’s the limit, chummer. Squads of on-site security, backed with rapid response teams, military grade weaponry, personal elite bodyguards, you name it, they have it. The Matrix is locked tight, magical security is through the roof, and, in truth, in less you have some inside influence, you just aren’t getting in there. The most vital of corporate offices, secret R&D labs, the home of a billionaire ... it’s what safety’s all about.


At this point you're moving beyond the standard zones. Really, can you imagine any communities like this? At this point you're quickly moving beyond even military bases. The lower end of this is AAA (super drones and FRTs ready for immediate response), but you're going to the next level with secret R&D labs. These aren't 'zones', and so the normal rules don't really apply. There is no average response time because the billionaire's house is not set up under even the same paradigm as the corporate offices. Trying to say they're equal implies a false comparison, which can ultimately be confusing or misleading.

QUOTE
Rating 0
The infamous Zero Zones, there’s no security in these areas other than what you make.


Z/ZZ

QUOTE
Rating 7
Found only at delta clinics, corporate headquarters, the White House, the Zurich Orbital, and similar unique locations, security is beyond tight or modern.


Like I said, this doesn't really apply for zones because it's basically off the scale. This includes only a handful of locales, most of which share only a single similarity between them; runners don't belong there.
JeffSz
Where are you getting these AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, Z, ZZ, ZZZ zoning guidelines from? Me WANTS! nyahnyah.gif
nezumi
They've been in use at LEAST since 2nd edition. I believe every book on Seattle since basically the beginning has referred to it and, as I said, the Lone Star sourcebook has specific stats on response times and nature of that response is based solely on the security zone.
Wakshaani
Yup, the AAA, AA, and so on things have been around for ages, but, they were more nebulous. I figured taht, since we're mapping things to the 1-6 scale (generally) these days, a similar scale would work as an 'Update' to the old letter codes.

And, yes, the Rating 6 locations just wouldn't really be around in most cities, save New York or DC, as that level of lockdown is huge. Heck, even the Renraku Arcology was probably only a 6 on certain floors. Then again, it started at a 3 down in teh shopping mall-like lower areas, dropped back to a 2 in the low-level housing for employees (Rather than the "Look shiny!" public access areas), then scale up as you moved up, with level 6 Black Labs and CEO levels.

And, yeah, the "Double the level for ratings" falls apart a bit at the lowest levels, but it's still good for a *general* reference. Public access terminals in a Rating 1 zone (Such as the Redmond Barrens) would be little rinky-dink rating 1 things if they even worked, being behind the SOTA and mistreated, while the better parts of town feature more generic 2's and 3's.

As I expand it, I'll have it split up into "Neighborhoods" and "Buildings", to make more sense.

As for the Rating 0 areas, there're a few of them out there ... Anarchist Berlin, for example, was a ZZZ section, Chicago's Shattergraves, I believe Neo-Tokyo has a "Rumble Road" type area, and, of course, Philadelphia's own Zero Zone, which is, clearly, different than the "Zero-Zero" corporate high security thing. Rating 0 areas are lawless wildlands that you just don't want to go to. Tehy aren't neccessarily BAD, just lawless... deep Alaska or the Australian Outback might well qualify, simply because there's nothing out there. By and large, however, they're walled-off areas filled with chaos and not at all fun.
JeffSz
Huh... I thought "Barrens" areas -were- zero zones with no law. I'm confused as to the different types of areas now.
Wakshaani
No, Barrens (Well, the Redmond Barrens) are similar to, say, Compton today ... known "Problem areas" with sloooow emergency response, bad media coverage, and so on. They're not THAT dangerous, but it's easy to feel that way. Most gangs are the "Sit on a porch and talk trash" style, not actual gunfighters.

A Zero Zone looks more like LA during the riots or Devil's Night in Detroit, but all the time. You know Lord Humongous from the Road Warrior? Things like THAT.
imperialus
QUOTE (Wakshaani @ May 15 2008, 09:22 PM) *
No, Barrens (Well, the Redmond Barrens) are similar to, say, Compton today ... known "Problem areas" with sloooow emergency response, bad media coverage, and so on. They're not THAT dangerous, but it's easy to feel that way. Most gangs are the "Sit on a porch and talk trash" style, not actual gunfighters.

A Zero Zone looks more like LA during the riots or Devil's Night in Detroit, but all the time. You know Lord Humongous from the Road Warrior? Things like THAT.


I'd argue that. If you look at just about every description of Redmond since the first Seattle sourcebook it's clear that law enforcement is a foreign concept. Unfortunately I lent out my orriginal Seattle book so I'll have to use New Seattle and Runner Havens to make my point:

QUOTE (New Seattle)
The Barrens are the dark underbelly of the Seattle metroplex. In the Barrens the law has no meaning, and your rights extend only as far as the range of your weapon. We shadowrunners flourish in the deep shadows of these blighted districts€”the standard of living€™s not too high, but the price is right and the atmosphere suits what we need to do. Law enforcement doesn€™t much care what goes on in the Barrens, and the corps only mess with you if you mess with them or theirs. All in all, a very conducive place to do biz € if you can stand the surroundings.


QUOTE (Runner Havens)
Redmond is the physical embodiment of urban decay. A partial meltdown of the Trojan-Satsop power plant in southeast Redmond back in 2013 contaminated Beaver Lake and other areas for kilometers around (now known as Glow City), spurring many Redmond residents to flee to safer pastures. In 2029, the first Crash collapsed the computer industry that was once so central here, throwing the district€™s economy and government into ruin. Remaining residents and businesses fled, while homeless squatters moved in. Eventually the Metroplex government ceded defeat and left the district to the wolves.


Puyallup is even more fun.

QUOTE (New Seattle)
Only a few parts of Puyallup can be considered €œsafe.€? Lone Star still patrols Puyallup City, a nice clean little enclave kept afloat with Mafia money, but they leave the rest of the district to fend for itself. The elven ghetto of Tarislar, packed with thousands of Tír Tairngire expatriates isn€™t too rough, either€”the elves actually pay Knight Errant to keep the peace, and the Laésa keep things quiet too. Sperethiel is the dominant language there, and children that grow up there learn English as a second language, if they learn it at all.


QUOTE (Runner Havens)
Today, Puyallup is a thousand square kilometers of abandoned buildings, squatter camps, metahuman ghettos and black lava fields that stretch as far as the eye can see. In the shadow of Mount Rainier, Puyallup lives under the constant threat of new eruptions and new devastation. Industry (such as it is) has been slow to recover; only a few heavy-industrial corps have been attracted by the cheap land and scant enforcement of environmental codes. Their factories generally add to the gray haze that hangs over the district.


These are areas of the city where 'eaten by ghouls' is a common cause of death. They are not Compton on a bad day by any stretch of the imagination. Most of Redmond and Puyallup don't get power, water, or other basic nessesities of urban living unless they steal it. There is no garbage collection, traffic lights, or sewage system, nevermind police presence. They are urban hell to the n'th degree. If you're going to compare them to anything that actually exists try a Favela in Rio. It'll be closer to the mark.
imperialus
Also one thing to remember about the Barrens is a complete and total lack of public services and overcrowding. According to New Seattle Redmond has a population of 498,000 crammed into 436 square KM. This gives it a population density of 1142+ per square KM. This may seem rather low, after all Mumbai has a population density of 29,650 per square KM but that's only counting SINners. I'm comfortable at least doubling, if not tripling the population density to take the SINless into account. This gives us a final number of 3426 per sq KM. This puts it on par with modern day Vienna so I'll use it as my example.

Now imagine for a moment if all of a sudden all construction and public works just stopped in Vienna tomorrow. Not a big deal in the short term but we'll come back to it later.

Now a few months later garbage collection stops. Now we start running into problems. The big dumpster in my condo complex that serves 35 units gets emptied twice a week and it's usually pretty full. If for some reason the garbage collectors miss a day garbage quickly starts piling up around the dumpster itself and overflowing off the top. If for some reason service was interrupted temporally (city worker strike or some such) it wouldn't be a huge deal especially if people only used the dumpster to throw out perishables and just stashed stuff like foam packing material and the like in their basements for a while. If it's a permanent situation though thing's will get ugly fast.

Then a month or two after the garbage collection stops people are starting to notice that potholes arn't getting fixed, the cops aren't coming around so much and it's really starting to stink. Then all of a sudden power and water get cut. No one has illegal taps or anything like that yet, there's been no need so all of a sudden you can't get water to boil your raman noodles, take a shower or perhaps most importantly flush the toilet. Humans produce a lot of waste and that needs to get dealt with. Pretty quick people begin dumping 'nightsoil' outside windows just like 500 years ago, except things are a lot more crowded than they were then. Disease breaks out. Things begin spiraling out of control. To add an extra twist of insanity the grocery stores start closing shop. With now power they can't keep food fresh long enough to sell it. People start fighting over essentials. They begin burning things to stay warm and cook their food. Gangs begin to form. The cops come in to try and arrest the leaders but they get beaten back. Riots break out after a food agency truck is attacked.

If after 40+ years where nothing gets done, the city will literally begin falling apart. Buildings are almost like living things. They need care and maintenance to stay healthy. The larger buildings will be the first to suffer. Floors will collapse, pipes will leak, fires will break out especially if they've already been damaged by rioting. This will further increase overcrowding since people can't occupy the buildings designed to cope with the highest densities. The cycle will continue until you're left with what would be best described as hell on earth.
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