Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Program Degradation
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Pages: 1, 2
JFixer
Am I reading this right? Your legal programs have a subscription cost, at 10% of the buy price of the program, which makes them not degrade. Illegal (hacking) programs, for which there are MANY MORE... require you to buy a new copy every month to keep them up at six, thus costing about, oh, 6k every month to maintain the highest standard of programs?

Adarael
Sometimes, certain rules are just best ignored.
Lyonheart
Take a Wares group as a rating 6 contact, You patch one, they patch 6 for you. I also like the open source rules, then your programs are all free, as in Beer.

The real question is why you paid for them in the first place...

Your a hacker...

Hack...

The rule only people the rule really hurts is teams that where trying to get buy without a hacker
Rad
Or you can assume the hacker is patching them him/her(it?)self during downtime.

Also, pretty much any program that doesn't have a forbidden availability is considered to be legal and registered by default. They get the Registered and Copy Protection program options for free--which means no degradation. Dunno where you're getting that 10% subscription cost from, though I vaguely remember reading something about it. I think that's supposed to be subsumed in the character's lifestyle costs.
Coldan
First of all, you don't need to pay 10% of your legal programs cost just to maintain them. They don't degenerate at all, the subscripton is allready paid when you buy the programs.
When you buy cracked programs, you will have to pay only 10% of the normal costs, but they degenerate. To keep them up, you will have to pay 10% of the difference of the cost of the wanted rating (maximal your former rating) and the cost of the current rating.

Well with every program at rating 6 you will pay about a solid lifestyle for it, but hey, you can also get the patches by hacking the update servers smile.gif
Ryu
Think of SOTA as "this is your problem, now deal". And then you get to be active in the hacker scene.

The few k¥ you need to keep your programs updated can be earned within a few hours by performing hacker services. Or you exchange code your hacker is creating all day, anyway.

Or you allow open source into the game (optional rule), and unimportant programs are left at rating 4. Less book-keeping, and finally an incentive to use less than rating 6/5.
JFixer
QUOTE (Coldan @ Jan 22 2009, 07:43 AM) *
Well with every program at rating 6 you will pay about a solid lifestyle for it, but hey, you can also get the patches by hacking the update servers


Yes, and this is just fine, but there are only, what eight programs that are legal to have an 'update server' for? No one does 'updates' on an illegal program. There are also employed spiders/hackers trying to find those networks you use for illegal code, to shut them down, and likely trying to hire shadowrunners to find them, and eliminate the danger to their system security.

So, yes, if you try to keep all your illegal programs at 6, you're looking at 4-7k a month. Good to know. I /did/ have a reason for a player to bother coding their own programs now though... shareware circles. You give your buddy your R6 Exploit, he gives you his R6 Stealth, and the other guy in the trade circle passes on his R6 Armor, and the FOURTH guy gives over his R6 Attack. These programs, because they're only being used by a handful of people instead of a group of 500+, degrade much less often, instead requiring a 1d6 roll each month to see if the rating or more is rolled, at which point the program drops one rating. Requires a contact group or group of hackers, and a reason for bothering to code your own trash.
Ryu
Seven legal programs. No SOTA degradation for legal copies, 1 rating point every two month for warez. If you maintain the software (and you should), you pay 7*(600-500)*10%=70¥, every other month, so 35¥/month

The main book has 15 hacking programs. No SOTA for "legal" copies, 1 rating point per month for warez. 15*(6000-5000)*10%= 1500¥.

Add a few agents (250¥ every other month at rating 6), and you pay maybe 2k¥ per month, and most of that can be shared with the rest of the group.

Where does the 7k¥-figure come from?
raggedhalo
Coldan's right. Legal programs (i.e. ones with the Copy Protection and Registration mods) update themselves automatically, for free, every month. But, because of the Registration, are pretty traceable and thus probably not what you want to use on a run.

Any pirated programs you own degrade at a rate of one point a month (if they're Hacking Programs) or every two months (if they're Common Use). It costs you 10% of the price difference between the current rating and the degraded rating to purchase a patch, assuming you have a suitable contact or spend some time Data Searching. Or you could program your own.

It's actually really very balanced, as your pirated programs only cost 10% of base cost to start with anyhow.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (JFixer @ Jan 22 2009, 06:46 AM) *
Am I reading this right?

No. Every software needs to be patched every month or two.

Software that is commercially bought and registered to a SIN is patched automatically. Meaning your identity is revealed by the software you use.

Selfwritten, free or cracked software need it patches written, or in the cracked cases, bought, hacked or spoofed.


The ones who suffer most from this rule are not hackers, but the average runner. Pretty much all of his gear runs software that he can't have registered to a SIN for obvious reasons. Now, look up to his bright options, calculate the time he'd need to invest to do so... and cry.
hobgoblin
fake sin is your friend.

and im not sure that degradation is supposed to be extended beyond the hacker tools...
Rotbart van Dainig
First off, the degradation rules in the current wording cover all software.
QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Jan 22 2009, 12:55 PM) *
fake sin is your friend.

No. Runner's need to be able to change their IDs - and if every piece of software you are running is telling another ID than the one you are currently sporting... not to mention you will be profiled by your software easily.
Fuchs
QUOTE (Ryu @ Jan 22 2009, 11:24 AM) *
Seven legal programs. No SOTA degradation for legal copies, 1 rating point every two month for warez. If you maintain the software (and you should), you pay 7*(600-500)*10%=70¥, every other month, so 35¥/month

The main book has 15 hacking programs. No SOTA for "legal" copies, 1 rating point per month for warez. 15*(6000-5000)*10%= 1500¥.

Add a few agents (250¥ every other month at rating 6), and you pay maybe 2k¥ per month, and most of that can be shared with the rest of the group.

Where does the 7k¥-figure come from?


Yes. My hacker's programs upkeep cost about 1600 Nuyen per month - not really a whole lifetyle. (And that lifestyle can be spoofed too.)
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Ryu @ Jan 22 2009, 11:24 AM) *
Where does the 7k¥-figure come from?

Add in skillsoft, firewall, system (per device model), pilot (per drone/vehicle model), autosoft, sensorsoft, the tacsoft...
Beetle
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Jan 22 2009, 07:26 AM) *
Add in skillsoft, firewall, system (per device model), pilot (per drone/vehicle model), autosoft, sensorsoft, the tacsoft...

I think you're micromanaging yourself or players into bankruptcy for optional rules.
Ryu
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Jan 22 2009, 01:26 PM) *
Add in skillsoft, firewall, system (per device model), pilot (per drone/vehicle model), autosoft, sensorsoft, the tacsoft...

I´m aware of the theoretical possibility, that´s why I asked what software the char in question has. smile.gif
raggedhalo
The only programs that degrade and/or can be bought as pirate software are Firewall, System/Pilot, Agents, Common Use programs and Hacking programs. Autosofts, skillsofts, knowsofts, tutorsofts, sensorsoft, tacnet etc. can't be pirated and don't need patching.
Larme
SOTA costs are just another way of saying "we have a big stiffie for magical characters, and mundanes can suck it." I'm happy with the hacker/techno balance the way it is, hackers have a lower cap on their abilities but they don't have to spend all their BP on hacking, so they can do more than one thing; TMs have to spend all their BP on technomancy, but will eventually surpass hackers. Hackers really don't need to be made worse to compensate anything... Degredation is simply simulationism, an attempt to pacify all the people who were furious about how streamlined the SR4 ruleset is.
JeffSz
Unwired is the only book I don't have yet (For some reason, my LGS got Ghost Cartels and Runner Havens for me long before Unwired...)

This SOTA cost thing scares me. I can't imaging trying to do all the book-keeping for a hacker's program subscriptions.

The "open source" optional rule sounds interesting, but am I correctly reading that Open Source programs are capped at rating 4? It's my experience that while some Open Source applications don't reach the featureset of their commercial counterparts, MOST such applications far surpass their commercial counterparts in functionality.

I would've just given my Hackers free software all along if their programs weren't so important and therefore worth as much build-point wise as spells and gear.


As to the OP: this Degredation rule can shove it. Monthly subscriptions suck nyahnyah.gif I couldn't do that to my players.
raggedhalo
QUOTE (JeffSz @ Jan 22 2009, 10:48 AM) *
I can't imaging trying to do all the book-keeping for a hacker's program subscriptions.


So don't. Get the hacker to do it instead. It's their damn character.

And anyway, it's really not very complicated or time-consuming. Works fine in my group.

QUOTE (JeffSz @ Jan 22 2009, 10:48 AM) *
The "open source" optional rule sounds interesting, but am I correctly reading that Open Source programs are capped at rating 4?


Yes. 5s and 6s are the absolute top end of commercially-available programs anyway, which is the kind of thing you probably can't get Open Source IRL.

QUOTE (JeffSz @ Jan 22 2009, 10:48 AM) *
As to the OP: this Degredation rule can shove it. Monthly subscriptions suck nyahnyah.gif I couldn't do that to my players.


The "monthly subscriptions" really aren't very much -- especially as you only have the "monthly subscriptions" for pirated software, which costs 10% of normal price anyway!
hobgoblin
im tempted to call "mountain out of a mole hill" on this whole topic...
Warlordtheft
QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Jan 22 2009, 10:07 AM) *
im tempted to call "mountain out of a mole hill" on this whole topic...


Ditto: I don't bother with it as A:Any hacker worth his salt could upgrade the programs on their own via contacts, or self improvement, or b:assume that if they have a lifestyle above a certain point, it includes subscription services, and I would think that the Warez groups doing the pirating would offer patching services to their clients.
paws2sky
For me, the whole issue boil down to bookkeeping and the desire to not have to mess with it. Back in the day, SOTA was optional... and I really feel like it should have stayed that way.

You know... I really, really wish the Open Source rule wasn't listed as optional. ohplease.gif

As it is, the group I was running didn't use Unwired anyway, so its a non-issue. For now.

The group I just joined (I finally get to play!) appears to be using everything, so I guess I'm going to have to deal with this eventually. I guess I need to ask of the GM is using Open Source or not.

-paws
Rehlor
QUOTE (Warlordtheft @ Jan 22 2009, 04:50 PM) *
Ditto: I don't bother with it as


It's surprisingly easy to say people are making too big a deal out of a thing when your response is to simply ignore it.
JoelHalpern
QUOTE (raggedhalo @ Jan 22 2009, 09:13 AM) *
The only programs that degrade and/or can be bought as pirate software are Firewall, System/Pilot, Agents, Common Use programs and Hacking programs. Autosofts, skillsofts, knowsofts, tutorsofts, sensorsoft, tacnet etc. can't be pirated and don't need patching.


How did you come to that conclusion?
As far as I can tell, the rules as written apply to all forms of software.
As one example, on page 108/109 it talks about which software, when purchsed, has the Copy Protection and Registration options. (These are the things you need to break to create cracked software.) It lists explicitly agents, autosofts, and skillsofts.

What you suggest is not an unreasoanble house rule. Particularly with regard to skillsofts. But I don't see any way to claim it is what Unwired said.

Joel
Larme
QUOTE (raggedhalo @ Jan 22 2009, 09:54 AM) *
So don't. Get the hacker to do it instead. It's their damn character.

And anyway, it's really not very complicated or time-consuming. Works fine in my group.



Yes. 5s and 6s are the absolute top end of commercially-available programs anyway, which is the kind of thing you probably can't get Open Source IRL.



The "monthly subscriptions" really aren't very much -- especially as you only have the "monthly subscriptions" for pirated software, which costs 10% of normal price anyway!


"It isn't very much" isn't that good of an argument. Why should anyone have to do more bookeeping, and pay more nuyen just to be a hacker? Name one good reason, other than realism. The game needs additional layers of complexity like Dick Cheney needs more helpless orphans to eat alive. Even if they're small layers of complexity, that's not a good reason not to ignore them as a waste of time.

TBH, I think the whole thing is just a clumsy way to try and "fix" Agent Smith. People were saying that you could pirate an infinite number of agents and an infinite number of progs for them, and then have an infinite botnet that could nuke the matrix 1000 times before breakfast. By making it so that pirated progs aren't upkeep free, that sort of makes the infinite priate progs idea fail. But I've got a better idea: Just tell your PCs "no agent smith because matrix 3 was fucking stupid, just buy your programs," and there you go.
hobgoblin
and i suspect that piracy was introduced in SR4 because people where wondering why software could not be copied when encryptioon was so easy to break.

i guess it proves that one can satisfy everyone...

me, im tempted to toss software fully to "fix" this. if only to get people to shut up...
Beetle
QUOTE (JoelHalpern @ Jan 22 2009, 11:20 AM) *
How did you come to that conclusion?
As far as I can tell, the rules as written apply to all forms of software.
As one example, on page 108/109 it talks about which software, when purchsed, has the Copy Protection and Registration options. (These are the things you need to break to create cracked software.) It lists explicitly agents, autosofts, and skillsofts.

What you suggest is not an unreasoanble house rule. Particularly with regard to skillsofts. But I don't see any way to claim it is what Unwired said.

Joel

I'm hoping the skillsoft and autosoft entry gets an errata correction and pulled out. I can't make any sense out of one month I have an expert skill in automatics and a couple months later I'm lucky if I don't blow my foot off because I got a copy of my buddy's program. *In terms of skillsofts, yes, I understand there is a balance reason to prevent the entire team buying a skillwire set and just pooling their money for skillsofts cracked by the hacker.* I just can't think of a good reason it works that way. I mean, what in two months time would make a Trailblazer autosoft detect and follow a trail worse than before? My little drone buddy suddenly can't spot the broken twigs and crumpled grass the boot of a Troll makes in the woods?

I really have zero problem with the degradation rules for Common Use and Hacking programs, makes a lot of sense to me for those purposes. Autosoft and skills softs? nope. I house ruled that little entry out. Luckily my players don't abuse it as they know I will come up with a fun (for me) way to screw with them.
GreyBrother
Beetle, think about it this way: Better software is programmed and sold, the SOTA rises, your program gets older and can't keep up with the new programs. It doesn't mean that your Encrypt 5 isn't breaking apart and falls down to 4, it's just not effective anymore compared to the new Encrypt 5. The numbers are just changed.
Coldan
Well, perhaps also some parts of the programs can't be run anymore. Look at the old DOS games, can you run them at Vista without special emulators? Now you upgrade your firmware of your skillwire system and some parts of your activsoft can't be run anymore. Ok, you can say: "I don't upgrade my firmware." Great, the hacker nearby you can just use the old exploit which don't really work anymore at your system, because it is a flaw at your firmware.

There are tons of possible reasons, why every software can degenerate in a world, where everything can change in an nanosec.
Dexim
If you really want to piss off the hacker, the latest patch or version of the code they purchase can be buggy or malware.

A lot of the rules in Unwired may make the game more realistic, but in the end, it's up to the GM whether they're part of the game or not. Given that in my group they rely on NPC hackers, I'm not about to penalize them for the programs they do have, since they're more interested in magic and missiles than the matrix.
Rad
One thing, where are people getting this -10% cost from for pirated software? I seem to remember it, but I've been up and down Unwired and can't find a damn thing about it. Then again, I can't seem to find the passage in the BBB about the "SINles Amnesty" program following the second crash anymore either...

One thing to keep in mind about the Registered vs Pirated thing is that most hacking programs aren't illegal--just restricted.

In fact, it seems the only software you can't get a legal, registered copy of (with the appropriate licenses and SIN), are malware programs, BTL's, and a couple of the software bundles. (Which is funny, since their components are all restricted, not forbidden.)

Even frigging Juhseung Saja, which black hammers you, hacks your link, reads your contact list, and then kills your entire family can be bought legally as a registered program, provided you have a license for black IC and hacking software. rotfl.gif

On a semi-related note, anyone gone over the costs for pre-packaged IC and noticed it doesn't follow the pricing scheme listed? At All?

The book says total cost of the package x 0.9, but the listed prices are so different I can't even reverse-engineer them to figure out how they got the costs that they did. Between that and the availability shifts I'm being reminded of the Cyberware Suites in Arsenal.
KCKitsune
What I want to know is why is your software is transmitting it's ID to everyone in range. I can understand software going online and getting updates, but you can set programs today to NOT automatically update. Otherwise, why get any regular software? Just buy cracked software after character creation.
Coldan
Unwired page 94, Downloading programs
There is mentioned, that your pirated software only costs 10% and also the rules about the patches.
Rad
It's not. Registered software makes it easier to track a person because the regular updates leave a datatrail. You can disable the Registration option if you want, but then the program degrades like every other non-registered copy.

You could turn off registration just while you're on runs, and then update all at once when you're back at your house, but it's still going to leave your comcode and SIN in the update server's registry, which makes it the first place to look when trying to track someone.
Dexim
QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Jan 22 2009, 11:18 PM) *
What I want to know is why is your software is transmitting it's ID to everyone in range. I can understand software going online and getting updates, but you can set programs today to NOT automatically update. Otherwise, why get any regular software? Just buy cracked software after character creation.


It isn't that the registered software is transmitting its ID everywhere, it's the fact that it is tied to a particular SIN, and when the program is run the system logs will show that the software is registered to that SIN. It just leaves a highly visible data trail, and makes it likely that it'll stop getting the free updates (and thus begin to degrade), and if used again, will likely be picked up and traced quickly.
KCKitsune
QUOTE (Dexim @ Jan 23 2009, 01:53 AM) *
It isn't that the registered software is transmitting its ID everywhere, it's the fact that it is tied to a particular SIN, and when the program is run the system logs will show that the software is registered to that SIN. It just leaves a highly visible data trail, and makes it likely that it'll stop getting the free updates (and thus begin to degrade), and if used again, will likely be picked up and traced quickly.


What if you have the SINner negative quality, but don't use hacking programs? How vulnerable are you?
Ryu
QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Jan 23 2009, 01:09 AM) *
and i suspect that piracy was introduced in SR4 because people where wondering why software could not be copied when encryptioon was so easy to break.

It´s a pretty good thing to have, this SOTA/piracy. Hackers who deal with it by paying need their head examined. Opt-in on Open Source, and everyone else goes for rating 4, also no book-keeping. (Besides: I don´t really get that complaint, at all. One jots down two numbers instead of one when buying softs, no biggie. No soft will ever be allowed to degrade, yes?)

My suspicion is that the rule is supposed to make hackers more affordable. No more 22 BP of ressources for commlink and programs, more money for hacking implants. If that wasn´t the intent, well, it still works that way.

QUOTE
i guess it proves that one can satisfy everyone...

me, im tempted to toss software fully to "fix" this. if only to get people to shut up...

While I get where you are coming from, that idea actually works. Slightly too little detail for me, but it works.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Ryu @ Jan 23 2009, 10:59 AM) *
It´s a pretty good thing to have, this SOTA/piracy.

Like Herpes.
raggedhalo
QUOTE (JoelHalpern @ Jan 22 2009, 12:20 PM) *
What you suggest is not an unreasoanble house rule. Particularly with regard to skillsofts. But I don't see any way to claim it is what Unwired said.


Just checked: Unwired limits the application of the Registration and Copy Protection things to Common, Hacking, Autosoft, Simsense. Hmm. Apparently I'm wrong. Bummer.

This came about because one of my players pointed out that it was really very odd for skillsoft programs to get out of date. Still, only Hacking programs degrade monthly; Common, Autosoft and Simsense degrade once every two months.

Apparently I houserule something I didn't realise I'd houseruled. Oh well!

QUOTE (Larme @ Jan 22 2009, 01:19 PM) *
Why should anyone have to do more bookeeping, and pay more nuyen just to be a hacker? Name one good reason, other than realism.


Because hackers (have the potential to) take up way more time than any single other character type and exclude most other characters while they do so. A little bookkeeping equalises things a bit.

Also it provides the opportunity for smartarse non-hackers who keep a suite of programs all at Rating 6 to discover that they've got a trojan and their commlink's now part of a proxy network for an elaborate money-laundering scam. At least in my games.

QUOTE (Larme @ Jan 22 2009, 01:19 PM) *
The game needs additional layers of complexity like Dick Cheney needs more helpless orphans to eat alive.


Precisely! Without additional complexity/orphans, Shadowrun/Cheney will soon discover their powers fading and will sink into obscurity. *grin*

QUOTE (Larme @ Jan 22 2009, 01:19 PM) *
Just tell your PCs "no agent smith because matrix 3 was fucking stupid, just buy your programs," and there you go.


I hate the GM-fiat approach to stuff. When your argument boils down to "because I say so" I feel like you've lost the cooperative nature of RPGing. I'd rather run my game like a constitutional monarchy than a benevolent dictatorship.

QUOTE (Rad @ Jan 23 2009, 02:17 AM) *
One thing, where are people getting this -10% cost from for pirated software?


Pg. 94, Unwired:

Downloading the program to your commlink or
terminal costs 10 percent of the street price of the program
(see Program Costs and Availability, p. 228, SR4).
Heath Robinson
QUOTE (Ryu @ Jan 23 2009, 09:59 AM) *
My suspicion is that the rule is supposed to make hackers more affordable. No more 22 BP of ressources for commlink and programs, more money for hacking implants. If that wasn´t the intent, well, it still works that way.

Word of God is, if I recall correctly, that you pay full normal price for Programs at chargen even if they're cracked. Y'know, it's this balance thing.
hobgoblin
QUOTE (Ryu @ Jan 23 2009, 10:59 AM) *
While I get where you are coming from, that idea actually works. Slightly too little detail for me, but it works.


the way i envision it is to give each comlink a response related pool of points.

these points are then allocated to tasks (stealth, firewall, attack and so on), acting as a kind of limiter on the number of dice rolled, or something like that.

agents will eat up points tanks to it needing them both for their own smarts, and for their internal "tasks", and only the controller can reallocate these.

botnets act like a pool enlarger, but when deployed risk having part of it shut down by GOD depending on how much of it one access (a botnets best bet for long term survival is to stay silent).

one can either freely allocate when performing a test, or take a action or reallocate. note that one cant set a default allocation that things will drop back to after a test (so if you borrow points from firewall or stealth to perform that uber-exploit, you better use a action to allocate things right back or you will be wide open when the IC come knocking).
Ryu
@Hobgoblin: An old post of mine. You could also have a look at Moon-Hawk´s system, which is really good at keeping things simple.

In the words of the man:
[ Spoiler ]
Beetle
QUOTE (GreyBrother @ Jan 23 2009, 12:50 AM) *
Beetle, think about it this way: Better software is programmed and sold, the SOTA rises, your program gets older and can't keep up with the new programs. It doesn't mean that your Encrypt 5 isn't breaking apart and falls down to 4, it's just not effective anymore compared to the new Encrypt 5. The numbers are just changed.

I understand that completely and have no issue of degradation of Common Use and Hacking Programs *see last part of my previous post* My issue is solely with autosoft/skillsoft suffering from degradation. To avoid repeating myself, just re-read my previous post. grinbig.gif

It's just that under any scenario I can come up with my head, degradation for auto/skillsoft makes no sense to me, at least in terms of the time line given. A couple of years, sure to a degree depending on the type, but a couple of months no. Say for example a Repair (Automobile) skillsoft is not going to make me less effective at turning a wrench, reading a volt meter or changing a timing belt in 1-5 months if I hacked it and gave it to my employees. Hell GM has been making the same damn 350 engine for over thirty years with very little modification. I may not have the patch for the latest Eurocar 3000 GT-R Spec V when it comes out, but I'll probably have the one for the Eurocar 3000 GT-R and can probably extrapolate the Spec V has bigger brakes, larger Turbos, different compression ratio, beefier suspension. I may not know off the top of my skillsoft/head what the exact parameters are, still doesn't mean I can't pull the thing out, poke around a minute and determine the turbo uses X psi at a certain RPM range. Of course I expect by 2070's the repair manual will be in a file on the ECU that's available when plugged into the appropriate device.
hobgoblin
QUOTE (Ryu @ Jan 23 2009, 02:15 PM) *
@Hobgoblin: An old post of mine. You could also have a look at Moon-Hawk´s system, which is really good at keeping things simple.

In the words of the man:
[ Spoiler ]


many minds think alike? wink.gif

in any case, it seems we all want to turn the hacking into more of a chess game. a question of continually wondering if one have ones defenses in order when going on the offensive.
Fuchs
QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Jan 23 2009, 11:25 AM) *
Word of God is, if I recall correctly, that you pay full normal price for Programs at chargen even if they're cracked. Y'know, it's this balance thing.


That doesn't work. You just save up 1200 Nuyen from chargen for the modifier and spend 5K on a medium lifestyle, and then you've got good odds to end up with enough nuyen to buy all the cracked programs you want with (4d6+12)x500 Nuyen starting money.
KCKitsune
@Hobgoblin & Ryu: How would a non-hacker protect himself? Right now I can load up on IC and while I may not be perfectly protected, I can get enough of a warning that I can turn off the wireless and shut the hacker out.
hobgoblin
QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Jan 23 2009, 02:46 PM) *
@Hobgoblin & Ryu: How would a non-hacker protect himself? Right now I can load up on IC and while I may not be perfectly protected, I can get enough of a warning that I can turn off the wireless and shut the hacker out.


allocate most resources to firewall and IC? maybe toss a automated analyze task in there for detection and warning.

for me its mostly a mental exercise, and not something i have really fleshed out. im still pondering things like encryption, specifically communication encryption (more resources allocated would result in better security, but the devil is as always in the details).
Larme
QUOTE (raggedhalo @ Jan 23 2009, 05:25 AM) *
QUOTE (Larme @ Jan 22 2009, 12:19 PM) *

Why should anyone have to do more bookeeping, and pay more nuyen just to be a hacker? Name one good reason, other than realism. T



Because hackers (have the potential to) take up way more time than any single other character type and exclude most other characters while they do so. A little bookkeeping equalises things a bit.


Duh... wha? Let me paraphrase that to make sure I understand your argument. 1) Hackers take up too much time. 2) Therefore, we should add bookeeping, so they take up MORE time. Like, seriously? That's the craziest thing I've ever heard. Hacking rules should be kept short and sweet if you don't want hackers to dominate game time. Remember that everything the Hacker does takes up GM time -- saying "I want to roll to hack the patch for my pirated prog" is a DETRIMENT to the other players, not an "equalizer." I agree with your first premise, but the logical conclusion to draw from it is that optional rules should be cut out in favor of streamlining the system. The hacker wants to take up extra time dealing with pirated programs and patches and shit? Too bad. Tell him to buy the programs at book price, or write them himself, and shut his gob.

QUOTE
Also it provides the opportunity for smartarse non-hackers who keep a suite of programs all at Rating 6 to discover that they've got a trojan and their commlink's now part of a proxy network for an elaborate money-laundering scam. At least in my games.


Well, if you're talking about springing random "consequences" on PCs just to torment them, then I'm against that. I think it's the hallmark of a bad GM. But if you mean plot-related things, that is you'd only trigger the trojan on them if you meant for it to lead to some action and adventure, then that's ok. But I don't think you need stupid bookeeping rules to do that, you can just handwave it. As long as it's a fun time, your PCs shouldn't complain.

QUOTE
Precisely! Without additional complexity/orphans, Shadowrun/Cheney will soon discover their powers fading and will sink into obscurity. *grin*


I think this is supposed to be a joke, but I don't exactly get it. All I hear is that you're saying more complexity = necessary for Shadowrun to stay afloat. I call bullshit on that one.

QUOTE
I hate the GM-fiat approach to stuff. When your argument boils down to "because I say so" I feel like you've lost the cooperative nature of RPGing. I'd rather run my game like a constitutional monarchy than a benevolent dictatorship.


I'd rather run my game like an author cooperatively writing a story than like a government of any sort. The hacker doesn't get to waste our time with extra bookeeping, why? Because that's a distraction from the plot, it has nothing to do with anything, it's just simulationist, techno-fetishist masturbation. If PCs complain about handwaving, you just have to tell them "settle down guys, this is leading somewhere interesting." The cooperative nature of RPGing is about the GM creating situations, and the players advancing the plot by roleplaying within those situations.

Now, I understand that there are GMs who cannot prevent themselves from doing everything they can to fuck the players in their cornholes, because they're sadists at heart. If you're one of those GMs, then by all means, stick to the rules. There are also players who think that the goal of the game is to "win" by beating the GM's NPCs, a la Dungeons and Dragons. If you have those kinds of players, you'd better stick to the rules by the letter. But IMO, if that's the gaming situation you have, D&D 4e is your game. Everything is pre-programmed, and everything is totally fair as long as you follow the rules, not much fiat required. But Shadowrun is not a game of quests and dungeon crawls, it simulates a living, breathing world which moves at a super-modern fast pace. Things escalate in ways that would be impossible in D&D, and for this reason it's impossible to have a fair relationship between the players and GM. Even if you follow every rule, the GM can always win, so adversarial playing is a complete waste of time. You have to start off, from the beginning, realizing that the bad stuff that happens to the players is an obstacle to overcome which is supposed to create fun, not a vessel for the GM's sadism. If people can't get past that, then I think they're in the wrong game.
Dexim
QUOTE (Larme @ Jan 23 2009, 10:00 AM) *
I'd rather run my game like an author cooperatively writing a story than like a government of any sort. The hacker doesn't get to waste our time with extra bookeeping, why? Because that's a distraction from the plot, it has nothing to do with anything, it's just simulationist, techno-fetishist masturbation. If PCs complain about handwaving, you just have to tell them "settle down guys, this is leading somewhere interesting." The cooperative nature of RPGing is about the GM creating situations, and the players advancing the plot by roleplaying within those situations.

Now, I understand that there are GMs who cannot prevent themselves from doing everything they can to fuck the players in their cornholes, because they're sadists at heart. If you're one of those GMs, then by all means, stick to the rules. There are also players who think that the goal of the game is to "win" by beating the GM's NPCs, a la Dungeons and Dragons. If you have those kinds of players, you'd better stick to the rules by the letter. But IMO, if that's the gaming situation you have, D&D 4e is your game. Everything is pre-programmed, and everything is totally fair as long as you follow the rules, not much fiat required. But Shadowrun is not a game of quests and dungeon crawls, it simulates a living, breathing world which moves at a super-modern fast pace. Things escalate in ways that would be impossible in D&D, and for this reason it's impossible to have a fair relationship between the players and GM. Even if you follow every rule, the GM can always win, so adversarial playing is a complete waste of time. You have to start off, from the beginning, realizing that the bad stuff that happens to the players is an obstacle to overcome which is supposed to create fun, not a vessel for the GM's sadism. If people can't get past that, then I think they're in the wrong game.


How is handwaving any different than GM fiat? And as for distracting from the plot, I find it sometimes useful to remind the players that there are consequences for their actions (both in character and out).

Running the game as a cooperative author only works when the players do as well. Sometimes you just have to deal with the players who choose the read every book out there to come up with the "perfect" ass-kicking character capable of handling anything you throw at them, and not caring about the theme or mood or story you are trying to tell. I've had that problem before, and the player claimed the character to have amnesia to get out of writing a background for the character as well. Since he wanted so badly to rules-lawyer, I let him, but just piled on all the restrictions and complications I could to remind him that he doesn't exist in a vacuum, and the point of the game isn't GM vs players.

And sometimes fiat is required, namely whenever you run into a situation that isn't strictly covered in the rules, and arguing starts breaking out over how rules should be interpreted. At that point, the GM steps in and makes a decision. It becomes that way, because that's what the GM says.
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