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FenrisWolf
How do you guys handle players that loot commlinks from the recently deceased? I'm not completely up to speed with SR4 and how they work. I understand that they are an all encompassing digital device that combines a smart phone with various other capabilities to create a all-in-one item. How do they work when used by someone else though? I assume that they have some built in safety procedures but I'm sure that my player's hacker will end up getting around that. Given that, what use will the character have for additional commlinks? Are they easily fenced? Do they have often have banking information on them that the hacker can exploit? How does that work with the widespread online banking of SR4?

I'm also concerned with the possibility that if the commlinks are a treasure trove of information that the hacker can exploit, I'm going to be faced with spec'ing out each and every damn commlink from a goon to a prime runner and have to figure out what info is actually on them. I miss the days of having characters pat down the dead looking for certified credsticks.
Critias
Don't forget that they can be traced, too. Sure, spend some time worrying about the good stuff PCs can get for 'em (cash, etc), or what information they can get off of 'em with the team hacker (for plot points)...but don't think for a second that a character can stroll around with a bunch of commlinks from a bunch of guys he just killed, and not make himself about a million times easier to find.
KamikazePilot
QUOTE (FenrisWolf @ Dec 15 2010, 01:19 PM) *
How do you guys handle players that loot commlinks from the recently deceased? I'm not completely up to speed with SR4 and how they work. I understand that they are an all encompassing digital device that combines a smart phone with various other capabilities to create a all-in-one item. How do they work when used by someone else though? I assume that they have some built in safety procedures but I'm sure that my player's hacker will end up getting around that. Given that, what use will the character have for additional commlinks? Are they easily fenced? Do they have often have banking information on them that the hacker can exploit? How does that work with the widespread online banking of SR4?

I'm also concerned with the possibility that if the commlinks are a treasure trove of information that the hacker can exploit, I'm going to be faced with spec'ing out each and every damn commlink from a goon to a prime runner and have to figure out what info is actually on them. I miss the days of having characters pat down the dead looking for certified credsticks.


they contain seeds to future campaigns if you wish it to be so.
the rest just say "nothing of value"
if they probe further then throw them a bone every so often but use it to get them on a mission or something. there is nothing free smile.gif
toturi
QUOTE (Critias @ Dec 15 2010, 10:26 AM) *
Don't forget that they can be traced, too. Sure, spend some time worrying about the good stuff PCs can get for 'em (cash, etc), or what information they can get off of 'em with the team hacker (for plot points)...but don't think for a second that a character can stroll around with a bunch of commlinks from a bunch of guys he just killed, and not make himself about a million times easier to find.

Can a commlink be turned off?
FenrisWolf
QUOTE (Critias @ Dec 14 2010, 09:26 PM) *
Don't forget that they can be traced, too. Sure, spend some time worrying about the good stuff PCs can get for 'em (cash, etc), or what information they can get off of 'em with the team hacker (for plot points)...but don't think for a second that a character can stroll around with a bunch of commlinks from a bunch of guys he just killed, and not make himself about a million times easier to find.


If the hacker creates an admin account on the commlink and spoof's the access ID, can the stolen commlink still be traced?
FenrisWolf
QUOTE (KamikazePilot @ Dec 14 2010, 09:31 PM) *
they contain seeds to future campaigns if you wish it to be so.
the rest just say "nothing of value"
if they probe further then throw them a bone every so often but use it to get them on a mission or something. there is nothing free smile.gif


I agree with you and that's how I'm leaning but I'm just trying to wrap my head around the rules governing commlinks. I just don't want to start a trend in my game where boosting commlinks for loot is common.
WyldKnight
Honestly imagine an iphone, now just make that iphone the center of your digital experience.

You don't really need to make it so complicated. Assume your average ganger or wageslave has a comlink with stats that are rating 2 or 3 across the board, anyone in security may have a company owned comlink for work with a rating of 4 so they hopefully won't get hacked to quickly in an emergency and have their TacNet shut down, anyone better then these guys would most likely have ratings of 5 or 6.

First off it's a problem depending on who they take the link from. Most gangers it wouldn't be a big deal unless they have connections to a hacker or hacker gang who traces the address of those comlinks if they are used again without being spoofed. Remember that key part, if they are spoofed then the enemy hacker really won't have anything to go on to begin the search.

Uses, not many. The hacker could cluster them if he has access to Unwired. Fencing them would give very little return and it would only be easy if all of the owners previous info and any RFID chips that could track it were dumped. Once again it depends on who they took the comlink from. Maybe it does have tons of banking info that could make them rich. That is if they can get to it before the targets assets are frozen because they are dead. Not to mention the fact that unless your hacker is really good they will track the intrusion to him and have the proper authorities on his back.

As for what info is on them, why worry about it? Only put what info you want to put on it. Most random goons may have a few random addresses, some nudes from their girlfriend, and maybe a reminder to not forget to pick up milk. A prime runner may have more important things on theirs but only what you want the players to access and he may only go on missions with a mostly blank comlink just in case it's compromised (all my characters do).

Long story short, don't make it complicated when you really don't have to.

EDIT: Damn, I was a little late. Oh well.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (toturi @ Dec 14 2010, 07:33 PM) *
Can a commlink be turned off?


Indeed it can...
hobgoblin
bubba loves stepping on comlinks.
Blade
Since most people access their commlinks with DNI, I consider that it uses brainwaves "fingerprints" to authenticate the user, which means that the hacker will need to hack the commlink before being able to get anything from it. It also mean that they can lock down their commlink (and call security) with a simple mental command if they get captured.

People with sensitive data might link their biomonitor so that if they ever get killed, the sensitive data will be wiped out from the commlink (it might still exist on some heavily secured backup node). The data can also be in the cloud rather than in the commlink, so as soon as the commlink owner is reported missing or dead, the data is locked and everyone looking for it is tracked.

So runners can loot commlinks but they might not get anything out of them and when they do they might be tracked down. This is enough to keep things under control.
Ascalaphus
QUOTE (Blade @ Dec 15 2010, 10:02 AM) *
Since most people access their commlinks with DNI,


Do they really? Sounds like they're begging for black IC. Personally, I think most people go for the AR gloves and glasses.

QUOTE (Blade @ Dec 15 2010, 10:02 AM) *
People with sensitive data might link their biomonitor so that if they ever get killed, the sensitive data will be wiped out from the commlink (it might still exist on some heavily secured backup node).


So if I spoof your biomonitor's death signal, your commlink will wipe itself? That's a really easy way to shut down a TacNet...

QUOTE (Blade @ Dec 15 2010, 10:02 AM) *
The data can also be in the cloud rather than in the commlink,


Cloud Computing never made it to SR. Or perhaps it was abandoned after 2029 because of security concerns. Remember, SR diverged from the real world around 1991.
Blade
QUOTE (Ascalaphus @ Dec 15 2010, 10:06 AM) *
Do they really? Sounds like they're begging for black IC. Personally, I think most people go for the AR gloves and glasses.

That's what's written in the BBB. I guess black IC is not very common. That's like saying: "people are driving cars? Sounds like they're begging for car crashes. Personally, I think most people will walk"

QUOTE (Ascalaphus)
So if I spoof your biomonitor's death signal, your commlink will wipe itself? That's a really easy way to shut down a TacNet...

Yes because if you can spoof the biomonitor death signal, you have already compromised the matrix security. Besides a biomonitor will very often be connected by skinlink since it has to touch the body to begin with, so spoofing its signal will be a little difficult.

QUOTE (Ascalaphus)
Cloud Computing never made it to SR.

Not true. It's written in the BBB (or is it Unwired?) that the location of the data doesn't really matter.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (FenrisWolf @ Dec 15 2010, 03:19 AM) *
How do you guys handle players that loot commlinks from the recently deceased?

Not at all, they earn more doing something else and/or can spoof lifestyles.

You should carry booster bags just in case, though – get the metal mesh of the faraday cage woven in, so you can just grab&bag whatever thing you need to analyze later on.
QUOTE (Ascalaphus @ Dec 15 2010, 10:06 AM) *
Do they really? Sounds like they're begging for black IC. Personally, I think most people go for the AR gloves and glasses.

If you don't run AR on your sim module, there is nothing it can do to you. Even if you use trodes, data jacks or implanted commlinks – the sim module needs to be tuned to the user, by the user.
Ascalaphus
If you run your commlink through a DNI connection, then if someone hacks that commlink, they've got DNI to you. Dangerous.

On the other hand, people are just fine with AIs in SR4 for some reason.

Cloud computing in the sense that it exists currently doesn't exist in SR. Probably because they didn't expect it when they were writing SR4. Or perhaps because after Crash 1 or 2 they decided it was too insecure. Either way, the game system is very oriented on 1:1 hardware-system devices. Probably because implementing virtualization in RPG rules would be a nightmare.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Ascalaphus @ Dec 15 2010, 12:08 PM) *
If you run your commlink through a DNI connection, then if someone hacks that commlink, they've got DNI to you. Dangerous.

No. Again, as long as the sim module is not configured for you, it won't work. No Sim Module, no SimSense Feedback, no danger.
QUOTE (Ascalaphus @ Dec 15 2010, 12:08 PM) *
Probably because implementing virtualization in RPG rules would be a nightmare.

The SR3 Matrix SB had virtual machines.
KamikazePilot
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Dec 15 2010, 10:21 PM) *
The SR3 Matrix SB had virtual machines.


thats how the exploited it and crashed it smile.gif lesson learned. Matrix 2.0 NOOOO CLOUDS smile.gif smile.gif smile.gif
MortVent
Pray they don't do like some of my characters have done.

If the login test fails (it had a scipt on login that asked random questions from a list before allowing the unit's wireless and DNI to be enabled, had encryption on the data core, etc.. and held nothing really but the other runner's mission link #s and relavant data to the run) the unit melts down (thermite charge, treated as a incedinary grenade with only a .5 meter blast radius)

So not only did they get nothing useful, the commlinks were disposables and the real data was usually stored on a server that the TM accessed remotely (without using a commlink).. they get da bomb!
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (KamikazePilot @ Dec 15 2010, 12:36 PM) *
thats how the exploited it and crashed it

No, it just sucked to play, always checking you if are in a VM, then breaking outů and doing so a few dozens of times.

Matrix Perception tests by SR4 RAW suffer from the same problem.
KamikazePilot
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Dec 15 2010, 10:53 PM) *
No, it just sucked to play, always checking you if are in a VM, then breaking outů and doing so a few dozens of times.

Matrix Perception tests by SR4 RAW suffer from the same problem.


back in the SR3 days my group voted unanimously against any players deckers in the game to a point where i had to create an alternative universe where decker services were ran like a pizza hut. you ring up. pay up and request your info. when its ready they email ir to you, ring you or ask for a meet (you get to pick which service you wanted).

That made life so much easier smile.gif But was kinda sad bypassing a significant part of the game rules just because they were borring smile.gif
Eratosthenes
A stolen/looted commlink poses a lot of potential problems, with very few benefits.

Banking info: the commlink might have their bank account ID's, but their financial data is most likely stored on the Bank's more secure encrypted servers, and would require biometric authorization and/or a passcode to access.

Software: if it's a corporate commlink (i.e. some corp goons), odds are any and all software on that 'link is registered (potentially to include the Firewall and System). Odds are those registrations are flagged once the person is deceased.

In effect, they could sell the commlink alone, but it's only going to be worth at most 1,000 nuyen.gif retail, so much less fenced.

For statting them up, just give them straight 2's for el cheapo, 3's for standard 'links, and 4's for good ones with Basic, Basic+, or Pro User program packages. (5+'s go to the hackers/bosses/riggers, and should be more detailed).
Rotbart van Dainig
Which is why you hack commlinks and sniff all the info you need.
Yerameyahu
DNI != VR. It's needed *for* VR. That's different.

Hacking a commlink connected by a DNI doesn't not 'give them DNI on you'. That's a meaningless statement.
FenrisWolf
Still a little unsure on one thing. If a character hacks the stolen commlink and spoofs the access ID, is it still possible for him to be traced to the device? I know that a trace can track a device within 50 meters if it is wireless but won't the spoofing block that from happening?
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