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longbowrocks
SR4A has a table for hardware upgrades on page 222. the table goes up to module rating 6 for both response and signal, but the rules say that each of a device's rating can only be augmented by 2.
By stretching this, I can see you buying a rating 4 module for 800 (50 for rating 2 signal, and 750 for rating 2 response) and increasing both signal and response by 2, but that's all I can think of.
In all, why does the table go so high?
Dez384
Devices in War! go up to rating 10.
Halflife
When you upgrade hardware you replace the old with the new, not tack on a new module. If you want Rating 6 response upgrade you upgrade to a Rating 6 module and use that cost and availability.
longbowrocks
yes, but whatever the device's original attribute rating was, modules can only increase it by 2.

So if I device starts at 6 signal, it's other ratings can be 10, and signal can still only go up by 2.
longbowrocks
QUOTE (Halflife @ May 6 2011, 11:12 AM) *
When you upgrade hardware you replace the old with the new, not tack on a new module. If you want Rating 6 response upgrade you upgrade to a Rating 6 module and use that cost and availability.

Ah, thanks. I'll look for that.
Dez384
You can build custom commlinks or buy better commlinks.
longbowrocks
By the way, it looks like credsticks have a signal of 6. that's a 4 kilometer range for people to detect that you have money. grinbig.gif
Halflife
Ok let's break it down.

You purchase a Hermes Ikon commlink (Response 4, Signal 3). You decide that you want to boost your Response up to 6 to be a better hacker. You purchase a Response 6 Module (8,000 , Avail 14) and install it with an appropriate test. You now have a Custom Herme Ikon (Response 6, Signal 3) commlink, with the option of boosting Signal with a module later. If you wanted to go higher you would need some of the silly hardware from WAR!.
Dez384
QUOTE (longbowrocks @ May 6 2011, 02:15 PM) *
By the way, it looks like credsticks have a signal of 6. that's a 4 kilometer range for people to detect that you have money. grinbig.gif

SR4A says that credsticks have a device rating of 6. Unwired says that they have firewall and system of 6, but response and signal of 2. I'm going to stick with unwired.
longbowrocks
QUOTE (Dez384 @ May 6 2011, 11:14 AM) *
You can build custom commlinks or buy better commlinks.

Yeah, I was just looking for a way to improve on the 8 signal for the best commlink in WAR, and my second thought, after having an AI make its home there, was modules. Apparently the modules wouldn't work for that level though.
longbowrocks
QUOTE (Dez384 @ May 6 2011, 11:17 AM) *
SR4A says that credsticks have a device rating of 6. Unwired says that they have firewall and system of 6, but response and signal of 2. I'm going to stick with unwired.

Aww.
Halflife
QUOTE (longbowrocks @ May 6 2011, 02:15 PM) *
By the way, it looks like credsticks have a signal of 6. that's a 4 kilometer range for people to detect that you have money. grinbig.gif


Device rating is a little bit lazy and that leads to sillyness like signal 6 credsticks. In reality everything should be broken down into individual categories, the most common thing that should be much less than the Device Rating is Signal.

A Credstick has the ratings Response:2 Signal:2 System:6 Firewall:6 per Unwired p. 48 for example. Device rating is more for on the fly "my hacker is in something I didn't bother to stat how many dice do I roll for firewall" type checks and less for powergaming like building clusters or cannibalizing common (cheap) objects to build your commlink.


EDIT: Damnit Dez type slower
Dez384
War has signal 10 modules. Costs 17250 nuyen with an availability of 40F (page 162)

QUOTE (Halflife)
EDIT: Damnit Dez type slower

Maybe you should be in VR, Mr Hacker.
Halflife
You could also use something like a directional antenna (Unwired 199) to boost your signal by 2 in a specific direction depending on what you need Signal 10 for.
Halflife
QUOTE (Dez384 @ May 6 2011, 02:22 PM) *
Maybe you should be in VR, Mr Hacker.


You know I always ran in AR with Wired Reflexes. I like my addictions non-existent and my brain in my skull
longbowrocks
QUOTE (Dez384 @ May 6 2011, 11:14 AM) *
You can build custom commlinks or buy better commlinks.

Ah, I hadn't reached the rules for that yet (I'm reading sequentially in depth), but I did just reach the part about building modules. RatingX2 extended check? I'll build a signal 10 module, use it to upgrade the best commlink in WAR, and follow up by destroying the world with my 40,000km range monstrosity. grinbig.gif
I saw "mutual signal range", but I'm betting that there's a way around that.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Dez384 @ May 6 2011, 11:22 AM) *
War has signal 10 modules. Costs 17250 nuyen with an availability of 40F (page 162)


Maybe you should be in VR, Mr Hacker.


In VR, with a Simsense Booster and Accelerator, for the Win... smile.gif
longbowrocks
QUOTE (Dez384 @ May 6 2011, 11:22 AM) *
War has signal 10 modules. Costs 17250 nuyen with an availability of 40F (page 162)


Maybe you should be in VR, Mr Hacker.

Don't you mean the Transys Cybernaut which has signal 8 and availability 48F, and must be upgraded with a 192k rating 10 module to get 10 signal?

*edit: ah, I see what you're talking about. You still need the really expensive high availability Transys though.
longbowrocks
Found an error in the rules:
"Devices can run in one of three modes: Active, Passive, and Hidden."

There's actually a fourth mode: off. grinbig.gif

If your GM disagrees, make that mode "I pulled the batteries out. Whatcha gonna do?"

Ah, I missed the word run. I guess they can't run in off mode, can they?
Yerameyahu
The 'upgrade by 2' rule is to stop you from buying a disposable and just slapping in the highest chip/OS you can get. It's pretty realistic, anyway: no matter what CPU you drop into certain machines (if possible at all), they've still got slow bus, memory, cache, etc.

Honestly, you don't *need* a really high Signal very often. Most of the time, you'd want it dialed down; there are rare cases when you'll need to beat jamming or something, yes.

No, they can't run in off mode. biggrin.gif Watching you work your way through the rules is hilarious, longbowrocks! You can, however, turn off the *wireless*.
Epicedion
Don't make the mistake my group's hacker did! Upon finding that an agent had hacked his commlink and loaded itself on there, the hacker promptly pulled the battery. Well the problem was that the agent was still loaded on the commlink, so when he turned it back on, it immediately started attacking his OS.

IP 1: Load Attack.
IP 2: Load Armor.
IP 3: System crash.

This happened three or four times before he finally got wise to attacking first and then loading programs, to force the agent to defend itself rather than keep hammering at the OS.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ May 6 2011, 01:13 PM) *
No, they can't run in off mode. biggrin.gif Watching you work your way through the rules is hilarious, longbowrocks! You can, however, turn off the *wireless*.


Yep... Off is definitely the epitome of NOT runnig. smile.gif
Yerameyahu
I'm not sure it works that way, Epicedion. It's not a virus. Even if it's still present on the node, it can't log into its (hacked?) account and load *itself* upon reboot.
Yerameyahu
--
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ May 6 2011, 02:04 PM) *
I'm not sure it works that way, Epicedion. It's not a virus. Even if it's still present on the node, it can't log into its (hacked?) account and load *itself* upon reboot.


Agreed... Loaded Programs are Purged when you turn of the device. Therefore the agent no longer exists on the Node once it is turned back on.
Yerameyahu
Yeah, even an independent Worm in a hacked account with no active control subscription can't do what you did to your poor player. This is primary difference between a virus and an agent, which is why the virus rules specifically say this:
QUOTE
Since virus code is actually copied into the infected software, viruses cannot be attacked in cybercombat, nor will rebooting a node make a virus go away (it respawns with the infected program).
Epicedion
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ May 6 2011, 03:04 PM) *
I'm not sure it works that way, Epicedion. It's not a virus. Even if it's still present on the node, it can't log into its (hacked?) account and load *itself* upon reboot.



QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ May 6 2011, 03:11 PM) *
Agreed... Loaded Programs are Purged when you turn of the device. Therefore the agent no longer exists on the Node once it is turned back on.



QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ May 6 2011, 03:13 PM) *
Yeah, even an independent Worm in a hacked account with no active control subscription can't do what you did to your poor player. This is primary difference between a virus and an agent, which is why the virus rules specifically say this:


The rules on "what things can and can't really do" aren't really very strong. I see no reason why an agent couldn't hack a commlink's admin account, add itself to the list of allowed programs, download itself onto the commlink, and add itself to the startup routine. You know, as if the hacker had purchased an agent and installed it.
Yerameyahu
Possibly. I don't remember you mentioning any of those nontrivial tasks, which are based on possible-but-not-RAW options. smile.gif
Fortinbras
Out of curiosity, to what end was the Agent doing all this? What was it's end game?

longbow, don't worry about jacking up your Signal. Buy a Satlink and ECCM of 6. Now you have access to the entirety of the world. Except maybe an overcast Interference spell. Burn that bridge when you come to it.
And, with the exception of War!, devices and programs for hackers were not intended to go beyond 6.
Epicedion
QUOTE (Fortinbras @ May 6 2011, 03:43 PM) *
Out of curiosity, to what end was the Agent doing all this? What was it's end game?


Mr. Johnson worked for MCT, and authorized a run on a Knight Errant facility which ended up getting botched and potentially being traced back through the team to him and MCT, which MCT really doesn't like.

So midway through meeting/rescuing Mr. Johnson from an MCT "retrieval" team, MCT dumps some corporate lockdown software onto Mr. Johnson's commlink, replacing his access and adding a couple agents to the mix. One agent was there to maintain an active connection back to an MCT system and download all of Mr. Johnson's files, providing dual duty of data retrieval and locator beacon. The other agent was there to make sure any non-MCT system that connected to the commlink was quickly disabled -- it'd hack the commlink, load itself on, and then pretty much annoy the hacker to death and force him to protect/clean his own commlink instead of getting anything usable from the other, until the retrieval team could arrive to "settle things."

This was supposed to be a minor annoyance, but the hacker overreacted and SHUT. DOWN. EVERYTHING. with the agent having loaded itself onto his system.

The agent's general purpose was to force the hacker to 1) crash the agent, 2) undo the changes to his commlink, and 3) delete the agent. All of this taking a fair amount of time.

Also, since the hacker was overly paranoid, he was acting entirely in AR, without any wired reflexes or anything. So he'd actually take a full turn to load a program, as opposed to the IP's I made it out to be previously. So he hacked the commlink, and then the agent got 3 actions. And he analyzed the system, and the agent got 3 actions. And he scanned the obvious agent, and the agent got 3 actions. By the time he was ready to actually decrypt and look at data, the agent had done 12-15 things to his machine.
Fortinbras
A hacker afraid to get down and dirty with some malware is like a street samurai afraid of getting in a firefight.
I can understand another character freaking out over an infected commlink, but the hacker's job is to eat Agents for breakfast in hot-sim and fry the brains of the dirty so-and-so who had the raw nerve to infect his system.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Fortinbras @ May 6 2011, 03:11 PM) *
A hacker afraid to get down and dirty with some malware is like a street samurai afraid of getting in a firefight.
I can understand another character freaking out over an infected commlink, but the hacker's job is to eat Agents for breakfast in hot-sim and fry the brains of the dirty so-and-so who had the raw nerve to infect his system.


Indeed. This cannot be said enough. smile.gif
longbowrocks
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ May 6 2011, 01:11 PM) *
Agreed... Loaded Programs are Purged when you turn of the device. Therefore the agent no longer exists on the Node once it is turned back on.

I was going to make an argument about volatile memory, but it appears I have been ninja'd.
longbowrocks
QUOTE (Epicedion @ May 6 2011, 01:29 PM) *
The rules on "what things can and can't really do" aren't really very strong. I see no reason why an agent couldn't hack a commlink's admin account, add itself to the list of allowed programs, download itself onto the commlink, and add itself to the startup routine. You know, as if the hacker had purchased an agent and installed it.

Sounds cool. This is the sort of thing that should be going on in the matrix at all times.

I need to read up on agents fast. if they do this, are they effectively stuck on that comm as long as it's off?
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (longbowrocks @ May 6 2011, 03:25 PM) *
Sounds cool. This is the sort of thing that should be going on in the matrix at all times.

I need to read up on agents fast. if they do this, are they effectively stuck on that comm as long as it's off?


If they are on that comlink when they go down, and you are using this paradigm, then yes, they are stuck on that Com as long as it is turned off...
PoliteMan
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ May 7 2011, 06:29 AM) *
If they are on that comlink when they go down, and you are using this paradigm, then yes, they are stuck on that Com as long as it is turned off...

Even in this paradigm, I'm not sure the agent would "remember" their previous commands. It seems more likely that the agent would reboot and sit awaiting instructions.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (PoliteMan @ May 6 2011, 04:52 PM) *
Even in this paradigm, I'm not sure the agent would "remember" their previous commands. It seems more likely that the agent would reboot and sit awaiting instructions.


I would make that assumption as well... Nothing like getting a free agent with a program load. smile.gif
longbowrocks
That's a nice deal then. Keep a few comms with you at all times, with similar ratings to your own. When the agent gets trapped, switch to a new one.
PoliteMan
Well, you should always have a couple comms after chargen (and a couple more at home sitting beside your nexus).
Epicedion
Well, he learned. Fast. Next thing I know, he's carjacking a U-haul in hot sim.

As for the program, it just picked up where it left off in its command cycle (attack new home node). It's not a very complicated script.

Yerameyahu
It still sounds like a house rule; the player didn't really have reason to expect this behavior. *shrug* I'm sure either way is playable.
Epicedion
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ May 6 2011, 10:46 PM) *
It still sounds like a house rule; the player didn't really have reason to expect this behavior. *shrug* I'm sure either way is playable.


Since the boundary of what can and cannot be done in the Matrix (and with agents) is extraordinarily fuzzy, there's no reason to think it's a house rule.

If you agree that a hacker could hack into a node, fake admin level access, and install and run an agent on that node, then there's no reason to say that an agent couldn't do the same thing with an appropriate script.

IC have to get on nodes somehow, so I'd assume that an admin account would allow you to copy/install them and set them to run (and follow their scripts) on system reboot -- once you have an admin account, it's pretty much like it's your own system. If this weren't true, then the best way to bypass system security would be to immediately crash a node to shut down all the IC, wait for the reboot, and then jump in and do your business while some security hacker had to come in and reset the Analyze program and all the IC manually.

If a hacker can't do this from a hacked admin account, then someone with a legitimate account really has no way of doing it either, unless there's some major distinction between the functionality of a Hacked Admin Account and a Legitimate Admin Account. If the hacker can do it, then a sufficiently advanced Agent can do it, too, since this particular script isn't all that complex.
Yerameyahu
I didn't say they couldn't do that. I was referring to the idea that agents remain on the commlink after shutdown. It seems to be stealing the raison d'etre of viruses, which explicitly do that.

Since you mention it again, I still find it odd to gloss over the difficulty of hacking an admin account, and making several major changes, *especially* if it's an agent doing this alone. 'Sufficiently advanced' is a total copout. smile.gif

And in what universe is getting your admin account hacked "a minor annoyance"? These ideas aren't compatible. Yes: if you've (secretly) hacked an admin account, all bets are off. There's really no reason to talk about it, because you're done; you win. There aren't many reasons you'd *bother* installing a zombie at that point.

Since we're making assumptions, I'm assuming that a hacker can start his own comm in Safe Mode/Single User Mode, which doesn't run a startup script and doesn't allow any other accounts to log in or do anything. Problem solved. wink.gif
longbowrocks
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ May 6 2011, 09:27 PM) *
And in what universe is getting your admin account hacked "a minor annoyance"?

I hate it when my PSN account gets hacked. It will probably be happening often enough over the next few months that it will degrade to a minor annoyance. grinbig.gif
Yerameyahu
Hehe. That *is* a minor annoyance. This hacker character, on the other hand, was deliberately hosed and pretty cruelly abused (and not even in a way someone familiar with the rules should expect).
Epicedion
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ May 6 2011, 11:27 PM) *
I didn't say they couldn't do that. I was referring to the idea that agents remain on the commlink after shutdown. It seems to be stealing the raison d'etre of viruses, which explicitly do that.


SR viruses didn't exist to me at the time, since I didn't have the right book for them. I still don't see why an agent couldn't be particularly insidious.

QUOTE
Since you mention it again, I still find it odd to gloss over the difficulty of hacking an admin account, and making several major changes, *especially* if it's an agent doing this alone. 'Sufficiently advanced' is a total copout. smile.gif


Crappy commlink + crappy Analyze + acting in AR with 1 IP + not paying attention. The agent legitimately hacked his commlink undetected and performed the right actions. Dice rolls, even, not fiat.

QUOTE
And in what universe is getting your admin account hacked "a minor annoyance"? These ideas aren't compatible. Yes: if you've (secretly) hacked an admin account, all bets are off. There's really no reason to talk about it, because you're done; you win. There aren't many reasons you'd *bother* installing a zombie at that point.


Sure, you could kick off and delete every legitimate user account, but that's going to end in the commlink getting shut down immediately, wiped, and reloaded. Hackers can't resist a challenge, and the clock is ticking on that response team showing up. If a corp wants to "retrieve" personnel and equipment, the best way is to tie people up until the corp can get a team on-site, not break all their toys so they'll run away and be untraceable.

QUOTE
Since we're making assumptions, I'm assuming that a hacker can start his own comm in Safe Mode/Single User Mode, which doesn't run a startup script and doesn't allow any other accounts to log in or do anything. Problem solved. wink.gif


"Assume" was the wrong word. It's really an inference. While Safe Mode / Single User Mode is unnecessary to the operation of the commlink (or any commlink functions described in the game), the ability to load agents and programs is necessary to the game, so there must be some in-game action that allows you to do so. Since an admin account is the top-level access to a node, the power to do this must necessarily lie, at the very least, at that level.

The only other options I can come up with are these:

1) There is some special unmentioned access level that allows the loading of agents and programs, or

2) You can't load programs or agents.

Since 2) makes the game unplayable, and 1) is not in any way inferable, I'm left with my reasonable inference that admin accounts allow for this sort of activity.

Considering the book says

QUOTE (SR4A p225)
An admin (short for administrator) account grants a user full access to the node. No action or command is denied to an admin account.


I find that position fairly justified.

Every possible reasonable action can't possibly be outlined in a rulebook.
Yerameyahu
As I said, I agree: once you've got admin access, you've 100% won. You could simply delete (not unload) all programs except the zombie, for one thing. You could do *anything*. That's why it's insane to assume you have it… so I didn't. smile.gif Because you've now explained that admin access is a prerequisite, everything's changed.

I'm guilty of making assumptions, too. The one I just mentioned, and then this: I assumed a character called a 'hacker' wouldn't have a crappy commlink + crappy Analyze + not paying attention (+ no IC, frankly). wink.gif So, you can see how my assumptions that we were talking about a real hacker, and that we weren't taking admin access as given, framed the whole scenario in a way incompatible with your position.

Given all that, I still say it doesn't make sense. The only reason to leave this zombie agent there is if it's a secret. If you have admin access, and you're known, you might as well just wreck it, steal all their data (for tracing purposes), etc. … Unless, and this is my fault for assuming again, your hacker's a compulsive moron who'd rather stand there turning it on and off while the corpsec arrives to shoot him. And shame on the rest of the team for putting up with that. biggrin.gif I'm being a little harsh, but that's just not how shadowrunners act (without a Negative Quality, anyway).
Epicedion
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ May 7 2011, 12:28 AM) *
As I said, I agree: once you've got admin access, you've 100% won. That's why it's insane to assume you have it so I didn't. smile.gif Because you've now explained that admin access is a prerequisite, everything's changed.

I'm guilty of making assumptions, too. The one I just mentioned, and then this: I assumed a character called a 'hacker' wouldn't have a crappy commlink + crappy Analyze + not paying attention. wink.gif


Well his standard MO up to that point was to AR hack on the fly and then immediately go after his primary objective. It took a couple major failures (getting the agent on his commlink, getting traced to his location in an automat near the docks because he attacked an obvious IC and didn't even look for not obvious ones or security hackers). Had to break him of bad habits, and what better way to learn than getting in trouble a few times?

Of course this was his first hacker ever, and it's everyone's first real experience with SR4. An annoying agent is one thing, but back in SR3 we used to destroy million nuyen cyberdecks with Grey IC from time to time, so I'm not overly concerned.
longbowrocks
Does anyone actually play these rules?
SR4A page 226
"Hot sim can be as addictive as BTL use (Substance Abuse, p. 256).
If the gamemaster feels a character is using hot sim too much, she can
call for an Addiction Test."

I feel like hot sim is the lifeblood of a hacker/technomancer on all nontrivial tasks, but it seems like the game designers are implying that hot sim is meant as a desperate measure for when you're pushed into a corner.
Epicedion
QUOTE (longbowrocks @ May 7 2011, 12:42 AM) *
Does anyone actually play these rules?
SR4A page 226
"Hot sim can be as addictive as BTL use (Substance Abuse, p. 256).
If the gamemaster feels a character is using hot sim too much, she can
call for an Addiction Test."

I feel like hot sim is the lifeblood of a hacker/technomancer on all nontrivial tasks, but it seems like the game designers are implying that hot sim is meant as a desperate measure for when you're pushed into a corner.


Not really. I might consider it if they literally used it for everything -- hot sim telepresence instead of attending a meeting, hot sim driving their car to the Stuffer Shack for Tastykakes, hot sim ordering a drink from the bar he's sitting at, etc.
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