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Coldstone
(EDIT: This is referring to all things Shadowrun 4th Edition!)

Salutations, runners and chummers of Dumpshock!

I am Coldstone, and to summarize the basic intent of this thread: I'm looking for information regarding a bit of Matrix hocus pocus. There is even a couple bonus questions at the end!

So, here's the deal...

I've been compiling the Matrix section (including stuff from Unwired) to try and make it a bit easier to work out and 'go through quickly'. Yes, there are a few other versions that going around - I plan to condense other parts of the book too as a sort of quick reference, but the matrix is the biggest pickle out of all the sections s far (and I'm playing at technomancer at the moment in a game, so it's the most useful to me).

Which leads to the question: I got into a brief moment of panic when I was hacking into a black van (pretty big van, in fact) that had roughly two well armored/armed Triad goons and one 'decker' inside. I managed to hack into the car itself, but that half pinged the decker, who was then jacking in to go investigate.

At this point, I could see the decker's commlink (yes, I know i said decker, the GM likes the term) and I hacked into it while he was busy investigating the van's system. At this point, neither the van or the decker's comm's have beaten my stealth as I was hacking on the fly...which leads to our situation.

Given I basically ambushed him in his home node, but he was busy in another, he doesn't technically get to defend against an attack (I black hammered him hard, and he rolled crap for resist). The GM and I were a bit fuzzy about if he 'noticed me regardless of stealth because he is the only person normally on his commlink' or if he was completely oblivious thanks to the stealth program.

We continued on from there for sake of the game flow, but it did lead to a few questions...

* Surprise attacks in the matrix: The implication of the Stealth program is it helps cover your tracks and obscure your presence on the Matrix. While you can technically set up a network to 'ping' you when something unexpected happens, wouldn't the program, by it's nature, deliberately counter that, unless the node succeeds at its matrix perception check or something (or this is one of those cases where paranoia has an edge, but the decker would still have to 'find me' even as his commlink tells him there's a new user)?

* Assuming he did notice me, the fact he hasn't actually succeeded in breaking my stealth program means he would still need to 'find me' before he can attack, right? Or else he risks shooting his own icons?

* If he had survived my initial attack, would the shot 'tell him' where I am, so he doesn't have to perceive me if he just wants to strike back? he is currently jammed online because of blackhammer, keep in mind! He could try to force his way out, but that isn't the intent of the question.

The reasons for these questions is because I have found -nothing- in the SR4A or the Unwired book that suggestion what Stealth does to combat if you follow this route. Some implications make it seem like stealth gets a dangerous power advantage that wouldn't be good to promote, but I wanted to see if anyone knew of a reference or official demonstration that shows the answer to this.

Bonus questions!

* SIN's and verification: I have to double check, but it looks like such a verification is usually only used to 'login' to a node: Would this apply even on a public acount for a place like stuffer shack? Technically you need a sin for most conveniences like the bus stop and such, but what about the ordering of food: does it happen when you 'login' or when you order and have to pay? I already figured out I can potentially fool automated sites into accepting my fake sign with a payment if I hack into admit and 'set u the account directly' then discreetly cover tracks, but it's a bit trickier to do that when a live person is waiting is waiting for you to pay up for a one time thing. (fluffwise, I know the stuffer shack scenario is small beans, but on a higher level it's a tad more relevant. Suggestions on this, if not answers?

* I...could have sworn i had another bonus question, but I forgot it. Oops. >.< maybe later!
Coldstone
Well, either the google bot and other things helped boost up the view count, or a number of you were nice enough to read it, but didn't really know! ^^;

Has this never really come up before? Or that may people gloss the matrix stuff to the point it got fluffed to ease the pain?
Iduno
My understanding is the stealth program makes you appear like you belong there, so neither he nor the comlink were aware anything was wrong. After you attacked him, he knew something was wrong, but couldn't find you. Probably the attack gave you a penalty or him a bonus to find you. If he still failed, he could probably use the rules for firing blind (can attack at a -4?), and the GM may decide misses hit some of his other data or programs on the comlink.

I think SINs act like (among other things) a debit card. You use it to pay, because it needs to confirm you have the correct bank account. Paying in cash would avoid that.
Bertramn
QUOTE (Coldstone @ Jan 28 2016, 05:06 PM) *
Well, either the google bot and other things helped boost up the view count, or a number of you were nice enough to read it, but didn't really know! ^^;

Has this never really come up before? Or that may people gloss the matrix stuff to the point it got fluffed to ease the pain?


It's pretty much the most complicated part about SR4 rules.
I mastered that edition for years, and I remember nothing of the Matrix rules anymore. biggrin.gif
Nath
QUOTE (Coldstone @ Jan 26 2016, 05:16 PM) *
* Surprise attacks in the matrix: The implication of the Stealth program is it helps cover your tracks and obscure your presence on the Matrix. While you can technically set up a network to 'ping' you when something unexpected happens, wouldn't the program, by it's nature, deliberately counter that, unless the node succeeds at its matrix perception check or something (or this is one of those cases where paranoia has an edge, but the decker would still have to 'find me' even as his commlink tells him there's a new user)?

* Assuming he did notice me, the fact he hasn't actually succeeded in breaking my stealth program means he would still need to 'find me' before he can attack, right? Or else he risks shooting his own icons?

* If he had survived my initial attack, would the shot 'tell him' where I am, so he doesn't have to perceive me if he just wants to strike back? he is currently jammed online because of blackhammer, keep in mind! He could try to force his way out, but that isn't the intent of the question.

The reasons for these questions is because I have found -nothing- in the SR4A or the Unwired book that suggestion what Stealth does to combat if you follow this route. Some implications make it seem like stealth gets a dangerous power advantage that wouldn't be good to promote, but I wanted to see if anyone knew of a reference or official demonstration that shows the answer to this.
As far as I know, the rules do not provide anything close to an answer for this - which is why I think nobody has stepped in to answer your question at first.

In search for a strict interpretation of the rules, I would point out at rules for Matrix Perception stating running a Stealth program is considered as actively hiding, and it nowhere says the Stealth program is somehow not compatible with Cybercombat.

On the other hand, SR never bothered to have rules about how hard it can be to locate where are the people shooting at you in a physical firefight to shoot back (which is actually not - IRL - as trivial as a lot of players seem to believe). I guess the rules just assume the GM ought to know when someone punching or wielding a gun, a silenced gun, a throwing knife or blowgun in the midst of a fight count "as not immediately noticeable". It's harder to tell about using an Attack program inside a Matrix node.
Ryu
QUOTE (Coldstone @ Jan 26 2016, 05:16 PM) *
* Surprise attacks in the matrix: The implication of the Stealth program is it helps cover your tracks and obscure your presence on the Matrix. While you can technically set up a network to 'ping' you when something unexpected happens, wouldn't the program, by it's nature, deliberately counter that, unless the node succeeds at its matrix perception check or something (or this is one of those cases where paranoia has an edge, but the decker would still have to 'find me' even as his commlink tells him there's a new user)?

* Assuming he did notice me, the fact he hasn't actually succeeded in breaking my stealth program means he would still need to 'find me' before he can attack, right? Or else he risks shooting his own icons?

* If he had survived my initial attack, would the shot 'tell him' where I am, so he doesn't have to perceive me if he just wants to strike back? he is currently jammed online because of blackhammer, keep in mind! He could try to force his way out, but that isn't the intent of the question.


*1: You hack the node and get yourself an account. An alert is not triggered, so the node does not alert the decker. See Matrix Perception, The Precious pg. 228, "When you are accessing a node" paragraph: The hackers icon is on the originating node at all times and the hackers Analyze will likely be set to scan fresh icons.

*2: If that attempt failed you are still undetected. No reaction possible.

*1+2: If you are detected, your Stealth wont help except against getting detailed information about your icon. Fail at hacking the node and you are flagged as attacker (pg. 238, Alerts, Type see Restricted, Reaction likely Launch IC + Terminate Connection), fail at hiding and you are seen as a second user that should not be there. So the hacker will flag you as attacker, follow previous steps (The latter helps less on nodes with multiple users, but is an easy clue in this case.)

*3 No idea where this is said in the rules, but consider allowing both the node and the target to roll Analyse to attempt defeating the attackers Stealth again. One could also rule in favour of auto-detection, Im fuzzy on what is correct.

Coldstone
I agree that it isn't really listed anywhere, which is why I was curious to others results. Thus far it seems to be a universal mystery though - I got some helpful links to check out earlier on when I went scouring, but no real answers there either.

When you are 'detected' by the system, you are basically 'de-cloaked'. However, to get more information on you, they have to beat your stealth as mentioned.. The closest technical answer is that one should have to 'locate you' first before they can fight back. This makes sense even with the physical combat depending on the situation, but with how quickly matrix combat goes that is basically making Stealth nigh-powerful. Thus far, I'm going for the opinion that your 'stealth attack' nets you your shot, but afterwords, at least to that particular target, you're now 'visible' as if detected (though an alert still has to be set). you tend to notice when you take matrix damage of any sort really, so it makes sense you might find a 'link' of some sort heading back to who attacked you.

Given a spider has to determine you are a illegitimate user to set an alert on you (or at least know your access ID), I imagine they can't put the alert on you until they beat the stealth program. Depending how long you were on the network though, they could pick that up from the access log - I imagine they could put the alert on you that way regardless.

This doesn't answer the issue of can someone now aware they're being attack 'dodge' or not. to avoid high abuse, it makes sense they can defend against the attack itself at least, even if they can or can't see you.

Definitely going into my house rule list though! an attack causes you to be 'visible' if not detected.

My thanks to those who offered links and all, and my thanks to those who answered here too. ^^
Ryu
Cybercombat is not something easily judged by RL logic... it just is. Basic defense is Response + Firewall, and I dont see a need to know you are attacked at that point. Automatic gear-based reaction.

Full Defense is less clear, Id likely allow it and be done. High stealth is good enough as is, no need to enhance the value of an alpha-strike on any opponent in VR.
Coldstone
QUOTE (Ryu @ Feb 2 2016, 07:18 PM) *
Cybercombat is not something easily judged by RL logic... it just is. Basic defense is Response + Firewall, and I dont see a need to know you are attacked at that point. Automatic gear-based reaction.

Full Defense is less clear, Id likely allow it and be done. High stealth is good enough as is, no need to enhance the value of an alpha-strike on any opponent in VR.



Well, this is true, it is a matrix world. Not unlike astral perception, the info you're given isn't quite the same as what you're seeing.

the automatic gear-based reaction part does not add up though. If you can hit someone in multiple servers without them getting to defend (except for damage resistance) because they're off in another node, that suggests it isn't that automatic, or it would apply there too. It definitely implies you have to be aware enough to use the benefits of your response and firewall to your full advantage. It would seem like surprise can be just as effective/deadly in the matrix as the meat world.

That response definitely suggests stealth is already very powerful though, so something to keep in mind...
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