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GlassJaw
Hey all, I've really enjoyed read the Idiot's Matrix thread (http://forums-temp.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=90&st=0) and was sorry to see it kind of ended abruptly.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone would be interested in starting a new thread and running me (a Matrix n00b) and my equally newbish decker through a short run.
Kagetenshi
Sure, I'll give it a shot. Anything in particular you want to work on?

~J
Dashifen
I'm available as well for what ever you need. I'm willing to run a all-decker game in the other thread as a tutorial as well, if that would be desirable.
Fortune
I might even get in on that. I've never been too familiar with the Decker rules. I always knew the basics, but usually worked with an NPC Decker, so never needed the nitty gritty bits. biggrin.gif
GlassJaw
I would like to start simple at first if possible. I've only been reading the Matrix rules; I haven't done anything in-game yet although I'm sure I'll have a chance soon. I just figure any time I can get going over the rules the better.

I guess if I had my choice, I would like to do something solo first, then if more people want to jump in after that, all the better. How do runs work with more than one decker anyway?
Kagetenshi
Quite well, providing that they have good DF.

My question is, do you want to try some matrix runs with a preexisting character? Do you want to try specific operations? Start with a character with a Fairlight and see just what that'll get you? Try to see if you can crack a Red-Hard with an Allegiance Sigma and a Skill of 40? That'll let me know whether to set chargen rules and if so what they should be.

~J
GlassJaw
QUOTE
My question is, do you want to try some matrix runs with a preexisting character? Do you want to try specific operations? Start with a character with a Fairlight and see just what that'll get you? Try to see if you can crack a Red-Hard with an Allegiance Sigma and a Skill of 40? That'll let me know whether to set chargen rules and if so what they should be.


I want to use the character I'm playing right now. Here's the relevant info:

GlassJaw
Dwarf Combat Decker

Int: 8 (6 + Cerebral Booster 2)
Computer: 6
Hacking Pool: 9 (4 + Math SPU 3 + Enceph 2)
Matrix Initiative: 10 + 3D6 (Int + Pure DNI + Response 1)

Cyberware and Bioware: Datajack, Headware Memory (200), Math SPU 3, Encephalon 2, Cerebral Booster 2

Novatech Hyperdeck-6
MCPC: 6/4/5/5/4
Detection: 6
Hardening: 4
Memory: 500
Storage: 1000
I/O Speed: 240
Response Increase: 1

Analyze 6 108
Armor 4 48
Attack S 6 144
Browse 6 36
Cloak 6 108
Commlink 6 36
Deception 6 72
Decrypt 6 36
Medic 4 64
Read/Write 6 72
Relocate 4 32
Sleaze 6 108
Spoof 6 108

I got a bit of break in that I was able to start with the Cerebral Booster but I'm not starting with the greatest of decks. In-game he's very new to the Matrix and one of his first goals is to upgrade his deck. Thoughts? Questions? Comments?

Edit: My Matrix Init should be 10, not 8. It would be 12 but 10 is the max right?
Kagetenshi
Two comments. One, I'm glad you aren't playing a Validate decker. Those are extremely effective, but they make for very very very poor examples.

Second, since your DF is low remember that you don't have to do everything in one shot. Complete part of your task, get out, wait a bit for things to cool down and then go back for more.

Do you have any specific questions before we get started? (*Draws up some ideas right quick*)

~J
GlassJaw
QUOTE
One, I'm glad you aren't playing a Validate decker


Well I talked to my GM about and we are kind of staying away from the Matrix at least at first (except for the Pure DNI option).

QUOTE
since your DF is low remember that you don't have to do everything in one shot. Complete part of your task, get out, wait a bit for things to cool down and then go back for more.


Is there any other way to boost as a starting character? I think it's as high as it can get right now (Sleave 6 + Masking 5 = 5.5 round up).

Also, should I choose what programs I have active? How important (or not) is it to have a high memory so you don't have to swap out programs? Is having to swap stuff a huge disadvantage?
Bigity
There's not really any way to boost your DF in the BBB, but there are some options in Matrix (modes, assigning HP to increase DF, etc).

It can be. Having alot of stuff in memory means you dont have to do Swap Memory ops to load that cloak program you need right now, but it also means that trace IC can find your jackpoint easier (Unless that is also optional Matrix rules, I can't recall.).

If it is an optional Matrix rule, I'd max out active memory.
Whizbang
If you ever do get to opening this to other players... *puts in a reservation*
Nomad
QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Oct 4 2004, 01:28 PM)
I'm glad you aren't playing a Validate decker. Those are extremely effective, but they make for very very very poor examples.

They are effective but have a definate drawback. They only work as long as the account is validated. Which means they must be "very, very quiet." Its not a bad idea for a part-time decker, as one of my character's is, as its a cheap way to make a moderately effective decker, but if you get the account yanked out from under you, you're pretty much screwed.
GlassJaw
QUOTE
Do you have any specific questions before we get started? (*Draws up some ideas right quick*)


No, I think I'm pretty much good to go. I guess I would just have to select some active programs but that might depend on where I'm jacking in from.

Actually, one question on swapping programs. If you're not currently in combat but you are in a private network, does swapping utilities create any trouble for you? Can you sit "idle" and swap utils?

For example, you load up your Deception util to logon to the RTG and get inside whatever PTG you are looking for. Once inside, can you swap that out for something else?
Kagetenshi
There's the Swap Memory operation detailed in SR3.

Post what your icon usually looks like, and we can get started.

~J
GlassJaw
QUOTE
Post what your icon usually looks like


Oh yeah, almost forgot.

GlassJaw's icon looks like a human male (even though he's a dwarf) composed completely of glass. He wears red boxing gloves and a white hooded robe with blue trim.

When in combat, his attack utility is a devastating uppercut. When attempting to evade or avoid detection, he puts his hood up and over his eyes. When browsing or searching files, he takes off his gloves and hangs them at his side and uses his bare hands. His medic program is a water bottle or a cold compress.

Before he turned to the shadows, he used to fight in illegal underground fight clubs. He would take dives for some Mob Soldiers to earn some cash. Hence the boxer motif.
Kagetenshi
A few notes before we start: we're only going to concern ourselves with the meatworld insofar as it involves reaching jackpoints. If and when we do an onsite decking example we'll do a bit more, but for the most part, if the opposition reaches your physical location you are presumed to be dead. Depending on your arrangements you may do better in an actual game, but for now it's a dangerous world out there. You can, of course, survive tracking by leaving immediately for a different jackpoint.

~J
Kagetenshi
The Man with the Glass Jaw has been called upon by a desperate friend with cred but no other contacts. Not only does this friend's superior have proof of the friend embezzeling money from a small corporation, he has also discovered that this superior has removed him from the promotion computer. He wants you to erase the proof, alter a copy to point to the superior, drop it somewhere where it will be discovered and the supervisor will be unable to erase it, add his name to the promotion computer, and ensure that it is selected. He doesn't know much about the computer system save that it is entirely connected to the matrix save for some backup computers which should not have copies of the incriminating files. He also gives you a password to the building thermostats; this password has no associated username.

You are in your lifestyle. There are doors to the North, South, and East. A window to the West shows a marvelous view of the setting sun. In front of you there is a table with a deck on it, from which a piece of fiber-optic cable trails to a port on the wall.
Whizbang
lol...sounds like one of those old text adventure games. Well...guess I should slip into lurker status and let you two be...but I'm here, ready to learn if you need someone to bail your char out. smile.gif
GlassJaw
QUOTE
You are in your lifestyle. There are doors to the North, South, and East. A window to the West shows a marvelous view of the setting sun. In front of you there is a table with a deck on it, from which a piece of fiber-optic cable trails to a port on the wall.


Am I supposed to go exploring or is this just flavor text? grinbig.gif

Otherwise I jack in to the LTG. Are we in Seattle? Do I know the LTG# of the corp?
Kagetenshi
You are in Seattle. A simple search of the directory gets you the public access server LTG#.

Are you logging on through a legitimate connection, or decking in?
GlassJaw
QUOTE
Are you logging on through a legitimate connection, or decking in?


Umm, I assume decking in. I don't want my actions traced right? Are there any other differences? You might have to walk me through some stuff here.
Kagetenshi
If you're going to be doing some illegal stuff, going in legitimately is bad. That being said, you can sometimes learn valuable info from their public access servers without doing anything actively illegal. Also keep in mind that decking from home can be risky, but the security on the target was not billed as particularly tight. Your choice.

~J
GlassJaw
Can I get the LTG# from the directory legally? If so, would getting the LTG and checking out the place be bad if I later hack into it? It might be a little more than coincidental that I was looking at it and then it was later hacked. I figure they might check the records of who had logged in previuosly, even if it was legal.

Am I overthinking this?

QUOTE
Also keep in mind that decking from home can be risky, but the security on the target was not billed as particularly tight. Your choice.


What are my other options? Do I know of any secure locations in the area?

Sorry if this is going a little slow but it's actually very helpful for me. I need to get some background on the "ebb and flow" of the Matrix itself in game terms, not just crunching the numbers.
Kagetenshi
No worries at all. The public access server is the equivalent to a public web site/FTP site nowadays. This particular company isn't particularly large, but it probably still gets a nontrivial number of visitors daily.

Regarding the jackpoint, your other options primarily involve either tapping one yourself, breaking in somewhere (not necessarily the target) to use their access point, or renting one from someone. Roll your starting cash, it might be useful.

With a corp like this, you could probably get away with decking from home if you're careful, but it isn't advisable. Decking from home means that even if you get away cleanly, you lose something if they trace your jackpoint.

~J
GlassJaw
QUOTE
Regarding the jackpoint, your other options primarily involve either tapping one yourself


Well he has good Computer and Electronics B/R skills so this makes the most sense. So how do I got about setting up an illegal jackpoint? Do I just need a dataline tap?
Kagetenshi
That and a fiber-optic trunk. If you have Matrix you might want to look up the rules for that; I, sadly, am at work and won't be able to provide anything I don't have memorized until this evening.

~J
GlassJaw
QUOTE
If you have Matrix you might want to look up the rules for that; I, sadly, am at work and won't be able to provide anything I don't have memorized until this evening.


Yeah, me too. Can we skip it for now and just assume I'm ready to go?

Edit: I just realized I brought the Matrix book with me today. grinbig.gif

Anyway, I read the jackpoint section and I broke into the junction box in the basement of the building I live in (I actually live in the basement) and used a dataline tap setup an illegal access point. It connects me to the Redmond LTG. I'll use my Deception utility to go up to the Seattle RTG and find the LTG# of the corp.

Sound good? Let me know and I'll start rolling some dice.
Kagetenshi
Fair enough. Roll logon to Seattle RTG.

~J
GlassJaw
Here's what I have in active memory:

Analyze 6 108
Browse 6 36
Cloak 6 108
Deception 6 72
Decrypt 6 36
Sleaze 6 108
Total: 468

Am I correct in assuming Seattle's security is the same as the UCAS on pg. 203 of SR3?

If so, then I roll my Computer skill (6) plus my Hacking Pool (max 6 out of 9) against a TN of 2 (RTG Access of 6 - Deception 6 = minimum of 2).

I rolled 2, 4, 3, 10, 5, 2, 2, 11, 3, 10, 3, 11 (all successes?).
Kagetenshi
Iím using a randomly generated grid for right now, but itís known to be not that difficult.

You slide onto the system with ease, though at one point you feel a slight snag as a piece of data en route gets accidentally altered. The net stretches before you, vast and infinite.
GlassJaw
QUOTE
You slide onto the system with ease, though at one point you feel a slight snag as a piece of data en route gets accidentally altered. The net stretches before you, vast and infinite.


GlassJaw flexes his digital muscles a bit and throws a couple of quick jabs in front of him to get loosen up. Now he's ready to go.

Ok, now to figure out the LTG#. That's an Index test right? My Browse utility is 6 and I'll use 6 dice from my Hacking Pool again (I can keep doing this for each separate test right?)

I roll 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 10.
Kagetenshi
As long as you donít mind only performing one action per matrix-round (which may or may not be three seconds), you can throw full pool into everything. Keep in mind that your DF is somewhat low, though.

You pass through the grid, stepping on an errant icon on your way. Youíve got a pretty good idea of where to go right off the bat, and with your software helping it is a trivial exercise to reach the LTG.
GlassJaw
QUOTE
As long as you donít mind only performing one action per matrix-round (which may or may not be three seconds), you can throw full pool into everything. Keep in mind that your DF is somewhat low, though.


Well does doing more than one action matter as far as my DF goes? Doesn't the system make a Security Test per action that I make?

Again, my DF is as high as it can be with a brand new character. I guess you really need to tread lightly at the beginning...

QUOTE
Youíve got a pretty good idea of where to go right off the bat, and with your software helping it is a trivial exercise to reach the LTG.


Ok, I zip on over to the LTG#. What does the corp's PTG look like?
Eyeless Blond
Okay, before you go further, might I suggest physically relocating? If you are hit with a Trace program you can be tracked down, even if you're logged on illegally. On a high-security run if such a situation occurs you would have to run away quickly because Lone Star or another security team is probably on its way, but even in this case you don't want to be logging in from home, as any subsequent investigation may well track you right to your front door, illegal connection or not. Remember: you're not being paranoid because they really *are* all out to get you. biggrin.gif

As a side note, you most definately can raise your DF, if you're using rules in the Matrix book. The first thing you can do is run in what's called "Masking Mode." See page 123 of Matrix for details. The second thing you can do is bribe/beg/plead your DM into letting you use the "Hacking Pool for DF" rules on the right column of page 26. With both of these rules you can get your DF around 10-11, much better than your currently rather dangerous 6.
Eyeless Blond
Also look at the Redirect Datatrail operation. Matrix pg. 100. It helps keep you from being traced. Again, though, this only applies if you're using rules from the Matrix book.
GlassJaw
Ok, thanks for the tips. I think I definitely need to check out some of the Matrix options. Perhaps we should put this on pause for the time being...
Kagetenshi
Since weíre doing this for an example you can use masking mode. I usually forbid it in favor of the hacking pool for DF rule, which is in my opinion altogether more balanced.

~J
GlassJaw
Now that I'm reading some of these Matrix options, I'm realizing why you want to jack in from the inside of a corp. Since I'm somewhat ill-equipped to be doing full-out raids remotely, can we do something "from the inside?" I think this is basically what I'm going to be doing in-game until I get some experience and better equipment. I also want to keep it kind of simple and not use a lot of the Matrix options and utilities right off the bat.
Kagetenshi
Define "from the inside"? I'm more than amenable to doing the first example run from a point after having secured the jackpoint.

~J
Bane
I think he means decking into a corp's PLTG from an on-site vending machine or something.
GlassJaw
QUOTE
I think he means decking into a corp's PLTG from an on-site vending machine or something.


Yeah I did but I read some of the Matrix last night and I think I might be ready to give it a shot.

Here are the variants:

- Convert 2 dice from your HP for +1 Detection.
- Modes: Raise one attribute by 50% and raise another by 50% (round down). This requires a Complex action to change.
- Use 1 die from HP to suppress IC.

Using these variants will definitely help newbie deckers out (like me!).

My deck is MPCP-6/4/4/6/4 and I'll use Masking mode, which brings my persona to
MPCP-6/2/4/9/4. My Detection will then be 8 (9 Masking + 6 Sleave = 15/2 = 7.5, round up to cool.gif. I'll then use 2 dice from my HP (bringing me to 7) to make it 9.

Look ok?

Last we left I had gotten to the PTG of the corp. What do I see?

Kagetenshi
The PLTG is a welcoming, if somewhat overdone, accounting office in a style that hasn't been seen in the meatworld in over a hundred years.
GlassJaw
Ok, cool. Can I start with an Analyze Host or do I have to Logon to Host first?
Kagetenshi
Need to log on first vegm.gif

~J
GlassJaw
QUOTE
Need to log on first


Wonderful.

Ok, GlassJaw starts to bob-and-weave towards the corp entrance...

My Deception is 6 and I use 6 HP:

1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 10, 14, 15

Most low but a few very high, interesting.

Anyway, assuming I get on and after I take a quick look around, I'll do an Analyze Host. My Analyze is 6:

2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10
Kagetenshi
You wander right in front of a detection system, but you stay very still and it passes by. You receive three pieces of info from the following: Security Rating, Host Colour, Access, Control, Index, Files, Slave. Choose which you want.
GlassJaw
Only 3 successes? Hmm, that might not be good. Anyway, I'll take the Security Rating (which gives code and value according to SR3, pg. 215), Files, and Index since I'm going to have to do a lot of searching and file manipulation.
Kagetenshi
Green 8, */*/11/13/*
Eyeless Blond
Although it obviously won't be shown to us in a real run, maybe it would be instructive to see what rolls and calculations are done on the GM's side of the screen? Perhaps keep them in spoiler tags or somesuch, as done in the Matrix thread?
Kagetenshi
Sure. I'll start better bookkeeping, for now a rough rundown of what has happened (GlassJaw, please resist reading for now, you can go back and look later):

[ Spoiler ]


~J
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