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Lord Ben
Okay, I understand the dice pool rolls for the hardware + logic of beating mag locks, and the ag + lockpicking roll for physical locks. But what about special things like a car?

I wanted my PC to be a faceman, but not the smooth kind. The kind who can boost a car and then sell it lickity split or find the right peice of equipment off the streets fast too. Not the mobbed up guy in the Armani suit.

However I don't want to create the PC only to find out that I'm missing essential skill X and unable to do what I said I could in my backstory.

So far I have Logic 3(5), Hardware 4 for beaing mag locks and agility 7(9), lockpicking 3 for normal locks. I also have charisma 7 and negtiation 5 (buy/sell goods +2) I read that Driving 0 is basically just having your drivers license so I skipped that skill. Not sure the specialization is worded right but it'd basically apply to finding illegal weapons and fencing goods. Not negotiating contracts.

I don't need to hack into anything to steal a car right? (I know you can, but you don't need to right?)
Most Cars will have a built-in transponder and computer that you'll need to hack in somehow order to steal the car (otherwise, think of how easy it would be to track you down). I'd give it a Firewall and System rating equal to its Pilot program.
Lord Ben
Could you still drive it away with that in there? Or rip out the computer wires, kill the circuit, etc?
You might want to give Rigger 3 a skim which provides more detail about boosting cars in 206X.

You may need to "hack" the transponder chip as well as any emergency stop chip that might be present. Physically removing the chip would be, I think, Hardware and actually cracking the chip would be Hacking.

Hardware should be enough to crack the maglock protecting the car door. Considering how electronic cars are portrayed, the hardware skill should be sufficient for bypassing the key and starting the car.


It's a new system to you and the GM. Ask him if he would allow some minor adjustment after the first sesion or two if your charictor can't do what you want him to do. My group often sets a Xp break in / test drive period when we start a game.
I think you could hardwire the car to be driven manually. You'd lose the Pilot Rating of the car in the process, but then you wouldn't have to hack it. I'd give it an Extended Test of Hardware + Logic (10 + any other appropriate mods, 1 minute). You'd still need to locate and disable the transponder, although you could just as easily use a Directional or Area Jammer for the same effect.
I would look heavily into the wireless world chapter. Boosting cars should propably involve a lot of hacking if you want to come away clean (concider that most cars have sensors, semi-intelligent pilot programs and are connected wirelessly to the matrix, if the car sees you breaking in the owner might well know instantly.) Also I would make sure I had some driving skills and a hot sim modded commlink, just to be sure I could get away if things heated up.

Itīs a wireless world. Better to take advantage of that by being good at exploiting it (hacking), than to be a victim of the added security perks it grants (wirecliping, hardware and electronics donīt cut it because thereīs really not as many wires to clip anymore).
Lord Ben
Well, I wanted to be a street punk car stealer turned Street Samurai type character. Another PC is a hacker so ideally we'd work together. IE, I break into it and start the engine then insert whatever into a datajack and maybe he does the rest? It's a teamwork thing. If I can break the lock and hotwire the ignition I'm sure they could do the rest.
If the whole thing is wireless, like the much-hyped "Onstar" systems, all you really need is a good hacker to slice the security systems and access all the onboard operating systems to convince the car that you are, indeed, the proper owner.

If the car is "offline", then there would be another set of skills - like physically cracking the door lock and starting the car independently of external systems.

I would look into the possibility of being proficient enough with hacking that I can make an ugly front line assault on the carīs system and shut it out, at least. Then go physical on it. If you have a good hacker with you, no sweat. But it might not be impossible to have the ability to do this stuff yourself if you have to. And if you know a good hacker you can get good programs too. I really think more characters should look into computers some in this edition smile.gif
Do some reading - it may be difficult not to cross the line into fullblown Hacker.

Mind the toes you tread on, particularly in combat boots.

Why not just say that a knowledge of stealing cars in the sixth world would logically include some specialized hacking skills. You can't do anything very fancy with the electronics, but you can make sure the alarm doesn't notice you and fiddle with the hardware to keep it that way.
Giving the vehicle a forged VIN and other paperwork to make it appear clean would require actual hacking; for which this skill would be useless.

The way I see it is this. I don't need to know the intricate details of electronics, internal combustion engines or computers to steal a car today. (Though these skills would help.) I just need to know some key techniques and "sub-skills" that all fall under the heading "Stealing cars"; so I doubt that thieves in 2070-something will need to know how to code a matrix-node from scratch to snag a ford jackrabbit.
There is the brute force method of "hacking". Using an jammer you can fry eggs on, a pry bar, and appropriate knowledge of the hardware you physically disable all the security systems before loading the sucker up onto a tow truck and dragging it back to your chop shop.

Note: Make sure to turn the jammer off before driving away, otherwise it becomes more like a beacon. wink.gif
Hacking 1 (+2 cars), right?

Depending on the car, higher skills needed.

At which point, you've already started down the hacker path, although you could just keep raising the specialization and not the base skill.

Rotbart van Dainig
Err, well, no - you can't, specializations are always +2.
With a hacker friend you could continue boosting more expencive rides by just getting constant upgrades to your programs and agents. Not as fast progression as a true hacker, off course.
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
Err, well, no - you can't, specializations are always +2.

Yes, I am aware. I was noting the specialization in shorthand.


Hacking (Vehicles): 1 (+2)

If you want to be technical.

QUOTE (Siege)
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Sep 7 2005, 01:35 PM)
Err, well, no - you can't, specializations are always +2.

Yes, I am aware. I was noting the specialization in shorthand.


Hacking (Vehicles): 1 (+2)

If you want to be technical.


I'm pretty sure that he meant that you can't raise the specilization with raising the base skill.
My biggest problem with the "boosting cars" thing is, how much money can a team of shadowrunners make from it? If you go by the "take it to a chopshop, get 30% of value", you can make a fair bit with the right skills for very little risk or expenditure.

And I don't want to throw three attack choppers at them every time they take a joyride, either...
Yes, but with the specialization, you don't have to invest as many karma points to be effective. Or house-rule it to allow increase of specializations only.

I would imagine a squad of spec operatives could make a good living doing basic criminal activities nowadays- drug dealing, car theft, extortion and so on.

Extend this parallel to SR and a combat hacker could make a comfortable living performing relatively petty crime - identity theft, pilfering small accounts and so on.

But reality doesn't necessarily make for a good Shadowrun. grinbig.gif

Geeze, anyone capable of building maglock passkeys would make a small fortune before flooding the market. Unless (s)he included one-shot burnout chips...hmm...

At any rate, the point of the game is not to "just make a living" but to adventure - which is why it helps GMs to have reasons why the PCs are willing to risk life and limb when easier, less risky means of making a living present themselves.

Hell Hound
QUOTE (Gort)
My biggest problem with the "boosting cars" thing is, how much money can a team of shadowrunners make from it? If you go by the "take it to a chopshop, get 30% of value", you can make a fair bit with the right skills for very little risk or expenditure.

This is one of those places to use the big boys of the underground, the criminal syndicates. Any illegal business that has a good profit margin they will be all over, so perhaps your runners can find a chop shop that is not beholden to one of the mobs but eventually the place will be found and smashed and that's the end of their easy money. On the other hand if they go to a chop shop with mob connections they will either get a significantly smaller cut of the proceeds because they aren't part of 'the family' or they will be brought into the fold, at which point their new mob bosses will find better and more risky uses for their talents.

The shadowrun world is a shark tank and shadowrunners are only mid-sized fish. If there is an easy source of cash someone bigger than them will already have it sewn up.
QUOTE (Siege)
... a small fortune ...

I really hate that expression! nyahnyah.gif grinbig.gif
Boosting Cars is part of my Rigger / Sam Character as well.
I gave the issue some thought, too, and followed this thread pretty much.

I see two ways of doing the boosting.
"Old School"
As mentioned, pretty much brute force:
Lockpicking / Hardware to disable the locks, use a Directional Scanner to kill any alarms that may go out to the owner / police and either tow it or hotwire it.
Hardware should be pretty much the skill there, too.
This doesnt deal with car ID (tags?), alarms and all this so I think route 2 is the way to go, unless you plan to hotwire some oldtimer smile.gif

"2070 School"
Sit down at a nice and cosy place near the car and power up your tools.
I am under the assumption here that the war will have a wireless link to the "outside" (GPS for navi, Gridlink, Emergency call options, whatever).

Detecting Wireless Nodes (Electronic Warfare + Scan, page 225)
to know where to attack.
Encryption / Decryption (Decrypt + Response, page 225)
to be able to attack at all.
Hacking on the fly (Hacking + Exploit, page 221) (you could be probing the target, too, given the time)
to actually attack the node, I guess for our purpose we would need Admin rights, as we need to change quite a bit on the cars electronic.
Edit: Insert "Dealing with second line defense like IC and all that.
Intercept Traffic (Hacking + Sniffer, followed by Computer + Edit, page 224)
we want to make sure that the car is telling the owner that its safe and sound and the GPS tracking that its "still here".
Hacking & Editing (Hacking + Edit, page 225)
Create a valid "user" for the car for us as well as kick out the old owner.
Spoofing the Datatrail (Hacking + Spoof, page 225)
If you can spoof your commlings access ID with this, you should be able to fake a car ID with it, too, right?

Drive off into the sunset with your new car ... ?

I checked up on the Rigger 3 entry on car theft and it was ... short. No dealing with GPS tracking, nothing...
I am no expert in any kind of either the rules, the old rules or car theft, so it seems to easy (to get a car) but still complicated (dice wise), any comments?
Crusher Bob
You'd probably have a face 'carID' set to go, you'd hack the existing car ID and shut it off, then put your 'fake car id box' into the car and drive off. Anyone who looks at the car gets the data from the ID box. So you have the car systems, turn them off, and set your ID box to pretend to be a car of the same make, model, etc. Then just drive if off to the chop shop.

Even better would be to have two fake id boxes (if they are cheap), one you have pretend to be the original car (and you leave it in the parking space). Thus anyone not actually looking at the car gets told that the car is still sitting in it's parking space, so you have more time to make your get away.
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