SR3R Project Forum

Discussion and debate for the SR3R Project
It is currently Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:06 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 32 posts ] 

Should utilities be done away with?
Yes, then do away and lower system ratings 13%  13%  [ 1 ]
Yes, then do away but keep system ratings the same 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
No, keep utilities and system ratings as is 63%  63%  [ 5 ]
Keep utilities, but only as automated programs for an encephalon to run, lower system ratings 25%  25%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 8
Author Message
 Post subject: Programs and Utilities
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:14 pm
Posts: 138
I had asked this question a while ago. I was thinking that utlities just causes the whole decking process to get over inflated, and takes the focus off the decker's skill. Also it causes a memory calculation headache.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:17 pm 
Offline
Forum Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:50 am
Posts: 827
Location: DeeCee
Given those few reasons, I'd have to say stick to, or close to, how we have it now. It's more realistic, it's more balanced (since there's only one decking skill), and allows for more detail.

I like what Kage did in reducing the total number of utilities, and I would like to see a mechanic in place for decking without utilities (since currently it's basically responsible). I could also be persuaded to vote for reducing the impact utilities have (since it's already pretty severe. Dodger running without utilities would fare worse than a newbie running with SOTA gear on all but the lowest level systems).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:14 pm
Posts: 138
I hve been having problems with my network here at work ... there were supposed to be another option in there.

Keep utilities, but only as automated programs that your encephalon can run. And lower system ratings.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:04 pm 
Offline
Forum Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:50 am
Posts: 827
Location: DeeCee
I added that for you. Hope that looks acceptable :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:14 pm
Posts: 138
works very well .. thank you, Mr Admin staff.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:07 pm 
Offline
Forum Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:50 am
Posts: 827
Location: DeeCee
I've been waiting very anxiously to use my new Super Admin Powers. I considered leaving in a typo just so I could go back to fix it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:18 pm
Posts: 2
I want to keep Utilities. They are similar to a magicians spells or a Sammies weapons. The right tool for the job makes it easier to accomplish the task.

The problem is the decker wanting every existing utility. Magicians rarely know every spell, and the sammie can't have a weapon with high concealability while affixing maximum recoil and targeting equipment. Each type of character makes choices, and the deckers main choice is which utilities to own and which to have ready for a particular matrix run.

Eliminating utilities and just using Computer skill would be like the magician not needing spells and just using sorcery to make things magically happen.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:10 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:14 pm
Posts: 138
While I can see what you are saying in regards to a magic spell, a mage is not facing over inflated target numbers to compensate.

Utilities will be used now to take over menial tasks for a decker. Part of the problem with utilities is how freaking long they take to create. A deckers bottleneck is time for writing programs. Not karma, and money to a lesser degree.

Utilities also are supposed to degrade over time. (an idea that I think is realistic but too painful)

By removing ultities you make a decker concentrate more on the hardware, and possibly work on some other skills that can help them integrate more into a team. (You are freeing up some of the redundant skills, which could possibly turn them into more of a rigger hybrid)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:32 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 206
This is true. TN's are often between 10 and 12 and you're using utilities to just get it down to 5, a negotiable TN. I do think it would be more interesting to see base TNs from 3 to 6 and no TN modifiers for the Decker. It seems so much simpler, with all the same effects, and without a need for min-maxxing to have a cool Decker.

Ie: I completely support the idea of no Utilities as long as we 'fix' certain TNs. However that leaves the Encephalon discussion a bit bottomed out.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:42 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:34 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Oceania
nezumi wrote:
I like what Kage did in reducing the total number of utilities, and I would like to see a mechanic in place for decking without utilities (since currently it's basically responsible). I could also be persuaded to vote for reducing the impact utilities have (since it's already pretty severe. Dodger running without utilities would fare worse than a newbie running with SOTA gear on all but the lowest level systems).

nezumi wrote:
I've been waiting very anxiously to use my new Super Admin Powers. I considered leaving in a typo just so I could go back to fix it.

Is responsible meant to be impossible? I'll assume it is.
How about a system where the maximum skill you can utilise is equal to your relevant utility's rating. Where the decker lacks the utility they would be forced to rely on their hacking pool (up to their skill in accordance with pool rules). Typical system ratings would be reduced to Matrix 1.0 levels of about 3-7.
This makes it possible for a skilled decker to operate with limited or no utilities but decking with utilities is still advantageous.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:15 pm 
Offline
Forum Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:50 am
Posts: 827
Location: DeeCee
Very sharp, Link, yeah, I meant impossible. However, editing my own post isn't much of a use of my new super powers.

I'm not huge on the idea of using caps, although I do admit it would seem to be the best suggestion made so far. To be more precise, if you have a level 10 utility but only 3 skill, you can use the utility, but only at effective rating 3.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 2:45 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 206
So, Link. Assuming everyone's skill is 6 (just because that seems to be the average skill of a Decker), and you have rating 4 utilities. Are you actually better of not using a utility since you can use 6 vs 4 dice? Or does pool stack allowing you to use 8 dice (meaning a utility ratings 1 to 3 are pointless for a skill-6 person)?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 3:45 am 
Offline
Forum Admin

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:11 am
Posts: 903
tisoz wrote:
I want to keep Utilities. They are similar to a magicians spells or a Sammies weapons. The right tool for the job makes it easier to accomplish the task.
In addition to Platinum's point about inflated TNs, there's also the point that the majority of the decker's Utilities are needed just to get in the door, while spells just do special things. Levitate is nice, but without it you can still walk around. Without Deception you can't get into the host at all; there is no secondary option.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:09 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:39 am
Posts: 875
Location: Boston
That isn't actually true at all, though you need high skill and a weak host to go it without any utilities.

To continue the levitate vs. walking analogy, it would be similar if "the ground" was composed entirely of the skyline of a city. Someone sufficiently athletic can still get around, but it isn't too inaccurate to say that you can't get anywhere.

~J

_________________
Failure: when your best just isn't good enough.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:34 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Oceania
nezumi wrote:
Very sharp, Link, yeah, I meant impossible. However, editing my own post isn't much of a use of my new super powers.

Baby steps. :)
BTW my quoting you earlier was in jest which I should have indicated.
As for my assuming you meant impossible, I wanted to be clear since I'd not seen this raised before and it underwrote my post.
Sphynx wrote:
So, Link. Assuming everyone's skill is 6 (just because that seems to be the average skill of a Decker), and you have rating 4 utilities. Are you actually better of not using a utility since you can use 6 vs 4 dice? Or does pool stack allowing you to use 8 dice (meaning a utility ratings 1 to 3 are pointless for a skill-6 person)?

The hacking pool would stack with skill - the utility only limits skill dice, not skill rating (skill rating's determining maximum pool allowed).
A 6-skill decker using a utility rated 1-3 would allow 1-3 skill dice plus up to 6 hacking pool dice.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 2:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 206
I'm not against the idea. It seems fair and balanced (and better than the current system). But it also seems a bit more complicated. However, many 'decker' types will be opposed to 'no utilities', so maybe more complicated is better than the simplicity of no utilities.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:51 pm 
Offline
Forum Admin

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:11 am
Posts: 903
To be honest, now that we've severely reduced the number of utilities I'm really not all that worried about leaving them in. When it comes to "required" utilities, the only ones that are really required are the Operational utilities, which we've reduced to, what, 6-7? Especially now that we're ditching Sleaze, I can live with deckers being required to have those 6-7 utilities around to accomplish something meaningful, much like I can live with deckers being required to have a cyberdeck with a Masking chip. Without a deck you're not a decker; you're just an engineer. :)

That said, maybe we can do something to help out the poor, program-less decker by extending and/or enhancing rules we already have. By this I mean maybe we can expand the improvised attack program rules to include operational utilities? The relevant source is in Matrix, p. 122. The proposed change is basically that the decker can, as a Simple Action, allocate dice from his Hacking Pool, up to a maximum of his Computer(Programming) skill to create a one-shot operational utility or attack program. Sound like a good idea?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:16 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:39 am
Posts: 875
Location: Boston
Actually, there are still a whole 14 Operational Utilities, though there are a fair number of those you don't need on what I consider a general basis (Encrypt, Commlink, Inject, Purge, and possibly Redirect and Sniffer—a daring decker could even drop Scanner).

I should write up some brief summaries of "The Rules As They Are" (where "As They Are" is SR3 canon with well-agreed-upon SR3R changes applied, like Utility consolidation) to help keep track of where everything is.

~J

_________________
Failure: when your best just isn't good enough.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:30 pm 
Offline
Forum Admin

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:11 am
Posts: 903
Eyeless Blond wrote:
That said, maybe we can do something to help out the poor, program-less decker by extending and/or enhancing rules we already have. By this I mean maybe we can expand the improvised attack program rules to include operational utilities? The relevant source is in Matrix, p. 122. The proposed change is basically that the decker can, as a Simple Action, allocate dice from his Hacking Pool, up to a maximum of his Computer(Programming) skill to create a one-shot operational utility or attack program. Sound like a good idea?

I'd also like to see Otaku get something like this, but more powerful/useful, to emphasize that they are more generally "in-tune" with the Matrix than deckers are. Since we're restructuring deckers to make them less convoluted, with the result of also making them less expensive, it's only fair that we give Otaku something extra too.


Last edited by Eyeless Blond on Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:40 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:39 am
Posts: 875
Location: Boston
I agree; they need something at least, since right now most of what we've eliminated has been Operational Utilities, which used to be the big advantage of Otaku (that they just needed some Channels instead of big pricy stacks of OUs).

I should open another thread for the question, but does anyone see a reason to keep the limitations on maximum Channel rating at chargen?

~J

_________________
Failure: when your best just isn't good enough.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:53 pm 
Offline
Forum Admin

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:11 am
Posts: 903
Only that Otaku don't have enough skill points as it is. I'm kind of iffy on the idea of having them use the skills mechanic for their operational utilities, but I can't think of a better alternative.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:35 am 
Offline
Forum Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:50 am
Posts: 827
Location: DeeCee
I think we should give otaku a bullet in the brainpan :P

As an aside, will we be bringing back program carriers?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:43 pm 
Offline
Forum Admin

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:11 am
Posts: 903
nezumi wrote:
I think we should give otaku a bullet in the brainpan :P
I certainly hope not. No doubt their brains would integrate the bullet into their brain and turn it into a wireless transmitter. :)

Quote:
As an aside, will we be bringing back program carriers?
What's a program carrier? Is it anything like an SR4 commlink?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:38 pm 
Offline
Forum Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:50 am
Posts: 827
Location: DeeCee
In SR1 they had something that looked like wolverine claws that plugs straight into the data port. It allows deckers to jack in 'naked' - without any utilities at all.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:48 pm 
Offline
Forum Admin

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:11 am
Posts: 903
What an odd idea. Why would anyone want to do that?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:35 am 
Offline
Forum Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:50 am
Posts: 827
Location: DeeCee
Because it's awesome. What a silly question.

Let me crack my SR1 book and see...

"This is a specialized form of Bodyware for those who work with the Matrix, especially deckers. Three retractable prongs are located in the user's hand to carry any kind of chip. The chips are connected by individual subdermal fiber optics to the user's datajack. Technicians use program carriers for diagnostic routines, and deckers for persona programs [SR1 didn't use the MPCP like we do, all the persona ratings are firmware bought and installed separately]. By inserting the prongs into a suitable station and plugging in a data table, a decker can run the matrix, as they say, 'naked'. He will need headware memory storage to stash any data he heists. This is a dangerous way to deck because the user's neural system is extremely vulnerable. 25,000Y."

Hmm...

Basically the way it works is thusly:
When using a deck, white IC refers to all solely passive IC, grey IC refers to IC that attacks the deck and black IC attacks the decker. There's nothing that causes stun damage to the decker.

When going in 'naked', you have all the persona chips installed except bod, and those chips work as normal. Instead of bod, you actually use your Body. Your Willpower counts as the MPCP rating (which does have other effects that don't come up in SR3). Grey IC causes you stun damage, instead of hurting your deck. Black IC still kills the decker, obviously. If you're doing this, your normal initiative boosters like wired reflexes come into play, so a street sam wired to the max might by some program carriers, high level persona chips and spend a ton of karma on his computer skill, and suddenly he's a wiz-hot decker without a deck.

Something else interesting to note; in SR1 a system had a rating like Red-3. The number is the TN for all of your tests and nothing reduces that, the color indicates the threshold for any given test (so a Red-3 system means a TN of 3, 3 successes required). Utilities are absolutely critical because they're what allow you to do something at all. You want to analyze a node? You MUST have an analyze program, and you roll the program's rating (not your computer skill) against the TN of (3, [3]). People using program carriers must write their programs on the fly.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:58 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:39 am
Posts: 875
Location: Boston
We'd have to come up with rules for cancer and neurological damage, though.

Or whatever it was.

~J

_________________
Failure: when your best just isn't good enough.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:20 pm 
Offline
Forum Admin

Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:11 am
Posts: 903
So... it's sorta like a cranial cyberdeck, only without any active memory so all your programs have to be written on-the-fly, and somehow your physical body gets transported to the Matrix so your physical initiative boosters actually translate over? How is this meaningfully different than just installing a deck in your head, other than 1) allowing you to carry physical initiative to a realm where it's not supposed to matter, and 2) somehow turn your brain into a deck (MPCP) like an Otaku, without actually being an Otaku?

Why would we want to do this?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:34 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Oceania
To reiterate.

How about a system where the maximum skill you can utilise is equal to your relevant utility's rating. Where the decker lacks the utility they would be forced to rely on their hacking pool (up to their skill in accordance with pool rules). Typical system ratings would be reduced to Matrix 1.0 levels of about 3-7.
This makes it possible for a skilled decker to operate with limited or no utilities but decking with utilities is still advantageous.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:58 am 
Offline
Forum Admin

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:50 am
Posts: 827
Location: DeeCee
Program carriers are basically (at least for me, at least), a style thing (and yes, I do think style is an important consideration). If cranial cyberdecks had cool wolverine-like claws, were referred to as 'decking naked' (implying it's clearly a lot riskier and therefore much cooler, and just like cigarettes, give you cancer) and didn't cost so tremendously much, I'd say they'd match the bill pretty well. I sort of brought up the idea on a lark, but I wouldn't mind examining the topic again when we discuss gear, since it won't change any of the real fundamental stuff we're examining now.

Link - so you're suggesting something where system TNs are reasonable, but utilities are useful because they let you apply more skill? So what happens if you don't have a utility at all? I can see that it would solve the problem of poor deckers with wiz-hot gear being way better than super-expert hackers running on trashy decks (and also reduces how important ACIFS is, since decking becomes action-centric instead of sub-system-centric.)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:34 pm
Posts: 105
Location: Oceania
I'm a staunch Program(me) Carrier supporter (I think Platinum is too) and dug up a Plastic Warriors supplement that updated them to SR3/Matrix 2.0.

There is also an obscure reference to Program Enablers (.1 Essence) in the SR1 gear list that had me wondering what was originally planned. I thought they could represent some sort of firmware utility.

I copied that earlier bit on utilities because I wanted to raise it again in light of current decking discussion. It offers several benefits;
- as it drops subsystem ratings down to the same level as Security Values it allows for 1 value to represent a host/system but still permits ACIFS for those who want the detail.
- it establishes a rule of sorts for programming on the fly by allowing hacking pool to be used in the absence of a utility.
- it can be used as a rule for any skill used in conjunction with gear. (the rule comes from Cybertechnology)

nezumi wrote:
So what happens if you don't have a utility at all?

You can only use hacking pool.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:34 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:14 pm
Posts: 138
Yes I am a huge fan of program carriers. Not a fan of Otaku however. In 3rd it was replaced by the asist module.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 32 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group