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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:11 pm 
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Kagetenshi wrote:
I think the approach to take then is to come up with a few distinct end states that we think we can support in a balanced fashion, then figure out how to let a player get to those end states. Any suggestions?

~J
So, what do you think would work here? I like:

-Agent-based decker: guy with a decent deck, but primarily focused on bringing a horde of agents/frames to the table on his side. Has multiple high-rating Agents with different program loadouts.
-One-man-army decker: guy who goes all-out on his own hardware and cyber/bioware. Has an MPCP above 12, and utilities to match.
-"Know-it-all" decker: guy who knows the Matrix inside and out. Has a dozen different Matrix Familiarity knowledge skills, Program Design Knowledge skills, knows a dozen programming languages*. If he doesn't know it, it probably doesn't exist anywhere online.

*Refinement on existing idea, will present in another thread.

For inspiration, maybe we should list the distinct end states for mages and/or riggers?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:11 am 
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Added, because it seems like another progression style that should be considered:

-"Combat decker." Not like the sample character; he's more of a dual-class. This character is the kind who excels at the sort of Mission-Impossible style "decking on the run", being able to infiltrate an enemy facility and tap into systems there, rather than doing it by remote. Has skill in electronic warfare, and tools to hack wireless signals, set up dataline taps quickly, and can deck without having to lay his body out with a RAS Override and Hot ASIST.

Think this is an archetype worth supporting? I warn you it won't be easy; we'll have to give a lot of thought to adding another layer to decking, one that concentrates on the SR4-style "hack the tiny node directly", rather than the SR3 paradigm of "hack the big host, then use it to spoof the node." Think it's worth the effort?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:01 pm 
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I like the combat decker idea, but I think that's become clear a dozen posts ago. He ties in well with the Program Carrier idea.

One-man-army - do you mean the guy who is a decker dedicated to host infiltration? The uber-computer geek who is actually bed-ridden in a hospital somewhere, but when he breaks into the host, he completely owns it?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:13 pm 
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I think the "combat decker" needs either a wireless paradigm, or the ability to plug in a transceiver in some hiddle jack and communicate to it wirelessly, for him to work. Keep that in mind. He also needs simplified matrix layouts, at least on the slave/remote end of things.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:17 pm 
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Speaking of combat deckers, we should consider whether we want to enable people to subvert hosts via direct matrix combat. It seems clear that it shouldn't be an easy choice, but we may not want it to be always a stupid choice the way it is now.

~J

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:47 pm 
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nezumi wrote:
I like the combat decker idea, but I think that's become clear a dozen posts ago. He ties in well with the Program Carrier idea.

One-man-army - do you mean the guy who is a decker dedicated to host infiltration? The uber-computer geek who is actually bed-ridden in a hospital somewhere, but when he breaks into the host, he completely owns it?
Basically. It's meant mostly as a contrast to the Swarm guy; a decker who puts his cash/time into boosting his own deck/programs, preferring to do the decking himself rather than upgrading a stable of agents/smart frames.

feralminded wrote:
I think the "combat decker" needs either a wireless paradigm, or the ability to plug in a transceiver in some hiddle jack and communicate to it wirelessly, for him to work. Keep that in mind. He also needs simplified matrix layouts, at least on the slave/remote end of things.
Well the plug-in transceiver thing we already have; you just chain a Rating X dataline tap to whatever wireless device you want.

What we really need is

1) some sort of AR-like way to deck, in other words without having to actually trigger a RAS Override. This should have distinct tradeoffs with "real" decking, naturally. (Do we already have this?)
2) (possibly) a way to wirelessly hack a node directly, either without having to go through the host or making very minimal references to the host.

Kagetenshi wrote:
Speaking of combat deckers, we should consider whether we want to enable people to subvert hosts via direct matrix combat. It seems clear that it shouldn't be an easy choice, but we may not want it to be always a stupid choice the way it is now.
Brute-force a host? Oh heck no; that'd be like trying to out-math a computer. Brute-force a slave node? I could see that, maybe.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:13 pm 
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I should clarify, since on rereading it was unclear (you may or may not have understood, your objection could potentially apply to either interpretation), that I don't mean somehow "attacking the host" in Matrix combat. I mean wading in and attacking things in the host, that is, being a cybercombat specialist, and being able to accomplish something other than getting booted when the system resets from too much tally.

~J

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:14 pm 
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I'd say you can safely AR by simply removing matrix reaction bonuses and remove their hacking pool. They work on meatspace reaction speeds and make all matrix actions complex meatspace actions. This would enable a decker to maybe spend one action shooting at some mook or offering cover fire, the next action disabling the security gun up ahead, the next action running on through the door with their team.

Of course you wouldn't want to engage in cyber combat in this mode since you'll be totally worthless without any speed or hacking pool ... but still ... it would be cool. What would also be cool is if the decker overextends and gets attacked by some IC while running along or something and they get tripped up. Yeah that's some drama right there :).

I mean really AR is no different than using a console only you have a better interface, better hardware, and better programs.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:30 pm 
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The hacking pool idea will have to be reconsidered if we go on the suggestion that utilities limit how many skill dice you can throw on a test.

I'd also suggest you get something like a +2 distraction bonus to actions in either realm while active in the AR. You can turn off your physical body with RAS override, or you can turn off the AR just by 'minimizing' it, likely either on a free action (similar to astral perception).


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:55 pm 
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I believe strongly that AR and wireless should be used sparingly.

I actually prefer using holography instead of AR,

-you don't need to have people subscribe to your networks,
-you don't use up bandwith,
-you don't have to worry about people jamming your signals.
-Also holographic interfaces are more secure. A hacker can't get beyond the gui. There aren't any protocols to hack.


All AR should be done at meatspace speeds.
-Face it, the faster you move the more you can interact with and do accomplish, how else are you going to accelerate AR?

2. it is mainly used for non-secure interactive applications like menus, guided tours, staff directories.
-It might be used in a lab, but a holounit would accomplish the same thing, and you don't have to worry about signal leaks.
-easier and cheaper to have a fixed computer unit to process imaging than a part of glasses with a small microprocessor.
-wireless signals are subject to reflection, jamming, spectrum overlaps. If everything was wireless like they protrayed
in 2070 radio spectrums would be oversaturated.

3. AR would be on a separate subsystem than datastores and corporate records.
-because AR is an

4. surveillance hardware will be wired.
-wireless signals are just too easy to jam, and interrupt, sure it takes a while to crack the encryption if you want to infultrate, but it takes seconds to jam and interfere with a signal.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:55 pm 
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nezumi wrote:
The hacking pool idea will have to be reconsidered if we go on the suggestion that utilities limit how many skill dice you can throw on a test.
Are we considering this? I think that's an awfully big change to make, essentially rewriting the core mechanic for decking. I still haven't seen a good case made for doing it either, other than the fact that few people really understand the current rules. All told, I'd be much more comfortable with the idea of a good programmer being able to improvise one-shot operational utilities using hacking pool, much like he can already improvise one-shot attack programs.

That said, we're going to need to give hacking pool a boost, especially if we're going to be changing the math SPU to make it less obscene. Maybe (Int+Will+MPCP)/2, to mirror combat/spell pool? I think something like this is on the List; I have to get around to making new topics for all of those.

Quote:
I'd also suggest you get something like a +2 distraction bonus to actions in either realm while active in the AR. You can turn off your physical body with RAS override, or you can turn off the AR just by 'minimizing' it, likely either on a free action (similar to astral perception).
I like this idea. As for initiative, that's getting back to my Mental/Physical initiative idea that everyone seemed to like back in the day; time to bring that back up too I guess.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:08 pm 
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We really need to pick a direction. A point in all directions is the same as no point at all. meaning there are too many conflicting ideas on the table. There are several discussions happening over each other. I would like a direction so I can decide if I am going to be in or out of the project.

We need to start simply and outline or "mandated goals", our "like to haves" and list of "other considerations".

now these are up for revision, I am throwing out some ideas.

goals:
1 simplify the rules
2 unify the rules.
3 make decking fun


our like to haves are:
1 AR / wireless rules
2 guidelines for creating decking in an adventure


other considerations:
1 cool tech
2 electronic warefare
3 decking naked
4 otaku


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:50 pm 
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Platinum, could you be more specific what you mean when you talk about holography? I just want to make sure we're talking about the same thing.


EB - we haven't accepted the idea, but we haven't tossed it either. I think at this point we've more or less identified the problem, so now we're brainstorming.


Platinum - overall I agree with your breakdown. I would add as a like to have that I would like a way to have decking during the run with the decker actually being part of the party and without decking becoming a complete mini-game.

I'd tend to say that 'guidelines for making decking part of the adventure' really should be in the 'must have' category, since it's not especially contentious, but I'll concede that at this point I don't have anything to lose from here, so worst case is I'm just back with what I have now (i.e. - hating deckers, but with some dim understanding of how they operate).


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:59 pm 
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By holography, I meant light projectors casting an image into open space. you can then interact with the space and receptors will pick up your actions and interpret them as input.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:07 pm 
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nezumi wrote:
I would add as a like to have that I would like a way to have decking during the run with the decker actually being part of the party and without decking becoming a complete mini-game.

I'd tend to say that 'guidelines for making decking part of the adventure' really should be in the 'must have' category, since it's not especially contentious, but I'll concede that at this point I don't have anything to lose from here, so worst case is I'm just back with what I have now (i.e. - hating deckers, but with some dim understanding of how they operate).
I would argue that deckers really are "part of the adventure". Maybe they're not in as direct risk as the sammie or the adept; they are in at least as much as the drone rigger, and probably more than the projecting mage or the face (who may not even be around at all). Certainly the danger is more cerebral than physical; but then the decker is a cerebral kind of guy. :)


Last edited by Eyeless Blond on Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:19 pm 
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Eyeless Blond wrote:
nezumi wrote:
The hacking pool idea will have to be reconsidered if we go on the suggestion that utilities limit how many skill dice you can throw on a test.
Are we considering this? I think that's an awfully big change to make, essentially rewriting the core mechanic for decking. I still haven't seen a good case made for doing it either, other than the fact that few people really understand the current rules.

For the reasons you state, I'm not really considering it at the moment. If a very convincing argument for it is made, or a workable system presented and a moderately convincing argument made, I might, but it seems like at best fixing what ain't broken (and at worst breaking things).

Goals (in the appropriate thread) when I wake up, it's naptime.

~J

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:24 pm 
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Kagetenshi wrote:
For the reasons you state, I'm not really considering it at the moment. If a very convincing argument for it is made, or a workable system presented and a moderately convincing argument made, I might, but it seems like at best fixing what ain't broken (and at worst breaking things).

Goals (in the appropriate thread) when I wake up, it's naptime.
In other words, if you like the idea, write it up, put it in a thread, and lobby for it. It takes work, sure, but it's your work.


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