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Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





bbcisdabomb posted:

Reminds me of the time our extremely overbuilt troll got some syringe arrows built for his bow. Said bow was a demonstration prop made by a materials company to show off a new material and required something like strength 10 to even draw it.

He shot a fully armored blacksite guard with a syringe full of horse tranquilizers. The arrow punched through the guy's armor, the entire stun track, and killed the dude with overflow, then he got enough tranquilizer to kill a Clydesdale.
We weren't great at stealth.
At least he didn't suffer, one presumes.

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Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

Nessus posted:

At least he didn't suffer, one presumes.

bows are unfortunately not as good as they used to be, as far as I can tell. You can do the troll bow thing but it's a huge investment for 1 more point of damage and armor penetration over a relatively basic assault rifle. It's stealthy but silencers exist. If you think being an elf special ops ranger type would be cool, bad luck. There are drug rounds but its not worth it as far as I can tell.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

SHADOWRUN 5E
THE MATRIX: ONLINE BASICS AND HACKING 101

Iím going to get this out of the way now: I really like the hacking rules, at least from a read. Thereís issues with it splitting the party and some of the numbers, but the rules are interesting and the setting aspects is probably the most punk Shadowrun gets: All sorts of subversion, individualism, conflict with authority and the Rules, and goofy throwback poo poo that gives a lot of charm somehow. Maybe when I actually play it thatís going to change, but the actual rules are solid, if Complex and untethered from other characters directly.

First things first: What the matrix is like. Virtual Reality is a big mixture of classic Cyberpunk VR and the Internet of Things taken to an absurd degree. Itís huge and almost impossible to comprehend or really survey: a Consensual Hallucination, to quote Gibson. Physical Rules are optional, and everything on wireless is represented as an Icon in as many senses as youíre plugged into with a Direct Neural Interface. Off in the distance, simulacra and representations of the material exist in a vague tie to geography, while off around you are secure Host networks, some the size of cities, hang in the distance, flanked by virtual hangouts, commercial spaces and parasocial relationships. Just hidden are the spaces hackers have carved out for themselves, secret and free. And in between everything are beams of data, zipping between icons and devices.

Outside of the more poetic terms, basically everything in VR is represented by an Icon, essentially a metaphor for the identity and functions. You can set it to look like whatever you want, though general protocols and sensibility mean thereís generally a clear connection between the two. You can just make anything look like anything though. These can cover any sense and even basically fill out a whole location. You can go to a VR restaurant and get a Steak, which is going to be an icon over a particular sensory file. Hackers, of course, love to hack and impose their own visuals on things, and one of the big struggles online is between corporate/admin protocols and self-expression. Stuff is roughly the size of the actual thing: Signals get funky if you do that.

Most people donít really deal with the whole matrix in all itís infinite scope, and it all gets filtered out. Generally, your program is going to filter things like a virtual pineal gland, just showing networks if youíre outside, hiding things from a distance, etc. Most people have everything connected on their own Personal Area Network, and manage their devices through that, kind of like having an iphone connected to all your smart devices, except you jack in to some trodes and virtually zip over to a virtual house and manage it all there.

Alternatively you use Alternate Reality as an overlay through their commlink (Super smartphone) if thatís too clunky or you have to worry about meatspace things as well. You still get all sorts of lights and a lot of the info, but generally getting virtual is faster and more reactive. Instead of physical design, people often just use an Augmented Reality Object, or ARO, to give information and a digital facade. Pretty much everyoneís using AR all the time, to the extent a lot of places barely do RL visual work and everything looks dogshit when you take off the glasses. It's like a reverse They Live. To see AR, you need a commlink, and either a Direct Neural Interface or some eyeware and audio device.

Shadowrunís matrix breaks everything down into 6 different things, all with their little VR representation.

PERSONAS are a combination of a person and their device, effectively representing themselves. Mostly these look like the person, though idealisation is common and obviously people make themselves furries or whatever. You do have to kind of be personlike, but thatís the limit. Runners tend to be more subdued to draw less attention, but it doesnít matter.
DEVICES are icons for electronic devices. Generally these look like the thing, but cutesy metaphors are common, so your car might look like a chariot or something online.
PANS, or Personal Area Networks, are a network of linked Devices. Typically this just works like a folder, though the system does let you see anything important if you look.
FILES are the same as it is for us, a digital-only bit of info. By default these are Cubes.
HOSTS are huge sub-networks that are effectively a virtual place. Most facilities with any sorts of electric stuff are going to have a HOST, which gives them a lot of independence and security. In VR, these tend to defy space and get bigger the more important they are, often equivalent to City-sized for the megacorps. HOSTS get to set their own rules and do things. If youíre a shadowrunner, youíre going to be breaking into one of these virtually, same way as others do physically.
MARKS, or Matrix Authentication Recognition Keys, are tags you put onto icons to denote having access. These tend to be thematically tied to your icons, and hidden to everyone else but you. The owner either lets you put one on things you get to access, or you hack the object and put one on to get control.

Also worth mentioning are GRIDS, which are a sort of ecosystem/district/social class of Matrix access. They define a lot of visual aspects and public space, and more importantly, Grids have the Grid Overwatch Division, or GOD, watching over them. These are anti-hacker corporate cops, and are very scary/too punishing. If you hack stuff, youíre going to have them chasing after you, putting you on a timer. Just imagine Agent Smith from the Matrix films, and you arenít far off. These guys are new to 5th edition, I think. Thereís some metaplot poo poo that justifies mechanical changes. Not my problem really.

Pretty much every shadowrunner is going to be accessing Alternate Reality all the time. Itís got a low buy-in and is very useful for instant communications, accessing files and info, as well as communicating with your team. Even if youíre concerned about hacking youíll probably have a pair of glasses and an earpiece set up. Most people are only going to use a few defensive options and not-very mechanical things like communicate or google stuff. But some people specialise in dealing with the Matrix: both to defend against electric threats and to attack and gather information from online. Thereís 2 main chategories.

A Decker is someone with a cyberdeck: Essentially a semi-legal computer oriented for hacking with reverse engineered matrix protocols. Youíve read Neuromancer, you know the drill.
A Technomancer is a weird alternative: Somebody who somehow can access the Matrix naturally without any devices or implants. Nobody has any idea what the gently caress is going on with these guys, since itís not actually magic. People are incredibly suspicious of them, and the corps want to dissect them.

So thatís the Matrix. This works for me, it feels like a modernisation of Gibson: shifting from modem networks to the Internet of Things, and itís probably as punk as stuff gets. I find the discourse about True Punk poo poo pointless gatekeeping and revisionist history, so I don't talk about that here, but this nails tone, in my opinion. Thereís a huge thread of subversion and conflict between independents and corporate authority, and room for wild style and flair alongside creativity.

Next time: We get Mechanical

Nemo2342
Nov 25, 2007

Have A Day





Nap Ghost

Wrestlepig posted:

SHADOWRUN 5E
THE MATRIX: ONLINE BASICS AND HACKING 101

One of the small things I thought was neat about 3rd edition was that Deckers and Riggers could take the Computer Illiterate flaw, with the justification that systems had become so VR and icon-oriented that even techjunkies might not have more than a surface level understanding of how things work.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Wrestlepig posted:

bows are unfortunately not as good as they used to be, as far as I can tell. You can do the troll bow thing but it's a huge investment for 1 more point of damage and armor penetration over a relatively basic assault rifle. It's stealthy but silencers exist. If you think being an elf special ops ranger type would be cool, bad luck. There are drug rounds but its not worth it as far as I can tell.

Yeah it was a specific edition thing where melee weapons worked off half your strength score plus a bonus but bows scaled off your full strength score, so if you were a cybered-up troll with a strength in the teens you could bowhunt tanks.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

Now prepare yourselves! You're the guests of honor at the Greatest Kung Fu Cannibal BBQ Ever!



The Lone Badger posted:

Yeah it was a specific edition thing where melee weapons worked off half your strength score plus a bonus but bows scaled off your full strength score, so if you were a cybered-up troll with a strength in the teens you could bowhunt tanks.

Even more ridiculously, vehicles use their body score in place of Strength whereever appropriate, so the second-most deadly statable attack in the game was a zeppelin with a longbow. The first was orbital artillery.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

The Lone Badger posted:

Yeah it was a specific edition thing where melee weapons worked off half your strength score plus a bonus but bows scaled off your full strength score, so if you were a cybered-up troll with a strength in the teens you could bowhunt tanks.

That's how it works here, but it turns out it's actually made impractical by the availability rules and a cap on the bow's rating. Of course you can just get a sniper rifle for as much damage and AP

Ratoslov posted:

Even more ridiculously, vehicles use their body score in place of Strength whereever appropriate, so the second-most deadly statable attack in the game was a zeppelin with a longbow. The first was orbital artillery.

lmao

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

SHADOWRUN 5E
HACKING MECHANICS

Now that everythingís contextualised, letís start looking at how hacking works in Shadowrun. The first thing to do is get a Decker set up for examples, and go over everything we need to bring. Our deckerís going to be called Casey, at least online. Most of the alias examples in this book are complete dogshit: No self-respecting pink mohawk is going to call themselves Sir Rigs-a-Lot.

We need to grab some hacking skills so we can actually do stuff. The key skills for a hacker are

>COMPUTER: general computer skills. Used for a few checks, most importantly as a Perception equivalent.
>CYBERCOMBAT: Used when weíre trying to outright wreck stuff or hurt people in the Matrix, break through defenses and brick devices.
>ELECTRONIC WARFARE: more subversive acts that match our electronic warfare. Jamming signals, hiding signatures and sneaking around online.
>HACKING: Making the matrix do what it isnít supposed to, as well as finesse-equivalent actions online.
>HARDWARE: Not a matrix skill, but it comes up a lot to fix damage and manage devices.
>SOFTWARE: Creating programs, analyzing code and a few other things.

Thereís also special skills for Technomancers, but they get their own bit. Iíd say ďCross out magic and replace with InternetĒ but I havenít got to that yet.

Pretty much all our skills are tied to Logic, so thatís our key attribute. Willpower and Intuition come up frequently as well, so weíll want those, and some Body and Reaction never hurt. Itís very common to have people playing deckers to cover over their bad physical stats with cyberware, so we might go for that. With the way priority works, weíre going to have to dump something, since we need some serious gear.

The most important thing for a Decker is a Deck: A portable computer that gives us a lot of direct control over the matrix. These let us go online, and come with a free SIM VR Module and univeral data cable. All you need after that is a Direct Neural Interface to go online, or just wearable Trodes. Cyberdecks give us our Limits and Defenses for most online actions, as well as sometimes helping our dicepools as well as a bunch of other stuff. These are loving expensive: The best one available at start costs us about three and a half thousand nuyen, which is three quarters of the max starting budget you can get. You probably donít want to get that, but youíll want something pretty drat good.

Each Cyberdeck has 4 stats, which is 2 more than your standard commlink. Annoyingly, The book says commlinks have both in the text, but Commlinks in the gear section only have a device rating, and itís only in a sidebar it says the Commlinkís stats are equal to the device rating unless itís custom (there are no custom deck or link rules). This also means Commlinks are miles better than Decks at these two functions.

>DATA PROCESSING: Basically just the legal stuff it can do. General processing and sorting of information.
>FIREWALL: The defensive stat for decks and links. Itís virus protection, code checkers, spam filters and more.

A proper Cyberdeck also gets 2 stats for Hacking related actions.

>ATTACK: The deviceís ability to brute-force or directly break through code. Generally unsubtle stuff.
>SLEAZE: Subtle hacking measures. The way to go if you have more time and want to avoid attention or gather information.

The 4 main stats, interestingly enough, can actually get swapped around on your turn. Itís not a matrix action, but you can shuffle around whatís the highest stat to cover what you need to do.

Decks also have a Device Rating, which is Body but for Computers, and slots for Programs, which is later. For now, Caseyís going to grab 6 logic, 5 willpower and intuition, max ranks in the hacking skills and grabs a Novatech Navigator for her deck, giving a respectable 6/5/4/3 stat spread for only a couple hundred thousand nuyen.

Every device has a set of hitpoints, called the ďMatrix Condition MonitorĒ in the book. Like Body, itís 8 plus half the device rating. Virtual attacks (as well as electricity) deal damage to this set of hitpoints. Once that runs out, it gets bricked and needs to be repaired before the electrics can be used again.. Annoyingly this section has 2 editing hiccups that frustrate me: The chart for generic device ratings for anything that isnít a deck or commlink is 6 pages after that bit, and more importantly one example refers to Vibroswords and bayonets, neither of which are actually in the book.

As well as damage to devices, sometimes matrix actions will physically damage the person. I often wish that was the case now. If youíre in Virtual Reality, you can take something called Biofeedback from some programs loving with your sim module, or getting suddenly booted into meatspace, generally called Dumpshock. Biofeedback is resisted with our firewall and Willpower. Generally you can just log out, but some programs can force you to not be able to log off without physically ripping out the cables.

Thereís 3 ways to be logged in. The most common is Augmented Reality, which lets you interact with the matrix while mostly in reality. You have to move at a human pace and might get disoriented, but are immune to biofeedback. Alternatively you can enter VR and move at the speed of thought, giving you an initiative roll of Data Processing+Intuition+3d6 for initiative, but can take biofeedback as Stun Damage. If youíre a True Gamer, you can bypass safety measures and Hot-Sim, letting you truly Feel the matrix. This gives another initiative dice and +2 dice to every matrix action, but itís addictive and if you take biofeedback, itís physical damage. Thatís a huge advantage, so youíll really want to make the most of it.

Thereís a few other things to keep in mind with hacking that define how you interact with it. The first is Noise: Even with all the supertech, there is lag that mostly comes from distance and a few other things. The further you are from the object youíre hacking, the amount of traffic in the area, or general electromagnetic interference. Some other things, like Jammers, also cause noise, and most secure facilities are going to have some sort of protection going on. Every point of noise gives a penalty to any offensive dicepool. You can offset with various sources of Noise Reduction, but the main way around it is to just get a direct connection with a data tap. For hacking someone in front of you noise isnít going to matter, itís just a penalty to encourage you to be in the physical location.

The other thing is the Grid Overwatch Division: Or GOD. GOD donít gently caress around. The moment you do anything illegal, defined as rolling with anything tied to Attack or Sleaze, they start coming after you. Thatís not Fail a roll, thatís outright try anything. Once that happens, you start building up an Overwatch Score, or OS. You always start at zero when you log in, but it goes up by one every hit the target gets on a defense check against an illegal action, as well as by 2d6 every 15 minutes in game time. If it gets to 40, they do something called Convergence. Convergence fucks you up by immediately dealing 12 matrix damage, minus whatever your defense is, then immediately boots you from the system, causing Dumpshock, and then reports your location to the owners of the Grid youíre in and the HOST you where hacking. That translates to possibly having your cyberdeck brick, getting a huge pile of damage and a lot of trouble. The clock is a GM secret as well, unless you get access somehow. Fortunately Hosts, which youíll be dealing with most of the time, instead put 3 marks on you and start deploying IC programs, so you just log off inside as quick as you can. This is probably too intense, really. You really want to avoid that, which means youíll want to get logged on as close as possible to when you need to. Thatís not a bad thing to incentivize, it means ďGet hacking while the missionís going onĒ but its definitely the Dragonlance Infinite Random Encounter school of design.

Thereís also GRIDs. thereís a penalty if youíre on the wrong one. Get on the right one.

Matrix Perception is also pretty simple. You can pretty much spot anything unless itís far away or running silent.

Next, we get to Networks. Commlinks, Decks and also Rigger Command Consoles can connect 3x their device rating of other devices as a network, and they can share defensive stats with the device defined as the Master in the system. This lets you go wireless without being so vulnerable, since most objects donít have a firewall. Going by the rules, this isnít something the Decker should do, since Commlinks have a much higher device rating and stats than a cyberdeck, so you can just link to that. Anyway, Hosts also have their own network with basically infinite capacity, but they generally just link up stuff they can protect physically. Everything inside a network is considered directly connected to each other. There are two very, very important things about these networks.

1. If you directly link to a device, the networking protection does not work. It just uses the regular stats.
2. If you get a Mark on one of the linked devices, you get a link on the Master Device. This doesnít go both ways, but since youíre directly connected to everything inside the network, you can bypass the Hostís absurd stats and gun for what youíre looking for.

Hosts are basically a mini-matrix, seperate from the regular grid. GOD doesnít get access to them, theyíre fairly private, and they canít be interacted from outside, and vice versa. Instead of GOD, they have their own Intrusion Countermeasure software, or IC, that really puts the hurt on you once it detects you. Generally itís not active beyond a patrol program that searches for illegal action. Having a Mark is fine, at least. If you get caught or hit 40 on the Overwatch Score, IC starts coming out and you'll really want to hurry up. The other thing about Hosts is they have absurdly good stats. The general range for anything youíd be considering for a shadowrun starts at 7-8, and goes up from there. The main reason to target the host directly is to access files, since Devices use their own stats once youíre inside and you have a direct connection to them. Itís mostly just going to be a hub for handling the network, and maybe youíll sneak enough Marks into it to start having a lot of fun or grab some files and go.

I should actually explain what marks are in detail. Basically, a mark is a representation of how much access you have to a system. If youíve obtained a level of control over something, you get a Mark. The more marks you have, the more control you have over the system, with reduced dicepools, and more extensive ability to take control over things. The maximum is 3 marks, and if you own the device, youíve effectively got 3. You can hack to get marks, and you also get them if you obtain through being given access by someone. The latterís important: the book doesnít talk about social engineering, but that can be an angle with far less defence and GOD doesnít get alerted. A Hacker/Face can really be a nightmare for a GM. Marks go away when you log out, so you canít really take over ahead of time.

All this comes together to give us a little meta-strategy for hacking. Get direct access, generally by plugging into a Device in the network, and start infiltrating the system and get what you need and get out before the Overwatch Score builds up. If weíre supporting a more direct run, you can take over systems. Alternatively, you can be on the Grid and just act as a ghost-wizard, loving up anything electric and defending against enemy virtual attacks from the enemy Spider, basically a corporate security Hacker handling defense for the facility or team.

Thatís honestly pretty cool once you get down to the details! Youíve got a system with a prescribed behavior and interesting meta-game set up, and once you get past the editing issues and setting stuff, itís pretty clear how to interact with things while not being outside every playerís experience. Itís still got some ďHacker goes in while everyone else fucks aroundĒ but itís not as bad as the reputation states, since itís best to do while the actual runís on. The editing's terrible though, that's the main obstacle.

Next time: Cybercombat moves and Programs. Maybe Technomancers?

As a side note, you can take over Ownership of a device, like if you steal it or something, but itís an extended test of Hardware + Logic with a target number of 24, which the game describes as Very Hard. Essentially, a hacker specced to have 6 in both, fairly standard, has a total of 87 dice over a bunch of different checks to get 24 successes. If they glitch, it triggers an alarm. Since a dice is a 1/3 chance of success, youíre probably going to be able to manage it in a day of work. You can also just ignore the wireless part, but thatís not going to help with selling it. Argue with your GM that the workshop bonuses should apply, and that you got a faraday cage installed. Iím pretty sure in 4e you were better off stealing cars than doing Shadowruns, and you still are but they made it harder with this. Itís not really part of the hacking system, so I put it outside to stop it all from being overwhelming.

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you


The Lone Badger posted:

Yeah it was a specific edition thing where melee weapons worked off half your strength score plus a bonus but bows scaled off your full strength score, so if you were a cybered-up troll with a strength in the teens you could bowhunt tanks.

Yeah! My cybertroll in 3e shot the engine out of a car with a bow in a chase scene and it was rad as hell!

bbcisdabomb
Jan 14, 2008

SHEESH


I have always loved Sleaze stat. What a fun name for your device.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


It still amazes me that through six editions in a game where technology is supposed to be a core focus, the hacking mechanics have never been cleaned up and made into something I actually want to engage with.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


PurpleXVI posted:

It still amazes me that through six editions in a game where technology is supposed to be a core focus, the hacking mechanics have never been cleaned up and made into something I actually want to engage with.

All of Shadowrun is and always will be a goddamn mess and I don't understand it.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Night10194 posted:

All of Shadowrun is and always will be a goddamn mess and I don't understand it.

It's a sort of holistic understanding. You slowly learn all of it at once, despite the lovely editing.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


No, no, I mean I don't understand why people play it when it constantly looks like a fiddly, broken mess. The majority of talk of the rules of Shadowrun I see online are 'man, I hate the rules of Shadowrun', and that from people who love Shadowrun.

There are systems worth the effort to learn, and Shadowrun has never looked like one of them.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




Shadowrun has and always will be #1 at "substitute the ruleset for whatever" of gaming.

I don't even play d&d (any edition) anymore but I'd use that over shadowrun's mechanics if I had no better choice.

90s Cringe Rock
Nov 29, 2006
:gay:


You wouldn't even need a full book, just GURPS: Shadowrun-style Hacking and some quick templates and you'd have the single best Shadowrun ruleset ever printed. Do a Kickstarter for a boxed set like Dungeon Fantasy with some of the most relevant optional rules and Pyramid articles tossed in.

Even if they hate GURPS, at least the Shadowrun fans would have a functional system to complain about for once.

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009
BUTTS





By popular demand posted:

Shadowrun has and always will be #1 at "substitute the ruleset for whatever" of gaming.

I don't even play d&d (any edition) anymore but I'd use that over shadowrun's mechanics if I had no better choice.

I don't play much D&D either anymore, but this made me think of a reskinned 4e hack with Shadowrun fluff and it sounds pretty kicking rad in my head.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Night10194 posted:

No, no, I mean I don't understand why people play it when it constantly looks like a fiddly, broken mess. The majority of talk of the rules of Shadowrun I see online are 'man, I hate the rules of Shadowrun', and that from people who love Shadowrun.

There are systems worth the effort to learn, and Shadowrun has never looked like one of them.

When I offered to run SR for some friends I had literally no experience with it and I quickly learned that people who enjoy SR really mostly enjoy talking about it, reading about it, or making characters. Either that or playing it online where they can tune out and play video games while the GM handles most of the fiddly bullshit.

edit: and also it's for people who have some sort of perverse thirst for system mastery.

kommy5
Dec 6, 2016


As a GM I hate that attitude. If I have to suffer through a miserable, fiddly rule set, I want my players to suffer with me.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


I took one look at Shadowrun when I was in my early 'let's get out of D&D period in high school' and went 'nope'.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


kommy5 posted:

As a GM I hate that attitude. If I have to suffer through a miserable, fiddly rule set, I want my players to suffer with me.

Ordinarily in a game where all players actually get to do stuff, yeah I loving hate it, but I honestly don't blame them here because SR literally separates who gets to do what at any given moment. So, it's like, hey have fun sitting on your hands for an hour until its your turn because the thing you do isn't relevant to the story yet.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

90s Cringe Rock posted:

You wouldn't even need a full book, just GURPS: Shadowrun-style Hacking and some quick templates and you'd have the single best Shadowrun ruleset ever printed. Do a Kickstarter for a boxed set like Dungeon Fantasy with some of the most relevant optional rules and Pyramid articles tossed in.

SJG seem strangely reticent to actually follow up on the Dungeon Fantasy RPG model of creating pre-packaged genre sets for GURPS. I suspect it might be because they don't really think it'll be worth it in the end, which is a shame, because one thing that would make GURPS more approachable would be more genre starter sets that do all the heavy lifting of figuring out which rules to use for you.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Perhaps this is one of the major reasons Shadowrun has successful videogame adaptations; one player does all those roles so that isn't as much of a problem.

90s Cringe Rock
Nov 29, 2006
:gay:


LatwPIAT posted:

SJG seem strangely reticent to actually follow up on the Dungeon Fantasy RPG model of creating pre-packaged genre sets for GURPS. I suspect it might be because they don't really think it'll be worth it in the end, which is a shame, because one thing that would make GURPS more approachable would be more genre starter sets that do all the heavy lifting of figuring out which rules to use for you.
I assume they still have the problem where every hour not spent on Munchkin is the equivalent of burning a thick wad of cash.

Also the problem where they hate shipping internationally, and the one where they love Bill Webb, but they don't seem to mind those.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I remember, once upon a time, when SJG had a warehouse out in... Alberta, I think it was.

At the time I thought it was a lovely idea, since I'd ordered books straight from them in the past.

It didn't last very long, and in retrospect I have to wonder who thought it was a good idea.

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you


Man, it keeps happening but I guess I'm the luckiest guy in the world because my group has fun with Shadowrun 3e and have even introduced non-native english speakers to it when their rpg experience was 2 sessions of Trudvang or Kult when they were 12 and they've read the book and decided they wanted to be a hacker and been good at it. Never had problems with players staying engaged and into it when their character's weren't the focus of a scene in any game either.

MuscaDomestica
Apr 27, 2017



PurpleXVI posted:

It still amazes me that through six editions in a game where technology is supposed to be a core focus, the hacking mechanics have never been cleaned up and made into something I actually want to engage with.

They did take some things from the video games, the last 5e matrix book added useful stuff like hackers improving the aiming of guns and assisting characters using technology. Gave them stuff to do in combat that doesn't take three rounds.

None of this was added to sixth edition.

90s Cringe Rock
Nov 29, 2006
:gay:


MuscaDomestica posted:

They did take some things from the video games, the last 5e matrix book added useful stuff like hackers improving the aiming of guns and assisting characters using technology. Gave them stuff to do in combat that doesn't take three rounds.

None of this was added to sixth edition.
Oh my god the hacker is just the poor bastard who works in IT so the street sam keeps asking them to set up their smartlink for them. The rigger needs the hacker's help, all the drones are out of control! Yes, they're sure the joystick is plugged in! Oh well the cable must have fallen out, it was definitely plugged in a minute ago.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Where are people getting that hackers go off and play in another room or whatever? Everyone acts on initiative, and if you're not on initiative the game flows like any other game.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

Now prepare yourselves! You're the guests of honor at the Greatest Kung Fu Cannibal BBQ Ever!



wiegieman posted:

Where are people getting that hackers go off and play in another room or whatever? Everyone acts on initiative, and if you're not on initiative the game flows like any other game.

Yeah, and combat rounds take 3 seconds. If Alice wants to hack the Renraku Seattle motor pool database to identify who was using the vehicle involved in a hit, and Bob wants to go to the scene of the crime to look for evidence, and Alice's hack takes a herculean 30 rounds, that's only a minute and a half. Bob won't even get to the turnstile at the monorail station before Alice is done.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Ratoslov posted:

Yeah, and combat rounds take 3 seconds. If Alice wants to hack the Renraku Seattle motor pool database to identify who was using the vehicle involved in a hit, and Bob wants to go to the scene of the crime to look for evidence, and Alice's hack takes a herculean 30 rounds, that's only a minute and a half. Bob won't even get to the turnstile at the monorail station before Alice is done.

But how long does her 30 round hack take to play out at the table? That's the key question.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Night10194 posted:

But how long does her 30 round hack take to play out at the table? That's the key question.

It takes one matrix search roll to determine if the data is accessible or if you need to go do legwork. And if you need to do legwork, they're both going.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


wiegieman posted:

Where are people getting that hackers go off and play in another room or whatever? Everyone acts on initiative, and if you're not on initiative the game flows like any other game.

Well, I've never played any of SR. The closest I came was reading the "Ghost Dance" trilogy (which was pretty cool). That said, presumably the hacker is only one who can interact with virtual computer stuff. So if the next plot point is "Get the data from the secure servers" then the Hacker spends an hour being Neo while everyone else sticks their thumbs up their asses and waits for him to get back.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


I still maintain that if you ignore the hacking and get a GM who's willing to do the legwork of distilling the actual rules out of the editing hellhole that's the book, the basic rules for 2e SR are pretty good.

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you


wiegieman posted:

Where are people getting that hackers go off and play in another room or whatever? Everyone acts on initiative, and if you're not on initiative the game flows like any other game.

I'm still amazed that the whole thing where everybody "knows" that Matrix time 10x faster than regular time so the decker gets one million turns turned out to not actually be a thing at all in Shadowrun and people have been giving themselves a terrible time because that's how it was in Cyberpunk.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


The issue isn't the in-game time, it's the out-of-game time where you have people doing things that aren't related to each other and use totally different complex systems to resolve. Night already laid out the problem which is the length of resolution.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Ithle01 posted:

The issue isn't the in-game time, it's the out-of-game time where you have people doing things that aren't related to each other and use totally different complex systems to resolve. Night already laid out the problem which is the length of resolution.

Yeah, and he was wrong.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


wiegieman posted:

Yeah, and he was wrong.

Okay? Like, I have had a completely different experience which is that it is definitely a very real problem and I am never doing anything with SR again, but like maybe things aren't always like that.

megane
Jun 20, 2008





wiegieman posted:

It takes one matrix search roll to determine if the data is accessible or if you need to go do legwork. And if you need to do legwork, they're both going.

You listed two options there and then described one of them. Yes, if every hack must be done while physically in the room with the server, and there is a firefight going on while the hack is in progress, then we go around the table and itís fine. But unless you insist that literally every single bit of valuable data is airgapped (which you can, but itís clearly not what the setting says) and the PCs never, ever manage to get to a server room without attracting attention, then there are going to be times when Alice wants to hack a server while everyone else is not in combat. Thatís the problem. That is not one roll, itís dozens; it takes multiple rolls just to get into a server, and she might have to hide from or fight ICE and Spiders and poo poo.

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JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


And even if hacking isn't "other players sit while hacker does 30 rounds in his own dungeon," it still leaves the rest of the dang ruleset with balancing and editing and whatnot

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