|Subject:||[Nerps] Decking Options article|
|Date:||Wed, 14 Apr 1999 12:19:14 +0200|
finished yet, so ideas are welcome. Also note that the layout isn't 100%
but that's because this was copied from MS Word to a text editor and then
into my mailer, without any real attempts to clean it up, apart from
inserting blank lines for readability.
Computer Matrix Expansions
A CME (also called an "Acme" or a "Siamese" in decker slang) is a
for your personal computer that allows it to function as a tortoise deck.
A very limited tortoise deck, I might add, but for those who don't need
(or can't afford) anything better it can still be a useful piece of kit
for information gathering. Don't try to do any actual decking on it,
though-you'll be not much more than target practice for any IC you
encounter. Still, a CME is handy for doing some quick Matrix-searches or
other stuff you don't really need a full-blown cyberdeck for.
CME's take the form of a simple module that you stick into an expansion
slot inside a personal computer. They've generally got an MPCP and Sensors
rated at 1, while the I/O speed only just manages to be faster than a
snail on downers. Most of the rest is simply not there, because legitimate
users don't need it. The thing uses the computer's memory to save money
for the manufacturer; a CME uses 25% of the computer's memory as active,
and the rest as storage.
Active Memory: uses the computer's
I/O Speed: 20
Other Features: none
Price: 870¥ for desktop computers; 1,745¥ for laptop computers and pocket
secretaries; not available for palmtop or wrist computers
Street Index: 1
(>) I bought one of these and I can't for the life of me get the thing installed!
(>) *Sigh* How difficult can this be? Switch off your computer, open it up, find a free
expansion slot (they're the rectangular things that have "expansion slot"
printed next to them) and stick the connector on the CME in
to that slot. It'll only fit one way, so don't force it. Then, close the computer and
switch it back on. The CME will install itself when the PC boots. Two minutes' work, tops.
(>) Kevlar Kevin
Look Mom, No Wires!
Not widely known is the fact that wireless decking is a feat that can be quite easily
achieved, if you've got the right set-up for it. Think about it: all decking truly is, is
sending signals down a wire and receiving som
e signals back in response. Just like making a telecomm call. Since we can make cordless
phone calls, we can deck without having a physical connection to the Matrix.
(>) Blasphemer! To equate decking with something as mundane as making a phone call is
(>)0.13 Mp deleted by sysop«
The two main reasons wireless decking wasn't much-used in the early days of the Matrix
Number one is the very low bandwidth you're dealing with. Cellphones, and even cellular
vidphones, are designed to operate with low data-traffic, to prevent too much congestion
of the airwaves; decking by default needs a
lot of bandwidth, so decking through a cellphone feels like driving through a narrow
tunnel when you're used to an eight-lane highway in open country.
Number two, although this only became obvious a bit later on when IC became more
prevalent, is that Trace IC has an extremely easy time finding you. This is because the
computers of the telecomm companies need to know exa
ctly where your phone is in order to allow calls to be made to and from it: whenever your
phone is on (you don't even need to be making a call, just have it on stand-by), the phone
company knows where you are, within abou
t five meters. [Insert noise of thousands of cellphones being switched off.] That makes
Trace IC have a field day with you-all it needs to do is ask the phone company's systems
nicely, and the host you're in knows your re
Some lesser problems with cellular decking are signal lag, which causes some speed loss
when it comes to combat (so avoid combat when decking cordlessly), and that it's more
difficult logging onto LTGs, RTGs, and hosts th
rough a cellphone connection.
(>) Polish up your skills before trying this at home.
However, the main reason we don't deck wirelessly these days, as far as I've been able to
determine, is not because these drawbacks are insurmountable, but because they caused the
first generations of deckers to prefer no
t to use wireless links. After a while, it became accepted that "wireless decking is
impossible" simply because nobody did it, not because nobody could do it.
If you make a few modifications to your deck, you can deck over a cellphone or a radio
transceiver quite happily, provided you don't demand too much of the link and the host at
the other end is properly equipped to allow
it. Naturally, you don't need to dial into the host you're after directly; you can just
pick another one that can handle cellphone decking, and then go to the real target in the
Possibly the best use for cellular decking is when your team is attempting to enter a
building or compound; if the site's computer system has a phone or radio connection, you
can deck into it while you're on-site, or appr
oaching the site, without the need to find a landline.
Another good use for cellular decking is when you do not want to be found. Get a friend,
or your vehicle's autonav, to drive you randomly around town in a car while you jack in
and do your Matrix run. This way, any locati
on Trace IC gets on you will be one you're far away from by the time visitors will show
(>) You do have to beware of jamming with cordless decking, though. With normal
decking, jamming is not a concern because it's really hard to jam fiber-optic lines
(except by cutting them) but when you get to deal with ra
dio waves, jamming opens up all kinds of possibilities. You might get dumped from the
Matrix due to something entirely unrelated to what you're doing-like when a nearby rigger
turns on his ECM to escape the cops that are
on his tail, and it blankets out the signal between your deck and the host you've logged
Decking A Deck
Another thing that's not widely known is that you can actually enter another decker's
cyberdeck and mess around with it just like you can with a host. A deck is a very limited
host, because it's not intended to be used as
one, but it's a host nonetheless. A deck connects to the Matrix so it can access hosts,
therefore data can go into the deck as well as out of it. If that incoming data happens to
be a persona, that persona ends up in the
deck and gets access to it.
(>) This bit confuses me. A deck is a one-way entry into the Matrix, isn't it?
(>) A deck with a one-way connection would only be able to send data to the Matrix, not
receive anything. If that were the case, you'd not be able to get any feedback, but you
could try to affect things in the Matrix. Thi
nk of it as using a computer's keyboard while wearing a blindfold: you can type stuff, but
you don't know if you typed it correctly, because you get no feedback (that is, you can't
see the vidscreen).
Any time a deck hooks up with the Matrix, your deck places an icon in the location where
the jackpoint you've plugged into, connects to the Matrix. (Hopefully, you already knew
this.) Entering the deck is relatively easy
if you know how to do it; all you need to do is find the deck you're looking for and log
Finding the deck requires you to be in the LTG or host to which the deck is connected, and
locate its access node; legal cyberdecks are pretty easy to find, but decks running a
Masking program can be tough to spot. This m
eans it's usually a piece of cake to break into a wage slave's deck and frag around with
it, but that of a security decker or another shadowrunner will be a lot harder to find.
Once found and logged onto, you're in the deck and can manipulate it as a normal host.
You'll find that some things are impossible or work differently than you might expect from
experience with real hosts, but in the main
anything you can do to a host, you can do to a cyberdeck. The system ratings of a deck
vary with the exact model, but it all depends mainly on the MPCP and Persona programs-the
higher-rated these are, the tougher the dec
k as a host. So, a CTY-360 is easy while a Fairlight Excalibur is hard with a capital
HARD. Still, you can do all kinds of nice things like crash applications, down- or upload
data, change files, and control stuff that's
hooked to the deck. You can't really affect the decker using the deck, though, because the
MPCP is written for him or her. You can, though, launch utilities to affect the decker...
Setting Up Hosts
(>) I snatched this bit from an MCT flyer intended for small businesses wanting to set
up their own network and/or hook it up to the Matrix. A great many other corps (big and
small) offer the same stuff for roughly the sa
me prices, so don't worry if you have something against MCT, you'll be able to get it from
someone else just as easily.
Choosing a System For Your Business
Mitsuhama Computer Technologies offers a number of solutions tailored to your business'
computer needs. The simplest is to take a subscription to the Mitsuhama Network(R), which
takes care of almost everything for you-all
you need to do is provide the data that is to be available to your customers! For
businesses that want more, setting up a dedicated host is a slightly more involved option,
but one that gives you more control over the sy
stem. Finally, a complete local network of all the computers in the building gives even
more flexibility. Mitsuhama provides expert solutions tailored to your specific needs!
The Mitsuhama Network(R)
The most popular option for smaller businesses, as well as private citizens, is to take a
subscription to the Mitsuhama Network(R). With such a subscription, we provide the host
and you provide the data-this takes away th
e overhead of maintaining the host from your company, allowing you to concentrate on more
important matters. If required, Mitsuhama specialists can "sculpt" your site
with either standard or custom-designed imagery for a
modest fee. Likewise, your site may use either Mitsuhama-provided intrusion
countermeasures, or be equipped with the custom countermeasures you want. (Note that
custom countermeasures are subject to Mitsuhama approval.)
Subscriptions can be taken out per month, per quarter (3 months), or per year (12 months),
long-term subscriptions being cheaper than short-term subscriptions. The subscription fee
is dependent on the level of security de
sired, as the table shows.
Security Subscription Rates
Per Month Per Quarter Per Year
Orange [to be finished]
(>) Like ASDF said, a lot of other corps offer similar deals-UCAS OnLine is one of the
best-known. If you want to stay legit, it pays to shop around a bit and compare prices and
user experiences before you take a subscrip
tion with any particular corp.
(>) Like IT
Mitsuhama can help you set up a computer system on the premises of your business and link
it to the Matrix.
Local Area Network
[to be written]
The rules in this section are intended for use with Virtual Realities 2.0 and Shadowrun,
Third Edition. They will not work with earlier versions of the Matrix rules.
Computer Matrix Expansions
Installing a CME in a personal computer requires a Computer B/R (2) test and can be done
without tools. Once installed, it can be used as a limited cyberdeck (a very limited
cyberdeck), using the stats given in the main t
ext of this article. A CME cannot really be upgraded or equipped with features it didn't
come with from the factory, because there is no room for such enhancements. Attempts to
upgrade a CME to better specifications must
add +4 to all target numbers for the cooking and installation tasks (see Virtual Realities
2.0 page 82).
The price of a CME intended for a desktop computer is one-half the normal cost for an
off-the-shelf deck with the CME's specifications; a CME for a laptop computer or pocket
secretary requires smaller components and costs
the same as an equivalent cyberdeck.
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to deck through a wireless connection, such as
that provided by a cellphone or even a radio link. It has the advantage that you can be on
the move while decking, but the problems
are low bandwidth, slight time lag, and being easy traced if using a cellular phone.
It is highly recommended that wireless decking is only allowed if the optional jackpoint
rules from Virtual Realities 2.0 (pp. 28-29) are in use, otherwise it will have no
drawbacks for the decker.
Trace Factor: -6 (see below)
Base Bandwidth: 10
This represents the use of a cellular phone for decking. For this to work, you need to
dial the phone number of the host you want to deck into and wait for it to answer before
trying to log on; unfortunately not all hosts
have normal phone connections so you can't dial into all of them. There is a solution for
this, too, because from every cellphone you can deck straight into the telecomm company,
and from there go to the rest of the Matr
ix-but do you really want to mess with them? (This is at least an Orange-Hard system, if
The very low Trace factor is because any cellphone that's switched on can very easily be
traced by the phone company's system-without that, you wouldn't be able to use a cellular
phone at all. On the other hand, why are y
ou using a cellphone to deck through if you're not on the move? Signal lag causes a -1
Reaction modifier, too.
Trace Factor: see below
Base Bandwidth: 2x radio's rating (see below)
A radio link is only a viable option if the system you're decking into a system that has a
radio transceiver hooked up to it, which isn't very common. For those systems that do, the
base bandwidth is equal to two times th
e rating of the lowest-rated radio involved. (For example, if you've hooked your deck up
to a rating 10 radio but the host is connected to a rating 4 set, your base bandwidth is 2
x 4 = 8. Ouch.) As if that isn't bad enou
gh, you also get a -1 Reaction modifier because of signal lag.
The big advantage to using a radio link is that Trace IC cannot find your physical
location, just like when you're decking over a satellite. The only thing it can do is find
the physical location of the radio transceiver
you're decking into-not the one you're decking out of.
Don't forget that radios have limited range, dependent on their rating (see Communications
in SR3 on page 288). A signal amplifier can be hooked up to the deck with a minimum of
fuss (and an Electronics B/R (3) test) to b
oost the range, however.
In order to be able to use the above two jackpoints, some modifications need to be made to
a decker's cyberdeck. Both use the same game statistics, which appear below, but the two
are not interchangeable-if you want a dec
k with both cellular and radio capabilities, you must write the code, cook the chips, and
modify the deck separately for each of the two.
Rating: MPCP Rating
Time: MPCP Rating x 1 day
Test: Computer B/R (MPCP Rating) Test
Parts: OCC @ program size
Tools: Personal Computer (Memory: MPCP program size), Microtronics Shop, Optical Chip
Time: MPCP Rating x 1 day
Test: Computer B/R (MPCP) Test
Parts: PLC @ MPCP, DTC @ MPCP, cellular phone or radio
Tools: Microtronics Shop
As far as is known, no otaku can deck without a physical connection to the Matrix.
However, just because nobody does it doesn't mean it's impossible. Otaku with headware
radios may find a way to do it anyway...
Of course, to install IC on your host, you need to have it first. Intrusion
Countermeasures can be written just like any other program, using all the rules for
writing utilities that appear on pages 100 through 102 of Vir
tual Realities 2.0. This takes up a huge amount of time, though, mainly due to IC's large
size for its rating. Also, the rating of the IC being written may not exceed the Computer
skill of the character writing it.
In megapulses, the size of IC is equal to its rating to the third power, times a
multiplier based on the type of IC. This will result in a larger program than equivalent
cyberdeck utilities; for example Crippler-4 IC has
a size of 43 x 3 = 64 x 3 = 192 Mp, whereas the similar Poison-4 utility only takes up 42
x 3 = 16 x 3 = 48 Mp. Lethal black IC, rating 6, takes up a massive 5,400 megapulses!
IC Type Multiplier
Cripplers 3 (for all variants)
Data Bomb 3
Lethal Black 25
Non-Lethal Black 15
Psychotropic Black 30 (see below)
Rippers 5 (for all variants)
Tar Baby 5
Tar Pit 7
Worms (see below)
Psychotropic Black IC
The multiplier of 30 is typical for the types of psychotropic IC described on pages 49-50
of Virtual Realities 2.0. For particularly nasty types, the gamemaster may increase the
multiplier to even higher values.
In addition, the character writing the IC (or someone working full-time with the designer)
needs to make a Psychology skill test with a target number equal to the IC rating. Failure
to get any successes in this test means
the IC will not work; with even one success, the IC does what it's supposed to.
Worms do not have a rating or a multiplier, but are considered to be rating 6 IC with a
multiplier of 3. This gives them a size of 648 Mp.
Like utilities, Ice can be equipped with options to make it better, tougher, smarter, and
so on. These have the effects as described below. The Rating Modifier is added to the IC's
rating to calculate the resulting progra
m's size; the actual rating of the IC does not change. For example, Blaster-4 equipped
with Armor Defense (+1 rating modifier) has a size equal to that of Blaster-5 (i.e. 1,000
Mp), but it only actually is rating 4.
Any IC can be fitted with any of these options.
Rating Modifier: +1
See Virtual Realities 2.0 page 50.
Rating Modifier: +2
See Virtual Realities 2.0 page 51.
Rating Modifier: +2
See Virtual Realities 2.0 page 52. The +2 Rating Modifier must be applied to each IC
program in the construct.
Rating Modifier: 0
See Virtual Realities 2.0 page 52.
Rating Modifier: special
This option reduces the final size of the IC (after all rating multipliers have been taken
into account) by 50%, but doubles the design size, and thus the time needed to program the
Rating Modifier: +2
See Virtual Realities 2.0 page 52. The +2 Rating Modifier must be applied to each IC
program in the party.
Rating Modifier: -2
The IC will only function on hosts of one particular manufacturer-for example, sensitive
IC written by Saeder-Krupp will only work on Saeder-Krupp-manufactured hosts. It is
possible to write IC that will work on hosts wri
tten by another company (for example, MCT writing IC for an Aztechnology-designed host),
but this can only be done if the programmers have unlimited access to the computer the IC
is to run on.
Rating Modifier: +1
See Virtual Realities 2.0 page 50.
Rating Modifier: +1
See Virtual Realities 2.0 page 50.
Rating Modifier: +1
The IC is stored in a compressed form on the host, taking up only 50% of its actual size
until it is launched by the host. After being launched, the IC must spend its first action
decompressing itself (no test required) b
efore it can start to perform its functions. Once decompressed, it takes up memory in the
host equal to its full size.
Rating Modifier: +1 per IC program linked to
See Virtual Realities 2.0 page 50. Only the IC that will trigger another piece of IC needs
to be equipped with the Trap option; the IC being activated by the trapped IC does not
need this option. For every +1 Rating Modif
ier, the trapped IC can activate one other piece of IC.
When buying IC rather than writing it yourself, use the normal rules for buying software,
but add +4 to the Availability target number, double the Availability time, and add 1 to
the Street Index. For instance, Killer-5 (
500 Mp in size) has an Availability of 9/14 days, set you back 100,000¥, and has a
Street Index of 2.5. Thus, it's pretty hard to get, and deckmeisters will charge you a
quarter of a million for the privilege of waiting t
wo weeks to get your goods.
Although not often done, it is possible to enter another decker's cyberdeck as if it were
Like normal hosts, cyberdecks have system ratings. However, they are a bit simpler than
those of other hosts.
Security Code: The decker can decide whether the deck is Blue, Green, Orange, or Red
security; UV decks do not exist as far as is known.
Security Rating: MPCP ÷ 2 (round up)
Access: MPCP + Evasion + Masking
Control: MPCP + Bod
For example, a deck with an MPCP of 7, a security code set to Orange, Bod-5, Evasion-5 and
Masking-4 has the following ratings: Orange-4/16/12/7/7/7.
Changes to the MPCP or persona program ratings (for example, through damage by Blaster IC
or by running the deck in a particular mode, as per Virtual Realities 2.0 p. 77) are
instantly reflected in the deck's system ratin
gs. If the sample deck were to have its MPCP reduced to 5, it would immediately become an
Orange-3/14/10/5/5/5 "host," for example.
Note that legal cyberdecks do not usually have Evasion, and hardly ever have Masking,
which makes them much simpler to invade than decks used by illegal deckers.
Not all system operations can be performed on a cyberdeck. Following is a short list of
the operations that are either impossible or work differently on a cyberdeck than on a
Control Slave, Decrypt Slave, Edit Slave, Locate Slave, Monitor Slave: Only if the
cyberdeck is hooked up to some external device can these operations be performed. A
vidscreen counts as a Slave subsystem, but the decker'
s ASIST interface or a hitcher jack does not-intruders can show things on the deck's
vidscreen for example, but cannot send messages straight to the decker.
Crash Application: Any program loaded into the deck's active memory, except for IC (see
below), can be crashed with this operation, but the decker him- or herself cannot be
Crash Host: This crashes the cyberdeck, and follows the normal rules for this operation.
However, in addition to IC, all the decker's active utility programs also have their
ratings reduced by 2 while the deck is shutting
Invalidate Passcode: The decker owning the cyberdeck cannot have his or her passcode
invalidated, effectively making this operation meaningless unless the decker has set up
passcodes for his or her friends.
Locate Access Node: Impossible on a cyberdeck itself, but if someone wants to find the
deck (in order to then deck into it, for example), this system operation must be used in
the LTG or host to which the deck is connecte
d. This test has a penalty equal to the deck's Masking rating applied to it, because
illegal cyberdecks are difficult to find. For example, finding a deck with Masking 6 on an
LTG with Index 8 requires a test with target
number of 8 + 6 = 14. Also, this operation must be repeated every time a decker wants to
find someone else's cyberdeck, even if it is plugged into the exact same jackpoint as last
time it was located.
Validate Passcode: This allows the intruder to set up a passcode by which entry into the
cyberdeck will be easier in future. The gamemaster should allow the deck's user an
Intelligence test against a target number of 3 to
detect the passcode any time he or she takes a look at the passcode list for the deck. If
the decker is the only one normally using the deck, the passcode would almost certainly be
spotted automatically at that time, wit
hout the need for a test.
Nearly all cyberdecks appear according to the Universal Matrix Specification standard,
because most deckers do not spend much time creating a nice environment inside their own
decks-largely, this is due to the fact that m
any don't know others can invade their decks. However, it is possible for deckers to
create a sculpted system in their decks by programming the MPCP as if it were 2 rating
points higher than it actually is. If the deck al
so has a reality filter (see Virtual Realities 2.0 page 84), their modifiers are
cumulative, giving a +4. The actual MPCP rating is not affected by sculpting the deck,
however, and neither is anyone's initiative modified,
unlike when using a reality filter.
Ice On A Cyberdeck
It is possible for deckers to install intrusion countermeasures on a cyberdeck, to protect
the deck against intruders. For memory requirements, see Hosts, above. As can be seen
there, a deck needs quite a lot of memory to
be loaded up with IC and still have room to spare for the programs the decker needs on a
Ice cannot be "installed" in offline storage. It can be kept there, certainly,
but cannot be launched by the deck against intruders.
A cyberdeck with IC installed on it also needs a security sheaf to decide when to activate
which piece of IC. This is entirely up to the decker-he or she can decide where the
trigger points are, and what IC is launched at
each step. Programming a security sheaf only takes a few turns and does not require any
tests. Should the decker want to change the sheaf on the fly, assume it takes a Complex
Action for every step that is to be altered-
removed, changed, or added-in the sheaf.
Further options that can be included are passive alerts, active alerts, and shutdown.
These have special effects on cyberdecks, though:
Passive Alerts increase the deck's subsystem ratings by 2 (note that the actual deck
ratings as far as the decker are concerned, are not adjusted-an MPCP-8 deck stays an
MPCP-8 deck even if its System Ratings are increase
d due to a passive alert) and subtract 2 from the decker's initiative because the deck
needs to divide its processor time between stopping the intruder and letting the decker do
his thing. The decker is not warned directl
y; the only indicator that something is up is the fact that things might seem to be going
a bit more slowly than usual.
At Active Alert status, the deck actually informs the decker that something is up;
otherwise things are as for a passive alert.
Shutdown is a last measure not often employed on cyberdecks, because shutting down the
deck dumps the decker from the Matrix, in addition to kicking out the intruder. This
causes dump shock for both of them. In all respec
ts it's similar to shutting down a normal host, as described on page 53 of Virtual
The security sheaf will launch IC that is not present in active memory, as long as it is
in the deck's storage memory. This means the IC's launch will be delayed by one Combat
Phase, during which time the IC is loaded int
o active memory. As soon as this is complete, it will be launched as normal. IC kept in
offline storage can never be launched by the cyberdeck.
Should the security sheaf want to launch IC for which there is no room in active memory,
the IC will not be launched. However, as soon as sufficient active memory is available,
the IC will be automatically loaded (as abov
e) and launched unless the decker spends a Free Action to stop it. Deckers may want to
keep an eye on what their security sheaf is doing, so as not to run out of memory
unexpectedly because it is all taken up by IC attack
ing an intruder.
A decker can learn the current security tally of his or her own deck by spending a Free
Action, and can adjust the tally to any desired level in a Simple Action without making a
Manually Launching IC
A decker can manually launch IC installed on his or her cyberdeck. Doing so requires that
it is loaded into active memory (requiring a Swap Memory operation if the IC is only
present in storage memory), and then "set loos
e" by spending a Simple Action per IC program to be activated. The decker need not
roll any test to activate IC, as the operation takes place on his or her own cyberdeck.
IC can only be launched once for every time it's loaded into active memory, whether the
launch happens manually or because it's triggered by the security sheaf. If you want
multiple copies running at once, you'll need to
spend precious memory space loading the IC multiple times.
IC that is crashed by an intruding decker is automatically removed from active memory by
the deck's MPCP. The security sheaf will re-load it into active memory when needed.
Although Virtual Realities 2.0 and Renraku Arcology: Shutdown give plenty of information
about otaku, neither really tells us how anyone becomes an otaku. The following section is
one way of looking at this question, bein
g based somewhat on principles that apply to magicians' initiation.
(With thanks to the ShadowRN list and the folks at Hoosier Hacker House for inspiration.)
At least initially, everyone must use a cyberdeck to access the Matrix. The otaku are the
few who somehow gain enough understanding of the Matrix that they can manipulate it
without the need for a deck, however. Thus, ota
ku can be thought of as initiated deckers, similar to the way an initiate magician can do
things with magic that are impossible for normal magicians.
For normal deckers to become otaku requires the expenditure of Good Karma; a LOT of Good
Karma, in fact. The base Karma cost for becoming an otaku is equal to the character's age
in years, multiplied by a factor as follow
No help from anyone (Do-It-Yourself ascendancy): x3
DIY with ordeal: x2.5
Guidance from an otaku community from which the decker is a member: x2
Guidance and an ordeal: x1.5
For instance, a 16-year-old decker would pay 16 x 3 = 48 Good Karma to become an otaku if
he teaches himself all the way. However, in an otaku community and taking an ordeal, the
cost drops to 24 Good Karma.
This leaves the character as a grade 0 otaku-but with only a living persona, and no
channels or forms. These must be learned as described on pages 144-146 of Virtual
Realities 2.0. Apart from that, the character has all t
he normal otaku abilities described in Virtual Realities 2.0 and Renraku Arcology:
Shutdown, but cannot do anything really special. For that, the character needs to gain
Every grade after grade 0, the Good Karma cost is equal to the otaku's age plus his or her
current grade, multiplied by a factor as below. Naturally, a character must
"buy" each grade separately: it's not possible to go f
rom grade 1 to grade 4 without also paying Karma for grades 2 and 3, for example.
DIY with ordeal: x1.25
Guidance from an otaku community: x1
Guidance and an ordeal: x0.75
Looking at the values, it's clear that grades 1 and higher are cheaper than grade 0. This
is due to the high hurdle that must be taken for a decker to actually become an otaku, but
after that it's easier once the otaku ha
s "seen the light."
Each grade, except for grade 0, also gives the otaku access to special abilities that
allow him or her to do downright amazing things to the Matrix, things impossible to even
the best deck-puncher. At every grade, the cha
racter can choose one of the following abilities.
Enhanced Detection Factor
The otaku's ascendancy grade is added to his or her Detection Factor, making the otaku
much more difficult to spot for opposing hosts.
The otaku's Hacking Pool increases by his or her Ascendancy grade. These extra dice can be
used for any test the Hacking Pool can normally be used for.
The otaku gains the ability to log onto RTGs, LTGs, and hosts without actually travelling
through the Matrix to reach them-normally, a decker or otaku wanting to go from A to C
must also go through B, but otaku with the t
eleportation ability can skip the middle step.
There are some limitations, however. First of all otaku must know the LTG# of the target
host he or she wants to connect to; if this is not known, the otaku cannot teleport to it.
Teleporting to an LTG requires the otaku
to know which RTG it is part of, while a teleport can always be made to
any RTG in the world-they're easy enough to find, after all. Teleporting
to a cyberdeck is possible, IF the otaku knows where it is. Usually, this
won't be the case, as a deck's address tends to change every time it logs
onto the Matrix.
The otaku must then make a normal Logon to Host (or LTG or RTG) test to
actually get into the target system; if this fails, the otaku remains in
the system he or she was in before the teleportation attempt; a roll of
all ones results in the Matrix losing track of the otaku's datatrail and
the otaku being immediately dumped from the Matrix. This means dump shock
(SR3 p. 227), based on the highest security rating of the two hosts
involved in the teleport.
Each attempt at teleportation costs the otaku a Complex Action, which
includes the Logon system operation. The otaku is vulnerable to attacks
from the system he or she is leaving, as well as to attacks from the
system being entered (if the teleport is successful), during the rest of
the initiative pass (or the next one, if the teleport is performed as the
last action in a pass).
Gurth@******.nl - http://www.xs4all.nl/~gurth/index.html
History's what you make it.
-> NERPS Project Leader * ShadowRN GridSec * Unofficial Shadowrun Guru <-
->The Plastic Warriors Page: http://shadowrun.html.com/plasticwarriors/<-
-> The New Character Mortuary: http://www.electricferret.com/mortuary/ <-
GC3.1: GAT/! d-(dpu) s:- !a>? C+(++)@ U P L E? W(++) N o? K- w+ O V? PS+
PE Y PGP- t(+) 5++ X++ R+++>$ tv+(++) b++@ DI? D+ G(++) e h! !r(---) y?
Incubated into the First Church of the Sqooshy Ball, 21-05-1998