Combat Hacking

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ubik2 ubik2's picture
Combat Hacking

I wanted to mock up some examples of how hacking can be effective in combat. It's entirely possible that I've got the rules wrong, so if you have a different interpretation of how things work, let me know. Similarly, if you think either party should use a different strategy, let me know.

In our first scenario, we're going to be using a Brute-Force attack. I'm going to give the player enough bonuses that their rolls are exceptional (often through abuse of the teamwork bonus). I'll leave the guards at the normal status of Firewall 50 (from their Mesh Inserts, which are a Host). If they have a dedicated defender, they'll be better off.

Brute-Force Attacks

  • Infosec at 90 -30(brute-force) +30(teamwork) +10(Insight) vs. Firewall 50

  • 15% of the time, we fail or don't succeed by as much

  • 85% of the time we succeed (with security and admin access being common)

  • At this point, the guard is going to Terminate Connections in response to the Active Alert. This is a big enough deal that he'll probably send out a message to his team, then shutdown for multiple rounds. At this point, he's no longer vulnerable to hacking, but he is denied the benefits of TacNet, team communication, and his smartlink.
    If the guard just gets a Passive Alert (either because you get a critical, or because you failed), he'll probably only Terminate Connections for one round.
    If you do have access, you can now attack the Cyberbrain, though you'll need to spend a pool point to get that action in this turn.
    We'll take the Freeze Morph action, to permanently sever his connections to his morph (until he gets repaired). This takes him out of the fight.
    • Freeze Morph: Infosec at 90 -30(cyberbrain) +30(teamwork) +10(Insight) vs. Firewall 50
    • 85% of the time, we succeed by more, at which point that morph is unable to act
    • If we do fail, we can probably take another attempt (max of 3 actions, from spending 2 pool points). 85% of the time, we succeed by more, at which point that morph is unable to act.

Overall, we have a 83% chance to disable our opponent in an average of 2 actions.

If you're given time, you can do a lot better. Instead of a Brute-Force Attack on the guard, we'll use Subtle Intrusion. Combinations of Psi, Digital Speed, Fokus, and Rushing the Job can get the time needed down to 15 minutes. That's short enough that you may be able to compromise the guard on his lunch break. Once again, we'll abuse teamwork too.

  • Subtle Intrusion: Infosec at 90 -20(rushing the job) +20(teamwork) +10(Insight) vs. Firewall 50

  • 15% of the time, we fail or don't succeed by as much - we don't get in, and a passive alert is triggered. It probably makes sense to give up for now, while it doesn't look too suspicious.

  • 36% of the time, we succeed by more. In this case, we get in, but a passive alert is still triggered. A smart guard will Terminate Connections. If we use pool points for extra actions, it's possible to install a backdoor before that finishes (at the end of this turn).

  • 49% of the time, we succeed and are undetected.

  • Now, we can install a backdoor for later
    • Install Backdoor: Infosec at 90 +10(Insight) vs. Firewall 50
    • 85% of the time, we will successfully install a backdoor.
    • Even if we fail, we can try again. It's very unlikely for us to get a critical or superior failure, which is what would be required to trigger an alert. Unless we're in the Terminate Connections phase, we can just assume this works.
Overall, we have a 83% chance to successfully install a back door

Later, in combat, we'll be able to use that to disable the guard about 98% of the time. Between the two of these, we've got about a 83% chance to remove a guard.

Well, that's pretty dangerous. Before the players all decide they're never sleeving in a synthmorph again, how does this look with the same god-tier attacker, but with a similar god-tier defender?

First, the Brute-Force option

  • Brute-Force Attack: Infosec at 90 -30(brute-force) +30(teamwork) +10(Insight) vs. Infosec at 90 +10(Insight)

  • 50% of the time, we don't succeed by as much

  • 50% of the time we succeed (with security and admin access being common)

  • At this point, the guard is going to Terminate Connections in response to the Active Alert. This is a big enough deal that he'll probably send out a message to his team, then shutdown for multiple rounds. At this point, he's no longer vulnerable to hacking, but he is denied the benefits of TacNet, team communication, and his smartlink.
    If the guard just gets a Passive Alert (either because you get a critical, or because you failed), he'll probably only Terminate Connections for one round.
    If you do have access, you can now attack the Cyberbrain, though you'll need to spend a pool point to get that action in this turn.
    We'll take the Freeze Morph action, to permanently sever his connections to his morph (until he gets repaired). This takes him out of the fight.
    • Freeze Morph: Infosec at 90 -30 (cyberbrain) +30(teamwork) +10(Insight) vs. Infosec at 90 +10(Insight)
    • 50% of the time, we succeed by more, at which point that morph is unable to act
    • If we do fail, we can probably take another attempt (max of 3 actions, from spending 2 pool points). 50% of the time, we succeed by more, at which point that morph is unable to act
Overall, we have a 38% chance to disable our opponent in an average of 2 actions. That's still pretty impressive, and provides a good motivation to use biomorphs.

Here's the subtle version of that:

  • Subtle Intrusion: Infosec at 90 -20(rushing the job) +20(teamwork) +10(Insight) vs. Infosec at 90 +10(Insight)

  • 50% of the time, we don't succeed by as much - we don't get in, and a passive alert is triggered. It probably makes sense to give up for now, while it doesn't look too suspicious.

  • 50% of the time, we succeed by more. In this case, we get in, but a passive alert is still triggered. A smart guard will Terminate Connections. If we use pool points for extra actions, it's possible to install a backdoor before that finishes (at the end of this turn).

  • Now, we can install a backdoor for later
    • Install Backdoor: Infosec at 90 +10(Insight) vs. Infosec at 90 +10(Insight)

    • 50% of the time, we will successfully install a backdoor.

    • If we do fail, we can probably take another attempt (max of 3 actions, from spending 2 pool points). 50% of the time, we will successfully install a backdoor.

Overall, we have a 38% chance to successfully install a back door

These variants are still dangerous, but not terrible. In the case of the subtle variants, if a passive alert is triggered, the guard will probably Terminate Connection, and then go through the logs to see if there was actually an intrusion. If he finds an intruder, he can get back online and notify someone with better Infosec about the hacker's mesh ID.

It's possible that you need another step, where after the Brute-Force Attack on the Mesh Inserts, you still need to make a Brute-Force Attack on the Cyberbrain, but I didn't interpret it that way.

So what if our hacker wants to harass some biomorphs? He can't use Freeze Morph, but he can go after the TacNet and mark enemies as friends. The biomorph is likely to simply disengage the smartlink, in this case, but that's still useful. The hacker may also trigger a reboot or shutdown, to take the mesh inserts offline, but jamming communication is easier, and doesn't have as many delays.

Edit: One advantage players have is they will likely be stealthed. This doesn't help against a subtle attack, but it does mean that if they just run into a guard hacker, that guard will need to spend a complex action (likely multiple) to find their signal (opposed test). Players will probably use their Muse's Interface of 60 for this test, and the guard has a penalty of -30.

Also, while I used Infosec for defense for the players, that's probably not realistic. First of all, all players would need to slave their PAN to the defending hacker's PAN, which means a single successful intrusion exposes the whole party. Second, the defending hacker needs to spend every action doing the active defense, so isn't able to do anything else useful.

There's a variation on this, where they're still all slaved, but the defending hacker's PAN is on a Server where the Firewall is 70 instead. In this case, the defending hacker can still do things other than full time defense. This setup is still very vulnerable to Subtle Intrusion, so I think it's still not worth it.

Edit 2: I had an error with the numbers for the first two cases. After fixing that, the low Firewall is significantly more dangerous.

Spoiler example based on playtest adventure

Spoiler: Highlight to view

In the EP2 playtest adventure, a hacker attempts to install and subsequently exploit backdoors. Here's how those probabilities look:
  • Subtle Intrusion: Infosec 70 vs. Firewall 50

  • 23% success, but sets off a passive alert

  • 35% success, with no alert

  • 22% failure, setting off a passive alert

  • 10% failure, with no alert - this may result in a second attempt

My crude estimate is that this turns into getting a backdoor about 50% of the time, though the targets will generally know they've been attacked (about 10% of the time, the target will not get an alert).

In that adventure, he attempts to reboot the target, which isn't too bad.

  • Shutdown: Infosec 70 -30(cyberbrain) vs. Firewall 50

  • 28% success

  • 72% failure

Spending pool for extra actions, he'll probably get 2 attempts in, and will have even odds of taking someone out.

In the Mesh chapter, this Shutdown option is significantly weaker. The Freeze Morph option is really strong, since it can't be delayed, and happens immediately. The Shutdown option can be delayed (perhaps long enough that the fight will be over).

Edit 3: Defensive options
I think it's probably a good idea to attack the account shell being used to hack you. While the first action is unlikely to crash their shell, it will burden them with some pretty bad wound penalties (the average damage of 11 will cause 3 wounds). I think the typical hacker has a minimal defense against this (perhaps his Muse will defend). Lockout is a complex action, so it's a little awkward to crash and lockout (the hacker gets an action after you crash his account shell, and may just brute-force hack you again). Your muse can probably issue the lockout, though, while you crash the account shell.

I'm not certain whether the hacker's Muse will be available on your mesh inserts (to defend the hacker's account shell). It seems likely that each additional intruder would need to do their own intrusion (unless a backdoor is created for them). Once one intruder has brute-force hacked you, the others will have a +30 modifier.

Dr. Maxwell Dr. Maxwell's picture
Hacking already covers a lot

Hacking already covers a lot of ground in EP, unlike other systems that include hacking rules, in EP it isn't really a subsystem, every character is using it all the time, or at least should be able to participate in hacks in a pinch, meaning there is less need to force hacking to constantly be relevant in non-computer focused scenes like in say... Shadowrun. Therefore the need for combat hacking to be really strong is dramatically lessened.

While you can build a character who is 'the hacker,' in all but the most focused builds its going to be one of many skills you have. It is good game design therefore to not allow a 'substitution' skill to preform too close to a real combat skill.

It seems you are being extremely overgenerous with bonuses to artificially inflate the chance of success, but even with your legendary superhacker your taking two actions to eliminate targets rather than one, or taking an action to offline a bonus rather than reduce the overall fire your taking, neither of which are generally as good as just killing someone yourself... but neither are nothing either! It is actually kind of at the 'sweet spot' for how good you would want combat hacking to be, good enough so that if you literally only can hack its still a tool to participate in the scene... but still clunky and limited enough that most folks will feel that a gun or sword or crazy implant weapon is going to generally get more done and they probably should build to include that.

The worst case scenario is that combat hacking is actually a really good option that is competitive with firearms and lacks enough downside to make the more focused, specialized combat skill not attractive compared to just slinging code at all your problems.

Don't forget to check out my open source biomorph and medtech files!

ubik2 ubik2's picture
I agree that a hacker doesn't

I agree that a hacker doesn't need to be combat viable in EP. If anything, I'd rather they be toned down a little (or perhaps more defense, and less offense). You want the hacker to be doing something during combat, so that player stays involved. Drones are a good option here, but jamming and this hacking based debuffing are too.

The superhacker is mostly available out of the gate (expert trait allowing you to start with skill of 90). Teamwork may be coming from party members, but it can also come from the multiple personality mod or from forks of yourself.

As a player, I think I'd be pretty frustrated if I was taken out by hacking this way. It's not terrible when the hacker is present, but most of this can happen without the player even knowing they're under attack.

Dr. Maxwell Dr. Maxwell's picture
ubik2 wrote:I agree that a

ubik2 wrote:
I agree that a hacker doesn't need to be combat viable in EP. If anything, I'd rather they be toned down a little (or perhaps more defense, and less offense). You want the hacker to be doing something during combat, so that player stays involved. Drones are a good option here, but jamming and this hacking based debuffing are too.

The superhacker is mostly available out of the gate (expert trait allowing you to start with skill of 90). Teamwork may be coming from party members, but it can also come from the multiple personality mod or from forks of yourself.

As a player, I think I'd be pretty frustrated if I was taken out by hacking this way. It's not terrible when the hacker is present, but most of this can happen without the player even knowing they're under attack.

It isn't necessarily good for the game for hacking to feel like a good fit in combat because you need to strike the balance of making all characters able to participate in all scenes while making the specialized skills everyone can afford to take attractive. Hacking should have SOME uses, both to make side skills an interesting 'sometimes' food for fighters, to make the mesh feel as integral and awesome as it does in the lore, and to account for characters who couldn't afford hacking for some reason. But it definitely shouldn't feel like it is a viable 'sidegrade' for combat, because its utility as a skill is rather broad already, aiding in most aspects of the setting already.

The superhacker IS doable out of the gate, but I don't think it should be the baseline case. Said hacker is the best in the system, and while its totally appropriate to have a PC be system best, most players wont push that hard in due to diminishing returns on investments.

I would agree being taken out by hacking would feel bad. One thing that I like about the EP setting though is that it feels necessary to take Infosec and to at least dabble in hacking. Less shadowrun "Deckers only" and more Ghost in the Shell "You may not be a hacker, but being unable to hack as a soldier or spy is as bad as being blind in a firefight, literally, because they will blind you." As a result I think the most interesting thing about the proof is that infosec's defensive value is under-tuned more than anything. A skill of 40 basically is the equivalent of a minor degree in computer science and should likely be enough to ward off most rapid hacks and force the opposition to make more rolls at a longer timescale that risks alerting you.

Don't forget to check out my open source biomorph and medtech files!

o11o1 o11o1's picture
Don't forget the Standard Muse!

Isn't Infosec 40 the base level that comes with your Muse? That's probably intentional, that a lot of the time when hacking a soldier, it's really their muse in the mesh inserts you have to beat, while the solder themselves is focused on fighting in meat-space.

A slight smell of ions....

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Well now you would have to

Well now you would have to beat the Host Firewall that is 50.
Mesh insert count as a Host Device right?

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ubik2 ubik2's picture
Dr. Maxwell wrote:It isn't

Dr. Maxwell wrote:
It isn't necessarily good for the game for hacking to feel like a good fit in combat because you need to strike the balance of making all characters able to participate in all scenes while making the specialized skills everyone can afford to take attractive.

Yeah, I didn't get my point across well, but I think the offensive hacking is too powerful in combat right now. If I can take someone out with hacking, it should be less effective than a railgun assault rifle.

Dr. Maxwell wrote:
One thing that I like about the EP setting though is that it feels necessary to take Infosec and to at least dabble in hacking. Less shadowrun "Deckers only" and more Ghost in the Shell "You may not be a hacker, but being unable to hack as a soldier or spy is as bad as being blind in a firefight, literally, because they will blind you." As a result I think the most interesting thing about the proof is that infosec's defensive value is under-tuned more than anything. A skill of 40 basically is the equivalent of a minor degree in computer science and should likely be enough to ward off most rapid hacks and force the opposition to make more rolls at a longer timescale that risks alerting you.

That sounds good, though it might feel like a skill tax on the non-hacker players. Right now, that's not supported mechanically. If your skill is less than 50, you want to use the Firewall of your Mesh Inserts instead. Even if your skill is 80, since you have to give up all your actions to defend, you probably would just use the passive 50 instead. If it were a quick action to defend, things would work better mechanically, though I'm not sure if that's realistic. In any case, with two high skill opponents, the offense still has a 50% chance of success, which means you can probably hack a target faster than you can disable it with an assault rifle.

There are two significant defenses that I left out here. Each of them are better, once you know you've been hacked. The first option is to use your admin rights to Disable Sensors or Device Function on your Mesh Inserts to disable the wireless connection. This should drop the attacker immediately, before they can do anything else (unless they're wired in, in which case you should be in danger). The second option is to use Jamming on your own device, which means they need to Bypass Jamming to continue to attack you. I'm not sure if either of these is intended to be an option, but it seems like a reasonable interpretation.

With that first option (to disable wireless), I think hacking ends up in the sweet spot, where you can attack a target, and if your hack succeeds, they have to spend an action to disable their wireless, and subsequently don't have TacNet, comms, smartlink, etc. You've had impact on the combat, while being less effective than the soldier with an assault rifle.

Edit: This first option is so similar to Terminate Connections that it's probably not valid. Terminate Connections is bad, since it takes too long to actually keep you safe. Saying that the same action as an admin action would be fast enough to keep you safe seems like cheating.

The Jamming option also seems like cheating. When you jam your own network connections, because you can't hangup fast enough to stop the hacker, there's something wrong.

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
ubik2 wrote:Dr. Maxwell wrote

ubik2 wrote:
Dr. Maxwell wrote:
It isn't necessarily good for the game for hacking to feel like a good fit in combat because you need to strike the balance of making all characters able to participate in all scenes while making the specialized skills everyone can afford to take attractive.

Yeah, I think I didn't get my point across well, but I think the offensive hacking is too powerful in combat right now. If I can take someone out with hacking, it should be less effective than a railgun assualt rifle.

I would say that "having the whole group on the same page" is the target here... If all the group are hackers with some guns knowledge, letting them focus on infowar seems fair to me, while if there is a single player focusing there, he should not be able to outperform the whole team.

ubik2 wrote:

Dr. Maxwell wrote:
One thing that I like about the EP setting though is that it feels necessary to take Infosec and to at least dabble in hacking. Less shadowrun "Deckers only" and more Ghost in the Shell "You may not be a hacker, but being unable to hack as a soldier or spy is as bad as being blind in a firefight, literally, because they will blind you." As a result I think the most interesting thing about the proof is that infosec's defensive value is under-tuned more than anything. A skill of 40 basically is the equivalent of a minor degree in computer science and should likely be enough to ward off most rapid hacks and force the opposition to make more rolls at a longer timescale that risks alerting you.

That sounds good, though it might feel like a skill tax on the non-hacker players. Right now, that's not supported mechanically. If your skill is less than 50, you want to use the Firewall of your Mesh Inserts instead. Even if your skill is 80, since you have to give up all your actions to defend, you probably would just use the passive 50 instead. If it were a quick action to defend, things would work better mechanically, though I'm not sure if that's realistic. In any case, with two high skill opponents, the offense still has a 50% chance of success, which means you can probably hack a target faster than you can disable it with an assault rifle.

There are two significant defenses that I left out here. Each of them are better, once you know you've been hacked. The first option is to use your admin rights to Disable Sensors or Device Function on your Mesh Inserts to disable the wireless connection. This should drop the attacker immediately, before they can do anything else (unless they're wired in, in which case you should be in danger). The second option is to use Jamming on your own device, which means they need to Bypass Jamming to continue to attack you. I'm not sure if either of these is intended to be an option, but it seems like a reasonable interpretation.

With that first option (to disable wireless), I think hacking ends up in the sweet spot, where you can attack a target, and if your hack succeeds, they have to spend an action to disable their wireless, and subsequently don't have TacNet, comms, smartlink, etc. You've had impact on the combat, while being less effective than the soldier with an assault rifle.

Disabling wireless means no Tacnet among other things. It's not a bad thing... but I think in the whole setting, only the most badass TITAN hunters among the Ultimates go that way, and those guys are SCARY XD.

The problem is that not monitoring the net means you have little means to check for things like if your radio has been intercepted, or if there is something going on in the hab's room you are in that might end with your team floating in space...

Anyway, Muse + base 40 in infosec + COG base + firewall modifiers should let your soldier to be able to protect the brain... and self-forking with infomorphs means a good Infosec-savvy soldier can wreck havoc in a technological environment no amount of meat soldiers will be able to alone.

You call it a tax, and it is... but it's not one the gaming system imposes, but one the setting does. Unless you live in a cave, that is (Mars, Earth, Exoplanets...).

ubik2 ubik2's picture
Xagroth wrote:Anyway, Muse +

Xagroth wrote:
Anyway, Muse + base 40 in infosec + COG base + firewall modifiers...

I'm not sure what this number is based on. If a typical player (15 COG) puts 40 points into Infosec, they will have a skill of 55. Their muse has an Infosec of 30, which is low enough that it doesn't provide a teamwork bonus. There's no firewall modifier, but the firewall's passive defense of 50 can be used whenever the player isn't spending all their actions defending. I don't think there's really much benefit to spending 40 skill points for an ability you would only use if you were otherwise idle and knew someone was about to hack you.

Of course, having Infosec for hacking is still useful, and that player does get some versatility there.

ubik2 ubik2's picture
Scenario: Players are being

Scenario: Players are being chased. The hacker attempts to remotely lock down an elevator. The elevator isn't particularly secure, so we'll treat it as a mote (Firewall 30).
Our hacker is skilled (Infosec 80), but has no other advantages. This scenario should generally be handled by the simple hacking rules, but I'm interested in evaluating the complex version.
This complex version might also be used if the hacker is trying to open a locked door, so the team can escape. While the rest of the party is fighting, the hacker might be attempting to establish an escape route.

First, Brute-Force Attack

  • Infosec at 80 -30(brute-force) vs. Firewall 30

  • 45% of the time, we get in. We'll be spotted with an active alert.

  • 20% of the time, we fail to get in. We can try again, but we may be subject to retry penalties

  • 35% of the time, both sides fail, so we'll continue to try again next action

  • Eventually, the hacker will succeed, so it's just an issue of how much time you have. The passive alerts (where we're not getting in) might summon a defender for a secure system, but this is a low security setup.

At this point, the hacker is in the system, spotted, and there's an active alert. Automatic countermeasures will now terminate connections, but we have until the end of the action turn (so 2 more actions).
    Operate Device (without proper permissions)
  • Infosec at 80 -10(active alert) vs. Firewall 30
  • 65% of the time, we succeed.
  • 15% of the time, we fail. We can try again, but we may be subject to retry penalties
  • 20% of the time, both sides fail, so we'll continue to try again next action

Overall, once we get in, we have about a 90% chance of performing the desired action, but we'll need to spend pool points for extra actions.

If we change this elevator to be slaved to a host instead of being a standalone mote, our chance to get in drops to 37%. Once in, our chance to open the door is about 82%, so this still works well for a dynamic challenge.

If we change this elevator to be slaved to a server instead of a host, our chance to get in drops to 27%, and our chance to open the door is about 70%. This works too.

In these examples, where there's no defending hacker, and the players are supposed to succeed, you can see that having Terminate Connections take effect at the end of the round is really useful.
Perhaps, the best way to rule this is that when the Terminate Connections action is taken by an automatic action, it happens at the end of the turn. When it happens as a result of a PC or NPC action, it happens right away (using the admin version of Disable Sensors or Device Functions).
Some NPCs defenders wouldn't use the Terminate Connections or Disable options, since they want to be able to Trace, don't want to shutdown valid users, and may lose their own access as a result of the Terminate/Disable.

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
ubik2 wrote:Xagroth wrote

ubik2 wrote:
Xagroth wrote:
Anyway, Muse + base 40 in infosec + COG base + firewall modifiers...

I'm not sure what this number is based on. If a typical player (15 COG) puts 40 points into Infosec, they will have a skill of 55. Their muse has an Infosec of 30, which is low enough that it doesn't provide a teamwork bonus. There's no firewall modifier, but the firewall's passive defense of 50 can be used whenever the player isn't spending all their actions defending. I don't think there's really much benefit to spending 40 skill points for an ability you would only use if you were otherwise idle and knew someone was about to hack you.

Of course, having Infosec for hacking is still useful, and that player does get some versatility there.

I fork myself (Beta if the penalties have not changed since 1st ed) and use my fork for teamwork bonuses, with another fork for active monitoring. That is 65 Infosec, plus if I invest some resources in good quality Firewall (gear), it goes up to 75.

Bottom line, you should not go into EP firefights without infosec overwatch, but I agree that forcing a merc to spend points into it is not totally necessary if there is a group and there is a net specialist: grab two forks of the dude with autodelete, place them in ghostrider modules of each member of the team if they are not using Tacnet, or place one on each if they are... Then place them on active oversight, so they attack and defend as needed.

ubik2 ubik2's picture
I don't think the Firewall

I don't think the Firewall will stack with Infosec (since Firewall is used for passive defense, while Infosec is used for active defense - sort of like Fray and Athletics). You're right that if you have a server, you may be able to spawn a bunch of beta forks, and run those. They'll have Infosec 60, and if you can use teamwork for the defense (probably a GM call whether that works), you can get an effective 90. I'm not certain how to get this many slots, but even just the single beta fork in Mesh Inserts will get you to 60 instead of 50, which is nice. Adding a Ghostrider with another beta fork gets you to 70 defense (assuming teamwork is valid). I'm not certain if you can run both a fork and a muse in the same device without issue, but hopefully you can, since if you were an Infomorph hosted in a Ghostrider, you'd want to still have access to your muse.

An alternative to these beta forks is the Kaos ALI, which also has Infosec 60. It's [Maj/R], so it can be a hassle to smuggle in and expensive, but it can also run on a mote instead of requiring a host.

If you're skirting legality issues, you can also create alpha forks, and drop one of these in every player that has a Ghostrider. That gets you a defense of 80 or more.

With both the alpha and beta fork approach, you'll probably want to edit/prune the memories, so if your fork is compromised, there's no incriminating data.

I probably wouldn't allow the teamwork bonus to defense, since it seems pretty cheesy. I probably wouldn't really want to allow it for offense either, unless it's actually a different source (i.e. not a fork of the same character or another instance of an ALI).

Xagroth Xagroth's picture
Teamwork rules work

Teamwork rules work universally, so there is no reason for disallowing those for active defense, and the idea is to have 2 beta forks running active defense during an active OP (in ghostrider modules OR one active Ecto for each). At least in 1st ed. the Muse would count "like an ego" regarding resource requirements for running.

The point about the Firewall is to have one of enough Quality to grant a +10 from gear quality to defense Infosec rolls.

As for the "allowing or not teamwork from your forks", I think it was explicitely allowed at least in 1st ed., since it's not as much as "providing alternate points of view" as it was "having more people working on it" (or parts of it). Be mindful, however, that anything the players thing, their opposition can think about, depending on their experience and threat level, so don't dismiss so readily the allowing of Teamwork.

For example, professional mercs will have a setup like this, or even better, while something infected with the Exurgent Virus don't need teamwork for attacking (while the players WILL need it for defense without a doubt) if a Basilisk hack happens.

As for the Chaos ALI, I doubt you can use it for defense purposes... but "forking" it and sending over to wreack havoc on the enemy that is trying to hack you seems a really good idea (forcing them to defend and attack).

ubik2 ubik2's picture
Xagroth wrote:Teamwork rules

Xagroth wrote:
Teamwork rules work universally, so there is no reason for disallowing those for active defense

Indeed. I somehow overlooked page 22 of Mesh, which says you can have multiple defenders (with teamwork bonus).