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Offline GMLovlie

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Hacking
« on: January 30, 2017, 03:49:33 AM »
Hackerman!

Xtreme has some stuff on this, but mostly its way beyond what I would use in my campaign - at least on any world but Earth. There's no Cyberspace in my game. Which means that those, somewhat cumbersome rules, won't be needed. Phew. ;)

How do you resolve "low-tech" hacking? I.e. database hacking, network access, hacking robots (if they have wireless transmitter/receiver this should be possible... right? ;) ) and stuff like that.

I have a computer focused character, so Hacking is kind of important to keep as a part of encounters and the game, otherwise he'll obviously get bored and feel useless. He's good at trying to find ways to implement his skills to manipulate environment and whatever else he can do through hacking networks, machinery and so on.

How would you solve it? Where's the limit of a hacker's abilities in your game? How long do you require a check to take? What kind of "combat actions" do you allow your hacker players to use?
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Offline pyrotech

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Re: Hacking
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2017, 11:48:23 AM »
My bughunters game spends most of it's time far from large datanets and cyberspace.  But several of the characters have hacking and one of them uses it a fair amount.

The way I handle it is assign a security software difficulty (as per standard rules - most software is medium difficulty, but systems that really worry about being hacked usually have better).  I have been prone to use "dramatically appropriate time" for how long the hacking takes - but a decent compromise between fun and realistic seems to be 1 minute per attempt.  I do allow cutting the time or extending the time for penalties and bonuses.  So cutting the time from 60 seconds (30 rounds) to 30 seconds (15 rounds) is a -10, another -10 can cut it down to 10 seconds (5 rounds), while taking 120 seconds (60 rounds) adds +20.  I have contemplated adding a fast hacking talent similar to the fast fixer talent to cut hacking times in half - but not done so yet.

Other than that the standard hacking rules have worked pretty well for me.  Typically all the characters want to do is access a system - and the initial hack is all that is required - from there it is just computer ops to do whatever they want.  But sometimes they are trying to locate where another user is (route probe), dump another user off the system (ejection attack), or corrupt a system (corruption attack).

So all in all mostly I use the standard rules, but just ignore the bits about avatars, cyberspace, and AIs.  It's worked pretty well for me so far.

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-Pyrotech

Offline GMLovlie

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Re: Hacking
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2017, 02:14:58 AM »
Huh. Nice solution. We're doing something else, a bit more complicated I guess. But that's a nice take on the rules provided in Xtreme you have there. I'll have to keep them in mind for the future. Thanks :)
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Offline pyrotech

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Re: Hacking
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2017, 12:14:44 PM »
My groups primary hacker had a few key moments to shine.

1) during a surprise raid on a cult's/colony religious leader's retreat he hacked into the installation's security station.  From their he sent an announcement that the fire suppression system was undergoing maintenance and any warnings or loud noises should be disregarded.  He then went on to set up a camera loop on the security cameras.  Being the parties face, he also used his access to bluff and misinform other security officers in the installation of the rest of the parties activities. 

All of this he did by first hacking into the security network (he was sitting at one of their terminals), then mostly just using computer ops and duping to do the rest.  I think I required another hacking use to spoof the cameras.

2) during a raid on an overrun barracks he hacked into the installations security network, accessed the sensor network to monitor the PCs and enemies whereabouts, located sentry guns, then hacked the sentry gun's targeting controls.

That I had him do with a computer hacking to break into their system.  A data probe (using comuter ops once he was in the system) to access the sensor network.  Computer ops when he specifically searched for sentry guns, then a hacking check to breach the networked sentry gun's security software.  Once in the sentry guns it was simple computer ops again to set new commands - he actually assigned manual control of one to a character with good gunnery skills.

So that is kind of how I did a lower tech version of hacking using the rules in Xtreme.  The biggest liberty I probably took here was with the dramatically appropriate time.  Most of the hacking attempts he did in 2 or so combat rounds each.  Somewhat faster than I probably should have, but it kept the story moving and gave the otherwise poor combat character a role during the attack.

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-Pyrotech

 

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