Interface Zero: Samurai Cowboy
In 2088 computers and computer networks have taken a much different form that they did at the beginning of the century. Nearly every electronic device manufactured has a least a microprocessor and wireless communicates out information about itself. More advanced devices actually feed more information to help create what is known as hyper reality.
The Deep on the other hand, is a completely virtual world mostly interconnected through a worldwide network of domains both public and private. Restricted domains may or may not be connected to the worldwide network. Obviously, for security reasons, most are not preventing hackers from ghosting into their domain. If someone wants access to these disconnected domain they will have be physically at the location to enter the domain’s deep.
Processors and Active Memory
All TAPs and many other computer network hacking tools have processors large enough and fast enough to run programs that aid in hacking both in hyper reality and the Deep. Even the basic hyper-glove, data gauntlet, or hacking deck have enough hard drive space for all intents and purposes limitless programs. This isn’t actually true but hackers regularity defrag and clean their drives of programs fairly often as most programs have a very short life.
What is limited is active memory which is the number of programs the processors can fully utilize at one time. While these devices can even be equipped with processors and co-processors to increase the amount of active memory the are usually weaker than even a simple TAP. Strangely, the TAP actually provides an astonishing large of active memory to run programs though basic models usually don’t actually have the same near limitless hard drive space as other computer network devices. The average person simply doesn’t need or want to store their programs in their head and rely on ‘cloud’ storage of hyper reality to load and stop active programs as they need them. In fact it is well known that the only person that benefits from cranial hard drives are criminal hackers. This makes the sale and installation of such cybernetics highly restricted.
Every hacking program requires a certain portion of the device’s processor it’s running on active memory. In the game this active memory requirement is represented by program points, or the amount of active memory the program requires to run properly. Obviously, the more programs or the more powerful the program the more porgram points it has and a larger amount of active memory is required. Programmers may make the Program Points higher than listed for free (to help prevent Crash programs from working). This system is abstracted out because the nature of technological advance often makes even the most advanced hacking software obsolete in less than a year.
Characters with the Programing 101 Edge may write hacking programs. To do so the character spends at least 1/4 of the time required actively coding the program. Coding can be done at anytime in the program writing process and can even be broken up into smaller chunks. The remaining time of the program writing process no longer requires the programmer to be actively working on the program as the program is de-bugging, compiling data, running diagnostics, etc. The programmer must keep an eye on it, but it no longer requires his/her full attention. Each eight hour block (or less for shorter programs) require the programmer to make a basic Knowledge: Programming roll. Success means the programming went as planned and the program has that much of it written. Every Raise on the programming roll adds another 8 hours of work required to complete the program. Failure indicates that the program has some logic problems, a fatal error, etc. and the time spent programming was a waste. A critical failure indicated that all the data was lost or the porgram was built on faulty logic; the programmer must start completely over. Additional programmers can assist on the programming roll to help speed the processor along. If the deadline is coming and the program is not complete the programmer can choose to salvage the product making a program of half the number of hours put into the project. Note: A dedicated programmer could work on multiple programs simultaneous. A programmer could easily 4 programs spending all day coding each one (8 hours total) while the other compile. In this way the programmer could 24 hours of work in an 8 hour period and that’s assuming the programmer only gets basic successes on their four Knowledge: Programming rolls.
The table below depicts the number of hours required to generate Program Points:
2hrs = 1PP
4hrs = 2PP
8hrs = 3PP
16hrs = 4PP
32hrs = 5PP
64hrs = 6PP
128hrs = 7PP
256hrs = 8PP
521hrs = 9PP
1024hrs = 10PP
2048hrs = 11PP
4096Hrs = 12PP
h4. Program Shelf Life
Hacking programs don’t have long lives. They only have so many uses before they no longer function and if they aren’t used right away they can become obsolete over the course of a few months. While programming the programmer chooses the number of uses starting from 6 and going up 2 per 8 hour period added onto the time to create. Every time the program is used the hacker rolls a 1d3 and removes that many uses. For programs becoming obsolete: programs function as written for 1 month. After this month the program degrades 8 hours work of work the next month until the porgram is no longer useful as technology leaves it behind.
Alarm Programs These programs are used to detect unauthorized user attempting to birch the firewall or sensitive network domains.
Armor Programs These programs shield users against attack programs.
Attack Programs These are the weapons of the Deep used primarily against ICE and other users but can be all purpose.
Coprocessor Programs: These programs allow a user to link multiple processors together to have more active memory. Each linked coprocessor requires a coprocessor program making this tactic fairly inefficient. Unless programmed otherwise Coprocessor programs cost 1 Program Point.
Cutter Programs These are program designed to breach firewalls often times without raising Alarm programs.
Daemon Programs These programs serve as minions for the user to help them with tasks anywhere from data retrieval to combat.
Masking Programs These type of program attempt to conceal the user’s presence in a domain.
Shield Programs Powerful buy limited use defensive programs.
Sniffer Programs These programs help locate particular data the user is looking for.
Splitter Programs These programs allow the user to share their active memory with another user allowing two users in the same ‘tube.’ They cost 1 Program Point unless otherwise
Trace: These programs are used to determine the location of a user.
Computer Network Equipment
Tendril Access Processor: Nearly everyone have one of these remarkable devices. They provide the user with Active Memory but no usable hard drive space to hold additional programs in.
TAP Rating 1 provides 10 Active Memory
TAP Rating 2 provides 12 Active Memory
TAP Rating 3 provides 13 Active Memory
TAP Rating 4 provides 14 Active Memory
Hyperglove: The basic hyperglove has a hard drive with unlimited space however usually doesn’t have much for processing power aid a TAP.
Basic hyperglove provides 2 Active Memory
Advanced hyperglove provides 3 Active Memory
Data Gauntlet: This piece of aging tech has largely been replaced by the smaller hyperglove but still has the need bulk to handle a sizable processor or coprocessor. It has unlimited hard drive space and provides some active memory for hacking programs.
Basic Data Gauntlet provides 3 Active Memory
Advanced Data Gauntlet provides 6 Active Memory
Hacking Deck: These are extremely old tech that consist of a keyboard that may or may not be need for use for hacking. These devices only have one real purpose in 2088 and that is to provide powerful processors to provide the largest amount of external active memory available. Hacking decks are extremely easy to build and modify and are still heavily favored by hackers today.
Marginal Quality Hacking Deck provides 3 Active Memory
Average Quality Hacking Deck provides 5 Active Memory
Good Quality Hacking Deck provides 7 Active Memory
Amazing Quality Hacking Deck provides 8 Active Memory
Avatars, Ghosts, and Virtual Characters
Characters (as well as network systems) in hyper reality as well as the deep are constructed with many of the same analogs found in the meat world if simplified some. They posses of a Parry (Firewall) and a Toughness (Defense) although they work opposite than in the real world. Firewalls are often considered static things to break through while Defense is considered more fluid and skill related. Barbecue unlike a character/network’s firewall, a the defense is made of, at least in part, of a character hacking ability.
Initiative: The character with the highest pace goes first. In the event of equal Pace, character with the highest empty Active Memory goes first.
Breaching the Firewall: The hacker/system makes a Hacking roll attempting to meet or exceed the target’s firewall. With a Raise, Attack programs cause an additional d6 damage. If successful a number of programs including attack programs can be employed.
Damage and Defense: The hacker/system activates any subroutines or other programs and may roll to damage target if they beat their Defense score. The target can choose to employ any active defensive programs such as Shield programs. Damage the meets or exceeds the target’s Defense causes 1 Fatigue plus additional Fatigue per Raise until incapacitated. Incapacitated characters roll Spirit (remembering Fatigue) and compare result on Damage table in Interface Zero page 55. Damage can be soaked with Smarts instead of Vigor.
P957 is diving into a Megacorp’s private domain to retrieve some valuable data. Unfortunately his presence has alerted the Domain’s ICE to investigate. P957 decides to engage it in combat to give his info sniffers a little more time. P957 ha a Pace 8 compared to the ICE’s Pace of 7, so he goes first. He decides to use his 2d8 Attack program. He rolls his Hacking die, d10) plus a Wild Die (as he is a Wild Card) vs. the ICE’s firewall of 6. He rolls a 10 which is a Raise over the firewall increasing his damage to 2d8 + 1d6. He rolls 17 damage because one of the d8 aces. The ICE’s Defense is 7 so it takes three levels of Fatigue incapacitating it. The GM decides to spend one his Bennies from his initial pool to Soak with Smarts of d6 and rolls 2. Still incapacitated the ICE must roll spirit to determine its fate. It rolls a 7 -2 Fatigue means it succeeds but it Derezzed and Shaken. It can return to battle P957 once it unshakes and returns to the Domain that P957 is in. Unless he has already found what he is looking for that is…