Thursday, November 29, 2018

//GLoG/augments.tgz

This part is likely to get fiddly.

It mustn't get fiddly.

It probably will though.

Design goal: Don't get fiddly. If a decimal gets used in the price, things have gotten off course. Points are provided in increments of 10 rather than 100 to avoid sneaking around this.

Design goal: Augments shouldn't just mimic equipment. If they do, as the eye augments probably will, they should be significantly better than purchasable equipment. There'd be no point in purchasing them otherwise, other than being disarm immune.

Augments


For every template you take in this, you gain 10 augment points, which can be spent to acquire the listed augments below. These points do not have to be spent all at once, and may be stored between level advancements, until used. I suppose you don't really have to spend them at all. Seems a waste though.

Before I mentioned the augmentations mostly came in two flavors: Cybernetic and Organic. In hindsight, the difference here is trivial and purely cosmetic. Trying to give significance to the differences fails the first design goal. Also, without a score to vaguely represent how augments you can take, there's just no point. Further, along those lines, I've never cared for the argument of "you've got more tech in you, now you don't relate to people." Garbage. If you've still got an unrealized fear of entropy and oblivion driving you to build a legacy, so as to not be forgotten and lost in the overwhelming sands of time, then congratulations, you're still one of us.

I considered a battery system for a brief while, with some of the augments being powered by renewable charges and additional power cells. I still like the idea, but it seems to break the first design goal.

The numbers that follow the names of the implant are the point cost. I'll be honest, they're sort of guessed at, and I would love any feedback on 'em.  The general thought on pricing was:

          Mimicked another template ability: 10 points
          Mimicked another template, but cost something: 7 points
          Rather situational in usage: 5 points
          Basically equipment: 3 points
          Filler material that still seemed handy: 1 point

Augment effects are stack-able.


Adrenaline injectors (7) - Sometimes you just gotta act NOW. Flood your heart with synthetic adrenaline (also spend a point of Conviction) to automatically succeed on Initiative checks the rest of encounter.

Bainti Modulation (10) - Like the voice modulation, only more so; and your throat is jam packed with vocal equipment. Whenever you speak, your voice rings with a digital quiver. When you shout, well, that's when things get exciting. You receive 1d6 (consumed on 4-6) and, when rolled, brittle objects within 25' of you must save or be shattered. People as well must save or be Deafened for [sum] rounds, and stunned for half that.

Biomonitor Beacon (7) - Not really useful for you, but anyone attempting First Aid on you, while using AR, receives +2 on their attempt. Also allows your teammates to see your health status, often represented in a vague number equal to your current HP score.

CB Radio (3) - An archaic form of communication, yet one that still functions when away from the Cloud. Send/receive unit with frequency selection is installed in the skull, with the antenna interwoven into the spine. Range is typically 1-2 miles. A port at the base of the spine allows for exterior antenna connection for longer range.

Cheetah blood injectors (7) - They might be extinct in the wild, but somewhere there's a lab draining their delicious clone blood. Inject it into yourself for +4 to movement for the rest of the scene, at the cost of 1 Conviction point. Winning.

Drone Control Unit (10) - Typically, control of separate drones over remote controls impose -2 to initiative, and only one may be controlled per action. DCU allows for control of a single drone/vehicle without loss of attention for the user, and, if multiple are taken, all connected drones maybe controlled on a single action.

Easy Flow elbow - The same model used by Bruce Willis himself.

Extendable Arm (5) - Gain five extra feet to your reach. However, you suffer -1 to Attack per every five feet you've extended, due to awkwardness. At least you no longer have to get up to get a beer from the fridge.

Extra Arm (10) - You've an extra, mechanical arm, and gain all the benefits and awkward clothing situations that come with it.

Gills (5) - You remember Seaman Anthony Piccolo from the second season of SeaQuest DSV? No, of course not. Why would you? I’m not sure why I do. Anyway, you’ve got gills now, right along your ribs.

Healing Factor (10) - Technically, a modified cancer. You regain 1 HP every 10 minutes. You regain 3 CON per day (rather than 1). Missing limbs regrow over a month, with slight deformities.

Hidden Cavity (5) - Gain an additional item slot. If you're ever searched, items stored here are not found.

Imaging processing array (5) - Robot eyes connected via silico/vivo interface to your brain. Choose three of the below. Purchasing again allows for selection of another three. All ranges are sight. Includes 20/20 vision and the Utility option for free:
     Augmented Reality - Allows for the overview of AR data with normal vision
     Camera - Records, and broadcasts if you choose, from user's POV
     Flare compensation - Provides +2 for saves vs blindness
     Magnification - Allows for vision magnification up to 50x
     Night - Imaging processor measure and estimates light waves and allows for vision at night nearly as well as daytime. Colors are muted and 8-bit, as the processor has to guess on occasion.
     Radiation monitor - Adds false color to detected radiation, as well as a display of estimated sunshine units.
     Targeting - Interfaces with user's gun's computer, providing +1 to Attack.
     Thermographic - Measures and displays infrared heat signatures.
     Ultraviolet - Allows for vision in the ultraviolet spectrum. Good for seeing residues and pollen.
     Utility - An assortment of useful tools: Compass, GPS display, digital message ticker, digital clock, friend tracking, augmentation report and monitoring,

Implanted Hard Drive (1) - You’ve got a hard drive in your head, and a cranial jack at the base of your skull. Useful for storing data on something that can't be stolen. Well, it can be, it just won't be your problem anymore.

Implanted Weapon (3) - select a small/medium melee or range weapon. That weapon is now integrated into your forearm and is immune to being disarmed.

Internal Communication Device (3) - It's like a flip phone, but inside your head. By concentrating on a party member, you may contact their communication device without need of verbal communication. Can be set to party line mode.

Internal Oxygen supply (5) - Contains a 30 minute air supply, with an exterior valve for resupply.

µSoft (10) - Why read when you can know? A small port behind your ear allows for connection to tiny storage chips known as µsofts (microsofts). Plugging one in allows you to instantly know the information contained on. Removing causes you to forget. Works for languages too. (µsofts work on a similar fashion to books)

Overclocked Muscles (7) - Upon activation, you're treated as having strength 20 for one round. Usage causes 1 Con damage each time.

Polygraphic Sensors (10) - While observing a subject as they speak, you're able to detect when they're lying. Not necessarily what the lie was, just that one is present.

RearWatch (10) - Most people prefer to keep their sensory implants where their sensory organs are. Less traumatic and disorienting that way. You, however, have radar installed in back of head; gain 5-in-6 chance to still act on surprise round.

Retinal Imitation (5) - By uploading a detailed scan of a retina to the augment's internal memory, the user may mimic that retina pattern.

Sonar System (10) - Redundancy is great and all; a life saver even. Though, when you take the Fishfinder system off of a boat, wire it to a silico/vivo interface and jam it into your skull, you gotta start asking questions. Spend a Conviction point to ignore a Blindness.

Spider legs (10) - Appearing as a standard pair of bifurcated legs, only chromed. Upon command, they further bifurcated in to legs tipped with sharp dactylus. This allows free movement up nearly any surface, with your hands remaining free. Typically, climbing requires all four limbs.

Spiked Heel (3) - You've got a sharp, retractable spike hidden within your foot. This allows for a surprising 1d4 of damage against anyone grappling you. No, I don't know how your foot and ankle still bend.

Spring Heel Jacked (10) - You've replaced your hamstrings with the spring out of a vehicle's suspension. I can't claim to know your motives, but falling damage is now reduced by 1d12 points.

Sub-Dermal Armor (5) - Patches of ceramic based non-Newtonian fluids are implanted just under the skin, providing damage reduction of 1 to all incoming attacks (to a minimum of 1)

Synthetic Skin (10) - More than just a skin graph, a pigment modulator allows for a complete changing of color to the user's skin. For just a couple of points more, a secondary processor is installed with the modulator, allowing for more defined control over the pigment altering, to the point where a user may display images and messages over their skin. By adjusting to the primary color of the surrounding environment, visual based stealth is increased by 2. Word of warning though, it itches like a bastard for the first week after surgery.

Tactical Assessment (10) - By running a live feed of an opponent through the military training computer you've decided to lodge in your head, you're able to determine and estimate their tactics. After observing an opponent for a round, you learn their level, as well as gain +2 to Attack, Damage, and to overcoming the target's Save. This bonus lasts until the end of the round.

Thief's Hand (3) - An array of tools for thieving stored in a prosthetic hand.

Venom Injectors (10) - Usually installed in fingertips, though some people like to replace their canine teeth with it, this allows for a once per combat poison attack. Exact effects are based on the poison, and drugs will probably be treated as poisons. A roll of 20 means you've injected your own dumb self. After each usage the augment needs 20 minutes to synthesize a new dosage.

Voice Modulation (5) - Given a sample of the target's voice stored to the augment's memory, and an hour for the augment's neural network to train, you can mimic the target's voice. Time to confirm a bunch of collect calls.

WhisperSoles (10) - Like a cat in Kitten Mittens, your sound based stealth has increased by 2.

Wireless Eye (3) - A simple cyberoptical prosthetic in communication with a receiver in your head. Given the nature of the IoT, in crowded locations, distance of the connected could, potentially, be measured in miles.


This is not a comprehensive list, and more is likely to follow.

Pre-publishing Hindsight


The least fiddly thing to do, would have been simply say "Pick an augment. You get it," rather than using points. However, not all augments are created equal. Grouping augments in packages also came up, with one template equaling one package. This seems not unreasonable, and will be on the docket for play testing.


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Monday, November 5, 2018

//GLoG.dat -hackr -?



Really backed myself into a corner, title wise, by placing the .dat file in the root.
So anyway, the idea here was to find a solution for a hacker that didn’t have them playing their own mini session with the GM while everyone sat around bored. Honestly, I had very little in the way of ideas on how to do that until I came across this blog post by Michael Bacon while casually looking at the Cyberpunk 2020 hacking section in an SRD. The two just sort of meshed. Yeah, last post made it seem like I had something lined up, didn’t it? A very clever lie.

Anyway, the short of it is, the cyberspace of 20XX is heavily dependent on meatspace, and is accessible through augmented reality. This slows hacking down to the speed of every other action, rather than Shadowrun’s “speed of thought” deal.

Is it the best solution? Maybe not. But it seems usable and opens the door for other ideas.

Hacking in a Vague Description
You get one cache slot per level that can hold a single program. You load these at daily wakeup.

You get one processing die (d6) per level that can be used to execute a program. These are refreshed by a night's worth of defragmenting.

You execute programs by allocating your processing die in a program and then rolling them. The more dice, the more effective the program execution. Each die you invest has a 50% chance of returning (on a 1-3) into your processing pool.

So...Wait...What?
There’s two things you’ve got to keep in mind during all this: 1) The tech of 20xx isn’t like the tech of today. Gone are the days of CD-ROMs, USB, and platter hard drives. Now is the time of solid states, high capacity cassettes, and ZIP-disks. 2) The programs your running, for the most part, aren’t standard programs. They’re major resource hogs, probably originally developed by a world military to run on specialized computers. Low- to mid-level AIs generated to perform a very specific purpose. Kaung grade MK11 type stuff. Definitely shouldn’t be in the hands of a street user. Your deck is bleeding edge and modded all to hell, but can still only execute a minor handful before needing some serious garbage collection.

Actually, a third thing. Given the saturation of technology (from wearable devices to microcontrollers in weapons, nearly everything is part of the IoT) and the advancement of security (signal dampening paint for instance), cyberspace takes on a skewed, yet similar image of the real world. People appear as clouds of processing points within personal area networks, and objects can vaguely be made out based on their thickness, material, and the way signals bounce off them. High level AIs (thems with the ability to reason and self initiate) roam cyberspace carrying out tasks by their owners, or potentially going rogue and casing trouble.

Your Deck
This is your portable supercomputer. I say portable, but I mean it in the way a cooler is portable. “Yes, technically”, but still a pain in the ass. While you can store up to 10 programs in the data storage of the deck, only programs in the cache slot can be executed. Loading programs are typically done before deployment to the field, as they take roughly an hour to transfer.

The most typical way to interface with your Deck is over AR (augmented reality) - a pair of goggles that display the virtual world overlaid on the real world, allowing for the viewing of both cyberspace and meatspace at the same time.

Cassettes
I could try telling you these are Special Command Read-Only LogLess Scripts (see what I did there?), however that would be unimportant. Also complete gibberish. What these are are high capacity analog magnetic tape that store the ones and zeros for a military grade program, suitable for one time use. Inserting the cassette into your deck allows you to execute the stored program, providing a free processing die from the on-board processor. Should you choose, you may allocate your decking resources to the execution of the program. Again, being military, these are single use items that self destruct after a single use.

Transferring programs from cassette to deck, and vise versa, is possible, but a huge pain in the ass. It also takes about an hour, but any number of programs can be swapped between the deck and cassettes.

If you seek to execute a program that you’re not sure of what it is, consult your GM.

Faults and Snowcrashes
Because of the experimental nature of it all, sometimes you encounter system errors. Faults are relatively minor errors and occur when the processing die produces doubles. Snowcrashes occur when triples are rolled, and are horrible. Don’t roll triples.

Faults
1. Resource hog - Dice only return to your pool on a 1-2 for 24 hours.
2. Short Circuit - Take 1d6 damage
3. Static Arc - CyberDeck takes 1 endurance damage
4. Zombie process - An unterminated process is taking up a processor. Lose one processing die for 24 hours.
5. Feedback - Headache inducing patterns overwhelm your AR interface. Agony for 1d6 rounds.
6. Ctrl+Alt+Del - Cannot execute any programs for 1d6 rounds while the tasks restart.

Snowcrash
1. I/O board is fried - It’ll take you 24 hours to fix it
2. Motherboard is burnt out - It’ll take you 72 hours to fix it
3. Prison of Your Own Flesh - A feedback error causes you to hallucinate for 48 hours straight. As it dies down, you find yourself unable to return to your deck, the horrors you saw scaring you off it again and again.

Wait...I can get hurt by this?

Oh yes. From Faults and Snowcrashes, to any number of AI, anti-personel programs, or ICE protocols can assault your deck, or other devices, causing it to play havoc on your cerebellum. Such is the trade off for modern day godlike ability: Sometimes you’re the only one able to see the monster.

Anyway, on to the brass tacks -

Hacker
You're a console cowboy; master of the realm digital. You collect military grade computer hardware for nefarious activities in cyberspace. Stay outta Memphis hotel rooms.

Starting Skills: [1] - coding, [2] - cryptocurrency, [3] - dive bars
Starting Equipment: CyberDeck; light pistol; 2 casettes

A.     +1 processing die, + 1 cache slot, +2 programs
B.     +1 processing die, + 1 cache slot, +2 programs, Projection
C.     +1 processing die, + 1 cache slot, +2 programs, Virtual Agent
D.     +1 processing die, + 1 cache slot, +2 programs, Merge Programs

Projection
You've finally been able to afford the 'trodes upgrade. While wearing them, you may close your eyes and concentrate, leaving the prison of meatspace behind. Your consciousness falls completely into Cyberspace, allowing you to move freely through the system. Spatial relations lose meaning, becoming more abstract; PANs take on the form of geometric shapes. Networks outside the Cloud appear as large, black monoliths. AIs appear in their cold, logical true form - four dimensional shapes, ever in motion and pulsing with light.

For purposes of other programs, your current location within Cyberspace counts as the origin of the range. You are fully visible to any in AR, and a silvery digital trail leads back to your deck. Programs that target a device can target your deck if your projected location is within range.

Virtual Agent
    You've managed to incorporate a secondary array of RAM into your deck, and allowed an AI to take up residence within it. It can perform simple tasks on it's own, such as executing a program at a given time, however it is only a mid-level AI and still requires commands from you. Should the deck fall into a "broken" state, it will take 24 hours after completely fixing the deck for the AI to return.

Merge Programs
   By putting two different programs on cassettes into a special virtual machine, and forced to combine based on survivability. Think of it as a genetic algorithm thunderdome. Don’t worry, they’re probably not sentient. After the week of retraining, the combined programs produce one of the following:
1) A random program
2) A mutation of one of the programs
3) A new program based on the combined  programs

Note: I considered making "Create Program" an ability, however that basically translated out to "Do the GM's work." Which is a suck power. If you have an idea for a program, talk to your GM about it.

Programs
This is a non-exhaustive list of programs, and many more may exist out in the world. Typically a program comes in one of three catagories: Offense, Defense, and Utility. I've not labeled them.

Object saves: If the equipment is on a person, use their save. They’ve clearly fiddled with the settings. AIs save as NPCs.

Programs
R: Range     T: Target D: Duration

Babel
R: Self     T: Self D: Concentration
A language program for decrypting or encrypting files. The process operates on [dice] files at a time.

Charm12
R: Connected     T: Device D: [dice] real time minutes
You temporarily reactivate the low level AI in a broken device and are able to query its memory. May know how it broke if the event was logged in time.

Credentials
R: 20’     T: [dice] Device    D: [sum] turns
Makes a device believe the user has authorized access. Invest 3 [dice] to instead target an AI and convince it you are admin level user.

Disguise
R: 50’     T: Device  D: [dice] hours
Makes a device appear as another within Cyberspace.

Fireball
R: 200’     T: AI D: Instant
Does [sum] 'fire' damage to all higher level AI within the sphere. Save for half.

GlobalQuery
R: Self     T: the Cloud    D: Instant
Through accessing various backdoors of common public record databases, user may as [dice] yes/no questions. If [sum] is 10+, user may ask any question using [dice] words.

JuryRig
R: Connected     T: Device D: Instant
Communicates with the Device’s low level AI and attempts to find a work around for the damage done to the device, though at a price. Temporarily removes [dice] quality checks for [sum] rounds, before breaking completely until properly repaired.

Knock
R: 30’     T: Device  D: Instant
Injects a litany of various common “OPEN” commands into the targeted equipment. Has a [dice]-in-6 chance of working. You’d be surprised what uses an “open” command: automated doors, smartgun actions, parachutes, etc.

Powerword: Blind
R: 20’     T: User D: Instant
When targeted against visual equipment, generates blinding light which...uh, blinds the user for [dice] rounds. Save negates. Cyberoptic implants count as “visual equipment.”

Powerword: Deafen
R: 20’     T: User D: Instant
When targeted against audio equipment, generates a high pitched squelch that deafens the user for [dice] rounds. Save negates. Cybercochlear implants count as “audio equipment.”

Powerword: Stun
R: 20’     T: User D: Instant
Generates a power loop feedback in the device of a user, stunning them for [dice] rounds. Save negates.

Ratatalk
R: 20' T: Device D: [dice] real time minutes
Allows communication with currently functioning device AI. Program translates between machine and human.

Rati
R: 20' T: Device D: Concentration
Allows for the accessing of networks not connected to the Cloud. Any network worth breaking into has ICE patrolling its systems, always comparing activity against Suspicion Profiles. However, there is a [dice]-in-6 chance the program will hide you well enough for ICE to ignore you.

RevealAI
R: 100’     T: Device D: [sum] turns
Allows for pinging and probing a device to determine if it’s an AI disguising itself. AI must save to remain hidden.

SignPost
R: 0’     T: Location    D: [dice] days
User is able to leave [sum] length message within the cloud, bound to their current location. This message is viewable by all. Note, this is different from Message Boards or AR advertisements, as those require a dedicated device. This steals a bit of space from surrounding devices to avoid the need of a hosting device.

Shatter
R: 25’     T: Device  D: Instant
Generates feedback in the device. Device must save or take [dice] damage to durability.

ShieldWall
R: 50'     T: Device  D: [dice] turns
Adds +4 to device’s saves.

Static Wall
R: 100’     T: Location   D: Concentration
Generates a solid wall of static in cyberspace. Moving through the space in meat space does [dice] durability damage to devices. AIs take [sum] damage.

Stiltskin
R: 50’     T: Device  D: 5*[dice] turns
Puts a device into a sleep mode.

VirusScan
R: Connected     T: Device D: [Dice] turns
Detects whether current device has a virus or other malicious code

Watchdog
R: 50’     T: Self D: [dice] hours
Detects devices/AI/ICE moving within Range and alerts the user.

Web
R: 20‘    T: Self D: Concentration
Your deck begins to spew garbage signals within a radius around you, making it look like there are a multitude of devices within the area, requiring [sum]/2 rounds to sort through to find you. Flammable.

The Turing Institute has cataloged the following programs, and keep them securely contained in non-networked computers. (They’re ideas I thought of, but deemed too powerful - or just odd. Could be usable for plot, so here they are):

Powerword: Kill
R: 20’     T: User D:Instant
Sends a massive power surge through the device, killing the user

Doom Song
R: 20’     T: Device   D: Instant
Does [dice] worth of durability damage to the device. If this breaks the device, add +1 to the [dice] value and target all devices within 25’ of the original.

Implant Suggestion
R: 20'     T: User D: Instant
Over loads sensory equipment to produce a frequency that implants a [dice] word command into the target's brain.
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