Bugs – New Programming Options
Bugs are programming “options” which reduce the difficulty of a program by incorporating features which are … shall we say, less than advantageous. You can attribute bugs to poor programming, beta test versions, cracked or corrupt copies, and so forth and so on. The source of the bug doesn’t usually matter, but the effects should at least be inconvenient, and at most deadly.
You’ll notice that many of the values given for these bugs are just the opposite of a positive option. Obviously, costs can be modified to suit. A bug which is the exact opposite of an option will cancel the option — you can’t have Slow and Speed in the same program and expect either one to work, or to give you any change in the program’s total difficulty.
- Crashes Often (-3) : Every time the program is run, roll 1D6. On a roll of 1, it crashes and de-rezzes.
- Slow (-1 to -3) : When this program is run, it reduces deck speed by -1 to -3, depending on the severity of the bug.
- Limited Range (-3) : This bug only comes into play when a program already incorporates the Movement option. A program with this bug dies after it gets a certain distance away from the netrunner. 5 grid squares is usually a good rule of thumb.
- Sloppy Coding (-10) : One of the few bugs that can be directly attributed to poor programming, Sloppy Coding doubles the program’s final MU.
- Locks Up (-3) : When run, roll 1D6. On a roll of 1, it freezes the netrunner in place, just like Glue.
- Backfires (-5) : This bug can only be used in conjunction with anti-personnel or anti-system functions. When the program is run, roll 1D6; on a roll of 1, it affects the user instead of the target.
- Delayed Firing (-5) : When the program is run, roll 1D6. On a roll of 1-3, the program will not function this round (another program can be run in its stead), but it will automatically execute the following round, using an action to do so. If it is running from a deck which only has one action, it will use that action.
- Limited Use (-3) : When the program is loaded into memory, roll 1D6. The result is the number of uses the program can survive before it de-rezzes and erases itself from memory. It cannot be recovered with Re-Rez; it must be written again from notes, reloaded from another system or a chip, or bought again. This bug cancels out the Auto Re-Rez option.
- Corrupt (-5) : Roll 1D6 whenever this program is run. On a roll of 1, it has corrupted 1 MU of memory. The MU is randomly determined, and any program using this block of memory is corrupted and cannot run. Affected programs must be removed and reloaded from an outside source, and the deck must be rebooted to free up the corrputed MU.
- Conflicts (varies) : This bug causes its program to conflict with another class of programs. No programs of the specified type can be run while this program is resident in memory. Cost is -3 per type of program this program conflicts with.
WRITING THE PROGRAM
Programs with negative difficulties cannot be written, because they just don’t work. In addition, difficulties can never be reduced past the difficulty of the program’s function. For example, a program which was composed of Evasion (10) + Auto Re-rez (3) + Conflicts with Anti-Personnel Programs (-3) + Locks Up (-3) would have a minimum difficulty of 10 (the difficulty of the program’s Evasion function) even though the math comes out to a difficulty of 7. With this restriction, bugs are useful when you want to load a program up with tons of options, but you need to squeeze the difficulty down to a level more appropriate to your skill.
These bugs are also quite fun to spring on players who aren’t choosy about their program sources.
Tight Coding is a Programming Option which doubles the Difficulty of a given program, but halves its final MU. The effects are applied last, after the initial Difficulty, Cost, and MU have been calculated. Tight Coding cannot reduce the MU of a program below 1. Example: As written originally, the JakAttack variant of Hokey Pokey had a Difficulty of 50, took up 8 MU of space, and would have cost 12,500eb. With Tight Coding, its Difficulty increases to an amazing 100 (impossible to write unless you’ve got a crack team of about 20 programmers working in shifts), and its cost rises to 25,000eb, but its MU drops to 4.