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Archive for the ‘netrunning’ Category

Free (Post-)Cyberpunk Book online

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Cover of Cory Doctorow's Little Brother NovelCory Doctorow has put his new book, “Little Brother” online. He’s so good I had to add him to my list of Cyberpunk writers (see sidebar).

It’s a

young adult novel about hacker kids who use technology to reclaim the Bill of Rights from the DHS after a terrorist attack on San Francisco.

Also to be found on the website:

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May 15th, 2008 at 8:05 am

Übersicht für die wichtigsten Aktionen im Netz [Cyberpunk 2020]

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This post is in German. If you can read German,

please choose the German version of this blog.

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May 13th, 2008 at 8:27 am

Copy Protection in Cyberpunk 2020

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by Amy Luther

“Anti-IC and Anti-Personnel programs cannot be Backup-copied; they have special copy-protection routines that erase the chip in the copy process. This makes sure you come back to your friendly local fixer for a new copy of Hellhound when yours crashes. You can make a copy using your Programming Skill against a Task Difficulty of 28.”
(from the Cyberpunk 2020 Rulebook)

In our games, we assume that the copy-protection routine referred to in the CP2020 rulebook prevents copies from being made. When you roll versus a difficulty 28 to make a copy, you are effectively cracking this section of the program. From then on, the program is cracked, and you may make a copy of it.

Copying Made Easy

Ditto

(Anti-IC, STR 6, MU 4, GM’s decision as to cost and availability)

Ditto deactivates the copy protection routine of a target Anti-IC or Anti-Personnel program. It is run against the target program and an opposed roll is made: Ditto’s STR + 1d10 versus the target program’s STR + 1d10. If Ditto wins, the string which prevents copying in the target program is stripped, and it may be copied freely with the COPY function on the Menu. This may affect its stability; on a 1 or 2 on a d6 roll, the target fries itself, and no copy can be made. The copies which result are cracked copies and are somewhat corrupted. Whenever run, they will crash and de-rez on a roll of 1 or 2 on a d6. ICON – If run in the net, Ditto breaks up the IC into a million glowing bits, then reforms it. If the program crashes, the bits simply spin away into the net without reforming.

Other Avenues

Programs bought from legitimate sources (i.e., not your local fixer) may come with codes, allowing the corporate buyer to make backup copies, or even fully-enabled copies which can be run anywhere. This option would naturally be very expensive and might explain why Anti-Personnel programs cost so much.

Other options are a licensing/registration process, in which a purchaser (probably a corporation) pays a fee upon purchasing the program which guarantees a set number of copies of a given program from the manufacturer. This fee could be renewed annually, or simply paid whenever one of the corp’s copies gets zapped by an intruding netrunner.

This opens up another avenue for netrunning. Runners could raid programming houses for anti-personnel codes for sale or distribution, or could steal the corporate’s license, then get free copies from the house while the corporation foots the bill.

We’re also working on black IC companies… after all, somebody’s got to have a license to program and sell this stuff, right?

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May 5th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Cyberpunk Art 7: Death from above

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Keith Thompson: Helicopter
(click for larger image)

Picture taken from Keith Thompsons (Link) wonderful art page. It has 2 40mm and one 60mm gun.

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April 29th, 2008 at 8:08 am

Cyberpunk today: Netrunners

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Netrunning is allready a business. Big business. Reuters reports that in a trial Christopher Tarnovsky, a hacker, received quite a few handfulls of dollar to hack a rival satellite tv system. The victim claims that the software was to be used to diminish the gain of the victim by selling or distributing a pirated copy of the smartcard. The attacker, News Corp, claims it was only “reverse-engineering” to “look how it works”.

News Corp is a massive corp, owning tv stations like FOX, newspapers, movie studios and book publishers.

I used exactly this setup in a game back in the ’90s. Now I’m feeling both prophetic and old.

But reality -unlike our game- doesn’t stop where it gets ridiculous (taken from the same article):

Tarnovsky said[:] “Someone is trying to set me up.”

DISH attorney Chad Hagan asked, “This is all a big conspiracy?”

“Yes,” Tarnovsky answered. He conceded that he constructed a device called “the stinger” that could communicate with any smart card in the world.

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April 25th, 2008 at 11:09 am

Programming 108: It's the Law, 'punk!

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Programming 108: It’s the Law, ‘punk!

Snitch
CLASS: Alarm COST: 580eb
STRENGTH: 4 MU: 4
PROGRAMMING: 174 DIFFICULTY: 29
FUNCTION(S): Alarm
OPTION(S): Memory, Icon (superrealistic)
COST MULTIPLIER: x2 (Alarm x2)
ICON: Snitch has a database consisting of thousands of pictures. You nevah know who can be airin’ your dirty laundry.
DATA: After the intruding netrunner has been detected, the program will alert the sysop on duty so he can deal with the threat first hand.
Handcuffs
CLASS: Anti-Personnel COST: 7,000eb
STRENGTH: 3 MU: 4
PROGRAMMING:168 DIFFICULTY: 28
FUNCTION(S): Anti-Personnel Read the rest of this entry »

Easter Linking

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If you came over to read stuff, you’re going to be disappointed. Even I have something better to do on Easter then to write for you.

But fear not: Others wrote stuff worthy of your attention:

  1. Wired shows you how to create your own combat bot. Ground, aerial and submerged bots for you to build – for just some 100s or 100s of $. It’s a wiki, so you can help. I wonder when homeland security takes down that site. Terrorists might use the cheap combat bots… 🙂 (Am I the only one who thinks that “Homeland security” sounds deliciously fascist?
  2. Contact lenses that can do some stuff we thought cybereyes would needed for, esp. a HUD (head up display, showing you images superimposed over your view – today used by fighter pilots)
  3. A Cyberpunk documentary from 1993. Look how William Gibson looked like 14 years ago:
The young William Gibson, ca 1993
Click for bigger size

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March 23rd, 2008 at 11:57 pm

Killer Robots

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I guess the next time my PCs are going to infiltrate some corp compound, they will meet this little enemy:

Killer Robots will kill you

I’m at a loss to stat this thing. Speed maybe 20 km/h? Would that gun be a 7.62? Looks like it carries at least a 100 rounds. I would give it a 10+d10 to attack and 7+d10 for Initiative. Remotely controlled it would gain the skill of the operator. A netrunner could hijack it, if the right controller program is available.

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March 9th, 2008 at 8:43 am

Programming 107

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Programming 107

Medusa
CLASS: Anti-Personnel COST: 11,250eb
STRENGTH: 5 MU: 7
PROGRAMMING: 258 DIFFICULTY: 43
FUNCTION(S): Anti-Personnel
OPTION(S): Movement Ability, Recognition, Conversational Ability, Pseudo-Intellect, Contextural Icon
COST MULTIPLIER: x25 (Anti-Personnel x25)
ICON: A lovely young woman dressed in an elegant evening gown and the snakes that pose as her hair pulled back into a topknot. She speaks with a sultry voice, alluring the ‘runner to glance upon her magnificient beauty.
DATA: This was truly an interesting program to put together. She does 8d6 points of damage to the ‘runner while turning him/her Icon into a stone statue that will remain in the matrix where it was frozen.
Netmare
CLASS: Anti-Personnel COST: 7,000eb
STRENGTH: 6 MU: 4
PROGRAMMING: 168 DIFFICULTY: 28
FUNCTION(S): Anti-Personnel
OPTION(S): Contextural Icon
COST MULTIPLIER: x25 (Anti-Personnel x25)
ICON: Whatever you’re afraid of, this program will construct an Icon to resemble that special someone or something that haunts your dreams. And in some cases, your every waking moment.
DATA: Everyone is afraid of something. This program will search your psyche until it uncovers that special something that causes even the most stout of heart to cringe in fear. For us netrunners, this program can be particularly unsettling. It can cause us to fear interfacing with Ma Matrix. Personally, if I can’t feel the loving touch of Ma Matrix at least once per day, I get mighty cranky. Whomever has fallen victim to this program must make a roll: Difficulty vs. 20. If the roll is failed, the person is incapable of performing their so-called duty for 1d10 minutes. Once this period has passed, a second roll is made. If this roll is passed, the person can perform as normal. If the second rolled failed, there is a 50% chance that that person ain’t nothing more than a blabbering idiot on the floor for 6d10 minutes. Or that person will become extremely violent for 6d10 in an attempt to escape his/her fear. Oh look. Here comes Max-Tac to handle your little psychotic episode.Whenever the victim of this program comes across the situation/person/what-have-you he/she/it fears, he/she/it must make a roll: Difficulty vs. 20. If the roll is passed, the victim can perform the task at hand. If the roll failed, the victim cannot perform the task needed to be done until they recover: Difficulty vs. 25. Awww. Havin’ another psychotic episode? Here comes Max-Tac to deal with it permanently.
Hydra of Domain
CLASS: Anti-Personnel, Detection COST: 24,000eb
STRENGTH: 5 MU: 8
PROGRAMMING: 288 DIFFICULTY: 48
FUNCTION(S): Anti-Personnel, Detection
OPTION(S): Movement Ability, Auto Re-Rez, Endurance, Contextural Icon
COST MULTIPLIER: x50 (Anti-Personnel x25, Detection x2)
ICON: A contextural Icon of an enormous creature with five heads and a twin tail.
DATA: This is a program that you don’t wanna be on the recieving end of. The program starts out with five heads and each auto re-rez causes a new head to grow. Example: the program starts with five head, then you hack one off. If the program re-rezzes, the original head and a new head will appear. Thus making a total of six heads. Each additional head after the fifth adds +1 to the program’s current STR. Six heads, STR: 6. Ten heads, STR: 10. There can only be a maximum of ten heads and a maximum STR of 10. Each attack against the netrunner will produce 1d6 per head. Oh my! That’s gonna leave a mark!
Wyvern
CLASS: Anti-Personnel, Detection COST: 22,500eb
STRENGTH: 5 MU: 7
PROGRAMMING: 270 DIFFICULTY: 45
FUNCTION(S): Anti-Personnel, Detection
OPTION(S): Memory, Endurance, Photorealistic Icon
COST MULTIPLIER: x50 (Anti-Personnel x25, Detection x2)
ICON: I took great pride and joy in creating this Icon. It is an adult wyvern. It looks as good as any tri-vid image you’re gonna find in the movie industry or generated on the Net.
DATA: What can be said about such a magnificient creature? Noble and majestic. Arrogant, proud, and aloof. Lord of all they survey and master of what they keep their lairs. They will do 5d10 points of damage to the netrunner that disturbs its lair.
Cloak of Invisibility
CLASS: Stealth COST: 540eb
STRENGTH: 4 MU: 4
PROGRAMMING: 162 DIFFICULTY: 27
FUNCTION(S): Stealth
OPTION(S): Invisibility, Superrealistic Icon
COST MULTIPLIER: x2 (Stealth x2)
ICON: A cloak made of the finest cloth euro can buy.
DATA: The best way to sneak around on the Net is not to let the enemy see ya.

Please also repeat lessons:

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March 1st, 2008 at 8:34 am

Programming 106: Everyone's Kung Fu Fighting!

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Programming 106:
Everyone’s Kung Fu Fighting!

Clap of Thunder
CLASS: Anti-Personnel COST: 4,650eb
STRENGTH: 6 MU: 5
PROGRAMMING: 186 DIFFICULTY: 31
FUNCTION(S): Anti-Personnel
OPTION(S): Superrealistic Icon
COST MULTIPLIER: x25 (Anti-Personnel x25)
ICON: A rippling wave of black electricity.
DATA: The Icon of the netrunner shouts, “Clap of thunder!”, then claps his/her hands together to cause the rippling effect in the ‘net. The attack will cause 4d6 points of neural damage to the target ‘runner and will push him/her back 1d6+1 spaces. Read the rest of this entry »

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February 15th, 2008 at 10:48 am