AvatarsCampaign > AvatarsGameRules > Av2ModernCharacters > Av2Hacking


These rules are taken largely from Daring Tales of the Sprawl.

BMW PCComputer systems are rated as Green (civilian models) or Red (high security models), and have Security skills of 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, i.e. a simple library computer might be a Green 4, while a military computer might be Red 10. Give the computer a number of tokens (layers of software protection) equal to half its Security skill.
Changed: reduced from as many tokens as Security skill to half, to speed things up. This also makes 'All In' a more valuable manuever.

Note: a system with the Quantum Probe add-on has 1 fewer token than normal, but +1 to Hacking rolls including its own if used in an 'All In' maneuver.

Normally the hacker begins his hack from a cyberdeck he controls, which will also have a Security skill and tokens. If the hacker is using a direct neural connection to the target computer, he instead has half his Spirit die in tokens, but gains +2 to his Hacking rolls. With a Coprocessor implant, the hacker has his full Spirit die in tokens.
Av2Gear - computers and cyberdecks available for purchase.
New: unlike Daring Tales of the Sprawl, the cyberdeck's Security is not rolled as a cooperative skill for the entire attempt. Instead, it may be used to assist in an "all out" invasive probe of the target system, see below.
New: it is being assumed that the hacker is using a Neural Jack to connect to the target system. If this is not the case, i.e. the hacker is using a simple keyboard or VR Glove interface, the hacker is at -2 to Hacking for the attempt.

The object of hacking is to reduce the target system's tokens to zero before the system's intrusion countermeasures can entirely remove the hacker's tokens. This takes place over a number of rounds. The hacker may abort his attempt at any time but must start over from scratch if he tries again later.

CyberspaceEach round, the hacker rolls Hacking against a target of 4. He removes one token for a Success, plus one more per Raise. On a Botch, the target system is Alerted and gains +2 to its Hacking rolls against him for the next six hours. In addition, security might be heightened at that installation.
Note: the target system may have Armor ICE. This reduces the tokens lost each round by 1, but gives the target system a -1 penalty to its Security rolls.
New: Network Shunt: the hacker has the option of, instead of attacking the system, running his connection through another system. Roll Hacking versus a target of 4. If successful, the hacker gains 2 tokens, increasing by 1 for each Raise. However, the hacker takes -1 to all further Hacking rolls due to the increased latency. The hacker does not have this option when directly connected to the target system.

For example, if the hacker had been reduced to 2 tokens, he might roll Hacking, desperately trying to throw another layer of protection between himself and the target system's ICE probes. He rolls 10, a Success and a Raise. He gains 3 more tokens for a total of 5. However, his further Hacking rolls are now at -1.
New: All In: the hacker may choose to throw everything he's got in a bid to destroy the target's defenses before his own are overwhelmed. He sacrifices a token but rolls his computer's security skill (with whatever modifiers apply to his own Hacking skill) and adds that to whatever he got. If his cyberdeck is a Red-class computer, it will also get a d6 Wild Die and can Ace. If the hacker is using a direct neural connection, he rolls Spirit instead, with +2 if he has a Coprocessor.

Example: a hacker on a Red 6 cyberdeck rolls 5 on his Hacking against a hardened government computer (Green 8 A). However, this is not enough to beat its armor, so he goes All In and rolls d6 plus wild d6 for his cyberdeck, which Aces and gives 10. He now has a total of 15, which does 3 tokens of damage, reduced by armor to 2. He then sacrifices a token himself.

The hacker may sacrifice his last token before the target system retaliates, but if the hacker fails to take over the computer in this round, the target system automatically causes feedback damage.

In return, the target system rolls its Security skill against a target of 4. Green systems simply roll their Security skill and cannot Ace; Red systems roll their Security skill plus a d6 Wild Die and can Ace. Like the hacker, it removes one token for a success, plus one more per Raise. On a Botch, the hacker is able to spot a backdoor and gains +2 to his Hacking rolls.
Note: the hacker's system may have Armor ICE. This reduces the tokens lost each round by 1, but gives the hacker a -1 penalty to his Hacking rolls.

New: The hacker may attempt to Soak a roll. He spends a benny and rolls Spirit instead of Vigor. A success (target of 4) and each Raise reduces the number of tokens removed by 1 apiece.

If the hacker succeeds in reducing the target system to 0 tokens, the system has been successfully compromised, and the hacker can then use his Computers skill to retrieve data or give the system orders to be carried out.

However, if the system reduces his tokens to zero first, the hacker is dumped out of the system. The system rolls its Security skill; a Red system may also roll a d6 Wild Die, and may Ace its rolls. This is feedback damage caused by the target system's ICE. The hacker uses his Spirit as "Toughness" for the purpose of feedback damage (2+Spirit/2, so a spirit of d6 would equate a Hacking Toughness of 5). Each 4 points of damage from a Green system is applied as Fatigue; from a Red system, they are applied as Wounds. The hacker may use Vigor to soak the damage.
New: Proxy Attack: once the hacker has successfully taken over a system, on a successful Hacking roll vs a target of 4, he can use it as part of a loop to allow him to attack another computer, adding its tokens to his own. It takes one action to prepare the system for this, in which he replenishes both his tokens and the system's tokens, and then he may launch his attack. He takes -1 to Hacking for each computer he is using in the loop due to latency, not including his own computer.

If he was attacking the computer via a direct neural connection, he simply switches from having a direct neural connection to using the computer as his new base, instead, losing the +2 connection bonus, and suffers no latency penalty.

However, the great benefit of Proxy Attack is using the first target computer to attack another computer in the same network. This gives a +2 Hacking circumstance bonus. For example, suppose the hacker is after data concealed in a researcher's private computer. Using his own Red 6 computer, he first connects to the university's Green 4 library card catalog. At this point, his Hacking is +0 and he has 3 tokens. He then attacks their nuclear program's Green 6 computer, with +1 Hacking (+2 for same network, -1 for Latency) and 5 tokens. (3 for his original computer, 2 from the library computer) From there he can penetrate the researcher's Red 8 computer, with +0 Hacking (+2 for same network, -2 for Latency) and 8 tokens. (3 for his original computer, 5 from the two computers in between)
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