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Chromedome

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  1. I answered this, and was ignored... because I am chopped liver... You answered sensibly, and other people went off on tangents. Including me. And the really wild part, you answered with much the same idea as I have about decks. It's basically a high end machine for gaming and social networking. But nobody else seems to like that idea Now there's the understatement of the decade, where CP 2020 is concerned Which is much the same as I've been saying all along. Except, in the 2020 core book and the supplements I'm familiar with, there is no way to use a cyberdeck for anything other than hacking. Even gaming is the province of Braindance setups. Companies have Data Fortresses rather than web sites. People have Home Nodes rather than MyFace pages. A cyberdeck as presented in the core book doesn't even have the means to send or receive an email. Honestly, I think the state of the Net is the biggest thing that consigned Cyberpunk to the history books. And that said, you don't really need to do a huge amount to change things to make the Net relevant again. But you do need to change what decks are for. Because all the book presents them as is hacking machines.
  2. 9 times out of 10 I don't bother with maps. I ask, is it going to add anything to the action? If the answer comes up anything other than a firm Yes, I don't bother. I'd sooner spend the time drawing the map would take on designing an NPC or working out a nefarious scheme for the players to get tangled up in. If a player asks, "Is there a such-and-such nearby?" then I get them to roll a D10. If it comes up lower than their current Luck, then yes, yes there is such a thing in your immediate environment. As long as the thing the player is asking about would reasonably be in the area, of course.
  3. Somewhere along the line, this got sidetracked into rules discussion. The rules aren't an issue at all. Nor is the rest of the Netrunning chapter, really. The initial purpose of the discussion was to ask the questions, what legal use is there for a cyberdeck, and why would they be on sale to the general public? Which is something the books never even touch on. And is also extremely relevant to my point about how the reality of how the net gets used on a day-to-day basis is radically different from the way Cyberpunk predicted it would be used. There's no equivalent in 2020 of Amazon, or eBay, or Cragslist or any other form of online shopping. Online banking is hinted at, especially with the existence of things like personal credit transactors. There's a couple of mentions of online gaming, but they are buried away in obscure bits of the Chromebooks. Why shouldn't a game that's supposed to be set the day after tomorrow reflect what we have today? And to get back on topic a little, what use outside of illegal hacking and programming more quickly do cyberdecks have? What possible reason is there for these things being on the open market?
  4. Well, it tells you that. It also tells you that it's a game about revolution and sticking it to The Man. And really, it isn't. It's a game about shady entrepreneurs and borderline psychos making money by any means possible. Preferably by taking the corporate cash for some deniable but highly illegal and very profitable enterprise. Or at least, that's how people seem to play it and that's the angle that later books in the line take. Books like Edgerunners Inc, Wildside and the Solo of Fortune pair encourage that kind of chasing the money in huge ways. By that logic, D&D 3.5 is about spells. I mean, about a third of the PHB is just endless lists of spells. And almost every single sourcebook has new spells in it. And it being a game of killing things and taking their stuff hinges on a narrow definition of a single word in the rules on gaining experience. The thing is, more often than not, there's a world of difference between what the writer thought the game was about and the way people actually play it in the wild. But there isn't. There's lots of space on how to navigate the Net and how to build a virtual reality, how easy it is for the phone company to trace all your activity and how you better pay your phone bill or else SOLOS WILL COME! And how to design Data Fortresses, too. But there's very little on how to steal valuable data. Heck, the first options on your Menu are Locate and Control Remote. Those two commands take up one full column of the three that are dedicated to explaining what you can do with your deck. And there's 11 commands in all on that menu. That's as many as I get when I right click on my desktop. The problem is, the Netrunning parts of CP2020 are really showing their age. They were written at a time when most people didn't have a computer at home and when the internet as we know it today was very much in its infancy. This was around the same time as Steve Jackson Games were raided because they were working on GURPS Cyberpunk. This game was written before Windows 3.1 came out. I don't think it should be a huge deal to simply say that the "no cybermodem" clause that desk and lap top computers get in most 2020 materials can be errata'd away. And a legitimate reason for the commercial availability of cyberdecks shouldn't be a big deal. After all, the way we use the net and the things we use it for in the real world are very different from the things 'Punk is designed to allow. Things we take for granted are literally impossible to do in CP 2020. Which is osmething that needs to be fixed. Preferably wihtout a page 1 rewrite of the system.
  5. If you did buy the hacking-only idea, there's an answer to that question... ...why can you buy a bewildering variety of anti-tank rockets and light armoured vehicles? The Cyberpunk universe has dozens and dozens of paramilitary corporate/agency/cultural militia forces who need hackers for "legal" reasons. There's a lot of room for a competitive market! I thought about that. The way the Net of 2020 seems to be designed exclusively to be used with these crazy expensive boxes plus some very expensive cybernetics makes that idea unlikely. It's almost as if it was designed to be cool rather than to make sense...
  6. In other words, it's a device there is no legal use for. So why can you buy them in a bewildering variety of makes and models? And seemingly simply by walking in to a mall clinic to get the connection, which is only really useful for hacking and other illegal activities. And then going to the nearest Best Buy/Comet (depending which side of the Atlantic you're on) and getting this highly illegal device. It doesn't make sense that something like this would be easily available to the general public.
  7. Here's the problem with the way it's worded: The section I bolded appears to be a separate item from the sentence that comes before it. Of course, now you've clarified what you intended, it's all good and I know what you meant by the passage. No... in either case, both characters are most definitely martial artists, highly trained ones. Savage cannot be used with martial arts, only brawl melee... it states this clearly already, in several places in the core rules. And the sad part is, I knew that about Rampage. Which was why I gave it to the Klingons in the Star Trek posergang in my Friday game. But when I glanced at it to remind myself what it does, I just kind of latched on to the add to melee damage part.
  8. Hmmm. Tom Hanks at the end of Saving Private Ryan, all staggering with his ears ringing and eyes glassy makes more sense than sparked out cold on the floor. Especially if you can throw it off on a roll. You might want to reword "If successful, the character does not have to make another save for 1d6 Rounds x his Cool" in that case. No more Stun Saves is a valid reading of that, and was what made me think that it was an epic amount of time. I've used the Savage for muggers and drop-you-in-one-blow martial artists. Bruce Lee at the end of The Big Boss (Fists of Fury in the US) could be written up as a Savage/Athlete character. He only needs to hit the bad guys once and they're out of action, and he faces down an entire gang. Jackie Chan in Police Story could be an Athlete/Savage, with the higher SA being Prowess. Also, the Savage is a pretty good Nomad Warrior analog, as seen in Neo Tribes. I'd suggest one melee weapon speciality per two ranks of skill, increasing on the even numbers. That was, as a character improves his skill with martial arts, he learns more weapon forms. That way, a Master with a skill at 10 would know 5 weapons, while a beginner at 1 would know none. IME, most characters are likely to be in the 3-7 range, so between one and three weapons would be an average. Give a specialist a weapon every three levels instead of two. And I hadn't noticed that Brawling/Melee allowed for weapons specialisation.
  9. But what is the mechanical effect? My players can be demanding sometimes, and simply saying "You're out of the fight" is a little too vague for them. If I was to put something on paper, I'd be inclined to go with something like, "When your character fails a Stun Save, divide his/her Reflexes, Intelligence and Cool by 3. You can move up to 1 meter and may defend yourself as normal, with the appropriate penalties. You may not make Attacks or take any Actions other than a single Quick Action per round. If you fail a second Stun Save before recovering from your current condition, your character is knocked unconscious." In fact, I might run that by my players next Friday. When you've got people trying to throw off being Stunned the round after they start suffering from it, and then making the save, 1d6 x Cool is a HUGE amount of time. Especially if they get hit again, which should in theory force more saves, but doesn't due to this particular rules quirk. Admittedly, I do have some players who think they are John McClane, so this kind of thing comes up fairly often. And I have another player who like to know the rules as well as he can. Usually in the good, I can get him to check up on stuff while handling something else with another play, way. If I've got somehting I can give to them before play, if the situation comes up again, that's 10 minutes of scrabbling through printouts and PDFs avoided. As for any rules you're thinking of changing, I'd be interested in giving you feedback from the action movie gaming end of the spectrum on any ideas you might want feedback on.
  10. Something came up in our Friday night game that prompted me to ask a question on here. What's with Stun in IU? On the surface, it seems simple enough. You take enough damage to put you above the Light Wound State. Every time you take more damage, you then make another Stun Save. The text then goes on to say: Which seems to imply that the Stunned character is knocked to the ground. But what does being Stunned actually do to a character? The other question that came up was about recovering from Stun. Again, here's the relevant bit of text: Apart from 1d6 x Cool having the possibility for enormous amounts of time to pass before having to roll another check, can a character take an action on the same round as throwing off a Stun? For the sake of keeping the game moving, I ruled the recovery is a Full Action, but I thought a bit of clarification might be a good thing to ask about.
  11. My reasoning: You can. But, if you're gonna build something that uses mental interface... why waste space in the design for screens, keyboards and all that junk that the mental interface makes utterly pointless? Why not just remove it, and use all that extra space and the ability to have a far more efficient design to, you know, squeeze in more computing power, make it more compact and then just sell that? Voila. a Cyberdeck. A computer designed purely for the use of the DNI in mind. And, since DNI is SOOO superior to keyboards, every hacker and programmer worth his salt will be using it. Or anybody with a DNI to use, really. And, well, since Cyberdecks is what you use if you have DNI, the guys making cybercontrols obviously tailor their new releases and products to the Cyberdeck chip and hardware architecture. In time, any cybercontrols you can get that works with your laptop will most likely be so old or so niche that, presuming they work with your DNI plug, they're still so outdated or unknown they're unlikely to work with any programs you're likely to be running on your desktop. Unless they're incredibly old too, obviously. But then you're running outdated software on outdated hardware through an outdated interface, and you're now doing the equivalent of riding a horse driven carriage down the highway. And then, of course, as time goes on, the demands for Cyberdecks over laptops in the hardcore net using crowd could lead to a shift in cybermodem design to one tailored to the hardware architecture of the deck. In time, it could very well be that cybercontrol section of the net has a certain minimum hardware requirement, and that hardware has no support for laptop or desktop hardware architecture anymore. Because everybody who desires to use that particular functionality has DNI and uses a Cyberdeck instead. So why are laptops and desktops still on the market in 2020land? Because you just described exactly why they shouldn't be. The thing is, look at the way a basic phone costs $400. And this with no camera and no (apparent) capability to send texts or do anything that we would now consider normal with a phone. Computers and cyberdecks have the same problem. Quite simply, they got left behind by the real world. AS I said in my OP, what is a cyberdeck, as described in the core rules of the game, for? Don't filter it through your modern day preconceptions. Don't compare it to your modern ideas about what the Net is for. What possible use, other than hacking, is a cyberdeck? And why can't I use a computer for it? Other than obvious issues of game balance. And even worse, there's something called a Terminal right there in the gear section of the 'Punk book. That turns your deck into a regular computer. In other words, you can buy a keyboard and screen for a cyberdeck, using it to netrun at a -5 penalty. But you can't just netrun from a computer. It's as arbitrary as the "No more than three Rangers can work together" rule from AD&D.
  12. What do cars, guns, heavy machinery and DataTerms all have in common with cyberdecks? They can all be operated by DNI. Why can't a computer be modified in the same way? Heck, what's the difference between a laptop, a dektop and a DataTerm? The restriction is basically a silly thing designed to force Netrunners into spending more money on their equipment than any other Role. That makes no sense at all. If the only people who can use the Menu are Netrunners, who exactly is using the Net? What are they using it for? And how can they be doing this without being able to use the Menu that lets them do things like locate and control remotes and run files? You may as well say that only Solos can fire a gun. Yes, the Menu is stupid. Why are Locate and Control Remote considered primary functions? Especially as you need specific software to control those remotes. Why can I create, but not save a file? Why can I only read the table of contents of a file? Silly menu is silly. Which still doesn't answer the question I posed. Why can't my laptop have cybercontrols fitted? Literally everything else in 2020land can. It seems extremely archaic and not a little bit arbitrary that a computer can't.
  13. I always read that to say "It's a model that sits on a table." Not a model the size of a table, which would probably weigh about as much a a 4x12 Marshall speaker cabinet and take two guys to move. Table literally meaning, it sits on a table and gets plugged in to access the Net. Especially given the context of the paragraph a couple of lines up that says a standard deck is the size of a paperback and weighs about a pound. The thing about it being the size of a table seems to stand out as an abberation when compared to every other source to do with cyberdecks. Especially the artwork and the general sense of portability that goes with decks. I don't have the Rache Bartmoss books anymore, courtesy of a much regretted selling off of my collection about 15 years ago. But a quick skimming of Chromebooks 2 and 3 seems to peg an average laptop at around Int 3, 10-20 MU and 5-10 chip reader slots, costing less than 2500eb. An average deck seems to be about the same, but without the Int rating, and with a significantly higher price at 5-8k. It's one of those things, like so many in 2020, that don't make any sense at all when you start to look at them closely. Why can't you fit cybercontrols to a computer? Why can't you use a computer to run the net? Sure, decks have an advantage in portability, especially when you get into cellular models. BUt shouldn't the bigger computers have somehting going for them as well? Because if they don't, what's the point in them?
  14. I can't find that bit in my 2020 books. Could just be a blind spot of mine, though. I'm looking at pg133 in the revised edition where there's a couple of pictures and the mention of a deck being the size of a paperback book. There's a line about them being taken off the table and put on the street, though. That's the only physical description I've been able to find. I never understood why you couldn't just take a laptop or workstation and plug a cybermodem into it. Or give it a neural interface. After all, if they can be made small and tough enough to fit on firearms and with enough speed and accuracy to handle all kinds of vehicles from cars and bikes to jet fighters and atmospheric reentry vehicles, why can't you work your computer with one? It just makes sense. More processing power, multitasking ability and more memory. Why would any hardcore computer nerd use a deck as anything other than a portable system, with a much more powerful one in his mom's cellar? Or wherever he lives. Fridges seem to be a popular place for netrunners in my games.
  15. Until you start getting into the Chromebooks. CB2 has the Microtech IIKL-4, with 40 MU and the ability to run 3 programs simultaneously. It's far more powerful than a cyberdeck, but it does have the throwaway line of "No you can't use this as a cybermodem, poser." Obviously, decks aren't as powerful or versatile as "real" computers. The core book describes a deck as being the size of a paperback book. The pictures of the Zetatech Parraline 5750 shows something being held in the hand, with a few basic controls and a little tiny screen. A small unit, minimal controls, basic ability to run software, but capable of running graphics intensive apps? Full connectivity, with an operating system that can handle more sophisticated programs than it may have been designed for? To me, this is all sounding like a games console. In the same way that the original Xbox, and presumably the 360 as well, could be modified to run Linux, it seems to me that the obvious legal use for a cyberdeck would be online gaming. Which is something there's no real way they could have predicted back in the late 80s, early 90s. Sure, there's hints, but they had no idea of things like PlayStation that were just around the corner. But that's the legal use for decks as I see them.
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