Electronic Warfare

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No Internet?
In Cybershards, there is a three-way Cold War going on between America, Germany, and Japan and their respective allies. There is absolutely no standard or basis for trust in this world, not between governments and typically not between corporations who are rapidly exceeding the power of governments.

Yet networks do exist. Typically built for expediency, not security, loose-knit wireless and wired networks do allow the flow of data and information from one secure corporate or national government network to another. In these lawless areas, there be pirates. Data Couriers, Freelancers, quasi-legal (or just plain illegal) job-providing "Herr Smiths", and mercenaries carve out or set up their own "public faces". While the Net is often an unruly mess and crime runs rampant since rules are only enforced within private corporate and government networks, people still use it.

Also called "decking", "hacking", and other things, Electronic Warfare is the what happens when a character enters a corporate or government network with hostile intent, or at least the intent of unauthorized intrusion.

This is handled as just another type of conflict. Instead of a physical conflict, however, this conflict takes place in a virtual setting. A portable computer, usually referred to as a "deck" or "CyberDeck" is used to interface a person with a network. Computers is the skill you might use to launch attacks, be they creating viruses or hacking codes. Notice reflects how quickly you can perceive and react to a cyber attack -- use Notice to defend against a Computers attack. Virtual locks might be overcome, advantages can be created, attacks and defense can all be used with the Computers skill.

See the Computers Skill for more information on how to use this skill.

Characters might acquire special cyberdecks, programs, or even build computers and network interfaces into their bodies. Consider purchasing "augs" cybernetic augmentations, using your character aspects or build and purchase Stunts to provide assistance with your Net running activities, Computer Skill or Notice Skill.


Decks[edit]

As mentioned above, decks basically simply allow a character to interact with a network. If your character is a computer expert, or decker, of some kind, then you probably have noted somewhere on your character sheet that you have a "deck" or cyberdeck.

Some players might like to add a bit more personality or customization to their cyberdeck. Maybe they have downloaded an advanced Expert system that's capable of doing a number of tasks independently. Perhaps the character has built a prototype AI that exists in the virtual space of their personal cyberdeck. Such advanced decks might be better represented as a sidekick instead.

To create a sidekick like this, the character should have an aspect dedicated to to. An aspect that describes the relationship between character and special cyberdeck is the most helpful here. Here are a few examples of cyberdeck aspects:

  • Cheap Russian CyberDeck
  • Prototype Xanadyne Tech
  • AI Deck Stolen from the German Military

Next, build the CyberDeck like a character with a peak skill one level lower than the PC's peak skill. So, if your character has a peak skill of Great (+4), then the best skill the sidekick should have would be Good (+3). Give the deck two or three aspects and a skill pyramid, along with a couple stunts. It does not have Refresh, but it may acquire them from compels or invokes of aspects against the CyberDeck sidekick. It is capable of absorbing one or two Mild consequences as well, before being Taken Out.

At this point, you have a full-blown npc. It can use Teamwork rules to assist you in areas in which it has skill, or it can be given its own separate tasks.