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Info Tech Rules

Programming, Repair, and System Architecture -A character who’s trying to use the more sophisticated applications of information technologies – advanced programming, program writing, system architecture, elaborate programs, technical maintenance, upgrade design and installation, software repair, etc. – should have at least three dots in Computer, plus at least one dot (probably more) in Technology. Hardware repair involves at least one dot in Technology with a specialty in Computer Hardware.

Software Application; Intelligence + Computer
Extended roll

Troubleshooting; Perception + Computer
Simple roll or Extended for complicated aspects

Potential Physical tasks; Dexterity + Technology
Simple roll

Brainstorming & System Design; Intelligence + Relevant Ability
Extended roll

System Bypass and Subversion A character who’s attempting to bypass or corrupt computer-managed security systems or to help create and manage said security systems need at least a single dot in Computer and Technology.

Establishing a computerized security system; Intelligence + Technology Extended roll

Maintaining or adjusting computerized security system; Intelligence + Computer
Extended roll

Scope out the system; Perception + Technology
Simple Roll

Access or Bypass the system (after prior action); Intelligence (or Dexterity) + Computer
For automated systems, simple roll (non-complex systems) and extended roll (complex systems).

Hacking, Reversing, Cracking, Cryptanalysis, and Codes

Decrypting/Encrypting information pertaining to codes on computerized security system; Intelligence + Cryptography

Creating/breaking information that can be found on computerized security system; Intelligence + Computer (Cryptanalysis)

Research also needs to be accompanied by this, so typically it involves extended rolls related to that. Can be Int + (Research, Enigmas, or Esoterica)

Social Engineering
-Refers to hacking the system through people and this can be done through bribery, threats, blackmail, payoffs, dumpster-diving, physical violence, etc.

Social Engineering: Selected Social Attributes + Computer

Hacking Rules

-In game terms, a character hacks a computer system using either Intelligence + Computer (for slow, methodical work) or Wits + Computer (when time is of the essence).


-Before a hacker can access any system, she has to first reverse it to find its vulnerabilities, or cracks. Once she finds a crack – say, in an application that a particular network uses – the hacker can then write a clever piece of code that uses the crack to break into the system so she can play with its contents. Reversing a system to spot weaknesses is really an exercise in digital lock-picking. In game terms, finding and exploiting these cracks makes hacking more effective, and doing so lowers the difficulty of rolls within the system. Cracking

An effective effective crack-exploitation code that is used to help players in doing particular actions; Int + Computer

Relevant rolls

Obvious System Crack; Int + Computer at variable difficulty
As determined by the system in question being hacked. Each success lowers the difficulty to hack into it.
Mundane means to a maximum of -3
Hidden System Crack; Int + Computer at variable difficulty
As determined by the system in question being hacked.Each success lowers the difficulty to hack into it.
Mundane means to a maximum of -3
Rolls to help reduce difficulty
Writing crack software (General); Int + Computer at difficulty 8
Each success helps lowers the hacker’s difficulty by -1
Mundane means to a maximum of -3
Writing crack software (Specific system and specific task); Int + Computer at difficulty 6
Each success helps lowers the hacker’s difficulty by -1
Mundane means to a maximum of -3
Writing security software; Int + Computer at difficulty 7
Each success helps raise the difficulty of opposing hackers by +1
Mundane means to a maximum of +3

To help reverse or overcome an obstacle; Perception + Computer Relevant rolls

Locating Obvious System Crack; Perception + Computer at difficulty 7

Locating Hidden System Crack; Perception + Computer at difficulty 8

Rolls or Applications to help reduce difficulty

Use Crack Software (Mundane); Reduction from -1 to -3

To help socially engineer a solution; Manipulation/Other Social Attribute + Computer Relevant rolls

TBD for specific types of situations, but generally difficulties equal to system used. Rolls to help reduce difficulty

TBD or Inclusion of Backgrounds
Static and Active Systems

Static Systems
- A stand-alone home computer, game, music file, or software program is a static system; in this case, the hacker just needs time and patience – no one’s working against her or coming after her if she fails.

Systems that fall under this category
Palmtop/tablet at difficulty 5
Laptop/PC at difficulty 6
Mini/Small Network at difficulty 6
Commercial Cloud at difficulty 6
Relevant rolls

Active Systems

-Corporate computers, financial data banks, government agency systems, and so on are active systems; in such cases, the hacker’s not just working against the firewall but also against active agents who’ll block, stop, and trace intruder access.

Commercial Active Systems
Systems that fall under this category
Secure Cloud at difficulty 7
Commercial server at difficulty 7
Mainframe/Large Network at difficulty 8
Secure Server at difficulty 8
Relevant Rolls

Secure Active Systems
Systems that fall under this category
Elite PC at difficulty 8
Elite Cloud at difficulty 8
Elite Server at difficulty 9
Supercomputer at difficulty 9
Relevant Rolls

Opening the Window
- The number of successes you score with that initial roll becomes your dice pool for future rolls in this system. If you get three successes, for example, then you have three dice to roll once you’re engaged beyond the firewall. This reflects the window you’ve got to work with. The more you open the window, the more freedom you have inside. Extended rolls can be made to increase the size of said dice pool.

Essentially the initial roll will be replaced with an extended roll, with each success contributing to a larger pool size, but also means additional hours spent on working the system and it’s with the initial dice pool you managed to get through the firewall… Which has actual consequences. Failed rolls or botches

Failure to get through the firewall will immediately alert the sysadmin or tracking program and a chase or other options will happen… Rules will be mentioned below.


- Once inside a system, you can create backdoors: bits of code that provide shortcuts past the firewall for later access. Using a backdoor cuts way down on the time and risk involved in getting into a system again.
Intelligence + Computer at difficulty of variable system
At 1s, the software is installed and will provide easier access next time
At 3s, the software installed will provide easier access and a reduction of -1 difficulty and time.
At 5s, the software installed will provide easier access and a reduction of -2 difficulty and time. It is the max allowed by both mundane and other means.
The dicepool in question used is the one made after the firewall.

Security Software and Sysadmins
- Static security software
Essentially non-existent or so low-end it’s irrelevant
Extended roll till 20-30 total successes
Active Security Software
Commercial security software
Commercial at difficulty 5 to 7
Secure security software
Unique software at difficulty 8

Each roll (the total cumulative rolls in the scene pertaining to hacking) shall count as towards the hours spent on hacking and when it hits a certain amount, a trigger will be made to do an Int + Computer roll against the sysadmin or tracking programs set up. Typically it’s every 12 hours (so 12 rolls), but can be generally shorter depending how sophisticated the system is.

The Chase, Pit Bulls, Taggin, and the Visit
-Should a player botch – or even, in certain systems, just fail – a roll inside an active system, that player and the Storyteller play out the chase. Both parties roll their characters’ Intelligence + Computer in a resisted roll If the sysadmin gets more successes, then he catches the hacker – usually ejecting her with an identification tag on her computer. With five successes or more over the number needed to beat the hacker, he can send a nasty virus or trace program back into the hacker’s computer, or else detain her in a virtual lockup. This sort of thing is more cinematic than realistic, but it’s a good way to make a player sweat… especially if she’s been trying to hack the Technocracy. Or Pentex. Or really any ‘cartoonish villainous’ organization.

A successful sysadmin can also hack the hacker. With five successes or more, that sysadmin has gotten access to the intruder’s own system; at that point, the Storyteller becomes the hacker, and the player becomes the sysadmin, defending her system against the party she had originally tried to hack.

Technocrats or other high-tech mages and Night-Folk might also have pit bull countermeasures: smart programs that act to trip and catch trespassers. If the system has such programs, then the hacker’s difficulty rises by +2 during a chase. In story terms, the pit bulls slow her system down and give the sysadmin an edge. If the sysadmin wins the chase, then the Storyteller also makes a secret roll to find and purge the backdoors the hacker had implanted in the system. The player should not be told whether or not those backdoors have been found – that information is for the Storyteller to know and the player to find out. And if the sysadmin does tag the trespasser’s computer, then it’s probably just a matter of time before the boys in blue or Men in Black show up to pay them a visit… And if they aren’t, you know you’ve crossed waters you shouldn’t have.

Should the hacker roll more successes than the sysadmin, then she remains free and untagged inside the system. If she scores five successes or more above the number she needed to beat the Storyteller, then she’s got free access within the system for one hour per success. If she wins by only one or two successes, though, the chase might resume at any time. If she wants to keep working within the system, then she’ll have to work fast. Access and Alteration

-As mentioned earlier, computers store, manage, and compile information. Hacking, then, involves doing stuff with that information. Whether the hacker wants to add data, grab data, lock it down, corrupt it, or whatever else, the roll is the same. For each half hour or so spent inside the system, the player rolls Intelligence + Computer to perform the desired tasks.

Relevant rolls
Accessing/Altering Obvious Data at difficulty 6
Accessing/Altering Hidden Data at difficulty 7
Accessing/Altering Classified Data at difficulty 8
Sloppy filing; Additional diffiuclty by -1/-3

setting/info_tech_rules.txt · Last modified: 2021/Jun/24 23:08 by ha-mavet