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Hacking in the 2070s is a far different experience than it was before the DataNet and simsense took over. Now, with full VR, hacking into a corporate server won't mean staring at a DOS page for hours on end, but might mean dodging samurai warriors guarding a pagoda in ancient Edo If you're on a run against Aspari, anyway. Yeah, you're really avoiding the watchdog IC on an Aspari dataserver, but good sculpting means you really feel like the ninja you're dressed as.

The Core Mechanic[]

The system for hacking in Savage Cyberpunk is the same regardless of whether you're remotely hacking a host, an Augmented Reality Object, or someone's commlink.

  1. Hack the target's Firewall by making a Computers skill roll versus the host's Defense Rating or the Firewall of the device. This is a regular action. If the roll fails or does not generate a raise, the target can make a Hacking roll at a penalty equal to the rating of any stealth programs running in AMS. If the roll is successful, the intrusion is detected.
  2. Once you've hacked past the Firewall, you can perform actions by making the appropriate Computers roll with the Target Number being equal to the Defense Rating of the host or the target's Firewall. Each skill roll is an action, though you can take multiple actions. Standard multi-action penalties apply. If you have an Agent, you can upload it into the destination host, where it acts like an Extra under your control. As above, if any of the rolls fail or do not generate a raise, the target is allowed a Computers roll (modified by any stealth programs loaded into AMS) to detect the hacker's activity.
  3. Repeat Step 2 as many times as you wish, or log out. Logging out is a regular action if you aren't under attack. If you are under attack, you must make an opposed Computers roll against the Defense Rating of the host or the target's Firewall to log out. Failure means you can't log out that round.

The DataNet[]

The Global DataNet is the 2070s evolution of the Internet. It is controlled (like most everything these days) by the Corporate Court, and is the primary means of communication, education, and electronic entertainment in the modern world. See the DataNet page for more information.

Host Statistics[]

DataNet hosts all share two distinct statistics: Defense Rating and Die Type.

Defense Rating[]

The Defense Rating is the Target Number for any Computers rolls made to gain unauthorized access to a host. It is also the base target number for all skill rolls made by unauthorized personnel on the host.

Die Type[]

When a host needs to make any type of roll, it uses this die. If the host is monitored by an AI or NPC with its own stats, the GM may use those instead.

Example Host Defense Rating Die Type
Personal sites, public education 2-4 d4
Low-end commercial, private business, public libraries 4-5 d6
Social media, small universities, local police 5-6 d8
DataNet games, local corporate hosts, large universities, low-level government 6-7 d8+1, WD
Affluent groups, regional corporate hosts, major government, secure sites 8-10 d10+1, WD
MegaCorporate headquarters, military command 10-12 d12+2, WD

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DataNet Actions[]

This section is a list of possible DataNet actions. While the list is not exhaustive, it does cover the most common actions undertaken by deckers in the DataNet.

Brute Force[]

  • Type: Attack
  • Marks Required: None
  • Test: Computers vs. Firewall

You can use this action to mark a target without obtaining the normal permissions you need. This is the action for hackers emphasizing their Attack over their Stealth.

If you succeed in this action, you place one mark on it. You can have a maximum of three marks per icon. 

You can also use this action to hop to a grid for which you don’t have legitimate access. If you succeed, instead of putting a mark on the grid, you hop to the grid immediately. Using Brute Force to hop grids doesn’t alert the grid or its SysAdmin the way most successful Attack actions do.

Change Icon[]

  • Type: Data Processing
  • Marks Required: Owner
  • Test: None

You change the target’s icon to one that you have a copy of or designed yourself. Changing an icon doesn’t change the results of a DataNet Perception action, but might fool avatars who don’t take the time to inspect the new look. You can target your own icon with this action.

Control Device[]

  • Type: Data Processing or Stealth
  • Marks Required: Varies
  • Test: As action, see below; or Computers vs. Firewall

You perform an action through a device you control, using your commlink or deck like a remote control or video game controller. Tests made using this action use the appropriate skill as if you were performing the action normally. For example, firing a drone-mounted weapon at a target requires a Shooting roll, while controlling a flying drone would require a Piloting roll. All actions you take while controlling a device apply your commlink or deck’s Data Processing attribute cap. If there is no roll associated with the action you want the device to perform, such as ejecting the magazine from a pistol, you must succeed on a Computers vs. Firewall test to perform the action.

You can use this action to control multiple devices at once. If you are the owner of all devices being commanded and they are all being commanded to do exactly the same thing, taking this action costs nothing extra. Otherwise, multi-action penalties apply.

Crack File[]

  • Type: Attack
  • Marks Required: 1
  • Test: Computers vs. File's Defense Rating

You remove the protection from file, making it readable.

Crash Program[]

  • Type: Attack
  • Marks Required: 1
  • Test: Computers vs. Firewall

You overload part of your target’s memory and scramble one of its running programs. You need to specify which program you’re trying to crash; you can learn what your target is running either with a DataNet Perception test or by observing the program in action. If you succeed, the program is scrambled: It ends and cannot be restarted until the device it was running on is rebooted.

Data Spike[]

  • Type: Attack
  • Marks Required: None
  • Test: Computers vs. Firewall

You send harmful instructions to an avatar or device, causing DataNet damage to the target. Your attack has a Damage die equal to the rating of your Attack attribute, plus one for each mark you have on the target.

DataNet Perception[]

  • Type: Data Processing
  • Marks Required: None
  • Test: Computers vs. Stealth

This action is used both for finding icons in the DataNet and for analyzing DataNet objects. When you use this action to analyze a DataNet object or scan the vicinity for silent-running icons, you make a Notice roll. If you succeed, you can ask for one piece of information about the object – this could be type, a rating, how many marks it has on it, whether any silent-running icons are in the area, or any other pertinent DataNet information. You gain an additional piece of information for every two points by which you exceed the Target Number.

If you are trying to spot an icon that is running silent, the test is an opposed test, with the target defending with Hacking (Stealth).

Disarm Data Bomb[]

  • Type: Firewall
  • Marks Required: None
  • Test: Computers vs. Data Bomb Rating

You attempt to disarm a Data Bomb that you have detected (usually as the result of a DataNet Perception action). If you succeed, the Data Bomb is removed and deleted. If not, the Data Bomb activates, causing its damage and possibly destroying any file to which it was attached (assuming it was set to destroy the file).

Edit File[]

  • Type: Data Processing
  • Marks Required: 1
  • Test: Computers vs. Firewall

Edit File allows you to create, change, copy, delete, or protect any kind of file. The defender against this test is either the host holding the file or the owner of the file if it is not on a host. Each action is enough to alter one detail of a file – a short paragraph of text, a single detail of an image, or two to three seconds of video or audio. The GM may impose penalties on the test if your edit is particularly intricate or tricky. If you want to perform a continuous edit, such as removing your teammates from a video feed, you need to perform this action once per round for as long as you want to keep the edit going.

If you use this action to copy a file, you are the new file’s owner. If the file you want to copy has protection on it, this action automatically fails. If the file has a Data Bomb, the Data Bomb activates.

You can also use this action to set protection on a file you own. To protect the file, make a Computers roll. The result of your roll is the Firewall rating of the protected file. A protected file cannot be read, changed, deleted, or copied until its protection is broken.

Enter/Exit Host[]

  • Type: N/A
  • Marks Required: 1
  • Test: N/A

You enter a host that you have a mark on and your avatar appears there, or you leave a host you’re already in. There is no test for this action: a host allows anyone to enter if they’ve got a mark, and anyone inside can exit. When you leave a host, you return to the grid from which you entered.

Erase Mark[]

  • Type: Attack
  • Marks Required: Special, see below
  • Test: Computers vs. Firewall

You eradicate a mark that has been placed on your avatar or another icon. To perform this action, you need three marks on the icon from which you are erasing a mark. You do not, however, need a mark on the icon that placed the mark in the first place. You cannot use this action to change the target’s owner.

Format Device[]

  • Type: Stealth
  • Marks Required: 3
  • Test: Computers vs. Firewall

You rewrite the boot code for the device. The next time it would reboot, it instead shuts down for good, or until its software can be replaced. A device that has been shut down in this fashion loses all benefits of wirelessness and cannot be accessed from the DataNet, but can still be used as a normal mechanism (a door with a manual handle can be opened, a gun with a trigger can be fired, etc.).

Full DataNet Defense[]

  • Type: Firewall
  • Marks Required: Owner
  • Test: None

This allows you to better defend against Attack actions. If your only regular action is Full DataNet Defense, your Firewall is increased by +2 until your next action.

Grid Hop[]

  • Type: Data Processing
  • Marks Required: None
  • Test: None

You hop to another grid – for example, you might jump from the public grid to EuroCorp’s global grid. To do this, you must have access to your destination grid. If you do not have access, you can use Brute Force or Stealth Hack to hop to another grid illegally. If you’re inside a host, you need to leave the host before you can hop to another grid.

Hide[]

  • Type: Stealth
  • Marks Required: None
  • Test: Computers vs. Data Processing

If spotted by another avatar or IC, you can use this action to make the target lose you. If you succeed, the target loses track of you and needs to perform a new DataNet Perception test to find you again. You can’t hide from an icon that has a mark on you, so you will need to clear those marks before you can attempt this action.

Invite Mark[]

  • Type: Data Processing
  • Marks Required: Owner
  • Test: None

If you are the owner of a device, file, avatar, host, or IC program, you can offer other icons the opportunity to put a mark on it. When you make the offer, you choose the number of marks allowed, their duration, and how long the offer stands. The invitee can then mark your icon with a Free Action. You may revoke your offer at any time before the mark is placed, but once another icon has a mark, you need to either use the Erase Mark action or reboot your device to remove it before the duration you chose expires.

Jack Out[]

  • Type: Firewall
  • Marks Required: Owner
  • Test: Computers vs. Attack

This jacks you out of the DataNet and reboots the device you are using. You suffer dumpshock if you were in VR. The test only applies if you’ve been link-locked by someone; the test is against the icon that locked your link. If more than one icon has you link-locked, you need to beat each of them individually: use a single roll and compart the result to the Attack rating of each opponent that had established a link-lock.

You can only jack out yourself You can’t dump other people except through DataNet damage.

Jam Signals[]

  • Type: Attack
  • Marks Required: Owner
  • Test: Computers vs. Computers

This action turns the wireless device you are using into a local jammer. As long as you do not use the device for any further DataNet actions, the device jams all DataNet actions conducted by or targeting any devices within 100 meters. Any users wishing to bypass the jam must succeed on a Computers test with a Target Number equal to the result of the Computers test that created the jam.

Jump Into Rigged Device[]

  • Type: Data Processing
  • Marks Required: 3
  • Test: Computers vs. Firewall

You jump into a device that has rigger adaptation, usually a vehicle or drone. To jump into a device, you must have three marks on the device, you must be in VR, the device must have rigger adaptation, and you must have a control rig. If you are the device’s owner or the device’s owner has given you permission to jump into the device, no roll is required. In the DataNet, the icon of the device you jumped into becomes part of your avatar.

If someone else is already jumped into the device, you cannot attempt this action until they vacate.

Reboot Device[]

  • Type: Data Processing
  • Marks Required: 3
  • Test: Computers vs. Firewall

The device on which this action is performed shuts down and immediately reboots. The device comes back online at the end of the following round. The device ceases electronic functions and disappears from the DataNet until its reboot time is over.

When you reboot the device your avatar is on, all of your marks, as well as the ones others may have put on your icon, are erased. If you’re in VR when you reboot, you suffer from dumpshock. When you come back online, your icon can be on any grid to which you have legitimate access, or the public grid if you have no other grid access.

When you perform this action, you can choose a delay of any amount of time between the time the device shuts down and the time it comes back online. Anyone with physical access to the device can override this delay by hitting the power button, which starts the boot process and brings the device online at the end of the following round.

This action only works on devices. It doesn’t work on hosts, and the only avatar it works on is your own. If you’re the owner of the device you’re rebooting, no roll is required. You can’t use this action on a device that is link-locked.

Set Data Bomb[]

  • Type: Stealth
  • Marks Required: 1
  • Test: Computers vs. File's Defense Rating

You set a Data Bomb in a file. When you do, choose the rating of the Data Bomb, up to the result of your roll. You also need to choose whether or not the Data Bomb will delete the file to which it is attached when activated, and you need to program the passcode required to deactivate it. A file can only have one Data Bomb on it at a time.

The Data Bomb is triggered when someone attempts to read, edit, copy, protect, delete, or put another Data Bomb on the file without using the already-in-place Data Bomb’s passcode. When a Data Bomb goes off, it causes DataNet damage equal to its rating to the icon that tripped it, deletes the file (if it was set to do so), and then is itself deleted. If the passcode is used, the Data Bomb doesn’t activate, and is still attached to the file.

A Data Bomb can be detected using DataNet Perception. If it’s detected, it can be defused with the Disarm Data Bomb action; a disarmed Data Bomb is deleted.

Snoop[]

  • Type: Stealth
  • Marks Required: 1
  • Test: Computers vs. Firewall

This action lets you intercept DataNet traffic sent to and from your target for as long as you have the target marked. You can listed to, view, or read this data live, or you can save it for later playback/viewing if you have something to store it on, such as your deck.

Spoof Command[]

  • Type: Stealth
  • Marks Required: 1 (see below)
  • Test: Computers vs. Firewall

You spoof a device’s owner’s identity, making the device think that your command is a legitimate one from its owner. You need one mark on the icon you are imitating; you do not need a mark on the target. The opposing Firewall is the target’s Firewall, however. This action only works on devices and agents, not IC, hosts, avatars, or any other icons.

Stealth Hack[]

  • Type: Stealth
  • Marks Required: 0
  • Test: Computers vs. Firewall

You can use this action to mark a target without getting the normal permissions. This is the action for hackers emphasizing their Stealth over their Attack, making it an analog to Brute Force. When targeting an icon, you put one mark on it, up to a maximum of three marks per icon. Additionally, a raise counts as a success on a DataNet Perception test, so you can get some information along with your mark.

You can use this action to hop to a grid for which you don’t have legitimate access. If you succeed, instead of putting a mark on the grid, you hop to that grid immediately. Using Hack on the Fly to hop grids unsuccessfully doesn’t alert the grid or its SysAdmin the way most unsuccessful Stealth actions do.

Switch Interface[]

  • Type: Data Processing
  • Marks Required: Owner
  • Test: None

You switch your perception from AR to VR or vice versa. Switching to VR causes your body to go limp. If you are link-locked, you cannot switch interface modes.

You can only do this to yourself; you can’t switch another user’s interface mode.

Trace Icon[]

  • Type: Data Processing
  • Marks Required: 2
  • Test: Computers vs. Stealth

You find the physical location of a device or avatar in the DataNet. After succeeding with this action, you know the target’s location for as long as you have at least one mark on the target. This doesn’t work on hosts because they generally have no physical location, or IC programs because they are confined to their hosts.

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