[CP 2020] Third edition suggestions. (Long)

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MORNINMAN

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May 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/18/96
to

Our little group was shooting the bull after our session this week
and started talking about the changes we'd like to see in the upcoming
third edition of CP. I'd like to get some feedback on our ideas and
solicit some of yours.

- We all think it's time to retire the "Roles" concept. Most, but not
all, of the other CP gamers I know have jettisoned the idea in favor of
player-directed skill selection based on their character concept. Maybe
it's just us, but we think the way the roles are set up now inevitably
leads to the "all Solo" campaign syndrome. The Solo special ability is so
powerful, especially with the emphasis on violence in the support
material, that it seems to unbalance the game. Why not translate the
special abilities into high cost skills and get rid of the pigeonholed
characters?

- The skills are in need of expansion. I know I can add skills to my
little hearts content, but I'd like to see a broader range of skills to
begin with in the master book. Dropping everything into "Expert
Knowledge" or requiring a seperate sheet of campaign specific skills is a
kludgy work-around. Expanding the skills section within the world
framework would also make integrating characters easier.

- The combat system seems to run fine, but it's pretty common to have
house fixes to prevent armor abuse. I've tried the alternate systems
presented in Screwheads and Cybergeneration, but the basic CP 2020 system
is so flexible that I keep coming back to it. Just a little tweaking of
the BTM system would make it perfect, IMHO.

- Expand the backround material. A lot. One of the big drawbacks of the
game is that it leads inexperienced players to assume that the standard CP
2020 world is inherently munchkin. The presentation leads new users to
assume that edgerunner grade characters make up a much higher percentage
of the population than they actually do, at least IMO. There needs to be
backround showing just what the 95 percent of the population that's not on
the cutting edge is up to. FASA has done an excellent job of detailing
the nitty-gritty details of life in their dark future and I think that's
one of the draws for Shadowrun. I'd much rather see those players buying
products for a *real* cyberpunk future. B-)

- Jettison the existing Netrunning rules. Very few players actually use
them, so I think it's fair to say they're broken beyond repair. I just
don't see how mechanics that treat a net run like a miniatures battle can
be used. Netrunner looks like a nice try, but it doesn't seem to speed
things at all and it's a rather expensive play aid to begin with. As a
benchmark of success I'd like to propose a an abstract system that can
resolve a run in fifteen minutes or less including Ref and Player prep
time.

Don't get me wrong, I and my players love the game, but I think the
third edition is an opportunity to fix what's broken and expand the game's
player base. There seems to be a lot of interest in a good, hard-SF
future RPG and I think that the third edition could be what a lot of
gamers are looking for if it's done right. Fixing the mechanics problems
and expanding the game world would allow the game to appeal to those
gamers while still keeping the attitude that lots of others find
attractive.

Your thoughts?

Cordially,
MM

Wires? We don't need no stinkin' wires. - Marconi
Mailto: MORN...@aol.com
CP2020 page at http://users.aol.com/morninman/cybrindx.htm
This worker drone does not express the opinions of the hive. Buzz off.


Otto Joh Hammersmith

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May 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/19/96
to

In article <4nlnpn$l...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,
MORNINMAN <morn...@aol.com> wrote:
[snip]

>- Jettison the existing Netrunning rules. Very few players actually use
>them, so I think it's fair to say they're broken beyond repair. I just
>don't see how mechanics that treat a net run like a miniatures battle can
>be used. Netrunner looks like a nice try, but it doesn't seem to speed
>things at all and it's a rather expensive play aid to begin with. As a
>benchmark of success I'd like to propose a an abstract system that can
>resolve a run in fifteen minutes or less including Ref and Player prep
>time.
[snip]
>Your thoughts?

I agree with everything you've said... but especially the Netrunning.

I've though about what I'd do to the netrunning rules, but have been
afraid to actualy -do- something. Being a Programmer and Sys. Admin,
I know I'd end up making the rules much too realistic, and therefore
unplayable.

Though, one thing I really think should change is non-Netrunners...
they should be able to -use- the Net. Not necessarilly do anything
spectacular, though. The equivalent to someone (normal mortal) just
using e-mail, while someone (netrunner) else telnets to port 25 and
forges his own e-mail. I doubt anyone would disagree.

I'd be interested to hear what other people think could be done to
Netrunning.


--
-Otto.

Deadlock

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May 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/19/96
to

Let me warn you now.. These are just my humble opinions at 4AM in the
mornin'..


On 18 May 1996, MORNINMAN wrote:
> Our little group was shooting the bull after our session this week
> and started talking about the changes we'd like to see in the upcoming
> third edition of CP. I'd like to get some feedback on our ideas and
> solicit some of yours.

Is a third edition actually gonna be put out?

> - We all think it's time to retire the "Roles" concept. Most, but not
> all, of the other CP gamers I know have jettisoned the idea in favor of
> player-directed skill selection based on their character concept. Maybe
> it's just us, but we think the way the roles are set up now inevitably
> leads to the "all Solo" campaign syndrome. The Solo special ability is so
> powerful, especially with the emphasis on violence in the support
> material, that it seems to unbalance the game. Why not translate the
> special abilities into high cost skills and get rid of the pigeonholed
> characters?

I don't think the roles are set up to lead to an "all Solo" campaign. I
have successfully run an all Nomad campaign (which was a lot of work to
keep in motion), an all Cops campaign, and a variety of campaigns that
included a broad spectrum of roles. Although I must agree the support
materials, at times, stress that survival is determined by the type of
gun you have and your skill with usin' it.

> - The skills are in need of expansion. I know I can add skills to my
> little hearts content, but I'd like to see a broader range of skills to
> begin with in the master book. Dropping everything into "Expert
> Knowledge" or requiring a seperate sheet of campaign specific skills is a
> kludgy work-around. Expanding the skills section within the world
> framework would also make integrating characters easier.

The group I game with have added new skills, but they associate it with
one of the stats in order to use it properly.

> - Expand the backround material. A lot. One of the big drawbacks of the
> game is that it leads inexperienced players to assume that the standard CP
> 2020 world is inherently munchkin. The presentation leads new users to
> assume that edgerunner grade characters make up a much higher percentage
> of the population than they actually do, at least IMO. There needs to be
> backround showing just what the 95 percent of the population that's not on
> the cutting edge is up to. FASA has done an excellent job of detailing
> the nitty-gritty details of life in their dark future and I think that's
> one of the draws for Shadowrun. I'd much rather see those players buying
> products for a *real* cyberpunk future. B-)

I think the supplements, "Home of the Brave" and "Neo-Tribes" have done a
very good job at explainin' what that other ninety-five percent is. But
I would like to see somethin' that details the different sports that are
played, the major teams, and so forth.

> - Jettison the existing Netrunning rules. Very few players actually use
> them, so I think it's fair to say they're broken beyond repair. I just

Don't jettison the netrunnin' rules!! I use 'em!! Maybe make a few
changes here and there, but don't get rid of 'em..

> don't see how mechanics that treat a net run like a miniatures battle can
> be used. Netrunner looks like a nice try, but it doesn't seem to speed
> things at all and it's a rather expensive play aid to begin with. As a

I don't think the card game was supposed to be a play aid actually, but
the initiated amongst our number are tryin' to turn it into one.

> benchmark of success I'd like to propose a an abstract system that can
> resolve a run in fifteen minutes or less including Ref and Player prep
> time.

Less time to do the netruns would be handy..

> Don't get me wrong, I and my players love the game, but I think the
> third edition is an opportunity to fix what's broken and expand the game's
> player base. There seems to be a lot of interest in a good, hard-SF
> future RPG and I think that the third edition could be what a lot of
> gamers are looking for if it's done right. Fixing the mechanics problems
> and expanding the game world would allow the game to appeal to those
> gamers while still keeping the attitude that lots of others find
> attractive.

Now, if they expand into the hard-SF stuff, they should go hire the
people that worked on 2300 AD.. Now that was one of the greatest hard-SF
games ever produced, even with the cyberpunkish element they tried to add
in a coupla supplements..

I got your web siteon my web page.. :)


Those who live by the sword, get shot with a gun!

EMAIL: dead...@hopi.dtcc.edu
HOME PAGE: http://www.dtcc.edu/personal/staff/deadlock/

Morgan Samuels

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May 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/19/96
to

>- We all think it's time to retire the "Roles" concept. Most, but not
>all, of the other CP gamers I know have jettisoned the idea in favor of
>player-directed skill selection based on their character concept.

>>>>>The roles seem to work just fine for us.

Maybe
>it's just us, but we think the way the roles are set up now inevitably
>leads to the "all Solo" campaign syndrome.

>>>>>Solos arn't very good in taping into the information network. In my CP2120 campaign information about what is going on is very=
important, and solos have precious few contacts. An all solo campaign would just be a running series of shootouts with the PCs alm=
ost completely in the dark about what is going on. Eventualy they'd make a strategic blunder and end up flatlined.

The Solo special ability is so
>powerful, especially with the emphasis on violence in the support
>material, that it seems to unbalance the game. Why not translate the
>special abilities into high cost skills and get rid of the pigeonholed
>characters?

>>>>>Because then any character could then gain that said ability, and all PCs could be gross. Like I said, the information tap is =
the great equalizer. Solos are SUPPOSED to be combat monsters. That's their edge.

>- The combat system seems to run fine, but it's pretty common to have
>house fixes to prevent armor abuse. I've tried the alternate systems
>presented in Screwheads and Cybergeneration, but the basic CP 2020 system
>is so flexible that I keep coming back to it. Just a little tweaking of
>the BTM system would make it perfect, IMHO.

>>>>>I seems to work ok for me to. The solution of the PCs wearing layered armor? Increase the ENC penalty. Typicaly I double any=
standing ENC penalties or increas it to a -1 if the ENC is zero if they layer up. Cuts that crap right out.

>- Jettison the existing Netrunning rules. Very few players actually use
>them, so I think it's fair to say they're broken beyond repair. I just

>don't see how mechanics that treat a net run like a miniatures battle can
>be used. Netrunner looks like a nice try, but it doesn't seem to speed
>things at all and it's a rather expensive play aid to begin with. As a

>benchmark of success I'd like to propose a an abstract system that can
>resolve a run in fifteen minutes or less including Ref and Player prep
>time.

>>>>>Bigtime. Everybody in my group refuses to play a netrunner. It bogs down the game too much.


>>>>>Here is one more beef. During character creation a PC can stick a huge amount of points into their special ability which equat=
es being a very experienced operatior in that specific field. Yet if they do that all the support skills tend to by way low. So 's=
plain how a rank 10 corp could have no other professional skill above two.

>>>>>To fix that I put a cap on the maximum number of a special ability for a starting PC, and made a IP bases skill selection syste=
m that makes higher and higher skill levels increasingly more expensive. Now most PCs have a greater number of skill in the lower b=
onus catagories, which is where they should be IMO.

Morgan Samuels

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May 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/19/96
to

>I'd be interested to hear what other people think could be done to
>Netrunning.


>>>>>I don't know how to make a fix, but I do know what I do. I completely free form it. I've read william gibson. I know what's u=
p with the net. I run it completely loosy goosey. Make the 'runner make a few rolls now and then to overcome obstacles, ICE and th=
e like. Style over substance all the way on this one. I describe the data fortresses and the access gates and the watchdogs. Make=
'em think on their feet.

Michael Carson

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May 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/20/96
to

Morgan Samuels <msam...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:


>>- We all think it's time to retire the "Roles" concept. Most, but not
>>all, of the other CP gamers I know have jettisoned the idea in favor of
>>player-directed skill selection based on their character concept.

>>>>>>The roles seem to work just fine for us.

I use the roles as a 'suggested career package' which is an invaluable
aid for inexperienced players, but leaves others freedom to do as they
please.

>Maybe
>>it's just us, but we think the way the roles are set up now inevitably
>>leads to the "all Solo" campaign syndrome.

>>>>>>Solos arn't very good in taping into the information network. In my CP2120 campaign information about what is going on is very=
> important, and solos have precious few contacts. An all solo campaign would just be a running series of shootouts with the PCs alm=
>ost completely in the dark about what is going on. Eventualy they'd make a strategic blunder and end up flatlined.

I assume you have some sort of 'contacts' system bolted onto the side,
then, right? This post is about how to fix the published sytem, not
how well it works after you fix it at home. I, for one, would love to
see a system where the players have some pregen contacts, ala
Shadowrun. What system do you use?

>The Solo special ability is so
>>powerful, especially with the emphasis on violence in the support
>>material, that it seems to unbalance the game. Why not translate the
>>special abilities into high cost skills and get rid of the pigeonholed
>>characters?

>>>>>>Because then any character could then gain that said ability, and all PCs could be gross. Like I said, the information tap is =
>the great equalizer. Solos are SUPPOSED to be combat monsters. That's their edge.

??? I must re-read the Combat Sense rules. I think it's so nearly
useless, that I didn't BOTHER to include it in my re-vamped skill
list.

>>- The combat system seems to run fine, but it's pretty common to have
>>house fixes to prevent armor abuse. I've tried the alternate systems
>>presented in Screwheads and Cybergeneration, but the basic CP 2020 system
>>is so flexible that I keep coming back to it. Just a little tweaking of
>>the BTM system would make it perfect, IMHO.

>>>>>>I seems to work ok for me to. The solution of the PCs wearing layered armor? Increase the ENC penalty. Typicaly I double any=
> standing ENC penalties or increas it to a -1 if the ENC is zero if they layer up. Cuts that crap right out.

Again, it works because you modified it. I like your modification,
BTW. I also like mine, where total armour value equals the square
root of the summ of the squares of each layer. It discourages players
from piling it on in two ways: there is little gain for more layers,
and players don't want to do the math. :)

>>- Jettison the existing Netrunning rules. Very few players actually use
>>them, so I think it's fair to say they're broken beyond repair. I just
>>don't see how mechanics that treat a net run like a miniatures battle can
>>be used. Netrunner looks like a nice try, but it doesn't seem to speed
>>things at all and it's a rather expensive play aid to begin with. As a
>>benchmark of success I'd like to propose a an abstract system that can
>>resolve a run in fifteen minutes or less including Ref and Player prep
>>time.

>>>>>>Bigtime. Everybody in my group refuses to play a netrunner. It bogs down the game too much.

??? The netrunner rules are one of R.Tal's big achievements, IHMO.
I've not seen a system better. It provides a nice, semi-plausible
cenematic system, where action is constant, integration with RL ops is
easy and the pucker factor is always high. My Solo types love to
follow along and see what nasty SW I'm sicing on the poor netrunner.
There is one change I would make: if a given computer doesn't have a
good reason to be on the Net, it shouldn't be. That's a cultural,
rather than systematic, change that I would like to see.

>>>>>>Here is one more beef. During character creation a PC can stick a huge amount of points into their special ability which equat=
>es being a very experienced operatior in that specific field. Yet if they do that all the support skills tend to by way low. So 's=
>plain how a rank 10 corp could have no other professional skill above two.

>>>>>>To fix that I put a cap on the maximum number of a special ability for a starting PC, and made a IP bases skill selection syste=
>m that makes higher and higher skill levels increasingly more expensive. Now most PCs have a greater number of skill in the lower b=
>onus catagories, which is where they should be IMO.

I agree wholeheartedly.

Cheers,
Michael

Henrik Sebring

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May 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/20/96
to

Otto Joh Hammersmith wrote:
> In article <4nlnpn$l...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,
> MORNINMAN <morn...@aol.com> wrote:

[SNIP SNIP]

> Though, one thing I really think should change is non-Netrunners...
> they should be able to -use- the Net. Not necessarilly do anything
> spectacular, though. The equivalent to someone (normal mortal) just
> using e-mail, while someone (netrunner) else telnets to port 25 and
> forges his own e-mail. I doubt anyone would disagree.
>

> I'd be interested to hear what other people think could be done to
> Netrunning.
>

> --
> -Otto.

Yes I couln't agree more.
In the 2020 everybody is more or less involved with the Net, though the
Netrunner is especially skilled... I've thought about putting a special
skill for just these ordinary moves people use in the 2020. A skill which
the characters get a d10 skill levels in the begining or just 2 free levels
(whatever this is just brainstorming). This skill would be used for knowing
where to send the e-mails, where to find info on the net. What services are
available and stuff.

-Henrik

Sara VanLooy

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May 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/20/96
to

> Our little group was shooting the bull after our session this week
> and started talking about the changes we'd like to see in the upcoming
> third edition of CP. I'd like to get some feedback on our ideas and
> solicit some of yours.

Very little disagreement with your overall arguments.

> - We all think it's time to retire the "Roles" concept. Most, but not
> all, of the other CP gamers I know have jettisoned the idea in favor of

We still use roles, just because retiring them now would require a major
rehashing of characters that we're still playing. But we've gotten
around some of the problems you suggest by allowing some dual roles, by
good roleplaying and ignoring the obvious munchkin allures, and by the GM
exercising some game-balancing perogatives. One of those is what we call
"Boons." After the player develops and fleshes out a character, our GM
has a conference where they talk about the character, where it came from
and where it wants to go. Then the GM grants a boon, based on the
character background. It usually represents skills or equipment that the
PC would logically have, given their background, but it is not something
that would make the PC all-powerful. Rather it allows the player to spend
points on skills that aren't combatty or otherwise munchkinlike.

Eg. I play a solo who grew up in French Canada. I was granted an
assumed fluency in Quebecois...

> - The combat system seems to run fine, but it's pretty common to have
> house fixes to prevent armor abuse. I've tried the alternate systems
> presented in Screwheads and Cybergeneration, but the basic CP 2020 system
> is so flexible that I keep coming back to it. Just a little tweaking of
> the BTM system would make it perfect, IMHO.

The other fix we use, and I know many others use, is that *every* hit
does a point of bruise damage. This disallows characters from putting on
lots of armor, saying "To heck with the REF penalty! I'm unhittable!"
and standing up to face a hail of SMG fire.

> - Expand the backround material. A lot. One of the big drawbacks of the
> game is that it leads inexperienced players to assume that the standard CP
> 2020 world is inherently munchkin. The presentation leads new users to
> assume that edgerunner grade characters make up a much higher percentage
> of the population than they actually do, at least IMO. There needs to be
> backround showing just what the 95 percent of the population that's not on
> the cutting edge is up to. FASA has done an excellent job of detailing
> the nitty-gritty details of life in their dark future and I think that's
> one of the draws for Shadowrun. I'd much rather see those players buying
> products for a *real* cyberpunk future. B-)

I agree that expansion would be nice, but I was under the impression
(maybe I'm wrong) that most people who play for any length of time take
the time to work out their own background? Maybe the basic rule book
could walk a new player through the steps of working out the future
history of their game locale, for instance.

You're right, though, that at the very least the rulebook should tell
more about Night City than what gangs roam where and what corps rule. A
note on the average NPC neighborhood and maybe "A Day in the Life of"
some no-name schmoe who goes to work, avoids the gangs, comes home and
plugs into the viddy...

> - Jettison the existing Netrunning rules. Very few players actually use
> them, so I think it's fair to say they're broken beyond repair. I just
> don't see how mechanics that treat a net run like a miniatures battle can
> be used.

Hear, hear.

Our GM won't take a netrunner. We've had too many bad experiences with
them, and too many players have tried it, hated it, and sworn never to
play one. We've gotten around that by having net-fixers and net-media,
who can do everything but hack things. They know the net community, have
Net reputations...

You're right that average PC's should be able to use the net. We assume
a basic level of net access for everyone--the equivalent of Web surfing,
email, and internet/cable entertainment. Anyone with Library Search
stands a chance of actually finding useful information online.


Chris Nelson

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May 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/20/96
to

Otto Joh Hammersmith wrote:

> Though, one thing I really think should change is non-Netrunners...
> they should be able to -use- the Net.

I don't recall anything in the manual saying anything to the contrary. It stands
to reason that a non-netrunner could use the Net in the same way Netrunners do, but
similar to the way Solos use Combat. So a Netrunner would be a Solo in his own
enviroment, if you follow me.

I've usually just used an Expert:Computer Use skill for non-netrunners, allowing
them to access the Net through terminals and 2-D screens.

Chris
--
This tagline will futz on occasion. My apologies.
*-----Music gives me valuable insight into how much money I can waste.----*
*-< Roleplayer >-------> mailto:nels...@cris.com <----------< Musician >-*
*------------ Shorter of breath, and one day closer to death. ------------*
*-The time is gone, the song is over. Thought I'd something more to say.-*

Chris Nelson

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May 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/20/96
to

MORNINMAN wrote:

> Our little group was shooting the bull after our session this week
> and started talking about the changes we'd like to see in the upcoming
> third edition of CP.

Although it stands to reason that RTG would publish a third edition sometime in the
future, I wasn't aware that it was currently in the works.

> - We all think it's time to retire the "Roles" concept.

I would hesitate to do so. I think the Roles are a pretty fast method of character
generation, and they leave the characters the ability to get a base concept of
their character's history and style without rolling a single die.

> The Solo special ability is so powerful, especially with the emphasis on violence
> in the support material, that it seems to unbalance the game.

Solos provide a GM with the ability to run a "no-brainer" adventure clean off the
top of his/her head. The Solo can handle most anything the street can throw at it.
But it's always been a dissapointment when you've prepared an adventure for
several weeks and then everybody makes Solos.

As far as getting rid of the Solo's special ability, I wouldn't advise it. I use
Solos as barriers. When the PCs decide they want to rough someone up, I throw
several solos at them, and then things get grizzly and very very dangerous.
However, I'm lucky in the respect that not all my PCs make Solos.

> Expanding the skills section within the world framework would also make >
> integrating characters easier.

I'd just throw all the current skills into the manual and let it lie at that.
There's plenty of skills already, if you put them all together.

> [BACKGROUND MUNCH]

I agree completely. There seems to be a "style" conflict in CP2020. The mood of
the enviroment changes drasticly from chapter to chapter. The manual seems to be
telling you to run it like Blade Runner, then Bubblegum Crisis, then Apocalypse
Now, then Akira. They need to make up their minds and quit beating around the
bush.

> - Jettison the existing Netrunning rules.

Few people play Netrunners because the rest of the game comes to a standstill when
they do. Because Netrunning takes only a few seconds or minuites, the Netrunner
character has to do a one-on-one with the GM for half an hour before the PCs even
breathe twice. There's barely any way to keep the party together during a Netrun,
unless you make Netrunning go standard time instead of so accelerated.

Morgan Samuels

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May 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/20/96
to

>>>>>>>Solos arn't very good in taping into the information network.In my CP2120 campaign information about what is going on is very=

important, and solos have precious few contacts. An all solo campaign

would just be a running series of shootouts with the PCs being almost


completely in the dark about what is going on. Eventualy they'd make a
strategic blunder and end up flatlined.

I assume you have some sort of 'contacts' system bolted onto the side,
then, right?

>>>>>Not realy. Fixers, Corps, Cops, and Nomads all have an infrastructure to rely on. In the course of roleplaying their special =
ability will allow them to effectivly interact with as many NPCs as they care to get involved with. Solos OTOH are more or less on =
their own, or with a few PCs. If all they do is run around and shoot things up, they arn't going to learn a thing about the big pic=
ture unless the GM feeds them.

This post is about how to fix the published sytem, not
how well it works after you fix it at home. I, for one, would love to
see a system where the players have some pregen contacts, ala
Shadowrun. What system do you use?

>>>>>As per above. A couple of contacts are usualy generated via pre game character generation, but most will come in during the co=
urse of the game, and that is where the GM feeds in the great equalizer. Some metalhead with all of 4 humanity points is going to b=
e cold and fishy and is going to get on any non Solos nerves. PCs may tolerate the monster, but no high EMP information broker is g=
oing to tell him anything of his/her own free will.


Douglas E. Berry

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

In article <4nlnpn$l...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>,
morn...@aol.com (MORNINMAN) wrote:


>- We all think it's time to retire the "Roles" concept. Most, but not
>all, of the other CP gamers I know have jettisoned the idea in favor of

>player-directed skill selection based on their character concept. Maybe


>it's just us, but we think the way the roles are set up now inevitably

>leads to the "all Solo" campaign syndrome. The Solo special ability is so


>powerful, especially with the emphasis on violence in the support

>material, that it seems to unbalance the game. Why not translate the
>special abilities into high cost skills and get rid of the pigeonholed
>characters?

Hmmm... perhaps the problem here is not getting into the "feel" of the piece.
Let's take a look at a c-punk classic: Max Headroom. What roles were the
lead characters? Edison Carter, Media. Theora Jones, Netrunner. Murry,
Corporate. Bryce, Tech. "Blank" Reg, Nomad. A well balnced group that
operated without gun toteing monsters around.

I ususally play Fixers myself...

I like the special abilities, since it does define your PC so well. My
long-time Fixer, Gato, uses the rules from Wildside to run his contacts. The
other players know that when i whip out my phone and say, "let me call this
dude I know", I'll get results that are as effective as a cybered-out Solo
with a railgun!

>- The combat system seems to run fine, but it's pretty common to have
>house fixes to prevent armor abuse. I've tried the alternate systems
>presented in Screwheads and Cybergeneration, but the basic CP 2020 system
>is so flexible that I keep coming back to it. Just a little tweaking of
>the BTM system would make it perfect, IMHO.

I agree that armor can be abused.. so play with the world! Many places in our
game-world will not serve you if you are heavily modified. try to exist where
even KenTacoHut shows you the door.

>- Expand the backround material. A lot. One of the big drawbacks of the
>game is that it leads inexperienced players to assume that the standard CP
>2020 world is inherently munchkin. The presentation leads new users to
>assume that edgerunner grade characters make up a much higher percentage
>of the population than they actually do, at least IMO. There needs to be
>backround showing just what the 95 percent of the population that's not on
>the cutting edge is up to. FASA has done an excellent job of detailing
>the nitty-gritty details of life in their dark future and I think that's
>one of the draws for Shadowrun. I'd much rather see those players buying
>products for a *real* cyberpunk future. B-)

Hmmmm.... I kind of like the vagueness to the backround. It allows referees
to expand and build on it, bringing it to their own vision of the future. As
to what constitutes a "real" cyberpunk future.. we could start discussing that
now and *still* be argueing on Jan 1 2020

>- Jettison the existing Netrunning rules. Very few players actually use
>them, so I think it's fair to say they're broken beyond repair. I just
>don't see how mechanics that treat a net run like a miniatures battle can

>be used. Netrunner looks like a nice try, but it doesn't seem to speed
>things at all and it's a rather expensive play aid to begin with. As a
>benchmark of success I'd like to propose a an abstract system that can
>resolve a run in fifteen minutes or less including Ref and Player prep
>time.

Three cheers! In our games, Netrunners are NPCs only! Some of my best
contacts are cyber cowboys, and they don't work cheap.


# ------------------------------------------------- #
# Douglas E. Berry dbe...@hooked.net #
# Writer, Professional Driver, Traveller Guru #
# #
# "To treat your facts with imagination is one #
# thing. But to imagine your facts is another." #
# -John Burroughs #
# ------------------------------------------------- #

Otto Joh Hammersmith

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

In article <31A0E4...@concentric.net>,

Chris Nelson <nels...@concentric.net> wrote:
>Otto Joh Hammersmith wrote:
>
>> Though, one thing I really think should change is non-Netrunners...
>> they should be able to -use- the Net.
>
>I don't recall anything in the manual saying anything to the contrary. It stands
>to reason that a non-netrunner could use the Net in the same way Netrunners do, but
>similar to the way Solos use Combat. So a Netrunner would be a Solo in his own
>enviroment, if you follow me.
>
>I've usually just used an Expert:Computer Use skill for non-netrunners, allowing
>them to access the Net through terminals and 2-D screens.
>
>Chris

I don't see why all non-Netrunners should be relegated to boring 2-D
terminals. And yes, that's basically the way the core rule set has
things.

Granted, there is mention of using a Deck with extra trodes to take a
friend for the ride, but that's not good enough.

I think that there should be a semi-cheap alternative to a
cyber-deck-- something along the lines of today's "internet terminals"
for the general public. Also, cyberdecks should be more like todays
workstations and PCs.

Where with a cyberdeck you can create your own programs, and have your
own space and with the "terminal" you have to rent space and time with
various providers... or use what is built in. A terminal would be
equiped like the old cyberdecks... programs to make connections, small
utilities to create small Virtual Realitites, etc.

As for renting space... imagine the possibilites of a Net real estate
business... renting a "store" or an "apartment".

Of course, terminals would be slightly cheaper than current
cyberdecks, and cyberdecks should be more expensive.


--
-Otto.

Antony Johnston

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

In article <4nrdo0$c...@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu>, oham...@students.uiuc.edu
(Otto Joh Hammersmith) wrote:

> I don't see why all non-Netrunners should be relegated to boring 2-D
> terminals. And yes, that's basically the way the core rule set has
> things.
>
> Granted, there is mention of using a Deck with extra trodes to take a
> friend for the ride, but that's not good enough.

Maybe I assume too much, but I've NEVER disallowed other Roles from using
the Net fully. The difference is that these people don't HACK thru the
net. They can still have I/F plugs, they can jack in, they can use
decks...but nowhere near as WELL as a runner. Just as a Runner could strap
on a vidcam, hire a chopper and go try to be a media...he may have (some
of) the equip, but he wouldn't have a clue how to actually FIND news.


Antony Johnston

---
Hethethethethethethethethethetheth, pethethethethethethetheth.

Boutros-Boutros Ghali.
---

just...@cdp-ltd.demon.co.uk

Otto Joh Hammersmith

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

In article <justicar-210...@cdp-ltd.demon.co.uk>,

Antony Johnston <just...@cdp-ltd.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>In article <4nrdo0$c...@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu>, oham...@students.uiuc.edu
>(Otto Joh Hammersmith) wrote:
>
>> I don't see why all non-Netrunners should be relegated to boring 2-D
>> terminals. And yes, that's basically the way the core rule set has
>> things.
>>
>> Granted, there is mention of using a Deck with extra trodes to take a
>> friend for the ride, but that's not good enough.
>
>Maybe I assume too much, but I've NEVER disallowed other Roles from using
>the Net fully. The difference is that these people don't HACK thru the
>net. They can still have I/F plugs, they can jack in, they can use
>decks...but nowhere near as WELL as a runner. Just as a Runner could strap
>on a vidcam, hire a chopper and go try to be a media...he may have (some
>of) the equip, but he wouldn't have a clue how to actually FIND news.

That's the way I always felt it should be. In fact, that's pretty
much how I've played it... when I had the choice.

I've always interpreted the rule book as intending the Net for only
netrunners. Now that I've looked it up, I see why... if you read the
description for the Interface special skill, "Other players can enter
the Net but cannot use the Menu." What kind of silly idea is that. I
realize it makes for balance, but using the Menu should be one of the
most basic things someone learns. It makes entering the Net when
you're anything but a Netrunner practically useless... you can't even
make a long distance phone call!

I'd suggest replacing Interface with Hacking or some similar skill.
Just using the machine shouldn't be the skill... making it do things
the designers never intended it to, and bending programs to your will
should be a special skill. More like the Techie Jurry Rig skill.

Possibly doing away with the Role system entirely would fix it
slightly... though, I'm somewhat partial to keeping it... possibly
more like a "sterotype" that you have the option of rejecting.
(Hmm... maybe I -should- go back to reading that Shadowrun book.
*grin*)

Note, I do have the older edition rule book... I do have the newer
edition somewhere, but it's not really mine and it's not convenient.
It's possible that they changed it.
--
-Otto.

Steve Lamb

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

On Tue, 21 May 96 01:44:33 GMT, Douglas E. Berry <dbe...@hooked.net> wrote:

>Hmmm... perhaps the problem here is not getting into the "feel" of the piece.
> Let's take a look at a c-punk classic: Max Headroom. What roles were the
>lead characters? Edison Carter, Media. Theora Jones, Netrunner. Murry,
>Corporate. Bryce, Tech. "Blank" Reg, Nomad. A well balnced group that
>operated without gun toteing monsters around.

Or another Cpunk classic, IMHO, FreeJack. Can't remember the character
names but:

Emilo Estevez: Nomad
Renee Russo: Corp
Mick Jagger (so sue me, I'm of the wrong generation): Solo
Hell, half the people in there: Corp
The poindexter guy: Fixer
The bar scene reporter: Media
I'm sure I'm forgetting who the techie was, etc.

>I agree that armor can be abused.. so play with the world! Many places in our
>game-world will not serve you if you are heavily modified. try to exist where
>even KenTacoHut shows you the door.

You might like my world. Armor is hard to come by, guns are
non-existant. Solos are allowed and are dangerous but... damn, the hafta
get into CLOSE range.

--
---- = ----
Steve C. Lamb...
"And if you look away... You'll be doing what they say."
"And if you look alive... You'll be singled out and tried."


Charles Lamonte Palmer

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

Excerpts from netnews.rec.games.frp.cyber: 20-May-96 Re: [CP 2020] Third
edition.. by Henrik Seb...@pt.hk-r.s
> Yes I couln't agree more.
> In the 2020 everybody is more or less involved with the Net, though the
> Netrunner is especially skilled... I've thought about putting a special
> skill for just these ordinary moves people use in the 2020. A skill which
> the characters get a d10 skill levels in the begining or just 2 free levels
> (whatever this is just brainstorming). This skill would be used for knowing
> where to send the e-mails, where to find info on the net. What services are
> available and stuff.
>
> -Henrik

sounds very much like 'Library Search' which allows you to navigate
information (via 2020's version of web-type browsers).

Charles

.___________________________________________________________________.
| Charles Palmer | Email: char...@andrew.cmu.edu |
| Manager, Computing Facilities | Office: 110 Margaret Morrison |
| Department of Design | 412-268-7284 |
| Carnegie Mellon University | |
| Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890 | Fax: 412-268-3088 |
l___________________________________________________________________l

"Ugh, there's way too much blood in my caffeine system"
...........................................................

MORNINMAN

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

Chris Nelson <nels...@concentric.net> spake thus:

>>>Although it stands to reason that RTG would publish a third edition
sometime in the future, I wasn't aware that it was currently in the
works.<<<

They've mentioned the new edition a few times here on AOL.

>>>>I would hesitate to do so. I think the Roles are a pretty fast method
of character generation, and they leave the characters the ability to get
a base concept of their character's history and style without rolling a
single die.<<<<

You're right there, of course. I hate to speak heresy, but I kind of like
the archtype approach. Fill the book with a good selection of pre-built
character types and include rules to allow anyone to create any kind of
character without reliance on the role specific special abilities. The
existing rules make some allowances for this approach, but something about
the special abilities just grates on me.

I also like the idea of pre-genned contacts that someone had mentioned.

Cordially,
MM


Wires? We don't need no stinkin' wires. - Marconi
Mailto: MORN...@aol.com

Deadlock

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

On Mon, 20 May 1996, Michael Carson wrote:
> Morgan Samuels <msam...@worldnet.att.net> wrote:
> I assume you have some sort of 'contacts' system bolted onto the side,
> then, right? This post is about how to fix the published sytem, not
> how well it works after you fix it at home. I, for one, would love to
> see a system where the players have some pregen contacts, ala
> Shadowrun. What system do you use?

If you've read the fixer supplement, Wild Side, they have a system in the
book for generating contacts for fixers. I have used a tweaked version
for the system for other packages that seems to do okay.

> >>>>>>Bigtime. Everybody in my group refuses to play a netrunner. It
bogs down the game too much. >
> ??? The netrunner rules are one of R.Tal's big achievements, IHMO.
> I've not seen a system better. It provides a nice, semi-plausible
> cenematic system, where action is constant, integration with RL ops is
> easy and the pucker factor is always high. My Solo types love to
> follow along and see what nasty SW I'm sicing on the poor netrunner.
> There is one change I would make: if a given computer doesn't have a
> good reason to be on the Net, it shouldn't be. That's a cultural,
> rather than systematic, change that I would like to see.

I don't know about that.. If you got a modem, then your computer is
visible on the net, no matter what.. Unless you're creative enough to
hide your existence..

The other players like it when I play the netrunner (mainly because the
netrunners I use have very good secondary skills.. Such as
netrunner/ex-military, netrunner/nomad, netrunner/fixer). Sometimes the
all get 'trode sets and plug into me when I do a run.. It gets cracy
because they'll be makin' suggestions to me, but the CM won't allow it
because I can't hear 'em.. I had a Flip Switch on the deck, but we had a
player that was curious.. Durin' on of my runs, she kept flippin' the
switch to ask me questions about what I was doin' and why.. Made for an
evenin' of great playin' and comedy relief at times..

Deadlock

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

On 20 May 1996, Sara VanLooy wrote:
> > - Expand the backround material. A lot. One of the big drawbacks of the
> > game is that it leads inexperienced players to assume that the standard CP
> > 2020 world is inherently munchkin. The presentation leads new users to
> > assume that edgerunner grade characters make up a much higher percentage
> > of the population than they actually do, at least IMO. There needs to be
> > backround showing just what the 95 percent of the population that's not on
> > the cutting edge is up to. FASA has done an excellent job of detailing
> > the nitty-gritty details of life in their dark future and I think that's
> > one of the draws for Shadowrun. I'd much rather see those players buying
> > products for a *real* cyberpunk future. B-)
>
> I agree that expansion would be nice, but I was under the impression
> (maybe I'm wrong) that most people who play for any length of time take
> the time to work out their own background? Maybe the basic rule book
> could walk a new player through the steps of working out the future
> history of their game locale, for instance.
>
> You're right, though, that at the very least the rulebook should tell
> more about Night City than what gangs roam where and what corps rule. A
> note on the average NPC neighborhood and maybe "A Day in the Life of"
> some no-name schmoe who goes to work, avoids the gangs, comes home and
> plugs into the viddy...

There is a supplement called "Night City Sourcebook". In it, it details
Night City, it's history, the different neighborhoods (along with major
and minor NPCs), the gangs, etc.. It's a very good supplement if your
players are gonna be runnin' all over the city..

Deadlock

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

On Mon, 20 May 1996, Chris Nelson wrote:
> MORNINMAN wrote:
> Solos provide a GM with the ability to run a "no-brainer" adventure
> clean off the top of his/her head. The Solo can handle most anything
> the street can throw at it.

Yeah, anything the street can throw at it.. But what if the street was
backed by a corp or a government? After you see a coupla your
choombattas get flatlined, them there Solos start gettin' a clue.. We're
in deep..

> But it's always been a dissapointment when you've prepared an adventure for
> several weeks and then everybody makes Solos.
>
> As far as getting rid of the Solo's special ability, I wouldn't advise
> it. I use Solos as barriers. When the PCs decide they want to rough
> someone up, I throw several solos at them, and then things get grizzly
> and very very dangerous.

That's why I always prepare two scenarios.. If they wanna play Solos
with all their big bang-bangs, go ahead.. Europe and Africa got enough
conflicts for y'all to go play in.. In fact, they won't even go within
one hundred klicks of South Africa.. Too bad, that art museum still got
all that pretty stuff in it.. *A laugh so evil, it gives the devil
nightmares*

> However, I'm lucky in the respect that not all my PCs make Solos.

Same here..



> I agree completely. There seems to be a "style" conflict in CP2020.
> The mood of the enviroment changes drasticly from chapter to chapter.
> The manual seems to be telling you to run it like Blade Runner, then
> Bubblegum Crisis, then Apocalypse Now, then Akira. They need to make up
> their minds and quit beating around the bush.

Actually, I like that bush and so do a coupla others that ref.. As
players, we never know what's gonna happen and it helps us find our
"edge".. One week, I might run the game like Apocalypse Now, then switch
to Akira the next (sometimes in the middle of the game that night)..
IMHO, if you look at real life, it would seem to be a melting pot of the
aforementioned movies, cartoons, and such.. Frack, look around your own
neighborhood, then go look in some other neighborhood.. Note the
differences, then use it in a campaign.. <Cajun Accent>Guarantee</Cajun
Accent>, you'll start to get a feel as to why each chapter says to do
things that way.. Where people live (Blade Runner), the police (BGC),
the corps and governments (Akira), and combat (Apocalype Now), nomads
(Easyrider), and netrunnin' (Sneakers, IMHO, one of the best movies about
why we 'runners do what we do sometimes)..

Deadlock

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

On 21 May 1996, Otto Joh Hammersmith wrote:
> I don't see why all non-Netrunners should be relegated to boring 2-D
> terminals. And yes, that's basically the way the core rule set has
> things.

Pick up Chromebook 3.. They got a pair of I-G Algorithm glasses in there
for sale.. Now your world can be as 3-D as you want it to be.. :)

Chris Nelson

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

MORNINMAN wrote:

> Fill the book with a good selection of pre-built
> character types and include rules to allow anyone to create any kind of
> character without reliance on the role specific special abilities.

Well, the role generation guidelines seemed a little underdeveloped to me,
even though they did function properly. For instance, a character not
partialy based on another role would probably have a different level of income
(based on Special Ability, you know the chore). However, there are no
guidelines to doing this in your own custom-role. Luckily, those with enough
forsight and planning can usually make this up on their own.

Chris Nelson

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

Otto Joh Hammersmith wrote:

> Now that I've looked it up, I see why... if you read the
> description for the Interface special skill, "Other players can enter
> the Net but cannot use the Menu."

It gives you the impression that if you're character isn't a Netrunner, then
they know <I>nothing</I> about computers.

Sorry, I've been doing a lot of HTML lately.

> I'd suggest replacing Interface with Hacking or some similar skill.
> Just using the machine shouldn't be the skill...

Right on. I agree completely. The Netrunner then becomes a presence in the
net that works on a different level than the standard "Netizen" (I hate that
word). All of a sudden, the Netrunner and the Solo have a paralell. Sounds
good to me.

Chris Nelson

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

Otto Joh Hammersmith wrote:

> I think that there should be a semi-cheap alternative to a
> cyber-deck-- something along the lines of today's "internet terminals"
> for the general public.

Perhaps the decks don't change much, except that there are more "mainstream"
versions that aren't as hacker-orientated.
In that case, the services would change. Sort of "AOL 2020"ish.

> Also, cyberdecks should be more like todays workstations and PCs.

I'd heasitate to recommend that. It's been my experience that unless your
applications involve manipulation of mass-information or 3D objects, there's no
need for a 3D interface. It actually becomes a hinderance.

A kind of 2D "Dos Shell" would be a good idea. The average receptionist would
get lost in a 3D enviroment, IMHO.

Jeff Evans

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

Could someone e-mail the original posting of [CP 2020] Third Edition
(LONG) ? Damn thing still hasn't shown up here, with the track record of
CaTS, it never will.

Apologies for mass bandwith consumption.

Cordially
Jeffrey W Evans

A. John Janek

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

In article <4nm20v$2...@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu>, oham...@students.uiuc.edu
(Otto Joh Hammersmith) wrote:

> I've though about what I'd do to the netrunning rules, but have been
> afraid to actualy -do- something. Being a Programmer and Sys. Admin,
> I know I'd end up making the rules much too realistic, and therefore
> unplayable.
>

> I'd be interested to hear what other people think could be done to
> Netrunning.

I had a huge post all ready to go when the news server crashed and the MS
News for Win95 ate my post. Damn computers...

Okay, yeah, I'm a newbie to the 'group, but I also I'm in the same boat as
Otto. Net Admin, Virtual Adept, etc., etc., and the Netrunning makes me
sick. I think the rules should be completely rewritten, and here are my
reasons :

a) As anyone who's tried to crack a system, has had friends that have
cracked systems, or has even read about cracking systems, todays security
schemes make it virtually impossible to commit to a direct assault and be
able to take the system down in only a few minutes. It can take weeks,
sometimes longer, of social engineering, careful planning, real-world
planning (i.e. tapping a sniffer onto the line, digging up a repeater and
putting in a black box, etc). It's not a ten minute job.

Even supposing that a 'runner had a superfast massively parallel nCUBE to
work with, most systems would have security lockouts that would
effectively shut down outside access selectively or completely until reset
by the administrator or AI (ala Novell 3.12 or any NOS, for that matter).

Hell, I've made whole adventures that include all aspects of the Cyberpunk
game, *including* Solos, to make a run on a datafort.

b) 256 RISC processors are faster than you are....period.

This is my biggest bone of contention. Rolling Intiviative against a
computer is like trying to second guess whether an oncoming bus will
swerve right or left (or not at all). Even single and dual processors
should be able to run anti-intrusion algorithms before the 'runner can do
anything. I dunno, maybe I'm talkin' shit, but the current system doesn't
make sense to me.

c) Why in the hell does my cyberdeck have a speed rating?

Heh. Cyberdeck, as specified by Cyberpunk 2020, is nothing more than a
signal modulation device. From everything I've read, it's built on a
non-existant ISDN III standard, so it's digital. But, it's still a modem
(or Terminal Adapter, whatever) -- which means it has one purpose in life,
to push data.

Okay, so let's take a current situation. A Motorola Lifestyle modem with
a 32 bit RISC processor on board pushes data a hellva lot faster than a
Supra -- however, they're still both based on the same ITU standards, and
the difference is probably about .2k/sec. But if the Motorola is hooked
up to an old serial chip, which is plugged into a 386, it doesn't make a
whole lotta difference.

Here's what I think. Since the real CPU is the brain, the bottleneck here
is the Neural Processing unit. The faster the NP can change from brain to
'deck, the more effective bandwidth usage would be.

For example, a prototype Maas Biotech Advanced Dual Processing NP unit
would be able to do a *lot* of shit, simply because it's bigger, faster,
and better. By comparison, a Kiroshi single processor NP unit, bought
from Parts Plus(tm), *might* be able to make the translation fast enough
so that one can cruise the net without much distortion or lag.

Of course, processing times for NP units wouldn't just stop with 'decks.
the Maas NP would be able to effectively calculate bank-shots and
triangulations for smartguns, whereas the Kiroshi might get away with the
standard "point and click" interface.

Advanced NP (ANP) units, like the Maas used in the example above, would be
able to provide more processing power, in addition to signal translation
(both ways). Imagine running with two decks (who hasn't heard of
increasing bandwidth by adding another line?), controlling more than one
vehicles or weapon, so on and so forth.

Aaaaaaaaaand...it gives GMs another edge. There's always something
bigger, badder, and faster around the corner.

I have more to say, but I can't remember it now. Oh well.

Later.

-John

--
John Janek -- via NewsWatcher for Mac
Email : jo...@cruisebrokers.com
Support your local network guru! Feed him pizza regularly.

Deathstalker

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

In article <Pine.D-G.3.91.960519...@hopi.dtcc.edu>, Deadlock
<dead...@hopi.dtcc.edu> writes:

>I don't think the roles are set up to lead to an "all Solo" campaign. I

Especially not with the cybernetics. I had a Fixer that took out 2 Solos...
all with a linear frame, Ref 10, Body 10... the rules make it almost neccesary
to max out Reflexes, Awareness/Notice, Body, and MA...

>> - Jettison the existing Netrunning rules. Very few players actually use
>> them, so I think it's fair to say they're broken beyond repair. I just

>Don't jettison the netrunnin' rules!! I use 'em!! Maybe make a few
>changes here and there, but don't get rid of 'em..

I use them too... I have Netrunner who I actively play (he's survived 2
games!) and I have developed at least 12 new programs in ONE session... ;)


Deathstalker

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May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

In article <31A070...@pt.hk-r.se>, Henrik Sebring <mda...@pt.hk-r.se>
writes:

>skill for just these ordinary moves people use in the 2020. A skill which
>the characters get a d10 skill levels in the begining or just 2 free levels
>(whatever this is just brainstorming). This skill would be used for knowing
>where to send the e-mails, where to find info on the net. What services are

That would be covered under System Knowledge, also available to all
characters. I use that when a normal tries to do something... well, normal. ;)

Steve Francis, CC

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May 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/22/96
to

>From: Morgan Samuels <msam...@worldnet.att.net>

>Maybe
>>it's just us, but we think the way the roles are set up now inevitably
>>leads to the "all Solo" campaign syndrome.

>>>>>>Solos arn't very good in taping into the information network. In my


>CP2120 campaign information about what is going on is very=
> important, and solos have precious few contacts. An all solo campaign would

>just be a running series of shootouts with the PCs alm=
>ost completely in the dark about what is going on. Eventualy they'd make a


>strategic blunder and end up flatlined.

I find it quite funny. one day no players with netrunner PCs turned up to
the session. The combat wombats who thought the game revolved around them
had a very rude awakening when they discovered they had no idea what was
happening to them.

>>Why not translate the
>>special abilities into high cost skills and get rid of the pigeonholed
>>characters?

I do that and most low level chars are specialised and only later do they
get a bit of spread in skills. It works fine.

>>- Jettison the existing Netrunning rules. Very few players actually use
>>them, so I think it's fair to say they're broken beyond repair.

>>>>>>Bigtime. Everybody in my group refuses to play a netrunner. It bogs
>down the game too much.

I ignore those rules. mine are very fast but no less important.

Brandon Winter

unread,
May 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/22/96
to

The only thing that seperates solos and netrunners from running
is the netrunners acess to the Menu . A solo can run in the net ,
but can he run a program without the RUN PROGRAM command under
the MENU .

Skywalker

Maskull >

unread,
May 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/22/96
to

On May 22, 1996 03:47:09 :
>(snip)
>>>- Jettison the existing Netrunning rules. Very few players actually use

>>>them, so I think it's fair to say they're broken beyond repair.

>>Bigtime. Everybody in my group refuses to play a netrunner. It

>>bogsdown the game too much.


>I ignore those rules. mine are very fast but no less important.


Doesn't "Cybergenerations"(2nd ed.) - the full-blown RPG, not the
supplement - have streamlined netrunning rules? I've never seen it myself,
but I'm told that's the case.

--

Maskull
<mas...@usa.pipeline.com>


"Dry sorrow drinks our blood." -Romeo

Chris Nelson

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May 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/22/96
to

Brandon Winter wrote:

That's exactly our point. Do you think such a restriction actually makes
sense? What's so great about a couple of menu choices that requires a special
ability. The hardware's the same... where does this extra knowledge make a
difference?

matth

unread,
May 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/22/96
to

Construct a more developed Deep Space game. In fact move the timeline up
a bit so that its possible for small businesses to own space ships.

Matthew

--
Matthew Harelick ma...@ritz.mordor.com http://www.mordor.com/matth


David J. Kelk

unread,
May 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/22/96
to

MORNINMAN (morn...@aol.com) wrote:
: Our little group was shooting the bull after our session this week
: and started talking about the changes we'd like to see in the upcoming
: third edition of CP. I'd like to get some feedback on our ideas and
: solicit some of yours.

: - We all think it's time to retire the "Roles" concept. Most, but not


: all, of the other CP gamers I know have jettisoned the idea in favor of

Agreed. Rules to create your own character concept and maybe some
examples - like the roles from the old book.

: player-directed skill selection based on their character concept. Maybe


: it's just us, but we think the way the roles are set up now inevitably

: leads to the "all Solo" campaign syndrome. The Solo special ability is so

We never had that problem. Fixers and Corporates were never played in
our games. I'd like to see a better explanation of the corporate's
resources skill and a rewrite of jury rig and medtech*.

[* We agreed that half of juryrig/medtech would be added to all tech or
medical roles respectively to make these characters more useful.]

: game is that it leads inexperienced players to assume that the standard CP


: 2020 world is inherently munchkin. The presentation leads new users to

Yes! When I started my game I ran into the following problems:
1) Everyones wanted to start with an attractiveness of two and buy
it up to 10 effectively giving them 8 extra character points. [I said that
attr can go up a max of 3 points to stop this.]
2) None of the characters started with any social-type skills. [Being mean
I made them all buy suits and go to a fancy dinner to get a job as part
of their first adventure. I made sure to have role-playing encounters in
each adventure after that.]

: - Jettison the existing Netrunning rules. Very few players actually use
: them, so I think it's fair to say they're broken beyond repair. I just

Yes! Myself and another person on the net created our own running rules.
You can look at them at:

http://www.yucc.yorku.ca/~myrikhan/projects.html

NOTE: The server is down right now (May 22) and I dont know when it's
going up again. Sorry :(

: Don't get me wrong, I and my players love the game, but I think the
: third edition is an opportunity to fix what's broken and expand the game's

CP 2020 does not have many problems in my mind. My complaints are
listed above.

--
Lightspeed,

David.

http://www.yucc.yorku.ca/~myrikhan/index.html
GS (2.1) d@ H- s+:++ g+ p? !au a-(a?) w+++ v--(v++)(v*) c++++(c+) U+>++ U- S+
P? L>+ !3 N++(+) E K++ W+(W---) M--(M?) V(V--) -po+ Y+ t+@ 5+++ j++ R+ G?(G')
tv (tv-)(tv--) b D++ B--- e+++(e*) u+(u-) h f+(f*) n---(----) 53


Bartmoss

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May 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/22/96
to

In article <4noppr$e...@crow.cybercomm.net>, mour...@cybercomm.net (Michael Carson) wrote:
> ??? The netrunner rules are one of R.Tal's big achievements, IHMO.
>I've not seen a system better. It provides a nice, semi-plausible
>cenematic system, where action is constant, integration with RL ops is
>easy and the pucker factor is always high. My Solo types love to
>follow along and see what nasty SW I'm sicing on the poor netrunner.
>There is one change I would make: if a given computer doesn't have a
>good reason to be on the Net, it shouldn't be. That's a cultural,
>rather than systematic, change that I would like to see.

Untrue. Alot of computer systems are online for no reason whatsoever.
This is true... Employees want to send email, use netscape and the company
ends up buying a firewall and setting up a webpage. Trust me, I'm very
thankful for this. (the OBE is online.... )


Deadlock

unread,
May 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/23/96
to

On Tue, 21 May 1996, A. John Janek wrote:
> a) As anyone who's tried to crack a system, has had friends that have
> cracked systems, or has even read about cracking systems, todays security
> schemes make it virtually impossible to commit to a direct assault and be
> able to take the system down in only a few minutes. It can take weeks,
> sometimes longer, of social engineering, careful planning, real-world
> planning (i.e. tapping a sniffer onto the line, digging up a repeater and
> putting in a black box, etc). It's not a ten minute job.

Actually, it ain't to hard to crack some systems.. I do have to agree
that it is tough tryin' to crack the computer systems of certain
corporation, educational, and government.. And again, I do have to agree
with you that it does take some preparation to crack a system.. The
biggest pain is the social engineering.. I would rather break into the
place where the system is than hafta deal with people.. If you got a
good password crackin' program, you can avoid a lot of hardware prep..
But this is just my humble opinion..

> Even supposing that a 'runner had a superfast massively parallel nCUBE to
> work with, most systems would have security lockouts that would
> effectively shut down outside access selectively or completely until reset
> by the administrator or AI (ala Novell 3.12 or any NOS, for that matter).

> b) 256 RISC processors are faster than you are....period.


>
> This is my biggest bone of contention. Rolling Intiviative against a
> computer is like trying to second guess whether an oncoming bus will
> swerve right or left (or not at all). Even single and dual processors
> should be able to run anti-intrusion algorithms before the 'runner can do
> anything. I dunno, maybe I'm talkin' shit, but the current system doesn't
> make sense to me.

Some scientists would argue with that point.. Some hold to the belief
that the human mind is the fastest computer around.. In my
understanding, that would be the need for the I-G algorithm, to process
your thoughts at the speed of the computer and visa versa.. Of course,
the speed at which you decide on what course of action may be a different
story..

> c) Why in the hell does my cyberdeck have a speed rating?

Look and play with the new line of comps comin' out nowadays.. Test
drive a P6/200 against a 386/16.. The P6 would be +5 speed while that
386 would be +2..


Those that can, do! Those that can't, get the hell out of my way!

A. John Janek

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May 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/23/96
to

In article <Pine.D-G.3.91.960523...@hopi.dtcc.edu>,
Deadlock <dead...@hopi.dtcc.edu> wrote:

Good point about the system cracking. But in 2020, are there any small
businesses worth intruding into? Hmmm....

> > b) 256 RISC processors are faster than you are....period.
> >
> > This is my biggest bone of contention. Rolling Intiviative against a
> > computer is like trying to second guess whether an oncoming bus will
> > swerve right or left (or not at all). Even single and dual processors
> > should be able to run anti-intrusion algorithms before the 'runner can do
> > anything. I dunno, maybe I'm talkin' shit, but the current system doesn't
> > make sense to me.
>

> Some scientists would argue with that point.. Some hold to the belief
> that the human mind is the fastest computer around.. In my
> understanding, that would be the need for the I-G algorithm, to process
> your thoughts at the speed of the computer and visa versa.. Of course,
> the speed at which you decide on what course of action may be a different
> story..
>

Righto, I'm not disagreeing that the human brian is the fastest computer
around (although it may be the most indecisive), however, true to the
original post, which went somewhat helter-skelter, the bottleneck would be
in the Neural Processor translating signal to brain and back.


> > c) Why in the hell does my cyberdeck have a speed rating?
>

> Look and play with the new line of comps comin' out nowadays.. Test
> drive a P6/200 against a 386/16.. The P6 would be +5 speed while that
> 386 would be +2..

Exactly. Cyberdecks are connection devices, mere bandwidth gateways that just
happen to have NVRAM to hold programs that can be executed in the matrix. My
arguement is that 'deck speed shouldn't matter, but the neural processor
should, being the bottleneck in question.

Of course, since the deck does execute programs, maybe they should have speed
rating...and then you could have speed rating on top of speed rating. More
dice than you could blow off an Arasaka Minami clip at.

Hasta.

Deathstalker

unread,
May 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/23/96
to

In article <31A3B8...@concentric.net>, Chris Nelson
<nels...@concentric.net> writes:

>That's exactly our point. Do you think such a restriction actually makes
>sense? What's so great about a couple of menu choices that requires a special
>ability. The hardware's the same... where does this extra knowledge make a
>difference?

The ability to screw something up?

An interesting offshoot of this is to say that, without Interface, the
person does not know how to code (oops, that's Programming) or operate advanced
software - which might be the trick to it all. Maybe the software doesn't have
the nifty GUIs that the DataTerms do. A trick I have used is to purchase a set
of 'trodes with an extension code. It makes sense that anyone running with the
netrunner actually appears and can be attacked, so you hit the person with the
'trode set and burn 'em with Lich. They can't defend because they can't use the
menu and they can't attack for the same reason. Thus, they are fried.

Heh, use metal needles instead of the standard 'trodes and shoot the
person.


Dr.23

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May 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/24/96
to

On Mon, 20 May 1996 07:47:57 GMT, mour...@cybercomm.net (Michael
Carson) wrote:

>>>>>>>Because then any character could then gain that said ability, and all PCs could be gross. Like I said, the information tap is =
>>the great equalizer. Solos are SUPPOSED to be combat monsters. That's their edge.
>
> ??? I must re-read the Combat Sense rules. I think it's so nearly
>useless, that I didn't BOTHER to include it in my re-vamped skill
>list.
Um, what? The last time I checked (and I admit that it's been
a while), Solos got to add their Combat Sense to their initiative,
right? Well, that adds up (given fairly skilled solos) to almost a 50%
higher average initiatve role. Considering most fights that I've been
in go to the guys who get the first shot, this seems pretty damn
important to me...

>>>- The combat system seems to run fine, but it's pretty common to have
>>>house fixes to prevent armor abuse. I've tried the alternate systems
>>>presented in Screwheads and Cybergeneration, but the basic CP 2020 system
>>>is so flexible that I keep coming back to it. Just a little tweaking of
>>>the BTM system would make it perfect, IMHO.
>
>>>>>>>I seems to work ok for me to. The solution of the PCs wearing layered armor? Increase the ENC penalty. Typicaly I double any=
>> standing ENC penalties or increas it to a -1 if the ENC is zero if they layer up. Cuts that crap right out.
>
> Again, it works because you modified it. I like your modification,
>BTW. I also like mine, where total armour value equals the square
>root of the summ of the squares of each layer. It discourages players
>from piling it on in two ways: there is little gain for more layers,
>and players don't want to do the math. :)
I just plain don't allow armor layering. Unrealistic, to be
sure, but I go for game-balance and minimized computations every time.
I've always liked the CP combat rules because they are FAST and give
the action-movie feel that I'm after in my campaign.

>>>- Jettison the existing Netrunning rules. Very few players actually use
>>>them, so I think it's fair to say they're broken beyond repair. I just

>>>don't see how mechanics that treat a net run like a miniatures battle can
>>>be used. Netrunner looks like a nice try, but it doesn't seem to speed
>>>things at all and it's a rather expensive play aid to begin with. As a
>>>benchmark of success I'd like to propose a an abstract system that can
>>>resolve a run in fifteen minutes or less including Ref and Player prep
>>>time.
>
>>>>>>>Bigtime. Everybody in my group refuses to play a netrunner. It bogs down the game too much.

I think the rules are OOK, it's the concept that doesn't work.
WHo wants to sit around for a half an hour while the Netrunner goes
off with the GM by himself. All my Netrunners are NPCs, and I've had
few complaints (except about the fees!).
-Dr.23

Deadlock

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May 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/24/96
to

On Thu, 23 May 1996, A. John Janek wrote:
> In article <Pine.D-G.3.91.960523...@hopi.dtcc.edu>,
> Deadlock <dead...@hopi.dtcc.edu> wrote:
>
> Good point about the system cracking. But in 2020, are there any small
> businesses worth intruding into? Hmmm....

Depends on the CM and what major corps use small businesses as fronts..
I ran a campaign where a major corp was buyin' up a lot of the smaller
businesses, then started dumpin' sensitive info and the like into the
smaller systems.. Fustrates the frack outta those hot shot netrunners in
my group when they make such intricate plans to invade a major corps data
fortress and learn there ain't much to steal there.. :) It feels so
good to be so evil.. :)

> Righto, I'm not disagreeing that the human brian is the fastest computer
> around (although it may be the most indecisive), however, true to the
> original post, which went somewhat helter-skelter, the bottleneck would be
> in the Neural Processor translating signal to brain and back.

Ah, I see..

> Exactly. Cyberdecks are connection devices, mere bandwidth gateways that just
> happen to have NVRAM to hold programs that can be executed in the matrix. My
> arguement is that 'deck speed shouldn't matter, but the neural processor
> should, being the bottleneck in question.

Perchance that's why 'decks have a speed stat.. After I thought about
this, it could be reasoned that the speed is the rate at which signals
are processed between the cyberdeck and brain.. The initiative deciding
who (or what in the case of AIs) was able to process the info the quickess..

Michael Carson

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May 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/25/96
to

oham...@students.uiuc.edu (Otto Joh Hammersmith) wrote:

>In article <31A0E4...@concentric.net>,


>I don't see why all non-Netrunners should be relegated to boring 2-D
>terminals. And yes, that's basically the way the core rule set has
>things.

I don't see anything in the book about people being relegated to any
particular type of interface. If they have plugs (I don't allow
trodes to put an image INTO someone's head) I'd allow a normal to use
a full-fleged cyberdeck. He'd have no idea how to use the
sophisticated hacking routines, but the basics, sending email,
checking a weather, etc, wouldn't be a problem, with some practice.
Oh yeah, those basics, along with placing phone calls are part of the
OS in my games (aren't I nice?).
My analogy is to using a deck to browse the Internet with Netscape,
and using it with OpenView and Satan to crack and screw with a
network.
Lower end decks can barely run anything, and have no bells and
whistles, so they're cheap. They are high end Internet terminals
hacked around with and running underground software to pervert them to
Netrunning. Low end Internet terminals aren't worth the effort to
'fix' in this way. Higher end machines are like the SPARCstations of
today. They are legitimately run as specialized network management
tools. Again they are loaded with blackmarket software (here you run
into Corp designed software, intended for their own covert ops) and
put to a use for which they were not designed.
BTW, there are 3D network management tools out there today. They let
you view status of computer hardware, software and processes. They
will also allow you to change settings, where appropriate. They're
new (2D versions have been out for a while) but they exist. Of
course, it's a 3D interface on a 2D device, but give it time.

>I think that there should be a semi-cheap alternative to a
>cyber-deck-- something along the lines of today's "internet terminals"

>for the general public. Also, cyberdecks should be more like todays
>workstations and PCs.

No reason this couldn't happen. Give up the expensive neural
interface and it should be much cheaper to build. Don't forget that a
basic deck only costs E$1000.

>Where with a cyberdeck you can create your own programs, and have your
>own space and with the "terminal" you have to rent space and time with
>various providers... or use what is built in. A terminal would be
>equiped like the old cyberdecks... programs to make connections, small
>utilities to create small Virtual Realitites, etc.

That's cool. No MU (or maybe one or two) and some cheesy software
built into ROM.

>As for renting space... imagine the possibilites of a Net real estate
>business... renting a "store" or an "apartment".

>Of course, terminals would be slightly cheaper than current
>cyberdecks, and cyberdecks should be more expensive.

This I agree with. E$1000 for a basic deck seems a little low to me.
Of course, the options seem a little high. For example, your E$1000
deck comes populated with 10MU of RAM. To expand this another 10MU
costs E$5000. Why not buy two basic decks and put the RAM from one
into the other?

Cheers,
Michael


Michael Carson

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May 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/26/96
to

Chris Nelson <nels...@concentric.net> wrote:
>A kind of 2D "Dos Shell" would be a good idea. The average receptionist would
>get lost in a 3D enviroment, IMHO.

Does she get lost in the 3D environment of her office? You just need
to make the navigation as instinctive. It's a problem with the
interface, not the method.
BTW, there have been tremendous advances in neural interfaces lately.
They still can't put info into your head, but they can take commands
out. From a ring on your finger, even, Check out the Febuary US
edition of Popular Mechanics, of all places. Page 64.

Cheers,
Michael


Michael Carson

unread,
May 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/26/96
to

In general, I agree with you. There is one thing I want to point out:
it isn't a rules problem. It's deeper than that, it's conceptual.
The rules are based on the idea of a cinematic 'netrun' which takes
ten minutes and is a staple of Cyberpunk litterature (sure there are
counter-examples. Their existance can be assumed). It started with
Gibson. Yes, there are mentions of preparation in Burning Chrome (it
took WEEKS to set up that run, and they had an uberbreaker) and in
Neuromancer they had an icebreaker designed BY the security on the
site they hit.
The only ray of hope (if you could call it that) for this style of
netrunning is the type of situation where known security holes can be
exploited, and the advent of things like Java where applications are
downloaded to a remote machines and executed there, and this is seen
as a feature, not a bug. Sorry, Java makes me really itchy, from a
security standpoint.
Mostly, though, I take Cyberpunk netrunning as what it is, a game.
And for what it is, I like it. If I want more realistic hacking, I
break out Hardwired or even better, GURPS Cyberpunk.

Cheers,
Michael

Michael Carson

unread,
May 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/26/96
to

Deadlock <dead...@hopi.dtcc.edu> wrote:

>On Mon, 20 May 1996, Michael Carson wrote:
>> ??? The netrunner rules are one of R.Tal's big achievements, IHMO.
>> I've not seen a system better. It provides a nice, semi-plausible
>> cenematic system, where action is constant, integration with RL ops is
>> easy and the pucker factor is always high. My Solo types love to
>> follow along and see what nasty SW I'm sicing on the poor netrunner.
>> There is one change I would make: if a given computer doesn't have a
>> good reason to be on the Net, it shouldn't be. That's a cultural,
>> rather than systematic, change that I would like to see.

>I don't know about that.. If you got a modem, then your computer is
>visible on the net, no matter what.. Unless you're creative enough to
>hide your existence..

Wrong. If you have a modem or other network connection hardware that
is configured and connected to the Net, THEN you are visible. Most of
the sites I have worked use the 'airgap firewall' technique to good
effect on secure systems.

Cheers,
Michael


Michael Carson

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May 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/26/96
to

an47...@anon.penet.fi (Bartmoss) wrote:

>In article <4noppr$e...@crow.cybercomm.net>, mour...@cybercomm.net (Michael Carson) wrote:
>> ??? The netrunner rules are one of R.Tal's big achievements, IHMO.
>>I've not seen a system better. It provides a nice, semi-plausible
>>cenematic system, where action is constant, integration with RL ops is
>>easy and the pucker factor is always high. My Solo types love to
>>follow along and see what nasty SW I'm sicing on the poor netrunner.
>>There is one change I would make: if a given computer doesn't have a
>>good reason to be on the Net, it shouldn't be. That's a cultural,
>>rather than systematic, change that I would like to see.

>Untrue. Alot of computer systems are online for no reason whatsoever.


>This is true... Employees want to send email, use netscape and the company
>ends up buying a firewall and setting up a webpage. Trust me, I'm very
>thankful for this. (the OBE is online.... )

Allow me to rephrase: if a computer has information that the company
doesn't want discovered or damaged, there is a good chance that an
airgap firewall will be implemented. I've seen this used at both
corporate and military with sensitive (although non-classified) data.
Systems with classified data have their own protection standards,
which involve a vault in which the computer is placed, with no
telecommunication links of any kind.

Cheers,
Michael


Michael Carson

unread,
May 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/26/96
to

doct...@iglou.com (Dr.23) wrote:

>On Mon, 20 May 1996 07:47:57 GMT, mour...@cybercomm.net (Michael
>Carson) wrote:

>>>>>>>>Because then any character could then gain that said ability, and all PCs could be gross. Like I said, the information tap is =
>>>the great equalizer. Solos are SUPPOSED to be combat monsters. That's their edge.
>>
>> ??? I must re-read the Combat Sense rules. I think it's so nearly
>>useless, that I didn't BOTHER to include it in my re-vamped skill
>>list.
> Um, what? The last time I checked (and I admit that it's been
>a while), Solos got to add their Combat Sense to their initiative,
>right? Well, that adds up (given fairly skilled solos) to almost a 50%
>higher average initiatve role. Considering most fights that I've been
>in go to the guys who get the first shot, this seems pretty damn
>important to me...

Perhaps I stated the case too strongly, but it isn't he who shoots
first that wins, it's he who first places an effective shot. I'd
trade skill for speed any day.

> I just plain don't allow armor layering. Unrealistic, to be
>sure, but I go for game-balance and minimized computations every time.
>I've always liked the CP combat rules because they are FAST and give
>the action-movie feel that I'm after in my campaign.

Unrealistic to the point of being obviously illogical. I'd have a
tough time with suspension of disbelief here. Instead, why don't ya
give 'em heatstroke?

Cheers,
Michael


Jonathan R Bezeau

unread,
May 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/26/96
to

Michael Carson (mca...@cybercomm.net) wrote:
: doct...@iglou.com (Dr.23) wrote:

: >On Mon, 20 May 1996 07:47:57 GMT, mour...@cybercomm.net (Michael
: >Carson) wrote:

: > Um, what? The last time I checked (and I admit that it's been


: >a while), Solos got to add their Combat Sense to their initiative,
: >right? Well, that adds up (given fairly skilled solos) to almost a 50%
: >higher average initiatve role. Considering most fights that I've been
: >in go to the guys who get the first shot, this seems pretty damn
: >important to me...

: Perhaps I stated the case too strongly, but it isn't he who shoots
: first that wins, it's he who first places an effective shot. I'd
: trade skill for speed any day.

Speed and a lead hose, thank you. Using 1/2 the solo's skill level as a
bonus to speed (and the other half to awareness) really balances things
out for other character types. Sure a +5 initiative advantage is pretty
good, but not impossible to overcome. Especially by say, a wired Nomad or
Cop (Krazykoff wires = +2 init... only a difference of 3, or one action.)

Jonboy

Maskull >

unread,
May 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/27/96
to

On May 26, 1996 15:09:10 in article <Re: [CP 2020] Third edition

suggestions. (Long)>, 'mca...@cybercomm.net (Michael Carson)' wrote:

>> I just plain don't allow armor layering. Unrealistic, to be
>>sure, but I go for game-balance and minimized computations every time.
>>I've always liked the CP combat rules because they are FAST and give
>>the action-movie feel that I'm after in my campaign.
>
>
> Unrealistic to the point of being obviously illogical. I'd have a
>tough time with suspension of disbelief here. Instead, why don't ya
>give 'em heatstroke?
>
>Cheers,
>Michael
>

There's a web page that gives rather complete rules for dealing with
layered armor. It's available at Paul Tobia's "CP 2020 Web Archive"
<http://falcon.cc.ukans.edu/~heresy/cyber/armly.html>. This site has gobs
of excellent rules additions.

Maskull >

unread,
May 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/27/96
to

On May 26, 1996 14:44:04 in article <Re: [CP 2020] Third edition

suggestions. (Long)>, 'mca...@cybercomm.net (Michael Carson)' wrote:

>(about the unrealistic nature of Netrunning)
> In general, I agree with you. There is one thing I want to point out:
>it isn't a rules problem. It's deeper than that, it's conceptual.
>The rules are based on the idea of a cinematic 'netrun' which takes
>ten minutes and is a staple of Cyberpunk litterature (sure there are
>counter-examples. Their existance can be assumed).
>(snip)
> Mostly, though, I take Cyberpunk netrunning as what it is, a game.
>And for what it is, I like it. If I want more realistic hacking, I
>break out Hardwired or even better, GURPS Cyberpunk.

You said it. I don't have a problem with the 'running as it exists in
the game because I think of the game world as one big action film. After
all, the whole idea of cyborgs, booster gangs, powered armor, etc. has
something of the feel of a comic book to it. I'm not knocking it - in fact
I really like it. But it is more fun to have it scientifically plausible. I
like your idea of using GURPS CP which, as I understand it, was designed by
an actual hacker. Does there need to be much rules conversion?

Per Lewau

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May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
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In article <4o9d4f$3...@crow.cybercomm.net>, mca...@cybercomm.net (Michael Carson) writes:
|> Wrong. If you have a modem or other network connection hardware that
|> is configured and connected to the Net, THEN you are visible. Most of
|> the sites I have worked use the 'airgap firewall' technique to good
|> effect on secure systems.

You can effectively hide youself by killing, say, telnetd, fingerd, sshd,
httpd and more. Sure you could still ping the computer, but there isn't a lot you
can do to it. Hmmmm....maybe you could still see the computer inside netspace,
but that's it. You can't attack it. You can't communicate with it. You can't do
anything with it but see(ping) it.

You could get it with a demon's box, but InterNet'll get mad at you
if you fry their switches.

--
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Per Lewau (pe...@lysator.liu.se)Student of Computer Science at the
University of Linköping,
Sweden.
"Weed it and reap"

Chris Nelson

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May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
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Deathstalker wrote:

> The ability to screw something up?

Perhaps. A character who jacks in without System Knowlege is pretty stupid to begin
with. I'm not arguing that non-Netrunners suck at computer use _when_compared_with
_netrunners_. A character with no Interface skill should still be able to access the
Menu feature, even if he can't use it as effectively. And that effectiveness should
be determined by a System Knowlege skill check.

It's just that, according to the rules, nobody except a netrunner can use a
Cyberdeck. And that makes no sense to me. Anybody can pick up a gun, but they may
not be as good as a solo. Anybody can pick up a deck, but they may not be as good as
a Netrunner.

Deadlock

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May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
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On Sun, 26 May 1996, Michael Carson wrote:
> Deadlock <dead...@hopi.dtcc.edu> wrote:

>
> >On Mon, 20 May 1996, Michael Carson wrote:
> >> ??? The netrunner rules are one of R.Tal's big achievements, IHMO.
> >> I've not seen a system better. It provides a nice, semi-plausible
> >> cenematic system, where action is constant, integration with RL ops is
> >> easy and the pucker factor is always high. My Solo types love to
> >> follow along and see what nasty SW I'm sicing on the poor netrunner.
> >> There is one change I would make: if a given computer doesn't have a
> >> good reason to be on the Net, it shouldn't be. That's a cultural,
> >> rather than systematic, change that I would like to see.
>
> >I don't know about that.. If you got a modem, then your computer is
> >visible on the net, no matter what.. Unless you're creative enough to
> >hide your existence..
>
> Wrong. If you have a modem or other network connection hardware that
> is configured and connected to the Net, THEN you are visible. Most of
> the sites I have worked use the 'airgap firewall' technique to good
> effect on secure systems.

That's what I said.. You're visible on the net, no matter what.. When I
made reference to bein' creative enough to hide your existence, I was
amkin' reference to usin' someone else's Internet account (which several
students have been caught doin' here), hackin' into other systems and
make it seen that's where you're comin' from (the country of Columbia is
great for this, but you didn't hear that from me), or gettin' a bunch of
your allies to hack the same place you're hackin' into (any netrunner who
values his buttocks in CP runs with at least one other person, corp or
whoever has a fifty-fifty chance of gettin' the right person then).

Deadlock

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May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
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On 21 May 1996, Deathstalker wrote:
> In article <Pine.D-G.3.91.960519...@hopi.dtcc.edu>, Deadlock
> <dead...@hopi.dtcc.edu> writes:
> >I don't think the roles are set up to lead to an "all Solo" campaign. I
> Especially not with the cybernetics. I had a Fixer that took out 2
> Solos... all with a linear frame, Ref 10, Body 10... the rules make it
> almost neccesary to max out Reflexes, Awareness/Notice, Body, and MA...

I don't know about that either.. My main netrunner gets into enough
combat that he can effectively hold his own for a while. Of course,
bein' ex-military does help.

Combat goes to the one(s) with the better position(s), better tactics,
better skill(s), and/or better luck.. :)

> I use them too... I have Netrunner who I actively play (he's survived 2
> games!) and I have developed at least 12 new programs in ONE session... ;)

I got netrunning programs on my home pages if you wanna take a look at
'em.. They're at: http://www.dtcc.edu/~deadlock/plateau.html#CP

Deadlock

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May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
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On Sat, 25 May 1996, Michael Carson wrote:
> >Of course, terminals would be slightly cheaper than current
> >cyberdecks, and cyberdecks should be more expensive.
>
> This I agree with. E$1000 for a basic deck seems a little low to me.
> Of course, the options seem a little high. For example, your E$1000
> deck comes populated with 10MU of RAM. To expand this another 10MU
> costs E$5000. Why not buy two basic decks and put the RAM from one
> into the other?

For the simple reason that all those sophisticated netrunners out there
haven't thought about doin' that.. DOH!

Steve Lamb

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May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
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On Tue, 28 May 1996 01:32:45 -0700, Chris Nelson <nels...@concentric.net> wrote:

>It's just that, according to the rules, nobody except a netrunner can use a
>Cyberdeck. And that makes no sense to me. Anybody can pick up a gun, but they
> may
>not be as good as a solo. Anybody can pick up a deck, but they may not be as go
> od as
>a Netrunner.

Work a few days in tech support and you'll understand that it is not a
far fetched concept as it sounds. I've had people wonder why their
applications cannot get DNS entries when they have not even made the PPP
connection with our servers yet!

--
---- = ----
Steve C. Lamb...
This is not like TV only better. This is life. It's a piece of
somebody's life. Pure and uncut, straight from the cerebral cortex.
You're there. You're doing it, seeing it, hearing it... feeling it.


Chris Nelson

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May 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/29/96
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Per Lewau wrote:

> You could get it with a demon's box, but InterNet'll get mad at you
> if you fry their switches.

I'm not sure if you're taking this into account, but the CP2020 Network doesn't seem
to be based on the Internet as we know it. There may not be a "finger" or "ping"
command available to Netrunners.

On the other hand, if you're _not_ talking about the CP2020 network, I'll just go
crawl into a corner and shaddup.

Per Lewau

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Jun 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/1/96