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Old 06-09-2014, 10:19 AM   #11
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Equipment Bond for Software?

This, then, would be customization at the level of altering the source code and building your own version of the tool. It's a step beyond the sort of customization you usually see, altering key bindings, window layouts, format-specific pretty-printing, and so on. Customization in a way the tool wasn't already built to be customized.

(In theory, there is no difference. Code is data; data is code. The questions are just what tools you use to modify the other tool, and what other tool is interpreting that information. So there's a judgement call here on how much effort is required, and how unique the results are.)

Perhaps one rule of thumb might be that if you can do the customization with Computer Operation skill, it's not custom enough. You have to resort to Computer Programming to reach this level of customization of software.
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:52 AM   #12
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Equipment Bond for Software?

Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I'm going to say that Equipment Bond and Weapon Bond are totally designed to work with hardware, that is, with physical objects, each of which has a unique identity and a unique instantiation, however subtle the differences are. The conditions don't obtain for software, so you can't port them over to software.
Why not?. There are people who will insist an emulator is "just not the same" but be unable to tell you what is different.

If you want a bond with a piece of software, that's fine. It doesn't work with a copy, not even a copy consisting of a reinstall on the same machine from the same original disk. I don't see that as any different from a bond that doesn't transfer to the next tool from the same production line that can't be told apart by microscopic examination.

Edit: For that matter, nothing says the effect can't be purely psychological confidence boosting. You've done impossible things with this tool before, and can again. Suffer brain damage that prevents you from recognizing the tool, or blow a fright check that costs you points while using it, and losing the Equipment Bond is a perfectly reasonable place to subtract lost points even though the tool itself it exactly the same.
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Last edited by malloyd; 06-09-2014 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:39 AM   #13
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Equipment Bond for Software?

Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Why not?. There are people who will insist an emulator is "just not the same" but be unable to tell you what is different.
I'm not talking about an emulator. I'm talking about having the original program scrambled, but having an exact copy, bit by bit, stored on an external hard drive, or in the cloud, or somewhere else where you can access it, on the same computer or an entirely different computer. The idea of "this is the one that exactly suits me, and it could be lost irretrievably" no longer seems to obtain. You can make an arbitrarily large number of duplicates.

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Old 06-09-2014, 02:28 PM   #14
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Montréal, Québec
Default Re: Equipment Bond for Software?

I'd be fine with it. Yes, it's true that the conditions under which "loss" occurs differ between hardware and software, but I would deem the difference to be below the level of GURPS' resolution. It rounds to a perk either way, so to speak.

If rationalization is needed, I'd simply speak from personal experience: It's just about always the configuration file(s) and never the software per se that's the issue. These tend to be lost not due to data glitches and such, but because a new software version renders them obsolete. If the GM intends to allow EB to apply to software, then it would be fairest to have software evolve such that using outdated stuff gives a de facto unfamiliarity penalty. At some point, then, tasks will be at -1 or worse if using the old stuff but still at +1 for the EB.
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:39 PM   #15
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Default Re: Equipment Bond for Software?

In a highly cinematic game, the bond would represent a highly-customized software build, possibly a whole array of programs and tools which would be non-trivial to copy onto annother computer (but moving the hard drive or whatever to a new computer, station, targeting array, droid body... that would be easy)

In a more realistic game, the PC could probably copy the config files no problem.

Either way, he can only use one computer at a time and his settings won't help anyone else, so in essence it's comparable to other equipment bonds.
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