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Old 10-11-2016, 05:52 PM   #1
fieryscubadivingaccident
 
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Default Custom Cyberpunk Setting - Can someone explain Netrunning?

I'm very new to GURPS; I've wanted to run a Snow Crash-inspired cyberpunk game for a while, so I sank some money into Basic Set, Ultratech and Cyberpunk. I'm definitely committed to it at this point. I should have been a little more wary of the versions, because it seems that UT and BS are 4e and Cyberpunk is not.

I'd like to try to implement the Netrunning mechanic in my game, but I just seem to be having a difficult time getting my head around it. I'm not interested in how to port it over to 4e right now as much as I am trying to understand it in the first place.

I seem to be having some difficulty understanding the basic rules for moving from node to node, how combat works in cyberspace, etc. I just can't seem to understand the basics, unfortunately. I'd very greatly appreciate a clear and concise explanation how the core mechanic works if anyone has any knowledge on this subject!
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:55 PM   #2
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Custom Cyberpunk Setting - Can someone explain Netrunning?

You might want to check out "Console Cowboys and Cyberspace Kung-Fu" Pyramid #3/21: Cyberpunk
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Custom Cyberpunk Setting - Can someone explain Netrunning?

You can convert it but for the reasons your asking about understanding it in the first place I wouldn't.
The tech is simple enough but the methodology is IMHO overly complex and hard to game.

Phase length is variable so some people are faster than others based on the Speed Index. I would rather replace that with levels of Altered Time Rate for additional maneuvers.
Also acting faster gives you a benefit which is partly what the Console Cowboy article does by giving a Complexity bonus.
Nodes are different computer systems in the network and you hop from one to the next. You have to reach a computer by going through the communication channels (wires) and cant just skip ones to go direct to the target. You can take alternate routes however. This is like driving around town or between towns. You have to follow the roads but most of the time there is more than one route to get where your going.
Some routes are faster, some shorter, some have roadblocks or detours, and some have bad roads.
The internet is the same way.
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Custom Cyberpunk Setting - Can someone explain Netrunning?

I have yet to see a netrunning system that worked well in a multiplayer game, in any game system; most of them wind up requiring a one on one between GM and hacker (leaving all the other players twiddling their thumbs), and aren't actually interesting or fun for the people who are involved. As such, I strongly recommend handwaving or abstracting hacking.
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Custom Cyberpunk Setting - Can someone explain Netrunning?

I'm watching a twitch stream of a Shadowrun 5e game and that seems to deal with having hacking and non hacking at the same time quite well.

Anyhow, when I run GURPS cyberpunk, I have my own system that works really well. Everything is done in VR. And VR is GURPS Dungeon Fantasy. So the hacker (or hackers--I really enjoy running all hacker teams) just pulls out their matrix persona and does some hack and slash in the same turn sequence as everyone else--but the hacker is in VR and everyone else is in reality. I have a bit of fun creating the VR Dungeon Fantasy version of real life things. Data systems are small Dungeons with alarms and goblin guards.

I personally like having all the PCs have Dungeon Fantasy Matrix characters so they can all jump in for complex dungeon crawls as a team. While the person who really dedicates themselves to hacking can jump in solo in the middle of a fight to take out a turret or smart gun--which can be lockpicking or a solo fight or whatever.

I have more detailed rules that deal with translating points from one persona to the other and what are some of the base rules. I love my system and how it plays and what it is like to run it. If you want more details I can give them to you, but don't want to overshare if that isn't the way you want to go.
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Old 10-11-2016, 07:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Custom Cyberpunk Setting - Can someone explain Netrunning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper6 View Post
I'm watching a twitch stream of a Shadowrun 5e game and that seems to deal with having hacking and non hacking at the same time quite well.

Anyhow, when I run GURPS cyberpunk, I have my own system that works really well. Everything is done in VR. And VR is GURPS Dungeon Fantasy. So the hacker (or hackers--I really enjoy running all hacker teams) just pulls out their matrix persona and does some hack and slash in the same turn sequence as everyone else--but the hacker is in VR and everyone else is in reality. I have a bit of fun creating the VR Dungeon Fantasy version of real life things. Data systems are small Dungeons with alarms and goblin guards.

I personally like having all the PCs have Dungeon Fantasy Matrix characters so they can all jump in for complex dungeon crawls as a team. While the person who really dedicates themselves to hacking can jump in solo in the middle of a fight to take out a turret or smart gun--which can be lockpicking or a solo fight or whatever.

I have more detailed rules that deal with translating points from one persona to the other and what are some of the base rules. I love my system and how it plays and what it is like to run it. If you want more details I can give them to you, but don't want to overshare if that isn't the way you want to go.
That is a fantastic idea!
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Old 10-11-2016, 08:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Custom Cyberpunk Setting - Can someone explain Netrunning?

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
You might want to check out "Console Cowboys and Cyberspace Kung-Fu" Pyramid #3/21: Cyberpunk
I used this system in a CP game earlier this year and it worked great!

I understand those who suggest keeping the process in the abstract and they have valid concerns. Personally, I just think that short changes a core feature of the genre too much. The system from Pyramid is short on detail and has guidelines for allowing the hacker to work in turn with the rest of the party, so it didn't end up detracting from the real world action as much as one would expect.
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Old 10-11-2016, 08:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Custom Cyberpunk Setting - Can someone explain Netrunning?

I get the idea of 'treating cyberspace like its own entire fleshed out world'- but ultimately I think that is started on some flawed premises. If your running a 'classic cyberpunk' game, that's fine- go for your 80's VR interpretation of what the world looks like, but much like a sci-fantasy setting, its not intended to mimic anything 'realistic', and that forcing of 'netrunning is like being INSIDE the computer' is going to create conflict.

Further, for the most part, you don't hack for the sake of hacking, you hack because you want to achieve some sort of kinetic effect in the real world.

Thus I have the following suggestion for how to handle 'netrunning'

Use one of the more open ended magic systems, like RPM, and create a 'boiled down' version of it.

Effect can obviously be achieved by hacking computers (turn off security camera)- lesser effect
Effect can sorta-maby be achieved by hacking computers (causing the toilets to back up into the building) greater effect
Effect is really stretching what could mabey possibly be done with computers (cook all the files in the building by causing the servers to overheat so much that they cause a fire, and the fire suppression system is also disabled despite being mechanical instead of electronic) 2x+ greater effect.

Rename the paths to be more computer centric and related to hacking activities. Rename charms to 'pre-written virii'. Give the whole advantage an 'electronic' accessibility (which may be worth almost nothing if cybernetics and electronics are actually everywhere), and change the 'magic' limitation to 'digital'. Sacrifice become 'using wetware' (IE using your own or your allies brains to do some of the processing, which causes physical damage).

Dedicated hackers take ritual adept to hack in 'real time'- but there is never 'take them away to another world', it's 'identify the kenetic effect you are trying to achieve, build the spell that will do that, start coding (gathering energy)'.

Realm based magic could also work, but the idea remains the same.

This will make hackers much more straightforward, will remove there seperation from the party to engage in there own special adventure 'digital side', and ultimately, despite using a magical system, be more realistic than any sort of 'avatar projection into a virtual world' scenario.
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Old 10-11-2016, 08:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: Custom Cyberpunk Setting - Can someone explain Netrunning?

Quote:
Originally Posted by starslayer View Post
This will make hackers much more straightforward, will remove there seperation from the party to engage in there own special adventure 'digital side', and ultimately, despite using a magical system, be more realistic than any sort of 'avatar projection into a virtual world' scenario.
Interesting... very interesting...
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Old 10-11-2016, 10:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Custom Cyberpunk Setting - Can someone explain Netrunning?

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Originally Posted by trooper6 View Post
I'm watching a twitch stream of a Shadowrun 5e game and that seems to deal with having hacking and non hacking at the same time quite well.
That's because SR5e basically does away with netrunning; while you have the occasional run into a host, an awful lot of what a hacker does is directly targeting enemy electronics. Which is perfectly useful but bears very little resemblance to classic netrunning.
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