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Old 03-11-2020, 12:20 PM   #11
Varyon
 
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Default Re: IN-GAME ONLY: Downloading software illegally

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
If you need to actually interact (probably electronically) with another person to find the thing that's streetwise, but area knowledge would cover knowing the location of popular torrent sites and the like.
*checks* OK, looks like I was mistaken on what Streetwise covered - I thought it was also the skill you used to identify things like bad areas in town, places to acquire illegal goods/services without getting busted, etc, but it's actually just about interacting with the types of people one might find in such places. What skill(s) would that be, when in an area you haven't been to before? My suggested Cyberwise is more of that flavor - it's what you use to help determine if a site, torrent, etc is a good one to get a clean copy of the software you're looking for, as well as to find such for review in the first place (via websearches, checking/posting in relevant forums, etc), without getting caught. I'd say Area Knowledge and the like would work as a complementary skill to it - you know where to typically find reliable torrents, say, but you'd still need Cyberwise (or whatever it would be called) to help you pick out the "legitimate" ones from those riddled with malware, monitored by authorities, etc.
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Old 03-11-2020, 12:39 PM   #12
johndallman
 
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Default Re: IN-GAME ONLY: Downloading software illegally

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
My suggested Cyberwise is more of that flavor - it's what you use to help determine if a site, torrent, etc is a good one to get a clean copy of the software you're looking for . . .
For software that's legal to possess, just expensive, it isn't that hard. I've done some of this, with a white hat on, looking for websites that were selling pirated copies of my employers' products.

Having a point in Research/TL8-9 is plenty of skill to find the stuff, and downloading and scanning the stuff with a couple of good anti-virus programs will get you a long way. Having the correct hashes for clean copies allows you to be pretty damn sure it's good, and those are easier to get by social engineering than said clean copies.

Remember that many of the conventions of classic cyberpunk were established in the days of modem-speed connections and primitive search tools. Things are different now, and will be in a plausible future.
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Old 03-11-2020, 12:41 PM   #13
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Default Re: IN-GAME ONLY: Downloading software illegally

My current approach would be to use the Research skill and the Computer Operation skill level as a limit for that (limiting the maximum effective skill for the roll). Moreover I would also apply Familiarity (-2) if the character is not familiar with the "underground" part of the net.

On the other hand, as has been suggested, I would allow Streetwise as a complementary roll, too!

Regarding the typical "scene" connection stuff, it would fit very well IMO to give a good bonus (I'd use +2) if a character knows an underground starting point for the research. That bonus could be gained by informations from a contact for instance. (I'd give higher bonuses if the character knows many underground hot spots).


PS: In case the character wants to be stealthy in the net, too, trying to cover the tracks during the research, I would use Computer Hacking for that (or alternatively an extra Computer Operations roll at -5, if a campaign does not use the Hacking skill).

Last edited by OldSam; 03-11-2020 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 03-11-2020, 03:53 PM   #14
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: IN-GAME ONLY: Downloading software illegally

Nobody mentioned Scrounging yet?
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Old 03-11-2020, 05:04 PM   #15
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Default Re: IN-GAME ONLY: Downloading software illegally

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Originally Posted by Stormcrow View Post
Since Computer Hacking is strictly a cinematic skill, in a more realistic setting you'd probably need to fall back on Streetwise (to get yourself into Dark Web sites where they'll hook you up with what you want), Cryptography (to crack encryption), or Research (to find obscure information or downloads). Actually accessing a restricted server might use Cryptography, Computer Programming (to engineer scams to trick someone into giving you access), or even Fast-Talk (to convince someone to give you a password).
Don't forget there's also Expert Skill (Computer Security), which is sort of the realistic version of Hacking.
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Old 03-11-2020, 07:28 PM   #16
Eukie
 
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Default Re: IN-GAME ONLY: Downloading software illegally

I'd say to use the rules for finding sellers and informants in Social Engineering. Either SE23 for individuals who have or can provide the software, or SE46 for access to an archive (of cracked software).
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Old 03-11-2020, 11:21 PM   #17
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Default Re: IN-GAME ONLY: Downloading software illegally

Fascinating topic, who doesn't love Cyberpunk

IMHO, Software 'downloading' has a pile of topics:

* installed: no protection or call back, there is no dongle or license and if so no entitlement verification or enforcement ... sort of rare.

* hybrid or zero install: application is part of a sandbox framework (itunes) or is online entirely (office 365, salesforce, photoshop, world of warcraft, etc) ... platform agnostic, robust compatibility and maintenance, and of course a superior business model.

* protection or callback is removed with a patch or crack to remove the need it ... useful, but malware dominates this space.

Tech Boundaries:

* data: even with scifi holographic (or whatever) storage there isn't a useful way of imagining being able to store a subject matter expert level on portable media and be able to process it. (here is where the data is coupled with the brain clearly)

* data set protections: commercial datasets have various rogue elements in them that are put there to identify theft. So mailing lists made available to someone might have information in it that is specific to the sale to that person, if someone else uses that information the seller knows the vendor resold or otherwise violated their EULA. This can also expose itself with stolen data that a paid processor would not show errant data, but a illegitimate one would.

* supportability: modern software is rarely a one trick thing and many of them, but rather are platforms and ecosystems. Finding one piece of software may be very hard or cause interoperability issues. Perhaps not a big deal for skateboarding, but weapon systems abilities and tactics skills not being able integrate may a gross blindspot.

Cyberpunk Obsolescence (Cyberpunk: State of the Art p79)

* The idea that 'knowledge' software would cease being useful is hard to imagine. A chip that might give me DX14 skateboarding or IQ13 Chess, how can that go bad? That type of software might be quite useful. But it would be foolish to think that it would be permanent.

Here is a good example of how such things are made to fail as well.

https://www.theverge.com/2012/3/26/2...ic-allegations

* It might be easy to get 'used' or 'cloned' chip grafts, the side effects are likely as great as any bootleg medical device or procedure.

* Older software might be cheap and easier to crack and what's wrong with classic skateboarding skill?

I would suggest that the hosting mechanism for these modules is going to be the business end of things, your implant can run various brands or styles of apps (like android, iphone, chrome extensions, or like audio daw run various vst).

These hosting platforms are likely what protect you from all the mental stress (psychosis) and so forth. They also likely provide you with the overall ecosystem of implants. You may not be able to have a Android Guitar implant and a Apple skateboard implant concurrently. If you do you might have a significant overhead of some resource.

Self-Defense / Downsides

* What are the Corps able to do if you violate their EULA? Well, maybe not turn off your heart willfully, but they could likely be annoying if they bricked your implant and related services (that service might include housing agreeement, employment, treated water, travel permits, citizenship trust rating, etc)

* Biometric keyed encryption, likely apps are downloaded and installed for your brain alone. This might be a good thing as 'true identity' station to station encryption might be quite utopia-like with this sort of keying.

* If you obtain someone's phone or online account today, you are on borrowed time before that gives up on you. If you are obtaining stolen software from someone, they may not share the time until bricked or 'ban hammer' with you.

* Stolen accounts (or account sharing) is likely something that is rapidly banner hammered with a vengeance. Family plans and holistic licensing (software, hardware ... homeware) is likely a thing, where a whole livelihood is at stake.

Emulation

* It may be possible to have a scifi brain emulator that allows you to change identities (likely with a performance overhead and various limitations) and maybe some quirks like a Firefox "you must think in Russian" or maybe a side effect that it makes you talk in Russian (and dream in black and white)

* DIY: maybe there are software platforms that are 'just as good-ish', where they provide limited access to various software (wine, mame) and are seen as alternatives to the Corp software (Linux).

End

* I think you could get cracked autonomous software (doesn't need the net), it likely works in frequency of reliability compared to cost ... and the player doesn't know that frequency. The more portable and newer it is, the higher the cost.

* Unreliable likely is dangerous, like fright check dangerous. Seizures, sense loss, heart issues, chemical imbalances, emotional issues, sleep issues, cognitive grossness.

* Very intrusive lie detection is likely a mechanism for software updates, "are you or have you ever". Someone that is horribly corrupt may have issues using such platforms (psyche not compatible with iphone13 and remote update)

* Identity theft / spyware (ghostriding) and so forth might be techniques that allow people to use software services they couldn't normally do so. Gruesome abductions to use someone's software may be the kidney thieves of tomorrow.
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Old 03-12-2020, 05:43 AM   #18
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Default Re: IN-GAME ONLY: Downloading software illegally

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Remember that many of the conventions of classic cyberpunk were established in the days of modem-speed connections and primitive search tools. Things are different now, and will be in a plausible future.
Cyberpunk says nothing about subscription-based software, for example, because it mostly didn't exist in the 1980s. If I want a modern version of Adobe Photoshop without paying the subscription fee, then copying a set of installation media won't help me; I'll have to get access to someone's subscription, with or without their knowledge, and depending on how and from where I use it that subscription may get closed down as a result.
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Old 03-12-2020, 12:44 PM   #19
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Default Re: IN-GAME ONLY: Downloading software illegally

Ironically, some of the military grade stuff may be easier to steal as, presumably, it won't be designed to run with permanent network connectivity…
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:34 PM   #20
WingedKagouti
 
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Default Re: IN-GAME ONLY: Downloading software illegally

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Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
Ironically, some of the military grade stuff may be easier to steal as, presumably, it won't be designed to run with permanent network connectivity…
Yes and no.

For software to be used in the field by small squads, having constant and reliable network access is likely not going to be expected. But it will likely phone home periodically (every x minutes/hours), to get updated data or relay progress. It may also increase the possibility of recovering expensive hardware and highly valuable operatives with sensitive knowledge. There's also the possibility of deterring defectors if they know they can be tracked (or even shut down). You could set up some adventure seeds with this.

Any software used in a vehicle could likely be expected to have very frequent (if not constant) communication with a home server. And software used in a military run facility is almost guaranteed to require a constant connection to a specific server cluster.
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