From Edge of Darkness Wiki
Characters possessing this Skill have the necessary training or experience to operate a computer. At high levels (3 or more), a character can create his own computer programs. People with high levels in this Skill are familiar with a variety of programming languages and operating systems. Note that dots in Computer do not apply to manually fixing or building machines, only to operating them. Construction and repair is the province of the Crafts Skill (see below).
- Possessed by: Businesspeople, professors, programmers, students, sysadmins
- Specialties: Artificial Intelligence, Data Retrieval, Graphics, Hacking, Internet
General Roll Results
- Dramatic Failure: Your character has caused a system crash, interrupting any work in progress and forcing him to start his efforts from scratch. Data may be lost at the Storyteller's discretion.
- Failure: The task your character attempts to execute does not go off properly or the database query he makes returns no useful information.
- Success: Your character's function executes properly or his queries come back with the correct information.
- Exceptional Success: Your character's program or function executes more quickly and efficiently than expected.
- Dice Pool: Intelligence + Computer + equipment versus Intelligence + Computer + equipment
- Action: Extended and Contested (5-10+ successes; each roll represents 30 minutes of programming)
- Suggested Equipment: High-performance computer (+1 to +3), broadband Internet access (+1), disk of scripts (+2), system passwords (+3)
- Possible Penalties: Outdated computer system (-2), slow Internet connection (-3)
Gaining root access to a network requires talent, creativity and patience, and often results in a battle of wits with the systems administrator(s). Before the hacking attempt begins, the Storyteller determines the networks level of security. If there is a system administrator on duty, the hacking attempt is an extended and contested action. If the network is protected by basic security software alone, the task is simply an extended action.
In a contested and extended action between hacker and sysadmin, roll Intelligence + Computer + any equipment modifiers for both participants. The winner is the first to accumulate the required number of successes. The hacker needs to accumulate a number of successes equal to the networks basic security setup. This can be anywhere from five to 10 based on the sophistication of the network. The sysadmin needs to accumulate a number of successes equal to the hackers Intelligence + Computer. If the hacker wins, he gains unfettered access to the network. If the sysadmin wins, he kicks the hacker out of the network and can block any further attempts from that invader that day.
Example: Chris Wooding is hacking into the network of a local financial group, which is protected by an on-duty sysadmin. Chris's Intelligence is 4, his Computer is 3 and hes using an average computer setup (no bonus dice). The sysadmins Intelligence is 3, his Computer is 3 and hes using a decent system that gives him a +1 modifier. The networks basic security software requires seven successes to be overcome. The sysadmin also needs to accumulate seven successes (the total of Chris's Intelligence + Computer). The first rolls net three successes for Chris and two successes for the sysadmin. Chris needs to gain four more successes to make it past the sysadmin and gain access, while the sysadmin needs to accumulate five more successes to kick the intruder out of hisnetwork.
If the network is protected by basic security software alone, the hacker needs to accumulate a number of successes equal to the networks basic security setup, as above.
Example: Later, Chris tries to hack into the network of the city's Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV network doesn't have a sysadmin on duty, so the task is an extended roll. The network's basic security software requires six successes to be overcome, so Chris simply needs to keep hacking at the system (and not suffer any dramatic failures) to get in.
- Dramatic Failure: A dramatic failure on the part of the hacker indicates that he's been kicked out of the network and can't access it again for 24 hours. Worse, if a sysadmin contests the task, make another Intelligence + Computer roll to determine if the admin manages to gain the IP address of the hacker. A dramatic failure on the part of the sysadmin indicates that the hacker brushes aside his efforts and penetrates the network automatically.
- Failure: Your character does not succeed in making any headway in his effort.
- Success: Your character makes progress in his effort.
- Exceptional Success: Your character has found a vulnerability he can exploit against his opponent, giving him a substantial advantage (as reflected in the number of successes you achieve in one roll).