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Netrunners and the like became more about resource management than skill checks, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. It let me keep the group together, while still keeping some level of challenge on the digital front. Lots of discussions of "we could hack our way in, but this is our only level 3 ICE-breaker. Is it worth it, or should we ram the door with the truck and do the job fast?


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The hacker would have some combination of persistent tools and consumables. It almost functioned like a cyberpunk alchemist class, preparing their crazy tools in advance and trying to predict what might be needed. Over time, they discovered new equipment and types of programs as they found them in the wild or traded for them. Had some great scenes during back alley malware deals, trading guns, drugs, and cybernetics for the latest viruses. It was a homebrew hack of the Cypher system. Still got it in my Google Drive somewhere.

It had some other problems, mismatches between the story the setting was trying to tell and the mechanical basis of the system. If I did it again, I'd either modify the system more heavily or rebuild it Powered by the Apocalypse. Years ago a friend came up with a set of house rules that created subroutines for each "MMO role" for the intrusion -- subroutines that would then in turn be played mechanically by the other players.

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And the Hacker player co-ordinated. It allowed our hacker to "shine" but kept all the players involved, at least mechanically, so was a solution to hacking that we all enjoyed. It uses the classic concept of full immersion 'dives' into cyberspace. The gameplay is expected to round robin from player to player to keep from focusing on the hackers or the 'meat' group too much. Unfortunately it has the same problems as this type often does. No matter how you try to evenly distribute game attention, if the 'meat' group run into something intricate a fight, interaction, etc.

Will have to find some in depth review to look at the game. Might just scratch that cp itch. I've only read the rules and listened to a few actual plays but if one of the groups is doing something uneventful why not just use the "conduct an operation" move to fast forward past the boring bits? One group hacker or not might be doing something uneventful and should be 'fast forwarded' but the other group is engaged in something eventful.

Making a 'fast forward' impossible because one group has already committed their time, while the other one is currently spending it. It wouldn't be fair to 'fast forward' past the other groups actions. So you KNOW if something boring is coming up and that it can be handle by one move or are you using random tables to generate scene props???

How do you KNOW if something boring is coming up in a sandbox environment?

You are following the players, not railroading them into your plans. They will create a situation where something one of them is doing gets resolved but is using up X amount of time and the other group has to resolve that same amount of unspent time. As soon as they decide to do something involved and intricate during that temporal disparity you're going to have one of those 'one group doing something and the other twiddling their thumbs' moments. Because you know if threats are on the verge of doing something interesting you should know what the threats moves are and you know their tactics in the fiction.

You know the threats are going to advance their plans whether the PCs show up or not if your running a sandbox. You also know if there it timed pressure on the PCs to do something. If the PCs have infinite time and safety or they crush the first objective it might not be a bad idea to take the next 2 or 3 steps in their 10 step plan and roll them into "conduct an operation" to see if there is an opening for something dramatic to happen.

Ultimately you are the GM and have a say in pacing too; you don't follow the players along blindly. A hacker needs to break into a security system, fight IC, and get to a virtual control node to open the door for the meat team. How do you resolve that without making the meat team wait? If you give the meat team something to do such as holding off security how do you prevent the hacker from waiting if the fight gets bogged down?

There will be times when the timing ends up screwing one or other of the group. It's inevitable regardless of the system. How do you resolve any team waiting for a character to get through a door in any RPG? Hacking a door shouldn't be some elaborate thing for a skilled Hacker. Assuming we let the PCs be competent at their jobs, the Hacker is going straight to rolling their playbook move Console Cowboy because of course they were able to gain basic entry to the system of a lowly door.

But let's just assume this was the Cadillac of doors for some odd reason, and it takes 5 separate moves to open; if there is a fight happening in real time around them then you just check in on them once each time you make your way around the table to see what the other PCs are doing, no need to do all 5 matrix moves in a row. I don't inherently disagree, but I feel that a big part of all PbtA games is realizing that pacing is something the MC and players both have huge influence on. If something is time-consuming and uneventful, why are you capturing it in gameplay at all?

Resolve it and move on. Apocalypse World is a game built around having characters that work at completely different levels Hardholder down to Gunlugger co-exist in a game that can send them in wildly different directions and even put them at each other's throats. The mechanics are built so that those situations can all be resolved in either minute detail or broad scale, depending entirely on what the situation and pacing demands. The Sprawl should be no different.


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Well, I understand it's intent. But could you explain further? How have you had one group or character Conduct an Operation right past the other players actions, especially if the outcome of that operation would influence the other groups action resolution? Well, you wouldn't do that. Conduct an Operation is what you would use if you had a side-op that you had no interest in seeing on the big screen.

My point was that PbtA systems are built with pacing in mind. If something is boring or there's no reason for it to be happening in real time, resolve it in a single roll and move on. I understand that system. But I'm talking about when you have something that is important, but it takes time and the actor is either waiting to roll at the end of the time period, or has already rolled and is waiting for the end of the time period to see the results. Verisimilitude, Sense of drama, and balance are the ones that usually explain why an imagined activity requires the actors to expect passage of time.

Mmmmmmmmeh, I do both.

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Pitfall of BOTH systems is when somebody "tech-savvy" shows up and begins chewing on my brains, trying to insert his "impressive tech experience" from 2nd year of university study into everything. Yea, I've run into this as well. I think there is a strong draw to use your real world knowledge to affect in-game action. It's just a roleplay learning issue where people begin to understand that their characters don't know what they know, and if you're playing a non-contemporary setting it may not be applicable in any event.

I have no problem with others actually, they are less obnoxious I lean towards the latter, as I find disconnecting the hacker from group play for large sections of real time leaves the other players bored during tense scenes. Now if you could take the whole party into the net so they were all involved say give them all secondary characters that were semi-AI programs or support Netrunners then maybe I would be willing to do more net stuff. I think the Virtuality presented in Cybergeneration has interesting potential, but I have not run any games with it.

I do think it is worth exploring options for combat hacking that doesn't split the party not into the net but does make the Netrunner a viable PC. Some kind of system that allows them to be with the party and contribute during field adventures more than just combat, sneaking into places, surveillance, etc would be something nice to have. The strange thing about GitS is that they still had the hacker archetype in Ishikawa. He was their information warfare specialist and this always struck me as unnecessary as the entire team were hackers to some degree or another. He seemed like a dice-rolling specialist would appear to an RPG group.

Never noticed them before. No trucks, a 2 year college program to train lineman used in Ohio by First Energy. Now I'm wondering if that wasn't trucks from Oxidental. If so, I read it wrong and it should be PCS. But, I could have bet my last dollar it was PSI So thank you everyone again for helping me out with the advice and info Same world I came from, first in my family to be in the electrical trade.

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Talked my sister into getting into the Inside apprenticeship program, she did it on her own merit, no name dropping - she has a different last name than me. I'd rather have my sister be a whore than marry a narrowback. But, I started as a narrowback, so I guess I can't disown her! The training through the IBEW is very good, different parts of the country have different training programs. Many technical colleges have one year programs, if you are interested. The IBEW apprenticeship programs don't expect you to be a rocket scientist or really know much of anything about electricity or linework.

The biggest things the apprenticeship is looking for is people with basic math skills and a good work ethic.

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You need to provide the good attitude, the training will provide you with the other two. As far as Pike goes, they do have some very good linemen, but they also have a lot of poorly trained, and unqualified people. Do some more investigating into Pike and many of their accidents and fatalities, if you are considering them. Ultimately, you are responsible for your own safety, but you should be able to rely on your coworkers to be skilled and knowledgeable enough to watch your back as well. Getting into this trade doesn't require having family members in it already.

It's all about your attitude and willingness to be a valuable resource. Not as soon as I would have hoped for but at least it is a start so Im still excited. Thanks for all the messages guys it is helping. I would load five shells into a revolver and play rushin roulette before i even thaught about workin non-union. Come to the best side and dont look back.

Better pay, better benefits, and less risk. I'm not saying Pike is all bad, but a good bit of their workers are unqualified and I know guys that got in with me in the trade and they are already running crews and I've only been in the trade since They have had alot of OSHA fines and deaths and many many more injuries. I would think about them long and hard before I chose to jump on board.

I pulled a hour work week with Pike with a broken hand.

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Unions have strict guidelines about working that much in one week. With Pike its do it or be gone. Atleast the Union gives you time off to actually rest instead of work like robots. But go with your gut is all I can say. Is your life and your call, not ours. I will support any man that gets into the trade to support his family or himself.

Good luck and be safe! There are actually several of my classmates from Michigan out here as well. I wish you the best of luck getting in. It is hard times right now on the work front. My class started with almost and is down in the 40s now.