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credits

The Deep

In 2088, the Tendril Access Processor connects people to


the hyper-real world around them like never before. Peeps
dont just scan at the MEDIAweb on an archaic puter
they download it into their brain and see it hover in front
of them as a digital overlay of the world. But for all the
convenience and connectivity the Tendril Access Processor provides, there are drawbacks, like getting your brain
hacked and turned into a pulsing blob of grey jelly.
Thats right, omae. One wrong turn, one misstep in a
hack and you could end up a quivering lump of brain dead
flesh and bone. If you want to avoid that, you need this
Mediafile. You Need Hacking 2.0.

Hacking 2.0 brings a much needed update to the Interface Zero game setting, streamlining the old system,
taking it in directions never seen before in the cyberpunk
milieu! Herein youll find quick-easy rules for hacking any
system you can imagine. We also introduce a new component to the game; the hyper glove.

Writing: [Curtis and Sarah Lyon, David Jarvis, David Viars]


Editing: [Aric Wieder, Lee langston, David Jarvis]
Artwork: [Sam Manly(Midnight Illustrations)]
Layout: [David Jarvis]
Play testing and feedback: [Lee Langston, Curtis and
Sarah Lyon, Joshua Meadows, Jefferson Dunlap, Aric Wieder, Norman Hensley, Ron Blessing]
notice: This is a layered PDF. You can turn any of the
layers on or off in any combination to meet your printing needs. To do so, just click the layers tab on your pdf
viewer.
This PDF is best viewed with the most recent version of
the Adobe Reader, which can be downloaded here:
http://get.adobe.com/reader/
Persmission is granted to print out a copy of this PDF for
personal use only.

The deep

So what are ya waiting for? Grab your hyper glove, dive


into the Deep, and go raid that corp!

This game references the Savage Worlds Deluxe game system, available from Pinnacle Entertainment Group at www.peginc.com. Savage Worlds and all associated logos and trademarks are copyrights of
Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Used with permission.
Pinnacle Entertainment makes no representation or warranty as to
the quality, viability, or suitability for purposes of this product.
2012 Gun Metal Games. Interface Zero and all related marks and
logos are trademarks of Gun Metal Games. Unless otherwise stated,
all interior artwork, graphics, character names, and fiction are Product Identity of Gun Metal Games.

1
introduction

table of contents
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The deep

INTRODUCTION
BASIC RULE CHANGES
SKILLS
CHANGES TO EXISTING EDGES
NEW EDGES
NEW HINDRANCES
HACKING FOR N00BS
HYPER REALITY
THE HYPER GLOVE
DESIGN THEORY
HYPER GLOVE TRAITS
HACKING BONUS
VR ARMOR
DAMAGE
RANGE
HYPER GLOVE MODES
CONTROL MODE
EDIT MODE
DESTRUCTION MODE
MODE MODULES
HACKING THE SYSTEM
HACKING IN HYPER REALITY
SUCCEEDING ON THE HACKING ROLL
FAILING THE HACKING ROLL
SYSTEM DESIGNATION CODES
HYPER GLOVES AND PHYSICAL COMBAT
MULTIPLE ACTIONS

INTRODUCTION

It's been nearly two and a half years since Interface Zero
was first released for the Savage Worlds game system. During that time, I've had the opportunity to talk with many
fans of the game setting and get their opinions of the game
and the setting rules. While the feedback I've received
about the setting has been overwhelmingly positive, one
source of frustration that comes up time and time again
is the complex nature of the Deepthe world-wide computer network as it exists in 2088.

The deep

I've been told over and over again certain aspects of the
game world, while interesting and cool, become very muddled in actual play, not so much because the core game
mechanics are necessarily hard to grasp, but because of
a blur between hyper reality and virtual reality. In an attempt to deliver something that was (and I believe still is)
conceptually unique, we crossed a line and made it overly
complicated, which in turn necessitated the creation of
game rules which added more levels of granularity than
were necessary or for the most parteven wanted. I
say for the most part because interestingly, while numerous people were saying that the hacking system needed to
be streamlined, a number of fans have told me that it was
too simple. In light of these comments, my growing conundrum on how to get the concepts of hyper and virtual reality across in a simple yet functional way became even more
puzzling as I came to realize that, in attempting to address
the needs of one group of people, I would be simultaneously alienating another.
So, what to do?
For starters, I have decided that it's time to look at the
core concept of the Deep and streamline it, tossing out
confusing and somewhat alien concepts in favor of a model inspired by various entertainment media as well as current (and emerging) technologies, while also retaining the
old-school cyberpunk feel we all know and love. The main
change is the additional of three modes of the Tendril Access Processor, and a new device used by hackers to penetrate systems and control objects; the Hyper glove.
Hyper gloves link a user's TAP with computer networks in
2088, allowing them to manipulate things like hyper objects or hack directly into computer networks. Put simply,
tendril access processors are the eyes that allow a person
to see hyper reality, and hyper gloves are the hands with
which she manipulates it.
Like any piece of technology, hyper gloves can be modified
and upgraded to suit the users preferences, adding a level
of depth which keeps things interesting without becoming

overly complex. If you've ever played the Mass Effect video


games, or watched Iron Man (specifically the scenes when
Tony Stark is using special gloves to manipulate holograms
in his work shop), or if you've watched Minority Report,
you've seen hyper gloves in action.
In terms of the actual game mechanics, we created two
systems, a basic system, and an advanced system, The basic system plays very fast, which is sure to appeal to the
average Savage Worlds fan who doesn't want a ton of new
rules, yet at the same time provides a level of flexibility
and detail fans of hacking can appreciate. Keep in mind,
however, that any game system is always going to have
some degree of abstraction, regardless of how accurate
a designer intends it to be. In truth, it's best to think of
the basic system as "hacking lite," or "cinematic hacking"
rather than a realistic model of the subject.
The core of the basic system is a very simple use of the
hacking skill roll compared to a target number. The target number varies depending on the type of system being hacked; more difficult systems have higher penalties,
and easy systems lower penalties. This approach provides
a level of versatility which should please GMs who don't
want to learn a ton of new rules or constantly flip through
a book during a game session just to find a specific number
for a certain computer system. The flexible penalties act
like a dial, allowing you to determine the difficulty for any
given computer network on the fly.
Failure on a hacking roll means not only does she not succeed in her task, but something potentially nasty happens
as well. She might simply get locked out of the system or,
in the case of really deadly computer networks ( Like Military Access Networks), she might get brain fried and end
up a vegetable for the rest of her life. The consequences
are determined by making a simple roll on a failure chart
for each system. Obviously this introduction is an oversimplification of the basic rules and setting tweaks you'll find
in this document, but in general, things aren't much more
complex.
The larger book on hacking will introduce advanced hacking concepts which augment the Basic rule set; brain hacking, weapon hacking, and vehicle hacking. Additionally,
we'll introduce a comprehensive system for playing entire
games in The Deep.
In closing, I want to thank everyone who has been involved with this project up to this point. You all have been
very helpful with your feedback and suggestions for this
new incarnation of the rules, and I can't fully express how
grateful I am that you were a part of the process.

Basic rule changes

BASIC RULE CHANGES

NEW EDGES

SKILLS

Requirements: Heroic, Hacker Professional Edge, Expert


Hacker, Hacking D10+
When things are at their worst, you are at your best. You
ignore up to a -2 penalty applied to firewalls when a system goes on Active alert.

Below youll find the rule changes to the core I.Z. book for
the Basic hacking rules.

Hacking (Smarts): As the name implies, the Hacking skill


is used whenever a character wants to hack a computer
network. Characters in Interface Zero no longer start with
an automatic d4 in hacking. Additionally, characters who
wish to use the Deep for everyday purposes such as research or finding news pertaining to the Deep do so with
their existing Investigation and Streetwise skills.
Knowledge (Programming) (Smarts): This skill is no longer used.

CHANGES TO EXISTING EDGES

The following edges have been changed or removed.

This edge is removed.

Expert Hacker (Hacking Edge)

Requirements: Veteran, Hacker Professional Edge, Hacking D10+


Youre a veteran of the Deep and know its darkest secrets.
You gain +1 to all Hacking rolls. Your VR armor and Firewall
ratings are increased by 1.

Hacker (Professional Edge)

Requirements: Novice, Smarts D8+, Hacking D8+


Some people just play around in the Deep. You re-write it
on a whim. Unlike other script kiddies who just wanna look
cool, your Hyper glove is more than a fashion statement
it's the tool of your trade: Hacking. And let's face it, youre
LEET, omaea master of Hyper Reality, a glacial ice-pick, a
neural gunslinger the top of the digital food chain. You
gain a +2 to Hacking rolls. Additionally, you gain a +1 to
your VR armor rating.

Programming 101 (Hacking Edge)


This edge is removed.

Virtual Reach (Hacking Edge)

Virtual Reach and all of its related subsequent edges no


longer exist.

Cool Under Pressure (Hacking Edge)

Hardening (Cyber combat Edge)

Requirements: Novice, Vigor D6+


Youve grown used to the biofeedback generated by IC
(Intrusion Countermeasures) and hostile hackers. Raise
your VR armor rating by +2.

Improved Cool Under Pressure (Hacking


Edge)

Requirements: Legendary, Cool Under Pressure, Hacker


Professional Edge, Expert Hacker, Hacking D12+
When things are at their worst, you are at your best. You
ignore up to a -4 penalty applied to firewalls when a system goes on Active alert.

Interference (Background Edge)

Requirements: Novice
Something about your electromagnetic signature makes
you harder to hack. All attempts by opponents to hack you
are made at a -1 penalty.

Mode Specialist (Hacking Edge)

Requirements: Novice, Hacking D6+


Choose one of the following Hyper glove mode settings
(Control, Destruction, Edit; see the hyper glove for more
information). Your character gains a +1 to all Hacking rolls
when hacking in this mode. This edge may be taken once
for each mode type.

Mode Expert (Hacking Edge)

Requirements: Veteran, Mode Specialist, Hacking D8+


Raise the bonus you received with the Mode Specialist
edge from +1 to +2. This only applies to a single mode. To
gain this bonus for an additional mode you must take this
edge again and apply the bonus accordingly.

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Advanced Programming (Hacking Edge)

Basic rule changes

NEW HINDRANCES

The following Hindrances are meant to apply to hacker


characters. GMs are in their full right to restrict players
from taking these Hindrances if they feel theyre being
abused.

Bad Filters (Minor/Major)

Your spam filters are glitched. Youre constantly being


bombarded by spam, viruses and other malware. This
steady barrage makes it more likely that eventually SOMETHING nasty will penetrate your firewall. Consequently, all
rolls by others to Hack your TAP are made at a +1 bonus for
the minor version of this hindrance, and a +2 bonus for the
major version.

Mode Deficiency (Minor/Major)

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You have a hard time grasping the fundamentals of hacking in one of the 3 basic mode types (control, edit, destruction). You suffer a -1 penalty to all Hacking rolls when hacking in this mode. With the major version of this edge, the
penalty is increased to -2.

Sensitive Neurons (Major)

Your synaptic system doesnt handle biofeedback very


well. Your toughness is considered 1 lower for when taking
VR damage.

the hyper glove

HACKING FOR N00BS

So ya think ya got what it takes to play with the big boys,


pngyou? We'll see about that.
First things first.
I don't know you for squat. I don't speak your street slang,
I don't hang with your pals, we don't dress the same, and
we certainly don't swap spit, so we're going to go over a
few common terms just so you and I know we're scannin'
the same data feed, mngbile ma? Yeah, I know I could
have just said " understand?," but hey, this is 2088. Ya better get a few different languages under your belt if you
want to communicate effectively in this brave new world.
Just sayin'.
Anyways, back to this hacking dealio.

HYPER REALITY

Like I said before, we're going over the basics, and that
means all of them. If you know what hyper reality is, just
skip ahead; its no sweat off my wrinklies. If you're knowledge is a bit fuzzy, then here are the Cliff's Notes.
Hyper reality is a digital overlay of the world around
us. It's information presented in countless ways, most
of which are so commonplace that you don't even think
about them. If you have a TAP (Tendril Access Processor),
then you see it every day, because the TAP is the piece of
cyberware which allows you and nearly 9 billion other
people to view the hyper world of 2088.
Hyper reality is there when you drive your car or walk
down the streets. It's there when you're working, and even
when you're relaxing at home. Every time you see, oh, a
holographic advertisement, a digital street sign, or a computerized kiosk in a mall (just to name a few examples);
you're looking at the hyper-real world. For most people,
that's all hyper reality is; information viewed across a wide

range of mediums depending on its purpose. But for people like you and I, hyper reality is the means by which we
hack system networks. In order to hack hyper reality however, we have to use an interface called the Hyper glove.

THE HYPER GLOVE

Back in the day, engineers, scientists and programmers


of all stripes spent hours and hours slaving over computer
terminals, using complicated fabrication machines or peering into various scientific doo-dads to analyze compounds,
microorganisms and such. Nowadays, we can do all of that
stuff using hyper gloves. Hyper gloves make it possible to
manipulate and even create digital representations of objects (like vehicle schematics, security cameras, floor plans,
DNA, cellular organisms, locks on doors, etc.). While hyper
gloves were originally designed for legitimate uses, they
can also be used to hack, because hacking makes use of
the same fundamental principles. Simply put; What they
can do legally, we can do illegally.
It's sorta like a 'dark side/light side of the force kinda
thing sabes?

DESIGN THEORY

So you're probably wondering how this little gadget works,


neh? Well, without getting TOO detailed, the hyper glove
acts as an interface between your TAP and a hyper object
(you can use the glove to do other things besides hacking,
but I'll get to them later on in this data feed). The glove
translates the neural signals in your brain into commands
which are keyed by hand gestures, like typing, or holding
something only instead of grabbing something solid (like
a coffee cup), you're manipulating wireless signals which
the transmit blocks of code that are the framework of the
hyper object. In other words, the hyper glove allows you to
take hold of a digital object and manipulate it in some way.
When you hack those signals, you are replacing the existing code blocks with ones you create. So, using the above
coffee cup example, when you hack the code block that
creates the digital coffee cup, you can do things like change
the color of the cup, make it taller, shorter, etc. Back in the
old days, people would spend hours, even days hacking
into secure computer systems. But now, thanks to hyper
reality and Incredibly Dense Self Modifying Code IDSMC
for short the process is faster by several orders of magnitude and infinitely more intuitive.
Indeed, programming has evolved to the point where
people who design code modules (see below) no longer
use alpha numeric -based language for the user-interface.
The underlying code is still based on the old programming

The deep

Now, the way I scan it, you need to know the basicsgotta
learn to walk before you run and all that crap I know, it's
a clich' but it's no less true. See, I'm not only doing YOU
a favor, priyatel', I'm also watching the backs of my friends
out there. While you and I may never work together, the
odds are better than even that at some point in your career
you might be responsible for someone I know, and I don't
want to find out that a pal died just because you couldn't
loop a security feed or suppress an alarm system. So do me
a favorpay attention to this goup, omae; it might save
your life (and a friend of mine's) some day.

the hyper glove


languages, but in practical, every-day use, it's all about
symbols omae. Today blocks of code resemble icons that
represent universally accepted concepts.

RANGE

With a hyper glove, characters can hack hyper objects


that arent close to them. This trait determines the maximum distance in game inches an object can be and still be
hacked. Each range increment imposes a penalty to the
Hacker as if they were making a ranged attack as per the
Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition rules.

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For example, if you're driving down the road and you see
a red octagon (or a red light), you know that means you
need to stop. Similarly, if you see a red cross on an object,
you know that object has a medical function of some sort.
Signs with golden arches or a red-haired girl in pig tails
A Basic Hyper glove has the following statistics:
tell you you're approaching popular fast food restaurants.
These symbols and multitudes of others
Table 1:A: Hyper Glove Stats
are so deeply ingrained in your psyche that
Hacking
VR
Damage
Range
Cost
you don't even need to think about what
Bonus
Armor
they mean. This is what makes their use as
+0
+1
2D6
6/12/18
10,000
code blocks so effective. You're not spending
hours writing a language, you're arranging
icons based on the intended function. When
MODULAR DESIGN
they are arranged in the correct patterns, the symbols
Hyper gloves are designed to be modular and easily upform blocks of code that tell an object what it needs to do.
gradeable. Hackers tend to upgrade their own hyper gloves
If you know how to alter those icons, you can hack that
to make them more powerful tools for hacking. Each above
object; it's that simple.
the afore-mentioned traits may be individually upgraded
to a maximum value, as indicated in the charts below. The
price per trait raise is also noted.
Now, lets get into the nuts and bolts of the hyper glove.
Just like any piece of tech, the hyper glove has a number of
Hacking Bonus: +10,000 Credits per Level to a Maximum of +4.
components that allow it to do the things it does. We call
them traits. There are four important traits which make up
Table 1:B: Hacking bonus
every hyper glove; Hacking Bonus, VR Armor, Damage, and
Hacking
Total
Bonus
Additional Cost
Range.

HYPER GLOVE TRAITS

HACKING BONUS

All hyper gloves give hackers a certain degree of control


over the objects they are manipulating. This translates into
a bonus to their Hacking rolls. This hacking bonus will vary
depending on the quality of a hyper glove.

+1

10,000 Credits

+2

20,000 Credits

+3

30,000 Credits

+4

40,000 Credits

VR Armor Increase: +3,000 Credits per Level to a Maximum of +6.

VR ARMOR

One of the security features of a hyper glove is its ability


to generate a dampening field that protects against harmful bio-feedback signals generated by IC (Intrusion Countermeasures) and attacks by other hackers. This dampening field is the characters base Virtual Armor rating. The
VR armor rating is added to the characters base Toughness score to determine the modified Toughness attribute.

DAMAGE

When a hacker gets into combat, she can do damage to


other hackers, intrusion countermeasures and even devices if her glove is set to destruction mode (see below).

Table 1:c: VR Armor bonus


VR
Armor

Total
Additional Cost

+2

3,000 Credits

+3

6,000 Credits

+4

9,000 Credits

+5

12,000 Credits

+6

15,000 Credits

hyper glove modes

Damage Increase: +5,000 Credits per Die Step to a Maximum of 2d12.


Table 1:D: Damage Increase
Damage
dice

Total Additional
Cost

2d8

5,000 Credits

2d10

10,000 Credits

2d12

15,000 Credits

Range Increase: +3,000 Credits per 6'' Base increase to a


Maximum of 30/60/90.
Table 1:E: Range Increase
Range

Total Additional
Cost

3,000 Credits

18/36/54

6,000 Credits

24/48/72

9,000 Credits

30/60/90

12,000 Credits

HYPER GLOVE MODES

Every hyper glove comes with three modes control


mode, edit mode and destruction mode. Switching from
one mode to another is a free action.

CONTROL MODE

Control mode allows a hacker to directly control an item


she has hacked. In this mode, hackers can take control of
things like video cameras, gun turrets, vehicles, elevators,
etc. If a hacker takes control of a device that is normally operated by use of a skill (like Piloting for a plane or Shooting
for a gun turret) she must have that skill to use the device.

EDIT MODE

The most versatile of the three default modes of a hyper


glove, edit mode allows the character to change the existing functions of a specific item or system. While in edit
mode, hackers can do countless things. They can rewrite,
upload, or copy files on a database, loop camera feeds to
mask the passage of her team, change the timing of street
lights, alter the flight path of a satellite, modify the "friend/
Foe" designations for gun turrets etc.

DESTRUCTION MODE

Sometimes, a hacker doesn't want to take control of an


object or manipulate data. Sometimes, the goal of a hack

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12/24/36

hyper glove modes


is to wreak as much havoc as possible or prevent objects
from being used against other members of the party. This
is where destruction mode comes into play. When in destruction mode, a character can destroy an object by inserting malicious programming into its circuitry that corrupts the original programming of the device, rendering it
unusable.
Success on a Hacking roll incapacitates simple items (cameras, vending machines, street lights, etc).These items can
be fixed with a successful Repair roll. If the hacker gets a
raise on the initial Hacking roll the item is completely destroyed and must be replaced.

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Objects such as Drones, Auto-Turrets, and other devices


capable of inflicting harm on the hacker and their allies are
rendered shaken with a successful Hacking roll. A raise inflicts the damage rating of the hacker's hyper glove on the
object, ignoring physical armor only. If the vehicle has any
VR armor, it still adds to its Toughness. the This mode is
also useful when attempting to affect an environment. In
destruction mode, hackers can alter the physical world by
destroying controls for things like piping systems, containment fields, lights, etc.
EXAMPLE OF THE THREE HYPER GLOVE MODES IN ACTION
[For the purposes of this example, were not worried about
things like initiative, actions, target numbers and modifiers.
The goal is to illustrate the possible uses of a hyper glove.]
Neon_Bright and her team have penetrated deep into
the research and development wing in the basement
of AGI Tech in search of samples of a weaponized strain
of ebola7. Theyve just entered the hallway leading to
the containment facility and testing labs when they
trip a pressure activated alarm system. Loud, blaring
screeches pierce their ears and a gun turret drops from
the ceiling at the end of the hallway.
Shut that turret down and kill the alarm before it
wakes up everyone in the city! The team leader yells.
Neon_Bright makes a quick scan of the gun turret
(Notice roll) and locates the hyper panel (visible because her Tendril Access Processor recognizes the digital signature and displays it in her field of vision) hovering just to the left of the weapon a green rectangular
digital display with a list of functions on the screen.
Luckily, the turret is within range of Neon_Brights
hyper glove, or shed have to move closer to hack it;
which means putting herself directly in the sights of the
menacing weapon spraying the hallway with armor
piercing roundsnot fun omae.

Neon_Bright makes a grabbing gesture and a glowing yellow logon screen appears in front of her with a
prompt for a username and passcode. Neon_Bright
shifts her glove to edit mode, wiggling her fingers as
she types fake passcodes into the hyper panel (Neon_
Bright makes a Hacking roll and succeeds). The yellow
screen shifts to green and the other digital panel with
the list of commands flashes back to the foreground.
Since shes in edit mode, Neon_Bright has access to a
variety of functions. She doesnt have time to play with
the gun, however, so Neon_Bright simply turns it off
(Since shes already hacked her way into the controls,
she doesnt need to make another Hacking roll). The
sentry gun shuts down with a whirring noise and rises
up into the ceiling.
Neon_Bright turns her attention to the blaring alarms.
The alarm was activated by a pressure sensor in the
floor, so she quickly scans the floor (another Notice roll)
and finds a digital line leading from the pressure sensor to a hyper panel on the wall. With another flick of
the wrist, Neon_Bright pulls up the panel and hacks the
digital login screen (a successful Hacking roll). Still in
edit mode, Neon_Bright shuts the alarm system down,
but the damage has already been done. Midway down
the hall, a door opens and three heavily armed security
guards rush out, guns blazing.
Two guards bravely (or perhaps stupidly) stand in the
center of the hallway, wildly firing their SMGs at the
team. The third security guard takes cover in an alcove
behind a receptionists desk. As her pals return fire,
Neon_Bright decides she can help the team and maybe
wreak a little havoc at the same time by over- pressurizing the steam lines running through the hallway.
She shifts her hyper glove to destruction mode, targets
a steam pipe running along the wall(a Notice roll) and
hacks the hyper object controlling the pressure regulator valve (Another Hacking roll). Neon_Bright overwrites the valves programming with a virus, crashing
the regulator controls and sending the pressure skyrocketing. The pipe bursts in a number of places, floods
a section of the hallway with super-heated steam, and
sends the guards running for cover. Unfortunately, the
steam makes it difficult for her team members to see
the security guards.
Next, Neon_Bright decides to take control of the gun
turret at the end of the hallway and bring it to bear
on the security guards. She shifts back to edit mode,
pulls up the hyper panel for the turret, and turns it
back on (Neon_Bright doesnt need to make another Hacking roll since shes already hacked it once.).

Mode modules
Neon_Bright quickly shifts to control mode and targets the security guards, sending a burst of armor
piercing rounds into their backs (Neon_Bright needs
to make a Shooting roll to actually fire the gun. This
is handled like any regular Shooting roll).

MODE MODULES

Mode modules or MODS are add-ons that expand on


the utility of the hyper glove. Conceptually, mode modules
are very similar to applications (commonly known as Apps)
for the smart phones which were so popular at the turn of
the century. While some mode modules (such as the lethal MOD) add new tools to the hackers repertoire, others
allow characters who dont hack to do some pretty neat
things.

Note: If you use a MOD for skill rolls, you cant benefit
from co-op rolls from other players.
Table 1:f: COST FOR EACH ADDITIONAL MOD

Cost

8,000 Credits

APPRAISAL MOD

Used by authenticators and art thieves the world over,


the appraisal mod provides a database of valuables, antiquities, precious commodities, and other valuables, listing
various scientific data such as the weight of a diamond,
the material composition of a rare Ming dynasty vase, the
amount of carbon molecules that have escaped from the
paint on a renaissance piece, etc. Micro material analyzers within the glove compare the item to the database and
calculate the authenticity and monetary value of the item.
The appraisal mod provides a +2 to all rolls to authenticate,
price and forge an item.

FIELD SURVIVAL MOD

With a built in database of plant life and animal life, this


mode module allows you to analyze food items to see if
they're safe to eat. It also teaches you basic ways to find
and construct shelter, build fires with little more than a
rock and sticks, how to purify water, and all sorts of additional information you need to survive in the wild. The field
survival mod gives +2 to all survival rolls.

FORENSIC MOD

This mod installs a series of micro-analyzers within the


fingertips of the glove. These analyzers sensitive enough
to read DNA samples scan evidence and compare it to
an onboard database of various samples ranging from bullet casings and fabrics to hair follicles and fingerprints. The
Forensic mode gives a +2 to all rolls involving the analysis
of potential forensic clues. This bonus also applies to appropriate Notice rolls, and Knowledge: Biology rolls.

LETHAL MOD

This MOD is rather limited in scope, but its effects cannot be understated. A lethal mode module allows the user
to generate enough bio-feedback to inflict lethal damage
against other hackers in Virtual combat. VR armor still
shields against this bio-feedback, but all damage taken is
lethal.

MEDICAL EXPERT MOD

Used by Doctors Without Borders and combat medics the


world over, the medical expert mod comes with built-in
SMARTknowledge medical files, portable X-ray devices,
fluid analyzers, and various sensors that identify a patient's
wounds and provide instructions for proper treatments.
The Medical Expert mod gives a +2 to all Healing rolls.

NAVBUDDY MOD

Used by professional wheelmen and drivers everywhere,


the NAVbuddy mod is an essential tool for navigating
megasprawls all over the globe. The NAVbuddy MOD provides a +2 bonus to Investigation (or Streetwise) rolls when
attempting to find a specific location in the sprawl.

TOOL EXPERT MOD

This mod installs thousands of blueprint read outs, 3D


mapping tools, adjustable microlights, and other minor
modifications useful to those who work with machines.
The Tool expert will analyze a machine and display a 3D
hyper-reality image of the items needing to be repaired
while guiding the user through a step-by-step tutorial. The
user gains +2 to all repair rolls.

VR overlay MOD

A wildly popular mode module, the VR overlay mod syncs


up with your TAP and generates a reality filter which renders the world around you into a theme of your choosing.
Typical VR overlays include Fantasy simulations, or spaceopera-themed overlays. When running this mod, it is easier to identify hyper objects. Users gain a +2 to Notice rolls
when looking for hyper objects.

The deep

For instance, the Medical Expert MOD diagnoses wounds


and lists proper procedures for treatment, which translates
to a +2 bonus to Healing rolls. The NAVbuddy MOD provides a +2 bonus to Investigation (or Streetwise) rolls when
attempting to find a specific location in the sprawl.

10

Hacking hyper reality

HACKING THE SYSTEM

Okay priyatel', now that we're up to speed on hyper reality and the hyper glove, let's get into the meat of this data
feedhacking.

HACKING HYPER REALITY

The majority of all hacking takes place in the "meat" world


when a character hacks a hyper object that is, she gets
within range of the thing she wishes to hack, pulls up the
hyper object's virtual command screen and interfaces with
it via the hyper glove. Remember, if the character does not
have a TAP (Tendril Access Processor) installed, she won't
be able to see Hyper Reality and cannot interact with it.
When you hack anything (a gun turret, a computer network, a vending machine, etc.) in hyper reality, you need
to break through its primary line of defense; the firewall.
Once you've done that, the hyper object is yours to command omae.

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Some hyper objects have stronger defenses than others.


Vicious intrusion countermeasures capable of frying your
brain or nova-hot security hackers watching for any unauthorized intrusion into the network are all possible defenses a hacker must contend with. These defenses translate
to a penalty to the Hacking roll your character must make
before she can access the object's controls. Once an object
has been hacked, however, it stays hacked for the duration
of the scene and can be used again and again until the GM
decides the scene has ended.

SUCCEEDING ON THE HACKING ROLL

The Base target number of every Firewall is 4 modified by


the difficulty of the system type (See the System Designation Codes at the end of this section for appropriate modifiers). Should the hacker succeed on the roll, the hack is a
success and the character accomplishes what she set out
to do. Making a Hacking roll is a regular action.
Generally, characters may only attempt to hack one object per round. That said, if a character is wearing two hyper gloves and wishes to attempt to hack multiple objects
simultaneously, she suffers a -2 penalty to Hacking rolls for
each object she is attempting to hack. She may not hack
the same object twice in a single round (See Using Multiple
Hyper gloves on page 12).
Example 1: Hacking a single object
Neon_Bright is attempting to hack into a security
panel and open blast doors so her team can enter
the containment room where the ebola7 virus is

RANGE AND HACKING

A character can attempt to penetrate any system


within the range of her hyper glove (see the range
trait for the hyper glove for more information). Keep in
mind; she must also be able to see the object.
For example, while the security camera on the other
side of that locked door is technically within the hacker's
range, she can't hack it because it isn't visible to her.
held. The controls for the blast door are protected
by a Corporate Access Network (CAN) which has a
variable penalty to Hacking rolls ranging from -3 to
-5. The Game Master decides that the blast doors
are more heavily protected than other areas in the
installation, but not as much as others, and imposes
a -3 penalty to the roll.
Neon_Brights Kensei Cyberstorm Hyper glove is
set to control mode. The glove provides a +2 bonus
to Hacking rolls. Neon_Bright also has the Hacker
Professional edge, which gives her +2 to Hacking
rolls. The combined bonuses cancel out the penalties imposed on Neon_Brights Hacking rolls by the
Corporate Access Network and gives her a net +1
bonus to her Hacking rolls, so all she needs to do
is succeed on a Hacking roll at a modified TN of 3.
Neon_Bright rolls her Hacking skill dice (D8) and a
wild die (D6) and gets a 5 and a 3, respectivelySuccess! The Blast doors open with a loud hiss and the
team moves into the room beyond.
Example 2: Hacking multiple objects simultaneously
As the team moves into the room, Neon_Bright
makes a Notice roll to see if there are any Hyper Objects in the room she might need to hack. She gets
a success with one raise, and the Game Master informs her that she sees two hyper panels in the ceiling that look to control sentry guns, a hyper panel
controlling a robotic arm, and a few other hyper
panels controlling various functions such as lights,
air conditioning, fire extinguishers and decontamination systems.
Knowing that time is of the essence and wanting
to avoid a repeat of the situation in the hallway
(See the hyper glove modes example), Neon_Bright
decides to hack both gun turrets at the same time,
which imposes a -2 penalty to her Hacking rolls. The
turrets are milspec hardware and have a MAN (Military Access Network) rating with variable penalties

System designation codes


ranging from -6 to-8. The GM decides to apply a -6
penalty in this case for a total penalty of -8 to Neon_
Brights Hacking rolls. As before, Neon_Brights hyper glove gives her a +2 bonus to Hacking rolls and
her Hacking Professional Edge gives a +2 bonus,
cancelling out 4 points worth of penalties to make
the final modifier to her Hacking Roll a -4. Since the
base TN to hack anything is 4, Neon_Bright will need
to score 8s or better to hack the gun turrets.
Neon_Bright rolls her Hacking dice(D8) and a Wild
Die(D6) twice. For the first gun, she scores a 4, but
her Wild Die aces twice and she ends up with a 15,
easily hacking the first gun. One the second roll however, she scores a 2 and a 3, failing miserably. Neon_
Bright decides not to spend a Bennie, as she might
need those later, and the Game Master rolls on the
Failure Chart for a Military Access Network(See Failing the Hacking Roll for more information).

FAILING THE HACKING ROLL

Example of consequences of a Failed Hack


Neon_Bright has failed to hack into one of the gun
turrets in the above example, and the Game Master rolls 1D12 on the MAN failure chart (See System
Designation Codes below) to see how the Military
Access Network responds to the threat. The GM
scores an 11 on the roll and informs Neon_Bright
that the system responds to her failed attempt to
hack the gun turret with a nasty surge of lethal biofeedback energy. He rolls 3d10 to determine damage. Since this is a Military Access Network, any
damage Neon_Bright might take is lethal. The GM
scores a 2, 4, and 8 for a total of 14. Neon_Bright
has a Toughness of 6 (Vigor D6[3] +2 +1[VR armor
bonus]), so she is Shaken and takes one Wound as
the bio-feedback signal shoots through her hyper
glove and fries her brain.
Interface Zero uses Gritty Damage rules (see the
Interface Zero setting book, page 32 for more information), so its quite possible that Neon_Bright will
take further injuries as a result of her failure to hack
the gun turret, but for the purposes of this example

we wont get that detailed. Suffice it to say that the


gun turrets Intrusion Countermeasures just gave
Neon_Bright a really bad day.

SYSTEM DESIGNATION CODES

Below you will find the firewall rating ranges for every
type of access network, as well as a system response chart.
Should the Hacker fail a hack, a roll on the response chart
will determine what happens. GMs should feel free to
choose what happens from the charts below, or even create their own charts based on the examples provided.
PUBLIC ACCESS NETWORKS: -0 TO -2 FIREWALL MODIFIER.
Public Access Networks, also known as PANs, are the
most common types of computer networks. Found in most
public places, PANs provide a basic level of security against
unwanted intrusion.
Roll: 1D12. For each additional event that happens beyond
the first failure add +1. If you roll an event which has already
happened, replace it with the next highest shock effect.
1: Nothing happens
2: Nothing happens
3: Shock! Hacker takes 1D6 non-lethal VR damage.
4-5: VR Alert, Firewall Modifier increases by 1.
6: Shock! Hacker takes 1D8 non-lethal VR damage.
7: Shock! Hacker takes 1D8+2 non-lethal VR damage.
8: Authorities informed of suspicious activity, Security
contractors if any, may also be tasked to investigate.
9: Shock! Hacker takes 1D10+2 non-lethal VR damage.
10: Active Alert, alarms go off within the building. Firewall
modifiers increase by 1 and physical security teams respond.
11: Shock! Hacker Takes 1D12+2 non-lethal VR damage.
12: System shut down, Hacker must succeed in an extended test against the Firewall rating of the network.
Failure results in an active Alert, Authorities and security
personal being alerted, all security functions in the area
being triggered, the Hacker taking 1D12+2 non-lethal VR
damage, and everything In the building turning off and
locking until authorities arrive.

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If the character fails her Hacking roll, she trips the systems security measures and suffers some sort of effect.
The Game Master makes a 1D12 roll on the appropriate
chart (See System Designation Codes) and applies the effect, if any. If the result of the D12 roll does not dump the
hacker from the system, she can keep trying to hack it. Subsequent failures add a cumulative +1 modifier to the D12
roll, ensuring an eventual system shut down, however.

11

12

System designation codes

The deep

HOME ACCESS NETWORKS: -2 TO -4 FIREWALL MODIFIER.


Home Access Networks are generally found in any place
where people live. Some coffin motels also have them.
More expensive hotel chains tend to use Corporate Access
Networks for security.
Roll: 1D12. For each additional event that happens beyond
the first failure add +1. If you roll an event which has already
happened, replace it with the next highest shock effect.
1. Nothing Happens
2. Shock! Hacker takes 2D6 non-lethal VR damage.
3. Shock! Hacker takes 2D6+2 non-lethal VR Damage.
4. VR alert, Firewall Modifier increases by 1.
5. Security Contractors alerted to suspicious activity, will
come to area to investigate.
6. Psychotropic ICE attack, Hacker must make a successful spirit roll or gain a phobia of the system for one day.
7. Shock! Hacker takes 3D6 non-lethal VR Damage.
8. Security Hacker investigates and initiates VR combat.
If the Hacker loses or Jacks out before defeating the
Hacker, a System Shutdown goes into effect, and security
is alerted to the Hackers position.
9. Shock! Hacker takes 2D6 Lethal VR damage.
10. Active Alert, alarms go off in the building, physical
security features activate.
11. Shock! Hacker takes 2D6+2 Lethal VR damage.
12. System shut down, Hacker must succeed in an extended test against the Firewall rating of the network.
Failure results in an active Alert, Authorities and security
personal being alerted, all security functions in the area
being triggered, the Hacker taking 2D6+2 lethal VR damage, and everything In the building turning off and locking until authorities arrive.
CORPORATE ACCESS NETWORKS: -3 TO -5 FIREWALL MODIFIER.
As the designation implies, Corporate Access Networks
are found in corporate buildings all over the world. Characters who attempt to hack a Corporate Access Network can
expect to encounter stiff resistance to their efforts. Many
brainers have died trying to penetrate Corporate Access
networks.
Roll: 1D12. For each additional event that happens beyond the first failure add +1. If you roll an event which has
already happened, replace it with the next highest shock
effect.
1. Shock! Hacker takes 2D6+2 non-lethal VR damage.
2. Shock! Hacker takes 3D6 non-lethal VR Damage.
3. VR alert, Firewall Modifier increases by 1.
4. Security Contractors alerted to suspicious activity, will
come to area to investigate.
5. Psychotropic ICE attack, Hacker must make a successful spirit roll at -2 or gain a phobia of the system for one
week, and the loyalty Hindrance toward products created by the Corporation in question.

6. Shock! Hacker takes 2D6 lethal VR Damage.


7. Security Hacker investigates and initiates VR combat.
If the Hacker loses or Jacks out before defeating the
Hacker, a System Shutdown goes into effect, and security
is alerted to the Hackers position.
8. Wildcard Security Hacker investigates and initiates VR
combat. If the Hacker loses or Jacks out before defeating the Hacker, a System Shutdown goes into effect, and
security is alerted to the Hackers position.
9. Shock! Hacker takes 3D6 Lethal VR damage.
10. Active Alert, alarms go off in the building, physical
security features activate.
11. Shock! Hacker takes 3D6+2 Lethal VR damage.
12. System shut down, Hacker must succeed in an extended test against the Firewall rating of the network.
Failure results in an active Alert, Authorities and security
personal being alerted, all security functions in the area
being triggered, the Hacker taking 2D6+2 lethal VR damage, and everything In the building turning off and locking until authorities arrive.
GOVERNMENT ACCESS NETWORKS: -5 TO -7 FIREWALL MODIFIER
Government Access Networks protect the secrets of the
Nations of the world. Security is hard core and the penalty
for failure is such that only the most skilled hacker even
attempts to penetrate these systems.
Roll: 1D12. For each additional event that happens beyond the first failure add +1. If you roll an event which has
already happened, replace it with the next highest shock
effect.
1. Shock! Hacker takes 3D6 non-lethal VR damage.
2. Shock! Hacker takes 3D6+2 non-lethal VR damage.
3. Psychotropic ICE attack, Hacker must make a successful spirit roll at -2 or gain a phobia of the system for one
week, and the loyalty Hindrance toward the country
in question.
4. VR alert, Firewall Modifier increases by 1, and Hacker
takes Shock! Damage of 3D6 Lethal.
5. Security Contractors alerted to suspicious activity, will
come to area to investigate.
6. Psychotropic ICE attack, Hacker must make a successful spirit roll at -4 or gain a phobia of the system for one
week, and the loyalty Hindrance toward the country
in question.
7. Shock! Hacker takes 3D6 lethal VR Damage.
8. Security Hacker investigates and initiates VR combat.
If the Hacker loses or Jacks out before defeating the
Hacker, a System Shutdown goes into effect, and security
is alerted to the Hackers position.
9. Wildcard Security Hacker with Lethal mode mod, investigates and initiates VR combat. If the Hacker loses
or Jacks out before defeating the Hacker, a System
Shutdown goes into effect, and security is alerted to the

System designation codes


hackers position.
10. Active Alert, alarms go off in the building, physical
security features activate.
11. Shock! Hacker takes 3D8 Lethal VR damage.
12. System shut down, Hacker must succeed in an extended test against the Firewall rating of the network.
Failure results in an active Alert, Authorities and security
personal being alerted, all security functions in the area
being triggered, the Hacker taking 3D8+2 lethal VR damage, and everything In the building turning off and locking until authorities arrive.

11. Shock! Hacker takes 3D10 Lethal VR damage.


12. System shut down, Hacker must succeed in an extended test against the Firewall rating of the network.
Failure results in an active Alert, Authorities and security personal being alerted, all security functions in the
area being triggered, the Hacker taking 3D10+2 lethal VR
damage, and everything In the building turning off and
locking until authorities arrive.

HYPER GLOVES AND PHYSICAL COMBAT


Hyper gloves arent meant to be used in physical combat
like boxing gloves or medieval gauntlets. That said, you
never know when you have to punch someone in the face,
neh? With that in mind, here is a general guideline to figure out what happens if you punch someone or something
while wearing a hyper glove.
Hyper gloves have a base Toughness of 4. Whenever a
character punches someone while wearing one, the glove
automatically takes 1d4+1 damage. If the damage roll exceeds the gloves toughness, the glove is broken and must
be repaired before it can be used again.

MULTIPLE ACTIONS

Characters who own two hyper gloves may use both to


take two separate hacking actions or may use a single
glove and a weapon in the other hand. Normal offhand and
multi-action penalties apply.

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MILITARY ACCESS NETWORKS: -6 TO -8 FIREWALL MODIFIER


Often referred to as Ghost Networks, or Black Zones
Military Access Networks are ultra secure systems designed
to fry the brains of any brainer suicidal enough to attempt
hacking them. MANs protect anything even remotely related to the military including advanced weapons systems,
satellite networks, military bases, etc. Its even speculated
that Government officials have their TAPS protected by
military-grade networks.
Roll: 1D12. For each additional event that happens beyond the first failure add +1. If you roll an event which has
already happened, replace it with the next highest shock
effect.
1. Shock! Hacker takes 3D6 lethal VR damage.
2. Shock! Hacker takes 3D6+2 lethal VR damage.
3. Psychotropic ICE attack, Hacker must make a successful spirit roll at -3 or gain a phobia of the system for one
week, a Phobia of Hacking in general for one week, and
the loyalty Hindrance toward the country in question.
4. VR alert, Firewall Modifier increases by 1, and Hacker
takes Shock! Damage of 3D6+2 Lethal.
5. Security Contractors alerted to activity, will come to
area to investigate.
6. Psychotropic ICE attack, Hacker must make a successful spirit roll at -4 or gain a phobia of the system for one
week, Phobia of Hacking for one week, and the loyalty
Hindrance toward the country in question.
7. Shock! Hacker takes 3D8 lethal VR Damage.
8. Security Hacker with Lethal mode mod, investigates
and initiates VR combat. If the Hacker loses or Jacks
out before defeating the Hacker, a System Shutdown
goes into effect, and security is alerted to the Hackers
position.
9. A Wildcard Security Hacker with maxed out Hyper
glove values, Lethal mode mod, and a Hacking skill of
at least D10, investigates and initiates VR combat. If the
Hacker loses or Jacks out before defeating the Hacker,
a System Shutdown goes into effect, and security is alerted to the Hackers position.
10. Active Alert, alarms go off in the building, physical
security features activate.

13

14

Virtual Hacking

VIRTUAL HACKS

Up until now, we've discussed the process for hacking a


computer network when your characters are physically at
the thing they wish to hack. What follows are two quick
methods for hacking via Virtual Reality. The advanced rules
at the end of the book will go into more detail, providing a
solid framework for creating virtual characters (also known
as avatars) so you can play entire games in virtual reality.

A PRE-HACK

A character may decide they wish to enter Virtual Reality


and hack a system ahead of time before their team moves
in. If this is the case, the hacker initiates a dramatic task
against the Firewall rating of the system in question. Success allows the Hacker to effect a number of items within
the system ahead of time equal to half their hacking Die
type. Examples include turning off or changing cameras,
changing database files, giving clearances at checkpoints
ect.

The deep

Failure typically results in the Hacker taking progressive


Shock! damage as described on the charts above, a number of times equal to the amount of success they fell short
of. Additionally. the System goes on high alert for the next
24 hours.
A Pre-Hack must be done within 24 hours of the mission,
otherwise the system will reboot and all of the hacker's
work will be erased.

VR OVERWATCH HACKING

Overwatch Hacking is another tool in the Hackers arsenal.


The hacker "ghosts" into the system and remains inside
while their physical body remains elsewhere. The hacker
typically remains in contact with their team through VR
messaging, and hacks individual items as their team comes
across them.
While more risky for the hacker in the sense of being detected, they end up physically safer by not having to enter
the building in the first place.

Overwatch hacking is handled abstractly and is very similar to a Pre-Hack. The character begins by engaging in a
Dramatic task with the system in question, following all of
the rules of a Pre-hack, including the results if a character
fails. Should the character succeed however, the results
are different.

Rather than setting up a number of pre-conditioned item


responses like a VR hack, the character has instead successfully infiltrated the system undetected. From here the
character has access to every item controlled by the networks server box. The character may make a Hacking test
against every item linked to the host network, whenever
they wish, following all of the standard hacking rules, except physically the character is not present.
This allows the character to turn off Cameras as their
team approaches them, access the elevators as their team
approaches them, open locked doors, turn off the coffee
machines, rewrite files, and do anything else needed all
from the comfort of being safely elsewhere. Should the
character ever fail in a Hack, they suffer the results from
the Hacking tables just like they would normally, but with
an added dangerGiven the pure raw feed of running in
VR, all Shock! damage effects gain an extra die.
GMs and players alike should also keep in mind, not every System is hackable from the outside, and many high
end systems are closed networks, preventing anything but
a physical penetration and physical hacking.

HACKER VS. HACKER COMBAT

Occasionally hackers may decide to engage in combat


with one another in Virtual Reality, or the result from a
hacking failure may cause a security hacker to engage in
combat with a PC. If this happens, the Hackers roll opposed
Hacking rolls against one another each round. The loser
takes the winners Hyper glove damage rating. Damage
can be Lethal if the users Hyper glove has the lethal mode
module installed.
The advanced rules at the end of the book provide more
detailed information on combat in virtual reality, and introduce a new device: the Hackpack. Game Masters might
consider using the rules for the Hackpack instead of the hyper glove when running Hacker VS hacker combat in virtual
reality (See page XXX for more information on hackpacks).

Brain hacking

HACKING THE BRAIN

Hacking someone's brain boxor TAP for those of you


who aren't up on the jargon is a little different from the
standard process we use to hack other things. Why, you
ask? Well, because you're messing with someone's brain,
that's why.
You might be wondering what I mean by that. Think about
it for a nano-second.
The Tendril Access Processor is over fifty percent organic.
It was designed this way to reduce the risk of rejection after surgery, but at its core the TAP is STILL a wireless modem that transmits digital signals, downloads them, and
then renders them into digital images we can see and
even(with a hyper glove)interact with. That also means it
can be hacked by folks like you and I. And, because we can
hack the TAP, we can do things like download, upload, and
even rewrite information. Now, here's where it gets interesting.

But I digress.
When you hack someone's TAP and manipulate the data,
you are literally altering the brain. And that's just scratching the surface ami. Because you have access to someone's
brain, you can implant suggestions into the conscious and
subconscious mind of the person whom you have hacked.
In fact, you can do more than just implant suggestions;
you can control people whom you have hacked. I know. It
sounds crazy, kinda like something out of a Sci-Fi MEDIAfile, but is it really all that hard to believe?
All the sensory information we receive every second of
every minute of our lives is basically just data processed
by our brains. When a junkie shoots up drugs, he's altering
the way his brain interprets all of that sensory information.
When we view hyper reality, we're augmenting what our
brain perceives as well. It's not so farfetched to suggest
that our brains can't be hacked.
Case in Point: The Puppeteer Murders.
Remember that gruesome string of murders back in 2071?
The people the authorities arrested (some say framed) all
complained of having night terrors and entering fugue

states where they weren't able to remember where they


were during the murders. Although there was no physical
evidence to prove it, a number of people directly involved
with the investigation claimed the perpetrators of the
crimes were somehow controlled through their TAPs by a
third party hence the "puppeteer" moniker. No further
arrests were made, however, and the case was closed.
Still not convinced? What about Project Whispering
Wind?
Last year, the folks who put out the Declassified Mediastream released the infamous "Project Whispering Wind"
documents; a series of MEDIA and DATfiles chronicling
a series of experiments in an alleged super-secret North
American Coalition military installation. Experiments were
performed on chimpanzees fitted with TAPs. In the tests,
the chimps were forced to perform various tasks. At first,
the tasks were menial in nature; using vacuums, cooking
eggs, playing games, etc. But as the project went on, the
primates were recorded using high tech weaponry in combat situations. The grisly MEDIAfile portrayed zombie-like
chimpanzees shooting each other with assault rifles, lobbing hand grenades and even piloting remote controlled
drones.
Of course, the North American Coalition categorically denied the existence of Project Whispering Wind. So-called
"experts" in the fields of cybernetics and theoretical computing went on media shows like 24/7 LIVE!, CSPAN and
TotalAccessNOW claiming this sort of technology was impossible. Zoologists and animal behavior experts argued
that any chimp could fire a gun or throw a grenade, but
conspiracy theorists (many of them ex-military) were quick
to point out that the chimps were using squad-based tactics taken straight out of the NAC Marine Combat Manual.
Furthermore, their often slow, exaggerated movements
suggested the primates weren't fully in control of their motor functions.
Predictably, animal rights groups like PETA (People for
Ethical Treatment of Animals) various political watchdog
organizations such as the North American New Democracy Movement (NANDM), the Society For Free Americans
(SFFA), and others had a field day with the footage. The organizations lobbied for a congressional inquiry into Project
Whispering Wind, the result of which of course, was the
enaction of the TAPPA (Tendril Access Processor Protection Act) a law requiring the three mandatory settings
(Offline, Hidden and Active) we now have installed in our
Tendril Access Processors.
Granted, the addition of the three settings is a dramatic
improvement over the old TAP which had none but

The deep

All of that information isn't stored in some silicon memory module tucked neatly under your hippocampus (that's
the part of your brain that deals with short term memory,
long term memory and spatial navigation); it's stored IN
your hippocampus. Well, hippocampi to be exactwe
have two.

15

16

brain Hacking
some tinfoil hatters claim this is little more than another
way for the government to expand the police state. Others insist this is a case of megacorporations (Kenta Cyber
Dynamics being the primary beneficiary) profiting off the
masses. After all, the installation of the new software isn't
free, is it? Absolutely not. We're all having to pay for the
latest patches to the old operating systemMost of us at
least. I know there are many of you out there who have
pirated versions of the software, but I won't comment on
THAT. ;)

with a measure of privacy, allowing them to hide their online status from other users, or even turn the TAP off when
they go to sleep at night. What follows is a brief look at the
three TAP settings.
Active: When a character's TAP is set to active
mode, other computer networks "see" the TAP,
and can access basic information like the character's name, sex, and limited personal information, such as the character's shopping history at
a local malmart, or her email address and MyFace page. This data is publically available and
any corporate network(Or person) can access it
at any time.
Hidden: Hidden mode hides all of the character's
TAP from computer networks, only broadcasting
the signal and sharing data it if the character allows it to be shared. Attempts to detect a Tendril
Access Processor's signal in hidden mode are
made at a penalty equal to the rating of the TAP. If
the Notice roll fails, the character cannot acquire
the target's signal and no attempt to hack the TAP
can be made. See the brain hacking rules below
for stats and prices for Tendril Access Processors.
Offline: Your TAP is shut down. In this setting,
you cannot be hacked, but neither can you experience hyper reality or virtual reality.

If you want to learn more about the political and economic fallout of Project Whispering Wind, or the Puppeteer Murders for that matter, you can do the research. But,
regardless of what you might believe about the viability of
hacking the brain, the following information will help you
in your hacking career. Let's move on to the TAP's three
settings.

THE THREE TAP SETTINGS

The deep

Your Tendril Access Processor sends and receives digital


signals from other TAPs and computer networks around it.
In this fashion, computer networks often referred to as
clouds form between you and everything around you.
These cloud networks store very basic information (your
name, sex, personal interests, contact information, etc),
creating a digital profile which is accessible by other computer networks and people currently apart of the cloud.

BRAIN HACKING RULES

Hacking someones TAP is a Dramatic Task, as explained in


the Savage Worlds rules but it aint an easy task, tomo.
First of all, a TAP has safeguards built into the thing to dissuade this kind of hacking from even taking place, and second of all, most peeps dont take too kindly to their neural
pathways being rewired and tend to intuitively resist that
sort of tampering.

Furthermore, as you move through the world, the cloud


network is constantly updating itself to reflect your current
location and that of people and things around you and vice
versa. This means, when you walk into a store, like, say,
the local Malmart, your TAP will sync up with the store's
computer network and let it know you are present. The
Malmart network will then cross-reference your name
against a database which contains data related to your
previous visits and use that information to tailor advertisements to your personal tastes.

A Brain Hack pits your Hacking skill against the higher of


your targets Smarts or Hacking skill. Worse yet, youre doing it at a penalty of -3 plus an additional minus equal to
the Level of the targets TAP (so a Level 1 TAP starts at a -4
penalty; a Level 4 TAP starts with -7(!)). A direct link between your TAP and your targets TAP with something like
Neural Interface Cables will reduce the penalty by 2, but

Thanks to TAPPA, there are now three settings for the


Tendril Access processor active, hidden, and offline.
These settings were added to the TAP to provide people

Table 1:G The Tendril Access Processor


Tap Level

Penalty to hack
the TAP

Notice
Penalty

Cost

Level 1

-4

-1

Free

Level 2

-5

-2

15,000

Level 3

-6

-3

40,000

Level 4

-7

-4

70,000

Brain hacking
good luck getting an unwilling victim to allow you to plug
those bad boys in.
If you cant complete the hack in five passes, youre SOL
the target TAP is going to spit you out, and youll take a
level of Fatigue for your troubles.
And remember: This is a Dramatic Task. That means
youre drawing a card for every pass, and a Club means
trouble. Aside from the usual penalties, if you come up
with a Failure on any round that youve drawn a Club, the
fecal matter is going to hit the rotating blades in the best
case, you might just take a Wound from some nasty neural
feedback as you get puked back into reality; in the worst
case, you might find yourself on the receiving end of the
hack if your victim has the skills and the desire. Really, its
up to the GM what happens, but you can bet your ass it
wont be good.
So why mess around with hacking someones brain?

For the next few moments, as a Free Action, you can use
the Edit Mode on the TAP to access your victims memories
either plucking out something useful (like a pass code),
or editing things so they remember something differently
or not at all.
Or, if youre really feeling ballsy, you can take your next
action to attempt to dominate the TAP and take control of
the person on a more permanent basis. At that point, it
turns into something of a contest of wills, with your Hacking skill being opposed by your targets Spirit. Whoever
wins the roll deals a level of Fatigue to the other plus one
additional Fatigue for each Raise.
If the you become exhausted first, youve been kicked
out of the TAP game over. But if your target becomes exhausted first Well, youve got a new minion now, dont
you.
For all practical intents and purposes, this works just like
the puppet Power from Savage Worlds, only the duration
largely depends on the Spirit of your victim:
And, of course, if you order the poor bastard to commit
suicide or kill his best friend (or anything else that might go
against his innate desires), he gets an immediate chance
to break free.

A Little Help
Okay, so maybe you're feeling like your own brain
has been hacked and you're short on ideas for the
results of a major failure. Don't worry, tomo, we've
got your back. Here's a quick and dirty method for
figuring it out based on the Rank of the Club that was
drawn:
Number The hacker gets a head-full of neural
feedback. The number on the card is added to
the roll of a d10 (which can Ace, by the way) and
the hacker takes the result as damage. The good
news is, it's non-lethal damage, so he may get
knocked out cold and suffer nasty migraines for
a few weeks, but at least he'll still be alive. The
bad news is direct neural interfacing via cables is
like getting hit with a Raise, and another d6 gets
added to the total.
Face The hacker takes some seriously nasty
damage (of the lethal sort). A Jack is 1 Wound, a
Queen is 2 Wounds, and a King is 3 Wounds. Period. No save. The n00b probably shouldn't have
been tinkering with someone's synapses in the
first place. But hey At least he's still alive. Unless he was foolish enough to be doing this hack
when he was already wounded. Oh yeah and if
he was using cables, he takes the same amount
in Fatigue, as well. Good night, sweet script kiddie.
Ace The hacker's got some serious problems.
Not only does the neural feedback drop him out
of his target's TAP, but it fries his own TAP as well.
He's unable to access The Deep or Hyper Reality until he can get a techie to get in there to fix
things with a successful Repair roll. Oh my That
requires surgery, doesn't it. He'd better make
sure there's a medic there as well, then.
If his victim was a hacker as well, he's really
hosed, since she's able to ride that neural feedback right into his own TAP and gets a free hack
at his brain (with the usual modifiers for his TAP
and any cables), pitting her Hacking skill against
the hacker's Spirit. If her roll results in a Success,
the hacker has been hacked; otherwise, he still
gets ejected from his victim's TAP with the same
effects as above, plus his victim knows exactly
who was poking around in her head.

The deep

Because if youre ace enough with this stuff and can succeed, youve got access to someone elses thinking machinery.

17

18

brain Hacking
Table 1:H Spirit Rolls
Spirit

Target can attempt an opposed roll versus your Hacking skill to


break free every

d4

5 rounds/minutes if not in combat

d6

4 rounds/ minutes if not in combat

d8

3 rounds/ minutes if not in combat

d10

2 rounds/ minutes if not in combat

d12

Round/ minute if not in combat

Neural Interface Cable

The deep

Once upon a time, direct neural interfacing was the


only way to access The Deep. Now anyone with a TAP
can do it, but Neural Interface Cables aren't necessarily a thing of the past. NICs make internal reprogramming much easier a near necessity for robotic maintenance and so Kenta Cyber Dynamics is proud to be
able to carry on the tradition of providing high-quality
interface cables to their customers. Kenta Cyber Dynamics: Solid. Dependable. Tradition.
Reduces penalties for hacking a TAP by 2.
Confers a +2 bonus to editing functions when working with robots, androids or computers.
Cost: 500 credits.