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Cyberpunk, shadowrun... How do you deal with current tech being better than future-tech?

LordofArcana

Registered User
Validated User
I think it depends on what it is. There's stuff (like utilities) that are on the general internet that probably shouldn't be. So, wireless jacking could assume public/general access, not secure/proprietary. And its easier to secure a physical connection access.

So, if you're going after smaller gigs, might not be a big thing. Going after a big target? Its probably safe to assume that at least some things will be wired, depending on how important it is.
Trying to realistically break into megacorps' networks can be a nice palate cleanser occasionally but it isn't nearly as gamable.

"Hi, this is the CEO. I forgot my password, can you reset it?"

Or how about leaving a bunch of USB sticks outside of a sensitive location? That was a big enough problem that the US military had to solve it by using hot glue guns on all the usb ports for their computers.
 

Chikahiro

Neo•Geo Fanboy
Validated User
Trying to realistically break into megacorps' networks can be a nice palate cleanser occasionally but it isn't nearly as gamable.

"Hi, this is the CEO. I forgot my password, can you reset it?"

Or how about leaving a bunch of USB sticks outside of a sensitive location? That was a big enough problem that the US military had to solve it by using hot glue guns on all the usb ports for their computers.
See, that's true but but not necessarily satisfying/fun :p
 

LordofArcana

Registered User
Validated User
See, that's true but but not necessarily satisfying/fun :p
Exactly. Maybe once in a while as a joke but it would get old fast. It would be like if Mission Impossible involved them dressing up as janitors, taking what they wanted, and leaving.
 

manwhat

Thoroughly mediocre GM.
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Exactly. Maybe once in a while as a joke but it would get old fast. It would be like if Mission Impossible involved them dressing up as janitors, taking what they wanted, and leaving.
TV Show Mr Robot managed to get a few seasons out of it, with a relatively realistic depiction of hacking. That includes the 'leave USBs lying around' trick.
 

Gargoylewing

flying over a post-factual world
Validated User
I#d usually go with Retro-futuristic, although I must say...

...never realized how most of Si-Fi/Futuristic settings have some sort of technological catastrophe as a retarding element in their backstory ? Some war, crash, invasion, collapse. As if the writers were already aware that problem would come up and thought about that...

Anyway, I would go with something between "Destruction of the then-tech event" and "Alternate Timeline".
 

Tambourine

Spirit Princess
Validated User
Our group usually substitutes a cyberpunk version of current tech for tech that feels evidently outdated. We rarely play retro settings, though, so it doesn't come up all that often.
 

s/LaSH

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
See, I think the "problem with wifi" is getting things backwards. Wifi isn't a way for the decker to avoid consequences - it's a way for them to expose themselves to danger. And once you figure that out, why not let the rest of their merry band of thrillseekers and ne'er-do-wells get in on the reckless self-endangerment, just to keep the danger distributed? And once you've got that going, you're basically running a party on a classic dungeon crawl except it's in cyberspace and if you die in the game you die in real life, because the enemies backtraced your IP and stole your Facebook credentials. Facebook is real life, right?
 

Delgarde

Registered User
Validated User
For general questions like "why isn't everything in cyberpunk wireless," the answer is "security." Yes, the local Stuffer Shack has a wireless network and yes you can hack it to obtain infinite slushies and fried tofu (and shockingly enough, the effort and expense of maintaining those backdoors are the exact same as if you have a regular job and bought it legitimately). But if you're running against Renraku or S-K or Area Macrotech, any data worth the risk is in hardened, air-gapped servers. You can't hack into a corporate mainframe from the toilet.
On that note, consider how many "internet of things" devices are being released these days, many of which have appallingly bad security... it's disturbingly common to encounter devices with faults like manufacturer-defaulted passwords that cannot be changed (worse still, that password is often "password"), or which automatically configure (incorrectly) firewall tunnels to allow themselves to operate.

So if the cyberpunk world doesn't have so many wireless connected devices, it may be because they have a few more braincells than those of us in the real world do, and don't like the idea of letting hackers drive down the street turning the lights on and off in every house they pass.
 

NathanHawks

Registered User
Validated User
I see three palatable ways of making this fine:

  1. Explain that it's intentional; technology and education have been restricted. May I recommend some toilet reading about a dystopian near future where the right to read is restricted.
  2. Explain that it's an alternate universe where that (pointing at game book history section) happened instead of this (pointing around at real world).
  3. Pick one of the above and then make some adjustments to bring the game's tech a little closer to reality.
 
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