A Hacker is skilled at making computers behave in ways they were not intended to act, to help the hacker or harm someone else. These skills are available to any character who can interact with computers, but most have a high-quality AR system and many a neural lace or full VR Rig. Hackers have a very broad skillset, and are able to manipulate all sorts of computer systems in all sorts of ways. Metamancers and Script Kiddies are more limited. Hacker skills translate most closely to Wizardry in the post-Shadows world, but without the risk of injury.
Hacking is more meticulous, safe, and flexible than Metamancy and scripts, but also slower. By painstakingly following precise rules, using specific tools, or taking advantage of exploits, a Hacker can take over a system or alter data. Hackers can use metaphorical programming tools and techniques to warp the virtual and augmented environment they are in, but tend to focus on the underlying systems. Hackers may be loners, but are quite capable of teaming up to improve their chances at success.
Rules for Hacking
Hacking requires an aspect that justifies making rolls. Hackers might use scripts, exploits, side channels, social engineering (fancypants words for 'con artist'), special tools, and so on. You can create abilities related to hacking as well. In many cases a hacker makes an overcome roll against the system's defences, with the degree of failures taken as mental stress. Hackers rarely engage in 'combat' but it is possible to inflict physical or mental stress depending on the circumstances.
Examples of Common Hacker Skills
The ability to gain access to protected systems is the most common hacker skill:
- '''Admin Rights Granted: +2 to [approach] overcome system defences to gain access to it and take control of it.;
Once a hacker has access, it is useful to be good at using the systems. Even without being a hacker, some people are much more competent using electronic systems:
- '''Virtuoso Operator''': +2 to [approach] make electronic systems do what I want without complaint. I may not be a hacker - this doesn't mean I can make an ATM spit out untraceable cash on a whim. It does mean I am extremely competent with any system I am using.;
Anyone can attempt to hide their activities, exfiltrate data, or infiltrate data, but hackers tend to be very good at it:
- '''Ghost in the Machine: +2 to [approach] overcome system defences to remove all traces of my interactions with the electronic system. Extraordinary side-channel investigations may uncover a trail, but no logs or diagnostics show anything suspicious.;
- '''Data Miner: +2 to [approach] overcome system defences to exfiltrate valuable information from an electronic system, such as user lists, personal identity files, financial records, and so on.;
- '''Hacked: +2 to [approach] overcome system defences to alter or infiltrate information into an electronic system, such as creating new administrator accounts, altering contracts, or updating their AR presence.;