Just finished an adventure from the d20 Scum and Villainy book yesterday (as usual, it did not go remotely as the author had planned). I'm trying to avoid spoilers for any that want to play it, but we… angered a group that was in control of the local HoloNet relay at a shadowport. They monitored every communication that passed in or out of the port. Our GM concluded that, given this, it’d be a snap for them to engage in a little identity theft and access our accounts. His reasoning was sound, but I argued against it on the grounds that if it were feasible for them to access our bank accounts, there was nothing to stop them (or a talented PC slicer) from doing the same to… well, everyone using that HoloNet relay. I was trying to argue that it wasn’t that it wasn’t realistically possible, just a terrible idea because of the repercussions it’d have for the game.
As an alternative I suggested that, rather being capable of breaking banking guild encryption, they could simply notice that we were attempting to contact the bank (through our cred-chips) and simply not pass that signal along. That way we were effectively broke (and thus cornered and desperate) but neither could they clear out our accounts, should we ever get free.
But it’s bugging me. I’m not sure he was wrong.
His reasoning for why they didn’t do this constantly was that powerful people and organisations would notice and take action, and the less powerful who couldn’t threaten them would simply avoid using that shadowport at all (messing up trade, thus angering those same powerful groups). (We argued that they’d only need to do it once, for one huge score that’d set them up for life, enabling them to hire legions of mercs to protect them from any repercussions.)
But if they were able to sort, recognise and eavesdrop on every communication (bloody impressive, that; though the port's popultation was only 4000) it doesn’t seem too outlandish.
Ideas? Opinions? (Both in terms of impact on the game’s background and the game’s balance, really.)
Edited by Col. Orange, 04 November 2013 - 08:10 AM.