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TheLonelySandPerson

Shinobi Ice - Threat or Menace

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Posted (edited)

Pardon the fanciful title, I just need to understand how Shinobi is intended to work. I get that it jumps instead of shutting down like most sentry ice, but does it ever come back, or does it just stay on the new subsystem for the rest of the encounter unless the runner trips over it again? That seems like it makes Shinobi significantly less valuable than other ice since once it strikes, it's permanently out of the way for what is presumably the runner's target subsystem.

Granted, it does enough damage with that one hit that I wouldn't be that upset to see it go.

Edited by TheLonelySandPerson

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From my reading, each time a runner fails to break Shinobi, it hits 'em for 6 strain, damages a piece of icebreaker, then goes somewhere else. So if you keep failing you keep getting pinged and damaging your icebreaker and it keeps jumping.

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1 minute ago, TheLonelySandPerson said:

Yes, but if it jumps to another subsystem, you're unlikely to encounter it again unless you have multiple stops to make in the system. 

An interesting running encounter will have multiple sub-systems of interest.  Don't put Shinobi ice in a system with only one sub-system worth targeting.  

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What @TheSapient said: just because it's in another sub-system doesn't mean that subsystem has already been accessed. A good network encounter has multiple objectives and multiple subsystems that need getting into. If you only need one subsystem, you should treat it as a simple network encounter (SotB139) in which you make one check to get what you need.

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13 minutes ago, TheSapient said:

An interesting running encounter will have multiple sub-systems of interest.  Don't put Shinobi ice in a system with only one sub-system worth targeting.  

Sure, but there's no guarantee the player won't go in the other order unless you quietly move Shinobi to be in their way.

Moreover, if this is the only ice covering a subsystem, it's now exposed, and if you doubled up the ice to really increase the challenge on the "most interesting" subsystem, per the network encounter suggestions, that extra challenge of keeping both ices down is gone now.

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4 minutes ago, TheLonelySandPerson said:

Yes, and I'm having a hard time thinking of a case where ANY sysop would want it.

I can think of two cases:

  • The Sysops wants to hurt the runner, with the potential of strain on even a successful check (2 strain for the low cost of 1 threat!)
  • The Sysops has a bunch of them. They jump all over causing chaos. Granted, not very often do you have a wacked-out sysops, but it'd be fun…once

Mainly the use is the almost guaranteed strain: 6 if you fail and 2+ per threat if you succeed or fail. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

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Well, that kind of gets back to my feeling that it's more of a land mine than anything else. Which is fine, if that's the intent.

I guess I could see putting it on your own rig for defense, since that's unlikely to have many subsystems or lots of ice. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, TheLonelySandPerson said:

Sure, but there's no guarantee the player won't go in the other order unless you quietly move Shinobi to be in their way.

Sure. It's fine if the runner does things in the other order.  Then they get to feel good about how things went down.  Or maybe they hung out with the sysop at the bar before hand and were acting on the intel they were able to gather.  

Why would a sysop want this ice?  Maybe they want a reputation for having dangerous traps for runners.  Unpredictability is a defense.  A less able runner isn't going to go after less important materials if they think there could be truly dangerous ice in the way.  

EDIT:  It is like having a guard that always roams the halls instead of a guard who always stands in one place.  

Edited by TheSapient

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I think several types of ICE come with rules that don't make a lot of sense when looked at from a "realism" angle. I guess it's because they are modelled on the way they work in the Android: Netrunner game, where plausibility was less of a concern than in an rpg. I also think porting this approach to Shadow of the Beanstalk was a mistake...

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If it would be narratively interesting for a PC to encounter Shinobi, just put it on whatever server they happen to run. Then move it to another server where it will taunt the runner. Genesys isn’t meant to be a tower defense game where we build servers, lock them in and let PCs smash themselves against them.  Go ahead and build a general outline of a system, but change it as you need to to make the story fun and exciting. 

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26 minutes ago, Gamedog said:

If it would be narratively interesting for a PC to encounter Shinobi, just put it on whatever server they happen to run. Then move it to another server where it will taunt the runner. Genesys isn’t meant to be a tower defense game where we build servers, lock them in and let PCs smash themselves against them.  Go ahead and build a general outline of a system, but change it as you need to to make the story fun and exciting. 

I think this is good, to an extent.  But the players shouldn't feel like the GM is just making stuff up on the fly specifically to hit a certain challenge level.  I personally use a monitor to show images, etc.  When they decide to hack a server, I have a bunch of objectives and ice i that I can quickly cut and paste from into a Google Draw file (like the attached image).  When they hit some ice, I change the text from white to black so they know what they are up against.  So yes, I basically make them on the fly, but I'm not constantly changing it based on their successes and failures.

Tower Security.jpg

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Depending on the game, and the people at the table; a sign of a good game is one where the players never realize what tricks the GM has used. Everything will seem carefully orchestrated. 

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On 4/3/2019 at 1:02 AM, Colgrevance said:

I think several types of ICE come with rules that don't make a lot of sense when looked at from a "realism" angle. I guess it's because they are modelled on the way they work in the Android: Netrunner game, where plausibility was less of a concern than in an rpg. I also think porting this approach to Shadow of the Beanstalk was a mistake...

 No, the real mistake was describing the way it works.  Just say what it does, not why (or vaguely why at best).

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