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Fl1nt

Stealing data from a Player's Brain Implant

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Posted (edited)

Hello 🙂

I'm currently plotting for the next Character arc of my Explorer-Archaeologist Player.
He's got an old rival that has recently been foiled by the player again (the players were able to get to an ancient temple and retrieve an artefact before the rival could and went on to humiliate the rival in front of their hutt overlord).
The Rival now wants to get one up on the Archaeologist by stealing their data and using that to either discredit him or make a better find than him. (Or something along those lines; I just want to up the ante in this Rivalry relationship).

Since my Archaeologist Player stores all of his findings in his Cybernetic Brain Implant, I cant just make the Rival or her goons steal the Research and Findings from the player's ship when they're away. 

I have 2 idea's right now: 

  1. Seperate the Archaeologist from the group and then slice into the Brain Implant. 
    • My Problem: How should I handle that? Will this take too much agency away from the player
  2. Somehow slice the group's R4 Unit or the Ship-Computer and plant a Virus that will copy and send the data via encrypted Holonet once the Player is connected to the Ship. (Which he is often, since he's also the dedicated Pilot of the group).
    • Again, I'm not 100% sure how to handle this in a good way.

Has anyone got a good Idea or feedback on these two ideas? 

Edited by Fl1nt

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Posted (edited)

How about he spies on them as they go to a university to research their next expedition.

Or maybe he waylays a courier bringing them info about a find, and gets a jump on them, as their source must provide them with another copy of the info.

(Not a fan of #1 at all... I would require a form of interrogation to gain info from an implant.)

Edited by salamar_dree

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1 hour ago, salamar_dree said:

How about he spies on them as they go to a university to research their next expedition.

Or maybe he waylays a courier bringing them info about a find, and gets a jump on them, as their source must provide them with another copy of the info.

(Not a fan of #1 at all... I would require a form of interrogation to gain info from an implant.)

Yeah those are also good alternatives, but I'm currently looking for something I can initiate, the player is of the more passive kind and it will probably be some time till he gets the idea to do something with the tons of info he's gathered so far.

Regarding #1, would it be an interrogation though when someone just knocks him out? 
Wouldn't it be more of a opposed Computer's check (his security measures against the attacker)? 

But yes, I also have my reservations about trying to slice a player character's brain 😕

 

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How about a dreamspace slicing encounter? Somehow, they capture the PC and hook him up to a computer to try and slice him. The other PCs have to try and rescue him, but while he's waiting for rescue he's in a dreamspace encounter trying to resist the hacking attempts. You can make it super Computers focused, or more like a standard adventure, just in his brain (go to terminal, question NPC, etc. All figments of his imagination/memory). Perhaps the character doesn't even realize at first that he's in his own brain, and thinks it's all real.

Of course, you can set it up so that "damage in the game" is "damage in real life" or you can run it such that there is no carry over between the two. I'd probably run it so that any wounds or crits taken inside the dreamspace don't carry over, though Wounds may translate to Strain.

Another way that's a bit more controversial is to have the player no even know that it's a dreamspace encounter, although they very well might figure it out pretty quickly. Then you have either a big reveal in the dreamspace as he encounters people who might enlighten him or he finds things that don't add up, or a reveal where the rest of the party finds him hooked up to the computer.

Whichever way you run it, the player will have been able to actively resist the efforts to hack the brain implant, making him very important to the story, and the other PCs will also be very important as they have to rescue him before he loses the fight since he can't possibly hold out forever.

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That is an absolutely amazing idea! 
I really really like that. 

Will take some time to prepare this, but I think this will be quite memorable and its a excellent way to give my Archaeologist Player some much needed Spotlight 🙂

Thanks alot for this idea P-47 =D  

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I like the dreamscape idea. I don't think a brain implant should be hackable by traditional means. This is me taking some creative liberties, but I think the brain would act almost as an encryption key.  If Dave's brain wrote the data, you need Dave's brain to interpret it. So you need some way to scan his thoughts, and then get his brain to actually access that data.

Hence the dreamscape. Basically start the session with him already in a weird situation. Have occasional weird glitches in reality. But also a little droid that shows up to help out, and drop hints that something is wrong.  This droid is the representation of his brain chip's security, which is super weak until he gets it upgraded.  I'm basically imagining Clippy, from Microsoft Word. Just an annoying little droid with googly eyes that pops out of nowhere and asks if he needs help with something.

"HI! I'm CL1-PI! It looks like you're trying to open The Lost Temple of Darth MacGuffin, can I help you with that?"

"What? No, I'm not trying to do that, I need to give a speech, but I'm naked!"

"Are you sure? What do your notes say?"

"'Professor Dave: a Dissertation on Opening the Lost Temple of Darth MacGuffin.' Why would I give a speech on this? And where was I keeping these notes?"

"It sure is a mystery!"

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16 minutes ago, The Grand Falloon said:

I like the dreamscape idea. I don't think a brain implant should be hackable by traditional means. This is me taking some creative liberties, but I think the brain would act almost as an encryption key.  If Dave's brain wrote the data, you need Dave's brain to interpret it. So you need some way to scan his thoughts, and then get his brain to actually access that data.

Hence the dreamscape. Basically start the session with him already in a weird situation. Have occasional weird glitches in reality. But also a little droid that shows up to help out, and drop hints that something is wrong.  This droid is the representation of his brain chip's security, which is super weak until he gets it upgraded.  I'm basically imagining Clippy, from Microsoft Word. Just an annoying little droid with googly eyes that pops out of nowhere and asks if he needs help with something.

"HI! I'm CL1-PI! It looks like you're trying to open The Lost Temple of Darth MacGuffin, can I help you with that?"

"What? No, I'm not trying to do that, I need to give a speech, but I'm naked!"

"Are you sure? What do your notes say?"

"'Professor Dave: a Dissertation on Opening the Lost Temple of Darth MacGuffin.' Why would I give a speech on this? And where was I keeping these notes?"

"It sure is a mystery!"

Unless...

CL1-PI is actually the invader, trying to trick Dave into opening the memories. Once he's opened them, then he's got to protect the data from the hackers, whether that's through "physical" means (combat) or Computers checks, or whatever else. To throw in an additional wrinkle, perhaps there's one of both. Both obviously try to convince Dave that they're on his side, while fighting between themselves as they each know which one is the bad guy even though Dave doesn't.

Perhaps there is a cave/building/hole/what have you. For whatever reason, Dave is considering going in. It contains the information the bad guys want opened. The one who wants that information opened urges him to go in, it contains the explanation for what's going on (or whatever other story element is applicable). The other warns him not to, and the two guys argue about it, calling the other's motives into question and trying to convince Dave to do what they want.

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5 hours ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

CL1-PI is actually the invader, trying to trick Dave into opening the memories.

Ooh, that's even better. Introduce him as the character starts to figure out he's in his own mind. "I'm CL1-PI, a security routine for your brain implant! Someone is trying to access secure data, I'll help you protect it!"

Heck, get the other players involved. Give them each a weird avatar to play in this guy's mindscape.

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1 minute ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

@Fl1nt, if/when you run this, could you give us a rundown of how it went? I'd love to hear what you went with.

Sure will. 

although I cannot say how soon it will be, the opportunity has yet to present itself. 
I'll need to seperate them from the rest of the crew for this to work 😉

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If you put an electronic machine in your head and someone can make a physical connection to it via a scomplink they can do whatever to it. The benefit of the implant is that it exceeds normal biological performance, the downsides are Ion and Slicing. 

In capturing the player I would not make it something the player has no chance to resist though, and would make any attempt to capture the PC something that can fail if the characters win or outsmart the NPCs. This is where I would focus their agency, not in the post-capture events. 

If they realize what is going on it becomes an interesting part of the story. 

This idea that the technology is now impenetrable because it's attached to the PC makes no sense to me. The price to pay for cyberpunking is that the machine parts are machines and are subject to being interacted with... like machines. 

 

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