What good are hacking tools without software? Most hackers are well aware of the need for specific suites of software to make things happen. Software can be purchased in select shops or created by the player character. One warning on hacking, because of the way damage to your Shadow Avatar works, if you suffer a critical hit or fumble while battling in Grid Space, your software might not remain entirely stable. In fact, it is possible for attackers to directly target your active and stored software while in the grid. Because of this, it is always a good idea to make sure you have all of your programs backed up on a hard copy that is not connected directly to your Shadow Avatar while you are engaged in dangerous activity in the Grid. Shadow Avatars can be damaged, just like you can, but Critical hits can send biofeedback to the user as well as deleting, damaging, or infecting software with bugs. Users can also be hit with viruses that inhibit software.
Grid Coma. This is the most dangerous aspect of Grid activity. If you are caught in the grid and suffer severe enough biofeedback, you will have to roll a Constitution saving throw. If you fail, you are not ejected from the Grid safely but end up becoming another cluster of buggy data in the Grid itself. Characters that enter grid coma require medical attention to remove them from the grid safely. Many users get stuck in a catatonic state and die from dehydration and lack of sustenance because no one was around to get them the attention they needed. A character that recovers from Grid Coma may also suffer derangement mentally, such as a form of madness inflicted by the damage to their brain from the biofeedback. Grid users are urged to take caution when entering Grid Space.
Computer Options. Character have a variety of computer options available for their characters. Computers have a number of Memory Slots based on the quality of the installed processing unit. The number of Memory Slots determines how many programs you can have active at one time when you are in Grid Space. Note that unless you are going into Grid Space, the quality of your computer won’t matter too much. For basic AR and terminal based users that aren’t doing full immersion, a low-end model will work fine. Only those taking the VR plunge should worry about going for the higher end machines.
Low End CPU Core. Comes with 3 active memory slots and not the most reliable computer CPU on the market. You get what you pay for when buying a low end CPU core. Fortunately these models rarely are sold above 50 gp. Characters should be wary of merchants who sell low end technology, as some less scrupulous merchants may try to pass off a low end CPU core as higher technology to get someone to pay more for it. Price: 25-100 gp.
Standard CPU Core. This ordinary quality computer is standard with 6 slots of active memory and four times the processing power of most low end models. The extra slots of active memory go a long way toward supporting programs essential for most activities on the Grid.
Shadow Avatar. This software package provides a basic grid avatar. This avatar is highly dependent on the user, gaining the same mental ability scores as its user (it is basically a reflection of your character in the grid mentally speaking). It retains the user’s Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. Physical ability scores are based on the quality of the program, but may be customized by an experienced coder.
- Marginal Quality. Cost: 50 gp. Physical Attributes: Str 10, Dex 10, Con 10.
- Ordinary Quality. Cost: 150 gp. Physical Attributes: As Marginal Quality, +2 to any two attributes of the programmer’s choice.