The BlackHammer CyberPunk Project
|lookin' fer warez, choomba?|
|we gots it all, right 'ere!|
This article originally trickled into my head during a conversation started by BlackRage and supported by GhostLord and myself in regards to emailing MRAM chips on the Bravenet CP2020 discussion forum; and portions of what is here as the final article were penned onto that forum as well.|
Thanks, of course, go to the GhostLord (who first made the comparison between the copy protection of Playstation CDs and that of chipware) and BlackRage (for making us think about it at all) and everyone on that group who keep up the good work and keep us jumping for new rules and ideas.
|· The Basics - MRAM and APTR Chips ·|
- According to CP2020, the basis for all newtechs is chipware (also known as wet-ware), "bio-plastic circuitry that allows the human body to mesh with the power of silicon microprocessors."
- There are two types of chipware, reflex (APTR) chips and memoryware (MRAM) chips. To use a chipped skill requires two seperate installations: a neural processor to translate the data and a set of interface plugs or chipware sockets. From here on, the rules presented are my own interpretations, extrapolations and additions to the page of chipware rules from Page 72 of CP2020.
- Both MRAM and APTR chips are bioplastic constructions designed along specific artificial neural pathways to maximise our use of the data contained on the chip. In addition the data has to be stored in a method approximating that of the human mind to allow for faster acccess times to the skills involved. APTR chips in particular have additional "neural pathways" in the chip that allow the skills contained therein to be accessed refelxively by the mind and body of the user.
- To the layman this means little, but when it comes to pirating the data, the processes become a lot more involved than copying the code from a Decryption Soft.
|· Re-wiring chipjacks, pirate MRAMs and APTRs ·|
- The first obstacle is of course that standard computer data storage chips cannot fit into your chipjack, as chipjack chips have a specific design to prevent this. In fact, chipjacks can be modified to accept standard computer chips through minor work on the inputs themselves. What is harder is modifying the wet-ware of the Neural Processor to allow the use of pirated skills on regular chips. Specifically for APTR chips this is especially daunting, particularly if you wish to be able to use regular (non-pirate) chips also.
- Difficult (20) CyberTech roll to rewire ChipJack hardware and wetware for using pirate MRAM chips
- Very Difficult (25) CyberTech roll to rewire ChipJack hardware and wetware for using pirate APTR & MRAM chips
- Nearly Impossible (30) CyberTech roll to rewire ChipJack wetware and hardware to use pirate chips and still be able to us legitimate chips.
|· Pirating MRAMs and APTRs ·|
- The actual process of pirating chips is quite simple in fact at it's more basic levels. It's a fairly simple feat of programming or hardware work to set a chipreader to "burn" chipware data into regular chips. For MRAM chips it's as simple as that, but for APTR chips we run into the Technology Barrier. Since APTR chips have a special neural structure that is missing in our pirate APTR, the skill will not be accessible at full level...
- High-Class Pirates will instead procure actual MRAM and APTR blank chips ("blanks) or will modify existing computer chips to work as actual MRAM and APTR blanks. (See the price of chipware, below)
- Routine (10) Computer or Complex Computer Language roll to copy the data from an MRAM chip into a normal blank chip (this chip will require re-wired chipjacks to use)
- Average (15) Computer or Complex Computer Language roll to copy the data from an APTR chip into a normal blank chip (this chip will require re-wired chipjacks to use and will be at -2 skill levels, unless the roll is 25+ in which case it will be at -1 skill level from the master chip)
- Difficult (20) Computer or Complex Computer Language roll to copy the data from an MRAM into a "blank" MRAM chip (this chip will be useable in normal chipjacks)
- Very Difficult (25) Computer or Complex Computer Language roll to copy the data from an APTR into a "blank" APTR chip (this chip will be useable at full level in normal chipjacks)
- Very Difficult (25) Electronics or Computer roll to re-format a normal chip to accept MRAM code as an MRAM chip (not usually worth the effort unless you just scored some 15 MU chip with nothind to do with it)
- Nearly Impossible (30) Electronics roll to physically re-format a normal or MRAM chip to accept APTR code as a blank APTR chip.
- So, why bother going through all the effort of re-formating blank chips to accept APTR and MRAM code or pirating data onto normal chips instead of the proper ones? First off, chips are DAMN expensive when you exceed the "3MU barrier". On top of that, no one wants to sell APTR blanks, and even MRAM blanks are prohibitive in pricing compared to regular chips.
- The following table for chip prices assumes that you are buying regular computer data storage chips and not chipware blanks. MRAM blanks require a Resources / StreetDeal roll of 12+ to find, and cost three times the chip cost. APTR blanks require a Resources / StreetDeal roll of 25+ to find, and cost five times the chip cost. In addition, bio-plastic chips with storage capacities over 4MU are at +5 difficulty to find (even the blank computer chips become dif 15 to find at this size).
|1 MU||10 eb|
|2 MU||50 eb|
|3 MU||200 eb|
|4 MU||500 eb|
|5 MU||800 eb|
|6 MU||2,000 eb|
|7 MU||5,000 eb|
|8 MU||10,000 eb|