Using Computers

A computer is a special tool which takes on a wide variety of shapes, functions, and complexity.

Most normal computer operations, such as social networking, trolling the internet, opening a program, sending e-mails and instant messages, or installing software in the "suggested" mode, don’t require a tool check.

You might have to make a Research check when trying to find information online, but not a Computers tool check.

However, searching an unfamiliar site for a particular file, writing computer programs, altering existing programs to perform differently (better or worse), utilizing advanced functions of software, repairing programs, and breaking through computer security are all relatively difficult and require tool checks.

Without proficiency in the Computers tool, you cannot perform any task with a DC higher than 10.

First, let's cover some basic terminology:

Site. A site is a virtual space created by one or more computers which are interconnected, sharing files, access rites, internet connectivity, and tools such as scanner or printers. Whether you're attempting to access a single laptop, a server farm, or a corporate network connecting computers and data archives all over the world, the rules following will refer to this as a site.

Access. Most modern sites can be accessed wirelessly. Many sites can be accessed through the internet, but some aren't connected to any external network and can only be accessed by a user who is physically present. Accessing a site doesn't generally require a Computers tool check.

Session. A session is the period of time in which you are active within a site. It lasts from the time you access the site until you log out.

Security. The security of a site is that site's passive Intelligence save in an unsecured site or the passive Computer's tool check of the programmer in a secured site. If alerted to your activity, a site administrator can attempt to block your access by making Computers tools check opposed by your own. Ties are won by the site admin.

Find File

You can make a Computers tool check to find files or data on an unfamiliar system. The DC for the check and the time required are determined by the size of the site on which you're searching.

Finding public information on the Internet does not fall under this category; usually, such a task requires a Research check. This application of the Computers tool only pertains to finding files on private systems with which you are not familiar.

File Finding Checks
Size of Site DC Time
Personal computer 10 1d4 rounds
Small office network 12 2d4 rounds
Large office network 15 1d4 minutes
Massive corporate network 20 2d6 minutes

Write Simple Program

You can create a simple program to help with a specific task. Doing so grants the user a +1 bonus to the task.

A specific task, in this case, is one type of operation with one target. Therefore, you could write a simple program to search for files in the CIA's site, gaining a +1 to Computers tool checks to find files on that site. You could write a program to grant a bonus to Medicine skill checks when dealing with restoring hit points. Using a simple program to grant you a +1 bonus requires twice the time of normally using the skill or tool.

In order to write a simple program that grants a bonus to a skill check or tools check, you must be proficient in that skill or tool.

An empty database is a simple program.

A simple program cannot help with attack rolls or saving throws.

A simple program takes 0 program slots on your computer. It can be hosted on a website. It requires a laptop, desktop, or supercomputer to create the program. The DC to write a simple program is 12; the time required is 2d4 hours.

Write Sophisticated Program

You can create a sophisticated program to help with broad tasks. Doing so grants the user a +2 circumstance bonus to one selected skill or tool check, or to several skill or tool checks used for a single purpose.

For a list of sophisticated programs, see the Programs list in the General Equipment section.

In order to write a sophisticated program that grants a bonus to a skill or tool check, you must be proficient in that skill or tool.

A sophisticated program takes 1 program slot on your computer and cannot be hosted on a website. It can be hosted on a website. It requires a laptop, desktop, or supercomputer to create the program and it can not be used on a phone. The DC to write a sophisticated program is 15; the time required is 2d4 x 8 hours.

Repair Computers

You can attempt to repair a damaged computer or program, or try to retrieve lost information. Repairing or replacing hardware falls under the Electronics tool. The DC is set by the GM, as detailed in the chart below.

Repair Checks
Repair Task Repair DC Time Example
Simple 10 1d4 min. Install new software or drivers.
Moderate 12 2d4 min. Repair a simple program.
Complex 15 1d4 hr. Repair a sophisticated program.
Advanced 20 1d4 hr. Retrieve lost data.

Fixing a degraded programming requires 1 hour and a Computers tool check against a DC equal to the DC for degrading it +2.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License