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Credstick i fałszywa tozsamość Edytuj

Świat kredstików //credsticks// i fałszywych dowodów tożsamości w Shadowrunie zdaje się być nieco niedopracowany. Próbowałem (MASON) trochę to wyprostować, zgadując,, jak coś takiego będzie działać w latach 50-tych. jeśli masz jakies pytania, to skontakuj się ze [[1]]. Jeśli trafiłeś tutaj poprzez wyszukiwarkę, szukając możliwości zakupu fałszywej tożsamości, to trafiłeś na niewłaściwą stronę.


Na stronie 245 w //Shadowrun II//:

A credstick is a combination passport, keyring, credit card, checkbook, and business card. It’s a small plastic cylinder tapering to a point. The blunt end houses a computer. The chip in the credstick contains the owner’s System Identification Number (SIN), credit balance, financial records, and resumé, as well as passcodes for the owner’s locks.

|| Quality || Minimum ¥ || Verification || Lifestyle || || Plastic || 0¥ || Passcode || Street-Low || || Silver || 5,000¥ || Fingerprint || Low-Medium || || Gold || 20,000¥ || Voiceprint || Medium-High || || Platinum || 200,000¥ || Retinal scan || High-Luxury || || Ebony || 1,000,000¥ || Cellular scan || Luxury ||

The first thing to realize about credsticks: //The quality of a credstick (plastic, silver, gold, platinum, ebony) and the quality of the associated fake ID are largely independent.// Credstick quality is a measure of how much a bank likes you; if you don’t have the minimum amount of funds for a given quality of credstick, it’s highly unlikely that a bank will like you that much. Fake ID quality is a measure of how hard it is to detect that your ID is not legitimate.

The next point regarding credsticks: //the quality of the credstick and the amount of money it carries are not rigidly correlated.// A bank will happily let you use a plastic credstick whose access to a million nuyen is protected only by a passcode, but since using such low security is risky, the bank is not going to give you any of the privileges that would go with accepting a higher-rated credstick and the corresponding higher quality of identity verification, and it’s probably going to require extra identification in order to transfer more than 5,000¥ off the stick in a single day.

Credstick quality generally involves a certain amount of security on your account, and a certain batch of attached privileges. In general, a credstick has access to a line of credit on the order of the minimum nuyen to have such a credstick. Credit is mostly useful to folks who have very little in the way of savings (in which case their rating is quite low), and for those who have money tied up in investments where they can’t get at it immediately.

Another point is that you don’t need to have a given quality of credstick in order to store identity information on it. No bank is going to object if someone wants to have retinal scan and cellular scan information on their silver credstick because they want to be extremely sure that no one will be able to steal their credstick and abuse it. (Some banks may charge a small amount extra for the higher security; many won’t.)

One of their functions is holding E-cash. This is the equivalent of pocket change; you can carry around almost arbitrary quantities of the stuff, setting various levels of protection on it. (For instance, you might specify that you can spend no more than ten nuyen every ten minutes without giving a passcode or voiceprint.) E-cash //can// be stolen if someone swipes your credstick and it isn’t designed to prevent someone from reading its memory; it //can// be traced to you, if you withdrew it from your own bank account and didn’t launder it. However, you can spend it like cash without worrying about going through the tedium of verifying your identity. This is how you’d buy things the way you’d pay cash today: instead of handing over your wallet, you just slot your credstick. (Most home telcom units will have a slot for hooking up to a credstick. This allows sending immediate payment to someplace you’re ordering from over the phone, and makes it trivial to make your guests pay for their own calls.) You do need to go through an ID process in order to download more e-cash onto your credstick from your bank account.

It should be easily possible to transfer a variety of different currencies into subdivisions of this buffer on your credstick, giving you the equivalent of a subdivided wallet full of international cash.

Another of their purposes is connecting to your bank account for an EFT. Almost all major transactions for most people are going to occur with a direct connection to a bank account, rather than a side trip into e-cash on your credstick. This is equivalent to using your ATM card or credit card for a transaction, and requires going through a credstick verifier.

is private encryption key storage. Rather than keeping an encryption key where it could potentially be stolen, special credsticks (and other jewelry, such as rings that happen to be just the right size to plug into a credstick terminal) could have on-board processors that perform encryption and decryption themselves, rather than allowing a private key onto a potentially insecure computer.

The same processor can be called upon to verify your password and provide the appropriate data for matching up voiceprints, retinal prints, and so on. This data is often used with lower-rating credit verifiers handling E-cash. Medium-rating credit verifiers that handle the kinds of transactions you need to contact your bank account for will also verify your retinal prints and so on with the bank as well; as credit verifiers get to progressively higher and higher ratings, they will also do searches of databases to make sure that you’re a legitimate being, in order to avoid electronic fraud.

One credstick can carry a large number of private keys, and can thus function as a key ring: you slot your credstick into the lock, submit to whatever level of identity verification is required to prove that you’ve got the right credstick, then prove you have the right private encryption key to show you have access to the rooms behind the door. (A lock can operate this way independently; it can also check with a central computer to make sure that the retinal prints also match someone in the database.) If you lose your credstick, you go down to the bank, have them verify that you’re the person you claim you are with the identity information in storage, and get a new one. Credsticks offered by banks will often only yield up their store of private keys when talking to a computer that can prove its access to the bank’s private key. These keys can then be stored in a digital safe deposit box, protected by all the security surrounding the bank’s own information.

are built to change their identities when appropriate manipulations are applied to them, allowing a runner to keep one credstick with multiple fake ID’s. Anti-tamper circuitry is usually present to wipe such evidence from the ’stick before anyone can get inside it to look for such things during an arrest.

Credstick Specifications Edytuj

A credstick is usually a small plastic cylinder about 10cm long and 1cm in diameter, with the end tapering to 5mm in diameter over the last 2cm of its length. The interface at one end is capable of slotting into a port on a machine or another credstick, permitting stick-to-stick transfer of certified credit. A small LCD display near the back of the stick can display the amount of certified cred on the stick, or the amount it’s ready to transfer. The back centimeter of the stick is usually in a locked position, but by pushing down and twisting it can be released to spring outward, allowing the user to set up a stick-to-stick transfer by twisting in one direction to increase the amount and in the other to decrease it. (The control operates like many car stereos: you twist it a bit and hold it there, and the display starts incrementing its numbers faster and faster until it reaches the amount of cred on the stick. Twisting the other way decreases, and pushing down twice quickly on the control authorizes the transfer. Doubleclicking allows switching between different buffers on the same stick, a useful feature when carrying multiple different currencies of E-cash.)

Credsticks usually have a very tough plastic casing; most are a neutral color like grey or black, but some have a fake finish to resemble woodgrain or some form of stone such as serpentine, granite, or obsidian. They may bear the logo of the issuing bank, though those purchasing designer credsticks may prefer the elegance of anonymity. Anti-tamper circuitry will usually wipe the contents if the stick is opened. The quality of the credstick is sometimes displayed in a band near the readout, so gold, silver, and platinum credsticks often have a very thin band of the appropriate metal embedded in a tough piece of plastic. Certified credsticks have narrow rings around that end of the barrel, indicating the order of magnitude of nuyen they’re permitted to carry. (Thus, a three-ring certified credstick holds up to a thousand nuyen, and a six-ring one carries up to a million.)

The credstick may carry personal information such as photographs, résumés, and so on; however, it is not going to hold credit balance and financial records. (Those will be in the bank it’s linked to: after all, transactions can take place without the credstick knowing about them, such as automated bill payment.)

In Europe, most people use European Cash-Free Transactors (ECTs), which are basically credsticks that are boxes about the size of a pack of cigarettes. There are, of course, adaptors to allow ECTs to use credstick jacks and vice versa. Very expensive credsticks can be unscrewed to fit inside a specially designed ECT case, or have two stacked screw-on attachments at the far end that can be stacked in either order, one to talk to ECT ports, one to credjacks.

Alternative credsticks do exist in the form of rings, cyberfingers, knife hilts, and anything else you can imagine.


Credstick verifiers, as described in the //Neo-Anarchist’s Guide to Real Life//, are just a bit silly— there’s no reason to do a credit check on someone every time they get food in a restaurant. They attempt to combine two different functions into one device, and are much more easily dealt with as two different ones.

|||| Credstick Verifiers || || Quality || Cost || || Plastic || 500¥ || || Silver || 1000¥ + 200¥/rating point || || Gold || 2000¥ + 700¥/rating point || || Platinum || 5000¥ + 1700¥/rating point || || Ebony || 10,000¥ + 3200¥/rating point ||

The first one is that of identity verification: this is all you need for normal financial transactions. Your standard credstick verifier comes with a quality suitable to the quality of credstick it’s designed to handle— plastic, silver, gold, platinum, ebony— and a rating, which is how good its hardware is for verifying that you’re the person that’s supposed to be using this credstick. (These are simply the standard ID verifiers in //Shadowrun II// p. XX. You can use the tools mentioned in //Corporate Security// on p. XX to attempt to fool one, if you want to access a credstick not keyed to your personal data.) High-class terminals can still verify lower-class ID methods, so an Ebony terminal can accept cellular scans, retinal prints, voice prints, fingerprints, and passcodes.

The other function in //NAGRL// is that of doing a background check, the equivalent of probing into someone’s credit history in the modern era. The notion that a Stuffer Shack is going to do a background check on you as you buy a Nukit burrito is ridiculous: they’re just interested in getting valid nuyen. Nothing bad is going to happen to them if you have a shady background. This extends throughout a large amount of the market. All you need in a credstick for this purpose is having a bank behind it willing to vouch for you. (In theory, you don’t even need a SIN. In practice, very few banks are willing to give accounts to folks who don’t even have a SIN.)

|||||| Background Checks || || Rating || Cost || Notes || || 1 || 1¥ || Furniture and electronics stores, restaurant reservations, car rental agencies, or renting a standard Middle lifestyle apartment. || || 2 || 5¥ || Low-grade security spot check, checking in to a resort hotel or casino, hiring a limousine, getting a standard High lifestyle apartment. || || 3 || 10¥ || Standard Lone Star/Knight Errant ID spot check. Buying a cheap automobile. || || 4 || 20¥ || Typical low-grade security firm arrest and booking. Buying a middle-class automobile. Getting a driver’s license. Takes 1d6 minutes. || || 5 || 50¥ || Typical Lone Star/Knight Errant arrest and booking; getting a Luxury lifestyle apartment. Takes 1d6 minutes. || || 6 || 100¥ || Getting a passport. Buying a luxury automobile. Takes 2d6 minutes. || || 7 || 200¥ || Often used in arrest and booking for flashy or unusual crimes— like people trying to knock over a corporate facility or being picked up dressed in military armor and carrying heavy weapons. Takes 2d6 minutes. || || 8 || 500¥ || Takes 3d6 minutes. || || 9 || 1000¥ || Takes 3d6 minutes. || || 10+ || 10,000¥+ || This level of electronic credit checking is basically mythical; this kind of nuyen expenditure starts to get into matters of real detective work instead of electronic cross-checking. ||

Background checks are only performed by people with an interest in avoiding trouble caused by shady dealings. Opening accounts at banks, buying expensive things such as land and vehicles, renting apartments at Middle lifestyle and above, and crossing national borders will tend to trigger background checks.

Running a background check consists of asking a mainframe somewhere to talk to a bunch of other mainframes about a particular identity. These people are verification service providers (VSP’s), and most credstick verifiers have a slot for attaching a standard black box provided by VSP’s containing the Matrix grid location and appropriate encryption information for the VSP. When someone wants to verify an ID, they just push a button on the verifier that has it contact the VSP, which then goes out and checks up on the person’s background. Subverting a VSP via the Matrix is extremely difficult, as it requires getting into the VSP mainframe or obtaining the black box codes from the VSP (which are not even kept on the Matrix!) and intercepting the Matrix connection from the verifier. The better the VSP (or the more thorough the search), the more expensive the service; most VSP’s offer a wide range of service, and keep search results in cache for several minutes in case someone wants to upgrade the rating of the background check they just performed. Since most places don’t want to lose too much money on verification, they’re unlikely to spend more than a fraction of a percent of a transaction’s size or profit on a background check; 0.1% is a good value to consider (so if someone’s opening a bank account with a million nuyen, the bank is probably going to run a level 9 check— unless you’re getting yourself a numbered bank account). The UCAS generally spends 100¥ on a background check when verifying a person’s passport, which corresponds to a rating 6 check; border crossings are usually handled by a quick query to the passport database.

When a VSP discovers an inaccuracy, it will tend to highlight the problem for future reference and (if it finds any glaring problems) may notify appropriate authorities. Part of the process of making a new fake ID often includes spending money on successively better VSP checks. When the VSP starts providing cross-examination questions, the folks creating the fake ID punch in the appropriate answers and go back to shoring up the ID.


Identity verification often involves cross-checks with financial institutions (banks), government institutions (SIN registry, DMV, passports), and educational institutions (K12 and college). I can see no reason why it won’t be possible for a decker pretending to be a good credstick verifier to get a great deal of information about someone; however, this would require getting access to a good credstick verifier’s sealed black-box encryption software, as credstick verifiers will use

|||||||| Getting a fake ID || || Rating || Cost || Availability || Street Index || || 1-4 || 2,000¥ × Rating || Rating/12 hours || 1 || || 5-8 || 10,000¥ × Rating || Rating/72 hours || 1 || || 9-12 || 50,000¥ × Rating || Rating/14 days || 1 || || 13+ || 250,000¥ × Rating || Rating/30 days || 1 ||

encrypted group computation. This means that people who wish to keep things secret will pay for banks to not keep their records available to credstick verifiers; getting one of these banks to vouch for you as an account (but not disclosing your transactions) is a good way of establishing yourself a high-quality fake ID. (Because of this, such banks will make it very difficult to do so, with high security and either through a great deal of background verification or requiring that you keep a great deal of money with them. Some will have better reputations than others, and this will factor in to the quality of a fake ID.)

A fake ID should appreciate with time, if it’s being used well. Misuse of one should be able to degrade its quality almost instantly (if you perform extremely spurious transactions, such as money-laundering). I suggest that a triangle-number system (like that used for spending karma) be used for increasing quality, so the amount of effort required to create a level 3 credstick could improve one from 5 to 6.

Things that make your credit rating get better include:

  • **Proof of stable residence.** This is often done through having your name on electric bills, phone bills, cable bills, and so on in the same place for a given time.
  • **Making payments on time.** Always paying your credit account on time looks good. The bigger the purchase you’ve put on your credit account and paid back, the better.
  • **Verifiable income.** Having a company that says they’ve hired you as a full-time employee helps a lot. (Even if this is an offshore holding company owned by shadowrunners...)

Legitimate ID’s do exist. It should be possible to manufacture something that works as a legitimate ID and is immune to all electronic background checks. (Naturally, if someone becomes suspicious of the ID, they might check it out with real legwork, but that’s much harder to do.) This process should be defined. Alternatively, there should be a reasonable number of people every year who get picked up because their own credstick isn’t very well rated, and the process by which they exonerate themselves (or get shafted) should be documented.

When an ID is called into question, a number of levels of suspicion can operate:

  1. If the verifying computer looks askance at your records, it will query the computer containing the potentially suspicious records and have it generate some questions to ask the person with the ID. This usually consists of questions about their coursework at university, when they opened a bank account at a particular institution, the geography of a place they resided for a long time, their mother’s maiden name, and so on. Some are allowed to be missed, such as the name of the café next to the college campus’ bookstore; some aren’t, such as the mother’s maiden name. This can occur at any level of background check.
  2. **Cross-correlation**. This can take a few minutes as the computer spends some time checking different databases to make sure that all the records match up: spending activity correlates with income or adjustments in credit rating, large transfers of credit don’t involve other transactors that are on publicly available lists of shady dealers, and so on. This is part of what takes time, starting with a level 4 background check, and becoming more thorough at level 6.
  3. **Backup verification**. This can take a while as records are pulled out of successively older and older storage to show that a person’s account records didn’t suddenly appear with backdating or data suddenly change. In general, this kind of retrieval takes time and resources, and people paying money for verification service are only going to pay for so much background checking. Of course, if someone else is already running a search or records just happen to be in cache from a recent search, the runner might get unlucky... Fortunately, this is unlikely until you reach level 8 background checks.
  4. **Investigation**. This can take some time and quite a lot of nuyen if it gets expensive. An investigation can involve contacting college professors, relatives, coworkers, and so on, often requiring real legwork (since a good decker can play merry hell with an investigator’s phone calls). Passing an investigation is a mixed blessing: people with access to the appropriate background records will find it suspicious you went through an investigation, but will take the amount of nuyen spent on the last one as a guideline on whether they want to bother with one themselves. (Of course, most VSP’s will not release the record of an investigation occurring or its result to anyone who isn’t paying for it, so there’s always the chance that someone will mount a fresh investigation. And yes, investigation records //can// be doctored...) In general, this is only done to check out major transactions such as giving someone a security license, purchasing valuable property, getting a passport when you’re under suspicion, and so on. This qualifies as a background check of level 10+.

SINs can be acquired in a variety of ways with a variety of qualities. All are necessary for a decent fake ID.

  •  : one assigned to you at birth. Makes for an excellent legitimate ID, but if it gets associated with criminal activity, it’s sunk.
  •  : one assigned to you on becoming naturalized after immigrating. This is just as legit as a natural SIN, but if someone gets really suspicious, they can start checking your datatrail in the country you immigrated from.
  •  : a natural SIN that belongs to someone now dead or vanished, or who never existed in the first place. These are also extremely good, though you need to make sure that all references to that SIN (in all the computers that have interacted with it) now believe that your ID codes are appropriate for it. This is the most common one used in fake ID’s.

The main trick is obtaining them without generating a death record that inactivates the SIN: appropriating a SIN from someone by mugging them generally gets their relatives up in arms. This means that part of the process often involves tracking down people who have very little in the way of folks to care about them, and assassinating them for their SINs. Muggers who kill will often try to fence credsticks in order to get a little cash; the people who make the money off these SINs are the deckers who find out if the SIN is worth anything or not. (This provides a splendid plot hook for troubling runners with consciences...)

  •  : a SIN that has been added to the central databanks by an external decker. If it gets called into question by a credit verifier, it can be checked against backups, at which point it’s sunk. This checking can take a while; the longer a time has passed that you’ve had a decked SIN, the less likely it is to be noticed in a backup check. (But there’s always the possibility someone just checked one of your neighbors and it’s in cache...)
  •  : You added the SIN to the central computers and changed the backups, you sly runner. Your SIN cannot be disproven without some serious amounts of legwork costing tens of thousands of nuyen (at least). However, if someone got that suspicious of you, you’ve already got some problems tied up with that SIN now. These are almost impossible to obtain.

Note that “morgue SINs” as specified in the //Lone Star// sourcebook should be nonexistent. (If it’s possible to acquire a SIN from a computer in the morgue, it’s possible to flush the record from the computer that it ever acquired it, and you get to wander off with a brand-new official SIN that isn’t going to generate any of the cross-checking “you should be dead” problems suggested in the sourcebook. SINs are for tracking //citizens//, not bodies; you can track a body quite well with any random index.)

  • **Department of Motor Vehicles**: keeps name, fingerprint, height, weight, hair color, eye color, photograph, date of birth, contact information, sex, and visual correction required. If you want to drive, you have to be in here.
  • **Passport Agency**: name, fingerprint, voiceprint, photograph, date of birth, sex, state of birth. If you want to leave the country, you have to be in here. They also record entries into the country. An extensive background check finding that you keep coming back to the UCAS but your ID doesn’t turn up in other countries can raise eyebrows.
  • **Internal Revenue Service**: name, all past addresses, all past tax returns. If you have a fake ID that makes any reasonable money, it has to be in here, if only to submit returns that show why you owe no taxes.
  • **Federal Bureau of Investigation**: name, fingerprint, voiceprint (if possible), retinal scan, DNA scan, data from hair samples and blood typing, results of cyberware scans, and your full arrest record. It’s rare to get in here without being booked, but even a fine for carrying a weapon with an expired permit will wind up in their databases, unless something gets in the way when the security company arresting you goes to file the report.

In general, it can be assumed that these databases are indexed by SIN (so it’s trivial to get a record out based on its SIN) and by simple things such as name and address. Looking up a SIN and then checking the listed identifiers (voice prints, etc.) is a very quick operation. Looking someone up based on such identifiers should take a little while— it’s an //O(n)// operation, taking an amount of time proportional to the number of people in the database. Cross-correlating all identifiers on file in a database is //O(n2)//, taking an amount of time proportional to the //square// of the number of people on file. If finding one person from a million only takes ten seconds, it could end up taking eight weeks to cross-check the whole database. (These numbers are pure fudge; if it’s too easy, it becomes improbable that anyone could keep a fake ID.)

Creating a good background can require a sizable labor force. Fixer networks that provide fake ID’s probably have a number of people whose jobs are to go around spending money to make ID’s look legit: buying books, groceries, trideo, paying rent, ordering food in, and so on. Many of the apartments are available as rentable safehouses from these same fixers, or come with the ID’s. (These people could also take part in a money laundering operation, moving small amounts of money around to completely confuse a data trail; these same people could also be professional tenants, happy to verify to investigators that a person had indeed lived there for a given period of time and seemed a fine, upstanding individual.)

Optional Extras Edytuj

Fake ID’s can come with a number of extras. Many of them include such things as associated apartments (which the new ID owner must take over payments on), skillsofts (which tell you who you are, who you went to school with and where, and similarly give a lot of background information on the history of this new ID; some might even include professional skills), and even plastic surgery to make you look like the person you’re supposed to be. (This is often done with appropriated SINs.)

Some things that come with a fake ID are usually factored into the cost: a driver’s license, a passport, and so on. It is upon occasion quite convenient to make the person a licensed thaumaturgical practitioner (which costs 25,000¥ according to //Lone Star//, p. 56) if one is a magician, to have one’s body registered as a lethal weapon if a physical adept or street samurai proficient in unarmed combat, and to have various permits as specified in the back of //Shadowtech//. Licenses to import weapons, deal vehicles, and so on can all be obtained, though some may be more difficult than others. Press passes run to only about 500¥. It’s standard to supply some extra cash along with the fake ID to be laundered into the ID, giving it a good base of money to operate from.

Some optional extras run to the very expensive indeed. It’s possible to become a consul for a foreign government, granting you diplomatic immunity; this isn’t cheap ($35,000— along with proof of an existing passport, a credit report, a resume, and a certificate that you haven’t been convicted of any crimes whatsoever— is a good deal in the modern era), and you can still be declared //persona non grata// by a host country, at which point you can no longer remain in the country on that ID, and should probably make a show of being deported. (But it’s a great way to be immune to minor nuisances like speeding tickets.) This can go very well with buying a noble title (also an expensive proposition, but a very good step in getting a high-quality fake ID, since it includes foreign citizenship). It’s still possible to get titles in Great Britain, as well as a number of the Allied German States; the Trollkönigreich Schwarzwald is one of the few places where an Ork or Troll can obtain a noble title, and is in a very convenient spot for visiting one’s numbered bank account in Switzerland. (Rumor has it that King Berthold I— who, as a former street samurai, understands the use of purchasing noble titles quite well— paid for his recent leónization entirely from creating new barons and baronets...) The key to getting most titles above knighthood is owning respectable quantities of land in the appropriate country, which means a healthy outlay of nuyen.

What if they have my data on file? Edytuj

There are a number of ways to get around problems like that in the 2050’s. Surgery that will permanently alter the harmonics of your voice is certainly available without Essence cost (though making it match someone else’s voiceprint is a different proposition), and even mages can have clonal skin grafts to their hands and have their eyes replaced with cloned ones. (Even identical twins have different fingerprints and retinal prints, and a clone is just an identical twin. Note that eye replacement is a magic-loss risk.) Changing your cellular scans is a bit trickier, since your DNA is what makes you you, but you can get compatible “type O” tissue from another person grafted to your own palms (which is where cell samplers usually take their flake of skin), or have your own genome muddied sufficiently to no longer be recognizable as yours and have skin grown from that. (This means it does //not// qualify as clonal tissue, and will mean Magic loss for mages!) If people are taking blood samples, you can (at exorbitant cost) get your bone marrow replaced with some that has been muddied via a similar process; this process should have a comparable impact to leónization in terms of Essence or Body Index cost, and should be much cheaper (though still quite expensive). Rumor has it that it’s possible to have your entire genetic signature changed through a retrovirus, but most competent geneticists laugh at this.

And, of course, you can always arrange for your file to vanish, or to have its identifying information fudged a bit, either by bribing people with the right contacts or paying enough nuyen to a very good decker.

A System for building Fake ID’s Edytuj

A fake ID’s rating is built on “background points”, which are to its rating what karma points are to a general skill. (Consult these tables for a quick reference.) There are a number of ways of generating background points, as well as methods for losing them. Primarily, this system exists to allow fake ID’s to appreciate with time (so even starting with a cheap, decked SIN, it’s possible to build quite a good fake ID over time) and to give some notion of how much work is involved in creating a good fake ID.

|| SIN quality || || Decked || 1 bp || || Naturalized || 11 bp || || Appropriated || 19 bp || || Natural or Bulletproof || 29 bp || || Records || || 1 year IRS records matching bank account activity and paying appropriate taxes || 1 bp || || 1 year banking at a UCAS (or similar non-private) bank || 1 bp || || 1 year of appropriate rent and utility bills (electricity, cable, newspaper, tridphone, Matrix, water...) || 1 bp || || 1 year of data trail at a high school, college, university, apprenticeship, or job || 1 bp || || Reporting income from “contract work” || 0 bp || || Driver’s license || 1 bp || || Passport || 3 bp || || Student visa || 6 bp || || Work visa || 10 bp || || Link to Carib League private bank || 3 bp || || Link to Swiss private bank || 6 bp || || Link to Zurich-Orbital || 10 bp || || Data trails and Living || || 1 year of living at Low lifestyle (data trail of minor purchases, neighbors willing to attest to your existence) || 1 bp || || 1 year of living at Middle lifestyle || 2 bp || || 1 year of living at High lifestyle || 3 bp || || 1 year of living at Luxury lifestyle || 4 bp || || 1 year at a public high school, junior/community college (academic details, professors remembering you, pictures in the yearbook), holding down a job at a tiny company (standard runner holding company) or for municipal government || 1 bp || || 1 year at a private high school or state university, holding down a job at a large company or for state government || 2 bp || || 1 year at an exclusive private school (Shining Bright in Denver) or good university (MIT&T, Oxford, Stanford), holding down a job at megacorporation or for the federal government || 3 bp || || Served as prominent, public figure (professor, teacher, CEO, mayor, senator) || ×2 bp || || Bad stuff || || Arrest record at FBI, per arrest || -1 bp || || Arrest record at FBI, per convicted misdemeanor || -3 bp || || Arrest record at FBI, per convicted felony || -6 bp || || Bank transaction large enough to get a credstick at the next higher quality rating (without good documentation explaining it) || -1 bp || || Per year of bank transactions not matching IRS records || -1 bp || || Per year of blatantly unreported income || -2 bp || || Per year gap in records || -2 bp || || Failing a background check || Varies || || Depositing a block of “tagged” cred || Varies || || Passing an investigation || + 3 × (log ¥ - 2) bp ||

Failing a background check can result in anything from no change (they spotted something suspicious but were unable to verify it) to sudden audits by the IRS to arrest and complete invalidation of the ID. Assume failure to pay taxes is a felony (as per “arrest record” above) and wing it from there. Use your best judgment as to the nature of the character’s fake ID. Consider the deposit of tagged cred in suspicious quantities to trigger an investigation.

On the other hand, if someone survives a professional investigation that leaves a data trail in its own right without any dirt being dug up, this improves a fake ID’s quality based on the logarithm of the amount of nuyen that was spent on the investigation. (Thus, spending 1,000¥ will improve the ID by 3 bp, 10,000¥ by 6 bp, 100,000¥ by 9 bp, and so on.) For purposes of this system you cannot spend less than 100¥ on an investigation. High-rated fake ID’s have often been through professional investigations precisely to generate the appropriate sorts of data trails— if a verification service provider records that someone has spent 100,000¥ on investigating someone else’s background to no avail, most folks will be daunted. (Subverting a VSP is quite expensive and difficult, since their professional reputation is staked on their reliability. However, this is why the best fake ID’s cost in the millions of nuyen...)

If a forged data trail can be found out through the simple expedient of querying backups, use 50% of the total bp value, rounded down.

If you have the kind of connections it takes to get a diplomatic passport, noble title, consulship, and so on, your ID //will be valid//. If you have the official databases of another country vouching for you, the worst thing that can happen (officially) is someone will connect you with a crime and have you deported. (However, “shot while trying to escape” still happens, especially if the law enforcement agency doesn’t think there’ll be much of a formal protest over your death...)


  • [[2]].
  • [Money Consultants] has an amazing array of services, including press passes, second passports and driver’s licenses, buying noble titles, and even honorary consulates and diplomatic appointments! I expect the “novelty photo ID cards” and passports from no-longer-existent countries are no longer useful by the 2050’s...
  • The [of Arms] is the definitive authority for coats of arms in Britain; runners may want to pay extra to show up with hacked-in genealogies that prove them to be in the line of descent for a particular coat of arms, thus raising their effective social class and offering unusual opportunities. (Assuming an identity in hopes of inheriting something more than a coat of arms is a waste of money; any meaningful inheritance will be accompanied by a very thorough background check.)

Lifestyles of the Paranoid and Shadowy Edytuj

How does a successful shadowrunner live— not only staying alive day to day, but when looking out for the long term?

FASA’s work seems to suggest that most runners exist at a Low lifestyle, always ready to be on the run when Lone Star thugs or corporate goons bash in your front door, which is part of their standard operating procedure whenever they get the idea you’ve been naughty. (R. Talsorian Games’ //Cyberpunk 2020// goes one step lower: player characters are assumed to have no fixed residence, getting around with nothing but what they can carry.)

In any Shadowrun game I’ve ever heard of, player characters tend to amass respectable hunks of nuyen. If they’re going to live to enjoy it, where’s it all going? Paranoia can be expensive.

Looking Like an Honest Citizen Edytuj

In general, if a runner wants to stay at something higher than Low lifestyle, they’re probably going to need to set themselves up with a cover identity. It seems sensible for a runner team to set up a group of companies. A common plan is to set up two offshore companies (in different nations) and one local one. When you get paid for your run, you shunt the funds into your first offshore company, have that company then shunt them over to the second one, and have the second one send the funds to the local one, which then disburses effective “salaries” and “bonuses” to the runners, paying their taxes. With a believable job and bills, a runner’s ID will generally be safe— as long as they don’t give anyone on the streets a chance to point them out.

Fake ID’s Edytuj

False identities are important for paranoid runners. ID’s leave data trails, and it’s important to be difficult to track when you’re on a run or just hiding from the fifty different corps and gangs you’ve pissed off over your career as a shadowrunner. Keeping them maintained can be tricky, but having a variety of different ID’s linked to different places may allow you to suddenly return from your long absence in a different country to take up life as a mild-mannered consultant relaxing on the pay from his last job. Keeping up the ID and the associated place to live can get expensive, but would you rather be caught with your pants down when the drek hits the fan? With many different ones, it’s possible to distribute your funds in such a way that someone attempting to paralyze you can’t simply freeze all your accounts pending tax investigations. Secure bank accounts are very important in such times.

One of the big problems with crossing borders with your fake ID is passport databases. Background checks finding that you’re in the UCAS when you’re logged as having left for the Allied German States but never returned could make people somewhat suspicious. (One way to cope with this is simply to assume as a gamemaster that you get your passport stamped as you come in, but that exits aren’t monitored.) Using an ID for nothing but travel is a sensible precaution. Still, you may need to get your decker to break into the UCAS passport databases in order to make sure that your background information checks out properly.

1-900-RUNNERS Edytuj

Giving out your phone number can be a bad move in the shadows. Cellphone activity can be traced to a particular cell, which is enough for dispatching goon squads. Telephone service can usually be traced at least to the corner call box, if not to your actual residence. One call from someone foolish enough to be monitored by some flavor of spook could compromise you.

Voice mail is popular with runners: they leave you some mail, and you pick it up at your convenience. Pagers, which simply broadcast over their entire area of influence, are similarly useful. Deckers can trivially reroute calls all over the planet, and there are many decker groups that offer shadowy voice mail with all the bells and whistles of multiple rerouting and heavy encryption, giving you the opportunity to keep in touch with your shadowy chummers without taking terrible risks.

Of course, unless you have prearranged encryption set up with one-time pads, your most sensible move is to simply use the phone to arrange a meet— and that’s where codes come in. Indirect references (“the place we met time before last”), euphemisms, and outright codes (memorised or stored in headware memory or even a skillsoft) can make life difficult for the spooks who are trying to make //your// life difficult.

Real Estate Edytuj

“Could you destroy the earth with the power of your mind?” “EEEGADS! I hope not! That’s where I keep all my stuff!”

— the Tick

FASA often assumes in its modules that everybody and his dog knows where the runners live. This is a perfectly sensible assumption if you have plenty of contacts who know where to locate you and you’re a well-known figure not to mess with as far as the local street gang’s concerned. If you maintain an effective secret identity, this is less believable. However, sometimes you just can’t go back to your place, whether it be because it’s being watched or because you don’t want it compromised. That means you need other solutions.

Safehouses Edytuj

Runner teams will often need to go to ground someplace; they may make a point of avoiding their own residences when on a run, to avoid bringing back trouble in that direction. This is where safehouses come in handy.

A safehouse does not cost as much as an entire chunk of lifestyle, because it only needs to have the rent and utility bills paid. (Depending on the lifestyle, it may also require bribes to the local gang.) If the entire runner team is preapproved for the safe house, they can simply decide to crash there if they need to avoid leading people back to their own residences; the safehouse itself might be paid for by automated credit deposits set up for untraceable routing by the team’s decker, or even maintained as corporate housing by one of the holding companies the runners have created for added cover. A safehouse may even be a favorite coffin hotel. (They run from 20¥ - 35¥ per night normally, but one might gain access to the security cameras for an extra fee...)

|| |||||||||||| Apartment Size || || |||| Small |||| Medium |||| Large || || Lifestyle || Month || To Own || Month || To Own || Month || To Own || || Low || 250¥ || 20,000¥ || 350¥ || 40,000¥ || n/a || n/a || || Middle || 450¥ || 38,000¥ || 600¥ || 70,000¥ || 900¥ || 105,000¥ || || High || 1000¥ || 82,000¥ || 1200¥ || 140,000¥ || 1900¥ || 220,000¥ || || Luxury || n/a || n/a || 2000¥ || 230,000¥ || 3800¥ || 500,000¥ ||

For long-term stability, sinking 100 times the cost of the rent (plus utility bills) into an account that pays interest should be able to keep such an apartment indefinitely. (An amount sufficient to buy a place will keep the rent and bills paid just from the interest, based on the table to the right, extracted from //Sprawl Sites//, will make it easier to recover your capital if the place gets blown up, and is in fact cheaper if the place is Medium or Large. So much for investing in real estate; it’s no wonder there are so many slums if only Small apartments are more profitable than just living off interest.)

Low lifestyle places are cheap and tend not to get many questions asked, but security is mostly physical: bars over the windows, old-fashioned locks taking keys, peepholes in the doors. Middle lifestyle actually gives you doors that are nontrivial to kick down, maglocks, and intercoms that can give you a bit more warning to escape out the back or into the sewer. High lifestyle places actually have ID scanners, video intercoms, alarm systems, and guards. As long as you have the right taps in the security system letting you know if Lone Star is politely showing their search warrants to the management, you can get a lot of warning to clear out (though you have to be careful when smuggling your assault cannon into the garage, and explaining those bullet holes in your van to your neighbors might be tricky...).

Stashes and Caches Edytuj

Nevertheless, cruel gamemasters may sometimes decide that a player character has managed to get someone pissed off enough to blow up his residence, along with its mainframe, enchanting shop, and vehicle facility. Properly paranoid runners take steps to avoid this sort of trouble, but they still prepare for the worst by stashing the most important things elsewhere.

Runners are very seldom going to actually walk around with all their fake ID’s on them, unless they have shadow credsticks designed to carry these things. Credsticks can also be lost, stolen, or destroyed, and a wise runner has a number of places they can recover their credsticks from in case of such events. Weapons, ammunition, clothing, and armor are all things one might wish to stash in various locations around the city or even the world. Having only a single cache can be dangerous, of course, if it is compromised. Having many of them costs extra. Ain’t life a bitch?

Physical Caches

Bank safe deposit boxes are useful for keeping small, valuable items; larger lockers are often available in train stations and coffin hotels. Such lockers are usually extremely durable and have a very limited connection to the rest of the management’s system: an ID system is on the front, and credstick terminals are on the front as well as inside. One can easily plug a certified credstick into the slot inside and the locker will not open save for the proper passcode, thumbprint, retina print, or what have you, and the rent will quietly be ticked off the credstick until it runs dry; alternatively, one can pay for a given amount of time in advance, or fork over a deposit that will generate monthly interest sufficient to pay the rental fee. (Management can usually override these things if they believe there’s a genuine bomb threat or there’s a very broad search warrant in use, so it’s usually wise to take additional precautions with the contents of such lockers.) Such caches will run from 10¥ to 200¥ a month, depending on the size, location, and security involved.

Storage spaces are also handy. They come with similar security measures as the lockers, and take up space varying from a walk-in closet to having enough room for a couple of vans, a bunch of drones, and loads of guns and ammunition. Consult a Shurgard place for sample prices (convert dollars to nuyen), and add extra if the runners want extra security.

Courier Cases

Courier work can be very sensitive in the 2050’s, and there are a myriad boxes and briefcases designed to keep things secure. The most common brands are armored boxes with anti-tamper circuitry attached and a variety of small ports inside. Different sorts of modules can be attached to such ports: credstick modules allow you to plug in a credstick, and at a given level of tampering the ’stick will be wiped; data modules do the same with optical chips. Screamer modules can trigger cellphone calls to let you know someone’s tampering. Thermite modules can usually destroy the contents of the box, and plastique modules can even make it explode, killing everyone in the area as well as destroying the box’s contents. Options include internal padding to preserve optical chips from shocks; double-walled, astrally secure boxes devoting a substantial amount of space to supporting anaerobic bacteria for a given period of time; Faraday cage quality isolation using room-temperature superconductors, making it impossible to see inside using even modern quark-spin resonance scanners.

Virtual Stashes

Deckers who have put a great deal of effort into their cyberdecks and the programs running on them aren’t going to let someone wipe out all their source code just because one place blew up. The source code is data, and it can be kept in all sorts of locations on the Matrix (including virtual safe deposit boxes attached to their [hopefully] bulging bank accounts), as well as on optical chips in the same places other runners staff more tangible things. Hermetic mages will often do so with expensive libraries.

Surprises Edytuj

Runners should always be ready with surprises for the people making trouble for them. James Bond-style gadgets are wonderful for this, but even at lower price ranges it can be as simple as having an extra concealed holster with another weapon in it or a small monofilament-edged blade sewn into the lining of your jeans where you can get at it when you’re handcuffed. If you know you’re walking into trouble, having the local gang paid off to create a distraction when you don’t report in over your cellphone every five minutes could save your life.

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