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Hacker's Laptop Computer


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I have been trying to work up a computer for a character who is a technical wiz. The character is the one that does the hacking and electronic feats for the team he is a part of. Trouble is none of us have really had much experience designing computers for a Hero System game. Below is my effort at building one. Please look it over and tell me what you think. The character will be buying this using his resource points so as it is designed it will cost the character 28 Resource points to pack this gizmo.


EDIT: Deleted, it really was ugly. See later post for updated computer.


That came out pretty ugly. Has anybody built an export template for the Hero boards for Computers?

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Re: Hacker's Laptop Computer


You make a good point. I think we need to have some benchmarks for military or corporate computers and computer networks in Hero System terms, so that we can design things that fit appropriately.


Nice writeup.

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Re: Hacker's Laptop Computer


Your computer weighs 100 kg. Thats one beefy laptop ;) Does the software not let you drop off the description boxes for computers and such? I just haven't seen many computers with brown hair brown eyes.


And now for the more interesting comments. Do you have Dark Champions? It has some good stuff for cryptography and computers.


I might add a skill called "Unshredder", and a program to do the same. It allows you to take pictures of shredded documents with the digital camera (well, in our campaign we used a scanner, but you've already got the camera). After a few hours of processing the laptop can supply a few reconstructions of what the original documents. The roll determines how clear the documents come through.


Teach it chess, and possibly a few other gambling skills. Also add a cache of pirated music and movies.



Oh, you might also add a couple of AK and CK's representing maps.


Also, when I GM I allow Computers to take undeclared knowledge skills which can be filled with anything you want. Basically Cramming, but I don't charge as much.


Oh, and you might add two physical limitations, one to represent it's battery life (3 hours, maybe 6), and the other to reflect how vulnerable it is to water and magnetic fields etc (unless you've put some protection on it)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Re: Hacker's Laptop Computer


I designed the one above from scratch and was plesantly surprised to its similarity to the one in the Predators play-test manuscript. I did not remember the ones in UNTIL: DoF so I'll have to pull it from my library and take a look. Thanks, for everyone's suggestions.

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Re: Hacker's Laptop Computer


Your computer weighs 100 kg. Thats one beefy laptop ;) Does the software not let you drop off the description boxes for computers and such? I just haven't seen many computers with brown hair brown eyes.

The export template used for the post above is a character export -- which will populate fields like hair color, eye color, etc.


A more appropriate export template would be one of the computer template exports that have been created.


As for the computer itself, the laptops that I normally use are middling-high-end laptops (nothing really fancy in terms of hardware) with a fair amount of custom software installed.


The software that a typical hacker would need would include things like packet sniffers, port scanners, app scanners, etc. Most (all) of them are freely available (nessus, netscan, ethereal, etc.) and fairly easy to use. The skill comes in making use of the results/output and in customizing/extending the code for the apps to do exactly what you need in a given situation.


In short, if you're looking to distinguish a "hacker's laptop" from a "gamer's laptop," you shouldn't worry about the hardware at all....just concentrate on the software. At a minimum, I would recommend:


Traffic analyzer

Network sniffer

Network scanner

Analyze Vulnerabilities

Vulnerability database



Depending on the scenario, much of the actual "work" will not be done from the laptop at all, but from a hijacked system (to maintain anonymity).

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Re: Hacker's Laptop Computer


Here is my latest revision after looking over the published examples. I have deleted the previous model which was the first post of this thread (its formatting was pretty bad anyway, this one still isn't pretty but its an improvement.).




Val Char Cost Roll Notes

18 INT 8 13- PER Roll 13-

17 DEX 21 12- OCV 6 DCV 6

3 SPD 3 Phases: 4, 8, 12

Total Characteristic Cost: 32


Abilities & Equipment

Cost Power END

18 Armored Casing: Armor (6 PD/6 ED)

6 Shielding: Power Defense (6 points)

6 Shielding: Radio Group Flash Defense (6 points)

6 Self-Destruct System: RKA 3d6 (45 Active Points); 1 Charge which Never Recovers (-4), Self Only (-2), No Range (-½) [1 nr]

15 Communications: HRRP (Radio Group), Concealed (-3 with HRRP PER Rolls)

Notes: The computer can connect to the internet via almost any source, celluar, land line, radio, etc.

45 Digital Video Camera: Clairsentience (Sight And Hearing Groups), Reduced Endurance (0 END; +½) (45 Active Points)

Notes: Allows still and motion pictures to be captured with sound.

21 Optical/Magnetic Scanner: Detect Magnetic & Optical Storage Mediums 13- (Touch Group), Discriminatory, Analyze, Rapid: x100

Notes: The "floating head" scanner can read most types of electronic storage media. It is considered to be Touch Group since the media to be read must be in contact with the scanner.

7 TEMPEST Equipment: Detect Computer Radio Emissions 14- (Radio Group) (11 Active Points); Blocked by Power Defense (-½)



3 Clock: Absolute Time Sense

3 Internal Compass: Bump Of Direction

5 Memory: Eidetic Memory

Notes: For data storage.

5 Multimedia Memory: Eidetic Memory

Notes: For video and audio.

3 Math Processor: Lightning Calculator

4 Scanner: Speed Reading (x10)

Notes: For scanning text.



3 Computer Programming 13-

3 Cryptography 13-

Notes: Can be used to assist in cracking encrypted files.

5 CK: Hudson City 14-

5 KS: Hudson City Sub-systems 14-

5 KS: Hudson City Planning Division Records 14-

4 AK: United States 13-

3 Voice Recognition Software: Language: English (completely fluent)

3 Voice Recognition Software: Language: Choose Another One (completely fluent)

5 Security Systems 14-

Notes: Useful for helping circumvent electronic security systems.

5 Systems Operation (Communications Systems, Metal Detectors, Radar, Sensor Jamming Equipment) 13-


Total Abilities & Equipment Cost: 188

Total Computer Cost: 220


Value Disadvantages



Total Disadvantage Points: 0

Total Cost: 220/5 = 44

Final Cost (OAF): 22


BTW: An updated HD file is also attached.



EDIT: I moved the question that was here to the Hero System forum.

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