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explain hacking please


Starfinder General Discussion


It says you need to beat 13 + the computer level X 4. I read the 13 as you need to be 13 plus the computer level X for where's my whatever says that you need + 13 in the skill computer skill otherwise you can't hack it. I was wanting to hack the ships that were shooting tactical nukes at us but now knowing that they ship computers are probably too high I decided I wanted to try and hack the nukes they were trying to shoot at us. Which means the computers would be throw away basic computers level 0. Which would mean 13 plus the computer level of 0 x 4 which would be 13, right? I could beat 13. But the rules lawyer was insistant that i must have 13 skill points in computers. Suffice to say I wasn't able to act computers because I didn't have to seal point in Computers thus having us end up at one hit point on our ship on two sides of our hull. So what is it? Do i have to beat 13 plus the computer level x 4 or have +13 in computer skills to even attempt a computer hack?

Liberty's Edge

The 13 + Tier x 4 is the DC of the Computers check.

So you need to roll a 17 on your Computers skill roll to hack a Tier 1 computer by default.

Some Computers have a DC up to 4 points higher than this, but 13 ranks to hack anything? No. That's absurd.


Shouldn't it be 13 + (Tier x 4) then? Otherwise the DC is going to be mathematically impossible to meet or beat.


Standardly, multiplication occurs before addition, so 13+4*T=13+4T=13+(4*T).


Unlikely you could hack a launched nuke regardless as you would have no way to access any of their contained systems unless you were physically in contact with the nuke and opened access panel to get to the electronics inside. There might be a communication circuit that the launching ship could utilize to send a tight beam signal to to detonate/abort, but not having the frequency that it would transmitted on would not be helpful. Even if you did know the frequency you would then need to get the override code and fool the nuke into thinking it was sent from the launching ship (handshake). Not saying that it could not be done, but in the few minutes or less it would take to reach effective range it becomes very improbable that it could happen. Better choice would be an EMP that had enough power to bypass it's hardened circuits and not overload your own ships hardening capability.


Hystarr wrote:
Unlikely you could hack a launched nuke regardless as you would have no way to access any of their contained systems unless you were physically in contact with the nuke and opened access panel to get to the electronics inside.

The rules do state that unless you have direct access to a terminal that controls the computer you need a Hacking Kit, yes.

Hystarr wrote:
There might be a communication circuit that the launching ship could utilize to send a tight beam signal to to detonate/abort, but not having the frequency that it would transmitted on would not be helpful. Even if you did know the frequency you would then need to get the override code and fool the nuke into thinking it was sent from the launching ship (handshake).

These are functions you would perform through the Hacking Kit (both finding the frequency and performing the handshake). Both of those protections would likely be Protection modules on the computer controlling the missile.

Hystarr wrote:
Not saying that it could not be done, but in the few minutes or less it would take to reach effective range it becomes very improbable that it could happen. Better choice would be an EMP that had enough power to bypass it's hardened circuits and not overload your own ships hardening capability.

Notably hacking a computer takes 1 Full Action per Tier of the computer, and I have little doubt the computer for a nuclear missile would be decently strong. A tier 10 computer would take a minute to hack, a tier 20 would take 2 minutes (an Exocortex Mechanic could cut these in half, and if they're a dang-good Hacker could cut it even more because beating a DC by 5 cuts the time in half.) That said, the real limiter here is the DC, being likely both a high Tier computer, and with multiple Protection modules.


Why would a bunch of nuke tossing pirates pay extra for more then a basic computer anything else would be ......extra? For a throw-away-able computer meant to trigger a nuke to explode. People you would have to worry about is the militaries possibly the malicious and rich rich people but not poor Pirates that are just trying to make a buck. Pirates tend to cut corners. And while trying to pervent a nuke midflight might be hard. Those ones sitting in the ammo clip are going nice and slow.


Ah, these are pirate-type ship-based nukes? I thought these were nukes like the kind we have today, the big ones meant to go long-distance. Hacking isn't intended to be done mid-combat TBH, unless you're, like, triggering a defense measure on an enemy or something.


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Explain hacking?

Well, first give me your password...


The computer is on the ship, the missile just has a control module linked to that computer.


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Your rules lawyer must've gotten his degree from the same website my cousin got his 'ordained minister' certificate... The DC of the check is just how difficult it is, it not the required# of skill ranks needed to try.

"The base DC for many of the tasks of the Computers skill is equal to 13 + (4 × the computer‘s tier)." So your skill check is 1d20+Modifiers, and the result must meet or beat the DC.

A computers lowest Tier level is 1(not 0), so the lowest DC without GM modifying it is DC (13+ 4*1)= 17. Beating the DC by 5 is not the same thing as Increasing the DC by 5.

"A starship has a basic computer of a tier equal to half the starships’s tier (minimum 1)", so a Tier 1-3 Ship has a Tier 1 computer, Tier 4-5 has a Tier 3 computer, etc. They can be upgraded with modules like Anti-Hacking(+1DC), or Countermeasures.

Time: 1 Full round per Tier of computer.

Here are few examples of using Hacking to open a door controlled by a Tier 1 computer..

Authorized User with Root Access: No skill check required; Standard Action, door opens.

Unsecured Computer with No Firewall, No Countermeasures: DC 10; Standard Action, door opens. (If untrained, can be done in 2 minutes by taking 20).

If NOT authorized, however, you must Hack.

Tier 2 Computer: (13+ 4*2) = DC 21; It takes you 2 Full Round Actions of hacking, after which you make your check. You roll 1d20= 19(+10; Your Computer skill Mod)= 29. You beat the DC, You now have access to the basic functions of the computer. No further skill check required; Standard Action, door opens.

OR

Tier 2 Computer: (13+ 4*2) = DC 21; Instead of taking 2 Full Round Actions to attempt, you actively CHOOSE to increase the DC by 5(This represents you attempting to work faster) to try and hack it in 1 Full Round Action, (13+ 4*2 +5) = DC 26. You roll 1d20= 19(+10; Your Computer skill Mod)= 29. You beat the DC, You now have access to the basic functions of the computer. No further skill check required; Standard Action, door opens.

Now, hacking incoming missiles.. that's a whole other thing. For the sake of the situation.. let's say you're trying to hack the missile itself. You have to be able to access the on-board computer, which itself might just not be possible. If it IS possible to access it via Hacking Rig in flight, you'd have to factor in 1 Full Round Action to Hack and gain access, then most likely bypass a firewall which is another full-round action, then use a standard to disable it or whatever... which brings you to 3 rounds. A tactical nuke has a speed of 10 and a range of Long, which really cuts into your window before it goes big-bada-boom.

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