Mechanic Remote Hack, and modules


Dead Suns


As a GM, I feel like the Mechanic's ability Remote Hack isn't really taken into account well enough in the modules, or is written to be too open-ended.

DS5 :

During DS5, for example, the players had been provided with a map of the installation they were in by O, and the mechanic simply moved to the end of the hallway and made his computer checks from outside the room to access the terminal where E could be imprisoned again. He set off all the countermeasures in advance, I ruled, locked the room down, and basically tossed three big shock grenades in the room prior to entering. I mean, it's a fair trade, but I doubt it was intended.

I'm curious what level of agency and what forms of restriction other GMs and players have experienced with Remote Hack. I've considered requiring LOS or LOE to a target, or restricting by intervening material thickness, but I don't want the ability to feel useless either.

As a side question, do later AP's do a better job of suggesting responses to potentially troublesome class abilities? Seriously, as written, there's nothing stopping a drone mechanic from climbing on top of most buildings and walking around the top remote hacking every computer and robot with impunity. It's like playing Watch Dogs, but better.


Remote hack calls the computer being hacked a designated target, which to me means remote hack is a targeted ability and so you need LoS.


Well, I agree that it probably needs line of sight to work.

Also, it has a pretty limited range, and this bit:
A target of this ability (or a creature attending or observing your target) can attempt a Perception or Sense Motive check (DC = 10 + 1-1/2 × your mechanic level + your Intelligence modifier) to determine that you are the origin of this activity.

So, you have to be well within weapons range to use this on something, and potentially plenty of NPCs to start rolling checks to find you.

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