Lets get down to business, shall we. So you got your stuff learned, your information collected and your deck is powered up. Lets get started with business!
So how do you hack a system? Well lets start with the easiest thing: You have to reach the system. Reach? Yup. You cannot hack a system that does not have any connection to your deck. Now there are two ways that you can reach your destination. The first is the easiest one. You hack a system with a modem. Unfortunately those are few. The other way is to intrude a system from a neighbouring system you already hacked. Note that you cannot hack too far away from the systems that got modems or your decks memory won't be sufficient. Also note that you cannot use a path that has a crashed system in it. You can use a path that has a cyberfight going on however.
Now that you reached the system you may spend as many hacks as your power level allows to break through its defenses. For each try, a 100 sided die is rolled. If the result is higher or equal the systems defenses you hacked it. If you menage to surpass the systems defenses by 40 points or more, then the systems defenses are shattered and you even gained root
On the critical side, as you already know, if the hack fails there is a chance that you trigger ICE if the system in question is proteced by one.
Improving your Odds
As you probably already noted it is very unlikely that you succesfully hack a system. Even worse to gain root access. However there are lots of things you can do to improve your success ration.
- Knowledge in the Operating System: If you got the right education and the right deck you can boost your chances to invade a system by up to 30%.
- Same Operating System: Hacking a system is hard. It is much easier if you can abuse another system for your work. Just gain root access to a system that has the same OS then the one you plan to hack, to gain a 10 point bonus on the current hack. If the system to be hacked has more then one OS then you can also use more then one helping system. If a system got Standard, Classified and Military OS and you got root in a system that has Standard and root in one that has Classified and Military OS then you get a bonus of 30%! You can only get a bonus for each OS once however, so if you got a third root access on a standard OS you don't enjoy a 40% bonus.
- Direct Root Connection: For each system directly connected to the system that is to be hacked you got root access on, your odds for invading the new system are incerased by 10%.
- Sharing Secrets: All of the above boni except your own knowledge of the OS can also be 'sponsored' by other hackers (the have to announce so in their previous action phase). They can only fill in stuff you don't know however, not gain the same bonus twice for the same piece of information.
- Normal User File: If you already got regular access to a system and want to hack it again for root access you get a 10% bonus on your hacking roll. If you succeed to surpass the security by 40 this time you got root access. If you fail you keep your normal one usually however. Usually means that there is a 10% chance you loose your normal account on each try to upgrade.