The art and science of hacking has existed for just over a century. While the digital world is now more advanced then ever, the old lessons from the pioneers at the birth of the information age still hold true; all systems have exploits that can be used to your advantage if you can find them. The hacker is a force to be respected in an age where everything is wireless, and nearly everything and everyone is connected to the Global DataNet. Some hackers specialize in manipulating hyper reality. Others delve into networks, cracking security to sabotage systems or steal data. Some excel at manipulating data and TAPs, effectively hacking people to get what they want. Hackers are a keystone in the foundation of any successful group. From the local biker gang to mega-conglomerates, and even law enforcement and military, hackers see more demand for their talents than ever.
Role: Hackers access and manipulate information, whether the owner of that information wants it accessed and manipulated or not. The Global DataNet is their playground and battlefield. They use their engrams to disable security, deflect countermeasures, and obtain what they need to help themselves, their companions, and their employers.
Hit Die: d6.
The hacker’s class skills are Bluff (Cha), Boating (Dex), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Drive (Dex), Hacking (Int), Knowledge (any) (Int), Perception (Wis), Pilot (Dex), Profession (Wis), and Sense Motive (Wis).
Skill Ranks per Level: 4+ Int modifier.
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Flash Engrams Per Day|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Flash engrams, hacking||1||—||—||—|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+3||Bonus feat, natural born liar||2||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Honed instincts +1||3||1||—||—|
|7th||+3||+2||+2||+5||Enhanced engram programming||4||3||1||—|
|8th||+4||+2||+2||+6||Honed instincts +2||4||4||1||—|
|11th||+5||+3||+3||+7||Enhanced engram programming 2||5||4||3||2|
|12th||+6/+1||+4||+4||+8||Honed instincts +3||5||4||4||2|
|15th||+7/+2||+5||+5||+9||Enhanced engram programming 3||5||5||4||3|
|16th||+8/+3||+5||+5||+10||Honed instincts +4||5||5||4||4|
|19th||+9/+4||+6||+6||+11||Enhanced engram programming 4||5||5||5||4|
|20th||+10/+5||+6||+6||+12||Capstone, honed instincts +5||5||5||5||5|
The following are the class features of the hacker.
Weapons and Armor Proficiency
Hackers are proficient with simple weapons (firearms) and personal armor, but not shields. They are also considered proficient with any weapons and armor designed for their avatar when in Virtual Reality.
A hacker learns to integrate his own neural pathways as extensions of his TAP, effectively providing more data storage and processing capability. One product of this improvement is the ability to create and use flash engrams. Flash engrams put a wide variety of programming at the hacker’s command. Preparing and using flash engrams takes a great amount of focus and energy, and thus their use is limited, growing as the hacker builds his neural pathways and increases his mental stamina as he gains experience. A hacker must take 1 hour in order to prepare and load his flash engrams. This cannot be done if the hacker is fatigued or exhausted.
A hacker prepares his flash engrams ahead of time, and can activate any flash engram he has prepared, consuming an engram slot of the appropriate level, assuming he has not used up his engram slots per day for that level. 0 level flash engrams are activated like other flash engrams, but do not consume engram slots.
A hacker begins play knowing all 0-level flash engrams plus three 1st-level engrams of his choice. The hacker also selects a number of additional 1st-level flash engrams equal to his Intelligence modifier to know. At each new hacker level, he gains two new flash engrams of any level or levels that he can use (based on his new hacker level). A hacker can also learn new flash engrams from other hackers (typically for payment, or in return for a debt owed) or from those stored in data devices. Flash Engram Descriptions are found in the Hacking section of the Setting Rules chapter on page 164 of the source material, Interface Zero (Pathfinder Edition) by Gun Metal Games.
The hacker’s main asset is the ability to hack into anything connected to the Global DataNet, whether it be a security camera or secure website, door lock or database, telecommunications hub or TAP. If it’s online, the hacker can attempt to manipulate it.
The first way a hacker can use this ability is through the Hacking skill. Much like Disable Device can be used to bypass a lock, Hacking can be used to override certain systems. A hacker gains a bonus to his Hacking skill equal to half his hacker level (minimum +1). The hacker makes a Hacking skill check against the DC of the item’s firewall.
The amount of time this takes is dependent upon the complexity of the target’s defenses. A simple (DC 20) target, like a TAP-activated security door, would take a single round to bypass (with the hacker taking a full-round action). Something more secure, like a vault door, would take 2d4 rounds. If the hacker was interrupted during the process, he would have to start again, taking another 2d4 rounds to complete the task.
At levels 2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th, a hacker receives a bonus feat, in addition to those gained from normal advancement. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as hacker feats.
Natural Born Liar
With all the illegal dealings of the trade, a hacker becomes adept at falsehoods. At 2nd level, when a hacker successfully deceives a creature with a Bluff, that person takes a –2 penalty on Sense Motive checks to oppose the hacker’s Bluff checks for the next 24 hours.
This ability does not stack with itself.
At 3rd level, the time it takes a hacker to hack Hyper Reality objects is reduced when he exceeds the DC required to hack the object. For every 5 by which the hacker’s check exceeds the DC, the time needed to perform the hack is reduced by 1d4 rounds, to a minimum of 1 round.
Honed Instincts (Ex)
Starting at 4th level, a hacker’s instincts help get him out of the way when the lead starts flying. He gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.
At 5th level, and every four levels thereafter, a hacker receives a customization to his TAP that allows it to go beyond normal performance limits. The hacker can choose from one of the following: viral protection (increase maximum firewall rating by 1), memory expansion (increase AMS by 1), signal boost (the hacker’s Intelligence modifier is treated as if 1 higher for purposes of determining his TAP’s maximum range), or integrity upgrade (+1 to neural toughness).
Enhanced Engram Programming
At 7th level, any standard engrams (as described in the Hacking section, not to be confused with flash engrams) the hacker creates on the fly will last him longer than usual. If the hacker succeeds at his Knowledge (programming) roll to program an engram on the fly, the engram will function for 1d10 rounds plus 1 round for every point the skill check exceeds the creation DC, plus a number of additional rounds equal to his hacker level.
- At 11th level, any engrams created on the fly add an additional 2d10 rounds to their duration.
- At 15th level, the duration of any engrams created on the fly by the hacker is measured in minutes rather than rounds.
- At 19th level, the duration of any engrams created on the fly by the hacker is measured in hours rather than minutes. Also, the hacker can create stable engrams in 2d6 hours, rather than the standard 24 hours necessary to do so.
At 20th level, a hacker chooses a capstone ability from one of the options listed below.
Code Cracker: The hacker becomes a master of the machine, able to bypass security, defeat countermeasures, and manipulate data without peer. When using flash engrams against hyper objects, networks, and other nonliving targets, treat the hacker’s level as two levels higher for purposes of duration and effects of flash engrams (even if this exceeds the flash engram’s normal maximums) and the DCs of any saving throws against those flash engrams increases by 2.
Puppet Master: The hacker is unequaled in his ability to manipulate TAPs and use them to affect their owners.
When using flash engrams against TAPs and their owners, treat the hacker’s level as two levels higher for purposes of duration and effects of flash engrams (even if this exceeds the flash engram’s normal maximums) and the DCs of any saving throws against those flash engrams increases by 2.
The two paths provided for hackers are the the grifter and the operator. GMs and players can create new paths as they choose, or simply pick and choose feats and abilities regardless of the path with which they are associated.
The grifter combines social savvy with a talent for manipulating appearances and data to deceive and manipulate targets. Some use their talents to gain wealth from swindled victims. Others have more complicated goals in mind, using their abilities to manipulate corporate or government politics to achieve their ends.
Role: A grifter can allay suspicions your group might normally arouse using fast-talk combined with manipulated data to back up his story. The grifter is an expert at getting people to see things his way, keeping them wrapped in data illusions and lies long enough for a team to achieve its objectives.
Grifter Abilities: The following abilities are best suited for creating a grifter. Feats marked with an * are found in the source material, Interface Zero (Pathfinder Edition) by Gun Metal Games.
Feats: Deceitful, Extend Flash Engram*, Heighten Flash Engram*, and Improved Cyber Initiative*.
The operator focuses on manipulating hyper reality and data systems. He uses his talents to take control of or eliminate computerized equipment in order to accomplish his mission.
Getting into and out of spaces, both physical and virtual, is a specialty.
Role: An operator gives your team unparalleled battlefield control. Whether knocking out security systems, opening doors, or cracking security on a data store you’ve been hired to retrieve, an operator ensures you have the technical edge to get the job done.
Operator Abilities: The following abilities are best suited for creating an operator. Feats marked with an * are found in the source material, Interface Zero (Pathfinder Edition) by Gun Metal Games.
Feats: Boost Flash Engram*, Empower Flash Engram*, Improved Cyber Initiative*, Maximize Flash Engram*, and Widen Flash Engram*. disciplines best suited to achieve their goals.
Flash Engrams: Operators find flash engrams from the Overwrite, Scanning, and Virus disciplines best compliment their talents.
Interface Zero, Full Metal Cyberpunk © 2017, Gun Metal Games, Authors: David Jarvis, Jeff Lee, Robert Hudson, Mike Welham, Hal Maclean, Matt Conklin jr., and Patrick Smith