About locating persons via mesh...

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teroks teroks's picture
About locating persons via mesh...

As we all know it is possible to locate person if you know their ID and location is pretty accurate (few meters?).

How about situation where someone is entering to area where he suspects to be someone waiting in ambush. Is it possible to locate that person if you don't know his Mesh ID? Is it possible to determine distances of different Mesh IDs from your current point? Is it complex action, one minute action or even longer 10 minute action?

Karmarainbow Karmarainbow's picture
If you suspect someone is

If you suspect someone is waiting in ambush then you could simply use the mesh to access the public spime feeds in that area (straightforward interfacing test).

As the mesh comprises interconnected devices which each have a mesh ID which they are broadcasting, it should be possible to find out what devices are in a particular area (interfacing again). This would include the person hiding unless he had switched his devices wireless connectivity off, or unless he was masking. If he's using a PAN and connecting all of his devices via his mesh inserts, then that's the only device you'd detect. So you might only know that there is a person in the area, but you wouldn't know who (unless they are broadcasting a public profile). Hope this is helpful.

teroks teroks's picture
So measuring distance between

So measuring distance between the certain Mesh ID and character is not possible if person is normally visible?

Karmarainbow Karmarainbow's picture
No, I mean you could either

No, I mean you could either use the public spime feeds to spot the ambusher visually, or you could try to identify the presence of the ambusher by looking at what devices are in the area (or both).

Justin Alexander Justin Alexander's picture
I have to disagree with

I have to disagree with Karmarainbow: That person's PAN is wirelessly connected to the network around it. It would be incredibly trivial to triangulate the signal and identify the physical location of the mesh ID.

This is, in fact, specifically discussed on pg. 251 of the core rulebook ("Tracking by Mesh ID"). It's a Research test. If the target is in privacy mode, there's a -30 modifier to the check to track their specific mesh ID (since they're trying to hide its activity). You could also make a pretty strong argument that pinpointing someone over a short range would be an Interfacing test instead of a Research test, but the same general guidelines would apply.

If someone is lurking in ambush, though, it's likely that they're also stealthing their signal. That's covered on pg. 252: It's a -30 penalty if they're passively stealthing or an opposed Interfacing test if they're actively stealthing.

But let's also consider the scenario where you're just asking, "Is there anybody in that lounge area up ahead?" The problem with trying to ascertain that by simply checking for active mesh IDs in the area is that virtually everything has a mesh ID. As described on pg. 236, "everything is computerized and connected, or at least tagged with a radio frequency ID (RFID) chip." And as described on pg. 246, "every mesh user (and, in fact, every device) has a unique code called their mesh ID."

So if you ask, "Hey, are there any mesh IDs up there?" the answer will almost always be, "Yes. There are lots of them." And they'll range from the holographic advertising displays to the cheap wireless devices in the throw-away document flimsies to the robotic toy cat that somebody got in a Happy Meal and tossed under a chair three months ago to devices spamming AR mist to, yes, the guy waiting to ambush you.

Keep in mind that the reason it's referred to as the Mesh is because it's "a decentralized intermeshed network of handheld devices, personal computers, robots, and electronic devices. Users were online all the time and connected with everything and everyone around them in a ubiquitous computing environment." If you were to scan any appreciable area within a community and discover there were no mesh IDs anywhere inside it, that would, in itself, be suspicious.

So what you probably need to do is distinguish between mesh IDs belonging to people and all the other mesh IDs in the area. That's going to be a Research or Interfacing test, with the penalties for stealthed signals and privacy modes being applied as appropriate. (I'd assume that part of that test would be accessing spime footage and cross-referencing it to the mesh signals. But you could also rule that specifically grabbing the spime footage might grant a +10 bonus to the test since it's providing an independent information source.)

Karmarainbow Karmarainbow's picture
I obviously wasn’t explaining

I obviously wasn’t explaining myself very well because I agree with Justin!

If a room up ahead is checked it will contain various devices and mesh IDs. As the rules say:
“…it’s trivial for any character to pull up a list of the wireless devices and networks around them, along with associated mesh IDs.” (p.251). But if the signals are stealthed you may need to roll.

I agree that an ambusher’s PAN is going to be wirelessly connected to the devices around him. So if you check the room up ahead and one of the devices is someone’s mesh inserts, then you can be pretty sure that there is a person in there.

I suppose a sensible ambusher will have knocked out spimes somehow (e.g. camera dazzler), be stealthing their signals and using a false mesh ID (p.252) to make themselves look like a toaster or something.

Erulastant Erulastant's picture
http://freefall.purrsia.com

You, too, were made by humans. The methods used were just cruder, imprecise. I guess that explains a lot.