Alpha Dawn
Computerist
Skill:Computerist
Multiple:4
Prerequisite:
Skill TypeTechnological
There are eight separate subskills to Computer skill: Operate Computer, Write Programs, Defeat Security, Bypass Security, Display Information, Manipulate Programs, Interface Computers and Repair Computers. Computer programs have levels from 1 to 6, depending on their complexity. Computers also have levels from 1 to 6, depending on what programs they hold. These levels are explained in the descriptions of computers in the Equipment section.

Computer specialists get only one chance to try a subskill on a computer. Success is automatic for some subskills under certain conditions. If the computer was built by aliens (not Dralasites, Humans, Vrusk or Yazirians) the success rates for the subskills are modified by -20%.

OPERATING COMPUTERS
Success Rate: LOG + 20 + skill level - computer level

Before he can use any other subskill, the computer specialist must be able to operate the particular type of computer he is working on. The chance to successfully operate a particular type of computer is 100% plus 10 x the expert's level, minus 10 x the computer's level. A roll of 96-00 is not automatic failure. Once a specialist has operated a computer successfully, he can operate that computer anytime, unless it is modified.

WRITING PROGRAMS
Success Rate: special

Computer specialists learn to write their own programs. For every skill level the specialist gains, he learns how to write one computer program. The player should pick a program from the list of programs in the Equipment section. When a specialist writes a program, its level is the same as his current level, no matter when he learned the program. For example, a computer specialist that learned the Installation Security program at 1st level can write a 4th level Installation Security program when he reaches the 4th skill level. A specialist can continue learning new programs after he reaches 6th level; each additional program costs 4 experience points to learn. A specialist that knows how to write a particular program can buy that program at half-price for his own computer. He gains a 20% bonus when trying to manipulate that program or detect security on it in any computer.

DEFEATING SECURITY
Success Rate: LOG + skill level - program level

If a computer has a Computer Security program, characters must break or bypass this program before they can perform any other subskill except repair. Defeating a security program involves a decoding process that can take a long time. Characters trying to break security must spend 1-10 hours working at the computer. Also, before a specialist tries to manipulate a program, he must find out whether the program itself has any security overrides. A security override will sound an alarm if anyone tries to run, alter or purge the program without first defeating or bypassing the security override. A security override is the same level as the computer's security program. The referee should make the roll to detect a security override secretly, since many programs have no overrides on them.

BYPASSING SECURITY
Success Rate: (LOG / 2) + skill level - program level

A computer specialist can bypass a security program manually by rewiring the computer. This takes only 1d10 minutes, but has several disadvantages: the chance for success is lower, it requires a robcomkit, and failing the roll will set off every alarm the computer has.

DISPLAYING INFORMATION
Success Rate: LOG + 10 + skill level - computer level

A specialist can use this skill to display any information in the computer's memory. It is especially useful for getting lists of programs that are stored in the computer, personal records, and raw, unprocessed data that is loaded and waiting to be fed into a program. A specialist gets a +20 modifier if he is trying to display information about a program he knows. He can automatically display information about programs he wrote in the computer. If a specialist displays an item successfully, he never needs to roll to display it again.

MANIPULATING PROGRAMS
Success Rete: (LOG / 2) + 15 + skill level - program level

A computer specialist has a chance to successfully run a program. change it or purge it from the computer. The normal chance of success is 50% plus 10 x the character's level, minus 10 x the program's level. If the program is one that the character has learned, he gets a +20% bonus.

A specialist can run a program automatically if it is one he programmed into the computer himself, or if he has run it successfully in this computer before.

A specialist may want to alter a program before running it. For example, a life support program will not let someone shut down the life support system or release a poison into the air. The program could be altered, however. so it would let the operator do either of those things. The referee should note that a character usually must run the program successfully after altering it before the changes will have any effect.

This subskill also lets a specialist try to wipe out a program from a computer's memory, either to destroy the program or to make room for a different program. A character can purge a program automatically if he wrote it in the computer.

INTERFACING COMPUTERS
Success Rete: (LOG / 2) + 5 + skill level - computer level

This subskill lets a character try to link two computers together, either by connecting them with wires or through some communication system such as phone lines or a radio link. Once the two computers are linked, the computer specialist can perform all subskills (except bypass security and repair) from either computer. The chance to successfully interface two computers is 30% plus 10 x the specialist's level, minus 10 x the highest of the two computers' levels.

REPAIRING COMPUTERS
Success Rete: (LOG / 2) + 10 + skill level

When computers break down or are damaged, they can be repaired only by a computer specialist. The level of the computer does not affect the specialist's chance to repair it. Computers are repaired according to the standard repair rule.