Running on Italics: Old Hollywood [Runner]

Originally published at: Running on Italics: Old Hollywood [Runner] - StimHack

Discuss the latest article here.


I vote Luli and Monsto! Thanks for the lunch break lulz.

I always saw Film Critic as a sort of Information Fence; The same reason you sell stolen goods to a fence, you ‘sell’ or give the info to this Film Critic instead. They’ve got a blog or whatever that they talk about it, and given some time, you reap the benefits without anyone knowing where the info leak really came from.

Mostly because you shouldn’t assume a Film Critic only talks about and critiques films on their blog. :smile:


Thanks for the article! You missed Wanton Destruction as the other ‘corp trashes’ card.

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This is kind of funny given your point about pacing in Trope, but I think the best way to understand Spoilers is by way of Fan Site. They have the same trigger, after all: all the buzz and public attention that happens in the wake of a successful agenda. Only this is an Anarch card, so the sort of attention that you and your friends are stirring up is less MiRhap fansites and more Sony Leak.
And particularly in the entertainment industry, but also in general, those sorts of leaks can easily destroy an upcoming project. In sensitive contract negotiations for your next film? Oops, looks like the star backed out when it went public. R&D finishing up some new ice? Its source code is available on Sizzler, and boy are there a lot of vulnerabilities. Even public agendas, like Underway Renovation, can get derailed if news gets out before Lizzie’s announcement and the public reacts poorly.


For the record, I totally suggested Luli as well, but was shot down pretty quickly :stuck_out_tongue:

We’re totally aware that we can go a little long sometimes but, hey, we have important (or at least we think so) points to make :wink:


@CrushU : My response to this read everywhere so far: SEA Source? :stuck_out_tongue:

@ovamod7 : I like the contract negotiation angle but… how do you have spoilers on that piece of ICE that R&D is writing because they (HQ?) scored an agenda?

Yeah, that’s where the analysis admittedly gets a little handwavey, since I don’t have much more to go on than the structural parallels to Fan Site. But whatever Fan Site is doing to get information about completed projects, Spoilers is presumably doing to get information about (and subsequently ruin) upcoming projects. But both cases have the underlying idea that you’re directing the community’s agenda-fueled interest towards some useful end.
The difference, as you note, is that with Fan Site, the relevance of the scored agenda is obvious. What’s Spoilers’ connection to the scored agenda? Just that everyone (ie: those legions of hacktivists, populists, and protesters that the Anarchs seem to have at their disposal) is so up in arms about the corp’s recent project that they start relentlessly poking at R&D in their impatience to find out what’s next.

Yeah, it’s fundamentally the relevance of the scored agenda to the top card of R&D that gives me pause. Your idea that something causes people they’re negotiating with or contracts about to be finalised to fall through is the closest I’ve heard to making sense of that link, and even with that there’s still the question of how exactly the runner’s spoilersite (Is that what the card is?) is getting this advance information anyway. Fan Site is easily processed as happening after it’s public, after all…

This isn’t an unreasonable interpretation of the card’s in-game effect, but there’s nothing in the given theming of the card to support it - you have to just make it all up yourself. And that’s kind of the point: I doubt anyone would be complaining much about Film Critic if they’d called it Information Fence, or Data Cleaner, or something like that, but they’ve tried to push it into the Hollywood theme way too hard.

SanSan cycle’s focus on location has led to some of the strongest theming in the game, but also some of the most nonsensical. As the article says, Old Hollywood is by far the most egregious pack. Pretty much nothing in it makes sense unless you imagine the entire of Netrunner is only about stealing films before they’re released.

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I really like this interpretation. Like others have mentioned the card itself doesn’t really suggest this at all, but a simple fix would be to change the flavour text to something like:

I upload petabytes of data each day. I’ll hide yours between my reviews for Lethal Action 3 and See You Next Wednesday

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Well, it’s not quite that simple. I won’t be satisfied until someone addresses my extant question about SEA Source!

What’s the question about SEA Source? I can guess what you might be shooting at, but am not totally sure.

My take on SEA Source has always been that the Corp is specifically asking SEA for data on network information at a specific time and place, backtracking from the point of known incursion until they find the Runner.

So, the narrative forms:

Hacker jacks in, runs the Net, finds the upcoming agenda, some kind of Project, Atlas holding the world or something. Instead of accessing it or releasing it themselves, they forward the info to a buddy of theirs, a popular Film Critic. The hacker jacks out and then goes to talk with the Critic for a little while to get them to post it on their blog, and after a bit of time, enough info is out in the open that the public knows, and the Corp is setback.

So the next morning, the Corporation can’t enact a Punitive Counterstrike, since the public face is a popular Critic, even if the Corp knows that guy couldn’t have been the hacker. For the same reason, you can’t Replace your Midseason lineup, because no one’s heard of the actual hacker. However, SEA has been able to Source the location of the network traffic, for a fee of course… And that’s where you can have Lizzy enact some ‘urban renewal’.

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I think this argument is fair. It didn’t need to be a ‘Film Critic’. Unless they actually follow blogs, I’d suspect the connection wouldn’t occur to people. The theme works best inside the pack itself, where the majority of agendas relate to film (except Weyland’s constant renovation) but it does fall apart in the larger world unless you make the described leap.

To be fair, if there were a pack that I would choose to put a Blogger into for this cycle, it’d probably be this one. UoT and BB would be the other candidates.

Oh yeah, we did! Though the flavour on that is pretty clear; somehow the runner’s grabbed some sort of longlived access into HQ, and they’re just spending time wrecking shit. And it’s wanton wrecking, so it’s not the precise erasing of trails that the normal trashing of an asset/upgrade implies; it’s corrupting just enough data that, again, the corp’s forced to trash it themselves, bypassing the Hostile Infrastructure routines.

Okay, cool, that works~

To revisit your original post, though, trying to shoehorn it as a blogger is still… well, shoehorn-ing!

I have to say, if you slapped new art on it and called it Information Fence, then your interpretation is 99% there.

The SEA read makes it almost work, but the particular scenario of That Remote That Was Doing All The Work For Project Beale is suddenly empty and SEA can tell us who it is but we can’t launch a punitive counterstrike? The thing about Punitive is it is a black op - we assume the public never hears about it (i.e. we take no bad publicity). Specifically using the tag from SEA Source to be only be “this building” rather than “this person” is a little broken, because, well, it’s still a tag in game and that has mechanics meaning. Sure, it works for Scorched, but what if the corp then trashes any of your resources? Surely that implies more precise information.

I feel like we’re just sort of circling around the issue of what steal triggers are, which is kind of the crux of a lot of really fundamental questions. When you steal an agenda, are you literally emptying the server, or did you just leak enough of their secrets that this version of the project is now useless? Come to think of it, what are you even doing with the agendas in your score pile? Clearly it’s enough to get the corp’s attention, even if you got it without running their servers at all (with Flint and Investigative Journalism, for example). So the methods that their Counterstrikers use must be very different from SEA Source anyways. And whatever those methods are, Film Critic is good at counteracting them, whether it’s because of her fame and media savvy, or because of her knack for untraceably handling sensitive data, or perhaps some combination of both.

I agree. For many projects you have to assume the runner is just straight stealing the code then wiping all traces of it on the Corp end. Why would Weyland care if you happened to only take a copy of their next Hostile Takeover? It’s just good business for them, they’ll do it anyway.

I think considering the Runner’s score area as “leaked data” is enough to make a lot of interpretations work. Even winning the game: The corp has bled enough that they just aren’t financially viable any more… or someone above has decided you are incompetent as Chief Security and fired you. Though this complicates what the points from Fan Site represent, or what you’re doing with Data Dealer, if that information is public anyway…

If we take Data Dealer (being from the core set) as an arbiter here, you’d have to say the score area represents the data the Runner personally has and can spoil, and 7 points it just the moment the Runner decides they have enough to ruin the Corp (for whatever definition of ruin). So what does it mean to fence the data off through Film Critic then? Are they blogging about it? If they aren’t being totally transparent about it then why does the Corp care? If they are, then how are you able to Data Deal? QUESTIONS ABOUNDING.

It’s true that Punitive Counterstrike makes no sense, but that seems to be a problem with Punitive Counterstrike, not with anything else: it’s nonsense that you send someone to shoot the runner without knowing who the runner is (and if you do know who the runner is, why don’t they get tagged?).

Ignoring that, the effects of Film Critic seem coherent to me - we already know that stealing agendas is more dangerous and can give the corp more information on you than just making a run (from Midseason/SEA Source), and we also know that some data is capable of containing code for self-protection (from Fetal AI, TGBT, etc). Then we can say that if the film critic is a fence, what they’re actually doing is making the data safe by removing any dangerous code, and that you the runner do not actually have the data until they do this (spending the two clicks).
Where this interpretation gets woolly is how the film critic has the data the instant you access it, and the corp doesn’t. You have to say that they are accompanying you on each run or something in order to have that make sense.