Since the muertos deal largely in illicit tech, I took the card to mean that HB “fed” some “defective” chips to the gang (fell off a truck, left the door unlocked, etc. etc.). Once they make their way into circulation, HB servers/sysops/etc. can exploit the backdoors in these illegal chips; but of course at some point word will get out and people will stop using them.
Because after an agenda is scored, the company’s PR team is out talking about how great they are and how great this new initiative is so no one’s available to explain away mysterious deaths. And if they kill too many people, they’ll start getting looked into by the police.
See, this is what we internally term “fanwank”. It’s a technical term, I swear!—fanwank basically means explanations that only make sense after the fact, explanations that are constructed to make sense of mechanics as opposed to mechanics that were constructed with built in explanations.
We’ve talked about this before back in Hacktivist Meeting—
[quote]Ess: What is sorta annoying to me about this card is the loose mechanics. I love the flavour here, but there are so many possible mechanics it could have mapped onto. Why trashing a card randomly from HQ instead of, I dunno, paying an extra credit? Why on non-ice rez instead of on install or on playing operations?
Cee: I mean, as a hacktivist you are publicly calling the corp out on their bullshit and hopefully forcing them to change their ways – I guess you could consider them dumping from HQ being representative of that change?
Ess: My metric is this: If the card had had the mechanics “As an additional cost to install cards, the Corp must pay a credit”, would you have batted an eye? Is this mechanic evocative enough that a different one would have felt weird? Or is this all ex post facto rationalisation?
Cee: Mmm, truthfully, you’re probably right. In all likelihood we’d just be having the same conversation with the [mechanic] swapped.[/quote]
Some level of fanwank is necessary, unfortunately, and I certainly understand the impulse to try harder to construct an explanation for cards you love; we do it all the time! But it’s important to recognise that we should be holding the team at FFG to higher standards than that. If a card can only be explained by fanwank, we tend to look more sceptically at it.
So, yeah, that’s one of my personal bugbears with the Current mechanics; there’s a lot of strategic complexity as to when they’re played and when they go away that don’t map into any of the in-fiction explanations I’ve heard for them.
PS. @oconnor0—notice how you mistakenly gave us an explanation for why the corp Current should go away on the Corp scoring an agenda, instead of the Runner stealing one This is one of the main problems of fanwank, of course; if you try hard enough you can justify anything.
I always thought the flavour of Hacktivist meeting was something along the lines of you’ve joined up with some local hackers, so whenever you’re about to make a major hack you can inform your friends here, who’ll make it a touch more complicated to do anything by running interference with HQ.
Where’s the next one?
Is takes way too long when its this interesting Q^Q