How do you play Infowar, Psyops and Warfare?

I read through the rules for condensed and full Infowar and Psyops scenes and I’m unsure what the intention behind it is. Is it meant to be played as a separate game, e.g. if we’re doing Psyops, we’re doing Psyops and this is a new scene with new terrain and you don’t use any infowar or warfare rules. Is it fluid, like we can move from Psyops to Infowar and switch between terrain mapping as the players navigate the scene?

How do you play Infowar and Psyops and Warfare? How do you think it’s meant to be played?

Psyops just means you attack someone mentally instead of using a gun. And Infowar means you attack someone by hacking instead of using a gun. So all three can totally exist together in one scene.

One character may be a good fighter so they charge into battle with a sword. Another character may be socially adept and tries to convince some troopers that fleeing would be in their best interest. Another shuts an enemy down by disabling their rifle.

In addition, there are special Infowar scenes where a hacker basically travels through a virtual reality. This is a separate scene with different terrain and so on (because it is essentially a different reality).

I would say that full Psyops and full Infowar work a lot like minigames, as opposed to Psywar and Infowar attacks, which are basicallym the first, social combat, the second, using hacking as a weapon against foes. But this doesn’t help much as it is a bit difficult to visualize the full use of those rules. Watching someone else playing Infinity would help a lot to clarify how it is done.

It’s worth noting that you can technically do Psyops with a gun too - it represents suppressing fire, and you essentially just use the gun to inflict mental damage and metanoia (though, obviously it’s difficult to be subtle or tactful with suppressing fire).

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Psyops and Infowar in other scenes feels pretty intuitive, it’s when the game talks about e.g.

Infowar, “Remote hacking uses the full Infowar rules, including those for quantronic zones.”

PsyOps, “A full-blown psyop uses all the rules for Psywar, including those for social zones.”

This is when, reading through the rules, I’m not sure if it’s intended to be its own minigame as MigRib suggests, or if it all kind of flows together somehow. I love reading about Quantronic and Social Networks, but it sounds very involved, like the game expects you to play through the adventure or the scene in such terms.

It would definitely help to have a decent playthrough that explains how this is meant to be played :slight_smile:

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Either, or both, really. Quantronic zones represent the internal structure of a computer network, for more “traditional” hacking scenes (moving from server to server, into specific systems, avoiding intrusion countermeasures), while Social zones reflect personal connections between people, places, groups, events, and so forth.

They can be used by themselves for specific kinds of scene. It’s also entirely possible to overlap, say, a warfare scene (physical environment) and an Infowar one (network as environment), by having particular systems in the quantronic map influence the physical one, and vice versa, either with the hacker operating remotely (tactical team on the ground, hacker in the van), or with the hacker moving with the fighters, looking for somewhere to physically connect to the network. It takes more effort and familiarity with the rules, but you could run a scene where the two feed into one another: the hacker can access security systems, but needs the physical team to get in and plant repeaters, find an access point or obtain keys (passwords, physical ID cards/tags, stuff used in authentication) so that the hacker can get deeper into the network.

This can in turn overlap with PsyOps - interrogations to get vital info (remember, social engineering is a big part of hacking - it’s much easier to get into a computer if you trick someone into giving up their password), or a third part of the group running a con or keeping a mark distracted, or hacked communications sending false intelligence to the enemy, etc.

You can go as shallow or as deep as you want. The game just provides tools to give structure to the things you imagine.

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This certainly appears straighforward and quite simple when explained by you. But I have been secretly praying for my players not to engage in full ops so I can avoid it…

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[grin] It is reminding me of running Shadowrun back in the day, with the decker (hacker) shutting down the security system, opening doors, etc, while the combat team run through the corridors. Also reminds me of all of those Mission Implausible-style films, where the intrusion team are working closely with the hacker who counts down until the door unlocks while the sentries are approaching around the hall corner.

So, the way I understand it …
Full Infowar ‘minigame’ rules are used when the hacker is doing a deep dive (or doing quantronic legwork) (and the rest of the team are probably guarding them, ready for the security team who burst into the hotel room just as the hack finishes).
Full PsyOps ‘minigame’ rules are used for the social manipulation and face-to-face legwork phases, as the team make contacts and work out who the targets should be and where they will be.
And the abbreviated rules would be employed when you’re combat-hacking, and trying to talk the opposition into put their guns down.


Yep, you’ve got it. And if you can’t steal… sorry, take inspiration from, the Mission Impossible movies when running Infinity, then what’s even the point in being a GM?

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One of my favorite moments so far playing Infinity is when we were doing a kidnapping rescue operation. We hacked our way in to where the main villain was with the hostage, got into a firefight with his goons, and then the main villain took his kidnapping victim hostage, and the scene turned into a full-blown psywar Mexican Standoff.

The way the rules just seamlessly went from hacking to warfare to psywar was just so great.

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