1. VIRTUAL REALITY
VR is all over the place in the Infinity world, I think the Aleph book talks most about it including as others have mentioned, Virtual interrogation rooms and Maya-based corporate/submundo meet-ups. You also have all the references to Maya-Groups and fan-bases that gather to talk about their hobbies, the books make it sound like it’s nothing more than a Forum people post on, but this is the Space-Future, those “Forums” would be virtual interactive meeting rooms. Then theirs all the references to peoples Cubes being spun up in virtual environments prior to them being resurrected so that therapists can help them adjust… VR is everywhere.
On top of this the core book talks about thinking about what your Virtual Avatar looks like and how often with long distance communications suffering from Light Speed limitations your LAI can attend those meeting an act in your stead. Basically VR seems to be just another “plane of existance” you can slip into in the Human Sphere and the only limitations to it is pretty much what the Environment your stepping into is programmed to be or how much you choose to interact with it. (We know for example that portions of the Nomad nation exist perpetually n Virtual Worlds playing MMO’s and only enter the “Real World” when they download into a Combat LHost to put their battle skills to use aka Hollow Men)
Add to this that AR is everywhere but even that is turned up to 11. It’s less AR and more bringing VR into the real world. People walk around with Aura’s and Special Effects (not to bet confuse dwith Patina or Halo) running al the time and when they jump onto Maya in their Home and don a full immersion suit they crank it up further. The ubiquity of Technology in the Human Sphere and how the books are written as if you are there in that world means a lot of things we think of as special/high-end are just all over the shop. Treat VR like this.
2. GHOSTING INTO A NEW SHELL
Remotes… I think a thing your missing here is the idea that Ghosting/Controlling a remote is more akin to slipping your consciousness into a new body. You aren’t so much Piloting the remote as becoming the Remote. I think that’s the explanation for why you use Agility vs Coordination for various tasks, you use the stat just like you where present in the scene yourself… just not in a body quite so susceptible to getting killed.
3. THE SYSTEM IS DOWN
Disabling Weapons/Systems with hacking. Yep, its a thing if a weapon is connected to a Commlog (and by default they are if they don’t say “Non-Hackable”) you can with a Breach turn it off, if you have a Program that allows it as a Special Breach the same would apply. Note: A person with a Disabled Weapon can then make an Absterge check to re-enable it without needing to reset their system and for a Momentum/Heat I would allow them to also put the item into Dumb-Mode with the usual penalties.
So, having said that lets talk about Comlogs. This one piece of equipment is what holds together a persons ability to interact with the world around them, it interfaces with their Geist, Weapons, nearby items etc. As a GM you should consider carefully how brutal you want to make Hacking in your game as taking out this one item even temporarily can be a massive advantage. Sure if a Comlog is turned off that character can’t be hacked anymore as their system is offline, but so is everything else.
In general I do not consider a Comlog to be a priority target for enemy hackers. Yes, I have on once occasion used Disabling a comlog as a event, but normally I assume that most Hackers would prefer to tag a players Comlog and make that Ground 0 for future Hacks than turn it off. On the other hand, I have see two players in two separate games purposefully disable their Comlog when this has happened. which has been fun to toy with.
In either eventuality though remember that a Characters “System” still functions without their Comlog, their Firewall still runs, their Geist is still present. They just lack the means to access those things or for outside forces to do so as well. You may if you are a benevolent GM allow a certain level of Player ability to continue to access their “System” even with a Comlog being turned off, just remember that essentially they are then accessing things in Dumb Mode and things like a Geist or LAI could not assist them.
4. CREATE OBSTACLE
As the rule states, this is a spend that is made prior to any Dice being rolled. Whether or not it is a PC or NPC spend, the moment a task occurs in play is at the point that the Momentum spend needs to be made. It is before any Dice is assigned but after the initial difficulty is set, just like with Reactions. You do not need to pre-prepare the Obstacle, its a spur of the moment addition. And it only lasts for the duration of the test.
Does this mean that players could essentially triple-down on any Attack being aimed at them with Create Obstacle and a Reaction? and further reactions like Cover Fire? Absolutely! Just remember anytime a PC wants to react they must give the GM 1 point of Heat (not momentum) and honestly if your PC’s are going to to spend 6 Momentum or give you 6 Heat for a +3 Difficulty to avoid an enemy attack, let them. Then turn around and deploy 3 new Elites onto the scene with the heat they just gave you of spend some Heat to Act a second time etc.
The key thing is that such obstacles are momentary and will go away, try to to be too-precious with your carefully crafted and beloved NPC’s. its a failing of all GM’s (myself included) to get too attached to things that players will want to steam-roll.
Oh, and if players want to set up an ambush or a more long term difficulty, let them. It’s essentially a terrain effect that they should make skill tests about prior to the conflict and basically would be defined as a Trait attached to a scene. once they have done that, feel free to use their set-up to your advantage. An no one said that you can’t apply whatever difficulties they set up against the PC’s either. Letting players do the hard work of a GM is a great way to have an easy nights entertainment.
Oh and one last thing…
In face-to-face tests make sure you set up all the variables before each side rolls. As a added bonus I tend to make sure I roll an NPC and work out their full outcome prior to then asking a PC to spend momentum/heat for extra dice. I find players are way more comfortable with that organization of rolling than each side rolling at the same time and honestly, players tend to underestimate the results their characters will roll and seem more likely to give heat for extra dice when they see they are facing a 6 Momentum hurdle to overcome.