Items with the “Non-hackable” quality are not to be influenced by hacking attempts and Breach effects.
Most grenades are listed without the “Non-hackable” quality. Are grenades then hackable?
Could someone hack into a grenade hanging on the belt of an opponent and cause it to detonate on obtaining a Breach effect?
Many other explosives even have the “Comms” quality, so that they are integrated into the personal area network of their users. Is it correct that those are hackable, too?
If someone is carrying a D-Charge, could a hacker hack into the personal area network and cause a Breach effect to let it detonate on the carrying person?
In theory, yes, you can hack an explosive that isn’t non-hackable; naturally, any bomb you can trigger wirelessly could be hacked, and a grenade with a remote trigger makes for a decent trap.
However, from a GMing and setting perspective, it makes sense to assume that anything designed to explode will be difficult to hack and have various failsafes (so it’s easier to disarm a bomb than detonate it).
So, making any Hacking attack at a raised Difficulty, maybe D2 for a Comms quality charge and D3 for a simple hand grenade?
As you said, it works both ways: you could position a grenade as a trap and detonate it on a successful Hacking attack.
Or a discovered already set explosive charge with Comms quality could be disarmed by hacking the built-in communication device, or it could be (safely?) detonated prematurely if discovered and hacked .
Maybe we should separate between grenades and explosive devices (ExD)
Grenades may be not-hackable and not be set up as demolition charges, with the exception of improved traps.
ExD are hackable, may have Comm, when prepared for set up. Prior to preparation ExD are not hackable, because inactive!
On the rules side, if an item does not have the “Non-Hackable” quality, it definitely is hackable.
No grenade has this quality.
Comms only makes hacking a bit different, if the item is integrated into the Personal Area Network of the user.
Ok, maybe it is the demolitionist within me, but serious I can’t see any advantage in programmable grenades.
For me a grenade is pretty low tech: it is a small metal case with predetermined breaking points, filled with explosive (for Infinity maybe some gel) and triggered by time fuse (no need to change the current 3 sec plus/minus one). Even the trigger would be most likely still our current. The idea of infantry grenades is, that they are easy and fast to use small devices with area effect. Any thing more complex shouldn’t be a grenade.
But you are right, grenades don’t posses the Not-hackable trait (which they should possess imo!)
And any demolition expert would always carry explosive components and detonators separated, this is the first thing you learn! You don’t even fix the explosive component with the demolition cord (which is count as detonator by itself)
Modern day C4 is a malleable substance, which would only explode by electrical detonators, not even fire or shooting on it works! And I see no reason, why the standard stuff in Infinity should be worse?
The problem is, that Infinity’s tech level is vastly different from our modern day tech level.
EVERYTHING is “quantronic”. - Like “the internet of things” - only much more ubiquitous and much worse in all aspects.
When even a simple pistol is hackable, and you really don’t need any quantronics to make a pistol work, then a grenade can be hackable, too.
I would make exceptions for especially made “dumb-mode” weapons and some lower tech weapons from Ariadna for example.
But in my games I use it strict: if it doesn’t have the Non-Hackable quality, you can hack it.
As I said in my earlier post, in theory a grenade is hackable. There’s some quantronics in there, though the extent to which they’re integrated into the working of the grenade is debateable. I’d imagine that location tracking (so you always know where your grenades, and those of your allies are) could be useful as a bare minimum, as could something that prevents the device arming in too close proximity to allies, or in particular locations (such as when they’re in storage), or which signals to allies when it’s used. None of that actively interacts with the explosives, and the only quantronic functions (the only things that can be hacked) are a locator (little different from a meme-tag on any ordinary inanimate object) and a fail-safe switch. And, beyond that, it’s entirely possible to set quantronic devices to be offline, which I imagine would be a common operating procedure for grenades where enemy hacking is a serious risk.
But @Michael_Romanov has good points about explosive safety in general, which are worth considering. With an explosive device, the part which is a Comms device would be the detonator, which isn’t connected to the explosive until it’s put into use, and for safety reasons, connecting the detonator to the explosives should always be a manual activity not one that can be done remotely.
If a device doesn’t have the Non-Hackable quality, it can be hacked. But it’s always valuable to think about which parts of a device can be operated remotely and which parts can’t. Just because you can hack a gun doesn’t necessarily mean you can fire it from your hacking device - at best, the quantronics for a gun are a camera, remote access to the sights (which may include a targeting assist system), and a weapon status indicator (quantity and type of ammo, heat, alerts for misfires and similar), and maybe a user ID and safety (so only the owner can use the gun), while the part that fires bullets at people isn’t accessible to hacks.
The sheer range and variety of hackable devices in Infinity means that it’s impossible to list every way that every device can be remotely-operated, so common sense must prevail. As a rule of thumb, though, any device that can be operated remotely should have numerous failsafes in place to limit how dangerous they can be when hacked.
I really love the idea of grenades with IFF! That sounds pretty cool! Never thought of this. I think, I might use this in my campaign.
As Nathan suggest, maybe it would be good to define which functions of it would be hackable. Maybe a pistol is cyberlinked to a character, then even the firing mechanism would be hackable. But a Colt heavy revolver could be non-hackable, even heavy pistols don’t possess this trait?
And for grenades with IFF, hacking this could cause much trouble. I still wouldn’t allow to trigger standard grenades through hacking, but by hacking the IFF a grenade wouldn’t appear on your HUD or in AR
A grenade with IFF could also get its triggering impulse quantronically, no “moving parts” like pins to pull necessary.
And that type of grenade could be hacked to cease function altogether, or to prematurely detonate be getting a trigger signal.
From the rules perspective, if an item is hackable and if the hacker achieves a Breach effect, simply shutting the item off is a very typical and legitimate way of applying the Breach effect. That should work for all items not currently in dumb mode or with the Non-Hackable quality.
For me, it is science-fiction anyway. So even a gun does not need that many moving parts as we still are using with our technology. The trigger could be simply to get the biometric data that the user is allowed to fire, and the actual firing impulse is sent quantronically.
In actual play experiences, having a defensive hacker on your team is therefore very valuable, if someone is attacking your team mates’ weapon systems quantronically. Your hacker can always jump in and defend any personal area network or other items of your team - which gives the hacker something important to do while the others are firing away.