Neal's Last Words
by Byron "Neal" Massey
Neal'S Quest for the Truth
I have some questions and the technical manuals haven't been much
help. Drop me a line if you have information.
WotC and the DCI are famous for their bizarre rulings on cards.
In Magic, they sometimes change their minds several times in a few
months. The first group of questions has to do with the official
rulings on cards and game mechanics.
1. How come misc.for.sale has the "successfully trashed"
errata and every other card in the game doesn't? Why can you save
your Imp with Umbrella Policy during a run, but not if you sell
it to misc.for.sale?
"The Shell Traders, have you seen the errata on that thing?"
Yeah, I know, big Imp trees are to easy to sell and save with Joan
of Arc and misc.for.sale. On the other hand, no one has introduced
any errata to stop Psycho Tycho or Artificial Security Directors/Corp
War. Why the special prejudice against misc. for.sale?
I'd like to see errata for Joan of Arc that says "...being
trashed by the Corporation..." That would fix everything that
is wrong with all the Joan-abuse in Netrunner.
Another thing I'd like to see is a very specific ruling that says
"Any effect triggered by the trashing of a card(s) does not
take place unless that card(s) is placed in the trash or Archives
before the effect takes place."
2. How come the Corporation has to rez a piece of ICE before a
Runner saddled with a Ball and Chain encounters it? The Runner should
have to declare that he is committing the two bits, then the Corp
should be able to decide whether to rez or not. If he decides to
rez, the two bits should be paid and the ICE encountered.
3. If you use a Death from Above on a New Galveston City Grid fort,
how come you only pay for the revealed Nodes, Agendas and Upgrades?
Shouldn't you just just pick the cards you are willing to pay for,
trash them, and call it good?
4. How come Ice Transmutation doesn't affect extra subroutines
that are not printed on a piece of ICE? You can process "end
of turn" or "start of turn" effects in any order
you wish. How come you can't make Minotaur's extra subroutines come
up and then make Ice Transmutation double them?
5. Why can't a Dr. Dreff stored in HQ throw ICE at a Runner using
Shredder Uplink Protocol? How come a Dreff in R&D can't throw
ICE at a Runner using Private LDL Access? Dreff is in the fort that
is being accessed, he should be able to use his power. The Shredder
errata even says you access upgrades in HQ.
6. How come Omniscience Foundation has to be in play at the end
of the turn to work? If it was previously rezzed, its effect should
happen, just like a Preying Mantis still does brain damage at the
end of a turn if it is trashed during that turn.
7. Shouldn't Emergency Self-Construct save you from Homewrecker,
Quest for Cattekin, or other "unpreventable" damage? All
it does is "Prevent yourself from being flatlined..."
It doesn't prevent any kind of damage.
8. Why does Remote Detonator forget what fort you accessed when
you use Shredder Uplink Protocol or Private LDL Access? It says
"Play only if you made a successful run on a data fort this
turn. Trash all rezzed ice on that fort..." A Shredder run
is considered successful when you pass the last piece of ice on
Archives, but the fort that you successfullly ran was HQ.
9. How come a program installed with Sneak Preview doesn't go from
the trash to your hand at the end of the turn?
10. How come you can't use Japanese Water Torture to forgo unwanted
actions from Bargain with Viacox?
11. The Shell Traders, have you seen the errata on that thing?
Netrunner is a study on how to make a great game unsuccessful.
These are some questions for the one-hit-wonders at WotC.
1. How come WotC's last good game design was Netrunner? Can't they
figure out any other rules for card games besides each "monster"
having a "strength" and "toughness"?
2. WotC lost money on Netrunner because of massive overprinting
(caused by massive overconfidence). Why did they refuse to do smaller
printings of expansions when the game was still fresh? The new policy
at WotC and Five Rings is to put out small expansions on a monthly
basis. Netrunner has a dedicated and commited fan base. Wouldn't
this policy fit perfectly with the Netrunner situation now?
3. How come WotC won't print the Contract cards in the Duelist?
The expense would be minimal and the sales would increase dramatically
for that month.
4. Why won't WotC have the Netrunner world championships in conjunction
with the Magic championships in Seattle? It would cost nearly nothing
to host this side event, and it could be open to all comers. Would
it really hurt to have a real Netrunner World Champion? Prizes would
be minimal, but at least people would have a place to go and compete
for the title.
5. How come Netrunner isn't even in the catalog, when Jyhad is?
6. What's the real price on the whole Netrunner property? Would
they sell the game to someone who cares at a reasonable price?
Playing the Game
I'm sure you've noticed that Netrunner has some quirks. Murphy's
Law seems to combine with a few bad apples in the card mix and produce
an occasional stomach ache. A few play variants can provide some
relief. These questions are the symptoms.
1. How come Bartmoss only blows up when your Umbrella Policies
and Joan of Arc are uninstalled?
2. Weren't Code Viral Cache, Time to Collect, Death from Above,
Enterprise, Inc., Shields and Precision Bribery bad ideas for cards?
3. Have you ever locked a Corporation down with Doppleganger counters?
It's tough against Loan from Chiba.
4. Did you ever try playing a game where both sides are allowed
to stack their decks before starting? It's really fun.
5. What were they thinking when they made Polymer Breakthrough?
6. Have you ever been able to beat a Corp that installs four or
five City Surveillances in the first turns? Ok, maybe with TagMe.
Other than that?
7. Viral Pipeline, is it too powerful?
8. How come there is no way to get rid of Bad Publicity points?
9. How do you stop Psycho Tycho?
Netrunner on the Net
Netrunner seems like the perfect game to play and discuss on the
Internet. Let me know how much the Netspace you occupy in your real
1. Which Netrunner web pages do you visit regularly?
2. Do you read the netrunner-l mailing list?
3. Have you ever played a Netrunner game on the IRC chat network?
4. Have you ever used Ken Hudson's NetNetrunner Java application?
5. Would you like to join a NetNetrunner league, or play night,
for regular competition?
That's all the questions I have for now, I hope you enjoyed reading
them. I'm currently working on a new bit engine using Floating Runner
BBS, Top Runners' Conference, and misc.for.sale. Let me know if
you come up with a good proportion for these cards.