It's Hard to Walk Away from a Winning Streak
|It's Hard to Walk Away from a Winning Streak|
Heart of the Tempest|
The runners are hired in order to find out why The Gate's Casino has had a sudden upswing in positive reviews, and also to make sure that this fortune is reveresed.
Wuxing's 8888888 casino formerly occupied the 8th position on the ranking of website CHIPAdvisor, it was knocked off it's perch by The Gate's Casino and became #9 8888888. This number was not pleasing to the company and so they hired a team of runners to investigate the rival casino in Seattle.
The meet was across the avenue from The Gate's Casino at Winner Weiner, a hotdog stand ran by a Troll who was mad for Basketball called Ruth Babe. There they were met by Mr. Wu (Highrise) who explained the recent fortunes of The Gate's Casino and hired the team to reverse them.
The team found the review site in question and found out that the CHIPadvisor website had the users invite tracking marks that collected sensory data from them while they were in casinos and fed it to the website. The website then statistically analysed this data in order to rank casinos based on the genuine feelings of the users that were being transmitted by their cyberware.
The rankings were based off several factors:
1. Contentedness - An abstract concept that combines myriad small details that basically boil down to, "Would the customer happily return again to the casino?"
2. Hospitality - Were the staff friendly and attentive? Are there good services on site? Are there enough services? Are these good quality? Was your every need catered to?
3. Infallibility - Does the Casino feel safe? Are the users protected by security from outside disturbances? Are their winnings protected? Is their hotel room protected? Are their devices protected?
4. Price - Was the price of your entertainment worth it? Were the games fair? Were the services good value for money? Was the trip worth it?
After some recon the team decided to investigate.
During their recon the runners found a number of leads including noticing that there was a strange array of sensors installed in the cameras and the seats of the Casino. They worked out that these sensors seemed initially to be part of an anti-cheating software that read users biometric data to calculate whether wins were genuine and unexpected or whether the user expected to win based off their emotional reactions. However in the 6th world these involuntary signs are easy to fake so the casino repurposed this process in order to aid them in their CHIPadvisor rankings. The system (known as Oculi) would now look after the moods of it's clientele and manipulate their surroundings and interactions in subtle ways to make sure that they would provide positive feedback to the CHIPadvisor tracking software.
Heracles dived into the host and found the file that controls this data along with a few other juicy files. Eventually he made his own version of the tracking software that would flip the process and instead of improving user's experience it would make it horrible. In addition to this he found a file on ex-employees that seemed to indicate several employees have been fired on spurious grounds, usually to do with appearance, meta-type, etc. This was backed up by recon that the team had observed on the ground, in particular Heart of the Tempest who managed to overhear some disgruntled employees moaning about their job and then confronted them socially and managed to get a contact for an employee who'd been fired. This employee revealed that several people had been fired for incredibly crude and often racist reasons. She agreed to give evidence herself as well as get some of her ex-colleagues to do the same.
As well as this they managed to track down the designer of the Oculi system using the files they'd recovered, a man named Sam Vogler who now ran a charity where he has adapted the software in order to help children who have issues with social interaction better understand others. Orchid and Heart of the Tempest visited this charity and made a deal with Sam Vogler. He'd give them details on Oculi if they could find them a backer for his charity, which was nearly out of funding. Orchid contacted Molly Landry who arranged for Horizon to take over the charity with the condition that they would get Sam Vogler as well. In return the team found out that there was a major bug in the Oculi system that over the years had given out false positives on high profile professional gamblers, ending people's careers and marking them as cheaters globally when they were in fact innocent.
Eventually Orchid put together a very damaging article that they delivered to Highrise who would release it at an opportune time. This opportune time was when Heracles went back into the Casino's host, swapped his edited version of Oculi out with the real one and then the team retired to the balcony with a drink to watch the sparks fly.
The chaos started subtly with customers having small conflicts here and there but with additional prodding from the team eventually stirred into an angry mob of dissatisfied, mostly drunk, violent gambling addicts. The article came out about this time, the 8888888 casino posted it and tagged The Gate's Casino. When the staff saw this most of them quit on the spot and began to walk out, leaving the few that were left to deal with the angry mob that had formed. Eventually management pulled the fire alarm and the casino was evacuated, KE turned up on the scene to bundle the more rowdy members of the crowd into vans and whisk them away.
The 8888888 Casino is now rank 8 once more, making it the 8 8888888 casino, which is 8 8's, so double lucky.
The Gate's Casino has been knocked off the top 10 of CHIPadvisor.
Horizon take on the Kind-Eyes charity, a small price to pay to do some good in the world (and get a lot of good PR.) Sam Vogler is still cited as being part of the project but has not worked there in some time.
Run Rewards for "It's Hard to Walk Away From A Winning Streak" (13 RVP)
12000 Nuyen (6 RVP)
2000 Nuyen Bonus (Paydata)
7 Karma (7 RVP)
+2 Wuxing Rep
Highrise as a contact (4/2) (5 RVP)
Tempest - First Impression (11 RVP)
Heracles - Hi-Rez (4 RVP)
"She looks in the astral and in real life like she subsists off of hotdogs."
GM:"If you ate more than 3 of the hotdogs make me a composure roll."
Tempest: "I have Immunity to Toxins and cyberware that makes me unable to feel nausea."
GM: "Fair enough. You just feel ashamed."
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Oh, this was a Loki run through and through. We snuck into the casino in the meat and matrix, I prodded an employee for info and found out about the working conditions and Heracles dug up a customer service optimisation algorithm, then Orchid and I tracked down some disgruntled employees and she folded their stories into a damning news article, then her contacts released it, Heracles hacked the album to worsen the customer service dramatically, and I stirred the shit for Loki.
The system they had in place was a fascinating example of how to subtly manipulate people through technology. I should look into how to use that for other purposes. But overall this was a good first run with the haven. I need to stock up on Cereprax and other stuff, but I should be ready for my next run very soon.
That was a bit of fun and uploading my article help with doing a lot of work and bringing them down a ping or two and it was smart move.