One of the runs you dont hear much about is pure information-gathering. Avoiding combat is no fun in a module, after all. :-) Since surveillance is exactly the sort of job shadowrunners can get hired for, Id like to develop the task a bit more.
The two main senses to work with on surveillance are sight and sound. Other senses can provide valuable information, but take a back seat to the top two that humans use on a daily basis. Surveillance is about putting your eyes and ears places that other people dont want them, and countersurveillance is about keeping other people from sticking their sensory organs in your business.
One of the easier barriers to overcome is distance. Telescopic sights (10×), goggles (20×, 1500¥), binoculars (50×, 100¥), and telescopes (100× and up) can directly extend vision, and shotgun microphones (1k¥ × Rating) can catch sounds from a long way away as long as the local ambient noise doesnt drown the distant sources out. Condor drones, being transparent gasbags with small sensor packages, are a hard-to-spot way to get a view from above; they get 50× magnification for each level of sensor rating. Micro-camcorders, at 3×5×cm and 2500¥ a pop can be spread out to keep an eye on things. Devices the size of an in-the-ear-canal hearing aid can provide a great deal of hearing amplification, almost as good as actual cybernetic enhancement.
Getting through physical barriers is another matter. A laser
microphone can pick up sounds from a window by bouncing the beam off a
window and watching how the little spot changes as the window
vibrates. Dataline taps at 5k¥ per rating point can get
expensive, but will allow eavesdropping on their telcom calls (and,
for enterprising deckers, on their activities near their
telcom, as you switch it into receive mode). The new insectile drones
from Rigger 2 can get a camera into places that were
once much more difficult; fiber optic
scopes can go places even drones cant.
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