This skill allows the character to operate a computer as well as allows the character to write programs or change them to their own specifications. Hacking is also included under this skill. Below are the uses for Computer Use. These are not separate skills.
General End User Operations
If you just want to get on you computer to check your email or surf the web, it does not require any special skill. Some more complicated searches might require an Intelligence ability check, but that is up to the DM’s discretion.
This use of the skill allows you to program, code, and generally create software for computers. To create a simple application/program requires a TN of 20. This simple program can do a few basic commands. Each extra command/feature added to the program raises the TN by 10. Yes, EVERY command/feature. This is why it takes months, sometimes years, to develop software. On that note, all rolls are cumulative, meaning you roll multiple times until you meet the TN, but each roll counts as a period of time passed. For example, if the TN is 30 and it took you 3 rolls to meet or beat the TN, then it took you 3 weeks to complete that program. Essentially, 1 roll equals 1 weeks worth of work.
This use of the skill also allows you to diagnose software issues. The Base TN to do so is 20. To resolve the issue is a base TN of 15, plus 5 for every issue found. Again, time will add to your base total, just like above, but in the case of existing software/programs, each roll counts as an hour not a week.
This use of the skill covers not only the knowledge of what hardware works best and the latest, fastest available, but installation, troubleshooting, and repair of that hardware. The Base TN to diagnose a problem is 20 (hardware only, does not count networking or software). To resolve the issue is also Base TN 15 plus 5 for every issue found. Each roll counts as one hour of work.
This use of the skill allows you to setup and maintain WANs, LANs, and PANs. Essentially, anything to do with connecting 2 or more computers and/or devices together to share information. To create a network from scratch starts at a Base TN 20 plus 5 for every computer you want to add to it. Each roll to meet or beat the TN is equal to a week of work.
This use of the skill also allows you to diagnose network issues. The Base TN to do so is 20. To resolve the issue is a base TN of 15, plus 5 for every issues found. Each roll to meet or beat the TN is one hour of work.
This use of the skill only allows you to setup and maintain the software side of networking, so protocols, access, shares, and the like. To physically set up the network requires Network Technician Tools and the proficiency to use them, this is running the wires and connecting modems, nodes, routers, and the like.
This use of the skill allows you to bypass computer security and tread where you would otherwise be forbidden. This is treated much like an ability check to disarm traps as each computer security system will have a TN. Meet or exceed that TN and you’re in. Now, there may be multiple layers, each getting progressively more difficult. This is up to the GM as well as what you can control in what layer of security. As with other uses for Computer Use, the TNs will be higher than normal and multiple rolls will likely be required. Each roll counts as a minutes worth of work. Seconds count!