Jackpoint is a distributed peer-to-peer (p2p) virtual private network (VPN) based around a software suite created by the legendary decker Fastjack and was originally limited to several dozen hand-picked members. Since then, there have been changes in membership and dozens of guest users who have been invited to post in various products.
Jackpoint is an encrypted, distributed peer-to-peer (p2p) VPN created by the legendary decker Fastjack following the Matrix Crash 2.0 of 2064 which destroyed the Shadowland darknet. The network has no centralized server, but exists within the commlinks of its approximately sixty users—all of whom have been selected by Fastjack for various reasons which include having access to valuable information to the rest of Jackpoint's members and the willingness to share (some of) it. The members represent a wide variety of backgrounds and interests, and operate throughout the world. While the network was designed for full members selected by Fastjack, other individuals possessing unique and/or detailed information of interest to the network can be invited to post files, and entries in larger files. They also have limited read/write access to annotate specific files with "shadowtalk" comments.
The Jackpoint software suite contains several programs for private and collaborative messaging, a reputation system, integration with the user's e-mail, and Matrix feeds (e.g., news; personal alerts), as well as a file storage area and management. It also contains the software that allows the network to operate from even one member's commlink. Since February 2071, Jackpoint has also integrated code from Horizon corp's P2.0 online reputation system.
Along with the above-mentioned members, Jane Foster ("Frosty") is a member. So are several historically well-known Shadowland users from the 2050s and 2060s such as the decker, The Smiling Bandit; the shaman, Man-of-Many-Names, the runner/pirate, Kane; the mercenary, Picador; and the ex-ganger turned assassin, Riser. The most notorious member (Kane notwithstanding) both among Shadowrun players and Jackpoint users is the Deus-following Otaku, Puck.
There are approximately sixty members of JackPoint, and another sixty individuals have been invited onto the network as guest users over the years. These guests were especially prominent in Augmentation and Street Legends.
While JackPoint is an exclusive VPN, guest access has been granted to over sixty users. Some are well-known figures from Shadowrun past such as Dr. Kristine Martin (KAM), DefCon5, Nuyen Nick, Pyramid Watcher, Wyrm Watcher, and Dr. Richard Kaminsky (Kephalos). Shadow figures for certain settings have also been introduced such as Otaku-Zuku, who runs a popular blog on Neo-Tokyo; and Alex Machine, a celebrity shadowrunner in Los Angeles. Perri, the first known otaku and FastJack's "daughter" cracked the network and posted to section of Street Grimoire in which the members discuss the Denver Data Haven (where she is Master SysOp).
Street Legends significantly increased the number of guests because it was considered by FastJack to be "fair" if the subjects or their associates had the opportunity to comment on certain files. Guests included Jonathan Blake, Dunkelzahn's/Daviar's personal decker-hacker, Jane-in-the-Box, and Neurosis, the disembodied Matrix persona of the western dragon Eliohann.
There is a certain amount of controversy inherent to, and building (and will continue so long as the Jackpoint format remains standard), among these few dozen individuals. One instance is the inclusion of Puck as a member of Jackpoint. Several members such as Slamm-0! hold him in suspicion or outright contempt for his former association with the AI Deus during the shutdown of the SCIRE from December 2059 to May 2061. Puck was one of the leaders of the "Whites," Otaku loyal to Deus. His standing within the Jackpoint reputation system is perpetually at the very bottom.
Another controversy exists involving two members: Netcat and Clockwork. During the events of 2070 that announced to the world the existence of Technomancers and AIs within the Matrix, it was revealed that Netcat was a technomancer. Clockwork reacted harshly, condemning Netcat as insane, and an abomination—in spite of his own background of persecution for being a hobgoblin (a Middle Eastern ork metavariant). This eventually led to a situation where Clockwork "outed" Netcat to NeoNET, whose operative failed in an attempt to capture her. While this led to widespread condemnation among the members, because it did not involve infractions of the rules for using Jackpoint Fastjack refused to kick Clockwork out of the network.
Ever since the Tempo craze began, Pistons has been critical of Haze for his use of the drug, as well as his actions while on the drug. In Street Legends it was revealed that she was hired to investigate him by the family of a young woman that he manipulated and used as part of a run, but who became collateral damage in the fallout. Since then, their relationship has gotten increasingly hostile, and has drawn in Kay St. Irregular because he is a close personal friend (and possibly more) with Pistons. In Conspiracy Theories, FastJack acknowledges that he knows that Haze unsuccessfully sought to have Pistons killed, and expects retaliation from Pistons, Kay, or both.
In Street Legends, Rigger X was exposed by FastJack as having been responsible for selling information on other members of JackPoint.
The 10 Jackpointers ebook is framed as a collection of dossiers on ten members compiled by Horizon. This security breach has developed into a long-standing storyline in which the Dawkins Group has attempted to infiltrate and disrupt the network. They breached the Matrix security, and left a backdoor open. FastJack discovered it, but allowed it to remain open to track incursions. However, it allowed unknown individuals access to post anonymously in several products. In the opening story of Conspiracy Theories, FastJack finally closes the backdoor and retaliates along with unidentified allies in a joint Matrix and on-site attack on the Dawkins Group in Los Angeles. Before the attack, it is revealed that Nadja Daviar exploited the backdoor to post anonymously. It was not indicated what she posted, but that it was recognizable as her to FastJack and his co-conspirator.
Purpose in ShadowrunEdit
Outside of the in-character context, Jackpoint is the fictional format used to present the fictional, in-character contents of the sourcebooks and other supplements in Shadowrun Fourth Edition. The same way Shadowland was used by earlier editions. It was designed, in part, to create a smaller stable of regular characters that could be used to develop an overarching storyline among them, and also to reduce the complexity and possible inconsistencies that arose with having over 15 years worth of shadowtalk posters appearing in the books. It also eliminated the problem of numerous one-shot posters who appeared in single books and never appeared again. Some non-member characters are given limited access to Jackpoint, invariably to discuss an area or specialty in which they are considered an expert by the members or Fastjack himself. One such example is Lei Kung (who is now a permanent member) and other members of his crew posting about Hong Kong in Runner Havens in part because they are reputed as experienced runners when it comes to Hong Kong and Wuxing.
- 10 Jackpointers
- Conspiracy Theories
- Corporate Enclaves
- Runner Havens
- Spy Games
- Street Legends
- Street Magic
- Shadowtalker List (PDF)