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Using the SR 6e Matrix rules in SR 5e

Being a Matrix backport attempt, presented for your delight (doubtful) and utility (maybe)

The SR6e ruleset contains a gently streamlined version of the Matrix rules from Shadowrun 5e; these have several useful changes that reduce book-keeping and give deckers a simpler and more agile action economy. In this section, I lay out a backport of these rules to work within the Shadowrun 5e ruleset.

1 - Introduction

What I’m trying to do

The SR6e ruleset contains a gently streamlined version of the Matrix rules from Shadowrun 5e; these have several useful changes that reduce book-keeping and give deckers a simpler and more agile action economy.

Some of the changes to the Matrix rules are not compatible with the rest of SR5e: for example, the use of attack and defence ratings to distribute Edge during Matrix actions. Fortunately, it is easy to ignore those, and still use other parts of the SR6e Matrix system within SR5e. These houserules aim to do just that.

  • Goals of doc:
    • To present a set of house rules for deckers in Shadowrun 5e, based on the Matrix rules in Shadowrun 6e.
    • Where possible, existing 5e rules from the wider system (stuff like limits, the action economy, etc) will be kept, in order to maintain compatibility with other 5e houserules, splatbooks, etc.
  • Non-goals:
    • To explicitly cover any content from splatbooks for SR5e; only CRB content is included here.
    • To exactly reproduce 6e rules inside 5e; where I feel it necessary, I will houserule to bridge the gaps. I’ll try and call this out, though, so you know I’ve done it.
      • There are some subtle changes in 6e to things like which stat to roll for some actions that might just be annoying for tables that are already familiar with the 5e Matrix rules or use existing 5e Matrix rules reference material. I have mostly left these out of the first part of the document, although they are listed one-by-one in the second part.
    • To be a 100% complete ruleset. I am not a professional RPG writer, so I’m not aiming to produce content that anyone would/should pay for. I’m going to attempt to cover 80% of the stuff and hope GMs can fill in the remaining 20% at their table. That said, if you notice any glaring holes, please tell me!
  • Todo: technomancers. There are none at our table, and never have been, so I haven’t looked at their rules yet. If you’d like to help out, please get in touch.

Overview of the changes

I will ignore here the wider changes to SR6e that the decker rules fall into line with, eg. attack-rating-vs-defence-rating, Edge, and so forth. I’m concentrating on Matrix rules.

  • Decker action economy is simplified: mostly by making deckers able to do more with a single action and single test then they could in SR5e, where they’d often have to roll to get marks then roll again to achieve goals. This could be particularly difficult during combat, where the decker might target one opponent to get marks against, only for that opponent to be killed by other team-mates before the decker could exploit the marks.
    • Hack on the Fly: this is the stealth-orientated method for deckers to get access to things they shouldn’t. In 6e, it is replaced by two separate actions: Probe1, which is slow but establishes backdoors, and can be done hours ahead of time. And then Backdoor Entry2, which exploits weaknesses found earlier by Probe to give the decker access as they need it during the run. See more here.
    • In SR6e, Spoof Command can be used by a decker to send a single command to a device without first getting any marks/access levels on anything. In SR5e, the decker would first need a mark on a device that can control the target device to do this. Again, this gives deckers more ability to be useful in the field and react to dynamic situations. See more here.
  • Marks have been replaced by Access Levels, which helps reduce book-keeping slightly. There are fewer access levels than there were mark levels, and they’re easier to remember. See more here.
  • Overwatch Score (OS) accumulation is different. Instead of getting 2d6 every 15 minutes, as happens in 5e, in 6e the decker accumulates OS as they remain connected to compromised systems or See more here.
  • Matrix damage gives penalties to dice pools just like physical and stun damage; ie -1 per 3 boxes. This makes Data Spike deckers more dangerous, as even if they don’t do enough damage to take a device offline, they can still damage it. See more here.
  • Grids: in SR6e, grids no longer have any mechanical effect. They are kept only as cosmetic fluff. Every host/device is equally accessible on every grid. Players never need to hop grids to get to targets3.

A note about the document structure

This section is very long, but you don’t need to read most of it.

The second and larger section - Comparing SR5e and SR6e - goes through the two systems item-by-item, and is the section I wrote first, to convince myself I understood both rulesets. This is the bulk of the section.

However this section is not needed if you just want to read the houserules. For those, you only need to read the Rule Changes section (which is a good deal shorter, at ~8 pages.)


  1. Snigger. ↩︎

  2. Snigger. Again. ↩︎

  3. This showed up in 5e as an optional rule in Kill Code. ↩︎

2 - The houserules

How to use (most of) the 6e Matrix rules in 5e

These rules are canon for my current campaign. However, I am working on superseding them with a set of rules that is further streamlined.

Marks: change to access levels

Remove the concept of marks entirely. Replace with three levels of access:

  • Outsider access is what you have when you first log into a system, and it doesn’t grant you anything other than the ability to look around and interact with others in the location. Equivalent to 0 marks. A host might or might not allow Outsiders to enter it, depending on its purpose and configuration.
  • User access allows you to scan information — read files, perform basic functions, that sort of thing. Equivalent to 1 mark.
  • Admin access allows you to change configuration, turn devices on or off, etc. Equivalent to 3 marks.

(Note there is no equivalent to 2 marks, a small efficiency gain. GMs don’t need to track it and deckers don’t need to pass through it on the way to Admin access.)

All iconography around marks is also removed. No more visible marks or designing a mark that matches your persona.

In addition, most of the time, a character’s hack targets will be an entire PAN or WAN, not not an individual device (see below). Accordingly, access levels are tracked against the entire PAN or WAN. This also reduces book-keeping.

Programs and effects that depend on marks

There are a variety of things in 5e’s version of the Matrix rules that derive an effect from the number of marks you possess, eg. the Brute Force action does extra Matrix damage, so does the Mugger program, and so on. I am preserving these by ruling that User access is equivalent to 1 mark, and Admin access is equivalent to 3 marks.

PANs & WANs

For the purposes of this doc, a WAN is a PAN that is run off a host rather than a commlink/cyberdeck/RCC. Same game mechanics, though, just with more dice.

  • The concept of “master” and “slave” devices doesn’t really exist any more as an explicit thing. Devices can be naked on the Matrix or merged into a PAN/WAN. A PAN/WAN is always centered around a commlink, cyberdeck, RCC, or host.
  • If a device is in a PAN/WAN, you cannot hack into it directly via the Matrix. You have to hack the PAN instead. (But see below about direct connections.)
  • Access levels gained against a PAN - User or Admin - apply to every device on the PAN.
  • PAN sizes are essentially unlimited1. I’m just not interested in tracking them, honestly. I will revisit this if it turns out to break anything important.
  • If you can get a direct cable connection to the device, you can hack just the device. It no longer benefits from the stat boosts from being in the PAN/WAN, so now rolls (likely) a pitiful dice pool2. But access levels gained against it still count for the entire PAN/WAN and everything in it.
    • Yes, physically compromising devices is very powerful.

Matrix skills; Matrix attributes (ASDF); deck stats & configuration

No changes to make here.

Matrix damage & repair; dumpshock

Any device that uses the Matrix to function - including any gear like guns and cyberware that have wireless bonuses - incurs dice pool penalties when they take Matrix damage: -1 per three full boxes. This makes Data Spike wielding deckers more dangerous.

No changes to dumpshock or link-locking.

Your failed Attack actions no longer give you Matrix damage, and your failed Sleaze actions no longer give the target marks against you.

Matrix modes (AR/VR); initiative

No changes.

Connections; Noise

No changes.

Overwatch, GOD, convergence

As in 5e, all hits rolled against the decker in opposed tests on illegal actions add to the Overwatch Score. These are any actions that use the [Attack] or [Sleaze] stats of your deck to determine their limit.

However, remove the secret +2d6 that is added to OS every 15 minutes. Instead, deckers accumulate OS in three new ways:

  • +1 to OS every time they do an action that is affected by any Hacking program (see the list on SR5e CRB page 245)
  • +1 to OS every combat turn that the decker maintains User access to a host or device that was gained via Brute Force
  • +3 to OS every combat turn that the decker maintains Admin access to a host or device that was gained via Brute Force

As before, Overwatch Score is reset when the decker logs out or reboots their deck. And Convergence happens when the Overwatch Score reaches 40, and has the same effects.

Grids

Grids add little to the rules beyond book-keeping, and make some stuff confusing. Keep them for fluff and flavour (the Ares grid has Ares propaganda, the Seattle grid has Emerald City spam) but remove all mechanical effects. All hosts and devices are accessible from all grids without penalties.3

Keep only the -2 dice pool penalty to all actions while using the public grid - it still hurts to be poor, and the free public access grid still sucks.

Matrix perception & running silent

Three important changes:

  • Drop the -2 dice pool penalty for running silent.
  • Running silent is done at the entire PAN level; it is no longer a per-device setting. This also applies to an entire Shadowrunner team with all their devices being covered by the team decker; either all their stuff is running silent, or none of it. This is a lot easier to track.
  • When attempting to spot icons that are running silent, you no longer need to randomly pick which ones you investigate with Matrix Perception. Instead, you make a single Matrix Perception test (Computer+Intuition [Data Processing]), and each icon running silent makes the opposing dice roll (Logic + Sleaze.) Every icon that fails this test is immediately revealed to you, all in one go.4

Stealth tags are always running silent and resist Matrix perception actions with 10 dice.

Matrix actions

Sleaze attacks: Probe / Backdoor Entry

Remove the Hack on the Fly action. Replace it with two new linked actions:

It isn’t completely clear if a decker’s Probe results persist if they log out of the Matrix then log in again later. For these houserules, I am ruling that they do.

Once a decker has successfully run Probe against a target, they can move onto the second new action:

Brute Force

By default, a successful Brute Force check grants User access. If the decker wants to go from Outsider to Admin access in one go, they may attempt to do so, at a -6 dice pool penalty (reduced to -4 with the Go Big Or Go Home quality).5

Note that access gained via Brute Force will accrue Overwatch Score as long as the decker maintains the forced access; at a rate of +1 per Combat Turn for User access, or +3 per Combat Turn if the decker has Admin access. So once you use this, the clock is ticking!

Also: Brute Force no longer does optional Matrix damage, in the name of up speeding play and simplifying things. One action = one result.

Spoof Command

In these houserules, as in SR6e, Spoof Command no longer needs any marks on anything to work. (In SR5e, it requires a mark on an icon that can legitimately command the target device.)

New action: Tarpit

A sort of stun-damage analog to the physical-damage attack of Data Spike:

New action: Encrypt File

A very minor detail, but this is the counterpart to Crack File. This functionality is in 5e but buried in a weird little alternate mode in a footnote to the Edit File action.

Smaller action changes

There are a large number of small changes to various dice rolls and mechanics for actions throughout 6e. In the main, I am choosing not to include these in my houserules. I don’t think any of them have a drastic effect on gameplay, and they will invalidate the 5e quick reference material I use, which is painful. All these changes are documented in the Matrix Actions Comparison section, if you want to see them.

Here are some smaller changes I do think it’s worth making:

  • Format device: treat the repair test for restoring a device as the same as repairing a device bricked through accumulated matrix damage.
  • …maybe more to come here after playtesting…

Removed actions

  • Invite Mark - Hosts can now allow access to people with Outsider access level instead, so they no longer need to invite would-be visitors to get one mark first.
  • Erase Mark - the only way to erase marks now is to reboot the device. It is unclear how this works in the context of hosts, though.
  • Hop Grid - grids are gone, so this is gone.

Programs

Almost all programs can be left as-is. 6e removes a number of programs that are in 5e (see the comparison for details), but they are harmless to leave in place, I think. 6e also changes how a few programs work in order to use the new Edge mechanic; again, this can be ignored.

The only exception is the Guard program, which should be removed, as it only works in the context of marks gained against the decker.

Hosts & IC

Keep host and IC initiative, stats, and attack rolls the same. See below for a detailed comparison, but in general, make the following changes to IC effects:

  • Hosts no longer get marks on deckers: this is one less thing to keep track of. IC actions no longer grant marks or require marks. Remove the damage boost related to marks from Black IC, Blaster, etc.
  • Scramble forces a reboot at the end of the next Combat Turn6. Otherwise it becomes a bit of a powerful one-blow-knockout against the decker, as it no longer requires any marks against them as a prerequisite.
  • Acid / Binder / Jammer / Marker: these are the IC that attack your deck’s Firewall / Data Processing / Attack / Sleaze stats. Change them so that:
    • They degrade your deck stats by the net hits on their attack roll, not just 1 point.
    • They do not do Matrix damage.
    • Stat degradation recovers at the rate of 1 point per minute once the decker has left the host that did the damage.

Other removed rules

No -2 dice pool penalty to Matrix actions for running silent - this is another fiddly detail to remember and easy to forget about. Furthermore, with the move to make running silent a setting that applies to an entire PAN rather than an individual device, it becomes quite painful for players to make decisions about. So it is removed in these houserules, in line with SR6e.

Rules non-changes

To make it explicit, I don’t suggest changing anything on this list. They should still work fine with the former changes in this section.

  • Cyberdecks: Leaving aside the splitting of 5e’s cyberdecks into 6e’s cyberdecks and cyberjacks, the stats are broadly equivalent in both editions. No particular adjustments are needed to 5e’s deck’s stats to fit into the backported rules.

    However, I’d recommend GMs consider reducing the cost of cyberdecks significantly, at least by 50%, perhaps even more… or be prepared to make upgraded cyberdecks an occasional run reward from Mr Johnson, and give all PC’s decks plot armour, as losing one will be financially ruinous.

  • Use of ASDF stats to determine test limits; also how cyberdeck stats are assigned and moved around between the ASDF slots.

  • All mechanics for what happens when Convergence occurs.

  • Noise is unchanged in this ruleset, both in terms of how it is calculated and its mechanical effects.

  • Matrix Search in 6e appears to have been the victim of mangled editing resulting in dubious maths7. A strict reading of RAW suggests a decker can make an extended test, so rolling 50-100 dice in aggregate, against a results table where 10 hits reveals “deep secrets others are trying to actively hide” - a trivial accomplishment on so many dice. It is best left as-is in 5e, I think.


  1. “PAN’s were not originally meant to be as restrictive on number of devices as they ended up (if errata does not get approved to change it a good house rule would be to make it Device Rating x3 for max number of devices)” source ↩︎

  2. This is a houserule; in 6e RAW, direct connection doesn’t grant the firewall bypass. ↩︎

  3. I have little love for the extended test mechanic in general. It’s good in theory, but it simply takes too long to roll 50-100 dice and count the hits. ↩︎

  4. This is the rule in 5e, also, as of Kill Code (see page 32.) ↩︎

  5. Confirmed by Banshee (Matrix rules author) as his intention here. ↩︎

  6. RAW is one minute; Banshee originally intended it to be an hour. I prefer his version. ↩︎

  7. Note I have removed the word “extended” here – see the note below. ↩︎

3 - Key differences between Matrix rules in SR5e to SR6e

Line-by-line comparison of the Matrix rulesets

What follows in this section is a line-by-line comparison of the 5e and 6e Matrix rules. I wrote this section first, to make sure I understood the changes across the two systems. I’ve kept it here in case you are interested but you shouldn’t need to read this to use the houserules presented above.

The formatting of this section has suffered a bit when I transferred it from Google Docs to this website. It might be clearer to read the original doc.

Matrix fundamentals

5e6e
Matrix attributesThere are four attributes (ASDF.) These are intrinsic to the deck the decker is using. They act as limits on most skill checks.The same four attributes are intrinsic to the deck and cyberjack the decker is using. They are used to calculate Attack and Defence Ratings, which in turn grant Edge on Matrix actions.
Matrix condition monitor8 + (Device Rating / 2) boxes. No penalties to actions from accumulated damageSame. -1 to all tests per three boxes of damage
Data Spike damagePersona’s Attack rating(Persona’s Attack rating) / 2
Matrix damage resistanceDevice Rating + FirewallFirewall
Dumpshock6S if in cold-sim, 6P if in hot-sim. Resisted with Willpower + Firewall (if deck just got bricked, Firewall is 0). -2 dicepool on everything for (10-Willpower) minutes3S if in cold-sim, 3P if in hot-sim. Resisted with Willpower only. Cannot gain or use Edge on any actions for (10-Willpower) minutes
Link-lockingCannot use Switch Interface Mode, Enter/Exit Host, or Reboot on the device your persona is using. Defeated with a successful opposed Jack Out action. (But will give dump shock.)Same.
Repairing Matrix damageStraight test:

Hardware + Logic [Mental]. Takes 1 hour. Each hit = 1 box repaired or cut time in half

Extended test: Engineering + Logic (num_box_damage / 1 hour)
Overwatch score (OS)
  • +1 OS per hit on opposing roll for any Attack or Sleaze action
  • +2d6 (rolled in secret) every 15 minutes after OS first starts accumulating
  • +1 OS per hit on opposing roll for any illegal action
  • +1 for each Matrix action modified by a hacking program
  • +1/+3 per round for each host to which you are maintaining illegal User/Admin level access
ConvergenceWhen OS reaches 40

Not in a host:

Device takes 12 DV Matrix damage

User dumped (w/dumpshock)

Physical location reported

In a host:

Host gets three marks on deck

IC is deployed

When OS reaches 40

Bricks device

User dumped (w/ dumpshock)

Physical location reported

No special rules for convergence in a host.

Matrix initiativeAR: physical init

VR cold sim:
Data Processing + Int + 3d6

VR hot sim:
Data Processing + Int + 4d6 +2 dice pool to all actions

AR: physical init

VR cold sim:
Data Processing + Int + 2d6

VR hot sim:
Data Processing + Int + 3d6

Skills

There is no major difference in skills between 5e and 6e, other than the fact that the 5e Skill Groups become Skills in 6e. The way the skills are used are the same however.

5e skill5e skill group / 6e skill
CybercombatCracking (illegal)
Electronic Warfare
Hacking
ComputerElectronics (legal)
Hardware
Software
CompilingTasking (Resonance - Technomancers only)
Decompiling
Registering

Any action using any skill in the Cracking group - so any action that uses the Cybercombat, Electronic Warfare, or Hacking skills - is considered to be illegal by the Grid Overwatch Division. These actions will increase a decker’s overwatch score when used.

Security & bypassing it

5e6e
Getting into a Host
  • Legit: Invite Mark
  • Forceful: Brute Force
  • Sneaky: Hack on the Fly
  • Just go in without any access level (if the host allows it)
  • Brute force
  • Probe -> backdoor
Getting more than one level at onceOn Brute Force or Hack on the Fly:

By default, they only grant one mark. Decker can shoot for two marks at a -4 dice penalty, or three marks at a -10 penalty.

Backdoor: always grants Admin access.

Brute Force: normally grants User access. Decker can opt to attempt for Admin access, but target gets +2 dice pool and +4 Defence Rating in their test.

Legitimate access to public HostsThe host sends Invite Mark to let users get one mark. The user does that, then uses Enter Host.The host can be configured to allow access to users with Outsider access level.

Actions

Getting in / Mark manipulation

Where I list the 6e mechanics as “same” below, what I mean is:

  • The 6e skill is the same as the 5e skill’s corresponding skill group; so, for example, if the 5e skill is Software and the 6e skill is Electronics, then these are the same.
  • A 5e Simple action is the same as a 6e Minor action, and likewise for Complex / Major.
  • I will highlight key differences in the actions, to make them easier to spot.
5e6e
Brute Force (illegal)roll: Cybercombat + Logic [Attack] resist: Willpower + Firewall action: Complex

requires: no marks

Gain one mark on target per net hit.

Every two net hits optionally also does 1 DV or Matrix damage, resisted with Device Rating + Firewall.

Can attempt to get two marks in one go at -4 dice pool, or three marks in one go at -10.

Can also use this action to hop grids.

roll: same resist: same action: same requires: same

Gain User or Admin access on the target if the test succeeds.

No mechanic for doing Matrix damage.

Can attempt to get Admin access from Outsider, at a cost of +2 dice on the resistance test and +4 bonus to target’s Defence Rating.

No mechanics for grid hopping.

Hack on the Fly (5e)

Probe / Backdoor Entry (6e)

(illegal)

Hack on the Fly:

roll: Hacking + Logic [Sleaze] resist: Intuition + Firewall action: Complex

requires: no marks

Gain one mark on target per net hit.

Every two net hits also counts as a one hit on a Matrix Perception test, so you get some information too.

Can attempt to get two marks in one go at -4 dice pool, or three marks in one go at -10.

Can also use this action to hop grids.

Probe:

roll: same resist: Willpower + Firewall or Firewall x2 action: Extended, 1 minute[^12] requires: no access

Backdoor Entry:

roll: same resist: Willpower + Firewall action: Major Action requires: no access

No mechanics for grids.

Erase Matrix Signature

(illegal)

roll: Computer + Resonance [Attack]

resist: Signature Rating x 2

action: Complex Action

requires: No marks

If the test is successful, the signature dissipates.

Character must have a Resonance rating to attempt this action. This is a real Matrix Action, and illegal, so risks Matrix damage and Overwatch Score when done.

roll: Electronics + Logic

resist: Willpower + Firewall or Firewall x2

action: same

requires: User/Admin

Same.

Same.

Invite Mark

(legal)

No testN/A
Erase Mark

(illegal)

roll: Computer + Logic [Attack]

resist: Willpower + Firewall

action: Complex

requires: 3 marks

N/A

Device Manipulation

5e6e
Control Device

(legal)

roll: varies or

Electronic Warfare + Intuition [Sleaze]

resist: Intuition + Firewall

action: varies

requires: varies

Perform an action through a device you control.

Test is usually determined by the device you are controlling eg. a turret would be Gunnery+Agility.

All tests are limited by [Data Processing] if that is lower than the limit you’d normally have.

If there is no test associated with an action, use the test above.

Can use this against multiple targets. If you are the Owner of them all and it’s the same command, no penalty. Otherwise, have to split your dice pool.

Free/Simple/Complex is determined by the command given, as is the access level required (1/2/3 marks.)

This is a Sleaze action, so OS accumulates.

roll: varies or

change stat to Logic

resist: Willpower + Firewall

action: Major

requires: User/Admin

Same.

Same.

N/A.

Same.

Not mentioned.

Always a Major action. Requirement for User or Admin access determined by GM fiat.

This is a legal action.

If in AR, use normal physical stats. If in VR, use mental stats (Body->Willpower, Agility->Logic, Reaction->Intuition,. Strength->Charisma.)

Format Device (illegal in 5e)

(legal in 6e)

roll: Computer + Logic [Sleaze]

resist: Willpower + Firewall

action: Complex

requires: 3 marks

Next time device reboots, it fails to restart until repaired.

Repair is an extended Software+Logic [Mental] (12, 1 hour) test.

roll: same resist: Willpower + Firewall or Firewall x2 action: same requires: same (Admin)

Same.

Repair is the same as a bricked device, requiring number of hits equal to the devices Device Rating.

Reboot Device

(legal)

roll: Computer + Logic [Data Processing]

resist: Willpower + Firewall

action: Complex

requires: 3 marks

Can’t be linked-locked, suffer dumpshock, reset OS. Comes back online at end of next Combat Turn.

roll: same resist: Willpower + Firewall or Firewall x2 action: same requires: same (Admin)

Same.

Spoof Command

(illegal)

roll: Hacking + Intuition [Sleaze]

resist: Logic + Firewall

action: Complex

requires: 1 mark, on some other device

Give device or agent command.

Need mark on owner you are imitating.

“You spoof a device’s owner’s identity, making the device think that your command is a legitimate one from its owner. You need one mark on the icon you are imitating; you do not need a mark on the target. The opposing dice roll is still based on the target, though. This trick only works on devices and agents, not IC, sprites, hosts, personas, or any other icons.“

roll: Cracking + Logic resist: Firewall + (Data Processing or Pilot) action: same requires: none

Same.

No access needed on anything.

“You send a signal to a device with a command the target perceives as coming from its owner. The device then automatically attempts to perform the action as its next available major action.”

File Manipulation

5e6e
Crack File

(illegal)

roll: Hacking + Logic [Attack]

resist: Protection Rating x2

action: Complex

requires: 1 mark

Remove encryption on a file.

roll: same resist: same action: same requires: same

Same.

Disarm Data Bomb

(illegal[^13])

roll: Software + Intuition [Firewall]

resist: Data Bomb Rating x2

action: Complex

requires: no marks

Attempt to disarm a data bomb. Bomb deleted if you get any net hits. If not, data bomb activates, damaging file it was attached to.

roll: Cracking + Logic resist: same action: same requires: User or Admin

Same.

Edit File

(legal)

roll: Computer + Logic [Data Processing]

resist: Intuition + Firewall

action: Complex

requires: 1 mark

Create, change, copy, delete file.

Defender is either the host holding the file or the owner of the file if it’s not on a host.

roll: same resist: same or Intuition + Sleaze[^14] action: same requires: same

Same.

Same.

Set Data Bomb

illegal

roll: Software + Logic [Sleaze]

resist: Device Rating x2

action: Complex

requires: no marks

Player chooses:

  • Rating of data bomb (up to net hits on test)
  • Effect (delete file or not?)
  • Passcode to access file

    A file can only have one data bomb on it at any one time.

    Bomb triggers when anyone tries to read, edit, copy, protect, delete, or put another bomb on the file without using the passcode.

    It does (Rating)D6 Matrix damage to the icon that tripped it.

    Bomb can be detected with Matrix Perception and then removed with Disarm Data Bomb action.

roll: same resist: same action: same requires: same

Same

Same

Same

Does (Rating x 4) Matrix damage.

Same.

Encrypt File

(legal)

N/Aroll: Electronics + Logic action: Major requires: User/Admin

Number of hits is the Encryption Rating on the file.

Information Gathering

5e6e
Check Overwatch Score

(illegal)

roll: Electronic Warfare + Logic [Sleaze]

resist: 6 dice

action: Simple

requires: no marks

Find out your own Overwatch Score.

The 6 dice rolled against this increases your score, and the player finds the score before they are (secretly) added, not afterward.

roll: Same

resist: threshold 4

resist: 10 dice (if target is a stealth tag)

action: Major

requires: Admin[^15]

Same.

Doesn’t seem to increase your OS…?

Matrix Perception

(legal)

roll: Computer + Intuition [Data Processing]

resist: (if opposed) Logic + Sleaze

action: Complex

requires: no marks

Simple test when used to analyze a Matrix object or scan for silent running icons. For each net hit, get an answer to one question on the table below.

If trying to spot icons further than 100 m away, take a simple test: first hit spots target, then additional hits reveal things as above.

To spot an icon running silent, make an opposed test as above. First hit spots it, other hits can be used for more information.

roll: same

resist: same

action: Major; Minor if user has ‘deck or Resonance

requires: no access

“A successful test gives you information about the target[^16]. With a tie, you can perceive the item’s icon. A single net hit will give you basic information, such as device rating, or whatever name the device or icon

calls itself. Two net hits will give you more specific information, including individual attribute ratings, and what programs it is currently running. Additional hits will give you more information based on what

the gamemaster wishes to reveal.

This test can also be used to attempt to spot any icons in the vicinity that are running silent.”

Matrix Search

(legal)

roll: Computer + Intuition [Data Processing]

resist: threshold; see below

action: special

requires: no marks

Search the Matrix for information about a subject.

Threshold determined by table below.

Hit beyond the threshold can be used to reduce the time taken (divide the time by the number of net hits.) If you fail the test, still spend the entire base time looking.

Can also use Matrix Search while inside a host. Always has a base time of 1 minute. Only works if the information is online within the host; some is in cold (offline) storage.

roll: same

resist: none

action: “extended, 10 minutes”

requires: same

Same.

Threshold determined by Legwork Table (see below.)

N/A.

Replaced by the Hash Search action (see below.)

Snoop

(illegal)

roll: Electronic Warfare + Intuition [Sleaze]

resist: Logic + Firewall

action: Complex

requires: 1 mark

Intercept traffic sent to and from target. Listen to, view, or read data live, or save it to storage.

roll: stat changes to Logic resist: same or Data Processing + Firewall[^17] action: same requires: Admin access

Same.

Trace Icon

(illegal but I think should be legal)

roll: Computer + Intuition [Data Processing]

resist: Willpower + Sleaze

action: Complex

requires: 2 marks

Find the physical location of a device or persona.

After succeeding with this action, you know the target;’s location as long as you have at least one mark.

Doens’t work on hosts (as they have no physical location), or IC programs (as they live inside hosts.)

roll: same resist: same or Firewall + Sleaze[^18] action: same requires: Admin access

Same.

You know the location “as long as you can detect the target.”

Same, but it does work on offline hosts with physical hardware. (But you likely know where the are already.)

Hash Check[^19]

(illegal)

N/Aroll: Electronics + Logic (1 or 4) resist: threshold 1 or 4 action:Major requires: User access

Search for a file on a host or device based on known metadata. Threshold is 1 if the hash data was known (eg. given to them by Mr Johnson), 4 otherwise.

Passing the test narrows the number of possible files down to 32. For every net hit, that number is divided in half. So 5 net hits in total will narrow it down to a single file.

If the number of matches is too large after the first test, can repeat, with the usual -2 dice pool penalty. Again, each net hit reduces the number of possible files by 2.

Matrix Combat

5e6e
Crash Program (illegal)roll: Cybercombat + Logic [Attack]

resist: Intuition + Firewall

action: Complex

requires: 1 mark

Overload a chosen program on a chosen target, crashing it. Can use Matrix Perception first to figure out what programs are running, or can observe its effects. Device has to reboot to use the program again.

roll: same resist: Data Processing + Device Rating action: same requires: Admin access

Same.

Data Spike (illegal)roll: Cybercombat + Logic [Attack]

resist: Intuition + Firewall

damage resist: Device Rating + Firewall

action: Complex

requires: no marks

Does Matrix damage.

DV = persona’s Attack rating

...plus one box of damage per net hit

...plus two additional boxes of damage for each mark you have on the target

roll: same resist: Data Processing + Firewall

damage resist: Firewall action: same requires: same

Same.

DV = persona’s Attack rating / 2 (round up)

...same

...no additional damage from access levels

Full Matrix Defence (legal)action: Interrupt (-10 init)

requires: 4 marks (owner)[^20]

Adds Willpower to defence pool against all Matrix Attack actions for the rest of the Combat Turn.

action: Major requires: any access level

Add Firewall to the “next time you are attacked in the Matrix.”[^21]

TarpitN/A

Tarpit is a sort of stun-damage analog to the Matrix damage attack of Data Spike.

Miscellaneous

5e6e
Change Icon

(legal)

action: Simple

requires: 4 marks

Change target’s icon to one you have a copy of or have designed yourself. This doesn’t change the results of a Matrix Perception action, but might fool a cursory inspection. You can target your own icon.

action: same

requires: User/Admin

Same.

Enter/Exit Host

(legal)

action: Simple

requires: 1 mark on host

action: same

requires: depends on host

Grid hop

(legal)

action: Complex

requires: no marks

Can only do this if you have access to the target grid. If you don’t have legal access, can use Brute Force or Hack on the Fly.

Can’t hop grids inside a host.

N/A (removed)
Hide

(illegal)

roll: Electronic Warfare + Intuition [Sleaze]

resist: Intuition + Data Processing

action: Complex

requires: no marks

If test succeeds, target has to do a new Matrix Perception test to find you again.

Cannot hide from a target that has a mark on you.

roll: same resist: same or Data Processing + Sleaze action: same requires: same

Same.

Same.

Jack Out

(legal)

roll: Hardware + Willpower [Firewall]

resist: Logic + Attack (only if link-locked)

action: Simple

requires: 4 marks

Jacks out, reboots device being used.

Suffer dumpshock if in VR.

Defence pool only applies if persona is link-locked and comes from the persona that link-locked you; if multiple you have to roll against them all.

Can only Jack Out to yourself.

roll: same resist: Charisma[^22] + Data Processing or

Attack + Data Processing action: Major requires: any

Same.

Same.

Same.

Same.

Jam Signals

(illegal)

roll: Electronic Warfare + Logic [Attack]

action: Complex

requires: 4 marks

Turns device into jammer.

Range: 100m

Jam rating: hits on test

Cannot use it for anything else while it is being a jammer.

roll: same action: same requires: Admin[^23]

Same.

Same.

Jump In

(legal)

roll: Electronic Warfare + Logic [Data Proc]

resist: Willpower + Firewall

action: Complex

requires: 3 marks

Jump into vehicle, drone, or other device.

Requirements:

  1. Have 3+ marks
  2. Be in VR
  3. Device has to have rigger adaptation
  4. Have to have a control rig

    If you are device owner or you have permission from device owner, no test is necessary.

    Cannot jump in if someone else is already jumped in to it.

roll: Electronics + Logic resist: same or Firewall x2 action: same requires: User/Admin

Same.

Same.

Same.

Same.

When jumped in, the device’s icon becomes part of your persona.

Send Message

(legal)

action: Simple

requires: no marks

Send a message to a commcode: a short sentence, or an image, or a single file. If you’re using the Matrix through DNI (even if via AR), can send a longer message (about a paragraph.) Can also use this to open a live feed (audio/video/whatever) to one or more recipients.

action: same requires: same

Same.

Switch Interface Mode

(legal)

action: Simple

requires: no marks

Switch from AR to VR, or vice versa. Cannot do this if you are link-locked. Can’t do it to other people.

action: same requires: same

Same.

Can also turn silent running on or off.

PANs & WANs

5e6e
Firewall & hacking in All devices inside the PAN can use the commlink, deck, or host’s Firewall stat to make Matrix defence tests, unless it is being hacked via a direct cable connection.

If you get a mark on any slave, you also get a mark on the master.

All devices inside the PAN can use the master commlink or deck’s Firewall stat and the master device’s owner’s Willpower attribute to make Matrix defence tests.

Deckers attempting to gain access levels to a device inside the PAN must first compromise the PAN. They cannot Hack on the Fly or Probe devices within a PAN directly. Once they get a level of access against the PAN (User or Admin), they have that level of access for every device on the PAN.

However, Data Spike, Tarpit, and Spoof Command can be used against any device a decker can see on the Matrix, regardless of its PAN status, and without hacking the PAN first.1

Direct connectionsIf you are directly connected to a device inside a PAN or WAN, you bypass the cyberdeck or host’s Firewall stat.

Remember that if you get a mark on a slave, you also get a mark on the host.

No specific rules. Getting a direct connection to a device still rolls the PAN/WAN’s full Firewall stat.
Maximum size & nesting PANs A commlink or deck can slave up to (Device Rating x3) devices. PANs cannot be nested.RAW: A commlink or deck can slave up to (Device Rating) devices.[^25]
Iconography“The PAN is the primary means of displaying the persona, or the icon of the user. Programs and devices attached to the PAN appear as smaller representations of their normal icons, carried by the persona.”
WANsSame as a PAN, but slaved to a host instead of a commlink or cyberdeck

If you are inside a host with a WAN, you are considered to be directly connected to all devices in the WAN

Not explicitly mentioned.

Noise

Nose is the same in 5e and 6e: the same numeric values, under the same conditions, and with the same mechanical effect.

Running silent & Matrix Perception

5e6e
BasicsSwitching to silent running is a Simple Action.

Running silent imposes a –2 dice pool modifier to all of your Matrix actions due to “the processing power needed to cover your tracks.”

Silent running is switched on/off on a per-device basis.

Switching to silent running is the “Change Device Mode” Minor Action.

No dice pool penalty.

Silent running is applied to an entire PAN at once (say, a user’s commlink and all their devices.)

Matrix Perception

(legal)

roll: Computer + Intuition [Data Processing]

resist: (if opposed) Logic + Sleaze

action: Complex

requires: no marks

Simple test when used to analyze a Matrix object or scan for silent running icons. For each net hit, get an answer to one question on the table below.

If trying to spot icons further than 100 m away, take a simple test: first hit spots target, then additional hits reveal things as above.

To spot an icon running silent, make an opposed test as above. First hit spots it, other hits can be used for more information.

roll: same

resist: same

action: Major; Minor if user has ‘deck or Resonance

requires: no access

“A successful test gives you information about the target[^26]. With a tie, you can perceive the item’s icon. A single net hit will give you basic information, such as device rating, or whatever name the device or icon

calls itself. Two net hits will give you more specific information, including individual attribute ratings, and what programs it is currently running. Additional hits will give you more information based on what

the gamemaster wishes to reveal.

This test can also be used to attempt to spot any icons in the vicinity that are running silent.”

Silent running vs Matrix PerceptionIf there are multiple icons running silent, user has to pick icons (at random) to be revealed.User can reveal all icons that fail the Matrix perception resistance test in one go.
Range for automatically spotting iconsEverything not running silent within 100 m of your deck or commlink is always considered spotted.No defined concept of “spotting.”

Hosts & intrusion countermeasures

5e6e
Host statsHost Rating, HR+1, HR+2, HR+3

Distributed across ASDF similarly to how cyberdecks work

Same.

Same.

Launching ICLaunch 1 IC per Combat Turn (at the beginning of the turn). Can run up to (Host Rating) IC simultaneously. Can only run 1 copy of any given IC at once. Can restart “bricked” IC next turnSame.
IC stats(Host Rating x 2) for IC Attack Rating (limited by hosts’s [Attack]).

Initiative: Host Rating + Data Processing + 4D6.

Condition monitor: 8+(Host Rating /2)[^27]

Defensive rolls and effects vary by IC type.

(Host Rating x 2) for Attack Rating, Condition Monitor, and most rolls.

Initiative: (Data Processing x 2) + 3D6.

Condition monitor: (Host Rating x2)

Same.

IC

5e6e
All IC rolls the same attack roll:

roll: (Host Rating x 2) [Attack]

action: Complex

All IC rolls the same attack roll:

roll: (Host Rating x 2)

attack rating: Host Attack Rating

action: Complex

Acidresist: Willpower + Firewall

If it gets 1 or more net hits, reduces target’s Firewall by 1.

If Firewall is 0, causes 1 DV Matrix damage per net hit.

Firewall stat cannot be restored until you reboot.

resist: same

Firewall attribute reduced by number of net hits.

Does not cause Matrix damage.

Firewall stat restores itself after you leave the host, at the rate of 1 point per minute.

Binderresist: Willpower + Data Processing

Same as Acid, above, but affecting Data Processing.

resist: same

Same.

If Data Processing is reduced to 0, no Matrix actions can be taken at all.

Black ICresist: Intuition + Firewall

If get 1+ hits, target is link-locked.

(Attack) DV Matrix damage

...+1 DV per net hit

…+2 DV per mark on target

Plus the same amount of biofeedback damage

resist: same

Doesn’t mention link-locking.[^28]

Deals (host rating + net hits) in Matrix damage and biofeedback damage.

Blasterresist: Logic + Firewall

As Black IC but only causes Stun biofeedback damage.

resist: same

(Host rating[^29]) Matrix damage and link-locks target.

Crashresist: Intuition + Firewall

If Crash IC (or its host) has a mark on you, a random one of your programs crashes. It cannot be run again without a deck reboot.

resist: same

Same. Doesn’t need a mark on you, though.

Jammerresist: Intuition + Firewall

Same as Acid, above, but affecting Firewall.

resist: Willpower + Attack

Same as Acid, above, but affecting Firewall.

No Attack actions can be used if your attack rating is 0.

Killerresist: Intuition + Firewall

(Attack) DV Matrix damage

…+1 DV per net hit

…+2 DV per mark on target

resist: same

Deals (host rating + net hits) in Matrix damage.

Markerresist: Willpower + Sleaze

Same as Acid, above, but affecting the Sleaze attribute.

resist: same

Same.

PatrolPatrols a host, regularly using Matrix Perception actions on all icons within it.Rolls Matrix Perception once per minute.
Scrambleresist: Willpower + Firewall

If the host has three marks on you and you are hit by this, it immediately reboots your deck, hitting you with dumpshock.

resist: same

If it hits, it forces you to reboot on your next turn, unless you are link-locked. (No marks required.)

Sparkyresist: Intuition + Firewall

(Attack) DV Matrix damage

…+1 DV per net hit

…+2 DV per mark on target

Plus the same amount of biofeedback damage.

resist: same

Deals (host rating + net hits) in biofeedback damage.

Tar babyresist: Logic + Firewall

If it hits, you are link-locked.

If you’re already link-locked, it puts a mark on you.

resist: same

Same.

Does not change access levels.

Trackresist: Willpower + Firewall

If this IC hits and the host has 2+ marks on you, the host (and its owners) discover your real-world location.

resist: Willpower + Firewall

Same, but does not require any access levels / marks on the target. The location is revealed if it hits, regardless.

Programs

Common programs

5e6e
Baby MonitorN/A; Baby Monitor is a “hacking program” in 5eMake user aware of their Overwatch Score at all times.[^30]
BrowseCuts time for Matrix Search actions in half.Grants 1 Edge to be used on the Matrix Search roll.
ConfiguratorStore a deck config (ASDF allocation & program load.) Swap the entire config for a Free action, rather than a single pair of stats.Same.
Edit+2 to [Data Processing] limit for Edit tests.1 Edge on Edit File actions.
Encryption+1 to Firewall.+2 dice pool when using Encrypt File actions.
Signal ScrubRating 2 noise reduction.Same.
Toolbox+1 to Data Processing.Same.
Virtual Machine+2 program slots, but whenever your persona takes Matrix damage, it incurs an additional box that cannot be resisted.Same.

Hacking programs

5e6e
Armor+2 dice to resist Matrix damage.+2 to matrix Defense Rating.
Baby MonitorAlways know your current Overwatch Score.N/A; Baby Monitor is a “common program” in 6e
BiofeedbackWhen you attack a persona that’s backed by a biological entity (eg. a decker), the character takes Stun or Physical damage equal to the Matrix damage you do (depending on if they are in cold sim or hot sim.)

Damage is resisted with Willpower + Firewall, as usual.

Same.

Damage is resisted with Willpower alone, as usual.

Biofeedback filter+2 dice pool to resist biofeedback damage.Allow Device Rating or Body to soak Matrix damage.
BlackoutAs Biofeedback, but only ever causes Stun damage.Same.
Decryption+1 to Attack.+2 dice on Crack File action.
Defuse+4 dice pool modifier to resist damage from Data Bombs.Allow Device Rating or Body to soak damage from Data Bomb.
Demolition+1 rating to any Data Bombs you create.N/A
Exploit+2 to Sleaze attribute when attempting Hack on the Fly.Reduce defense rating of hacking targets by 2.
ForkCan perform a single Matrix action against two targets without splitting your dice pool - make one test, and each target defends separately against the test result.Same.
GuardReduces the extra damage you take from marks against you by 1 DV per mark.N/A
Hammer+2DV to all Matrix damage dealt.N/A
LockdownWhen you cause Matrix damage, link-locks your target until you stop running Lockdown or they Jack Out.Same.
MuggerBonus Matrix damage from having a mark on your target is increased by 1 DV per mark.N/A
OverclockN/AAdd two dice to a Matrix action; one must be the wild die.
Shell+1 dice pool to resist Matrix damage and biofeedback damage. Stacks with similar modifiers from other programs.N/A
Sneak+2 dice pool to resist Trace User.

If you are Converged on, GOD don’t get your physical location.

N/A
Stealth+1 to Sleaze.Gain 1 Edge when doing the Hide action.
Track/Trace+2 to Data processing when doing Trace User tests, or negate the +2 bonus from Sneak if your target is using that.Gain 1 Edge when doing the Trace Icon action.
WrapperChange icon of something to look like a different sort of icon entirely. Can be penetrated by Matrix Perception.N/A

  1. Bit weird, that one. It’s not like you can do Full Matrix defence to anyone else. ↩︎

4 - Appendices & notes

Appendix: citations and posts of interest

https://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=30050.msg524803#msg524803

“If all devices are linked to his Commlink PAN then all the cop would see is the PAN as a casual observer, but if the cop then makes a matrix perception check then he will see all active wireless devices unless the guy is actively hiding them and then it becomes an opposed test.”

https://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=30059.msg529755#msg529755

“[Technomancers] kind of got hosed and can’t join a PAN until they get Living Nerwork .. which I tried to make a Complex Form so it wasn’t locked behind submersion. Skinlink would also allow them to form a direct PAN for their own gear but not join a party network.” source

Re: hash check

LVN’s Matrix Lite for 5e