Matrix basics

Matrix attributes, types of devices, commlinks

These rules are not yet canon for my current campaign.

Matrix basics

This is covered in more detail in Matrix fundamentals in my fluff writeup, but a quick summary:

  • Devices (in the real world) have icons (in the Matrix).
  • Commlinks/cyberdecks/RCCs being used by someone get a special type of icon called a persona.
  • The Matrix comes in two parts:
    • the local mesh is a peer-to-peer network of devices routing traffic between themselves; typically extends a kilometre or so in an urban area (more in rural areas). It’s vulnerable to signal disruption and has limited range.
    • the backbone is a world-wide network of fibre cables, satellite links, and other high-tech stuff that carries data around at approximately infinite capacity and speed.
    • the local mesh and the backbone are bridged by uplink nodes, which are extremely well-guarded hosts.
    • devices co-operate to send traffic between each other until it reaches an uplink node, at which point it is whisked away to the backbone.
    • hence, deckers are masters of the local mesh, but are hampered by having to get within range of their hacking targets.
  • Hosts are the “servers” of the Matrix
    • Some are “local hosts” - hosts that only work with devices within local grid range. These are smaller / cheaper.
    • Others are “cloud hosts.” These are connected to the backbone so are accessible world-wide. They are larger / more expensive.
    • There are whispered rumours of mysterious “foundation hosts”, strange and powerful, that somehow work without any connection to the backbone at all…

Matrix attributes

Unchanged from RAW; used as a combination of limits for tests and part of a dice pool for resisting tests done against you.

  • Attack
  • Sleaze
  • Data Processing
  • Firewall


Every Matrix-enabled device - and in the Sixth World, that’s a lot - is represented in the Matrix by an icon.

Some of these are persona devices: these are the subset of devices that can let people get onto the Matrix, in the process creating a persona so they can interact with other devices. Examples include commlinks, cyberdecks, and RCCs.

  • Commlinks are the everyday Matrix devices of the masses.
  • Cyberdecks are like hot-rodded commlinks with the extra processors and software necessary to break the rules of the Matrix and bend it to your will
  • RCCs are the rigger’s cousin to the cyberdeck, optimised to allow long-range signals for remote drone control.


When you sign into the Matrix via a commlink, cyberdeck, or RCC, the device gets a special icon called a persona. Personas are your own personal digital mirror image. Persona’s appearances are often very elaborately customised, particularly by wankers.

You cannot steal anyone else’s persona, nor can you have two personas at once. (More on why here.)

Last modified July 19, 2020