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As I've mentioned in another thread, I have a new Shadowrun game starting up at the beginning of the new year. I'm pretty excited so far, and have the outlines of four runs prepped with an additional couple ideas percolating. One of my failings in past RPG GM endeavors has been in not being prepared so things stall out. This time, I'm not going to let that happen.

I am currently planning to run an NPC decker for the team. It allows me to feed information to the group at the pace I want, which is nice. The plan is to mostly either fudge things along for stuff like Matrix Overwatch and whatnot or to resolve tasks with the quick decking rules.

Depending on how quickly I can get a handle on managing the Matrix, how well I can resolve Matrix-related stuff at the table without delaying the activities of the meat-based group, and how important it is to the action, I may try resolving the activities of the NPC decker "by the book" so to speak.

Because most of my friends generally avoid decker characters, no one ever really focuses on the Matrix rules. Plus, there's the added disadvantage of everything potentially slowing down at the table once the decker goes into action.

Deckers have always been my favorite archetype ever since I started playing way back in SR1 days.

This post, however, is mainly for curiosity. How do others handle the Matrix?

Pretty much the same. The team usually has a NPC Decker and the GM handles it for the most part as a Plot Device.
On the rare occasions we have a PC Decker, or one of the PCs multi-skills into that field, we use the quick rules.
A modification of the full rules (condensed program list, mostly). A few ugly spots aside, it's much easier than reputation has it.

Full rules running along side the run, ref call on things out side the run. An easy host might be cracked without dice rolls a hard one may need a full matrix run. The real trick is to stop the player feeling its just a series of dice rolls, so have a few discriptions ready.
Combo of Kage's and Pendaric's methods with a few differences, I'm sure.
If I have a player who wants to play decker, there's a few different options I have used in the past.

First is that they do the run at the same time, but I agree that can slow things down and be jarring as you switch focus.

Another I've tried is to run the decker through a run the night before where they do their pre-run control, like taking control of the cameras and thing and then with the team, I run them through the actual run with the decker there in case they need to do something unplanned like unlock a door or shut off the alarm.

But lately what tends to normally happen is that the decker tends to either have combat skills as well or that they have a character who has some decking skill and I use the rules in MJLBB for quick resolution.
Yeah even in Target: Matrix there's some handy comments about cutting down the rules at least 'on the run' to something far more manageable and quick and dirty. Its precisely why I think they dumbed decking down so much (and made it quite viable in AR as opposed to VR only) in SR4.

ALternatively you can sort of mix and match some stuff. Ok the runners need to deliver paydata X. SO they go in, and maybe grab the comp that has the data in it. Now.. at this point why dont they just hand it over to Mr.J? Well... they could, and then Mr.J would be pissed and lower their payout since he's not paying them to grab the computer, but deliver to his sweaty hands the data itself.

In effect, part of the pay is at least in delivering it as the actual file itself, not making the J do half the work for you. So then if they want the full pay the decker has to actually 'hack' the device itself for the file and you can do that as an asside just with him or something and do it 'by the book' the whole way.

Leaving everything else to be done quick n' dirty most of the time so your not holding up everyone just to clear up the datatrails, unlock doors, disable cameras etc.

None of the suggestions are perfect, but hopefully this at least helps give you an idea or two.
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