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Smash
I have to say that Iím becoming a massive fan of the new matrix rules. As the majority of my SR4 experience was with toons outside the matrix, I just couldnít really grasp the rules. They seemed incomprehensible to me. Thatís not to say that they were, but when it come to the matrix, what I poured into my eyeballs tended to bleed straight out my ears.

I am a little bit confused about Matrix topography now so I thought it merited discussion. How do we all see the matrix?

Iím starting to picture it a bit like the astral plain in as much as it seems to be something that overlaps the real world. I imagine grids like elemental planes that overlap but also mimic meat space.

Where I get confused is with hosts and devices. The book states that hosts donít have to inhabit the same space that they do in the the real world (although their icons have to representative in some way). How is this supposed to work? If Iím sitting outside a bank in a car and then go into AR I assume that Iíll get information regarding the bank (opening hours, interest rates, etc) but then in VR where is the host? If itís not within 100m, how do I find it? Data-search? Why wouldnít it be there (Benefits to it)?

Then thereís the distribution of hosts. Firstly, thank god for the death of nested nodes! Anyway, if Iím outside a corporate facility and then enter their grid will I see a host for this facility of will they have everything for the whole city/country/world in one host? If each branch/chapter has itís own host, how are the connected. Can I leave one straight into another or do I have to leave one host, get on the grid, search for the next, and then enter it with noise modifiers?

What if Iím looking to hack some corp shlubs comlink and Iím following him down the street? I assume that If I look at him in AR or the matric that he appears to be in the same place but what happens if he enters a host. The book says that his icon will be in the host. Does this mean I canít hack him unless I enter the same host. Can I find and icon from knowing where the hardware is? Or do I just have to wwait for him to come back? That would seem weird as I could almost physically palm the comlink which is transmitting, receiving and not hidden.

Some of this is probably covered in the book. Infact I hope it all is. That would be a testament to 5th ed 
Shortstraw
QUOTE (Smash @ Aug 7 2013, 04:05 PM) *
Where I get confused is with hosts and devices. The book states that hosts donít have to inhabit the same space that they do in the the real world (although their icons have to representative in some way). How is this supposed to work?

The matrix uses the maximum metric not the euclidean.
HugeC
QUOTE (Smash @ Aug 7 2013, 01:05 AM) *
Where I get confused is with hosts and devices. The book states that hosts donít have to inhabit the same space that they do in the the real world (although their icons have to representative in some way). How is this supposed to work? If Iím sitting outside a bank in a car and then go into AR I assume that Iíll get information regarding the bank (opening hours, interest rates, etc) but then in VR where is the host? If itís not within 100m, how do I find it? Data-search? Why wouldnít it be there (Benefits to it)?

Hosts float in the 'air' of the Matrix. Page 235 says spotting a host is automatic no matter where it or you are in the Matrix, so you just Switch Interface Mode to go from AR to VR (simple action), Matrix Perception to spot the host (complex action, no roll needed), then Enter Host (complex action), assuming you have a mark on it already. I would imagine a bank might have an ARO in AR that invites you to come visit their host in VR. Perhaps that ARO could give legitimate customers the mark they need to enter the host if you touched it or something.

QUOTE (Smash @ Aug 7 2013, 01:05 AM) *
Then thereís the distribution of hosts. Firstly, thank god for the death of nested nodes! Anyway, if Iím outside a corporate facility and then enter their grid will I see a host for this facility of will they have everything for the whole city/country/world in one host? If each branch/chapter has itís own host, how are the connected. Can I leave one straight into another or do I have to leave one host, get on the grid, search for the next, and then enter it with noise modifiers?

With regards to how corps set up their hosts, I'd say that depends on what the host is for and which corp is running it (in other words, it depends on the GM). To go to a different host, assuming you have marks on it already, you'd Exit Host (complex action), Matrix Perception to spot new host (complex action, no roll needed), Enter Host (complex action). Personally, I could see corps setting up tunnels or portals or whatever that would let you hop from one host directly to another, but they don't have rules for it.

QUOTE (Smash @ Aug 7 2013, 01:05 AM) *
What if Iím looking to hack some corp shlubs comlink and Iím following him down the street? I assume that If I look at him in AR or the matric that he appears to be in the same place but what happens if he enters a host. The book says that his icon will be in the host. Does this mean I canít hack him unless I enter the same host. Can I find and icon from knowing where the hardware is? Or do I just have to wwait for him to come back? That would seem weird as I could almost physically palm the comlink which is transmitting, receiving and not hidden.

It's you're physical location and his that matters. If he's not running silent, you can spot him (and thus hack him) automatically if he's within 100m of you, whether his persona is in a host or not. If you're following him down the street and he goes VR to enter a host, his body would flop onto the ground, so that's probably not a likely scenario. nyahnyah.gif

Hope that helps!
BlackJaw
QUOTE (Smash @ Aug 6 2013, 10:05 PM) *
Iím starting to picture it a bit like the astral plain in as much as it seems to be something that overlaps the real world. I imagine grids like elemental planes that overlap but also mimic meat space.
Device Icons in standard matrix "on grid" view appear along virtual ground level based on distance. They do not necessarily correspond to physical locations beyond basic distance. In particular it sounds like devices located above or below you (say you're on the 30th floor of a 100 floor building) could get confusing, but generally speaking it doesn't mater much.

It's a bit of a mistake to compare it to the astral too closely. The astral looks like the real world washed out with various aruas going on. The Matrix is a void with only icons floating in space above a basic flat ground level. Above this "ground level" is a horde of massive floating icons representing all the non-silent running hosts on the matrix, regardless of what grid they are. Even the hosts that represent a physical location tend to be up in those "clouds" although the Stuffershack example is an exception, and floats low near the ground representing the physical location of each store.

Again, to clarify, Hosts do not appear on the matrix where buildings are. You can't walk into a host in real life by walking into facility building. Hosts are virtual constructs that can contain the icons of real world devices, but they have nothing to do with location. A device in Japan and a device in Canada, if both slaved to the host, appear in the host. The host itself is in neither location, and you never take distance penalties for dealing with a host (or anything or one in a host.)

QUOTE (Smash @ Aug 6 2013, 10:05 PM) *
Where I get confused is with hosts and devices. The book states that hosts donít have to inhabit the same space that they do in the the real world (although their icons have to representative in some way). How is this supposed to work?
Hosts are 100 virtual entities, although they can contain icons for real world devices if they are slaved to the host. It's impossible for a host to "inhabit" the same place as they do in the real world because of this. Because they are not related to the physical world, it also means devices from all over the world could be slaved to it regardless of their physical locations.

Host are described as generally described as floating in the "sky" above the base matrix "ground level" where device icons are, but there are exceptions like StufferShacks which are anchored down near the ground plane roughly in locations that correspond to the physical stores they represent. Only devices Slaved to the host have their icons appear inside the host instead of in the basic "grid view" of the matrix, and those devices will always be inside the host even if they are physically be carried around the street instead of being in a facility.

Let's take Stuffershack for an example: Stuffershacks have a host for each store, which apparently have all the icons for their merchandise slaved to that store and therefor appear in that host, but it wouldn't be unheard of for an inventory error to screw that up and slave items in Detroit to a store in Seattle, resulting in an icon appearing in a Seattle store's host even though the device is in Detroit. Similarly, a shoplifter that grabs a Metalink off the shelf and walks out with it in the real world will find that the icon for that device will still appear in the Stuffershack Host.

QUOTE (Smash @ Aug 6 2013, 10:05 PM) *
If Iím sitting outside a bank in a car and then go into AR I assume that Iíll get information regarding the bank (opening hours, interest rates, etc) but then in VR where is the host? If itís not within 100m, how do I find it? Data-search? Why wouldnít it be there (Benefits to it)?
Augmented Reality and the Matrix are not the same thing. All you need to view augmented reality is an image-link (or sim module) with the wireless on. It will make ARO (Augmented Reality Objects) appear in your field of vision. AR Gloves, head phones, etc will let you interact with it better. If you view the bank with AR on, you will probably see a lot of Bank related advertising and interfaces.
Now if you open a Matrix window in your AR view or jump into VR, you will generate a Matrix Persona (viewing AR does not give you a persona), and instead of seeing AROs you see device Icons. That 2 story ARO billboard you saw in Augmented reality is now just a small icon for the projector in Matrix space. That bank's host may or may not appear near by (Again, a Stuffershack would be above you, but it's an exception not the rule.) Hosts officially have no location or distance in the Matrix and so it actually can't be within 100 meters no mater how close the devices slaved to it really are. Thankfully all you need to locate a public host (like the bank's host) is to make a matrix perception check. As another poster pointed out, the bank may feature an ARO that hands out a Mark on the host for perspective customers. Actual customers of the bank will have a mark on the bank and the game notes that you can always find something in the matrix that you have marked.

QUOTE (Smash @ Aug 6 2013, 10:05 PM) *
If Iím outside a corporate facility and then enter their grid will I see a host for this facility of will they have everything for the whole city/country/world in one host?
First of all, you don't need to enter their grid. All hosts are visible from all grids, although their look and size may alter depending on grid. Grids are matrix hosts providers, so all they can do is reskin the matrix icons, but the icons are accessible from all grids. Second, their host isn't be associated with a physical location. StufferShacks are an exception, but a corp facility may or may not be associated with a physical location, and likely isn't by default. Because all the device icons slaved to that host are inside that host, you may not see much at all if you hop into the matrix view next to a corp facility.

The second issue is that hosts have a Sleaze Rating, which means they can Run Silent. That means making an opposed matrix perception check to find it. If it's not in silent mode you can make a generic matrix perception test to locate the host automatically as long as you know what your looking for. Again, hosts do not have a phusical location and so are not "wintin" 100 meters, even if they contain devices that are within 100 meters.

In terms of how much of a corp is on a single host, it's likely that corps break up their various facilities into various hosts instead of one big one. Hosts, while better for security for each individual device, are also vulnerable because you can get a mark on a host by getting a mark on a device slaved to it, and because hardline connections to devices make it possible to do so without beating the host system's stats or enter the host first. No sane corp is going to put all their stuff on one host because that would mean if one hacker gets his hands on a physical object slaved to the host, they could hack the entire thing very easily. They likely have one host per facility, or maybe even two: one for security systems and another for work/data. The bank, for example, might have a host for the security systems which is running silent and not accessible to customers, and one public host where customers can enter and interact with virtual or telecommunication tellers/loan officers/etc.

QUOTE (Smash @ Aug 6 2013, 10:05 PM) *
If each branch/chapter has itís own host, how are the connected. Can I leave one straight into another or do I have to leave one host, get on the grid, search for the next, and then enter it with noise modifiers?
right now there are no rules for linking hosts internally, but it wouldn't be unreasonable. That said, currently you exit the first host find the next host via matrix perception, then enter that host. Thankfully there is no travel time across the matrix, and Hosts don't have distance Noise even when they represent physical places.

QUOTE (Smash @ Aug 6 2013, 10:05 PM) *
What if Iím looking to hack some corp shlubs commlink and Iím following him down the street? I assume that If I look at him in AR or the matrix that he appears to be in the same place but what happens if he enters a host. The book says that his icon will be in the host. Does this mean I canít hack him unless I enter the same host. Can I find and icon from knowing where the hardware is? Or do I just have to wait for him to come back? That would seem weird as I could almost physically palm the comlink which is transmitting, receiving and not hidden.
If the guy is walking down the street he will have a Device Icon in the matrix for his commlink. If he walks into a facility that has a host, the icon will remain on the matrix because only devices slaved to the host are inside the host. Hosts and physical locations are not the same thing, and many hosts are virtual only. Moreover, most corps will not slave a commlink to their host because if that link gets stolen, it becomes an easy way to get a "hardline" connection to the host.
However... if that corp schlub hops onto the matrix (even in just an AR window) his commlink device icon will be replaced with his Persona, and that Persona can zip off away from his physical location, and even enter any Host as he is walking down the street. In that case you would have to follow him into a host to hack his commlink... or just plug a cable into the link physically. You can hack a device with a direct connection no mater what it's doing matrix wise.
HugeC
QUOTE (BlackJaw @ Aug 7 2013, 08:09 PM) *
If the guy is walking down the street he will have a Device Icon in the matrix for his commlink. If he walks into a facility that has a host, the icon will remain on the matrix because only devices slaved to the host are inside the host. Hosts and physical locations are not the same thing, and many hosts are virtual only. Moreover, most corps will not slave a commlink to their host because if that link gets stolen, it becomes an easy way to get a "hardline" connection to the host.
However... if that corp schlub hops onto the matrix (even in just an AR window) his commlink device icon will be replaced with his Persona, and that Persona can zip off away from his physical location, and even enter any Host as he is walking down the street. In that case you would have to follow him into a host to hack his commlink... or just plug a cable into the link physically. You can hack a device with a direct connection no mater what it's doing matrix wise.

Yes, this is correct, I was incorrect!
Pg. 229: "Your persona can go anywhere in the Matrix using [AR]. You can even enter hosts, although your icon will appear jerky and slow compared to a VR user in the same node."
Pg. 246: "When you’re outside of a host, you can’t interact directly with icons inside it, although you can still send messages, make commcalls, and that sort of thing. Once you’re inside, you can see and interact with icons inside the host, but not outside (with the same caveat for messages, calls, etc.)."
BlackJaw
QUOTE (HugeC @ Aug 7 2013, 05:37 PM) *
Yes, this is correct, I was incorrect!
Pg. 229: "Your persona can go anywhere in the Matrix using [AR]. You can even enter hosts, although your icon will appear jerky and slow compared to a VR user in the same node."
Pg. 246: "When youíre outside of a host, you canít interact directly with icons inside it, although you can still send messages, make commcalls, and that sort of thing. Once youíre inside, you can see and interact with icons inside the host, but not outside (with the same caveat for messages, calls, etc.)."

Note, this is just for his Commlink because it's replaced by the persona. All his other device icons (his gun, his implants, his glasses, etc) remain "on grid" somewhat associated with their physical location.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (BlackJaw @ Aug 7 2013, 06:47 PM) *
Note, this is just for his Commlink because it's replaced by the persona. All his other device icons (his gun, his implants, his glasses, etc) remain "on grid" somewhat associated with their physical location.


Unless you have slaved your equipment to your Comlink (or just not activated any wireless equipment), and turned off your Gun's wireless. Right? wobble.gif
BlackJaw
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Aug 7 2013, 05:26 PM) *
Unless you have slaved your equipment to your Commlink (or just not activated any wireless equipment), and turned off your Gun's wireless. Right?

Well sure, anything with it's wireless off lacks a device icon on the matrix.

Of course there are parts of the matrix rules that note that a PAN has a single icon for all it's devices, unless those devices are dangerous or special. Weapons are called out explicitly, but I think drones and vehicles are also separate icons because there are rules for merging into them when rigging. It's not detailed, so ask your GM.

Although normally most of your slaved devices are simply viewed as part of your PAN icon instead of as a cluster of separate device icons, this doesn't seem to be true while you have a Persona, because Persona is just you and the device you logged onto the matrix with. Page 218: "A persona is the combination of a user and a device that gets the user onto the Matrix. The fact that the device has a user overrides the deviceís normal icon status, turning it into a persona. A persona is usually based on a commlink, cyberdeck, or rigged vehicle or drone, although technomancers are a sort of device-less persona."
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