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smile.gif Hi everyone. As I've said before I'm running my first Shadowrun campaign in years (yay!) and I'm using systems that in the past I've ignored such as the Matrix rules and Rigging mechanics. Rigging is still a mystery to me... I will focus on that once I master the Matrix.

I've been reading over the sample matrix runs here on Dumpshock and they have been very helpful, thank you to all those who have participated in those. I'm left however with a few questions. I'm going to be using the rules from the BBB and then the Matrix book once I've mastered the basics.

I'm not clear at all on what Icon's a Decker notices when he enters a host, or has a chance to notice without specifically doing a Locate Icon/Decker/Slave/etc action. In the old rules you entered various objects independently, they were connected in a flowchart and each had its own security and IC. In 3.0 there isn't a flowchart, so if a Decker logs successfully into a host, does he have a chance to notice inert Icons for IC? Does he see all the Icons around him that represent the various slaves, processes, and applications running that are pertinent and not to his goals? If for example you understand that in this particular Sculpted System all scramble IC looks like beetles crawling over the files they are protecting, once you find the file you seek do you automatically notice the beetles?

The Decker in my game took tech as priority and spend Y400,000 building a superdeck. He has 1000MP of active memory and can load every program he knows in it. What is the most effective way to challenge him? He has a rank 8 Detection and that is without using any of the special dice pool rules and what not from the Matrix book. The last game we played he Decked his target and pulled a personnel file from the system. He was caught by some Trace IC and successfully evaded it in combat. He then preformed a graceful logoff. Since he evaded it should I have still added its value (it was only 4, this is a milk run job) to his target number to log off even though he had been successful in his evasion for three rounds?

Thanks in advance everyone, you have all been very helpful answering my questions in the past and I really appreciate all the good advice. smile.gif
whenever a new icon pops up, a decker has a free chance to notice it, by rolling his Sensor rating against the icon's masking + sleaze (for deckers) or rating (for IC, etcetera). this is from SR3 page 209. one assumes that, when a decker logs onto a host, he gets to make the same test to notice any deckers or active IC. you don't get any sort of bonus for knowing the host's iconography; by the rules, it would seem that you can't see the icon of anything that's trying to remain hidden. interpret this as you like, in-game.

there are three effective ways to challenge your decker. the first way is to simply throw more difficult systems at him. the second is to exploit his weaknesses; figure out what programs he lacks, and require him to perform the operations that utilize them (for instance, if he lacks Spoof, have him get hired for runs that involve the Slave rating). don't do this too often, just once in a while to keep him on his toes and make him sweat. the third is to make use of unusual systems, employing tricks like trap-doors, teleporting SANs, etcetera. as your are new to GM'ing the Matrix, i suggest that you employ the first strategy for now, then begin trying out the second and third strategies as you become more accustomed to the game rules.

evading IC does not add it to your security tally. it seems your player has already learned one of the more valuable lessons about running the Matrix: the Evade combat option is the best option to take, in any Matrix combat.
QUOTE (mfb @ Oct 19 2004, 08:56 PM)

evading IC does not add it to your security tally. it seems your player has already learned one of the more valuable lessons about running the Matrix: the Evade combat option is the best option to take, in any Matrix combat.

What I meant is that trace IC is supposed to add its rating to your target number to Gracefully Jack Out. If a Decker "evades" the IC in combat, does that mean during the rounds that he has evaded the IC he can get out without having to take that hit to the TN?
QUOTE (mfb)
Sensor rating against the icon's masking + sleaze (for deckers)

eek.gif I thought it was (masking + sleaze)/2 just like detection factor. Can anyone confirm one or the other (my SR3 is loaned out) eek.gif
this unit is self-confirming, having possession of SR3 and the SR3 errata. note that the TN for the Locate Decker operation is also masking + sleaze.

and, yeah, i think it's pretty dumb.
I'm guessing here of course, but wouldn't the reason that its not /2 be due to the fact that the host system is friendly to the local decker? So that if it was another unauthorized decker you were looking for it WOULD be /2?

Also, what about that Trace IC and the Evasion Combat Manuver???
no, for several reasons. first, you can become a system-friendly decker yourself, by validating a Security or Admin account for your icon. second, system friendly deckers don't do the spot tests or Locate Decker tests at masking + sleaze /2; they do it at masking + sleaze.

if the Trace IC did not finish its location cycle, it does not alter the decker's TN for logging out.
Zeel De Mort
What's pretty dumb? The fact that the TN for Locate Decker is Masking + Sleaze?

Well if it was just (Masking+Sleaze)/2 it would mean that, even for a pretty good deck and utilities (DF 12) most decent deckers wouldn't even need a 6 to spot you! I think Masking + Sleaze - Scanner is just fine, if that's what people are arguing about.
No arguing here Zeel, just me working on getting a feel for running the Matrix. I'm starting to get comfortable with it. I've read the basic rules at least four times and have read the Matrix book once (starting to reread it right now).
Zeel De Mort
Yeah probably a good idea. Then run a few easy matrix runs with your decker so you both get an idea of the basic rules. There's a lot to remember for both people, but at least the rules for system tests etc are fairly generic, so you can just look up tables for those.

It definately helps if whoever is playing the decker also knows the matrix rules quite well - it'll speed things up a fair bit.
scanner does not reduce the TN for spotting a decker. it only reduces the TN for performing the system operation that allows you to spot a decker. if your DF is 12, that means that the TN to spot you is probably around 24, no matter what badass utilities another decker has in his deck.
Zeel De Mort

Well it's not 100% clear in the description of the operation, but yeah I guess it could follow that you only get Scanner on the system test. That being the case (which I agree is a bit poor), it would take at least a combat turn, probably longer, to locate even a really crappy decker (DF 6). Anyone pretty decent would be more or less impossible to spot.

Okay well, house rule: Masking + Sleaze - Scanner. How's that!

It's not like security deckers sit there all day making Locate Decker operations non-stop, they'd only do it if they're triggered by the security tally most of the time. So that being the case it's reasonable that they should spot you in a combat turn or two from when they start looking, rather than taking approximately forever to do so. IC seems to have no trouble spotting intruding deckers after all!
the program description is more concrete. and, yeah, that's a decent houserule.
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