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I have been kicking around the idea of a Matrix campaign. Not Matrix as in nodes and cyberdecks, but Matrix as in dodging bullets and kung fu with your sunglasses on. I think the rules will work almost perfectly as is for this.

I will start the players out a newbies to the Matrix, recently awoken. They will be nowhere near powerful enough to take out an agent. And may even have trouble against a large number of cops.

I was thinking about giving them some bonuses when jacked in...something like Wired reflexes 2, Phys stats boosted by 3, and automatic skills in melee, guns, drive, and athletics. Temporary skills will be available through their operator. The only thing I am stuck on is figuring out some way to make the characters unique. Perhaps I can use the Magic system in some way for this, putting together spell "packages" for different types of talents.

Say one character is one of the Oracle's orphans, giving him different manipulation spells representing Tele- or Pyrokinesis. Or another character might be a hacker, owning different types of programs that boost strength or heal damage.

I was wondering if any of you guys had any ideas, rescources or comments, this seems like it will be a good bit of work!
That could be really cool. I would recommend having them create 2 characters for the same person. The first one would be there normal character, Joe Smoe. The only thing he would have would be a datajack in the back of his head.

The other character I would suggest a Physadd at about 123 points. This would give each person the ability to create there "own" powers and personality in the matrix. This character would be there "residual self image". With this approach you can easily add new abilities (read new powers) with just the application of karma. No need to worry about if they have enough money to buy the 'ware or not.

The skills are a little bit trickier. In the movie any character had access to any skill with a simple call to the operator. I am not sure how to adapt that, but I would certainly give a reduced value for any operator learned skill, perhaps 3. And then with Karma and time they could increase those skills.

I would definitely stay away from the movies storyline, try to create your own look and feel.
I think this is an interesting idea, though I would probably try it Feng Shui.

One thing you could do is have it be BOTH the movie and the computer-land, by making it an ultraviolet host of some sort.
Those are some excellent Ideas! I especially like the idea of Phys-Ad powers. I think I will combine it with my idea of spell powers, perhaps giving them a point cost.

I intend the game to be set a little while before the discovery of Neo, I may advance the timeline into's Neo's time after the last movie comes out. That is, if the Matrix doesn't get completely destroyed after the last movie (Which it probobly will).

I like the idea of Operator skills not going above 3, although that isn't how it's done in the movie.
I'd give the players the possibility of having been born in Sion. Maybe a Sion-born could use some rules for riggers, or maybe they can start with more habilities (and more useful ones). The game doesn't have to be only centred in the Matrix, the Real World also offers plenty oportunities for role-playing, from Sion to exploring old human cities or whatever.
Yeah, I was thinking about that. The problem is, I don't want to split the group up. I have no problem switching between the real world and the Matrix, but I want all the characters to be in one or the other at once. Except for very rare circumstances, of course. It's just easier to run a game that way. There is no rule that says you can't be Zion-born and get yourself a Datajack later, of course.
well, it'd be kinda like a Matrix run in Shadowrun, though more players would be involved. Maybe the Zion-born could have a different character in the Matrix, someone who is near escaping but hasn't found yet all the comprehension needed for it.
Hey, the ones without the datajacks could be the deckers, running overwatch.

You might want to make the awakened characters into Otaku. Basically, they're poor weaklings in the real world, but once they jack into the Matrix (an Ultraviolet host), they kick major ass and have access to any equipment their heart desires. Plus, their mental attributes would replace their physical ones ("Do you think that how fast or strong I am has anything to do with my muscles in this place? Do you think that's air you're breathing?")

Also, you could treat skills given to them by the Operator as skillwires. They know how to do it, but it's just not the same as naturally-learned skills (they can't use dice pools). However, they can train in the Matrix to learn those skills.

Also, you might want to split your karma awards into two groups. One for the persona inside the Matrix, and one for the actual character in the real world.

One more thing. Wait until Revolutions comes out, because that's when they'll explain lots of the questions we have left about The Matrix and how things work. And don't worry about it ruining your game. They're creating a Matrix-based MMORPG that takes place after Revolutions, so the Matrix as well as the Agents and all that will still be there.

The Abstruse One
Just giving myself a little bump so I can gather more ideas from y'all. I plan on posting a working version of the campaign rules this evening.
I attempted to run a campaign very similar to this once. The characters where actually the stars of a simsense movie about the end of the world, drawn heavily from Revelations. The first run had the players stealing the spear which had pierced the side of Christ, and delivering it to a bio-corp controlled by a Mr. Johnson whose was real creepy. Anyway, Lucifer cloned the Antichrist from Jesus's own DNA. Anyway, the long and short of it was that the players were going to be involved in trying to stop Lucifer from winning (a la "End of Days", Stigmata, etc.) At the end of the last fight, the players were going to "wake up." The director had wiped their memories to make the performance more believable (a la Total Recall). I never got to finish it, but I imagine it was going to be a complete brain-frag by the end.

I imagine that this storyline would a lot easier now with the Tim Lahane "Left Behind" series of books. But, I won't guarantee that your players won't club you to death at the end of the campaign. biggrin.gif
That sounds really nice, but looses quite a bit of the Matrix feel: both the real world and the "focus" time. How are you going to deal with this "focus" time?
I'm not sure what you mean by "focus" time. One of the keys to the Matrix was the fact that the participants weren't aware the Matrix wasn't "real." I was going to drop hints about the world, but nobody was supposed to notice the man behind the curtain unless they started poking around the corners of the curtain.

One of my current theories for Revolutions is that Neo has realized that the "real world" isn't "real" at all, but it is instead another realizes that he hasn't left the Matrix at all. This outer Matrix was designed to deal withe rogue elements that kept trying to "wake up." The real world (or the "blue Matrix" as we've taken to calling it) satisfies the need of rogues like Neo, Trinity & Morpheus to "wake up," but the computer keeps all of the control. It explains, at least to me, on how Smith was able to move over through the Judas he inflitrated. It explains the comments of the Architect about the virus Neo was supposed to carry back to Zion. But, this is a debtate probably best for another board.

Ronin Soul
"Focus" time (If I'm correct in assuming this is what is meant) is a term that refers to the ability of people to manipulate the programmin of the Matrix. By being aware that it is simply data, they can manipulate that data by "focussing". In other words, defying real world physics and pulling off all those crazy stunts we see in most every fight scene. It also gets called "Bullet Time".

I don't know that Shadowrun is the best system for the Matrix. Feng Shui, as suggested would be better as it doesn't get bogged down and coule keep up the kind of pace that the Matrix is famous for.
Of course don't let my nay-saying stop you! I'd love to see what you come up with.
If you want to see what I came up with, check out my thread for campaign rules. It's on the same page as this one still.
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