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A Matrix Role-Playing game written by Jäger Hein
  • Attributes
    • Constitution
    • Endurance
    • Free Mind
    • Intelligence
    • Speed
    • Strength
    • Warfare
  • Player Character Races
    • Bot Races
      • Agent
      • Coder
    • Human Races
      • Coppertop (not suggested as a PC)
      • Full Human
      • Unplugged Coppertop
  • Classes
    • Bot Classes (as per race)
    • Coppertop Classes
      • any available
    • Human Classes
      • Cracker (Zion)
      • Hacker (Zion)
      • Hovercraft Captain
      • Hovercraft Pilot
      • Operator
    • Unplugged Coppertop Classes
      • any available
  • Dice
    • Dice used are percentile dice (d%), six-sided dice (d6), and twenty sided dice (d20). Any others the GM may wish to improvise with are also allowed



  • Attributes
    • Attributes are determined by rolling certain types of dice. CON, END, INT, SPD, and STR are determined by rolling 3d6 and adding them together. If an 18 is rolled, then an additional d6 can be added to that attribute. Humans can have any range for these attributes, but Coppertops would be limited in certain areas, particularly the Unplugged Coppertop (UC). UCs should have a high INT, (at least 10, but 12 is a recommended minimum), and low SPD and STR attributes. (Since they existed inside of a cocoon for well over a decade, it wasn't possible for them to advance in these areas. Besides, since they'll eventually be plugging back in to the Matrix, they really won't have much of a need for these physical attributes.) A maximum for SPD and STR should be something reasonable, probably around 15 or so. CON and END are rolled as normal. However, when a Coppertop is Unplugged, s/he will have very limited physical attributes for around a week: first day, physical attributes are reduced by 75%; the second day, after the crew of the hovership administers the treatments, physical attributes are only at half; attributes gradually return to what the player rolled, and by one week after unplugging they are where they will be for the game. WAR is the stat used to represent the character's tactical and strategic abilities and is the attribute primarily used in combat. WAR is determined by rolling 1d%. (Go ahead and re-roll anything lower than a 20.) WAR can be increased in different ways depending on what race the PC is. If Human, WAR can be increased by 1d6 every month of training. If the character is a UC, then they can increase their WAR by downloading training packages, (downloading "all the packages", which takes about twelve straight hours, will instantly, (and one time only), increase the UC's WAR by 1d10+1d6. After that, WAR can only be increased through practice in fighting, strategy, or tactics, at 1d4 for every twenty hours of practice. (These twenty hours do not have to be straight.) Free Mind (FM), is an attribute that only applies to UCs. This can be rolled at the start, or later, if the player wishes, but is determined for a first level, recently unplugged Coppertop by rolling a d10. This is the percent of the PC's mind that is free. FM has a maximum value of 90; after all, nobody's perfect.
      Attributes are used for different things. SPD and STR really aren't used much, unless things need to be moved around on the hovership, (picking up a mess after a Sentinel attack?), and are completely irrelevant inside the Matrix. CON and END are used primarily to determine how much damage the PC can take and how long s/he can stay plugged in to the Matrix, respectively. For example, a high CON lets the PC be able to take more damage while inside the Matrix. (HP is determined by rolling a d10 and adding it to the CON score.) A high END allows the PC to stay plugged in to the Matrix for longer times, though depending on how much of a nuisance the UC is, s/he might have to leave early if Sentinels are sent after the hovership. INT is one of the things that help Captains determine when someone should be unplugged; in this war, intelligent people are valued higher than average or low intelligence people. A high INT will also make it easier for a UC to download skills and information that the Operator provides. WAR is used to help determine many things, combat included. It also helps a character find a good hiding place, pick a good sniping position, figure out which window to aim for when jumping across buildings, and leave misleading trails for the Agents, among other things. FM is probably the most important attribute that a UC can have. The higher this attribute, the more things a UC can do inside the Matrix, and inversely, the lower this attribute, the more like a simple Coppertop the UC appears. A higher FM makes it easier for a UC to do unusual things, (Feat), as success is determined by a d% roll against the FM attribute. Roll that number or under, (00 counts as 100), and you've succeeded. Roll above that number and you've failed.
      Since things work differently in the Matrix, a UC with a sufficiently high FM can alter his or her physical attributes inside the Matrix. Initially, a UC's attributes will be identical to his or her actual attributes. But once a UC learns to free his or her mind, s/he can raise the digital attributes. Out of character, this is done by the player rolling against the PC's FM stat, and if successful, rolling another d6 and adding it to the stat that the player wants to improve. In character, this takes a lot of concentration, so the UC cannot do it while engaged in battle or any other action that would require his or her attention. FM can be raised every 24 hours of time in training, and can be raised at 1d6 per 24 hour interval.
  • Classes
    • Bots
      • Agents- AI "assigned" to wander the Matrix in search of UCs for any number of purposes. More often than not they kill UCs, but sometimes they capture them in order to gain access codes, or simply to detain them so that their hovership can be located and destroyed. Agents do not have "write permissions" to the Matrix, and are limited to working within the rules defined by the Matrix's program.
      • Coders- New breeds of AI developed after the UC Neo showed everyone what a UC can do with a free mind. Coders are usually Agents with modified permissions, allowing them to edit the Matrix. This is a very dangerous thing, as Admins are usually the only ones with the ability to edit the code of the Matrix, (fixing bugs, making traps for UCs, etc.). As such, there are very few Coders in existence. (If the GM runs the game Before Neo, there will be no need for Coders, and Agents will be the worst that UCs will face in the Matrix.)
    • Coppertops
      • Since Coppertops exist only inside the Matrix, any class inside the Matrix is available to them.
    • Humans (if stationed on a hovercraft, they can have more than one)
      • Cracker (Zion)- Crackers exclusively live and work in the Human City of Zion. Their job is to take any codes or information that UCs can retrieve from the Matrix and attempt to use them to crack the Matrix. They also work on the Zion computers, editing and adapting their firewalls and other software-related protection mechanisms to keep the AIs out. (Crackers are not assigned to the hovercrafts in the field, as UCs are more suited to those tasks in those locations.)
      • Hacker (Zion)- Hackers also live and work in Zion, but they work primarily on the machinery found in and out of the city. They build the transportation, the defense grids of the walls, and even build and repair the hovercrafts that those in the field use. Hackers also work on the heaters and AC units in Zion, as well as the food generators. While they primarily live and work in Zion, Hackers are also assigned to hovercrafts as the ship's engineers.
      • Hovercraft Captain- Have the same skills as the Hovercraft Pilot, but also have the added authority of being captain of the hovercraft to which he or she is assigned. More often than not, Hovercraft Captains are UCs.
      • Hovercraft Pilot- People trained in this skill are able to pilot or copilot the hovercrafts throughout the real world. Advanced skills in this class allow for dogfight maneuvers and other stunt-type flying. Hovercraft pilots are also trained in use of the EMP "guns" and the other computers and sensors located in the cockpit of the hovercraft.
      • Operator- People trained in working the computers used to send UCs into the Matrix. Operator skills include the ability to work the computers, hook UCs physically into their chairs, and look at raw Matrix code and translate it into visual images.
    • UCs
      • Since UCs can theoretically download the skills for every class that humanity has had in its history, UCs can be considered the ultimate multi-class.
  • Combat
    • Combat is resolved thus: Roll 1d20 to determine initiative. The higher the number, the quicker you move. After initiative is determined, characters decide what they're doing, be it attack, parry, dodge, hold action, or nothing. (or something else.) At this point, let's go to an example: l33t h4x0r has a WAR of 57 and Da_Mighty has a WAR 42. Obviously, l33t h4x0r is a little better, but there's stil a chance for Da_Mighty to get some licks in or to prevent licks being done to him. l33t h4x0r decides that he wants to punch Da_Mighty, and Da_Mighty doesn't like this, so he's going to dodge the attack. l33t h4x0r rolls perentile dice to see if he was successful in attacking. He rolls a 57. He made it, but just barely. Now Da_Mighty has to roll for his dodge. He rolls a 23, which is easily within success range. (Closeness to failure is irrelevant; this roll works on a pass/fail type scale.) Since they both made their WAR rolls, they each roll percentile dice again, but this time to see who was more successful. l33t h4x0r rolls a 14; not too good, since actions, as opposed to skill checks, desire a high roll. Da_Mighty rolls, and apparently forgot to eat his Wheaties: he rolled a 06. In this scenario, what would happen is that l33t h4xor managed to punch Da_Mighty, but Da_Mighty dodged enough that it was only a partial blow, not doing full damage. Had the rolls been reversed, l33t h4xor rolling a 06 and Da_Mighty rolling a 14, then l33t h4xor would have only managed a glancing blow, doing little to none damage in the strike. Now, let's explore a different scenario, one where the characters didn't make their WAR checks. If Da_Mighty failed his WAR check, with l33t h4xor making his roll, then l33t h4xor would have made a full and complete strike against Da_Mighty, Da_Mighty taking full damage. If the rolls were reversed, then l33t h4xor would have missed completely and Da_Mighty would remain unharmed.
  • Leveling
    • Not done in the traditional sense. Humans get better by practicing and perfecting their skills. UCs get better by training inside either the Matrix or inside training programs. A UC can be judged OOCly by his or her FM stat, and IC by the actions s/he has performed.
  • Rounds
    • A round is six seconds long. The average Human with an average SPD stat would get four actions per round. Additional actions/round are granted at SPD values of 20, 23, and 26. This is for the real world, however. As always, things work differently in the Matrix. A "perfect" stat of 18 inside the Matrix allows the UC to have 5 actions/round. (Lower than that is only 4 actions/ round.) Additional actions are gained at the even intervals in the 20s, 33, 36, and 39 for the 30s, and again at 43, 45, and 50.
  • Skills
    • If a PC is a UC, then the skills s/he is limited to are those that the hovercraft has on file. When an Operator uploads skills to the mind of a UC, then the UC can be considered a Master of those skills. The only times this doesn't apply is when the UC is attempting a new Feat. The first step to performing a Feat is for the player to think of it. After that, the player needs to roll under the character's FM. If the player succeeds, then the UC has learned a new Feat and can perform it again without having to roll his or her FM. If the PC is Human, then the character must learn the skills in the traditional sense, either by tutors, schooling, apprenticeship, or any other equivalent form. At the start of formal training, the character will have a skill percent of 50%. Every month of training thereafter the character can roll 1d10 and add the roll to his or her skill level. When using a skill, the character rolls percentile dice, and if s/he rolls under the skill percent, then the skill was performed successfully. The inverse is true, too. If the PC is a Bot, then it is preprogrammed with basic information, and it can gain the skills of any Coppertop that it Possesses, adding those to its own knowledge banks. Thus, the older an Agent is, the more dangerous it is.

  • Things To Keep In Mind
    • Calling the Operator with Agents around and/or following you is a good way to give away your position, and may make it easier for the Bots to find your hovercraft.
    • Entering and exiting the Matrix requires a Hard Line. Hard Lines are required for the Matrix to work properly, but Bots aren't against cutting one or two if it means capturing or killing some UCs.
    • Damage received in the Matrix is received on the physical body. It may not be in the same manner, (getting shot will not make a hole appear in your physical chest), but the UC will take damage. Unless, of course, the UC's mind is sufficiently free...

  • Terms-
    • AI - Artificial Intelligence (or Intelligents)
    • Bots - AI with physical bodies. (e.g., Sentinels)
    • CON - Constitution attribute
    • Coppertop - Human physically hardwired into the Matrix and used as a power source by the AI.
    • END - Endurance attribute
    • FM - Free Mind attribute
    • GM - Game Master. The person who determines the scenario, as well as controls the NPCs.
    • Hard Line - Physical connection between the real world and the Matrix.Necessary for Bots or UCs to enter the Matrix.
    • INT - Intelligence attribute
    • Machine - Term often used by the AI to refer to themselves.
    • NPC - Non-Player Character. Characters in the game run by the GM and not by other players.
    • PC - Player Character. The persona that a player takes on in a role-playing game.
    • Software - Derogatory term used by cocky UCs to refer to Agents and other AI that lack physical bodies.
    • SPD - Speed attribute
    • Squiddy - Human slang for a Sentinel.
    • STR - Strength attribute
    • UC - Unplugged Coppertop. Human who used to be physically hardwired into the Matrix, but has been liberated.
    • WAR - Warfare attribute

This page last updated on Saturday, 07-Jun-2003 20:13:09 EDT | contact webmaster