SR5:Matrix:Cyberdecks

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5th Edition Rules
Basics Combat Magic Matrix Driving Character Creation
Basics Skills/Attributes Actions Jargon Cyberdecks Programs How To Complex Foms Submersion Sprites IC

If you’re a decker, your cyberdeck is your life’s blood, your all-in-one ticket to controlling the Matrix. It provides you with your Matrix attributes, especially the Attack and Sleaze that are vital to hacking. It also has a built-in sim module, so all you need is a DNI to use it for VR right out of the box. Other important features include a universal data connector and about a meter of retractable data cable, so you can connect to other devices directly. A cyberdeck usually has a small screen for displaying status messages. It is most often a flat rectangle, but it can be just about any shape that has the same volume as a small book; the “hackpack” model, a cyberdeck in a belt pack, is popular for deckers on the go.

Each deck has a Device Rating, which determines its Matrix Condition Monitor and is used in a few other rules. It also has a listing for four attributes (called the Attribute Array), but it does not specifically list which numbers go with which attributes. This is because decks are more versatile than your average device or host. You can configure your deck for different uses at different times. There’s also a listing for the number of programs you can run at a time on a deck, although you can have any number of them in storage.

Deck Configuration

When you first boot your deck, assign each of its four attribute values to one of the Matrix attributes. This covers the various software that you’re running in your deck’s memory. This lets you describe with ratings how much software your deck is currently running for offense, stealth, computing, and defense. For example, let’s say you’ve got a Microtrónica Azteca 200 with the attribute values of 5, 4, 3, and 2. Your plan for the evening is to surf the Matrix legally, maybe play some games, find a movie, or just hang out in JackPoint. You assign your Matrix attributes Attack 2, Sleaze 3, Data Processing 5, and Firewall 4.

Reconfiguring Your Deck

You can reconfigure your deck whenever you like, rebalancing your software loadout, changing the allocation of Matrix attributes or re-arranging the programs currently available to you. Doing this is a Free Action that you may only perform on your own Action Phase. This is not a Matrix action. When you reconfigure your deck, you can either switch two of your deck’s Matrix attributes, or swap a running program with a program you have stored on your deck that is not running. Additionally, you can load a program you own into a currently unused slot, or unload a program and leave an open slot.

For example, let’s say you’re hanging out in Jack- Point and some asshat insults your avatar. You’re feeling surly, so you take a swing at him. You weren’t planning on mixing things up tonight, so at the moment your Attack is 2 and your Data Processing is 5. You’d prefer them to be the other way around, so you take a Free Action to swap the two attributes before you make your attack. With your Attack rating at 5, you’ll be able to land the full force of whatever blow you’ve aimed at the mouthy jerk.