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5th Edition Rules
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If you’re going to spend any serious time in the Matrix, you have to be able to sling around the lingo. Hackers move fast and talk faster—this is the stuff you need to know so they don’t leave you behind.


A semi-autonomous program that is capable of taking independent action in the Matrix.


An area of a host that stores files securely away from all users, legitimate or otherwise.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Self–aware and self–sustaining intelligent programs that evolved within the Matrix.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Information added to or overlaid upon a user’s normal sensory perceptions in the form of visual data, graphics, sounds, haptics, smell, and/or limited simsense.

Augmented Reality Object (ARO)

Virtual representations (usually visual graphics, but other sensory data can be included, typically sound) that are connected to a physical object or location in the physical world and viewable through augmented reality. The abbreviation, ARO, is pronounced “arrow.”


The icon of a persona.

Better–Than–Life (BTL, Beetle)

Hyper–real levels of simsense that are addictive and potentially dangerous.


To destroy a device by Matrix damage; also, a device destroyed in that fashion.


Standard simsense that operates at legal, safe levels. Used by most people to access virtual reality.


Combination email address, phone number, and IM name that identifies an individual for communications; if people want to get a hold of you, this is what they need.

Commlink (‘link)

The handheld or worn personal computer used by nearly everyone to access wireless services.

Complex Form

Mental algorithms that technomancers use to manipulate the Matrix—their equivalent of programs.

Control Rig

An implanted augmentation that allows a rigger to “jump” into a vehicle, drone, or other device, giving him or her superior control and performance.


A tablet-sized computer used to hack the Matrix; it is restricted or illegal in most of the civilized world.


A subsection of the Grid Overwatch Division that oversees a single grid, run by the grid’s owner.


A piece of gear that performs functions integral to a network.

Direct Neural Interface (dni)

A connection between the brain’s neural impulses and a computer system that allows a user to mentally interact with that system.


An unmanned vehicle that can be controlled via direct wireless link or through the Matrix.


An enhanced ability a technomancer can learn after undergoing submersion.


Mental drain technomancers sometimes experience when using their abilities.


A program or set of data that is collected as a single package; this runs the gamut from annual reports and kitten videos to autosofts and Attack programs.


A program that guards a node from intrusion. This is the first line of defense of a device or host to fend off unwanted Matrix interference.


Assigning AROs to a specific physical location, often using RFID tags.

Ghost In The Machine

Mysterious phenomena and perceived entities that exist entirely within the Matrix. Some believe these are AIs or magical spirits of the Matrix. Others believe they are the disembodied personalities of people trapped within the Matrix during and since the Crash of ‘64.


Grid Overwatch Division, an entity run by the Corporate Court to oversee security in the Matrix.


The resources offered by a Matrix provider; typically, you can access information on that provider’s grid easily, while accessing info on other grids is more difficult. The term is also used to refer to the Matrix as a whole outside any host.


Someone who explores and exploits the Matrix.


Computer interactions based on the sense of touch.


A self-contained place in the Matrix. Hosts have no physical location, as they exist purely in the Matrix cloud.


Simsense without the safeguards that prevent potentially damaging biofeedback. Hot-sim is illegal in the civilized world.


The virtual representation of a device, persona, file, or host in the Matrix.

Intrusion Countermeasures (IC)

Software that runs in a host and protects that host from unauthorized users. The abbreviation, IC, is pronounced “ice.”


Any physical location that provides access to the Matrix through plugging in with a wired connection.

Living Persona

The mental “organic software” that allows technomancers to access the Matrix with only their minds.


A device, usually a commlink, cyberdeck, or host, that is linked to other devices in order to protect them against Matrix attacks.

Matrix Authentication Recognition Key (MARK)

A token that measures a user’s access to a device, host, or persona.

Matrix Object

A persona, file, device, mark, or host in the Matrix.


The worldwide telecommunications network and everyone and everything connected to and by that network.


(slang) An unwired individual, or the physical part of a Matrix user in VR.


(slang) Online, connected to the Matrix.


Unwanted data or wireless signals that make using the Matrix slower or more difficult. (slang) Unwelcome information.


A user, agent, or other autonomous or semi-autonomous icon in the Matrix.

Personal Area Network (PAN)

The set of devices slaved to a single commlink or cyberdeck.


A sophisticated program with semi-autonomous decisionmaking abilities.

Radio Frequency Identification Tag (rfid, Pronounced “arfid”)

A device no bigger than a matchbox that holds data and other miniaturized electronics.

Real Life (RL)

(slang) Anything not having to do with the Matrix.


The measure of a technomancer’s ability to access and manipulate the Matrix.

Resonance Realms

A mysterious plane of virtual existence that technomancers can access. It is believed that a copy of every bit of electronic data ever created exists somewhere in the Resonance Realms.


Someone who uses a control rig to “jump” into a properly adapted device (usually a drone, vehicle, or security system) in order to directly control it as if the device were an extension of his or her own body.


The look and feel of a host’s internal virtual space.


A device for making simsense recordings.

Simsense (Sim, Simstim)

Hardware and software that enable a person to experience what has happened to someone else as if they had sensed and experienced the events themselves. Requires a direct neural interface.


A device connected to a master device, usually a commlink, cyberdeck, or host, on which the slave depends for defense against Matrix attacks.

Spam Zone

An area flooded with invasive and/or viral AR advertising, causing noise.


A security hacker/rigger employed by a corporation or law-enforcement agency to protect a physical space or a host from hackers.


A Resonance-based entity created (or called) by a technomancer.

Static Zone

An area where the physical environment creates noise.


A state in which a technomancer strengthens his or her connection to the Resonance.


An RFID tag.


A person who is able to use and manipulate the Matrix without hardware. The term often carries connotations of hacking and cyber-terrorism.


A headband or net worn on the head that creates a direct neural interface. Popular models include an attached hat, wig, or other headware. Short for “dry active electrode array.”

Virtual Reality (VR)

A state where outside stimuli are ignored and the user only receives impressions from the Matrix. Requires a direct neural interface.

Wide Area Network

A set of devices slaved to a host.