From Occult Gaming Wiki
|5th Edition Rules|
|Basics||Skills/Attributes||Actions||Jargon||Cyberdecks||Programs||How To||Complex Foms||Submersion||Sprites||IC|
Electronic devices run a lot of different applications, utilities, and code libraries to keep things working smoothly. Rather than list every single program running on a computer individually, the total effectiveness of these programs are described as Matrix attributes. These attributes are used as limits when performing Matrix actions and as part of your dice pool when defending against Matrix actions.
There are four Matrix attributes: Attack, Sleaze, Data Processing, and Firewall (abbreviated ASDF). Most devices (including commlinks) have only two Matrix attributes: Data Processing and Firewall. Decks and hosts have all four, including Attack and Sleaze.
Every Matrix action is categorized according to the Matrix attribute they fall under. For example, the Brute Force action is an Attack action, and the Hack on the Fly action is a Sleaze action. The Matrix attribute for an action serves as the limit for tests tied to that action.
Your Attack rating reflects the programs and utilities you have running on your deck that inject harmful code into other operating systems, or use brute-force algorithms to break encryptions and protections to lay the virtual smackdown. Attack software is high-risk, high-reward, because firewall protocols tend to treat it harshly, doing damage that could hurt your persona if you blow it. Attack actions are good for making quick break-ins, damaging devices, and dealing with Matrix threats in a very fast but loud way.
The applications making up your Sleaze attribute mask your Matrix presence, probe the defenses of targets, and subtly alter a target system’s code. Sleaze software is delicate, and one mistake will spill the soybeans on you to your target. Sleaze actions are good for intrusions in which you have plenty of time and in dealing with Matrix problems in a slow but quiet way.
Your Data Processing attribute measures your device’s ability to handle information, datastreams, and files. It is used for Matrix actions that aren’t, as a general rule, illegal.
Your Firewall attribute is your protection against outside attacks. It contains code filters, file checkers, virus detection and eradication software, and other defensive programming. Firewall actions are defensive in nature. The most important role of the Firewall is as virtual armor against Matrix damage.
The skills in the Resonance Skill Group are only usable by technomancers. These skills are used to thread complex forms and to compile sprites. If you’re a technomancer and want to know how to use your mysterious powers, head on over to p. 249.
Files & Matrix Attributes
Files do not have ratings (although protection on files does, The Edit File action, p. 239). Instead, they use the ratings of their owners when defending against Matrix actions.
To do anything more involved than sending email in the Matrix, you’ll need some skills. Specifically, you’ll need the skills in the Cracking Skill Group and the Electronics Skill Group. Here’s a quick rundown of those skills and what they do:
The Computer skill represents your ability to use computers. Common functions for this skill include editing files, erasing marks, and searching the Matrix. It’s also used in your Matrix Perception Tests, which can be vital in finding that Black IC before it stomps your neural pathways.
Cybercombat is the skill to use when you’re trying to wreck something or hurt someone in the Matrix. You can use it to damage electronics, break through defensive algorithms, and crash programs.
This skill is about controlling the airwaves, an important ability in a wireless world. It’s good for jamming other people’s signals with a jammer (or even your deck), hiding your own signature, and snooping on other people’s datastreams.
Hacking is about cleverly convincing the Matrix to do things it’s not designed to do. It lets you find and exploit weaknesses in digital defenses, and otherwise use finesse in your Matrix mayhem.
Hardware describes your ability to build, repair and manipulate electronic hardware. This skill is rarely used in the Matrix, but it encompasses everything that runs on the Matrix—and everything the Matrix runs on. It’s very useful for fixing electronics that have been damaged by Matrix combat, not to mention upgrading your deck or building your own devices.
This skill is about creating programs and other code that runs in the Matrix. It’s good for writing your own programs and analyzing strange code. If you’ve got the guts to try to handle a data bomb, you’ll need some solid Software skills to keep it from going off in your face.