Make your own free website on

Shadows over Baltimore

Using Computer Skill

Home | Map | Log In

Using Computer Skill

Whenever you undertake a task using a computerized electronic device within its standard working parameters, odds

are you’ll be using Computer skill. Examining a file for traces of tampering? Doctoring up an image for blackmail purposes? Editing the logs to eliminate traces of your activities? These and similar tasks all call for Computer Tests.

When you are dealing with a particular device, you roll Computer + Logic against an appropriate gamemaster-determined threshold. When you are utilizing a particular program, you roll Computer + program rating. Standard situational modifiers may apply, as decided by the gamemaster.


In addition to Matrix Perception, Computer skill plays a particular role in the following Matrix actions. Note that Computer only applies when you have authorized access—if you are trying to manipulate a node, program, or file illicitly, then you make the test with Hacking skill instead.



You can take a Complex Action to create, change, or erase a file. You can only make minor changes to a file on the

fly per action—manually altering one line of print or one image, for example, subject to gamemaster approval. You may also copying some or all of a file, or insert pre-readied material. More extensive changes require longer periods and/or an Extended Test. Use Computer skill + Edit program for Edit Tests.


You can also alter a device’s output—video taken by a security camera, for example, or telemetry data taken by a vehicle sensor. A single Edit action only alters output for a short period (one Combat Turn). In order to alter output for a longer period, you must first take control of the device prior to the Edit action. Edit can also be used for creative output, such as crafting a life-like 3-D holo to use as a distraction, or forging a convincing set of fake credential printouts.


Repair Icon

You can repair Matrix damage an icon has taken in cybercombat with a Repair Icon action. Make a Computer +

Medic (1 Combat Turn) Extended Test; each hit heals one box of Matrix damage on the icon’s Matrix Condition Monitor.



With a Track action, you can trace a user’s datatrail from his icon back to his physical location. This is different from a Data search action (which is like looking up someone’s commcode in a directory); a trace follows the target’s current connections node-by-node all the way back to the source. Note that you must have detected the target with a Matrix Perception Test  in order to trace him. Make an Extended Computer + Track Test (10, 1 Initiative Pass), applying modifiers from the Track Modifiers Table. If the target performs a Redirect action, add the hits from this action to the threshold. If the target is running a Stealth program, apply it as a dice pool modifier. Once you’ve scored hits equal to the threshold, you’ve identified the target’s originating node and access ID (see Authorized Access). If the node is wired to the Matrix, you’ve ascertained its physical location. If the node is a mobile wireless device, the device’s rough current physical location has been triangulated (to within 50 meters). You can continue to monitor the device’s location if it moves, as long as the device stays on and maintains a wireless connection.

System security will often trace hackers this way, and then either dispatch a corporate threat response, notify the police, or launch their own hacking attack on the hacker’s home node (either by dispatching a security specialist or IC programs) to give the hacker a taste of his own medicine.


Transfer Data

You can transmit or receive data from one node to another—including uploading and downloading files, sending messages, and so on—with a Transfer Data Simple Action. If the gamemaster calls for a test to accomplish this, use Computer + Edit program. Note that bandwidth and transfer speeds in the modern Matrix are fast enough to make all but the largest of file transfers almost instantaneous. Unless the gamemaster rules otherwise, transfers complete at the end of the Combat Turn in which they were started. A transfer can be terminated at any time with a Free Action.

Tracking Table

Dice Pool Modifier



Target Running Stealth Program

Threshold Modifier



Each hit on a redirect action


Users connection jammed open by Black IC

Enter supporting content here