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Shadows over Baltimore

Using Data Search

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Using Data Search Skill

Your Data Search skill represents your ability to track down information online, whether you’re sorting through a single database or mining the entire Matrix. Though everybody in 2050 knows the basics of using a search engine, there is so much data online that filtering the wheat from the chaff—or even knowing where to start—is often a challenge. Data Search reflects your skill in refining search parameters, correlating hints, unearthing hidden sources, and utilizing special search tools. Use it to track down Mr. Johnson’s real identity, the latest online rumors about Ares, a mob goon’s phone number, or the specific paydata file you were hired to snatch.


Most Search actions are handled as an Extended Test using your Data Search skill + Browse program. The gamemaster sets the threshold and interval based on how easy or difficult he wants the information to be, as suggested on the Search Table. The gamemaster may also modify the dice pool or threshold to account for additional factors, such as familiarity with the target, or how secret/protected the data is. Once you’ve found what you’re looking for, you don’t need to search for it again—unless the information has been relocated or deleted, of course.

You can also run Browse on a particular node or device and set it to alert you if what you are looking for turns up. In this case, the gamemaster secretly conducts a Data Search +  Browse Test to see if it works. If you don’t want to maintain a connection to that node, you can run a Browse-equipped agent instead.


In some cases, Data Search actions may be handled using other programs. If you wanted to pick out a particular person’s PAN in a crowded club, for example, you’d roll Data Search + Scan program. If you want your commlink to alert you if it picks up any wireless smartlink signals in the vicinity, make the same Data Search + Scan test as you run that program and set it to auto-scan. Likewise, if you’ve tapped someone’s commlink and want to auto-monitor their calls/ messages for certain keywords or details, use Data Search + Sniffer program.

Note that good old-fashioned legwork via the Matrix with contacts and the like is handled as a standard social interaction, not a Search Test.

Search Test Table












Search Area

1 Initiative Pass

Same device

1 Combat Turn

Same network

1 Minute

Entire Matrix

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