Episode 010: Shadowrun Fifth Edition The Matrix, and Riggers

This is Critical Glitch, a Shadowrun Podcast. Episode 010

Your host, Steven A. Tinner, GM to the Stars

Co-Host, The Most Dangerous Man in Gaming – Tim Patrick

 SCAN THIS 01:40

Recent gaming

Steven A Tinner shares with us his system for engaging that character, the super batman.

Tinner life event chart

Shadowrun Fifth edition character conversion guide *Not for use with Shadowrun Missions

Shadowrun Sprawl Wilds


Section 6 “The Matrix”  15:20

Section 7 “Riggers” 51:15


11 thoughts on “Episode 010: Shadowrun Fifth Edition The Matrix, and Riggers

  1. During this podcast you brought up decking and touched on decker characters running the matrix. In my experience deckers running the matrix during a gaming session has the potential to stop gameplay dead in it’s tracks for everyone else. This can be fixed by spinning off decking into something the player has to do at the table by themselves while everyone else can continue on.

    Currently this means I would improvise and have them run a smartphone game or PSP game level with certain conditions to meet to see how successful they were. This could be fixed by having a programmable decker mini-game app for the ipad, table pc, or smartphone that the decker player could play at the table during regular gameplay.

    A decker mini-game app would allow decker players to run the matrix portion of a shadowrun in real time with all the rolls and rules built in while the rest of the group could continue as normal. The decker could use the mini-game to run his special matrix session whenever needed without stopping game play for everyone else. The decker app could, depending on the developer, be as simple as a timed text-based mini-game.

    I do not have the time or expertise currently to create a decker app myself, nor do I currently have the resources to hire someone to write one for me. Right now a shadowrun matrix mini-game for decker players is just an unrealized idea that I’ve had for a while. If a games publisher or shadowrun enthusiast were to develop it into something themselves it has the potential to be make money.

    Just a thought.

    • I’ve never really had the “spin off the decker” problem, especially not in the 5th ed games I’ve run. For me, it’s really been no different than when the party does something fun like splitting itself. I either just cycle through the different segments of the party whenever there’s dice rolling to be done or wait until one set gets to a pre-determined (in my head) spot and switch to the next set and their pre-determined spot.

      Decking works so much simpler now that, as long as I don’t get too bogged down in descriptive iconography, it’s not the buzzkill it used to be.

    • You may want to give the new Matrix rules a spin, as they seem to have alleviated most of the delays which decking & hacking brought to the table in previous editions.

  2. I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how long on average do you spend on this semi-randomized role playing opportunities per game session. Do you try to establish a connection to the actual mission/run or do you especially focus on not run related situations/tasks/etc.
    If you happen to host a game at a convention, do you re-roll every six or do you replace it with something else like “Politics” – or do you abandon the system all-together…

  3. Hey Guys,

    Love the concept of the engagement system. It’s one of the issues we had in the earlier episode of the Sixth World Chronicles, with the players driving towards more episodic content session by session. Back in May, before our summer hiatus, I kicked it towards the group to start putting more in depth role playing into their characters. I suppose it helps that they finally started learning more about the Sixth World and the concept within it. Now we have a couple of budding relationships and a strong contact scene for pretty much all of the characters except the new arrivals coming up in the next few shows.

    That said, I think I might just use this to monkey wrench a few concepts into the game. I’m starting to maintain a little bit of a OneNote data base on contacts, enemies, and folks the players don’t know yet, so I might just toss in some ready ideas on each tab just so I know what to quickly apply.

    Keep up the great work. It’s wonderful seeing you two pushing forward the kind of content Zendead did with Hiddengrid Classic. I love that I can scan the Matrix for Shadowrun Podcasts and can find three shows waving the flag of the Sixth world these days. Makes my cyber heart beat just a mite stronger.


  4. I think your comment about a bricked gun still firing was incorrect. On page 228 the descriptions clearly indicate that a bricked item fails in a spectacular component melting way. A firing pin not functioning is specifically mentioned as an example, though a bayonet on that gun is good.

    I think the main point is under the wireless section on page 420 in the gear chapter explains that everything is wireless, even guns without smartlinks. If you were to brick the smartlink instead of the gun (not sure why, but it might happen), there may be a chance the gun would still function, but I would still say probably not if its an integrated smartlink built into the gun.

    I would say with these rules, there is a very good reason to make items throwbacks, or buy them as one.

    Speaking of which, can you (or anyone reading this) address a question I have? How would a Technomancer connect to a private LAN with no wireless access and only universal data port access? For now in my game, I am treating it as having infinite noise unless the technomancer is within touch range. I decided within touch range (arms reach) was fine so they could meditate at it or whatever and not have to stick their finger in the plug hole because that seemed weird.

    Love the podcast guys!

    • Thanks I missed that section for some reason it may have been one of the earlier play test that stuck in my mind. I think the only way a techno can connect to a private hardwired LAN as you described would be to plug a commlink into the universal data port of the lan and just jump in from there.

  5. Of course. I didn’t even think of using a 3rd party device to establish the initial link, but I should have… I should have thought of that being that advised my player making a technomancer to buy a good high end commlink since he couldn’t slave the party’s stuff to himself to prevent enemy hackers from attacking them directly.

    Thanks for your help!

  6. How can you tell what the firewall rating is on devices? I couldn’t find it anywhere … even using CTRL+F on the search for: “Firewall”.

    • Page 234 has a chart that shows general device rating as well as in the Device section it states the matrix attribute for most devices of data processing and firewall are the same as the device rating.

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