D6
Legend

Table of
Contents

Game 
Mechanics

Characters

Attributes
& Skills

Matrix Skills

Actions &
Combat

Equipment

The 
Machines

The
Resistance

What's
New

Links

Guestbook

Email
 

II.  CHARACTERS

TEMPLATES

In order to play The Matrix RPG, you'll need a character.  The first thing you need to decide is whether your character is human, and was Resuscitated from the Matrix or is Freeborn, or whether the character is an Autonomous Program.  Only Resuscitated characters have the cybernetic implants to jack back into the Matrix.  Autonomous Programs exist entirely within the Matrix and cannot enter the Real World (for the most part...).

You can select one from the list below or create your own. 

Exile Program:  an autonomous program within the Matrix that has foresaken its initial command code and developed a unique, individual identity and agenda.

Freeborn Operator:  a 100% pure child of Zion, born free to liberated parents, who uses his technical expertise to assist the Resistance hackers in the Matrix.

Freeborn Hovercraft Crewman:  a gifted mechanic and hardened veteran that crews the hoverships that form the front line in the war against the Machines.

Freeborn Soldier: a dedicated defender of Zion, ready to take arms against the Machines in the Real World.

Guardian:  an autonomous program designed for one specific purpose, though it may not know what that purpose is.

    Inform:  an autonomous program that traffics in information to gain power within the Matrix.

    Resuscitated Bodyguard:  a soldier in Zion's army against the Machines, awakened from stasis and using her abilities to protect her bretheren within the Matrix.

    Resuscitated Hacker:a member of the Zion resistance, freed from the prison of the Matrix and returning again to fight for the liberation of humanity.

    Resuscitated Seer:  a gifted child with exceptional sensory abilities within the Matrix, often capable of amazing psychic feats.

Download the Matrix RPG character sheet here (Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 required).

Attributes
Human characters receive 18 dice to divide among the six Attributes (listed below).  At least 1D must be placed in each attribute and no more than 5D can be assigned to any one attribute.  (Note:  Dice may not be broken up into 3 "pips", or "+1's", like they can in the SW RPG). 

Autonomous programs receive 19 Attribute dice to divide among the Attributes.  Up to 6D may be placed in any one Attribute.

The Attributes are:

Dexterity
Knowledge
Mechanical
Perception
Strength
Technical
Example:  Bob is making a character named Rom, a Resuscitated Hacker. He decides to create his own template rather than use the one provided.  He comes up with the following Attributes:
    Dexterity:  3D
    Knowledge:  3D
    Mechanical:  2D
    Perception:  3D
    Strength:  3D
    Technical:  4D
Neurals
    When in the Matrix, a character has the ability to exceed the limits of his or her physical body.  With the proper training and strength of will, an individual will learn that the only limits that exist in the Matrix are those placed on oneself by the mind.
     Autonomous programs have sub-routines that may be developed to resemble a human's Neurals.  However, only extremely rare programs are able to break free of the physical restraints of the Matrix.  Thus, to advance in the development of a Neural costs a Program twice what it would cost a human (See Advancement below).
    There are three main Neurals that control an individual's ability to supersede the "physical" limits.
    Quickness:  this score is added to the Dexterity of the character while they are in the Matrix.  All Dexterity skills are increased by this amount.

    Awareness:  this score is added to the character's Perception while in the Matrix.  It augments any Perception skills and abilities as well.

    Endurance:  add these dice to the character's Strength dice whenever a Strength roll is made in the Matrix.  Also, these dice may be added to any roll demanding physical or mental endurance, such as Willpower and Intimidation.

    Beginning characters may choose 1 Neural and place 1 die there (they must be Resuscitated).
Example:  Bob decides to put the entire 1D into Rom's Awareness Neural. 
DETAILS
This is your opportunity to round out the character and provide a description, background, personality quirks, goals, etc.

Speed
Normal characters can move 10 meters per round while walking.  With successful Running rolls (and certain Matrix skills), they can increase this value.

Unarmed Base Damage Value (BDV)
BDV depends on the skill the character uses to attack.  Normal humans have a bare-handed BDV of 1D/.  If a character has the Brawling or Martial Arts skill, their BDV is 2D.

Strength/Lifting Bonus
This represents the additional amount of damage a character can do because of his strength.  Take the Strength attribute OR the Lifting skill and divide by 2, rounding down.  This value is added to any damage rolls resulting from successful Brawling, Martial Arts or Melee Weapons rolls.

Body Points
These represent the physical toughness of your character.  To get starting Body Points, roll the character's Strength attribute and add the number of body points according to the table below.  Take that sum and add it to 20.  If a character increases his Strength attribute in the future, he may roll another die.  Furthermore, if the character has the Endurance Neural he may roll those dice (without a Wild Die) each time he enters the Matrix and add that to his total Body Points.  These last only for the current trip into the Matrix.  For each Skeptic Point a character has, he rolls one less die when  estimating these extra points.

Standard Die  
Result
Number of BP's
1,2
4
3,4,5
5
6
Wild Die  
Result
Number of BP's
1
3
2
4
3,4,5
5
6
6 (and reroll)

Description
    Describe your character:  How tall is he?  What kind of clothes does he wear?  Does he have any noticeable marks such as tattoos or scars?

Background
    Give your character a history.  How did they come to fight against the machines?  If they were Resuscitated, what did they do during their life in the Matrix?  How long have they been liberated?

Personality
    Is your character a grouch?  Is she impulsive, always itching for a fight, or is she more thoughtful and cautious?

Objectives
    Almost every human seeks to end the reign of terror of the Machines and liberate humanity, but there are many disagreements as to how to go about this.  Some believe that Jumpers are never justified in killing other humans while in the Matrix, while others see that as a necessary means to and end.  How does your character envision defeating the machines, and what will the world be like then.  Also, does he have any personal stake in the fight?  Perhaps a lover is still in the Matrix or the Machines have killed one's family.

Connection to other Characters
    Usually, the character will be serving aboard a Hovership together.  But, some may have known others for longer periods.  They may be related, or lovers, or even enemies.

CHOOSING SKILLS

Realworld skills
    Resuscitated characters and Autonomous Programs (Informs, Guardians, and Rogues) begin with 7 dice and Freeborn characters begin with 11 dice to divide among their skills.  Furthermore, each character can list 3 additional skills that they take at "0D" under each Attribute.  The character does not suffer a +1 Difficulty modifier for these skills (but he will on all other skills not taken).  These are abilities that they may perform both in and out of the Matrix (provided they are capable of leaving the Matrix).

Matrix skills
    These are special skills or abilities that a character may only attempt while in the Matrix.  In general, they deal with denying the physical laws of the Matrix.
    Characters do not begin with any Matrix skills.  They may be purchased as the character becomes more experienced.  See Advancement below.

Specializations
    Many skills have specializations which allow the character to focus on a certain aspect of the skill.  If a specialization is taken, a character may advance in that specialized aspect of the skill at half the normal cost of advancement.  However, uses of the skill not covered in the Specialization remain at the base skill level.

Example:  Rom has Firearms at 4D.  He decides to take the specialization Firearms:  Submachine Gun to advance to 5D at a cost of 6 CP rather than 12 CP.  Anytime he fires a submachine gun, he gets to roll 5D, but all other firearms are used at 4D.
    Specializations may be selected at Character Creation.  If so, the character receives 2 dice for every 1 spent.  Thus, a  player decides to Specialize in Submachine guns, he can gets +2D to all rolls with that kind of weapon.  Alternately, the player may put 1 die into Submachine gun and put another in some other Specialization (such as Driving:  Motorcycle, etc.).  Note:  Characters may not start with general skills greater than 6D or Specializations greater than 7D!

    Specializations are independent of the skill from which they are derived.  If the player later increases the skill, the Specialization does not increase.  If the Specialization increases, there is no change in the base skill.

Advanced skills:
    Some particularly complicated skills require two times the normal amount of Character Points to allow for Advancement.  They also typically require some other prerequisite skill.

Flash skills ("Crash Course")

Tank, I need a pilot program for a military M-109 helicopter.
 -Trinity.

    With modern technology, it is possible to upload the information necessary to carry out certain task directly into someone's brain.  The Operator controlling the hacker's jumpchair must be the one to upload the skill file.  The uploaded program is very specific and remains in the person's memory only while they are in the Matrix.
    Characters may temporarily learn a number of skills equal to their Knowledge dice each time they are in the Matrix. These skills must be Specializations. Thus, if a character needs to know how to pilot a helicopter, the operator will upload Pilot Helicopter: Military M-109.  It takes a number of rounds equal to the skill level for it to be uploaded.
     Autonomous programs are capable of benefiting from Flash Skills, but typically have no connection to a source that would upload the file.  However, Autonomous Programs may link themselves to human Operators through hardlines.  Also, agents of the Machines can receive immediate uploads of necessary skills.

WAS THE CHARACTER RESUSCITATED FROM THE MATRIX?
    Most the characters in a Matrix campaign will be individuals who have been resuscitated from the Matrix by the Resistance.  If so, then they are equipped with the cybernetics that allow them to jack back into the Matrix with the proper Jumpchair and communications link to the Matrix mainframes.
    Furthermore, each Resuscitated character begins with 1 point of Chi.

CHI
Chi symbolizes the inner strength and resources of a character.  It also reflects how well they understand the reality of the Matrix.  A character may spend up to 2 Chi per round, each doubling the dice pools of 1 action (See Using Chi).  Autonomous programs cannot gain (and therefore use) Chi.

When a character spends a Chi point it may be regained immediately after an action or lost according to the following criteria:

  • Risky and Heroic Tasks:  If the character attempts a relatively difficult or daring action and succeeds, she automatically regains the Chi point spent and gains an additional one as well.  (Note:  the action should be risky to the character relative to their abilities.  Shooting a gun out of someone's hand is not difficult if you have a Firearms skill of 9D!)
  • If the character attempts a difficult or daring action and fails, she may make a Willpower roll of Moderate difficulty.  If she succeeds, she regains the lost point.
  • If she Complicates the Willpower check, she receives a Skeptic Point.
  • Challenging Tasks:  If the character attempts a moderately difficult or tricky action and succeeds, she automatically regains the Chi point and may make a Moderate Willpower check to see if she gains an additional point.
  • If the character attempts a Moderately difficult or trick action and fails, she may make a Difficult Willpower check to see if she regains the point.
  • If she Complicates the Willpower check, she receives a Skeptic Point.
  • Easy Tasks and Self Preservation:  If the character succeeds as a relatively easy task by using the Chi point, she may make a Difficult Willpower check to regain the point and does not gain another.
  • If the character fails a relatively easy task while using a Chi point, she loses it and may not make a Willpower check to regain it.
  • If she Complicates the Willpower check, she receives a Skeptic Point.
SKEPTIC POINTS
     Skeptic points represent a character's doubt or inability to see the Matrix for what it is.  Characters gain Skeptic Points when they fail miserably or when they fall into the lure of accepting the Matrix as "real."  Autonomous programs are immune from this weakness and cannot accumulate Skeptic Points.

     GM's may also assign Skeptic Points when characters act cowardly or villainously (such as killing a Coppertop without reason, abusing his powers in the Matrix, or allowing some evil act to occur).  For each Skeptic Point that a character has, any attempted Matrix Skill is a +1 Difficulty.  When a character reaches 5 Skeptic Points, he can no longer attempt Matrix Skills or access Neurals.  At 10 Skeptic Points, the character cannot operate in the Matrix at all (though he can still enter Training Constructs with a Difficult Willpower roll.  Occasionally, the GM may require (or permit) a character to make a check with the Faith skill to overcome the effects of Skeptic Points.

Shedding Skeptic Points:  Characters can work to lose Skeptic Points with long hours of training and meditation in a Training Construct (or the Matrix itself, if they can still access it).  For each Skeptic Point, a character must spend 1 day practice Matrix Skills and Neurals (i.e. testing the "reality" of the Matrix) and make a Moderate Willpower roll.  If they fail the roll, they must spend another day and make another Willpower Attempt.  This continues until the Willpower roll is successful.

(Note:  These points serve much the same function as Dark Force Points and Hero Points in other D6 games, except Skeptic Points cannot be spent to augment actions.  Due to the genre of The Matrix, heroes may act "villainously" from time to time.  It is up to the GM to decide if Skeptic Points are appropriate).
 

ADVANCEMENT
At the end of each adventure, players will usually be rewarded Character Points at the end of an adventure by the Game Master.  They may keep these CP's for later use or spend them on learning skills.

Increasing skill levels
     For normal skills, it costs a number of Character Points equal to the current dice value of the Skill x 3.  Thus to advance from 4D to 5D, the player must spend 12 CP's.  Specializations cost the current dice value x 2 (moving from 4D to 5D would cost 8 CP's).  To learn a new skill, the character must spend a number of CP's equal to the controlling attribute x 3.

Example 1:  Rom has Firearms at 6D and wants to increase it to 7D.  To do so, he must spend 18 CP.  He decides that's too expensive, so he Specializes in Handguns and takes Firearms:  Handguns at 7D, costing him 12 CP instead.

Example 2:  Rom wants to learn the Piloting skill.  He has a Mechanics of 2D.  Thus, he spends 6 CP's and  and gets Piloting at 3D.

    Matrix Abilities cost 4 x their current dice value.   To learn a new Matrix ability, the character must pay 6 CP.  He then receives the skill at 1D.

Learning new skills
    As per standard D6 rules.  However, characters that can jack into the Matrix can use simulations to learn faster and without a live teacher--provided they have access to the appropriate software.

Improving attributes
   To improve an attribute, a character must spend 15x their current skill value..

    Neurals cost 5 x their current dice value.  If a character with 0D in a Neural Ability wishes to learn one, he must pay 15 CP.  Autonomous programs must pay twice the value that a human character would to advance a Neural.

RETURN TO MAIN PAGE.