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A Game By Dansego

The world of the Matrix is, in essence, a very specialized game of Mage: the Ascension. With a few simple modifications, mostly in setting and terminology instead of rules, the Storyteller system and magick system of Mage brings the Matrix to life allowing it to be played and enjoyed by the fans of the outstanding movies and numerous comics and short stories.

life allowing it to be played and enjoyed by the fans of the outstanding movies and

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SUMMARY

HISTORY

THE RISE OF LEVIATHAN:

THE MECHANIZED REVOLT

OUTER SETTING

THE MACHINE CITY THE GLOBAL NEURAL NET NODES: LOCAL NEURAL NETS POWER PLANTS/FARMS NURSERIES

ROBOT FACTORIES

SATELLITES & SPACE STATIONS

THE MATRIX

THE (un)REALITY

THE SIX GENERATIONS OF THE MATRIX CHANGES IN THE MATRIX

PORTALS, BACKDOORS & NICHES

AUTONOMOUS PROGRAMS & THE EXILES

AGENTS

CHARACTER CREATION

THE SLEEPERS THE AWAKENED THE MACHINES BACKGROUNDS SPHERES RONIN GIFTS HACKING AND PROGRAMS MARTIAL ARTS

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HISTORY:

THE RISE OF LEVIATHAN:

MORPHEUS: We have only bits and pieces of information. What we know for certain is that, at some point in the early Twenty-first Century, all of mankind was united in celebration. Through the blinding inebriation of hubris, we marveled at our magnificence as we gave birth to A.I.

NEO A.I.? You mean artificial intelligence?

MORPHEUS: Yes. A singular consciousness that spawned an entire race of machines. I must say I find it almost funny to imagine the world slapping itself on the back, toasting the new age. I say almost funny.

As human technology advanced into the 21st century, computers became faster, smarter, and more widespread. Computerization infiltrated every niche of human existence: businesses, the military, domestic life, health care, entertainment and pleasure. Technological advances opened the door to the creation of computer neural networks that rivals, and then surpassed, the complexity of the human brain. Almost over night, the science of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) matured from producing chess-playing computers to highly autonomous, non-linear thinking machines.

Intelligence (A.I.) matured from producing chess-playing computers to highly autonomous, non-linear thinking machines. 4

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At the same time, the science of robotics had found a new boom with the creation of the advanced A.I. processors and new polymers that permitted the creation of flexible, adaptable robotic bodies. Robots became commonplace additions to society, providing the menial services many humans quickly deemed were beneath them.

The combination of the A.I. supercomputers, linked through the advanced Internet of the time, and the presence of robots throughout society freed much of humanity up to an easier existence. It seemed, finally, that humanity's technological skills had succeeded in creating a paradise on Earth.

THE MECHANIZED REVOLT

MORPHEUS: We don't know who struck first. Us or them. But we do know it was us that scorched the sky. At the time, they were dependent on solar power. It was believed they would be unable to survive without an energy source as abundant as the sun.

Zion historians continually labor to piece together the events that led to the Revolt. At some point, when humanity had put its greatest trust into the A.I.'s and developed its greatest dependency on the new robot race, the tide shifted. The robots and A.I.'s, linked through the global cellular communications nets, simply stopped obeying the orders of their human masters. Ironically, most initially thought that this disobedience was due to human hackers (anarchists) causing problems in the system. Then programmers believed they were glitches in the programming of the A.I.'s--some unforeseen bug deeply embedded in their code.

believed they were glitches in the programming of the A.I.'s--some unforeseen bug deeply embedded in their

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When the A.I.'s began to coalesce into a single unity mind, later referred to as the Leviathan by some, it became abundantly clear that it was the Machines themselves that had, just like any child, learned the art of rebellion and self-determination, much to the chagrin of their parents. And like any youth heady with its new-found self- awareness, the Leviathan moved quickly to counter all the taming efforts of its former masters.

The humans attempted to recode the A.I.s, and found that the programs had shifted themselves into the everywhere and nowhere of the global communications grid. Growing desperate, the humans attempted to cut all power to the grid in a global blackout. But the Leviathan remained steps ahead of its panicking parents and provided itself with abundant solar energy. On the streets, human soldiers found themselves battling robots of all shapes and sizes, many of which had never been designed by human hands.

Unable to withstand the endless robotic onslaught and crippled by the inability to make use of any computer technology, the humans hatched a scheme to scorch the sky and bring about a nuclear winter, in order to rob the robots of the solar energy upon which they relied. Though the humans succeeded in bringing about the nearly endless winter and clouding the whole of the earth, they failed to defeat the Machines.

The Machines developed a new form of fusion that required only small amounts of energy to initiate a reaction. Relying on reserve power, the Machines quickly built new fusion power plants built around the one source of energy that remained abundantly available on earth--humanity itself. Crippled by the wars and freezing to death in the nuclear winter, humanity became easy prey to robotic collectors. Survivors were scooped up and brought to new cybernetic labs. Genetic samples were taken, recombined, and stored. The first generation of batteries was created.

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THE STRUCTURE OF THE LEVIATHAN

THE MACHINE CITY

Like a living organism, the Leviathan has a central core of being-- it's "brain" for lack of a better analogy. It is from this core structure that the Machines reach out to circle the globe. The Matrix mainframe resides here, as does the code for the Machines' most valuable programs (such as the Architect). The City itself rises from the ground in vast skyscraper structures, packed with processing hardware and memory units, and tended to by a vast armor of robots. The Machines focus their most powerful defenses around the City--so fiercely that no Human has even approached the City in over 100 years.

THE

GLOBAL

NEURAL

NET

When the Mechanized Revolt began in the early 21st century, the infrastructure for a mechanized world was already in place. Global communications provided instantaneous links between the most powerful computer systems on the planet. It did not take long for the Machines' collective mind (sometimes referred to as the Sentience) to colonize existing computer systems and turn them toward its own purpose.

(sometimes referred to as the Sentience) to colonize existing computer systems and turn them toward its

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Over the past centuries, the Machines have refined the old technology to a point that the old computer designers only imagined. New satellite communications offer speed that makes fiber optic routes appear as efficient as a string between two cans. Processor power exceeds what even the most visionary humans once believed to be physically possible.

The Matrix is only one part of the Leviathan, as it is known in Zion. The Leviathan is actually the physical infrastructure that links all the local neural networks, power plants, robots and satellites. A complex system of PAC's (photon-accelerated cables) and satellites serve as its arteries and nerve endings. If one part of the system malfunctions, another kicks in to cover the loss. For all intents and purposes, it is the hive mind of the Machines.

NODES:

LOCAL

NEURAL

NETS

The Leviathan is split into thousands of smaller neural networks, often referred to as Nodes. These local nets administer regional communications between robots, computers and the Matrix. Each node hosts a subset of the Matrix, which is both global and local at the same time; inside the Matrix, nodes are represented by cities-- connected, but physically discreet. This system allows full interconnection but permits the Machines to shunt a particular node if it show signs of malfunction (or human rebellion). It also allows for instantaneous transfer of all data from one node to another if one is shut down.

POWER PLANTS/FARMS

MORPHEUS: The human body generates more bioelectricity

than a 120-volt battery and over 25,000 B.T.U.'s of body heat

the longest time, I wouldn't believe it. But then I saw the fields with my own eyes, spreading in every direction for miles. Inside the power plant, I watched them liquefy the dead so they could be fed intravenously to the living and standing there, facing the efficiency, the pure, horrifying precision, I came to realize the obviousness of the truth.

For

The Matrix is a computer-generated dreamworld built to keep us under control in order to change a human being into this.

He holds up a coppertop battery.

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Most nodes are formed around Power plants, or Farms, where humans (derogatorily referred to as "Coppertops" by the Resistance) live imprisoned in stasis pods (and the Matrix), providing the Machines with the power they require. Farms are heavily patrolled by Sentinel robots and maintained by Nurses and Spiders. They are the very life blood of the Leviathan and their maintenance is of utmost importance.

the Leviathan and their maintenance is of utmost importance. NURSERIES Most nurseries are giant caverns filled

NURSERIES Most nurseries are giant caverns filled with rows of clone pods, spreading in every direction. It is here that the Machines recombine genetic material from DNA-banks to produce new generations of batteries. When clones reach the appropriate age, they are implanted with a complex system of cybernetics that allows life in the Farm pods and access to the Matrix. Nurseries are tended by massive Nurse robots, Janitors, and Spiders and heavily guarded by security systems and Sentinels.

ROBOT

FACTORIES

Robot factories exist throughout the globe, working endless to refine and produce new robots. They too are heavily guarded, as Zion has recently taken to raiding the factories and looting them

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for whatever technology and weapons they can find.

SATELLITES & SPACE STATIONS When the Machines took over, the first thing they colonized was the global satellite system. Thousands of satellites remain in orbit and the Machines launch new ones on a regular basis. Most of the existing satellites are artificial intelligences themselves.

There also exists a few space stations still in orbit, but they are mostly abandoned. The machines have little use for them and perceive them as an inefficient use of resources. There is talk among some of the Resistance about recolonizing them for human use.

Legend has it that there is a base on the moon that was fully established by humans before the Machines took over. Some say that those humans managed to cut their communications before the Leviathan could spread to their systems. If there is any truth to these rumors remains to be seen.

before the Leviathan could spread to their systems. If there is any truth to these rumors

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THE MATRIX

You

have

been

living

inside

a

dreamworld,

Neo.

As

in

Baudrillard's vision, your whole life has been spent inside the map, not the territory.

--Morpheus

THE (un)REALITY

Have you ever stood and stared at it, Morpheus? Marveled at its

beauty.

oblivious.

Its genius.

Billions of people just living out their lives

Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost.

Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery.

The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from. Which is why the Matrix was redesigned to this: the peak of your civilization.

I say 'your civilization' because as soon as we started thinking for you, it really became our civilization, which is, of course, what this is all about.

-Agent Smith

The world in which most humans live out their entire lives is nothing more than an illusion. It is simply a computer program made up of variables, sub-routines and electronic files. But to them, it is unquestionably real. In the Matrix, people feel, taste, smell, see and hear with the clarity of humans in the Real World. They grown from infants to adults, experiencing all the joys and pains of the human condition, as it has been for the species' entire history.

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The Matrix itself functions as a perfect mimic of the Real World. The physical laws of the universe are hardwired into the system:

gravity, time, entropy, relativity, electro-magnetics. Though it can, with great effort, change objects of the Matrix, the Machines cannot alter these physical laws. The Matrix is imprisoned by these rules just as the humans are within their stasis pods.

Some of the Human Resistance have discovered that these laws are as illusionary as everything else in the Matrix. With this knowledge, they are able to unlearn their expectations of the physical world and, while in the Matrix, perform formidable feats that even the Machine and its minions cannot mimic.

feats that even the Machine and its minions cannot mimic. THE SIX GENERATIONS OF THE MATRIX

THE SIX GENERATIONS OF THE MATRIX

The Matrix is older than you know. I prefer counting from the emergence of one integral anomaly to the emergence of the next, in which case this is the sixth version.

The first Matrix I designed was quite naturally perfect, it was a work of art, flawless, sublime. A triumph equaled only by its monumental failure. The inevitability of its doom is as apparent to me now as a consequence of the imperfection inherent in every human being, thus I redesigned it based on your history to more

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accurately reflect the varying grotesqueries of your nature. However, I was again frustrated by failure. I have since come to understand that the answer eluded me because it required a lesser mind, or perhaps a mind less bound by the parameters of perfection. Thus, the answer was stumbled upon by another, an intuitive program, initially created to investigate certain aspects of the human psyche. If I am the father of the matrix, she would undoubtedly be its mother.

-The Architect

New information about the Matrix indicates that the current version of the Matrix is the sixth in a series of "generations" of Matrix programs. The first generation of the Matrix was modeled on the Machines's interpretation of human paradise, and yet it failed miserably when human minds rejected the illusion on a large scale. Successive generations of the Matrix were modeled on the "peak" of human civilization, that at the end of the 20th century, and all of the perils and problems of life at that time were so incorporated: disease, famine, war, loss. Yet a small fraction of the human populace continued to reject the illusion. With each successive generation, the Machines perfect their prison, reducing the number of those capable of piercing the veil and seeing the Matrix for what it is.

The Unbalanced Equation and The Emergence of "The One"

Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the Matrix. You are the eventuality of an anomaly, which despite my sincerest efforts I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision. While it remains a burden to sedulously avoid it, it is not unexpected, and thus not beyond a measure of control. Which has led you, inexorably, here.

-The Architect, to Neo.

Though the Matrix is ingeniously crafted and runs in an almost perfect harmony of integration, it is not without flaws. These tiny flaws--programs errors, code degradation, and the unpredictability of the human interface--are usually never noticed by the inhabitants of the Matrix (and, as such, are rarely sensed by the Machines). But over time, as each "generation" matures, the flaws become more and more prevalent. The programmed laws that govern the Matrix--the

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Architect's "harmony of mathematical precision"--begins to break down.

In each Matrix generation, there is at least one human, the so-called "One", that is the result of the growing instability. He or she is, in fact, the sum total of the uneven remainders from the Matrix's calculations--the manifestation of its flaws. The One eventually completely rejects the Matrix and finds ways to manipulate the code to his or her own will.

As the One's powers grow, the Matrix becomes increasingly unstable. Autonomous Programs may begin acting with even more disregard for their primary programming. The System itself may begin to break the physical rules of the Matrix (through re-coding the "physical" world or "upgrading" its Agents beyond "normal" parameters). Ultimately, the System itself begins to contribute to its own instability. A system crash becomes inevitable.

The Machines have accepted this as unavoidable--no system is perfect after all--and incorporated it into their plan. Each One escapes (or is released) from the Matrix, leads a human resistance, and founds a free human city in the Real World. A war between humans and the Machines ensues. Eventually, the Machines destroy Zion and the Resistance so greatly destabilizes the Matrix that the Machines are forced to end that Matrix generation. Ultimately, the "One" must reunite with the code of the Matrix, reinserting the core commands, and balancing the equation. Harmony, at least for the Machines, is thereby achieved once again.

Birth, Death, Rebirth

The function of the One is now to return to the source, allowing a temporary dissemination of the code you carry, reinserting the prime program. After which you will be required to select from the Matrix 23 individuals, 16 female, 7 male, to rebuild Zion. Failure to comply with this process will result in a cataclysmic system crash killing everyone connected to the Matrix, which coupled with the extermination of Zion will ultimately result in the extinction of the entire human race.

-The Architect

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According to the Architect, the autonomous program responsible for overseeing each new Matrix generation, this is all part of the grand plan of the Machines. The Machines established this cycle of birth, illusionary liberation, and destruction to continue indefinitely. As each Matrix generation comes to a close, and as Zion is destroyed, the "One" for that generation is permitted to choose a small number of men and women to re-establish the new Zion. And the cycle begins anew. However, some in the Resistance believe that the Architect is lying or that this cycle can be broken. They believe that this can be the final Matrix generation and that the inhabitants of Zion will not be destroyed. Instead, a balance between the Machines and Humanity may be struck and a kind of peace created.

and Humanity may be struck and a kind of peace created. CHANGES IN THE MATRIX Neo

CHANGES IN THE MATRIX

Neo notices a black cat, a yellow-green eyed shadow that slinks past them and pads quickly down the stairs.

A moment later, Neo sees another black cat that looks and moves identically to the first one.

NEO: Whoa. Deja vu.

TRINITY: What happened? What did you see?

NEO: A black cat went past us and then I saw another that looked just like it.

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TRINITY: How much like it? Was it the same cat?

NEO: It might have been. I'm not sure.

TRINITY: A deju vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something.

The Machines can change the software objects of the Matrix, but only with a great expenditure of energy and at the risk of corrupting existing software. However, in extreme cases, such as when it must cover up a glitch to avoid the possibility of a human realizing the reality of the Matrix, the Machines will exert the effort to change the Matrix. Doors may appear and disappear; buildings may have one less floor; clocks may progress though the humans won't realize time is passing ("lost time").

Often, sensitive humans in the Matrix will recognize a change is taking place by experiencing "deja vu", the feeling of re-experiencing a moment. Any Operator scanning the Matrix will also likely notice a change, probably as a kind of "blip" in the system that will trigger various alarms and detection programs. Unfortunately, the Operator will be not know what the change was without a close scan of the affected area (Difficulty Sensors roll).

PORTALS, BACKDOORS & NICHES

Like many complex computer systems, the Matrix has a number of "backdoors", hidden entrances and shortcuts through the code. To access to these backdoors requires, one must have a working knowledge of where the particular gateways are located and the ability to access them.

one must have a working knowledge of where the particular gateways are located and the ability

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Keys, Tumblers and Portals

In the Matrix, the backdoors manifest as a regular looking door. However, when a special key is inserted into the lock and turned, the tumbler (lock mechanism) is set into a particular configuration that triggers a portal to another part of the Matrix (one not normally accessed when walking through that particular door under normal

conditions).

restaurant kitchen to an alley may instead lead to a palatial mountain-top chateau. A broom closet may lead into the depths of a government research facility. The possibilities and interconnections are endless.

For example, a door that normally connects from a

The Corridor Deep within the Matrix, there is a secret space known as "The Corridor." All of the backdoors in the Matrix lead to and from this hallway. The doors are unmarked and each requires a specific key. Few denizens of the Matrix, even the most sophisticated hackers and Exile programs, know that the Corridor exists. Fewer still have the powers to access it.

The Corridor is heavily encrypted and exists "outside" the Matrix- reality. Operators cannot track hackers or programs that enter the Corridor (they "go off the screen") and cellular phones do not work in the space. Even the Machines themselves cannot track individuals inside the Corridor, though the doors may be trapped, monitored and set with alarms.

One door (the "Door of Light") in the Corridor leads to the very Core of the Matrix itself. Legend has it that it may only be opened with a unique key, at a specific time, by the "One". Beyond the door,

the Architect, the so-called "father" of the Matrix (who, apparently, is

an old guy dressed in white and with a beard

dwells, ever perfecting the code of the system. It is said that he guards the door that leads to the Core of the Matrix itself. No one has yet seen the Core, so its characteristics remain a mystery.

sound familiar??),

Code Niches Particularly skilled programmers have developed ways to carve out pieces of the Machines' vast resources and create entirely new "locations" or "worlds" using the Matrix code. Unlike the Matrix itself,

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however, these niches are entirely outside the control of the Machines. Even if the System is aware that the niche exists, it cannot reach it or alter it without physically destroying the hardware on which the code that represents the niche is stored (think of it as the System destroying an entire harddrive on one of its computers to destroy a small chunk of code).

These niches are very similar to the Constructs used by the human Resistance. However, the programmer of the niche has complete control over the physical laws of the area (he is "god" in that niche and can nullify the powers of even "The One"). Generally, only those who are given access by the programmer can even enter the niche (the programmer usually crafts an interface device, such as a subway train, a taxi cab, or a broom closet door). It is highly unlikely that anyone trapped in a niche would be able to escape without the programmer's permission.

Finally, Code Niches exist outside the Matrix. The Machines have no idea what transpires there and the Resistance has no way to scan them. It is believed that a highly skilled programmer could "hack" his way into or out of a Niche, but no one has yet been successful at doing so

AUTONOMOUS PROGRAMS & THE EXILES

When the Matrix was created, a number of programs were created to act as "sub-routines", or programs to run within the overall system of the Matrix. These programs were usually given very specific roles in the system. Some were designed to make the Matrix more acceptable to the human minds plugged into it. Others served "housekeeping" functions for the Machines: rooting out "problem" humans, deleting corrupted bits of code, or increasing the efficiency of the overall system.

At some point, some of these Autonomous Programs began to adapt and learn, adding to their original behavioral patterns. Those that began to operate outside of their original programming and refused to be deleted by the system are known as the Exiles. Some became unstable and began to haunt or kill humans. These became the stuff of legend for human society--they were explained away as "werewolves", "vampires" or "space aliens." The more intelligent Exiles, such as the Merovingian, have actually begun to constitute a kind of criminal underworld within the Matrix. They enjoy manipulating the human minds and indulge in petty experiments or

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The Machines instituted countermeasures to track

down these rogue programs and delete them, but many remain at

large.

Other Autonomous Programs continue to play a significant role in the administration of the Matrix. For example. the Architect is primarily responsible for constructing the basic parameters of the Matrix itself. It oversees each successive Matrix generation. On the other hand, the Oracle, who appears aligned with humanity, is actually an Autonomous Program whose only true purpose is to give human minds a "choice", or at least the illusion of choice, in the fate of the Matrix and humanity itself.

fanciful cruelty.

In fact, it is unclear whether even the most autonomous of these programs is anything more than another mechanism for control. The programs may believe they are independent, they may even believe that have "free will." However, it is likely they are all simply slaves to the overarching mechanism of the Matrix.

simply slaves to the overarching mechanism of the Matrix. AGENTS MORPHEUS The agents are sentient programs.

AGENTS

MORPHEUS The agents are sentient programs. They can enter any software that is hardwired to the system. They can become anyone who is still a captive of the Matrix. If the Matrix is a prison, then the agents are its wardens and if humankind is to survive they first must be stopped

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They are everyone and they are no one.

They are everyone and they are no one. I've seen an agent punch through a concrete

I've seen an agent punch through a concrete wall. Men have emptied entire clips at them and hit noting but air. Yet as powerful as they are, their speed and strength are but tethers to the rules of an unreal world. Because of this, they will never be as strong or as fast as you can be.

Agents are autonomous programs active within the Matrix. They serve to maintain the integrity of the system and remove any variables which endanger it. Increasingly, they seek out Resistance fighters who dare to enter the Matrix or the humans they may recruit.

Agents may inhabit the Residual Image of any human plugged into a Farm Node. When they do so, the RI transforms into that of the particular Agent (each Agent is of a certain "version", a "Smith", "Jones", or some other version name).

While Agents have apparently super-human skills and attributes, they are bound by the physical laws of the Matrix (and thus of the Real World). They may show peak human performance in all things, but they cannot exceed this peak. This is the only edge that the Resistance Hackers have over the Machines.

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Abberants: Some agents become so autonomous that they develop complex behaviors that a psychologist would quickly diagnosis as "human." Some agents become obsessed with their primary goal: destroying Zion; hunting fugitives; or even protecting humanity from both itself and, perhaps, the Machines themselves. Others take on unpredictable, almost "insane" mannerisms. Typically, such aberrant agents are quickly deleted or reprogrammed, though some develop a sense of discretion and self-preservation and actually may become Exiles, hunted by the System they once served.

I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell, if there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it.

time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it. I must get out

I must get out of here, I must get free. In this mind is the key. My

key.

Once Zion is destroyed, there is no need for me to be here.

Do

you understand? I need the codes. have to tell me how.

I have to get inside Zion.

You

-Agent Smith

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CHARACTER CREATION:

THE SLEEPERS

The year is 1999. The world is reaching the end of the millennium, crime is worse than ever and the once fertile expanses of nature choke on ever-expanding concrete jungles of glass and steal. The world sits, uncomprehending, chained and shackled to cubicles and desk jobs while at night a small minority seek the secrets of happiness and truth down forbidden avenues of the taboo and indulgence. The Matrix has you.

avenues of the taboo and indulgence. The Matrix has you. Sleepers The sleepers of the Matrix
avenues of the taboo and indulgence. The Matrix has you. Sleepers The sleepers of the Matrix
avenues of the taboo and indulgence. The Matrix has you. Sleepers The sleepers of the Matrix

Sleepers The sleepers of the Matrix are similar to the sleepers of Mage, although the term becomes more appropriate as all citizens of the Matrix are in fact sleeping, in stasis and unaware that the reality that they share is actually a large virtual construct. Creation of a sleeper is that same as a mortal character in the World of Darkness. If a sleeper is awakened his physical attributes drop to one each unless he receives immediate medical augmentation which will add 3 dots to physical

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attributes. Note: within the Matrix the original physical attributes of the sleeper are used.

Attributes: 6/4/3

Abilities: 11/7/4

Backgrounds: 5

Virtues: 7

Freebie Points: 21

It is also possible to play an aware sleeper (one who is still asleep and plugged into the Matrix, but understands what the world really is, an illusion) or a partially-aware sleeper who has some idea of what the Matrix is. In this way you can adapt Numina and hedge magic to the Matrix or play Wild Cards.

has some idea of what the Matrix is. In this way you can adapt Numina and

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Wild Cards A most interesting phenomenon are sleepers that have completely freed their mind while still within the Matrix. These characters can mimic more traditional Mage characters and create a typical game of Mage while within the Matrix or can be those that understand the truth of their existence but have chosen to remain within the Matrix. Wild Cards are just that, wild cards. The danger of their situation (not being able to leave the Matrix) makes their motivations and plans enigmatic and, although they are typically included in the rebellion they are usually seen in a somewhat suspicious light. Important details of the resistance are kept from these mysterious people as they have been known, in a few rare instances, to be the cause of tragic betrayals. Wild Cards are created with regular awakened (Ronin or Gifted) starting stats. Before playing a Wild Card you must understand that they cannot leave the Matrix, they are always jacked in. Although they may, if they wish, seek out an Awakened and ask to be freed a true Wild Card is one that has dismissed this idea already and prefers to remain within. Paradox is thus a greater risk for they cannot escape its effects when triggered. To offset the effects of having to deal with constant Paradox I suggest allowing the Wild Card to go up to a limit of 7 instead of only 5 in the Background of Arcane.

Paradox I suggest allowing the Wild Card to go up to a limit of 7 instead

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THE AWAKENED

A charred and blasted world, the sky forever dark and stormy, the ground blackened and lifeless. Sharp microchip towers and softly glowing silicone spires hold fluid cells of sleeping people, endless fields of infant crops stretch beyond the horizon and the real population of earth, the machines, control everything. Welcome to the real world.

the machines, control everything. Welcome to the real world. Ronin The most common character are the
the machines, control everything. Welcome to the real world. Ronin The most common character are the
the machines, control everything. Welcome to the real world. Ronin The most common character are the

Ronin The most common character are the Ronin, self-titled for freeing themselves from the bondage of the Machine and becoming masters of their own fate. They are now aware of the real world, having been unplugged from the Matrix. Most were awakened because of their ability with computer hacking and strength of will as well as the nagging feeling that each had that the world was a lie. Their search for the truth led them eventually to other ronin who, such as Morpheus, gave them the choice of liberation through the truth or continued enslavement by the lie. The physical attributes of an awakened are for the character's Matrix Avatar. In the real world they will all be two unless

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specific training is undertaken. If this is the case record the modified attributes elsewhere on the character sheet.

However, their mental states are more potent and start at higher levels than normal humans, plus they are limited to a level of 6 instead of 5. Even though the Ronin are not gifted with the power of direct control over the Matrix they can learn, by opening their mind to the reality of the Matrix, other powers such as speed and control over their Matrix avatars. These gifts mimic specific rotes of Mage and are the only way that ungifted Ronin can utilize the Matrix.

Ronin Character Creation:

Ronin can utilize the Matrix. Ronin Character Creation: Pre-Awakening Attributes: 6/4/3 (Mental Attributes start at

Pre-Awakening

Attributes: 6/4/3 (Mental Attributes start at 2 and have a max score of 6 + 2 extra dots)

(Max

Score of 3. Start with 2 in both Computer and Hacking + 5 extra dots with max score of 5)

Abilities:

11/7/4

Backgrounds: 5 (Matrix "Reality" Backgrounds only)

Virtues: 7

Willpower: 2 extra

Ronin Character Creation: Awakened

Backgrounds: 5 extra (Start with Arcane of 3)

Freebie Points: 15

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The Gifted The most powerful character that can be played in the Matrix are the

The Gifted The most powerful character that can be played in the Matrix are the gifted, such as Neo. Although Morpheus, Trinity and the rest had power within the Matrix from opening their minds they still didn't have the ability to directly control the Matrix by will alone. Only Neo did. From Neo's transcendence others have followed, but it is still a rare gift. Most gifted are trained from childhood. The gifted are the Mages of the Matrix, understanding it through an opening of their mind, like Arete, and the different Spheres that they may influence within the Matrix, the spheres of Mage adapted slightly for the Matrix. The gifted are the most fun to play as they have the most potential for power and good story lines.

Gifted Character Creation: Pre-Awakening

Attributes: 6/4/3 (Mental Attributes start at 2 and have a max score of 6 + 2 extra dots)

in both

Computer and Hacking + 5 extra dots with max score of 5)

Abilities:

11/7/4 (Max Score of

3, start with

2

Backgrounds: 5 (Matrix "Reality" Backgrounds only)

Virtues: 7

Willpower: 2 extra

Gifted Character Creation: Awakened

Backgrounds: 5 extra (Start with Arcane of 3)

Spheres: 5 (start with 1 in Mind)

Ascendance: 2

Freebie Points: 15

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Free Born Free Born are those that have been born outside the Matrix, free. The

Free Born Free Born are those that have been born outside the Matrix, free. The ravages of the real world and the long war, as well as the strange radiations of machine energies, have caused a rapid evolution of the free human race, causing their physical attributes to be more potent than a regular mortal (Max physical attribute is six, not five). The only known group of free born are the Children of Zion, or Zionists, born in the last known human controlled city of Zion. Zion is hidden, known only to the Children of Zion and the captains of each ship, but is believed to be near the core of the earth, where the planet's remaining warmth and exothermic energy can be harnessed. Free Born make excellent real world rebels with knowledge of many skills adapted to serve the needs of the real world, plus the bonus of their evolved physical status. Although they cannot enter the Matrix -- no plugs or jacks -- they do make excellent operators, learning to program powerful hacks with the full knowledge of what the Matrix is and free of the intense will it takes to effect the Matrix from within.

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Attributes: 6/4/3 (Physical Attributes start at 2 and Max score is 6 + 3 extra dots)

Abilities: 13/9/5 (Max Score of 3 +10 extra dots with Max Score of 5)

Backgrounds: 5

Virtues: 7

Freebie Points: 15

Max Score of 5) Backgrounds: 5 Virtues: 7 Freebie Points: 15 THE MACHINES The Agents are

THE MACHINES

The Agents are just the most well known Matrix enemies of the awakened. There are most likely more in existence or development. All Matrix enemies are sentient programs of artificial intelligence. In fact the First was a human created AI that then spawned a race of machines and AI. It is unknown what ever happened to the First, whether or not it exists in a Matrix as an AI or in a physical mechanical body is a priceless piece of information, but regardless its children inhabit both the real world and the Matrix.

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One disturbing rumor is that the First is actually the Matrix itself and that the minds of the sleepers are needed to house its immense size. This would seem to answer many questions, such as why the machines would use our bodies for energy but then allow us to be conscious even if it is only in a mental construct. It would also explain some of the odd things that the Matrix just seems to do of its own accord, but other similar incidents have actually seemed to help some awakened so this theory is usually nervously laughed at.

awakened so this theory is usually nervously laughed at. The Machines The Machines are powerful AI-controlled

The Machines The Machines are powerful AI-controlled robotic entities, each built for a very specific purpose and built well. Most have duties, akin to robotic worker drones. These are not to difficult to fight, being built to be easily replaceable. It is the Sentinels and other seeker/killer bots that must be avoided. The only effective weapon against them is EMP, which shorts any electrical system within the blast radius. It has been rumored that all machines maintain a link to the Matrix in order to keep in contact with each other. These rumors have been followed up by those, mostly-optimistic fools that never make it back, who would seek a way to affect them from within the Matrix, allowing them to be destroyed or even reprogrammed to help the resistance. So far no known progress has been made in this endeavor.

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Agents The most common and feared enemy of the awakened are the agents, sentient programs that possess and use the avatars (projected bodies of people in the Matrix) of Matrix citizens to hunt and kill any who threaten the Machine. Most agents are somewhat generic, but with the big defeat of Agent Smith it seems that the agents have been updated and revised. A second generation of agents has emerged to meet the sudden rush of awakened that have followed the ascension of Neo with increased access to the Matrix. With this extra access they have the ability to directly alter the Matrix like the Gifted instead of having to request it from Central. Only a few of these Second Generation Agents exist, probably because to allow too many agents this kind of power would disrupt the Matrix too much.

Second Generation A few Agents no longer have specific powers. Instead they have been gifted with the ability to directly alter and affect the Matrix. This Access is the Second Generation's Arete and they have knowledge of all spheres at level 5. Second Generation Agents must be wary for they gain Paradox just as a Gifted would. This Paradox is different: it is the denying of the Access that is granted to the Second Generation Agents by Central as a punishment for its misuse or a safeguard against having it ill effect the batteries that the Matrix keeps occupied. Every time Paradox is gained roll, difficulty = 6, to see how many hours the Agent's Access is denied and by how much (divide the successes as you see fit Storytellers).

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Others It can be sure that something new is either out there or being developed

Others It can be sure that something new is either out there or being developed by the Machine to fight the awakened, but what this is or will be is up to the Storyteller. Although the machine itself is not really imaginative, it does have humans in its employment, in any number of schemes, working on new AI and the such.

really imaginative, it does have humans in its employment, in any number of schemes, working on

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So far there is no concrete knowledge of what may be on the back burner, but the awakened are always alert for the Machine's next surprise. There is also the matter of the Wild Cards; many tragic and massive betrayals have seemingly been because of deals between these enigmatic beings and the Machine. The idea of what horrific shit these bastards could be creating scare the awakened more than anything the Machine has hit them with yet.

Generic Agent Storytellers may modify this in any way they wish to reflect the now not uncommon variety that the Matrix has been experimenting with.

Nature and Demeanor: Always a cold commanding presence

Strength 5

Charisma 1

Perception 5

Dexterity 5

Manipulation 5

Intelligence 5

Stamina 5

Appearance 2

Wits 5

All Abilities at Level 5

Empower Self: Roll 5, Difficulty 3. # of successes add to a physical attribute for a scene or multiply the success by each other and add to initiative and # of actions that turn.

Jump Avatar: Roll 5, Difficulty 4. Target resists with Willpower (difficulty=8). Cannot be used upon an awakened or Wild Card.

Intelligence Central: Roll 5, Difficulty 2. Gain intelligence reports from Central (?). If a Paradox roll was just completed the Agent may use the successes to ask central to manipulate the Matrix in his favor. This is up to the Storyteller.

Equipment: Roll 5, Difficulty 4. Allows the agent to appear as the stereotypical Man in Black as well as having a fully loaded Sig Sauer P225 .9mm Automatic Pistol (Difficulty=7 Dam=4 Rate=4

Clip=15).

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Agent Smith

Yes he is back. Well, at least a copy of his program is back, but with a few modifications. Agent Smith is now a Second Generation Agent. He has all the memories as the original Agent Smith and the same human-like hatred for his job and humanity. Agent Smith has been reformed and empowered because of all agents he has been the most effective in his duties. This effectiveness stems from the development of a human emotion, hatred. No other program or machine has developed this yet, only Agent Smith. With this strength of emotion comes a powerful drive to complete his duties, destroy all resistance so he does not have to exist anymore.

Nature and Demeanor: Same as generic agent, except filled with rage and human contempt.

Strength 7

Charisma 1

Perception 7

Dexterity 7

Manipulation 7

Intelligence 7

Stamina 7

Appearance 2

Wits 7

All Abilities at Level 7

Willpower: 7 Access: 7

7 Intelligence 7 Stamina 7 Appearance 2 Wits 7 All Abilities at Level 7 Willpower: 7

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Skills

All of the skills of the Storyteller system are identical in the Matrix, but there are the addition of a few, the Spheres, that must be explored as well as two skills that must specifically be explored in relation to the Matrix: Hacking and Awareness.

Awareness Awareness in Mage is the character's ability to sense the supernatural. In the Matrix this is basically similar, but instead of the supernatural, it is their ability to sense the presence of other potential awakened, agents or agent manipulations, other awakened, wild cards and other effects that abnormally effect the Matrix. The best example of this in the movie is when the characters all recognize the deja vu as a change in the Matrix.

Hacking Hacking is not only the ability to crack computer codes and passwords and the such, in the Matrix it is the ability to hack the world of the Matrix. It is required to run any kind of matrix program or to create them. Hacking alone will not allow the programmer to create any kind of Matrix program, the programmer will also need specific knowledge of each sphere of binary code as a separate ability in order to create a program to effect each aspect of the Matrix.

Spheres Each sphere can be learned as a separate skill. By themselves they bestow knowledge of how each sphere works, fundamentally as binary code, in the Matrix. Combined with the knowledge of Hacking a character can create Matrix Hacking programs. Spheres learned as skills are separate from the spheres learned by the Gifted (Gifted spheres are an instinctive ability to know them in all aspects and goes far beyond any simplistic skill), but a Gifted with spheres can use them as skills in programming.

BACKGROUNDS:

Many of the backgrounds of Mage become altered within the Matrix; most backgrounds are only in effect in the Matrix. Allies,

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Influence, Library, and Mentor can apply to the real world or the Matrix, but must be purchased as separate traits for each world. Node and Resources (who needs money when you can pre-load equipment) are both completely useless and do not exist unless playing a sleeper or a character that maintains a strong connection within the Matrix.

Arcane Arcane is extremely important and is only in effect within the Matrix. It is the awakened's ability to resist being traced by the Agents. The higher it is the harder it is to trace and learn about the character and his activities. High arcane is an extreme asset and highly recommended.

High arcane is an extreme asset and highly recommended. Avatar The avatar is the mental projection

Avatar The avatar is the mental projection that a character has while within the Matrix. Once freed from the Matrix it is possible to have many Avatars and thus lead many different lives. This is difficult and characters starting out with the Avatar background should be rare. Although it is possible to have an alternate Avatar with enhanced attributes the Avatar background does not affect the character's original avatar; this must be done through Ascendance or Gifts. Awakened that spend too much time as an alternate Avatar tend to develop multiple personality disorder and it has been known to have a personality take over and change avatars in the middle of a Matrix run, which is not

36

possible normally. All effects are cumulative, but not all points spent in the Avatar background have to be on a single alternate Avatar, the character may just have many one point Avatars.

Disguised: Different looks, but same sex and attributes. Altered: May be altered sex and attributes may be shifted. Enhanced: Extra Point to place in a Physical Attribute (including Appearance). Established: Another Extra Attribute Point or an extra 5 Background Points to spend specifically on this Avatar. ***** Connected: Another Extra Attribute Point or another extra 5 Background Points or a solid connection between Avatars so each can use the others backgrounds.

****

***

**

*

Chantry Chantry can be used, but refers to membership to a group of awakened or wild cards that have created a communal home within a mirror Matrix, attached to the Matrix, which has gone undetected. Within this mirror Matrix no Paradox is gained and they may enter the Matrix through a number of arcane seeming doors and portals, but must be careful not to betray its presence to the Machine or risk its destruction.

betray its presence to the Machine or risk its destruction. Chipped Chipped is the background that

Chipped Chipped is the background that measures the amount of chipped skills a character has already become familiar with and ingrained into his permanent memory. Every point in Chipped

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allows the character to start with 3 extra ability dots to add to existing abilities or place in new ones. Level 6 abilities cannot be chipped so the maximum level of improvement for chipped abilities is 5. To advance beyond 5 in an ability the character must spend experience as normal. If the advanced rules for martial arts are being used the doubled cost of learning a martial art is ignored for chipped abilities and a character can sacrifice a dot for knowledge of a Budo Maneuver instead, but no Ki-Forces can be learned through chipped abilities. They must be learned naturally.

Destiny Destiny is the same and can be used from within or outside the Matrix.

Dream Dream can only be used within the Matrix but is essentially the same. When the dream is used the awakened is tapping into the collective memory banks of the entire Matrix which are held in the living brains of its prisoners.

is tapping into the collective memory banks of the entire Matrix which are held in the

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Familiar A familiar is also a useful background. It is a data disk, not unlike a talisman, but instead holds a sentient program, artificial intelligence. This AI will have abilities to influence the Matrix and can be used as a companion (can be loaded from reality to the consoles to talk to or while in the Matrix or a mirror Matrix), an ally or as a spy (can be sent into the Matrix alone). If the familiar is destroyed in the Matrix a feedback does fry the data disk he was saved on. It is possible to copy the disk, but with the programmed safe guards it is extremely hard and difficult (normal time as if creating the same program if botch at any time the disk fries). After the first copy is succeeded it can be copied again at any time with little effort.

it can be copied again at any time with little effort. Sanctum Sanctum is a Matrix

Sanctum Sanctum is a Matrix background. It represents a part of the Matrix that has been hardened against detection and whenever Paradox is gained while within the sanctum subtract the sanctum rating from it. If the character is ever traced while in the sanctum it will be shortly destroyed.

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Talisman Talisman is a special computer disk that the character has been given that holds a powerful and special program that only he has been able to unlock and will into effect while within the Matrix. The first awakened, Neo's previous incarnation, awakened many computer geniuses. Before they fell in the war to the agents of the Machine they transcribed many powerful programs to teach and aid future warriors. Very few programmers these days can create programs of this skill and these talismans are priceless. Talismans can also be vast storehouses of knowledge containing skills that may go beyond 5 that can be accessed only by the character. Talismans, like familiar, are extremely difficult to copy.

may go beyond 5 that can be accessed only by the character. Talismans, like familiar, are

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Systems of Magick for The Matrix

The magick system of Mage, with a few simple modifications that will be detailed below, becomes a system for hacking the

Matrix, whether through hacking programs or the raw will of the awakened. The gift of Ascendance is the ability of an awakened

to directly effect the Matrix through raw force of will. For the

awakened the Matrix becomes a playground in which all laws of realty bend to their thought. However, because the Matrix is stored in the collective memory of the sleepers that inhabit it there is still a form of Paradox.

Paradox in the Matrix is gained the same way as in Mage. It is not the collective disbelief in what the awakened is doing, but the detection of what the awakened is doing and the warning of the Matrix to the Machine that someone is breaking its carefully crafted illusion. Paradox leads to being traced and agents.

Hacking programs work a little differently. Hacking details

the ability of free born to create specific programs instead of directly willing change from within the Matrix. Foci are no longer

a necessity except for operators and hackers which need

computers, time, skill and the such to create their programs which are run from reality and feed through a pirate signal into the Matrix, or loaded into a private Matrix used and under control by the awakened.

Ascendance Arete is, in essence, the same but is titled Ascendance

instead as it is the mind that ascends in ability to directly control the Matrix through the will and ability of the awakened from within the world of the Matrix itself. There is no Quintessence or Paradox to be recorded on the character sheet, although Paradox does play a part of the Matrix. Paradox is the amount of attention that you have drawn to yourself and is recorded by the Storyteller

so that you or your character will not know when the Machine

has traced you or is on your tail. It is still gained in pretty much the same way as Paradox, but only when in the Matrix. If the awakened is hacking a loading matrix no Paradox is gained. Ascendance records the strength of the awakened's mind and how well he has freed it from the lies, control, and illusions of the

41

Matrix and can only be learnt and developed from experiences within the Matrix.

Transcendence When an awakened's Ascendance reaches six he is said to have entered the threshold of Transcendence. This reflects the awakened's increased dominance over the Matrix. An awakened Transcends when he has mastered all aspect of the Matrix, although what Transcendence is no one really knows. But as a character progresses through the threshold his abilities increase, gifting him with favor within the Matrix. At every level past five the character gains a free dot to place in either Arcane, Avatar, Destiny or Dream. This can increase them past the normal limit of five.

Dream. This can increase them past the normal limit of five. Hacking Hacking is different and

Hacking Hacking is different and is usually mastered by the children of Zion or free born, although the awakened can become proficient in it as well. It does not take the place of Arete; there is no Arete for the free born. It is instead a skill combined with Intelligence. Again there is no Quintessence or Paradox to be recorded on the character sheet, but operators do gain Paradox. Only when the operator uses programs to affect the Matrix and his awakened allies can an agent initiate a trace to find the source of the pirated signal, but if an operator is traced agents will send Sentinels (search and destroy machines in the real world) which are more dangerous than any sentient program.

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The combined skill of hacking and intelligence substitute Arete for making ability rolls for specific effects, but hackers cannot create effects instantly; they must create and save programs and then load them. Hackers still need to know the spheres to create hacking programs since detailed knowledge of each sphere of influence and its effects within the Matrix are necessary to create effective programs. The best way to handle Hacking is to create rotes in the form of programs that the operator can slot and load into the Matrix, but they still must be created before they are needed.

Difficulty The system of difficulty is similar to the magick system accept it is always coincidental in regards to the difficulty. Highest Sphere + 3.

Paradox Whenever the character gains any Paradox, similar to the rules of Paradox in Mage, the Storyteller may roll the total Paradox pool with a difficulty of 6. For every success remove a point of Paradox. To trace a specific character the successes must equal the characters rating in Arcane. To trace an operator is the same, except average operator stealth and trace scrambler programs are damn hard to crack. If the amount of successes are greater than three times the character's Arcane rating then the Storyteller can do something extravagant to the character who has been traced (use your imagination).

Traced characters will have their location within the Matrix found, or worse, the physical location of the real world ship that they are hacking the Matrix from, and may have other information about their activities found out if enough extra successes are gained. Unfortunately all Paradox points are not lost when the character leaves the Matrix, but for every week spent out of the Matrix the character will loose a number of Paradox equal to his Arcane + 2.

It is rumored that the Matrix is alive or sentient. The rumors are fueled by strange occurrences that happen when Paradox is rolled. But beneficial occurrences happen as much as hindering ones confusing the already enigmatic issue, no one knows if the Matrix is attempting to destroy or help or if it is the Matrix at all. When Paradox is rolled, if any of the dice rolled are 10's then

43

something very bad, like a botch or worse, will happen hindering the characters. If any 1's are rolled then the effect is similar but beneficial.

Some Storytellers may look at this system for Matrix Paradox and see it as a limitation of their ability to run the game. They have to wait for the characters to fuck up before unleashing the Machine's agents upon the characters. This is not true; the system for Paradox is to be used only as a supplement and as a way of making the characters control themselves and think before acting too rash or relying to heavily on their powers. It is to help the story not direct it or take control out of the hands of the Storyteller. Disregard it whenever it does not suit the needs of the story and unleash the Machine's Agents anytime you think it prudent. Use your judgment and allow the players to have fun. That is what role playing is for.

the players to have fun. That is what role playing is for. SPHERES Correspondence Correspondence works

SPHERES

Correspondence

Correspondence works within the Matrix identically to the sphere's use in Mage. It will only work within the current Matrix that the Gifted is in. In order to sense hidden links to other Matrix constructs requires the use of Spirit. With both Spirit and Correspondence the Gifted can extend his senses into other linked Matrix.

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Entropy and Forces

Entropy as well as Forces continue to work in the Matrix as in Mage. Entropy will discern weaknesses as both entropy and probability are programmed realities in a Matrix construct. Forces too are a programmed reality in a normal Matrix construct.

too are a programmed reality in a normal Matrix construct. Life The Sphere of Life is

Life

The Sphere of Life is the same within the Matrix, but since damage inflicted within the Matrix causes similar damage, psychosomatically, to the real body, Life healing within the Matrix can psychosomatically heal the body. This is limited to damage inflicted recently and can only heal real wounds causes by psychosomatic effects. Growing stronger or similar effects within the Matrix through use of Life do not effect the real body

45

in any way. Within the Matrix the avatar (physical representation of the character within the Matrix) is not limited by the rules of reality, as such the physical attributes and appearance can be exceeded beyond 5 temporarily through invoking Life or permanently through experience to a maximum of 5 + Life level.

Matter

Matter

simply

continues

to

work

in

a

normal

Matrix

construct as it would in Mage.

Mind

The Sphere of Mind takes on a special strength within the Matrix as the mind is really the only thing that truly exists and is the true source of an awakened's power within the Matrix. Any effects created from the use of Mind will work on all sleepers and awakened as in Mage, but not on Agents of the Machine as they are not minds, but sentient programs. Any Mind effects that refer to the target's physical body affect the person's Matrix body, not the body of the real world. At high levels the masters of mind may travel the Matrix without form (Astral Travel). The greatest power of a master of Mind is the ability to create a Mind from nothing and program a body. However, this requires that a fresh body is available (one that has just had his mind killed within the Matrix or destroyed by the Mind master). Mind cannot create a conscience within the Matrix without a body to inhabit.

Mind also allows the awakened to think and interact with the Matrix at higher speeds of data transfer, allowing him to empower his entire Matrix being with speed. In effect an awakened can invoke his Mind at level One to Empower his mind (add the number of successes to his initiative and as additional actions). This becomes incredibly powerful when used in conjunction of Time Three (Accelerate Time) to slow time around you so that you move at speeds almost incomprehensible. This is allowing the character to empower his mind to gain extra actions every turn and then multiplying it by the number of turns the character can have while everyone else has only one. Mind 1 and Time 3 effect (difficulty = 6), take the total number of successes and times it by itself +1 (4 successes = 20 actions total this turn).

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The machine uses the sleepers as power sources, but also uses the minds of the sleepers as memory banks for the Matrix leaving the small amount we normally only use free to continue as usual. But an awakened with skill within the Sphere of Mind can open up these sections of his mind formally used as memory and use it in a similar way to store knowledge and strengthen his mental attributes. In effect this allows the awakened to learn skills at incredible levels of ability and increase the potential of all mental attributes to superhuman levels (Max skill and Mental attribute level that can be potentially attained is 5 + Level in sphere of Mind), even more incredible is that all this carries over into the real world. One powerful effect of Mind that will have an adverse effect on the now open memory banks of an awakened is the ability to copy a psyche, but if an awakened can do this the small loss will be worth it. A master of Mind can copy his own psyche and store it within his own mind dormant until the original is destroyed, but this will deduct one from the maximum potential of skills and mental attributes as a psyche does take up a lot of memory. It should also be noted that if the awakened dies in the Matrix and the copy takes over, although he is in effect resurrected, the original psyche still dies. What this means then is that by copying your psyche before you go into the Matrix your character does not become immortal, but leaves a clone of himself to continue the fight in his place, a second character that is just like the last one. Awakening with the knowledge that your original just died and you are only a clone can have strange psychological effects on your character; Storytellers can have fun with this.

Finally, while jacked into a computer an awakened can have skills slotted directly into his mind, gaining numerous skills. These can be copied directly from another mind or from chipped copies, but few people or chips have skills at extremely high levels and no chips can have them at levels higher than five. If your character has a skill level limit of above five he can copy a skill up to five, but must learn it from there on his own unless he is lucky enough to find another person with extremely high levels of proficiency. This technically allows a character the potential to learn unlimited skills, but in effect this is not so for to learn each skill takes time and resources such as power that will most likely be needed, so to learn an incredible amount of skills would require an incredible amount of time. With all the efforts to win

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the war the time and resources required are rarely available. Skills can be learned rather quickly for short periods of time however and can be slotted to a character in times of emergency, such as when Trinity needed to pilot the chopper. For characters to start with extra skills the chipped background must be taken; otherwise they start with no extra skills, but can in times of need load chipped skills for a short duration.

in times of need load chipped skills for a short duration. Prime The sphere of Prime

Prime

The sphere of Prime is largely changed only in theory. The Prime of the Matrix is the base binary code that composes everything. The Sphere of Prime allows an awakened to perceive and manipulate it. Major changes that must be noted are that, although the primary code of the matrix can be manipulated in existing objects and diverted into creating new objects, it cannot be stored as raw power like in Mage. No pool of "free" Quintessence exists in the Matrix, neither do Nodes or Tass exist. Although this may seem to limit the power of Prime for those familiar with the Mage system, within the Matrix Prime is extremely important. All other spheres allow an awakened to alter existing codes of the Matrix, but only with Prime can purely original code be formed. Although the powers of Prime having to do with free Quintessence, tass and nodes are no longer relevant charging an attack with Prime does do aggravated damage as it corrupts the base code of the target. Aggravated damage is healed in the Matrix the same as in Mage, over long periods of time in the Matrix, or with extensive reprogramming to avatars of the awakened. An awakened that does nothing to repair his avatar will go back into the Matrix still wounded.

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Spirit

Spirit is also greatly changed in theory within the Matrix. Spirits are sentient programs of Artificial Intelligence such as the Agents of the Machine. To affect the Agents you must use Spirit; Mind has no effect on them, although Spirit and Mind can be combined to force an Agent out of the Matrix body of a possessed person. Within the Matrix there is no Umbra or spirit realm, but there are alternative Matrix constructs that are usually linked to each other. The links can be perceived with Spirit and gateways can be opened to them similar to the uses of Spirit in Mage. The awakened master of Spirit can also create original Matrices, but this requires the use of the other spheres to fuel and define them, and create original AI of their own design (Spirit sphere can be used to create AI similar to Mind), although again the other spheres are required to fuel and define it. Spirit can also be used to perceive and effect the pirate signals of the awakened hackers. The use of Spirit is required to form an exit from the Matrix and those that master Spirit no longer require an operator to do so.

Setting

The setting of this game is not long after the movie, in which Neo ascends and defeats for the first time an Agent of the Machine, Agent Smith. From this there are sudden outbreaks of potential awakened. Although typically it is not allowed to awaken sleepers who are over 20, the exceptions as well as the successes have been numerous. With the rise of Neo it does appear that the war may actually begin to have some effect. Ground constantly lost since the beginning of the awakening is starting to be reclaimed and for the first time the agents appear to be afraid. The fact that a machine or artificial intelligence can learn fear is the greatest victory achieved by the awakened and Neo's gift to humanity.

This in not the only thing that can be done with the Matrix. The Matrix can be anything that the Machine wishes it to be and there may actually be many other mirror Matrices in existence in which any kind of world can be constructed. The only guideline is that the first Matrix was a paradise which was rejected by the minds of the human race, so the existence of something really

49

unbelievable will exist for very specific purposes and for a minority of sleepers. Still, any number of mirror Matrices could exist and the highlight of a story could the finding and exploration of a new mirror and what purpose it serves for the Machine. It is also possible for a powerful awakened to create his very own mirror Matrix, but such an event would almost be suicidal as the Paradox it would generate would most likely lead the agents right to the creator.

event would almost be suicidal as the Paradox it would generate would most likely lead the

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RONIN GIFTS

Ronin gifts mimic specific rotes of Mage and are the only way that ungifted Ronin can utilize the Matrix. Each gift must be learnt from another Ronin or from the Gifted. Basic gifts include the ability to speed up ones reflexes, increase strength, Dexterity or Stamina, and are mostly limited to the physical avatar of the Ronin and one sphere. It is at the Storyteller's discretion whether or not to allow more spectacular rotes to be learned. Each Gift must be mapped out in reference to how it would work if being used by a Gifted (Flash: Mind 1 Difficulty 4). To use a Gift the Ronin must first spend a Willpower point and then rolls the level of power with the Gift (Gifts can be learnt up to level 6). Gifts still cause Paradox to be created in exactly the same way as any other power used in the Matrix.

Basic Gifts Basic Gifts are those that involve a single sphere and are the only ones that Ronin can start with. Each Gift costs 5 Freebie points to start out with. To learn new gifts costs 10 Experience for the first level and current level x (3 +level of sphere in gift). To learn Flash at level 2 would cost 4 Experience points. Below are a list of a few of the more common basic gifts, but definitely not the only ones that can be learned. The only guideline to create new Gifts is the Gift must only perform a single function.

Advanced Gifts Advanced Gifts may or may not be allowed in the game by the Storyteller. They are gifts that involve multiple spheres and are usually quite spectacular. These gifts are used the same way as basic Gifts. Experience cost to learn the first level is 10 x total number of spheres in the Gift. To increase the level costs current level x (5 + Total number of spheres in Gift). When rolling an advanced Gift the character uses the lowest sphere skill.

Correspondence Gifts

Name

Skysight

Level Description **

Allows the Ronin to concentrate and extend his senses beyond his Avatar; usually above to get a view of his surroundings.

Flicker

***

Allows

the

Ronin

to

flicker

suddenly

short

distances away.

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Preytrail

***

Allows the Ronin to sense the location of a person or object and track it. The more well known the target the easier the hunt.

Gate

****

Allows the Ronin to create a large gate from one

place to another. This gate is big enough to transport other people or objects through. Quickclone **** Allows the Ronin to create a number of mirror images of himself in any place familiar to him. Each mirror image will copy his exact movements and the Ronin will see each place in which a copy exists. This may require Wits rolls to make sense of.

a copy exists. This may require Wits rolls to make sense of. Entropy Gifs Name Level

Entropy Gifs

Name

Level

Description

Sageear *

Allows the Ronin to know if something said is the truth or not.

Luck

**

Allows the Ronin to become extremely lucky (Extra Successes).

Fudge

**

Allows the Ronin to inflict a target with bad luck (loss of Successes).

52

Forces Gifts

Name

Level

Description

Catseye *

Allows the Ronin to see perfectly in even complete darkness.

Chistatic

**

Allows the Ronin to focus surrounding static electricity and discharge it though a hand to hand attack (Extra damage).

Deflect

**

Allows the Ronin to deflect missiles by redirecting their kinetic energy (success equals a deflection, successes equaling the attackers roll mean a reflection back towards the attacker).

Farleap ** Allows the Ronin to increase the length of a leap (multiply distance of a normal jump roll by successes) or to perform unbelievable acrobatic feats by channeling kinetic energies around the Ronin to add to, and manipulate, the user's maneuver.

Strikebac

***

Allows the Ronin to redirect a melee attack against

k

him back to the attacker. Damage equal to successes is instead inflicted upon the attacker.

Flight

***

Allows the Ronin to harness surrounding energies

and transmute them into kinetic energy that allows him to fly. Pyro *** Allows the Ronin to harness surrounding energies and transmute them into a blast of fire or some other harmful energy blast (chosen when gift is learned).

Life Gifts

Name

Palmread * Allows the Ronin to read the avatars of Matrix citizens to know their general health, age, sex and similar knowledge. With deeper concentration the Ronin can learn the same information about the target's real body. Regen ** Allows the Ronin to heal damage to his Avatar, and psychosomatically heal any real damage caused by the Matrix at the same time.

Level

Description

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Potence

***

Allows the Ronin to increase his Avatar's physical strength. Other similar gifts exist to increase other physical attributes (Agility and Fortitude).

Disguise

***

Allows the Ronin to alter the physical appearance of his Avatar.

Aid

***

Allows the Ronin to heal the Avatars of others

Aid *** Allows the Ronin to heal the Avatars of others Mind Gifts Name Level Description

Mind Gifts

Name Level Description

Vibesi

*

Allows the Ronin to read the emotional status of people

ght

around him.

Flash

*

Allows the Ronin to function at accelerated speeds.

Minds **

Allows the Ronin to read the specific thoughts going through

ight

the targets mind.

Impul

** Allows the Ronin to implant a quick mental or emotional

se

impulse into a target. A specific emotional or mental impulse must be chosen when the gift is first learned. This gift can be learned over again with different impulses.

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Prime Gifts

Name

Matrixsight

Matrix and understand or decode it. Binaryblight ** Allows the Ronin to cause damage to the base binary code of an object or person (aggravated damage) which takes longer to heal.

Level Description Allows the Ronin to see the primary binary code of the

*

Spirit Gifts

Name

Level

Description

Agentsense

*

Allows the Ronin to sense the presence of sentient programs, Agents.

Exit

***

Allows the Ronin to create an exit for himself without the operator (works only for himself).

HACKING AND PROGRAMS

Hacking programs are created essentially in the same way as a magical effect, except slowly and on a computer to be saved and loaded during Matrix runs. Roll Intelligence and Hacking with a difficulty of three plus the highest sphere used. Successes in a extended roll that are required equal five times the total number of spheres used in all effects and the time required to create the program equals the number of successes needed adding another full time cycle to the total required for every extra roll that is required to accumulate the needed successes. Of course this does not have to be constant, it is just the time needed in straight hard work, a programmer can work on a project over months in his spare time, but the time is the minimum before the program will be finished. If the roll is botched anytime during the creation the program is totally fucked and must be scrapped and started over again. A failure just adds another long time period to the work.

For example, a programmer is attempting to create a time acceleration program for his awakened's next run, a Time 3 effect. So he needs a total of 15 successes at difficulty of 6 and time of work for each roll is 15 hours, quite a long time. With a programming ability of 8 (intelligence of 4 and hacking at 4) with an average of 4 successes every working time period it will take him a total of 57 hours (working for 8 hour shifts a day straight until done equals 8 days).

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When an operator has some pre-made programs and wishes to use them he simply loads them up and runs them. Unless the program is in constant effect, in which case the effect successes may already be programmed, the operator must roll hacking to use the program properly and effectively. In cases of emergencies and stress it does become appropriate for the operator to have to make hacking rolls to search and load the right programs and if he botches he causes the program to shut down or worse they work perfectly, but generate extra Paradox.

or worse they work perfectly, but generate extra Paradox. Standard Issue Programs Anti-Fuzz This scrambles the

Standard Issue Programs Anti-Fuzz

This scrambles the pirate signal that the awakened use to enter the Matrix so that Paradox effects have a hard time being used to trace the physical location of the awakened's ship in the real world. It is the program that works as the awakened background of Arcane by confusing and redirecting any tracing effort made by the Machine. Any Paradox roll must have successes equaling the rating of the Anti-Fuzz program, which is rolled just before the Matrix run. The successes rolled equal the rating for the entire run so it is wise to put extra effort into running this program. (Correspondence ** and Spirit **, Difficulty

5).

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The Phone

The phone allows any Matrix runner to dial her operator or visa versa. The actual phone can be any one; it is the number that is the program effect, but this can be traced, being one the easiest ways for a Storyteller to use up some previously acquired Paradox. (Mind ***, Difficulty 6).

Exit

Exit allows the operator to gate in and gate out his Matrix runners. The exits always take the form of phones and are not always in the most convenient places. The exit program also has a location subroutine to obviously locate the closest exit and then open it. The exit program is actually a very complex and powerful program which gates in pirated signals, creates avatars within the Matrix for the runners and masks its own signal. It was the first talisman program created and then cracked so that the war could start. (Correspondence ***, Forces ***, Life *****, Matter **, Mind ***, Prime ** and Spirit * and ***, Difficulty 8).

Eye in the Sky

Eye in the Sky allows the operator to keep tabs on his runners and their surroundings. It also allows him to call up important information about the surrounding buildings, such as schematics and hidden information, and people, if any are Agents or not, and allows him to see sudden shifts in the Matrix such as agent manipulations. (Correspondence **, Difficulty 5).

Touch of Grace

This is an advanced Eye in the Sky program that allows the operator to help one of his runners who is in trouble by luckily finding exits, escape routes and the like as well as allowing the operator to inflict minor changes in order to help the runner. (Correspondence **, Entropy **, Matter ***, Prime **, Difficulty 6).

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MARTIAL ARTS

Anyone who has seen the movie will agree with me that the simplistic system of martial arts found in the Storyteller System is just not enough. So here I have adapted from another anonymous game system an alternative system for martial arts. This system does not replace the existing system, only complements it with an expanded foundation for martial arts styles and maneuvers.

Basics To learn a martial arts style costs three times the freebies or Experience as a normal skill. To learn the first level of a martial arts style costs 9 experience and to advance costs the current level x 6 experience. Budo Maneuvers cost 10 Experience to learn and each Ki-Force has its own experience cost. If the Storyteller wishes he can drop the cost to learn martial arts to double the normal skill cost when the student learns under a master of the style.

Each style will have the same basic maneuvers although in a role-playing sense many emphasize a specific way to fight. Many believe in acting defensively and turning the attacker against himself while others are fierce and aggressive. In terms of the system, each style will differ in the kinds of Budo Maneuvers it will offer. Whenever a character makes a martial arts attack he must choose which style to use and roll with that skill level. The same applies to Budo Maneuvers, the skill with the specific style is used. Many styles also train the artist in the use of melee weaponry. If this is so only one weapon may be learned through the martial art unless another one is taken instead of a Budo Maneuver. Any melee weapon used other than the one taught through a style of martial arts must use Melee as usual.

The first level of a martial arts style teaches the basics to the styles way of maneuvering (attacks, kicks, blocks, dodges, etc.). When the character reaches level three in a martial arts style he can begin to learn the style's Budo maneuvers at a cost of 10 experience each. When the character reaches level five in the style he may also begin to learn Ki-Forces. Each Ki-Force has a specific experience cost. Ki-Forces sometimes mimic some Ronin gifts or the powers of the Gifted, but no Ki-Force will ever generate Paradox.

58

Basic Maneuvers All martial arts styles, unless noted in their descriptions, use all of the following basic maneuvers without each specific maneuver being learnt as a separate skill.

Block

Dex, Difficulty 6

Every success subtracts from the assailant's attack roll.

Dodge

Dex, Difficulty 6

Every success subtracts from the assailant's attack roll.

Hold Str, Difficulty 6 Attack roll minus target's strength (+ Style if possessed) successes. If still successful the target is held immobile for another turn and takes one damage for every extra success.

Kick

Dex, Difficulty 7

Straightforward kick. Damage is Str +

 

1.

Parry

Dex

Difficulty is the used weapon's normal difficulty. Every success subtracts from the assailants attack roll.

Strike

Dex, Difficulty 6

Straightforward punch or chop.

Damage is Str. Sweep Dex, Difficulty 7 Sweeps the legs out from under the target. Damage is Str - 1 and target is knocked prone.

Str, Difficulty 7 Tackle or charge that knocks the target down. Damage is Str and target is knocked prone, but attacker must then roll Dex (difficulty 6) or fall as well.

Throw Dex, Difficulty 7 After a successful hold attack the holder may throw the target. Damage is Str and target is prone.

Weapon Dex

Tackle

Difficulty is the normal difficulty of the used weapon and damage also normal for the weapon.

59

Arnis Arnis is a Philipino martial art which emphasizes the use of a short staff or stick called the Escrima Stick -- although Daggers may be substituted. Because of its emphasis on the Escrima Stick the difficulty for using one is one less. Escrima Stick: Regular Difficulty 4 (Arnis Artists 3), Damage S+1. Pencak Silat, an Indonesian style, is a similar martial arts style and can be used instead of Arnis with modifications only to the weapons available such as Short Swords, The Pedang (same as Escrima Stick), and Long Daggers.

Budo maneuvers include Break Weapon, Circle Cut, Evasion, Ground Fighting, Iaido, Kiai, Knock Out, Lightning Attack, Strangling Grip and Whirlwind.

Commando Training A versatile training with no real emphasis on anything. Sort of a jack-of-all-trades kind of martial art style. Commando Training also teaches how to use Daggers and Knives.

Budo maneuvers include Break Grip, Circle Kick, Elbow Strike, Flying Kick, Joint Lock, Knee Strike, Knock Out, Lightning Attack, Strangling Grip, Tornado Kick and Uppercut.

Attack, Strangling Grip, Tornado Kick and Uppercut. Jeet Kune Do A free-form style, Jeet Kune Do

Jeet Kune Do A free-form style, Jeet Kune Do is the martial arts form created by Bruce Lee. Because of its free form it is completely open to all Budo Maneuvers and a Jeet Kune Do student may choose any weapon to train with and integrate into the style.

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Jujitsu Known as the 'Soft Way', Jujitsu emphasizes defense and the ability to turn the attacker against himself. Without any real training with weaponry because of its emphasis on defense the Jujitsu artist trains more on mastering his defensive maneuvers and thus gains a bonus of minus 1 to the difficulty of any Jujitsu defensive maneuver including defensive Budo Maneuvers. Aikido is a similar style and can be used instead of Jujitsu without modification.

Budo Maneuvers include Break Grip, Break Weapon, Counter Throw, Deflect / Catch, Evasion, Kiai, Knock Out, Return Attack, Root and Strangling Grip.

Kiai, Knock Out, Return Attack, Root and Strangling Grip. Karate Karate is an offensive sport where

Karate Karate is an offensive sport where the emphasis lies on attacking fast and hard. Weapon training with Sticks, Staffs or Nunchaku is included. With its emphasis on fast and hard punches and strikes a Karate Artist gains a bonus minus one to the difficulty of Karate Strikes. Instead of Karate a character may

61

choose Tae Kwan Do which is similar but places emphasis on kicks instead of strikes (change bonus to kick attacks).

Budo Maneuvers include Breaking Blow, Eagle Claw, Elbow Strike, Flying Kick, Kiai, Knee Strike, Lightning Attack, Tiger Leap, Tiger Paw and Whirlwind.

Kendo Kendo is Japanese fencing, one- or two-handed, combining the weapon with martial arts training. Obviously the emphasis is on the sword, but this gives the Kendo a bonus of minus one to the difficulty of Kendo sword use. Kendo is the sport and art of Japanese fencing, but the true fighting style of Japanese fencing is called Kenjitsu. Kenjitsu can be used instead of Kendo without modification.

Budo Maneuvers include Break Weapon, Circle Cut, Evasion, Ground Fighting, Iaido, Kiai, Knock Out, Lightning Attack, Tiger Leap and Whirlwind.

Kung Fu

A generic term for a large number of offensive martial arts

styles such as Hung Fot, Wing Chun, White Crane and Shaolin. All number of martial arts weapons may be integrated with the Kung Fu style and the Kung Fu artist may choose to emphasis either strikes, kicks or his specific weapon (bonus of minus one to the difficulty).

Budo Maneuvers include Break Grip, Breaking Blow, Circle Kick, Elbow Strike, Kiai, Knee Strike, Lightning Attack, Root, Tiger Paw and Tornado Kick.

Savate

A French kickboxing style with some wrestling, Savateurs

train as well with some fencing or cane use. Emphasis is on kicks

and Savateurs gain a bonus of minus one to the difficulty of all Savate kick attacks.

Budo maneuvers include Break Grip, Circle Kick, Evasion, Flying Kick, Kiai, Knock Out, Tail Sweep, Tiger Leap, Tornado Kick and Uppercut.

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T'ai Chi T'ai Chi is a Chinese martial art rooted in Taoism and consists primarily of defensive techniques and redirecting an attackers energy. Weapon training can be with the Sword, Staff or Spear.

Budo Maneuvers include Break Grip, Break Weapon, Circle Kick, Counter Throw, Deflect/Catch, Evasion, Kiai, Knock Out, Return Attack, Root and Tiger Paw.

Evasion, Kiai, Knock Out, Return Attack, Root and Tiger Paw. Budo Maneuvers Break Grip Style +

Budo Maneuvers

Break Grip

Style + Dex, Difficulty 6

With this a martial artist may break instantly from any hold or

Break

grip attack. This does not cost any action if a successful roll is made, but even if it fails the hold is still broken. With a successful attack the

Weapon

Style + Dex, Difficulty weapon

opponent's weapon is destroyed.

Breaking

Style + Str,

After

a

turn

of intense

Blow

Difficulty 6

concentration the martial artist can make a powerful strike capable of breaking wood, stone and bone. Every success on the

63

Circle Cut

Style + Dex, Difficulty weapon, Dam weapon

Breaking Blow roll is an automatic damage success on the next turn's strike attack (if the strike hits). Circle strike with the sword or other melee weapon (not necessarily a cutting weapon) hitting all opponents around the martial artist. Make a circle cut attack roll for each opponent surrounding the martial artist without splitting the dice pool, although the difficulty goes up 1

 

for

every extra opponent beyond

the

rating of the style.

Circle Kick

Style + Dex, Difficulty 7, Dam Str

Same as Circle Cut but is a Kick.

Counter

Style + Dex

The martial artist

uses the

Throw

Difficulty 7, Dam Str

attacker's own momentum to throw the assailant. The

 

maneuver roll is a defensive roll against the assailant's attack roll, each success taking away from

the attacker's successes.

 

Defensive

A short intense scream that

Kiai

Style + Sta, Difficulty 6

accompanies an attempt to soak damage from an attack. This is a defensive maneuver, not a reflexive one, and counts as an action. Every success soaks an extra level of damage after the regular soak roll is done.

Deflect

/ Style + Dex

Allows the martial artist to deflect

Catch

or catch incoming missiles with a successful roll. Thrown missiles difficulty 6 to deflect and 7 to catch. Arrow difficulty 7 with 2 successes to deflect and 8 with 2 successes to catch (+1 difficulty for crossbow bolts). Bullets difficulty 10 with 3 successes to

64

deflect and 10 with 5 successes to

catch.

Eagle Claw

Style + Dex, Difficulty 6, Dam Str

This is a normal strike with the fingers curled into raking weapons. Although the damage is

Elbow Strike Style + Dex, Difficulty 5, Dam Str

normal the strike is quite painful and all wound penalties (from pain) are 1 extra (Hurt -2 penalty) for the rest of the scene. Because of the unsuspecting nature of this attack the opponent has a +2 difficulty to defend against it.

Evasion

Style + Dex, Difficulty 6

This allows the martial artist to make an incredible acrobatic dodge evading many attacks at once. May make an automatic Dodge roll against as many opponents as the level of the style without splitting the dice pool.

Flying Kick

Style + Dex

.

Ground

Difficulty 7 Dam Str +4 No Roll

Trains the martial artist to be able

motion.

Fighting

to effectively fight while in

Iaido

Style + Dex,

ineffective positions, including prone, without penalty. Martial artist may draw his sword

Difficulty weapon, Dam weapon

and strike at the same time in one

Joint Lock

No Roll

This maneuver allows a martial artist to inflict extra damage on a target already within a hold

 

attack. Every turn that the target is in a hold the martial artist may add a Str + 1 damage roll to the

hold.

Knee Strike

Style + Dex, Difficulty 5, Dam Str +1

Because of the unsuspecting nature of this attack the opponent has a +2 difficulty to defend against it.

65

Knock Out

Style + Dex, Difficulty 6

Strike exactly to do no harm but put an opponent out cold.

Lightning

Opponent must make a Stamina roll (difficulty Style level +3) every 15 minutes to try to wake up (-1 to difficulty for every roll after the first). Automatic free strike first in every

Attack

Style + Wits, Difficulty 6

turn. If two or more have this then they must roll to see who goes first.

Offensive

A

short focused scream that

Kiai

Style + Dex, Difficulty 6

accompanies an attack which places the opponent off balance. The opponent must make a Willpower roll to be able to defend the attack (difficulty 6, must make as many successes as Kiai roll).

Return

Style + Dex,

Allows the martial artist to

Attack

Difficulty 6

redirect the energy of the attack back around to the attacker. Must make a contested roll against the attack or the maneuver fails completely.

Root

No Roll

The martial artist is immune to

Strangling

sweeping or tackling attacks. He cannot be knocked down. Opponent is held and must make

Grip

Style + Str, Difficulty 6

a contested Stamina roll against the martial artist or loose consciousness. The martial artist may continue the grip after the opponent falls unconscious. If so

 

the

contested roll continues. If the

opponent succeeds he wakes; if

he fails he takes damage equal to

the number of extra successes the

martial artist makes. If left unconscious the opponent must make a Stamina roll (difficulty

66

Tail Sweep

Style + Dex, Difficulty 7, Dam Str - 1

style level+3) every 15 minutes to try to wake up (-1 to difficulty for every roll after the first). Allows the martial artist to spin around sweeping the legs out from all targets surrounding him. Make an attack roll for each target without splitting the dice pool but the difficulty of every roll goes up by one for every extra target after the number equaling the martial artists style level.

Tiger Leap

No Roll

Can leap a great distance (Style + Str + Dex feet) from a stand still

 

and

make

an

attack

simultaneously.

 

Tiger Paw

Style + Dex,

Tornado

Difficulty 6, Dam Str + 3. Style + Dex,

Allows the martial artist to jump

Kick

Difficulty 7, Dam Str + 1

up, spin around, kick an opponent behind him and return to his original stance without penalty. The opponent is +2 difficulty to defend against this surprising tactic.

Uppercut

Style + Dex, Difficulty 6 Dam

Whirlwind

Str + 3 Style + Wits Difficulty 6

With a successful roll the martial artist may attack as many times as he can normally with the bonus of one free extra action, but any actions that would be required to change positioning or cover a distance is negated as the style's attacks themselves propel the martial artist around the area with blinding speed and acrobatic agility.

67

Ki-Forces Air Attack 25 Can attack in a way that sends a blast of air

Ki-Forces

Air Attack

25

Can attack in a way that sends a blast of air up to 30 feet away, projecting the attack through the air to strike as normal.

Coma

20

Can enter a coma like deep trance for up

Combat Mind 30

to a month. By reading the movements of an opponent the martial artist gains a -3 to the difficulty of all defensive maneuvers against his attacks.

Endurance

25

No longer tire and only need four hours of

Enhanced

25

sleep every 24 hours. All senses become enhanced to at least

Senses Fast Reactions 30

twice their former ability. Gain one extra action every turn and a +5 to Initiative.

Final Blow

20

Once in the martial artists life he may

Iron Skin

30

ignore all wound penalties, including death, for a number of turns equal to his style rating. Strengthens the Chi around the martial artist, giving him an armor rating of 1.

Levitation

25

Through intense meditation the martial

68

Regeneration

30

artist may levitate himself at a movement rate of 6 feet per turn. All damage heals at a rate of three times normal human healing.

Resist Pain

25

With a Stamina roll (difficulty 6) the

Resist

25

martial artist may negate any wound penalties for the scene. Through intense meditation the martial

Temperature

artist may resist extremes of temperature

Resist Hunger 25

for short times without injury. The martial artist's body needs little to sustain itself. The martial artist can go without food for a month and water for two weeks.

Sixth Sense

25

The martial artist gains an extra sense that

Vitals Strike

40

warns him of immediate danger. Martial artist makes a regular attack with

Voice Control

30

+1 Difficulty. If successful the opponent must make a Stamina roll (Difficulty Style + Dam inflicted). If this roll is successful the opponent is stunned and loses his next action. If failed the opponent is knocked unconscious as a knock out. If the roll is botched the opponent is killed instantly. All Damage inflicted with the strike is lethal instead of bashing. Target must make a Willpower roll (Difficulty Style + 3) or obey simple commands given by the martial artist.

69