Shadowrun, Sixth World FAQs
FAQs here are organized by chapter title and link to the full answers below.
The Life You Have Left
Running the Game
The Life You Have Left
How do you pronounce Tir Tairngire?
Tír Tairngire is ostensibly pronounced “Teer Tahrn-GEE-rah,” although there are alternate pronunciations used by non-native Sperethiel speakers, even inside the Tír. [top]
What about UCAS?
Both “You-KASS” and “You-See-Ay-Ess” are used-in universe. [top]
What happens while my Magic or Resonance attribute is at 0?
You lose the ability to perform any and all activities related to that attribute. Magic 0 means no spellcasting, no summoning, no adept powers, no access to the astral plane, and so on. Resonance 0 means no complex forms, no living persona, no compiling, etc. While your Magic or Resonance is at 0, you’re in effect temporarily mundane until such time that you restore your attribute to at least 1. [top]
Do bonus Initiative Dice stack?
Unless the effect says otherwise, bonus Initiative Dice only apply to the physical world (i.e., not in astral projection, and not in VR) and they do not stack with any other bonus Initiative Dice. If you have multiple sources of bonus Initiative Dice, you only count the highest. The additional dice received for being in astral projection or either VR user mode are considered to be modifying the base number of Initiative Dice for that “world” rather than being a bonus in of itself. Ergo, a hacker in hot sim VR has +4D6 Initiative Dice before any potential bonus dice are added. That hacker can only benefit from one more Initiative Die in VR, as +5D6 is the hard cap. [top]
What happens if the number of my Initiative Dice changes mid-combat?
The initiative value determined at the beginning of the encounter remains unchanged unless you spend Edge to modify it upward (p. 46, SR6). However, if you shift into or out of VR or astral space, your Initiative Dice will probably change. Therefore the number of available Minor Actions will also change. If you lose actions in this way, any unspent actions you have remaining are lost first. [top]
What’s the difference between rounds and turns?
The two terms are not interchangeable. A round encompasses each acting character’s turn within it. Once every character has had their turn, a new round begins.
This distinction matters because some effects last until the end of the round, and some last until the end of a turn. [top]
What counts as an “attack”? What counts as a “defense test”?
Most actions and Edge Actions state in an unambiguous manner when they can be used. For example, Take Aim must be used in conjunction with the Attack Major Action, so that means it cannot be used to modify an attack made via spell or any Matrix Actions. However, actions that can be used on “defense tests” are less clear-cut. As a rule of thumb, any references to “defense tests” should be assumed to be referring solely to non-magical attacks made in the physical world, unless the text explicitly says otherwise. This means that Block, Dodge, and Full Defense do not work against spells or cybercombat.
Furthermore, when an action references “attacks” but does not further specify (such as ranged attack or melee attack), then those actions can apply to anything the gamemaster deems to be an attack. For example, the Call A Shot Minor Action may only be used with the Attack Major Action, and therefore cannot be used with spells or cybercombat. However, the Called Shot: Vitals Edge Action can be used on anything the gamemaster agrees counts as an “attack,” including casting combat spells and using cybercombat. [top]
Can I gain multiple Edge for really high Attack or Defense Ratings?
No matter how much more than 4 your advantage may be, that differential still only grants 1 Edge. [top]
I’m confused about how Edge is awarded.
Edge is meant to be a flexible and fast-resolving mechanic. Essentially, any test should be evaluated for potential Edge gain, and it can potentially come from three avenues:
- Evaluating Attack Rating vs Defense Rating. This usually only gets checked in combat and hacking, but it is also used in social encounters if Social Modifiers from Firing Squad are used. Naturally, only one side in an attack gets Edge.
- Gear and qualities. This one is probably the easiest to remember, because you can usually count on the player to remind you of any Edge awards they’re due from their own gear and qualities. If the test is Opposed, both sides can earn this type of Edge.
- Circumstantial factors. This can be the hardest concept to use, but ultimately the idea is simple. If the acting party (and/or the opposing party, in opposed tests) has some kind of meaningful advantage due to environmental, tactical, or other factors not already covered by items 1 or 2, then an Edge award is due. Typically only one side of an Opposed test can get Edge in this way, as different factors that are ruled to more or less balance out should mean neither side gets Edge. [top]
Can I spend Edge once per test or once per action?
To quote the Shadowrun Sixth World Edition core rulebook:
“Characters can only have one expenditure of Edge per action. That expenditure cannot include multiple boosts or actions, or a combination of the two, but the same boost can be multiplied if the player wishes (e.g., spending one Edge allows the player to reroll one die; they could spend two to reroll two dice). In those cases, the expenditure of Edge must apply to the same roll—you cannot, for example, buy a reroll on your test and also on your opponent’s test.”
Note that many actions involve multiple tests. If you spend Edge on your defense test or on your attacker’s roll, then you cannot spend Edge to soak the damage. If you spend Edge on your spellcasting test, then you cannot spend Edge while resisting drain. Extended tests are also considered one action no matter how many intervals they encompass. [top]
Can entities that lack the Edge attribute gain and spend Edge?
These entities typically are given a Professional Rating (see p. 203, SR6) which sets their effective Edge rating. If they lack both (e.g, critters and hosts), then by default their Edge pools begin an encounter at 0. But like anyone else, they can gain and spend Edge as it is accumulated.
Certain other kinds of entities serve as a form of minion controlled by another, such as drones controlled by a rigger, sprites controlled by a technomancer, or IC controlled by a host. Any Edge earned by these minions goes to their controller’s pool rather than being tracked individually. However, remember that spirits are explicitly exempted from gaining any Edge for their summoner (see Spirits and Edge, p. 147, SR6). [top]
What exactly is the limit on the number of Minor Actions I can have?
As specified on p. 40, SR6, a character has 1 Minor Action plus 1 Minor Action per Initiative Die. Since you can have up to 5 Initiative Dice, this sets a potential for 6 Minor Actions. However, as the combat round rules on p. 107, SR6 state, the maximum number of Minor Actions a character may begin their turn with is 5. In the event of starting a round with more than 5 Minor Actions, that character must spend down to 5 or less Minor Actions before their turn begins or the excess is lost. [top]
Can I convert 4 Minor Actions into a Major Action before my turn begins?
You may spend 4 Minor Actions in place of spending an Anytime Major Action (e.g., Full Defense, Counterspell, etc.) before your turn begins. This is not the same thing as converting 4 Minor Actions into a Major Action that you then hold onto until your turn begins. That is something you may not do. [top]
I earned “Use or Lose” Edge, but I don’t need it for my roll. Can I forfeit the point to avoid hitting the cap on gaining Edge?
Yes. If you don’t need an Edge point that will expire anyway if not used, you can forfeit that point. It was never gained, and so you’re still able to earn a potentially bankable Edge points later in the round. [top]
What counts as “Edge abuse” that rises to the level of being stopped by the “preventing Edge abuse” rule?
“Edge abuse” can be hard to codify but it tends to be easy to identify. A basic rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t be doing the action if not for the potential Edge gain, then it’s probably “Edge Abuse.”
If there is any question about what constitutes “Edge Abuse,” the ultimate rule is this: if the gamemaster says it counts, then it does. [top]
Can I use Edge to reroll a Wild Die?
You can, but the rerolled Wild Die only counts as a regular die. A hit on a rerolled Wild Die only counts as 1 hit rather than 3 hits. Furthermore, if the Wild Die originally showed “1,” then a “5” no longer counts as a hit for the test even after the Wild Die is rerolled. [top]
How long do statuses last?
When no duration or condition for expiration is given, then the status lasts as long as the gamemaster deems appropriate. As a rule of thumb: many statuses inflicted in combat should probably expire after the end of that combat. Statuses gained from injury or glitch effect can also be removed after a successful Biotech test against a threshold of the gamemaster’s devising (see Threshold Guidelines, p. 36, SR6). Lastly, the gamemaster should remember mitigating factors. For example: A character with flare compensation who still gets blinded by a bright light should suffer the status for a shorter amount of time than another character that lacks the advantage. [top]
Do statuses also apply to astral projection and Matrix VR?
In most cases statuses are either clearly applicable or clearly not applicable while a character is astrally projecting or using VR. For example, Dazed and Frightened are good examples of statuses that apply equally across all three of Shadowrun’s “worlds.” If a physical body is suffering Burning #, that body is still suffering damage even while the mind is “out and about” in astral or VR. On the other hand, being subjected to the Wet status will not have any relevance to activities in astral space or VR.
When it is not so clearcut, the potential for relevancy is reserved to gamemaster discretion. For example, a gamemaster might rule that an astrally projecting magician can gain the Prone status or even some Cover # by diving into a bright spot of mana, or a hacker’s virtual persona could gain them by ducking into a nearby datastream. The visual sense is not used in astral space and is overridden by simsense input in VR, but the gamemaster might use the Blinded # status to represent some other penalty while on the astral plane or in VR. [top]
How do the Corrosive # and Burning # statuses work?
Unless they specify otherwise: damage-causing statuses inflict physical damage and they do so at the end of the combat round. When an attack that inflicts a Burning # or Corrosive # status does not state the exact level, then assume it increases the status level by 1. If two or more effects apply to the same attack (for example, a spirit of fire with Elemental Aura and Engulf) then the level is increased by 1 for each such effect. [top]
Lots of things divide some value without giving rounding instructions. Is there a default guidance?
When a rule does not specify to round up or round down, then by default you should round normally, meaning that any value that ends in X.5 or higher rounds up and anything lower rounds down. [top]
Can I spend Karma and then spend attribute/skill/special points?
No. Per the step order given in this chapter, all points gained from the priority table must be spent before any Karma is spent. [top]
Do qualities gained from racial traits count against the six allowed qualities?
Usually not. However, any qualities that are gained as racial traits and are available in levels count as one of your six selected qualities if you increase that level. For example, a troll gets Built Tough 2 for free, but if that quality is increased to level 3 or 4, then it does count as one of your six selected qualities. [top]
Can metatypes select qualities that are racial traits for other metatypes?
Yes. While trolls automatically get Thermographic Vision and Dermal Deposits for free, nothing prohibits humans or elves from purchasing those qualities. [top]
Does my magician have to pick spellcasting and enchanting spells separately?
So long as a magician can use both spellcasting and enchanting, then they can use every spell they know in either way. Rituals still have to be picked separately, out of the same allowance of known spells. [top]
How many spells does an aspected enchanter know?
Aspected enchanters know 2 spells per point of Magic gained by the priority pick. [top]
Does a mystic adept gain a Power Point every time their Magic increases?
No. Despite the similarity in name, mystic adepts are not a subtype of adept. Only adepts gain a Power Point every time their Magic increases.
To go into more detail: mystic adept characters are created with 0-4 Power Points, as determined by their magic priority pick and how their unmodified Magic value is split between starting spells and Power Points. Additional Power Points are only gained by picking the Power Point initiation metamagic (p. 168, SR6). [top]
Does it really take months to improve skills and attributes?
The gamemaster is not only empowered but encouraged to alter the amount of in-world training time to suit the needs of their specific campaign. [top]
Does my Essence go back up if I remove an augmentation?
No, your Essence remains at its current value. What happens instead is an Essence hole is established at the same value of the removed augmentations’ Essence cost. Removing additional augmentations expands the size of an existing Essence hole by their own Essence costs. If you have an existing Essence hole when you implant augmentations, its Essence cost is first paid out of the Essence hole value. If the hole is consumed, then any remaining cost is paid out of your Essence attribute.
Example: A street samurai with 4.0 Essence has standard-grade wired reflexes 2 but would like to upgrade to alpha-grade wired reflexes 3. When the existing cyberware is removed, the character’s Essence remains 4.0, but an Essence hole of 2.0 is established. When the alpha-grade wired reflexes 3 is implanted, its 2.4 Essence cost is paid out of the essence hole first. The remaining Essence cost is then paid via the Essence attribute, going from 4.0 to 3.6. [top]
Can I spend Karma to increase my Essence attribute?
What are the rigger’s autosoft ratings?
All the autosofts are rating 4. [top]
Can you use attributes other than those explicitly linked with skills? E.g. Can I roll Strength when attacking with Close Combat?
The gamemaster can invoke potentially any attribute for a given skill test when they judge it makes contextual sense. For example, examining a bullet hole to identify what kind of gun produced it could be a Firearms skill test where Logic is used rather than Agility. Likewise, an attack with mass-reliant weapons might be better represented by Close Combat + Strength rather than Agility. However, in the case of melee attacks if Strength is substituted for Agility, then Agility should also be substituted for Strength when calculating Attack Rating. [top]
Do I have to use the listed specializations or can I make up my own?
To quote the core rulebook, p. 92:
“The listings of specializations with each skill are not exhaustive—if players develop a specialization within a skill that they would like to have, and their gamemaster approves it, they can have it.” [top]
What are the rules for jumping?
In almost all cases, it doesn’t really matter exactly how high or how far a character jumped. Rather than knowing the exact number of centimeters leapt, all you normally need to know is whether the jump was high or far enough. Did they clear the gap? Did they reach high enough? These yes/no questions are best resolved by a Success test.
In Shadowrun, Sixth World a gamemaster considers the context of the distance and any other variables such as how much of a running start can be used, how heavy the carried load, whether the horizontal jump is landing on a higher or lower plane, whether a vertical jump needs to only reach a rung with fingers or completely clear a height with the entire body, and etc. Use the Threshold guidelines onp. 36, SR6 to establish a threshold based on the total assessed difficulty for an Athletics + Strength test. [top]
What are the rules for forcing open a door, such as with a crowbar?
This sort of activity is best determined by a lift/carry test (p. 67, SR6) against a gamemaster-determined threshold based on difficulty and mitigating and complicating circumstances (p. 36, SR6), just as the mechanics for jumping do. [top]
Do Exotic Weapon specializations still gain the +2 dice bonus?
Exotic Weapons skill breaks the usual rules about specializations. On the upside, you can have any number of them. On the downside, you cannot use the skill without using a specialization, and so you do not gain the +2 dice bonus. [top]
What do the specializations for Cracking and Electronics cover?
Shadowrun Missions’ breakdown is a recommended starting point for your own game.
- Cybercombat: Brute Force, Crash Program, Data Spike, Disarm Data Bomb, Resonance Spike, Tar Pit
- Electronic Warfare: Check OS, Hide, Jam Signals, Snoop
- Hacking: Backdoor Entry, Crack File, Probe, Spoof Command
- Computer: Edit File, Encrypt File, Erase Matrix Signature, Hash Check, Matrix Perception, Matrix Search
- Hardware: Turning off Wireless, removing headjammer, using keycard copier, using tag eraser, using bug scanner
- Software: Control Device, Format Device, Jack Out, Jump into Rigged Device, Reboot Device, Set Data Bomb, Trace Icon
- Complex Forms: Any complex form that rolls Electronics [top]
How do knowledge skills work?
Since knowledge skills have no ratings, they act as an enhancing factor on other tests when the knowledge skill is relevant. For example, a Perception test made for the purpose of spotting hidden security cameras could get bonus Edge if that character has Security Systems as a knowledge skill. Alternatively, the gamemaster might decide to give more information to that character on that Perception test. Memory tests (p. 67, SR6) can also be made to see “what you know” about a knowledge skill-related topic.
Since you can pick topics as broad or as specific as you like, some knowledge skills will be useful more often than others. For example, a knowledge skill such as “Seattle Gangs” is going to be useful more often than “Halloweeners Gang.” Gamemasters should endeavor to reward more narrowly focused knowledge skills with bigger mechanical advantages than skills with broader knowledge. Where one runner with the broader skill gets the bonus Edge, the second runner with the more focused skill could get that same Edge and +2 dice for the test to boot. [top]
What are the rules for blind fire?
There is no predefined penalty. This is because there are so many different factors involved that make it impossible to fairly cover the topic with a universal modifier.
A good rule of thumb is to use some level of the Blinded status (p. 51, SR6). If the gamemaster deems that the attacker simply does not have enough information to even direct an attack in the right area and hope for the best, then call it Blinded III and the attack is impossible. On the other hand, if the attacker has sufficient contextual clues to know exactly where the target is, then the penalty might be nothing more than a bonus point of circumstantial Edge going to the defender. If the attacker knows exactly where an invisible target is and is attacking with a flamethrower, there might be no penalty whatsoever on the attack!
Lastly, remember to apply the rules for shooting through a barrier (pp. 111-112, SR6) if an obstruction is the reason for not being able to see the target. [top]
If multiple targets are targeted by one attack, which of them are allowed to spend their Edge to hinder the attacker’s dice results?
Any or all of them. But they each must spend independently, without pooling together for a group purchase. [top]
Can I still attack if my Attack Rating is modified to 0 or less?
You may only attack in a given range category (p. 108, SR6) if your modified Attack Rating for that range is greater than 0. Remember that AR bonuses do not apply to ranges that have a base AR of “—”. [top]
Pages 108 and 245 conflict about the annotation for break action and belted ammo. Which is correct?
Belt-fed ammo is annotated by (belt) and break-action weapons have their ammo annotated with (b). [top]
How do I use Firing Modes and Multiple Attacks at the same time?
There has been significant errata regarding Multiple Attacks, Firing Modes, and Anticipation. For those without access to an up-to-date copy of Shadowrun, Sixth World:
- Firing Modes do not require the Multiple Attack Minor Action. You cannot even use Multiple Attacks on BF Wide Bursts or FA Bursts.
- Post-errata Anticipation now doubles the dice pool, rather than multiplying the dice pool by the number of targets. It is unusable with FA bursts.
- FA Bursts now generate an AoE attack that has one attack roll, defended individually by each target in that area, much like AoE combat spells.
- Multiple Attacks is only for attacking multiple targets. [top]
How is an attack with multiple weapons on one target resolved?
Barring any other options presented in other sources beyond the core rulebook, the best way to resolve a “dual wielding” attack is to have the character act as a grunt group with themselves (p. 114, SR6), gaining a small bonus to the Attack Rating of the primary weapon to represent the advantage of employing a second weapon.
Double Clutch offers a more mechanically advantageous variant on this rule, called Link-Firing, and that may be used in place of this suggestion. [top]
How do you resolve a gas attack?
Smoke and gas grenades have their damage resolved differently than blasts. If a gas- or smoke-delivering weapon does not have a Range attribute defined, then assume grenade-sized weapons have Range 5 and rocket-sized systems have Range 10 (see the Gas Ranges, Effect, and Duration chart on p. 116, SR6). Concentration increases when the gas is confined by surrounding barriers, such as being pumped into an enclosed room. Additional doses will also accrue when one point is inside the area of multiple attacks. Smoke systems work the same way, but the DV/Power and concentration is irrelevant. A gas attack immediately fills the entire (Range x 4) area, with each band successively dissipating as per the Gas Ranges, Effect, and Duration chart.
Note that stun gasses in the Sixth World are not just effective but also surprisingly safe. Their damage does not carry over into Physical damage, even when the victim is unconscious and suffering additional exposures. Lethal toxins will still keep accruing damage, however. Killing is what they do!
Example: An unlucky shadowrunner infiltrating a corp facility is caught inside a 5m x 5m room serving as a trap. Neuro-Stun IX gas begins flooding the room. Since the corp is sadistic, there are 4 doses being pumped simultaneously into the room. As a “grenade-like” delivery system, each of the 4 vents has Range 5.
On round 1, the shadowrunner suffers exposure to the toxin’s base Power of 12, modified upward by +3 to Power 15 due to the additional doses (see Concentration, p. 122, SR6). Even worse, the confined space holds the toxin in a more concentrated space rather than letting it spread out, gaining +1 dose for each range multiplier it cannot expand into. In this case, it cannot grow to Range x 2, Range x 3, or Range x 4, so the power increases by another +3 to Power 18. Worse still, if the runner cannot find a way out of the room before 10 rounds elapse, they will suffer another exposure at Power 19. [top]
How do you round Essence when calculating healing threshold?
Round up. Mundanes have it rough enough, chummer. [top]
Does all healing get +1 net hit when the target is 6 Essence?
When a threshold is (–1), that means even 0 hits is one net hit. Giving +1 net hit for (5 – 6 Essence) is just another way of presenting the arithmetic. [top]
How does immunity to inhalation vectors work when an inhalation toxin also has the contact vector?
While immunity to inhalation toxins is not also an immunity to contact toxins, you’re still better off not inhaling such drek. Inhalation immunity gained from sources such as a gas mask or internal air tank augmentation grants the same benefit as a rating 6 respirator (p. 280, SR6) against toxins that combine the inhalation and contact vectors.
Despite being typed as contact vector toxins, CS/Tear Gas and Pepper Punch must reach the wet parts of the face to inflict their damage via contact. Gas masks protect the entire face and therefore grant immunity to these toxins as if they lacked the contact vector. This is also true for breathing off an air tank when the gamemaster is satisfied that the eyes, nose, and mouth are all sufficiently protected from contacting the irritants. [top]
What are the rules for envenoming a blade with a toxin?
Injection vector toxins may be administered by a bladed weapon (p. 121, SR6) that deals physical damage. Expending a Major Action and succeeding on a Biotech + Agility (2) test applies a toxin to a suitable weapon in such a way that it retains its potency for 1 minute, with an additional minute per net hit. The first attack that succeeds with at least two net hits (or one net hit if the target has no armor) will deliver the toxin even if the weapon’s damage is fully resisted. If an attack is successful but lacks these required net hits, then the toxin is wiped off harmlessly but any damage from the weapon will still apply. [top]
Do antidotes work on drugs?
Yes, because drugs are a type of toxin. If an effect reduces a drug’s Power to 0, then any ongoing effects immediately end and any associated crash begins. Remember that crashes typically are based on how long the drug was in effect, so short period of being drugged means short crash durations.
If a drug is neutralized in the time between being administered and taking effect (see Speed, p. 121, SR6) then the crash never occurs. [top]
So if drugs are toxins, do you make Toxin Resistance tests against drugs?
Technically yes. But since it’s a test you generally don’t want to succeed on, and you only succeed if you resist the power all the way down to 0, it’s a test that the gamemaster is encouraged to forgo.
Still, it can be entertaining to roll to see how many drinks it takes to make your dwarf buddy get drunk. Remember to apply +1 Power for each successive dose! [top]
What happens if I take additional doses of a drug?
Any numerical or status-based benefits do not increase, but the drug otherwise establishes a new duration from that successive dosing point. The eventual crash is based on the entire length of time being drugged, across all doses. For example: a shadowrunner with 3 Body takes novacoke (p. 125, SR6). Some 4 hours later, the runner realizes the job is going to last longer than the 3 hours they have remaining, so they dose again. They do not gain any additional benefits other than adding another 7 hours to the duration from that point. When the crash occurs, it will last for 4+7=11 hours.
Most crashes can be temporarily alleviated by taking another dose of that drug. This is only a temporary fix, however, as the rest of the crash must still eventually be suffered, along with the additional time the new high will add to it. If the runner in the previous example takes another dose of novacoke 6 hours into their crash, the remaining 5 hours they owe is added on to the time they spend crashed after this newest high. [top]
What are the rules for drug addictions?
Characters gain or increase the severity of their addictions when the gamemaster decides that in-game events warrant adding the Addiction quality or increasing its level (see Earned Qualities, pg. 68, SR6). Addictions are lessened in severity or removed entirely when players buy them off via Karma expenditure (see Advancement costs, p. 68, SR6). [top]
Rules for targeting magic effects
The following six rules should answer questions regarding eligible targets for any kind of magical effect, whether they are spells, critter powers, adept powers:
- The target(s) of an effect must be on the same plane as the caster. This means dual-natured entities can target, and be targeted by, elements on either plane simultaneously.
- Magical effects with the Physical type can never affect a purely astral target, nor can they be employed by a purely astral entity. A dual-natured entity can of course employ a Physical magical effect, but only against targets on the material plane.
- Magical effects with the Mana type work equally well on either plane, but they can only affect living or magical things.
- The caster must have direct line of sight to all targets with their own natural sight. Spells are unaffected by line of sight passing through a transparent barrier. However, any mana barriers on either plane between the caster and target will degrade the magic’s effectiveness (p. 161, SR6), even a mana barrier on the astral plane that is between casters and targets that are both on the physical plane. Natural sight includes magnification via optical lenses and bending light around corners via mirrors or mage-sight goggles, but it does not include digital displays or devices.
- An exception to this rule is given to Indirect Combat spells. They generate destructive energies at the caster’s position and are directed from there in what resembles a ranged attack. These energies are affected by any barriers in between, even if they are transparent. When an Indirect Combat spell has an area, they affect everything in that area whether the caster can see them or not.
- Another exception is given to cybereyes and cybereye enhancements. Paying Essence sufficiently incorporates them into your aura to count as your natural sight despite their digital nature.
- Astral combat (pp. 160-161, SR6) cannot normally target the astral forms of spells, active foci, or other sustained critter powers. Unless the attack explicitly permits targeting these kinds of astral forms, you’ll have to use other options such as dispelling, disjoining, or disenchanting instead.
- AROs, icons, hosts, personas, or other constructs that exist solely on the Matrix cannot be targeted or affected by magic. [top]
Can I really blow up the entire world with infinite spell adjustments, so long as I’m willing to experience infinite drain?
Nice try! If you don’t have access to the most recent (Seattle edition) printing of Shadowrun, Sixth World, be aware that errata established that the maximum number of spell adjustments you can apply is equal to the higher of your Magic or skill ranks in Sorcery. [top]
Does cover or distance matter when targeting a spell that uses LOS range?
Cover # (p. 52, SR6) grants a Defense Rating bonus, which will impede spellcasting that checks AR against DR. Only being able to see a portion of the intended target can also be a factor in the target’s favor when considering Edge gains. Extreme distances can be weighed in this way as well. [top]
Control Thoughts/Control Actions/Commanding Voice seems kind of creepy. Can magic really force you to do … anything … against your will?
Never forget that Shadowrun is a game and it’s meant to be fun. No factor ever justifies triggering real world players, no matter how gritty or realistic the campaign is meant to feel. A “session zero” where campaign themes and player preferences are established is always a good idea, where mature themes can be ruled in or out of bounds before play begins. Whether or not such a session zero was performed, the official stance is that magic cannot force any character to perform any actions that makes a real life player uncomfortable, even if that character isn’t the player’s.
With that very important and primary clarification being said, when a character is being forced to do something they would be intensely opposed to (such as suicide, killing a loved one, etc.), consider giving a powerful Edge bonus to resist the magic, such as lowering the Edge cost for rerolling all failures or rerolling the caster’s hits. Perhaps all the way down to 1, in extreme cases.
Lastly, this sort of mental invasion and coercion is considered highly distasteful in-world. Gamemasters are encouraged to lavish Reputation penalties and possibly Heat modifiers on any magician forcing their victims to do awful things. [top]
What exactly is covered by the Invisibility spells?
When you are targeted by an Invisibility or Improved Invisibility spell, any possessions and gear you were wearing or holding at the time also become subject to the same Invisibility # or Invisibility (Improved) # status. Anything inside bags or containers will also become invisible at this time. However, any objects you subsequently pick up (or have thrown on you) do not also become invisible. Any objects that leave your person become visible as soon as they cease being in contact with you.
Ergo, if you drop something or put it down, it becomes visible. If you fire a gun, the muzzle flash is visible. The infrared radiation coming directly off your body and clothing is as invisible as the radiation reflecting off you in visible light wavelengths, but your warm, exhaled breath is not invisible to thermographic vision. Neither are your footprints in the ground. Sound-based “vision” like ultrasound and spatial analyzers are flatly unaffected by these effects, but they can in turn potentially be “blinded” by the Silent # or Silent (Improved) # statuses.
Note that magically granted invisibility means the subject cannot see their own fingers and tools, which can complicate delicate technical tasks. [top]
I thought of a way to use a normally beneficial spell in a way that harms the target. Since the spell doesn’t list a resistance test, do they get one or not?
In cases where the spell gives no defense or resistance test the target can still attempt to resist the spell if they want to. Roll Body + Willpower to resist spells with no resistance test explicitly given. [top]
Can spirits fly?
They can walk and sprint without being confined to the ground. Most would call that flying. Note that physical burdens are more easily borne when the spirit can push off against the ground—spirits’ strength is halved (rounded down) when it comes to calculating how much weight they can carry (see p. 68) while flying. Spirits of air, given their affinity for this kind of travel, do not suffer this penalty. [top]
Can spirits have the same critter power multiple times?
In some cases, the same power can be picked more than once when different versions are available. For example, a spirit of air could have both Energy Aura (Cold) and Energy Aura (Electricity) as two of its available optional powers. [top]
Can spirits spend edge to resist being summoned?
Spirits and Edge, p. 147 SR6 states that spirits cannot gain Edge for themselves or their summoner. That is referring to summoned spirits. If a gamemaster wishes to ramp up the difficulty, they can have spirits use Edge boosts against their would-be summoner before they become summoned. If doing so, consider the spirit to have ½ Force (rounded down) Edge points available for use during the summoning test. [top]
Can I tell my spirit to materialize inside a hostile vehicle to attack its occupants?
A spirit can ostensibly materialize anywhere big enough for them to physically fit inside. This includes a hostile vehicle’s passenger compartment. When doing so, a spirit’s materialized momentum matches the vehicle’s. This means they don’t immediately collide with the vehicle’s interior or its passengers as it continues to move.
However, remember that the maximum speed any astral entity can travel while still being able to see details is 100 meters per turn, which is about 75 miles per hour. If the vehicle in question is at highway speeds or moving erratically (as one does during combat) at lower speeds, then the answer is no. A spirit cannot achieve the precision required in space and time to appear inside the confines of a moving target. [top]
How is a preparation of a spell with variable drain value calculated?
Spells such as Increase Reflexes or Increase Attribute complete step 3 of making a preparation (p. 150, SR6) against the spell’s base drain value, modified only by other enchanting effects such as trigger type and reagent use. The effect of the spell will be determined by net hits generated when the preparation is cast. If there are enough net hits to modify the drain value, this increased drain is ignored since drain was already paid for. [top]
What skills count as Combat skills, for the purposes of the Improved Ability adept power?
The higher “combat skill” Power Point price must always be paid when being applied to the following skills: Close Combat, Conjuring, Exotic Weapons, Firearms, Sorcery. This adept power may be purchased either at either the “combat skills” or “non-combat skills” cost when applied to the skills listed below. Note that if this power is purchased at the “non-combat skill” price, then combat-related tests will not benefit from the bonus skill ranks.
Skill: Combat-related tests
Astral: Astral Combat
Athletics: Archery, Throwing, Dodging
Enchanting: Disenchanting, Disjoining
Piloting: Defense tests, ramming tests [top]
Do adept powers count as spells?
Powers that have a passive activation type are “always on” and do not have their own astral forms. They are not disrupted by walking through a mana barrier, nor can they be dispelled. On the other hand, powers that cost an action to activate do have their own astral forms. They have all the same targeting restrictions as spells, and while they are active they can be disrupted or dispelled in all the same ways spells can. [top]
Is there a limit on the number of levels I can buy for adept powers?
The number of Power Points available serves as the primary limitation. But beyond that, a character cannot have more levels in any one power than their current Magic attribute. This includes powers gained via qi foci. [top]
Do Power foci increase my Magic attribute?
No. They give bonus dice when your Magic attribute is involved in a test. Your Magic attribute value remains unchanged. [top]
Can I use multiple foci on the same test?
To quote the core rulebook, page 154:
“Regardless of the number of bonded foci you have, only one focus may add its Force to a dice pool for any given test.” [top]
Do qi foci stack?
Yes, subject to the usual limitations on the number and force levels of bonded foci given on page 154 of SR6 and that any gained adept powers do not end up with more levels than the magician’s Magic attribute (see Adepts, above). [top]
Can projecting magicians eavesdrop on physical conversations?
Only to a degree. If an astrally projecting magician or spirit listens to a conversation occurring on the physical plane, instead of the literal words being heard they perceive what the speakers mean. Emotions and intent are easy to see on the astral plane and there’s no language barrier when you literally see meaning, but technical details of a conversation are simply not relevant to astral senses.
Visual reconnaissance via astral projection faces similar problems. Because it ranges from hard to impossible to discern physical details from astral space, the purpose of any room or object has to primarily be inferred by how its occupants or users feel about it. A cubicle farm might be an oppressive place stained by misery, whereas the employee break room would probably be perceived as a place of sanctuary and respite, and perhaps even enjoyment.
Physical details are easier to gather when the projecting mage manifests (p. 160, SR6). The manifested magician or spirit is still wholly on the astral plane, but they gain the ability to perceive physical details as if they were physically present, and even engage in a two-way communication. Of course, they can in turn be seen. Any technological images or sounds are still imperceptible to the manifesting entity. For example, even while manifested a magician cannot see AROs or holograms, see what is being broadcast on a vidscreen, or hear what a voice is saying through a speaker. [top]
Can you discern age, sex, or race from auras?
Auras are predominantly shaped by emotion and colored by personality traits. With at least two hits on an assensing test (p. 159, SR6) you can however discern race and gender, but only those that the individual self-identifies as. [top]
Can projecting magicians still perceive their vacated bodies?
Generally no. Their bodies are essentially blind, deaf, dead to tactile input, and have no sense of when they are in motion. Relocating the mage’s body while they’re out on an astral jaunt is as old a shadowrunner prank as it is juvenile.
However, the psychic trauma of pain and damage still carries over to the astral form through the tenuous link that remains between the two. Magicians still suffer wound penalties from Physical and Stun damage while projecting. If the damage occurs after leaving the body, the magician cannot feel exactly what happened but they’re aware in a vague way that something has caused the wound penalties they’ve begun to suffer. [top]
What happens if I project while I have sustained spells?
Any physical spells or critter powers affecting your physical body will remain on your now-vacated body. However, any mana spells or effects will go with your astral form after it departs your body. You can continue to sustain any spells you cast prior to projecting, even if they are targeted on what would now be illegal targets due to your loss of contact with the physical plane. Lastly, any spell that measures distance (for example, Mindlink) measures from your astral form rather than from your body. [top]
Do Detection spells work in astral space?
Yes, but they only function on the plane you currently are on. If you’re projecting, a Detect Enemies spell cannot tell you if any nearby people on the physical plane are thinking hostile thoughts about you. Likewise, a beneficiary of the spell on the physical plane cannot detect astrally projecting enemies, either. Remember that dual-natured characters are on both planes simultaneously. [top]
Can projecting mages or spirits fly up to a space station using astral travel?
This is because beyond the earth’s gaiasphere is a mana void where no magic can take place whatsoever, not even astral travel. See Street Wyrd for more information about mana voids.
Note that in addition to satellites and space stations, the Shadowrun setting frequently incorporates flights on semiballistic spaceplanes for speedy intercontinental travel. Significant portions of these flights take place in the mana void outside the gaiasphere. [top]
Can a character with no magic attribute have a mentor spirit?
No. However, a character that currently has their Magic attribute lowered to 0 does still enjoy the “All” benefit granted by their mentor spirit.
Note that this answer only applies to possessing the Mentor Spirit quality. Characters may certainly have a background involving belief in a mentor spirit and are not required to have this quality to roleplay such beliefs. [top]
What skills can adepts use to perform an initiation?
Adepts are in a bit of a bind when it comes to “magical skills,” with Astral being the only one available to them linked to the Magic attribute. For this reason, adepts may consider any skill to be a “magic skill” for the sole purpose of the initiation test (p. 167, SR6) if they use that skill in conjunction with any adept powers they possess. For example, an adept with Vocal Control may initiate with Con + Magic, an adept with Killing Hands may initiate with Close Combat + Magic, an adept with Wall Running may initiate with Athletics + Magic, and so on. [top]
What is a Matrix device?
Any mass-produced item or consumer good is a device that exists on the global Matrix. Their signal allows for pre-sale inventory control, as well as providing owners the means to locate misplaced or stolen possessions. In addition, consumer goods have the capability to communicate details regarding usage and any wear and tear. Naturally, manufacturers typically use this same function to refine their marketing towards their customers. For example, if you wear the same clothes two days in a row, don’t be surprised if you begin seeing AROs advertising on-sale laundry detergent. These sorts of Matrix devices are rarely affected by Matrix damage (p. 174, SR6) or stop working when bricked. For example, a bricked katana is still a razor-sharp length of steel even after its Matrix signal is destroyed.
On the other hand, devices that are dependent on electronics will suffer physical degradation in performance as they accumulate Matrix damage and will cease working entirely when bricked. These sorts of devices include firearms (mechanical firing action hasn’t been seen outside of museums or period trideos for decades), cyberware, drones, vehicles, and lots of other gadgets shadowrunners typically use. [top]
What is the difference between a device, a persona, and a PAN?
A persona is in effect your Matrix identity. It is your social media avatar, your gaming handle, your direct messaging address, your forum name, etc. You access your Matrix persona via certain communications devices. These devices include: commlinks, cyberjacks, cyberdecks, RCCs, and M-TOCs (from Firing Squad). When someone is actively using such a device (i.e., they are in AR or VR) the device’s icon morphs into their personal Matrix avatar called a persona. Technomancers are an exception to this rule: their Resonance-linked living persona does not require such a device, and their own body suffers any Matrix damage instead. If you use someone else’s commlink, either with or without permission, you still get your persona rather than theirs.
A Personal Area Network (PAN) is a network of any number of Matrix devices all owned by the same person and together are all worn, implanted, carried, or otherwise on your person. A PAN can incorporate a limited number of remotely operated devices; this mechanic is called the device limit. Devices such as vehicles, drones, data taps, smart firing platforms, and sensor tags are common examples of devices that will consume a PAN’s limited device limit, if they are used at a meaningful distance away from the user.
Note that PANs can be grouped together. When multiple PANs are networked together, one persona must be mutually agreed upon to serve as the controller of the entire network. This persona’s Matrix stats and that user’s mental stats will form the defense pool for Matrix Actions against the entire team network! However, the Matrix users must remain more or less nearby (as defined by gamemaster’s discretion) in order to link up their PANs—100 meters or less is a good rule of thumb. Also note that the device limit remains reserved to each sub-PAN. For example, if a rigger, street samurai, and decker all group up into one PAN defended by the decker, then the decker and the street samurai do not have access to the rigger’s device limit as set by their RCC. [top]
When a persona is made from two devices, which device suffers the Matrix damage?
A user’s Matrix Condition Monitor is one in the same as the commlink’s Matrix Condition Monitor. When a cyberdeck is used in conjunction with any other device to create the persona, the persona’s Matrix Condition Monitor is also the cyberdeck’s. The accompanying commlink or cyberjack can also be independently targeted, but any damage they suffer does not also apply to the persona/cyberdeck. [top]
How does Matrix Perception work?
Generally, Matrix Perception (pp. 178, 182-183 SR6) is the Matrix world’s equivalent of using Observe In Detail in the physical world. Remember that users with a cyberjack or a living persona only need to spend a Minor Action instead of a Major. Just as you don’t need to roll to see anything that’s obvious in the physical world, neither is it necessary to do so in the Matrix. But when things are trying to hide (sneaking in the physical world, running silent in the Matrix) you need to roll to see if you can spot them. As a rule of thumb: if you can physically see the device (or, you would be able to see it if you weren’t in VR) and it’s not running silent, then you also automatically see its corresponding Matrix signal. Likewise, scrutinizing something in order to discern facts about its nature is Perception in the physical world, but Matrix Perception in the Matrix. The gamemaster should weigh the number of net hits and give the player accordingly useful information based on that degree of success.
The difference between the Matrix and the physical world gives rise to a few noteworthy differences. First, while you can “see” Matrix signals through walls and at some distance, it is presumed you filter out any AROs coming from devices you’re not currently looking at. There are thousands, if not millions, of devices around when you’re in a big city! Secondly, hosts provide Matrix “spaces” that have no correlation with the physical world. Any personas, devices, files, IC, or other icons inside the host cannot be perceived from outside the host, unless the owners of that host explicitly want them to be seen. For example, a company that operates vending machines would rather you just interface with their vending machines across the sprawl rather than logging into their host in order to make a purchase on one of their vending machines. A corp campus will almost assuredly rather employees and guests wave a RFID pass at their maglock rather than log into their security host to unlock a door, and at the same time they probably won’t let you wirelessly talk right to a security camera without first entering their host. The nature of hosts relates to the second difference as well. While you cannot see anything inside a host (unless they want you to), you can see a networked host architecture from the outside, without having to break in and explore the network like a dungeon-crawl game. [top]
What is a direct connection?
A direct connection involves physical contact in some way, usually via data cable plugged into a devices’ port designed for such use. Gear and effects like data taps and the skinlink technomancer echo can also establish direct connections via their own rules, as well.
Devices that are directly connected can communicate without using wireless signals. High security compounds sometimes go through the expense of running physical wires through their buildings so devices do not have to rely on exploitable wireless communication. This is rare in the Sixth World because it is so much easier and cheaper to maintain wireless networks.
For shadowrunners, the primary benefit of establishing their own direct connection to a hostile device is they can automatically target the device for Matrix Actions, regardless of whether it is running wireless off, running silent, or even hidden inside a host the hacker’s persona has not entered. The device is still fully protected by the PAN’s or host’s Matrix defenses; a direct connection only establishes “line of sight,” so to speak. [top]
What is DNI?
The acronym stands for direct neural interface. In short, it means you can control a device or communicate with it mentally. Cyberjacks, datajacks, control rigs, and trodes all provide DNI and allow for thought-based control of their equipment. A technomancer also has DNI when using their living persona. Certain pieces of gear have wireless bonuses that require DNI to function, but most notably the VR Matrix user modes require the user to have DNI.
DNI allows for full sensory simsense input even while in the AR Matrix user mode. AR gloves, image link, sound link, or any other sense-link are all unnecessary while you have DNI. While this is quite convenient and often entertaining to have simsense inputs overlaying your natural senses, be careful that your trodes or datajack don’t get hacked to make you think you’re eating something foul when you slurp your ramen noodles. [top]
Do you tally noise penalties based on the hacker’s location, the target’s location, or add them together?
The target’s location only matters for distance-based noise, wireless negation at that location, and/or jamming. Static and spam noise is only considered for the hacker’s location. If the hacker and target are within the same wireless negation or jamming effect, it only counts once.
You do not have to worry about any potential interference between the two locations. Wireless comms are indefinitely distributed; signals don’t necessarily travel directly along the shortest path between the two points. [top]
Do initiative enhancements stack with VR-user-mode initiative bonuses?
No, “meat world” initiative bonuses do not count when in the “Matrix world” of VR. Cold sim VR gives +1 initiative dice (for a total of +2D6) and hot sim VR gives +2 initiative dice (for a total of +3D6). Bonus dice from drugs, spells, cyberware (other than cyberjacks), bioware, and other bonuses all do not apply to VR activity unless they explicitly say they do. Note however that they do apply to the AR user mode, since that is using your regular “meat world” initiative. [top]
Is there any advantage to hot sim VR over cold sim VR besides the +1 initiative die?
Don’t forget that the +1 initiative die comes with an accompanying +1 Minor Action. Furthermore, while hot sim means biofeedback is more dangerous, the reason it’s more dangerous is because hot sim provides a closer, better connection to simsense than does cold sim. Therefore, a user employing hot sim should normally be eligible for circumstantial Edge when targeting Matrix Actions at personas employing Cold Sim or AR. Likewise, IC always operates at a “hot sim”-equivalent tier, and accordingly it should normally generate Edge when targeting a hacker who’s “only” in cold sim VR. [top]
If I’m in either VR Matrix user mode, can I still perceive the physical world?
Your physical senses are completely overridden when in VR. You cannot perceive the physical world except through any sensors you might tap into.
However, because of the way simsense interacts with the brain, the ability to perceive pain is not disabled. Combat and fetish sims just wouldn’t be realistic afterall if you couldn’t experience “real” pain! Any wound modifiers from physical or stun damage still apply in VR. [top]
Does the cyberjack “INIT bonus” apply to Initiative Dice, or the total rolled initiative value?
Per the most recent printing, this bonus is initiative dice. Enjoy! [top]
What do standalone devices roll to resist Matrix Actions?
Standalone devices are normally consumables like plastic bags or cans of energy drink. They usually only have very niche reasons to be hacked in the first place because even if you do hack them, what can they actually do? Most devices you’d plausibly want to hack are networked into a host or its owner’s PAN. However, circumstances can arise that something you’d want to hack is for whatever reason not networked. Maybe you’ve driven a rigger offline, but their autopilot-controlled drone is still a menace.
If a device has no Data Processing or Firewall attribute, then default to Device Rating x 2 to defend against Matrix Actions. Remember that commlinks have these attributes, so they don’t default, even if the dice pool would be bigger if they did. Also remember that vehicles and drones use Sensor as their Device Rating. [top]
How do I know an item’s device rating?
Most relevant devices are given a device rating in their description, but if not provided then use the following table as a general guideline as to what rating to use.
|Simple||1||General appliances, public terminals, entertainment systems|
|Average||2||Personal electronics, basic cyberware, weapons, residential security devices, basic vehicles|
|Smart||3||Security vehicles, alphaware, corporate security devices|
|Advanced||4||High-end devices, betaware, military vehicles and security devices|
|Cutting Edge||5||Deltaware, credsticks, black-ops vehicles and security devices|
|Bleeding Edge||6+||Billion-nuyen experimental devices, space craft [top]|
Once I hack Admin access, does that mean I own the device?
No. Achieving Admin access means nothing more than you’ve unlocked the Matrix Actions that require Admin access to even attempt. You cannot do things that only the owner can do, like removing the device from a PAN, adding it to your PAN, and etc. If you’ve hacked Admin access to a host, it does not make you a spider. Or an admin, for that matter. You cannot tell the IC to stand down, you cannot reconfigure a host’s A/S/D/F array, you can’t sever a maglock or security drone from the host’s protection, etc. [top]
How do I hack ownership of a device, then?
Actual ownership of a device is a registration maintained in multiple and redundant databases across the Matrix, much like SIN registries. It is no simple feat to illegally transfer ownership without the true owner’s consent. If a device gives no rules for transferring ownership, then the following rules apply.
The task is represented by an Engineering (Hardware) + Logic (24, 1 hour) Extended test. The device must remain wireless-on and connected to the Matrix for the entire duration. A glitch results in law enforcement being notified of the activity and its location. After succeeding, the Matrix truly considers your ill-gotten gains legitimately yours. You can now add the device to your PAN.
Remember that whether you gain a commlink or other persona-generating device formerly used by someone else by legitimate or illegitimate means, you cannot ever log into the Matrix as their persona. You’ll always log in as your own persona, no matter whose device you use. [top]
After having hacked Admin access, can I voluntarily relinquish it later?
Yes. Doing so costs a Minor Action, but it will prevent you from having to reboot to avoid accumulating more and more Overwatch Score while you maintain Admin access you no longer need. [top]
Can I share my hacked access levels with my teammates?
No. Even when they are in the same PAN, your teammates have their own personas and hacked access levels only apply to the persona that earned it.
An exception to this rule is technomancers and their sprites. These personas are a sort of extension of the technomancer and can therefore share hacked access permissions. [top]
Do I need a cyberdeck to use Matrix actions?
In most cases, no. Only actions that are linked to Attack or Sleaze require those attributes. You can perform other Matrix actions, even illegal ones, using just a commlink—if you’re desperate enough. Note that you cannot swap any D/F attributes with non-existent A/S attribute values. [top]
What does the Control Device Matrix Action permit me to do?
Control Device (p. 180, SR6) relates to physical functions of the device in question. For example, you cannot use the Control Device to root through a commlink’s files. You could, on the other hand, force it to make a commcall, or to toggle on its integral microphone or camera.
An important note of clarification: using Control Device is the same thing as exercising remote control of a drone. You cannot use this Matrix Action on a drone that a rigger has already jumped in, and if you don’t spend an action controlling the device during any given combat round, then it reverts back out from under your control at the end of that round. A commlink made to turn its microphone on will still remain in that state until its owner notices and turns it back off, but a drone or smart firing platform will revert to autopilot control and its prior standing instructions. [top]
What is the Matrix Action for reading a file?
Once a file has been found (see Hash Check, p. 182, SR6) and it does not have any file protection (see Edit File, p. 181, SR6) then all it takes is access and time to view or read a file. Certain files, like advertisements, can be freely read with Outsider access. Security logs that record activity within a host will always require Admin access.
The time it takes to view or read a file depends on the nature and size of a file. It should take at least a Minor Action per round to monitor a file like an ongoing camera feed, and some number of Major Actions to read a detailed file. [top]
How does the Probe Matrix Action work?
This is a twist on the Extended test rules (p. 36, SR6) by incorporating an opposing dice pool, and omitting the threshold. During a Probe (p. 183, SR6), any hits in excess of the opposing total are net hits. Since there is no threshold, the hacker can declare success and quit performing additional intervals at any point. However, the opposing dice pool does not diminish with each successive interval. [top]
Why would anyone use Brute Force instead of Backdoor Entry?
There are indeed significant advantages to using Backdoor Entry: an exemption from accumulating automatic Overwatch Score for maintaining Admin access (p. 176, SR6) and not putting the host on alert when you use it.
However, there are also advantages to Brute Force. First is that it does not require spending a minute beforehand probing the network, so that makes it the better option in emergencies. Furthermore, cybercombat options are linked to the Attack attribute, and you cannot reconfigure your Matrix attributes after starting a hack (p. 178, SR6). So if you know cybercombat is probable, you’re better off being ready for it rather than handicapping yourself with a high Sleaze attribute. And when it comes to putting your target on notice via kicking the door down, so long as you’re running silent they still have to spot you before they can do anything to you. Also, don’t forget the Hide Matrix Action (p. 182, SR6) if the cybercombat is getting a little dicey, but you can’t jack out to escape just yet. [top]
What is the Action for swapping programs?
You use Reconfigure Matrix Attribute (pg. 183, SR6). You can swap out one currently running program for another one in storage with this action, but remember you cannot reload any programs previously affected by Crash Program (p. 181, SR6). This also applies to swapping autosofts that are running on your RCC or drone. [top]
Someone is hacking my stuff. But I’m no good in cybercombat. What can I do?
The first thing you should have done is subordinate your PAN under the team hacker’s. But if you did not, then a potentially strong but temporary option is to use Full Matrix Defense (p. 182, SR6). If only a given device is under Matrix attack, you could turn it wireless-off (p. 247, SR6). In extreme circumstances, use Reboot Device (p. 183, SR6) on yourself. It’ll knock you offline and cancel any wireless bonuses until you’re back up, but it will at least clear out any hacked access into your PAN. [top]
If a Matrix Action gives two possible pools for the defense test, can the defender pick between the two?
Absolutely. High-rating hosts will usually be better off rolling Firewall x 2 rather than Firewall + Spider’s Willpower, after all. The presence of a spider is supposed to be a help, not a hindrance. [top]
How do hosts, spiders, and IC use Edge?
If the host has at least one spider, the lead spider gets any Edge earned by the host or its IC, and spends any Edge used on the host’s or IC’s tests. If there is no spider on duty, then the host is the “controller” that gains and spends Edge earned by itself and the IC. [top]
Do spiders gain Overwatch Score?
Inside their own hosts, they do not accumulate Overwatch Score, even from means such as the Tattletale complex form (p. 191, SR6).
If a spider follows you out into the public Matrix, or into someone else’s host, then they can accumulate Overwatch Score and ultimately suffer convergence while performing illegal actions outside their jurisdiction. [top]
Can IC and spiders travel between hosts in the same architecture?
Spiders are metahuman Matrix users like anyone else, so obviously they can travel between hosts. A spider’s authority extends throughout a mutli-host architecture, but if they enter a host for which they are not a duly designated security agent, they lack their special privileges there and would accumulate OS for performing hacking actions there just like anyone else.
IC are run by their hosts and cannot leave them, even to travel to another host in the same architecture. [top]
When do hosts go on alert? What happens when a host goes on alert?
Both answers are ultimately “whatever the gamemaster decides.” Some useful rules of thumb for when a host “should” go on alert:
- If Patrol IC (p. 187, SR6) succeeds on a Matrix Perception test against an invading hacker;
- If any cybercombat is used inside the host, or to gain entry to it;
- If a hacker glitches or critical glitches inside a host; or
- Any time the gamemaster thinks things are running a bit too easy and quiet for the hacker.
When a host goes on alert, it will begin deploying additional IC according to its launch schedule to help repel the invaders. A launch schedule is nothing more than the list of IC that will be deployed and the order in which they will be launched. Remember hosts can only launch one IC per round. Additional alert responses can occur, based entirely on gamemaster discretion. Some suggestions include:
- Local law enforcement and/or GOD is alerted to the activity;
- Additional on-call spiders telecommute to the host to help defend it;
- The host rating never changes, but its ASDF array might change to a “war footing”;
- Alternately, maybe this host’s users and spiders are so used to Matrix vandalism that they temporarily ignore the alarm in the same way everyone ignores that one car that’s got its glitchy alarm blaring again. [top]
Can technomancers use standard Matrix Actions?
Yes. Their living persona gives them access to all the same Matrix Actions and Edge Actions described earlier in the chapter. [top]
What’s the point of emulating an autosoft, since living personas can’t use them?
If the technomancer has the Living Network echo (p. 195, SR6) they can share their emulated autosofts in a manner similar to the sharing function of a RCC, but only to one drone in their PAN at a time. [top]
Do Diffusions stack?
No. If multiple Diffusions of the same attribute are applied to a target, the biggest penalty overrides any others. [top]
How do technomancers and RCCs interact?
Until you have the Living Network echo, the short answer is “they don’t.” Once you do have that echo, you can subordinate an RCC into your living persona’s PAN. When you do this however, the living persona does not gain the Noise Reduction or Sharing features of the RCC. Those effects only apply to drones that are in turn subordinated to the RCC inside the entire linked PAN. [top]
What is the control override hierarchy?
Drones and vehicles are always in exactly one tier of control. They can only ever have one controller at a time, so orders or inputs to a drone that come at a lower tier than the current control mode are ignored. The tiers are:
- Autopilot control: includes orders issued via Command Drone or Spoof Command
- Manual control: only applies to vehicles with a driver physically present
- Remote control: includes control exerted via Control Device
- Jumped in
In order to usurp control of a drone, a user must exert control at a higher tier than currently in use. For example, anyone in the driver’s seat can take control of a vehicle under autopilot. A remote hacker can then hijack that vehicle via Control Device. The team’s rigger can then jump in, and then nothing can hijack the vehicle until the rigger jumps out of the vehicle, or is forced offline.
Control can be relinquished to a lower control tier voluntarily. If the controller spends no actions directing the drone during their own turn, then the drone automatically reverts to autopilot control at the end of the controller’s turn. [top]
What’s the difference between Autopilot Control, Remote Control, Jumped In Control, and the Command Drone Actions?
When under autopilot control, the autopilot spends actions during its own initiative turn. Any tests it makes use dice pools that are assembled from the drone’s own attributes and relevant autosoft, if available. The drone acts on its own initiative turn. Under any other tier, the controller spends actions and rolls dice pools built from their own attributes and skills (not autosofts). The drone acts immediately as these actions are spent, during the controller’s turn.
Remote control and jumped-in control are similar in that both cases, the controller spends actions that the drone or vehicle executes immediately during the controller’s own turn. Any tests are resolved via the controller’s attributes and skills. Autosofts are not used in either control tier. The drone gets no turn while under remote control or jumped-in control, but its initiative score is retained in case the autopilot resumes control later on.
Remote control can be done in the AR or a VR Matrix user mode, but being jumped in can only be done via VR. Where remote control is directly comparable to directing a toy or drone in real life, when a rigger jumps in to a drone or vehicle, they experience that device as their surrogate body. They can feel the asphalt under their tires or the wind under their flaps. Since being jumped in is the ultimate form of control, it trumps remote control, and nothing trumps being jumped in.
Command Drone Minor Action involves relaying orders to a drone, either via Matrix signal or verbal command. The drone will execute your orders while under autopilot control on its next available initiative turn.
Example: If you spend the Command Drone Minor Action to command your drone to attack an enemy, nothing happens immediately. When the drone’s initiative turn comes up, it will spend the Attack Major Action and resolve the test by rolling Targeting autosoft + Sensor. If you use the Control Device Matrix Action, then you are exercising remote control tier (and you are also usurping control from autopilot). You make the attack during this Matrix Action, rolling Engineering (Gunnery) + Logic. A jumped in rigger simply spends the Attack Major Action, also rolling Engineering (Gunnery) + Logic. [top]
Do I have to use a RCC to control a drone?
Although RCCs give some valuable benefits, they are not strictly necessary. You can also control a drone via other communications devices such as commlinks or cyberdecks. Since voice recognition software is well entrenched in the Sixth World, you can even vocally direct vehicles and drones (but only in the autopilot control mode).
A control rig does not incorporate a remote control signal of its own, so a rigger must either route their control rig through a Matrix comms device or plug a data cable directly from their head into the vehicle or drone they wish to jump in to. [top]
How big is an RCC?
An RCC is about the size and shape of a video game controller. [top]
Do drones have to remain wireless-enabled?
Not necessarily. Drones’ autopilots still work while wireless-off. This makes for a very stealthy drone, at least on the Matrix. But of course, you cannot update the autopilot with new commands unless within vocal range, nor can the drone share any sensor feeds with you while wireless communication is disabled. A drone running wireless-off can still use any autosofts loaded natively into its memory, but of course they cannot benefit from any autosoft sharing via RCC.
In niche circumstances, it may be desirable to maintain a dataline tether to a drone. So long as the cable remains an unbroken connection with your commlink or RCC, a wireless-disabled drone can still be remotely controlled or even jumped in to. Due to saltwater’s inherent noise interference, marine drones are the most common example of maintaining a direct connection via data cable. Of course, a rigger physically present inside a vehicle can directly jack in without requiring a wireless connection as well. [top]
What’s the difference between vehicles and drones?
Drones are a kind of vehicle that always comes with rigger adaptation and never has any seating capacity. Other than that, any rules that apply to vehicles also apply to drones, and vice versa. Unless an explicit exclusion is made, the terms “vehicle” and “drone” are interchangeable. [top]
How big are drones?
A basic guideline:
- Microdrones are about the size of a finger or an eyeball.
- Minidrones are about the size of a beverage can or pigeon.
- Small drones are about the size of a lawnmower or a dog.
- Medium drones are about the size of a metahuman.
- Large drones are about the size of a motorcycle or a horse.
- Huge drones get as big as excavators or even commercial airliners.
Flight-capable drones tend to be smaller and/or lighter than terrestrial drones of the same size class. [top]
Do I automatically crash every time I fail a Piloting test?
First of all, failing a handling test “only” results in making a Crash test (p. 200, SR6). Success on the Crash test obviously means there is no crash.
Furthermore, failing an Opposed Piloting test is failing an Opposed test, which is necessarily not a success test measured against a Handling-derived threshold. Therefore, failure isn’t going to result in a Crash test unless the gamemaster deems it appropriate, such as when one driver is attempting to force the other off the road.
Lastly, remember that the gamemaster is not only encouraged to penalize Crash tests in egregiously dangerous situations, they are equally encouraged to grant bonuses to them in less-extreme scenarios. [top]
Since Pilot ratings are so low, how do autopilot-driven vehicles avoid crashing at horrific frequencies?
For a few reasons. First of all, everyday driving scenarios do not warrant Handling tests. Secondly, vehicles are routinely guided by xGuide, which can be presumed to safely coordinate traffic. That’s literally what it’s for. Thirdly, when circumstances are such that a Handling test is called for, the gamemaster can give as many or as few circumstantial bonus dice to the autopilot for a potential Crash test as necessary to model a desired odds of a crash for that scenario.
Of course, if by a player’s choices a vehicle is performing stunts while on autopilot and without benefit of a maneuver autosoft, then by all means let the dice fall where they may. [top]
What action is it to drive or maintain control?
As a rule of thumb: Whatever action it would cost you to do on your own two feet, it also costs to make a vehicle or drone do. And things that don’t cost actions, like rolling to defend against an attack, still don’t cost an action while driving.
The Move Minor Action (p. 42, SR6) serves to govern vehicles and drones moving during combat scenes. Rather than moving up to 10 meters, the movement is as many meters as the vehicle’s current speed, plus or minus the Acceleration rating. The Speed for the turn can be modified by even higher values than this (very hard braking, for example) by spending the Sprint Major Action (p. 44, SR6) using Piloting + Reaction. Additional speed change beyond this result is potentially possible but subject to gamemaster discretion, coupled with a Handling test to allow for the driver’s skill to be a relevant factor, or even in extreme cases going straight to a Crash test.
If the controller does not spend a Move Minor Action, then the vehicle or drone will stop in place at the end of their turn if the current speed is 10 or lower. If the current speed is higher than this when the controller fails to spend the Minor Action, the control mode drops down to the autopilot control tier at the end of the controller’s turn. The autopilot will spend one of its own Minor Actions on Move to maintain control, even if this is after its own initiative turn, in accordance with its standing instructions and the context of the situation at hand. [top]
If it’s just a Move Minor Action to move a drone, and it travels its current Speed plus or minus your Acceleration, then what’s that math about on page 200?
It’s a slightly more realistic way to model acceleration and movement, but that level of complexity is best left to cases where all characters are in vehicles and all players love doing arithmetic. [top]
Can I use Full Defense or Dodge on my drones?
Block, Dodge, Full Defense, and similar actions affect the rigger personally rather than any drones or vehicles they might happen to be controlling at the time. Note that there is a published Edge Boost that approximates the effect of the Dodge Minor Action for drones and vehicles, using Piloting skill rather than Athletics. See Evasive Action, p. 117, Double Clutch. Also note that the Full Matrix Defense Action (p. 182, SR6) will protect not only the rigger’s persona but their entire PAN, drones included, in cybercombat. [top]
What does a drone roll if it’s armed with a close combat weapon?
Some drones are equipped with melee weapons, and attacking with those are not well represented by the ramming rules. Attacking with such a weapon is still resolved via Engineering (Gunnery) + Logic when under control of an operator, or that weapon’s targeting autosoft + Sensor when under autopilot control.
A niche exception exists when a drone with hands is wielding a weapon in those hands rather than in a weapon mount, and the controller is jumped in. If all of the preceding is true, then the jumped in rigger has the option to use the weapon’s usual skill rather than Engineering (Gunnery) to make attacks. [top]
What does a drone roll when someone attacks it?
Vehicles and drones roll Pilot + evasion autosoft to defend against attacks when under autopilot control, and Piloting + Reaction when under an operator’s control. [top]
What about vehicle riders/occupants that are being attacked?
They can either roll Reaction + Intuition as normal, or they can trust in their driver and let the Pilot + evasion/Reaction + Piloting skill pool stand in place. [top]
What are the rules for repairing damaged vehicles and drones?
See the Build/Repair rules described under the Engineering skill (p. 95, SR6). The gamemaster decides upon a threshold based on the amount of damage and decides whether a shop/kit/facility (p. 273, SR6) is required for the tools. Success repairs the item.
Double Clutch rigger expansion rulebook offers more in-depth repair rules. [top]
Can outside observers even see into an enclosed Sixth World vehicle?
Just as with buildings, vehicle windows can be transparent, one way/blackout/mirrored, or completely opaque with interior display screens fed by external sensors. All three options are widely used, and a character can decide which of the three they use for their own vehicles without any cost modifications. In the event it becomes necessary to resolve what kind of windows a vehicle operated by NPCs has, feel free to use this suggestion:
Roll 1D6 (and add +2 pips for security or combat vehicles)
- 1–2: This vehicle has plain, transparent windows. Hi, there!
- 3–4: This vehicle doesn’t even have windows, per se. The occupants are looking at digital screens displaying the vehicle’s surroundings. Or, since most people just let the autopilot drive, maybe they’re watching trideo entertainment on their interior window vidscreens instead.
- 5–6: This vehicle has one-way windows Obviously, the occupants inside can see outside. The other way around wouldn’t work well. [top]
Why do certain cyberprograms give one benefit when running on a RCC, but another benefit when running on other kinds of devices?
The devices fundamentally process the software differently. When Armor, Encryption, and Stealth are loaded on a cyberdeck, they behave as described on page 184. When they are loaded on a RCC, they behave as described on page 198. [top]
Can I combine a cyberdeck with my RCC?
No. The protocols simply aren’t compatible. However if you want to do some hacking as a rigger, you can run some software from Double Clutch to give your RCC some limited Attack and/or Sleaze functions, without needing a cyberdeck! [top]
Which autosofts run on any drone, and which autosofts are drone-specific?
Clearsight, electronic warfare, and evasion autosofts all work on any platform. These are ideal autosofts for sharing from your RCC since they work on all drones equally well. Maneuvering and stealth are specific to the drone or vehicle type. Targeting autosofts are keyed to a specific weapon. For example you must use Targeting: AK-97 and not Targeting: Assault Rifles or Targeting: Firearms. [top]
Are there any other restrictions on using autosofts?
Drones may simultaneously benefit from autosofts that are running locally and from those that are remotely shared via RCC. Also note that there’s no limit to the number of autosofts that you can load onto a drone because file storage in 2082 is essentially unlimited. The limit of (½ Pilot) refers to the number of autosofts that the drone can have running simultaneously. A drone’s autopilot can swap out a currently running autosoft for another one in memory by spending a Minor Action.
Autosoft ratings are not restricted to the Pilot attribute rating or the RCC’s device rating, so a rating 6 evasion autosoft can be loaded on anything that could have had a rating 1 evasion autosoft. An autosoft can only be running on one device or drone at a time. For example, if you have 3 MCT Rotodrones, you cannot use 1 copy of MCT Rotodrone maneuvering on each of the three drones. You could, however, load it on your RCC and use the sharing function rather than buying 3 copies of the autosoft.
A final note: Remember that vehicles and drones use the same mechanics. A vehicle can benefit from autosofts in all the same ways drones do. [top]
How smart are drones left to their own control?
Drones’ “dog brains” are at least as smart as a well-trained canine. A drone on autopilot is generally presumed to act in accordance with the rigger’s intent when executing their instructions. However, in cases where the instructions are confusing or outright detrimental if followed literally, the gamemaster can ask for a Pilot + Pilot test against an appropriate threshold (p. 36, SR6). Success means the drone does what the controller wishes, no matter how poorly or sloppily worded the instructions were. Failure means the drone queries for clarification rather than acting. A glitch or critical glitch means the gamemaster decides how the drone carries out the instruction. [top]
Can drones gain and spend Edge while on autopilot?
Yes. However, any Edge gained goes to the controller’s pool, and any Edge spent comes from that same pool. Ergo, if a hacker performs Spoof Command to tell a security drone to turn on its handler, when the drone does so it is still under autopilot control, and its handler still gains any Edge for that attack. It also has the ability to decide how any Edge is spent on the drone’s attack. If the hacker uses Control Device instead, then they are the controller. They roll their own Engineering (Gunnery) test on the attack, and the hacker gains any Edge from it. Any spent Edge comes from their own pool. [top]
Do grunts and critters have separate condition monitors?
They typically do not. Neither do spirits and drones, for that matter. Physical and Stun damage accumulate together in a single condition monitor track. Remember that Prime Runner NPCs (pp. 210-211, SR6) have separate condition monitors in the same way player characters do. [top]
How come some Lieutenants have enormous condition monitors?
Remember that grunt leaders, a.k.a. Lieutenants, add their Professional Rating to their condition monitor (p. 203, SR6). [top]
What’s up with critters that have A2 as their action allotment?
Player characters have 1 Major Action per turn. Most NPCs have 1 Major Action per turn. However some critters get 2 Major Actions per turn. There wouldn’t be any need for a statline to specify how many Major Actions a critter gets if everyone always gets the same number, would there be?
Likewise, some critters simply move faster or slower than metahumans, and some have movement allowances other than 10/15, as well. [top]
What’s up with sharks and Hardened Armor?
Since you’re unlikely to be in combat with a shark that’s out of the water, it’s reasonable to presume the Hardened Armor represents a combination of its toughness coupled with the diminished force of attacks that are made underwater. Gamemasters may ignore a shark’s Hardened Armor from fully effective underwater attacks such as those from spearguns and lightning bolts. [top]
Do critter powers count as spells?
Targeted critter powers are subject to all the same targeting restrictions as spells, but they do not impose any penalty to sustain. Targeted and sustained critter powers can be disrupted or counterspelled in all the same ways spells can be. Any critter powers that are always in effect do not have their own astral forms and therefore cannot be independently disrupted or dispelled. Indeed, certain “always on” critter powers might not even be magical in nature at all, such as armor or enhanced senses. [top]
Do groups with critter powers sustained on them have to remain together?
Yes. Runners that are subjected to beneficial critter powers such as Concealment, Guard, or Movement must remain in the critter’s line of sight or the power ceases to continue to affect them. This does not apply to hostile powers such as Fear or the offensive use of Movement. [top]
How does the Search power work, exactly?
The first important issue is what Search (pp. 227-228, SR6) can be used to find in the first place. A magician can automatically provide a suitable “mental image” to a summoned spirit of the desired Search target if they are personally well known to that magician or if they have scored at least 5 net hits assensing the target’s aura (p. 159, SR6). If the person is only an acquaintance or the object was seldom handled, the magician must succeed on a Memory (3) test (p. 67, SR6) to successfully impart enough information for the spirit to use Search. If the magician has never met the individual nor encountered the object before, then the power cannot be used on that target. Depictions such as holograms or AR photos are useless to a spirit. Once the spirit has a suitable mental image, it can begin the Search.
If searching for a living being or a magical object, the spirit can remain in astral space while using the power. Its location becomes undefined—it is simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. It does not count as being on a remote service during this type of Search. It cannot be targeted by any effects during the Search. It does not encounter any astral threats, barriers, or anything at all. If the extended test is a success, the spirit “returns” to the magician’s side and imparts knowledge of the desired individual’s or magical object’s current location. The spirit does not know anything about that location, including whether it is behind any astral barriers. The spirit will know if the target is in motion, but will not maintain updated knowledge of its current location after the Search concludes.
If the target is a nonliving object, the Search cannot be performed from astral space as described above. The spirit must materialize to perform the Search. Of course, anyone and everyone will object to a spirit barging in uninvited and rooting around through their homes, cars, and places of business … and plenty of actors in the Sixth World have the resources to put a stop to it. Then come find the magician who sent it. For this reason, magicians are highly encouraged to provide a bounded area for the spirit to physically Search so it doesn’t go off finding the nearest dragon’s lair before it finds the needle you suspect to be inside a specific haystack. Naturally, if you tell a spirit to Search only a specific area, it will still encounter any guards and employees inside during the course of executing the Search, so be very careful indeed looking for physical objects. If the object is behind a barrier, the spirit must somehow penetrate the barrier in order to find the object. If the object is not within the bounded area you tasked the spirit to search, it will realize this upon “succeeding” on the Extended test, against the same threshold as if the object had been there. Upon conclusion (one way or another), the results of a Search are immediately shared via the empathic link. If the spirit moved too far away from you during the Search, it retroactively counts as a remote service. [top]
Running the Game
The suggested critical glitches on page 233 include some rather gruesome possibilities…
Remember what was said about glitches and critical glitches on page 44: they should be neither particularly punishing, nor un-fun. When a glitch or critical glitch causes a character to “lose” an eye or a hand, you should usually consider that to mean a temporary loss of use rather than physical destruction or removal. Many of the statuses listed on pages 51-53 of SR6 are fine ways to mechanically represent the misadventures suggested for glitches and critical glitches. And as statuses, the gamemaster can decide how long those effects last. The duration could be some number of combat rounds, until the end of the scene, or even until successfully treated via a Biotech test against a gamemaster-assigned threshold (see Threshold Guidelines, p. 36 SR6). [top]
How do SIN/license verification systems work?
SIN verification systems roll twice their rating against a threshold equal to the rating of the fake SIN or license. Higher rating verification systems can, at gamemaster discretion, require falsified biometric inputs that match the fake SIN’s records in order to complete the verification. If the SIN verification system gets 1 or more net hits, the fakery is detected and the SIN and any attached licenses are immediately burned. Any lifestyles and bank accounts linked to that SIN are locked out by the authorities. If the SIN verification system fails the check, the forgery is undetected. If the SIN verification system scores exactly as many hits as the threshold, the system prompts the user to interrogate the bearer. A social encounter should ensue, where the bearer has the opportunity to convince the system’s user to manually clear them. [top]
What are the rules for creating your own fake SINs?
Creating a fake SIN is an activity that involves years of meticulous cultivation to ease into the global SIN registries. This activity is beyond the scope of regular shadowrunning. However, with gamemaster discretion, identity theft can temporarily serve as a low-rating fake SIN. [top]
What are the rules for changing ownership?
See the answer given in the Matrix section. [top]
So if I use an imaging scope, the other guy’s armor is useless?
Not always. Denying Edge from Defense Rating is a benefit that only occurs while you are using Take Aim. [top]
Can I put a laser rangefinder in a cybereye? What about putting it in a helmet?
In theory, anything that costs capacity can be mounted in anything that grants capacity. But there are numerous exemptions that keep that rule of thumb from being the full answer.
- Visual mods must be housed in eyes, cameras, sensor arrays, helmets, head-covering clothing, optical devices, or other items the gamemaster approves.
- Audio mods must be housed in ears, cameras, sensor arrays, helmets, head-covering clothing, auditory devices, or other items the gamemaster approves.
- If a cyberware version of the modification exists, that version must be used when being housed inside another piece of cyberware. For example, cybereyes cannot accept the visual enhancements version of low#light vision listed on p. 275; they can only accept the headware version listed on p. 285.
- Single sensors with sensor functions (p. 277, SR6) can be placed in anything granting capacity.
- Ultrasound has its own cyberware version that must be used when being implanted into a body or added into cyberware.
- Armor modifications (p. 266, SR6) can only go into armor. Armor can also accept other capacity-costing items when it does not conflict with one of the above rules. [top]
How do sensors and sensor arrays work?
Sensors roll their rating to detect whatever it is they are designed to detect. The threshold for this test is set by Concealability (p. 246), an Opposed skill test, or gamemaster-adjudicated via the basic threshold guidance (p. 36, SR6).
- Atmosphere sensor: difficulty in picking out details beyond basic facts is set by threshold guidance.
- Cyberware sensor: difficulty set by Concealability or Cyberware Scanner Table (p. 243, SR6).
- Geiger counter: difficulty in picking out details beyond basic facts is set by threshold guidance.
- Laser range finder: difficulty in picking out details beyond basic facts is set by threshold guidance
- MAD scanner: difficulty set by Concealability. Modifiers such as concealable holsters or hidden arm slides do not apply.
- Motion sensor: opposed by moving target’s Stealth test.
- Olfactory sensor: difficulty in picking out details beyond basic facts is set by threshold guidance. Detecting explosives uses the thresholds used by chemsniffers (p. 242, SR6).
- Ultrasound sensor: picks out solid surfaces (including invisible ones) automatically, but discerning fine details requires a test against a threshold derived from guidance on p. 36, SR6.
Sensors must be placed in some sort of housing before they can be employed. This is often an object listed on p. 277, SR6 such as a handheld housing. It can alternately be another capacity-granting device, such as a camera, helmet, sensor tag, or cybereye/ear/limb. Sensors only consume  capacity no matter what rating they are.
Single sensors can be grouped to work together simultaneously in a sensor array. When organized in this way and housed together, the array can be used to make perception tests using its rating in place of your skill. Sensor arrays include basic video and audio input, and can be augmented by visual and audio upgrades such as low light or select sound filter, costing the space of one single sensor allowed per point of capacity consumed.
Drones and vehicles’ Sensor attribute is a sensor array that ignores the size requirements listed on p. 277. [top]
How do antidote slap patches work?
Generic antidote patches remove the Poisoned # status. Many toxins, such as those listed on pages 122 and 123 of Shadowrun, Sixth World, don’t inflict the Poisoned # status. They have their own specific antidotes that can be placed in slap patches that only work for their own name. For example a neuro-stun antidote slap patch will neutralize all three variants of that toxin, but is useless if the target has been exposed to narcoject.
The availability for these specific antidotes matches the availability for the toxin. If a slap patch is applied after the toxin takes effect, it does not cure any physical or stun damage but it will end any toxin-induced statuses. Subsequent exposure to that toxin will count as new exposures, so be wary of airborne toxins. [top]
What does it mean if an augmentation is incompatible with another augmentation?
The language can vary, but some augmentations state that they are incompatible with certain other kinds of augmentations. Some say they cannot be combined with them. In all such cases, it means that the prohibition only prevents stacking or combining their bonuses and effects together.
Additionally, while drugs and spells that give bonuses are technically augmentations, they are handled differently when it comes to individual cyberware and bioware compatibility restrictions. Bonuses from drugs and spells stack with implants that self-restrict compatibility, but they are still subject to the universal +4 augmented bonus limit. Bonuses from adrenaline pumps’ (p. 291, SR6) are considered to be coming from a drug when it comes to augmentation incompatibilities (i.e., their adrenaline bonus stacks with muscle replacement, muscle augmentation, and muscle toner). [top]
How do capacity and augmentation grade rules intersect?
When paying for modifications or add-ons via Capacity rather than Essence, those modifications or add-ons must be subjected to the same price multiplier as the implant grade (p. 282, SR6) they are housed within. The capacity consumed by these modifications or add-ons are not modified by grade.
Note that some cyberware houses other gear, such as implanted cyberdecks and implanted commlinks. Gear that is not consuming Capacity is not multiplied by the housing implant’s grade. Example: a cyberdeck mounted in a used implanted cyberdeck implant is not 50% off. [top]
How do the rules for cyberlimbs work?
Full cyberlimbs have their own Agility and Strength attributes. These can advance to any value you have the money and capacity for, but the limb’s effective potential is capped at 4 points higher than your natural, unaugmented value. Cyberlimbs can also use Augmentation Overdrive (p. 282, SR6), gaining an additional +2 Agility and Strength each.
Gamemasters are encouraged to be forgiving when deciding whether a cyberlimb can do a task without involvement from the rest of the body. For example, sprinting absolutely involves your core and even your arms. But if a character has two cyberlegs, be nice and assume those legs can do the job without having to bring their Strength investments down to the weakest body part’s level.
Because partial cyberlimbs are so small, they do not have Strength and Agility attributes of their own. Nor do they increase your Physical Condition Monitor. They are presumed to automatically match the rest of the body they are attached to. Use their limited capacity for fun gadgets!
Muscle replacement cyberware and muscle toner and muscle augmentation bioware can be used by a character with one or more cyberlimbs, but those limbs will not benefit from them. Cyberlimbs’ Agility and Strength are never modified by other augmentations, spells, or drugs.
Example: A samurai with Strength 5 and Agility 3 has muscle replacement 2 and a cyberarm with 9 Strength and 2 Agility. Their effective Strength is 5(7), except for tasks that are done via that cyberarm in which case the 9 Strength value is used. Their augmented Agility is 3(5), but it is reduced to the cyberarm’s value of 2 for any tests that must involve using that limb. They probably ought to pay for upgrading that cyberlimb’s Agility to at least 5 in order to not have a limb weaker than the rest of the body. [top]
Can I have as many cyberlimbs as I want?
The cyberlimbs as presented in Shadowrun, Sixth World are only usable in a standard body plan. For almost everyone, that means: 1 cyberskull, 1 cybertorso, 2 cyberlegs, 2 cyberarms. [top]
Does the Control Rig’s built-in sim module come with hot sim capability or must that be purchased separately?
Control rigs allow hot sim VR without having to be upgraded. [top]
Is used-grade cultured bioware possible?
On the face of things, it’d be highly unlikely to find an augmentation only usable by you that has been previously used by someone else. But the Sixth World is a strange place, and can you ever really know for sure you don’t have a doppelganger?
However, the gamemaster has the prerogative to presume that used-grade augmentations can also mean “cheaply manufactured” or is otherwise materially substandard. In such a case, used-grade cultured bioware would be just as feasible as anything else. [top]
How do damage compensators work?
You do not have to decide ahead of time which boxes will be ignored. You can freely choose and re-choose any time you like. Pain is pain, no matter whether it comes from Physical damage or Stun damage. Maximize your benefit as you are wounded—that’s what the augmentation is there for. [top]
Thanks to Hjal Nelson, Tom Bloom, Raymond Croteau, Aaron Dykstra, Jim Greene, Mathieu Tivin, and Robert Volbrecht for their work on this page!