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SR5 Matrix Perciption

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Hanzo

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« on: <03-29-21/0937:59> »
Hoi, chummers!

I'm trying to understand the Spotting and the Filtering thing of the Matrix Perception Action. Please help/

What does a character see in AR/on the screen of a device when you perfom this action? Is this some sort of a list showing selected icons like drones/files/comms/decks etc.? Or is this mere understanding of types and number of icons in the vicinity?

And the second thing: will I see an icon of a device if I'm holding it in my hand right infront of me? Classically this question is going to evolve into: Should a character see an icon right where an object (drone/comm/deck/rcc etc.) physically is, if you are making the Matrix Perception in 100m radius?

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: <03-29-21/1009:06> »
I think answering the 2nd part first makes the 1st part more easy to envision.

When you encounter some device(s), you can "perceive" them via the matrix.  Many, if not most, denizens of the Sixth World will have image link active... whether that's through glasses/contacts, a direct neural interface (trodes or datajack), or even cybernetic implants in the eyes.  So long as you DO have image link, the icons are artificially added to your field of vision in a manner similar to a Heads Up Display.  If, for example, you pick up a gun you can not only see the gun with your physical senses, you can of course see its matrix representation as well.  Whether the icon is superimposed over the physical object or is added to a menu or sidebar of "nearby devices" somewhere in your field of vision is a matter of fluff/in-universe personal preference.

Of course if you DON'T employ image link, then you'll have to scroll through a list of icons on your commlink's touch screen.  The rules presume you're not some luddite and use image link/AR user mode like a normal person, so if you DO insist on swiping your touchscreen to do matrix actions, the GM should think of appropriate ways to represent this far less efficient way of using the matrix. 

So, when it comes to devices within 100 meters, rather than being literally in your hand, it's really the same situation.  But, a device is probably more apt to be added to a list of "spotted" devices rather than being a holographic icon that consumes some part of your field of vision, however small it might be.  Think about being in a busy shopping mall or office building... there's surely tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands or even potentially millions of devices within 100 meters. (think about it... every manufactured thing is a device and has an icon.  Every snack or drink in every vending machine.  Every article of clothing worn by every person.  etc)  You can't differentiate between that many discrete icons.  Surely there's some kind of menu/compartmentalization that you've configured to keep things you've "spotted" but don't particularly care about from interfering with your vision.  But, from a rules mechanic point of view, all of those devices' icons (presuming they're not running silent, anyway) have been spotted and can be drawn up from whatever "storage" menu you're employing to the forefront of your attention/vision, should you want to begin hacking them.

« Last Edit: <03-29-21/1023:25> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Xenon

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« Reply #2 on: <03-29-21/2049:51> »
What does a character see in AR/on the screen of a device when you perfom this action?
Without taking an action or a test you see icons of wireless devices around you
By just glancing at the icon you will immediately know the function of the device
(but if you want to find out more details you will need to spend an action to actually observe the icon)

If you spend an action / take a test you can use Matrix Perception (a computer + intuition test) for 3 things;
  • You use it to spot a specific icon you are looking for / is already aware of
  • You use it to analyze an icon that you already spotted (game of "20 questions")
  • You use it to search the matrix for information (also known as "matrix search")


Is this some sort of a list showing selected icons like drones/files/comms/decks etc.? Or is this mere understanding of types and number of icons in the vicinity?
Each wireless device in the entire world have its own matrix icon and if you turn down your filters you can see all of them at once (but it would probably blur your vision to the point you can't see anything at all). Icons are also bright and easy to spot. If you are (somehow) aware of that there is a surveillance camera overlooking Stuffer Shack at Pariser Platz in Berlin you can try to spot its device icon. Even if you are in Seattle. You also just need a single hit on a Matrix Perception test to filter it out among the sea of other device icons (the matrix is very helpful in finding things for you). If the camera is running silent then it will oppose your test. If not and you are instead within 100 meters of it (or within the same host as it is slaved to) then spotting is automatic.

Most people are not interested in every single icon out there so they group them together. All wireless devices someone carry on their body is for example often merged into a single PAN icon. But you can also choose to not filter out more dangerous devices, such as wireless enabled weapons.

If you have no idea what you are looking for, except perhaps that you are interested in spotting icons that are running silent, then you can for example filter out all icons that are not running silent. That way becoming aware of every silent running icons in your vicinity become as apparent as a running crowd or a neon sign (you only need 1 single hit on an unopposed matrix perception test to become aware of all of them at once). Once aware you can take a matrix perception tests to spot their icons (one by one, or two at a time if you run the Fork cyberprogram).


will I see an icon of a device if I'm holding it in my hand right infront of me?
Yes. Spotting icons of devices in your vicinity is typically automatic. No test required.
Unless it is running silent. Then you need to take an opposed test to spot its specific icon.


Classically this question is going to evolve into: Should a character see an icon right where an object (drone/comm/deck/rcc etc.) physically is, if you are making the Matrix Perception in 100m radius?
To spot the icon of a specific device you are already aware of you take a matrix perception test.
- If the icon is device is running silent then it get to oppose your test.
- If not and within 100 meters then spotting is automatic.

Physically looking at a device is for sure one way to get aware of the specific device (but there are other methods as well).


So long as you DO have image link...
No need for an image link if you a have DNI.

SR5 p. 222 Direct Neural Interface
...but DNI is also useful for AR in that you don’t need any additional gear like earbuds or an image link to see or hear augmented reality objects.


...then you'll have to scroll through a list of icons on your commlink's touch screen.
Nah, you just hold your commlink in front of you, using the camera of your commlink and the screen of your commlink to display the augmented reality overlay on your surroundings. Similar to how people experienced AR games (such as Pokemon Go) with their smart phones back in 2021....


But, from a rules mechanic point of view, all of those devices' icons (presuming they're not running silent, anyway) have been spotted and can be drawn up from whatever "storage" menu you're employing to the forefront of your attention/vision, should you want to begin hacking them.
Spotting the icon of a specific device is automatic (unless it is far away or trying to hide).
This is not the same as automatically and constantly spotting every single icon in your vicinity.......

Standing in front of a building you can automatically spot the 3rd window on the 4th floor without taking a test.
This is not the same as automatically and constantly spotting every single window of every single building around you......

Hanzo

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« Reply #3 on: <03-30-21/0519:47> »
By just glancing at the icon you will immediately know the function of the device
(but if you want to find out more details you will need to spend an action to actually observe the icon)

will I see an icon of a device if I'm holding it in my hand right infront of me?
Yes. Spotting icons of devices in your vicinity is typically automatic. No test required.
Unless it is running silent. Then you need to take an opposed test to spot its specific icon.

Classically this question is going to evolve into: Should a character see an icon right where an object (drone/comm/deck/rcc etc.) physically is, if you are making the Matrix Perception in 100m radius?
To spot the icon of a specific device you are already aware of you take a matrix perception test.
- If the icon is device is running silent then it get to oppose your test.
- If not and within 100 meters then spotting is automatic.

Physically looking at a device is for sure one way to get aware of the specific device (but there are other methods as well).

...then you'll have to scroll through a list of icons on your commlink's touch screen.
Nah, you just hold your commlink in front of you, using the camera of your commlink and the screen of your commlink to display the augmented reality overlay on your surroundings. Similar to how people experienced AR games (such as Pokemon Go) with their smart phones back in 2021....

Do I understand correct that every single person has some filters constantly running and they see icons they want? So if runners are passing by the Average Joe, Joe will see, say, commlinks, augmentations and music collection (cause he doesn't give a thing about anything else), but at the very same time the Lone Star guys will see runners wireless enabled gun's icon (if it's not running silent) just by looking at the runners.

Do I understand correct that the Matrix Perception Action we use in order to spot the icon we need at this very moment? In any other momnet you can just turn your head sideways and see all the filtered icons. (It sounds like an matrix X-ray - just by standing in front of the front door you can see icons of stuff working there. Is that so?)

Xenon

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« Reply #4 on: <03-30-21/0900:08> »
Do I understand correct that every single person has some filters constantly running and they see icons they want?
Yes.

If you don't filter anything then you would even become blinded by all the data streams and icons out there.

SR5 p. 218 The population of the matrix
Datastreams are normally filtered out of your Matrix view because if they weren’t, they’d be the only thing you would see. If you want, you can dial back on the filtering...



So if runners are passing by the Average Joe, Joe will see, say, commlinks, augmentations and music collection (cause he doesn't give a thing about anything else)
Yes.

Joe can also listen to (but not copy, edit or delete) the music albums (unless the owner deliberately made them private / protected them).



the Lone Star guys will see runners wireless enabled gun's icon (if it's not running silent) just by looking at the runners.
Yes.

Lone Star can also run a check on the (fake) SIN and the (fake) weapon licence that the runner's persona is currently broadcasting.



Do I understand correct that the Matrix Perception Action we use in order to spot the icon we need at this very moment?
Yes, sort of.

But remember that icons are very easy to spot. They are like neon signs. You typically only require a test to spot a neon sign if it is not in your vicinity, but even then you typically only need a single hit to spot it (and most GMs will probably let you buy the hit). Same in matrix if you wish to spot an icon of a specific device.

Only if the neon sign is actually being hidden the the test becomes an opposed test and would be worth taken to begin with. Same in matrix if the specific device is running silent...



In any other momnet you can just turn your head sideways and see all the filtered icons. (It sounds like an matrix X-ray - just by standing in front of the front door you can see icons of stuff working there. Is that so?)
Yes.

You can see PAN icon of people and device icons of devices. And you are also not limited to things that are within 100 meters of you. In SR5 handshake range is world wide.

Note that while an icon's location within the matrix seem to suggest both at least a sense of distance and direction, if you wish to find the exact geolocation of an icon you typically need 2 marks and take the legal Trace Icon action.

There are at least two uses cases where trace icon is highly recommended;
  • To find out the actual physical location of a persona that is travelling around in the matrix or that you meet inside a host
  • To find out the actual physical location of a device out on the grid that is slaved to the host you are inside of (you will have a direct connection and in effect a distance of zero meters even if the device is physically located at the other side of the world

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #5 on: <03-30-21/0934:23> »
Xenon is correct that the intent is that if you can physically see the device, then you can also automatically "matrix spot" its corresponding icon, too.  Assuming it's not running silent, of course.  Note that when running silent, this can work against you in reverse!  Lone Star or a bouncer might physically notice your gun, and then realize there's no apparent corresponding matrix icon.  What kind of people walk around with silent running guns?  Trouble-makers, that's who.

In the case of icons that are close enough to be spotted, yet you can't physically see the corresponding device (too far, other side of a wall, in a different building, etc) I rationalize "spotting" as being a case of filtering out all the matrix signals that are similar to the particular device you're interested in.  Of course, spotting a silent-running icon is more akin to a perception vs stealth dynamic in the physical world.

RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.