For Shadowrun 5E, I have a rule-based question with respect to deckers: when you slave a lower rated cyberdeck to your higher rated commlink, does the higher Firewall score change Firewall-related rolls/stats?

For example: my character uses a Fairlight Caliban as a Master and slaves her Hermes Chariot to it (given the rules on Pg. 233 of the Rulebook), giving her a Firewall of 7 (higher than any attribute assignment currently possible with the deck, cool!) But when resisting Matrix damage there's a DR + Firewall roll; am I rolling with the 7 Firewall? 2nd related question: if I opt to use the Fairlight's Device Rating, does my Matrix Condition Monitors change since they are based on device rating?

I would figure that the resisting damage roll would use the higher firewall, but in the case of the 2nd example, Matrix Condition monitors would use my deck's actual Condition Monitor. My reason would be that my deck would be taking damage, not the comm. But not sure!

Thank you!


1 Answer 1


Let's start with the RAW text on the page you listed:

Whenever a slaved device is called on to make a defense test, it uses either its own or its master’s rating for each rating in the test. For example, if your slaved smartgun is the target of a hacker’s Brute Force action, it would use your Willpower or its Device Rating, and its Firewall or your commlink’s, whichever is higher in each instance. If a slaved device is under attack via a direct connection (as through a universal data connector), however, it cannot use its master’s ratings to defend itself.

So therefore, Yes, you roll the 7 Firewall but only if it's not a direct connection to the Chariot since physical access trumps your PAN.

Your second question gets a little tricky, but I'm going to say that No, it doesn't take damage like the Master because Matrix condition isn't a defensive test, it's merely a predetermined track. Since no roll is involved, then it can't be overlapped.

On the chance that you can let it soak like the master, I would be terrified of the damage if it gets bricked or reboots. Once it disconnects from the PAN in any way, it might be overclocked quite a bit of damage when it finally becomes bricked and couldn't come online until restored beneath its regular threshold. Ouch.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you so much for your help, hit the nail on the head. Eep, I didn't think about those side effects if it were able to soak the damage! I guess it makes sense that damage is to that device alone. Sometimes I wish these things were clearer in the core! Thanks again! :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Interrupt
    Jun 1, 2014 at 15:07
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ No problem - Wasn't until my first technomancer that I realized how crazy the system gets. \$\endgroup\$
    – CatLord
    Jun 1, 2014 at 15:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also notice that the rule is talking about slaved device if you are projecting your persona through the deck, the ICs/spiders are going to attack the persona and not the device so your persona does not benefit from the Firewall 7. \$\endgroup\$
    – Korusef
    May 5, 2015 at 14:34

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