Are there specific rules for resolving a simulated physical combat carried out on the Matrix? I know there's physical and Matrix combat rules, but it came up in a recent session that two characters logged on to a roleplaying node and wanted to engage in a simulation of physical combat, rather than hacking each other's avatars. Naively, I would apply the usual rules for physical combat, but it's not clear to me what the relevant attributes should be. Someone can definitely be a better fighter with their high-strength avatar than their comparatively weak physical body, after all. Thanks for the help!

  • \$\begingroup\$ I had an answer... but it was for DnD. Then I saw your shadowrun tag and felt sad :'( \$\endgroup\$
    – LeguRi
    Nov 14, 2010 at 23:50

1 Answer 1


I would suggest that you pick one of the options below, or come up with your own, and just stick to it. There aren't rules for it because the Matrix rules deals with hacking into corp facilities, not sitting on RP servers. There are no rules for this for the same reason that there aren't rules for farming or managing a Stuffer Shack.

  • Matrix physical combat is like Astral Combat: You determine your physical stats based on your mental stats and make rolls like normal. This is a good option because it requires the least learning of new rules on the part of the players; they already understand how astral combat works.
  • Matrix physical combat uses your Equipment: Body, Agility, Reaction, and Strength are equal to your Firewall, Response, Signal, and System respectively. This is a good option because it makes the player's equipment meaningful. Most of the stats make sense, but why does Signal stand in for Reaction? Just for coverage, literally no other reason.
  • Matrix physical combat uses stats based on your present avatar: Whatever shape you take has some stats assigned to it, and you just use those stats. As a Simple Action you can switch avatars to a new shape that you have on file. During said simple action you can also choose to clear any damage or other conditions on your avatar or not (though doing so might be against the rules of the server you're on). This is a good option because it represents the fully arbitrary nature of the Matrix, and also the complete anonymity of the Matrix.

I think my point is, you can make things up in this area, and as long as the players know ahead of time what the rules are going to be things will be fine.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the suggestions. I only am concerned as much as I am because the players are trying to impress marks on an RP server, and I don't want it to be automatic. I like your point about consistency, though. Thanks again! \$\endgroup\$ Nov 15, 2010 at 5:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was going to suggest a UV node (in which your character's physical abilities are used); but, I like Lokathor's suggestion better, and I think it makes more sense for an online matrix game. +1 for matrix combat like astral combat. \$\endgroup\$
    – RMorrisey
    Nov 15, 2010 at 14:41

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