The Matrix

You still believe this world is real, that you are real and are visiting a blog…

Follow the white rabbit to find out the truth.

The Matrix is a great movie, with a cosmogony made of machines, very good actors and special effects, and a profound story.

It refers to a lot of religious beliefs, movies and traditions:

1- Morpheus is like the art martial master, teaching to Neo how to become himself, how to express his full potential.
2- Trinity is the Virgin Mary. She is very skilled (just behind Morpheus), and supports Neo with any doubts. She allows him by her faith to rebirth.
3- Cypher is like Judas, the traitor, the one who knows very well Morpheus and the others but will betray them because he doesn’t have faith.
4- Neo is the chosen one, the Jesus of the Matrix, the one who have superpowers and can reboot the entire system. The main difference with Jesus is that he needs the help of Morpheus and Trinity to develop his potential.
5- The white rabbit, like in « Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ». Neo follows it and take the path to the truth.
6- Agent Smith, first only a devil against the free humans like Morpheus, but later he became the Antechrist and will be the main foe of Neo.

It makes sense to imagine a world created by machines and not a God. We are able to create video games with an artificial intelligence, think about we will be able to create in 2100, 2200…
This movie, like others (The Thirteenth Floor) and also books (La Mémoire Double – Bogdanoff), wonder about: What if our world was not real but only a program?

In fact, we still don’t know how the universe was created / created itself, and if there is really a God / several Gods, or not. So we also can add the possibility that our universe is an delusion created by a supercomputer. But we will not be able to to prove that neither.

Personally, I don’t believe that our world is a program made by a superior civilization in order to control us or only to play with us. There are easier means to control people, above all if you are able to create a whole virtual universe.
And one question remains, do we have real bodies in a real world we don’t know, or are we fully virtual? So are we enslaved without knowing it or are we only virtual beings made to entertain their creator?

It is quite close to the question about: If we leave in the real world, do we have a soul?
If not, so we only have our physical body (like the virtual one in Matrix) in this world, real or not.
If so, we have two bodies, the one made of flesh and the soul which goes somewhere else after our death.

The Matrix is a very profound movie, but you also have to watch the Animatrix which are very good and explain why the machines rebelled against the Humans and enslaved them.


Savage Worlds

I start a trilogy of articles for the Matrix trilogy, each of them adding some new rules to create a game in the Matrix world. So think to visit my blog in the next two weeks 😉

Matrix Points

Your character in 2199 has the same attributes and skills than the one in the Matrix (in 1999 or nowadays), except that when in the Matrix he can use Matrix Points.

A Matrix Point gives you the opportunity to make something unbelievable for ordinary people:

  • Jump distance multiplied by 4
  • Pace multiplied by 2
  • +1 action with any penalty
  • +2 bonus for any type of roll
  • +2 to your parry against a fighting, shooting or throwing attack. You can use it when your enemy is attacking.
  • +2 to your toughness, you can also use it when you want.

With two Matrix Points, you can double the previous bonuses, or choose an edge for your turn (without the requirements).
No more bonuses with more than two Matrix Points.

The Wild Cards have one free Matrix Point for rank (Novice, Seasoned…).
They also can take the edge Matrix at each advance.
I don’t give you a rule to create a chosen one like Neo, because I think it is something to put in your story. A chosen one would have unlimited Matrix points, and even the capabilities of using some powers in the real world only against machines.
But I would not allow a character to become a chosen one if he has not at least 10 Matrix Points.
Only a chosen one can fly.

A character recovers 1 Matrix Point per hour.
You can’t use the power edges.

Phone Box

The phone box is the link between the Matrix and the real world.

When you call your operator in the real world to know where is the closer phone box, you roll 1d20. The phone box is at a distance of 1d20 rounds of walk.

Once in the phone box or with another corded phone, you need  3 turns to leave the Matrix.
The first round you take the phone and get into communication with the operator.
The second round the process begins, the operator is at work.
The third round you disappear and the phone dangle from its wire.

Accelerated Learning

The accelerated learning in the Matrix is a great edge to be more skilled than your enemies.

This edge (which replaces the free edge for humans) gives you 1 free skill point per rank (Novice, Seasoned…).
This skill point can be used to improve a skill (lower or greater than its attribute) or to get a new skill, for the whole time you spend in the Matrix before going back to the real world.

Scenario

Some tips to create your scenario.
Because Matrix is a big program, you can try to create a scenario with the logic of a program.

If your players do X, happen Y1, if partially, happen Y2, and if not Y3.

You can create loops, for example they have to get informations from someone, they failed a first time, they have to try again until they succeed.

You can also try to have a scenario more binary. Either you fail and die and or you succeed.

Those are just ideas I wanted to share with you 😉

Characters

No, I didn’t made the stat-block for Neo, you can hate me ^^, but I think it is not relevant as your players (or one of them, the best) are supposed to become the chosen one.

Streetwise: ability to get information from escaping matrix programs, or in the real life from other humans.
Knowledge (Matrix) includes computing.

I tried to make the characters as badass as their are in the movies. But you can of course decrease their stats in order to put them into your story.
Agent Smith is very very strong, and if you keep him as he is, find another foes for your players until they are Veterans. For example policemen, soldiers, security guards. You also can create assistants of Agent Smith with less edges and lower skills.

Morpheus

Morpheus
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d10, Spirit d10, Strenght d10, Vigor d10
Skills: Athletics d8, Driving d8, Fighting d12, Intimidation d8, Knowledge (Matrix) d10, Notice d10, Persuasion d10, Piloting d8, Repair d8, Shooting d12, Stealth d8, Streetwise d6, Taunt d8, Throwing d10, Tracking d8
Charisma: 2; Pace: 6; Parry: 9; Toughness: 8 (armor 1)
Hindrances: Wanted (major), Loyal
Edges: Alertness, Block, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Extraction, Martial Artist, Nerves of Steel, Command, Inspire, Charismatic, Connections, Accelerated Learning
Equipment: Leather cloak, the weapons you want
Matrix Points:
10

Trinity

Trinity
Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d8, Spirit d12, Strenght d10, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d12, Driving d12, Fighting d12, Intimidation d4, Knowledge (Matrix) d8, Notice d10, Persuasion d6, Piloting d12, Repair d10, Shooting d12, Stealth d8, Streetwise d4, Taunt d4, Throwing d12, Tracking d12
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 8; Toughness: 7 (armor 1)
Hindrances: Wanted (major), Loyal
Edges: Ambidextrous, Fleet-Footed, Combat Reflexes, Counterattack, Extraction, Frenzy, Level Headed, Steady Hands, Two-Fisted, Ace, Accelerated Learning
Equipment: Leather cloak, two Glock 17
Matrix Points:
6

Cypher

Cypher
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d12, Spirit d10, Strenght d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d8, Driving d6, Fighting d10, Knowledge (Matrix) d12, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Piloting d6, Repair d6, Shooting d10, Stealth d10, Streetwise d8, Taunt d6, Throwing d8, Tracking d8
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 7; Toughness: 7(armor 1)
Hindrances: Greedy (major), Vengeful (minor)
Edges: Luck, Quick, Scavenger, Accelerated Learning
Equipment: Leather cloak
Matrix Points:
2

Agent Smith

Agent Smith
Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d12, Spirit d12, Strenght d12, Vigor d12
Skills: Athletics d12, Driving d12, Fighting d12, Intimidation d12, Knowledge (Matrix) d12, Notice d12, Persuasion d12, Piloting d12, Repair d12, Shooting d12, Stealth d12, Streetwise d12, Taunt d12, Throwing d12, Tracking d12
Charisma: 2; Pace: 6; Parry: 8; Toughness: 8
Hindrances: Arrogant
Edges: Alertness, Ambidextrous, Fleet-Footed, Block, Brawler, Combat Reflexes, Counterattack, Improved Dodge, First Strike, Harder to Kill, Killer Instinct, Martial Artist, Improved Nerves of Steel, Quick Draw, Steady Hands, Sweep, Trademark Weapon, Two-Fisted, Charismatic, Common Bond (between Agents), Strong Willed, Accelerated Learning
Equipment: Black suit with black sunglasses, a Desert Eagle
Matrix Points:
10
Terror

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