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Hack the Matrix $1.95
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Hack the Matrix
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Hack the Matrix
Publisher: LPJ Design
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/30/2007 00:00:00

Hack the Matrix is a supplement on hacking computers in Modern d20, by LPJ Design. The zipped file isn?t quite a full megabyte in size, and contains a single PDF. The file is eighteen pages long, including a page for the OGL, and a cover image taking up most of the first page. No table of contents or bookmarks are given.

The cover image is a dotted image of grey on white, with a heavy dash of red thrown in. A section of this is repeated along alternating sides of pages as borders throughout the book. Other than this, there?s no art in the product, meaning that this shouldn?t be too hard to print out.

Hack the Matrix is a supplement designed to expand on the rules for computer hacking in Modern d20 games. It opens with a discussion on levels of security that various systems have, which affects not only how hard it is to break into them, but also how well the systems can detect such intrusions. Things such as breaking through firewalls, having multiple firewalls, tracing a hacker?s signal back to the source and more are all discussed.

The remainder of the book is then given to various options you can use to customize your computer and its functions, as well as several feats that can make you a better hacker. By customizing the terminal, OS, and program you use, hacking another computer can be very easy or very hard, even if you?re already a skilled hacker, though the new feats at the end of the book help in that regard also. There?s even a section near the end discussing using beta and shareware versions of existing programs (though they?re never as good as the real thing).

While a good product, Hack the Matrix has a few bugs in it. Several programs are a half-action to use. Presumably this is half of a full-round action, but how does that compare to a move or standard action? Despite this though, Hack the Matrix does a good job of providing new options for customization and use in hacking computers in a Modern d20 game. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: This product provides quite a few new ways to hack a computer, giving options to customize the physical computer, its operating system, and its programs, as well as new feats for hackers.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Several programs used a half-action, which should probably be a move or standard action instead.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hack the Matrix
Publisher: LPJ Design
by Andrew B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/27/2007 00:00:00

This is a short primer on all things hacking. If computers are a big part of your d20 Modern campaign, you may have found the information in the core rules somewhat lacking. This book attempts to go beyond the Computer Use skill and make hacking a bigger and more detailed part of the game.

In the core rules, the Computer Use skill is already fairly thorough. Hack the Matrix builds on this existing framework, adding even more detail and giving the GM the ability to differentiate between more or less protected computer networks. Each system is given specific stats that cover the number of access points, the amount of space available for additional programs and firewalls, and the DC of accessing data and remaining undetected.

Hackers have their systems too, called terminals. A terminal has its own stats, which make some faster and more successful at gaining access to systems. Both terminals and systems can be enhanced by additional components. Things like removable hard drives and triad processors make computers better and more versitale tools for hacking or repelling hackers. These components all have appropriate purchase DCs and, in some cases, restrictions on their aquisition.

Once a character successfully hacks into a system, there are a number of actions that he or she can take. Each of these actions is described, along with relevant DCs and the amount of time needed to perform them. To counter this, each system is given a list of protective programs that can attack and inflict damage on the character's connection, or icon. Hacking then, is both a battle against time and against the protective countermeasures of the target system.

Finally, there are a number of feats that improve a hacker's or system administrator's abilities. Feats such as Computer Programming are likely useful additions to any d20 Modern campaign, while other feats are keyed directly to the new rules presented in this book.<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: The new rules expand nicely on the base presented in the d20 Modern ruleset. This book makes hacking less abstract and puts more emphasis on the tools and components of the characters in question. It adds random amounts of time to actions that are normally glossed over. The end result is more involved than the standard rules, yet not so bogged down as to become the whole focus of the game.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Hack the Matrix is difficult to absorb. There are a number of typos and wording errors that just make the text seem clunky. In addition, the layout and design makes the rules somewhat hard to follow. It took me a few complete readthroughs to really grasp the system. The end result is pretty good, but the book could stand a bit of a rewrite to make things more clear and concise.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



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