Searching The Matrix

Type of Search Target Number Base Time* Base Cost (per hour in nuyen)
Simple 4 1d6 hours 0
Standard 5 2d6 hours 10
Detailed 8 1d6/2 days 25

* If the character is using a cyberterminal with Response Increase 1 or less, multiply this time by 2. If the character is using Tortoise mode, multiply it by 3.

Search roll is Computer (Search Operations) dice, no Hacking Pool.

Simple Search
A simple search consists of grabbing information that is readily accessible from public databases. Simple searches require minimal amounts of effort.

The following types of data can be found with simple searches: public addresses and commcodes, published articles or interviews, product publicity documents and reviews, election results, census records, business licenses, death records, property ownership, airline and train schedules, who’s who listings, personal Matrix pages/sites, and sex offender listings.

Standard Search
A standard search tends to require more research and investigation than a simple search and sometimes takes a character in unexpected directions. Standard searches often rely heavily on public databases (both mainstream and underground) but may also include probes of private and pay sites.

The following types of data can be found with standard searches: personal information (such as age, occupation, unlisted address, SIN, physical description, date of birth, marital status, family members, street rep and so on), birth certificates, credit reports, licenses and permits, public-space blueprints, campaign contributions, corporate profiles, stockholder reports, spell formulas, genealogical records, newsgroup and email list postings, vehicle registration, phone records.

Detailed Search
A detailed search is an in-depth fact-finding research project with a more extensive goal, such as compiling a complete dossier on an underground figure or investigating a moneylaundering scheme. Detailed searches may require a thorough analysis of a specific archive’s contents or tracing records through a chain of public and private data wells.

The following types of data can be found with detailed searches: comprehensive personal information (all of the standard- search personal info, plus photos, employment history, criminal record, military service records, friends and enemies, M.O., psychological profile, hobbies and so on), medical records (including implants and insurance), private building blueprints, shell company ownerships, hidden stock transfers, biometric print records, focus formulae, metaplanar maps, unaired news reports, internal corporate reports, ongoing lawsuits, insider trading gossip.

Search Results Table

Successes Search Results
1 General info (not quite what the character was looking for, but at least a lead for another search)
2 The basic data the character wanted.
3 More details, perhaps including a new lead.
4 The full details, plus another lead or two.
5+ All the juicy bits the character wanted to know, plus some that he didn't.
Situation TN Modifier
Character has appropriate Knowledge skill of 3-5 -1
Character has appropriate Knowledge skill of 6+ -2
Character keeps a low profile while searching +2
Character conducting more than 1 search at a time +1 per extra search
Computer Used
Character using terminal mode +2 (base time x 2)
Character using Cold ASIST +1
Character has Matrix Init of +4d6 or more -1
Search Area
Specific + database search mod
General Matrix +0
Specific Search Area
Character has Browse utility of 6+ -1
General Matrix Search
Character has appropriate database/data haven contact -2
Character has Etiquette (Matrix) of 5+ -1
Search confined to one grid +0
Search requires use of more than 1 grid +1 per grid
Search Assistance
Dumb Frame -1
Smart Frame -2
Agent -3
Frame or Agent with Browse 6+ -1
Smart Frame or Agent with core of 6+ -1

Wrong Party Test
While running an information search isn’t as risky as spreading cred around the street to disreputable sources, any info search presents the possibility that the wrong people will find out that that a character is digging for dirt about them or something they’re interested in. In fact, some power players commonly pay Matrix “watchdogs” to monitor info requests at certain sites and message boards.

To determine if word about a search gets around, the gamemaster should use the rules for Wrong Party Tests described under The Walls Have Ears, p. 63, SRComp. The gamemaster rolls 1 D6 for each specific area search and 3D6 for each general Matrix search. The Target Number is 6, but if the character makes the effort to keep his searches at a low profile (+2 target number modifier to the Search Test), the gamemaster should increase this Target Number to 10.

Sample Databases

Federal Records - Federal Election Commission: -1 Search Modifier, current data on election results, people in office, campaign contributors, total money spent, etc.

State Records - DMV: +1 Search Modifier, personal info (name, SIN, DOB, photo, visual correction, fingerprints, vehicle registrations).

County Records - Department of Corrections: +3 Search Modifier, inmates, parole, "missing" criminals, transfers, implants, offenses, vital stats

City Records - Building Permits: +0 Search Modifier, ownership of deeds, construction firm contracts, special licenses (including security permits). Extraterritorial corps do NOT have this information on file.

Consumer Records - Intel-XS: -1 Search Modifier, credit ratings, purchases, credit histories, billing addresses, marketing profiles

Media Records - Newsnet Morgue: +2 Search Modifier, shitcanned stories, clips that never aired

Security Records - Lone Star Criminal Archive: +1 Search Modifier, arrest records, psych profiles, phone tap recordings, vehicle registrations, medical histories.

Matrix Records - The Memory Well: +2 Search Modifier, chat/newsgroup archives, e-zines, mailing lists, message boards

Business Records - Dun and Bradstreet's Index: +0 Search Modifier, corp shares, stock info, sales volume, quarterlies, top executives, parent companies

Scientific Records - Nanonet Journal Archives: -1 Search Modifier, back issues of science journals, corp/academic scientist profiles
Magical Records - Business Thaumaturgy Datanet Archives: +1 Search Modifier, magical research, applications of magic, announcements and buy/sell ads

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