Rules of play - Online Version
Please note that you can find rulings, FAQ and other helpful additions
to the official rules in the Rules
There is also a very good interactive online version of the original
Netrunner rules at The
Overview of Netrunner
Netrunner is a two-player Deckmaster® game set in the world of
R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk® roleplaying game. There are two roles
in Netrunner: the Runner, who is a high-tech data thief; and the
Corporation. Using a computer that feeds output from a telecommunication
link directly to his or her brain, the Runner navigates the virtual-reality
environment of a global computer network known as the Net. Established
to facilitate legal commerce, the Net also presents opportunities
for the savvy Runner to raid stores of Corporate data.
The Corporation has access to research and development facilities,
an executive headquarters, and netspace data forts. The goal of
the Corporation is to score "agendas" despite the Runner's attempts
at theft and vandalism.
The Runner, despite a general lack of financial resources and the
paranoid tone of his or her existence, has reliable access to street
contacts, legal and illegal hardware and software, and assistance
from other runners in the Net. The goal of the Runner is to liberate
agendas from the Corporation and expose its operations.
Each starter pack contains one Corporation deck and one Runner
deck. Players should know the rules for both sides and should experiment
with playing both roles.
Overview of Deckmaster
Deckmaster is a line of trading card strategy games: each deck
and booster pack you buy will contain a random assortment of game
cards. Deckmaster games are unlike conventional card games because
each player adjusts the mix of cards in his or her deck to fit any
of near- limitless avenues of strategy. You will find certain strategies
suit you better than others, and you may choose to buy and trade
cards to fill gaps in your ideal deck configuration.
The Corporation's goal is to score agenda cards worth a total of
7 agenda points. The goal for the Runner is to "liberate" cards
worth a total of 7 agenda points from the Corporation (or "steal"
that much agenda, depending on your point of view).
The Corporation also wins if the Runner is forced to discard more
cards than the number of cards he or she has in hand, in which case
the Runner is considered flatlined, or brain dead.
If the Corporation has to draw a card from its deck when the deck
is exhausted, the game ends in a victory for the Runner.
If you are keeping a running point total, you should play an even
number of games, with you and your opponent trading Corporation
and Runner roles after each game. The winner of each game gets a
flat 10 points; the loser gets 1 point for each agenda point scored.
(Refer to relevant sections of this manual for more information.)
It is recommended that for the first few games, each player use
unmodified decks straight from the box; however, as you gain experience
with Netrunner, you will want to optimize your deck by adding certain
cards to it and removing others. The player who plays the Corporation
and the player who plays the Runner will each need about forty beads
or other small tokens to represent bits and various counters, and
perhaps a six-sided die for use with certain special cards.
The Combined Rules section of this book presents both the Runner
and Corporation sides together in a kind of dialogue. Throughout
the rules, the Corporation rules address the Corporate player as
"we," and the Runner rules address the Runner player as "you." The
Combined Rules section elaborates upon interdependent functions
of the Corporation and the Runner, and you will want to read the
rules pertaining to both roles here. The main section of the rules
is followed by rules specific to the Corporation and then rules
specific to the Runner.
Important!: The rules rely on some familiarity with the terminology
and tone of the cyberpunk genre, so you should spend a few minutes
understanding the feel of this game by reading the definitions below.
While reading the rules, if you want to refer to a card diagram,
see the diagrams in the Runner or Corp rules section and the table
layout on pages 14 and 15.
Quick Definitions: Netrunner uses a lot of special terminology.
Here are some essential terms you should understand before you proceed
to learn the rules. A comprehensive glossary is located at the end
of the rules.
- Action: The basic unit of a turn. The Runner
and the Corp have the choice of one of several permissible options
to exercise for each action.
- Advance: To score an agenda, or to improve
the functioning of certain nodes, the Corporation can advance
them. The Corporation places counters on agendas and nodes to
represent the process of advancing them.
- Agenda: The data associated with highly sensitive
Corporate projects. Netrunner is a contest between the Runner
and Corporation to score agendas.
- Archives: The central data fort that includes
and protects the Corporate discard area, which contains a face-up
pile and a face-down pile.
- Bit: A counter representing a unit of wealth.
Bits are spent to pay for cards and card effects.
- Bit bank: The supply of bits not in use.
- Bit pool: The bits each player has available
- Damage: Each point of damage causes the Runner
to discard a card from his or her hand. There are three types
of damage: brain, Net, and meat.
- Data fort: Discrete locations on the Corporation
player's side that the Runner player can attempt to gain access
to. There are two types of data forts: central data forts, which
the Corporation always has; and subsidiary data forts, which the
Corporation builds during the course of play.
- Hardware: A Runner card representing a piece
- HQ: Short for "headquarters." The central data
fort that includes and protects the Corporation player's hand.
- Ice: A program that protects Corporate data
forts from intrusion. Acronym for "intrusion countermeasures electronics."
There are three types of ice: walls, code gates, and sentries.
- Install: To put a card into play.
- Keywords: Bold-face words in the first line
of a card's text box, and sometimes referenced within a card's
rules text. Keywords identify the categories to which the card
- MU: Short for "Memory Units." The number of
programs the Runner can install is limited by his or her current
MU. Every program has an MU cost.
- Node: Data associated with a Corporate project
or function that is not highly sensitive. Nodes are stored in
data forts like agendas but in lieu of agendas.
- Operation: A Corporation card that is played
as an action and then trashed (discarded). Operations are simple,
one-time Corporate functions that are not part of regular procedure.
- Prep: A Runner card that is played as an action
and then trashed (discarded). Preps are one-time special options
the Runner can exercise to make life easier.
- Program: A category of cards available to the
Runner that includes icebreakers (programs to counter ice), among
other tools. Programs use up MU.
- R&D: Short for "research and development."
The central data fort that includes the Corporation player's draw
- Resource: A Runner card representing a tool
or personal contact in or outside netspace.
- Rez: When the Corporation makes a non-agenda
card active, it is said to "rez" the card. (Corporation cards
are not automatically active when installed.)
- Run: The Runner's attempt to gain access to
a data fort.
- Stack: The Runner's draw pile.
- Subroutines: The separate functions of ice
- Tag: Information that the Corporation has about
the Runner's whereabouts and identity. When tagged, the Runner
is vulnerable to many card effects, and to having his or her resources
destroyed by the Corporation.
- Trace: An attempt by the Corporation to figure
out where the Runner is physically located.
- Trash: As a verb, "trash" means to send a card
to a discard pile. As a noun, "trash" is the Runner's discard
- Upgrade: A card representing an improvement
to a data fort.
1 bit (a number in a star
like this indicates that many bits)
An action is required.
Trashing this card is required to generate
the effect that follows this icon, or if the icon contains
a number, that number is the cost for the Runner to trash
1 difficulty (a number in an arrow like
this indicates that much difficulty)
1 agenda point (a number in a circle like
this indicates that many agenda points)
Rez cost of 1 (a number on a tab like
this indicates that rez cost)
Installation cost or cost to play of 1
(a number in a star on a tab like this indicates that play
cost or installation cost)
Start of Game
Each player should set aside a store of counters to serve as his
or her bit bank. The Corporation and the Runner each take 5 bits
(5) from the bank and put them in a handy area to serve as his or
her bit pool. Each player shuffles his or her deck and then gives
the other player the option of shuffling it. Each player draws five
cards-the starting maximum hand size for both players. The Corporation
takes the first turn. The Runner begins with 4 MU (Memory Units)
for installing programs.
The Corporation's turn consists of drawing a card from R&D
and then taking three actions. The Corporation can do any one of
the following things for each of its three actions:
- Draw another card from R&D.
- Take a bit from the bit bank to the Corporate bit pool.
- Install an agenda, ice, node, or upgrade card. See Installing
Corporation Cards, p. 9, under Playing the Cards.
- Play an operation card.
- Advance a card that is capable of being advanced, such as an
agenda. (Pay 1 bit  to put an advancement counter on the card.)
See Scoring Agenda, p. 24.
- Pay 2 bits (2) from the Corporate bit pool to destroy one of
the Runner's resource cards if the Runner has a tag. See Tags,
Cards in play might let the Corporation perform actions not listed
here or give it additional actions.
The Runner's turn consists of taking four actions. The Runner can
do any one of the following things for each of his or her four actions:
- Draw a card from the stack.
- Take a bit from the bit bank to his or her bit pool.
- Install a hardware, resource, or program card. The card's installation
cost is paid immediately. See Installing Runner Cards, p. 12,
under Playing the Cards.
- Play a prep card.
- Make a run on a data fort. See Runs and Countermeasures, p.
- Pay 2 bits (2) to lose a tag. See Tags, p. 30.
Cards in play might let the Runner perform actions not listed here
or give him or her additional actions.
End of Turn
At the end of his or her turn, each player discards down to his
or her maximum hand size, which began the game at 5.
Below is an operating manual for Corporation players (addressing
the Corporation as "we"), in black type, heavily hacked by a runner
(addressing the Runner as "you"), whose notes are in green type.
Because of the interdependence of the roles of Runner and Corporation,
you will need to read the entire document to effectively play either
"After the ice has hit your cortex, you lose
the tread on those lobes and they no longer corner like they used
Liberated Guide with Annos (in green) Compliments
of Filched Radar Rig, a Runner Consortium
Corporation Protocol: Anti-intrusion Systems
Playing the Cards
Installing Corporation Cards: To install an agenda card, a node
card, an ice card, or an upgrade card, we take an action to place
the card face down on the playing area. Our face-down cards are
inactive until they are rezzed (see Rezzing Corporation Cards, p.
Our cards are installed inside or on data forts, the netspace locations
where all the processes of our Corporation take place. Each data
fort belongs to one of two categories: central data forts and subsidiary
data forts. R&D, HQ, and Archives (forts containing our deck,
hand, and discard piles, respectively) are our central data forts;
they all exist at the outset of the game- even the Archives, though
it will be empty until a card is actually discarded or trashed.
The central data forts are where planning and administration occur.
Uninstalled cards in a central data fort-that is, cards in our hand
in HQ, cards in our deck in R&D, and cards in the discard piles
of our Archives-are said to be stored in their data forts. Subsidiary
data forts are data forts we establish to contain agendas and nodes.
To protect our data forts, we install ice on them. We install ice
horizontally in front of the data fort we want protected, although
we are allowed to install ice on empty data forts. Ice cards that
are protecting HQ are placed in front of our bit pool. Each piece
of ice is placed farther from the data fort than the previous piece
of ice on that data fort. The farthest ice from the fort is the
outermost piece of ice; the closest to the fort is the innermost
piece of ice. To install a piece of ice, we must pay 1 for each
piece of ice already on that data fort; if we want to reduce the
cost, we may first trash existing ice without taking any actions.
While there is always minimal security in netspace,
that doesn't cause any problems for top-notch runners like you.
It's only after the Corp installs some ice on a data fort that you'll
have any problem getting inside it during a run.
We install agendas, nodes, and upgrades inside data forts. These
cards are installed vertically. Agenda cards and node cards can
only be installed in subsidiary data forts. To create a subsidiary
data fort, we install an agenda, node, upgrade, or ice card independent
of existing data forts. There can be only one agenda card or one
node card in each data fort at a time, though we can overwrite an
existing agenda or node card by taking an action to install a new
agenda or node in its place, which trashes the existing one. If
an agenda or node card is trashed, scored, or stolen by the Runner,
we can later install an agenda or node card inside the now- empty
data fort as an action.
We can install upgrades inside any data fort, even data forts that
already have an agenda, node, or upgrade inside them. Data forts
can contain multiple upgrades.
Because all Corp cards are installed face down,
you can't tell what the card will do immediately. In fact, at first
you can only tell whether the card is ice or not. If the Corp installs
a card inside a data fort, you won't know immediately whether it
is an agenda, node, or upgrade, which is quite a disadvantage, since
some nodes and all upgrades will either make the data fort harder
to penetrate or do nasty things to you when you access them.
Rezzing Corporation Cards: With the exception of agendas, our installed
cards must be rezzed, or made active, before they can be used. When
we rez a card, we turn the card face up. We can only rez ice cards
when they are approached by the Runner during a run (see Runs and
Countermeasures, p. 17). We can only rez other cards at the following
- at the start of either player's turn;
- after each action;
- during a run while the Runner approaches a piece of ice and
while the Runner passes a piece of ice;
- just before the Runner accesses a fort's contents, whether or
not the Runner encountered ice during the run.
We rez a card by paying enough bits from our bit pool to the bit
bank to satisfy the rez cost, which is in the upper right corner
of the card. (Some cards have a rez cost of 0.) We never partially
rez a card: at any given time, we either pay the entire rez cost
and rez the card, or we do not rez the card. Once rezzed, a card
is turned face up and stays active until it leaves play. Note that
rezzing a card does not require an action.
Finding out what a card does by watching the
Corp rez it usually amounts to finding out the hard way, but fortunately
that's not the only way to discover what the Corp has in store for
you. Some cards will expose the Corp's face-down cards. If a face-down
card is exposed, turn it face up, but mark it somehow, to show that
it has not yet been rezzed. If the Corp later rezzes the card, remove
the marker. Rezzed cards that are derezzed remain face up, but you
mark them in the same way.
Installing Runner Cards: To get a program, resource,
or hardware card into play, you install it. To do so, you put down
the card face up and immediately pay its installation cost, which
is in the upper right corner of the card; the card is then available
for use. (Note that some cards have an installation cost of 0.)
The combined MU cost of your installed programs
cannot exceed your total MU, which starts the game at 4. If you
install a program that causes you to exceed your total MU, you have
to trash enough installed programs to make room. Generally, you
should install cards as follows: program cards in a first row, followed
by a row of hardware cards and then a row of resource cards.
Operation Cards: In addition to cards that we install, we have
operation cards, which have some immediate effect when we play them.
We play an operation card by taking an action, and the operation
card is then trashed.
Prep Cards: You have cards similar to operation
cards, called prep cards. You play them by taking an action, they
have some immediate effect, and they are then trashed.
On the next page is an example of how the table might look in the
middle of a game of Netrunner. We have created two subsidiary data
forts, and the Runner has installed two programs, one hardware,
and three resources.
Interpreting the Cards
Card Effects and Costs: Certain card abilities are written as "cost(s):
effect." All of the costs must be satisfied to use the ability.
Note that we and the Runner cannot borrow future actions to satisfy
costs or card requirements; we can only take our actions on our
turns. Also, if taking an action is part of the cost of an ability,
we can only use that ability when we could normally take an action.
Examples: A card reads:
r, 1: Draw two cards.
We can take an action and pay 1 to draw two cards.
r, t: Remove up to three tags, at no cost.
If the Runner uses an action and trashes this card, he or she
removes up to three tags.
Ablative counter: Prevent 1 meat damage.
If the Runner removes an Ablative counter from this card, he or
she prevents 1 meat damage.
Resolving a card effect involves following the instructions for
that effect before doing anything else in the game. If a player
is instructed to do something that normally would take an action
to do, that player does not take any actions other than those required
by the cost of the effect. However, other card costs associated
with a card effect must be paid, unless otherwise indicated. For
example, if we are required to rez a card, we must pay the rez cost.
Example Effects: An operation card reads:
Add four advancement counters to any combination of installed
cards that can be advanced.
Adding four counters is an extension of the action of playing
this card: we do not have to take any actions to do what this
text says, other than the action to play the operation.
A program card reads:
r: Make a run on the Archives.
If run is successful, do not access cards from the Archives; instead,
treat run as a successful run on HQ. If you have this program
in play and you want to use this effect, you only take the action
required by the action-button icon-not one action to use the program
and another to make the run.
Keywords: A card's keywords are the bold-face words in the first
line of its text box. These keywords indicate what categories that
card falls under.
Both we and the Runner have several cards that affect or are unaffected
by other cards with certain keywords; these affected keywords are
in bold-face text in a card's rules text. Note that a card's title
is never used to determine whether it can be subject to a card effect.
Example: A card reads:
Score 1 agenda point if you liberated any Black Ops agendas this
If the Runner plays this card, and had stolen any agenda with
the words "Black Ops" in its keyword line during the turn, he
or she would score 1 extra agenda point.
Runs and Countermeasures
Your most fundamental action is to make runs
on the Corp's data forts in order to access cards in them. Accessing
cards may enable you to disrupt the functioning of the Corp, and
will hopefully result in your liberating agenda. You are assumed
to always have some basic equipment, so you can always make a run,
even if you don't have any programs or hardware in play.
If there is no ice protecting a given data fort, the Runner can
access its contents with impunity (if the data itself does not punish
the Runner). With ice protecting a data fort, the Runner must deal
in turn with each piece of ice, from outermost to innermost.
During a run, there are three stages in dealing with a piece of
ice. First, you are approaching that piece of ice. If that piece
of ice is not already rezzed, the Corp can rez it at this point.
The Corp can only rez a piece of ice when you are approaching it.
If that piece of ice is rezzed or was already rezzed, you encounter
it, at which point you can break its subroutines, that is, prevent
them from taking effect. If the ice is not rezzed, or if you break
all of the subroutines that end your run, you pass that piece of
ice. You can then choose either to approach the next piece of ice,
or to jack out, which means to voluntarily end the run. This is
the only time you can jack out.
Each piece of ice you encounter will have one
or more subroutines on it. Each subroutine will take effect unless
you break it. To break an ice subroutine, you need a particular
kind of program in play called an icebreaker. Each icebreaker affects
whatever keyword categories of ice it references (there are three
primary types of ice: walls, code gates, and sentries), but you
won't know what kind of icebreaker you'll need to break a piece
of ice until that ice is rezzed or revealed. An icebreaker can only
break subroutines on a piece of ice if its strength (located in
the icon on the lower right corner of the icebreaker) equals or
exceeds the ice's strength (located in the icon on the lower left
corner of the ice, or lower right if the card is viewed on its side).
If the icebreaker is strong enough, you may use it to break one
or more subroutines of the ice encountered, paying the stated cost
for each subroutine you break. Most icebreakers allow you to increase
their strength. If you increase an icebreaker's strength, the increase
ends when you finish encountering that piece of ice. Usually a single
icebreaker is used to break all the subroutines of a given piece
of ice, but you may break each subroutine with a different icebreaker.
If you don't break all of the subroutines of
a piece of ice, you suffer the effect of each of the unbroken subroutines,
in the order they appear on the card. A subroutine that ends the
run does so immediately, and any following subroutines do not take
effect. If a subroutine requires a trace attempt (see Traces), make
that trace attempt when the subroutine takes effect. If none of
the unbroken subroutines end the run, you pass that piece of ice.
If you pass all the ice on a fort, you have
one more opportunity to jack out before the Corp decides whether
to rez any nodes or upgrades. If you choose not to jack out at this
time, your run is considered successful.
If you make a successful run on:
- R&D: You access the top card of R&D.
- HQ: You access a random card from the Corporation's
- Archives: Place any cards that are in the
face-down pile into the face-up pile. Then access all the cards
in the face-up pile.
- Subsidiary data fort: You access all nodes
and agendas in the data fort.
In any of these cases, you access any upgrades
installed inside that fort.
If you access an agenda, you are considered
to have liberated it, and you set it aside and score the number
of agenda points indicated on it. If you access a node or an upgrade,
you may pay the trash cost (located in the trash can in the bottom
right corner of the card) to trash it, even if it is stored in a
central data fort. Otherwise, the cards are returned to where they
were accessed from, in the same order.
Run Protocol - OVERVIEW
- For each piece of ice on the data fort: If the ice is unrezzed,
we may rez it as the Runner approaches it. If we do, or if it
is already rezzed, the Runner encounters it; otherwise, the Runner
passes that piece of ice and can approach the next piece of ice
or jack out.
- For each piece of ice encountered:
- The Runner chooses which subroutines to break and which
to leave unbroken.
- Each of the unbroken subroutines takes effect, in order
(from top to bottom).
- If none of the subroutines end the run, the Runner passes
that piece of ice and can jack out or approach the next piece
- If the Runner passes all of the pieces of ice (or if there is
no ice to be passed in the first place), he or she gets one last
chance to jack out. If the Runner doesn't jack out, we have one
last opportunity to rez any of the nodes and upgrades inside the
fort, and unless these end the run, the run is considered successful,
and the Runner accesses the appropriate cards.
It's been one of those games. A few turns ago,
you ran right into one of the Corp's traps, and wound up losing
all of the cards in your hand, as well as most of your cards in
play. And during the few turns it took you to build your hand back
up, the Corp pieced together a brand-new data fort and installed
something inside it. You have the icebreaker Black Dahlia in play,
and the first thing you did this turn was to install Tinweasel,
so you're well armed. You then spent two actions getting back up
to a paltry 6, compared to the Corp's 12 Now you take your last
action to jack in, and meet the Corp on its own turf once again.
The first piece of ice the Runner approaches is our Neural Blade.
Though the sword cannot stop the Runner on its own, it can deliver
a shock to the Runner, who will be at the mercy of any ice appearing
later in the fort. Also, the Runner cannot afford to break both
Neural Blade and Triggerman, so if we rez Neural Blade and the Runner
chooses to break both subroutines, the Runner will not be able to
deal with Triggerman later in the run. Rezzing Neural Blade will
cost us 4, but it will cost the Runner this much to break both subroutines,
so we decide to activate it.
After defeating the simple code locks on the
outside of the fort, you turn the first corner, only to find a Neural
Blade rezzing in front of you. Sword programs like the blade are
bad news; while they can't force you out of the Net, they will give
your gray matter a healthy shock, leaving you temporarily vulnerable
to any nastier ice patrolling the fort.
Quickly, you select Black Dahlia from the main
menu. The Neural Blade is a sentry, after all, and Dahlia was designed
to attack such ice. Rising up in front of Neural Blade, your icebreaker
absorbs most of the feedback (and you spend 2 to break the subroutine
that prevents you from breaking the next ice in the run). However,
you don't want to run out of bits later in the run, so you choose
to leave the first subroutine unbroken, and therefore discard one
card at random.
Although the Neural Blade was able to shock the Runner, it was
not sufficient to repel the intrusion. The Runner is now approaching
Filter, so we must decide whether to rez it. As the code gate is
no threat to Tinweasel, we decide not to. With any luck, the Runner
will assume that the ice is a powerful one that we can't yet rez,
and will be more cautious in the future when we have a larger bit
Shaking off the residual effects of the Neural
Blade, you continue into the data fort. Looks like you caught a
break, since the Corp doesn't rez the second piece of ice. However,
you're not out of the virtual woods yet, since you still have to
pass the innermost piece of ice.
Because the Runner saved 2 by not breaking Neural Blade's first
subroutine, the projection is that our agenda will be stolen. Even
if we rez Triggerman, the Runner can simply spend 2 to keep the
run from being ended. However, rezzing the killer will also force
the Runner to choose between losing a program (namely, the Black
Dahlia, which is what we would choose to trash, as the Runner well
knows) or running out of bits by spending another 2 to break that
subroutine, so we decide to activate it.
Frack! Your cyberdeck slips a low buzzing noise
into your feed, indicating that a sentry is rezzing somewhere nearby....
The first assault from the killer almost severs
your connection into the Net. However, you quickly recover, and
call up Black Dahlia again. With disturbing efficiency, the icebreaker
blocks Triggerman's advance, and causes Triggerman to release its
hold on your connection (that is, you pay 2 to break the second
subroutine). The ice and icebreaker then battle it out, and by keeping
on top of things, you patch Dahlia's code back together fast enough
to keep her from crashing (that's another 2, to keep the ice from
trashing a program; the Corp could choose a program other than Black
Dahlia, but we both know what the source of its pain is).
And look what the Corp was hiding! It's the
details behind its bid to construct an extension to the Tycho lunar
colony. Without a second thought, you download the files, erase
the originals, sell the data to the highest bidder (recorded as
4 agenda points rather than as bits), and retire to a quiet evening
of bushwhacking Netwatch agents.
If we and the Runner can both perform functions (us rezzing a card,
or the Runner using a card effect, for example) at the same time,
the Runner always gets the first opportunity to perform any functions
he or she likes, and then we perform any functions we like. The
Runner does not have an opportunity to respond after we perform
our functions. However, effects whose function is to prevent other
effects are used whenever appropriate, even if it is the other player's
turn to perform functions. For example, at the end of a run, the
Runner has a card in play that allows him or her to search his or
her stack for a program and install it. The Runner decides not to
use that card, and then we rez an upgrade that deals Net damage
to the Runner. It is too late for the Runner to use the card to
find a program to prevent the Net damage, but if the Runner already
had a card installed that prevented Net damage, he or she could
still use that card.
Agenda cards represent the data associated with one of our goals.
To score an agenda, we must advance it by the number of counters
indicated by its difficulty rating, which is the number in the symbol
in the card's upper right corner. The only cards that can be advanced
are agendas, and those nodes that indicate they can be advanced.
We can only advance agendas and appropriate nodes after they have
been installed. To advance a card, we take an action to pay 1 from
our bit pool and place an advancement counter on the card. Agendas
cannot be advanced further after they are scored, but nodes can
be advanced before and after they are rezzed.
If we score an agenda card, we remove the card from the data fort,
set it aside and clear it of advancement counters, score its agenda
points (the number in the symbol in the lower right corner of the
card), and receive whatever bonus it gives, as indicated in its
text box. Agenda points exist independently of agenda cards, and
we may choose to represent them with counters, since we may sometimes
pay them out to fulfill card conditions, or increase them through
special card effects. The bonus we receive for scoring an agenda
is active as soon as applicable.
Scoring an agenda does not require an action, but we can do it
only at the start of our turn or after any of our actions. We can,
however, choose to put off scoring an agenda that has been advanced
to its difficulty rating (certain card effects may make this desirable).
Your goal is to liberate agendas from the data
fort(s) they're hidden in. If you access an agenda card, then you've
liberated its data. You remove the card's advancement counters and
set the card aside, and you score the number of agenda points stated
on it, though you don't get the bonus described in its text. You
may want to keep track of agenda points with counters: they exist
apart from agenda cards, and card effects may increase them, or
strip them away.
In the diagram on the next page, the agenda card shown is the agenda
card being advanced in the data fort shown. If two more advancement
counters are placed on it, the agenda card can be removed from play;
we then score 1 agenda point, and the bonus of an extra action each
turn. If the Runner liberates this agenda, he or she simply scores
1 agenda point.
Tracing the Runner
Sometimes a card will allow us to perform a trace on the Runner.
If a card calls for a trace, it is indicated by the term "tracen,"
where n is the trace limit. If the trace succeeds, the card does
something to the Runner, generally something with deterrent effect.
When attempting a trace, we compare our trace value to the link
value of the Runner. If our trace value equals or exceeds the Runner's
link value, our trace is successful. Trace value is determined as
Trace Value: Our trace value starts at 0 for
each trace attempt. We can increase our trace value for that attempt
by paying bits, 1 for each point of increase in our trace value.
Note we pay these bits regardless of whether our trace attempt
is successful or not. The most we can spend is the trace limit-that
is, n in tracen.
Sometimes a Corporate card will allow the Corporation
to perform a trace on you. If the trace succeeds, the card could
do something hideous to you, or might just blow up your apartment's
electrical system. To evade a trace, you need a card installed that
gives you links, which are connection points along your line into
the Corp (a lot of links gives you a maze-like trail that's tough
to follow). Your link value is the sum of two parts: a base link,
and any modifiers to your link. If you can't manage to get your
link value above 0, the Corp's trace succeeds automatically, unless
its trace somehow ends up less than 0. You calculate your link value
Link Value: You start each
trace attempt with a base link of 0, and no modifiers to your
link. For a given trace attempt, you can choose to use one installed
base link card. That card will set a new base link value. You
can use that card, if applicable, and/or any number of cards that
aren't base link cards, to modify your link value further. There
is no limit to how much you can spend on modifying your link value,
other than what you can afford. Any bits you spend setting your
base link or modifying your link value are lost, regardless of
whether or not you succeed in evading the Corp's trace attempt.
TRACE ATTEMPT PROTOCOL - OVERVIEW
- We and the Runner secretly note how many bits we are spending
to establish our trace and link value, respectively.
- The Runner states which base link card in play, and which cards
that aren't base link cards, he or she is using to establish link
- We and the Runner simultaneously reveal how many bits we are
spending. We compare our trace value to the Runner's link value.
If our trace value equals or exceeds the Runner's link value,
the trace is successful.
Let us say that while running one of our data forts, the Runner
has the base link card Baedeker's Net Map in play and encounters
our ice Homewrecker (see the diagram at right). The Runner has no
icebreaker that can break Homewrecker, so we attempt a trace. The
most we can spend on the trace is 5, because that is our trace limit.
We and the Runner simultaneously reveal how much each of us spends
during the trace attempt. Let's say we have 4 in our bit pool and
decide to spend it all; our trace value is then 4. The Runner, say,
spends 3, which increases his or her original link value of 1 by
3, so the Runner has a link value of 4. We both spend these bits
secretly and then reveal them. Since our trace value is as large
as the Runner's link value, the trace succeeds, and we end the Runner's
run, trash a piece of his or her hardware (of our choice), and do
2 meat damage (see Damage, p. 30) to him or her, which cannot be
We sometimes manage to give the Runner a tag, typically by means
of a trace. A tag is a clue to the Runner's identity or to where
he or she is interfacing with the Net: it could be a description
of the Runner or the Runner's favorite personalized Net icon; it
could be the Runner's address, or perhaps the Runner's mother's
address. The more tags we get on the Runner, the more we know about
him or her.
We have many cards that can only be used, or are more effective,
if the Runner is tagged. Also, while the Runner is tagged, we can
take an action to pay 2 to trash any resource card the Runner has
If the Corp gives you a tag, it has gotten some
information about your identity and/or whereabouts: a tag could
be a description of you, either on or off the Net; it could be your
address, or perhaps your lover's address. You can remove a tag by
taking an action to pay 2.
Sometimes a Corporation card will do damage
to you. There are three types of damage. Net damage is damage done
in netspace. Meat damage is damage done outside netspace-for instance,
by a hired leg-breaker the Corp sends to adjust your attitude. Brain
damage is, well, brain damage and is generally caused by the meaner
forms of black ice. Each point of damage, regardless of type, results
in the loss of a random card from your hand. Brain damage has the
added effect of reducing your maximum hand size permanently by 1
for each point you suffer. (You may want to use counters to keep
track of brain damage.) Other than that, the only difference between
the types of damage is the cards that prevent them. For example,
Net or brain damage might be stopped by a Force Shield program,
while meat damage might be prevented by a Bodyguard. If you prevent
all damage from an effect that causes damage, you are considered
not to have been damaged at all by that effect.
If damage causes you to discard more cards than
are in your hand, or if you have a maximum hand size of less than
0 at the end of your turn, then you are flatlined and have lost
the game. If you take damage while liberating agenda, first resolve
the damage, and if you survive, then score the agenda.
Note that if brain damage reduces your maximum
hand size to 0, you are not automatically out of the game. You can
still hold cards (for a little while), since you, like the Corp,
normally only discard down to your maximum hand size at the end
of the turn.
Sometimes the best solution to a problem is to remove the problem,
permanently. Unfortunately, we can only deal damage to the Runner
during a run (via ice, nodes, and so on), or through certain card
effects if we have a tag on the Runner.
Netrunner Golden Rules
If a player suffers a penalty and can't fulfill that penalty (is
forced to spend more bits than possible, trash more cards than possible,
etc.), then that player must meet the conditions as far as possible
and ignore conditions or parts of conditions that he or she can't
fulfill. However, being required to forgo more actions than are
left in the turn does not count as a penalty that can't be fulfilled:
a player simply forgoes actions on succeeding turns until enough
actions have been forgone.
If a player can't meet the cost, or any other requirements stated
on the card, to perform a function or play a card, the player cannot
perform that function or play that card.
Cards to be trashed or discarded are chosen one at a time, either
randomly or by the player initiating the trashing or discarding,
as appropriate, and then are sent to the appropriate discard pile.
The effects of cards are cumulative, as applicable, unless the
cards specify otherwise.
A counter placed on a card is removed from the game if the card
it is placed on leaves play.
"Immediately" means before any other action is taken in the game.
If multiple events take place at the same time, the player whose
turn it is chooses the order of those events.
Deckmaster Golden Rules
After the game, players take back all the cards they began the
game with. No cards actually change ownership during the course
of the game.
Whenever cards conflict with the rules, the cards take precedence.
To play, we need a deck of Corporation cards. Our deck must have
a minimum number of agenda points in it (this represents a certain
amount of activity required to make a profit), which may be supplied
by a variable number of agenda cards. The following chart indicates
the agenda point-to-deck size ratios we must respect.
Corporation Deck Size Limits
|Agenda points in our deck:
||Our maximum deck size:
In addition to the limit imposed by the chart above, we may not
play with fewer than 45 cards.
In addition to our deck, we will also need a number of markers,
to represent bits and other counters. We will probably need no more
than 40 such counters, but there is no limit to the number of bits
we have available for use in the game. Each bit represents approximately
500,000 eurobucks worth of company resources: personnel, information,
and equipment, among other things. When out of play, bits are in
our bit bank; when in play, they are in our bit pool. We maintain
our bit bank of counters in a convenient location in the margin
of our playing area; we establish our bit pool somewhere directly
in front of us.
Our deck is R&D, short for "Research and Development." Our
hand is HQ, short for "Headquarters." The Corporate discard area,
or Archives, consists of two piles, one face up and the other face
down. Whenever any of our cards are trashed, whether by us or the
Runner, they go to the top of one of the piles in our Archives.
When any of our cards on the table that are face up are trashed,
they go to the face-up pile. When we discard a card or when a card
that is face down in play is trashed, it goes to the face-down pile.
When a card that is accessed is trashed, it goes to the face-up
pile. Operations we play go to the face-up pile. The Runner can
examine the contents of the face-up pile at any time, but may only
examine the face-down pile when he or she accesses the Archives.
Our primary purpose is to advance our agendas, which involves keeping
the Runner from stealing them. To protect our uninstalled agendas,
we will need to install ice on, and upgrades inside, our HQ and
R&D. To protect our installed agendas, or the occasional nodes,
we will want to establish subsidiary data forts. In order to make
sure we have enough ice to protect our data forts, we should, as
a start, try a deck with at least 25% ice cards. Finally, we must
remember to obtain enough bits to pay for rezzing our nodes, upgrades,
and ice, and to pay for advancing our agendas and playing our operations.
There are five types of cards in our Corporate deck: agenda, ice,
node, upgrade, and operation. The following sections explain the
special rules for and layout of each type of card.
Agendas: Agendas are data associated with our
secret projects, generally projects to improve our Corporate infrastructure
or advance our mission. In any case, agendas are highly sensitive
data, theft of which could affect the value of our Corporation.
Agendas are installed vertically and face down, and only in subsidiary
data forts. Only one agenda or node card can occupy a given data
fort at a time. If we wish, we can overwrite an existing agenda
or node on our turn, which means to opt to trash it as part of the
action of installing another agenda or node in its place. The number
of advancement counters required to score the agenda, the difficulty
of an agenda, is located in the symbol in the upper right corner
of the card. The number of agenda points the card is worth is located
in the symbol in the lower right corner of the card. Any bonus we
might get for scoring the agenda is explained in the text box. Such
a bonus is active as soon as it is applicable.
Nodes: Nodes are stores of data supporting projects
that would be of little interest to marketplace competitors. If
we were to run an advertising campaign, we might construct a node
in netspace to contain the campaign's database. Nodes are installed
vertically and face down, and only in subsidiary data forts. Only
one of either an agenda or node card can occupy a given data fort
at a time. If we wish, we can overwrite an existing agenda or node
on our turn by trashing it and then installing a node from HQ in
its place. Nodes are not active until we rez them. In general the
effect of a node can extend beyond the data fort in which it is
installed. If the Runner ever accesses one of our nodes, the Runner
can pay its trash cost to put it on top of the face-up pile of our
Archives. Occasionally nodes can be advanced; this will be indicated
on the card. The further the node has been advanced, the more effective
it will be, as indicated on the node.
Ice: We install a given piece of ice horizontally
in front of the data fort it is to protect, directly ahead of any
ice already protecting that fort. Ice is anti- intrusion programming
that typically presents itself in netspace as some sort of barrier
or obstacle. We install the first piece of ice on a data fort for
free. After that, to install each additional ice card on that fort
we must pay 1 for each ice card already installed on the fort. As
we install the ice, we can trash one or more pieces of ice already
on the fort, and thus lower the cost to install the new ice; however,
the last piece of ice installed on a fort is always placed in the
outermost position, regardless of the position of any ice cards
trashed to reduce its cost. Trashing ice while installing ice does
not take additional actions.
The only time we may rez a piece of ice is when the Runner approaches
that ice during a run on the fort. We may choose either to pay the
rez cost of the ice, and thus activate it, or to let the Runner
through. Once the ice is rezzed, it remains active and need not
be paid for again. At the point that we rez a piece of ice, the
Runner must break the subroutines of the ice, suffer their effect,
or some combination thereof. When choosing ice, we need to keep
in mind that only subroutines that actually end the run prevent
the Runner from continuing the run.
Upgrade: We install upgrades vertically inside
data forts, and we can install upgrades inside a fort whether or
not an agenda or node currently occupies the fort. An upgrade represents
an improvement to a data fort, perhaps a particularly competent
sysop or a set of utility programs. There is no limit to the number
of upgrades we can have in a given data fort. If we install an upgrade
inside R&D or inside our Archives, we place it behind the appropriate
pile(s); if we install an upgrade inside HQ, we put the card under
or behind our bit pool. The Runner typically doesn't know whether
a card inside a subsidiary data fort is an upgrade, an agenda, or
a node, but since we cannot play an agenda or node on a central
data fort, the Runner knows when we play an upgrade on one. When
we wish to use an unrevealed upgrade's ability, we pay the rez cost
of the upgrade and reveal it.
Operation: Operations represent some Corporate
function of limited scope; we play an operation as an action, pay
its cost, and then trash it. Operations are the only cards we trash
after we play them. When we play operations, they go to the face-up
pile in our trash. (See next page for diagram.)
To play, you need a deck of Runner cards. The
only restriction for your deck is that it have at least 45 cards.
You will also need access to a few dozen bit counters ('trode caps
and black-market coins work well), each of which represents a couple
hundred eurobucks worth of run-support information, spare cash and
equipment, and so on. When out of play, bits are in your bit bank;
when in play, they are in your bit pool. Keep your bit bank handy
at the side of your playing area, and your bit pool somewhere closer
in front of you.
During the course of the game, you will have
a draw pile, called your stack, a face-up discard pile, called your
trash, and your hand. Whenever one of your cards is trashed, whether
by you or the Corp, it goes to the top of your trash. Your trash
is far less secure than any Corporate Archives: both you and Corp
can rummage the trash at any time to see what's in it. If your stack
ever runs out of cards, you just keep playing the game with any
cards left in your hand and ignore any event that requires you to
draw when your stack's running on empty.
Your primary goal is to make runs successfully
in order to liberate agendas. Occasionally, you will want to make
a run to shut down a particularly useful node that the Corp is using.
If the Corp leaves one of its data forts unprotected, especially
HQ or R&D, you should feel free to run it in the hopes of finding
agendas, but beware traps that the Corp might be setting for you.
Eventually, the Corp will install ice, which you'll have to deal
with. You should have icebreakers that get past walls, code gates,
and sentries, or else you may end up helplessly watching the Corporation
score its agendas. In order to ensure that you get your icebreakers
quickly enough, you will probably want to play either with several
types of each category of icebreaker or with cards that let you
dig through your deck (like The Short Circuit, referenced on pg.
48 of Sample Game). In general, you are fairly safe to attempt a
run as soon as you have a killer or other anti-sentry icebreaker
in play, because walls and code gates do not usually present a threat
beyond ending the run. You can make a run without having any icebreakers
in play, but if you don't have one and there is ice protecting the
fort, you may be asking for trouble.
In addition to icebreakers, you also should
have cards that allow you to avoid receiving tags, or at least get
rid of them quickly, and cards that provide links, or you will more
than likely end up flatlined. Of course, you will need to draw enough
bits to pay for installing your various tools, and to pay for using
There are four types of cards in your deck:
program, hardware, resource, and prep.
Program: You begin the game
with 4 MU, or Memory Units. As the game progresses, you might install
certain cards that increase your memory. The combined MU cost of
your programs in play cannot exceed the number of MU you have. Since
most programs take up 1 MU, this generally means you'll be limited
to four programs, or three if you install one of the 2 MU hogs.
The number of MU a program takes is indicated in the card's keywords.
Installing a program takes one of your four
actions. As you install a program, you may choose to overwrite one
or more programs you already have in play, whether or not you need
to free up MU. This trashes the program.
If at any time you have too many programs in
play for the MU you currently have (for instance, because you just
lost some memory chips), you must immediately trash enough programs
to correct the situation.
Different types of programs can be distinguished
by the color of the dot located in the middle of the left side of
the card, and by the icon on the bottom right corner of the card
(within which the strength number on icebreakers is located). The
following icons and colors are used:
[Program Icon and Color diagram]
Hardware: You may have any
number of pieces of hardware installed at any given time. Installing
a piece of hardware takes an action.
Resource: You may have any
number of resources in play. Installing each one takes an action.
During the course of the game, if the Corporation gives you a tag,
it can trash one of your resources by taking an action and paying
Prep: You play a prep as an
action, pay its cost, and then trash it. Preps are the only cards
you trash right after you play them.
We and the Runner have each taken our starting bit pools (5) from
our respective bit banks. As per standard operating procedure, we
place our bit pool next to R&D, to represent the HQ data fort.
Next, we draw five cards from R&D, and the Runner draws five
from his or her stack. Our cards turn out to be the sentry ice Code
Corpse, the wall ice Fire Wall, the code gate ice Keeper, the node
Rockerboy Promotion, and the upgrade Red Herrings. We then make
the mandatory draw to begin our turn, which produces the operation
Accounts Receivable as our sixth card. Now we are ready to take
our three actions for the turn.
Our first priority is to put ice on vulnerable forts to keep the
Runner from stealing our agendas. We are never quite sure what R&D
is up to, and for all we know, the next card of R&D could be
an agenda. Therefore it makes sense to install ice on that data
fort. And while we have no agendas stored in HQ, we do have a node
and an upgrade that the Runner could trash if they were accessed,
so we would like to protect HQ as well.
Having determined that we must protect both our forts if possible,
we consider the ice we have available. The first ice card on each
fort is installed for free, but if we can't pay to rez a card, it
won't stop the Runner if the Runner decides to ignore it and run
the fort, so our first concern is whether we can rez our cards.
Our Fire Wall costs 5 to rez, Keeper costs 4, and Code Corpse costs
10. Our starting 5 does not allow us to rez any two of these ice,
but playing Accounts Receivable will increase our bit pool to 9,
giving us just enough bits to rez Fire Wall and Keeper (as long
as we don't install them both on the same data fort, which would
cost us 1 for the second ice installed). So we decide to spend our
three actions playing Accounts Receivable, installing Fire Wall
on R&D, and then installing Keeper in front of HQ. Running Bit
Total: Runner: 5; Us: 9
While the Corp was going about its business,
you were looking at your hand. The five cards you drew were The
Short Circuit (a resource), the preps Score! and Livewire's Contacts,
the program Force Shield, and Zetatech Mem Chip (hardware). Checking
out the playing field, you see that the Corp has installed ice in
front of R&D and in front of HQ, and has the bits to use them.
Making a run on either fort right now would be risky, since either
ice could be a sentry. Running into a code gate or wall wouldn't
be too bad, though, as chances are the ice would simply end your
run, but a sentry could easily trace you to your location or slap
you with some Net damage-or do something just as depressing. Force
Shield would help with the Net damage, but some sentries trash programs,
and you wouldn't have any defense against that.
Luckily you have the resource The Short Circuit,
which allows you to dig through your stack for programs, such as
icebreakers. You spend the first action of your turn installing
the Circuit, paying its installation cost of 1. As your second action,
you pay 1 to use The Short Circuit's ability to search through your
stack, and you quickly settle on Loony Goon, which is a relatively
cheap, versatile icebreaker designed to defeat sentries. You show
Loony Goon to the Corp before bringing it into your hand, as per
The Short Circuit's card text, and then shuffle your stack.
Sadly, you can't afford the icebreaker's installation
cost of 4 anymore, and you certainly can't afford to use Loony Goon
once it's in play. So you spend your third and fourth actions playing
Livewire's Contacts and Score!, bringing your bit pool first to
6 and then 10. Running Bit Total: You: 10; Corp: 9
As always, we begin our turn by drawing a card. This time we draw
the agenda Employee Empowerment, which is worth 3 agenda points
for the player who scores it. (It's a good thing we protected R&D
last turn!) However, we must now decide how best to keep the Runner
from accessing the data. Do we install it, and hope to process it
quickly, or do we keep the agenda in HQ, and improve our defenses?
If we install the agenda and then install the Code Corpse to protect
it, the Runner may get the agenda, since the Runner can break sentries.
We decide to consolidate our resources before creating any new data
forts, so we spend our first action installing Code Corpse in front
of HQ, just outside Keeper. Since we aren't trashing Keeper, we
pay an installation cost of 1 to do this. We're just a couple bits
shy of being able to rez Code Corpse, so we spend our second and
third actions drawing a total of 2 from the bank. Running Bit Total:
Runner: 10; Us: 10
The Corp hasn't created a subsidiary data fort
for you to plunder yet, so your options for running are limited
to R&D and HQ, given that running the Archives is pointless.
Since the Corp just installed a second piece of ice in front of
HQ, it's unlikely that you'll have the right icebreakers to get
through, or that you'd be able to afford to break the ice even if
you did. You decide to run on R&D. But first, you install Loony
Goon, at a cost of 4, giving you an option for breaking ice. This
leaves you with 6, which is enough to use Loony Goon to break almost
any ice with a single subroutine. However, you could be in trouble
if the ice is strong and has multiple routines, so you spend your
second action drawing 1 from the bit bank to give yourself more
of a cushion. For your third action, you run against R&D.
The Runner is making a run against R&D, and is fast approaching
Fire Wall. Rezzing Fire Wall would leave us with only 5, and we
need to plan ahead to the protection of HQ. 4 is enough to rez the
Keeper ice on HQ, but not the Code Corpse. However, the Runner still
can't break Keeper, and we have four cards in our hand, so even
if the Runner gets through to HQ successfully, we might not lose
our agenda. We decide to rez Fire Wall on R&D, paying its rez
cost of 5.
Whoops! Sadly, Loony Goon can only break sentries,
so you can't break Fire Wall's subroutine. However (as is usually
the case with walls), the only subroutine is "* End the run," so
the only penalty you suffer is that your run is ended. For your
last action, you are not sure what to do. Should you use The Short
Circuit to find a wall-buster that you can use to break into R&D?
Now that the Corp has fewer bits and might not be able to rez both
pieces of ice in front of HQ, maybe you should run HQ. In the end,
however, you decide to draw a card. You hope to get a better source
of income, but instead you draw the prep Inside Job. Inside Job
lets you get past the first piece of ice you encounter, for free,
so you could use it to raid R&D, or to help you get into HQ.
Drawing this card is your last action this turn, but you are already
thinking about what you will do next turn. Maybe you should continue
your quest for more bits, or go search for that wall-buster. So
many options, so little time to stop the Corp's nefarious plans....
Running Bit Total: You: 7; Corp: 5
Well, R&D and HQ are relatively safe right now, but this won't
last long, since the Runner can continue to search for programs
with The Short Circuit. Loony Goon, however, is going to be very
expensive to use against Code Corpse, so the Runner won't be able
to get through to HQ very often; once we rez Code Corpse, we should
have more time to build up our resources. With anticipation, we
draw a card to start our turn, and we get the operation Trojan Horse.
Now we have a nasty surprise waiting for the Runner! If the Runner
does manage to steal our Employee Empowerment or another agenda,
we can play Trojan Horse, which tags the Runner after he or she
steals an agenda. If we get a tag on the Runner, we could pay 2
to get rid of the resource The Short Circuit, which is giving us
real problems. And there's always a chance that we'll draw a card
that will enable us to deal with a tagged Runner permanently....
Corp And Runner Glossary
Access: When the Runner makes a successful run
on one of our data forts, he or she accesses its contents. The way
the cards are accessed and the number of cards accessed depend on
the type of fort successfully run.
Action: The basic unit of a turn. An action can
be taken in a number of ways. We have three actions on our turn
after our mandatory draw. The Runner has four actions and no mandatory
Advance: To score an agenda, or to improve the
functioning of certain nodes, we can advance them. To advance an
appropriate card, we take an action and pay 1 to put an advancement
counter on the card advanced.
Agenda: The data associated with an especially
sensitive Corporate project. Netrunner is a contest between us and
the Runner to score agendas.
Approach ice: The Runner is said to be approaching
a piece of unrezzed ice just before we decide to rez it, or approaching
rezzed ice just before he or she is about to deal with its subroutines.
Archives: The central data fort that protects
and includes our discard area, which contains a face-up pile and
a face-down pile.
Base Link: Your link value
is composed of two parts: your base link and any modifications to
your link, which you add to your base link. Your base link starts
off at 0 for each trace attempt. You can set your base link by using
a base link card. Only one base link card can be used per trace
Bit: A counter representing a unit of wealth.
Bits are spent to pay for cards and card effects. Of course, our
bits represent more wealth than the Runner's.
Bit bank: The supply of bits not in use.
Bit pool: The bits we have available to spend.
The Runner also has a bit pool.
Break: To stop a subroutine
from taking effect.
Central data fort: R&D, HQ, or our Archives.
Code gate: See ICE.
Corporation: Your opponent.
Damage, brain: Damage to the Runner's brain. For
each point of brain damage, the Runner loses one card at random
from his or her hand, and his or her maximum hand size is permanently
reduced by 1.
Damage, meat: General trauma to the Runner's body.
The Runner loses a card at random for each point of meat damage.
Damage, net: Sensory overload induced in the Runner
through the Net. The Runner loses a card at random for each point
of Net damage.
Data fort: Discrete locations on our side that
the Runner can attempt to gain access to. We have two types of data
forts: central data forts, which we always have; and subsidiary
data forts, which we build during the course of play. Any card we
install is part of a data fort.
Derez: A card that is derezzed is marked to indicate
that it hasn't been paid for. It is left exposed. Derezzing an unrezzed
card has no effect.
Die: A six-sided die (or a randomizer subroutine
with a range of the integers one through six applied with equal
weight) is used with cards that call for a die roll.
Difficulty: The number of counters by which we
must advance an agenda to score it.
Encounter ice: To meet and
have to join battle with one of the cybernetic wards, traps, or
demonic slaves of the diabolical Corp.
End the run: To force the Runner out of netspace.
If an ice subroutine ends the run, any following subroutines do
not take effect.
Expose: Certain cards can expose
one or more cards the Corp has installed. If an unrezzed card is
exposed, it is turned face up so that you can see it, but is marked
to indicate that it has not been rezzed yet. Exposing a rezzed card
has no effect.
Flatline: When the Runner ceases to be a threat.
Gain bits: Take bits from the bank.
Hardware: A deck or other piece
of gear you can install to give you that extra edge.
HQ: Short for "headquarters." The central data
fort that includes and protects our hand.
Ice: A program that protects our data forts from
intrusion. An acronym for "intrusion countermeasures electronics."
(An acronym for "insidious cortical electrocution.")
Icebreaker: A program that neutralizes ice in
some way and permits its user to gain illicit entrance to data forts.
A basic tool of the trade for hardworking proponents of information
In play: Only installed cards are considered to
be in play.
Install: To put a card into play. Nodes, agendas,
upgrades, and ice are installed face down. Ice is installed on a
data fort. Nodes, agendas, and upgrades are installed inside a data
Installation cost: Normally our cards have no
installation cost, but each piece of ice on a fort after the first
has an installation cost in bits equal to the number of pieces of
ice already on that fort. All your cards
other than prep cards have an installation cost stated on them.
Jack in: To enter the virtual
reality of netspace. A neural interface connects your brain with
your cyberdeck, typically via wires plugged directly into your gray
matter. Your deck then connects to the Net, and your deck translates
the signals it receives into direct sensory input. Jacking in is
assumed to precede each run.
Jack out: To exit netspace.
If the neural link to your deck is broken for any reason, your deck
cuts its connection to the Net, dumping you back into the meat world.
You will also be jacked out if you are flatlined, or if the power
to your deck is cut. To jack out voluntarily, you typically send
a thought-command, instead of punching a button on your deck.
Keywords: Bold-face words in the first line of
a card's text box, and sometimes referenced within a card's rules
text. Keywords identify the categories to which a card belongs.
If a card references a keyword, the keyword will appear in bold
Link: Connection points along the Runner's telecommunication
trail (a Runner with a lot of links has a maze-like trail that's
hard to follow). The sum of your base link
and any modifications to your link is your link value.
MU: Short for "Memory Units."
You are limited as to the number of programs you can install by
your current MU.
Netspace: The practically infinite virtual-reality
environment of the Net.
Node: Data associated with one of our projects
that would be of little interest to competitors. Nodes are stored
in forts like agenda and in lieu of agenda.
Operation: One of our cards that is played as
an action and then trashed. Operations are simple, one-time actions
that are not part of our regular procedure.
Overwrite: To replace installed data with other
data. Data may not merely be thrown away; it must be overwritten.
If we wish to replace an installed agenda or node with a new one,
we can trash the existing agenda or node and take an action to install
an agenda or node from HQ. You may overwrite
programs when installing new ones. This option can become desirable
if you have no more MU left for installing additional programs.
Prep: One of your cards that
is played as an action and then trashed. Preps are one-time special
options you can exercise to make the job of netrunning easier.
Program: One of the main categories
of cards available to you, which includes icebreakers, among other
tools. You are limited in the number of programs you have in play
by the number of MU you have.
R&D: Short for "research and development."
The central data fort that protects and includes our draw pile.
Resource: Any of a number of
different tools or connections in or outside netspace that you can
work to your advantage. If the Corp tags you, it can trash your
Reveal: A card turned face up, but not rezzed.
Exposed cards and cards that have been derezzed but not trashed
are considered revealed.
Rez: When we make an installed card active, we
rez it by paying its rez cost. If it was face down, we now reveal
it. Rez cost: The cost we pay in bits to rez an installed card.
This is a one-time cost.
RUN: An attempt to gain access
to a data fort.
Runner: Our opponent.
Score agenda: After we have placed a number of
advancement counters on an agenda equal to or greater than its difficulty
rating, we may choose to score that agenda. We may only score agendas
during our turn. You score agendas by accessing
them during a run.
Sentry: See ICE.
Stack: Your draw pile.
Store: Uninstalled cards in central data forts
are considered "stored" in those data forts.
Strength: Our ice cards are rated at a certain
strength: the higher the strength a card has, the harder it is for
programs to sabotage it. Your icebreakers
come rated at a certain strength, which can be temporarily boosted
in many cases. The icebreaker must have strength that equals or
exceeds the strength of a piece of ice for it to affect that ice.
Subroutines: The functions of ice, marked by *.
Each subroutine on an ice card corresponds to an anti- intrusion
effect. Icebreakers also have subroutines,
marked by their separate costs to use; generally, these subroutines
either break the subroutines of ice cards or boost the icebreaker's
Subsidiary data fort: A data fort other than R&D,
HQ, or our Archives. Can contain an agenda or a node, and any number
Tag: Information about the Runner. When tagged,
a Runner is vulnerable to many card effects, and we can trash one
of the tagged Runner's resource cards by taking an action to pay
2. You can get rid of a tag by taking an
action to pay 2.
Trace: An attempt to figure out where the Runner
is physically located.
Trace limit: The maximum number of bits we can
spend to perform a trace on the Runner. The number n in "tracen."
Trash: To send a card to a discard pile, that
is, our Corporate Archives or the Runner's "trash." When one of
our cards is trashed, it goes to our Archives; when a Runner card
is trashed, it goes to his or her trash. "The
trash" is the name for your discard pile; cards go face up to the
Upgrade: An improvement to a data fort's security.
Virus: A special class of programs the Runner
may have access to and for which we provide a perennial debit allowance
in our annual operating plan. A special
class of programs that you may have access to and that cause the
Wall: See ICE.
So you've read through the rules and started playing, but you still
have questions. Fear not! There are many, many ways to contact us.
You can call, write, or fax us, or run the Net to one of three offices.
In the U.S., reach us at: Wizards of the Coast P.O. Box 707 Renton,
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for our players, open from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM Pacific Time, Monday
through Friday. Internet: email@example.com
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Phone lines open 9.30 AM to 6.30 PM, Monday through Friday. Calls
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