Tactical Assault Simulator
Device Rating: 9
Matrix Condition Monitor: 13
Resists Matrix damage with Device Rating + Firewall (9+12=21)
This ultra sophisticated virtual reality simulator is the ultimate compromise between realism and a safe environment en witch to practice unsafe scenarios. It is capable of simulating reality in down right spooky detail, far better than any commercially available VR system, or anything else in the Matrix, and THOSE simulate reality to near perfection. However, standard VR always has a “quality” that eventually gives its true nature away. Something “unreal” about it, no matter how detailed the environments get. Not so with the TAS. Its simulations are the closest thing to an old 20th century 2D TV show’s concept called “The Holodeck”. The realities it can create are absolutely indistinguishable from the real world. The only problem is that the simulation mode is always Hot Sim. No getting around it to achieve this level of reality.
The most wonderful thing about the TAS from a training standpoint is that any skill can be used within its simulations, even magic. The complex cerebral cortex hyper processors are capable of reading neural patterns and creating the desired effect within the simulation. No need for special hacking abilities or clunky projected interfaces in front of the user’s avatar. When you pick up a sword and swing it, you feel the weight and feel the balance. When you pull a trigger the gun fires, and the explosive charges’ smell fills your nostrils. Wait you say, I can do the same thing with the VR rig on my commlink. What makes this any different? In a VR “game”, when you swing the sword and come even close, you hit. Damage is recorded to the object (or person, or monster) that you’ve attacked. Some nice physical resistance can be felt from the impact up your virtual arm. In the TAS, you swing the sword and only come close, well, you’ve only come close. When you hit in the TAS simulation, it records the exact amount of force generated based on the biometric scans made of your body by the machine when you first link up in one of its couches (there are 25), to determine your muscle mass. It tracks any arteries you sever in your target, the precise blood flow and pressure of the blood in that artery, and then generates the perfect blood spatter pattern based on its nearly flawless physics engine, and a massive library of blood spatter analysis collected from forensics labs all over the world. Its not just a reality simulator, it IS reality broken down to binary code and altruistic self adjusting algorithms. When you test fire a new weapon in the TAS, it will feel virtually identical in real life. When you perform a SWAT team incursion, seasoned veterans say its exactly like the real thing. When you cast a fireball spell, you suffer drain, and can feel the heat from the blast just like you had actually weaved the spell. The TAS is the uncanny valley of VR, and is the greatest tool for training yet developed.
In game terms, being within the TAS means users gets to resist all damage with Willpower + Firewall, which is 12 while in the TAS. ALL damage dished out to a user while in a simulation is considered stun damage. The user still takes condition track modifiers as they accumulate damage as normal. The user feels pain, the effects of simulated blood loss, etc. But once they take enough damage to be knocked out, they instead are removed from the simulation in a process called “Soft Eject”. Unlike Dump Shock, Soft Eject doesn’t throw the user’s neural patterns into a blender and hit puree. Instead, they are woken up gradually in 3 rounds and if they suffered at least 3 boxes of damage, they wake with 3 boxes of stun damage, even if while in the simulation they took enough to be knocked out (full track). This allows someone to practice diffusing a bomb and have it blow up in their face without waking up in a hospital with very real brain damage.
Although the TAS was not meant to act as a Cyberdeck, its so sophisticated that it can be used for exactly that. Deckers will still be limited by their own Cyberdecks, as they will need to be plugged into the TAS in order to use hacking programs and utilities, and run in parallel with it. Furthermore, the TAS attributes can not be swapped out like a Cyberdeck. However, all Firewall checks use the TAS’s Firewall rating, not the Cyberdeck’s ratings interfaced with it. Matrix damage directed against Deckers using the TAS is absorbed by their own decks. Matrix damage caused by IC and the like, never constructs within the TAS’s own simulations, is absorbed by the TAS itself for all users jacked in without Cyberdecks. In short, if users fight IC while hacking with the TAS and are not Deckers, the TAS gets hurt too whenever they take damage
There is one further option. The TAS has safety limits that control all of this neurochemical chaos allowing a user to jump off a cliff, and wake up woozy. If these safety limits are removed, the user can continue in the simulation even after all of their Stun Damage Blocks are filled. Instead, any further damage taken becomes physical. No further condition track modifiers are applied, but the users physical body begins to take damage.