WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: This mini PDF requires Savage Worlds and Interface Zero for maximum use, as it is an overhaul of the hacking rules from Interface Zero. The PDF has a short intro from Gun Metal Games' David Jarvis, explaining why this document was released (folks having issues with the hacking/virtual world/etc)...IZ 2.0 is coming later this year and will provide both Basic and Advanced Hacking rules. This document is presenting the Basic rules in advance of IZ 2.0's release. Some of the changes on the character creation end is that Hacking gets its own skill, some Edges have been removed (like Programming 101 and Advanced Programming) and new Edges are introduced (Cool Under Pressure lets you ignore penalties when a system goes on Active Alert and Interference makes you harder to hack, for example). There are also three Hacker specific Hindrances, with advice warning the GM to not allow them if a character who isn't REALLY a Hacker is trying to take a Hindrance that won't affect him. Hyper Gloves are also introduced (the first example that comes to mind to me is the FBI Agent from Heavy Rain, but you have seen them in various other media). The system for Hyper Gloves is pretty simple, a basic stat set that can be upgraded. The Gloves determine everything for the Hacker: Armor, Damage, Hacking Bonus and Range and can be set into three modes: Control (in case you need to manipulate a gun turret or an elevator), Edit (for heavy changes to things) and Destruction (when you need to inflict damage). Additionally, Hyper Gloves have additional MODS that can be used to provide extra bonuses. The hacking itself takes up the final few pages: Essentially, it's a normal skill roll in Savage Worlds, with the level of security providing a penalty to the roll and the Hyper Glove and/or Edges providing a bonus. Unlike most skill rolls, however, Hacking is NEVER without risk: Any Hacking roll failure will have consequences (determined on a die roll against the table appropriate to the type of security firewall).
WHAT WORKS: That cover art is awesome. I'm not sure what it has to do with Hacking, but that is probably the single most compelling piece of artwork I have seen on an Interface Zero product. I like the Hyper Gloves a lot. It's a clean, easy to modify system that fits the Savage Worlds vein.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK: Well, if you're planning on buying IZ 2.0, you might not want to pay for content that's going to be in the eventual release.
CONClUSION: Though designed for Interface Zero, there's not much here that you can't use without it, and it's both inexpensively priced and not a huge document, so if you are running any kind of game in which futuristic hacking would be helpful, it's worth a pick-up. Interface Zero got kicked around (a tad unfairly) for changing "too much" about Savage Worlds, but this is a step back to the feel of SW without sacrificing the unique flavor of IZ.
[5 of 5 Stars!]