R. Talsorian games provided me with a netrunning deck, and after checking it out, it’s a useful tool for the gm and for the player. R. Talsorian games have written out their own instructions on how to use the deck.
However, after thinking about it, I must say that I have another use for it. It would require an extra cost to the player I might add.
I would use the deck as one would use a deck in a game of magic the gathering or other card game like it.
The gm builds their network architecture with their deck, laying it out in front of the players, in the order that it is discovered. For example, when they only have discovered the password, but haven’t done any network reconnaissance apart from that, they only get to see the password. Nothing else. No branching paths, nothing. The player, netrunner, can use their own deck (in their own sleeves so nothing is confused) to attack a certain part of the network.
The cards make it easier to visualize and make branches, so for example, they crack the password and scan the network, they see that the network is several floors (4) deep, but floor 3 branches off on its own. They don’t know what is on the other floors, and will have to discover. They know how deep the maze goes, but don’t know what is on the other floors. They know floor 3 branches off, but it is protected by another password, so they don’t know what is behind those doors either. Like a hallway, having different doors, but not showing what is behind those locked doors. You will have to open the door, to really know what is behind them.
For example: an expensive network can be with several branches, while cheap network gives you a password and only a couple of levels, no branches. So a decent netrunner will have to work for their payload when going up against corpos.