Question For those who have picked up robots

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8thseadog
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Question For those who have picked up robots

Postby 8thseadog » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:17 am

Is anyone else finding that the costs in the new robot creation rules are high? I tried to approximate the stat and skill level of the repair robot from the main rule book and it wound up being almost 2.5 times the original cost,and I left almost no room for upgrades (I mean I didn't even give it magnetic grips for walking outside the ship or even a fire extinguisher, it was the bare minimum). The main problem is the skill cost: 12,000 credits for a single skill, that is more than the original robot costs in the main book. I am going to try it out on a more expensive robot from MT, like the autodoc and see if it doesn't start to even out.
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Postby Beastttt » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:47 am

since the robot book was written long after core book
the costs that they used are for an off the rack model where all the R&D has already been paid for
the new book is going to be for custom robots

Robots in the core book may need errata to update them
since robot building rule only just came out I would not expect them to jibe with what is in the core book
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Postby BP » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:12 am

Don't have the book myself, but this is not at all surprising...

Rationalizing the core price differences is always possible - but the sad truth is probably that the chicken came before the egg and its a chick of a different color - happens a lot in evolved works.
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Postby AndrewW » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:25 am

BP wrote:Don't have the book myself, but this is not at all surprising...

Rationalizing the core price differences is always possible - but the sad truth is probably that the chicken came before the egg and its a chick of a different color - happens a lot in evolved works.
Yup, the vehicle design system is an example of this, the air/raft from Civilian Vehicles for example doesn't have the same price as the air/raft in the core rulebook.
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Postby BP » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:47 am

Seem to recall they also varied by 'volumes' as well?
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Postby ShawnDriscoll » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:42 am

I should be getting Robots by around the 14th.
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Postby Dave Chase » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:40 pm

Assume that common, off the shelf production line items cost 60% less than a custom job.

Now, the question becomes what is considered common, off the shelf production line
1 Million copies
100 Million copies
1 Trillion copies
etc?

But I concur that if any item is listed in the core book as common, should be considered a common, off the shelf production line item

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Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:01 pm

I'm suprised the book didn't explicitly state something about prices for Core Rulebook items.

When HG came out, it specifically mentioned that the stats and costs from HG superceded the items in the Core rules for the Small Craft.
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8thseadog
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It is interesting

Postby 8thseadog » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:41 am

That there is no mention whatsoever of the robots given as examples in the main book, it a little weird. The difficulty I am finding is that the software that makes a robot even semi autonomous is really expensive compared to most of the hardware. Giving the Robots treatment to the autodoc for example, it is really easy and relatively cheap to approximate its dexterity (just going by the book's method though, the autodoc is significantly stronger than it was, because strength and dex of manipulators are linked).
The software by comparison, is extremely expensive; Giving the robot a 9 int is incredibly expensive and to a lesser extent edu is also. This isn't that huge a deal for npc robots. As GM I can set whatever guidlines on prices I want. The main problem I see is the PC creation; the repair robot I posted about originally is more than a one term robot player would get to construct a character. That is a bit of a conundrum to me because while I see a robot having a narrow focus of skill, its raw abilities should be pretty easily to surpass a human (except social standing in a 3I setting).
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Postby BP » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:55 am

Question For those who have picked up robots

Uhm.. the only robot I ever recall picking up was the Hero Jr. It was kinda bulky, but not overly heavy... I don't think I could ever pickup any of the industrial 'robots' I've worked on...
hehe (sorry the title just caught my funny bone)


Seriously, don't have the book - but you mention the software costs as being the greater cost element? How do the numbers work out if there is no cost for 'software'. Can things work (same/lower cost) for Core book robots then (i.e. think low/free cost open source for standard offerings)?
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Postby 8thseadog » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:00 pm

Well for the repair robot I made only about a third of its cost was hardware. Most physical parts for robots of standard types are in the 100-5000 credit range. The parts that determine Strength and Dex for human or smaller sized robots are really cheap, because both are determined by the manipulators. The software prices on the whole are really expensive though several of the programs are only needed for specific types of robots. However if the robot is going to do any work without simply being remote controlled it needs the software that give it an edu score, ego programs that give it an int score (and indirectly soc) it also needs at least 1 skill at level 0. It is really the int and skill software that does it for the cost: for mental stats like the main book, and a point of mechanic skill it was 19,000 credits. Bear in mind that for that price the robot still has to be instructed what to do, but it doesn't need detailed instructions from an expert.
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Re: Question For those who have picked up robots

Postby BP » Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:01 pm

8thseadog wrote:... tried to approximate the stat and skill level of the repair robot from the main rule book and it wound up being almost 2.5 times the original cost,and I left almost no room for upgrades (I mean I didn't even give it magnetic grips for walking outside the ship or even a fire extinguisher, it was the bare minimum)...
8thseadog wrote:Well for the repair robot I made only about a third of its cost was hardware.
So the 2.5x cost, if you ignore software, comes to only about 0.85 the cost?

Leaving some left over for upgrades. Seems to work (granted it is a hack - by making 'software' for off the shelf robots 'free'), and might even have more leeway considering there are surely various alternate configurations for the repair robot.
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Postby Mithras » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:02 pm

No robots in myTraveller campaign. Its decidedly humanocentric. Well, maybe some drones in the background for setting fluff. :) [/b]
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man the subject lines are small

Postby 8thseadog » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:17 pm

Lest it be thought that my only thoughts about Book 9 are gripes about generation costs, I thought I would share my thoughts on the book as a whole. The generation system, weird pricing aside, is really good, and with the exception from a few ambiguities really simple. The second chapter is really interesting primarily because it focuses on careers for robot PCs and some of their considerations in play. For me though the most exciting part is that human pcs get access to a robotic career specialty for each of the core book career groups (some of which are a little strange, but now we have expanded citizen and scholar careers other than belter specialties).
The third chapter deals with issues like taking damage and repairs, hacking (both mundane and in cinematic style), at this point I think there might be several different methods of hacking into a computer I know both agent and scoundrel dealt with it to some extent. Chapter four is about swarms of insect sized microbots, and five is primarily about campaign ideas.
Anyway I think the book is really great for anyone that wants robots as part of the game, even if they are not interested in playing as one. That said there are a few things that should be mentioned. First the book is not free from the usual typos and text/table disagreements. Second I think a lot of people will find the TLs wonky; either strangely high (TL 10 to equip a robot with sonar) or low (Emotion Generation at TL 13). Finally the book has very little to say about the 3I setting specifically (this is not really a problem for me but it is something that should be said). On the balance though, it is a good book and it adds a lot.
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Postby DFW » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:25 pm

So, the system used in this new book ISN'T compatible with the core rules.


It would have been BEYOND simple to base the pricing on existing robotic devices listed in the core. WHY make a mess of it like this? Anyone from Mongoose want to chime in?
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Postby simonh » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:02 pm

DFW wrote:It would have been BEYOND simple to base the pricing on existing robotic devices listed in the core. WHY make a mess of it like this? Anyone from Mongoose want to chime in?
I wouldn't say a new pricing scheme = incompatible. It's just a new pricing scheme.

It wouldn't necesserily be beyond simple to make them consistent either. Once you actualy break down costs per component, all kinds of relationships and tradeoffs will come out that it may not be possible or desirable to closely match the prices in the rulebook. If the new pricing scheme is more logical and consistent than the old one, I'd say that's a good thing. I'm not saying it is - I don't know because I don't have the book yet - but I'm open to the idea.

Precendents? The prices you got using CT High Guard were significantly different from the prices you got for similar designs using CT Book 2. From what I remember the costs of grav belts in some previous editions were totaly out of whack with the costs of grav units for small vehicles and robots as well. Just a case of the guy writing the equipment list not talking to the guy writing the design system - or again a reconsideration of the problem leading to a revision of the component cost estimates for better balance overall.

The proff of the pudding is, do the new component costs make sense in a wider context. I think that's the standard to subject them to.

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Postby DFW » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:07 pm

simonh wrote: I wouldn't say a new pricing scheme = incompatible. It's just a new pricing scheme.
Yes, incompatible as you can't use it as written to create robotic devices spec'd in core rules.
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Postby BP » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:48 pm

DFW wrote:So, the system used in this new book ISN'T compatible with the core rules.
From the OPs post, it sounds that way - and I'd say that puts it clearly enough DFW.
DFW wrote:...It would have been BEYOND simple to base the pricing on existing robotic devices listed in the core. ...
Might be a bit 'complicated' depending how the author wanted to component-ize things, but its fiction, there is no real reason for things to not match up.

Unless the original is flawed in some way, one should start from that and derive enhancements, not simply support two separate fictional systems in the same context (or at least provide a rationale for doing so).
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Postby DFW » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:02 pm

BP wrote:Might be a bit 'complicated' depending how the author wanted to component-ize things, but its fiction, there is no real reason for things to not match up.

Unless the original is flawed in some way, one should start from that and derive enhancements, not simply support two separate fictional systems in the same context (or at least provide a rationale for doing so).
My point exactly. Better said by you BP.
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Postby simonh » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:04 pm

Were talking about one page of material in the core rulebook being superseded by a full supplement. Hardly game-breaking, campaign shattering stuff.

You could just as well state that the gun design rules in Fire Fusion & Steel were incompatible with the New Era rulebook because the gun stats it produced were slightly different to the ones in the rulebook equipment list. Rules get superseded in this way in games all the time, yet somehow those plucky players manage to find a way to struggle through these overwhelming obstacles callously thrown in their path by the game designers without the sky falling on their heads.

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