The Robot Handbook is Here!

Geir

Cosmic Mongoose
Loving this book!

Just getting detailed stats for tons and tons of robots was great, adding rules to build our own makes it even better!



Loved getting stats and pictures for repair, probe and mining drones - surprised to see how humanoid the repair drones are! I’ve always pictured them as some form of floating spider thingies. No complaints though, being humanoid makes sense when they’re supposed to move in human-adapted environments, using human tools and consoles…



Is there a reason for omitting chassis size on the stat sheets? Currently for accurate sizing, one needs to look at number of hits and small/large traits and work backwards from there. Granted, it’s no that often necessary to know exactly, but for describing them or figuring out how many can fit within a certain compartment or so, size is helpful.



P.22 tactical speed enhancement: How come it can’t be combined with vehicle speed movement?



P.250 “The satellite is delivered via standard missile bus, which can deliver four EyeSpy units.” Yet the missile only has carrying capacity for one 2 slot robot, and one Eyespy appears to be size 2?
Size might not be a bad addition. Started with the older style and added unit it had the information I needed. You're right, it can normally be figured out, if not by hits, then by size traits (Large and Small DMs).

The thinking on tactical vs. vehicle is that they're entirely different drive systems. and you can also enhance the vehicle speed (second sentence of second paragraph of page 23 - it sort of mirrors the Vehicle Handbook language).

On the Eyespy: Yes, it is size 2. If its a warhead replacement, you can only fit one, if it's a just a missile chassis (the thruster part) then you can fit two (bottom of first column page 100). I don't know how I got four - it would work if you shoved four in a missile launcher with no missile system attached but then you would have no propulsion.... ah wait - blame the editor (sorry, no, I really like the editor, but reading my brain is hard). I wrote:

"The satellite is delivered via a standard missile bus. A single torpedo can deliver four EyeSpy units." And I meant it. The intent is for a missile to deliver one and a torpedo to deliver four.
 

Peleliu

Mongoose
Absolutely, sorry for that oopsie. Everything will be updated early next week.
Would it be possible to use this opportunity to add version dates/numbers to all future PDFs so everyone has a clear idea of what version they are dealing with?

I was looking forward to the robot book, but, like others, I will delay my purchase until it has seen a few more editing passes.
 

Geir

Cosmic Mongoose
Would it be possible to use this opportunity to add version dates/numbers to all future PDFs so everyone has a clear idea of what version they are dealing with?

I was looking forward to the robot book, but, like others, I will delay my purchase until it has seen a few more editing passes.
Trust me, the errors and oversights are annoying. Especially the ones that are all on me. I've been grinding my teeth at errors in Traveller books since... well, yes, I do remember the 70s. Still, I keep coming back to Traveller because it's the RPG I like the best. The sandbox of the Pirates of Drinax really pulled me in again a few years back and reminded me why I really like this game (and there are some 'issues' with some of that material - but that doesn't make it any less fun).

Nobody wants to put out a less-than-perfect product, and I didn't do a great job on the pre-release sent to me (author blindness and, honestly, I was afraid I would start picking apart and second-guessing too much.) And versioning of the PDFs wouldn't be a bad idea (though not one I have to try to implement, so ideas are one thing, practicalities may be another), but keep in mind that you do get a notice of a new download - at least on Drivethru - every time the PDF gets updated, so the only 'penalty' for buying now (other than bandwidth costs, I suppose) is not getting the material until later.

I'm probably being a little more interactive than I should on this thread, but I want the book to be perfect as much as the rest of you, and I'm very aware that I can make mistakes (just ask my wife).
 

ColinD

Mongoose
I really enjoy this book and it came just in time for a Cyborg NPC I've made. Flying Sword will also be used. I love how they used some of your Traveller Fiction with the Blacksand Widow by Chris Jackson.
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Trust me, the errors and oversights are annoying. Especially the ones that are all on me. I've been grinding my teeth at errors in Traveller books since... well, yes, I do remember the 70s. Still, I keep coming back to Traveller because it's the RPG I like the best. The sandbox of the Pirates of Drinax really pulled me in again a few years back and reminded me why I really like this game (and there are some 'issues' with some of that material - but that doesn't make it any less fun).

Nobody wants to put out a less-than-perfect product, and I didn't do a great job on the pre-release sent to me (author blindness and, honestly, I was afraid I would start picking apart and second-guessing too much.) And versioning of the PDFs wouldn't be a bad idea (though not one I have to try to implement, so ideas are one thing, practicalities may be another), but keep in mind that you do get a notice of a new download - at least on Drivethru - every time the PDF gets updated, so the only 'penalty' for buying now (other than bandwidth costs, I suppose) is not getting the material until later.

I'm probably being a little more interactive than I should on this thread, but I want the book to be perfect as much as the rest of you, and I'm very aware that I can make mistakes (just ask my wife).
Geir, all errors aside, it is an awesome book! Thank you!
 

Annatar Giftbringer

Cosmic Mongoose
Size might not be a bad addition. Started with the older style and added unit it had the information I needed. You're right, it can normally be figured out, if not by hits, then by size traits (Large and Small DMs).

The thinking on tactical vs. vehicle is that they're entirely different drive systems. and you can also enhance the vehicle speed (second sentence of second paragraph of page 23 - it sort of mirrors the Vehicle Handbook language).

On the Eyespy: Yes, it is size 2. If its a warhead replacement, you can only fit one, if it's a just a missile chassis (the thruster part) then you can fit two (bottom of first column page 100). I don't know how I got four - it would work if you shoved four in a missile launcher with no missile system attached but then you would have no propulsion.... ah wait - blame the editor (sorry, no, I really like the editor, but reading my brain is hard). I wrote:

"The satellite is delivered via a standard missile bus. A single torpedo can deliver four EyeSpy units." And I meant it. The intent is for a missile to deliver one and a torpedo to deliver four.

Size can be figured out, but it could be handy to have available in the stat sheet, if possible.



My thinking regarding the speed boosting was exactly that it is two separate drive systems, and thus both might be able to upgrade and tweak, so a robot can both be extra quick in ‘travel mode’ and nimble and quick when precision maneuvering in ‘tactical mode’ rather than having a single system optimized for one type.

Either way, the inclusion of a vehicle speed option is much appreciated, opens up for many fun builds!



Four Eyespy in a torpedo makes perfect sense! I suspected that might be the intent, but forgot to mention it…



I haven’t managed to truly dig into the design system yet, but from first glance it seems detailed and tweakable yet also simple and quick, perfect combo!
 

Geir

Cosmic Mongoose
Size can be figured out, but it could be handy to have available in the stat sheet, if possible.



My thinking regarding the speed boosting was exactly that it is two separate drive systems, and thus both might be able to upgrade and tweak, so a robot can both be extra quick in ‘travel mode’ and nimble and quick when precision maneuvering in ‘tactical mode’ rather than having a single system optimized for one type.

Either way, the inclusion of a vehicle speed option is much appreciated, opens up for many fun builds!



Four Eyespy in a torpedo makes perfect sense! I suspected that might be the intent, but forgot to mention it…



I haven’t managed to truly dig into the design system yet, but from first glance it seems detailed and tweakable yet also simple and quick, perfect combo!
Thanks! I hope it isn't too cumbersome. I tried to make it so it was simple if you wanted it to be and complex if you wanted, but I also spent six months of last year's 'free' time focused on it, so it all (mostly) makes sense to me.
 

Technetium 98

Banded Mongoose
Loving the book! How much work was it to import just about every robot (By my reckoning, at least) in MGT2? Working on a spreadsheet for this now.

... As for editing lark, as I am a pedantic sod who's best ignored, on page 26 the paragraph about resizing base manipulators appears twice. It also mentions reducing the base chassis cost, where the paragraph about removing base manipulators does not. I'm guessing that's a mistake?
 

Sigtrygg

Emperor Mongoose
Some thoughts:
the more people you have studying the pdf before it goes to print the better the final product will be
has Mongoose given any thought to allowing us to purchase alpha versions of the pdfs so they can be error checked well in advance of even the 'final' pdf going on general release

why not ask for trusted volunteers to playtest and error check stuff in development - there is a reason GURPS Traveller products were well playtested (with a couple of notable exceptions). As Geir says sometimes the author can't see the mistakes because they 'know what they wrote' to paraphrase his statement upthread.

To those holding out, it is my understanding that this pdf is still a way off going to print, so time can still be spent on small bits of error checking - but here is the killer, the author's vision is sacred so don't go suggesting wholescale re-writes because your own house rules do it better.

Geir and Paltrysum have produced some excellent work of late, and while the canonista purist in me spots stuff that should not be in the odd product what is there is the author's take on it and so should be respected.
 

Sigtrygg

Emperor Mongoose
And now my one big complaint - it is too Third Imperium centric. :)
Where are the rules for integration with 2300AD?
Or could that be an area for a JTAS article series - how to adapt the Robots book to alternative settings.:giggle:

And some minor nitpicks - Zhodani warbots are TL14 with some TL15 according to CT canon LBB:8 Robots
The Sabmiqys entry changes font size in the text on a couple of lines
And then bit that really gets me so I will quote it directly concerning Hiver robots
"TL: 15, with some 16. Hiver robot brains are always TL 16."
and
"Pseudo-biological Robots Hivers do not construct Hiver pseudo-biological robots,
but robots contoured as humans are popular trade Items. True pseudo-biological
robots are too expensive to be practical as a mass-market item."

I know, I just broke the rules I wrote in my previous post - but I would have though LBB:8 would be the baseline for a Third Imperium Robots supplement.
 
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Geir

Cosmic Mongoose
And now my one big complaint - it is too Third Imperium centric. Where are the rules for integration with 2300AD?
Or could that be an area for a JTAS article series - how to adapt the Robots book to alternative settings.

And some minor nitpicks - Zhodani warbots are TL14 with some TL15 according to CT canon LBB:8 Robots
The Sabmiqys entry changes font size in the text on a couple of lines
And then bit that really gets me so I will quote it directly concerning Hiver robots
"TL: 15, with some 16. Hiver robot brains are always TL 16."
and
"Pseudo-biological Robots Hivers do not construct Hiver pseudo-biological robots,
but robots contoured as humans are popular trade Items. True pseudo-biological
robots are too expensive to be practical as a mass-market item."

I know, I just broke the rules I wrote in my previous post - but I would have though LBB:8 would be the baseline for a Third Imperium Robots supplement.
Colin can correct me if I'm wrong, but the robots for the new edition of 2300 were built with these rules. On page 95 of Book 1 of the new 2300AD, there's a whole section: "Changes from the Robot Handbook".

If I understand your Hiver robots comment properly then it's that I didn't include Hiver robots that meet the above quotes from LBB8? Especially human-oriented ones? Or am I missing the point? (I only wanted to do three, and focused on robots for the Hivers, not export models)
 

paltrysum

Cosmic Mongoose
Geir and Paltrysum have produced some excellent work of late, and while the canonista purist in me spots stuff that should not be in the odd product what is there is the author's take on it and so should be respected.
Thank you and well said. :)

And now my one big complaint - it is too Third Imperium centric. Where are the rules for integration with 2300AD?
Or could that be an area for a JTAS article series - how to adapt the Robots book to alternative settings.
Just to make sure, your primary issue is compatibility with 2300AD, correct? I feel like most of the Robot Handbook enables players to create robots, androids, clones, microbots, etc., for many different types of homebrew or fiction-inspired settings. For example, when editing it, I couldn't help thinking how Geir's work here would be a big help in creating a game set in Iain Banks' Culture universe, among many others.
 

Geir

Cosmic Mongoose
Loving the book! How much work was it to import just about every robot (By my reckoning, at least) in MGT2? Working on a spreadsheet for this now.

... As for editing lark, as I am a pedantic sod who's best ignored, on page 26 the paragraph about resizing base manipulators appears twice. It also mentions reducing the base chassis cost, where the paragraph about removing base manipulators does not. I'm guessing that's a mistake?
Thanks, but I bet I can out-pendant everyone (well, not everyone, because - oh, never mind) Technically the two paragraphs are not there twice, because the first one includes "Note that" at the beginning of the last sentence (took three times reading through to see that, but it bugged me that they didn't line up exactly). Nevertheless, the second one is probably the one intended, since it looks like it had the benefit of editing. If the removal paragraph that you mentioned is the one on page 25, then the last sentence does talk about reducing cost - it there is another removal paragraph then, well that's another thing...

And yes, I was supposed to include every robot I could find. I didn't import them, I rebuilt them using the new rules, so they might vary slightly, certainly in Cost, perhaps in capabilities in some aspects, because sometimes it was just tooo many square pegs in a round robot socket. I hope I didn't miss too many existing robots..
 

MasterGwydion

Banded Mongoose
Thanks, but I bet I can out-pendant everyone (well, not everyone, because - oh, never mind) Technically the two paragraphs are not there twice, because the first one includes "Note that" at the beginning of the last sentence (took three times reading through to see that, but it bugged me that they didn't line up exactly). Nevertheless, the second one is probably the one intended, since it looks like it had the benefit of editing. If the removal paragraph that you mentioned is the one on page 25, then the last sentence does talk about reducing cost - it there is another removal paragraph then, well that's another thing...

And yes, I was supposed to include every robot I could find. I didn't import them, I rebuilt them using the new rules, so they might vary slightly, certainly in Cost, perhaps in capabilities in some aspects, because sometimes it was just tooo many square pegs in a round robot socket. I hope I didn't miss too many existing robots..
I can nitpick stuff forever as well, but I have been experimenting with this product and I am loving it!

P.S.- I am sure more nitpicking will follow as I dive deeper and deeper into this new-found treasure...:p
 

Sigtrygg

Emperor Mongoose
I think I should have put smiley faces in my previous post - it comes across as way more negative than intended. This really is a great book and fantastic resource.

There are three primary sources for robots within CT, the MWM robots articles in JTAS - I stick to the original three articles rather than the slightly abridged version in the best of JTAS.
Next we have LBB:8 Robots which was actually written by the folks at DGP.
And finally 101 Robots which. while a DGP product. is fully compatible with LBB:8 Note that this one being a DGP product is difficult to get hold of.

Your book does a good job of covering all of it. :)

LBB:8 flat out states Zhodani warbots are TL14-15 and that all Hiver robot brains are TL16. That is not to say that they don't have lower TL dumbbots. The import of Hiver warbots into the Imperium is illegal. Now it is possible that Hive Federation races that are not Hivers construct robots with lower TL brains,

I hadn't thought to look in 2300AD since it came out on pdf so long back - just got my boxed set last week - would it be possible to add a side bar in the Robots book to the effect that other MgT based games will have modifications to these core rules, for example see page such and such in the 2300 core rule book.

By the way, this means that every robot in 2300 can be ported right into the Third Imperium or whatever setting you are running.
 
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Geir

Cosmic Mongoose
P. 79 Drone interface
Improved and enhanced have the exact same stats
Yeah, that is entirely on me. The Enhanced interface serves no purpose and that row is best removed.. though of course that might 'break' a design or two... but quick search, it doesn't break anything in the book, so it can safely be removed.
 

Reynard

Cosmic Mongoose
Have the PDF and had the day to browse down at the local game store. That's a lot of information. I love it. Thanks for all the robot examples.

Got an idea to convert Fallout robots to Traveller. Going to be awhile as I learn all the rules. Damn problem for me is PDF files on a tablet are hard to concentrate on. Can't wait for the hardcopy.
 

Technetium 98

Banded Mongoose
Spreadsheet's almost done, but I found an entertaining edge case! Or, y'know, I didn't, and I got the spreadsheet maths wrong.

Start with a Size 1 robot (Cr100, 1 slot), give it None locomotion (+1 slot, 1x multiplier). Strip away both manipulators, yielding Cr200 and two more slots. You're left with a robot that has 4 slots free, for a cost of negative 100 credits. Now strip away those 4 slots, you've got a robot that costs negative half-a-grand. It's so bad you have to pay a customer to take it, or depending on how you read it, you spontaneously generate Cr500 every time you build one.

I love this book.

(Assuming that I'm not misreading something and this is RAW- I'm not complaining about the rules, here; this is the edgiest of edge cases and if one of my players tried to pull this I'd slap them. I'm saying this mostly because I think it's funny, and to make sure I haven't missed anything.)

Edit: I think this is just inherent to the None locomotion option, actually. Someone smarter than me can do the maths, but at least the Size 8 bot yields negative Cr12000 by the same method. I'm probably going to rule that the cost can't drop below the base chassis cost.
 
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Geir

Cosmic Mongoose
Spreadsheet's almost done, but I found an entertaining edge case! Or, y'know, I didn't, and I got the spreadsheet maths wrong.

Start with a Size 1 robot (Cr100, 1 slot), give it None locomotion (+1 slot, 1x multiplier). Strip away both manipulators, yielding Cr200 and two more slots. You're left with a robot that has 4 slots free, for a cost of negative 100 credits. Now strip away those 4 slots, you've got a robot that costs negative half-a-grand. It's so bad you have to pay a customer to take it, or depending on how you read it, you spontaneously generate Cr500 every time you build one.

I love this book.

(Assuming that I'm not misreading something and this is RAW- I'm not complaining about the rules, here; this is the edgiest of edge cases and if one of my players tried to pull this I'd slap them. I'm saying this mostly because I think it's funny, and to make sure I haven't missed anything.)

Edit: I think this is just inherent to the None locomotion option, actually. Someone smarter than me can do the maths, but at least the Size 8 bot yields negative Cr12000 by the same method. I'm probably going to rule that the cost can't drop below the base chassis cost.
If you strip away the manipulators, you should only get Cr20 each (p. 25: "but no more than 20% of the Base Chassis Cost.") But yes, if you reduce the slots to zero, it would be -340 for a box with no brain and no options.

I guess I didn't test the edge case of 'dismember and gut the useless robot'. Your suggested fix makes sense. So at the end of page 13, just before the table add: "However, the minimum cost for any robot is its Basic Cost."
 
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