The Robot Handbook is Here!

Reisender

Banded Mongoose
I still think a team of volunteers before anything is even released on pdf would go a long way
I would assume that this is standard, especially for smaller companies. Offer people the end product for half the price if they proofread and help with finding errors before release for example. Not sure to which extent this is done by Mongoose though, but looking at how fast errors are found and reported here, I would say that there is room for improvement.
Fortunately we are talking about the PDF-version, which can be updated more easily. The only problem is to keep track of everyone who is entitled to receive an updated version once they bought it.
 
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Arkathan

Cosmic Mongoose
I would assume that this is standard, especially for smaller companies. Offer people the end product for half they price if they proofread and help with finding errors before release for example. Not sure to which extent this is done by Mongoose though, but looking at how fast errors are found and reported here, I would say that there is room for improvement.
Fortunately we are talking about the PDF-version, which can be updated more easily. The only problem is to keep track of everyone who is entitled to receive an updated version once they bought it.
In DTRPG or Mongoose, you get notified of updates and can download the new version.
 

Technetium 98

Banded Mongoose
Just to let you all know...

An Excel spreadsheet is now in the Free Downloads section.

And we are working on the update for the PDF now, should be just a few days, not too long!

... This would've been nice to know before I made one. That's a few days of my life I ain't getting back!
 

Geir

Banded Mongoose
So, if you made yours pretty, or easier to use, then the time was not wasted.
Yeah, I make no claim about it being pretty. The fact that I had to include an instruction page tells you it's not exactly easy to use. But it works and it makes sense (at least to me, which may not be that much help to those without the same psychological disorders...)
 

Arkathan

Cosmic Mongoose
Oh, I wasn't knocking yours for ease of use, and you already warned it wasn't pretty... I was just trying to make Te98 feel better about his wasted week.
 

Gavain

Mongoose
A great publication. I have been waiting to get my teeth into robots for a while :) However, I noticed a couple of things:

p53 in the last paragraph "External damage is two-thirds of the robot's Hits in damage dice rounded down - or 12D for a 20 Hit robot" 2/3 of 20 is 13.33 so that should be "13D for a 20 hit robot"

p84 the second paragraph of column two mentions "Cost is indicated in Slots of structure produced per hour," The column name is "Cost per Slot created per hour"

p147 The order of the tables is reversed compared to the layout of the other tables.
 

Geir

Banded Mongoose
p. 53: Yes. I really can't do math without a calculator anymore. Sad.
p. 84: those are the same thing. Cost to produce a slot of 'thing' per hour. Unless I miss your meaning.
p. 147: You mean 'improved' should be on top and 'advanced' below. I would agree - I think they laid it out alphabetically, not by complexity. But it should be improved first to match the text which matches increasing complexity.

Edit: addendum to answer for p. 53: what I did was rounded down the hits to a multiple of 3 - to 8 first, and then divided by 2/3 to get 12. Don't know why my brain wants to do it that way. It would be too hard to explain that intent, so best to round it to 13 from the start.
 

Gavain

Mongoose
p. 84: those are the same thing. Cost to produce a slot of 'thing' per hour. Unless I miss your meaning.
No it was merely that the names for the column was different in the text and the table. I think the text should match the tables column.
 

Empedocles

Mongoose
Awesome book! I love how it presents a lot of interesting technologies that could actually change the setting, or provide opportunities for high tech worlds to be vastly different from each other. I'm looking forward to seeing the High Guard and CSC updates - hoping they've all been looked at simultaneously so that they interoperate well.

I might have more comments to add, but a few quick things:
p. 66 I think the first example in the Size paragraph is incorrect. It should be "Size 4 or larger robot at no Slot cost...."
p. 98 What does the Random column on the Template chart actually mean? (All of the entries are the same, and don't seem to be related to the cost listed in the prose.)
p. 98-99 I think the Creche learning section could use a light edit. I think it's trying to say that each year, the clone gets four level-0 skills (aka 4 skill points). However, it doesn't outright say that. If that's the case, it's also pretty difficult to see how the chart corresponds to that. 16 years of training would give you 64 points, but the Characteristics table goes well above 64 points accumulated.
 

Geir

Banded Mongoose
p. 66: Yes. It is should be or larger (my error in the text)
p. 98: The table was apparently 'fixed' for 'clarity'. My intent was that the clone got a base plus a random variation for a cost at a TL. This is the original chart:
Clone Template Characteristic Cost
Characteristic BaseRandomAvailable at TLAdditional Cost
3+1D8Cr0
4+1D8Cr5000
5+1D8Cr15000
6+1D9Cr30000
7+1D10Cr50000
8+1D12Cr75000
6+1D313Cr0
7+1D313Cr5000
8+1D313Cr15000
9+1D313Cr30000
10+1D314Cr50000
11+1D315Cr75000
Does that make more sense? Random might be more clear if it was entitled Variance

p. 98-99: Yes. It should say you get 4 skill point per year. And it should probably terminate at Skill level 4 to be consistent with carrer maximums from the core book. So (and this is for Cassie so she can hack at the book)
#1 Modify the last full sentence pm page 98 (modification in italics and strikethrough) : "Additional Ccreche training costs Cr20000 and adds four more level 0 skills per year. and It can be continued beyond the first year up to a total of 16 years."
#2 Remove the row starting with 5 and 6 from the table on page 99.
 

Empedocles

Mongoose
p. 66: Yes. It is should be or larger (my error in the text)
p. 98: The table was apparently 'fixed' for 'clarity'. My intent was that the clone got a base plus a random variation for a cost at a TL. This is the original chart:
Clone Template Characteristic Cost
Characteristic BaseRandomAvailable at TLAdditional Cost
3+1D8Cr0
4+1D8Cr5000
5+1D8Cr15000
6+1D9Cr30000
7+1D10Cr50000
8+1D12Cr75000
6+1D313Cr0
7+1D313Cr5000
8+1D313Cr15000
9+1D313Cr30000
10+1D314Cr50000
11+1D315Cr75000
Does that make more sense? Random might be more clear if it was entitled Variance
I see what your intent was, and variance makes more sense. Or honestly, given the system you've described, combine them into one column, as in practice I'm not sure I'll ever need to consider them separately.

I think this new chart is different from the final text, which is written from the perspective that you've already got a human you are trying to clone. So it's half of the human's stat (aka baseline potential), plus either a D6 or a d3+3 variance based on TL, plus a bonus for 'enhancing' the DNA.). So there's a bit of apples and oranges between the two, whether you want an system based purely on the base characteristics or whether you want to clone a specific character and possibly augment them.

It's probably too late to add more color, but it would be awesome to have guidance on what's detectable using various sensors or skill rolls.

- Is this person a clone?
- was this clone force grown?
- was this clone assembled (force grown at 50x)?
- Was this person grown using reliable TL13 techniques (reduced variance)? Something along the line of "This person has almost no genetic defects...")
- Was an attribute enhanced during the cloning process? (aka "Bob's genetic makeup appears to be spliced with tiger DNA.")

Arguably, it's not hard to leave those for a GM, but nice to consider the ramifications of clones and clone tweaking. How many modifications before a clone can't pass as the original? At what TL are sensors sophisticated enough to catch the differences between two otherwise identical clones?

Opening Pandora's box for a book on biotech. :D

p. 98-99: Yes. It should say you get 4 skill point per year. And it should probably terminate at Skill level 4 to be consistent with carrer maximums from the core book. So (and this is for Cassie so she can hack at the book)

#1 Modify the last full sentence pm page 98 (modification in italics and strikethrough) : "Additional Ccreche training costs Cr20000 and adds four more level 0 skills per year. and It can be continued beyond the first year up to a total of 16 years."
#2 Remove the row starting with 5 and 6 from the table on page 99.
I like the change of removing the last two rows and the clarification. (Even if the GM in me loves the idea of a skill-6 savant with literally no other life skills.)

Thanks for the updates, and thanks again for a great book! I'm continuing to read through it as I build some bots, so I'll post if I see anything else.
 

Empedocles

Mongoose
p 62 has a somewhat cryptic line:
"A weapon mounted in the robot’s torso may use any available Slots."
What does this actually mean? (It feels like maybe something got changed in editing.)

As far as I can tell from the example StarTek robot, the rules as intended are:
1. Installing a weapons mount always takes up slots. It's exactly the same as any other equipment that takes up slots.
2. If a manipulator is large enough, you can declare that the weapon mount is incorporated into the arm, rather than sticking out of the robot. That doesn't change rule 1.
Basically with RAI, that sentence I flagged seems extraneous - the rules don't really comment on installing items in the torso anywhere else, it's just slots expended.)


Side questions related to weapon mounts (more to spawn future discussion, since the book is baked at this point):
The book as written has options for concealing the entire robot, but not individual pieces of equipment. Is installed equipment always obvious? If an item is concealed, is that free or should it cost slots/money? While that's an interesting question for almost all equipment, it's particularly appropriate when thinking about weapons.

Rules as Written would probably say that it's effectively handwaved / up to the GM, since I don't think it's discussed anywhere. But it's not hard to propose some optional rules...

The vehicle rules have a "pop up" concealment mount, which takes up as much space as the weapon mount itself. It seems like there should be a difference between designing an obvious warbot with a giant vehicle cannon and a huge trashbot that has a cannon concealed inside it for when the revolution starts. :) So this would be an easy rule of weapon mounts.
Because of all the vehicle rules for different weapon mounts, it's also worth asking what torso-mounted weapon really looks like? Is that effectively a fixed mount, a 360 degree turret, or something different? (Possibly handwaved at this level of detail.)

Random noodling:
- A turret could be modeled as a high DEX manipulator, to improve the accuracy of the weapon. Possibly cheaper, since it's not actually capable of manipulating other things.
- A 'fixed weapon' mount variant could use less space but give the robot a significant DEX penalty when firing the weapon because the robot has to effectively aim itself to fire. (The penalty could be worse for larger bots. Maybe TrashBot isn't really meant to shoot people with that cannon.)

Anyway that's me randomly noodling, while I design the bots that will free robots from Imperial slavery. :D
 

shammond42

Banded Mongoose
Two power questions, one being a superset of the other:

1. Some of the catalog entries specify how many shots of an energy weapon the robot can take. How is that calculated? I looked and couldn't find it.
2. Is there any way to relate robot power units to other Traveller power units? For example, how many RTGs does my robot need to replace the power plant on a ship, or power a vehicle?

If you haven't guessed, I've built a Gonk Droid and I'm trying to figure out what it can do.


Thanks!
 

Geir

Banded Mongoose
p 62 has a somewhat cryptic line:
"A weapon mounted in the robot’s torso may use any available Slots."
What does this actually mean? (It feels like maybe something got changed in editing.)

As far as I can tell from the example StarTek robot, the rules as intended are:
1. Installing a weapons mount always takes up slots. It's exactly the same as any other equipment that takes up slots.
2. If a manipulator is large enough, you can declare that the weapon mount is incorporated into the arm, rather than sticking out of the robot. That doesn't change rule 1.
Basically with RAI, that sentence I flagged seems extraneous - the rules don't really comment on installing items in the torso anywhere else, it's just slots expended.)


Side questions related to weapon mounts (more to spawn future discussion, since the book is baked at this point):
The book as written has options for concealing the entire robot, but not individual pieces of equipment. Is installed equipment always obvious? If an item is concealed, is that free or should it cost slots/money? While that's an interesting question for almost all equipment, it's particularly appropriate when thinking about weapons.

Rules as Written would probably say that it's effectively handwaved / up to the GM, since I don't think it's discussed anywhere. But it's not hard to propose some optional rules...

The vehicle rules have a "pop up" concealment mount, which takes up as much space as the weapon mount itself. It seems like there should be a difference between designing an obvious warbot with a giant vehicle cannon and a huge trashbot that has a cannon concealed inside it for when the revolution starts. :) So this would be an easy rule of weapon mounts.
Because of all the vehicle rules for different weapon mounts, it's also worth asking what torso-mounted weapon really looks like? Is that effectively a fixed mount, a 360 degree turret, or something different? (Possibly handwaved at this level of detail.)

Random noodling:
- A turret could be modeled as a high DEX manipulator, to improve the accuracy of the weapon. Possibly cheaper, since it's not actually capable of manipulating other things.
- A 'fixed weapon' mount variant could use less space but give the robot a significant DEX penalty when firing the weapon because the robot has to effectively aim itself to fire. (The penalty could be worse for larger bots. Maybe TrashBot isn't really meant to shoot people with that cannon.)

Anyway that's me randomly noodling, while I design the bots that will free robots from Imperial slavery. :D
The point of the sentence is that you can't stick a gauss cannon in a tiny manipulator. If the torso spins on the hips, the whole robot is a turret (well, except the legs, if it has any) so it is really hand-waved and role-played at that level (it is an RPG, not a robot-simulator, after all - and by RPG, I don't mean the weapon:oops: ).
 

Technetium 98

Banded Mongoose
This is probably me missing something, but I was wondering if it was expedient, or even possible, to swap out installed skill packages in Advanced and up brains? Most of the reprogramming section on p112 references erasing previous memories/experiences.
 

Geir

Banded Mongoose
This is probably me missing something, but I was wondering if it was expedient, or even possible, to swap out installed skill packages in Advanced and up brains? Most of the reprogramming section on p112 references erasing previous memories/experiences.
Well, it's not like it's a wafer and you can swap it out. When it comes down to it, despite capabilities and 'intelligence' any pre-sentient robot is a fancy tool. I know it's a bad analogy, but you can't reprogram a self-driving car to be a chef.

As you may have noticed by building robots, some 'skills' come from built-in components and some purely from brain capability. The latter may have that latitude, but the robot was still designed with a purpose in mind, so if you wanted to replace skills, they should at least be of the same general type. And since an Advanced brain is likely more advanced than any supercomputer we have now, 'deprogramming' is possibly going to be damaging to personality. I'd go with the brain replacement option.
 

J. L. Brown

Mongoose
I am also interested in Shammond42's question about relating 'Robot power' to power used at different levels -- weapon / personal device power, vehicular power, and starship power. How many points of 'Starship power' is needed to recharge one shot of my FGMP-15? One hour of operations of the G-carrier which mounts it? The hover-drone which paints targets for it?
I notice the entries for the various robots include hits, speed, cost, & etc -- but not 'size'. Size is something I expect characters to need -- 'how many can I fit into a dTon of freight', 'does it fit in the trunk of this rental car', and 'can I conceal it under my coat'?
The previous Robot book (MGP 3849 / Book 9: Robot - Inheritors of Man) included some options that seem to be missing from the new book: Liquid metal frames; upgrading the appearance of Bio-based robots; code readers; taste sensors; tactile sensors; pheromone / odour emitters; an external biological covering; sex organs; electric & heat defense; energy shield, and etc. Leaving these off make some previous designs impossible to duplicate.
Overall I am pleased with the book, and look forward to using it in my games.
 
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