The Robot Handbook is Here!

Geir

Banded Mongoose
And by making that adjustment, you demonstrated how quick and easy the design system is to use, both to build and to make changes :)
It's not always going to be that easy, though. In this case, to emulate the pre-existing design, I gave it 4 points of resilient hull to increase the hits to 24, so there are 4 slots to work with without having to remove a feature.

For other designs, I had to do things like reduce arm size to make it work, but the first month or two of doing that book was tweaking the design model to try to fit as many preexisting designs as possible into the process. Nothing was perfect, but the only major concession I had to make was on price, because that was all over the place.

For the CSC I tried to build a suit-builder model to handle pricing for vacc suits and full amour, but I had to give up, because there was no way to make it coherent (especially around TL10 for some reason - hmm seem like someone in another thread is having trouble with a certain TL10 firearm. Coincidence?). I adjusted some obviously broken prices, but a model for that will have to await some other revision.
 
I’ve been experimenting with custom robot designs. I could use help confirming or correcting my understanding. I’m looking at pages 66 and 26.

In building a TL12 robot as a crew Gunner, the robot could be optimized for a +6 Gunnery (+3 from enhanced Dexterity upgraded to Dex 15 and +3 from a level 3 Skill) using a very advanced TL 12 brain with computer/3. Is this correct?

How does the robot’s Expert/2 skill play into things? Is the Expert software’s skill limit of Bandwidth -1 not applied due to the robot not being a computer? Instead, the robot’s skill level is limited by the robot brain’s base bandwidth rating with a hard cap of level 3 regardless of rating. The expert software rating is included to limit the max difficulty of skill checks in this case very difficult (12+) checks.

For this Gunner robot, which is already quite expensive, are both manipulators required to be upgraded to Dex 15 from the base Dex 7 to gain the intended full +3 Dex benefit or could this robot get away with just one upgraded manipulator like a human with a dominant handedness or even just one manipulator? I see an example of an Astro-Mech droid with only one manipulator able to Pilot a ship.

Thank you for any and all help.
 

Geir

Banded Mongoose
I’ve been experimenting with custom robot designs. I could use help confirming or correcting my understanding. I’m looking at pages 66 and 26.

In building a TL12 robot as a crew Gunner, the robot could be optimized for a +6 Gunnery (+3 from enhanced Dexterity upgraded to Dex 15 and +3 from a level 3 Skill) using a very advanced TL 12 brain with computer/3. Is this correct?

How does the robot’s Expert/2 skill play into things? Is the Expert software’s skill limit of Bandwidth -1 not applied due to the robot not being a computer? Instead, the robot’s skill level is limited by the robot brain’s base bandwidth rating with a hard cap of level 3 regardless of rating. The expert software rating is included to limit the max difficulty of skill checks in this case very difficult (12+) checks.

For this Gunner robot, which is already quite expensive, are both manipulators required to be upgraded to Dex 15 from the base Dex 7 to gain the intended full +3 Dex benefit or could this robot get away with just one upgraded manipulator like a human with a dominant handedness or even just one manipulator? I see an example of an Astro-Mech droid with only one manipulator able to Pilot a ship.

Thank you for any and all help.
What you're designing should work, even one-armed. The only potential issue is how "Very Difficult" or "Formidable" is interpreted. If anything that would require a raw 13+ to hit without skills or DEX is being targeted by the robot (at long ranges and some other factor) then it could potentially fit in the "not expert enough to do that" category with Expert/2. That was really intended more of a thing for intellectual skills though, so I'd have to be a pretty mean referee to limit it that way.

On the other hand (if it has one) there's the question of 'robot warriors' to consider. Mix it up a bit and make it robot infantry trooper instead. The Third Imperium would not be amused at such things (how is it any different than Virtual Gunner? It isn't. But I'm just throwing out hypotheticals and reactions to killing machines). The Zhodani would came back and ask, if we buy them by the hundreds, do we get a discount?

The other thing that you mentioned is that it can get pretty expensive to get a +6, so that's a control (in a budgetary sense) on the robots getting too powerful as well.
 
What you're designing should work, even one-armed. The only potential issue is how "Very Difficult" or "Formidable" is interpreted. If anything that would require a raw 13+ to hit without skills or DEX is being targeted by the robot (at long ranges and some other factor) then it could potentially fit in the "not expert enough to do that" category with Expert/2. That was really intended more of a thing for intellectual skills though, so I'd have to be a pretty mean referee to limit it that way.

On the other hand (if it has one) there's the question of 'robot warriors' to consider. Mix it up a bit and make it robot infantry trooper instead. The Third Imperium would not be amused at such things (how is it any different than Virtual Gunner? It isn't. But I'm just throwing out hypotheticals and reactions to killing machines). The Zhodani would came back and ask, if we buy them by the hundreds, do we get a discount?

The other thing that you mentioned is that it can get pretty expensive to get a +6, so that's a control (in a budgetary sense) on the robots getting too powerful as well.

Thank you, Geir! A personal response from the book's author within an hour or two is extraordinary and greatly appreciated.
 

Gavain

Mongoose
Just been looking at the transceivers and noticed that there are four levels: basic, improved, enhanced and advanced. However, there is no explanation of the properties of each level other than the observation of increased TL. It would be great to get some insight on this.
 

Geir

Banded Mongoose
Just been looking at the transceivers and noticed that there are four levels: basic, improved, enhanced and advanced. However, there is no explanation of the properties of each level other than the observation of increased TL. It would be great to get some insight on this.
They are changes to size and cost as proxies for the maturity of the product, unless specific features and improvements are discussed in the text.

I'm trying to standardize on a progression through Tech Levels with gradations first(?) introduced in the Vehicle Handbook. The entire sequence would be:

Primitive - Basic - Improved - Enhanced - Advanced - Superior

But not everything needs 6 levels, so it would go:
2) Basic - Improved
3) Basic - Improved - Advanced
4) Basic - Improved - Enhanced - Advanced (and that's as far as most should go)
5) Either: Primitive - Basic - Improved - Enhanced - Advanced, or
Basic - Improved - Enhanced - Advanced - Superior (if the Superior was, say, TL16 or above)
And 6) would be the whole lot of them.
 

Technetium 98

Mongoose
Remaking my spreadsheet after the update, got a couple questions about manipulator cost.
Removal: A robot does not require manipulators. One or both standard manipulators can be removed. Additional Slots gained for reducing manipulators are 10% of the robot’s Base Slots per manipulator, rounded up to always gain at least one Slot. Removing a manipulator lowers the cost of the robot by Cr100 multiplied by the size of the manipulator but no more than 20% of the Base Chassis Cost.
Resizing a manipulator changes the robot’s cost by Cr100 x the difference in Slots between the robot’s default manipulator size and actual manipulator size. Therefore, the cost is increased by Cr100 if the resized manipulator is one Slot larger and decreased by Cr100 if one Slot smaller. The Base Chassis Cost cannot be reduced by more than 20% by reducing manipulator size.
Seems like resizing a manipulator does reduce Base Chassis Cost, but removing doesn't? Also, why's the cost reduction treated differently in resizing manipulators to everything else about manipulators; Cr100 x Size? I guess I'm just complaining about the inconsistency between these two paragraphs, I feel that resizing and removing a manipulator shouldn't be so different.
 

Geir

Banded Mongoose
Remaking my spreadsheet after the update, got a couple questions about manipulator cost.


Seems like resizing a manipulator does reduce Base Chassis Cost, but removing doesn't? Also, why's the cost reduction treated differently in resizing manipulators to everything else about manipulators; Cr100 x Size? I guess I'm just complaining about the inconsistency between these two paragraphs, I feel that resizing and removing a manipulator shouldn't be so different.
I think the slots language on the sizing is a mistake on my part. My spreadsheet deals with it strictly on the basis of manipulator size not slots, and in many cases, these results will line up. In some cases, they will not. Another thing for me to add to an errata file for any future reprint.
 

JNJ

Banded Mongoose
Another thing for me to add to an errata file for any future reprint.
Hi Geir,

First : Great book! Thanks.

Second : Instead of waiting for a future reprint, wouldn't it be possible to incorporate those errata in the Robot PDF file and upload the corrected version on MP and Drivethru ? I of course would understand if it represents too much work and you are already fully occupied with other projects.
 

Sigtrygg

Cosmic Mongoose
So I take it that the book has gone to print and 'issues' are still being found?

I will say this again, a lot more sets of eyes and a longer error check are needed there are many people on this forum who will pay up front for a much earlier pre-order pdf knowing they will get the final pdf and the print book in a much more error free iteration. I still gaze at my deluxe 2022 core rulebook and wish it had been checked more thoroughly, since I spotted a few errors on my first skim read of the pdf.
 

Geir

Banded Mongoose
So I take it that the book has gone to print and 'issues' are still being found?

I will say this again, a lot more sets of eyes and a longer error check are needed there are many people on this forum who will pay up front for a much earlier pre-order pdf knowing they will get the final pdf and the print book in a much more error free iteration. I still gaze at my deluxe 2022 core rulebook and wish it had been checked more thoroughly, since I spotted a few errors on my first skim read of the pdf.
There will always be issues, perfection is... (okay, I'm not going to go all Zen or whatever on you) but but the less the better.
Good news: I was told I still had time, so I sent in four known issues just now: the manipulator removal vagueness, clarification on endurance and vehicle speed, the missing Hikare arm, and a disconnect between 'parasite' and 'parasitic'.

Okay, funny story: My favorite SF book is the The Mote in God's Eye, which I bought sometime in the late 70's and read as least as many times as I saw Star Wars. The book is in bad shape, with the cover held on by tape, but I brought it with me to Writers of the Future, more than a decade ago now, because I knew both Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven were going to be there and I wanted to get it autographed. I walk up, introduce myself to Jerry, and the first thing he does is open it up and flip to a certain page and say "I wanted to see if the this was a first edition, because there's a misspelling in there." It wasn't (9th printing), but still, Simon and Shuster's editorial staff and both authors missed something all the way to the paperback.
 

CordwainerFish

Mongoose
In early paperbacks of Lucifer's Hammer, the last paragraph on page 512 mentions the mountains west of Los Angeles... and both of the authors are Angeleños.
 

CordwainerFish

Mongoose
The specific text is "...the Joshua Tree National Monument [1] in the mountains west of Los Angeles". Joshua Tree is, in fact, quite a hike east of L.A.

[1] It's a national park now, but when the book was written it was a national monument.
 
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