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Robots, Androids, and Cybernetics

Discussions on the M-Space setting and other publications by FrostByte Books.

Robots, Androids, and Cybernetics

Postby Jargogle » Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:53 pm

Hiya,

Just curious if there are rules in the making for robots, androids and cybernetics? Especially curious if the former would also allow for robot/android play characters too.

If not, it'd be a great subject for a supplement, possible bundled with a bunch of extra gear, weapons, vehicle mods, etc. too. A Tech supplement, essentially.

- Jargogle
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Re: Robots, Androids, and Cybernetics

Postby Clarence Redd » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:12 am

Yes, both droids and cybernetics are in the works! They are built on the same modular concept as starships and vehicles, but with a much smaller base unit called a microModule (µModule for short).

The basic idea is to be very concrete and have a number of µModules per bodypart that can be filled with different functions. A human will for example have 5 µModules in one arm, and can implant a 2 µModule pop-up weapon doing 1d6 damage. Or increase STR in one arm by 2, by filling 2 (or 4, not sure yet) µModules with synthetic muscular tissue and improved neural connections. Entire body parts can be replaced like this, and possibly allowing for added limbs too.

For robots, there's more like a Base Droid consisting of 10 µModules, shaped somewhat like a trashcan (ie. R2D2), that you build upon. You can either just fill it with functions, or add limbs to get even more µModules. Here's an example I built just yesterday:

Astromech Droid
STR 5, CON 10, SIZ 5, DEX 5, INT 15, POW 5, CHA 15.
Hit points: 8. Armor: 2. Action points: 2
Total µModules: 10

µModules: Manipulator 2, Communicator 1, Computer Interface 1, Movement (Flight) 3, Compartment 1, Gadget (Welding) 1, Skills 1 (Mechanics 90%, Computers 70%, Knowledge (Psychology) 60%, Astrogation 80%).

Stunts: Luck points 2, Cute/Innocent 90%


Droids as player characters is certainly doable.

The basic rule systems are mainly in place, but there's still some work to do. I need to integrate cybernetics and robotics to play well together, balance the different µModules and of course test the rules much more. Oh, and put them down in legible text.

Regarding gear, I'm not much of a gadgeteer, but I'm sure a few additions can be made.
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Re: Robots, Androids, and Cybernetics

Postby Jargogle » Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:52 pm

Thanks fantastic news, Clarence, and exactly how I envisioned something like it being done. :) Can't wait to see it.

Thanks,
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Re: Robots, Androids, and Cybernetics

Postby Clarence Redd » Sat Nov 05, 2016 4:51 am

Good to hear you like it. It's slowly taking shape. My main focus at the moment is a scenario (for a setting I call The Weaver), which I'm halfway through approximately. I hope to have a few teasers soon.
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Re: Robots, Androids, and Cybernetics

Postby Jargogle » Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:23 am

Cool. So, to create a "humanoid" chassis, would you simply add extra limbs (two arms, two legs, and a head) to the basic "trashcan" body?

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Re: Robots, Androids, and Cybernetics

Postby Clarence Redd » Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:08 am

Yes, that's the idea so far. And then just fill the µModules in the different body parts with various functions - or leave some of them empty if you want to. The head will have less µModules though. BTW, wouldn't it be nice if you could decide where to put the "brain"? That way it could have a bit more protection from damage.
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Re: Robots, Androids, and Cybernetics

Postby Jargogle » Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:29 pm

I agree; it makes a lot of logical sense for the "brain" to be located in the torso. More protection and a larger space for the processing unit itself. It also frees up the "head" for more sensor suites.
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Re: Robots, Androids, and Cybernetics

Postby Jargogle » Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:34 pm

I'm guessing the chassis will also allow for varied modes of locomotion too? So, some can have tank-like treads, or wheels, or even hover (ala V.I.N.CENT in "The Black Hole"). A lot of possibilities for customization.
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Re: Robots, Androids, and Cybernetics

Postby Pentallion » Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:34 am

So alien design gets way more interesting.
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Re: Robots, Androids, and Cybernetics

Postby Clarence Redd » Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:58 am

Yes and yes : )

I think modes of locomotion could borrow a leaf from vehicles, though somewhat simplified perhaps. And creating aliens as crossovers between biology, cybernetics and droids is an excellent idea. I think I will have to try that tomorrow...

Having the brain (or "positronic brain", as it was called in classic sci-fi) in the torso perhaps should be the default choice? Makes sense as all droids start as "trashcans". I wonder how that affects combat?
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