2011-05-02

Robotic Systems

In a typical game, PCs would gain additional powers or items as a form of advancement. Character advancement in Classic Traveller is not as robustly defined; instead such advancement often takes non-traditional forms such as knowledge, connections, resources, and allies.

In the second session of my playtest for Crime & Punishment, I wanted to give the players some sense of advancement and empowerment, so most of them gained command of some NPC allies they could use for a large battle. 

I didn't want to leave out the player who had the computer whiz PC, so instead of minions to command, he gained the ability to use his hand comp to control various robotic systems in each locale the players visited. This played out very nicely. (In 4th edition D&D terms, it was like giving a player control of various terrain powers in each encounter location.)

Below are some of my notes about a few of those systems.

Lilypad water cannon
pindle-mounted remote control fire suppressor
Weight 122kg, armor as mesh, HP 11 (breaks down at 4)
Equipment: rotating spindle, water hose and nozzle
Computer 7+ to issue commands (+1 difficulty per extra command attempted):
  - turn water on/off (A hit deals no damage but pushes target 1.5m per level of success, i.e. 1 square per point the roll is above 8)
  - set water velocity
  - rotate and/or elevate

Lilypad cargo crane
enormous remote control swing-arm with chain and hook       
Weight 24 metric tons, armor as combat suit, HP 521 (breaks down at 260)
Equipment: 15m crane arm, 100m chain, 1-ton pincer hook
Computer 8+ to issue commands (+1 difficulty per extra command attempted):
  - swing arm (speed 2, damage 4D on a hit)
  - raise/lower chain (speed 2, lift limit 10 metric tons, damage 4D on a hit)
  - open/close hook (damage 10D on a hit)

Research Station exploratory robot
man-sized underwater robot               
Weight 400kg, armor as combat suit, HP 22 (breaks down at 13)
Equipment: searchlights, two robotic arms, sample collection tray
Computer 9+ to issue commands (+1 difficulty per extra command attempted):
  - move (speed 4 on land using tracks, speed 8 underwater using fans)
  - manipulate arm (damage 3D on a hit)
  - open/close collection tray
  - turn searchlight on/off
Research Station air lock iris valve
3m-wide water-tight circular apertures                   
Weight 400kg, armor as combat suit, HP 49 (breaks down at 25)
Equipment: iris valve doorway
Computer 10+ to issue commands:
  - open/close (damage 5D if safety sensor is turned off and valve is closed on someone)
  - lock/unlock
  - turn safety sensor on/off
Notes: Iris valves equipped with xenon-sensor panels cannot be remotely controlled.

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