Cloudlords of Tanara

Author Topic: Skill software in Harp SF  (Read 217 times)

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Offline pyrotech

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Skill software in Harp SF
« on: October 13, 2016, 03:44:23 PM »
Hello,

My players have been pushing for some drone/remote operated vehicle rules so I have been working to oblige them (by the way the addition of such a rule set would be great for a Vehicles book for Harp SF).

While working on this, the issue of computer skill levels comes up.  For AIs this is already covered, but for simpler computers we don't have anything to cover this.  So I have been pondering on the subject and want to throw an idea out there to see what people think.

My current set of proto-house rules for this would be to use the pricing guidelines for security software from SF Xtreme, but use the bonus results from the maneuver table as the programs skill level.  So a routine skill program would be free but only have a skill value of 5.  While a hard skill program would cost 2000 credits (and be custom for the device/skill combo) with a skill value of 40.  This would track all the way up to Absurd which would cost 50,000 credits and have a skill of 80.

I am liking this 1) because it is using already established mechanics and ideas and 2) it means computer programs can't really make AIs and characters redundant.  It is generally much cheaper to hire a skilled operator (or buy an AI) than it is to buy a skilled program and then need to buy a new one everytime you change equipment.  But for simple operations and low skill levels the cost is much less than an operator or AI.

What are peoples opinion on this?

-Regards
-Pyrotech

Offline NicholasHMCaldwell

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Re: Skill software in Harp SF
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2016, 02:15:32 PM »
The Skill Expertise packages for neuralware might provide a mechanism here. This would give skill ranks up to 6 for Mature which is a 30 skill bonus which would be fine for routine, easy and light maneuvers.

Best wishes,
Nicholas
Dr Nicholas HM Caldwell
Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd
Publisher of Rolemaster, Spacemaster, Shadow World, Cyradon, HARP & HARP SF, and Cyberspace, with products available from www.rpgnow.com
Author: Mentalism Companion, GURPS Age of Napoleon, Construct Companion, College of Magics, HARP SF/HARP SF Xtreme

Offline pyrotech

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Re: Skill software in Harp SF
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2016, 01:56:43 PM »
Sorry for the long delay on replying to this, but I finally got enough time to start looking at my drone rules again.

I like the skill expertise idea for this.  1) it requires no new modifications to the rules.  2) it limits the skill level of the program, so PCs remain relevant.  3) it allows drone (aka robot) vehicles to operate independently for simple tasks.

A unskilled drone operator could simply use machine/computer ops to command the drone to "fly to the spooky alien crash site at coordinates XX, fly a pattern above the target for 5 minutes while broadcasting sensor results, then return to home".  The drone with piloting -air, and signalling -sensors and countermeasures skill expertise packages at mature max would do the rest.  When the alien menace lurking at the crash site takes offense, it can take a shot at the drone who will be poorly skilled enough to get blown up.

Whereas a skilled drone operator could remotely operate the drone using their own skills (probably with a telepresense penalty that could be removed with either a specialized drone piloting skill or a combat style) and maybe save the pricey drone.

The limit on the skill ranks will probably irritate my PCs, but that is their issue for relying on a computer to do their jobs!

Regards,
-Pyrotech

 

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