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Offline pyrotech

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Drone Rules question
« on: January 03, 2017, 11:25:51 AM »
Hello all,

I've been working on my drone rules again and presented them to my players.  So far they seem moderately happy with them except for  a few points.  One of those issues is the idea that a character trained in a skill to pilot a vehicle while in the vehicle has a small penalty while piloting one remotely, and visa versa.  My players don't have a problem with the idea of the penalty but rather with how I proposed it could be bought off. 

My original idea was that the penalty would be -10 which could be bought off using the Multiple subskill talent.  The issue this seems to raise with my players is that it essentially doubles the number of vehicle skills.  Additional subskills also complicate things in other ways, such as if a character has the remote space pilot pod subskill, what would they have for local pilot spacecraft ( the normal subskill penalty is -20, but the remote is -10). 

I would like to remain within the standard rules set as much as possible.  So while just saying the -10 penalty stacks with the normal subskill penalty is easy, it doesn't have any other example in the base rules.

Other ideas I've had include:

1) Create a new talent (5 point) to specifically buy off the remote/local penalty.  It would apply to the skill itself and not the subskill, so you would have one for driving, one for marine pilot, one for space pilot, and one for air pilot.

2) Create a combat style to buy off the penalty.  This would be slightly cheaper than the talent idea (4 points vs 5) for characters with combat skills as a favored category.  But for characters without combat as a favored category it would be more expensive (8 points).  And that doesn't quite make sense to me.

3) Drop the -10 penalty altogether.  That eliminates the issue entirely, but also eliminates the idea that remote piloting isn't quite the same as piloting locally.

4) Use the multiple weapon proficiency rules for vehicles.  This would treat the local/remote portion as a specific proficiency.  The problem with this is that the vehicle skills as written don't exactly follow the weapon skills.  So this doesn't fit inside the current rules perfectly.

5) Keep the penalty and don't have a way to buy off the penalty.

Does anyone have any ideas on this?

Regards,
-Pyrotech

Offline pyrotech

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Re: Drone Rules question
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2017, 10:54:15 PM »
My players have also come up with another question on remote operating a robot/drone.

So if a character is operating a robot/drone remotely and wants to use a physical based skill, what stat bonus should they use?  My original rules say to use the robot/drones (which makes a lot of sense for ST CO).  But when you get to AG and QU my players pressed a good point that the operator's twitch factor would also play into these. 

They proposed that you add both robot and pilot's skill bonuses together (because they are players and love lots of bonuses).  I don't really like that idea (especially for lower level parties where the stat bonus can be a sizable fraction of the skill rating).

I countered back that they could use the average stat bonus between player and drone.  They didn't complain about that but it makes me uneasy.  Averaging the stat bonuses is adding more math and complexity into a plenty complex situation already.  This impacts play time as people calculate, check, recheck their bonuses.  Especially when the party has a psychic able to boost stats in it.

What do any of you think?  Am I being overly worried about the additional math?  Is factoring in the operators stats even worth doing?

Thanks,

-Pyrotech

Offline GMLovlie

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Re: Drone Rules question
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2017, 01:57:59 AM »
What about skill rank bonus only? I believe that isn't unheard of within the HARP framework? At least in HARP Fantasy me believes.

Arguably you could still say that it's the drone's stats they have to use, their own stats may be better, but that doesn't make the robot quicker or more agile, but it could make sense to add in their skill ranks, as their training and knowledge could make a difference. Or you could just add the player's stat bonuses to the drone's skill check, but leave out rank bonus, one or the other I'd say.

For talents and gear, I'd take it on a case by case basis.

Generally I wouldn't add two skills together for one check.
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Offline NicholasHMCaldwell

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Re: Drone Rules question
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2017, 09:06:05 AM »
5) Keep the penalty and don't have a way to buy off the penalty.

Does anyone have any ideas on this?

Regards,

Keep the penalty. In fact have it vary according to the time lag between operator and drone.

Best wishes,
Nicholas
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Offline NicholasHMCaldwell

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Re: Drone Rules question
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2017, 09:08:56 AM »
My players have also come up with another question on remote operating a robot/drone.

So if a character is operating a robot/drone remotely and wants to use a physical based skill, what stat bonus should they use?  My original rules say to use the robot/drones (which makes a lot of sense for ST CO).  But when you get to AG and QU my players pressed a good point that the operator's twitch factor would also play into these. 

They proposed that you add both robot and pilot's skill bonuses together (because they are players and love lots of bonuses).  I don't really like that idea (especially for lower level parties where the stat bonus can be a sizable fraction of the skill rating).

I countered back that they could use the average stat bonus between player and drone.  They didn't complain about that but it makes me uneasy.  Averaging the stat bonuses is adding more math and complexity into a plenty complex situation already.  This impacts play time as people calculate, check, recheck their bonuses.  Especially when the party has a psychic able to boost stats in it.

What do any of you think?  Am I being overly worried about the additional math?  Is factoring in the operators stats even worth doing?

Thanks,



ST and CO are the drone's. AG and QU are the drone's if it is doing the piloting autonomously. If an operator is interfering (remote piloting), use the lower of the drone's or the operator's.

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: Drone Rules question
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2017, 07:20:19 PM »
Thanks Nicholas!

That should work pretty well for the drone/operator issue.  Little real math but takes both sets of stats into account.

As for the time lag penalty, I was using the sensor range penalties as a guide to account for that with the remote/local piloting mismatch penalty on top of that.  So a professional drone operator used to sitting at a terminal with little to no sense feedback would be at a penalty to sit in the actual vehicle and operate it, just as a professional pilot used to being in the vehicle and feeling it operate would be while remotely operating a vehicle without a senseable data feed.  Range/lag penalties add to this penalty in my original idea.

Regards,
-Pyrotech

 

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