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Author Topic: Memory Recovery from a scrambled robot  (Read 138 times)

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Offline Zhaleskra

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Memory Recovery from a scrambled robot
« on: June 27, 2017, 09:53:21 AM »
My PCs won the fight with the robots that was far harder than I intended for their first fight. So far they've dragged one full robot back to one of the ships, and taken an arm from another one. The robot they took had only taken Neuro damage, but is also the one who was instant-killed by having his personality scrambled by an electrostunner. So aside from scuff marks from falling off a fire escape when his brain was fried, there's no physical damage.

The Tech is hacking this robot to figure out who sent them and why. Should I set the difficulty to Absurd, or just say "you're not going to get anything from this one, you destroyed his CPU"? Our Scout/Fusion Spy is also try via Electrical Melding. The main question being "is robot memory separate from the personality"? Sometimes the tech gets a little literal with the hacking too, he's removed both arms from this bot as well.

Thanks in advance.
To blame thy tool is to reveal thine own incompetence.

Refrain from use of the word "peeps", we are not marshmallow chickens or kangar-, em bunnies.

Offline pyrotech

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Re: Memory Recovery from a scrambled robot
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2017, 11:56:58 AM »
I might be tempted to allow the players to make an absurd -100 hacking check and use the % result as the amount of material recoverable from the core.  Really it may depend on just how good the pcs are, can they reliably hit a 150+ result on their hacking check?  Will it hurt or help the story if they do?

Regards,
-Pyrotech

Offline Zhaleskra

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Re: Memory Recovery from a scrambled robot
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2017, 01:23:00 PM »
They did get better with their rolls near the end of the combat. I've been dropping a few hooks, and the PCs haven't been doing much with them. The attack was to give them a reason to care about one of the hooks, so a hacking would help the story. Using percentage resolution for what's usually an All-or-Nothing makes sense in this case.

New challenge: while the few times the robots spoke it was in Anglic, they are alien and might be programmed in that species written language. "OK, you recovered X percent of his memory. The code is written in an alien alphabet."

The Scout/Fusion Spy has no ranks in Computer Hacking, so he probably isn't going to get a good roll unless he open-ends a few times.
To blame thy tool is to reveal thine own incompetence.

Refrain from use of the word "peeps", we are not marshmallow chickens or kangar-, em bunnies.

Offline pyrotech

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Re: Memory Recovery from a scrambled robot
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2017, 03:16:29 PM »
Well if it would help the story out I would err towards the party's favor here.  Maybe start with "just" a -80 or even -60 to hack the fried core.  This maintains the image that you aren't dragging them over to a trail of crumbs they can follow and that they will be working the info away from you.  Furthermore you could suggest that anyone with electronic or cybernetic engineering could attempt to minimize the core trauma (maybe throw out some serious sci-fi mumbo jumbo about a "quantum degaussing of the core" or something) to reduce the penalty by the bonus result they got. 

Odds are that this will still be beyond the pcs ability though if they don't have ranks in hacking.

Another option to throw them a bone is to have a engineering check (electronic, mechanical, or cybernetic would probably work here) show some unusual components only made in a single factory (perhaps they were recently presented in a trade article or advertisement the pc remembers).  An archive search with just computer operations could give them the location of the manufacturer leading them on towards the proverbial bread crumbs.

Another option I have used myself in situations like this is to have a minion/lieutenant react poorly to their loss of assets and try to hammer the pcs again with more of the same.  This shows an escalation to the players (motivating them towards a hook) and gives the option of either getting info from the next batch of robots or exposing the minion/lieutenant to the party to the party.  Once the party knows who is causing them problems they usually pursue them with extreme vigor.

Good Luck!
-Pyrotech

Offline Zhaleskra

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Re: Memory Recovery from a scrambled robot
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 09:40:38 PM »
Forgetting that I hadn't equipped the robots with any communications, I did mention one of them calling for backup. There was also a name drop, though I'm not sure my PCs remember that name. Looks like nobody has Hacking. Another friend suggested not making them roll and just telling them to get one of the ones they physically damaged instead. I will check their engineering skills though.
To blame thy tool is to reveal thine own incompetence.

Refrain from use of the word "peeps", we are not marshmallow chickens or kangar-, em bunnies.

 

Cloudlords of Tanara