Robots Rules of Order Revised (RRoOR!)

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 30, 2016 - 7:43pm
Seats were at a premium when Har Jedkar of Clan Vantaria arrived for the press conference. The bottom of her cape swished down near her ankles as she surveyed the small crowd at the Oni-Senada Corporation booth.

Unlike most of the other displays at the Port Loren Convention Center, O-S was not on the main floor with the likes of the Pan-Galactic Corporation, Streel, Interplay Industries, Tachton Instruments, Obar Enterprises or the host of second and third tier supplier companies at the annual Frontier SCaRE Conference. Rather the booth was in the concourse hallway, amongst vendors such as Charlie's Chocolate Covered Gollyberries or the Star Rangers youth selling cookies.

SCaRE, of course, stood for Society of Computer and Robotics Engineers, one of the largest Techex professional societies in the Frontier. Its annual conference brought in thousands of beings from across the United Planetary Federation and even from the Non-Aligned Worlds, such as the S'sessu. A brood of eight of them were standing -- If a worm can stand, Jedkar thought derisively as she was forced to get a place next to them -- to the left side of the booth.

Near the worms was a small, raised platform where two product specialists -- Skimpily clad showgirls, Jedkar sniffed, though she wondered if they made more per hour than she did -- stood waiting to unveil a robot that hid under a silky-white tarp.

O-S only had about two dozen chairs and they were all occupied. Her bare feet hurt and it had been a long three days so far, running from one press conference to the other along with the evening receptions. She felt she had to go to at least two last night to make an appearence even though she had story deadlines. Life was so tough, she thought as she eagerly grasped a water bottle from a passing service robot.

The beat of the music from the Oni-Senada booth's tinny sounding speakers didn't help her mood. It was a song from some popular Human band, but it would have been more appropriate for a cage fight than a robotic product unveiling. Subconsciously, she adjusted the ceremonial zamara at her side.

One of the worms turned to look at her. Jedkar noticed it wore a name badge the indicated it was with a S'sessu supplier company that was affiliated with O-S. "Ah, you are jus-s-st in time. We are about to begin." It gestured for her to move a little closer to the stage as he directed some of the other worms to slither out of the way. "You are with PG Holo-News-s-s?"

"Yes, but we cover everything here, not just products from the Pan-Galactic Corporation," Jedkar said.

"Of cours-s-se."

Moments later, the conference began with its CEO, Ernie G. Xagyg, himself, going to the podium. Behind him in the booth was a gaggle of other O-S executives and managers. They almost outnumbered the reporters who bothered tcoming to this end-of-the-day product unveiling.

After several minutes of hearing Xagyg talk about Oni-Senada's growth plans -- especially with its new, "most modern plants" on Phri'sk and successes during the past year -- Jedkar tried to inch away. There was another supplier reception coming up soon, but the S'sessu moved to block her way.

"Don't go yet," the S'sessu whispered. "The bes-s-st is about to come."

"What?" she asked, but a moment later, she found out.

"And now, what you've all been waiting for," Xagyg said. "For too long, the PGC, Tachton and others have dominated the security and combat robot sectors. That is about to change. I present to you, the latest prototype from our Tackten Enterprises subsidiary -- the pocket warbot."

With a flourish of music, the showgirls took tarp off of the robot. Jedkar nearly broke out laughing at what she saw.

It was one of those "tin can" style robots -- officially called a light body. Equipped with treads, it wore an ungainly large backpack where a large parabattery was supposed to go. A heavy laser and a recoilless rifle -- or a stylish looking facsimile of each weapon -- were strapped on either side of the robot.

"What do you think?" the S'sessu asked.

"I think it must be bolted to the floor so it doesn't tip over from all that weight," Jedkar said as she managed to slip past the worm finally. "When you can show me a working model, then there might be a story."
Joe Cabadas
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JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 6, 2016 - 5:57am
Major Revision: April 6, 2016

I've seen rules published originally in Dragon Magazine so players can modify vehicles to carry weapons and armor -- "Tanks a Lot" and the "Tanks Again" stories -- plus stories for vehicle modifications in the Star Frontiersman magazine, but I haven't seen any definite stories on just how many weapons and armor can a robot carry?

I also tried scouring the the forums here, so if I missed a previous discussion, I apologize for not adding some thoughts there. But I'd like to present some information I wrote up for myself to try to handle the question of "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" or, more importantly, how much is too much for a robot to handle.

I'm using a modified version of the Zebulon rules -- the Star Frontiers 2000 version found elsewhere on the forums -- that "merges the best of Zebs with Alpha Dawn." In other words, use some of the Zebs character creation and skills but use the AD combat system.

Now, I think the Star Frontiers 2000 rules call for up to eight skill levels rather than the six in Alpha Dawn (though I'm not sure). The original Zebs rules said there should be up to eight levels of robots, but promised those details would come in a later, never-published book. What I will give below presents up to eight levels of robots, but if you just want six, simply combine the details of a level seven and eight into the general description for a level six. It's just a matter of the degree of sophistication for a more advanced robot.

Since my original posting and some subsequent feedback, I made several significant tweaks and modifications. The rules attached are much more comprehensive and, hopefully, have fewer typos.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 28, 2016 - 7:07am

Robotics in Star Frontiers

Robots are complex, mobile machines that are designed to perform specific jobs. Many types of robots are available. Eight common types were described in the Alpha Dawn Equipment Section including security, combat, maintenance, service and warbots, but there are many more.

The major robotics skills include: Activate/ Deactivate, Add Equipment, Alter Function, Alter Mission Identify, List Functions, Remove Security Lock, Repair and Robopsychologist.

If the robot is an alien design, then the robotics expert has a -20 percent (or more) modifier on his rolls to perform these skills. A character must have a robcomkit – or a well-equipped workshop – to work on a robot.

This work attempts to compile the robotic rules found in the Alpha Dawn game, the hints in the Zebulon’s Guide as well as information found in the Star Frontiersman and Frontier Explorer magazines and the Star Frontiers wiki site for one easy reference guide.

Designing Robots

When building a robot, the designer must give it a body type, a way to move, a way to manipulate objects and programming. Special items and equipment can be added at additional cost and increase its overall weight.

The robot body types in this section include: anthropomorphic, anthropomorphic reinforced, microbots, super-light, ultra-light, light, standard, standard reinforced, heavy-duty, heavy-duty reinforced and super-duty. An example of a “standard reinforced robot” was the RIK security robot from the adventure “Dark Side of the Moon” (Module SFAD6).

The anthropomorphic reinforced, microbot, super-light, ultra-light, heavy-duty reinforced and super-duty robot styles are house rules. In fact, robots and machines can be made larger or smaller.

For example, the Knight Hawks scenario, “Day of the Juggernaut,” features a gigantic robotic warship with robot fighters. “The War Machine” (SFKH4) is an adventure where the player characters try to destroy huge robotic processing plants. So, even larger, custom-built robots are possible.

Nanotechnology and nanobots represent another intriguing technology that was explored in the Star Trek: Voyager TV series, but these rules do not cover them.

Remember: batteries are not included with your robot. You need to buy them separately.

Common Robot Bodies

Anthropomorphic Body: These robots look like one of the four major races (or the species that built them, like the S’sessu). They weigh roughly 100 kg (without battery) and have 100 structure points. A type 2 parabattery powers them. Alien anthropomorphic robots, such as those of the ancient Eorna, are much larger than standard Frontier models.

Anthropomorphic Reinforced Body: This is an anthropomorphic bodied robot that has additional structural support and heavier servos and motors added. It weighs 150 kg (without the type 2 parabattery) and has 150 structure points.

Microbots: These are small, specialized level 1 robots that are about the size of a human hand. Performing specific tasks, it weighs about 300 grams. It is powered by a 10 SEU minipowerclip and has 5 structure points.

Each unit costs about 200 Credits, but often multiple microbots are needed to complete a certain task.  They are controlled by a hand computer (at an additional 500 Cr cost and has a ½ function point program) or they may be linked to a mainframe computer or a brain robot.

Microbots can have a maximum of two tiny manipulator limbs (only one is standard) and come in combinations of four, six or even eight crawling limbs to replicate the movement of insects. Other variants include wheeled, tracked, rotor, hover, rocket or zero-G thruster pack styles.

Many microbots working in concert can perform amazing accomplishments. Individually they can move an object 100 times their weight (30 kilograms) though at a very slow speed, 1 meter per turn. Working in concert, as little as four microbots can move objects half a million times their own weight, but again at a very slow speed.

Mining companies may use dozens or hundreds of microbots to work sensitive areas. Gardeners employ them to tend plants. They can do confined-space inspections, maintenance or search and rescue work. Some can mount tiny cameras, have chronocom features and are used as mini-spy robots.

Super-Light Body: Sometimes called the “backpack” type, this is a very small, 10-15 kilogram robot that performs specialized tasks. Limited to levels 4 and below, they have the equivalent of three limbs – one to manipulate objects and two legs. The legs could be replaced with wheels, tracks, a hover unit, rotor, small aircar rockets or a zero-G thruster pack.

Only one extra limb can be added. In melee combat, this robot only does 1d4 points of damage with its limbs. Less durable than the Standard Body, it only has 15-20 structure points and weighs 10-15 kilograms (not including the 10 kg weight of its 100 SEU battery pack).

Cost: 800 Credits for the 10 kg model, 15 structure point model; 875 Credits for the 15 kg, 20 structure point model

Ultra-Light Body: This “backpack” robot has been reinforced with exotic, but highly durable metals, an example of which is the 233-TRB Trauma Recovery Bot. Various models typically weigh 10-15 kilograms and have 7 structure points per kilogram. Limited to levels 4 and below, they have the equivalent of three limbs for manipulating objects and movement. The legs could be replaced with wheels, tracks, a hover unit, rotor, small aircar rockets or a zero-G thruster pack.  

Only one extra limb can be added. In melee combat, this robot only does 1d4 points of damage with its limbs. Ultra-lights comes in two different sizes, the 10 kg model with 70 structure points and the 15 kg model with 105 structure points. It takes a 100 SEU battery pack that weighs 10 kg.

Cost: 3,000 Credits for the 10 kg model, 70 structure point model; 5,000 Credits for the 15 kg, 105 structure point model

Light Body: Sometimes called the “tin can” type – are small and are limited to level 4 and below. They have the equivalent of three limbs for manipulating objects and movement. So, some may have two legs and one manipulative arm or it may have two manipulator arms and have hover movement, tracks, wheels, rotor, hover, miniature aircar rockets or a zero-G thruster pack.

Only one extra limb can be added. In melee combat, this robot only does 1d10 points of damage with its limbs. Less durable than the Standard Body, it only has 50 structure points and weighs 50 kilograms (not including the 25 kg weight of its type 1 parabattery).

Standard Body: As the name implies, this is the most common robot body type in the Frontier and it comes in all shapes. The standard robot is about the size of an average character, weighing 100 kilograms (not including the 25 kg of its type 1 parabattery) and has 100 structure points.

Standard Reinforced Body: These are armored versions of standard robots. They are about the size of an average character, weigh 150 kilograms and have 150 structure points. Its type 2 parabattery adds another 50 kg. They are nearly double the cost of a standard body because of the need for heavier servos, motors and other hardware needed to deal with the extra weight.

Heavy-Duty Bodies: These types of robots are also available in many shapes, but they are about the size of a ground car. A heavy-duty body weighs about 500 kg and has 500 structure points. Its type 2 parabattery adds another 50 kg.

Heavy-Duty Reinforced Bodies: These are armored robots, sometimes because they operate in hostile environments or are warbots capable of mounting medium vehicle size weapons. They are about the size of a small cargo truck or van. One of these robots weighs 1 metric ton and has 750 structure points. Its is powered by a type 3 parabattery that adds another 100 kg.

Robotic transport versions can carry about 1 metric ton (1,000 kg) directly or up to 6 metric tons (6,000 kg) in a tractor-trailer arrangement without a movement penalty.

Super-Duty Bodies: These robots range from warbots to large mining robots or robotic transports. They are about the size of a large cargo hauler or tractor, weigh 5 tons. It is powered by a type 4 parabattery that adds another 200 kg to its overall weight. With 1,000 structure points, it can carry 5 metric tons directly (5,000 kg) or up to 30 metric tons (30,000 kg) in a tractor-trailer arrangement without a movement penalty.

Common Robot Types

Androids: In the Frontier, androids come in different designs but they use anthropomorphic bodies. One version made by Cyber-Technologies Corporation used nano-technology. The C-T androids can convert organic matter into core components. For a more complete explanation, see the article “Androids as a non-player character race” by Victor Gil de Rubio in Star Frontiersman magazine. Other android versions use anthropomorphic robot bodies with an organic shell that is grown over them.

Brains: Robot brains are robot managers and are level 6 or above. A brain has the computer link program as standard equipment. Since it usually commands other robots, brains have a whole suite of roboprogs that those under its control can access.

For example, a level 1 microbot normally doesn’t have self-defense, attack-defense or search and destroy programs, but a robot brain equipped with this program can control another robot to perform these actions as long as it maintains some kind of communications link via radio, land line, laser, etc. Once the link with the robot brain is broken, a robot will return to its normal mission and functions. 

Most Frontier robot brains have heavy-duty bodies. Some are mobile mainframe computers in and of themselves with computer programs in addition to any roboprogs. Any level 6, 7 or 8 robot brain with a heavy-duty body can be equipped with up to a level 3 mainframe computer with its own power supply.

Level 7 and 8 robot brains equipped with a heavy-duty reinforced body can be outfitted with a level 4 mainframe computer and those with a super-duty body can be outfitted with a level 5 mainframe computer. These computers need their own power supplies.

If someone installs a mainframe computer and second parabattery in a robot brain, it triples the body cost and increases the body weight by 30 percent in order to account for additional shielding, shock absorbers for the computer, power conduits and such. The weight of the computer and battery must then be accounted for in the equipment section.

Combat: Combat robots have light, standard bodies or standard reinforced bodies. The attack/defense program is included in the robot’s price. Their price also includes weatherizing for hazardous environments, such as guaranteed to survival total immersion in water for up to depth of 5 meters for 20 minutes GST, extreme heat and cold, acidic atmospheres, radiation, etc. Of course, exterior damage and the length of time the robot is in a hostile environment may cause the weatherizing seals to degrade, which in turn will damage internal circuitry. Limited to levels 2 to 4, combat robots serve as active combat soldiers.

Courier: Courier robots are a type of service robot. it is normally used to seek out specific individuals to send and receive messages or items. They can be built with standard bodies and are limited to levels 2 to 5. Some couriers have light, super-light or ultra-light bodies but these models cannot exceed a level 4.

Cybernetic: Cybernetic robots (cybots) have both mechanical and organic parts. They can perform any job other robots of their level can perform. Cybots can have any body type, but usually are anthropomorphic and are limited to levels 4 and above.

Heavy-Duty: Heavy-duty robots do heavy excavating, crop harvesting, rock quarrying, etc. They have heavy-duty, heavy-duty reinforced or super-duty bodies and are limited to levels 1 to 4.

Maintenance: Maintenance robots clean areas, oil machines, watch for breakdowns and malfunctions, etc. They use standard bodies and are limited to levels 1 to 4. They cannot do actual repairs.

Medical: Medical robots typically have standard bodies, though some have anthropomorphic bodies. Limited to levels 4 to 6, they come equipped with the medical: first-aid roboprog, which is equal to their level. Medical robots serve as paramedics, nurses and even doctors (if the optional Medical roboprog is purchased). Military units often add an attack/defense program and arm their medical robots to defend wounded soldiers from attack.

Reconnaissance: These robots typically have standard bodies, but some have light bodies. They come equipped with the attack/defense, computer link and security lock programs. Some versions are outfitted with optional devices such as a holo screen, sensors and other surveillance devices.

Reconnaissance robots are usually equipped with an alternative form of movement (hover, rotor or rocket) and are limited to levels 2 to 4.

Their price includes weatherizing for hazardous environments, such as guaranteed to survival total immersion in water for up to depth of 15 meters for 1 hour GST, extreme heat and cold, acidic atmospheres, radiation, etc. Of course, exterior damage and the length of time the robot is in a hostile environment may cause the weatherizing seals to degrade, which in turn will damage internal circuitry.

Repair/Engineering: Repair robots have standard bodies, though some are constructed with heavy-duty bodies. They come equipped with either a robotics repair or technician programs and have Weatherization: Silver Level. Limited to levels 4 to 6, they can operate and repair robots or vehicles and machinery.

Security: Security robots serve as both guards and police. They have standard bodies and are automatically equipped with the restrain program. They are limited to levels 2 to 6.

Service: Service robots are used as servants. They work as store clerks, information sources, gardeners, tailors etc. Service robots usually have anthropomorphic bodies modeled after whichever race they serve. They cannot be mistaken for a living person, however. These robots are limited to levels 3 to 6.

Warbots: Warbots are intelligent war machines and often command combat robots. They have heavy-duty bodies and come with attack/defense and search and destroy programs. Often they are equipped with the optional Computer Link program. Limited to levels 5 to 6, their price includes Weatherization: Silver Level, meaning that they can survive in hostile environments such as total immersion in water for up to depth of 5 meters for 1 hour GST, extreme heat and cold, acidic atmospheres, radiation, etc. Exterior damage and the length of time the robot is in a hostile environment may cause the weatherizing seals to degrade, which in turn may lead to internal damage. Warbots are designed to accept turrets – installing them does not increase the robot’s body cost or weight (though the turret itself adds weight) – plus they can have one layer of spray armor added without any movement penalties.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 27, 2016 - 11:01am

Robot Levels

For those using the Zebulon Rules, robots come in eight levels with each level indicating its complexity. (For Alpha Dawn users, there are only six levels). Higher-level robots can perform more complicated jobs. Similar to mainframe and body computers, robots have programs – called roboprogs – also with eight levels. Robots above level 6 are expensive and rare.

Detailing the robot's functions and mission, the roboprogs are stored inside the robot on a circuitry board that is usually secured behind at least one protective plate. In order for a roboticist to gain access to this circuit board, he usually has to remove the security plate (or plates).

Level 1: Only able to perform simple jobs, level 1 robots have been pre-programmed for some specific job and usually cannot do any other activity. They cannot communicate except through computer code and often are nothing more than moving, self-operated appliances. An example of a level 1 robot is a maintenance robot that washes and waxes the floors of a building each night.

Level 2: Able to handle several simple jobs, level 2 robots can receive and follow radio commands in binary machine language sent from some other machine, such as a robot brain or a computer. An example of a level 2 robot is a heavy machine that digs into and smashes up rock, then separates out flecks of gold.

Level 3: Capable of doing more complicated jobs, all robots that are level 3 or higher can talk and follow verbal instructions. If these instructions disagree with the robot’s programming, it will ignore the orders.

Level 4: Able to act semi-independently, level 4 robots have flexible programming. They can accomplish specific goals using different methods. For instance, when asked, "How do I get to the starport?" one level 4 service robot might give verbal directions, while another may provide a city map and mark the proper route to the destination.

Level 5: These robots can act independently and give orders to other robots (level 6 robots can do this also). For example, a level 5 security robot might decide to stop chasing a criminal because the offender left victims tied up in a burning house. The robot could then organize a rescue mission with other robots.

Level 6: Self-programming, level 6 robots can alter the methods they use and even their goals to account for changing conditions. They are almost, but not quite, living machines. An example of a level 6 robot is a robot brain that runs an automated manufacturing plant; this robot can modify the manufacturing process – increasing or decreasing production – in response to different economic conditions without input from its master.

Level 7: These robots are not only self-programming but are also self-aware. They can learn skills like characters do with training and experience, but they do so by using they non-professional skill advancement cost.

Level 8: Truly amazing, these robots are considered living machines and program themselves over time. Some include the androids detailed as a non-player character race in Star Frontiersman magazine. They are practically indistinguishable from the race that built them. Some Frontier roboticists debate whether the Mechanons are actually level 8 robots. The can learn multiple professions (PSAs), learning new skills at the professional cost.

Robot Missions and Functions

All robots have a mission. A mission is a set of rules that tell the robot what its job is. A robot’s mission is the most important order it has and overrides any other orders that conflict with it.

All robots have several functions that tell them how to accomplish their mission. Low-level robots cannot make decisions, so their functions must be very specific statements. Higher-level robots can make decisions for themselves, so their functions can be more general statements.

For example, a level 3 security robot might have the mission: "Stop all unauthorized personnel from entering this building." Its functions could define "stop" as giving intruders a warning, then using the Restrain program to keep them from entering. "All unauthorized personnel" could be defined as any person or machine that is not wearing a special badge. The robot must be given a function that defines "this building," and another that tells it what areas it must patrol to look for intruders. Another function could instruct it to call the police and report the break-in after an intruder has been restrained.

Manipulative Limbs

Most of the robotic body types normally are equipped with two manipulative limbs, but there are exceptions such as the super-light and ultra-light models that only have one manipulator as standard equipment. These manipulators can be mechanical arms, tentacles, or specialized limbs for digging through rock or mounting tools.

Extra Limbs: The number of extra limbs that can be added to a robot depends upon its body type. Some owners might mix and match rather than using the standard limbs for a particular body type. For example, a warbot with a heavy-duty body could be equipped with anthropomorphic limbs.

Anthropomorphic robots can only have a single pair of limbs added for an extra 1,000 Cr. while boosting body weight and cost by 15 percent.

The super-light, ultra-light and light body types can only have one extra manipulator installed for an extra 250 Cr. This modification boosts the robot’s body weight and cost by 10 percent.

Standard and standard reinforced robots can have four extra limbs – legs or manipulators – added; the cost increases by 800 Cr. while the body weight and cost rises by 15 percent for each pair installed.

Heavy-duty, heavy-duty reinforced and super-duty robots can have eight additional limbs (usually heavy-duty pairs) added at a cost of 1,200 Cr. The body weight and cost also increases 15 percent more weight for each pair installed. An owner could install standard or anthropomorphic limbs, which cost less, but this modification still increases the body weight and cost by 15 percent per pair.

Standard Forms of Movement

Normal Robot Movement Table

Maximum Speed

(meters/turn)

Robot Types

30 (18 kph)

Light, Cybernetic, Service, Heavy Duty, Brain

60 (36 kph)

Maintenance

90 (54 kph)

Security

120 (72 kph)

Combat, Warbot

All robot body types can be equipped with wheels, tracks or mechanical legs, hover units, rotors or whatever locomotion method – if any – the designer chooses. Some robots are designed to stay in one place for specialized jobs, say a welding robot on an assembly line, so they don’t move on their own. If a robot is not made to move, reduce its body type cost and weight by 20 percent.

Under normal conditions, most robots move 10 meters/turn. They can travel much faster, however. Top speeds for various types of robots are shown in the Normal Robot Movement Table.

Alternative movement modes for robots include wheels, tracks, hover, rotor, rocket motors and zero-G thruster packs. Normally this equipment replaces the robot’s legs, though some units are made to have two forms of transportation.

For example, a warbot may normally have treads or legs (usually four, six or eight leg combinations), but the designer also equipped it with aircar rockets. Such a modification would add weight and cost to the unit.

See the “Alternative Forms of Movement” section for more information.

Alternative Forms of Movement

Robots with hover movement move the same as hover cars. Hover units that replace the legs, wheels or tracks double the basic body cost of the robot while adding 10 percent to its body weight.

Robots with rotor movement move the same as jetcopters and robots with rocket movement move the same as aircars. A rotor unit adds two-and-a-half times to the robot body’s basic cost and increases the weight by 15 percent. Aircar rockets are five times the cost of the robot’s body and increase weight by 20 percent.

Most robots (except microbots) will have an operational range of 100 hours or 1,000 kilometers before its parabattery needs to be recharged.

For zero-G or very low gravity situations, robots can be equipped with compressed air jets (also called thruster packs) to move around. Or robots specifically designed to operate in space may be equipped with an internal thruster packs in addition to limbs, doubling the standard body cost and increasing weight by 15 percent. Others can have a pack attached as removable equipment.

 


Robotic Alternative Movement Cost, Additional Weight, Speed and Range Table by Body Type

Body Types

Alternative Movement

Credits

Added Weight (kg)

Top Speed (meters/turn)

Average Range

Any

Wheels/Tracks

No additional cost

None

Normal

1,000 km or 100 hours

Any (except Microbot)

Zero-G Thruster Pack

Doubles body cost

Add 15 percent

Special

Special

Microbot

Hover

100

30 grams

90 (54 kph)

200 km or 20 hours

 

Rotor

200

45 grams

90 (54 kph)

200 km or 20 hours

 

Rocket

300

69 grams

125 (75 kph)

200 km or 20 hours

 

Zero-G Thruster Pack

800

1 kg

Special

Special

Super-Light

and Ultra-Light

Hover

600 / 1,200*

1 / 1.5 kg*

125 (75 kph) /

250 (150 kph)*

1,000 km or 100 hours

 

Rotor

1,800 / 3,600*

1.5 / 2.25*

292 (175 kph) /

583 (350 kph)*

Same as above

 

Rocket

3,000 / 6,000*

2 / 3 kg

750 (450 kph) /

1,500 (900 kph)*

Same as above

Light

Hover

600 / 1,200*

5 kg

125 (75 kph) /

250 (150 kph)*

Same as above

 

Rotor

1,800 / 3,600*

7.5 kg

292 (175 kph) /

583 (350 kph)*

Same as above

 

Rocket

3,000 / 6,000*

10 kg

750 (450 kph) /

1,500 (900 kph)*

Same as above

Standard and

Standard Reinforced

Hover

2,000

10 kg

250 (150 kph)

Same as above

 

Rotor

5,000

15 kg

583 (350 kph)

Same as above

 

Rocket

10,000

20 kg

1,500 (900 kph)

Same as above

Heavy Duty

Hover

5,000

50 kg

250 (150 kph)

Same as above

 

Rotor

7,500

75 kg

583 (350 kph)

Same as above

 

Rocket

10,000

100 kg

1,500 (900 kph)

Same as above

Heavy-Duty Reinforced

Hover

8,500

75 kg

250 (150 kph)

Same as above

 

Rotor

12,750

112.5 kg

583 (350 kph)

Same as above

 

Rocket

17,000

150 kg

1,500 (900 kph)

Same as above

Super-Duty

Hover

20,000

500 kg

250 (150 kph)

Same as above

 

Rotor

30,000

750 kg

583 (350 kph)

Same as above

 

Rocket

40,000

1,000 kg

1,500 (900 kph)

Same as above

*Super-Light, Super-Light Reinforced and Light robots can be equipped with depowered hover, rotor and rocket motors that cut their maximum and cruise speeds in half but at a significant cost savings.

 

Robots equipped with hover movement have a top speed of 150 kph (250 m/t) with a cruise speed at 60 kph (100 m/t). Its acceleration/deceleration rates are 80/40 m/t while turn speed is 70 m/t.

Super-light, ultra-light and light body robots can have depowered hover engine installed, meaning that the top speed is 75 kph (125 m/t) and the cruise speed is trimmed to 54 kph (90 m/t). Its acceleration/deceleration rates are 50/40 m/t while turn speed is 50 m/t.

Robots equipped with rotors have a top speed of 350 kph and a cruise speed of 50 kph (83 m/t). Super-light, ultra-light and light body robots can have a depowered rotor engine installed, meaning that the top speed is limited to 175 kph (292 m/t) but the cruise speed is remains at 50 kph (83 m/t).

Robots equipped with aircar-style rocket engines have a top speed of 900 kph with a cruise speed of 400 kph. Super-light, ultra-light and light body robots with a depowered rocket engine have a top speed of 450 kph (750 m/t) and a cruise speed of 200 kph (333 m/t).

All rotor- and rocket-equipped robots can accelerate or decelerate by 100 meters per turn, make up to six 45-degree turns and increase or decrease their altitude by 20 meters per turn. They can hover in place or conduct Nap Of the Earth (NOE) maneuvers, meaning they can fly 50 to 100 meters above the ground, following the contours of hills and valleys, to avoid detection. NOE flying reduces a rotor-equipped robot to its cruising speed and rocket-equipped robots to 100 kph.

Standard-size and larger robots with hover, rotor and especially rocket engines might not be able to operate safely in certain confined areas such as small rooms, narrow corridors, etc. Microbot, super-light, ultra-light and light body robots with hover and rotor engines could operate in such areas, but even these bots face difficulties if using rocket engines.

Robots equipped with hover, rotor or rocket engines need an atmosphere in order use these forms of alternative movement. Dust may impede maximum speed and can even cause the robot’s engine(s) to overheat and shutdown, requiring a technician/roboticist to repair it. An impact with water – such as going underwater – has a great chance to damage the robot’s hover blades, rotors or rockets possibly reducing speed or even requiring it to stop until a roboticist or technician makes repairs.

As a consequence of various movement restrictions, robots with rotors or rockets may also have legs, wheels or treads to move around on the ground although this greatly adds to its weight and cost.

A secondary form of movement counts as two additional limbs, reducing the maximum number of extra limbs that can be attached to a robot; it also doubles the cost of the basic body type and increases the weight. Add 10 percent when calculating the increased weight. This means that a hover unit will boost the robot's weight by 20 percent instead of 10 percent; a rotor will increase weight by 25 percent while aircar-style rockets boost weight by 35 percent.

For example, Pi Porcad the Dralasite manager of several downtown buildings wants a maintenance robot that can fly to the top of his buildings to service their heating, cooling and ventilation systems. However, the robot also needs to move around on top of the building to do its work. He picks a standard body, which costs 2,000 Cr.

Keeping the robot’s standard legs, he adds a rotor unit for 5,000 Cr., but the robot’s body needs additional modifications, so its price doubles to 4,000 Cr. Its body weight increases by 25 percent from 100 kg to 125 kg.

Zero-G Thruster Packs

Space-based robots may be equipped with thruster packs, similar to what characters use for weightless environments. Many of these types of robots need to alternate between operating in zero-G and gravity environments so they will be equipped with wheels, legs or treads as a secondary form of moment. The robot rocket pack has 20 bursts of fuel. Each burst provides enough thrust to travel 50 meters per turn, until something causes the robot to change course or speed.

Only one burst can be used per turn. A robot can accelerate by firing several bursts over several turns, adding 50 meters/turn to its speed with each burst.

Once a robot starts moving, an equal amount of power is needed to stop moving! A robot could use all 20 bursts to accelerate to 1,000 meters/turn (about 360 kph!), but it would keep traveling at that speed in a straight line until someone or something stops it, since there is no fuel left in the pack to decelerate.

A robot using a thruster pack to move through space toward an object must make a check to move directly toward that object. This check is similar to its basic chance to hit – 30 percent plus 10 times the robot’s level – and should be modified by the referee according to the distance traveled, the size of the target and any advanced sensors that he robot may have.

For the purpose of comparison, a 1 kilometer trip to a spaceship of hull size 5 should be a standard check. Shorter distances and larger targets should allow positive modifiers, while longer distances or smaller targets are more difficult to hit. Modifiers should not exceed plus or minus 20.

A robot will quickly comprehend it is on the wrong heading and will try to correct its trajectory. This requires another burst of fuel and another check to make the proper adjustment. These adjustments may or may not increase the robot's speed. Even if the burst does not accelerate the robot, it must be counted as one of the pack's bursts.

A robot can keep making direction adjustments as long as the pack has fuel. If the robot aims at the target and has enough fuel remaining, it can come to a gentle stop at the destination by using the appropriate number of bursts to decelerate.

If a robot is aimed correctly at a target but does not have enough fuel in the pack to slow down, it will take damage when it hits the object (1d10 points of damage for each 50 meters/turn it is moving). The robot must make a check to stop at the object or it will bounce off the intended target and travel at one-half of its previous speed in a direction determined by the referee. This check has a -5 modifier for each 50 meters/turn that the robot was traveling upon impact.

Rocket Pack (no fuel): 2,000 Credits. Rocket Pack Fuel: 50 Credits/tank

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 27, 2016 - 11:48am

Robotics: Customizing, Adding Equipment/Modifications

A robotics expert can install new equipment on a robot himself and save the installation fee (typically 10 percent or more). All non-roboprog additions or alterations to a robot are called modifications. These include adding new limbs, weapons, etc. Some modifications are more difficult than others.

A robot can be given additional arms and legs, a different means of movement, special equipment or special programs. Every addition picked from the Altered Movement or Extra Limbs tables increase robot's body weight and cost. Modifications such as adding internal or externally mounted weapons, turrets, advanced sensors, equipment, etc. will also increase the robot’s overall weight and cost. Unlike the Alpha Dawn rules, adding a roboprog does not increase weight.

Example: Sheeta Starfox goes to Cut-Rate Sam’s Kustum Bots to modify her combat robot. It has a standard body (2,000 Cr) and is a level 4 with the built-in attack/defense program (5,000 Cr). Originally its total cost was 7,000 Cr and it weighed 100 kg. Sheeta wants to add the Computer Link and Search and Destroy programs, an aircar rocket and an extra pair of standard manipulator limbs.

The robot’s body weight increases by 50 percent or 50 kilograms – 35 extra kilograms for the rocket motor and 15 extra kilograms for the additional arms. The body’s cost increases by 700 Cr. to add the rocket motor and another 300 Cr. for the arms. The added weight and cost represents the structural components needed to support the extra limbs and the rocket motor. The Search and Destroy program costs 3,000 Cr., the Computer Link is 4,000 Cr., a standard pair of manipulator arms is 800 Cr. and the rocket motor costs another 10,000 Cr .

So far the customized equipment, body modifications and programs total an additional 18,800 Cr. Roboticist Sam tacks on his standard 10 percent installation fee; the price increases by another 1,880 Cr. The customized robot will cost Sheeta a total of 27,680 Cr (20,680 Cr more than a standard combat robot). It now weighs 170 kg (without its battery), but only has 100 Stamina points.

Armor and Defense Screens: Robots can be outfitted with the same types of defensive screens and “suits” as characters. In the case of defensive “suits,” this is actually a type of armor or albedo paint. The same prohibitions regarding these defense devices – not being able to wear two (or more) different defense suits or use two (or more) different defense screens at the same time – applies to robots like it does to player characters. The cost of robotic suits and screens is 10 percent higher than normal (not including the installation charge).

Spray Armor: The spray armor found in Zebulon’s Guide can also be added to most robots – though this would be difficult if not impossible for many cyborg or android models. Spray armor provides 25 points of protection per layer applied. Any weapons fire that strikes the robot would have to penetrate these added points before the robot’s structure takes damage.

Each layer of spray armor increases the robot’s weight by 5 percent and body cost by 5 percent. There is an additional 3 percent installation fee that is based on the body style’s original weight. The extra weight of this “add-on” armor trims a robot’s speed by 15 kilometers per hour (25 meters per turn) per layer for ground and hover robots and by 40 kph (67 meters per turn) per layer for rotor and rocket-powered robots. Note: warbots can have one layer of spray armor without suffering a movement penalty.

Some models, notably warbots, may be designed with an extra parabattery and enlarged motors and servos so they can have up to five spray armor layers without negatively impacting their movement. Such a modification will double the model’s base body cost while adding 25 percent to the overall weight (not including the cost and weight of the extra battery). This alteration does not extend the robot’s range.

An installer can typically add a single layer of spray armor in about two days for light, standard and standard reinforced robots. The installation time for a single layer on heavy-duty and heavy-duty robots is about six days and it takes eight days to install spray armor on a super heavy-duty robot. These times can be trimmed by half, but the installation charge can be double or more normal costs.

Spray armor is incompatible with Stealth Technology.

Enhanced Power Plants: As with vehicles, robots can be made to move faster with boosted motors and servos. A power plant 10 rebuild will boost the robot’s top speed by 10 meters per turn; multiply the robot’s body style by 20 percent to determine the cost of this upgrade. A power plant 20 rebuild will boost top speed by 20 meters a turn; the cost is the robot’s body style multiplied by 50 percent. A power plant 30 rebuild will increase top speed by 30 meters per turn; the cost is the robot’s body style times 80 percent.

Extended Range: In addition to programming that optimizes power usage, the range of a robot can be extended through a series of light weighting techniques such as lighter but stronger and more expensive metals and plastics, power capacitors and, of course, a second battery pack.

The base cost of the robot’s body style is doubled while the robot’s base body weight decreases by 25 percent. (The player still needs to purchase another parabattery and then add the weight to his robot’s total). Extended range modifications double the distance and time that most robots (except for microbots) can operate – 2,000 kilometers or 200 hours GST – at full capacity.

If a warbot already has a second parabattery because it is carrying spray armor, the robot’s range would only be extended by 50 percent by adding a third parabattery. To get maximum range, the robot would need a double set of extra batteries. Fortunately, the body style cost only rises by 250 percent while weight increases by a total of 30 percent. (Again, the owner still needs to purchase the extra batteries and add their weight to the robot’s total.)

Standby/Preservation Mode: Even the simplest level 1 robots have some kind standby/preservation mode that they will enter when their battery power is nearly depleted and a recharge is unavailable. For many robots, they will enter standby mode when they have only an hour’s worth of SEUs remaining. A flying robot will attempt to land someplace relatively safe, a hover robot would stop on relatively solid ground, but less sophisticated models (level 3 and under) may unintentionally place themselves in dangerous or hard to reach locations. If a robot cannot find a safe location, it will continue traveling until it runs out of power and comes to a halt or crashes.

Robots at level 4 or above can make other judgment calls, such as when to enter into standby mode, for instance, if it only has 10 hours of remaining battery power and a recharge in the near future seems unlikely. These robots can choose reasonably safe and easy to access locations -- if such a place is available. For various reasons a more advanced robot may attempt to camouflage itself from anyone except its owner(s) or designated surrogates with the proper identification. Otherwise, it may attempt to attack or flee intruders.

For example, the CDC robots in the Mission to Alcazzar module were placed into standby mode by Streel operatives and radically reprogrammed to attack anyone trying to approach the computer building.

When a robot is in standby mode, it only uses 4 SEUs per day, but the robot will not move and its sensor range is limited. Robots equipped with the Extended Range or the Para-Scan roboprogs only use 3 SEUs per day; if the robot has both programs available, it will only use 2 SEUs per day. 

Weatherizing: Frontier robots are capable of operating in a range of conditions such as working in freezing cold temperatures, the vacuum of space, rain, fog, dust storms, etc. Constant exposure to rough conditions will eventually degrade its performance and require additional maintenance. Most robots, though, are not made to operate long in hostile environments – such as partial or total immersion in water, acidic atmospheres, extreme heat and cold, radiation such as cosmic rays, etc. To protect these valuable machines against the elements, the wise buyer adds weatherization gear.

Weatherization sealers are available in three levels – nicknamed bronze, silver and gold – that offer increasing protection for an increased cost. This protection includes:

  • Bronze Level: Allows for the complete immersion in water, up to a depth of 5 meters for 20 minutes GST without failure. Oftentimes, a robot can operate underwater for much longer periods of time and at greater depths without difficulty, though this is not recommended by manufacturers nor covered by any warranties. The bronze level of weatherization helps protect the robot against, extreme heat and cold, 10-15 turns in a fire, acidic atmospheres, dust, low-level radiation, extended periods in the vacuum of space, etc. External damage and the length of time the robot spends is in a hostile environment may cause the weatherizing seals to fail, which in turn leads to damage of internal circuitry. The cost is based on the robot’s body type and adding 10 percent; any weight increase is negligible.
  • Silver Level: Allows for the complete immersion in water, up to a depth of 15 meters for 1 hour GST or up to 30 minutes in a raging fire without failure plus additional protection against extreme temperatures, dust and lunar dust, heavy radiation, etc. External damage and the length of time the robot is in a hostile environment may cause the weatherizing seals to degrade, which in turn leads to damage to internal circuitry. The cost is 25 percent of the robot’s body type; any weight increase is negligible.
  • Gold Level: The robot can operate on the bottom of most ocean floors at the deepest depths for hours without failure. It can operate for a period of time in many other hostile environments including temperatures that will eventually melt its outer skin or in liquid nitrogen. The cost is ten times the robot’s normal body type; body weight is increased by 20 percent.

As noted earlier, hover fans, rotor blades and aircar rocket engines will be damaged – weatherized or not – if they strike the water or operate in certain environmental conditions, such as a raging fire, air clogged with volcanic ash, etc. Typically robots with this type of movement will try to avoid such conditions; otherwise, they will become trapped. If they have a secondary form of movement (legs, wheels, or tracks), robots will attempt to stop outside of a hazardous area, seal up the hover fan or rocket engine units with protective slats or collapse and stow the rotor blades in a specialized compartment, and then proceed into the water, fire, dust storm, etc.

Submersible Robots: These are models built to specifically operate underwater. The cost and weight of the robotic body is triple the standard models, though this automatically comes with the gold level of weatherization. Their primary (and standard) form of movement is an underwater jet engine or propeller. Equipped with ballast tanks as standard equipment, they can ascend or descend in the water similar to a submarine.

Submersibles have a standard cruise speed of 20 kph/35 meters per turn and a top speed of 35 kilometers per hour/60 meters per turn. Such robots can be made to move faster with powerplant upgrades and be modified similarly to other robots, but the cost is doubled to take into account proper weatherization to survive the underwater environment.   

Electromagnetic Pulse Shielding: Electromagnetic Discharge (ED) warheads or other electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons can cause short-circuits that will shut down robots, vehicles, computers and other electronics that have not been properly shielded. This shielding is not a power screen, but rather an extensive hardening of the robot’s internal circuitry that is much more comprehensive than installing an electric shock implant.

If EMP shielding is included as part of the robot’s initial construction, the cost is only an additional 50 percent of its body style while weight only increases 10 percent. If this shielding is installed later, the modification is an added 90 percent of the body style’s initial cost and body weight increases by 20 percent.

Effects: an anti-shock implant is only 10 percent effective against an ED or EMP weapon. A gauss screen is only 20 percent effective. EMP shielding is about 70 percent effective. It can be combined with an anti-shock implant and/or gauss screen to theoretically provide 100 percent shielding (an automatic hit by an EMP weapon will overcome any protection).

While most unshielded robots will need extensive repairs if they suffer an EMP attack, those that have EMP shielding have a cumulative 5 percent chance per turn of “rebooting” and being able to resume operations. 

Stealth Technology: Typically only militaries, spy agencies, some paramilitary forces and mega-corporations worry about making their robots stealthy. Some add-on devices, such as a holographic projector or sonic (“hush”) screen, also may permit a robot to act stealthy so it can ambush an adversary. Instead of jamming radars and other sensors, stealth robots rely on a range of passive electronic countermeasures, radar-absorbent materials, infrared and ultraviolet bafflers, a shape to redirect radar beams, etc. Any weapons must be stored internally for stealth technology to be fully effective.

Stealth must be incorporated into a robot’s design before production, though stealthy modifications to an existing robot may provide some benefits.

Effects: A stealth robot is practically invisible to most detection devices (70 percent success rate). Because of its camouflage abilities, casual observers will probably miss seeing it at a distance (an 80 percent chance) even while it is moving. Note, the type of terrain will affect the distance. For example, an observer should be able to see a stealth robot sitting in an open field of low cut grass, in broad daylight at 100-500 meters without a penalty.

A stealth robot can use a “silent kill” attack for ranged or melee combat with a basic chance to hit at 20 percent plus 5 times the robot’s level (20% + RL x 5). If successful, the robot will cause an extra 1d10 worth of damage to a target while its attack will go unnoticed or unheard by other adversaries in the area. The robot also has a base 5 percent chance to instantly kill an unsuspecting target plus 5 percent per the robot’s level (5% + RL x 5). If the robot uses explosive devices such as rockets, missiles, grenades, etc. it will automatically negate the robot’s silent kill ability, though it still has a “first shot” attempt to slay an opponent caught unawares.

Characters trying to target a stealth robot at medium to extreme ranges suffer an additional -10 percent penalty.  

Cost and Weight: The cost is 50 times the robot body’s base price while body weight increases 20 percent.

Drawbacks: In addition to its high cost and requiring the robot to have built in weapons, such as concealed turrets, once the unit has taken more than 50 percent structural damage, it loses its stealthy abilities until repaired. Repairs are 10 times the normal cost if the owner wants to retain its stealth characteristics. Applying spray armor to a robot destroys its stealth characteristics.

Stealth robots are normally only used by special units of militaries, a rare number of paramilitary groups and mega corporations at their most secure facilities.   

Robot Programs (Roboprogs)

Some robots, such as service and maintenance bots, have general programs in order to carry out their missions. A waiter robot – a type of service bot – will have an etiquette and protocol program so it can react to customer requests. What follows are descriptions of specialized programs. The number in parenthesis after the program’s name indicates the robot’s minimum level required before it can use the program. 

Normally only a roboticist will try to alter these proprietary programs; however, a character with only computer skills – including access & operate, bypassing security, defeating security, display information, interface and program manipulation – can work on roboprogs with a -20 percent modifier. Creating new roboprogs requires the Computers: Program Writing skill along with robotics skills such as alter functions and alter mission.

Attack/Defense: (2) The robot can fight using the same type of weapons as a character and can be equipped with a defense suit and a screen (with its own power supply). The robot can use lethal weapons. Cost: 1,000 Credits

Bio-electric Circuits: (6) The robot – often a cyborg or robot brain – has limited intelligence (INT/LOG 25/75) and an artificial personality (PER/LDR 25/20). It can develop these abilities over time, and even learn new skills. Cost: 60,000 Credits

Communications: (4) Although more advanced robots can operate devices such as chronocoms, radio phones, poly-voxes and the like, this program permits robots to identify, operate and even repair larger communications devices such as subspace radios, space beacons and broadcast stations. Cost: 8,000 Credits

Computer Link: (2) This program enables a robot to communicate directly with a computer using a tight-beam, long-range communicator. This gives it access to all the information in the computer. Cost: 4,000 Credits

Crash Wish: (1) If a robot becomes disabled, this program will activate a certain set of instructions including self-destruction, sending out a distress message, hibernation, etc. The methods of how this program can be used entirely depends upon what the robot is equipped with or what condition it is in. A robot without any kind of explosive can still be programmed erase its memory or overload its circuitry. Cost: 1,250 Credits

Dis-Map: (2) This roboprog contains multiple maps covering every explored area in the Frontier, allowing the robot to determine a route around all known hazards while being able to locate roads, towns, geographical features, etc. Cost: 500 Credits

Entertainment: (3) This is a catch-all program often used by service robots. For each subroutine (subskill) purchased, the robot can do basic actions such as singing, dancing, juggling, musical instrument playing, general lore (storytelling), stage magic and even gambling. Athletic subroutines can be added so the robot can participate as a sparring partner in boxing, wrestling, fencing, tennis, etc. When combined with the Bio-electric Circuits roboprog, the robot would gain +5 in Intuition and +5 in Personality. Cost: 800 Credits plus 50 Credits for each subroutine added

Etiquette and Protocol: (3) The social norms of behavior vary widely among the Core Four races and the planets of the Frontier, not to mention the hazards that the naïve traveler faces when journeying to the Rim Coalition where they encounter the Humma, Osakar and Ifshnits or various other non-aligned races. Service robots have this program as standard equipment, but other models – even security robots – might have it as part of their programming suite.

A robot can advise its master of such niceties such as proper introductions and greetings, differences in gestures and body language, meeting and seating protocols, appropriate attire for different situations, conversation taboos and the like.

This roboprog only covers known races. Robots at level 6 and above might be able to use it to learn to interact with the members of a newly discovered culture; otherwise, other robots will need to wait for any service updates or new programming from their masters. If used in conjunction with the Bio-electric Circuits roboprog, the robot or android receives a +10 boost to its Personality and Leadership scores. Cost: 2,000 Credits plus a monthly fee for updates

Extended Range: (1) Similar to the vehicular Fuel-Scan progit, this program monitors the robot’s parabattery output versus use. When activated, it conserves energy whenever possible and increases the range/operating time by 25 percent. Cost: 400 Credits

Facial Recognition: (2) Robots at level 2 or higher are typically equipped with a facial recognition suite to be able to identify individuals that it should be familiar with. The robot can retrieve public records – if access is available – to compare any individual and identify them. Face-changing disguises have 60 percent chance minus the robot’s level times 10 (60% - RL x 10) to fool the robot. Cost: 750 Credits plus a monthly fee

Help-Beam: (1) This is more of a device with a bodycomp progit. Often used in conjunction with Crash Wish, the device has its own 10 SEU microclip and must be preprogrammed by the robot’s master. When a pre-set condition occurs, such as the robot is disabled or destroyed – hopefully leaving the Help-Beam unit intact – then it will send out an emergency beam on a specific wavelength. One type of preset condition that would trigger the robot to send out the distress call is if it witnesses its master in some form of distress. Cost: 250 Credits

Help-Call: (1) Another carryover technology from bodycomps, this progit/device acts in a similar manner to Help-Beam but sends out an audible sound rather than a radio beam. This device must be preprogrammed. Some conditions when it may activate include when the robot becomes disabled or when an enemy roboticist tries to break open the robot’s protective cover. Help-Call is powered by an internal 10 SEU microclip. Cost: 150 Credits

Interference: (2) This invasive program injects itself into a transmitted message and interferes with its legibility. For encrypted messages, it sounds like various tones and beeps interspersed with static, re-modulation and flanging, which makes clear reception nearly impossible. If a signal-jamming program is successful, there can be no chance of countering the interference program. To stop it requires a character to successfully use a Manipulate Program check to defeat it. If the check fails, the character cannot make another attempt for an hour. Cost: 1,000 Credits PR: Broadcast equipment

Medical: (4) The robot can perform and function as a medic such as diagnosing ailments, healing wounds, controlling infections and infestations, curing diseases, awakening unconscious individuals, prevent tissue damage, etc. as though it were a medic of equal level.

The skills covered by this program include Medical Devices, Medical Diagnosis, Medical Treatment: Disease, Medical Treatment: Infection, Medical Treatment: Infestation, Medical Treatment: Miscellaneous, Medical Treatment: Poison, Medical Treatment: Radiation, Medical Treatment: Wounds I, Medical Treatment: Wounds II, Medical Treatment: Wounds III and Medical Treatment: Wounds IV.

The base chance of success is 30 percent plus 10 times the robot’s level, but the robot’s maximum success rate is 80 percent.

As with player character medics, a robot with a medical program gains a 20 percent bonus (+20%) for patient care if the treatment is conducted in a well-equipped hospital or sickbay. If the patient is an animal or unfamiliar alien, the robot suffers a 20 percent penalty (-20%). Even so, the maximum success rate the robot has is still 80 percent.

A medical robot is still required to have a medkit. It could use a medkit like a normal character, or the equipment may be built-into two of its limbs. This increases the robot’s weight by the weight of the kit plus 10 percent while the cost of the built-in robot medkit 575 credits or 15 percent greater than normal. Cost: 50,000 Credits

Medical: First Aid: (2) This program enables a robot to help rescue wounded beings in hostile situations. A level 2 program allows the robot – such as the 233-TRB Trauma Recovery Bot, which has a super light-body – to monitor a patient’s vital signs, search for and recover wounded beings, stabilize an injured character through the injection of biocort or staydoses. A level 3 program allows the robot to conduct a Medical Diagnosis, operate Medical Devices plus use Medical Treatment: Disease, Medical Treatment: Infection, Medical Treatment: Infestation, Medical Treatment: Poison, Medical Treatment: Radiation and Medical Treatment: Wounds I (First Aid).  Cost: 3,000 Credits per level

Para-Scan: (3) This roboprog monitors the parabatteries used for non-movement functions, such as weapons and defense screens. It allows the robot – or robot brain or remote user – to receive constant updates on the status of various systems, determine how much power is left, transfer power from one battery system to another, etc. If the robot is damaged, the roboprog will indicate the location and extent of damage. It will boost the robot’s range and operating time by 10 percent; its effect is additive with the Extended Range program. For example, a robot equipped with both Extended Range and Para-Scan will have its range/operating time boosted by 35 percent. Cost: 500 Credits

Restrain: (2) The robot can both defend itself and attack, but cannot use a weapon on a lethal setting. For example, a robot with merely a restrain program could use shock gloves, but it will only use the stun setting. If it is not possible to use a non-lethal setting, the robot will not use the weapon. Additionally, the robot would not use an incapacitating weapon if this will result in the potential death of the target, such as if the target is on a narrow ledge hundreds of meters off the ground. Naturally, higher-level robots are better at making these judgment calls than lower level ones. Cost: 500 Credits

Robo-Link: (1) This progit/device is a special radio receiver/program that can be installed on a robot so the owner can communicate with it through a bodycomp. Cost: 1,300 Credits

Robotic Repair: (4) Certain robots are made to repair other robots. The maximum number of robot designs that can be repaired is equal to the robot’s level times the point cost of the robotics program. Once it has the schematics and design notes of another robot, it can repair it. It automatically has the ability to repair itself.

The specific skills covered by this program include Robotics: Activate/Deactivate, Robotics: Adding Equipment/Modifications, Robotics: Alter Functions, Robotics: Alter Mission, Robotics: Identification, Robotics: List Functions, Robotics: Remove Security Locks and Robotics: Repair.

The base chance of success is 30 percent plus 10 times the robot’s level, but the robot’s maximum success rate is 80 percent.

A robot with the robotics program still needs to use a robocomkit or equivalent tools. It can operate the kit like a normal character or the tools can be built into the robot’s limbs. The built-in robocomkit is 10 percent heavier and 15 percent more expensive (575 Credits) than a normal kit. Cost: 40,000 Credits

Sample Collection: (1) This program enables a robot – with the proper equipment – to collect a variety of samples, anything from soil samples, to air and water samples, vegetation, etc. More sophisticated robots are better able to choose what areas to test and avoid contaminating samples or harming living creatures or damaging archeological sites. Cost: 750 Credits. Pr: Sample collection equipment

Search and Destroy: (4) The robot can perform combat missions that include tracking down its target. A robot must have the Attack/Defense program to use this program. Cost: 3,000 Credits

Security Grid: (2) This program is used in conjunction with a holoprojector. While the robot is in sleep mode, it can set up a light grid in its immediate vicinity so it will detect any object that breaks the beam and be able to wake up. Cost: 500 Credits + holoprojector

Security Lock: (1) A security feature that must be defeated before any unauthorized roboticist can make any alterations to the robot's programming. This program may be installed on any robot regardless of level. Cost: 500 Credits per level

Self Defense: (2) The robot can fight back if attacked in melee. Cost: 500 Credits

Signal Jamming: (2) In order to intercept and prevent a signal, a robot needs a signal jamming program and the appropriate broadcast equipment. It uses a modulating signal to override and confuse receivers from obtaining a clear signal, causing the message to drop in and out. This will also disrupt remote robot control program signals. Robots whose signals are interrupted will behave according to their normal programming or will stop moving.

If the signal-jamming program is used in conjunction with an interference program, it can make clear reception of any radio signal nearly impossible. Where one fails, the other will likely succeed.

A roboticist needs to make a successful manipulate program check to defeat this program. If the check fails, the character cannot make another attempt for an hour and the signal jamming will continue. Cost: 1,000 Credits + broadcast equipment

Signal Optimizer: (3) This program boosts radio signals, weeds out corrupted data and replaces it with approximated information to fill the gaps. The result is 75 percent increased clarity. Whatever the chance of success at receiving a signal, multiply it by 1.76 and round down to achieve the new success rate. However, this program will not counteract a signal-jamming program. Cost: 500 Credits Pr: Broadcast equipment

Site Management: (4) With this roboprog, the robot can make structures like an environmentalist character, create improvised shelters, set or avoid primitive traps and snares, gather food, and do anything else to make a campsite livable for characters. Cost: 3,000 Credits

Survey: (2) The robot can scout ahead of a character or exploration party and use the following Environmental Science skills: Analyze Animal Behavior, Biology, Botany, Cartography, Chemistry, Find Directions, Gemology, Geology, Geophysics, Physics, Toxicology, Tracking and Zoology. At level 4, the robot with the Survey Roboprog also gains Analyze Ecosystems and Exobiology. Cost: 2,000 Credits per level Pr: Sample Collection Roboprog, appropriate sensors and equipment

Tactical Analysis: (4) This program allows a robot – which needs both visual and audio receptors – to analyze its surroundings and make tactical judgments as if it were a normal player character. With enhanced data, the robot can help estimate the position of hidden targets with 20 percent effectiveness, increasing its accuracy by 10 percent.

It can also transmit this data to characters through a botlink, boosting their to-hit numbers by 10 percent. Of course to use any offensive or defensive moves, the robot must have the appropriate program. Cost: 1,000 Credits

Technician: (4) A robot with a technician program can operate and repair machines and vehicles plus activate or deactivate security screens and open locks as though it were a technician of equal level. The exact skills the robot knows are Acoustics, Communications Devices: Operate, Communications Devices: Repair, Defenses: Repair, Machinery: Operate, Machinery: Repair, Optics, Power Read, Security Systems: Activate and Operate, Security Systems: Deactivate Alarms/Defenses, Security Systems: Open Locks, and Vehicle: Repair.

The maximum types of vehicles that a certain robot can repair is equal to the robot’s level times three. Once a robot with a technical program has been given the design notes and schematics of the vehicle, it can operate and repair it.

The base chance of success is 30 percent plus 10 times the robot’s level, but the robot’s maximum success rate is 80 percent.

A robot with a technician program must still have a techkit – or access to the appropriate tools. It may be able to use a normal techkit as a character or the tools may be built into its limbs. A built-in techkit is 15 percent heavier than a normal kit and costs 575 credits. Cost: 40,000 Credits

Translator: (3) This program will translate any known language in the Frontier. The robot also must be equipped with an audio receiver and a poly-vox. Cost: 1,000 Credits

Transmission Analysis: (3) This program is designed to key in on key words or voice patterns in unencrypted messages, then determine the nature of the message and pass on any suspicious messages to its controller. Cost: 1,000 credits Pr: Broadcast equipment

Voice Simulator: (3) This program analyzes and recreates a voiceprint. To use this program, the robot must have an audio receiver and a poly-vox. Cost: 500 Credits

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 27, 2016 - 11:51am

Robot Management

Robot Management: Computers can direct robots through a robot management program. Higher level programs can control more robots. Often used with the industry, security, law enforcement and maintenance programs, the robot management program must be at least as high a level as the robots it is controlling. The number of robots that a program can control equals its level multiplied by its number of function points.

Robot brains often link into a computer with this program to manage other robots.

Remote Control: The Robot Hand Controller (as detailed in the “Mutiny on the Eleanor Moraes”) is a radio-based device that allows for a character to remotely control a robot. If a character wants to remotely control a robot, the robot must have its own code to avoid receiving conflicting commands from other units.

The controller includes a joystick and a two-way radio for verbal commands. Two miniature video screens show the operator what the robot’s sensors detect whether it’s from a visible-light or infrared sensor or other data.

Controllers often allow three modes of operation including:

  1. General verbal commands within the robot’s mission and function.
  2. Specific verbal commands within or outside mission and functions.
  3. Joystick control with verbal and digital command overrides. This provides the operator with direct control of the robot. If the robot can fly, the hand controller will allow the operator to change altitude or direction. The pressure handgrip controls the robot’s speed and weapons (if any).

Activate/Deactivate, Protection Plates and Security Locks

A robotics expert can activate (turn on) or deactivate (turn off) a robot regardless of its level if he can gain access to its activation roboprog. The expert also can activate robots that have been deactivated.

Protection Plate(s): Before a roboticist can deactivate a robot or list its functions, remove its security lock or take any other action, he must access the robot's internal roboprog circuitry. This requires removing a protective plate, which normally takes one turn.

The plate can be removed in one turn even if the robot is fighting the character, but not if the robot is moving and the character cannot gain a firm handhold. The character probably will take damage during a combat situation before he gets the plate off. Once the plate is off, the robot can be deactivated in one turn if the character makes a successful skill check.

The first protective plate comes with the robot body at no additional charge. Additional protective plates can be added if the robot has a secure compartment to house its control unit.

Secure Compartments: Some robots – level 3 and above – may have specially-designed, secure compartments for their roboprog circuitry. This compartment might even protect the robot’s computer memory and programs for an indefinite time even if the body is destroyed or heavily damaged by water intrusion, lunar dust, an acidic atmosphere or other hazardous conditions. For example, a manufacturer will typically certify that a secure compartment should last underwater for a month if it hasn’t been compromised.

To access the roboprogs, a roboticist may need to remove multiple protective plates. The heavier, military versions of robots have anti-tamper devices (explosives, electrical shocks, etc.) built into their protective plates.

A secure compartment costs 1,000 Credits. Each additional protective plate costs 100 Credits, but a robot can only have a total number of protective plates equal to its level.

Anti-Tamper Devices: When a roboticist is working on an unfamiliar robot with an anti-tamper device and is not actively trying to determine if one is there, he must make a successful Intuition check (with any appropriate negative modifiers) to detect it; otherwise, he will trigger it. If the character is actively looking for a trap, they have a +20 percent chance to spot it with an Intuition check.

An anti-tamper device can be disarmed with a successful use of the Remove Security Lock skill; otherwise, the trap is sprung.

If a character has set off an anti-tamper device on a robot and then tries to get into the secure compartment of a similar model, the referee may give him an additional bonus to spot and then disarm the trap.

Electrical Shock Anti-Tamper Device: This device is normally powered by the robot’s parabattery but has a 20 SEU backup clip in case of a power failure. It will deliver an electrical shock of 3d10 damage plus the character would have to make a current Stamina check to avoid being stunned. Each triggering of the device drains 4 SEUs. Cost: 500 Credits

Dose Gas Anti-Tamper Device: This goes off like a dose grenade, affecting all characters within a 5-meter radius who would need to make a Stamina check. Cost: 50 Credits

Explosive Anti-Tamper Device: This is a self-destruct device designed to wreck the roboprog circuitry, making the robot completely unusable and potentially unrepairable. It will also cause 8d10 worth of damage to characters directly working on the robot and 4d10 worth of damage to all characters within a 5-meter radius. Cost: 1,000 Credits

Poison Gas Anti-Tamper Device: This explodes like a poison gas grenade affecting all characters within a 5-meter radius of the robot. Cost: 50 Credits   

Security Lock: After the final protection plate has been removed from a robot's roboprog circuitry board, there may be a security lock, which equals the robot’s level.

The lock must be removed before the List Functions, Alter Functions, or Alter Mission skills can be tried. A robot can be deactivated after the protection plates are taken off but before the security lock is removed. Once a security lock has been removed, if cannot be used again. A failed skill check for Robotics: Remove Security Lock can result in a malfunction (see the Malfunction section).

Robotics: Repair

Normally, only robotics experts or robots with a repair roboprog will try to repair robots. Characters with technician or vehicle repair skills can also attempt to repair robots but they have a -20 percent modifier. Robots are repaired according to the standard repair rules.

When rolling on the Robotic Malfunction Table, add +15 percent to the result if a non-roboticist is working on a robot alone. If the technician or roboticist has a fully-equipped repair shop, subtract -10 from the roll. If a character is working in a team with other specialists (roboticists or technicians) subtract -5 percent per team member up to a maximum of -20 percent.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 26, 2016 - 10:28pm

Robot Malfunctions

Alpha Dawn

Robot Malfunctions Table

01-20

No Malfunction

21-30

Function Roboprog Destroyed

31-40

Sensor System Failure

41-50

Mobility System Failure

51-60

Short Circuit

61-70

Level Drop

71-80

Mission Erased

81-90

Haywire

91-00

Explosion

If a player fails his character's roll on his Robotics: Remove Security Locks, Alter Functions, or Alter Mission skills, the robot can malfunction. When this happens, the referee should roll 1d100 on the Robot Malfunction Table.

01-20:   No Malfunction: The robot continues to function normally.

21-30:   Function Roboprog Destroyed: One of the robot's function roboprogs (picked randomly by the referee) has been destroyed. The robot cannot perform anything that requires that program. If all of a robot's roboprogs are destroyed, the robot is deactivated.

31-40:   Sensor System Failure: The robot's optical or radar/sonar sensor system fails. This means the robot can only locate a target by its normal audio receivers. Since it cannot normally maneuver by touch, it must go very slowly.

41-50:   Mobility System Failure: The robot's primary (and/or secondary) mobility system – whether it is a hoverfan, wheels, tracks or legs – is damaged. The referee decides what type of limitations is placed on the robot's mobility. Examples: the robot can only turn in circles or can only move in reverse or moves sluggishly at one-quarter speed or jerks forward with little control over its speed or has no movement at all, etc.

51-60:   Short Circuit: The robot is still operating, but has been damaged (effect at referee’s discretion). For example, a robot with a short circuit might rattle and spark while it works, or suffer a severe loss of power to its weapons systems.

61-70:   Level Drop: The robot suffers damage throughout which drops it’s programming and sophistication by the equivalent of one level for the purposes of combat, skills and intellect.

71-80:   Mission Erased: The robot's mission program has been erased. It still maintains all of its functions, but has no purpose in life except to survive.

81-90:   Haywire: The robot is completely out of control. It might attack at random, spin in circles, recite the Dralasitic Creed, or do anything else that the referee thinks fits the situation.

91-00:   Explosion: The robot’s parabattery explodes, causing 2d10 points of damage multiplied by the parabattery's type to the character attempting the skill. Damage is electrical, fragmentary, and concussive.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 27, 2016 - 12:19pm

Robot Combat

Level

To-Hit

Initiative Modifier

1

40%

+4

2

50%

+5

3

60%

+6

4

70%

+7

5

80%

+8

6

90%

+9

7

100%

+10

8

110%

+11

A robot gets one melee attack for every pair of limbs it has. If the robot uses a weapon, it causes whatever damage is normal. When the robot attacks without a weapon, standard and anthropomorphic limbs cause 2d10 points of damage; heavy-duty limbs cause 6d10 points of damage.

A robot using a ranged weapon is treated exactly like a character and is subject to all the ranged combat modifiers. However, a robot cannot attack unless it has a restrain, self-defense or attack/defense program.

As per the Alpha Dawn rules, a robot’s basic chance to hit is 30 percent plus 10 times the robot’s level (30% + RL x 10). This is the number used in both ranged and melee combat.

A robot’s initiative modifier (IM) is its level plus three (IM = RL + 3). Other modifiers apply as usual.

A computer using a Robot Management program can remotely control the robot’s weapon systems. It will have a base chance to hit of 30 percent plus 10 times the program’s level (30% + 10 x Prog Level). The initiative modifier is the computer’s level plus three.

Helmet Weapons: Except for some anthropomorphic cybots and androids, robots do not wear helmets. However, they can mount some of the helmet weapons found in Zebulon’s guide such as the minigrenade launcher or helmet rafflurs on their heads. As with characters, if a robot has a minigrenade launcher mounted, it cannot have helmet rafflurs added and vice versa. The mounting cost is 10 percent higher than normal because adjustments need to be made so robots can use these weapons.

Weapons Handling: As with vehicles and characters, there is a limit to the number of weapons that a robot can handle. A robot can make one melee attack for every pair of limbs that it has. Most robots (except the “tin can” style) that have a pair of standard or anthropomorphic limbs can pick up and use normal weapons without penalty. These weapons include grenades, man-portable heavy weapons such as the Ke-5000 (the Alpha Dawn heavy laser) and Ke-6000 (the Zebulon version of the heavy laser that causes slightly more damage per SEU used), a Rafflur M-10, a recoilless rifle, a machine gun, etc. They do get a penalty for firing two weapons.

Built-in Weapons: All robots, including androids, might have built-in weapons, some of which may be concealed until they are used. Hand and arm mounted weapons cannot be used if the robot is holding another weapon in its manipulator arms (unless the robot has more than one pair of arms and the weapons are mounted in the secondary pair). Built-in weapons can be used – without a firing penalty – in addition to any that the robot uses with its manipulator arms. Mounting costs are the weapon’s price plus 20 percent; to mount a concealed weapon, the cost is equal to the weapon plus 50 percent. The weapon’s weight is increased by 15 percent.

A microbot might be built around a one-shot “holdout” pistol or carry a grenade or an explosive. Super-light, ultra-light, light, standard, standard-reinforced robots can only have up to two built-in and/or concealed pistol-size or melee weapons.

 

Anthropomorphic robots and androids may have up to four built-in and/or concealed pistol-size or melee weapons (or up to six if an extra set of limbs have been installed). These weapons are often mounted in the hands and/or forearms.

Standard and standard reinforced bodied robots can have up to six built-in weapons (which is equal to the maximum number of manipulator limbs that could be added to such a unit). If the weapons are rifle size or larger, then the weapon replaces a limb but it will have servos so it can swivel around.

Heavy-duty, heavy-duty reinforced and super heavy-duty robots can have eight built-in and/or concealed weapons. These include pistol to rifle to man-portable weapons but not vehicle weapons.

Warbots with heavy-duty bodies can have two small turrets or one medium turret, but they cannot mount vehicle weapons. Surface mounted weapons are on swivel mounts and have firing arcs – front (F), front and right (F-R), front and left (F-L), front hemisphere (FH), right side (RS), left side (LS), rear (Rr), rear and right side (Rr-RS), rear and left side (Rr-LS) or rear hemisphere (RrH). Even a surface-mounted rifle or grenade launcher will take up the space for one limb.

Warbots with heavy-duty reinforced bodies have 8 hardpoints available for mounting man-portable and vehicle weapons. The weapons can be internally or externally mounted. The warbot can have two turrets – two small, one small and one medium, or two medium turrets. Surface mounted weapons are on swivel mounts that have firing arcs. Small weapons take up the space for one limb; medium weapons take up the space for two extra limbs; and large weapons take up the space for three extra limbs.

Warbots with super-duty bodies have 18 hardpoints available for internal or external man-portable or vehicle weapons. It can have up to four turrets – four small turrets or one medium and two small turrets or two medium turrets or one large and one small turret. Surface mounted weapons are on swivel mounts with firing arcs. Small weapons take up the space for one limb; medium weapons take up the space for two extra limbs; and large weapons take up the space for three extra limbs.

Turrets:[1] Capable of rotating 360 degrees, a top-mounted turret allows the robot to face one direction yet engage an oppenent that is not in the firing arcs of its other weapons. The robot could fire its turret weapons at a second or even third target. Top mounted turrets cannot fire at objects more than 90 degrees above them.

A vertically mounted (side) turret can fire at straight up and straight and straight down, but only 90 degrees in the other direction.

Turrets have motorized components that permit them to rotate and move. Although more expensive than a surface mount, they are popular on warbots.

Since warbots are designed to accept turrets, adding them does not increase the robot’s body cost or weight; the turret still has weight and a cost, however. Turrets added to other models will add 20 percent to their body cost and weight in addition to the cost and weight of the turret.

Internal Turrets: This type of turret is concealed inside the robot’s body until it is needed. Once activated and deployed, it can fire in a full 360 degree arc. Thus, a warbot could be camouflaged to look like another heavy-duty robot and catch characters unawares until it fires – or until a roboticist successfully uses his identification skill.

Robot Turret Weapon Mount Table

Mount Type

Size

Hardpoints

Weight (kg)

Cost (Credits)

Visible Turret

Small

2

5

2,000 Cr.

 

Medium

3

10

2,750 Cr.

 

Large

5

25

3,500 Cr.

Internal Turret

Small

2

6

3,250 Cr.

 

Medium

3

12

4,000 Cr.

 

Large

5

30

5,250 Cr.

 


[1] Moore, Larry. “Non-civilian duty vehicles,” Star Frontiersman # ___, p.___.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 28, 2016 - 7:08am

Robot Design Cost Table: Cost per Level

Level

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Cost (Cr)

200

500

1,000

2,000

4,000

8,000

20,000

30,000

To-Hit

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

110%

IM

+4

+5

+6

+7

+8

+9

+10

+11

 

Robotic Design Cost Table: Body Types

Body Types

Credits

Structure Points

 

Battery Type

Credits

Btty. Wt.

Anthropomorphic

3,000

100

 

Type 2 parabattery

1,200

50 kg

Anthropomorphic Reinforced

6,000

150

 

Type 2 parabattery

1,200

50 kg

Microbot

200

5

 

Minipowerclip

50

--

Super-Light

800/875

15/20

 

100 SEU pack

500

10 kg

Ultra-Light

3,000/5,000

70/105

 

50 SEU pack

500

10 kg

Light (“Tin Can”)

1,200

50

 

Type 1 parabattery

600

25 kg

Standard

2,000

100

 

Type 1 parabattery

600

25 kg

Standard Reinforced

3,500

150

 

Type 2 parabattery

1,200

50 kg

Heavy-Duty

5,000

500

 

Type 2 parabattery

1,200

50 kg

Heavy-Duty Reinforced

8,500

750

 

Type 3 parabattery

2,300

100 kg

Super-Duty

20,000

1,000

 

Type 4 parabattery

4,500

200 kg

 

Extra Limbs

Credits

Body Wt. Increase

Body Cost Increase

Microbot (Single)

100

10 %

10 %

Light-Duty (Single)

250

10 %

10 %

Standard Pair

800

15 %

15 %

Heavy-Duty Pair

1,200

15 %

15 %

Anthropomorphic

1,000

15 %

15 %


Robotic Design Cost Table: Robot Classifications/ Cost (Cr) per Robot Level

Class

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Movement Rate

Android

--

--

--

--

--

20,000

30,000

80,000

40 m/turn

Brain

--

--

--

--

--

17,000

30,000

80,000

30 m/turn

Combat

--

3,500

4,000

5,000

--

--

--

--

120 m/turn

Courier

--

3,500

4,000

5,000

7,000

11,000

--

--

30 m/turn

Cybernetic

--

--

--

5,000

7,000

11,000

30,000

80,000

30 m/turn

Heavy Duty

5,200

5,500

6,000

7,000

--

--

--

--

30 m/turn

Maintenance

2,200

2,500

3,000

4,000

--

--

--

--

60 m/turn

Medical

--

--

10,000

15,000

18,000

21,000

--

--

120 m/turn

Reconnaissance

--

8,200

9,000

10,000

--

--

--

--

120 m/turn

Repair/Engineering

--

--

--

39,500

42,00

50,000

--

--

60 m/turn

Security

--

3,500

4,000

5,000

7,000

11,000

--

--

90 m/turn

Service

--

--

4,000

5,000

7,000

11,000

--

--

30 m/turn

Warbot

--

--

--

--

12,000

16,000

--

--

120 m/turn

 

Robot Security Equipment

Credits

Secure Compartment (3)

1,000

Additional Protective Plates*

100/plate

Anti-Tamper Device: Electrical Shock

500

Anti-Tamper Device: Dose Gas

50

Anti-Tamper Device: Explosive

1,000

Anti-Tamper Device: Poison Gas

50

*Note: A robot can only have a total number of protective plates equal to its level. Extra protective plates can only be added if the robot has a secure compartment.

 

Robot Programs (Roboprogs)

Credits

 

Robot Programs (Roboprogs)

Credits

Attack/Defense (2)

1,000

 

Restrain (2)

500

Bio-electric Circuits (6)

60,000

 

Robo-Link (2)

1,300

Communications (4)

8,000

 

Robotic Repair (4)

40,000

Computer Link (4)

4,000

 

Sample Collection (1)

750

Crash Wish (1)

1,250

 

Search & Destroy (4)

3,000

Dis-Map (2)

500

 

Security Grid Program (2)

500

Entertainment (3)

800 + fee

 

Security Lock (1)

500/level

Etiquette and Protocol (3)

2,000 + fee

 

Self Defense (2)

500

Extended Range (1)

400

 

Signal Jamming (2)

1,000

Facial Recognition (2)

750 + fee

 

Signal Optimizer (2)

500

Help-Beam (1)

250

 

Site Management (4)

3,000

Help-Call (1)

150

 

Survey (2)

2,000

Interference Program (2)

1,000

 

Tactical Analysis (4)

1,000

Medical (4)

50,000

 

Technician (4)

40,000

Medical: First Aid (2)

3,000/level

 

Translator (3)

1,000

Para-Scan (3)

500

 

Transmission Analysis (3)

1,000

 

 

 

Voice Simulator (3)

500

 

Robot/Computer Equipment

Credits

 

Robot/Computer Equipment

Credits

Bot Link

500

 

Holographic Keyboard

250

Bot Restrainer

150

 

Holoprojector Type I

1,000

Bot Tracker

70

 

Holoprojector Type II

1,500

Charging Dock

400

 

Holorecorder Type I

700

C-Thru Analyzer

1,500

 

Holorecorder Type II

1,200

Credit Scanner

700

 

Plastiscreen

300+

Cutting Torch

500

 

Speech Output

100

Dart Attachment

200

 

Somatic Control

300

Dose Dart Ammo (Qty. 5)

10

 

Voice Control

100

Holographic Display

200

 

Holoprojector Type I

1,000

 Concluding thoughts to come.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 6, 2016 - 6:45am
The prices given here are for customized robots.

Standardized models coming from a manufacturer may have significant lower prices due to a variety of mass production advantages including the commonality of parts and the fact they can make a profit over time.

Player characters can also try haggling to get a lower price.

Customizers might be able to offer discounts or package deals -- buy such and such program and get the other for half off.

Parts shortages can occur due to wars, blockades, piracy, labor disputes, etc. So, a referee can feel free to make some systems more pricey or hard or nearly impossible to acquire.

Planetary laws will also significantly affect what types of robots and equipment that characters can purchase. For example, it is highly doubtful that the government of Gran Quivera would issue any adventurer a permit to build a warbot. The Pan-Galactic Corporation might be very willing to supply the body and chassis, but a character would need to go offworld to get it outfitted.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 6, 2016 - 6:45am
Much of the information presented for this topic is from various sources such as Star Frontiersman and Frontier Explorer articles, the Alpha Dawn rules, Zebs, plus some of the modules.

For example, the Dark Side of the Moon featured an RIK security robot with a "standard reinforced" body and 150 structure points. The 233-TRB Trauma Recovery Robot was in a Star Frontiersman issue. Although the 233-TRB is listed as having a "standard body" the description says it is "a small robot" with a mass of 10 kilograms, "Stamina: 70" and "When folded up the robot can be carried with the handle or as a backpack..."

So, I came up with the Super-Light Body and especially Super-Light Body Reinforced categories to cover "backpack" style robots. even smaller, microbots seemed to be another extension.

I don't have rules to cover nanobots or robots that are in-between the microbot (if that's the proper term for the robot type I've presented) and nanobot sizes.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 6, 2016 - 6:47am

I think I need to revise some of the statistics for this robot.

So, what follows is a type of maintenance/messenger robot used in the Frontier during the first few decades after the First Sathar War – the Boxil.

These robots are described by bossmoss under the discussion: New (Old) Star Frontiers Book, http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/7896 and his narrative – with some editorial alterations – appears below. (JCab747’s note: I am designing the boxil to be a robot rather than a creature.) 

The Boxil appeared in several Endless Quest Books published by TSR to support the Star Frontiers game. These robots appeared in two Star Rangers books, as well as the Villains of Volturnus.  A Boxil is basically a white, cube-shaped  bot with four short, stubby, marshmallow-like legs, and a humanoid face on the front.  They have no manipulators, and make a honking sound when agitated.  They are about the size of a house cat. Its intelligence level is hard to interpret, but they seem to be about as smart as chimps. 


In the three books in which they appear, they are everywhere underfoot, on several different planets, ships and space stations, and seem to be taken for granted, like sparrows.  No one ever tries to usher them outside, or away from sensitive areas, making it seem likely that they are not particularly intelligent…

Their main purpose in the books seems to be merely to react to whatever is happening.  They often make facial expressions in response to their environment, but never take actions that affect the story.  My feeling about them is that they are just meant to be cute, and are useful when gaming with small children. 

 

Boxil

Level: 2, maintenance

Body Type: Super Light-Body (backpack style)

Movement: 4 legs, 30 meters/turn (18 kph)

Weight: 15 kilograms

STA: 20

Attack: N/A

IM: +5

Programs: Facial Recognition, Security Lock (Lvl 2)

Equipment: 1 protection plate (standard), carrying compartment with level 2 lock (2 cubic meters, basically a 10 cm x 20 cm x 10 cm space inside the boxil to transport small items)

Optional Equipment: Holographic projector, type 1; Holorecorder, type 1

Cost: 5,625 Credits for the base model; 7,325 Credits when equipped with a holographic projector and recorder

Purpose: To transport small items, including messages on data disks, from the sender to the receiver. A primitive, ground-based drone if you will.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 6, 2016 - 6:48am

This one will also need a revision to match the updated rules.


Waiter Bot

Level: 3, Service

Body Type: Super Light-Body (backpack style)

Movement: Rotor, 100 meters/turn (50 kph)

Weight: 15 kilograms

STA: 20

Attack: N/A

IM: +6

Programs: Facial Recognition

Optional Programs: Security Lock (Lvl 3), 1,500 Cr; Translator (needs poly-vox), 1,000 Cr

Standard Equipment: 1 protection plate (standard), 2 manipulator arms

Optional Equipment: Poly-vox, 1,500 Cr; Botlink, 500 Cr; Plastiscreen Display, 3,000 Cr; Credit Scanner, 700 Cr; and Holographic Projector, type I, 1,000 Cr

Base Cost: 11,625 Credits

Purpose: A fancy, flying service robot used to deliver drinks and food. Often the owners program it to limit its top speed to 30 meters/turn.

 

Well, this is supposed to represent the small robot serving drinks on the SF referee screen, but for some reason, this website doesn't seem to like me when I try dropping images into my postings.

 

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 6, 2016 - 6:49am
The information regarding the costs for Enhanced Movement has now been included in the rules presented above.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 6, 2016 - 6:52am
What follows is a now obsolete post, but it did help me come up with the revised rules. For example, the costs to install a rotor engine, hover fan unit and aircar rockets now depend on the size. Some types of robots will come with programs as standard equipment for no additional cost. The warbot has received a few such upgrades. Though, I still would welcome any critiques.

Please provide some feedback to the ideas presented above.

I've used this system a bit, but some questions come to mind, especially after designing the Waiter Bot.

Should I come up with a more graduated pricing scale for converting robots to rotor, hover and rocket movement based on size? For example, it would be cheaper for a light body robot to have a rotor and much more expensive for a heavy duty model?

Should that graduated scale also be used for the powerplant rebuilds?

My ideas for the program pricing came from a Star Frontiersman magazine, how realistic would you say they are? Is 50,000 credits for a medical program too much or, given today's medical costs, too inexpensive?

If one is only going to use six levels of robots -- the Alpha Dawn way -- or even if you are using the modified Zebs version, should any robot brain model be allowed to mount a level 1 to level 3 main frame computer in a heavy duty body, and then any brain robot equipped with a heavy-duty reinforced body can mount a level 4 mainframe computer and one with a super heavy-duty body can mount a level 5 mainframe computer plus an additional power supply?

That might make sense. Those size robots should be able to carry a computer. They are large enough.

I did not state it, but I've been thinking that the microbots would be powered by a 10 SEU microdisk; the backpack styles by the equivalent of a 50 SEU belt pack. Now, what about the heavy-duty reinforced and super heavy-duty models? Multiple parabatteries?   
Joe Cabadas

Tollon's picture
Tollon
April 2, 2016 - 3:56am

An easy way, to bump of the price.  do x number of % of the cost when making modifications.  An original model that has not been modified is going to cost less than one, under modification.

Example:  Little timmy has a maintenance robot (original cost 500cr) he want to be able to work outside his ship.  the modification is 50% or 250 + base price (Fuel tanks, computer mod, directional motors and magnetic clamps (total 750 crs).   The robotech/salesmen says, he can have a brand new one with everything he wants for 600 cr.  But Timmy says he like's M-bot's personality, robotech, tranfering his programs, no sweat. 50 credit.  for 650 crs Little Timmy has a brand new  M-bot, the only thing the saleman forgets to tell Timmy, he didn't quite get the files transfered over like he wanted.  SO there might be a glitch...


Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
April 25, 2016 - 6:49pm
This all is really well thought out. I will be doing some GW & D&D robot conversions down the road, I like this for ideas on how to present them and help with the conversions.
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 25, 2016 - 7:02pm
Tchklinxa wrote:
This all is really well thought out. I will be doing some GW & D&D robot conversions down the road, I like this for ideas on how to present them and help with the conversions.


Thank you.

As I noted earlier, I wanted to combine most of the robot rules into one format instead of searching for such and such robot rule under the robotics skill, then search for the robot attack and damage numbers under the combat rules and somewhere else for designing them. And, again, how many weapons can a robot have built into them?

There are some other robot articles from Star Frontiersman and Frontier Explorer that I did not include with the information above, such as a story called "The Robot Ward" by C.J. Williams in Star Frontiersman #18. That story has a bunch of useful things such as robot ailments, malicious software, etc. But I figure it's a good stand-alone supplement as it was so there was no need to redo it.
Joe Cabadas

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
April 25, 2016 - 8:34pm
It's very good could be an article or a special supplement booklet. 
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 25, 2016 - 8:43pm
Yes, I was thinking of submitting it to Frontier Explorer.

I've just been hoping to get a few more reviews to make sure the mechanics seem right. Do the weight and cost figures add up properly? Are there any typos I haven't caught? Are some of the prices too high/too low?

I guess I'll just have to coax a few others I see online to actually read through the rules.
Joe Cabadas

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
April 25, 2016 - 9:00pm
Have a couple of the other guys take a look is a good idea.


 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
April 26, 2016 - 6:55am
Yes, I want to use this in the next Frontier Explorer issue.  I finish my projects for this semester next week and plan on going over this writeup then.
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
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JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 26, 2016 - 8:46am
TerlObar wrote:
Yes, I want to use this in the next Frontier Explorer issue.  I finish my projects for this semester next week and plan on going over this writeup then.


OK. I will send you a copy. Again, the things I would be concerned about are the pricing of various programs and robot levels -- especially those that don't exist as canon material from the original game.

I have to go through the examples to make sure my math adds up.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
April 27, 2016 - 6:55pm

Below is a checklist of important things you should look for while designing your robot. I wish I could say its just 10-steps, but with more options, you get a little more complexity.

I've done some tweaking to the robot rules listed earlier, such as making sure that the turrets have a weight score and fixing grammatical mistakes. Hopefully it is now a much better story and source of information.

Robot Design Worksheet

1.   Chose a purpose for the robot. For example, what is it supposed to do? If it is a service robot, is it a waiter, a bartender, a general assistant, etc. This should help determine what body style, robot type and level that you want.

2.   Chose a body style. Keep in mind that certain robot types are limited to certain body styles. The body style may also limit the robot level. For example, using Frontier technology, an owner cannot use a microbot to design a level six robot.

3.   Pick a robot type – for example, courier, service, maintenance, combat, warbot, etc. Remember to list any standard programs that come with the robot type so you don’t end up repurchasing them.

4.   Pick a robot level. The robot type and body style may limit what levels are available for your mechanical friend.

5.   Manipulative limbs – decide if you are installing any additional limbs. Keep in mind that the body type will determine how many – and what types – of limbs can be added.

6.   Pick the standard mode of transportation – legs, wheels or track movement – and list how many legs, wheels or tread units the robot has.

7.   Or, you can switch to an alternative mode of travel such as hover, rotor, rocket power, zero-G thruster, etc. Keep in mind switching to an alternative mode of travel will alter the robot’s body cost and weight in addition to the cost and weight of the new drivetrain.

8.   Or, if if the robot has two movement types – a standard mode and an alternative mode – then the hover, rotor, aircar rocket or thruster pack is considered a secondary form of transportation. This results in additional costs and weight to upgrade the robot’s body. The secondary travel mode also takes up space for two extra limbs. If space for extra limbs is not available, then you can’t add a secondary transportation mode.

9.   Or the robot may be a submersible. See the rules about that option.

10. Decide if you want or need any powerplant modifications to increase speed.

11. Prepare the robot for additional parabatteries for extend range – this modification increases the body style’s weight and cost. Remember to purchase the extra battery and add its weight to the equipment section.

12. Purchase a weatherization package if desired.

13. Purchase electromagnetic pulse shielding if desired.

14. Purchase stealth technology if desired. Keep in mind the expenses and limitations of this design.

15. Purchase additional robot programs. Remember that a robot’s level and type may prevent it from having certain types of roboprogs.

16. Add any protective plates and/or a security compartment.

17. Buy any anti-tamper devices for your robot.

18. Purchase and install any non-weapon equipment that you want your robot to have such as radios, magnigoggles, etc. Keep track of the additional weight.

19. Weapons – decide if the robot has any built-in or externally mounted weapons. Robots must have the appropriate roboprogs to use certain weapons. Don’t forget to purchase ammunition and/or power sources and account for the weight.

20. Purchase and add any turrets, taking into account any modifications to the robot’s body.

21. Determine what defenses the robot will have – for example, albedo paint, skeinsuit plates, defense screens, spray-on armor, etc. Add the weight and cost. Include a power source for powered screens.

22. Add the 10 percent installation feet to the total cost. Remember, some modifications such as spray-on armor have a separate application fee.

23. Calculate the total cost and weight of the robot. Determine its initiative modifier (IM) and attack scores. And, of course, recheck your calculations.

24. If necessary, refine the robot’s mission and function instructions.

25. Have fun with your new robot friend.

Joe Cabadas

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
April 28, 2016 - 4:27am
I like this... :)
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."