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MegaTraveller Discuss of the MegaTraveller ruleset and the Rebellion Milieu

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  #41  
Old July 7th, 2010, 06:21 PM
conanlibrarian conanlibrarian is offline
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Originally Posted by E.D.Quibell View Post
The DGP ref's screen calculates inop and destroyed as vol in litrss/15 and vol in litres/6,

So a 600l chassis would be 40/100, and a shandard human sixed (ish) at 250l would be 16/41, and at 200l 13/33.

Which seems acceptable. Comments?

Regards,

Ewan
Thanks for the info! This is exactly what we get if we convert the book 8 results. Is this explicitly just for robots, or is it for all vehicles? And I wonder how it relates to the previously discussed errata?
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  #42  
Old July 7th, 2010, 06:25 PM
E.D.Quibell E.D.Quibell is offline
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Originally Posted by conanlibrarian View Post
Thanks for the info! This is exactly what we get if we convert the book 8 results. Is this explicitly just for robots, or is it for all vehicles? And I wonder how it relates to the previously discussed errata?
Specifically for Robots.

Middle page of the DGP Ref's Screen:

Vehicles: all values x10
Animals: as generated
Robots: vol in litres / 15 (inop)
vol in litres / 6 (destroyed)
Characteristics: from life force:
(table of life forces)
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  #43  
Old July 7th, 2010, 07:01 PM
conanlibrarian conanlibrarian is offline
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That is interesting. Weird and disturbing, but interesting... So according to the designers a robot has 100 times the hit points of a vehicle of equal size. Ok, a typical robot is compact, while a vehicle is typically somewhat hollow, but that is only a first approximation. A railroad engine is very compact, for instance.

On the other hand: a quick way to make your car much tougher is to install a robot brain in it.
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  #44  
Old July 7th, 2010, 09:13 PM
E.D.Quibell E.D.Quibell is offline
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Robot brains don't alter hull config and capacity :-)

Regards,

Ewan
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  #45  
Old July 7th, 2010, 10:15 PM
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LOL, yeah, conanlibrarian that's true - every GM has their own take on the rules. We're never going to get complete consensus. But the aim of publishing something pretty for all to use would be to give everyone a rough baseline they can mod to their hearts' content - hence some level of consensus produced by discussion is needed to get different points of view to create something useful. As well as the discussion being interesting for its own sake. I admit my comment above could be taken as "publishing" in the sense of producing something official-looking That Will Be The Rules No Further Questions - sorry, I meant really 'publish' in the broad sense of upload something to the internet that's pretty looking and useful to others.

Hey E.D. My own view is that volume in litres / 15 and / 6 produces too many hit points. I think robots should perhaps be increased in damage to around the same as a human - bearing in mind they have built-in armour which greatly affects outcomes at the lower end of combat - maybe at the high end given that they are metal and plastic rather than flesh and blood. But comparable with humans (or other human-sized sentients). And it's not the robot brain, but the purchase of the robot configuration that gets the hit points increased.

The robot configuration prices I derived earlier in this thread by comparing Book 8 robot chassis, Mega Traveller Craft Hulls of equivalent size and armour - see above.

My solution relating to life force enables us to get smaller hull sizes a bit tougher for robots, while preventing larger vehicles (greater than around 7,000 litres or 0.5 Displacement Tons) becoming hugely indestructible.

My main problem with my proposed solution is again lack of variation - nearly all robots qualify for 6 / 10 because of the strength of their arms.

I'm thinking of excluding appendages from the strength and dexterity calculation - i.e. just use the strength calculation that derives from chassis volume, and dexterity that arises from locomotion. I'll post some figures when I've got some. At this stage I'm going to start spreadsheeting again for a variety of outcomes.
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  #46  
Old July 8th, 2010, 04:56 AM
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Yes, perhaps one could use the liters/15 for robots, and it is up to the GM to decide just what is a robot and what is a vehicle, and to take a value in between for border cases. Or some kind of robot configuration is needed, which can only be used for compact 'things' with primary purpose manipulation, and not transportation. But, would that then be used for a fork lift or a mining machine also? Remove the seat and add a robot brain and sensors, and you definitely have a robot...

I think I will try using the hull base price based method I proposed before, both for robots and vehicles:
  • incapacitated = (hull base price) / 150
  • destroyed = (hull base price) / 60
Apart from solving the problem of variation, and giving a human size robot a sensible 3/7 in hits, this also has the nice property that the values are not too different from an animal with the same size. Ok, it will double the capacity of smaller vehicles so perhaps some modification is needed.
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  #47  
Old July 8th, 2010, 10:44 AM
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You know, conanlibrarian, that solution is growing on me. It's simple. The hull prices as I've re-tabulated them do relate to volume. Interestingly, the relationship is not linear. So on a volume for volume basis, the smaller robots get a bit tougher. For the higher volumes, we get a bit stuck with the problem of smaller craft as robots getting a lot more hit points.

I've refined my "Life Force" calculation method. We take "Strength" only, ignoring robot apparent dexterity. We ignore Strength modifications from appendages, and just use Apparent Strength = Hull Volume (in litres) / 20. Then we multiply that by 3 and consult the Life Force table on p. 66 of the Players manual, with a Life Force of 45 still being the practical maximum. I worked out the mathematical relationship between Life Force and Inoperative / Destroyed hits, then worked out on this basis the relationship between volume and hits. The formula got a bit complicated, I confess.

I've tabulated all of the results for comparison up to hull size 6750 litres (=0.50 displacement tons), and updated the spreadsheet in this thread. You can have a look at the results.

The Craft Design column is the original Mega Traveller Craft Design evaluation. Note that it gives a result of 1/1 right up to the last entry where it goes to 1/2. The Book 8 column is simply the Classic Traveller results for reference. The "conanlib" column is conanlibrarian's method based on price outlined above. The "ojno" column is my "Life Force" based one discussed earlier in this post.

My proposal would be this: the usual Mega Traveller Craft Design x 10 column would be the one normally used by craft.

Then the robot configuration is optional for all robots or craft. It provides the shock absorption and internal components to make the robot/craft hardier and is intended for robots but may be applied to any craft. If installed, the designer designates the "ojno" column hits for the robot. Note that at UCP = 0.50 displacement tons and above, the designer does not make any gain by using a robotic configuration. In pseudo-reality terms, the volume is simply getting too large for further shock-absorption and internal bracing to provide further benefit than the size of the hull itself.

Note that for tiny robots, the algorithm I have used results in a 1/0 result - i.e it's tiny enough that one hit disables and destroys the thing. So at tiny volumes, not using the robot config is better.

In my mind, the damage question raised by conanlibrarian has had the side benefit of clarifying what the robot configuration is for. Now we have a configuration to make the robot more hardy, and controlling electronics to link the robot brain to the rest of the robot, and an analysis of components already common to both the craft design process and the robot design process.

There's still a way to go on the damage question and then the rest of the devices specific to a robot, and some other evaluation questions that come to mind, but I think we're getting there.

I'd be interested in other's view of the spreadsheet analysis.

Sorry, one last thing: under my Life Force calculation, I would propose that Pseudo-biological robots at TL15 and above get a +2 to the "destroyed" hit points due to them being wet and able to withstand greater shock and still be repaired, and be supported by internal healing mechanisms. Ash and Bishop, you've arrived in Traveller.

Last edited by OjnoTheRed; July 8th, 2010 at 10:53 AM..
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  #48  
Old October 3rd, 2010, 12:07 AM
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The spreadsheet in this thread has been updated again.

I have started using it to design and partly evaluate robots under Mega Traveller. There are several damage evaluations present for each robot, and I am evaluating locomotion per the Mega Traveller Design Evaluation Rules.

Components are drawn from Mega Traveller (as previously noted in this thread) versions where they clash with Robots Book 8. Where Book 8 has components that are not present in Mega Traveller, I am assuming volume in litres = weight in kilograms although for some electronics I am going volume in litres = double weight in kilograms.

Weapons are adjusted down to volumes and weights listed in the Imperial Encyclopedia not the packages in Book 8, but there is now a control "panel" requirement to interface the brain with components internally. Control points are calculated as for Mega Traveller Craft Design, with robot linked control "panels" as listed in the spreadsheet. I have decided that no further improvements to volume and weight take place after TL12 - arbitrary but I figure there has to be a lower physical limitation to miniturisation.

I hope the direction I am taking this adaptation is obvious from the spreadsheet - comments welcome, and please don't hesitate to ask questions if anything is not clear.

I will be adding robots over time - I've just found that it's a bit labour-intensive at the moment, but this will improve through the art of copying and pasting.
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  #49  
Old October 17th, 2010, 12:50 AM
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I am still steadily working my way through one-hundred-and-one robots and spreadsheeting every design into its components. For now I am taking weight in kg = volume in litres for all items without volume stated, and arms DO take volume per the MegaTraveller Craft Design rules. Having said this, I note that a lot of electronics in the Mega Traveller Craft Design rules go with 2 litres volume / 1 kg mass, but I will review that later. I also want to revisit hull / chassis cost and weights and damage points at a later time.

I have been totalling control points, but when I have applied my own suggestions about about robot-brain controls to represent the necessary connections between the brain and the rest of the craft, the result has been a trivial detail that doesn't add much to game play.

Typically robots in 101 robots require about 1 - 8 control points. Some require a bit more as they approach a small vehicle size. What I propose is this. Robot, like any other craft, must have control points worked out in line with the craft design rules.

But then we take the total control points, divide it by the INT rating of the robot brain, and divide further by 250. If the result is less than 0.05, then we say that the robot needs no further electro-mechanical hooziwhatsits to control the "craft". This eliminates the need for any further consideration of control except for larger vehicles or craft that combine human and robot brain operators. For the vast bulk of what are considered "robots", the existing rules remain the same. This also neatly ties together the existing note in 101 Vehicles (multiplier of 250 for CP for each point of INT) and the note in the MegaTraveller Errata that any craft with less than 0.05 CP requirement does not need any controls installed.

This leaves two areas: (1) robots that have an INT rating of zero; and (2) Robots that have no brain but are entirely a slave unit driven machine.

1. Where INT is zero
The INT rating of zero happens frequently with lower-tech robots (TL8-11) because a modifier of TL-12 is added to rated intelligence. Note that this produces the odd result of a 1 linear CPU brain at TL15 having an INT rating of 3 - but such a brain would not be able to run the compulsory command and logic programs let alone any useful skill software.

In this case, we compile a control point multiplier for this brain as follows:
Code:
For each                 We add this to the
CPU of this type         Multiplier
Linear                   5
Parallel                 20
Synaptic                 50
Results that are greater than 250 become 250.

For example, a TL10 Robot Brain with 5 Linear and 5 Parallel CPUs would have an INT rating of zero, but 5*5 + 5*20 = 125 CP multiplier. Instead of dividing total CP required by INT and then by 250, for this brain, total CP required would be divided by 125, and if the result was less than 0.05, no further electronics is required for the brain to control the whole robot.

For such a design, the simplest way of supplementing the control requirements for the robot would be to install a more CPU. This would lead to brains being more costly and bulky at lower TL's for their processing power relative to higher TL's - an intuitive result. For most smaller-sized craft (that is, what we traditionally consider "robot sized"), there would be no change to the classic Book 8 rules - basically, install a robot brain and that's it.

Technically synaptic processors come in at TL11, but the reliable synaptic percentage at TL11 is zero - so brains at TL11 with synaptic processors are research and development only (... and had better include a power-off over ride in case of electronic psychosis!). At TL12, installing 2 synaptic processors results in an INT of 1 - and at this TL and above, 1 synaptic is often installed just to meet the minimum requirements for the Low Autonomous Fundamental Logic Program, while keeping total robot cost to a minimum (after all, each synaptic CPU is Cr50000). So while a TL11 experimental robot might have a processor or two installed, and is included here for completeness, it is unlikely a mass-produced robot at TL11 would have synaptic processors.

Where extra control points are required, and there are no human crew members, any control panels from the Mega Traveller Craft Design rules may be used, and fractions will be allowed, although for simplicities' sake we'll set an arbitrary lower volume limit of one litre. The TL9 Computer Linked give the best CP result for volume, weight power; the TL8 Electronic Linked give the best CP result for price.

2. Slaved Robots
Comparing a Slave Unit (2kg) to a Linear CPU (0.1kg), we can say that it has a control multiplier of 100 - that is, any craft that has only a slave unit and no brain divides its CP requirements by 100 - and if the result is less than 0.05, again no further control is required. If the result is more than 0.05, this could be resolved by simply installing some CPU to up the control multiplier (which effectively represents some additional electronics), or install a fractional control panel, with the Slave Unit supplying a multiplier of 100.
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Old October 17th, 2010, 07:29 AM
E.D.Quibell E.D.Quibell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OjnoTheRed View Post
2. Slaved Robots
Comparing a Slave Unit (2kg) to a Linear CPU (0.1kg), we can say that it has a control multiplier of 100 - that is, any craft that has only a slave unit and no brain divides its CP requirements by 100 - and if the result is less than 0.05, again no further control is required. If the result is more than 0.05, this could be resolved by simply installing some CPU to up the control multiplier (which effectively represents some additional electronics), or install a fractional control panel, with the Slave Unit supplying a multiplier of 100.
Hi Jonathan,

I think this is a little out of whack. A Slave unit is the unit that talks to the Master Unit to enable the master/slave relationship to work. It doesn't nessesarily have any direct computational power for CP multiplier application (although it might be one).

Also when you compaire the pricing of the Slave unit to that of a linear CPU it's half the cost and has no consideration of TL. So assigning a 100 CP multiplier to the slave unit 20 times more powerful than a linear CPU I think is excessive.

The slave unit is effectivly a specialised control panel for robots or remotly operated machines, if you need to specify it at all. A slave unit from Book 8 is just an abstract of a control panel unit. You could just drop them completly and have slaves working via a brain interface, a radio, and normal control pannels.

If you want them then IMO they should thus be added to the control panel unit table on page 81 of the MT Ref's manual, somewhere between Electronic Linked and Computer linked CPs:

TL Type Power Vol Wt Cr CP
8 Slave Unit* 0.001 0.002 0.002 200 0.8

*A Slave Unit Control Panel Unit is specialised for the use in remotly operated vehicles. Instalation of Slave unit Control Panels means that there can be no direct sophant control of the vehicle. Vehicles with Slave Unit Control pannels must have a communications device, or a brain interface, installed for the vehicle to be controlled remotly or via direct cable connections.

Master units would then be a specialised control pannel add on that does not have any CP multiplier effect on the vehical it is installed in, but allows the controll of X number of Slave Unit CPs (worked out from the master/slave rules in 101 Robots probably). Or the device that allows direct controll of the vehicle remotly. I'll need to think about Master units a bit, so I'll get back to you on them.

Best regards,

Ewan

P.S. is there any way to get a spell checker in the forum?
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