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  #91  
Old July 27th, 2013, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by SpaceBadger View Post
Robot prejudices vary by world. There isn't really any universal culture in this setting (not even to the extent of what the Imperium has in a later era), except for maybe what remains of Vilani culture on old First Imperium worlds. The short duration and communication problems of the Second Imperium, along with all the issues of just trying to make that government work in the first place, never really left much energy for establishing any kind of cultural norms.
I believe the Solomani used robots quite a bit. There wouldn't have been much Imperial influence in Reaver's Deep, even before the Interstellar Wars.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 09:20 AM
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Back to the robots: I don't think I'd go with that rule on Int=TL; that still makes some pretty smart robots, smarter than a lot of people.
That is why LBB8 uses the term "apparent intelligence." It is also a maximum; that would be in the range of the "semi-independent" brains, more like a couple of MCr a piece. The example I gave was more like an apparent intel of 4, IIRC. This is gone over in detail in that other thread, but suffice it to say apparent intelligence is really only deals with the robot brain's ability to master that which it is trained to do.

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I see them as needing closer supervision than that, unless doing fairly repetitive tasks. There is no AI in this setting; about the closest you get to even simulating that is what is called IA, for Interface Assistant, something like the iPhone Siri that can simulate a personality for interacting with your ship's computer, for example, but really is more of an expert system and interface for giving instructions, not capable of independent thinking.
They make good gunners, mechanics, and second (or third and fourth) engineers. IMTU, there always has to, by law and sound procedure, be a "human in the loop." Where there are protocols, checklists and fire commands, they do well. They suck as poets, or even decent stewards. I wouldn't put a 'bot "in charge" of anything, but they are powerful tools.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by LiNeNoiSe View Post
There wouldn't have been much Imperial influence in Reaver's Deep, even before the Interstellar Wars.
Well, if by "Imperial" you mean Vilani... then yes, there was, on the worlds colonized by the Vilani.

As I said before:
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Originally Posted by SpaceBadger
There isn't really any universal culture in this setting (not even to the extent of what the Imperium has in a later era), except for maybe what remains of Vilani culture on old First Imperium worlds. The short duration and communication problems of the Second Imperium, along with all the issues of just trying to make that government work in the first place, never really left much energy for establishing any kind of cultural norms.
So, no uniform culture across the sector, but individual worlds certainly had cultural influence from the culture that colonized them. The History of Known Space tells us that the last wave of Vilani colonization ended around -3500 (using Third Imperium dating system). There are several Vilani worlds (judging by world names) in Nightrim subsector of Reavers' Deep (plus a few scattered elsewhere), and since this is some of the farthest extents of Vilani colonization, I'd say they were probably colonized towards the end of the Vilani colonization period, around -3700 to -3500.

That gives those worlds over 1000 years under the static, monocultural Ziru Sirka before there was any contact w Terrans, so I'd say they were pretty thoroughly Vilani in culture.

And since I am not aware of any canon to contradict that, that is the way they are in this game.

The Terran colonization in Reavers' Deep sector began during the Interstellar Wars, as refugees sought new homes and the Terran Confederation military sought strategic advantage by flanking the concentration of Vilani military closer to Terra. These colonizations would have been in the period from -2400 to -2200.

Then I expect there would have been some continued colonizations during the Rule of Man, both from Terra and possibly from Daibei sector (formerly Vilani but now part of the Rule of Man). These would have been in the period from -2200 to -1776.

I doubt that there was much colonization from outside the sector after the collapse of the Rule of Man; most colonization in Reavers' Deep during the Long Night would be from established worlds within the sector, and possibly from Daibei sector, plus the beginning of Aslan colonization from rimward and spinward.

So these worlds are a mixed bag, but individual worlds certainly have cultural influences showing the origins of their people.
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  #94  
Old July 27th, 2013, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by samuelvss View Post
They make good gunners, mechanics, and second (or third and fourth) engineers. IMTU, there always has to, by law and sound procedure, be a "human in the loop." Where there are protocols, checklists and fire commands, they do well. They suck as poets, or even decent stewards. I wouldn't put a 'bot "in charge" of anything, but they are powerful tools.
Hmm. Assistant mechanics, assistant engineers, OK, that makes sense. Gunners, I can't really see - if a robot/computer brain is doing the gunnery, why have a robot instead of just letting the ship's computer handle it? That's like the Trade Federation having battle droids driving tanks - why not just put a robot brain in the tank itself? (No, I don't really want to go into the age-old debate of why even have human gunners at all. It's just part of Traveller. Same thing for why we have human pilots and navigators.) And although they lack the "people skills" of a good steward, I can easily see robots delivering room service on passenger liners.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 03:32 PM
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Mongoose Traveller has Repair Bots that might be able to serve as an extra engineer (to assist the human, not replace all ship's engineers). I don't remember the TL details, but it shoud port almost effortlessly to CT.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 06:13 PM
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Gunners, I can't really see - if a robot/computer brain is doing the gunnery, why have a robot instead of just letting the ship's computer handle it?
Two reasons: canon, and flexibility. In CT, a droid with a ship computer can do things a ship's computer cannot. Starships are made to be operated by humans because, in some respects they're cheaper. I say "some respects," because when you take into account MCr .5 for the stateroom, the droid starts to look cheap. In CT, turrets have to be reloaded. Things break, they need arms and tools to fix. An unconscious character can be patched up and drug to the lifeboat by a droid, but not by the ship's computer.

The astromechs are specifically meant to be able to manipulate human controls, because in canon starships are designed with such. Droids can be bought, sold, traded, turned off and stowed. IMTU, I have tried to accord LBB8 and LBB2/5. Certainly not the only approach. Droids end up doing for sophants IMTU, subject to cultural restrictions, what various domesticated animals have done for humans since the dawn of time. I think this is a good breaking point: certain animals (most, really) are not subject to domestication. Lions would make great watchdogs, but they do not take to subjugation like dogs; I think that in some ways, it is rational to accept a OTU where any droids not subject to complete human control are unacceptable.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 08:53 PM
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New Blog Post: Progress on Backdating the Setting

Our setting date is -790 Pre-Imperial; read the blog post for why I chose that date and other related info.

There are also some new blog posts related to equipment and houserules, all indexed from the [SBRD] Table of Contents.

Expected date to actually begin play is around 8th or 9th of August.


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  #98  
Old July 29th, 2013, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by samuelvss View Post
Two reasons: canon, and flexibility. In CT, a droid with a ship computer can do things a ship's computer cannot. Starships are made to be operated by humans because, in some respects they're cheaper. I say "some respects," because when you take into account MCr .5 for the stateroom, the droid starts to look cheap. In CT, turrets have to be reloaded. Things break, they need arms and tools to fix. An unconscious character can be patched up and drug to the lifeboat by a droid, but not by the ship's computer.

The astromechs are specifically meant to be able to manipulate human controls, because in canon starships are designed with such. Droids can be bought, sold, traded, turned off and stowed. IMTU, I have tried to accord LBB8 and LBB2/5. Certainly not the only approach. Droids end up doing for sophants IMTU, subject to cultural restrictions, what various domesticated animals have done for humans since the dawn of time. I think this is a good breaking point: certain animals (most, really) are not subject to domestication. Lions would make great watchdogs, but they do not take to subjugation like dogs; I think that in some ways, it is rational to accept a OTU where any droids not subject to complete human control are unacceptable.
Sounds reasonable to me.. LBB8 is one of the few that I never bought, but I think I recall some robot rules in MT and MgT, both of which I have but have never played or studied extensively. Do you know if those rules are similar to LBB8? We probably want to keep robot designs fairly uniform, or at least made using similar rules, so if LBB8 is different I may be leaning on you some for that.
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  #99  
Old July 30th, 2013, 02:25 AM
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Added a new blog post on Drama Points to the Houserules section.

I realize that the use of Drama Points is unfamiliar or controversial for some. However, I think it is important for the Light Cinematic level of realism that we agreed on for this campaign. Please read the blog post, and if you have suggestions or questions, please comment in the blog post, so we can have all the discussion in one place. I would like to get this worked out to something that is satisfactory to most of us in this campaign, before we get started. I will make the final rules decision as GM, but I would like to accommodate the viewpoints of everyone in this campaign as much as possible, so please, let's talk about it!
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  #100  
Old July 30th, 2013, 03:43 AM
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I've been thinking about the drop tanks on the Fortunate Son, and I see a few limitations to consider.

Sabredog, I love the design the way you have it, including the drop tanks, so please don't change that!

However, 1) I don't think the previous Captain of the Close Call (does he have a name yet?) sounds like the kind of guy who would have carried the drop tanks when he didn't need them; and 2) drop tanks would interfere w streamlining and prevent the ship from landing on any world w Thin or greater atmosphere (good thing you have a Launch!); and 3) drop tanks w jump grids to allow them to be carried along in Jump rather than dropped are probably not so common.

So, 1) you don't have drop tanks attached at the start of play; and 2) you can buy drop tanks later, as they are pretty common in the Deep; and 3) you will either need to have custom work done (or do it yourselves) to add jump grids to standard drop tanks, or else get lucky or go on a "quest" to find some suitable drop tanks w jump grids already installed (it is uncommon, but not unheard of).

Still, the ability to do two J-2 without refueling on the standard tanks that you already have is nothing to sneeze at.

Again, great job on the ship design by Sabredog, and I'm sure we are all eager to see deckplans when time permits.
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