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Old June 8th, 2010, 05:45 AM
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Default Squaring Robots Book 8 with Mega Traveller

My Far Explorer Ship has come some way from initial inception. I designed a probe for it based on a hybrid of the Special Supplement 3 - Missiles rules with Mega Traveller Craft Design, ignoring weight.

Hemdian made the excellent suggestion that it would be desirable to collect used probes (they are expensive) and so a robotic brain with basic commands (such as "if communication lost, return to ship").

Of course, this begs the question - how do we square the CT Book 8 - Robots rules to Mega Traveller craft design? My thinking is that it can't be that hard - the same people did both sets of rules.

I'm not sure if someone has addressed this before - I'd very much appreciate a nudge in the right direction. I note that this is listed as an "outstanding problem" for the MegaTraveller Errata file. That file also says that an attempt at reconciliation presents "serious issues" and that David Jacques-Watson has outlined some rules changes. But I'm having a bit of trouble finding his article. I want to share the following observations as a starting point.

On a quick glance, the configuration weight and price multipliers are identical in Book 8 and Mega Traveller Craft Design. Book 8 simply has two more configurations. So far so good.

But there's more. The standard Robot configurations match UCP values for hulls imperfectly - but there's a pattern. Where chassis litres in the Robot chassis match existing UCP values (100, 500, 750 and 1000 litres), the weight is identical but the price is five times as much.

It also appears to me that the Robot Chassis chart in Book 8 has added an extra zero to price for 5, 10, 20 50 and 80 litre chassis.

Finally, the armour listing for Robot Chassis is "Mesh" - that is, Armour Value 2 in Mega Traveller.

Thus, it would appear that for the same weight of Robot Chassis, you get an armour of 2 not of 4. Since the Armour-2 weight multiplier is 0.5, this means that effective robot chassis are twice as heavy for the equivalent armour/volume combination in MegaTraveller.

In summary, to square the Robot Chassis table with the Mega Traveller Hull Table is to add the outstanding values, assume a base weight of 1kg / 10 litres of hull/chassis, and provide a new "robot" configuration of a weight multiplier of 2 and a price modifier of 5 when designing a robot.

This leads to the following values being added to the Select Vehicle Chassis table:



Note that for ease on the eyes I have listed units in litres instead of kilolitres and weight in kilograms rather than tonnes. Divide by 1,000 for direct comparison to the Craft Design Select Vehicle Chassis Table.

We then extend the "config" table as follows.



My proposal would be that we add two new configuration codes (A and B) to cope with robot configurations. We qualify the armour for Pseudo-Biological robots to say that the Armour Multiplier is always 1, and is always the equivalent of Jack (i.e. armour value 1 against brawling / blades only).

Where a robot brain is provided, we require that the craft have a robot configuration added to any other configuration. The effect on streamlining and configuration chosen is cumulative: thus, it is possible to create a streamlined robot craft, if very pricey.

Hell, it would be possible to create a 10,000 displacement ton "giant woman" with Config = B who shoots lasers out of her eyes. Hmmmm. Design spec to follow.



Two things on the to-do list:
  • Check all installable items from Book 8 for clashes with MT Craft Design
  • Develop rules for operator being superceded via appropriate robot brain programming per Book 8 rules

... of course, that's if someone hasn't already done the legwork ...
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