Jamming Rules Patch

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RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
Jamming Rules Patch

We've added a section to Transhuman to clarify remote control and jamming. I'm posting it here for feedback and review -- let us know what you think.
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Remote Control and Jamming
The following rules clarify, expand upon, and supersede the rules for remote control and jamming shells (p. 196, EP). “Shells” refers to any morph, bot, vehicle, smart animal, or gear that is equipped with puppet sock augmentation.

Control Modes
The three modes in which a shell may be given remote commands are: autonomous mode, direct control, and jamming. Each is detailed below.

Shell Aptitude Maximums
Non-morph shells are normally designed to be operated by AIs. Unless otherwise noted, they area assumed to have an aptitude maximum of 20.

Shell AIs
Most shells come equipped with an AI operator. For robots and vehicles, this is a bot/vehicle AI (p. 331, EP). This gives them a base REF of 20, with 10 in all other aptitudes (unless modified by the shell). For smart animals, this is an animal keeper AI (p. 155, Panopticon). Keep in mind that AIs have an aptitude maximum of 20 and cannot default on skill tests.

Autonomous Mode
In autonomous mode, the shell operates on its own, with the operator AI performing all actions, though it also responds to commands (issued either verbally or via a communications link from an authorized entity). Issuing commands via a communications link is considered a mental action.

A shell in autonomous mode:


  • Uses its own Initiative and Speed to determine when and how often it acts.

  • Uses its own aptitudes and aptitude modifiers. (Reminder: vehicle/bot AIs can't default on skills.)

  • Uses its own skills.

  • May be given specific instructions to perform any Quick, Complex, or Task action with a Quick Action. If given more instructions than it can perform in a single Action Turn, it will continue to carry out instructions on subsequent Action Turns unless the controller issues new ones.

  • May automatically be given simple, one-sentence standing orders such as, “Guard my allies and I,” “Prevent anything from passing this doorway, using deadly force if necessary,” or, “Kill anything that enters a perimeter with a radius of 10 meters from our present position.” Issuing such orders is a Quick Action. If the shell isn't busy performing any specific instructions, it will revert to its standing orders.

  • May be issued more complex standing orders, up to an arbitrary length and level of detail. Orders that are complex enough to confuse a transhuman might require the AI to succeed in a COG x 3 Test or get some parts of the order wrong or confused. To bypass confusion, a character can program the AI with complex orders by succeeding at a Programming Test with a timeframe of 1-120 minutes, depending upon the complexity of the instructions (gamemaster's call). It's recommended that the gamemaster make the Programming Test in secret for the character leaving the instructions. On a failed test, the gamemaster should record the actual die roll and give the option of expending Moxie only if and when a situation arises where the AI's flawed instructions would become an issue. As with simple standing orders, it will revert to these orders if not following any specific instructions.

Multiple shells in autonomous mode may be commanded at once with the same Quick Action as long as they are receiving the same instructions. Separate instructions would require separate Quick Actions.

Direct Remote Control
A directly controlled shell is operated remotely via a communications link. The operating character manipulates the shell via an entoptic interface, much like a video game. The shell's AI goes on standby, stepping in as necessary when the teleoperator is not in direct control. Issuing direct commands via a communications link is considered a mental action.

A shell under direct remote control:

  • Uses the teleoperator's base (ego) Reflexes and Intuition for Initiative. Reduce this by any Initiative penalties suffered by the shell (such as from wounds).

  • Uses its own Speed. If its Speed is higher than the teleoperator's, it can operate in autonomous mode for any Speed actions remaining after the teleoperator acts. Mental speed, neurachem, and other augmentations that increase the teleoperator's Speed in their own morph do not apply to the shell's Speed. If the teleoperator's Speed is higher, they may use their extra Speed actions as normal with their own morph, but they cannot directly control the shell with those extra actions.

  • Uses the teleoperator's base (ego) aptitudes and skills for all tests. No aptitude bonuses apply (including the teleoperator's own morph and the shell). The shell's aptitude penalties and aptitude maximum do apply.

  • Takes a -10 penalty to all tests, with the exception of Knockdown Tests, which use its own SOM.

  • Uses the controller's Pilot skills for movement tests. Note that if the controller lacks relevant Pilot skills, such as Pilot: Anthroform for a bipedal pod morph, they must default to their base REF aptitude.

  • Requires the teleoperator to expend the same type of action that would be required of the shell when following instructions. E.g., the teleoperator must expend a Complex Action to instruct the shell to perform a Complex Action, and so forth.


Multiple shells in direct control mode may be commanded at once with the same action as long as they are receiving the same instructions, are close together (within a meter), and are acting in concert. Separate instructions or separate circumstances (such as being in different parts of the same room) would require separate actions. Characters with augmentations or other bonuses that provide extra mental actions each Action Phase (such as multi-tasking or mental speed) may directly control more than one shell at once with different instructions.

Jamming
A jammed shell is operated remotely via a communications link. The teleoperator subsumes themself in a VR simulation of the shell's body and sensorium. Though this offers a finer quality of control than direct control, it is still a simulated experience and not as intensive as actually sleeving into the shell. Jamming is considered a mental action. Only one shell may be jammed at a time.

A shell being jammed:

  • Requires a Complex Action by the teleoperator to engage or disengage from jamming mode.

  • Uses the teleoperator's Reflexes and Intuition (including their own morph's aptitude bonuses) for Initiative. Reduce this by any Initiative penalties suffered by the shell (such as from wounds).

  • Uses its own Speed, though if its Speed is higher than the teleoperator's, it can operate in Autonomous Mode for any Speed actions remaining after the teleoperator acts. Mental speed, neurachem, and other augmentations that increase the teleoperator's Speed in their own morph do not apply to the shell's Speed. If the teleoperator's Speed is higher, they may use their extra Speed actions as normal with their own morph (though they must disengage first), but they cannot directly control the shell with those extra actions.

  • Uses the controller's Climbing, Flight, Freerunning, Free Fall, or Swimming skills for movement tests (not Pilot skill). For example, a teleoperator jamming a winged morph uses Flight. Jamming a groundcraft uses Freerunning skill, and so on.

  • Inflicts the teleoperator with 1d10 SV if dumped from the shell while jamming.

Since jamming overrides the character's sensorium, it may also not be used in the same Action Phase with other mental actions that require a Complex Action. This includes extra mental actions, such as those gained from mental speed or multi-tasking implants.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Quote:Autonomous Mode

Quote:
Autonomous Mode
In autonomous mode, the shell operates on its own, with the operator AI performing all actions, though it also responds to commands (issued either verbally or via a communications link from an authorized entity). Issuing commands via a communications link is considered a mental action.

I get this part, and most of what follows. You aren't so much controlling a shell, but rather you are giving orders to an AI that does control the shell. It can act on its own and do its own thing until commanded to do otherwise.

Multiple shells in autonomous mode may be commanded at once with the same Quick Action as long as they are receiving the same instructions. Separate instructions would require separate Quick Actions.

Could you effectively order your bots to do different things with the same action if they were told in advance to do a special task when they hear "do step 3" or "NOW!". My thoughts are to use the bots in a military division where each bot is given a unique specialized task that is supposed do in response to a certain command. The artillery are to fire their artillery shells, the snipers to pick highly valuable targets, the machine guns to keep the enemy away, and the tanks to advance their positions on to the enemy.

Is that a fair assessment of the rules, or am I crossing into territory better handled by a programing test?

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
I never did get why you guys

I never did get why you guys chose the name jamming. I keep thinking that it supposed to mean to jam radio signals. Looking up the definition on google, I get things like "Squeeze or pack (someone or something) tightly into a specified space.". The urban dictionary even goes so far as to define it as a bunch of people to play music together without being part of an official band. Then there are sites for making fruit Jam...

I don't know why you guys choose "Jamming" as the name for the most direct forming of remote control over a shell, but perhaps you should reconsider the name.

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
... Damn. I just figured out

... Damn. I just figured out that I am the squeaky wheel on these forums. I'm definitely the one getting greased. Thank you, Thank You, for these rules.

Quote:
Uses its own Speed. If its Speed is higher than the teleoperator's, it can operate in autonomous mode for any Speed actions remaining after the teleoperator acts. Mental speed, neurachem, and other augmentations that increase the teleoperator's Speed in their own morph do not apply to the shell's Speed.

^-^ This is a great clarification. It's just about everything I wanted.

Quote:
Uses the teleoperator's base (ego) aptitudes and skills for all tests. No aptitude bonuses apply (including the teleoperator's own morph and the shell)

^-^ I'm not certain but don't Eidolons create problems with this rule? I've been thinking of Eidolons pretty strictly as morphs. I'll go read that section again.

Quote:
Uses the teleoperator's Reflexes and Intuition (including their own morph's aptitude bonuses) for Initiative.

^-^ I'm confused by this wording. Does "including thier own morph's" refer to the shell or the teleoperator's morph? I'm skeptical that Reflex Boosters apply in VR but I can see how Mental Speed nanotech would apply.

This was needed and as a GM I'm happy to have it as a tool. It still leaves me wishing that SPD were an attribute of the morph/shell. From this I understand that the Speed of any autonomous device is a function of it's AI and everything from a gigantic dirt hauler to Battle Armor to a Guardian Angel drone has an effective Speed of 3. If that's the case, I don't think it's ideal but I think it should be explicitly stated.

Thank you.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Lalande21185 Lalande21185's picture
Quick Glance Over

Quote:
Remote Control and Jamming
The following rules clarify, expand upon, and supersede the rules for remote control and jamming shells (p. 196, EP). “Shells” refers to any morph, bot, vehicle, smart animal, or gear that is equipped with puppet sock augmentation.

Note that a puppet sock alone can't run an AI operator. This is important for smart animals.
Also, this definition of shells is unnecessarily restrictive: what about vehicles without puppet socks? Under the old rules they worked fine (because puppet sock was not a requirement for being considered a shell), but under this revision it doesn't work as they are no longer shells and there are no rules for non-shell vehicles.

Quote:
Shell Aptitude Maximums
Non-morph shells are normally designed to be operated by AIs. Unless otherwise noted, they area assumed to have an aptitude maximum of 20.

Typo: 'area' should be 'are'.
The maximum of 20 seems a bit low. I would bump it up to 30 (same as most synth morphs).

Also: some shells, mostly robots, have aptitude bonuses. Examples include the guardian angel (+5 REF), dwarf (+10 SOM), and Creepy (+5 COO). You should clarify that these bonuses work as augmentation bonuses (applied after caps), not morph bonus (applied before caps). Either that or raise the aptitude limit as I suggested above. This is especially important for the guardian angel which has a +5 REF bonus.

Quote:
Shell AIs
Most shells come equipped with an AI operator. For robots and vehicles, this is a bot/vehicle AI (p. 331, EP). This gives them a base REF of 20, with 10 in all other aptitudes (unless modified by the shell). For smart animals, this is an animal keeper AI (p. 155, Panopticon). Keep in mind that AIs have an aptitude maximum of 20 and cannot default on skill tests.

Note that a smart animal needs mesh inserts to run an AI and only two animals actually come with one (swarm cat and guard dog from panopticon), so it seems silly to say that all smart animals come with an animal keeper AI.

Quote:
May be issued more complex standing orders, up to an arbitrary length and level of detail. Orders that are complex enough to confuse a transhuman might require the AI to succeed in a COG x 3 Test or get some parts of the order wrong or confused. To bypass confusion, a character can program the AI with complex orders by succeeding at a Programming Test with a timeframe of 1-120 minutes, depending upon the complexity of the instructions (gamemaster's call). It's recommended that the gamemaster make the Programming Test in secret for the character leaving the instructions. On a failed test, the gamemaster should record the actual die roll and give the option of expending Moxie only if and when a situation arises where the AI's flawed instructions would become an issue. As with simple standing orders, it will revert to these orders if not following any specific instructions.

The Interfacing Skill states that it is used to "otherwise interact with and command ... other computerized devices". I think that should apply here to help the bot interpret complex orders. (perhaps a mod to the COG x 3 test, after all the base is only 30).

Quote:
Uses the teleoperator's base (ego) Reflexes and Intuition for Initiative. Reduce this by any Initiative penalties suffered by the shell (such as from wounds).

I do not like this. The old system was much better (the AI and the operator go on the same initiative). It is simpler and easier to keep track of (one number instead of 2+). The added complexity is not worth it. Also, look at what you wrote above "The operating character manipulates the shell via an entoptic interface, much like a video game." Would someone playing a video game (say a shooter with a physical controller) benefit from enhanced reflexes? Yes. Then so should someone using direct control.

Quote:
Uses its own Speed. If its Speed is higher than the teleoperator's, it can operate in autonomous mode for any Speed actions remaining after the teleoperator acts. Mental speed, neurachem, and other augmentations that increase the teleoperator's Speed in their own morph do not apply to the shell's Speed. If the teleoperator's Speed is higher, they may use their extra Speed actions as normal with their own morph, but they cannot directly control the shell with those extra actions.

I also do not like this. Again the old system was better: the shell uses the lesser of it or its operator's speed. Note that I am only objecting to the second sentence of this part, everything else is fine. Also: you need to clarify whether the autonomous actions go which initiative (requiring of course yet another initiative score: are you trying to keep people from using drones by making them keep track of a billion initiative scores?).

Quote:
Uses the teleoperator's base (ego) aptitudes and skills for all tests. No aptitude bonuses apply (including the teleoperator's own morph and the shell). The shell's aptitude penalties and aptitude maximum do apply.

Why do you get dumber, less socially apapt, and weaker willed just because you are operating at a distance (COG, SAV, and WIL respecively)?
You should use the teleoperator's aptitudes including the morph bonuses for COG, INT, SAV, and WIL at the very least. Also consider it for REF.

Quote:
Uses the controller's Pilot skills for movement tests. Note that if the controller lacks relevant Pilot skills, such as Pilot: Anthroform for a bipedal pod morph, they must default to their base REF aptitude.

You should also clarify whether Gunnery skill is required for firing weapons.

Quote:
Requires the teleoperator to expend the same type of action that would be required of the shell when following instructions. E.g., the teleoperator must expend a Complex Action to instruct the shell to perform a Complex Action, and so forth.

This contradicts the existing rules, but it seems reasonable.

Quote:
Uses the teleoperator's Reflexes and Intuition (including their own morph's aptitude bonuses) for Initiative. Reduce this by any Initiative penalties suffered by the shell (such as from wounds).

This should include initiative penalties suffered by the operator as well. Especially those from traumas.

Quote:
Uses its own Speed, though if its Speed is higher than the teleoperator's, it can operate in Autonomous Mode for any Speed actions remaining after the teleoperator acts. Mental speed, neurachem, and other augmentations that increase the teleoperator's Speed in their own morph do not apply to the shell's Speed. If the teleoperator's Speed is higher, they may use their extra Speed actions as normal with their own morph (though they must disengage first), but they cannot directly control the shell with those extra actions.

You should not use the words 'directly control' as direct control is a thing. You should use 'control' or 'jamming'. Also I do not like the 'it can operate in Autonomous Mode for any Speed actions remaining after the teleoperator acts'. It is needlessly complicated: either the operator or the AI should be in control, not both at once.

Quote:
Uses the controller's Climbing, Flight, Freerunning, Free Fall, or Swimming skills for movement tests (not Pilot skill). For example, a teleoperator jamming a winged morph uses Flight. Jamming a groundcraft uses Freerunning skill, and so on.

You should clarify whether the gunnery skill is used or not as well.

Quote:
Since jamming overrides the character's sensorium, it may also not be used in the same Action Phase with other mental actions that require a Complex Action. This includes extra mental actions, such as those gained from mental speed or multi-tasking implants.

This is needlessly restrictive and counter-intuitive: Why does overriding the character's sensorium cause his forks in a multitasking implant to not work? Also does using VR or XP (which also overides the character's sensorium) also prevent the use of extra mental actions? Does a fork in a multi-tasking module using VR stop you from using any actions? You should get rid of this.

nick012000 nick012000's picture
So, what exactly has changed,

So, what exactly has changed, here?

+1 r-Rep , +1 @-rep

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
nothing has really changed,

nothing has really changed, depending on how you read the rules in the core book.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Lalande21185 Lalande21185's picture
Re: What is different?

OneTrikPony wrote:
nothing has really changed, depending on how you read the rules in the core book.

You must have a very different reading of (from p. 196, EP) "When under direct control, the shell’s AI (or resident ego) is subsumed and put on standby. The drone only acts as instructed. Each instruction counts as a Quick Action. The drone acts with the same Initiative as the teleoperator, but is still limited by the shell’s Speed." than I do :)

As for the difference perhaps an Example:

You are playing a character with a Multi-Tasking implant, a Reflex Booster, and a pair of Guardian Angle Drones which you are direct controlling using the extra actions from the multi-tasking implant. You enter combat and need to roll initiative.

Old System:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Your roll initiative once and add the initiative modifier of your morph.

New System:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
You roll initiative five times:
Once for your morph.
Twice for each of the direct controlled drones while under direct control. "Uses the teleoperator's base (ego) Reflexes and Intuition for Initiative. Reduce this by any Initiative penalties suffered by the shell (such as from wounds)."
Twice for each of the drone while under AI control, as the whole standby thing from above has been removed in favor of "If its Speed is higher than the teleoperator's, it can operate in autonomous mode for any Speed actions remaining after the teleoperator acts."

tl;dr: old system you roll initiative once, new system you roll initiative 5 times.

Okay now it is the first phase. You need to take actions:

Old System:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Say you got a 12 for initiative. When your initiative comes up, you act taking both your mental and physical complex actions. Simple.

New System:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Say you got a 12 for initiative, drone A (direct control) got a 14, drone B (direct control) got a 11, drone A (AI) got a 7, drone B (AI) got a 13.

Okay drone 14 got the highest. BUT you haven't taken your action yet! Does it act in direct control mode or autonomous mode? But if it acts in autonomous mode then doesn't it go later in the turn? Or maybe you spend your complex action out of sequence? And what about drone B who has the opposite problem the AI got a higher initiative. Does the AI act? But you wanted to direct control it! Does the AI get to act then you direct control it, giving the drone two actions?

You consider house ruling the new system to get it to work, but then give up in disgust and go back to the old system.

tl;dr: old system simple, new system mess.

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Depends on how you read page

Depends on how you read page 196.

What does "limited by the shell's speed." mean? if the shell is a case or synth then the speed of the case or synth is 1. If the shell is a worker pod with neurachem then the speed of the shell is 2. if the shell is a guardian angel then the speed of the shell is 1. so your examples are wrong by my reading of the rules in the core book.

The speed of the AI's or the info morph controlling the shells have speed 3. How does that fit? IDK but I'm pretty sure that morphs are what provide a speed stat. But have fun and make it as complex as you like :)

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Lalande21185 Lalande21185's picture
Huh?

OneTrikPony wrote:
Depends on how you read page 196.

What does "limited by the shell's speed." mean?

"The drone acts with the same Initiative as the teleoperator, but is still limited by the shell’s Speed."

Seems pretty unambiquous to me? How are you reading this? To me it reads:

"The drone acts with the same Initiative as the teleoperator,"

Means that the drone goes on the same initiative as the operator.

Example:
The operator has an initiative of 12. The drone acts on initiative 12.

"But is still limited by the shell's Speed."

Means that this (the drone acting when the operator acts) does not superseed the normal rules for speed, which are found on page 121 (note that speed is a MORPH stat) and page 188.

Example:
An operator with speed of 3 is operating a guardian angel drone with a speed of 2 (the guardian angle has a base speed of 1 and neurochem, see. p. 346, for a total speed of 2).
First phase: The operator controls the drone as normal (in accordence with the speed rules).
Second phase: The operator controls the drone as normal (in accordence with the speed rules).
Third phase: The drone cannot act as it does not have speed 3 (in accordence with the speed rules).

This seems a really straight forward reading of this rule? How are you reading it? Can you give me examples? I really want to know :)

Quote:
if the shell is a case or synth then the speed of the case or synth is 1. If the shell is a worker pod with neurachem then the speed of the shell is 2. if the shell is a guardian angel then the speed of the shell is 1.

This is correct, except that guardian angels have a speed of 2 from their neurochem (see above).

Quote:
so your examples are wrong by my reading of the rules in the core book.

I don't follow you here: none of my examples had anything to do with speed? How are my examples wrong?

Quote:
The speed of the AI's or the info morph controlling the shells have speed 3. How does that fit? IDK but I'm pretty sure that morphs are what provide a speed stat.

I am pretty sure it is morphs that provide the speed stat as well (see p.121). In the new system I have absolutely no idea how they fit and that is an excellent argument against it. In the old system of course: "the shell’s AI (or resident ego) is subsumed and put on standby. The drone only acts as instructed."

Quote:
But have fun and make it as complex as you like :)

I think you misunderstand my position. I don't like the new rules, and in fact my examples were to show the superiority of the old system (much simpler) over the new system.

OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
I guess I didn't read your

I guess I didn't read your post closely. My understanding of what makes you most unhappy about the rewrite of the rule is that it creates extra initiative rolls for a single actor--the shell--in an action phase when the Shell AI has a higher SPD stat than the operator.

Re-reading now, I see that your concern is with the different initiative Scores of the operator and the shell AI. (I'm willing to ignore that issue I'll explain how I do that within the rules in a bit.)

My concern is with the different SPD stats of the Operator, the Shell and the Shell AI.

I don't see that the rewrite supersedes the text of the core book.
"When under direct control, the shell’s AI (or resident ego) is subsumed and put on standby. The drone acts with the same Initiative as the teleoperator, but is still limited by the shell’s Speed."

Standby still works because the AI of a shell doesn't do anything without a command from the operator. In a situation where the Shell AI would act on an initiative pass higher than the operator then it stands by untill it gets a command. It can do this using the rules for delaying actions and it can be assumed that this is automatic. When the operator's initiative comes up he can direct control the shell or shoot it an action command with a quick action. In either case the shell acts on the operator's initiative. This has been my understanding of how standby works with the mechanics of initiative. Shells have always had thier own Reaction, Intuition SPD stats and initiative scores. There has always been the option of allowing an autonomous Shell to act on it's own initiative score rather than that of the operating character. Nothing has changed here.

My issue is failure to address the Speed Stat of the Shell vs. the speed stat of the AI or the Operating Character. Morphs--including; Pod Morphs, Synth Morphs and, Info Morphs including AI--have a speed stat. Shells--including; Bots, Vehicles, and Exoskeletons--do not have a Speed stat because none has ever been listed.

It's obvious to me that, like Morphs that can be remote operated and Jammed, the Speed Stat for Bots, Vehicles, etc. is 1 unless those shells have SPD boosting gear like the Guardian Angel Bot with it's Neurachem. However there is an argument to be made, one that I occasionally have to re-refute, that the speed stat of an Autonomous Shell is that of it's AI; which would be 3.

It doesn't seem to be a common issue but It would be nice if i could point to a sentence somewhere that says; "Shells without neurachem or reflex boosters have a speed of one. Machines are not faster than meat people in this universe so just stop bringing it up!"

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
I didn't get as much time to

I didn't get as much time to review as I wanted to today, but I did find a few things.

A shell with extra mental actions - I came to realize that not only could a shell be faster than an operator, but it could also get extra mental actions. I'm talking like extra actions from the multi-tasking or mental speed augmentations. You know the kind that don't stack with other augmentations that give extra mental actions. I'm wondering what an on board AI with extra mental actions would do when its body is being controlled by an operator. Is the on board AI supposed to shut down completely, or can it use its mental actions while the operator is in control? Can the AI use its non-mental actions (actions normally reserved for controlling its body) to do mental action stuff while the operator is in control, or is the AI supposed to be in standby mode to take control the instant the operator stops.

Aptitudes - I can get that the aptitude bonuses (the physical kind like COO, REF, and SOM) of the operator's morph does not get to be used through the shell. The software and neurology of a humanoid morph is probably not the best software to use on an arachnomorph shell. Something is bound to get lost in lost in translation if you did try to use one on the other. However, I'm not getting why aptitude bonuses for other aptitudes like COG don't get to apply. Repairing a computer would be much different than wrestling someone, since one is more cognitive while the other is more physical. I also don't get why aptitude maximums of the shell affect the actions of the operator through the shell, or why the negative aptitude modifiers apply to those actions as well. My guess is that the operator has less direct control over the shell than I'm assuming. I'm thinking that the operator effectively gets to mentally act out the action the shell is to take in its head/mesh inserts and then the shell acts it out the best it could. However, it seems you instead get to pick from a list of actions possible and the shell acts them out, but then that makes me wonder why you get to apply your skills and aptitudes (even at a penalty) through the link.

Lalande21185 Lalande21185's picture
In response to OneTrikPony:

Rearranging your post a bit to make it easier to respond to:

Quote:
My concern is with the different SPD stats of the Operator, the Shell and the Shell AI.

My issue is failure to address the Speed Stat of the Shell vs. the speed stat of the AI or the Operating Character. Morphs--including; Pod Morphs, Synth Morphs and, Info Morphs including AI--have a speed stat. Shells--including; Bots, Vehicles, and Exoskeletons--do not have a Speed stat because none has ever been listed.

It's obvious to me that, like Morphs that can be remote operated and Jammed, the Speed Stat for Bots, Vehicles, etc. is 1 unless those shells have SPD boosting gear like the Guardian Angel Bot with it's Neurachem. However there is an argument to be made, one that I occasionally have to re-refute, that the speed stat of an Autonomous Shell is that of it's AI; which would be 3.

It doesn't seem to be a common issue but It would be nice if i could point to a sentence somewhere that says; "Shells without neurachem or reflex boosters have a speed of one. Machines are not faster than meat people in this universe so just stop bringing it up!"

I see what you are saying here and agree with you. I interpreted the sentences (from 195, EP):

"Note that the difference between a robot, vehicle, and synthetic morph is in many ways semantic",

"Like synthmorphs, bots and vehicles are treated just like any other character: they roll Initiative, take actions, and use skills". and

"Just like synthmorph characters, certain bot and vehicle stats (Durability, Wound Threshold, etc.) and stat modifiers (Initiative, Speed, etc.) are determined by the actual physical shell."

as saying that shells have a SPD stat similar to other characters. However, I agree completly that having it clearly spelled out would be useful.

Quote:
I don't see that the rewrite supersedes the text of the core book.
"When under direct control, the shell’s AI (or resident ego) is subsumed and put on standby. The drone acts with the same Initiative as the teleoperator, but is still limited by the shell’s Speed."

Standby still works because the AI of a shell doesn't do anything without a command from the operator. In a situation where the Shell AI would act on an initiative pass higher than the operator then it stands by untill it gets a command. It can do this using the rules for delaying actions and it can be assumed that this is automatic. When the operator's initiative comes up he can direct control the shell or shoot it an action command with a quick action. In either case the shell acts on the operator's initiative. This has been my understanding of how standby works with the mechanics of initiative. Shells have always had thier own Reaction, Intuition SPD stats and initiative scores. There has always been the option of allowing an autonomous Shell to act on it's own initiative score rather than that of the operating character. Nothing has changed here.

Ah, it looks like you interpreted "subsumed and put on standby" as the AI is still active but delaying. While I had the reading that the AI is basically inoperable: its actions have been 'subsumed' by the the actions of the operator, and it is on standby the same way that a computer is in standby (mostly shut down but ready to quickly reactivate). My definition is, naturally, correct :). Not only because I say so, but in the context of the next sentence, which clarify's the meaning of the preceding sentence: the AI no longer has its own actions and it acts like an extension of the teleoperators (though still limited by it's own speed).

However, If you ignore the subsumed part of the sentence and the next sentence, I can totally see why you might get your interpretation from the reading of the rules. And of course it seems to be the interpretation that whoever wrote this section favored (incorrectly, as it leads to partial actions which bork up the system something fierce).

You are also correct that all the actions can be delayed to one initiative (exactly like the old system). What has changed however, is that this is no longer necessarily the case, and the rules quickly go pear shaped if someone doesn't delay. The old system forced the initiatives to be the same (because it essentially turned off the AI) and didn't rely on the characters to know that they needed to delay so that their characters and drones actions are all on one initiative in order to not break the system.

Note that I am not saying that the old system can't be improved (I like things like direct control requiring a complex action to perform a complex action) I am just say that:
a) the new system is different, not just a clarification, and
b) the new system has some serious flaws (which I hope to get resolved by pointing them out).

Quote:
I guess I didn't read your post closely. My understanding of what makes you most unhappy about the rewrite of the rule is that it creates extra initiative rolls for a single actor--the shell--in an action phase when the Shell AI has a higher SPD stat than the operator.

Re-reading now, I see that your concern is with the different initiative Scores of the operator and the shell AI. (I'm willing to ignore that issue I'll explain how I do that within the rules in a bit.)

I actually was trying to illustrate both these things. My biggest gripe however, is that they took the shell remote controls rules, which were somewhat flawed but a least playable, and they kept all the flaws while removing the parts that made them playable! Let me try and redo my above examples and add a couple more to hopefully be more clear as to what I am complaining about:

Example 1: This example illustrates that the new rules create much more work when determining initiative:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Assume a splicer with speed 1 and two gun drones with speed 2 that are being direct controlled using a multi-tasking implant is entering combat.

First we roll initiative. This is done every Action Turn as standard:

1. The splicer initiative is calculated as normal, no change.

2. Under the old rules a direct control drone was slaved to the initiative of the controlling character and could not take actions of their own and so their initiatives did not need to be determined. However, under the new rules: "Uses the teleoperator's base (ego) Reflexes and Intuition for Initiative. Reduce this by any Initiative penalties suffered by the shell (such as from wounds)," means that under direct control, the drone now has its own initiative. Thus we have to roll twice more. Once for each drone's initiative while being direct controlled.

3. The new rule "However, if its Speed is higher than the teleoperator's, it can operate in autonomous mode for any Speed actions remaining after the teleoperator acts," means that in the example cited, each drone also has an initiative score for when it acts in autonomous mode (which is different then when it is in direct control mode). Thus I have roll two more times for the drone initiative under AI control. Note that the way I interpreted the old rule: "When under direct control, the shell’s AI (or resident ego) is subsumed and put on standby," meant that there was no need to roll it all under the old rules.

Totaling the rolls, this is five initiative rolls when, under the old system, I only had to roll once. This is repeated every round so the effects get worse: if a combat lasts three rounds I now have to roll 15 initiative scores when before I only had to roll three before. Add in a couple of more players with drones (say you are playing a couple of the sample characters that come with guardian angels) and suddenly you are looking at 15+ initiative rolls PER TURN. And this is just for the players.

Surely you can see why I don't like this :)

Example 2: This example illustrates the complexity and ambiguity generated when splitting a characters actions across multiple initiative numbers (as required by the new rules which separate the initiative of the drones and the teleoperator, but not the old ones which used the same initiative for both because the drone AI was off):

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Lets assume that the splicer above is fighting a remade but only has one gun drone. The initiative is as follows:
10: Drone 1 (AI)
9: Splicer
8: Remade
7: Drone 1 (DC)

At 10: Drone 1 (AI control) has the highest initiative. However, it doesn't go first because it is direct controlled. Is the AI considered delaying? Turned off? The modified rules don't say. you can of course house rule it but the old system (AI turned off) didn't require a houserule, while the new system (supposedly a clarification) does.
At 9: The splicer spends a physical complex action to fire a gun at the remade and a mental complex action to have a gun drone 1 attack the remade. However, Drone 1 (direct control) has a lower initiative. Is the complex mental action to control it spent here? Can you partially delay your actions (the book has no rules for this, see p. 189 for the delayed action rules)? This is not addressed in the new rules.
At 8: The remade goes next. He blows the splicer away then he moves to cover. Does the splicer now have speed 0 because it is dead? Are their rules for the speed of dead characters? What happens to Drone 1's initiative? Does it assume that the AI control was delaying its action and act immediately (if the speed is now higher than the dead characters?). Does it lose its turn even though the splicer already spent an action to control it? If it does act immediately does it use the AI stats or the characters (because they did spend a complex action to control it)? None of these things are addressed in the rules.
At 7: Drone 1 (direct control) does the drone act now? If yes was the complex action spent before enough for it compensate for the changed circumstances (the remade moving to cover)? Does the drone use its AI stats or the stats of the dead splicer?

Example 3 This example illustrates one of the problems with having the AI and the teleoperator both in control of the drone (which didn't happen because the old system turned off the AI).

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Suppose a splicer with SPD 1 is controlling a guardian angel with SPD 2. And that splicer has an initiative of 10 and the guardian angel has an initiative of 5 and it is the second pass:

On initiative 11: someone shoots at the guardian angel. It wants to fray. Whose stats does it use? The AIs? The AIs at -10? The characters at -10?. This is completely unclear and arguments could be made for any of the options.

Example 4 A short example illustrating another problems with having the AI and teleoperator both in control of the drone.

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Suppose a Fury with speed 2 is controlling a guardian angel with speed 3. On phase three, when moving, the guardian angel needs to make a pilot test for some reason. Who's skill does it use: the AI or the Furies? The new rules don't say.

Admittedly this is a minor thing and easily houseruled (arguments can be made in either case, note that the drone does not have a higher speed than the operator, so this is a different case then example 3). But the new rules should be better and this situation was handled well under the old system.

Also while I am at it, here are examples of the other things that bug me about the new rules (in hopes that repetition of the problems with the new rules will lead to them actual fixing the problems :) ):

Example 5 This example illustrates the problem with the new definition of shell.

Spoiler: Highlight to view
On earth the characters come across an old car and want to drive it. The car does not have a puppet sock because it is so old. Under the old rules, the car is a shell (from p. 195 "For the purpose of these rules, the term “shell” is used to refer to bots, vehicles, and synthetic morphs alike") and thus uses the rules for shells. No problem.

However, under the new rules a shell is: “Shells” refers to any morph, bot, vehicle, smart animal, or gear that is equipped with puppet sock augmentation.

This means that the car is not a shell and thus doesn't use the rules for shells in the book! Now this is easy to houserule, but I shouldn't have to houserule this!

Example 6 This example illustrates the problem with the third bullet point under direct remote control.

Spoiler: Highlight to view

Suppose you are a futura with a will of 40 (because your morph has the exceptional aptitude trait) and you have an ecto in the shape of an old ps3 controller with a video screen at the top. Through that ecto you are direct controlling a case morph with a -5 WIL penality.

Through that case morph, you see an exsurgent and have to make a WIL test. Now because you are looking through a screen from a safe distance away, instead of using a will of 40 for your stress test you instead use a will of 25 (Your base of 30 minus the cases -5, even though you are not using the morphs cyberbrain at all!).

Note that the old system had a similar problem (you used the undefined morph aptitude caps). But instead of resolving it, the new rules actually make it worse!

There are of course, many other problems with the new rules. But I am going to stop here: it is much easier to criticize than create and I feel like a heel doing so much criticism of the designers hard work :(. Instead, I think I will try to revise the rules myself and hopefully create a positive example of what to do as opposed to telling people what not to do.

Also because I am getting a little incoherent and ranty, and I don't think I am representing myself well :(

nick012000 nick012000's picture
I think you're

I think you're overcomplicating things, dude. You roll for Initiative once, and then apply modifiers to it based on the different shells/morphs.

+1 r-Rep , +1 @-rep

Lalande21185 Lalande21185's picture
Revised Rules

Okay, If I were me (and I pretty sure that I am) I would want something like this out of the Jamming rules patch:

Control and Jamming

The following rules clarify, expand upon, and supersede the rules for remote control and jamming shells (p. 196, EP).

For the purpose of these rules, the term “shell” is used to refer to bots, vehicles, and synthetic morphs alike. It also refers to any smart animal, morph, or piece of gear that is equipped with a puppet sock.

Shells and Stats

Shells have all the physical stats of morphs (see p. 121). This includes Speed, Durability, Wound Threshold, Death Rating, and Damage bonus. These stats use the normal rules for morphs and are always separate from the operator of the shell unless the operator is sleeved into the shell (in which case the Shells physical stats are used).

For example: if a shell with speed 2 (from neurachem) and a DUR of 100 is being remotely operated by a menton with speed 3, a mental speed implant, and a DUR of 35. The shell still only has speed 2, does not receive the extra mental actions from the mental speed implant, and has a DUR of 100.

Shell Aptitude Maximums

Unless otherwise noted, non-morph shells are assumed to have an aptitude maximum of 30. Some shells, such as robots, indicate they have bonuses to certain aptitudes. Unless otherwise specified, these bonuses are treated the same as morph bonuses and applied before the caps (p. 124, EP). As normal, aptitudes enhanced by external factors (such as cybernetic or robotic enhancements) may exceed the aptitude maximums, but may not exceed a total value of 40.

Shell AIs

Most shells not intended to sleeve a transhuman Ego and that have computer systems (including the cranial computer included in standard mesh implants) come equipped with an AI operator. A shell without the necessary computer systems (such as most smart animals) does not have an AI operator included in the purchase price and the AI operator (and something to run it on) must be purchased separately.

For robots and vehicles, the included AI operator is a bot/vehicle AI (p. 331, EP). This gives them a base REF of 20, with 10 in all other aptitudes (unless modified by the shell). For smart animals, the included AI operator is an animal keeper AI (p. 155, Panopticon). Keep in mind that AIs have an aptitude maximum of 20 and cannot default on skill tests.

AI operators may be issued commands by their owners (or hackers pretending to be their owners):

  • Issuing commands via a communications link to an AI operator is considered a mental action.

  • An AI operator may be given specific instructions to perform any Quick, Complex, or Task action with a Quick Action. If given more instructions than it can perform in a single Action Turn, an AI operator will continue to carry out instructions on subsequent Action Turns unless it receives new instructions.

  • As normal, a characters may send the same message to as many AI operators as they like using the same Quick Action, provided that they have some means of communicating with each AI operator .

  • An AI operator may automatically be given simple, one-sentence standing orders such as, “Guard my allies and me,” “Prevent anything from passing this doorway, using deadly force if necessary,” or, “Kill anything that enters a perimeter with a radius of 10 meters from our present position.” Issuing such orders is a Quick Action. If the AI operator isn't busy performing any specific instructions, it will revert to its standing orders.

  • An AI operator may be issued more complex standing orders, up to an arbitrary length and level of detail. Orders that are complex enough to confuse a transhuman require that the issuer make an Interfacing Test with a modifier based on the complexity of the order. Alternately, to bypass confusion, a character can program the AI with complex orders by succeeding at a Programming Test with a timeframe of 1-120 minutes, depending upon the complexity of the instructions (gamemaster's call). It's recommended that the gamemaster make the Programming Test in secret for the character leaving the instructions. On a failed test, the gamemaster should record the actual die roll and give the option of expending Moxie only if and when a situation arises where the AI's flawed instructions would become an issue. As with simple standing orders, the AI operator will revert to these orders if not following any specific instructions.

Control of Shells

There are three ways of controlling a shell: sleeved mode, direct control, and jamming. Each is detailed below:

Sleeved mode

A shell in sleeved mode is controlled by an Ego or AI sleeved into the shell (which requires a brain or cyberbrain for a full Ego and at least a computer system for an AI). When in sleeved mode, the shell acts in all ways as a normal character. An AI operator running on a system that controls a shell is not considered to be an infomorph, but rather to be sleeved into that morph. If an operator AI or Ego that is not sleeved into a shell (such as an operator AI running on an external Ecto or as an infomorph in a ghostrider module) is attempting to control the shell, the AI or Ego must use direct control or jamming (see below).

Direct Control

A directly controlled shell is operated either by physical controls (such as a car's steering wheel) or through a communications link. Using direct control via a communications link requires that the shell have a puppet sock. Direct Control is the method used to control exoskeletons when wearing them.

Direct control has the following rules:

  • If the shell has an AI or Ego sleeved into it, while the shell is under direct control that AI or Ego is subsumed and on standby. This means that the AI cannot take any actions, makes no tests, and does not roll for initiative at the start of the Action Turn.

  • In an exception to the above rule: if the shell has a full brain or cyberbrain, then the Ego or AI in that brain may, on the operators initiative, oppose control of the shell with an InfoSec test (see p. 261). If at the start of an Action Turn, the operator cannot take any actions (usually because they are dead) and the Ego or AI can oppose control, then the Ego or AI regains control automatically and rolls for initiative as normal.

  • Under direct control the shell uses the same initiative as the operator. It is still however, limited by the Speed stat of the shell. If the shell is faster than the operator, it loses any extra actions as it waits for operator input.

  • Being limited by the speed of the shell means that if the shell cannot take more actions than it normally could if it was not direct controlled. This includes exoskeletons, which may limit the physical actions available to those wearing them. Example: A male Jovian with speed 3 is wearing an exoskeleton with speed 2. On the first and second phases he may act normally by direct controlling the exoskeleton (his physical complex action is spent to move the exoskeleton), on the third phase the exoskeleton cannot act (as it is limited by its speed of 2) and thus the Jovian cannot take physical actions such as aiming and shooting his weapon as he is trapped within the slower exoskeleton. The Jovian may take his mental actions normally.

  • Establishing direct control generally takes a quick action unless opposed by an AI or Ego, in which case it is a complex action and requires an opposed InfoSec test (see p. 261). Control begins at the start of the next Action Turn. As the AI or operating Ego is subsumed and on standby under direct control, this means that they do not roll for initiative on that Action Turn.

  • Relinquishing direct control generally takes a quick action. Control ends at the start of the next Action Turn. The shells AI or resident ego then rolls for initiative normally.

  • If the character does not or cannot relinquish remote control (the operators communication link has been disabled, for example), then generally direct control does not end and the shell does nothing as it waits for further instruction. However, it is possible to have a keep alive signal: if the signal from the operator is cut off, the shell's sleeved AI or Ego begins operating on the next turn as if direct control had been relinquished.

  • Having the shell perform an action requires the operator to expend the same type of action that would be required of the shell. That is, the operator must expend a Complex Action to have the shell to perform a Complex Action, and so forth. This includes Automatic Actions such as Fraying.

  • When operating the shell, the operator uses their normal aptitudes and skills for all tests, with the exception of Knockdown Tests which use the shells SOM. The operator takes a -10 penalty to all physical tests taken by the shell . If the shell has a penalty to COO, SOM, or REF then the operator takes that penalty as well. (ALSO CONSIDER CAPING COO, SOM, AND REF BY THE SHELLS CAPS).

  • When moving the shell using direct control, the operator uses the relevant Pilot skills for movement tests, unless the shell is an exoskeleton being physically worn by the operator (p. 344, EP). Note that if the operator lacks relevant Pilot skills, such as Pilot: Anthroform for a bipedal pod morph, they must default to their base REF aptitude.

  • When making ranged attacks using the shell, the operator uses the Gunnery skill.

Jamming

A jammed shell is operated via a communications link and is similar to direct control. However, when jamming the operator subsumes themself in a VR simulation of the shell's body and sensorium. Though this offers a finer quality of control than direct control, it is still a simulated experience and not as intensive as actually sleeving into the shell. Jamming is considered a mental action. An operator may only jam one shell at a time and jamming requires that the shell have a puppet sock.

Jamming differs from direct control as follows:

  • Jamming requires a complex action by the operator to engage or disengage from jamming mode, not a quick action.

  • Jamming uses the controller's Climbing, Flight, Freerunning, Free Fall, or Swimming skills for movement tests (not Pilot skill). For example, an operator jamming a winged morph uses Flight. Jamming a groundcraft uses Freerunning skill, and so on.

  • A jamming character uses an appropriate weapon skill when making ranged attacks. For example attacking with a laser pulser uses the Beam Weapons skill.

  • While jamming a character suffers a -60 penalty on all physical actions taken with any morph other than the jammed one.

  • If the communications link is severed while jamming (which might happen if drone is killed or destroyed), the operator suffers 1d10 mental stress.

Note that under these rules, jamming is a specialized form of Direct Control and as such, unless noted above, it uses all the same rules for direct control.

Edit: Clarified some edge cases.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Oh wow. I feel like I'm

Oh wow. I feel like I'm reading a DnD book again. All loose ends have been looked for and tied up.

I don't have time to go into details, but I disagree about exoskeletons. I don't think those will suffer a speed problem as the mechanisms of control (I think) are different. I think the exoskeletons will move and react as quickly as the morph wearing it as all exoskeleton movements are mimicking the morphs movements (each joint should do so separately). At least that is how I think it should work.

Anyways, I was writing up my own take on the rules, but I was busy yesterday and didn't get done. I hope to post my own soon.

RobBoyle RobBoyle's picture
DivineWrath wrote:Could you

DivineWrath wrote:
Could you effectively order your bots to do different things with the same action if they were told in advance to do a special task when they hear "do step 3" or "NOW!".

Yes, sure, though depending on how complex the follow-up orders are, a COG x 3 Test might be needed; a Programming Test would be even safer.

DivineWrath wrote:
I never did get why you guys chose the name jamming.

We wanted a term for it, didn't have a good one, and it was the best we came up with at the time. Too late to change it now :)

OneTrikPony wrote:
Does "including thier own morph's" refer to the shell or the teleoperator's morph?

It refers to the teleoperator's morph.

Lalande21185 wrote:
Why does overriding the character's sensorium cause his forks in a multitasking implant to not work?

The aim here was to restrict mental actions, to prevent someone with mental speed or multi-tasking from jamming three shells at once. We're actually not settled on this point (since you can certainly directly control three shells at once). The overriding the sensorium thing also makes sense for nerfing mental speed, but not necessarily multi-tasking as you point out, but we're hesitant to make one of those implants that much more useful than the other.

OneTrikPony wrote:
It's obvious to me that, like Morphs that can be remote operated and Jammed, the Speed Stat for Bots, Vehicles, etc. is 1 unless those shells have SPD boosting gear

This is indeed the case and we state it in a different section on using bots/vehicles as morphs.

-

Lalande21185 has pointed out a number of great issues -- I'm not going to address them all here but we've reconsidered a few things. We weren't trying to redefine "shell" and our intention was that just a single Initiative be rolled. I'll be posting up the Morphs chapter for review later today and it will have an update of these jamming rules.

Just to clarify some of our reasoning and thought processes with some of these changes -- we've been struggling to find a way to keep direct control and jamming distinct, each with their own positives and negatives. We've also tried to make it a progression of usefulness -- we were hoping to make jamming slightly better than remote control, and resleeving a better option than jamming. The latter point is rather important -- we're trying to avoiding requiring Integration and Alienation Tests for jamming, because it cuts down on its usefulness, but we also don't want to make jamming so awesome that there's no reason to resleeve. Essentially, that means not allowing the shell's apt bonuses for jamming (or direct control). To keep jamming better than direct control, then, we allow the teleoperator's apt bonuses for jamming but not for direct control. There are some inconsistencies here -- we still allow the teleoperator's aptitudes to factor into Initiative for direct control, for example, because it just makes everything simpler, and in some cases simplicity gets to beat out realism.

We've already gone through several iterations of these rules in-house, some of them fairly (too) complex. We did play around with special gear that allowed the teleoperator to gain the shell's apt mods while jamming, but it ended up being too good. We played around with only some apt mods applying in some situations, but it was too complex. We're looking to simplify and meet the goals I outlined above.

Rob Boyle :: Posthuman Studios

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Some recommended rule

Some recommended rule adjustments:

* I'm having difficulty getting my full write up done like I wanted. I'm posting important bits now, in whatever way I can get them out. Otherwise I'll take forever to make things perfect.

----

Autonomous Mode

-Complex Instructions - I think that some problems with complex instructions can be fixed by talking to the shell and trying to figure out what it thinks it should be doing. The instruction giver can then correct the instructions as it discovers the problems. Not all problems need the shell to be reprogrammed.

-Commanding multiple shells - I think you were too brief with this. Shells can certainly be instructed to do the same thing with the same instruction. For instance, combat shells could be ordered to pick their targets and fire at will. However, they can also be instructed to work as a group or team as well. In such a case, they don't need to be doing the same thing, but instead do jobs or adopt roles that contribute to the well being and success of the group. So a group of combat shells could have some firing machine guns, some handling artillery, some handling sniper weapons, some acting as scout, etc. How well they do that might depend on their programing (which might require some adjustments depending on the instructions).

----

Direct Control

Shells holding actions - At some point I was left wondering what the shell's AI does when an operator is directly controlling it. This is more significant when you consider that the shell might have modules, like multitasking, which might give them additional mental actions.
I came to realize that shells should be able to do a special kind of action while being operated. They should be trying to figure out what they should be doing from moment to moment while being controlled by the operator. In the event that the operator fails to maintain control, such as being killed or have comm signals disrupted, the shell may act immediately on the next available opportunity. Because they are preparing to act moment to moment, they shouldn't suffer disorientation when they get the next opportunity to act. The alternative is that they are doing mental actions while the operator is in control, but then they should suffer a -30 modifier on all actions the next opportunity to they can act.
This should be treated as a delayed action if needed. This means that if combat has just begun, and its operator has been killed (so it can't directly control) before the operator could give instructions, they get to act at their next opportunity instead of doing nothing. So if they delayed to wait for their operator before they got killed, they can immediately interrupt and take action then and there.

Direct control and defense - A shell normally uses its own skills for defense for moments when an operate is unable, or unwilling to directly control it. In game terms, this mean that the operator hasn't given the shell any instructions as to what to do next by the time next opportunity the shell can act. This includes moments before the operator has acted, moments when the shell acts when the operator can't (such as to take advantage of speed that the operator can't), and moments after direct control is lost (such as someone trying disrupt radio communication).
The moment that an operator takes control, the shell uses the defense skills of the operator until the shell acts once more.

----

Jamming

I haven't worked much on it yet...

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
A comment:

A comment:

RobBoyle wrote:
DivineWrath wrote:
I never did get why you guys chose the name jamming.

We wanted a term for it, didn't have a good one, and it was the best we came up with at the time. Too late to change it now :)

I see. I guess that can be something to worry about come time to write revised or second edition.

Deadite Deadite's picture
(Reposted and clarified here

(Reposted and clarified here from the Morph Chapter thread.)

IMO, the Speed restrictions and considerations are an unnecessary level of complexity.

For simplicity, when Jamming I'd suggest that the shell operates at the Operator's Speed or the Shell's Speed, whichever is lower. The AI is subsumed when the operator takes direct control and can't independently use its own actions even if it would be faster.

That means Automonous activity is at the Shell's Speed, Direct Remote Control is Shell's Speed and Jamming is the lowest of Shell's Speed or Operator's Speed (operator augmentations included).

This gives a tactical distinction between Direct Remote Control and Jamming - DRC means the shell could act faster and have a degree of independence, but the drawback is the operator suffers from a skill penalty for actions they do take. Jamming removes the penalty but the shell only acts as fast as the operator can manage.

The operator's speed augmentations should apply to jamming as they are limited to the shell's Speed anyway.