I decided to try to extend the ideas for programming custom ALIs that we were discussing in this thread into a fully-fledged system. Starting from what DivineWrath wrote:
My current thoughts are to allow you to do 2 cp worth of programming with a week of work. So 10 skill points, 2 specializations, traits, aptitudes, and so on. No rep or pools though.
I've come up with the following rules:
ALIs have an aptitude maximum of 15. They can have up to 10 active skills. Their active skill totals cannot exceed 40, with the exception of one primary skill which may be at 60. They can additionally have up to 10 Know skills. Their Know skill totals cannot exceed 80.
ALIs cannot default; if they don’t possess a skill, they can’t use it. They can use specializations (which can exceed their maximums). They do not get pools, unless a morph, bot, vehicle, or other device they are operating provides them. ALIs do not suffer stress from resleeving, as they possess little to no sense of identity.
A baseline ALI has all aptitudes at 10, though damaged or badly programmed ALIs may have less. It has no skill ranks beyond those granted by its aptitudes, and it has the Enhanced Behavior (Obedient, Level 3), Real-World Naiveté, and Morph Familiarity [relevant device] traits. GMs may assign other traits as they see fit.
An existing ALI can be improved by increasing its skill ranks, increasing its aptitudes, or giving it new specializations. This is accomplished via a Programming test with a timeframe of one week; a successful test grants 1 CP worth of improvements, +1 CP per superior success.
When increasing aptitudes, remember to increase the ranks of linked skills as appropriate, and note that if an increased aptitude causes a secondary skill total to exceed 40 or a primary skill total to exceed 60, the extra ranks are lost. Existing skills can be deleted (or reduced to 40, in the case of a primary skill) to make room for different primary or secondary skills; doing so provides no benefit other than the room for a different skill.
Additionally, extra enhanced or restricted behaviors may be added or removed as part of this programming test, though doing so does not grant the ALI any additional CP. ALIs may not be given any other traits except with explicit GM permission. (Use common sense: an extra Morph Familiarity is probably fine. Psi probably is not.)
Players wishing to start the game with an ALI other than the standard Muse ALI as their muse may replace the free Muse ALI they recieve in step 12 of character creation with any other Moderate complexity ALI, or spend 1 GP to replace it with a Major complexity ALI. The final result is subject to GM approval.
ALIs may also be purchased. Variations on the standard ALIs listed on page 326 (such as a version of the ALI with one or two skills switched for different ones) are fairly easy to find, but ALIs with more niche or unusual skill sets may be significantly harder to acquire. ALIs have a complexity dependent on how many CP worth of improvements beyond baseline they have, as listed below:
- Min/1: Baseline ALI
- Mod/2: ALI with more than 0 and at most 50 CP above baseline.
- Maj/3: ALI with more than 50 and at most 100 CP above baseline.
- Rare/-: ALI with more than 100 CP above baseline.
The only exception to this rule is the standard Muse, which is Moderate complexity due to how incredibly common it is. ALIs designed for potentially illegal activities, such as combat or hacking, may additionally have a Restricted (R) classification.