Are ALIs missing skills (2e)?

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DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
Are ALIs missing skills (2e)?

I've been poking around with bots and ALIs. It seems that some robots should have more skills than what is listed for bot/vehicle ALIs. An Automech should have some hardware skills (beyond whats needed for its own upkeep), a Dwarf should have some skills for mining, a Docbot should have some skills in medicine, and so on.

p. 327, Bot/Vehicle ALI

Quote:
Fray 30, Guns 30, Hardware: [appropriate field] 20 (specific bot/vehicle 30), Infosec 20, Interface 30, Know: [bot/vehicle] Specs 80, Perceive 40, Pilot: [appropriate field] 60 (specific bot/vehicle 70), Research 20

Did I miss something? Should I fill in the gaps with house rules?

Another kinda related question; can ALIs default melee? Its something I've been wondering about for a while. I mean trying to hit or beat up an opponent isn't a terribly difficult idea.

Grim G Grim G's picture
Looked it up!

DivineWrath wrote:
I've been poking around with bots and ALIs. It seems that some robots should have more skills than what is listed for bot/vehicle ALIs. An Automech should have some hardware skills (beyond whats needed for its own upkeep), a Dwarf should have some skills for mining, a Docbot should have some skills in medicine, and so on.

p. 327, Bot/Vehicle ALI

Quote:
Fray 30, Guns 30, Hardware: [appropriate field] 20 (specific bot/vehicle 30), Infosec 20, Interface 30, Know: [bot/vehicle] Specs 80, Perceive 40, Pilot: [appropriate field] 60 (specific bot/vehicle 70), Research 20

Did I miss something? Should I fill in the gaps with house rules?

Another kinda related question; can ALIs default melee? Its something I've been wondering about for a while. I mean trying to hit or beat up an opponent isn't a terribly difficult idea.


Ok, so for Docbots, it seems by reading that they're designed specifically as paramedics or doctors assistance'. It mentions that they can be controlled remotely, so maybe they're just a walking tray of scalpels and morphine. If not, just change the Hardware skill to Medicine: Paramedic. Keep in mind that Hardware:Robotics is used to repair machines, so that's covered for the missing skill. For Dwarfs, Hardware: Industrial? Maybe with the specialization being in Mining.

What's really bothering me though is whether these skills are supposed to be stand-alone or if Attributes need to be added. Because a Hardware/Medicine skill of 20 with a specialization is pretty bad.

While we're all on the subject of bots, I noticed that Robomules are stated as having an environmentally concealed compartment. This is neither in the ware nor does it specify space and amount of oxygen.

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
I think the hardware skills

I think the hardware skills are so the bots can try to fix their own problems, or guide someone through the process. I'd prefer to not reassign those skill points. Those ALIs have skills in pilot and know skills that focuses on themselves, so a hardware skill that focuses on themselves is not out of character.

I don't think there is any ware for non-hidden compartments, and hidden compartments aren't mentioned. What sort of ware do you think the robomule should have?

eaton eaton's picture
Quote: can ALIs default melee

Quote:
can ALIs default melee?

This came up and turned into a Big Discussion for the Gencon GMs, since the opening couple segments of Continuity have nothing but hab bots as enemies. Without guns, are they… totally harmless?

Our verdict was that bots are ill-equipped for unarmed combat, and the inability to default on untrained skills renders them RAW unable to attack. However, they can definitely ram into things, and that uses the Pilot skill, which all of the bots have at an effective 70..

According to the crashing rules (EP2, pg 232) the damage from scales up impressively: base damage is 1d10 + (DUR / 10), and every 10m/turn of velocity acts as a multiplier on that damage. That means a servitor bot doing its base move dishes out 1d10+3 on impact, and a Dwarf Bot does 2d10+30 (Large size doubles its collision damage). If they have ample room to accelerate, it's even more dramatic. A tracked Sentry Bot that accelerates to its top speed does DV 3d10 + 21 on impact, and an automech at could do up to 5d10+15 given its ability to accelerate to 5x base speed.

This isn't a magic damage button, though: once they're up in the target's face, they can't continue to scuffle, and they'd have to back off, circle around, and try to ram them again. Collisions also do the same damage to the bot (minus kinetic armor), so big hits would hurt the bot shell as well. That said, it feels like a solid thematic and mechanical solution to "Look, I have a forklift with legs, I should be able to tell it to do SOMETHING…"

DivineWrath DivineWrath's picture
eaton wrote:Our verdict was

eaton wrote:
Our verdict was that bots are ill-equipped for unarmed combat, and the inability to default on untrained skills renders them RAW unable to attack. However, they can definitely ram into things, and that uses the Pilot skill, which all of the bots have at an effective 70..

Thanks. Good to know.

What I find odd is that while bot/vehicle ALI don't have melee skills but they do have guns and fray.

eaton eaton's picture
Yeah, it felt weird to me as

Yeah, it felt weird to me as well but the end result was the image of a Dwarf Bot Kool-Aid Man crashing into combat at 40m per round, doing 200+ damage on impact, so I'm not complaining. heh.

ubik2 ubik2's picture
Skills for the ALIs are the

Skills for the ALIs are the total (including the aptitude). An ALI can be as good as an experienced professional at one thing, but at everything else, they're not very competent. They can take extra time to get better checks, but they're not as good as someone who knows what they're doing.

If you take the time, you could write your own ALI, which would have a total of 60 in one skill, and can have 40 in nine others. I imagine you could also add skills at 40 to an existing ALI, as long as you don't go over the max of 10 active skills.

I think the Bot/Vehicle ALIs for the Docbot, Automech, and others probably have different skills. For those, I'd swap the Guns 30 for Pilot [appropriate field]: 30 (specific bot 40) and change the main skill to something like Medicine: Paramedic 60. Different Docbot ALIs would have different fields of Medicine. Similarly, there would be Automech ALIs with different fields of Hardware.

Any hard tasks will probably be handled by someone jumped in.

Based on the description of the Robomule, I don't think it's supposed to have an oxygen supply. It's just some sealed storage so that when you're in an acidic environment or something, your gear doesn't get corroded. I'd figure a volume similar to a backpack -- maybe 50 liters.