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    Drones and Other fun toys..

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    WuJen

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    Drones and Other fun toys..

    Post by WuJen on Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:02 pm

    chougou wrote:Chougou would also like to prepare 2 of his Aztechnology Crawlers and equip them with Yamaha Raidens and his Steel Lynx to be equipped with the Enfield AS-7 Shotgun to be picked up later when he gets back to his hovel. ((Can they equip themselves or do they require a human to do that for them?))

    GameMaster wrote:((Drone weapons are not easy to snap on and off. You need tools and time, so the drones definitely can't do it on their own. You'd have to do it. It's not super involved, just a matter of bolting it all together, but not something most people do regularly. Weapons usually just permanently sit in your drones until you decide to swap them out or whatever.))

    This seemed like it might could use a little more discussion.  I'm playing a mage but I love riggers too.

    Drones are basically small unmanned vehicles, and take the same kind of maintenance and skills as owning a vehicle of the appropriate type would to operate and modify.

    For the sake of convenience the rules assume that weapons mount with some sort of mechanical converter kit rather than requiring separate vehicle only weapon systems.  It's not accurate to say you are just handing a drone a shotgun, but rather you are converting that shotgun mechanically into a vehicle mounted weapon system, and then modifying the vehicle with a place to mount the weapon. 10 drones with the exact same stats might look completely different since they are all custom jobs.  Few vehicles other than security or military models come stock with turrets and such.

    In the fullness of time when you have a bit of money to spend on it, you can get a lot of usage from a simple turret mounted with a custom weapon.  Shotguns or Assault Rifles mounted with an underbarrel grenade launcher and modified for multiple ammunition sources give you plenty of flexibility.  My favorite is a bin of gel rounds and a bin of something...not gel.  Similarly for the grenade launcher, it's handy to switch from concussion to something with bite.
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    chougou

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    Re: Drones and Other fun toys..

    Post by chougou on Wed Jul 25, 2018 2:29 am

    I'm looking forward to trying them out Smile

    Cry havoc and let slip the drones of war!! 😁

    Sent from Topic'it App
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    Re: Drones and Other fun toys..

    Post by GameMaster on Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:01 am

    Yeah, to be clear, while the weapons use the stats of of a normal gun, they are assumed to be modified for drone use. You aren't just handing a shotgun to a drone and it's somehow holding it in it's little drone hands and pulling the trigger on command (at least not unless it's anthropomorphic). You are taking the gun bits and wiring them into a turret or at least a hard point in the frame.
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    Re: Drones and Other fun toys..

    Post by WuJen on Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:45 pm

    You asked about finding the rats...

    To better advise you I'd have to go over the 5e rigger rules. However, in general you can do a couple of things to improve your drones ability to see things.

    1. Upgrade the Pilot. Unless you are directly jumped into a drone it uses Pilot for pretty much every test it makes. Essentially Pilot replaces the skill portion of the test if you were making it.

    2. Upgrade the Sensor rating. This is basically INT for your drones in a perception test. All drones have extensive sensors of a more or less generic type, kinda like a person. Cameras, microphones, even some touch, taste, and smell are included. It's not totally analogous, your sensors get converted to simsense your brain understands, but it's more or less there.

    3. Buy autosofts. Autosofts are programs used by drones to make them better at specific tasks. This is basically like buying a specialized skill. The one for Perception is called Clearsight. It provides a direct die bonus to perception tests.

    4. Special Equipment. In part, this is similar to buying up the sensor rating. The higher that rating the more sensors your sensor package has. However, you can buy specific sensors like you would for cybereyes or goggles, and let your drone use them. It's great if you want it to use a sense not covered by your sensors, say ultrasound or ultraviolet light, less so if it's redundant.
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    Re: Drones and Other fun toys..

    Post by GameMaster on Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:52 pm

    yep, tons of upgrades can be made to the drones to up their perception, but it should be noted that these devil rats aren't just sneaking around. They are using magic to help them hide, which is the main reason you can't see them until its too late. It's not impossible to spot them, but it is really hard.
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    Re: Drones and Other fun toys..

    Post by WuJen on Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:57 pm

    I should still have seen them when I was down there in the astral.  I went from the lair to the outside grate the 'normal' way, I was just astrally projecting.

    Unless the things have learned to mask or the background count is really high, they should stand out pretty well for someone who is perceiving astral space.

    However, short of outright invisibility you get a high sensor rating drone running a high rating clearsoft and it's got a better than even chance of seeing whatever might be there to be seen.

    A final note on that, the Clearsoft is probably the most cost efficient.  From what I understand you can run it on your RCC and all your drones can benefit from it at the same time.
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    Re: Drones and Other fun toys..

    Post by WuJen on Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:59 am

    Speed


    GM wrote:Short answer is, anything motorized with wheels can keep up under normal driving conditions. If it flies, it can go faster than the van because it doesn't need to worry about obstacles/roads. I tend to rule that microdrones and drones with legs go at around people speeds.

    The rules on speed were very strange to me.  Previous editions actually listed speeds for vehicles.  I guess in 5e they really wanted it to be more of a skill based thing.  Apparently with enough skill someone in an old beater compact car could keep up with someone in a top of the line high performance race car.

    Reading the Speed 'sidebar' (it takes up most of a page), they apparently broke up speeds by propulsion, which also reflect the skills used to pilot a given vehicle.

    As I read it things that require 'walker' skill use people speeds.  I can easily see the point that mini and micro drones are also using those speeds, or a modified version of them.  I only realized this when I saw how similar the stats for the Aztech Crawler and Doberman were... the main difference between them is their required pilot skill.

    Things that are 'groundcraft' go from 80kph to 120kph depending on driving conditions.  'Rotocraft' top out somewhere north of 220kph, and things start to really break down with 'aircraft' which start at about 250kph and end up around 1000kph but are limited more by fuel consumption than raw performance.

    Annoyingly, none of that is reflected in their stats.  Its apparently just assumed that every wheeled vehicle on the planet can go about the same speed, with different curves for how quickly they can get up there.
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    Re: Drones and Other fun toys..

    Post by GameMaster on Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:30 pm

    Point the rules are trying to make though, is even though a scooter may only be able to get up to say 100 kph and a sports car might go 2 or 3x that, on a street there is only so fast you can go before there are other cars blocking your way. If it were like a street race with nothing but empty smooth road ahead of you, of course the sports car is going to fly much faster than the scooter, but most instances where you are actually driving, your top speed is not something you are going to realistically reach without crashing. If you try to make a city turn going at 300 kph, you are probably going to flip your vehicle.

    Many people don't like the abstractness of the way they did it in this edition, but I kind of like it as it's easier to work with in a chase scene than trying to figure out how fast everything goes.
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    Re: Drones and Other fun toys..

    Post by WuJen on Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:35 pm

    I get, and appreciate, what they are trying to do.  It's maybe a little silly, but they want these things to rely on skill rather than just hardware.

    Funny thing is imagine two preteens stealing a pair of cars for a street race.  One gets in a Jackrabbit, the other gets in a Westwind.  The Speed, Acceleration and Handling of the vehicles are vastly different, but the kids have a Reaction of 2 each, and a Pilot:Groundcraft of 1.

    Despite the differences of their vehicles, they are evenly matched because at best the kid in the jackrabbit will hit the limit, while the kid in the Westwind cannot even come close.

    The only point they could have been more clear on is which vehicles are going what speed.  If you just look at a stat block, there is no way to tell.  They don't even really explicitly state it on the Speed Sidebar, I'm more or less infering their intent that how fast something goes depends on it's propulsion method, which is only mentioned in the decription by which skill is used to pilot the vehicle in question.

    Thus despite nearly identical stats, an Aztech Crawler is way, way slower than a Doberman, because one is a 'walker' and the other is a 'groundcraft'.  I had to read over all the rules 3 times before I picked up on that.  Maybe I'm just stupid, but maybe they could have been a bit more clear.
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    Re: Drones and Other fun toys..

    Post by WuJen on Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:18 pm

    Too bad those crawlers don't have Gecko Tips.  Then you could have them run around on the outside of the van as sort of mobile turrets. Smile


    The Steel Lynx is probably also well able to keep up with the Van, though it's also more likely to bring attention due to it's restricted availability.  It's a Groundcraft with a speed of 4 and Acceleration of 2, against the Vans Speed of 3 and Acceleration of 1.
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    Re: Drones and Other fun toys..

    Post by GameMaster on Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:14 pm

    Oh yes, the steel lynx can keep up with the van. And yes it being restricted attracts attention. But even if the drone itself is not restricted, if the drone has a restricted weapon attached to it (or any other kind of obvious restricted gear), it is restricted by proxy. So any of the drones you plan on using for defense would have the same issue. Luckily you are rolling through the shitty part of town where people rather keep to themselves and avoid trouble than call the cops on you. Try rolling around with armed drones escorting you in the wealthier parts of town and you will definitely get the cops called on you.
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    Re: Drones and Other fun toys..

    Post by WuJen on Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:16 pm

    True, if you have a Bust-a-Move walking around with a Grenade menacing people....  not that anyone would arm a cute little plush child's toy that way...


    I don't know how you have them set up, but this issue is part of why it's worth a bit of extra cash to make the weapons on your drones concealed until needed.

    The cops don't care if there's a rotodrone flying around.  They *do* care if there's a Panther Assault Cannon flying around, even if it happens to be attached to a perfectly legal rotodrone.
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    Re: Drones and Other fun toys..

    Post by GameMaster on Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:28 pm

    Exactly. I haven't looked at the concealed weapon mount rules this edition yet, but in previous editions most drones were too small for them. It was more of a vehicle thing. It is certainly something Chougou can look into once you score some cash from this little mission. I imagine it would be in his benefit to be swapping karma for extra cash for stuff like that, or eventually upgrading his VCR to a rating 3 one.
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    Re: Drones and Other fun toys..

    Post by WuJen on Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:35 pm

    Also depends on what you are trying to hide.

    The rules might say you can get a shotgun on a crawler (I have not checked either), but you probably aren't hiding it.

    However, hiding a light or holdout pistol under a retractable dome might be more reasonable.  An onlooker might wonder about the obvious dome, but until it starts shooting at them there isn't anything that the authorities will react to.

    I know in War! there was a neat little drone that was basically an articulated weapon mount with gecko tips.  You could attach it to the underbarrel slot on just about any weapon, and usually the weapon was bigger than the drone.  It allowed the user to drop or throw the weapon, and the drone would stick it to the wall or floor and shoot with it.  Neat thing, but limited.
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    Re: Drones and Other fun toys..

    Post by WuJen on Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:17 am

    So out of boredom I skimmed the vehicle modification rules.

    Hooo Boy.  On the one hand it's great, it allows for a lot of flexibility.  But it can also get kind of involved.

    Short version is that there are 6 classes of vehicle mod(Power Train, Protection, Weapon, Body, Electromagnetic, Cosmetic), and a given vehicle has a number of slots in each of the 6 classes equal to it's body.

    We spoke of weapon mounts earlier.  They come in 3 sizes: Light, Standard and Heavy.  Light take Melee Weapons (Fun!), Tasers, hold out pistols, light pistols, heavy pistols, machine pistols or submachine guns.  Standard take Tasers, Hold-outs, Light pistols, heavy pistols, assault rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns, exotic ranged weapons, flamethrowers and special weapons.  Heavy take anything that fits on the others, as well as Machine Guns, Cannons, Launchers and Lasers.   Respectively, they cost 1, 2, and 4 slots.

    You can then decide if the weapon mount is external or internal.  External is the default, and costs nothing extra.  It also leaves the weapon exposed for all to see.  Internal costs an extra 2 slots, and the weapon is not visible until you deploy it. You can further make an internal mount 'concealed', but all this does is hide the weapon from an inspection of the internals.  It costs an extra slot, but there is no way for a hidden weapon to be ready to fire.

    Thus far, all such mounts default to a fixed firing position.  They don't move, you have to aim by pointing the vehicle at what you want to shoot.  For +1 slot it can be a flexible mount, meaning it turns 90 degrees on 2 axis for hemisphere of fire arc.  For +2 slots it can be a turret, for a full 360 by 90 degree arc---it spins and can point straight up, for instance.

    Not a thing when discussing drones, but you can also make a weapon have manual controls instead of just being remote.  +1 slot for the controls, +2 slots if you want to armor the control so the gunner is protected.

    So in the case of the Aztech crawlers, they have 3 body, meaning 3 "Weapon" slots that could take a weapon mount.  You can't get a heavy slot on there at all, but you could go with a light or standard mount.  If you don't want it to scare anyone until you are ready for action, you could make it a light internal---however, leaving it external leaves room for an Ammo Bin that holds 250 rounds for the weapon, useful if it's automatic. Other 'weapon' modifications are things like smoke, oil slicks, drone racks, and a few other entertaining toys.

    For fun and games, it might interest you to know that the GMC Bulldog has 4 extra 'body' modification slots.  Apparently as transportation goes, it's pretty spacious.  Normally it has seating for 6, that can go as high as 9 if modified for extra seating.  Possibly most amusing is you could conceivably mount up to 6 fully articulated arms to your van, and then literally hand your van any weapon you feel like per pair of arms, and still have room left over to provide life support for the passengers in case things are nasty outside.  With a total of 20 'Body' mod slots, the GMC Bulldog is a beast of versatility.
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    Re: Drones and Other fun toys..

    Post by WuJen on Sun Aug 19, 2018 5:15 pm

    ….and never mind.

    None of the information above applies to drones.  They have their very own completely separate modification rules, which if anything is even more byzantine than the one for vehicles.

    I'm beginning to really not like 5e on the rigger side of things.

    Basically drones have mod slots equal to their body.  Some of those slots may already be used on a stock model drone and you will have to tear out something to mod it with something else.  This is completely the opposite of how vehicles work, and flies utterly in the face of the entire concept for why they included stock modifications in the first place.

    Drones also have their own costs for the mods they can receive, thus wasting space in the book on repeating information just to note that a drone can use the mod and it's new cost.

    Modding vehicles has always been a little Dicey in SR... but this was silly.

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