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I've just read through all of the Drone Rules for Riggers including Rigger 3 (Yes, I have avoided it and the Matrix for the longest time now) and I have to say that some of the drones defecits, like comprehension rolls, seem difficult to me. What I mean is, I would have to tell a drone to "Open the door, go up the stairs, and signal me when you reach the roof" with three separate complex actions and then they may not even follow. Rating 3 piloting costs 25,000 nuyen.gif and that's the highest you start with. It specifically goes into detail about how limited the commands should be with an appropriate TN. So if I told a drone to "Retreat" it might not understand me, especially if it involved multiple mundane tasks (normally TN 2 or 3 to accomplish). Am I wrong? I hope so because I don't like thinking that if I play a rigger with 3 drones (all grouped) and give the group a command of "Fire on hostile targets" it wouldn't understand. Even when you tell them a formation you have to get specific about speeds, positioning, etc. but the book also suggests you go simple. How much can drones really do on their own? Thanks guys, I think I needed to vent a little.
As the group rigger right now, I gotta tell ya, drones ARE really dumb. To the point of sticking with just one good one (try to get a steel lynx, but be prepared if the GM veto's it, a doberman is a good substitute). If your dead set on running groups of drones, get one fixed wing/rotocraft drone with decent sensors, a target painter, and the Battle-Tac system. That way you can paint a target and tell the combat drones to kill it. Battle-Tac lets drones share targets, so this should be an easy command.
Kanada Ten
Well, what dose "open" or even "door" mean to a drone? If you use mapsofts and pre-loaded commands (open door = fire x weapons at the area between location a and b), it becomes rather easy to command drones, IMO. Talk with your GM about what level of commands he expects - as this is something the rigger will be intimately familiar with.

Things like "hostile targets" is vague, but if you pre-define hostile as "the sensor targets that I fire at", then it's simple and specific. Usually, you'll want to directly control one drone and use it as the spotter for the rest.
And yet in the Matrix we have programs, smartframes and AI of staggering complexity and adaptability.

Something's not right here.

Kanada Ten
QUOTE (KarmaInferno)
And yet in the Matrix we have programs, smartframes and AI of staggering complexity and adaptability.

Autosofts and scripts can make drones behave in very sophisticated ways, as can adding the expensive brains, but you're overstating the adaptability of frames, IMO. And since an AI requires massive amounts of computer power to function, that's not really a logical comparison - after all, Deus couldn't fit himself into one drone while compressed...
Herald of Verjigorm
We also have rating 5 robots with maxed out adaption (is that the name?) pool. Better at everything than most low karma specialists.

Mmmmmm adaption pools....
I think you're uding drones wrong, then.

What you do is take several down-on-the-luck riggers, upgrade their VCRs for free (include some loyalty-ware in there,) and have all the drones be run by peoples. smile.gif

Or, alternatively, you could just hire a couple of sammies. Hell, they tend to have weights and armaments comprabale to drones, and I imagine their fees won't be much worse than repair and maintenance costs.
Here's my problem, right now I have 3 Lynx with LMGs. Very nice. They fire with 4 dice (2 pilot, 2 sharpshooter autosoft) and I've tricked out the system against Electronic Warfare. However, assume I jump into one of the three Lynx, do I have to issue the command, fire on the same targets as #1 to #'s 2and 3, then jump into 1, or could I set it so that they automatically fire on the same target as him (without the costly battletac system). Further, I wonder about all this because in Rigger 3 they mention pre-programmed manuevers in your RC Deck. It's the difficulty, remember it's TN 2 for easy, 3 for routine, etc. and times it by 100. That means that to reload, TN 3 perhaps, the program uses up 300 mps on my deck. Is this correct?
This is also a pain because I can't have all 3 fire on different targets in a round, because it's a complex action to change/issue commands; although now that I think about it, with my Level 3 VCR, I would have multiple turns to issue commands, would they also gete multiple turns to fire on the bad guys?
i think you're amping up the difficulty involved too much. "go here and engage hostiles", for instance, is not something i'd even rule as two commands, since it can be restated as "engage hostiles from location X". getting to location X, including dealing with doors and other obstacles, is implicit. i judge the difficulty based on the number of variables involved. for instance, a three-part command might be "go to location X, engage hostiles until condition Y is met, then make a fighting retreat to location Z", because that involves three seperate variables (i don't consider the identity of hostiles a variable, YMMV).
I think what I really want them to do is some raptor manuevers, think the first Jurassic Park, and assault the hell out of people without worrying about using 8 commands to do it, or having those commands pre-programmed. With that in mind, am I right about the mp usage or should the factor be times 10 instead of times 100 (I don't have errata for the book and I'm not sure what page that's on at the moment, sorry). Anyway, I prefer Kanada Ten's argument about objectives, like moving past obstacles including doors to get to a specific location. I do have GPS and could equip them with it to utilize GPS commands. I think simple v.s. routine is also an area of confusion.
I guess part of my reasoning for such absolute simplicity comes from Rigger 3. On page 84 it states, "A pre-programmed command can cover only a single, specific task. For example, if a rigger wants to have a group of drones fly in a formation in a certain direction, then change course, she must pre-program two separate commands, one for each leg of the journey. Further, the commands must state the specific details of the drone's task, leaving nothing vague or open-ended. For example, if a rigger pre-programs drones to fly in formation, she must specify the type of formating (including the distance between drones), the direction of travel, the distance to be traveled, and the speed."

It also adds,
"The complexity of the command, as determined by the gamemaster using the Skill Success Table on p. 92 SR3 cannot be greater than the remote-control deck rating."

Then, looking at page 92 of SR3, it states, "Difficulty and Target Number:
Simple 2
Routine 3
Average 4
Challenging 5
Difficult 6-7
Strenuous 8
Extreme 9
Nearly impossible 10+"

Then, looking at Rigger 3 pg. 127 (I told you guys I read a lot recently) it states,
"A Rating 1 Pilot is a simple system that does exactly as it's told and is easily confused. A rating 2 pilot is an enhanced system with limited autonomy and the ability to interpret commands with slight latitude. A rating 3 pilot is an advanced expert system and posses roughly the same intelligence and comprehnesion level as an average metahuman."

I guess what I'm asking then is, according to a general consensus, what is simple, routine, average, etc. for each of the drone ratings? This is of particular interest for ratings 1-3 since they're the average drone intelligence. I know in SR3 it states it's at the discretion of the GM but, as a group, we're a little unsure of exactly what they would each see as simple or one command (waiting for a signal, firing an unspecified number of rounds until all targets are eliminated, and then returning to a specified location- at least 2 commands if I'm understanding the rules right). Thanks again.
Herald of Verjigorm
TNs don't change according to your pilot rating, but a rating 1 will fail a simple task 16 2/3% of the time. In contrast, a 10 dice robot (5 rating, 5 extra pool dice) will succeed a minimally nearly impossible task about 58 % of the time.

Where succeed means 1 or more successes.

Actual results will vary.

So, in order to make sure that my drones can take actions into their own hands (like finding their own routes to get from A to B), I should just equip them with pilot rating 3 and move on? I can do that, I was just curious. Or would a BattleTac system be a better investment? Thanks.
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