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Full Version: Drone Senors and Perception
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Hi all,

Good gaming session this weekend for us: Drones, Hacking, Magic, Automatic weapon fire, Explosions -- the works!

I realize there are many unanswered questions about Vehicles in SR4.core, so please your opinions and suggestions are welcome.

1) What type of Sensors does the Sensor Attribute consist of? I see that Signature ratings have an effect on the Dice Pool (Sensors+Clearsight), but there is no mention of what makes up the Sensor package. I assume all sensors have a visual component but only Low-light, Thermo and Ultrasound seem to be current options. I assumed Sensor packages have most of those components save Ultrasound.

2) Basic Sensor packages are almost useless. Using the Signature Chart modifiers, most objects impose a -3 Dice Pool modifier adjusting the Drone's Dice Pool to 0! This means Clearsight should be *required* for more than recreational use?

3) When does Perception come into play? My understanding is, use a Sensor Test to find it (Sensors+Clearsight) and a Perception Test to figure out what it might be (Pilot+Clearsoft or Intuition+Perception for Metahuman controller). Is this interpretation correct?

4) Assuming a target comes into Sensor Range, what Threshold do you use to determine what the object is? Do you use the Perception table? Is Perception used once Sensors get a single hit? I didn't see any specific mention of this in SR4.core

5) With regards to Perception, what's the effective range of using it? I didn't see any modifiers for Range but do see ranges for Sensors so would these be the same? Also, some Sensors work better far away (Radar and Thermal) than visual but there is no comments about any such differences.

I might be mistaken on some of these answers, but I will try since drones are one of the subsystems I feel I know pretty well.

1. Depending on the size of the drone, your sensor package has a certain capacity. You then buy each type of sensor seperately. I suggest adding a camera, at least. At its most basic, you might assume that drones have radar or something that allow them to detect signatures, but if you want a visual image, you have to add a camera, if you want to hear, you have to add a mic, etc.

2. See above. A small drone detecting someone without any sensors at all is an amazing thing. smile.gif Slap on a camera, and its a matter of Sensors+Clearsight against hte other person's agility+stealth (if they are trying to hide). IIRC, even in SR3, by the perception tables, drones were almost all blind.

3. If you are trying to lock onto a signature (for sensor-aided firing) or if your drone is trying to reason on its own (like, you gave it the command to shoot any trolls it sees, and your GM makes you roll to see if the drone misclassifies the elf as a troll or something). Otherwise, if the user is driving the thing, and it has reasonable sensors, its just like using their normal perceptions remotely.

4. Not sure what you are asking. I thought the signature raiting determined the threshold for basic sensor tests. For video/audio/whatever other sensors, its treated by normal perception rules - so even if your sensor range is huge, if you attack a laser mic (with max range of 50 ft) to the drone, it can only detect things with that mic that are withing 50 feet... and it would roll sensors+clearsight vs whatever skill or equipment the other person is using to be quiet.

5. My guess is for radar-type basic sensors vs. signature... use the sensors tables for range... for any sensor you bought as part of your sensor package, use the normal perception rules for ranges (which, I agree, are vague). However you would handle it for a player, do the same thing for the drone except that sensors = intuition and clearsight = perception.
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