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The Jopp
Drone Sensors – What are they?

I find no clear explanation in the book on how vehicle and drone sensors actually work or a description on how they function without any sensor upgrades like cameras or ultrasound, they see quite well without upgrades apparently even though they cannot SEE anything without a camera, they would just get radar echoes, which means they should at least have a radar.

The basic sensor is just explained like that, a sensor.

A what? Radar? Well, the most likely explanation would be a radar, but wait – augmentation have a good explanation of a radar: The Radar Sensor cyberware…

The closest explanation to a radar that I can find is just that, the radar sensor.

If drones have similar ones in rating 1-3 as most of them have then why cant drones and vehicles see through walls? (although I can see the government and corp having something against most people peeking through walls with their Doberman…)

Does anyone have another explanation to the sensor system? A millimeter wave radar sounds dandy but I can see some problems with using the Radar Sensor rules due to the X-ray vision thingy.
Rotbart van Dainig
First and foremost, the Sensor Rating provides basic Perception (you can make Perception Tests through Sensors, and so can the Pilot). If one wants to upgrade it with special enhancements, one needs to install a Sensor Package with those.

Additionally, it provides some totally unspecified Signature recognition capability used with Sensor Tests, mainly for Sensor assisted Gunnery... that won't even pick up a pedestrian right in front of your car, because your car has 3 dice for Sensor Tests and loses 3 dice against metahumans.
The Jopp
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)

Additionally, it provides some totally unspecified Signature recognition capability used with Sensor Tests, mainly for Sensor assisted Gunnery... that won't even pick up a pedestrian right in front of your car, because your car has 3 dice for Sensor Tests and loses 3 dice against metahumans.

The first part I already know, that's the basic knowledge but what i clearly miss is a simple and logical explanation of how the sensor rating work in a technical manner.

If drone sensor is a future tech based upon radar or some other technique then i would like an explanation of it.

It's that "Unspecified Signature Recognition" that really annoys me.

I can only hope that they add that in Arsenal and come up with an explanation of how a head mounted radar can have better perception bonuses than vehicle mounted radars and see through walls (and even if some of them have sensors some are BOUND to have a radar, especially flying vehicles even if they are labelled as "Sensor" rating.)

For example, what kind of Sensors/Radars would an average aircraft have today? The Cessna C-750 is noted as being used as a surveillance plane - that one should at least have a nose mounted flight radar (not sensor, radar)
Blade
I guess that "Sensor" is just a way to use a single rating to represent how good the drone can perceive its surrondings.

If you want to consider it in depth, it'll depend on the drone: a spy drone is very likely to use a standard camera whereas a crawler made for finding bodies in destroyed buildings will use something totally different (I don't know exactly what would be the best)
The Jopp
QUOTE (Blade)
I guess that "Sensor" is just a way to use a single rating to represent how good the drone can perceive its surrondings.

If you want to consider it in depth, it'll depend on the drone: a spy drone is very likely to use a standard camera whereas a crawler made for finding bodies in destroyed buildings will use something totally different (I don't know exactly what would be the best)

Well, that is the problem, you dont have a camera unless you install it as an extra option. They all just have "Sensor" instead of an explanation of the technical means that they use when they dont have those extra options.

I just find it odd that one can have a cyeberware implant that allows a human to see through conrete walls but drones are effectively blind compared to humans, and drones dont even have an option of getting a radar, they all just have a "Sensor" that is even worse than human perception.

I get the feeling that the best thing that drones have is a 360 degree range finder to measure distances from objects.

nope, cant have a rangefinder, thats a sensor add-on.

You see my problem here? indifferent.gif
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (The Jopp)
I just find it odd that one can have a cyeberware implant that allows a human to see through conrete walls but drones are effectively blind compared to humans, and drones dont even have an option of getting a radar, they all just have a "Sensor" that is even worse than human perception.

Because this is beyond 'basic Perception': It's an enhancement.

Wait until Arsenal for the Radar Sensor Package and install it.
The Jopp
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
QUOTE (The Jopp @ Sep 4 2007, 03:10 PM)
I just find it odd that one can have a cyeberware implant that allows a human to see through conrete walls but drones are effectively blind compared to humans, and drones dont even have an option of getting a radar, they all just have a "Sensor" that is even worse than human perception.

Because this is beyond 'basic Perception': It's an enhancement.

Wait until Arsenal for the Radar Sensor Package and install it.

Im actually hoping that they would add that for vehicle sensors.

And that they give a more in-dept explanation how this mysterious basic sensor works.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (The Jopp)
Im actually hoping that they would add that for vehicle sensors.

As default? indifferent.gif

I don't think PCs getting shot through walls by standard drones makes a great game.
Blade
QUOTE ("SR4 FAQ")
Do drones (and rigged vehicles) come with any sort of sensors (e.g., cameras, microphones)? If they do, what are they?

Yes, as you'll see on p. 342, SR4, each of them has a Sensor attribute. If you want to determine what specific sensors a drone has, see the Sensor packages table on p. 325, SR4. You can use the capacity for the vehicle's sensor package to determine what kind of sensor gear it has.


So the camera isn't a "extra option".
The Jopp
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
QUOTE (The Jopp @ Sep 4 2007, 03:16 PM)
Im actually hoping that they would add that for vehicle sensors.

As default? indifferent.gif

I don't think PCs getting shot through walls by standard drones makes a great game.

Hell no. I can see every damn player buying a cheapo drone for 2K and getting a ratign 4 radar sensor that can see through walls.

Just hook that up to your HUD and you are ready to shoot people through walls.

No, but i would like to see the following:

Drones have a radar sensor as standard but weak enough to reflect against objects and a strong enough receiver to have the range they need on their sensors (they cannot see through anything by default).

They would have the ability to upgrade it for the same price as the headware version up to their Sensor rating.

One would also be able to increase the basic sensor rating witha hardware upgrade very much like a commlink upgrade.

This would give birth to the rating 8 radar sensor that can see through meter thick titanium walls and fries the brain on anyone within 100 meters... grinbig.gif
The Jopp
QUOTE (Blade @ Sep 4 2007, 01:36 PM)
QUOTE ("SR4 FAQ")
Do drones (and rigged vehicles) come with any sort of sensors (e.g., cameras, microphones)? If they do, what are they?

Yes, as you'll see on p. 342, SR4, each of them has a Sensor attribute. If you want to determine what specific sensors a drone has, see the Sensor packages table on p. 325, SR4. You can use the capacity for the vehicle's sensor package to determine what kind of sensor gear it has.


So the camera isn't a "extra option".


Not sure what they are smoking when they write the FAQ at times but then i would like an explanation to all those costs for Sensor enhacements that clearly have a listed cost in SR4, nor do the drone or vehicle list specify what enhacements a player can choose for free on his/her drones or vehicles.

A base drone has no sensor equipment except its "sensor" all those add-ons like cameras must be bought as extras as they are not part of the basic drone package. Each sensor enhancement takes up part of the drones sensor package capacity however.

Every enhancement to sensors has a listed cost and no drone have any of them as standard as per SR4 core rule book.
Blade
The way I see it what you call the "Sensor" is the camera or whatever the drone uses to perceive its surrondings.

Additional sensors can be bought for specific uses.
For example a spy drone will have a camera (or a radar) to be able to move around. But if you want to use it to spy on conversations, you'll need to add a microphone, bought separately.
The Jopp
QUOTE (Blade)
The way I see it what you call the "Sensor" is the camera or whatever the drone uses to perceive its surrondings.

Additional sensors can be bought for specific uses.
For example a spy drone will have a camera (or a radar) to be able to move around. But if you want to use it to spy on conversations, you'll need to add a microphone, bought separately.

So, your interpretation of the FAQ is that you get to choose 1 sensor option without cost that is the basic sensor system and all the other cost money.

Sounds wrong as most players would then pick the most effective and expensive “main? sensor to save money.

The problem is that the sensor suite is emty, you CAN add something to improve things like a camera or ultrasound vision but you can also use the basic “sensor? (whatever that IS…)

Besides, nothing in Shadowrun have ever been a freebie and always cost money.
Blade
Actually, the main sensor has two restrictions :

1) It is limited by the sensor attribute : a drone with a low sensor attribute can't have a high-res camera.
2) The drone will rely on it to move around and act. So a drone with a chemical sniffer might look like a great deal, but it won't be able to move around without bumping on walls. A crawler drone using a low-light/thermographic camera won't be very efficient in total darkness and it'd rather use some kind of radar but in that case it won't be able to lock on someone very easily.
The Jopp
QUOTE (Blade)
Actually, the main sensor has two restrictions :

1) It is limited by the sensor attribute : a drone with a low sensor attribute can't have a high-res camera.
2) The drone will rely on it to move around and act. So a drone with a chemical sniffer might look like a great deal, but it won't be able to move around without bumping on walls. A crawler drone using a low-light/thermographic camera won't be very efficient in total darkness and it'd rather use some kind of radar but in that case it won't be able to lock on someone very easily.

Is this a houserule or can you give a specific page number describing this.

I can have a sensor rating of 1 but a weapon mount that has a device rating of 3 with a smartlink attached. The smartlink has a built in camera that can have additional mods.

Even though the sensor then would have a low res camera the smartlink camera would be far better.
Blade
It's an interpretation of what the FAQ says:
"You can use the capacity for the vehicle's sensor package to determine what kind of sensor gear it has." means that the basic sensors are limited by the drone's sensor capacity to begin with.

I take the "each of them has a Sensor attribute. If you want to determine what specific sensors a drone has [...]" as a way of saying that the sensor attribute is just an easy way to give a rating of the specific sensors.
If that's the case, then it means (using common sense) that a drone with a low sensor rating has bad sensors.
Hence, point 1.

Point 2 is just common sense. These base sensors give the sensor attribute, i.e the way the drone perceives the world. So, for example, a drone with just a microphone as base sensor won't be able to navigate in a place without sound. This applies to all kind of sensors a drone could use.

It's not exactly what's written, but that's the most logical interpretation I've found.
WearzManySkins
By RAW sensors can be upgrade to 6+ levels.

By your reading of the FAQ does that mean I can install more sensors in that vehicle?

WMS
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (WearzManySkins)
By RAW sensors can be upgrade to 6+ levels.

uh... where? How?
WearzManySkins
Using the hardware upgrade costs on page 240, using the signal upgrade column.

This information was related to me by Redjack, I do not recall where he found it. I asked him some questions regarding vehicles, the stats for same and upgrade paths for same.

WMS
Lagomorph
Rigger 3 explained what items were in the old systems' sensors. Which included:

Camera (Lowlight and thermo at higher sensor ratings)
Radar (at ratings 2+)
Audio
Proximity Sensor
Rangefinder (at ratings 3+)

So, seeing as it wasn't defined in this version, I've been going on the assumption that this was basically what was included.
Fortune
QUOTE (WearzManySkins)
Using the hardware upgrade costs on page 240, using the signal upgrade column.

Maybe Redjack could give us a page reference or quote to the effect that it is possible by canon to use the Commlink Upgrade table to upgrade sensors.
Redjack
QUOTE (Fortune)
Maybe Redjack could give us a page reference or quote to the effect that it is possible by canon to use the Commlink Upgrade table to upgrade sensors.

Let me start with a correction. The table does not say Commlink Upgrade, it says Hardware Upgrade Costs (BBB pg240). Now, as the operating system is differentiated between coms and drones as system and pilot, respectively (BBB pg213, pg228). Since you cannot run a pilot rating higher than the response (BBB pg213), you must be able to upgrade the response of the drone to run the higher pilot rating.

QUOTE (SR4 FAQ @ shadowrun4.com)
Do all drones come equipped with an average Device rating of 3 (as per the Sample Devices table on p. 214, SR4) or does the Steel Lynx (for example) classify as a "security vehicle" and have a Device rating of 4?

Any drone that comes equipped with weapon mounts should be considered a security vehicle, and given a Device rating of 4. These built-in Device ratings are meant to serve as a guideline, however, so the gamemaster should feel free to modify them as appropriate. Likewise, a drone's Firewall, Response, Signal, and System ratings may be individually be modified, improved (or reduced) at the discretion of the gamemaster or the character that owns the device.


Finally, I directly asked Rob the following question in a serious of questions about drones last year.
QUOTE (Rob Boyle @ 10/26/2006)
QUOTE (Redjack)
>  Finally I use the "Program Costs and Availability" (PHB228) for software upgrades and the "Hardware Upgrade Costs" table (PHB240) for the hardware upgrades.

Yes.

Hope that helps.
Fortune
I have no problem with any of that. Pretty much anything can have its Device Rating (and related attributes upgraded). I still don't see how that applies to Sensors though.

Note that I am not saying that sensors can't, or even shouldn't be upgradable. I am just wondering where you got the 'official' word to use that particular table.
Redjack
QUOTE (Fortune)
Note that I am not saying that sensors can't, or even shouldn't be upgradable. I am just wondering where you got the 'official' word to use that particular table.

I sent an email to info(a)shadowrunrpg.com in October of last year. Rob Boyle answered the question in the quote above. Does that clear it up?
Fortune
The problem is that there is no mention of Sensors (only undefined, generic 'hardware') in that quote. Maybe it would help if the entire context of the conversation/email were available.

Be that as it may though, seeing as there is no better guidelines for upgrading, that table serves just fine. As I said, I was merely curious about an 'official' statement or ruling on the matter.
Redjack
Ok, I think I get what you are saying now.. though perhaps not. Let me try a longer explanation:

A pilot program is a super system program. It does all the work of a system plus. A pilot could feasibly replace a system but not vice versa.

A drone's sensor is a hyper-set of a com's signal. It provides the same basic functions and measures plus all the other capabilities of a drone's sensor.

So if I understand what you are alluding to, it is that a pilot has a separate cost from a system but a sensor does not have a separate cost from a signal. Right?
Fortune
QUOTE (Redjack)
A drone's sensor is a hyper-set of a com's signal. It provides the same basic functions and measures plus all the other capabilities of a drone's sensor.

There's the problem!

Where do you get this from?
Redjack
Actually, those are my own words from reading the various uses/application of the drone sensors.

I sat back and thought about the issue from the 50k' level. I realized that we had a syntax issue and then spent a few minutes trying to express the root cause of our disconnect. It seems that for drones, signal and sensors are being used interchangeably at the moment. I think the only thing to say right now is that until Arsenal comes out we have little choice but to use the table on page 240 as well as the ones on 324-325..
Fortune
Fair enough.
kigmatzomat
This is one of those crappy parts of the book. For one thing, Sensor is an attribute for drones, much like maneuverability or Pilot. Then there's the range of the sensor. Plus the rating of the individual sensing devices that might come up in a test (e.g. MAD scanner). Oh, and don't forget the capacity.

As far as what drones or vehicles come with stock, the rules say squat beyond p.159's vague "all vehicles have sensors" statement. We've always gone with the assumption that a bog standard 100Y camera (trid+sound per p.325) is included with any vehicle or drone from the factory. Being on par with the Mark 1 eyeball, it's good enough for navigation.

And yes, they will have a horrible time seeing jaywalkers. But since Pilots get an action every 2 seconds (3 actions turn, 6 second turns) odds are a vehicle will notice a person within ~4 seconds. Since I'd imagine that Pilot-driven vehicles will be obeying the speed limits which means <30mph in most urban environments, school zones, etc. the drone will perceive the jaywalker as long as they are >150ft away. Which is about right, since at 35mph a typical stopping distance is ~125ft.


Sensor range is, if not explicit, then covered between the second table on p.325 and the signal range table on p.212. It's a simple fact that smaller lenses/microphones/photoreceptors/antennas/etc provide less resolution. E.g. The "sensors" that search deep space are huge and a pinhole camera has a crappy depth of field. For simplicity's sake, I can see giving a uniform range based on the available space for the exposed portion of the sensor.

it's rational that the default range for an RFID tag sensor is 40m, crawler drones a range of 1km, vehicle weapon sensors 40km, etc. Exceptions would be a camera with vision mag (effective range for RFID 40m x 50 power = 2km) or a MAD sensor (5m even on a vehicle).
Jaid
also, somewhere in the book, it says something to the effect of "drones can share data".

so that perception test is, in fact, say 20-30 perception tests with 1-3 dice each by the drones, which drastically improves the chances.

as far as the actual default sensors, they are in fact operating on some sort of unknown sensory method, which is dirt cheap, but only really decently effective for detecting vehicles.
WearzManySkins
@Redjack,,thanks I never had you explain it, but it does make sense.

WMS
laughingowl
I have alway seen 'sensors' as more actually software...

It related (and repalces) intutition for a human.

'sensors' is how well the drone mind can process what its various feed are giving it.

My like Inutition (+ perception if you have it) allows you to process your senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, etc....


Personally I have always given drones/rigger adapted vehicles the 3 applicable sense (sight, hearing, touch) (dont really see smell and taste as standard)...


By default a drone can see, hear, or notice by touch with a rating equal to its default sensors.

So that Steel Lynx comes with by default a rating 3 camera, microphone, (and touch (normally for things like somebody messing with it).

If you wanted to 'upgrade' the drone, you would need to replace the camera 3, with a camera 6 (then it would have a rating 6 sensor for sight).

All sense are 'normal' unless additional ware is bought. (low-light, ultrasounds, etc)...


though unless special gear installed if the drone could/needs to make a perception test, it makes a sensor (+clearsight if any) test.


Also much like a human driver...

A drone does not need to make a roll to 'see' a person to avoid runnig them over, it can tell the road is not clear.

The 'detect a person' problem is NOT to see an obstacle in the road, rather it is to indentify a human, as opposed to the bush, as opposed to the blowing pieces of paper, etc.


Now this part is defaintly house rule but...

I just treated them personally exactly like I would a human/animal/etc...

If the human woudnt need to roll to see.. (steel lynx barrelling down the highway) .. nor would the drone.....

If human would need to roll (spot the micro drone fly, buzzing around the lamp) so would a drone....


So the entire SR4 seems to be based on the KISS principal I try to use that as my guage for rules...

Perception tests are made with Sensors + (perception rigging or Clearsight if drone)....

The 'basic' senses are presumed.... just like with metahumanity additional option could be added....
Fortune
That seems like a reasonable way of looking at it.
The Jopp
laughingowl has a good point and i like the way he describes it, it still annoys me that they couldn't add a few simple sentences that explain what base tech is included in the basic sensor (basic camera & microphone).

After all, the sensor upgrades must be paid for and is thus not included in the package of a drone as per their desription, just a sensor attribute.

Another example is the sensor packages. For me by reading it RAW it took me a few times to realize that to get a hand held sensor i just choose the appropriate sensors from the list (and paid for it) and called it "hand held sensor package".

Perhaps i was just a tad slow that day.
The Jopp
QUOTE (Jaid)
also, somewhere in the book, it says something to the effect of "drones can share data".

so that perception test is, in fact, say 20-30 perception tests with 1-3 dice each by the drones, which drastically improves the chances.

Interesting, teamwork test for drones then.

Makes me kinda paranoid seeing a network of 10-20 mini-drones all having a clearsight and a few other sensor upgrades making a teamwork test to find me... eek.gif
The Jopp
QUOTE (Jaid)
also, somewhere in the book, it says something to the effect of "drones can share data".

Hmm, another thing that popped up.

This could cause confusion if one drone sends an image of a perfectly visible metahuman and the drone right in front of the metahuman is affected by said metahumans improved invisibility spell.

Would it trust its own visual data or the drone that is unaffected?

Do you have a possible page number for that? (I'm assuming it should be in the Rigger section)
Fortune
Teamwork tests, if indeed applicable at all, would still be restricted to the drones' Skill level equivalent (Autosoft?).
Jaid
QUOTE (The Jopp)
QUOTE (Jaid @ Sep 5 2007, 04:14 AM)
also, somewhere in the book, it says something to the effect of "drones can share data".

Hmm, another thing that popped up.

This could cause confusion if one drone sends an image of a perfectly visible metahuman and the drone right in front of the metahuman is affected by said metahumans improved invisibility spell.

Would it trust its own visual data or the drone that is unaffected?

Do you have a possible page number for that? (I'm assuming it should be in the Rigger section)

QUOTE (SR4 @ page 238 "Controlling Drones")
If instructed to, drones can subscribe to each other and share data, allowing them to coordinate attacks and other actions.


doesn't explicitly say teamwork tests, but i would agree that teamwork tests would make sense as a way to handle this. perhaps the more scary thing about this would be teamwork tests with a bunch of drones obtaining a sensor lock on something and then sharing that data (thus allowing a few drones to get a good target lock on someone by combined efforts... in SR3, this sort of thing would be handled by battletac systems, so perhaps it would be better to wait for arsenal and see what they do with this).
Redjack
QUOTE (WearzManySkins)
@Redjack,,thanks I never had you explain it, but it does make sense.

np. I'm hoping that Arsenal will clarify a great deal of our assumptions and work arounds here.
The Jopp
I just realized something extremely frustrating about anything with the name "sensor" in it. They are all basically crappy at finding anything.

Whenever you want something to be found with a sensor or seen with a specific kind of sensor you roll Sensor Rating VS Sensor Table.

Now, here are a few problems.

Stationary sensors like RFID tags or cameras do they automatically register things within their range? Is their Sensor rating equal to their Device rating? What exactly do they roll to see things as they have no Pilot attribute (they are not drones).

Can their Sensor rating be upgraded? (not sure about what Redjack has written as i only see that the sensors RANGE can be increased through increasing the signal strenght, not the sensor rating itself.)

The radar sensor cyberware is a nice piece of ware but i also realized as a sensor it should force the player to roll against the sensor table to see people behind walls as it is a sensor and an additional opposed roll against hidden people. Sure, it is a wonderful mapping tool but for more detailed information an Electronic Warfare test should be applied.
Fortune
I think, similar to things like 'capacity' and the sort, the word 'sensor' is being used in more than just the one technical manner here. The Radar Sensor, for example, like the Ultrasound Sensor merely bear that name, but do not necessarily fall under the rules for Sensors.
The Jopp
QUOTE (Fortune)
I think, similar to things like 'capacity' and the sort, the word 'sensor' is being used in more than just the one technical manner here. The Radar Sensor, for example, like the Ultrasound Sensor merely bear that name, but do not necessarily fall under the rules for Sensors.

Hmm, so unless it is a Vehicle, drone or person one simply roll the sensor rating or say that it automatically detects what it is supposed to detect?

Hmm, fair enough, no point in making it more complex than it is.
Riley37
The sense-enhancing cyberware and goggles and so forth assume that the user starts with normal human sight and hearing, and go from there.
Thus, the rules for vehicles/drones make sense if standard-issue vehicles have optical sensors that see in the standard human visible spectrum, and have acoustic sensors equivalent to human hearing. Apparently even a 20X6 motorcycle can drive itself from point A to point B in simple circumstances. The "signature" sensor could be a very low-power, low-resolution radar, not nearly as good as the kind that people install on goggles and cybereyes, more like the 1990s "collision avoidance radars" that are just meant to detect nearby other vehicles.
"Camera" has two meanings: a device that can see, and a device that can capture/record images. A camera option to your cybereyes enables you to capture images. Presumably, drones without the camera option can see, but don't take pictures for later use. NB many (most?) fighter aircraft since WWII have "gun-cameras" which take a picture each time the forward gun is fired, which is useful in post-combat evaluations of what tactics worked well, or determining whose shot gets credit for the kill, so camera ought to be a common feature of combat drones.
FlashbackJon
I've had a bunch of questions about this myself.

A standard Kanmushi microdrone comes with a Sensor of 1, and can only mount a micro-sensor with a capacity of 1.

Do I...
  • ...assume that the drone comes with a basic camera and microphone that can be enhanced as normal, leaving its microsensor capacity open for another sensor like a radio signal scanner (for example)?
  • ...assume that the drone comes with a basic camera and microphone, but that I must purchase one, using its microsensor capacity, to enhance it?
  • ...assume it contains NO microphone or camera, which must be purchased and placed in the microsensor capacity, which can then be enhanced?
  • ...do something else entirely?
If the drone comes with no actual sensors (the last suggestion) how does one 'jump into' a microdrone or pilot it at all?
Ol' Scratch
Sensors is, like most things in this game, an abstraction. Part of it is the quality of the sensors themselves. Part of it is the software that cleans up and transmits the input. Part of it is how "intelligently" the drone can interpret what it's sensing.

It has little to do with individual sensors. It has nothing to do with cyberware implants. It has next to nothing to do with a metahuman's Perception Test. Those are all entirely different things that are only similar on the surface, and which interact with one another through completely different game mechanics.

It's like bringing up Physical and Stun Ratings and the Heal spell when trying to figure out what the rating of a Medkit represents. Yeah, they all relate to the same basic facet of the game, but the first two have nothing to do whatsoever with the latter. Same difference.

And unless you're prepared to sit down and micromanage every single aspect of the game to exacting degrees and cross-reference those rules with everything that touches upon those rules, it's pretty pointless to worry yourself over what the more abstract ratings (Sensors, Medkits, etc.) represent. If you want to improve those ratings, use the supplied rules for doing so rather than try to save a couple nuyen by cobbling things together and arguing how awesome it should be.
FlashbackJon
Well, aside from Redjack's "Sensor = Signal" concept, which I don't feel is supported anywhere in the book (namely because only half of the Sensor ratings match the supposed Device Ratings of the drones they're on), there are no rules for upgrading Sensors.

If there was some basis for upgrading Sensors (and I can only assume there will be with Arsenal or Rigger 8 or whatever), I'd be right there with ya.

But even Cameras and Microphones are rating-less devices.
Redjack
I'll be the first to agree with you that the "Sensor = Signal" concept is deficient, but lacking any clarification in the book I subscribed to a little abstraction until Arsenal (hopefully clarifies it).

I personally think that given most of the uses of "sensor" attribute seem more appropriate tied to be tied to the pilot attribute. In any case, I hate for mechanics to get in the way of the story too badly. biggrin.gif
eidolon
QUOTE (FlashbackJon)
Do I...

  • ...assume that the drone comes with a basic camera and microphone that can be enhanced as normal, leaving its microsensor capacity open for another sensor like a radio signal scanner (for example)?
  • ...assume that the drone comes with a basic camera and microphone, but that I must purchase one, using its microsensor capacity, to enhance it?
  • ...assume it contains NO microphone or camera, which must be purchased and placed in the microsensor capacity, which can then be enhanced?
  • ...do something else entirely?

From the FAQ:

QUOTE (FAQ)
Do drones (and rigged vehicles) come with any sort of sensors (e.g., cameras, microphones)? If they do, what are they?

Yes, as you'll see on p. 342, SR4, each of them has a Sensor attribute. If you want to determine what specific sensors a drone has, see the Sensor packages table on p. 325, SR4. You can use the capacity for the vehicle's sensor package to determine what kind of sensor gear it has.


So if you have a drone with a sensor rating of 1, it has a sensor "capacity" of 1. A camera, if you consult the book, takes up a capacity of 1. Vision modifications don't take up capacity (which is stupid, but true, this is the same as vision mods that you put into contacts or sunglasses), so your capacity 1-taking camera can have thermo, low light, etc. without needing more "room".
FlashbackJon
So a microdrone can only have a camera OR a microphone OR a radio signal scanner?

How exactly does one operate a drone without a camera? How does the drone operate itself, even?

Maybe microdrones are just intended to be less useful than what I'm thinking - maybe the functionality I'm attributing to them is better assigned to minidrones instead.
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