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I've been playing around with the AI rules recently and one of the things I've been thinking of is how AIs function if they set their home node in a cluster of nodes (for those of you not familiar with Clusters, you basically link together a bunch of weak wireless devices, average their stats, and get half their processor limit to the new cluster node). Specifically, I've been thinking about an AI that has established a cluster of Ford LEBD-1s and then made that new cluster node their home node.

Broadly, I was wondering if anyone had tried anything like this and what their experience was.

More specifically:
An AI gives a pretty significant boost to it's home node, including System. Drones have Pilot instead System (it's a special kind of OS as I read it). Does that mean that the AI boosts all their pilot ratings?
If you have one Drone Autosoft loaded on the cluster, do all the drones act like they have that soft? Tacsofts?
How do you calculate processor load? For example, normally each drone would add about 1.5-2 to the processor limit. However, when the AI makes it a home node, their System/Pilot should increase to the point where they're all adding 3-3.5 to the processor limit. I'm not sure that's how it works but the alternative it that the node gets no increase to it's processor limit from being a home node.
It's not clear that you *can* cluster drones together. If you can, I think you've pointed out a lot of ways that it's abusive and/or problematic, and therefore shouldn't be allowed. smile.gif We had a thread about this (sans AI) a month or two ago.
Why is it not clear? A drone is a wireless device, signal and everything. If you can slave it, why can't you cluster it?
Because, if you do, who's running the drone? What if you cluster 4 together (a Pilot only gets 3 IPs, and only 1-2 actions per pass)? What if they're all different vehicles, so they don't even use the same custom-fitted Pilot? Are they sharing the same instance of that expensive autosoft you bought? What happens in a rigger jumps into to *one* of the drones? Or just RCs one. Is it even possible, now that they're one node? Etc. It's a mess.

Aside: slaving has nothing to do with it. That just means login attempts are forwarded to the master.
I think you can easily cluster them... but it doesn't make any sense to do so (Like Yerameyahu says). It is ONE entity after that... and can not pilot itself efficiently. Maybe you could use up a complex action for each "part§ of the whole to move. If it is a good AI who is steering, maybe you could just use one action to steer but impose a +2 per drone (And also make fine manipulation harder... since the AI has to concentrate).

But what you CAN do is have a BUNCH of drones just welded together or in a sack or something... and move it somehow else.

Also i would change up the time nesseccary to build the "net" because i don't think Pilots are supposed to work together on problems like that (other than a standard Tac-Net). Maybe have the man doing it do a extended harder programming test.

That's true: you could cluster the drones why they're immobile in your living room. I didn't get the impression he wanted that, though. biggrin.gif
I actually did this with an AI Rigger I was playing a while back. I was based in a Thundercloud Contrail that was Full Armed/Walker Moded to make it a humanoid, but what I did was said that the Lifestyle cost was the vehicle's node itself (so if I bought a R4 node the vehicle's signal, system, ect, were R4) and I bought implanted commlinks in each arm with the same stats as the vehicle's separately.

I did use the enhanced attributes of the Home Node on the clustered node, but I only added the additional programs able to be run by the unmodified commlink's stats. For example, a R4 node with a R4 AI with two other R4 Comms clustered would be a R6 node, but with only 11 programs able to be run instead of 15 ([3x R4] - 3 [so you don't hurt system] + 2 [from main node being increased]).

I may not have explained my math well enough, but give it some time and you'll figure it out.
I'd be fine with commlinks, yeah. As long as there's just one vehicle. smile.gif Only the *final* node (the cluster) gets any magic AI bonuses: that's just logic, because the AI's home node isn't any of the bits, it's the whole cluster only. Now, if one of the clustered nodes goes away… AI dies, because its node is gone? wink.gif
You'd need to kill all the parts at the same time, otherwise the clustered node just gets smaller. Think like a cake - you need to eat all the slices to have no more cake.
QUOTE (Neraph @ Nov 11 2010, 10:53 AM) *
a Thundercloud Contrail that was Full Armed/Walker Moded to make it a humanoid

Can you explain how this looks? Because that sounds awesome. Are we talking Transformers here? Like, did it come to a halt on wheels and unfolded its legs and arms and push itself up to stand? Or did it just not have wheels at all?
Walker Mode removes the primary locomotion and rebuilds it to legs. Technically it would still look a lot like a motorcycle, but in my mind paying for the vehicle, arms, and legs should allow you to get an "alternate model" that looks completely humanoid. Kinda like standard upgrades on a different custom drone but with much fewer mod slots left. Oh, and you need a Rigger Adaptation also at the very least.
Man, there's no option for both? Or would you have to purchase both walker and wheeled mode? I bet a GM would slap me for that anyway... rotate.gif

What if you connected each LEBD-1 with a rod to make a sort of honeycomb? How would that affect speed/acceleration/handling? I guess it would be like just a big flat LAV?

And why LEBDs? Aren't those police drones? Unless that's part of the fluff, you might want to go with the MCT-Nissan Roto-drone (or just use LEBD stats and name it as one of the similar models found in Arsenal, like the Shiawase Keisatsu 33v or the Cyberspace Designs Owl).

Random Ganger: "Hey, look! Coppers got a new drone! Let's shoot it!"
Fellow Ganger: "Yeah! Lemme get my rocket launcher!"
You: "No, wait! "
Possibly that's what happens, Neraph. The rules are silent on altering the cluster-node while it's running.

They're 'police' drones ('civilians' can still buy Crown Vics, though), but they're also the best (in a *very* small field) of 'VTOL flying drones big enough to do anything'.
On Ford LEBD-1s. They're simply the most utilitarian drone I can find. It's the only thing that can go from aerial reconnaissance to a running gun fight to hacking a maglock. Sure, there's probably something that can do each of those better/cheaper but nothing else that can do those without heavy mods. It also make bookkeeping much simpler, especially if you're clustering them.

Gonna look through Unwired tonight, see if I can work something out.
That's true, but it doesn't have to be a Ford LEBD-1 to have the same stats as one. For example, it doesn't have to carry handcuffs like the LEBDs do. Just call them Cyberspace Designs Owls and maybe give them extra handling for less speed/acceleration, etc. I mean, fluff-wise. If a bunch of LEBD-1 pilots somehow emerged together to form a single AI (that fights crime ninja.gif ), that would be cool. Otherwise you could just use a good Command program to run a bunch of them to swarm around you and stick commlinks to yourself somehow (as Neraph suggested) and cluster those. Ya gots options.
Extra Handling is worth a *lot* of speed, so don't go tinkering too much. smile.gif
AFB but is there anything stopping you from simply running multiple Pilot programs on the cluster? I can't think of anything prohibiting it, mostly because it would be pointless in any other context but a Pilot is basically a specialized OS/Agent so I can't think of any reason why you couldn't.
It's System. It's not really a 'program' at all. You can't run multiple System.

Obviously, Pilot probably *should* be a special Agent, but it's not. The rules are funny like that.
Can you use a copied Agent to run Maneuver autosofts?
You can't run multiple System.

Been looking through SR4A and I can't find any mention either way. Could you provide a page reference?
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Nov 11 2010, 02:04 PM) *
('civilians' can still buy Crown Vics, though)

Yes, but the Crown Victoria is different - it's a civillian vehicle that is adapted for police use. Look at Carbon Motors. That's a police marketed vehicle, and I'm fairly sure you can't just buy one without being a part of police department.
I know, but the point is no one would *notice*. In any case, we do know that anyone can buy LEBD-1's (or a Similar Model).
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