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One of my plaeyers presented me an almost invulnerable drone. The thing looked fishy to me and so I noticed that on page131 (rigger3) the armor upgrade had (vehicle) in its description. Reading the description il looks to me it's a customization that is not compatible to drones, so I argued with my player about it but kept his bonus just for the flow of the adventure (his drone was basically invulnerable).

Now I'm here to ask your help on this issue, and also if I'm right and he can't add that kind of armor to a drone, does he have any chance to add armor to a drone? And how?

Thanks for the info!
Armour in general is limited to 3*Body, if I remember correctly. He can raise body by dikore coating (yes, really) by one, giving a B0 drone the possibility for A3, but that's about it.

Also, drones are not indestructible. Just take AV ammo, it halves armour and ignores hardened armour effects. Or really long bursts from vehicle weapons or troll streetsams. Or have a sneaky stabby knife adept sneak up on it and stabby-stab it with a dikote'd knife ... ah, the good old days of SR3 crazy.
Thanks for the first answer, I need to better formulate the question:

At page 131 of the SR3 RIGGER3 manual, there are some armour customization options. One of these is called "Armor (Vehicle)". It says:

"Standar vehicle armor consists of hardened ceramic and metallic panels that protect both vehicle and passengers from attacks. Each level of armor increases the Armor rating of the vehicle by 1 point.
Armor adds weight, reducing the vehicle's Load by an amount dependent on the vehicle's size (see below). Vehicles with a Body of 0 cannot carry any form of vehicle armor.
Armor also increases a vehicle's Handling rating, because maneuvering vehicles becomes more difficult as the vehicle's weight increases. For every 6 points of Armor added, increase the Handling of the vehicle by 1.

Design Specifications
Design Cost: 50 points per Armor Point
Load Reduction: (Body2 x5) kilograms per Armor Point.

My Rigger is fielding a Ferret Drone (page 173 RIGGER3).
The Ferret drone has a max LOAD of 50, so he mounted an Ingram Valiant (weight9) and 6 points of armor (weight 30).

If this armor customization is legal and has no limitation despite the drone's body1, it means a non AP hit from an AK97 does 0 damage (he's immune from single shot or burst fire).

My fear is that if I have to include weapons able to destroy such drones, they will be TOO LETHAL on the other PCs.

AP ammo is rare and costly enough that I don't think everyday goon would have them...

Thanks for the help guys.
Drones are a type of vehicle.

As I recall, he is correct in that he can have that much armor on a drone, with no penalty.

However, that doesn't mean the drone is invulnerable. Off the top of my head (it's been a while since I read R3) there's many ways of beating that drone without overpowering the other characters. For one, the opposition could field Zapper rockets or have Zapper strips hidden, so they can take out incoming drones. If there's an opposing rigger, he can always engage in a control war for the drone. Yes, the jamming rules are really annoying; so if you want a quick and easy way around it, just use Hot Mike jamming and completely cut the drone off from the PC.

Finally, there's magic. Drones have no real defense against magic. Yes, their OR is high; but if the mage beats it, the drone has no resistance roll. So, even the simplest illusion can trick a drone. Lightning spells can toast a drone. And spirit powers can really ruin its day: Accident can force crash tests, even if it's standing still, and it doesn't have much of ab ability to resist.
Thanks a lot for your answer Cain, apparently I found that the real issue was caused by the Ferret drone, having an amazing cargo capacity (50) despite the low body (1), made it a very powerful while small and adaptable drone.

I found in a Rigger3 errata that such drone should have availab. 9/9, meaning the PC couldn't get it at chargen, and the customization process required for all the modification he wants would take him 7 months. I think that's a good deal, I mean, risking loosing a 7 month worth of modifications drone justifies to me the high performance of it.

Anyway thanks for all the advices, SR3 was always my favorite system, but sometimes I really need help understanding some rules, and dumpshock is the best place to dig info from smile.gif

Thanks again.
Glad we could help you.

Really, though, you should familiarize yourself with MIJI rules. You can just steal his drone like that, or crap up his channels and give him murderous TN mali. Especially if his deck isn't built with all these expensive additional modules (and given how much money he dumped into the drone, I kinda doubt it does). Spirits and magic are also goot tips, though wreck used on a vehicle is a bit unfair given there's no defense roll at all (it's like the one-spit kill bat).

Also, drones have more problems with terrain than people. Use that to restrict where he can take the drone. The Ferret will have a hard time taking stairs, so if you're being mean, all it can do is drive in tight circles and yell "EXTERMINATE!"

Finally, try to get hold of a PDF of Rigger 3 Revised. It's a major overhaul of the rules and works much more smoothly.

And you can get the PDF of it now!

That reminds me, I still haven't bought it!

QUOTE (Bigity @ Mar 10 2014, 04:20 PM) *
And you can get the PDF of it now!

That reminds me, I still haven't bought it!

from pdf to paperback! (I already own paperback mits)


traveling from the UCAS all the way toward the confederation of Italy
Something else that could considered is an house ruling on how vehicular armor works (and while at it the way anti-vehicular ammunition works as well). One of the main reasons why vehicle armor in such a drone is that powerful is the fact that the rules on that armor affect damage codes in way too many ways:

  • Weapons that use non-AV-ammo get their base power halved (rounded down)
  • Their base damage code is reduced by 1 level (thus causing weapons with light damage to never cause damage unless using AV-ammo)
  • Aside to all that the modified base power (modification because of burst / fullauto are explicitly not included when making this comparison) is compared with the armor value and if it doesn't exceed the armor level, the weapon doesn't cause damage to the vehicle at all.

Particularly the third point will make anything with with an vehicular armor rating of 6 pretty much totally immune to anything that's handheld (except sniper rifles, assault cannons and laser weaponry). One of the easier changes here would be the inclusion of burst / auto-fire modification to the attack's power when making the comparison in point 3.

And where the standard rules of vehicular armor make vehicles near indestructable when dealing with "normal" weaponry it gets absurdly easy to destroy a vehicle once AV-ammo is used, because AV-ammo (with it's "magic bronze core") reverts both point 1 and two of the standard rules and then additionally halves the armor rating for both point 3 as well as the following damage resultion where the vehicle gets to resist against the attack's actual power minus reduced armor. From experience I can say that the additional halving isn't necessary - particularly if/when burst / full-auto modification of the attack are included in the comparison for point 3.

These alterations surely don't alleviate every absurdity that the vehicle damage rules can create, but it fixes some of those that occur more often.
QUOTE (hermit @ Mar 10 2014, 09:48 AM) *
Really, though, you should familiarize yourself with MIJI rules. You can just steal his drone like that, or crap up his channels and give him murderous TN mali.

Not unless he forgot Encryption, you can't. Broadcast Encryption so outclasses Decryption as to reduce the MIJI rules to the J rules in most cases (since you don't need to decrypt to jam).

As for the original question, consider that your reading would require that vehicles suddenly reject their armor when they have remote-control interfaces installed. The "(vehicle)" qualification does not draw a distinction with drones (there is no such hard distinction—a drone is a vehicle with a remote-control interface), but rather indicates that it's Vehicle Armor (hardened, etc.) in contrast to Armor (Personal) which provides ordinary Ballistic Armor.

Vehicles of normally-encountered sizes definitely do suffer from a big "feast or famine" effect, where most attacks that have any chance of damaging a vehicle are likely to destroy it with little to no chance of resisting (high-effective-value hardened armor, low Body, AV rounds effectively quarter armor). In our games it hasn't been so much of a problem because we're very risk-averse, so ground drones are rare (on account of the risk of them getting trapped somewhere). Note that the Ferret is quite slow and has an extremely poor Acceleration (which can be covered by a good Rigger, but then the Rigger has to be jumped in and still will probably take several turns to hit top speed. It's also wheeled, which means the opposition can go for mobility kills by shooting out the tires.

With base rules, I've found that the best way to address this is to emphasize the barriers to drone mobility—once the fight gets outside into the clear, the Rigger can dominate the opposition, but while indoors either the team needs to take time and effort to keep the Drone along or the Rigger needs to switch down to more maneuverable, less combat-heavy Drones. It's not ideal, and one of things on the agenda for SR3R is to make more detailed rules for Drone/Vehicle subsystem damage and Mobility Kill/Firepower Kill/Mission Kill rules so that Vehicles can be damaged in important but not catastrophic ways, but that's still a long way down the road.

Frankly, if the uber drone isn't vector or tracked, as soon as the accident ability or some lightning spell comes out to play, that's a lot of repairs and pain.

Also, there's some delicious fun hitting the drone with a Lightning bolt when the Rigger's riding it:)

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