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 Drones and Stuff 
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So lets talk about how handling drones should be considered. Specifically we are talking about the variety of drones such as armed and unarmed drones for military service. Not the cheap $600 dollar ones we have in our garages.

So what ideas do you have?


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    Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:33 am
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    So, my big question relating to Borgs is, Since the brain /body interface is pretty much telepathic control of a drone, can that direct control be transferred to a surveillance drone or even a giant robot? I dont mean RC here as much as full Telepresence.

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    Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:40 am
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    @Billy Bong - Interesting idea of Telepresence.

    I was considering more RC control via uses of Cybernetics
    Droid Controller Suite
    • Core Electronics Package
    • Signal Booster
    • possibly a Droid Interface Package (new)

    Non Combat Droid - Survellience
    • Audio Package
    • Optics Package
    • Signal Booster
    • Range Data System

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    Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:12 am
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    BILLY BORG wrote:
    So, my big question relating to Borgs is, Since the brain /body interface is pretty much telepathic control of a drone, can that direct control be transferred to a surveillance drone or even a giant robot? I dont mean RC here as much as full Telepresence.

    I could see that as an option fitting in with fiction. Basically remote piloting without the effort of sitting in a control station.


    PS: This is weird, a ton of chatter in hangouts, but nothing people want here?

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      Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:21 pm
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      From a game balance perspective, the notion of limited actions needs to be preserved.

      Personally, I prefer a combination of Edges and Gear (and most Gear can be figured as a Cybernetic equivalent, with all the advantages and disadvantages that go along with that).

      First off, baseline rules:

      Operating a drone remotely normally inflicts a -2 to all actions taken using the drone, unless the character has the Drone Jock Edge. In addition, actions taken through a Drone are just like actions taken by the main character for purposes of Multi-action Penalties.

      (Someone a bit better with such things can stat out drones, their capabilities and weapons systems, the range and security of control, and the costs thereof--and yes, in any decent sci-fi setting, "drone jamming/jacking" is going to be a thing.)

      Drone Jock (Professional)
      Requirements: Novice, Agility d6, Smarts d6, and Boating, Piloting d6 OR Driving d6
      Drone Jocks are experts at maneuvering a drone via a remote interface. They ignore the -2 penalty such remote action normally inflicts. This Edge applies to any Drone you have the appropriate operation skill at d6+ for.

      Drone Ace (Professional)
      Requirements: Novice, Drone Jock, Agility d6, Smarts d6, and Boating, Piloting d6 OR Driving d6
      A Drone Ace may spend their personal bennies to allow a Drone under their control to soak damage. This uses the Drone's Vigor die. The Pilot must have the appropriate skill type at d6 for that Drone.

      Drone Master (Professional)
      Requirements: Seasoned, Drone Ace
      You may roll the operation skill (Boating, Driving or Piloting) for a drone you control and fire one weapon system without taking a Multi-Action Penalty.

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      Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:24 pm
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      Here is a Spam dump of the google chat in case people want. I did not format or edit, only copy and paste.

      Cut and paste spam
      Sgt 86Delta (After Adventure Reporter)
      Does SR have drones for Techno Wizards? If it does, then we reskin the control element as either a skill soft or an encoded piece added onto a cybernetic communication upgrade.
      Sgt 86Delta • 9:04 AM
      Timothy Ferrelli
      Kno. Electronics would be needed at least.
      Timothy Ferrelli • 9:06 AM
      Venatus Vinco
      I can see drones working a couple of ways: as gear or as edges
      As gear, we can probably steal from interface zero
      As edges, just reskin followers and sidekick
      Venatus • 9:09 AM
      Timothy Ferrelli
      I like the edge option
      Timothy Ferrelli • 9:10 AM
      Venatus Vinco
      In Palladium Rifts, both Naruni and the CS used drones...similar to the unmanned vehicles we see today
      I think High Command has a drone controller MOS in the CS Game too, so his thoughts might be helpful
      Venatus • 9:11 AM
      Sgt 86Delta (After Adventure Reporter)
      More the control elements I was concerned about. Good call on Interface Zero. Druids are already statted there.
      Druids really? Auto correct gah.
      *Droids folks droids.
      Sgt 86Delta • 9:13 AM
      Savage Worlds is intended to be like original D&D.
      Players can have tons of allies running around with them.

      I see no reason why an edge would be needed for drones as long as the character has the required operating skills.
      Perhaps give them a -2 Control value and let an Edge remove the -2
      9:14 AM
      Venatus Vinco
      I think I used IF drones as the model for CS drones in Old Chicago
      I was only saying it could go either way...drone control as an edge could work...kind of like power armor jock
      Venatus • 9:15 AM
      I could see followers for fully autonomous drones (what we would call robots).
      Such as hot wiring a couple dozen skelbots or something
      9:16 AM
      Jon Neeper
      I have a feeling we should see if there is a savage shadowrun
      Jon • 9:16 AM
      Sgt 86Delta (After Adventure Reporter)
      Multiple droids at once or one at a time?
      Savage Shadow run is Interface Zero setting
      Sgt 86Delta • 9:16 AM
      Venatus Vinco
      there is a savage shadow run, one of the guys on the wild die did it
      Manuel, or something like that
      But yeah, IF Zero is the way to go
      Venatus • 9:17 AM
      Jon Neeper
      Well if it already done and something the rift setting supports lets do it.
      Jon • 9:19 AM
      A multi action penalty would apply to controlling multiple.
      But an edge could remove it.

      I think w should write up three or four custom edges.

      Edge 1: Removes -2 penalty for controlling drones

      Edge 2: Allows controlling two drones without a MAP

      Edge 3: Drone Master allows controlling 4 drones.

      Edge 4: Mobile controller. The most skilled of drone controllers know how to use the miniaturized controllers that allow them to operate drones on the move. (Normally a -2 to operate for those without the edge)
      9:19 AM
      Sgt 86Delta (After Adventure Reporter)
      IFZ has droids skills and edges already detailed and statted. No need to Savage it.
      Sgt 86Delta • 9:19 AM
      But not everyone wants to buy a copy, and copying whole sections out of another book for posting online, undermines the creators efforts to produce more material.
      9:20 AM
      James
      Regardless of the number of edges being able to control multiple drones with no penalty seems insanely powerful. If I'm going to be in a group with someone that can run around with 4 drones that game better have some pretty nifty non-combat stuff to do.
      Nothing kills a game faster for me than being a third wheel.
      James • 9:55 AM
      Power wise it would be the same as using Summon Ally to have four drones.
      But they are harder to replace
      9:57 AM
      James
      That's one of the reasons I changed characters in the Vampire game. Fizz's primary goal is not being a combat god. I don't care if there are twenty summoned creatures running around slaughtering everything. Spartacus was sucking it for me for several reasons but mostly because I felt useless at doing the one thing he was supposed to be good at.
      James • 10:00 AM
      Venatus Vinco
      Yes, because summon ally isn't broken ☺
      Venatus • 10:00 AM
      James
      There is that, yes.
      James • 10:02 AM
      Venatus Vinco
      Just giving a quick read of interface zero...they require a cybernetic implant to control drones, the number is dictated by the "level" of impant
      then you can use drone in "pilot" mode (100% "hands on" control) or basic mode where they act on their own according to their programming
      Savage Rifts has a vehicle interface cybernetic...so it wouldn't be much of a stretch to build off of that
      Venatus • 10:05 AM
      Bleys Ingram
      Just the most basic drone functions. Lets say, fly 3 clicks away, send back video and act as a network hub. There is a lot of logistical awesomness without giving extra attacks.
      VV, neat.
      Bleys • 10:07 AM
      Venatus Vinco
      Man, I love drones...especially CS drones chasing players
      Venatus • 10:07 AM
      Bleys Ingram
      Well, we do play in a setting where the AI of a robot horse is better at threat assessment than the average human.
      Bleys • 10:09 AM
      Weird. Because I get to control drones without an edge or a cybernetic implant
      10:09 AM
      Bleys Ingram
      Thumbs are not an edge?
      Bleys • 10:10 AM
      Venatus Vinco
      It's a skill at least...piloting most likely
      shooting if its armed
      I guess it depends on the flavour we want
      mentally controlled AI drones or remote controlled drones
      Venatus • 10:11 AM
      Bleys Ingram
      Or driving i suppose. I am still a bit unclear on the drive/pilot divide.
      Bleys • 10:12 AM
      Venatus Vinco
      Amen Bleys
      That is not very clear to me either
      So...if you wanted to have "remote controlled" drones use piloting (for example) then add an edge "Drone Jockey" that functions like power armor and robot armor jock
      FFF
      Venatus • 10:13 AM
      Moves inn ground = Diving
      Moves through air = Piloting
      Just ignore Any Crazy contradictions
      10:15 AM
      luna Peyton
      But those crazies like to contradict
      luna • 10:15 AM
      Venatus Vinco
      If it moves "in" the ground wouldn't that be drilling?
      Venatus • 10:15 AM

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        Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:49 pm
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        My only input on this is that a drone seems like a fine idea. A horde of drones, however, seems like a very bad idea on multiple levels.

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        Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:53 pm
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        I like this. My favorite Shadowrun character was a rigger that would sit several blocks away from the action and provide support in various ways. I would absolutely build a Rift rigger. (I like the way that sounds too.)

        IMO there needs to be several categories of drones available. Recon with good sensors and stealth, Light Support with limited weapons and armor but the ability to provide distractions or cover (audio/visual tricks/tests-of-will or smoke/barriers), and Heavy Support with a bit more armor and heavier weapons but much shorter flight/drive time because of the power requirements.

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        Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:54 pm
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        In rifts, they don't do drones as much as they robots; There is a drone controller device that is arm mounted, another that is a vehicle mounted one, and another that is cybernetic. The CS has the cybernetic one, Naruni offers the vehicle mounted controls (which controls a network of weapon and sensor drones - check out Mercenaries), and Northern Gun offers the arm mounted one that can be mounted in Power Armor.

        Here's how I did the Savage version of the Skelebot Interface Implant:
          Skelebot Interface Implant (1): This piece of cybernetics connects to a built-in cyber radio that translates voice commands into coded transmissions to the Skelebot. This allows the Robot Specialist to order any Skelebots under his command without the need for specialized external equipment. Range is limited to 150". This piece of cybernetic equipment is Top Secret, only made by the Coalition and is available only by assignment. (Strain 1; Not for sale)

        Honestly, it needs a bit of work, since I intend for it to allow the players to use the command edges on the skelebots.

        Short version: Create robot/drone extras and use the Command and Sidekick rules, depending on the capability of the drones.

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        Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:56 pm
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        Now the real question:

        Can Telemechanics be used to steal control of drones? :)

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        Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:16 pm
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        Alecto wrote:
        Now the real question:

        Can Telemechanics be used to steal control of drones? :)


        If course

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          Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:49 pm
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          Freemage has a line on the edges... I would go even further to just retrapp Beast Bond and Beast master for drones. Then you are done. You want a small drone that has flight and a laser, use the falcon or hawk stats and toss a wilks on it with a d6 of shooting. Maybe a bit of armor.

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          Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:45 pm
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          Pender Lumkiss wrote:
          Freemage has a line on the edges... I would go even further to just retrapp Beast Bond and Beast master for drones. Then you are done. You want a small drone that has flight and a laser, use the falcon or hawk stats and toss a wilks on it with a d6 of shooting. Maybe a bit of armor.


          That would be a good fit for a self-operating drone with an AI unit. But it's not so good a fit for one that is pretty much just an extension of the operator. (Beast Bond/Beast Master are for 'pets' and other trained beasts--which an AI Bot would certainly fit.)

          And note: The SciFi companion has basic robot rules that would be very suitable for self-operating drones. You could even create a mod (Remote Controlled) to turn the robot into a direct control drone like others were looking for. It would probably be a cost decrease to the base cost of the Bot, since it wouldn't be relying on an AI to operate, and wouldn't have Smarts or Spirit dice.

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          Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:01 pm
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          Pender Lumkiss wrote:
          Freemage has a line on the edges... I would go even further to just retrapp Beast Bond and Beast master for drones. Then you are done. You want a small drone that has flight and a laser, use the falcon or hawk stats and toss a wilks on it with a d6 of shooting. Maybe a bit of armor.

          Genius!

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            Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:01 pm
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            They'd have a Smarts score actually. Just not a high one.

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            Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:58 am
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            High Command wrote:
            They'd have a Smarts score actually. Just not a high one.

            Would a remote-controlled drone have a Smarts score? They would be using the operator's intelligence. If you wanted a very basic AI to handle moments when it's no longer being controlled, then I don't think you need actual Smarts for a simple contingency instruction like, "Stay and record all events in your area" "Attack everything in your area" or "Go to [co-ordinates] and land/self-detonate".

            If the Drone is going to have decision-making capacity when it's not linked to an operator, of course, then it gets Smarts and Spirit both, and would need a different Mod for switchable control.

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            Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:19 am
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            I think you need a Smarts score for scenarios where the drone may need to react to something outside the operator's instructions. It would be similar to animal smarts allowing limited binary type decision making.

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            Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:59 am
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            Freemage wrote:
            High Command wrote:
            They'd have a Smarts score actually. Just not a high one.

            Would a remote-controlled drone have a Smarts score? They would be using the operator's intelligence. If you wanted a very basic AI to handle moments when it's no longer being controlled, then I don't think you need actual Smarts for a simple contingency instruction like, "Stay and record all events in your area" "Attack everything in your area" or "Go to [co-ordinates] and land/self-detonate".

            If the Drone is going to have decision-making capacity when it's not linked to an operator, of course, then it gets Smarts and Spirit both, and would need a different Mod for switchable control.


            As I said, 90% of all drones in Rifts are actually robots. Like Skelebots. So yeah, Smarts and Spirit. The few that aren't are also dumb as bricks.

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            Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:06 pm
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            Two different level of Bots
            (a) Radio (RC) controlled
            (b) AI controlled


            Radio (RC) controlled drones/bots
            • Less Expensive
            • Short Range
            • Fewer Bots/Drones Controlled
            • Easier Repairs because of Mechanical Repairs and no coding or programming
            • Lower Smarts and Spirit scores


            AI controlled drones/bots
            • More expensive
            • Long Range
            • More Bots/Drones, Less Control Required
            • Harder Repairs due to Specialized, Coded, and Programmed parts.
            • Higher Smarts and Spirit scores (required for atonomy)

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            Character Name: Silverclaws
            Rank: Seasoned 2 Experience: 7 Advances Left: 1
            Race: Wolfen
            Iconic Framework: MARS Techno-Warrior

            Bennies: 4/4
            Agility d12, Smarts d8, Spirit d10, Strength d12+1, Vigor d12
            Charisma: 0; Pace: 8 (1d8); Parry: 8 (9 with claws); Toughness: 23 (6); Size: +1; Strain: 19/22
            Hindrances:
            • Code of Honor Wolfen society places great value on justice and rule of law meaning all Wolfen live by a strict code of honor.
            • Distinctive D-Bee: -4 Charisma with CS citizens.
            • Non-Standard Physiology Cannot wear standard armor; Trait rolls related to driving a vehicle or firing a vehicle’s weapons are at -2 penalty.
            • Enemy (Major): Hated and targeted by vampires and supernatural beings
            • Wanted (Minor): CS - Lone Star
            • Habit(Minor):I am a wolf and do wolf things. So I periodically howl at the moon. What of it?
            • Overconfident: Hold my beer ...

            Notice d8+2 (d8+4 if scent or sound), Common Knowledge d8, Intimidation d10, Persuasion d4-2

            Edges and Abilities of Note:
            • Level-Headed Edge: Draw two initiative cards and take the best.
            • Danger Sense Edge: Notice roll -2 before being suprised or ambushed.

            Adventure cards:
            • (7) Not Today: Play after any other character’s attack roll to cause it to automatically fail. This is a critical failure.
            • (20) Last Stand: Your hero and any adjacent allies gain +2 Parry and Toughness. Allies who move into contact after the card is played gain the bonus as well. The effect ends when a Joker is dealt.


            | 2017Q4 | 7 XP (32) | 3 EP (1) | +1 Benny (5) |
            | 2018Q1 | 7 XP (39) | 3 EP (4) | +1 Benny (4) |


            Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:55 am
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            An RC drone wouldn't have a Spirit or Smarts attribute at all unless they had some sort of autonomous functionality. With RC drone hacking would be a straight up opposed skill roll with the operator. I'd propbably go with Kn Electronics or Kn Computers for that.

            For AI drones I'd just use Smarts to resist hacking attempts. The smarter the drone the better it would be at resisting.

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            Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:04 am
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            Radecliffe wrote:
            An RC drone wouldn't have a Spirit or Smarts attribute at all unless they had some sort of autonomous functionality. With RC drone hacking would be a straight up opposed skill roll with the operator. I'd propbably go with Kn Electronics or Kn Computers for that.

            For AI drones I'd just use Smarts to resist hacking attempts. The smarter the drone the better it would be at resisting.


            I'd say Kn Computers for hacking, Kn Electronics for jamming. Jamming just shuts down active control, while hacking lets you actually issue your own commands. RC Drones might also have "Hacking Security" as a mod, which would impose a penalty on attempts to subvert control.

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            Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:12 am
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            Freemage wrote:
            Radecliffe wrote:
            An RC drone wouldn't have a Spirit or Smarts attribute at all unless they had some sort of autonomous functionality. With RC drone hacking would be a straight up opposed skill roll with the operator. I'd propbably go with Kn Electronics or Kn Computers for that.

            For AI drones I'd just use Smarts to resist hacking attempts. The smarter the drone the better it would be at resisting.


            I'd say Kn Computers for hacking, Kn Electronics for jamming. Jamming just shuts down active control, while hacking lets you actually issue your own commands. RC Drones might also have "Hacking Security" as a mod, which would impose a penalty on attempts to subvert control.


            Definitely a good mod for military and security style drones. Illegal for civilians, of course.

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            Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:39 am
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            Would you use MARS Operator IF for these Drone/Bot Operators?

            Could you reskin the Shifter (Savaging Your Favorite Rifts Ideas) for use with a Drone Operator? Their abilities to summon (Bind the Summoned/Master Summoner) specifically.

            _________________
            SILVERCLAWS
            Quick Stats
            Character Name: Silverclaws
            Rank: Seasoned 2 Experience: 7 Advances Left: 1
            Race: Wolfen
            Iconic Framework: MARS Techno-Warrior

            Bennies: 4/4
            Agility d12, Smarts d8, Spirit d10, Strength d12+1, Vigor d12
            Charisma: 0; Pace: 8 (1d8); Parry: 8 (9 with claws); Toughness: 23 (6); Size: +1; Strain: 19/22
            Hindrances:
            • Code of Honor Wolfen society places great value on justice and rule of law meaning all Wolfen live by a strict code of honor.
            • Distinctive D-Bee: -4 Charisma with CS citizens.
            • Non-Standard Physiology Cannot wear standard armor; Trait rolls related to driving a vehicle or firing a vehicle’s weapons are at -2 penalty.
            • Enemy (Major): Hated and targeted by vampires and supernatural beings
            • Wanted (Minor): CS - Lone Star
            • Habit(Minor):I am a wolf and do wolf things. So I periodically howl at the moon. What of it?
            • Overconfident: Hold my beer ...

            Notice d8+2 (d8+4 if scent or sound), Common Knowledge d8, Intimidation d10, Persuasion d4-2

            Edges and Abilities of Note:
            • Level-Headed Edge: Draw two initiative cards and take the best.
            • Danger Sense Edge: Notice roll -2 before being suprised or ambushed.

            Adventure cards:
            • (7) Not Today: Play after any other character’s attack roll to cause it to automatically fail. This is a critical failure.
            • (20) Last Stand: Your hero and any adjacent allies gain +2 Parry and Toughness. Allies who move into contact after the card is played gain the bonus as well. The effect ends when a Joker is dealt.


            | 2017Q4 | 7 XP (32) | 3 EP (1) | +1 Benny (5) |
            | 2018Q1 | 7 XP (39) | 3 EP (4) | +1 Benny (4) |


            Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:17 am
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            If using MARS I'd suggest adapting either the Power Armor Soldier Package or the Robot Armor Operator package replacing the armor with a suitable drone (perhaps 2 depending on how powerful they were.)

            Basing combat drone stats on existing power and/or robot armor seems pretty straightforward to me.

            Hover cycles could be adapted for recon style drones (make them smaller, maybe one mod slot, use speed/armor stats, add sensor package, etc.)

            Make them battery powered to give them a dependency (recharge every 24 hours.)

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            Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:41 am
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            So, i plan on statting up the original content models that I am making. I wanted to get feedback on autonomous weapon turrets. The vehicle is basically a large Motorcycle/Robohorse with a turret on its rump. Basic Robohorses already have a pretty sophisticated AI. Does anyone see a problem with the AI controlling the weapon, acting on the riders voice command? Yes it is a free attack but equipment gives a lot of different bonuses.

            This is not so much a drone question as it is an autonomous
            system question.

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            Skills: Drive d8, Fighting d10, Knowledge (Computers) d4, Knowledge (Engineering) d4, Knowledge (Cybernetics) d4, Notice d6 +2(Audio)+2(Visual), Repair d10 +4(Core Electronics Package) +2 (Universal tool Kit), Shooting d10+2 (Targeting Eye)
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            Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:54 pm
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