Robotic Companions

Rocketeer
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Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:18 am

Robotic Companions

Postby Rocketeer » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:14 am

Given the companion perks of the lower tech cosms, such as Animal Companion and Drake Rider, I would be disappointed if the higher tech cosms didn’t contain robotic companions and vehicles.

Core Earth technology has produced many kinds of robots. These range from simple robotic home vacuum cleaners to much more complex semi-autonomous space exploration vehicles. Prototype self driving cars are currently being tested. There are robotic toys, such as Cozmo, and people can even build and program their own robots using Lego Mindstorms.

Core Earth robots have been built using many different types of locomotion. Robots that use wheels and treads are common. There are experimental robots that fly like dragonflies and swim like sharks. Walking robots, that use 2 or more legs have been built.

Even though Pan Pacifica’s Tech Axiom is only one higher than Core Earth’s, that will likely translate to significant advances in robotics. Robots that perform routine domestic and service tasks could be available. For example, robotic housekeepers, gardeners, cooks, waitresses, firefighters, construction workers, etc. might start to replace humans in those positions. The robots might not be humanoid in shape or appearance, but instead have a much more utilitarian design.

Robotic vehicles that respond to basic commands could be within reach for Pan Pacifica. A self driving, self stabilizing motorcycle might be quite useful for an Electric Samurai. Imagine signaling for a motorcycle and having it zoom into the scene.

Since Kanawa would be manufacturing nearly all the robots (under various front companies) they would reap a lion’s share of the profits from this technology. The more robots in use, the greater the control Kanawa has over every aspect of day to day operations in Pan Pacifica. Also, Kanawa could build backdoor accesses into the robots’ systems, which could be exploited at the most opportunistic times. An automatic security system could fail to notice a ninja intruder, a self driving car could deliver its passengers to the wrong destination, etc.

While Tharkold has certain kinds of robots (e.g. Ghuls), robotic companions seem to be a poor fit for Tharkold. With the Law of Domination, living workers are much more desirable than robots. How do you assert dominance over a machine? From the perspective of the technodemons, asserting dominance over living creatures would seem to be more important than any efficiency benefit gained from using robots. And there is also the Law of Pain, how do you cause a machine to feel pain. Robots in Tharkold are likely to be limited to ones that inflict pain and fear.

The Cyberpapacy could definitely have very sophisticated robots, and they surely do. However, the robots would all be tied into the godnet (unless somehow hacked, and a robot disconnected from the godnet might even lose its ability to function). Robots might be designed to only perform certain officially sanctioned tasks. So, the number and availability of robots is likely to be tightly controlled.

All in all, Pan Pacifica seems to be a better fit for robotic companions, even though the Tech Axiom of 24 seems to be the minimum that would support them.

GeniusCodeMonkey
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Re: Robotic Companions

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:45 am

Or Nile... Danger Will Robinson, Danger!
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QuarrelBlue
Posts: 132
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Re: Robotic Companions

Postby QuarrelBlue » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:31 am

Salvaged and reprogrammed Komar(or similar) Drones looks great for Tharkold Robotic Companions. Companions are, after all, (at least for the heroes) something beyond domination anyway.
(It's a bit off-topic, but some Robotic Telexistence Double for multi-action may be an interesting Perk...)

Cyberpapacy can have some Cybernatic Animal Companions(Slinker watchCats, BoosterDogs, DroneWolves...do Hospitaller Knights still use their Charger CyberHorses in TorgE?), and some VX Entity Companions with Materialization Perk can be fun and helpful.
(The Beast of Apocalypse may be a bit too big for a portable Cyberdeck, but a small animal- or fairy- like Entity can be a good assistant. Those CyberPriests can mistake them as demonic familiars and bland you as a heretic, though...by the way, does Animal Companion Perk support familiars for Cyberwitches?)

Wakshani
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Re: Robotic Companions

Postby Wakshani » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:47 am

The big problem with robo-pals is that unliving things tend to do quite poorly outside of their reality. Toss DJ Roomba into the Living Land, come back 24 hours later, it ain't gonna drop any sick beats.

Alas, alas.

GeniusCodeMonkey
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Re: Robotic Companions

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:25 am

Wakshani wrote:The big problem with robo-pals is that unliving things tend to do quite poorly outside of their reality. Toss DJ Roomba into the Living Land, come back 24 hours later, it ain't gonna drop any sick beats.

Alas, alas.


That is true, but my group are playing wholly native characters as they play through the big adventures.

Isn't part of companions that you can spend possibilities for them? So doesn't that imply that there is a link there that you could be protecting them from realities disconnections.
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Wakshani
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Re: Robotic Companions

Postby Wakshani » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:58 am

GeniusCodeMonkey wrote:
Wakshani wrote:The big problem with robo-pals is that unliving things tend to do quite poorly outside of their reality. Toss DJ Roomba into the Living Land, come back 24 hours later, it ain't gonna drop any sick beats.

Alas, alas.


That is true, but my group are playing wholly native characters as they play through the big adventures.

Isn't part of companions that you can spend possibilities for them? So doesn't that imply that there is a link there that you could be protecting them from realities disconnections.


And here's where we start to see rules clashing with the spirit a bit and part of why we haven't seen any mechanical companions yet. CAN an unliving thing spend Possibilities? If so, can an unliving thing be Possibility-rated? Is there a KITT-style car in Pan-Pacifica that can talk, drive itself around and is, in effect, alive?

If not, *should* there be a companion-style rule for an unliving thing, if it can't duplicate the advantage that a living companion can? Or, if so, is there some kind of augmentation that they should get to counteract being weaker?

Just like that, we're in some philosophical game design zone. :D

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TorgHacker
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Re: Robotic Companions

Postby TorgHacker » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:14 pm

The Cyberpapacy SB will explain some of this. :-)

#drones
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GeniusCodeMonkey
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Re: Robotic Companions

Postby GeniusCodeMonkey » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:25 pm

Wakshani wrote:
GeniusCodeMonkey wrote:
Wakshani wrote:The big problem with robo-pals is that unliving things tend to do quite poorly outside of their reality. Toss DJ Roomba into the Living Land, come back 24 hours later, it ain't gonna drop any sick beats.

Alas, alas.


That is true, but my group are playing wholly native characters as they play through the big adventures.

Isn't part of companions that you can spend possibilities for them? So doesn't that imply that there is a link there that you could be protecting them from realities disconnections.


And here's where we start to see rules clashing with the spirit a bit and part of why we haven't seen any mechanical companions yet. CAN an unliving thing spend Possibilities? If so, can an unliving thing be Possibility-rated? Is there a KITT-style car in Pan-Pacifica that can talk, drive itself around and is, in effect, alive?

If not, *should* there be a companion-style rule for an unliving thing, if it can't duplicate the advantage that a living companion can? Or, if so, is there some kind of augmentation that they should get to counteract being weaker?

Just like that, we're in some philosophical game design zone. :D


You don't get reality rated AI until tech 27, but 'limited awareness' at tech 24.

So at tech 24 you can effectively have artificial beings that are Ords; so would count as companions with all the rules currently covered by companions.

At tech 27, you can play an artificial person and not worry about disconnecting as you can always reconnect.

At least that's how I read the Tech chart on P234.
Question everything.
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Atama
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Re: Robotic Companions

Postby Atama » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:44 pm

Robot sidekicks are a popular trope, I’d be disappointed not to see them appear in Torg eventually.
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Rocketeer
Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:18 am

Re: Robotic Companions

Postby Rocketeer » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:42 pm

Wakshani wrote:
GeniusCodeMonkey wrote:
Wakshani wrote:The big problem with robo-pals is that unliving things tend to do quite poorly outside of their reality. Toss DJ Roomba into the Living Land, come back 24 hours later, it ain't gonna drop any sick beats.

Alas, alas.


That is true, but my group are playing wholly native characters as they play through the big adventures.

Isn't part of companions that you can spend possibilities for them? So doesn't that imply that there is a link there that you could be protecting them from realities disconnections.


And here's where we start to see rules clashing with the spirit a bit and part of why we haven't seen any mechanical companions yet. CAN an unliving thing spend Possibilities? If so, can an unliving thing be Possibility-rated? Is there a KITT-style car in Pan-Pacifica that can talk, drive itself around and is, in effect, alive?

If not, *should* there be a companion-style rule for an unliving thing, if it can't duplicate the advantage that a living companion can? Or, if so, is there some kind of augmentation that they should get to counteract being weaker?

Just like that, we're in some philosophical game design zone. :D


Good points, and why are animal companions apparently immune to the realities of other cosms?

Due to their affinity to magic, elves suffer extra fatigue when in a realm with a Magic Axiom under 12. Technodemons are said to “require a Magic Axiom of 12 to live in the material world”.

The description of Spirit Wolves states, "White Wolves are not wholly natural creatures”, and fire breathing drakes would appear to be magical creatures as well. And yet, these animal companions seem to be able to travel and function normally in any cosm. Is this due to some type of protection provided by the Storm Knights?

So one question is, can a Storm Knight bond with a robot. There are many cinematic instances of humans having close bonds with robots. If a Storm Knight could bond with a robot, then wouldn’t the robot have the same protections that appear to be extended to animal companions?


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