Squishy inventor with remote controlled robot.

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KarolineDianne
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Squishy inventor with remote controlled robot.

Postby KarolineDianne » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:51 pm

So a friend of mine came to me for advice on how to build a character, and I didn't really have an answer... So I'm coming to you!

She wanted to make an inventor who's points are mostly in skills and such, but really no combat at all. However, this character controls a battle-robot remotely from a control-center at the base. The robot cannot function without being controlled in some way, and the inventor is rather useless in combat themselves.

Now, at first I was thinking this would be a simple case of making a sidekick, but I have no idea how to deal with the 'must be controlled' part of the robot. And the matter of the control-center being a static facility in the base too, has me scratching my head a bit.

I'm drawing a blank here... You guys have any ideas?
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Re: Squishy inventor with remote controlled robot.

Postby Aerlwyn » Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:55 pm

What about something like Limited must be controlled and limited can be jammed by strong electro-magnetic signal. As to what it would be maybe something like a minion and just add a room to the characters headquarters that is the control room for the minion could link it through either a comm room or have a power in the HQ that piggy backs it off comm sats in orbit.

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Re: Squishy inventor with remote controlled robot.

Postby Shock » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:05 pm

I'd make the Robot the PC and cost the controller as a Minion. The need to be controlled would be a Complication.

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Re: Squishy inventor with remote controlled robot.

Postby KarolineDianne » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:21 pm

Shock wrote:I'd make the Robot the PC and cost the controller as a Minion. The need to be controlled would be a Complication.


Unfortunately, that doesn't quite work. The player has said that they'll be playing as the person more than the robot.
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Re: Squishy inventor with remote controlled robot.

Postby kenseido » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:34 pm

Well that is the recommendation they give in Hero High, even though the main character is the minion or sidekick, that you build the higher point cost one - the robot, as the main character and the weaker one is the sidekick. Technically it doesn't follow the letter of the rule, but it is recommended that GMs allow this one.
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Re: Squishy inventor with remote controlled robot.

Postby Greyman » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:06 pm

KarolineDianne wrote:Now, at first I was thinking this would be a simple case of making a sidekick, but I have no idea how to deal with the 'must be controlled' part of the robot. And the matter of the control-center being a static facility in the base too, has me scratching my head a bit.
This is a Batson Factor. You don't have two characters here; you have a single character who transforms from Normal ID to Hero ID at the control-center. For the robot is the controller, the controller is the robot, and they're never seen active at the same place at the same time.

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Re: Squishy inventor with remote controlled robot.

Postby Doctor Devious » Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:29 am

Unless my player was really convincing, I'd likely say "no" to the build:

My main worry is that the player is seeking to avoid time-penalties for invention / skill use by having the scientist doing time-intensive skill work while safe in the base and allowing their physical aspect, the robot, to act as normal. A case of a bathroom-mentalist-sidekick* circumventing the invention skill's inbuilt drawbacks.

In order to avoid bathroom mentalist behavior, I would want to make some requirement to route communication from the scientist to the team via the robot only, such that when the robot goes down, the scientist aspect of the character also becomes "non-operational". e.g. perhaps the robot is controlled using a neuro-link that stuns the scientist when the robot is stunned or some-such: No influence without risk! If the robot truly is dumb and the scientist is looking through its eyes/monitor, speaking through its loudspeaker etc, then that might be enough to stop him double-actioning in game breaking ways.

*As others have said, the normal way to build the minor/major point-cost setup is that the minor is always the sidekick - no matter who calls the shots / gets the RPG time / is "real" etc.

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Re: Squishy inventor with remote controlled robot.

Postby Kwahn » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:49 am

KarolineDianne wrote:Now, at first I was thinking this would be a simple case of making a sidekick, but I have no idea how to deal with the 'must be controlled' part of the robot. And the matter of the control-center being a static facility in the base too, has me scratching my head a bit.


Actually, it IS that simple. Page 148 and 149 of the MnM 2e source book sort of cover this... the robot would be a construct, likely without Intelligence or Charisma scores. It would take all of it's input directly from the inventor, whether by voice commands, or being directly controlled through buttons, switches, and a joystick. In either case, the inventor would HAVE to be directly controlling it, they couldn't be doing other things like modifying that sweet new invisible jet.

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Re: Squishy inventor with remote controlled robot.

Postby peregrine » Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:16 am

Yeah, this sounds a lot like the bathroom psychic issue, where telepresence allows the character to remain entirely out of the conflict danger zone.

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Re: Squishy inventor with remote controlled robot.

Postby Doctor Devious » Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:44 am

The "total control" system suggested above - where if the robot does down, the scientist is also removed from play - would be enough for me not to call in the bathroom objection. i.e. not everyone needs to be at risk of being pulped all the time: its enough to be at risk of not-interacting/perceiving anymore.

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Re: Squishy inventor with remote controlled robot.

Postby Greyman » Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:39 pm

Greyman wrote:
KarolineDianne wrote:Now, at first I was thinking this would be a simple case of making a sidekick, but I have no idea how to deal with the 'must be controlled' part of the robot. And the matter of the control-center being a static facility in the base too, has me scratching my head a bit.
This is a Batson Factor. You don't have two characters here; you have a single character who transforms from Normal ID to Hero ID at the control-center. For the robot is the controller, the controller is the robot, and they're never seen active at the same place at the same time.
By the by. If you have Freedom City (Second Edition), look up The Freebooter on page 198. This is exactly how that character is done.

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Re: Squishy inventor with remote controlled robot.

Postby poodle » Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:11 pm

seems like a robot with no intelligence would be an easy target for other scientists to want to take over and I think it would be cool to leave that vulnerability in IMHO. Also anything that blocks radio would leave the robot performing the last order or just freezing.
Another way of doing it would be gestalt. It would kind of make sense for them both to suck a little. I guess the question is whether they both could be useful at PL5. Is the scientist the important character or the robot.
Maybe you could just buy the robot as a device?
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Re: Squishy inventor with remote controlled robot.

Postby KarolineDianne » Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:28 am

For this, I've gone with the mindless sidekick rout. Give it radio sense or a communication link with the owner, and it doesn't take actions unless the owner tells it to. It works out well enough.

The device thing would be weird because it's technically something that can be taken away from the owner, and has to be in the owner's possession to work. It's not something that can act on its own.

As for the Gestalt idea, that's more for my other concept, wherein the character's power-armor can be auto-piloted like a robot when they're not wearing it. Effectively giving three character sheets: Dude, robot, and dude wearing robot.
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