Datalink vs. Power Armor

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Shepherd
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Datalink vs. Power Armor

Postby Shepherd » Mon Aug 15, 2005 2:31 pm

I'm content, as a GM, to fudge this for as long as it takes, but last session our player with PL7 Datalink looked up at the flying PL10 power-armor juggernaut and said "I tell it to turn itself off."

And it turned itself off. Seventy foot fall, stunned operator, fight ends.

Which is cool! Good stuff, player! It was a great moment, especially for the "non-combatant" player who usually hangs back and uses Luck Manipulation to help in fights but never gets to save the day.

Long-term, however, this could be an issue. As stated, I'm GM, so I may have some armor-based villains that I don't want going down in 0.5 seconds spend points on a "feat" for datalink resistance ... not total immunity but some sort of "countermeasures feat" or extra for their armour like the Mental Protection extra against telepaths and Mind Blast.

How have other people approached this?
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Postby farik » Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:02 pm

Actually the easiest solution is to simply declare the power armor has a limited AI. Since with AIs datalinks are simply treated like telepathy the datalink character will be able to converse with the power armor and maybe learn things about it's operation and operator but he can't make the power armor do anything unless it makes a diplomacy or bluff check.

Now if you're not comfortable with AIs (even very limited ones argueably the equivalent of a pet) then I suggest this.

Opposed computer rolls between the pilot/operator and the datlink characters. The winner controls the power armors action for that round.
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Oh, and by the way, I don't use drawbacks in my game, just complications.

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Postby Anthony » Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:50 pm

Datalink provides the ability to make a computer programming roll at range. It does not guarantee success on that roll, nor does it have anything which specifically lets you do computer programming faster than would normally be possible.

In general, I would handle using datalink vs armor/weapons in one of three ways:
1) If it doesn't have a computer, or the computer cannot be programmed, it simply fails.
2) If it does have a computer, it's a computer programming check vs the security systems of the computer. The DC is high; I'd probably go with 20 + Power. The operator can certainly resist, using his own computer skill.
3) If it has an AI, it's equivalent to telepathy; extra effort can make it equivalent to mind control.

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Postby farik » Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:59 pm

Anthony wrote:1) If it doesn't have a computer, or the computer cannot be programmed, it simply fails.


This is an excellent point. If the system is pure hardware (no software) datalink won't help. Fear Captain Clockwork and the Wind-up Battalion!
One man's hobo booze is another man's fiiiine sippin' wine.



Oh, and by the way, I don't use drawbacks in my game, just complications.

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Postby Shepherd » Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:21 pm

Anthony wrote:In general, I would handle using datalink vs armor/weapons in one of three ways:
1) If it doesn't have a computer, or the computer cannot be programmed, it simply fails.



To a large extent, "what is a computer?" becomes a big part of the question. But even your average Toyota Echo can't run without a computer these days. There's a computer in your digital watch. Not sophisticated computers, but computers.

2) If it does have a computer, it's a computer programming check vs the security systems of the computer. The DC is high; I'd probably go with 20 + Power. The operator can certainly resist, using his own computer skill.
3) If it has an AI, it's equivalent to telepathy; extra effort can make it equivalent to mind control.


The computer check, though, is pretty easy to exploit.

Character: PL7, Int 20, Datalink 7, max (10) ranks in Computer, Skill Focus feat ... there's +24. NASA and the CIA maybe have computer checks at 30+, but he's got RIDICULOUS MAD computer skills.

The AI sounds like a more reasonable way around it; I also like the operator getting a check to retain control (maybe straight Datalink ranks vs. Powersuit ranks for the operator, since he 'knows' the suit).

Thanks for these suggestions both of y'all.
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Postby Anthony » Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:38 pm

Shepherd wrote:To a large extent, "what is a computer?" becomes a big part of the question. But even your average Toyota Echo can't run without a computer these days. There's a computer in your digital watch. Not sophisticated computers, but computers.


A computer which runs strictly on ROM (which describes both the toyota and the watch) cannot be programmed.

The computer check, though, is pretty easy to exploit.

Character: PL7, Int 20, Datalink 7, max (10) ranks in Computer, Skill Focus feat ... there's +24. NASA and the CIA maybe have computer checks at 30+, but he's got RIDICULOUS MAD computer skills.


If someone has spent 37p on computer programming (depending on whether you're using reduced skill costs), they ought to have the ability to do impressive things about it.

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Postby Shepherd » Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:11 pm

Oh, I'm not complaining. It's 75% of the character, and more power to him for not taking Super-Strength or Strike or Energy Blast. But I can't just say "DC 20" and expect to slow him down.
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Postby farik » Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:38 pm

When you decide the DC just keep in mind the guy who built the armor is probably just as super human and he got to take 20 during the programming of the power armor the hero is at best going to be able to take 10 and even that seems unlikely in combat.
One man's hobo booze is another man's fiiiine sippin' wine.



Oh, and by the way, I don't use drawbacks in my game, just complications.


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