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Golems, Robots, and Cyborgs ... again


fmitchell

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A while ago I threw together some rules for Constructs in BRP. Recently in lieu of doing something useful I got to thinking about those rules again, and I wonder if maybe I should separate the three cases:

  • Golems react to damage like solid (or hollow) inanimate objects. The disparity between standard SIZ values and their density makes me think I should treat them like RuneQuest elementals, substituting height/width/volume for SIZ and calculating damage based on STR alone.
  • Robots, especially non-sapient ones, also react like inanimate objects albeit ones with parts. Maybe I should devise a specialized Major Wound table for them.
  • Cyborgs are most like regular organisms or undead, so it might make sense to give them CON, especially since the brain (at least) is alive. On the other hand, full body cyborgs are most like a tiny fragile organism riding a human-sized vehicle, much like a Dalek but usually prettier and not genocidal. Maybe they're closer to robots after all.

Or maybe, since I actually wanted to simplify constructs, I should just stat them like regular creatures with unusual resistance to damage (golems need a sledgehammer or mining tool to partially bypass armor, robots have their own major wound tables or hit location reactions, cyborgs use robot rules except for the head.)

Plus, OpenQuest, Age of Reason, and Merrie England already did golems, so I'm not sure what else I can add.

Sigh.

Edited by fmitchell

Frank

"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
 
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THis might help with construct SIZ.

What I did was use the density of water for my SIZ calculations, both for mass and for volume. Therefore 1 cubic meter of water, has a mass of 1000kg, and would be about SIZ 42.

The average density of a human is about the same as water (it varies from person to person), so that means that a SIZ 13 (77kg) human would not only have a mass of 77kg, but have a volume of about 0,077 cubic meters (about 2.7 cubic feet, if you crushed on into a cube).

Now to get the mass (and SIZ) of a construct made of another material you can just mutiple the normal mass by the density (specific gravity of sg) of the material you choose. For example, a man-sized (SIZ 13) golem made out of iron (an sg of about 8) would has about 8 times the mass of a 77kg person, or 616kg, for SIZ 37. STR would need to be in the same balllpark as SIZ so the thing could move.

Edited by Atgxtg

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Ooops, sorry forgot the main point: since the SIZ table is logarithmic, a lot of this math can be greatly simplified. For instance a x8 mass modifier works out as a +24 SIZ. So you could simply modify your table from SIZx2, SIZx3, etc. to a SIZ+value based on the material type.

Bronze Iron and Steel (sg8) +24 SIZ

Gold (sg 19.2): +34 SIZ

Stone (sg 5.7) +20 SIZ

Wood (red oak sg 0.63): SIZ-6.

Wood on Metal Frame (say sg 1): No modifier.

Also, realistically, STR should increase with the SIZ based on the square-cube law. Skipping a lot of math, about the sqaure-cube law and logrythmic tables that means STR gets adjusted by 2 points per 3 points of change in SIZ. Therefore:

Bronze Iron and Steel (sg8) +16 STR, 24 SIZ

Gold (sg 19.2): +23 STR, +34 SIZ

Stone (sg 5.7) +14 STR, +20 SIZ

Wood (red oak sg 0.63): -4 STR, SIZ-6.

Wood on Metal Frame (say sg 1): No modifier.

Unrealistically, and since we could be talking magic, you might want to increase STR and SIZ at the same rate so giants can stand up, and walk (and not snap their legs).

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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At one point I considered density multipliers, but split SIZ got too confusing: Hit Points use mass-based SIZ, Strike Rank uses volume-based SIZ, and Strength Bonus uses ... which one?

Well, STR bonus would use mass, since it is the greater mass that results in the greater force (F=ma). If you go with water/flesh as the default for volume, then the man sized bronze golem would have SIZ 37(13), and use the 37 for most things. The 13 for Strike Rank and what doorways it can fit though. But the 37 is the important one. Along with the extra 16 points of STR it should probably have.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Wow Atgxtg, that's some great breakdown there. I'm impressed.

I think that breakdown would work well, fmitchell. I meant to ask this last time you posted about the Golem stuff. Have you taken a look at the ship rules? They break down the make of the ship as Hull Quality, Seaworthiness, and... uh, something else. Don't have my books in front of me.

It basically acts as an armor intrinsic to the construction of the boat (like a character using a shield), hit points that need to be repaired in dock should they be lost, and a sort of fatigue system or ship maintenance. I wanted to adapt them to constructs but haven't really written anything up.

70/420

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Wow Atgxtg, that's some great breakdown there. I'm impressed. [/qupote]

Thanks. It's a byproduct of my vehicle/spaceship design project. In order to get something that works well, holds up, and is easy to use, I had to learn a few things, then translate it all into BRP gobbledygook (an industry term). But then I went and forget that everyone else hasn't done what I did so the 1:2:3 relationship between Length/Area&STR/Mass&Volume isn't common knowledge.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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One of my favorite comic book scenes involves a shift in SIZ (in Atgxtg's terms), from the climax of a DC mini-series. The bad guys were menacing the city in mecha, presumably made of steel or other tough metal. A good-gal sorceress transformed the robot vehicles into chocolate -- and they promptly crumbled under their own weight to the chagrin of their operators (and the delight of any nearby children). ;D

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One of my favorite comic book scenes involves a shift in SIZ (in Atgxtg's terms), from the climax of a DC mini-series. The bad guys were menacing the city in mecha, presumably made of steel or other tough metal. A good-gal sorceress transformed the robot vehicles into chocolate -- and they promptly crumbled under their own weight to the chagrin of their operators (and the delight of any nearby children). ;D

In an old campaign the group found a statue made of solid gold (magically reinforced with armoring enchantment). The statue was (only) life-sized, and the subject had been SIZ 16 (100kg). With gold being 19.2 times as dense as water/flesh, the statue tipped the scales at 1920 kg (SIZ 50), and I had considerable fun watching the PCs try to figure out how to move the thing. Especially since it was worth more as an object d'art than just for it's gold content (over 48 million RQ pennies).

But the SIZ table could be used for things like giant, mutant ants, or shrinking PCs down to insect SIZ. Once you got the STR:SIZ relationship of 2:3 down, you can set a scale and keep the values relative. Useful if the GM wants the PCs to go beating up ants.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Have you taken a look at the ship rules? They break down the make of the ship as Hull Quality, Seaworthiness, and... uh, something else.

I'm a little leery of introducing new characteristics: my goal is something simple that still conveys the differences between living things and animated non-living matter. Perhaps I should restructure my article as follows:

  • Constructs using the basic 4 physical characteristics, with SIZ reflecting volume and CON standing in for structural integrity.
  • Constructs using no CON and split SIZ, the larger value used for calculating HP and Damage Modifier.
  • Constructs using HP only (a la RQ Earth Elementals) plus standard measurements for height, width, and weight.
  • Hit location rules for all constructs.
  • Major wound table for robots and full-body cyborgs.
  • Optional rules for targeting a golem's chem.
  • Optional "power level" rules.

A similar breakdown applies to the meaning of POW for constructs:

  • Constructs using POW as a stand-in for physical energy.
  • POW restricted to fully sapient golems, psychically active robots, and/or cyborgs, and necessary rule modifications.
  • Power Point batteries for super-powered robots.
  • Optional "battery power" rules for robots without POW or PPs.
  • Entities within cyberspace, and POW/PP as a measure of influence within it.

The last thing I want is something like Mongoose Traveller's alternate damage system for vehicles and robots, much less something with GURPS-like levels of detail. I'd like GMs to be able to drop robots into their campaigns without learning a whole new set of rules. Golems in particular should mesh with other fantasy creatures.

Edited by fmitchell

Frank

"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
 
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I think the basic structure you have works. I'd tweak some of the values a little, but I wouldn't add in things from ships either.

Using real world physics doesn't necessarily make things more complicated. In fact, it usually ends up being simpler that the quick fix methods that most people make up.

For instance, since the SIZ table is logarithmic, different materials can be easily handled with simple addition and subtraction.

I got some simple rules for handling POW if you are interested. Basically you use the SIZ table but read watts in place of kilograms. So a 6kW (8 horsepower) motor would be POW 63.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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