Player wants healing bot

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azcromntic
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Player wants healing bot

Post by azcromntic »

So I'm running a Sci-Fi character's in Fantasy setting adventure. One of the players is playing a Gadgeteer. I started him out at 4th level. He wants to create some floating bots like the little floating bot in the Star Wars movie that Luke was practicing with his light saber. Anyway.... One of the bots he wants is an Arcane Bolt bot that hovers and listens to his command to attack, stay, etcetera. The other bot he wants is the same basic thing only it does cure light wounds.

There is an example of an Arcane Bolt type device in the companion book and I pieced together the rest of it suggesting to him that it would require Floating Disc (to hover) and Comprehend Languages for the bot to be able to be commanded. Plus the Arcane Bolt. I added the restriction for hovering of 1 hour per level. Based on the example in the companion book I allowed him to use Arcane Bolt pretty much as the companion book's example.

I'm kind of reluctant on the bot he wants for cure light wounds. It would take the same basic spells as the other bot; floating dic and comprehend languages plus the cure light wounds spell. But, cure light wounds is 1d8 per use. That seems a bit much to me. So I am thinking of adding the restriction that it needs to be filled with some type of healing liquid each day plus must make AC 10 touch attack. Still, why would he need to make a bot with the spell if he already had "potions of healing" available to fill up this bot? Plus, 1d8 healing, all day long? I cant fathom how that might affect the game, every round, healing someone for 8 hit points damage. Sheeesh!

There's only 4 characters and I've already had to bump up the HD and numbers of attackers due to the weapons they use from AA in a Fantasy setting. One shotting 2 HD Orcs, Worgs and even taking out THREE, YES THREE 9 HD trolls!! Now he wants these bots.

I can understand the Arcane Bolt bot; basically a dagger's damage inside a bolt.

But healing all day long for 1d8 at a time? The Sci-Fi world doesn't even know magic healing. I don't know....I'm kind of stuck on this one. How could I make this healing bot happen without to much disruption?

Help!

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Rigon
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Re: Player wants healing bot

Post by Rigon »

You could reduce the hp restored to 1d4 or limit the number of times per day that it can be used. I'd go with a limited time per day myself, maybe something like 1/level/day. It still allows for some flexibility, but it shouldn't break the game.

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Jason Vey
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Re: Player wants healing bot

Post by Jason Vey »

Simple: it uses nanotech bots (which it produces using replication technology) for its healing, not elixirs...but runs on batteries that have to be recharged every so often. The batteries are self-charging but take several hours to gear back up once its energy is expended.

There's your daily limit on healing. How many times is up to you--you're the GM ;)

azcromntic
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Re: Player wants healing bot

Post by azcromntic »

Your ideas are great. We incorporated some concepts from Star Frontiers which brought in the SEU units. So maybe I'll have to do something with that. Nanobots is not something I had not thought of. Although, even then I'm still wondering why they don't just buy some healing potions or use the stimdose from the Star Frontiers medkit.

Arcane Bolt seems plausible as a bot because the bolt is somewhat like a laser or bolt of energy. But healing? There's no Heal Bolt and healing is a biological process. So maybe he could create a gadget that creates healing salve or something. Or, I just thought of this: maybe the bot is based on good berry spell. He has to add the material components to the bot and it makes a fluid that it can inject into the body. <level>d4 points per batch given out in 8 point increments of healing. To make a batch requires 8 hours a day; either 8 straight or total of eight small increments of time the bot is "offline".
I guess this is pretty much the same kind of idea that you have suggested.

So he is 4th level so that would be 32 points he could heal in 4 'doses' of 8. If he did not use any then he would not need the bot offline. If he used them all early in the morning and added new components he could make a batch by say 1:00 p.m.. I usually only have one "random" encounter so he will probably use 4 'doses' a day which pretty much corresponds to how many healing spells he'd get as a Cleric or Druid of 4th level with INT 18. Well, his character would have 5 1st level Cleric spells if I used his INT mod in place of his wisdom to calculate the bonus spells.

Anyway...what could I have him use as the components?

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Jason Vey
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Re: Player wants healing bot

Post by Jason Vey »

azcromntic wrote:Your ideas are great. We incorporated some concepts from Star Frontiers which brought in the SEU units. So maybe I'll have to do something with that. Nanobots is not something I had not thought of. Although, even then I'm still wondering why they don't just buy some healing potions or use the stimdose from the Star Frontiers medkit.

Arcane Bolt seems plausible as a bot because the bolt is somewhat like a laser or bolt of energy. But healing? There's no Heal Bolt and healing is a biological process. So maybe he could create a gadget that creates healing salve or something. Or, I just thought of this: maybe the bot is based on good berry spell. He has to add the material components to the bot and it makes a fluid that it can inject into the body. <level>d4 points per batch given out in 8 point increments of healing. To make a batch requires 8 hours a day; either 8 straight or total of eight small increments of time the bot is "offline".
I guess this is pretty much the same kind of idea that you have suggested.

So he is 4th level so that would be 32 points he could heal in 4 'doses' of 8. If he did not use any then he would not need the bot offline. If he used them all early in the morning and added new components he could make a batch by say 1:00 p.m.. I usually only have one "random" encounter so he will probably use 4 'doses' a day which pretty much corresponds to how many healing spells he'd get as a Cleric or Druid of 4th level with INT 18. Well, his character would have 5 1st level Cleric spells if I used his INT mod in place of his wisdom to calculate the bonus spells.

Anyway...what could I have him use as the components?
Make up vaguely drug-sounding names.

I'd still go with nanites and battery power, as it's a simpler explanation and simple is always better, but yeah. Basing it on Goodberry's not a bad idea. You could also just say since the spell is a one-off, he has to pay additional gadget points for each daily use he wants to get out of his bot. So if it's a cure light wounds spell, it costs him the base points (3?) plus one per additional daily use. So if he wants 3 uses per day, the effect costs him 5 points.

azcromntic
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Re: Player wants healing bot

Post by azcromntic »

So here is what I play tested last session and it worked pretty good. The character is a 4th level Gadgeteer with 18 gadget points. The player wanted to create two different "bots"; one healing based and one attack based.

General Rules
-----------------
- The bots have two states: online and offline
- Gadgeteer (GT) can set the state and some events of play can change the state
- The bots cannot lift, push or pull 'things'
- The bots do not have cameras that send information to GT
- The bots suffer max damage from electrical and 'conductive' attacks (like water)
- The bots do not work through the "com" radio; restricted to range of GT's voice

How they are built
------------------
- both bots share the following spell base. Comprehend language, Floating disc
- The arcane bolt bot is Arcane Bolt spell
- The heal bot is Cure Light Wounds spell
- gadget points per bot 6
- Total gadget points = 12

Online State
---------------
- When online the bots don't do anything unless a command is given
- Bots will follow Gadgeteer (GT) when GT moves unless commanded not to
- GT must command them, out loud, or they do nothing but follow him
- Once told a command they complete it and wait for the next command or GT to move
- If the bot is away from GT and GT moves then the bot will move to GT

Offline State
---------------
- The healing bot must recharge in the offline state based on the SEU rules below
- The arcane bolt bot uses fuel and can run for 1 hour per level and then goes offline

Power, SEU, Effects
---------------------
- Heal bot has 2 * (level - 1) MAX SEU per day
- for Arcane Bolt it is unlimited use
- GT can command the heal bot on how many SEU to use. Range is 1 - 10 (or max if < 10) SEU
- The number of SEU used determines the amount of healing: 1 SEU equals 1d8 healing
- For GT's Arcane Bolt bot it is 1d4+1 damage per bolt and only one bolt per turn
- Once the SEU or fuel are expended the bot is offline until recharged or refilled

Recharging / Refueling
-------------
- Heal bot has SEU recharge rate based on the number of spells per day for a cleric
- Number of spells (SEU) is determined by GT's level - 1 on clerice spell table
- Bonus spells apply and are calculated using INT in place of WIS on cleric table
- Max SEU per day for the heal bot is 2 * (level - 1) but recharge at the rate of <number of spells per day>/8
- SEU CANNOT be forwarded to the next day to increase the max for the day
- for Arcane Bolt it is unlimited Arcane Bolt spell use
- The Arcane Bolt bot must be refueled with ???? fuel every <level> hours
- GT can put the bot offline at any time during the day to recharge or refill

Combat and "Action"
---------------------
- The Arcane Bolt bot must roll to hit at +5 modifier
- The heal bot must roll to hit against AC 10 with +5 modifier
- On a roll of a 1 the effect takes place but the bot goes offline until GT fixes it
- On a roll of a 20 one of two things happen:
---- If the bot is offline due to a d20 roll of 1 previously then the bot can be commanded back online
---- or, the bot has a surge of energy from the air and gets twice the heal/damage dice
- The bots are surprised when GT is surprised
- Commanding the bots takes up 1/2 of the intended movement or attack of GT per round
- GT would have the following options per round in encounter:
---- Move and attack but not command the bots (bots would move with or to GT)
---- Command bots and Attack
---- Command bots and Move

Fixing the bots
-------------------
- Fixing the bot takes an INT check at CL determined by GM
- See Gadgeteer jury rig skill in handbook

bot Stats
---------------
- The bots can move 60' per round
- Each bot has level / 2 HD of hit points and use the Gadgeteer die
- If the bot has 0 hit points left then the bot is simply knocked offline until fixed
- If the bot takes 2 * hit points of damage the bot is non-operational until fixed
- When non-operational it costs 100 units of money to fix it
- If the bot takes > 2 * hit points of damage the bot is not repairable and must be recreated
- Each bot has AC 16

Also, the player says they are extremely frustrated with the rules stating that the Gadgeteer is too restrictive: Wizards and Clerics get to choose what spells they want each day. Somehow in their mind that equates to being able to use the desired effect (spell) as many times per day as the player needs it. Furthermore, despite the fact that on page 38 (ish) of the AA rules for Gadgeteer (which the player has read many times) it states very clearly that an attack roll should be added the player insists that a bonus to hit is not enough; some greater compensation should be made. Lastly, for reasons I can speculate but do not understand the player is set on having an Armor Class for the bots of 22.

When I read the Gadgeteer rules I get a completely different view. They can select spells from any spell list (basically 4 times the number of spells to select from), to balance the game a limit must be set on the number of times these bots can use their effect otherwise I just have to make the game that much harder and thus anyone but the Gadgeteer is now dying repeatedly while the Gadgeteer reins in the hero trophy. AC 22 is like a Fighter with Full Plate Armor, Dex bonus of +3 and a shield which is bordering on epic in my opinion. I find it fair that the Gadgeteer has to give up 1/2 their action to command the bots: The bots cannot read minds, infer things from ton of voice or gestures, etcetera and even if they could then those skills would need to be spell based (in my opinion) and cost more gadget points (room and reason to upgrade).

So, with that in mind, are there any scenarios you can think of that may give reason to reconsider these rules?

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Jason Vey
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Re: Player wants healing bot

Post by Jason Vey »

I think your player wants to run away with the game and that's why he's complaining. The wizard may have more spells at his command, but the gadgeteer can use his gadgets all day long, over and over again. The rules are wide open for gadgeteers, allowing you to do just about anything with them. What your player is trying to do, is abuse the system to create an unkillable super-skilled character who will own the game, and he's complaining that the rules are too restrictive because you won't let him do it.

The heal bot does present a risky problem in that area but I think you've handled it well. I also think you're doing just fine requiring the gadgeteer to use actions to command his gadgets.

azcromntic
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Re: Player wants healing bot

Post by azcromntic »

Well, the player skipped one play session and I played his bots by the rules I posted. The bots did fine, game was balanced, and the heal bot saved a Paladin twice. The player though has not responded recently and so I think they are dropping out of the game. I'll know next Tuesday.

Regardless, hopefully some other AA or C&C players could use these "bot" rules for their own game or as an example. That would make my effort worth it.

Thanks for the advice!!!

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Jason Vey
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Re: Player wants healing bot

Post by Jason Vey »

azcromntic wrote:Well, the player skipped one play session and I played his bots by the rules I posted. The bots did fine, game was balanced, and the heal bot saved a Paladin twice. The player though has not responded recently and so I think they are dropping out of the game. I'll know next Tuesday.

Regardless, hopefully some other AA or C&C players could use these "bot" rules for their own game or as an example. That would make my effort worth it.

Thanks for the advice!!!
No problem. I'd give you a lot of kudos, in fact, as I think you've gone a step even further with these builds than I would in my games! You really are doing neat things with the gadget creation rules.

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