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Old 02-21-2018, 11:08 AM   #1
oneofmanynameless
 
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Default What does a computer really do for you?

So basically the question is: if you were to model all the benefits of a computer with advantages how would you do it? What advantages do they essentially give? I'm most interested in a high-functioning laptop (strong enough to do graphics, game development, programming/hacking, but still mobile.)

And, the big question, what if you add in the benefits of the internet?
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Old 02-21-2018, 11:44 AM   #2
sir_pudding
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Default Re: What does a computer really do for you?

Accessory (Personal Computer) [1]
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: What does a computer really do for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Accessory (Personal Computer) [1]
thank you, wielder of smart pants!

Are we statting owning a computer, or being a computer?

For being a computer, a good place to start is the AI and Automaton meta traits in basic page 263.

However, many of those advantages are severely limited once you no longer have them as part of your "Brain". Sticking some sort of time limitation on them might help. And some will apply to just to computer, not the owner.

I'm not sure how the internet changes things. In the end, its just a library. You could buy the contents of the library, but I don't think that would match well with the rest of the build. A couple of contact groups might be able to cover most of the internet's function.
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:07 PM   #4
oneofmanynameless
 
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Default Re: What does a computer really do for you?

I was really thinking owning a computer, and stating it out as a set of related gadget limited advantages. I know that it's usually put on a character sheet as that accessory. But I've always noted that it includes some measure of telecommunications, as well as being able to run programs that functional give equipment bonuses to potentially countless skills.

Also, how would you model having access to a World Library in your pocket?
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: What does a computer really do for you?

Efficient storage. Cheap access to informational materials(you can get a library worthy of Erasmus pretty cheaply and carry it around in your pocket). Versatility(it doubles as music and video player and can carry a lot of apps).
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: What does a computer really do for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
thank you, wielder of smart pants!

Are we statting owning a computer, or being a computer?

For being a computer, a good place to start is the AI and Automaton meta traits in basic page 263.

However, many of those advantages are severely limited once you no longer have them as part of your "Brain". Sticking some sort of time limitation on them might help. And some will apply to just to computer, not the owner.

I'm not sure how the internet changes things. In the end, its just a library. You could buy the contents of the library, but I don't think that would match well with the rest of the build. A couple of contact groups might be able to cover most of the internet's function.
The internet is more like an agora then a library. Dead authors sadly do not talk to you and living ones often can only be talked to with the internet.
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: What does a computer really do for you?

If you have access to the web, the first advantage which comes to my mind with a computer is a permanent giant and universal library.

Thus, with a successful Research roll, you can find data on any subject you want. Unless they are protected of course. But here, Computer Hacking (or one of its more realistic incarnation) can help.
Edit
Back to home and having at last access to my books, I would use the High-Tech rules for Libraries, here (see High-Tech, page 17-18). The GM would choose between "Small Collection" (-2 or worse to the Research roll) to "Fine Library" (+2 to the Research roll), depending on the subject of the research. For a research about a very detailed and precise topic, for instance, the Web doesn't really give a lot of answers; as said by Jason Taylor, it is more an Agora than a Library; so I would use "Small Collection". But for a more broaden subject like "Where are the good restaurants in that town?", the web is perfect and, then, I would use "Fine Library".
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: What does a computer really do for you?

A second advantage which comes to my mind is that a computer, once you know how to use it (Computer Operation roll to find and use the good soft) is an amazing calculator. So, it can help for every skill which requires calculation: Mathematics, of course, but also Accounting, Astronomy, Physics, Engineering ...

In terms of rule, I would give a bonus to the skill roll for good equipment.
Edit
I would use +1 for good-quality equipment, or maybe +2 for fine-quality equipment (Basic Set, page 345), depending on how much the computer is already supposed to be required in the skill description ... Or, better, I would probably use the Complementary Skills rule in Action 2, Exploits (page 5). The player would make a Computer Operation roll and would have a +1 to his other skill for a success (+2 for a critical success, -1 for a failure and -2 for a critical failure).
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Old 02-21-2018, 02:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: What does a computer really do for you?

With internet access I would allow a Research roll to give the benefits of the largest library within a few minutes, rather than hours or days.

If someone downloaded it in advance I’d allow the same benefit without access but you’d have to define better what areas of knowledge were saved and at what level. A downloaded encyclopedia would give almost instant access to basic facts without even a roll.

Even with a smart phone you have maps, GPS guidance, calculators, digital still and video camera, sound recording, compass, flashlight, locator beacon, access to the internet knowledge library and a downloaded selection of books but somewhat more limited than an actual laptop.

A sat phone has all that but isn’t limited to the cellular network.

Quote:
For a research about a very detailed and precise topic, for instance, the Web doesn't really give a lot of answers
Google, true but there is easy online access to professional journals, books and publications as well. That would be reasearch using the regular time rules I think but any topic would be available given time and perhaps a trivial expenditure for subscriptions. Anything anyone has ever published is available somewhere online if you know where to look.

Last edited by tanksoldier; 02-21-2018 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 02-21-2018, 02:29 PM   #10
Kromm
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Default Re: What does a computer really do for you?

Arguably . . .

A computer connected to the Internet amounts to a way to let you use Computer Operation as a complimentary skill to gain +1 or +2 to just about any non-physical skill use for which you're taking enough extra time to get at least +1 in the first place: You can use search engines to find facts and "how to" advice on just about anything, things like Google Maps to help with Area Knowledge and Navigation, various on- and off-line checkers to help with Writing, ditto calculators with Mathematics, and so on. Some tools almost do the task for you, and could justify +1d/2 or even +1d on a success, automatically maxed out to +3 or +6 on a critical success. Good computers and/or software give such a high bonus to Computer Operation (at least +4) that even those without it can use IQ for the complimentary skill roll. It wouldn't be utter bunk to summarize all this as IQ +1d (No Per or Will bonus, -50%; Only with tasks a computer could help with, -40%) [14].

A computer not connected to the Internet is a lot more limited. It probably gives bonuses, too, but only if you have the right apps. You could treat each app as a perk.

Computers might have Lightning Calculator, Photographic Memory, and so on, but that doesn't translate well into giving their users those traits. They also have a lot of disadvantages that their users don't inherit.

Oh, and having a decent computer is probably a reasonable excuse to put Mitigator on a lot of mental disadvantages. You'd be surprised how many people can get around Shyness if they can interact virtually, Short Attention Span if they're glued to a screen, and so on.
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