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Old 09-01-2017, 10:36 PM   #1
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Convertin GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS for use with 4e

Hello Folks,
For those who have wanted to be able to utilize the Computer rules from GURPS ULTRATECH for 4e, and using GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS to design robots in general, the following may prove to be useful...

First, the design philosophy behind the modifications:
The general idea was to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges in the sense of making things compatible. If something required a Microcomputer as the minimum unmodified computer to run software, then in the newer rules of GURPS ULTRATECH, the same computer TYPE had to be used to run it under 4e. This meant adjusting some "complexity values" for certain software.

Secondly - the newer "adaptations" for the computer type had to generally get the same IQ and DX values as the older rules did. For instance, in the original rules, IQ was equal to Complexity+3, or was equal to Complexity+4 if the computer was built using the Neural net option. Ditto with the DX.

Thirdly, that the Old Tech Level (now used as OTL for Classic Tech level) and TL for 4e are such that the "Just around the corner from now would be Classic OTL 8 = TL 9.

That being said? The new IQ formula becomes:

IQ+1 or IQ+2 for Neural Net computers. The reason for this is because the new revised rules for computers places the complexity at 2 higher than their Classic Counter parts.

DX used to be Complexity/2 + 8 for OTL 8 rules, while the new DX value now becomes Complexity/2 + 7.

Next, we have the rules for "skills" based on complexity of skill program and the number of points the program gets for its skill for the robotic brain. In the original rules, Complexity 1 software gave the bare minimum points possible to give. In Classic Traveller, that was 1/2 character point. In the Current GURPS rules, this has become 1. Each subsequent "skill" complexity level, doubled the previous. The difference between Classic GURPS and 4e didn't end there however. Page 61 lists the number of points after a certain complexity level, as being each +1 complexity gave the program an additional +8 character points for skills. In the old days, this was the difference between one skill level and the next for both Hard DX skills and Very Hard mental skills.

The new progression? Start at 1, then 2, then 4, then 8, then 12 etc. Each +1 complexity granting +4 character points. This mirrors the new design philosophy of the maximum points required to reach the next skill level regardless of what skill we're talking about.

Now - some people might not like the idea of forcing robots to stick to the "non-eidetic" bonus of x4 value for each 1 point put into a mental skill. I pointed out to a buddy of mine (as we worked on the conversion rules), that do you really want to deal with a character that after putting in 40 character points into a mental skill, was the same as putting in 160 character points for a normal character? Initially, he said "Yeah, I still want it". Then I put the shoe on HIS foot saying "Oh, so let's see. A complexity 9 computer would have an IQ of around 11. 10 character points would make a mental easy skill be worth Stat+5. Subtracting 10 points from 160, means we have 150 left unallocated. Dividing that by 2 (because in the older GURPS rules, each mental skill was only capped at 2 points per level increase), we get +75. So, Stat+5+75 for mental easy, Stat+4+ 75 for Mental Average, Stat+3+75 for Mental Hard, and Stat+2+75 for Mental Very Hard. Imagine a Complexity 9 Megacomputer with a skill of Stat+77 in something like Nuclear Physics.

The moment I pointed that out to him, he saw that the rules for inventions would be absurdedly easy for such a computer if permitted to "keep" the x4 bonus to Mental skills that was part of the original Scheme.

So, we were able to get the following things hammered out:

Limited Personality Complexity level was now 6 instead of the old 4 that it used to be in GURPS ROBOTS. Why? Because that is what the complexity level for the same computer class in GURP CLASSIC TRAVELLER for Complexity 4, which in 4e, has become a complexity 6 computer. Likewise, a Full personality simulation package would require a complexity 7 rating.

The following post were things that we discussed as addenda items...
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:07 PM   #2
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Convertin GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS for use with 4e

Neural Net computers:

In theory, they permit a computer to learn as it goes - from experience rather than requiring software upgrades to reach new levels.

When you design memory storage for Neural Net systems, they have to be capable of permitting that level of self-directed learning. As a consequence? That table on CLASSIC GURPS ROBOTS, that was revised earlier per our discussion in the first post in this thread, has some other properties involved.

Complexity 2 grants 2 points.
Complexity 3 grants up to 4 points.

In the original table, it would say "3, 4" points
Then the next entry would read as "5 to 8 points" etc.

In reality, for Neural Net computers? Each "complexity grants from 1 to the highest possible. So a complexity 1 software package would only hold from 1 to 1. A complexity 2 software package would hold 1 to 2. A complexity 3 package would hold from 1 to 4. A complexity of 4 would hold from 1 to 8 points.

Why this distinction? For the campaign world we're running in - Neural Net software is unique to each Neural Net computer. you can't pull out the memory from one computer with its optimized OS and Neural Net to function in a different computer that went about things differently.

In addition, to cover the concept that these are self-learning systems - Each time you put in a memory core of a given complexity for a Neural Net computer, it starts as if it had ONLY 1 character point in its skill. It then GROWS over time so that it is now at character points 2 in the skill (if within the limits of complexity schedule). Eventually it gets to where it has 3 points in the skill, then four, etc.

And finally, we TOYED with this idea, but we are not certain we want to go this route per se...

TALENTS as a concept did not exist within GURPS CLASSIC and is a new thing for 4e. Just as you can build some "advantages" as software for use with GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS, it would seem to make sense that there should be the option to give Robotic Brains, the option of having "Talents" as well.

One route we discussed, was that just as you can add on Dexterity Co-processors to a computer, why not add Talent Co-processors? Just as 3 is the limit that can be added to a computer per GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS, I got to thinking that TALENTS as a multi-leveled advantage, could be set as follows:

Small Talent Co-processors - max four per machine
Medium Talent Co-processors - Max two per machine
Large Talent Co-processors - max 1 per machine.

Think about it. Talents treat the IQ of characters as being +1 IQ overall per level of the advantage. The cheapest at 5 per level permits up to 6 skills. The second most expensive one grants up to 12 skills per level of the Talent, and the third one? at 13+ under these rules, would be limited to no more than 24 related skills (Gm Choice). The progression is 6x 4 or 2 x 12, or 1 x 24.

Alternatively, one could simply treat the advantage of Talent as a complexity program like Ambidexterity etc. Just remember to bump the Complexity of all the older versions of software in GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS by +2 to reflect that the newer computers are all +2 complexity compared to the OTL 8 computers.

At first, my buddy wasn't happy with the fact that computers still end up being expensive. He thought that the price for "Genius" chips for the newer ULTRATECH made it more expensive to get what he wanted for his robot characters - then the CLASSIC GURPS ROBOTS costs were. That was, until I showed him by comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges...

The old "Genius" chip is really the new "Fast" chip. The New Genius Chip grants a +2 bonus in ways that were not possible before. Whereas he'd struggle with a "Standard" computer from GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS to barely be able to grant a limited personality simulation - he can now go one class LOWER in computer type (small) - use a Genius Chip, and still be cheaper than the older original computers he used initially for his builds.

All things being equal? Simply using the original Build rules for "Frames", DR, legs, arms, etc - still allows people to build robots the OLD way, and integrate them with the new way of defining computers for 4e. A bit of a nice "hybrid" of old rules combined with the new. Until GURPS VEHICLE DESIGN is published, this might work in the short term.

Hope you like these ideas. If you come up with your own ideas for use in something like this, by all means, do so.

One thing that I'd really like to see someday? Is a list of Complexity 1 "apps" that can for example, be run on a Cell phone with a Small computer brain in it. IT would be nice to have an app called "Find my armor". If your character paid $11,000 for a Arachnoweave Duster Coat (DR 29/7, weights about 9 some pounds) do you really want to get beat up in a bar fight, only to see your 11,000 coat disappear? ;) Then put an IFF beacon in it so that if you do lose it, your phone can poll to see where it is.

On that note - have fun. Hope this helps someone who was maybe wishing they could use GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS for their 4e campaigns, but had a hard time figuring out what to do.

In addition? I was SHOCKED (Shocked I tell you!) when I stumbled across this line in GURPS ULTRATECH page 26:

"The complexity of the computer hardware and the software will set a maximum limit on the robotís IQ. In general, robots with human intelligence require large mainframe systems at TL9, but fit into computers built into man-sized robots at TL10."

That seems to be an about face over the rules as written in GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS where robots as characters can simply improve their robotic IQ irrespective of the original IQ formula being based on the complexity of the computer that housed the Robot's "mind".

Well, share your thoughts, and if you have ideas that might be worth considering, I'd be happy to see them. :)
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:27 PM   #3
onetrikpony
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Default Re: Convertin GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS for use with 4e

This is a great service to me.
Thanks for taking the time to share :)
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:52 PM   #4
a humble lich
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Default Re: Convertin GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS for use with 4e

I agree that the third edition Vehicles and Robots books are quite usable in fourth edition. Its not like physics has changed between editions; you just have to be careful with regards to the game stats.

Another important thing to consider is that the numbers for ST in 3e were much higher than in 4e. This is probably discussed in the Update book, but I thought it is worth noting separately here. I've used the conversion: 4e ST = sqrt(10* 3e ST)
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:47 PM   #5
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Convertin GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS for use with 4e

Quote:
Originally Posted by a humble lich View Post
I agree that the third edition Vehicles and Robots books are quite usable in fourth edition. Its not like physics has changed between editions; you just have to be careful with regards to the game stats.

Another important thing to consider is that the numbers for ST in 3e were much higher than in 4e. This is probably discussed in the Update book, but I thought it is worth noting separately here. I've used the conversion: 4e ST = sqrt(10* 3e ST)
I forgot about that. If you look at GURPS UPDATE, they give you a more specific table of what ST in 4e equates to in 3e and give the formula you mentioned above.

Since I was trying to preserve as much of the older rules as possible without major modification, but the Lifting Strength issue is ENTIRELY different in the new rules...

What I did was use Excel to determine how well your formula would work above and I had to use this in its place: =ROUND(SQRT(10*A2),0)

Oopsie: Forgot to mention that the value A2 in the formula above refers to Old GURPS ST, sorry about that.

Thanks for the sharp eye on that. Since ST equals Hit Points where the Attribute is concerned, but Hit Points is its own trait in GURPS ROBOTS, I think we can avoid that particular issue.

I think that when building robot arms for GURPS 4e ST values, that we should consider how the progression works (see below). It seems that after ST 12, each ST group for the 4e, covers three older ST values for GURPS 3e. As a suggestion? Where the 4e covers 2 ST values, use the highest when designing the arm or leg motors. When building for ST 13+, always use the Middle ST value for the Old GURPS ROBOTS values. For instance?

ST 3 in 4e is ST 1 in GURPS ROBOTS. ST 8 in 4e is a ST 7 Old GURPS ROBOTS arm. ST 15 is an Old GURPS ROBOTS ST 23 robotic arm. For the most part, it preserves the rules from GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS, yet enters into the realm of 4e stats as they are meant to be.


Code:
Old 	New	Basic Lift
1	3	1.8
2	4	3.2
3	5	5
4	6	7.2
5	7	9.8
6	8	12.8
7	8	12.8
8	9	16.2
9	9	16.2
10	10	20
11	10	20
12	11	24.2
13	11	24.2
14	12	28.8
15	12	28.8
16	13	33.8
17	13	33.8
18	13	33.8
19	14	39.2
20	14	39.2
21	14	39.2
22	15	45
23	15	45
24	15	45
25	16	51.2
26	16	51.2
27	16	51.2
28	17	57.8

Last edited by hal; 09-23-2017 at 08:05 AM. Reason: Oopsie: forgot to mention what A2 is in the formula for Excel
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Old 09-23-2017, 12:29 AM   #6
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default Re: Convertin GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS for use with 4e

Quote:
Originally Posted by hal View Post
Neural Net computers:

Why this distinction? For the campaign world we're running in - Neural Net software is unique to each Neural Net computer. you can't pull out the memory from one computer with its optimized OS and Neural Net to function in a different computer that went about things differently.
That is exactly the same approach I used in my world. NN computers (at least the sort that make good robot brains in the SsFnal sense) are different in kind from standard systems, and if you want to transfer the full 'personality' of a robot to another machine, you actually have to move the brain-module.

You can copy memory, but the results of the copy won't necessarily be similar if the two NN brains have very different histories.
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Old 09-23-2017, 01:34 PM   #7
onetrikpony
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Default Re: Convertin GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS for use with 4e

I think I don't understand the reason for going to the effort of converting between 3e and 4e statistics for ST, Computer complexity, and the unused stats like SS and PD.

What problem would I create if I built a robot in the 3e system and just applied used the ST statistics; (lifting and damage) from 4e basic set?

For computers it looks fine to me to choose the complexity you want and then just use the stats from UT for size, weight and cost.

Seems to me that the old "build it yourself" books could be pretty easily updated by just giving the components the stats from 4e and ignoring PD and SS.

What am I missing in ignoring the work of conversion?
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Old 09-23-2017, 02:14 PM   #8
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Convertin GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS for use with 4e

Quote:
Originally Posted by onetrikpony View Post
I think I don't understand the reason for going to the effort of converting between 3e and 4e statistics for ST, Computer complexity, and the unused stats like SS and PD.

What problem would I create if I built a robot in the 3e system and just applied used the ST statistics; (lifting and damage) from 4e basic set?

For computers it looks fine to me to choose the complexity you want and then just use the stats from UT for size, weight and cost.

Seems to me that the old "build it yourself" books could be pretty easily updated by just giving the components the stats from 4e and ignoring PD and SS.

What am I missing in ignoring the work of conversion?
There are a few differences between 4e and 3e versions of GURPS. A lot of the "things" that can be done due to Computer complexity values were originally built using GURPS 3e. Then someone said "Hey, the complexity values should be going up 2 per tech level, instead of 1. Right there, that skewed things a bit from the original "progression" process from the 3e scheme of things.

If you used the original 4e Stats for Robots as far as DX and/or IQ go - but then started to use the 4e computer complexity ratings, the DX and IQ would go up FASTER for robots with 4e computers than they did with 3e computers.

You can look at older threads by searching on the word "complexity" and find a few issues.

My point of view (not shared by all, so take it for what it is worth....) is that SJGames never defined just what precisely a complexity 1 program is. There is no real "analog" between what a complexity 1 program can do or can't do specifically other than strictly pulling numbers or concepts out of thin air.

For example - what is the complexity value for Microsoft Word as software? What is the complexity of Microsoft OFFICE? What about paint programs? What is the complexity of a 3D rendering software package? Then comes the issue of what about different versions of the same software, but with 10 or even 20 years difference between an earlier version and a subsequent version?

One of the conversations that we (A buddy and I) got into was the weather simulation models that are run on the Super Computers of today. Some of those pieces of software take days to run. If you look at the rules about running High Complexity software on computers whose complexity rating is lower than the software, you can infer that the powers of 10 time to process or produce an answer - might imply that the programs being run today on super computers are on the order of three or 4 complexity levels below the software. Speculation to be sure, but without specific guidelines on what really is a complexity 2 software package in today's real world, causes problems trying to benchmark things.

But, it is all a function of "detail" mostly. What details do you want? GURPS 3e defined hit points of inanimate objects differently than did 4e. It was largely a function of weight that did NOT include a cube root in it. 4e's rules do include a cube root. In theory, an AK47 can SINK boats VERY quickly, that during the Vietnam war, did not sink with AK rounds hitting the boat. As I've pointed out in contemporary accounts of Age of Sail battles, Major ships being in line of battle, withstood sufficiently large numbers of incoming cannon fire, that 200 LODGED shots were removed from the hull and the ship made battle worthy within a fortnight (14 days). Given the rules of engagement in those days, knowing the armaments of the ships involved - it can be said with reasonable certainty that those cannon balls that had been lodged in the hull had to have been of a caliber or weight, comparable to what the enemy ships of line carried. Many of the lesser weight shots were at least in the 18 lb range.

Which brings me to my point: Using the rules as written, just with 18 lbr cannon alone, any GURPS construct can NOT survive two hundred 18 lbr hits, let alone 24 or higher weighted shots. That alone tells me that the rules are missing something.

My guess is that when they revamped the rules from 3e to 4e, there was a need to make things simpler so it would appeal to a new audience of potential buyers. The age old "playability vs realism" had to rear its ugly head, and compromises needed to be made. Only those who grew up in an age of Simulations War games (Avalon Hill, SPI, etc) or played Miniatures rules such as HEART OF OAK, BEAT TO QUARTERS by Command Perspective (there being now, another set of rules titled BEAT TO QUARTERS) etc - are going to really be bothered by the current state of affairs. Taking known statistics about the HMS VICTORY, converting it into a GURPS analog, and then playtesting what happens when using the rules as written and discovering that musketeers firing upon the ship can SINK - well, that sort of um... just ruins the illusion for me. I have a rule about the "I believe" button that has to be pressed during the viewing of a movie. If you have to keep hitting it every 30 seconds, the movie is way too over the top for me. Why my daughter is saying (as a teenager nearing her 20th birthday) "this is bull<censored>" over and over while watching FAST AND FURIOUS 6 - you know that there may be a tiny wee little "reality issue" involved. ;)

So, does it much matter? Not really. Use 3e rules to build things, and keep them largely unchanged works easily enough. Use 4e rules to build things works as well (although they still have yet to release the Vehicle Design rules for 4e). YOU as the GM get to decide how far you want to go one way or another.
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Old 09-24-2017, 04:33 AM   #9
a humble lich
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Default Re: Convertin GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS for use with 4e

Quote:
Originally Posted by onetrikpony View Post
I think I don't understand the reason for going to the effort of converting between 3e and 4e statistics for ST, Computer complexity, and the unused stats like SS and PD.

What problem would I create if I built a robot in the 3e system and just applied used the ST statistics; (lifting and damage) from 4e basic set?

For computers it looks fine to me to choose the complexity you want and then just use the stats from UT for size, weight and cost.

Seems to me that the old "build it yourself" books could be pretty easily updated by just giving the components the stats from 4e and ignoring PD and SS.

What am I missing in ignoring the work of conversion?

For human sized robots with little armor and stats that stay close to 10, you could reasonably use the 3e values with no change, the problems are when you start getting big. I agree with ignoring SS and PD, and I think it would work fine to just transfer computers over (although there are issues with DX and IQ mentioned above). When it comes to ST you run into problems, because that stat changed a great deal.

For an extreme example, take the Thor from 3e which has an ST of 2000 and 1500 HP. In 3e, this would cost 1160 points for the ST and 7500 points for the HP and allow it to carry 20 tons as extra heavy encumbrance. If we just transferred the Thor to 4e, that would cost 15920 point for the ST 2980 point for the HP and allow it to carry 4000 tons as extra heavy encumbrance.

So not only would the point cost be radically different, which is to be expected when changing editions, but the robots capabilities are vastly different---it can not lift 200 times more than it could before. Also, it will outclass similar vehicles from 4e. There are no mecha of its side in 4e Ultratech, but it is about the same size as the tanks in Ultratech which have only 150 HP, ten times less than the Thor.

While that is an extreme case, more reasonable examples will also have problems with conversion. The TL 9 battlesuit from 3e Robots has ST 30 compared to +10 ST from the 4e battlesuit.

Besides ST, at high TL weapons and armor should be changed (although by how much I don't know). 3e vehicles and armor tended to have a much higher DR than in 4e. The Thor mentioned above has 6000 points of semi-ablative DR while the tanks in Ultratech only have 700 points of DR. The battlesuit in Robots has 160 DR, while the 4e battlesuit is only DR 70. Converting armor and weapons is hard What you would want to do is make a new table of how much a point of DR weighs at each TL and rework the weapon creation system for 4e weapons. For weapons, some of the conversion is needed because damage of ultratech weapons has changed, and some because the weapons themselves have changed---lasers in particular worked very differently in 3e.

At modern tech levels and below I'm not sure any conversion is really needed; 3e weapon and armor values are fairly close to the 4e versions, although weapon accuracy would have to be reduced a lot.

Also, some thought needs to be given when converting between TL between the two editions, because in 3rd edition TL 7 was modern day and TL 16 was the maximum limit while in 4th edition TL 8 is modern day and TL 12 is the highest possible.
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Old 10-09-2017, 11:16 AM   #10
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Buffalo, New York
Default Re: Convertin GURPS CLASSIC ROBOTS for use with 4e

Having missed A humble Lich's response...

A while back, I got involved in a game that another GM ran based I think, upon ALIENS (I may be remembering the wrong game system). It had the concept that Armor type was rated in Dice, and that when trying to wound someone, you had to roll against that person's Body Stat plus the Armor stat, and if you beat it, the character was damaged, and if you didn't beat it, the armor stopped the damage.

What bothered me about that approach was the fact that a weapon that couldn't penetrate the armor against a given "Body" rating, could easily penetrate the armor against a "body" character. You would think that a bullet of a given mass, and velocity, wouldn't be able to penetrate a given thickness of armor right?

Same thing with a Battlesuit that adds +10 to ST instead of giving its users all the same level of ST regardless of what their real strength might be in the flesh.

This is all about game design philosophy, and players who don't care about such distinctions are perfectly right to ignore that as being worthy of nit-picking about/over. For others, it can be a specific "no brainer" that causes them to say "um, no" and create their own work arounds.


What I don't like as a GM, are the point inflation issues that arise when pricing things REALLY high. Because, a campaign where you have high priced "things" requires a higher point budget. GURPS unfortunately, has the ability to break when using high budgets. In a discussion with another forumite, an actual GURPS author, some of the problems addressed in GURPS 4e Psionics, came about because of GM's allowing a HIGH budget and certain abilities that could be purchased with the higher budget became abusive. Likewise, being told "Hey, build a 500 point character" and then being shocked at unrestricted character builds - is well, *cough*, interesting.

So - GURPS as a Character building vehicle is a good one (or I'd not have stuck with it since 1986 after having used just about every game system out there since 1978). I had 12 years of jumping from one game system to another before I settled with GURPS. I picked up a few other game systems just to try them out, and found that I liked GURPS best. I guess in a way, that's why I try to adapt the older stuff for use with the 4e rules set. I liked the older shield rush rules over what I see in 4e, and now that Dungeon Fantasy as rewritten the Shield Rush rules (which I likely will never see alas), I feel somewhat vindicated in my dislike of the rules as written.

So, have fun, convert what you need, and never be afraid to experiment. All good chefs find that they might like the original recipe - but experiment until they have a flavor they like best. Same with GURPS in a way. Hell, it touts itself as being a toolkit approach for a game system. ;)
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