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Old 03-20-2013, 08:54 AM   #11
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: Playing Against the Trend: Non-Villainous Anti-PSR, Reactionary etc. Characters

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Originally Posted by Owen Smith View Post
In the Europe on Mars campaign we all had character sheets for our LAI assistants, either VIIs or wearables depending on the character. These were bought as 25% of points allies, so they're not particularly powerful characters.
Actually, since many AI assistance are available off-the-shelf, the GM okayed buying Prime Minister with cash. He/it doesn't actually do much aside of handling boring macro-actions like 'sift through data, get titles matching such-and-such criteria', 'find address of X' and the like. Most of the game, it's doing stuff TL8 characters do on their own with their computers. On the contrary, Cherry is a full-fledged Ally Minion*, and is getting more and more 'alive' as the game goes.


* == minion in this case represents not legal power, but rather her mentality/loyalty, which puts the game-mechanics closer to Kromm's than to whswhs' vision; it's complicated, and a potential source of interesting RP moments in the future.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:26 AM   #12
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Default Re: Playing Against the Trend: Non-Villainous Anti-PSR, Reactionary etc. Characters

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Originally Posted by Owen Smith View Post
In the Europe on Mars campaign we all had character sheets for our LAI assistants, either VIIs or wearables depending on the character. These were bought as 25% of points allies, so they're not particularly powerful characters.
I wrote up a character sheet for every AI ally in both my THS campaigns. Of course I didn't let the players see everything that was on them, but I discussed their substance with the players.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:27 AM   #13
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Default Re: Playing Against the Trend: Non-Villainous Anti-PSR, Reactionary etc. Characters

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We role played our 25% LAI allies. Some of them were more prominent than others, at times I had real fun being all sarcastic as Dougal (Florence's VII). Dougal's avatar is a shaggy cylindrical orange dog with no visible feet and a role played craving for virtual sugar, just to complete the Magic Roundabout references.
I couldn't afford a 25% LAI. Being a Ghost, I already had a lot of points spent on the templates (which I actually trimmed down slightly, with GM's permission), and having an Always Available 75% Ally Minion took another 18 points. Then of course there were all the traits that came out of the rest of the concept (e.g. Wealth, a bunch of Social advantages etc.).

I'm not the GM, so I don't know the precise values, but the other characters seem to be in the other extreme: hypercompetent teens with relatively modest social stats, and thus a lot of points available for IQ/DX/skills/etc. One is a Tennin. Not sure about the others.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:36 AM   #14
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Default Re: Playing Against the Trend: Non-Villainous Anti-PSR, Reactionary etc. Characters

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I wrote up a character sheet for every AI ally in both my THS campaigns. Of course I didn't let the players see everything that was on them, but I discussed their substance with the players.

Bill Stoddard
Well, my NAI is minimalistic - almost off-the-shelf, with the only customisation being a C6/[16]/$3,900 modular ability slot. Plus some quirky rules on how to phrase its dialogues. I guess that is it.
Anyway, it kinda means I know what the sheet is supposed to look like.

On the other hand, I spent 5 pages writing up Cherry's dossier, and who knows how many lines of chat discussing her with the GM, since allies are typically built by GMs.

And now due to the the way events turned out in the campaign, there's a conflict between logic and point totals. Long story short, she might get a destructive upload much sooner than was expected. (This is the plot hook that I mentioned in the other thread that wasn't exactly meant to be used immediately. Oh well.) Which means a likely increase in point total (there is some wiggle room). And, well, that kinda creates all sorts of unpleasant dilemmas, ranging from arbitrary making the process Go Wrong, through switching to Mutable Point Totals (not a good thing to do like that), to things like point debts. Though Clancy does seem to have some ideas what to do, and I'll just wait for him to decide how he'd rather handle it.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:22 AM   #15
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Default Re: Playing Against the Trend: Non-Villainous Anti-PSR, Reactionary etc. Characters

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The GM reserved the right to take over the LAIs at any time but I don't recall it ever happening.
Once or twice for medical-monitoring events - Phil just switched to telling me what my LAI was telling me.

One of the characters in the campaign was an SAI, who started out with an LAI minion ally, which he later got rebuilt as an SAI whom he then employed, in the expectation that it would eventually leave and live its own life.

My character, whose LAI ally was the same one he'd had since he was a teenager, and who was treated in many ways as a member of his family, thought about this quite a bit. As the campaign reached its current hiatus, he'd just had his ally rebuilt as an SAI, whom he will employ until she wants to leave.

I was somewhat influenced in this by Ted Chaing's story The Life Cycle of Software Objects, which can be found online here. It's an exploration of the idea of personhood and the degree to which it's ascribed, rather than intrinsically possessed. And Ted Chaing is one of the best SF writers around.

Last edited by johndallman; 03-20-2013 at 10:23 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:28 AM   #16
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Default Re: Playing Against the Trend: Non-Villainous Anti-PSR, Reactionary etc. Characters

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Originally Posted by Owen Smith View Post
We wrote the LAI ally character sheets ourselves. We held the character sheets, and when the main characters earned XP the allies did (at 25%) and we spent those. The GM reserved the right to take over the LAIs at any time but I don't recall it ever happening. I think partly Phil wanted to spread the workload.
In my Standard of the Man campaign we did pretty much the same thing; LAI assistants were primarily for the players to design and play. (One of them had the skill Savoir-Faire (Civilian), though we never did quite agree on how his military veteran fragment PC - there was an incident of excessive heroism in his former career - should have his native incompetence at civilian life represented on the sheet.)
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:02 AM   #17
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Default Greetings

So, firstly. apologies there's still no Dramatis Personae as there should be. Thing is, I have 2 full sets of 'resume', one of which still untranslated to English; 3rd player is very, VERY unexperienced (means, it's his very first game in the life. More than that, he even hadn't play in CRPGs), so he is just shy; 4th player looks almost as MIA (no time and no will to wrote something about)

But well, will try and describe them myself (more data still coming to)

1. Caine/Cherry — I think you already figured them out. Face-person and his minion, for the reasons possibly 'main' persona of this story. That dosn't guarantee their survival though.

2. Komatsu Daiki, optimistic Duncanite Japan teenager, impulsive but still cautios and accurate. And yes, he IS Duncanite Tennin, so there possibly will be some interesting social collisions.

3. Κίτσος Λάσκαρης, Greece, Cyprus, call, er, contact centre guy, unfinished linguistic college. More alert and cautious than anyone else, his eyes, ears and mind truly open. There's more in the persona, than it's known to player, due the fact he's the newbie. Just one fact — I clearly considered the option to set him as Metanoia who don't know he is Metanoia.

4. Igor Beregovoi, Russian child prodigy, computer genius, but clearly not freak or Hikikomori. More like ordinary teenager going to frontier line to prove himself his existence. As did Jack London Smoke Bellew.
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:05 PM   #18
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Default Re: Playing Against the Trend: Non-Villainous Anti-PSR, Reactionary etc. Characters

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
One of the characters in the campaign was an SAI, who started out with an LAI minion ally, which he later got rebuilt as an SAI whom he then employed, in the expectation that it would eventually leave and live its own life.
The canonicity of this is obviously arguable, but it seemed to me a reasonable mapping of the urge to self-reproduction.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:23 PM   #19
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Default Re: Playing Against the Trend: Non-Villainous Anti-PSR, Reactionary etc. Characters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Smith View Post
We role played our 25% LAI allies. Some of them were more prominent than others, at times I had real fun being all sarcastic as Dougal (Florence's VII). Dougal's avatar is a shaggy cylindrical orange dog with no visible feet and a role played craving for virtual sugar, just to complete the Magic Roundabout references.
I'm not sure a 25% LAI is all that interesting to roleplay, particularly since it is mostly always with the main PC.
I did have an urge to 'take over' Cherry (who's a 75% bioroid with a half-dozen-page-length dossier for RP purposes, but whose sheet I of course have not seen) in the first session or two when I thought she would do/say something memorable (and even more so when she screwed up my character's introduction in a somewhat out-of-character way). But a week and several CrowningMomentsOfHeartwarming later (i.e. now), I'm actively opposed to such an idea. Because I have a primary character which I have enough fun playing all the stuff going on in his mind - including the PC/NPC interaction, which I'd kinda make unfun for myself if I played both characters (I take my dose of schizophrenia when I GM games, thank you).

Meanwhile, Prime Minister (off-the-shelf NAI) is mostly there to perform 'third-person' or 'macro' actions for me (i.e. the stuff one wouldn't even describe in detail when telling to the GM). I suppose coming up with his quirky phrasing would be fun for a session or two, and that's it. NAI is NAI.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:02 AM   #20
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Default Session 1a: Alex Frolov's quarters

Session 1a: Alex Frolov's quarters

The morning was spent in accord with the usual routine: reviewing yesterdayís events. One of the peculiarities of this pain - which always came in overwhelming, persistent bouts - was that it forced one to miss, to forget the myriad small things that happened during its attack. The training and discipline needed to keep calm and behave adequately are not compromised by it - others may even think there is nothing wrong. However, Alexey Frolov knew perfectly well that for the people invited to the meeting, his normality will be but an illusion.

So, the candidates.

Alex held the most trust in The Guinean. He bit his thumb, and quickly corrected the scale of trust back down from 100% to 98. A short protest by the AI companion was overruled: unlike the machines filling this world, Alex understood what morals, duty and conscience are, and remembered that it was thanks to the employees of Biotech Euphrates he was saved from solitude.

Well, Ďsolitudeí was a rather soft way of phrasing it. Itís one thing when there is nobody near. Itís another when donít want to see anyone. And itís absolutely, positively an even more different one when there is no, not even a hypothetical, chance to contact anyone ever again.

It was done once, it had to be done again. The abandoned, useless and forsaken Y-56 station lacked any communication systems. Just like back there and then, in Ď83, during the Pacific War, not far from Jupiter. In a crippled ship doomed to fall into the gas giant. Focus.

The next candidate was Komatsu Daiki - not the best, but not the worst of the Duncanite branch of civilisation. But he happened to be the only Japanese-Duncanite in the vicinity with the right psychological profile - if Mort is to be trusted. Wonít turn his back on a job, wonít tire from monotony, will have a sense of duty towards finishing a contract. And, most importantly, well-inclined towards the less intelligent ones.

Kitsos Laskaris - the unseen star. Not a superman, but still in the top-10%, judging by the ability to gain uncanny insights and see the unseen compared to . . . more focused . . . companions. Given the time spent in isolation - absolutely indispensable for the exploration of the object.

Next, Caineís companion - Cherry . . . Alex frowned and left the field empty. Freedom of choice must prevail. Or was it just an old manís grumbling in the face of a world that changed? Back in the day, people were willing to die for things that today they donít value at all.

And finally - Beregovoy. Chosen by Alex personally, even though Amanda was firmly opposed to him as a candidate. ďHe will betray us in favour of the Russians, and wonít even understand what he has done. They are blind, brainwashed, their ĎPresidentí . . . oh, come on, Iím telling you, youíre still thinking of their state as the Russia you saw in films. And Iíve [u]been[/i] there and saw it. You think itís any better than Kazakhstan?Ē

And yet heís the best AI technician, with a history of four major successful national-level projects, a contract on Свобода-3, and - despite lacking any records of anti-government activity or sentiments - I saw it in his face: he was ready and willing to raise his head against the authority.

The budget plan was finished, but not verified. Smell of oranges, the radio noise of Jupiter, then flies inside his head, then pain, then desire to make it somehow-eventually-go-away-please, and then Alex disappeared again. The world consisted of only contours and colours, with no meaning and no understanding hidden behind them. White, rectangular, brown . . .

There was no such thing as time, nor as a place, there were no words, there wasnít a person in pain.

. . . Frolov stretched himself, and requested an update on the time, place and environment. A rented hangar, ten minutes left until the meeting; good thing friends helped him arrive, to compose himself . . . everything will be all right - all is needed is to convince them . . .

The funniest thing was that the body was in perfect shape - a jump throughout the door following a correct trajectory twenty-six metres long, landing in direct adjacency to Daiki - was almost perfect. Oh, and everyone else was at the meeting too.

Last edited by Clancy; 06-10-2013 at 03:58 PM.
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