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  • Robot Controller

    So I'm new to this game and I'm trying to make a hero who controls a robot. The hero is unpowered and is just a genius inventor. The robot takes the form of the classic lantern jawed flying brick. The hero needs to be able to control the robot from a great distance as they stay in their home. The hero also needs to see, hear, smell everything the robot does and effectively use the robots strength and powers while using their own intelligence and personality. Effectively the robot is the hero's puppet and does whatever it is told as if the hero is inside of it, but he isn't. Any ideas on how this could be done?

  • #2
    The best way? Play the robot. The inventor is merely ancillary, maybe a Complication that sometimes the signal is bad, or the inventor is otherwise out of commission.
    [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/996]My Builds[/url]

    [b]Current games:[/b]
    [url=http://www.echoesofthemultiverse.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=839]The J.V. Team (GM)[/URL]

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    • #3
      Yeah I thought about that, but I would like the ability to maybe have multiple robots, like Tony stark has multiple iron man suits, and swap them out between plot points. Also I think it would be cool to be able to play the unpowered inventor, kinda like Bruce banner.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Apophis View Post
        Yeah I thought about that, but I would like the ability to maybe have multiple robots, like Tony stark has multiple iron man suits, and swap them out between plot points. Also I think it would be cool to be able to play the unpowered inventor, kinda like Bruce banner.
        If you don't mind bending definitions a bit (and your GM doesn't mind), you could build it as an Alternate Form, with Complication like "any body he is not currently controlling remains defenceless and immobile at its last operated position" a bit like the way Remote Viewing works, and link the change of form to a Teleport effect, limited to 'only to the location of the robot shell (or original body) that he is assuming'. Original form is the inventor, then add an alternate form for each robot body. And then a Complication about how his control over his alternate form is technological and subject to jamming etc.

        .

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        • #5
          The only issue with alternate form is that it is an alternate form of the character, what it needs to be is an additional form. I'm not saying the inventor would ever really be doing much other than controlling the hero form while it is active, but the difference is that the hero form is separate and could be incapacitated or destroyed while the inventor would be safe at his hq. It's like when iron man was remote controlling his suit, we thought he was in it and feared for him when it got hit by a truck and shattered, but it turned out he was at that kids house the entire time.

          What about the summon power? Summon a heroic construct? Would that work?
          Last edited by Apophis; 08-10-2019, 08:34 AM.

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          • #6
            How about this:

            Summon Array: (4 flat for array)
            5 robotic bodies. Rank 10. Controlled (1 per rank) Heroic (2 per rank) Mental link. Dimensional. (1 flat +3 flat)
            Easilly removable -2 per 5
            = 47

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            • #7
              That brings up something interesting. Can a summoned minion have more pp than the summoner? It doesn't say under summon. All it says is that the minion's power level cap is the same as the summoner.

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              • #8
                No, they can't. That's why you are the robot, the inventor is the minion/sidekick.

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                • #9
                  But it could have the same pp as the hero, right?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Apophis View Post
                    That brings up something interesting. Can a summoned minion have more pp than the summoner? It doesn't say under summon. All it says is that the minion's power level cap is the same as the summoner.
                    Summon does not cap power points, and you can always look at Variable Type to let you have different bodies. Check with your GM. Summon builds can become "bathroom
                    [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/996]My Builds[/url]

                    [b]Current games:[/b]
                    [url=http://www.echoesofthemultiverse.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=839]The J.V. Team (GM)[/URL]

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                    • #11
                      Does this look right:

                      How about this:

                      Summon Array: (4 flat for array)
                      5 robotic bodies. Rank 10. Controlled (1 per rank) Heroic (2 per rank) Mental link. Dimensional. (1 flat +3 flat)
                      Easilly removable -2 per 5
                      = 47

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Apophis View Post
                        The only issue with alternate form is that it is an alternate form of the character, what it needs to be is an additional form. I'm not saying the inventor would ever really be doing much other than controlling the hero form while it is active, but the difference is that the hero form is separate and could be incapacitated or destroyed while the inventor would be safe at his hq.
                        I'm not saying it's a bad idea, since this is basically exactly how drone warfare works. I am saying that it kind of kills the drama when the PC is not really at risk. It's effective, but lacks heroism.

                        It's like when iron man was remote controlling his suit, we thought he was in it and feared for him when it got hit by a truck and shattered, but it turned out he was at that kids house the entire time.
                        Exactly, we feared for him because we assumed he was in the suit. If we knew ahead of time the suit was empty, the scene would have been kinda funny at best and not in any way suspenseful. It's the difference between a realistic simulation and an entertaining story.

                        Realistically with a drone system you'd want maximum responsiveness but not at the cost of pilot safety. However, a comic book style "mad" scientist might realize there's a loss of fidelity of signal and synchronization of action creating unacceptable lag times, and so invents an advanced sensory/motor feedback system that responds instantly to thought and feels just like being there.

                        I actually built something like this on request for someone who wants a Red Dwarf style hardlight hologram in the form of a classic armored knight. I used the idea of a telepresence suit and consciousness projection by the pilot to control the suit and fight like a real swordsman, but with a teleport to move the consciousness from pilot to robot and an emergency recall to go back.

                        This was all to make the PC feel like they were in the middle of the action and even had some risk involved, but still be able to be pulled out if needed. Personally, I think just sending in disposable bots lowers the stakes and therefore weakens the story potential.


                        My old [URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]Atomic Think Tank[/URL] thread
                        My current character thread: [URL="https://roninarmy.com/threads/6194-The-Sound-of-My-Eyebeams-JDRook-s-builds-and-blather?p=233536&viewfull=1#post233536"]The Sound of my Eyebeams[/URL][URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]
                        [/URL]
                        I will build characters in HeroLab for you! Send me [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/transcribe-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?funnel=6e71f15f-207e-49f4-bf35-9ceb23b979a7"]your finished design[/URL] or even [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/create-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?context=advanced_search&context_type=rating&funnel=2014103117123522519608360"]your original concept[/URL]!

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                        • #13
                          I hear what you are saying and see how this could easily be abused, but it fits the character I was trying to make. I wanted an inventor who is physically weak and unable to act heroically except through a robot body. Maybe a feedback complication that hurts the inventor when the robots are damaged would make it more interesting?

                          This is also awfully inexpensive point wise. I feel like I must have done something wrong.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Apophis View Post
                            Does this look right:

                            How about this:

                            Summon Array: (4 flat for array)
                            5 robotic bodies. Rank 10. Controlled (1 per rank) Heroic (2 per rank) Mental link. Dimensional. (1 flat +3 flat)
                            Easilly removable -2 per 5
                            = 47
                            ...
                            This is also awfully inexpensive point wise. I feel like I must have done something wrong.
                            I'm not sure how you would justify Easily Removable for this, since that's generally reserved for things you can disarm in combat. If the robot had an antennae you could snap off with relatively little effort to cut the connection to the inventor, that would be Easily Removable; having machinery that is far away or in another dimension is not.

                            Also, technically Summoned creatures require Commands from the controller, which are Move Actions. They introduced an Extra called Responsive in the Power Profiles which allows for commands as Free Actions but only once per creature per turn. Then again, this doesn't really affect your concept since your inventor is going to be safely locked away and able to focus on controlling his bots; if something else was distracting him, like an enemy invasion in his hideaway, he'd probably have to completely drop control.

                            Let's get back to base concept: you want a brilliant but weak inventor with access to 5 robot bodies that he can control one at a time over unlimited distance. The 5 bots would be slightly different for varying specializations like the Iron Man armors.

                            If it were me, I'd build it around these two powers:

                            Robot Forms: Morph 2 (+20 Deception checks to disguise; Narrow group (Prebuilt Robots); Extras: Metamorph 5; Flaws: Custom 2: Slow (1 hr) , Must be changed at HQ) - 11p

                            This is a Morph with Metamorph Effect allowing for 5 Alternate Forms, each one at PL with points equal to max minus 11p to give the Morph to each form. The Custom Flaws require that the change can only be done at the HQ and take about an hour, so you can easily change between scenes but not hop bodies mid-combat.

                            All Robot Forms would also have this option:
                            Emergency Recall: Teleport 18 (Carry 50 lbs., Advantages: Diehard; Extras: Extended: 250000 miles in 2 move actions, Triggered: 1 use - Incapacited or worse; Flaws: Limited Location: set of loctions, Limited to Extended, Transit Time 11: 1 hour) - 9p

                            This is a Triggered Teleport that only goes off if the robot is Incapacitated. The concept is that it send the consciousness of the inventor back to HQ from as far away as the moon (about a light-second), but it takes an hour for them him to regain consciousness. The Diehard Advantage is added to keep the PC from dying; the hour should be long enough to recover from most conditions, although lingering effects could be a Complication. This gives consequences to "fighting to the death" without actually killing the inventor. Leaving the robot body behind is a Complication if your allies can't take it back for you.

                            Assuming a PL10 game, including both of these powers with each Bot allows for 130p of extra points to play with. I'd recommend having the same mental abilities in all forms to represent the inventor's mind in control, possibly some of his skills as well. Most Bots will have Fortitude Immunity by default unless your GM has their own special Bot rules. You might either want to have your inventor have decent mental resistances that carry over or have some kind of additional defense through the bots (Enhanced Will or Half-Effect Immunity) since they will be open to mental attacks.

                            Hopefully that gives you some ideas. You can mess with the numbers to change ranges or times or number of bot forms or whatever, but I think it gives a good baseline to start from.
                            My old [URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]Atomic Think Tank[/URL] thread
                            My current character thread: [URL="https://roninarmy.com/threads/6194-The-Sound-of-My-Eyebeams-JDRook-s-builds-and-blather?p=233536&viewfull=1#post233536"]The Sound of my Eyebeams[/URL][URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]
                            [/URL]
                            I will build characters in HeroLab for you! Send me [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/transcribe-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?funnel=6e71f15f-207e-49f4-bf35-9ceb23b979a7"]your finished design[/URL] or even [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/create-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?context=advanced_search&context_type=rating&funnel=2014103117123522519608360"]your original concept[/URL]!

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                            • #15
                              Well the idea behind the easily removable is that the inventor needs a lab full of equipment to make this work. If a villain (or easy a nosey housekeeper) came in while he was operating it and mucked with things then he wouldn't be able to control the robot. Seems to me that keeping him from operating complex devices is as easy or perhaps even easier than removing someone's magic trident or circlet of power.

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