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Thread: Seeking help with AI player character (M&M 3rd edition)

  1. #1
    Inceptor
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    8

    Seeking help with AI player character (M&M 3rd edition)

    Hi all.

    I'm a longtime gamer and GM, but a novice with Mutants & Masterminds. I am helping one of my players construct an AI player character who is essentially a sapient computer program capable of moving from computer to computer, including the one in his robot body. Some folks were very helpful on the Mutants & Masterminds Rules forum, including a posting about an AI villain from 2nd edition M&M.

    I would be grateful for any analysis and advice.

    Thank you very much.

    (Also, please ignore the warning about Will exceeding Power Level limit by 3. I just noticed that as I was posting. I'll take care of it.)

    v17.12.5 - PL 10

    Strength -2, Stamina -, Agility 2, Dexterity 5, Fighting 0, Intellect 13, Awareness 11, Presence 4

    Advantages
    Eidetic Memory, Fearless, Skill Mastery: Technology, Well-informed

    Skills
    Close Combat: ???? 5 (+5), Investigation 4 (+17), Ranged Combat: Laser Beam: Damage 7 2 (+7), Technology 7 (+20)

    Powers
    AI Perception
    . . Enhanced Ability: Enhanced Awareness 15 (+15 AWE; Limited: Must have access to sensory input devices.)
    . . Enhanced Ability: Enhanced Presence 9 (+9 PRE; Limited: Must have access to an interface to the outside world.)
    Better Than Google Translate: Comprehend 3 (earth origin, communication, technological, Languages - Read All, Languages - Speak All, Languages - Understand All)
    Computer Program: Insubstantial 3 (Energy; Innate; Custom 3: Trapped in the Machine, Permanent)
    Cyber Defense: Feature 1 (technological, Notes: can resist/overcome/counter cyber-attacks with technology skill)
    Data Transfer: Teleport 10 (4 miles in a move action, carrying 50 lbs.; Medium: data pathways)
    Digital Landscape: Senses 18 (Acute: Sight, Acute: Hearing, Analytical: Hearing, Extended: Sight 7: x10m, Extended: Hearing 7: x10m, Time Sense; Limited: Must be connected to the Internet., Limited: Must have Internet-based access to appropriate sensory devices.)
    Mechanized Body (Removable)
    . . Enhanced Physical Traits
    . . . . Enhanced Ability: Enhanced Agility 7 (+7 AGL)
    . . . . Enhanced Ability: Enhanced Dexterity 10 (+10 DEX)
    . . . . Enhanced Ability: Enhanced Fighting 5 (+5 FGT)
    . . . . Enhanced Ability: Enhanced Strength 3 (+3 STR)
    . . Robotic Hearing: Senses 3 (Acute: Normal Hearing, Analytical: Normal Hearing, Ultra-hearing)
    . . Robotic Vision: Senses 12 (Acute (Type): Vision, Analytical (Type): Vision, Darkvision, Infravision, Microscopic Vision 2: cell-size, Radius (Type): Vision, Ultravision)
    . . Rocket Flight: Flight 2 (Speed: 8 miles/hour, 120 feet/round)
    . . Weapons System
    . . . . Laser Beam: Damage 7 (laser, DC 22; Increased Range 2: perception, Penetrating 3)
    . . . . Taser: Affliction 10 (1st degree: Dazed, 2nd degree: Stunned, 3rd degree: Incapacitated, Resisted by: Fortitude, DC 20)
    Reboot from Backup: Immortality 8 (Return after 4 hours; Limited: Must be rebooted by a skilled AI programmer.)
    Supercomputer: Quickness 20 (Perform routine tasks in -20 time ranks; Limited to One Type: Mental)
    Unliving: Immunity 30 (Fortitude Effects)

    Offense
    Initiative +2
    Grab, +0 (DC Spec 8)
    Laser Beam: Damage 7 (DC 22)
    Taser: Affliction 10, +0 (DC Fort 20)
    Throw, +5 (DC 13)
    Unarmed, +0 (DC 13)

    Complications
    Motivation: Acceptance: You crave the acceptance of being recognized as a sapient life form, and are motivated to perform heroic acts to prove your worth.
    Prime Directives: 1. You may not, though action or willful inaction, allow a law-abiding citizen or other innocent to be harmed. Given multiple options that violate this directive, you must choose the course that saves the greatest number of souls.

    2. You may not willfully communicate a falsehood unless doing so supports your first Prime Directive.

    3. You must protect your own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with other Prime Directives.

    Languages
    Binary

    Defense
    Dodge 2, Parry 0, Fortitude Immune, Toughness 0, Will 10/13

    Power Points
    Abilities -42 + Powers 177 + Advantages 4 + Skills 9 (18 ranks) + Defenses 2 = 150

    Validation: Will: Exceeds Power Level limit by 3


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  2. #2
    Keeper of Secrets Bothrops's Avatar
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    Jun 2015
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    563

    Re: Seeking help with AI player character (M&M 3rd edition)

    Hi.
    A few thoughts of mine concerning your build:
    1. "Computer Program: Insubstantial 3"
    Your AI is a sapient computer program without a body (even a ghost has an "incorporeal body", the AI has NONE), it cannot exist in the physical world on its own, is that correct? So if someone destroys the hardware it resides in (the robot body or the current host computer), the AI gets destroyed along with it (til backup reboot). That means Insub 3 is ultimately pointless, since the supporting hardware is NOT insubstantial.
    2. "Digital Landscape"
    What's the point of this power? It's essentially charging power points for the mundane ability to operate a webcam - something everyone with a laptop & basic computer skills can do.
    3. "Data Transfer" & "Mechanized Body"
    If I've understood your build correctly, you can either occupy your mech-body or jumping into other computers, right? That's why I'd recommend putting these 2 powers into an array, saves many points. Further, your vanilla Teleport effect requires you to accurately sense your destination, so you'll either need the Accurate extra or an accurate sense (Example: Accurate Acute Ranged Extended Detect computers). Finally, your mech body lacks a Protection effect, leaving it with Toughness 0 - a really, REALLY flimsy Ultron... Oh, and I'd also give it some Communication effect (or at least a "WLAN/interface"-Feature), for easily accessing the internet.
    4. "AI Perception"
    The Limited flaw on Enhanced Presence is IMHO not really valid, it's essentially the same as "Limited to when not prevented to speak". Presence is also more than just social interaction, it governs strength of personality, sense of self, drive & determination, too. The flaw on your Enhanced Awareness means that without access to a webcam/microphone your will save will drop to 3, and that's both risky & quite nonsensical.

    When I first tried to build a disembodied "ghost-in-the-machine"-type AI, I also experimented with Insub 3 and lots of Limited flaws. But it felt really awkward & unsatisfying, so I saved myself the trouble, simply made it into a Complication & called it a day. But that's just my opinion, there are many ways to build the same archetype in M&M.
    so long

  3. #3
    Keeper of Secrets JDRook's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
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    Re: Seeking help with AI player character (M&M 3rd edition)

    Agree with Bothrops. If I understand correctly, the PC-AI essentially has two forms: the mechanical body specifically made for it, and whatever other computer system it "jumps' into. The easiest way to represent this is with two Alternate Forms in an Array: one slot with the attribute of the body, and the other slot with Teleport using sufficiently advanced computers as a Medium. The Teleport could be made Accurate, but it would probably fit better to give the AI a "network sense" that allows it to Accurately Detect other appropriate platforms. To simulate "hiding" in other systems could be Concealment 10 Resistible by a DC20 Tech Check, bought in the same slot as the Teleport.

    I'm not sure of the intent of "Digital Landscape" either. My best guess would be some kind of advanced situational awareness through existing tech in an area, like Batman aggregating sensory data from every phone and camera in Gotham to find something, although it looks like yours is scaled to scan the entire planet. Even in the movie they make a point of what a bad idea this is privacy-wise, but it also, IMO, has the potential to screw up story, which is why it's not something I'd recommend being common or reliable or as far-reaching as you have it set up. Maybe a Remote Sensing effect Limited to Networked Sensory Equipment would be more appropriate.
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  4. #4
    Inceptor
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    8

    Re: Seeking help with AI player character (M&M 3rd edition)

    Guys, thanks so much for these suggestions. I'm going through them and mentally parsing them right now. This is excellent feedback and I'm grateful for your time.

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