Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
at0milich

How smart is a servitor

Recommended Posts

I know it depends on a type. Monotask servitor propably wont be too talkative, a bridge servitor might be altogether a different thing. How about lingua vox servitor (from ITS).

 

Any material or ideas on servitors. ?

 

./At0miclich

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be honest, anything goes, they have Servitors doing everything, are you after a 'super canon' intelligence rating?
 

They are smart enough to fullfull 99% of the roles aboard a ship so, pretty good ja?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be honest, anything goes, they have Servitors doing everything, are you after a 'super canon' intelligence rating?

 

They are smart enough to fullfull 99% of the roles aboard a ship so, pretty good ja?

Nope I'm not really after IQ rating but a bit of a clue where does the thin line of acceptable and tech-heresy goes. Question relates to question: "what  are falsemen really, another mis interpretation?". But really your definition was fine.

 

Now for few additional questions;

1: assuming human form is sacred, would it be tech-heresy to make a tracked servitor?

2: assuming we have braindamaged(by weapon) talented translator (savant level), who would otherwise die, would it be tech-heresy to turn him translation servitor.

3: servitor implants and system remove persons identity and memories, how about skills and reflexes ?

 

 

./At0miclich

 

PS:Besides IQ rating is overrated seriously, because i've seen high-IQ realworld guys doing incredibly stupid things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a bunch of info on servitors http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Servitor

Short version, it varies. Some might be the equivalent of a remote controlled car with fleshy bits, and others might be capable of autonomous action and problem solving.

Their level of intelligence is probably dependent on three things; the intelligence of the materials used, the quality of the tech used, and the servitors intended task.

 

Vat grown servitor flesh only has the information they've been hypno-indoctrinated with, probably only what is necessary for their task. Using bodies that are already dead might mean they have some form of brain damage, either physical trauma or lack of oxygen/decomposition. Fresh living bodies would probably have the best level of leftover intelligence, but probably run the highest risk of going rogue and trying to re-assert some form of awareness or cognitive function related to their former life, so you might go in and wipe/surgically remove a lot more.

 

The quality level of the cortex implants (core book page 149) and any other brain related cybernetics would also affect their final intelligence. Some things you call a servitor might technically be considered a cyborg, since their implants are high enough quality and designed so that they still have some semblance of free will and independent thought.

 

And finally, what is your servitor designed to do? A servitor drone, meant to basically carry stuff around as a porter/dockhand, is the lowest of the low, with little to no volition, skills, or independent thought. A mining servitor actually needs to have some problem solving and decision making skills related to mining if you don't want them accidentally causing collapses or bringing up tons of useless rock instead of valuable ore, but their needed skills are on a very narrow focus. A medical servitor again needs to be able to make some pretty critical decisions and medicine is a pretty broad field if you want it to be able to take the place of a proper doctor, either in an emergency or because one simply isn't available. A medical servitor might even need to do stuff on it's own initiative if the patient isn't able to say "help me." An exploratory servitor, meant to be dropped on a planet to do a basic survey of it's flora, fauna, and geography, collect samples, and defend itself from various dangerous life/plants/chemical/geological events is probably a servitor in name only since it needs to be entirely autonomous, capable of problem solving and inductive reasoning, and reasonably intelligent.

 

1: assuming human form is sacred, would it be tech-heresy to make a tracked servitor?

The Adeptus Mechanicus does that all the time. They use it for certain heavy combat servitors who's weight is too high for normal legs. One would assume you'd only do it if necessary for some reason, otherwise you're just being wasteful.

2: assuming we have braindamaged(by weapon) talented translator (savant level), who would otherwise die, would it be tech-heresy to turn him translation servitor.

Common quality cortex implants might be able to save him without him becoming a servitor technically but he is going to loose some mental capacity. Poor quality destroys the memories and personality. You might be left with fragments, but his savant translational skills are mostly gone.

3: servitor implants and system remove persons identity and memories, how about skills and reflexes?

I'd say no to the skills, but yes to the reflexes if by which you mean physical characteristics. If he looses his memory, by which I mean the memories are literally destroyed and not just inaccessible to the conscious mind but still there, then he looses the learned skill. You could make the argument of physical skills still having the muscle memory in the motor cortex, but then we'd have to discuss the conscious thought portion of physcial skills, as well as neuroplasticity's roll in re-routing damaged pathways to maintain brain function, and all that's getting a little technical for the game.

Edited by Spatulaodoom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like with a lot of 40k, it reeeally depends on which author you're looking at. Servitors in the Abnettverse are pretty much just cybered humans, so much so that they still have emotions and dreams - which is a stark contrast to how they are described in other sources.

 

I'd say it comes down to just how grimdark you want your 40k to be, or how you even define that term.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Servitors are just like Lobomized humans, except they are only allowed to do what they are programmed to do. They might dream or have feelings, but they are suppressed,

 

The book Priest of Mars features a servitor that regains free will and suggests that what remains of the human is, on some level, awake, and, if not agony, is at least aware and unhappy at what has been done to them. They are simply unable to do anything about it, but would if they could. This is demonstrated when they rebel and kill their taskmaster, then form what is essentially a servitor/rating labor union.

Edited by Utherix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This sounds like an interesting story to go over, as the Mechanicus are not unified, what tech-heresy is to another varies, theres always sentences like "Considered by most Mechanicus to be tech-heresy" blah blah.

 

Why not explore this line and its ambiguity in a roleplay?

 

Above all though, the games 'yours' so agree something with yourself as honestly, I don't thin there is a unified 'answer'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as I can tell in the fluff (and I have a particular love of the Mechanicus) the Mechanicum arrived at servitors what are essentially two directions.  

 

The first is from the augmented worker - the worker is made better to do their job until the point where full mental faculties were not only unnecessary, but detrimental to function.  Worker, in this case, can also be replaced with gun crew or shocktroop in the case of combat servitors.  Essentially, these are people in positions where independent thought is a liability.  These kinds of servitors retain some independent decision making ability, but have lost most of the mental flexibility and independence of their subject humans.

 

The second direction came from intelligent systems.  As far as we can tell, much of the technology from the Dark Age was designed to operate as part of or alongside sentient computer systems.  Sentient computer systems are, however, now a forbidden abomination (and for good reason...) which would naturally make these powerful and often critical technologies non-functional.  In order to preserve these technologies, human intelligences in the form of Servitors were installed to replace these abominable intelligence systems.  These servitors are often highly intelligent within their field and/or function, and are used to add or allow decision making capability within an automated system.  The servitor drivers wired into vehicles are a classic example of this kind.

 

In both cases, Servitors appear to be intelligent and capable of at least limited decision making, even if they are incapable of counteracting orders from a Tech Priest.  However, they tend towards idiot savant style of intelligence, being highly capable in their function, but almost useless at any other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Servitors are just like Lobomized humans, except they are only allowed to do what they are programmed to do. They might dream or have feelings, but they are suppressed,

 

Well, aren't servitors having their personalities erased, provided they had one in the first place, since most of the servitors' "organic parts" are taken from tank-bred clones?

the Mechanicus are not unified, what tech-heresy is to another varies, theres always sentences like "Considered by most Mechanicus to be tech-heresy"

 

Just like that, considering the xenarites (that are almost a full third of Adeptus Mechanicus, and even had some of their "retroengineered tech" be universally accepted among Adeptus Mechanicus) or khamrians (a group within the Mechanicum, advocating a lift of prohibiton on "true full-capability AI's").

As for me, "tech heresy" could be of three distinct kinds. First ones are things prohibited by the Treaty of Mars (and such by the Emperor/Omnissiah himself) - such would be full-capability AIs (while limited capability AI's are in fact legal and used in titans and land-raiders, they differ from full-capable by having their capability of independent self-improvement removed) or dealing with the Wapr in fobidden ways, or changing human's genome in forbidden ways. Then they are things that are forbidden by universally accepted AdMech teachings - things like Anima Mori or Proteus Protocol. The first two kinds of tech-heresy are considered "major tech-heresies" and are usually dealt with swiftly. The third kind are things that are considered tech-heresy by some AdMech and legitimate part of research by the others  - lesser tech-heresies, with possibility of even becoming part of AdMech's technological canon. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like I said, it depends on where you look. In 40k, do not make the mistake and assume that one author will always go with the interpretation of another who has written on the subject before him. ;)

 

For comparison, this is what a GW studio source had to say on the subject:

 

Servitors are the lowest form of bio-mechanical life: task-adapted slaves whose mechanical components are designed so they can perform a single laborous function. There are untold millions of these mindless cyborgs on Mars, many working in hostile environments where an unmodified human body would quickly perish. Because they are specifically adapted they vary tremendously: some have mechanical legs or arms for lifting, others have computer terminals sprouting from their bodies where they interface with more complex machines. Many Servitors are adapted from artificially cultured drone bodies, others are mind-wiped humans who have committed some terrible crime. Servitors accompany senior Tech-Priests as servants and guardians, or use their limited skills to operate dangerous machinery or weaponry.
 
Special Rules
Immune to Psychology: A Servitor's mind is essentially blank and only the most rudimentary instincts remain. They cannot be affected by Fear or Terror and are immune to all psychological effects.
 
-- 2E Codex Imperialis, p56
 
Obviously this does not fit in well with, say, Mr. Abnett's interpretation (where Servitors can even be Navigators or have conversations with other characters) I've provided earlier. In the end, though, none of these versions is "wrong", it is simply up to you to pick whichever you prefer. Or try and find a way to merge them both for your take on the setting, such as by having different classes of Servitors that are produced via different means that result in them having varying degrees of self-awareness.
Edited by Lynata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I quite like the Lexicanum's definition of Abominable Intelligence: Abominable Intelligence (A.I. for short) is a term used by the Adeptus Mechanicus for an adaptive, self-enhancing, factitious intelligence with its own consciousness.

 

To me that means that a Machine Spirit which powers something like a Land Raider, a Titan or a Servitor can actually have a consciousness of sorts and be able to make decisions but it shouldn't be able to learn or upgrade itself. That is why a Titan needs a princeps and a Land Raider needs a driver. 

 

Technically it could be argued that a servitor wouldn't necessarily be factitious as (provided it wasn't vat grown) it had it's own natural intelligence when it was a human. That might mean that some factions of the Adeptus Mechanicus wouldn't view a learning servitor as heretical but most would probably dissect (vivisect perhaps) first and ask questions later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somewhat off-topic, but personally I prefer to keep it simple: "Abominable Intelligence" (I think that term actually comes from some official source, probably a novel) is quite simply the AdMech's twisted perspective on Artificial Intelligence, as a result of the ban on AIs after the catastrophic machine uprising - which directly feeds into the role of Servitors as a way of the Mechanicus to bypass these decrees by not using thinking mechanical constructs, but instead adapting human brains to function like computers. Because .. hey, it's organic! No law breaking here! ;)

 

That's just my interpretation of the material, mind you. As they say, all roads lead to Holy Terra.

 

It fits nicely with how other terms got bastardised over the course of millennia, though. Like the so-called hellgun, originally termed HEL-gun, for High Energy Laser.

 

Funny thing: White Dwarf #245 actually came with a poster cross-section of a Land Raider, and it showed what was labelled a "M32 Cyclops class Machine Spirit" that looked suspiciously like a good ole' brain-in-a-jar.

Edited by Lynata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Obviously this does not fit in well with, say, Mr. Abnett's interpretation (where Servitors can even be Navigators or have conversations with other characters) I've provided earlier. 

 

Where did he say that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Special Rules

Immune to Psychology: A Servitor's mind is essentially blank and only the most rudimentary instincts remain. They cannot be affected by Fear or Terror and are immune to all psychological effects.
 
-- 2E Codex Imperialis, p56
 

Of course, even GW's (as opposed to black library's) material doesn't remain consistent - Servitors haven't been immune to psychology for several editions.  GW also bounces back and forth between vat-grown servitors, ex-criminal servitors and formerly-known-as-(almost)-dead servitors.  I tend to reconcile this by assuming that all three exist, and are used according to function and material available.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somewhat off-topic, but personally I prefer to keep it simple: "Abominable Intelligence" (I think that term actually comes from some official source, probably a novel) is quite simply the AdMech's twisted perspective on Artificial Intelligence, as a result of the ban on AIs after the catastrophic machine uprising - which directly feeds into the role of Servitors as a way of the Mechanicus to bypass these decrees by not using thinking mechanical constructs, but instead adapting human brains to function like computers. Because .. hey, it's organic! No law breaking here! ;)

 

And they are right - the problem was with purely technological AI's because these can replicate and de-centralise copies of themselves within any other system with sufficient storage and are also hard to predict.

 

A servitor is a specific organism - no more troubling to the imperium than any other individual - there's no risk of them going rogue in a form that would be difficult to control or of spreading across the imperium. It thus became a good idea to use organic components where intelligence was required to avoid the possible formation of troublesome AI's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the problem was with purely technological AI's because these can replicate and de-centralise copies of themselves within any other system with sufficient storage and are also hard to predict.

 

IMHO, most problematic aspect with full-fledged AI's of the old was their ability to enhance themselves. The ability, that one "nice" day could lead to AI's simply "don't find a place for humankind in the equation any more". Basically, this is probably what happened at the end of Age of Technology and was the root cause for "Iron Men" uprising. 

Obviously this does not fit in well with, say, Mr. Abnett's interpretation (where Servitors can even be Navigators or have conversations with other characters)

 

Well, blank mind could simply imply their human personality was either non-existant (vat-grown servitors) or erased (servitors made from convicted to death or from terminally ill(wounded) after they are declared clinically dead with no hope fo curing), the rest is programming like a cogitator or logis engine's - more or less complicated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where did he say that?

 

Maxilla's ship in the Eisenhorn novels, and Ravenor Rogue.

 

Of course, even GW's (as opposed to black library's) material doesn't remain consistent - Servitors haven't been immune to psychology for several editions.  GW also bounces back and forth between vat-grown servitors, ex-criminal servitors and formerly-known-as-(almost)-dead servitors.  I tend to reconcile this by assuming that all three exist, and are used according to function and material available.  

 

To be fair, Psychology itself has not been in the game for several editions. It was a rather extensive set of subrules governing morale that far exceeds the current rallying and suppression tests.

 

The balance between representing the background in the rules and streamlining the latter is often difficult to find -- 5E SoB did not get a bonus against psychic attacks, and even the 6E special rule is a far cry from how 3E represented their resistance to corruption.

 

As far as the "bouncing back and forth" goes, the source does describe multiple origins for Servitors, so it is hardly an inconsistency.

 

What do you mean about Black Library, though? Surely you cannot suggest that it is consistent, or even just more consistent than GW's studio material? ;)

 

And they are right - the problem was with purely technological AI's because these can replicate and de-centralise copies of themselves within any other system with sufficient storage and are also hard to predict.

 

Yeah .. though I'm of the opinion that it could have also been possible to "shackle" an AI by preventing it from interfacing directly with components that could support replication, or by introducing artificial transitions mimicking the operation of Servitors, such as by not linking the AI and an augur array with a two-way cable connection, but giving the AI a camera and have it scan the contents of a display.

 

However, using fallible human brains does seem like an easier solution, and irrational fear of AIs seems like an understandable reaction. And there are always more human bodies that could be ... recycled. ;)

 

Well, blank mind could simply imply their human personality was either non-existant (vat-grown servitors) or erased (servitors made from convicted to death or from terminally ill(wounded) after they are declared clinically dead with no hope fo curing), the rest is programming like a cogitator or logis engine's - more or less complicated.

 

But that's just it, still we have authors from officially licensed products writing stuff like this:

 

Water seethed around them, aspirated, shimmering with bubbles. Kys, Plyton and Ballack had all been cut or bruised by impacts sustained from the underboat's violent capture. Thonius, dead, as far as Kys was concerned, had fallen off his bench seat. He rolled, leaden, across the trunk flooring.
Only the pilot servitor, strapped into his chair, was intact.
"Get us out!", Kys yelled at him, holding on tight. "You wanted to get us out, so get us out!"
"I can't!", the servitor wailed back, fighting with the helm controls. "The pressure wave is in too great! It's forcing us up into the dock roof!"
The underboat heaved and slammed again. Warning lights lit up. Plyton was thrown the length of the trunk. Ballack, clinging grimly to handholds, blood pouring down his legs, stared at Kys.
"Blow all the ballast", he suggested.
"Would that work?", Kys asked the pilot frantically.
"Do I ask you how to do your job?", the pilot snapped back. "No, it wouldn't work!"
"Ask him why", Ballack yelled.
"Why?", Kys relayed.
"Because I've already blown the ballast", the pilot replied. "What am I, an amateur? I'm hardwired to drive underboats and I'm telling you, miss, that we're-"
An upswell of water hit them and punched them into the dock roof so hard the hull buckled. Klaxons sang out, but they were all too busy falling and rolling. Kys landed on Ballack, who screamed in pain.
"Oh good Throne-", the pilot began. He had seen how fast and violently the needle of the depthmeter was spinning.
 
-- excerpt from: Ravenor Rogue, by Dan Abnett
 
n37zl.jpg
Edited by Lynata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Immune to Psychology got replaced with Fearless, which the Servitors haven't been for a while, and still are not.  Hell, combat servitor squads in the new Admech codex are only Ld 8, same as a Guard Sergeant.  I think it's safe to assume that many servitors are more human than computer when it comes to thought processes - which is probably the point.  

 

Of course, Black Library is even less consistent than GW on points of fluff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
many servitors are more human than computer when it comes to thought processes - which is probably the point

 

Well, as for me your theory abot two kinds of servitors is very logically sound. It could explain both the mentioned "wow, they are quite intelligent" servitors (these are the ones that were done to replace the AI's since it was banned during the late Age of Technology) and "stupid mindless drones" (ones that AdMech created to do menial tasks/serve as dispensable shock troops, where full capability of independent thought is more a liability).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What they said. For the most part they are zombie robots that execute very simple tasks. A servitor set to salvage tech, may try to salvage tech off of living moving humans. Some of them are a bit more nuanced and can do a bit more. Making fairly intelligent decisions related to their programmed missions, these are less common. Some of them are really super slick, but I do not often think of them or bring them up at my table. I write them off as something incredibly rare, something that a few would be interested in acquiring, because why not? Something that would raise eyebrows, but is not unheard of among certain sectors of society.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Special Rules
Immune to Psychology: A Servitor's mind is essentially blank and only the most rudimentary instincts remain. They cannot be affected by Fear or Terror and are immune to all psychological effects.
 
-- 2E Codex Imperialis, p56
 

 

 

In the new cult mechanicus codex we get Cataphron Destroyers/ Breachers (Yay! track mounted combat servitors yes!) With leadership 8 but no Fearless. (I find it a bit odd to.)

 

Castellan battle robots do get Fearless and Feel no pain*

 

 

*Except they only have Feel no pain while in aegis protocol and if you switch them to another protocol they'll lose Feel no pain. wich made me think of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQ-ggzfdsMs

Edited by Robin Graves

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, it's really odd -- usually, I'm of the opinion that the rules tend to be a pretty accurate representation of a unit's background, but the lack of Fearless seems like a pretty glaring oversight here.

 

Taking a glance at the 5E and 6E Marine codices, the only special rule they have is "Mindlock", which is a risk of them rescinding any movement or attack order if not supervised (read: accompanied) by a Techmarine.

 

At least this excursion yielded some more insight into how the writers at GW view Servitors, though:

 

"Servitors are mono-task adapted slaves that exist solely to assist a Chapter's Techmarines in their laborious duties. Each is an arcane combination of man and machine, without personality or reason, sporting an array of mechanical modifications ranging from huge metal claws and infra-red sensors to bionic exoskeletons and flux-torsion drills, all the better to aid a Techmarine in his repair and maintenance of a Chapter's armoury. Some Servitors are even bonded to heavy weapons so they may act as battlefield bodyguards to their master.
 
The creation mysteries for Servitors vary from Chapter to Chapter. Some are grown from human gene-cells in artificial nutrient, others are failed neophytes, civilian criminals or fugitives from Chapter law who have been mind-wiped and lobotomised so that their flesh may serve anew.
 
Although physically strong and robust, Servitors are feeble-minded and can only function at the command of the bio-programs that Techmarines insert into their brains. They feel little pain, less fear and have no intuition whatsoever. Without a Techmarine's constant supervision, Servitors are erratic at best - most go into a state of mindlock, babbling incoherent nonsense as their ravaged brains try to assert some form of awareness. Nonetheless, a Space Marine Chapter relies heavily on its Servitors to maintain its weapons of war. Hundreds of biomechanoid slaves toil ceaslessly deep within the walls of every Chapter Monastery, preparing and maintaining weapons of war."
 
Grimdark. :D
 
 
Oh and +1 for the YT link. ^^
Edited by Lynata

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the Kataphrons it seems the admech pick the most violent individuals from amongst those bound for servitorisation (is that a word?) and mindscrub the personlity and all the stuff they don't need from their brains... But leaving the homicidal/violent impulses intact.

 

So what you get is a murder drone, instinctivly good at war and violence, that might somewhere still be dimly aware of what it is and is doing... and is enjoying it.

 

Yeah not sure if i want to go into battle with a partially lobotomised ex-Khorne cultist pyromaniac armed with a cognis Flamer...

 

Admech: Giving chaos a run for it's money since M30

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. That sounds more like an Arco-Flagellant than a typical Servitor. I suppose the transition between the different "classes" of cyborgs are pretty fluid, though, given how it all depends on how much you cut away / implant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah thats what I tought to. Altough the admech do seem to have some "waste not, want not" when it comes to certain things:

 

Techpriest: "Ready to do a full mindwipe and inload combat skills-"

Techpriest majoris:" To much work! Just pick some murder hobos and lobotmise 'em into obedience, they already know how to kill."

 

Thats kinda what draws me to the admech: They have all this technology, but they use it in the most bizarre/backwards manner.

 

Did you have a look at the new units?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...