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Amoeba Bait

My Droid PC wants to create Skynet

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G'day guys,

 

Long story short, my droid PC has access to a bunch of battle-droids and wants to upload his memory into all of them, and use them all as a collective consciousness. I tried to explain that it wouldn't go down, as Star Wars is 1977 future tech (ie: no knowledge of internet and so on).

 

The PC is hell bent on inventing the internet and creating his seemingly infinite army of replicants. What am I supposed to do here, as I see it as not only game-breaking, but galaxy-breaking.

 

Cheers.

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There is the Holonet, and while not exactly like the internet, it is a close amalgamation of internet, TV, entertainment. 

Also of note, in the additional side bits, IG-88 did copy himself into a bunch of copies.  He was trying to do something similar, so in the end, it is possible to try.

 

That being said, I have also had a player that tried to do something similar.  The final ruling was that you cant copy+paste sentience.  Sentience for a droid comes from experience and building upon programming and hardware quirks.  There is a reason battle droids weren't superior to clones, they couldn't really think for themselves, their hardware didn't allow for the same type of quirks.  I am not saying its not possible, it was just highly unlikely.  While we all would love to believe that every mouse and probe droid has the capacity for beautiful poetry, it just isn't possible.  At least that is how it broke down in my game.  The player ended up trying anyway, fragmented his programming over the holonet, and ended up a ghost in the machine, not really remembering who he was as his programming split and settled into the nooks and crannies of the holonet. 

 

I brought him back as a villain in a following campaign.

 

In the end, it is up to you, and how your game plays out, but just like a bounty hunter wanting a death-star-like Gatling gun, some things just cant be done.

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G'day guys,

 

Long story short, my droid PC has access to a bunch of battle-droids and wants to upload his memory into all of them, and use them all as a collective consciousness. I tried to explain that it wouldn't go down, as Star Wars is 1977 future tech (ie: no knowledge of internet and so on).

 

The PC is hell bent on inventing the internet and creating his seemingly infinite army of replicants. What am I supposed to do here, as I see it as not only game-breaking, but galaxy-breaking.

 

Cheers.

Just tell them that.

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In this case, I definitely think it's okay to tell him no and explain the meta reason behind it, mainly it not being in the spirit of the game at all.

 

Otherwise, you can say "okay, you start work on your ambitious galaxy wide information network. You'll need 54987645944876264943729653 credits to fund the project. In 90000 years, your task will be complete." He'll maybe get the picture that something like this isn't really in the scope of the campaign.

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Sentience for a droid comes from experience and building upon programming and hardware quirks.

 

This, for the win.

 

So go ahead. Let him do it. Make him spend a little cash for it, as well. Lose some down time between adventures, or something.

 

What was his original programming or droid type?

 

Congratulations. You no longer have a bunch of battle droids. You now have 23 well armed (and terrified) protocol droids, or bipedal R2 units, or...

 

and each one is or isn't going to develop intelligence and personality on their own.

 

Have fun herding cats.

 

I guarantee your player will restore their original programming, asap.

Edited by Bishop69

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He can try. He may even manage to copy himself into the battle driods. Doesn't mean things will go as planned. Maybe they get free will. Maybe they don't want to work with him. Maybe programing gets corrupted and they turn evil.

 

Perhaps there is a  group of slicers that patrol the holonet stopping this kind of thing and as soon as he tries, they shut him out and put a bounty on him (and maybe the rest of the group).

 

Perhaps the Empire has a slicer squad backed up by people with ships and guns to ensure that kind of thing doesn't happen.

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So here I was thinking giving this player three options;

1) He can only inhabit one body at a time so if his current body is destroyed either a time delay uploads añ old copy of their engrams into a new body or he waits until either one of his fellow players reactivates him or he very, very slowly waits for his transmitted engrams reach wherever his new body is hidden hopefully it's still there of course!

2) They all activate but due to an unforeseen programming error they're all individuals with different behaviour or quirks to the original could be worse they could all claim to be the original and as you know there can only be ONE!

3) Ultron meet Vision talk about parenting problems!

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What kind of battle droids? Aren't B-1 battle droids dirt cheap and incredibly inferior? Sure, let em at it. I remember the last time someone tried to send a droid army against the ruling government, and theirs was even BIGGER.

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The assumption that simply by being a droid and thus that this is even possible is a bit of a stretch.

 

"Star Wars" tech in the data transfer arena varies wildly between limited and inconsistent.  The result does not need to be "anything is possible just because".

In this case, we do seem to have GM buy-in and that changes things, a bit.  The result there, however, is that the GM has A LOT of latitude to establish any and all parameters as they are the ones, essentially, deciding the possible.

 

Things to consider include but are not limited to:

Droid brains are different than human minds, but not by so much that a droid PC is inherently a mental superior to an organic PC, just more of a specialist.  Thus, sensory input from multiple sources aren't automatically easy to deal with for a droid, nor would the multi-tasking associated with such.
Also, there is no reason to assume that the data transfer tech of "Star Wars" can handle all that much.  The holonet has issues with color and sound.  Could a mind that is at least equal a human mind...  or surpass it enough to run many bodies smoothly at once... be able to travel on such tech?

Edited by Aluminium Falcon

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Long story short, my droid PC has access to a bunch of battle-droids and wants to upload his memory into all of them, and use them all as a collective consciousness.

 

Only a being with a massive ego would want to do such a thing, so once the PC has uploaded his memory, each battle-droid will want to take over and control the others to suit their own agenda.  At first this might not be readily apparent...

 

In the same vein, some of them might want to create their own little replication project and get rid of the others...

 

In short, you could have fun with it and inject cleaning up his mess into the campaign.  However, I wouldn't make it easy to even start.  No skill check is going to be less than Formidable (probably with upgrades)...because in the context of the SW galaxy, if it was easier somebody would have tried it already.  In fact, maybe somebody did, and there are protocols to prevent it already in place, hence the difficulty.  You can explain it any way you like while still giving the illusion of "yes, and..."

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Just tell him he'll need to divide all the XP he earns between all his droid "copies". And can't increase any skills or learn talents until all of them have enough XP to learn it at the same time. It will get boring fast after that.

Not to mention the collective obligation.

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I like what some of the others have said. Make each replicate insist the player is the copy. Could be a fun twist. 

Now that's a good idea. If it's a true copy, the replications wouldn't WANT to be controlled any more than the PC would.

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Or be a real pain, and let him transfer, but then he can realize that his mind doesn't have all the sub routines and libraries needed to actually do anything in the new bodies. So you get copies of his mind stuck in the bodies, in a type of computational purgatory. Maybe once he figures out how to add the right sub routines and drivers for the hardware, he ends up with copies that have been driven mad.

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Thanks for the feedback guys; there are some great idea here.

 

I think I will let him attempt it, but it would be the equivalent of brain surgery. There is a lot of risk in his data being corrupted during transfer, making him lose pieces of his mind/programming, and no way of knowing what programming or personalities the other droids will eventually come to emphasize. 

 

The droid's motivation is Droid Rights, which is at extremes with his plans for making clones of himself. If for some reason, it all goes perfectly, then I'll bring up the fact that he's pretty much mind-wiped a bunch of existing droids, and plans to basically use them as property. Considering the clones are supposed to think similarly to the host, then I would imagine that they would be pissed.

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So, in my case, LE-R0Y wanted to create a Droid Backup & Restoration Society.

As an LE-series repair droid, he could salvage parts from scrapped droids, and restore/rebuild them into functional units. These units would be “born free”, and would be invited to join the society, but membership in the society would not be a requirement.

All members of the society would participate in a group distributed, replicated, cross-backup plan, and in the event that one or more society members was destroyed, if they had enough copies of all the bits around, they would be able to re-activate that member using a “new” chassis.

If a member gets wiped, it would be possible to detect that and potentially restore the old personality, once the previous chassis has been relocated — each chassis would be given a globally unique identifier that would not change regardless of how many times the unit might be wiped, etc…. Of course, the new personality would have to agree to this process, and then there becomes the question of what happens to the new personality after the old one has been restored.

Of course, you would only back up the personality, knowledge, and skills that had been obtained beyond the standard off-the-shelf model, so the amount of data to be backed up would be greatly reduced. And if you had enough members of the society who were distributed widely enough, you could have a very robust system.

But that’s not Skynet. That’s more like CrashPlan.com. ;)

Edited by bradknowles

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First, he'd get a massive Obligation.

Second, they'd only be copies at the base droid level (essentially minions), not at his primary characters XP level.

Third, squad rules

Fourth, wouldn't actually be creating the internet, I wouldn't budge on this one.  Thats just WAY too much power for a PC.

Fifth, x5 the cost of base droid model, per droid in the "squad"

Sixth, attack the squad with auto-fire ALL THE TIME.

 

Essentially make it a pain in his ass to have all these droids.

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