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SmiingCoyote

Bioroids: Combat Skills - Hurting Humans

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Posted (edited)

Since Bioroids are distinguishable from humans....and are programmed not to hurt humans.  How do we reconcile Bioroids characters using combat skills and hurting humans.

Perhaps they can use combat skill against other Bioroids?  But seeing a Bioroids shoot a gun would freak out anymore.  Since this is NOT supposed to happen (Haas's combat Bioroids under the adversary list being "illegal") the public reaction must be quite severe.  Triggering all sorts of reactions from different authorities.

Even in the undercity...surely the fact the a Bioroid hurt a human would have many repercussions.

Everyone's take?

Edited by SmiingCoyote

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Posted (edited)

Generally, PCs should be allowed to be exceptions to the less RP-friendly aspects of their archetype or species. I'd say the PC and the GM should come up with a plausible explanation for why a combat-focused Bioroid character is able to attack humans (it's probably not as big a deal for a non-combat Bioroid). Maybe the Bioroid is defecting in some way. Maybe he or she is the subject of some nefarious experimentation by a corp and escaped the lab. Maybe he or she is deluded to think certain kinds of humans are actually other Bioroids. You get the idea.

Edited by SavageBob

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Posted (edited)

The same way we reconcile the fact that there are illegal Human-On-Bioroid boxing matches. A Bioroid's inability to hurt humans seems like it's mostly just propaganda. Only the ristiest risties would actually be so nieve as to believe it's impossable to 'crack' a bioroid, or assume that every bioroid is manufactured with a code-versus-killing.

Edited by Cantriped

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I would still have the reaction be "destroy it now!" by nearly everyone. Nobody wants to see killer bioroids running around. If the player chooses to play a bioroid that is known to harm living people, then that player is asking to be a hunted pariah with a short "life" expectancy that will likely meet with destruction sooner rather than later. Give them this.

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I agree with Happy Daze.  The average normal person would definitely freak out.  Reporters would definitely be on it as it's headline news.  Haas Corp will be sending retrieval teams.  

I think one plausible reality is that all Bioroids like Clones....actually sort of resemble each other.  As long as no corporate, pleasure, or work Bioroids attacks humans all is well.  Citizen would probably be able to accept Killer Soldier Bioroids dressed in full battle gear rather than a standard common Bioroids line hurting a human.  They will decry Haas for building such killer bots...Politicians will react...and so forth.  It's one thing seeing a military vehicle with a mounted machine gun...it's another to see a Toyota Camry with one mounted on the roof.

Still....to what extent is it acceptable.  What about shadier parts of town.  I think this part is of the world is really not well thought out.  

Perhaps, there is a class of Bioroids that have limiters off.  Like a security line.  That would make a lot of sense.  Police, army, would definitely have harnessed such potential....it's the same with legality of firearms.    Maybe security series of Bioroids will have obvious barcodes on their temples or forehead.  So every citizen knows that this "machine" is different.....and is licensed, tracked.  And citizens will not freak out, because every such Bioroid is "owned" and accounted for.  They would be treated differently and with more caution than other classes of Bioroids.

It's just messy.....the absolute nature of the "cannot harm" human safeguard.  And Bioroids being a PC or even antagonist.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, SmiingCoyote said:

Even in the undercity...surely the fact the a Bioroid hurt a human would have many repercussions.

 

If a Bioroid killed a human ion the presence of witnesses, it would certainly cause a lot of trouble.

  • An intervention from Hass-Bioroid Loss Prevention Agents. (See sidebar on page 231)
  • Hass-Bioroid's army of lawyers going in overdrive mode, brandishing libel lawsuits, and as a last resort, blaming the malfunction on a malicious runner or disgruntled employee. 
  • A thorough NAPD investigation 
  • Around the clock news coverage. NBN newsies investigative reporting. 
  • Bunch of sledgehammer-wielding Human first extremist looking for the 'Golem'.
  • Humanity Labor union members protesting in the streets and possible labor riots.

The player characters would have their hands full trying to mislead investigations. They will probably have to alter the appearance or their Bioroid companion and forge a new identity. Maybe ask for some favours from powerful people they might otherwise not want to deal with. Definitely not something that should happen every game session.

 

How do we reconcile Bioroids characters using combat skills and hurting humans.

 

In some cases, Bioroids are allowed to cause physical harm to humans (as little as necessary), if doing so would prevent loss of life. 

They'd still catch a lot of flack from people with an agenda against Bioroids.

Edited by Aazlain

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Posted (edited)

I think what all this boils down to is that either your player is going to be disappointed playing a combat Bioroid as you sic the setting book on him, or you're going to have to contrive a scenario where the PC will be allowed to be a combat Bioroid that people are OK with. Like it's a new model built to combat crime or something. The point is, don't let lore stand in the way of a cool character concept. But you may have to work to find a way for the PC to seem logical.

Edited by SavageBob

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2 hours ago, SavageBob said:

I think what all this boils down to is that either your player is going to be disappointed playing a combat Bioroid as you sic the setting book on him, or you're going to have to contrive a scenario where the PC will be allowed to be a combat Bioroid that people are OK with. Like it's a new model built to combat crime or something. The point is, don't let lore stand in the way of a cool character concept. But you may have to work to find a way for the PC to seem logical.

I disagree. Players should make their concepts fit the setting. Playing a violent bioroid that is somehow accepted is fighting the Android setting just as is playing a fireball-slinging wizard in a WWII setting.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, HappyDaze said:

I disagree. Players should make their concepts fit the setting. Playing a violent bioroid that is somehow accepted is fighting the Android setting just as is playing a fireball-slinging wizard in a WWII setting.

*Shrug.* Remind me not to play in your Android game?

Sorry, that was petty. I'm just saying it may go against the setting, but it can work at the right table and with the right justification. A stricter GM would probably disallow it, though.

Edited by SavageBob

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1 hour ago, SavageBob said:

*Shrug.* Remind me not to play in your Android game?

Sorry, that was petty. I'm just saying it may go against the setting, but it can work at the right table and with the right justification. A stricter GM would probably disallow it, though.

I do tend to be on the stricter side when GMing. I'm also open about that with my players from the very beginning, and they don't seem to mind it at all, and some have even told me they enjoy the fact that I help to "preserve the integrity" of the settings rather than allowing a free-for-all.

And for the record, I would allow a violent bioroid PC. What I would not allow is the player to rewrite the setting to make such a character anything other than a hunted aberration.

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I think the main issue that Bioroid violence highlights is that Android's world setting is a little too idyllic.  I think Cyberpunk 2077 (yes...the computer game) is a better hotbed for traditional rpg fare.

I've got to read some NetRunner novel to get an idea. 

With all the sec. cams....and wireless tech in an ever present network.  Without an external menace (like monsters in traditional rpg) for sanctioned acts of violence.  Seems like it is a difficult place to have a shootout and not have it hound you forever.

In Shadowrun .... you start off on the wrong side of the law...and your playground are extra-territorial corporate grounds where any acts of violence is actually contained, even preferred (as the runs are sponsored by other mega corps in the first place).  Also the world is a little dystopian...so low level crime and hence violence is actually a norm.

You would really have to restrict the use of guns and violence to the "undercity" or slums in Android's setting.  Actual civil society starting at upper-lower class is just to "monitored".  For goodness sake.  Crime is only acted upon after criminals are identified and located using technology.  Cops don't even have to really do much thinking?  

Would appreciate everyone's input on the setting.  It's really different from Shadowrun's sanctioned criminal setting and Star Wars open Wild West in space setting.

 

 

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Players who want a combat bioroid may want to be able to pass as human (or cyborg). This means extra synth skin and either shades/googles or replacement eyes. They'll also want to avoid the common models, perhaps having a custom face sculpt. For the Adonis/Eve models, the eyes may be the only real giveaway. Similarly, a clone can simply cover their barcode with makeup or clothing.

If NAPD notices these characters are non-human, it is going to find these characters very disconcerting even outside a violent crime scene. At a violent crime scene where a bioroid kills a human, you'd have to leverage some hefty favors.

Bioroids don't get a bunch of extra XP at creation to offset not being able to participate in combat, so I'd allow any modifications to pass as human to be free at creation if the player wants it to be part of their concept.

The Soldier career section indicates there are a significant number of paramilitary bioroids, so it's likely the public is aware that there are killer bioroids, but don't expect to see those deployed in public areas.

NPC bioroids are likely to be much more obviously bioroids. They'll typically have different behavior and many obvious metallic features to mark them as non-human.

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Would it be possible to have more freedom as a bioroid if you were to escape to the moon or Mars or perhaps even a planetoid? Would there be lawless frontier areas there where you would have more freedom and be able to escape the watchful eye of big brother or are these areas as built up now as well? Also what about other areas on Earth far away from New Angeles like perhaps Australia (I picked this because I live here 😁)?

Possibly stupid questions but I'm quite unfamiliar with the Android Universe.

Maybe you can even live under the sea since you don't need to breath! 😆

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1 minute ago, Suneisha said:

Would it be possible to have more freedom as a bioroid if you were to escape to the moon or Mars or perhaps even a planetoid? Would there be lawless frontier areas there where you would have more freedom and be able to escape the watchful eye of big brother or are these areas as built up now as well? Also what about other areas on Earth far away from New Angeles like perhaps Australia (I picked this because I live here 😁)?

Possibly stupid questions but I'm quite unfamiliar with the Android Universe.

Maybe you can even live under the sea since you don't need to breath! 😆

If you're not around any humans, then do whatever gets you off. The problems only come up when you are discovered as being able to harm humans. Then you're already on your way to being scrap metal.

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6 minutes ago, Suneisha said:

Would it be possible to have more freedom as a bioroid if you were to escape to the moon or Mars or perhaps even a planetoid? Would there be lawless frontier areas there where you would have more freedom and be able to escape the watchful eye of big brother or are these areas as built up now as well? Also what about other areas on Earth far away from New Angeles like perhaps Australia (I picked this because I live here 😁)?

Possibly stupid questions but I'm quite unfamiliar with the Android Universe.

Maybe you can even live under the sea since you don't need to breath! 😆

According to SotB (page 10):

Quote

Luna is another jumping-off point for ships traveling out to Mars, the Belt, and Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids.

So the Belt and the Trojan asteroids sounds like a great place for the "wild west frontier" of the setting. Granted, I don't know a lot about Android, so I could be wrong, but mining arcologies on the Trojans or in the Belt would be a great fit, IMO.

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There IS a use for combat skills that does not result in killing or even harming humans. I've noticed that almost all starting equipment lists for the Careers have a lethal and a non-lethal choice, at least all but Soldier. In my campaign, the Bioroid character is a bounty hunter who started his life as a NAPD/Haas-Bioroid experiment in non-lethal cops designed to make arrests without risking lives. 

I guess it really comes down to: Does shooting someone with a synap pistol constitute "harm" to a human if it only results in knocking them out due to strain damage. I'm of a mind to say, as long as wounds aren't incurred, the bioroid is staying well within it's programming limits.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, c__beck said:

According to SotB (page 10):

So the Belt and the Trojan asteroids sounds like a great place for the "wild west frontier" of the setting. 

Oye beltalowda!

20 minutes ago, Riptorch said:

Does shooting someone with a synap pistol constitute "harm" to a human if it only results in knocking them out due to strain damage. 

The novels have 2 bioroid detectives, Floyd and Drake, who routinely use synap pistols to apprehend criminals, so inflicting strain is definitely okay 🤖.

Edited by verdantsf

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Verdatsf you make an important distinction.

Honestly I am not sure how the designers envisioned the world.

I think it would make sense that Haas Bioroids come in "standard forms" with minor cosmetic differences.  But you should almost always be able to tell one functional model from another....such as a corp bioroid, a mechanic bioroid.  I think it would be a deliberate attempt and design choice by Haas for the general public consumption.

Up in higher echelons of society, they might have more limited models like the Rolls Royce of Bioroids.  But even then they will be recognisable to high society because it all about bragging rights for the owners.

I think your suggestion of stun weapons and strain damage an plausible approach.  Bioroids would also be easily identifiable by perhaps metallic facial tattoos to denote that these are bioroids with limited ability to cause temporary damage in the pursuit of their primary purpose.  I think it should also be understood that for such abilities to be "acceptable" to society, there are clear rules that these bioroids adhere too.  Such as, not shooting at unarmed persons not breaking the law (for law enforcement bioroids).  The cessation of hostility towards the bioroid or it's primary charge (such as for a bodyguard bioroid) should prevent the bioroid from take hostile actions such as firing a shot at a surrendering attacker....though he can keep the gun pointed at the perp.

This is my take on what I think would work in a "serious" cohesive science fiction world.

 

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