Alpha Dawn
Skill TypeTechnological
A robotics expert specializes in robots. Robots are complex, mobile machines that are designed to perform specific jobs. Many types of robots are available. Eight common types are described in the Equipment section. The referee can create new types if he wants them.

The robotics skill has nine subskills: Identify, Add Equipment, Repair, Activate/ Deactivate, Remove Security lock, Ust Functions, Alter Function and Alter Mission.

If the robot is an alien design, then the robotics expert has a -20% modifier on his rolls to perform these subskills. A character must have a robcomkit to work on a robot.

Robot Levels
There are eight levels of robots. A robot's level indicates how complex it is. High-level robots can perform more complicated jobs.

Level 1 robots can do only simple jobs. They have been preprogrammed for some specific job and usually can not do any other job. They can not communicate, and often are nothing more than moving, self-operated appliances. An example of a level 1 robot is a maintenance robot that washes and waxes the floors of a building each night.

Level 2 robots can handle several simple jobs. They can receive and follow radio commands in binary machine language sent from some other machine, such as a robot brain or a computer. An example of a level 2 robot is a heavy machine that digs into and smashes up rock, then separates out flecks of gold.

Level 3 robots can do more complicated jobs. In addition, all robots that are level 3 or higher can talk and follow verbal instructions. If these instructions disagree with the robot's programming, it will ignore the orders.

Level 4 robots can act semi-independently. Their programs are flexible, letting the robot accomplish specific goals using different methods. When asked, "How do I get to the starport?" one level 4 service robot might give verbal directions, while another might photocopy a city map and mark the proper route on it.

Level 5 robots can act independently and give orders to other robots (level 6 robots can do this also). For example, a level 5 security robot might decide to stop chasing a criminal because the criminal left victims tied up in a burning house. The robot could organize a rescue mission of other robots.

Level 6 robots are self-programming. They can change the methods they use and even their goals to account for changing conditions. They are almost. but not quite, living machines. A robot brain that runs an automated manufacturing plant and alters the manufacturing process in response to changing economic conditions is an example of a level 6 robot.

Level 7

Level 8

All robots have a mission. A mission is a set of rules that tell the robot what its job is. A robot's mission is the most important order it has. and overrides any orders that conflict with it.

All robots have several functions that tell them how to accomplish their missions. Low-level robots can not make decisions, so their functions must be very specific statements. Higher-level robots can make decisions for themselves. so their functions can be more general statements.

For example, a level 3 security robot might have the mission: "Stop all unauthorized personnel from entering this building." Its functions could define "stop" as giving intruders a warning, then using the Restrain program to keep them from entering. "All unauthorized personnel'' could be defined as any person or machine that is not wearing a special badge. The robot must be given a function that defines "this building," and another that tells it what areas it must patrol to look for intruders. Another function could instruct it to call the police and report the break-in after an intruder has been restrained.

Success Rate: INT + 20 + skill level - robot level

A robotics expert has a chance to determine a robot's type and level simply by looking at the robot. The chance is 100% plus the specialist's level x 10, minus the robot's level x 10. Once a robot has been successfully identified, the expert can always identify that robot (unless its appearance is changed).

Success Rate: 100%

A robotics expert can install new equipment on a robot himself and save the 10% installation fee.

Success Rate (LOG / 2) + 10 + skill level - robot level

Only robotics experts can repair robots. Robots are repaired according to the standard repair rules.

Success Rate: 100%

A robotics expert can deactivate (turn off) a robot regardless of its level. The expert also can activate robots that have been deactivated. However, before a robotics specialist can deactivate the robot, list its functions, remove its security lock or alter its functions or mission, he must get at the robot's internal circuitry. This requires removing a protective plate, which takes one turn. (The plate can be removed in one turn even if the robot is fighting the character, but the character probably will take damage before he gets the plate off.) Once the plate is off, the robot can be deactivated in one turn.

Success Rate: LOG + 5 + skill level- robot level

If a robot has a security lock, the lock must be removed before someone can list the robot's functions or alter its functions or mission. A robot can be deactivated before the security lock is removed. Once a security lock has been removed it can not be used again.

Success Rate: LOG + 15 + skill level - robot level

A robotics expert can learn a robot's exact mission and functions, as well as get a list of all the programs in the robot, by using this subskill. Once a character has successfully listed the robot's function's, he can always list that robot's functions.

Success Rate: LOG + skill level - robot level

A robotics expert can change one of a robot's functions at a time. The character must roll separately for each function altered. Changing an altered function back to the original also requires a new roll. Changing a function takes 1 d1 0 minutes. If the new function violates the robot's mission or requires programs the robot does not have, the robot will ignore the new function.

Success Rete: (LOG / 2) + 15 + skill level- robot level

A robotics expert can try to alter a robot's mission. This takes 1d10 minutes plus the robot's level. Changing the robot's mission does not affect its functions; these must be altered individually. Once a mission has been changed, changing it back to the original mission requires another roll. If the new mission requires programs the robot does not have, the robot will still try to follow its new mission however it can.

If a character fails a roll to remove a security lock or alter a robot's function or mission, the robot can malfunction. When this happens. the referee should roll d100 on the Malfunction Table.

Success Table
Roll ResultSuccess LevelResult
5% of SuccessGrievous SuccessVery high degree of success. Task may have finished in a quarter of the normal time or otherwise achieved a much higher degree of success than normal. The referee will determine the result.
15% of SuccessCritical SuccessHigh degree of success. Task may have finished in half the normal time or otherwise achieved a higher degree of success than normal. The referee will determine the result.
Roll is made normallySuccessNormal results of successful roll.
Roll failed by 5 or lessNear SuccessThe result was not fully successful but was not a complete failure either. The character can think of something else for 20 minutes and then try again.
Roll failed by 6 to 10Partial SuccessThe result was not a complete failure. Some aspect of the task succeeded to some degree. The character can try again after 2 hours.
Roll failed by more than 10FailureNormal results of a failed roll. A new attempt cannot be tried for 20 hours during which he must spend at least 30% of this time studying the situation (with books or by trying). Continued failures double the retry time (48 hours, 96 hours, etc.)
Natural 96 to 99 (note 1)Absolute FailureAs failure except that the character has no idea how to proceed. Inspiration may come after 100 hours at which time he can try again at -10. (No penalty if Roboticist level improves during this time.)
Natural 00 (note 2)BlunderAs absolute failure except that he cannot try again for 200 hours (20 standard days) and penalty is -20.