BX Space – Robots

This is the 3rd article in the BX Space series.

The Robot Class

On board the Rocket Ship Spacer:

Captain Hunter said, “Our first stop will be an old space station, long abandoned, its called Wolf Iron. There B9 will download the rest of the star map we need.”

“What about the space mines?” asked B9 the Robot.

“When we get to the minefield someone will have to make a spacewalk and deactivate the space mines, replied Hunter, obviously wishing the Robot hadn’t brought this up just now. “That won’t be too hard. Then we’ll dock with the Space Station.”

“Won’t the Space Station be crawling with Cadaverites?” asked Robot B9.

“No, its abandoned.” insisted Captain Hunter. “Enough doom! I’m having your Motivator replaced!”

“I’d settle for some clean oil for once.” replied Robot B9 dryly.

The Robots of BX Science Fantasy are intended as somewhat primitive man-like mechanical men of mid-century science fiction rather than sophisticated androids or simplistic droids. They cannot pass for human and when observed are obviously a Robot.

Robot
Robot

Unlike NPC Robots a Player Character Robot is autonomous, that is their behaviour is self determined so the player may direct their Robot as they wish. A Robot will therefore have an Alignment just like any other player character class. A Player Character Robot does not accept commands although it may feign to do so.

A Robot does not have built in weapons but may cause damage by pinching with its claw like appendages. Robots have difficulty performing delicate tasks or those that require human-like manipulation; they cannot for example tie a knot, grasp and climb a rope, or insert and turn a key, but they can hold a rope, press a button, open a door, or flip a switch.

Robots may not use the Magic Items or Armour meant for other Character Classes but they may use a shield.

  • Robots are AC5 by default.
  • Robots are limited in Dexterity, which may be no greater than a score of 9.
  • Robots are immune to poisons and paralysis, including the touch of Ghouls.
  • Robots are immune to the effects of vacuum.
  • Robots may only advance to the 4th Level of Experience.
  • Robots may use the weapons of Fighters.
  • Robots always attack last in a Round.
  • Robots Base Move is 90’ (30’).
  • Robots cannot climb, jump, or swim.
  • A Robot’s weight in coins is 3000.

Robot Class Table

Level

Title

Exp Points

Hit Dice

Spells

1 Robot Model A1 0 1d6 None
2 Robot Model A1U2 2000 2d6 None
3 Robot Model A1U3 4000 3d6 None

Robot Special Abilities

Level

Sense Danger1

1

42

2

39

3

36

Note 1 – Roll Equal to or greater than the Check Number.

Listening

Robots Listen per classic and known rules, or on a roll a 1, d6.

Sense Danger

Range: 120’

Duration: instant

If successful his special ability can be used to detect dangerous monsters or objects within 120’ causing the creatures or objects to appear to glow to the Robot, even if they are invisible. No one else may see this, not even another Robot. The exact nature of a danger is never revealed to the Robot only that danger is present

Player Character Robot Basic Systems

The following is a list of Player Character Robot Systems. Unlike an NPC robot these are not typically damaged or rendered inoperative unless the Space Master wishes to implement this as an optional rule. If this rule is in play when a Robot is hit roll d8 to determine the system affected

d8

System

Damaged1

Inoperative1

1

Claws

-5% [-1] Dice Roll Modifier

Without its claws a Robot cannot manipulate objects

2

Danger Sensor

-5% Dice Roll Modifier

Without its sensor a Robot cannot detect Danger,

3

Data Link

-5% [-1] Dice Roll Modifier

Data cannot be uploaded or downloaded.

4

Language (1)

Without a language system a Robot cannot communicate. It cannot speak or understand what is said.

5

Motivator

The Robot is confused. -5% [-1] Dice Roll Modifier

The Motivator gives the NPC Robot purpose, without its motivator an NPC Robot cannot take any action. The Motivator will have an alignment consistent with the NPC Robot’s purpose. A Player Robot Motivator cannot be rendered inoperative.

6

Motor

Move Maximum 60‘ (20’)

The Robot cannot move.

7

Radio

-5% [-1] Dice Roll Modifier

The Robot cannot communicate via Radio

8

Repair Gadgets or Systems

-5% [-1] Dice Roll Modifier

Unable to Repair a specific Gadget or Rocket Ship System

Note 1 – Optional for a Player Character

Robot Equipment

A Robot Character may purchase additional systems from the following Robot equipment list; the cost of repair of a damaged system is ½ the usual amount:

System

Cost in gp

Notes

Armour Class

Per the normal equipment list.

Upgrades or downgrades in AC.

Buzz Saw (1)

40

Causes Damage

Claws, Regular (1 pair)

20

Does not permit all human-like manipulation, can hold a rope, press a button, open a door, or flip a switch

Claws, Small (1 pair)

60

Permits tasks that require human-like manipulations, such as inserting and turning a key, or tying a knot.

Danger Sensor

60

Without its sensor a Robot cannot detect Danger,

Data Link

60

Connect to a Computer, Robot, or Ship system to communicate and exchange one unit of information in a Turn. A unit of information may be; a map, a security code, etc.

Drill (1)

20

Causes Damage

Electrical Discharge

30

Causes Damage

Feet, Magnetic

40

Grips Rocket Ship decks and hull in zero gravity.

Injurious Disintegrating Ray

60

Causes Damage

Language, each additional (1)

20

Motivator

40

The Motivator gives the NPC Robot purpose, without its motivator an NPC Robot cannot take any action. The Motivator will have an alignment consistent with the NPC Robot’s purpose.

Motor

20

A Motor permits a Robot to move.

Paralysing Ray

40

An attack will paralyze any man size or smaller creature hit successfully (except elves or robots) unless the victim saves vs. Paralysis. This paralysis is the normal type (lasting 2-8 turns) unless removed by a cure light wounds spell.

Tele-Radio (1)

30

Permits the Robot to communicate via a radio with ship Tele-Radio or space suits

Repair Gadgets or Systems

30

Without this system a Robot is unable to repair gadgets or systems.

Rocket Pack (for flying) (1)

60

Per the Rocket Pack with the same limitations on usage.

Robots, NPC

Armor Class: 5 No. Appearing: 2-8 (4-24)
Hit Dice: 2 Save As: Dwarf: 1
Move: 90’ (30’) Morale: Not Applicable
Attacks: 1 claw Treasure Type: Nil
Damage: 1-6 or weapon Alignment: Any

Robots are often used as henchmen by villains. Robots do have an alignment which is consistent with their purpose. While useful, and they only do as they are told, they stupidly follow their limited programming. Robots behave much as Zombies do, accepting simple commands from their masters and performing them.

Robots are not affected by sleep or charm spells or any form of mind reading. They are often placed to guard treasures, since they are tireless guards. A Robot has a 45% chance of detecting a danger within 120′, which is decreased by 5% if damaged. Robots will always attack on sight if that is their purpose, but they can be destroyed by normal weapons. They are slow fighters, and always strike last (no initiative roll needed).

NPC Robot Systems

Non Player Robots have systems not unlike a Rocket Ship. When a Robot is damaged a system may also be damaged or made inoperative, roll 1d8 to determine which system is damaged, make a Saving Throw for the System, failure means that it is inoperative.

d8

System

Damaged1

Inoperative1

1

Claws

-5% [-1] Dice Roll Modifier

Without its claws a Robot cannot manipulate objects

2

Danger Sensor

-5% Dice Roll Modifier

Without its sensor a Robot cannot detect Danger,

3

Data Link

-5% [-1] Dice Roll Modifier

Data cannot be uploaded or downloaded.

4

Language (1)

The Robot is confused by commands and performs some action other than the one intended but within the scope of its purpose.

Without a language system a Robot cannot communicate. It cannot speak or understand what is said. Without a language system a Robot cannot accept verbal commands. It must be able to understand the character communicating with it to accept a command.

5

Motivator

The Robot is confused. -5% [-1] Dice Roll Modifier

The Motivator gives the NPC Robot purpose, without its motivator an NPC Robot cannot take any action. The Motivator will have an alignment consistent with the NPC Robot’s purpose.

6

Motor

Move Maximum 60‘ (20’)

The Robot cannot move.

7

Radio

-5% [-1] Dice Roll Modifier

The Robot cannot communicate via Radio

8

Repair Gadgets or Systems

-5% [-1] Dice Roll Modifier

Unable to Repair a specific Gadget or Rocket Ship System

 


Next Article – The Rocket Ship

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GregMacKenzie

Greg MacKenzie is the author of the novella Seven Crows a Secret, the Fenris 2d6 role playing game, adventure modules Gloomland, and Wildwood, as well as countless other adventures.

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