Trader Robots

Trader AI

Unlike humanity, who invested in neural network architecture as the basis for their robots, traders invested in “symbolic superlogic,” which means they created the same effects as artificial intelligence, but only as lines of code running on a computer, rather than as a complex, physical artifact. This means the robots created by Traders and robots created by humanity are fundamentally incompatible and behave differently in very broad ways.

Broadly speaking, Trader AI behaves a great deal like automata, only with volition. Driven by millions of lines of logic, rather than the intuitive leaps and personality of neural network architecture, they retain the cold logic and fearlessness of non-volitional AI, but lack the mindlessness of NAI. Rather than waiting around for orders, or interpreting orders as literally as possible, Trader AI apply their powerful logic and their memory stores of experience to interpret the problem. The result less quirky, but can sometimes seem weird until the robot explains the logic train the someone else.

Rather than having hard personality disadvantages as safety measures, Trader AI follow a variant of the three laws of robotics, which they have as a Code of Honor (Three Laws of Robotics) [-15]. As a general rule, Trader AI treats Traders as “humans” in the context of the Three Laws, and may treat other races as "humans," generally with varying degrees of “personhood.” Broadly speaking, if it comes to a choice between a Trader and a non-Trader, Trader AI will always choose to save/protect the Trader, but if it comes to a Trader AI and a non-Trader alien, they will probably choose the save the alien.

When it comes to the specifics of the Three Laws, Trader AI use Philosophy (Robotic Laws) to work out the specific details of what they should be doing; other characters with the same skill can argue with a Trader AI to see if they can push the boundaries of their programming; the GM can treat this like an influence skill (this does not change the robot’s opinion of the character, but can “move the needle” on an edge request). Philosophy (Robotic Laws) defaults to both Philosophy (Neo-Rationalism) -2 and Computer Programming (AI) -2.

Trader AI tend to lack personality. They might be “creative” in the sense of arriving at innovative solutions to puzzles, but they have no real grasp of people and their emotions, or of humor. However, they do sometimes pick up a few quirks of programming. Each Trader AI usually has 1-2 quirks, rather than the full 5, though older or weirder (read “PC”) Trader AI might pick up a full suite of 5 and a disadvantage or two, but they rarely gain as many distinct traits as robots with a neural architecture. With the exception of whatever Quirks they pick up, Trader AI tend not to have the “personality drift” of neural architecture: treat all traits as “resilient!”

The fact that all of their logic operates as lines of code and their memory works like classic computer memory allows them to better store back-ups and allows them to engage in distributed computing. If in proximity to (within 20 yards of) 10 other robots of a similar size and model, or near a Trader facility built specifically to act as a distributed computing node for Trader AI, they can “offload” a lot of their background processes and gain +2 to both DX and IQ as they make use of additional computing resources.

All Trader AI has features useful for Traders. They all “run fast,” and have Ultra-Hearing, to allow them to understand commands in Klik, and come programmed with basic theory and designs for large infrastructural machinery, not enough to design their own, but enough to default Engineering (Civil) or (Starship) to IQ for the purposes of navigating in an unfamiliar piece of large engineering.

Finally, Trader Robots are Trader Tech and apply a -5 to all rolls to build, maintain or repair them unless the character has High TL or Cutting Edge Training (Trader Tech).

In all other ways, Trader AI follow the same rules as other Psi-Wars robots. However, anyone attempting to hack Trader AI should definitely apply a Familiarity Penalty to their roll; similarly, Traders used to the Symbolic Superlogic of Trader AI should apply a Familiarity Penalty when hacking robots with a Neural Architecture.

Trader AI Traits

Trader AI Metatraits

Trader AI Quirks

Trader Robots tend to develop personality quirks based on Traders who built them and with whom they most commonly interact. The following Quirks are suggestions for Trader AI based on the Guildfleet that built them.

Klikaklak

The AI of the Klickaklak tend to be accustomed to working with other races. They may tend to see all sapients as “Traders” for the purposes of the first law of robotics. They often act like servants, performing whatever task is needed ot them quietly before slipping out of sight.

Suggested Quirks: Broadminded, Decisive, Humble, Eavesdropper; Treats (Specific Race) as Traders;

Ito

The Ito AI share their guildfleets devotion to precision and Neo-Rationalism. This can mean that they perform their work with exquisite perfection, but will often take what others say as frustratingly literal instruction.

Suggested Quirks: Disciplined, Legalistic, Literal Minded, Methodical, Insensitive; Perfectionist

Rhee

The AI of the Rhee fixate on Traders above and beyond all other races, and tend to see themselves as above non-Trader robots. They rarely treat non-Traders as sapient for the purposes of the First Law of Robotics, and often perform their tasks in reliably, traditional ways.

Suggested Quirks: Chauvinistic, Nostalgic, Dull, Staid; Treats Non-Rhee Traders as Alien;

Teleku

Not even other Traders know what the Teleku were thinking when they made their AI. They often seem mercurial. They will fail to understand the commands of Non-Traders, as they’re unable to read their body language, and can be wildly lethal when asked to fight. Some such AI share their master’s deep connection to hyperspace, and become listless and dull during a Hyperweather “doldrum” and rage into weird fits during a storm. Teleku Traders might understand what’s going on, but other aliens find this sort of behavior completely unfathomable.

Suggested Quirks: Confused (Only when obeying orders from Non-Traders); External Mood Influence (Hyperweather); Secretive; Determined; Bloodlust (“when commanded to attack by a Trader” or “When defending Traders”); Insensitive.

Trader Volitional Robot

35 points

Traits: +2 DX (Distributed Computing -60%) [16]; +2 IQ (Distributed Computing -60%) [16]

Advantages: AI [32]; Enhanced Time Sense [45]; Indomitable [15]; Unfazeable [15];

Perks: Infrastructural Navigator [1]

Features: Taboo Traits (Complexity limited IQ and DX; Psychic Powers;)

Disadvantages: Code of Honor (Three Robotic Laws) [-15]; Duty (Master; 15 or less) [-15]; Low Empathy [-20]; No Sense of Humor [-10]; Social Stigma (Subjugated) [-20]; Wealth (Dead Broke) [-25].

Trader AI Perks

Infrastructural Navigator: This is a One-Task Wonder perk (See PU2 page 17) for Engineering (Civil) and (Spaceship) for the purposes similar to Architecture when trying to navigate large machinery, guess that machinery’s purpose, finding secret compartments, etc.

Trader AI Modifiers

Distributed Computing: Trader AI can make use of a higher complexity computer to “upgrade” its processes, provided that computer has the capacity for distributed computing. This requires 10 other like-scale computers (typically found in other robots of the same or similar models) or a single, higher complexity computer nearby. The maximum distance a robot can be to claim this bonus is 20 yards, and the computer must be designed for it. In practice, this means specific Trader distributed computing nodes, or 10 other Trader robots nearby. This modifier is worth -60% to appropriate traits.

Trader AI Disadvantages

Code of Honor (Three Laws of Robotics): These are Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, slightly modified for Psi-Wars. Treat all instances of “Human” as “Trader” with some small penumbra of “personhood” extended to aliens. By and large, Trader Robots will treat non-Trader sapients as worth extending the First Law towards provided it does not conflict with any of their other laws. Exceptions to this can be taken as quirks!

Trader AI Skills

Philosophy (Robotic Laws): (IQ/H); Defaults to Computer Programming (AI) -2 or Philosophy (Neo-Rationalism) -2. This skill may be rolled to answer specific questions about the specifics of the Trader AI’s three laws, and what exactly these laws obligate the robot to do. It can also act as an Influence skill that bypasses Indomitable, but only in the sense that the person making the request is basing it on the unshakable foundations of the AI’s robotic laws and using the philosophy to back it up. A positive roll might persuade a robot to perform an edge case (such as treating a Neo-Rational human as a full Trader, or fighting non-lethally against Traders “for their own good”) but not violation of their ethics (ie killing a Trader). Failure with such a roll will not cause a negative reaction from a Trader AI! It just means the robot finds your argument unpersuasive.

General Trader Robot Upgrades

Trader Robots may use the following general robot upgrades: Linguistic Coding, Neural Backup, Security Software and Universal Linguistic Coding.

(Alien)-Tolerant Programming

0 points
Software Upgrade
Cost: $500

Trader Robots were built for Traders. Thus, they know Klik and treat Traders with a unique deference that they will not show to other races. This causes a problem if the Traders seek to work with another race, or wish to sell their robots to another race (though this latter rarely happens). The solution is Alien-Tolerance Programming. This programming instructs the robot to see a particular race as a “Trader” for the purposes of its programming, which means it will accept commands from them, not allow them to be harmed, etc. It also teaches them to understand commands given verbally or transmitted to the robot in languages other than Klik. Other languages (Lithian, etc) are possible.

Advantages: One Way Fluency (Listening Only; Galactic Common) [1]

Quirk: Treats (Alien species) as Trader for purposes of Three Laws [-1].

Neurolash Stunner

15 points
Hardware Upgrade
Prerequisite: Gripper Appendage
Cost: $500

Trader robots often need to engage in non-lethal attacks, especially when engaged in law enforcement on Trader Arks; given their three laws, “harming” another Trader is strictly forbidden, but shocking them into unconsciousness might be okay. The robot can, at will, discharge energy directly into its gripper; this inflicts 1d (5) fatigue damage, which treats all metallic (non-composite, non-diamonoid) armor as DR 1 instead of applying its armor divisor. The target (including robots) must roll HT at a penalty of -1 per 2 damage or be stunned; those that fail by 5 or more are rendered Unconscious. Other robots are affected by the neurolash stunner as organic targets. Robots with a neurolash stunner may attempt a neurolash parry against a force sword.

Advantages: Innate Attack 1d fatigue(Surge, Arcing or Armor Divisor 5, +170% ; Side Effect, Stunning +50% + Unconsciousness (Easy to Resist+5, -25%) +150%; Melee Attack, C -30%) [15].

Trader Robot Templates

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License