Building on existing technology

It says in the Brick that you can bring technology in trait by trait. That’s cool, I like it… you trade taking more story resources (time, scenes) to build your Dread Hammer in exchange for doing in on a shoestring Resources budget. I like. Now. If something already has a trait, can you improve that trait with a resources roll? For example, say you have a Bullet Bike.

Bullet Bike
Type: Atmospheric Vehicle (Pilot)
Capacity: pilot only
Tech Index: Low index and higher
Tech Resources Ob 4
Profile -1
Integrity 4
Control 2D
Signals none
Sensors none
Ordnance none
Vehicular Speed Atmospheric 7
Security none
Structural Tolerances: Surface, H5. Breach, H8. Damaged, H11. Destroyed, H13.

Agile: +1D to Control (for a total of 2D)
(Skill Advantage, second die, +2 pts)
Light and responsive, the Bullet Bike is one of the most agile vehicles available.

Small target: +1 Ob to enemy Sensors rolls
(Obstacle Limitation to enemy, +2 pts)
The Bullet Bike is large enough to show up on Sensors, but just barely: A regular grav sled or even a suit of Iron has a much larger mass and energy signature.

No Sensors tools (-4 points)

Room for one (-1 pt)
Not a kilo to spare (-1 pt)

Derived from Grav Sled (p. 553}
Designed by Mike [last name here] and Sydney Freedberg

It has no security trait, but you’re leaving it in a rough part of town, so you remember you installed an electronic lock last week. You make an Ob 3 Resources test, and your bike now has Ob 2 to Security Rigging tests. Wunderbar.


What if you’re in a race, and you know your opponent has Atmospheric Speed 8? Can you improve your Atmospheric Speed trait to 9? Would it be an Ob 4 test, since you’re adding 2D to an existing trait? Would it count as buying a new atmospheric speed trait at 2D, which would be Ob 8? Or would you need to buy the whole Atmospheric Speed trait from the bottom up, which would be a wopping Ob 14, which is 8 more than buying a new, fast bike.

And does the dice cap on buying traits for technology (no more than 3 dice can be included in a Low Index tech trait) count for each trait, or for each purchase of a trait? I’m thinking the former, because otherwise someone could, after a few Building Scenes, have a cell phone that granted +7 D on Circles tests :stuck_out_tongue:

As I understand the rules, you only pay the incremental cost. But remember that other rule on page 381:

Tech Resources tests in building scenes gain a +1D advantage. Tech Resources tests in conflict scenes suffer a +1 Ob penalty.

So, assuming you’re already in the race:

+1 Ob for making a Tech Resources test in a conflict scene (p. 381)
+3 Ob to raise vehicular speed from 7 to 8 (p. 384)
+3 Ob to raise vehicular speed from 8 to 9 (p. 384)
TOTAL Resources Obstacle: 7 points

A pretty steep roll, but not as bad as buying a new bike or a new speed stat from nothing.

As for the dice cap, I’m not quite sure what you’re referring to by “no more than 3 dice can be included in a Low Index tech trait,” but I suspect you’re thinking of the rules on p. 386:

Sub and zero index devices like cleverly made or well-crafted instruments/technology may only add +1D.
Low index advantages add +1-2D. These can come in the form of well crafted instruments or cybernetic implants.
High index advantages add +1-3D. These advantages are implants, nanotechnological swarms and machine intelligences.

But that applies specifically to Devices that give Advantage dice. Unstated here, but strongly implied, is that you can’t stack a dozen +1D devices on the same roll, either.

There’s a similar cap on Devices that impose an Obstacle penalty (p. 387):

For sanity’s sake, sub and zero index tech can provide up to +2 Ob, low index up to +3 Ob, high index up to +4 Ob.

Otherwise, I don’t see any general limit on how a tech trait can go. And if there were a 3D cap or some such, the most basic vehicle in the game, the Ground Car, wouldn’t be legal, since it’s a Sub Index vehicle with Integrity 5 and Surface Speed 6.

That’s exactly what I meant, Sydney, sorry for not articulating it clearly… and for getting the rules wrong =P

The interesting thing with the Vehicular Speed rules is that on 388, it says that it merely costs 1 point to raise speed by one. I always read the rules on 384 to mean raising from surface speed to atmospheric cost 3 points, not that increasing your speed by 1D cost 3 points. On 384 it says Speed Category, on 388 it says ‘by 1D’

So I’d read it as only being an Ob3 test… which is reasonable, given that the entire bike would be Ob 5!

Those rules are ambiguous, aren’t they? I was mentally setting aside p. 388 as something that didn’t apply to vehicles, but your interpretation’s a reasonable one, so, hrm. Time to post a “hey, Luke” thread.

I asked Luke, and after my regularly scheduled thrashing, he made it clear that the rules on pg. 388 apply, so you’re right, excepting that it’s two points to increase speed by one die.

So to do this again, and again assuming you’re already in the race:

+1 Ob for making a Tech Resources test in a conflict scene (p. 381)
+2 Ob to raise vehicular speed from 7 to 8 (p. 388)
+2 Ob to raise vehicular speed from 8 to 9 (p. 388)
TOTAL Resources Obstacle: 5 points

And that’s profoundly doable.

By the way, since Mike was pining for more speed, I’ve revised the version of the Bullet Bike on the wiki, so it has even higher speed at the price of lower integrity (which makes sense: It shouldn’t be as tough as a full-sized Grav Sled). That version also has Mike’s last name in the credit line!

I wasn’t pining! I was just using it as an example =)

And thanks =)

Mike, you came up with the grav bike idea (well, okay, there’s one panel of the comics showing Caracajou’s gunner-with-benefits riding one, but you got it into the game) and now you’re talking about grav bike races. You’re totally pining, the same way I have an obvious weak spot for obscure militaria.