Inhuman skill: Is the cost cumulative with Automation?

If I want an autotargeting computer that’s got Squad Support Weapons and Vehicular Weapons, but with Inhuman Skill with SSWs (it uses them to shoot down incoming munitions, Hammer’s Slammers style), do I…

a) Buy Automation for both, at a cost of 12 (exponent 4 in each, plus two each). Then buy Inhuman Skill on top of that, for another 6. Or…

b) Buy Automation for VWs at a cost of 6, then Inhuman Skill in SSWs for a further 6.

In other words, does Inhuman Skill give you dice and make them open-ended, or does it just turn the dice you’ve already bought into open-ended ones?

And as a follow-up, the text states that you may buy Inhuman Skill in one skill for 2 + the skill exponent. Does that mean that a given device may only have one inhuman skill, or that you must pay for each separately?

You buy the automation skills, then you buy the Inhuman Skill trait for the individual automations.

Expensive, but worth it. 8)

So can you have more than one inhuman skill per device? Or if I want to open-end the main gun too, do I need parallel computers bought as separate devices? I wasn’t clear on whether that language meant that you pay every time, or that you only get one.

individual automation = individual skill.

You buy your skills. You then pay to make each separate skill open-ended.

Hot! Thanks. Cuts down on the number of devices I need for my robot tank, you know.

Ah! Yes, you can create a conceptual piece of tech, like a robot tank, and then pile on the traits necessary to flesh it out. Individual traits are the gears, crushing treads and computers within the conceptual piece.


Caught that part, yeah. The tech burner is so sexy, it’s almost better than Treebeard.

Individual traits are the gears, crushing treads and computers within the conceptual piece.

And vertical launch missile tubes, and strategic programming, and Hellbores, and magnetic screens, and AP plates…

I don’t think I could ever really use a Bolo in a game, but it’d be fun to burn one up to see if it can be done meaningfully. I think the Infection mechanics give the game enough scope for “Continental Siege Unit” to mean something besides “Bigger than you.”

Bolo? I’m missing it. Link me.

And yes, the Infection becomes the catch-all for everything that is too cumbersome to be handled in the rest of the game. You know, inter-continental warfare, mass uprisings, asteroid hits, etc.


Here’s an acceptable Wikipedia article

Read only the Keith Laumer stories, if you can find a copy of “The Compleat Bolo” that’s everything he wrote on the topic. There’s some later stuff by other authors that does nothing good for the universe or concept, if you ask me. It’s that thing where you got just enough to tell a story and yet suggest that behind any door or over the next hill, there’s a whole different story. The later stuff, in addition to just being kinda dumb in places and not telling us anything new, ruined some of that.

The basic concept is big, self-aware tanks. They’re programmed with tactical and strategic reasoning, and thus also with a huge data dump of anything even vaguely military. Most of the stories revolve around unexpected consequences, kinda if-Asimov-wrote-military-SF stuff. The later models are just stunningly powerful, all out of proportion with anything but another militaristic high-index civilization (thus Continental Siege Unit).