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Let's talk about some Infinity things, to provide clarity for players and GMs alike

Alright, I figured I’d start us off with one question that crops up in my group that could use clarification. Maya Clusters.

They are described as chat rooms, virtual chat rooms, MMOs, and everything in between. So, what exactly are they and how do they work? We know that full VR is almost non-existent in Infinity’s world, with a few exceptions… so virtual environments are confusing to many people.

I’ve come up with a sort of way to explain it, let me know if this sounds about right. Let’s say someone wants to play an MMO, we’ll use Warcraft for an example. Under the assumption of a Maya Cluster, they would put on their AR device, whatever that may be… and the software would render their surroundings, such as their living room, in a themed Patina (Infinity word for Augmented Reality Object, or ARO, for those coming from Shadowrun), making the walls disappear and the terrain stretch out to the horizon. Using AR controls, finger movements, maybe even feet, you’d wander around Azeroth doing quests, doing what you do in the modern MMO, but now it’s third or first person and virtual.

This of course is my own way of understanding it. Even a developer came in here to clarify this, I’d love it.

Next question. Remotes are weird, and they handle in a bizarre fashion. Normally, when using Remote Control to fire a drones weapons you would roll coordination+ballistics, limited by the Remotes attributes… that’s fine, but an edge case is what if you need to use acrobatics? Acrobatics plus Agile when remote controlling a drone makes no sense… Coordination does, though. So, we’ve taken and replaced almost ALL rolls with Coordination+Pilot for anything physical related except shooting a weapon. You don’t roll Agility+Acrobatics to jump onto a crate as a Drone, you’d roll Coordination+Pilot, makes MUCH more sense, and you still get the Assist roll from the Drone.

Disabling weapons, and whatnot with hacking. Yes, we allow it. It’s easy, and it can be implied it can be done because many guns and melee weapons have non-hackable. It requires a Breech effect, or a special program. We haven’t discussed allowing CLAW-1 Blackout to accomplish this, but if it does get brought up, I’m very likely to just allow it. Any ideas here?

One thing that needs clarification. Using momentum to introduce obstacles for the enemy. The order of business for this needs to be clarified, because I’m stumped. Currently we’re allowing it BEFORE the enemy does something, or as a pre-declared intention during a players turn, and it’s an actionless thing, you attach the effect to an effect roll or just declare it. Such as after hacking an enemy and generating momentum on the attack roll, you can just spend some of that momentum on an obstacle and roll it into your general emote of whatever you just did.

That’s all I got, I could think of more edge cases, either mechanics or fluff that needs expanded. I did once write Corvus Belli asking how TAGs work, how they’re piloted, how they’re fueled, and got an awesome response, I could post that here if anyone is interested.

Not really true. VR does very much exist in Infinity. There are full virtual environments that people use. They are facilitated by neural interfaces or if you’re a buddy/servant of Aleph a Cube 2.0. AR is more prevalent because its easier, less invasive, and cheaper than VR.

Examples of full virtual environments are The Fractal used by Wardrivers and Otaku mentioned in the Mercenary sourcebook (p.45). Putting a sheut from a cube in a VR environment to interrogate it (kind of like a stack interrogation from Eclipse Phase/Altered Carbon) or a removed cube being actively hosted (Corebook p.393). Additionally Saladin and Sun Tze have a conversation in a private VR environment disconnected from any datasphere and in part hidden from Aleph. (Infinity: Uprising - Dire Foes Mission Pack 5).

There’s also mixes of AR and VR like virtual meeting places that can be seen through AR equipment. This is mentioned as ways for dispersed characters to come together (Infinity Primer - Circular File p.22) for mission briefings.

I don’t disagree. It could of simply been said they’re treated like vehicles during remote control. Career options built around piloting remotes are heavy on coordination and pilot skill so they should be able to leverage those with remotes.

If you really want to get the best of all you skills and attributes you have to ghost in.

I will say though that the remote limitations should apply to how you want to use the coordination+pilot. You can only get so much out of a remote with low agility+movement so the coordination+pilot should be limited to the remotes attributes it would use itself for that test. Kind of like trying to aggressively maneuver in a truck compared to a sports car or a cargo plane compared to a jet fighter. The driver/pilot is limited by his machines capabilities.

Can simply use Blackout to cut off quantonic access putting the weapon in involuntary dumb mode (Corebook p.352).

I wouldn’t mind reading it and seeing how close my understanding of them is.

Piloting: Manual operation is done through limb inputs. Whatever the pilots limbs are doing the TAG does it. Similar to what we see in Patlabor and Applessed (big inspirations for the TAGs in Infinity). Remote presence TAGs are ghosted into using remote presence gear or a remote pod. Their minds now control the TAGs. Much more expensive than manual operation but doesn’t put the pilot in harms way. Just got to watch out for neural feedback though (RIP Toni Macayana).

Fuel: Always been curious about this myself but I’m going to guess it has something to do with Nessium.

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As someone with access to all the books out so far It would be useful if there was a resource that had all the Equipment and Vehicles in the same place

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Here’s the e-mail I got, with my questions followed by Corvus Belli’s official answers.

  1. How are TAG’s piloted? More specifically, how are TAGs that you “Ride” inside (such as the Gecko) piloted? Are there joysticks? Does the head of the TAG “mimic” the head movements of the pilot? Like, if they look right, it looks right, and throws an AR screen of what it “sees” into the pilots vision? And how do the legs work, such as locomotion? Is it pedal driven or are there levers?

Most of them are enhanced suits, the pilot wears a datasuit that connects with the outer layer of the inner cockpit and transmits movements and sensorial data from the pilot to the TAG and viceversa. Joysticks can be used for specific actions but the TAG replicates movements from the pilot. Sensory data is projected in the retinas of the pilot thanks to special googles. As an enhanced suit, pilot’s legs are inside TAG’s legs in most of the models, pedals can be used for some special preprogrammed actions.

  1. How are the weapons aimed? Do the TAGs arms mimic the motions of the small arms that extend from the TAG’s chest? Or is it controlled by joysticks or something similar, and those miniature arms are for fine object manipulation?

As said, the TAG replicates movement, those models with joysticks use them as triggers, autoaim systems compensates movement, gravity, wind speed, etc. TAG’s arms replicates movement of small arms, as can be seen in our models (both pair of arms have the same pose).

  1. Do TAGs need fuel, such as a solid fuel or is it a reactor that requires little more than simply pouring water into it sometimes? Or is charged, with link-cables connected to a power source to charge it like a battery?

TAGs need to be charged, link cables and power sources works fine in sci-fi aesthetics :slight_smile:

Also, good points about the VR, didn’t think about that. I agree, we do use the remote’s body as a limitation for your roll, so if your coordination for your ballistics is 14, and it’s is 10, you’d roll your ballistics and coordination limited by it’s coordination. Ghosting into a Remote we handle almost the same but you get bonus momentum for actions doing to being closer to the machine. This is because often Pilots have lower attributes in some physical stats than the Remote does, and we felt that as-presented Ghosting is usually worse than using Remote Control.

TheOldBadger
That’s coming, the TAG/Remote sourcebook collects all TAGs/Remotes released so far, as well as new ones, and ditto for the upcoming Gear book.

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Any sign of the other faction books? :slight_smile:

Combined Army is almost done with proofing by backers (last day for sending stuff in is the 11th). Tohaa is coming along and was last said in April that Gutier was on the last 5 chapters to be approved. O-12 at last mention was still being approved. Unknown where Hypercorps is along its development path.

Unknown if we’ll be getting a Submondo book as it wasn’t unlocked during the kickstarter. Benn, the project manager, said it will come down to how well the line is doing outside of the kickstarter if we’ll get extra books.

i missed the kick starter but am buying the books

(Also looking at doing something fun with combined army in my campaign as they just captured a unit of Antipodes)

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That’s how I’ve always understood it.

Remember unless you’re in full VR control then the LAI also assists you using the REM’s base stats. This is also true of any vehicle that has their own LAI.

Basically, I just think of REMs as small vehicles that have their own AI pilot.

I always assumed that if you were in control you subsumed the LAI and therefore it could not assist.
I’m also assuming that the Cube 2.0 lets you be the remote and therefore you’d use your own mental stats and the drones physical stats

That’s how it works for Cube 2.0 and for AIs or LAIs that are controlling a REM (so, an upgaded Geist). They’re “Ghosting” the REM and treat the REM like their own body (so cap their physical attributes at the REM’s).

But for Remote Control, it’s explicit that the LAI is still doing its thing:

Actions taken by a remote under remote control are a normal skill test for the operator, assisted by the equivalent abilities of the remote as if it had taken the Assist action. If the remote has an applicable Superhuman Attributes, any successes generated by a Superhuman Attribute add to those generated when the remote assists.

So, if Alice, my character, was Remote Controlling a Tsyklon and wanted it to Climb a wall. I’d roll Alice’s Coord+Pilot (the normal skill test for piloting a vehicle up a wall) at +2 Complication and the Tysklon would roll Brawn+Athletics.

Remote Control is very strong because the pilot and REM are working in sync however it has the downside of +2 complication, which makes balances it out.

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1. VIRTUAL REALITY
VR is all over the place in the Infinity world, I think the Aleph book talks most about it including as others have mentioned, Virtual interrogation rooms and Maya-based corporate/submundo meet-ups. You also have all the references to Maya-Groups and fan-bases that gather to talk about their hobbies, the books make it sound like it’s nothing more than a Forum people post on, but this is the Space-Future, those “Forums” would be virtual interactive meeting rooms. Then theirs all the references to peoples Cubes being spun up in virtual environments prior to them being resurrected so that therapists can help them adjust… VR is everywhere.

On top of this the core book talks about thinking about what your Virtual Avatar looks like and how often with long distance communications suffering from Light Speed limitations your LAI can attend those meeting an act in your stead. Basically VR seems to be just another “plane of existance” you can slip into in the Human Sphere and the only limitations to it is pretty much what the Environment your stepping into is programmed to be or how much you choose to interact with it. (We know for example that portions of the Nomad nation exist perpetually n Virtual Worlds playing MMO’s and only enter the “Real World” when they download into a Combat LHost to put their battle skills to use aka Hollow Men)

Add to this that AR is everywhere but even that is turned up to 11. It’s less AR and more bringing VR into the real world. People walk around with Aura’s and Special Effects (not to bet confuse dwith Patina or Halo) running al the time and when they jump onto Maya in their Home and don a full immersion suit they crank it up further. The ubiquity of Technology in the Human Sphere and how the books are written as if you are there in that world means a lot of things we think of as special/high-end are just all over the shop. Treat VR like this.

2. GHOSTING INTO A NEW SHELL
Remotes… I think a thing your missing here is the idea that Ghosting/Controlling a remote is more akin to slipping your consciousness into a new body. You aren’t so much Piloting the remote as becoming the Remote. I think that’s the explanation for why you use Agility vs Coordination for various tasks, you use the stat just like you where present in the scene yourself… just not in a body quite so susceptible to getting killed.

3. THE SYSTEM IS DOWN
Disabling Weapons/Systems with hacking. Yep, its a thing if a weapon is connected to a Commlog (and by default they are if they don’t say “Non-Hackable”) you can with a Breach turn it off, if you have a Program that allows it as a Special Breach the same would apply. Note: A person with a Disabled Weapon can then make an Absterge check to re-enable it without needing to reset their system and for a Momentum/Heat I would allow them to also put the item into Dumb-Mode with the usual penalties.

So, having said that lets talk about Comlogs. This one piece of equipment is what holds together a persons ability to interact with the world around them, it interfaces with their Geist, Weapons, nearby items etc. As a GM you should consider carefully how brutal you want to make Hacking in your game as taking out this one item even temporarily can be a massive advantage. Sure if a Comlog is turned off that character can’t be hacked anymore as their system is offline, but so is everything else.

In general I do not consider a Comlog to be a priority target for enemy hackers. Yes, I have on once occasion used Disabling a comlog as a event, but normally I assume that most Hackers would prefer to tag a players Comlog and make that Ground 0 for future Hacks than turn it off. On the other hand, I have see two players in two separate games purposefully disable their Comlog when this has happened. which has been fun to toy with.

In either eventuality though remember that a Characters “System” still functions without their Comlog, their Firewall still runs, their Geist is still present. They just lack the means to access those things or for outside forces to do so as well. You may if you are a benevolent GM allow a certain level of Player ability to continue to access their “System” even with a Comlog being turned off, just remember that essentially they are then accessing things in Dumb Mode and things like a Geist or LAI could not assist them.

4. CREATE OBSTACLE
As the rule states, this is a spend that is made prior to any Dice being rolled. Whether or not it is a PC or NPC spend, the moment a task occurs in play is at the point that the Momentum spend needs to be made. It is before any Dice is assigned but after the initial difficulty is set, just like with Reactions. You do not need to pre-prepare the Obstacle, its a spur of the moment addition. And it only lasts for the duration of the test.

Does this mean that players could essentially triple-down on any Attack being aimed at them with Create Obstacle and a Reaction? and further reactions like Cover Fire? Absolutely! Just remember anytime a PC wants to react they must give the GM 1 point of Heat (not momentum) and honestly if your PC’s are going to to spend 6 Momentum or give you 6 Heat for a +3 Difficulty to avoid an enemy attack, let them. Then turn around and deploy 3 new Elites onto the scene with the heat they just gave you of spend some Heat to Act a second time etc.

The key thing is that such obstacles are momentary and will go away, try to to be too-precious with your carefully crafted and beloved NPC’s. its a failing of all GM’s (myself included) to get too attached to things that players will want to steam-roll.

Oh, and if players want to set up an ambush or a more long term difficulty, let them. It’s essentially a terrain effect that they should make skill tests about prior to the conflict and basically would be defined as a Trait attached to a scene. once they have done that, feel free to use their set-up to your advantage. An no one said that you can’t apply whatever difficulties they set up against the PC’s either. Letting players do the hard work of a GM is a great way to have an easy nights entertainment.

Oh and one last thing…

In face-to-face tests make sure you set up all the variables before each side rolls. As a added bonus I tend to make sure I roll an NPC and work out their full outcome prior to then asking a PC to spend momentum/heat for extra dice. I find players are way more comfortable with that organization of rolling than each side rolling at the same time and honestly, players tend to underestimate the results their characters will roll and seem more likely to give heat for extra dice when they see they are facing a 6 Momentum hurdle to overcome.

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remember if you disable someones comlog they have to hope someone understands their language in the group

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Unknown if we’ll be getting a Submondo book as it wasn’t unlocked during the kickstarter.

Drat, I’d forgotten that. Although I suspect most of the Kickstarter backers would be keen to get that, to complete the faction collection. (And I’d love it if they decided to do an additional booklet covering anything that CB have added to the setting since the RPG stuff was locked for development.

Mutant Chronicles and Conan both got their locked stretch goals. It’s not unreasonable to expect Infinity to get the last, locked books. They’ll just be the last in production.

Was a submondo book even in a stretch goal? I don’t remember seeing it. I remember technologie of the human sphere being locked (I really hope this one goes in production nonetheless) a campaign and another one.

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It wasn’t a stretch goal. More to the fact if every faction was getting a book then Submondo would be the last one in that list. Crime in the human sphere and other groups beyond those mentioned in the corebook haven’t been fleshed out. A few mentions here and there in some of the other sourcebooks but nothing concrete or usable beyond names.

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Yeah, it was more that SubMondo are a potential faction in chargen, but don’t get a book like the others do. I kind of felt sorry for them. (And also I don’t like having chargen backgrounds getting short-changed.)

what’s the chances they’ll do another ks when all these books are out to add more books and maybe some other useful stuff like TAG creation rules for those who want to do things like make Tachikoma as one of my players is obssessed with, weapon upgrades and rules for increasing the usefulness of PC controlled NPC’s like Antipodes and Pets

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My guess: ZERO.

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Sad to say it, but I’m with @FrankF on that. Modiphius seem to tend to include their entire proposal for an IP in the main Kickstarter, produce what was funded (and, occasionally, some extras), and then move on to another IP, occasionally producing extra material if there is a lot of demand for it (or, presumably, someone in-house has already written a bunch of stuff). This enables them to produce games for a wide range of different IPs (INFINITY, MC3, Conan, Star Trek Adventures, Dishonoured, the forthcoming Dune …), which is a different model from, say, Nightfall, who are aiming to do a second KS for more SLA2 supplements in a while.

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