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Unclear Remote (and piloted vehicle) rules

Hello, just decided to join because I am currently doing a solo game of Infinity and some issues I never encountered before showed up right at the worst moment.

Now, remotes being Piloted by the LAI are simply NPCs, and you use their statblock as is. Although it is a bit annoying that, for how expensive combat ones are, they are simply elites, but I do understand the balance concerns.

The questions that really trouble me are:

  • What happens when a geist or a player with a cube 2.0 ghosts into a remote? Obviously, the attributes used are the remote’s but the operator keeps their skills and talents. However, how does a remote take damage? That is, an elite remote after two faults is disabled and the controlling “ghost” kicked out?
  • A ghosted player with lower attributes than the remote, does or does not increase his attributes to match?
  • Do remotes still assist the controlling entity? if not, ghosting would be inferior since you only remove the complication range increase but have your attributes limited and are not assisted in every test (it is not mentioned that in remote control the pilot has his attributes limited)
  • The Rui Shi remote in the Yu Jing supplement is more rare, maintenance heavy and expensive than all the other elite remotes…and yet is just a trooper, without armour as well. Should it be elite or higher? The overall expenses for it are second only to the (Nemesis) Daruda Tacbot.
  • And the same questions apply to vehicles you ghost in. Although only vehicles with the remote quality can act as true remotes (any vehicle without will not be able to assist on tests when remote piloted), but every non-hackable can be remote piloted or ghosted in. Do damaged vehicles increase the difficulty of tests even when ghosted in? After all, wounds do not make tests harder and a ghosted character is “there in the flesh”.

I randomly rolled a cetacean uplift in character creation, and I thought a cube 2.0 would be fitting, and also very helpful if my dolphin friend could jump into remotes and vehicles to be an amazing pilot. Shame his great abilities are severely hindered, particularly those same pilot and observation stats. I appreciate any and all help, and although I got more questions, this is not the right topic for them.

Thanks in advance.

The core rules state in the Vehicles chapter:

Vehicles can be targeted for an attack like any other combatant. They are, however, objects and suffer physical stress as Structure and physical harms as Faults.

And:

Vehicles suffer Faults like other objects. Typical Fault Effects for vehicles include Damaged, Disable Function, and Injury.
Vehicles can also suffer from Breach Effects.

Although a ghosted character “is there in the flesh”, that is not at all the case.
The “flesh” is the Structure of the vehicle.
And when the Structure gets damaged to incur a Fault, then that will hinder the physical performance of the vehicle the character is ghosted in.

Considering the typical Fault Effects, most of them will cause a raise in Difficulty to Pilot them. This is listed as a common Difficulty factor for Pilot tests in the Skill Chapter.

And there is a Pilot Talent, that actually reduces the raise in Difficulty for a trained pilot:

Combat Pilot
The character knows how to keep a vehicle running effectively, even when it’s seriously damaged. When performing a Pilot test with a damaged vehicle, the penalty from damage is reduced by one step per rank of Combat Pilot.

So, when you are piloting a vehicle, either manually or being ghosted into it, and the vehicle is damaged so that it suffered one or more Faults, this will increase the Difficulty of handling this vehicle in most cases.

There are some considerations, though.
If the Fault Effect was determined that one of the weapon systems of the vehicle got disabled (Disable Function), then that might not affect the performance of the vehicles mobility.
But if there was Fault Effect that affected the steering or the sensor controls, it will make piloting it more difficult.

As with physical Harm Effects on persons, not all Fault Effects will make all Skill tests harder, but many will cause a raise in Difficulty for some actions and some Skill tests.

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just to be clear, i think these are only physical attributes (Agility, Brawn, Coordination).

depends. i would say just as the physical attributes of a remote are capped, there’s also not a great rational for the Brawn of the remote to drop because the pilot isn’t as tough as the machine they’re driving.

again, i would say that depends on the nature of the test you’re making, but as i read the section, my understanding is that each level of increased control is modifying the level previous. so:

level 1/remote control
-standard action to connect/disconnect, can use your body to do stuff without disconnecting
-remote will act as an assistant on tests
-complications increase by 2

level 2/vr
as above except
-complicates only increase by 1
-reactions in meatspace cost an additional 1 heat

level 3/ghosting
as above except
-connecting/disconnecting still a standard action, but must disconnect to use body
-phys attributes of the remote are capped, the rest per pc statblock
-no penalties to difficulty or complication range, except as modified by the GM’s discretion

kinda weird because the Rui Shi is a baller remote in the wargame, but i think that’s up to you. some troopers in YJ specifically don’t track for me–a Hac Tao is a trooper but a Terracotta warrior is elite? not how they play on the table. i think it’s GM’s discretion to up or down the challenge level of an individual stat block based on the scene. sometimes you want your players to blow through a million zhanshi to feel powerful. sometimes you want them to struggle against an elite rainbow six type team. that said, the Rui Shi’s average across the statblock is 9, which implies that it is meant to be an elite, per the rules of adversary creation in the core book.

Frank answered this one pretty good

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Thank you, I did see the examples of fault effects for object damage and the +1D to tests to piot vehicles mimics after all the Dazed condition for creatures. I am now not so sure picking up a cube 2.0 was really the right choice, especially if (considering when ghosting you are still using a remote) just two faults will completely remove a character from the game. Thankfully, or so I decided to rule, info and psywar use the controlling characters stress track, but it’s a meager consolation when everyone else has more stress and wound “tolerance”.
Being a dolphin, my teammate just wont be able to walk around, so that is a whole lot of funds being poured into an Lhost.

While I am at it, can Harms and Conditions stack? say, you inflict Dazed twice for a total of +2D to every test? I am of the opinion you can’t unless the effects specify they can stack. After all, you are already Dazed.

they do stack. i believe dazed goes to staggered (1 momentum cost to perform a standard action).

also, not sure i understand above about two faults removing a character from the game. as i understand it (and maybe i’m wrong), that would merely disable/destroy the remote/vehicle. the starswimmer in its tank would still be able to ghost into a new shell, should it be available. or it’s souped up combat remote repaired to allow it to return to combat. also, as with other equipment, remotes and vehicles can be upgraded with all the benefits and risks of that complication, which should help that character feel more likely to stick around in combat even if they don’t have the same stress track/fault range of a nemesis (which, again, you could rule otherwise).

well yes, coordination is just the attribute that makes him such a great pilot of atmospheric and space craft both.

Fair rule and makes sense. Probably how it was intended as well.

And as for the enemy stats, they seem to be inconsistent. Or maybe the devs wanted to present the lowest possible example of a certain enemy type, and it is up to you to scale the difficulty up. It is still weird the elite Hac Tao are by baseline weaker, and some terrifying (according to description) fauna in the Paradiso book are troopers with often weak stats (a bite capable of crushing bones and rock doing 1+4N damage?).

I will not lie, I am partially biased but it seems that Yu Jing didn’t get much love. The corebook remote is more armed than the PanO one, but is weaker in stats and punishment it can deal, with just 2 more in the Firewall stress track and moderatly better “mental” stats, not to mention an elite remote such as the Shi being made of paper. And don’t get me started of the complete lack of power armour, even toned down such as the lore implies, for Yu Jing. Not even the Hsien get a PA variant for themselves (and being heavy armour, it’s worse than a Crane armour which has Kinematika and only 1 less armour in the arms). Hell, the Yan Huo have heavy armour as well despite they looking as heavy armored as a PanO knight. Only a Japanese career has PA available.

Well of course! But as you said, “should it be available”. Considering the price of most vehicles, and of remotes capable of taking more than a combi rifle burst to the face, I’ve got nothing else available apart from the starting Tinbot who became scrap immediately with 3 Faults after a crash, and a yaokong which costed me, the richest person in the game, all of my funds. Two shortcomings are harsh.

I decided to start using the “Adventures in the human sphere” book, specifically the Paradiso adventure, and the scenario begins already placed in the frontlines. I just hope I can hijack a Morat vehicle and hack it to grant the uplift access to it.

i think it’s worth remembering that the rules and scenarios are there to be flexed. if i had a pc who wanted to play an uplift, i would only give them a bog standard tinbot if they had, say, a spaceship or comparable place to be as well. i would also allow them to be present as an avatar on the other pcs’ comlogs so they can remain in game and make sure that if losing the tinbot was a frequent possibility that they’d have access to plenty of other shells, be it an army of relatively weak remotes, plenty of opportunities to buy replacement parts/new bodies, and/or plenty of alt shells in the wilderness for them to jump into, like the Morat vehicle you mentioned. the tension of GMing is always keeping the stakes real while making sure your players have a chance to remain relevant.

much tougher to do in a solo context. i think you might want to consider retconning some way to keep your uplift in the game or look for synergies with other PCs to ensure there’s someone to patch them up when needed. or just play it like a rogue like. it helps if you consider that cashflow resets at every session, so depending on the team’s resources, 6+1N for a replacement shouldn’t be too far out of reach.

and, i hear you on some of the more imposing troopers not feeling as such in the the rpg. my guess is that because of CB’s simplified statblock, it’s just easier for them to capture that nuance (though, new Knight of the Holy Sepulchre is enough to make the Yan Huo cry). not sure it’s about Yu Jing’s mistreatment so much as the need to balance themes across factions while making sure they all have some kit roughly on par with each other and remain within the reach of PCs to overpower. from the designer’s view, it’s less easy than we might think. but all that stuff is up for you to change if you wish, and the special abilities each unit has can’t be understated for making things spicier, even if those too are a little uneven.

Thank you both. Always like to discuss RPGs with people, especially those I’m passionate about. Probably gonna rule that the time to repair remotes, and remove harms, is much shorter, to account for their weakness. Quick to go down, but just as fast to get back up.

As far as Yu Jing seemingly unfair treatment, the simpler PA model could be created from the Invincible statblock in the Yu Jing splat: same protection, but the description of the armour specifies exoskeleton 3 and kinematika, omitting self-repairing which could be missing.

But enough derailing my own thread, my questions were answered fully and with satisfaction. Thanks again.

  • Mike
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