Friday, February 26, 2021

Robot Brains: Skills as Software

In our last post, we talked about limiting the ability of AI's to buy skills. Now that we've done that, we still need to know how much those skills will cost. There are two basic approaches: Buying skill levels, and buying skill points.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Robot Brains: The Limits of Purchased Skills

Artificial intelligence links two mostly unrelated parts of Gurps: Character points and Wealth. While skills can often justify wealth, and fancy tools can give a few mild bonuses or cancel enormous penalties, Artificial Intelligence almost demands that we stick a price tag on specific skill levels.  Without additional limits purchasing skill with money can warp a game very quickly. 
Fortunately, in most settings, such additional limits exist. Software doesn't just pop into being out of nowhere, and not all software works for all hardware or all operating systems, and installation of new software isn't instant and painless. 
Placing these sorts of limitations has a few welcome effects. They reduce the power of wealth and set a social baseline for what the players can expect. If most robots can only get riffle-14, but such robots are cheap, Players know what to prepare for, and establish their skill of 13 as workable but nothing special. These limits also make space for the exceptional. When the PC's run across a robot with riffle-16 instead of riffle-14, they will take note and at least wonder why this robot is special. It will let them know why they are considered elite, and what they need to accomplish to become elite in something else.