Rigging

Most robots are controlled manually by an operator via a wireless link, usually using smart glasses or lenses. Drones can generally be operated for 12 hours continuously before they must be recharged or refuelled for 3 hours. The distance at which drones can be controlled depends on the quality of the drone, but is usually about 1 mile if unobstructed. Military drones with powerful communications hardware can operate at 10 times that distance. Drones connected to networks, like a building’s security system, can potentially be controlled from anywhere with access to the network.

Drone operators can issue a single command to one or more drones as an action. Each new command requires a separate action, but the same command can be broadcast to multiple drones at once. These commands must be simple instructions like “follow me and shoot anyone who attacks” or “shoot anyone who walks through that door”. More complex instructions are not possible unless the drone has an autonomous system installed. When executing the instructions given to them, drones act on the same initiative card as their operator. They can make skill rolls, but only to perform actions they were programmed to do.

Operators can also connect directly to a specific drone as a free action. This gives them a video and audio feed, allowing them to see from the drone’s point of view. When directly connected to a drone, the operator can also use their own actions to manually control the drone, i.e. to fly a surveillance drone or fire an automated turret. The operator uses their own skills when doing so, but drones installed with an autonomous system can Support their operator. Some complicated drones - like a drone swarm or humanoid robot - cannot be manually controlled without using full immersion.

The Ace Edge applies to any drones piloted by a rigger.

Full Immersion

Like hackers, operators can benefit from being “fully immersed” with a SenseNet headband. When operating a robot in this mode, it becomes an extension of their own body. They’re not controlling the robot; they are the robot. This gives them the following benefits and drawbacks:

Robot Bestiary

Automated Turret

The simplest form of robot, this is little more than a remote-controlled gun. Portable models are often carried by military forces to secure an installation, while retractable ceiling-mounted turrets are a common feature of secure corporate facilities. The model given below reflects a typical portable tripod-mounted model, commonly used by riggers and military types. Permament emplacements are likely to have more armor or even Heavy Armor.

Typical cost: cost of gun plus 500 credits. 4500 credits for the LMG turret given below.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Notice d6, Shooting d6
Pace: 0; Parry: 2; Toughness: 5 (2)

Light Machine Gun: 2d8 damage, range 30/60/120, AP 2, ROF 4, 200 shots. Minimum ROF 2.
Size -2: Reduces Toughness by 2. Reduces Scale to “Small”.
Armor +2: Thin metal plating and overall sturdy construction.
Tripod: Negates recoil and Min Str. penalties. Useless if tipped over.
Construct: +2 to recover from Shaken; ignore 1 point of Wound penalties; don’t breathe or eat; don’t Bleed Out and Wounds are removed with Repair.

Vehicle Drone

Vehicle drones are basically just ordinary vehicles - like a speeder, hovercar or even a military vehicle - which have been fitted with remote or autonomous capabilities. Treat these machines as ordinary vehicles, using the relevant rules from the Savage Worlds rulebook. Most vehicle drones are simple remote-control affairs, and must be manually controlled by an operator unless they possess autonomous capabilities. They usually have a Notice and Boating/Driving/Piloting of d6.

Upgrading a vehicle into a vehicular drone usually costs 10% of its base value. Starships usually contain this functionality by default, as handing over control is a requirement to safely dock or approach restricted areas. However, it usually needs to be engaged with a physical switch as a safety mechanism against hackers.

Surveillance Drone

A miniature anti-grav drone, about the size of your head. Cannot be outfitted with guns, though some police units are outfitted with electroshock prods. Drones intended for scanning or searching are often provided with a sensor suite for target identification.

Typical cost: 500 credits.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d6, Strength d4-1, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d6, Piloting d6, Shooting d6
Pace: 18; Parry: 5; Toughness: 4 (2)

Electroshock Prod: No damage. Has the effect of a stun baton.
Anti-grav: Flight 18”.
Size -3: Reduces Toughness by 3. Reduces Scale to “Very Small”.
Armor +2: Thin metal plating.
Construct: +2 to recover from Shaken; ignore 1 point of Wound penalties; don’t breathe or eat; don’t Bleed Out and Wounds are removed with Repair.

Heavy Drone

A larger, heavy-duty drone with an antigravity module and four miniature boosters. Can be stowed in a suitcase, but unfolds when in operation. Used for surveillance in dangerous environments where being shot at is likely, but can also be outfitted with a small weapon - usually a submachine gun.

Typical cost: 2500 credits.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d6, Strength d4, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d6, Piloting d6, Shooting d6
Pace: 12; Parry: 5; Toughness: 7 (3)

Submachine Gun: 2d6 damage, range 12/24/48, AP 1, ROF 3, 30 shots. No Unsteady Platform penalty.
Anti-Grav: Flight 12”.
Size -2: Reduces Toughness by 2. Reduces Scale to “Small”.
Armor +3: Heavier plating to protect critical components.
Construct: +2 to recover from Shaken; ignore 1 point of Wound penalties; don’t breathe or eat; don’t Bleed Out and Wounds are removed with Repair.

Drone Swarm

As the name implies, a drone swarm is a collection of dozens or even hundreds of tiny robots. Their main advantage is their ease of transport and concealment, and their effectiveness against heavily armored opponents. Like ordinary swarms, they cover an area equal to a Small, Medium or Large Blast Template and can attack everyone within it every round. The operator rarely controls individual units, but instead gives commands to the swarm as a whole.

Typical cost: 5000 for a Small swarm. Double for Medium, and again for Large.

Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d10
Skills: Notice d6, Piloting d6
Pace: 10; Parry: 4; Toughness: 7

Sting: Individual members use tiny blades or cutting lasers to inflict numerous wounds to their victims, hitting automatically and causing 2d4 damage to everyone in the template. Damage is applied to the least armored location.
Split: Reduce the Blast Template one size after a Wound; Small swarms are destroyed.
Swarm: Parry +2. Because the swarm is composed of scores of individual robots, cutting and piercing weapons (including bullets) do no real damage. Area effect weapons work normally, and a character can stomp to inflict his damage in Strength each round. EMP will immediately destroy a swarm beyond repair.

Tool Bot

A small wheeled and tracked robot, often used in environments hazardous for humans. Most commonly outfitted with tools for repairs, bomb disposal, or medical aid.

Typical cost: 1500 credits.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Driving d6, Fighting d6, Notice d6, Shooting d6
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 6 (3)

Cutting Tool: Str+d4 damage.
Tracked: Ignores movement penalties for Difficult Ground.
Size -2: Reduces Toughness by 2. Reduces Scale to “Small”.
Armor +3: The tool bot’s stout construction allows for heavier armor.
Construct: +2 to recover from Shaken; ignore 1 point of Wound penalties; don’t breathe or eat; don’t Bleed Out and Wounds are removed with Repair.

Spider Bot

A more advanced form of the tool bot, it has 6 articulated legs. This makes it useful in a wider variety of contexts; they are often used for cleaning and maintenance on large spacecraft, or as janitorial bots. Like the tool bot, a spider bot can be fitted with various tools and attachments. A pistol or other small firearm can be fitted to a spider bot, but anything larger produces too much recoil.

Typical cost: 3000 credits.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Athletics d6, Fighting d6, Notice d6, Shooting d6
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5 (2)

Cutting Tool: Str+d4 damage.
Magnetised Legs: Allows the spider bot to move at its full Pace along any ferrous metal surface. Also adds +2 to maneuvering rolls made to climb or hang from walls and ceilings.
Size -2: Reduces Toughness by 2. Reduces Scale to “Small”.
Armor +2: The spider bot has relatively thin plates of armor, as they need to remain light to use their magnetic legs properly.
Construct: +2 to recover from Shaken; ignore 1 point of Wound penalties; don’t breathe or eat; don’t Bleed Out and Wounds are removed with Repair.

Humanoid Robot

Highly versatile but also expensive and relatively fragile, these robots are often used in situations that call for the flexibility and maneuverability provided by articulated limbs. “Hospitality” robots are also popular with the wealthy.

Typical cost: 10,000 credits.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6(A), Spirit d6, Strength d10, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d6, Fighting d6, Notice d6, Shooting d6
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 8(2)

Fists: Str damage.
Armor +2: Thin metal plating.
Construct: +2 to recover from Shaken; ignore 1 point of Wound penalties; don’t breathe or eat; don’t Bleed Out and Wounds are removed with Repair.

Heavy-Duty Robot

Towering above a human, these machines have a humanoid torso but roll along on treads like a tank. These robots are used in heavy industry, riot control and private security, but aren’t good in tight spaces. One or both of their manipulators can be replaced with other weapons.

Typical cost: 50,000 credits.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4 (A), Spirit d6, Strength d12+2, Vigor d8
Skills: Driving d6, Fighting d6, Notice d6, Shooting d6
Pace: 4; Parry: 5; Toughness: 12 (4)

Mechanical Manipulators: Str+d4 damage.
Tracked: Ignores movement penalties for Difficult Ground.
Size +2: Reduces Toughness by 2.
Armor +4: Heavy plates of advanced alloys.
Construct: +2 to recover from Shaken; ignore 1 point of Wound penalties; don’t breathe or eat; don’t Bleed Out and Wounds are removed with Repair.

Automechanical

These enormous humanoid robots are squat and immensely heavy; they stand almost 20 feet tall and weigh several tons. They can be piloted remotely, but many models also have space for a human pilot. Primarily used for military enforcement, the basic model comes with a shoulder-mounted machine gun.

Automechs that will be used in warzones often have their firepower upgraded significantly. The shoulder mount can take any vehicle-mounted weapon, and one or both manipulators can be replaced with infantry-grade guns. It is possible for multiple operators to control the robot’s weapons independently.

Typical cost: 1 million credits.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6 (A), Spirit d6, Strength d12+5, Vigor d10
Skills: Athletics d6, Fighting d6, Notice d6, Shooting d6
Pace: 4; Parry: 5; Toughness: 17 (4)

Mechanical Manipulators: Str+d6 damage.
Medium Machine Gun: 2d8+1 damage, range 30/60/120, AP 2, ROF 3, 100 shots.
Size +5: Increases Toughness by 5. Increases Scale to “Large”. One extra Wound.
Armor +4: Heavy plates of advanced alloys.
Heavy Armor: Cannot be hurt by ordinary weapons.
Construct: +2 to recover from Shaken; ignore 1 point of Wound penalties; don’t breathe or eat; don’t Bleed Out and Wounds are removed with Repair.