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Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:43 pm

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WB5 p96-97 in its basic form uses a robotic intelligence. Although this was "designed with the intention of replacing the gurgoyle cyborgs which jeopardize human lives", the EIC-100 obviously has a unique benefit ("psionic probes will register a living presence") which gives them unique infiltration capabiltiies.

The EIC only has artificial skin though, so assuming it even fake-bleeds if it's cut (I don't see this mentioned, but there are 'vital organs alive' so I would assume there's a blood supply in the torso, which might be extended to the limbs even if they are wholly bionic otherwise) to past the "bleeding test" the gurgoyles do (I forget which page mentions that) I think a major problem is the lack of bio-regeneration.

Gurgoyles don't heal particularly quick (pg 198 says 4D6 per hour... so they'd probably have to use bandages and stuff to prevent blood loss... and there's no options like 2D6 per 30 minutes or 1D6 per 15 minutes) but they DO heal eventually... and i don't think artificial skin does. So if they figure out "cut the arm, then watch to see if the cut heals 1 hour later" that could be used to out the Androids with artificial skin.

The only borgs I know of with nanobot repair (similar to juicer IRMSS) are the Wolfen Quatoria within Phase World, and I assume this is outside NGR capabilities.

Plus... to avoid a 1-hour waiting period, the Gargoyle Empire DOES (though perhaps sparingly?) have magical healing abilities: page 201 mentions Gargoyle Mages can study Herbology. It's not entirely clear which OCC, but I expect the most likely explanation is Blood Druid, as WB3p98 mentions "a few dozen gargoyles are counted among the members of the blood cult".

That does not mean 24+ have herbology, of course, because it says "few possess mystic knowledge". I expect that that means is that there are NORMAL gargoyles amongst the "few dozen" and that only the MAGES are able to learn it.

That might be in addition to or INSTEAD OF their usual Earth Elemental powers. There was a Gargoyle Mage who knew Wizard instead of Warlock abilities in the orginal PRPG, for example. So perhaps if they started off as a Blood Druid they wuold have that instead of Earth Warlock spells. Otherwise if they wanted both, that might be possible using the "Changing OCC" rules from Palladium Fantasy, in which case I imagine their magic powers would advance according to different XP charts.

Also keep in mind that in BTS (p166) Gargoyle Lords knew standard magic spells, which seems to be the only thing that set them apart from standard gargoyles (no other natural abilities listed like in PF/Rifts)

Demon Priest (DB10p30) might be an option... it says "Any mortal race". Pg 29 clarifies (for the 'high' variation) that "MDC beings can apply". I don't know if gargoyles are mortal or immortal. They have an "average life span" rather than a "maximum life span" ... but then that's pretty much the standard for most races, including many known to be mortal.

However pg 27 (still DB10) mentions "This experiment was started on Hades several centuries ago among the slaves and Sub-Demons" which seems to imply that all Gargoyle variants (or maybe even a Brodkil) could opt to be a Demon Priest (normal or High). I would assume they could also be witches. I don't think any would start with such OCCs (if player chars) but could acquire them later via OCC-changing rules.

Obviously in that case, "Demon High Priests are indoctrinated to accept that even a Sub-Demon has more worth than he" would not be applicable.

That could be a dangerous cult starting in the Gargoyle Empire (perhaps spread by Gargoyles from Hades) since it provides an INSTANT "healing touch" to restore MDC, which would be a very easy way to uncover the cyborgs since their artificial skin would not heal from the HT. That's only the High Priests who can do it, the closest a normal Demon Preist gets is Light Healing at 8th level, so it would be rare. The IQ/ME/PE requirements are the same for both classes which I find pretty confusing...

Splugorth giving out a "Talisman of Greater Healing" to restore Gargoyle MDC might be a simpler explanation, of course. Maybe self-recharging (like their Altara ones)

- - -

DB10 p 36 made this more important than ever, of course: Gurgoyles can regrow a lost ear/horn in 48 hours. No way a Cyborg could ever emulate that, right? Not suer if that would apply to European Gurgoyles though, or if it might just be a trait unique to Hades Gurgoyles.

- - -

Anyway, getting to the central point the "Robot Soldier Optional OCC" (pg 167) allows (169) "Any EIR".

Using the "Brain Transplant" option is the closest match to the EIC. Where is differs is:
1) "recuperative powers" and "heal" ability of Gurgoyles are retained
2) potentially more MDC (100-400 instead of fixed 250) while it's same on average, NGR could easily prioritize 400-MDC gurgoyle corpses for conversion if they were plentiful

One other possible advantage that comes to mind in using a LIVING reanimated corpse (instead of an artificial cyborg facsimile) pertains to what is mentioned as certain USUAL drawbacks of inhabiting robots:

168 "losses are the pleasures of eating/tasting food and drinks, sexual contact, and general human contact/touch"
169 "The most stressful aspect is getting used to the mechanical body and lack of human sensations like taste, smell and touch."

It seems like the EIR-50 might avoid those drawbacks, since unlike doing stuff like converting Dyna-Bots / Dragonwings you're talking about a roboticized LIVING gurgoyle corpse which presumably has a functioning nervous system, functioning taste buds, functioning... other parts.

Their lifestyle undercover would mean no HUMAN contact, but if they can get over their revulsion to GURGOYLE contact, perhaps that might help them cope better? Maybe they might even be able to produce offspring? A robot couldn't go undetected that long (psionic scans) but since a Brain Transplant COULD (like a Cyborg) that is plausibly something they might do.

That of course is also a DANGER, because if NGR soldiers start to think of the enemy the way I do about Angela/Demona/Coldfire/Katana/Ophelia (which is a lot more likely if they engage in "pleasures of .. sexual contact" with them) or if they start to view their new body's offspring as their actual children, that could compromise their willingness to do harm to the evil Gurgoyle Empire.

Due to that danger (and also because it deviates from the -stop jeopardizing human life- intent of the zombies) instead of Brain Transplant, I could see the other 2 options (Virtual Reality and MOM Conversion) as being better. This creates less of a danger to the human (if the body dies, they might survive) and also allows them to be pulled out if they appear to be getting too attached to their mission.

There are obviously still risks of getting romantically attached, which is exhibited well in James Cameron's Avatar, but as that also exhibits: if you control the connection, you control the pilot.

I'm not really sure how that works in the case of MOM (basically astral projection). There is mention of "accidental disconnection" with destroyed robots,but I'm not sure if it's the pilot or his handler who would control intentional disconnects.

P169 mentions that the "brain" or "transferred mental essence" is in a "housing". I think latter refers to the MOM since VR is transmitted via a 500mile range, though there might be a similar "housing" for the computer brain which receives VR signals. No MDC is assigned to this, instead it's assumed to be destroyed if the "robot is atomized" (double main body in damage).

Being in the body (not the head) probably means that the Robot Soldier OCC can survive and continue to fight if the robot head is lost (minus the usual sensor penalties) but I think that would be different in the case of the EIR-50. "replace the living brain .. with a robot brain" seems to imply that the housing would probably also be located in the head. That's different than the Dyna-Bots who can continue to fight when their heads are destroyed (EIR-50s cannot).

Although EIR-50s come standard with Laser Finger Guns / Garrote Wrist Wire, I could see those as being optional and for advanced infiltration they might choose to avoid those, so that no metal implants would be detected in the hands.

The BRAIN detecting as metal (presumably, not explicitly) would be an unavoidable problem (presumably the "housing" would be metal too) but I could see one workaround is having the Gurgoyle Android wearing a metal helmet.

There could be a "remove your helmet and let me use a metal-detector on your head" countermeasure to this, of course, but that (like waiting 1 hour after bleed test for healing) adds additional security hassles to the Gargoyle Empire, depleting them of man-hours (goyle-hours?)

You could also give other explanations like "I got shot in the head by a U-round" which as we know, healing factor CANNOT expel. This would mean the empire would need to give priority to using dangerous brain surgery (or rare healing magics) to remove u-rounds from soldiers with that so they can pass the "skull metal detection test", or else euthanize gurgoyles who had U-rounds lodged in their brains as potential Androids

This is of course IF if they ever learn of them... I assume eventually they will, even if it takes decades to discover the ruse.

If this all seems to make the NGR all too powerful, I did come up with a (house? deducted?) rule that would limit it's applicability.

P168 mentions that accidentally disconnection (destroyed robot) throws the human mind controlling it into the ASTRAL PLANE.

Finding it's body is described as "the same way as an astral traveler returns to its physical body"

What is not addressed is whether or not that means via astral cord or not. RUE 171 doesn't seem to mention what destroying the astral cord does. Perhaps it makes it harder to find your way back? If that's the case, then those rules (if they exist somewhere) would be used for accidental MOM-disconnect...

...Unless the MOM transmission for Robot Soldiers actually works like Astral Projection in the sense that it actually creates an Astral Cord... which would make it easy for a projected mind to find it's way back.

But that should also mean (since See the Invisible allows you to see invisible stuff like astral cords, albeit perhaps not easily, they are "thread-like" and I could see the -6 to Strike also being a Perception penalty) that the cords could be used to discern Gurgoyle Androids inhabited by MOM mental essences.

WB5 (as with CB1 and BTS) conspicuously lacks "See the Invisible" as either a natural ability or psychic power of any of the gargoyle sub-species, despite Lords/Mages/Gargoylites ALL having the ability to turn invisible (indefinitely?) at will (instantly?) leading to the strange ability of them being unable to see themselves or each other, which might explain cohesion in Gargoyle Empire leadership (really hard to kill each other when they can run away at any time)

DB10 pgs 33/37 appear to have removed the 'turn invisible' power from Gargoylites/Mages making their lack of an ability to See the Invisible (natural or psionic) less conspicousl. Now only the Lord (p 38) still has it, and while they lack a guaranteed ability to see invisible foes, pg 40 now gives them an option of SELECTING psionic sensitive abilities... meaning there should now be some Lords who can either See the Invisible or use Astral Projection, either way giving (some) LORDS the ability to detect astral projectors (OR THEIR CORDS).

Demon Priests never acquire the "See the Invisible" spell, but they do have the ability to summon Lesser Demons, many of whom would have that ability, so I could see that (alliance with demons) being a motive for the Gargoyle Empire, if they would be useful in routing out astral projectors used by the NGR to spy on them (whether in astral form or using MOM, if using that interpretation).

PF2 (pg 314) like Hades, had also removed the ability to "Turn Invisible" from Gargoylites which they previously had in CB/NGR (a shame, helpful with their 'spy' motif, but they can still turn to stone and they have the Thief OCC skills so decent Prowl) but had added "See Invisible" as a natural ability not just to Lords/Mages (who retained the ability to turn invisible) but ALSO to the common everyday Gargoyles and Gurgoyles to boot.

Given that DB10 did not restore that, I assume this must be an ability they ONLY possess in the Palladium World, and that it is not canon to Rifts?

Dark Conversions 12 says to consult the BTS section, pages 86-88 resembling the original CB and NGR: Lords/Mages/Gargoylites turn invisible, NONE can see invisible (nat or psi). But I think perhaps the DB10 stats (being more recently published) might be meant to trump that?

Or else maybe we use different ones depending on setting?
1) Rifts : Lords / Mages / Gargoylites can turn invisible : no extra psi for Lords
2) Hades: only Lords can turn invisible : extra psi usable only on Hades to see the invisible

If using that approach it leaves them without standardized defences to see the invisible, probablyn eeding to rely on external talismans or TW devices to do so.

This is probably more important in respect to the Brodkil, who can all turn invisible at will unless they do bionic conversion. How would Gargoyles dominate the Brodkil when Brodkil could largely fight them with impunity? Is it because the Brodkil are just so humble and realize Gargoyles are useful in fighting NGR troops with infra-red censors? Or do Gargoyles own a lot of infra-red goggles for the purpose of seeing invisible Brodkil?

I don't think infra-red would help in seeing astral projectors or their cords though...

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