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Have I been understanding Sensors wrong?

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« on: (10:33:34/01-14-19) »
This line of thinking stems from looking at a character build and noticing sensors on their clothing.. which lead me down a dark little path of investigation.
And now, I am not sure if the build was wrong, or if my understanding of sensors was wrong. So, instead of clogging up their post with my concerns, I started this one.

The build was done with Chummer, it should be noted. And Chummer, while a great FREE program, does have some errors and issues. (From my understanding, it is made by just one guy, as a fan project! So a world of props to him!)

In this case, the person had a jumpsuit with 6 sensors (array rating 8). All at rating 8.



Now, from my understanding and reading of the CRB (page 445), there are some limitations on the rating and number of sensors given the size by the sensor housing table on page 446.

Which in the case of armor, placing it around rating 5. (large drone, cyberlimb) As rating 6 is that of motorcycle....


Am I following this correctly?

I find it odd that under the sensor housing table, they never make mention of clothing or armor.. just vehicles and drones, which leads one to wonder if you are supposed to be able to put sensors into clothing.... (Which is funny, considering all through the fluff they make mention of 'sensors' being in everything right down to the food we eat - although this is mostly for RFIDs and AROs....)

What's your guys' thoughts?

 
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

adzling

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« Reply #1 on: (10:56:06/01-14-19) »
you are correct.

both Chummer and Herolab have it wrong as they do not handle sensor housing properly.

also iirc sensor housings cannot be installed onto armor, only helmets.

although i can't recall where that comes from so ymmv

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #2 on: (11:41:36/01-14-19) »
Capacity is defined on pg 417 of SR5, and that definition doesn't restrict what can fit into what.

Gear that is in the "armor" category is given a special category of modifications that they may spend capacity on (nonconductive, fire resistance, etc) but there's no corresponding rule stating that armor may not spend capacity on other things.  Although there are certain specific limitations, for example the full body armor's helmet has 6 capacity that can only be spent on vision and audio enhancements.  However, the way the shields' rules are worded they ARE only allowed to spend capacity on armor mods and not on other regular things (like sensors).

As for sensors, the rules governing the category includes this line:
Quote from: pg. 445 Sensors
Sensors are found almost everywhere. Cheaply produced
by the billions, miniaturization and integration
have made sensors both located everywhere and hard
to spot. You can put sensors in just about everything,
and lots of people do. Your can of FizzyGoo is watching
you and reporting back to marketing. You can play the
sensor game, too.

Those lines, when taken without larger context, are worded in such way it's hard to rule clothing/armor out.  And indeed we have fluff/lore mentions of your underwear wirelessly alerting you as to when it needs to be cleaned, so clearly it must have sensors of some kind, right?

The larger context becomes fuzzy in just a page.  The very next page has the Sensor Housings chart, which doesn't say whether it's an exhaustive list of everything that's able to house a sensor array or if it's an inclusive list of the sort of things that commonly do.  Either way, neither clothing nor armor is on the list.  I'd agree that given the larger context, the "sensors" built into clothing are in fact integral RFID tags, each of which having an according capacity limit.  Of course the practical question becomes: can you put sensors directly into armor so long as their capacity cost would have also fit into a RFID tag, or are you required to take the formal step of buying stick-on RFID sensors and sticking them onto your armor and getting the same end result anyway (at the cost of having an extra device you potentially count against a PAN's limit)

In further scouring, I do see that the chameleon suit is explicitly said to have sensors, but those sensors are also given special/unique rules to represent what they do.  Arguably they don't qualify for rules given in the Sensors section as they're not described there.







« Last Edit: (11:56:20/01-14-19) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

adzling

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« Reply #3 on: (11:55:43/01-14-19) »
some things to consider:

1). Armor can only take stuff from the list of armor mods (remember capacity for one item, such as drones, is not the same as capacity for other items, such as armor. Although I wish it were 'cause man i want a drone rack in my armor).

2). Specific trumps general. As you pointed out it says that helmets can take vision mod only sensors (which is dumb imho), but regular armor has no rules for installing sensors into them nor any capacity afaik.

3). Sensor housing sizes should be the rule of thumb for what can be installed where (and remember sensor housings are the limit on sensor ratings). Yet there is no rule for what capacity a sensor housing is when installed into armor.

you can see the inconsistencies and gaps in the above.

errata team has proposed errata for this iirc but that process is not working for a while now.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #4 on: (12:04:01/01-14-19) »
some things to consider:

1). Armor can only take stuff from the list of armor mods (remember capacity for one item, such as drones, is not the same as capacity for other items, such as armor. Although I wish it were 'cause man i want a drone rack in my armor).

I thought that at first, too.  In composing my post I saw that in fact it's only shields that are restricted.  Gear in the Armor section are given special allowance to capacity on armor mods, but there's never a rule that limits them from spending on other things (except shields).

Quote
2). Specific trumps general. As you pointed out it says that helmets can take vision mod only sensors (which is dumb imho), but regular armor has no rules for installing sensors into them nor any capacity afaik.

That's not quite an accurate way of putting how "Specific trumps general" works.  The rules for capacity (pg 417) allow anything to fit into anything, so long as the math isn't violated of course.  That establishes the "general state" where anything that costs capacity is compatible with anything that has capacity.  So for there to be a specific rule trumping the general rule there must be a rule that restricts the general (e.g. shields, full body armor helmets, etc).

Quote
3). Sensor housing sizes should be the rule of thumb for what can be installed where (and remember sensor housings are the limit on sensor ratings). Yet there is no rule for what capacity a sensor housing is when installed into armor.

you can see the inconsistencies and gaps in the above.

errata team has proposed errata for this iirc but that process is not working for a while now.

The legality of sensor arrays being mounted in armor is apparently a bit fuzzy, at least without delving beyond the core rulebook.  Even though I'm saying chummer/hero lab don't appear to be provably wrong on allowing the combination, I'd agree with someone saying that given a big picture context it appears you're not "supposed" to be allowed to put sensor housings into armor.
« Last Edit: (12:13:11/01-14-19) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

Marcus

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« Reply #5 on: (14:07:22/01-14-19) »
I thought the run and gun armor add-on table was the final authority on what could and could npot go into armor capacity.  Is there a better alternative?
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #6 on: (14:18:15/01-14-19) »
As I said upthread, I wasn't going beyond the core rulebook in my look at the rules.

Pg 87 of R&G does indicate you can put sensors into armor directly, but putting them into an array and then putting the array into armor is not covered.

Capacity is probably a case of NOT working like russian nesting dolls... you can't put sensors inside an array and then put the array inside armor.  R&G's chart seems to support the reading that you can put what are in effect RFID sensors built directly into armor.  Which is honestly the sane way to go about it.  Let people who want to min-max go around the armor's capacity limit by sticking RFID sensors onto the armor at the cost of dealing with a more complex PAN, and let those who want to be simple and direct just put the sensors directly into the armor and not have to worry about having discrete matrix devices.

PingGuy

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« Reply #7 on: (14:28:21/01-14-19) »
That sounds like my Master of Fear character.  I remember reading some fluff about sensors in clothing or armor, and then Chummer let me do it, so I went with it.  I was also probably misunderstanding how sensor ratings work, as I've never been clear on that.  Like if a vehicle has a sensor rating of 6, do the sensors in the housing all have to add up to 6, or can they each be up to 6?

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« Reply #8 on: (15:05:11/01-14-19) »
well, glad to see its not just me who finds the whole 'armor and sensors' thing a little confusing...

If we go back to the CRB page 445, it has this to say about sensors and housings...

Quote
SENSORS
Sensors are found almost everywhere. Cheaply produced
by the billions, miniaturization and integration
have made sensors both located everywhere and hard
to spot. You can put sensors in just about everything,
and lots of people do. Your can of FizzyGoo is watching
you and reporting back to marketing. You can play the
sensor game, too.
Sensors need to be placed in a housing or case of
some sort, or built into another device.
Sensors can record
data themselves or forward it wirelessly in real-time
or as files to other devices. Sensors are available in seven
ratings (2–8) and two types: single and array. When you
use the sensor array for Perception Tests, you may use
your Electronic Warfare skill in place of your Perception
skill, and you may use the sensor’s Rating as your limit.
Sensor array: This sensor package includes up to
eight functions listed under Sensor Functions.
Single sensor: This is a sensor that can do only one
function listed under Sensor Functions.

Which is fine. A sensor must be mounted to something, or built into something. Great.

Quote
HOUSINGS
Sensors can be put into devices that have capacity.
Most vehicles and drones come factory-equipped with
a sensor array
(at a rating listed with their stats). What
you can put your sensor in is limited by the Rating of
the sensor (see Sensor Housings table).

Righto, so are you saying only Drones and Vehicles have Arrays? Or is that just a general example? Assuming its just an example, then why not put an array into armor?

From there, it directs to the sensor housing table. (as mentioned before) And it gives us a much of size examples and the upper limit of the sensor in question.

IF we look at the Sensors table on the same page, again it gives some interesting info:

it had a listing for both hand held (1-3) and wall mounting sizes (1-6) and their capacity.
It has the capacity cost for an array([6]) , and it has the cost for a single sensor([1])....

So, an Array can never fit into a hand held unit?
And an Array can only fit into a wall mounted unit. which can only have a max rating of 4 for the array...


And again, no mention directly of armor.

When I read up under clothing and armor, THEY don't directly come with any capacity mentioned. (although clothing does reference nifty things like 'commlinks and music players woven directly into the fabric').

Its not until we hit the ARMOR MODIFICATIONS section that we hear anything about armor and capacity.

Quote
ARMOR MODIFICATIONS
Any piece of worn armor can be upgraded with a range
of modifications. The Capacity of a piece of armor is
equal to its Armor Rating
. Armor modifications have
variable Capacity costs. Each modification also has a
rating between 1 and 6, except as noted.

So, does this capacity extend to anything I want like sensors? Or is it just or armor mods?

The table in RnG pg 87 does seem to imply you can install individual sensors into a suit of armor...
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Reaver

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« Reply #9 on: (15:09:41/01-14-19) »
That sounds like my Master of Fear character.  I remember reading some fluff about sensors in clothing or armor, and then Chummer let me do it, so I went with it.  I was also probably misunderstanding how sensor ratings work, as I've never been clear on that.  Like if a vehicle has a sensor rating of 6, do the sensors in the housing all have to add up to 6, or can they each be up to 6?

I think it was :P

But Like I said earlier, I didn't want to high jack your thread about something like this, when I wasn't too sure I had how sensors and armor worked right to begin with...

And, At the end of the day, your GM may very well let you, as he doesn't see anything wrong with it. (when GMs and Players both use Chummer to design their npcs and characters, things like this come out the wash...)
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #10 on: (16:06:43/01-14-19) »
Quote
ARMOR MODIFICATIONS
Any piece of worn armor can be upgraded with a range
of modifications. The Capacity of a piece of armor is
equal to its Armor Rating
. Armor modifications have
variable Capacity costs. Each modification also has a
rating between 1 and 6, except as noted.

So, does this capacity extend to anything I want like sensors? Or is it just or armor mods?

The table in RnG pg 87 does seem to imply you can install individual sensors into a suit of armor...

There's no language restricting armor capacity solely to armor modification, ergo you can spend armor capacity on anything, PLUS you can also/instead spend it on the armor modifications.  And of course the chart in R&G confirms this.

Contrast that language with that for shields' capacity:

Quote from: Helmets and Shields
Shields may be upgraded with the chemical
protection, fire resistance, and nonconductivity armor
modifications and have a Capacity equal to their Armor
Rating for this purpose.

Bolded for emphasis.  You may spend shields' capacity only on the cited armor modifications.
« Last Edit: (16:10:02/01-14-19) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

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« Reply #11 on: (14:53:42/01-15-19) »
So, the question that remains is;

Can you install a sensor array into armor?
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #12 on: (15:14:10/01-15-19) »
So, the question that remains is;

Can you install a sensor array into armor?

To condense everything I said upthread and restate it much more simply: My answer is technically no.  But you could however treat the armor itself as an analogue for the sensor array and plug individual sensors directly into the armor... just as you otherwise could have added them to a sensor array.