Starship Computers

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Computers are essential pieces of shipboard equipment. Most spacers would not be caught dead without a good Nav-Computer at the least. Large starships are very dependant on their computers, and since these large starships are often quite dangerous, this has led to virus attacks being integrated into starship combat as much as missiles and mines. The quality of a computer is determined by its intelligence. This isn’t the same brand of intelligence as a human, but merely represents the raw computing power of the machine. In other words, a computer with an Intelligence of 18 is not capable of arguing quantum mechanics with a human of 18 Intelligence. The computer might be able to solve the paradox for the human, but without will and personality (Wisdom and Charisma), is helpless without a human to give it direction. A computer can run a number of programs simultaneously equal to its Intelligence modifier, minimum of one. So a computer with an Intelligence of 18 could run 4 programs simultaneously.

For some skills (those only requiring raw computing power- or intelligence) the computer is capable of making a skill roll independently of a human operator. Navigation is one of these skills, and Nav-Computers have become helpful aids to space travelers. For most other skills, if the computer has the appropriate program, it grants a human a bonus to his skill (how much of a bonus depends on the quality of the program). A targeting computer is an example of this. A computer does not have the discretion to know when to fire, where, or what to shoot at, but it can provide a bonus to a human operator.

Characters with the computer use skill can write programs for a ship’s computer at the DC listed in the software table.

Starship Computers

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