Comm Unit and Computer Upgrades

Rules Questions

So the boot says:

"A personal comm unit is pocket-sized device that combines a minor portable computer (treat as a tier-0 computer with no upgrades or modules)"

So can I apply computer upgrades to a comm unit as a tier 0 computer? I don't see why not.

For example, this is my intended computer/comm unit for my lvl 1 character.

Comm unit with the following upgrades and their cost using the comm unit's cost as the computers base cost.

Upgrade: Cost
Comm Unit 7 cr
Miniaturized .7 cr
Hardened 3.5 cr
Artificial Personality .7 cr
Secure Data, Average 10 cr
Self Charging .7 cr
Alarm 10 cr
Total 32.6 rounded to 33 cr

Also of question to me is how does one figure the cost of upgrading a comm unit to act as a "full computer" with upgrades. For example, if I wanted to build a device that was the same as what I laid out above, but with a tier one computer (maintaining the negligible bulk) how much would it cost?

Also a question, what user interfaces would be available to a comm unit, and how many could it have? The book says up to 10 IUs per bulk...

1 person marked this as a favorite.

A 7 cr comm unit is just a tier 0 computer. No modules or options besides cell phone stuff. Pretty sure the line about being a tier 0 computer is in case you need to hack it.

A comm can be turned into a real computer by spending 110% of the price of the computer.

So the breakdown is:
Comm unit, 7 cr
Tier 1 computer, 55 cr
Miniaturized is unnecessary since it's already L bulk
Hardened, 25 cr
Artificial personality, 5 cr
Secure data, 10 cr
Self charging, 5 cr
Alarm, 10 cr

Total: 117 cr.

User interfaces are the actual seats, monitors, and input devices for the computer. Your phone will have one, generally just big mainframes or desktops will worry about interfaces.

Do you think a comm unit comm be miniaturized to make it negligible bulk?

baggageboy wrote:
Do you think a comm unit comm be miniaturized to make it negligible bulk?

Star Trek says yes.

Good point. I guess you could shrink it down to a bluetooth sized thing. So 122 cr total.

If I can shrink the comm unit, I don't see why I couldn't apply other computer upgrades to a comm unit without upgrading it to a higher their computer. Granted a tier 0 computer would be less capable than a tier 1 computer, but basically all the functions are things that our cell phones can do now. I think it is reasonable to apply such upgrades to my "cell phone" com unit.

A tier 0 artificial personality is useless, the bonus is based off the tier. I'm still confident that the comm unit being treated as a tier 0 computer is there so that you can hack it if needed. And the comm unit's description already says it functions as a typical smart phone. Putting fancy stuff on it like firewalls and control modules is getting outside of typical functions.

If you can use it as a tier 0 computer and put whatever modules you want on it, why bother getting an actual computer?

Well, actually an artificial personality still isn't useless at a tier 0, it make only have a +0 modifier on it's social checks, but that's just as good as a regular person. Also it would allow you to to talk to the com unit to have it do things, ie Siri do...

As for why you would want a real computer, there's lots of things that use the computer's tier, the artificial personality, hacking checks, etc that you would never be able to increase without upgrading.

The same logic is why you would ever upgrade from a tier 1 to a higher tier.

"A computer can have a maximum number of countermeasures equal to its tier." So no alarm on tier 0 computer. And yes you can miniaturize computer from light bulk to negligible bulk (tier -1).

Hmm good catch, ok I'll have to drop the alarm it looks like. Also that is another reason to upgrade to a tier 1 from a tier 0 computer.

d'Eon wrote:

Miniaturized is unnecessary since it's already L bulk

wouldn't the upgrade on a comm unit from tier 0 to tier 1 alter the bulk from L to 1^2 (so 1) and require a miniaturization to get back down to L?

a computer has a bulk equal to its tier squared. Computers with light bulk or negligible bulk can be worn easily on the wrist or clipped to communications devices and used without having to hold them in a hand.

on the other hand, it states that a L or - bulk computer can be clipped to a communications device-with no mention about cost xD

so would i be able to just build a computer and clip it onto my comm unit for free instead of worrying about the additional +10% increase to price from upgrading my comm unit? or does the 10% cover miniaturization down to L bulk, like d'Eon says?

and... why do you want a - bulk comm device anyways? only saves you 0.1 bulk and no other real benefit?

A comm unit requires a hand, at negligible bulk it can be clipped onto your person.

I am going old school, my comm unit is going to be a hireling.

baggageboy wrote:
A comm unit requires a hand, at negligible bulk it can be clipped onto your person.

i'll say this again:

Computers with light bulk or negligible bulk can be worn easily on the wrist or clipped to communications devices and used without having to hold them in a hand.

comm units are still computers, so that quote still applies to it. so, since you can clip your comm unit and use it with no hands, why go tier -1?

Hmmm I was looking at the table that shows the comm unit. There it says it requires 1 hand. I made an assumption that since a comm unit required 1 hand normally that miniaturized it would require no hands. It seems the rules a bit ambiguous regarding the comm unit.

Would negligible bulk be easier to hide on your person? I know there are a lot of places that you can not bring smart phone into, and a computer is completely out of the question.

Interfaces - .1 bulk would be 1 interface. Not like you need multiple people accessing your phone at the same time.

Clip vs Upgrade - If I needed to hide it I would upgrade. I doubt there would be a cost to clip, assume either a standard jack built in or wireless.

Miniaturization - I suspect the 110% cost is based on a tier 1 to light bulk, to get - bulk would be another 10%. I would also apply this after calculating the modified price for hardened, etc.

Modifications - Comm unit says you can add other features to it (like scanner, yet another device mentioned with no rules) for 110% of cost. This is same cost as a control module. This creates some interesting combinations. Computer/ comm + miniaturized (hacking toolkit/ comm) to remotely hack a computer not connected to infosphere. Comm/ motion detector/ detonator. Comm/ spell chip (explosive blast) reverse pick pocketed onto someone trusted by target.

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Rules Questions / Comm Unit and Computer Upgrades All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.