The Core rulebook lists two computer programmes named ‘Intellect’:

  1. One listed under Equipment (the computers section, p.106 of my Core Rulebook); bandwidth 1-3, TL 12-14 with notes about how ‘Intellect’ programmes can use ‘Expert’ software and how that works in game terms;
  2. One listed under Starship computer software (p.151 of my Core Rulebook), bandwidth 10, TL 11, with nothing to indicate what it's capable of beyond accepting verbal commands.

So I'm struggling to understand the relationship between these two identically-named programmes. Is the starship one simply a scaled-up version of the other? (But it appears at an earlier tech level, so maybe the 'equipment' versions are scaled down versions of the starship edition?). Can the starship version run Expert programmes like the 'equipment' versions can? But then there's only one starship version listed - no 'bandwidth variants'.

It's confusing. If they are supposed to be completely different beasts, then would it really have hurt the writers to help us out and give them slightly different names? Conversely, if they are essentially scaled versions of the same software then it would be good to know that starship Intellect software can run certain shipboard systems via Expert programmes, and what the rules for that are.

Can anyone shed any light on how the two types of 'Intellect' software relate to each other and how that translates into game mechanics?


1 Answer 1


According to the 'Ship Software' text on p151 'Ship software operates in exactly the same way as normal computer software but typically has a much higher bandwidth. Ship computers are fully capable of running normal software as well.' So, according to this, you could also run the non-ship version of Intellect 1, 2 or 3 on a Ship computer, alongside the Ship version. In theory, you could also run the non-ship 'Intelligent Interface' software, with a bandwidth and cost significantly lower than the Ship Intellect software, with most of the same described capabilities...which is weird. Intelligent Interface is also a pre-req for the non-ship Intellect program.

Looking at the non-ship Intellect, it's the end of a chain of automation programs, and can't really be used by itself. You'd need to have Intellect installed along with several Expert systems (one per skill) to allow the computer to perform automated skill-based tasks. intellect by itself doesn't seem capable of doing much (except maybe accepting complex non-skill-related instructions?) Intellect is a generalisation of the focused Agent software, which itself is an improvement of the Expert software. Given this...perhaps the ship software Intellect is intended to allow the ship to carry out standard ship skills, such as piloting or astrogating for itself?

And after a little checking - in the Starship Combat section, on p155, there is an Automated Duties section that includes the items - • A ship running an Intellect program and Expert Engineer (j-drive, m-drive or power) can act as an engineer. • A ship running an Intellect program and Expert Pilot can act as the pilot.

So, it would appear the Ship version of Intellect might also be able to employ Expert systems. Still can't say what the difference between Ship and non-ship Intellect is!


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