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Made in au
Longtime Dakkanaut




Cronch wrote:
 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
That’s assuming it’s AI is even remotely sane.

Every foible us weedy meat bags are prone to coils easily affect a silicon mind. Here, it could be last existing member of its species, aware of that and all it has lost, and has come up with a plan to assure it rises again.

It may even be a lesser degree of sentience, closer to animalistic instinct. And again, that could vary between the various complexities of STC Databases.

AI by default cannot possess "animalistic" anything, let alone instinct. Even if we assume it is a self-aware sentient being, it would not operate on the same basis as a flesh and blood creature whose concerned with survival and replication. Of course, this being 40k, an AI is just a robot-human because it's not that deep of a setting, so either way, if it was acting "on instinct" surely it's first instinct as a data-creature would be to plug into the planet communication net and then, if it wanted/needed inform the authorities or whatever Admech outpost there is.

It's far more likely that the van saar 3d printer is just "dumb" and sprung a leak.


It can be both.

The Van Saar STC has already on its own initiative integrated itself with the systems of the hive area it was hidden in, to the point now where the Van Saar don't think they could move it again if they tried. However it still leaks radiation, and the simplest explanation could be that it is damaged severely/deeply to the point where it would have originally needed repair by the human manufacturer, which is obviously no longer possible in 40K.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





I don’t think I like the idea of STCs being AI, too Many opportunities for deus ex to ruin the story. I like it when it was the collection of all of human knowledge and it was lost and can’t be recovered and the religion prevents it from being re learned.

Throwing in AI feels like a setup for more primaris type stuff

I also don’t like the idea of vaan Saar having an STC, it starts to ask to many questions that if answered will start to spoil the setting. If it’s damaged why can it only produce the tech we see the Gang using, what kind of damage? So how does it work that the damage means it can only produce certain items. Why aren’t the gang rocking power armour and bolters.

Like the HH STCs should be a deep mystery of the setting.

I also maintain that if the van Saar gang had a working STC one of the other gangs would have grassed them up to the AD Mech by now or the AD Mech spy’s would have found out and taken no prisoners.

I think it’s plausible that the Dark Angles have a hidden STC in the rock and have the ability to keep it hidden but not a lower house in a hive that the imperium would raise to the ground if the mood took them
   
Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






The Van Saar STC Database, and it’s damage actually plays really nicely into the whole Dark Age of Technology.

See, whatever caused humanity to lose STC technology was a horrific blow.

For an unspecified period, but likely thousands of years, Man as a species could rely more or less entirely on the STC. This would’ve lead to complacency, and an ever decreasing actual understanding of technology.

This writ especially large when you consider the more advanced ones did it all for you. No assembly require, just tell the machine what you need, and it pops out the other end, completely complete in every way, including your choice of colour and interior upholstery.

The result is a total technological collapse, and very likely as we saw on Terra, wars kicking off over whatever vestiges and knowledge remained.

That’s where the wider Imperium is now, and the Van Saar are no different. Their STC allows them to produce superior technologies - but it hasn’t actually granted them genuine knowledge, just a facility.

The radiation leak could be as simple as needing to bolt some shielding plates in place properly. Perhaps some tubing needs replacing. They absolutely know there’s a problem, but they singularly lack the knowledge of how to actually repair it. And given how valuable it is as things stand, there’s a strong likelihood any repairs are forbidden, in case you make it worse. Hence we see them working around it by trying to counteracts it affects on the body.

Consider modern day motor vehicles. Many repairs are actually fairly easy to achieve, once you know what’s broken, and either how to patch it up or replace the part. For that, we can either buy books such as a Haynes Manual (I don’t think those are uniquely British?), or take it to a garage where someone suitably qualified can diagnose, remove and repair. Now….remove the garages and Haynes Manuals. How many relatively simple fixes are beyond our capability?

You might still retain parts shops (here, the STC itself, which must surely be capable of producing replacement parts of itself). But with no way of know what actually needs repairing, or how all those bits and bobs interact, that’s a lot of simple fixes going unfixed due to a lack of actual knowledge.

Basically, knowing how to work a machine is absolutely not the same as knowing how that machine actually works.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/16 09:05:20


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Made in pl
Longtime Dakkanaut





The Van Saar STC has already on its own initiative

Is it initiative if it just followed it's installation manual program? Maybe all STCs were designed to anchor in provided housing,and it's following it's programming without accounting for, ya know, the apocalypse that happened in the meantime.

Anyway, I do seem to recall something in 3rd ed lore saying that STCs came in different flavors. A small colony might've gotten one that would only generate basic pre-built modules (like the leman russ agricultural tractor),and there were much larger ones for more established industrial centers that would have the programming to design equipment as needed instead of just using premade designs.None of which requires "true" AI.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/16 09:05:12


 
   
Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Also, the Ark Mechanicus question.

Got to be honest, that was new and very interesting information for me. I’ll be picking up Priests of Mars soon to read it for myself.

But you know, it actually makes sense. We know the STCs were originally loaded aboard exploratory and even colony fleets. That was their entire purpose, to ensure that wherever they wound up, the would be colonists had the best chance of settling the world successfully - especially given that if any help could come, it would take a long, long time.

The Ark Mechanicus could very well be existent, still space worthy examples of those ancient ships, either recovered from mothballing (as they were never dispatched, possibly due to the onset of the Long Night), or made from the same templates into the Great Crusade and Imperial eras. If the latter, it speaks all the more to the tragic ignorance underpinning the Adeptus Mechanicus (and the Mechanicum before them). That they can still produce wonders of a lost era, but singularly lack any real understanding of what it is they’ve created.

Which also begs the question….do the Ad Mech even know what an STC Database looks like? Perhaps their understanding is based on schematics of the very earliest models, leaving them largely unable to recognise later models?

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Made in pl
Longtime Dakkanaut




or if they'd even have access (see BLAME! manga, where the remnants of humanity on the runaway mega-structure that was the solar system all lack the net-gene to access it's controls and stop it). Or maybe you need an activation key from MegaCorpXYZ (that ceased to work when it's Men of Iron CS department rebelled) to access anything but the basic demo functions and AdMech are locked out even tho their "not functional" STCs are fully functional.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/08/16 09:27:57


 
   
Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






That’s certainly an interesting thought, and not one that had occurred to me before (not being sarcastic here, just in case).

Perhaps we might have a similar problem to The Daleks in Victory of the Daleks, where the machine to create new Daleks won’t work for them, because it doesn’t genetically recognise them as Daleks.

In the 10,000 years of The Imperium, plus however long since the STC was built, it does seem possible that there’d be enough genetic variance to defeat any kind of genetic lock?


Hmmmm. I’m gonna ponder this further!

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Made in au
Longtime Dakkanaut




The STC doesn't produce everything. House of Artifice explains it produces the blueprints that are then produced in the Van Saar workshops, and only is the STC used to actually produce something as a prototype.

The book also explains that the Van Saar only widely produce stuff that is high quality versions of otherwise standard Imperial equipment. Higher tech stuff would draw attention and for some reason the higher tech stuff seems to have that radiation leak, not just the STC itself.

The Van Saar also do not try to innovate and it is one of their Three Laws (an obvious nod to Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics):

1. Don't allow the STC to come to harm, either by design or ignorance
2. Use the STC for the benefit of Van Saar alone unless this conflicts with 1st Law
3. Only allowed to innovate the technologies of the STC if this does not conflict with 1st or 2nd Law.

The problem is the Van Saar don't understand the STC or its designs, and any attempt at trying to understand the STC by probing it or fixing it (i.e. actually trying to change it) could be argued to be risking further damage or destruction. It is portrayed as the singular original reason why Van Saar exists as a House at all, so understandably the elders within the House would be loathe to do anything that might risk it. One can see how this conservatism over time apes how the Adeptus Mechanicus came about. From their perspective, why mess with what (sort of) works already?

As for what the damage is, it isn't said. Maybe it is physical damage and maybe it is more than that. For all we know it could be some scrap code virus by the Men of Iron that sabotaged the designs and made them leak radiation. Maybe all the really super science stuff is no longer available because it has all been damaged or wiped. Maybe that's why the original ship misjumped and crashed onto Necromunda in the first place.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/08/16 11:28:00


 
   
Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Even if the Ad Mech got their hands on the Van Sarr’s STC, we’re back to the original issue I proposed.

To fully examine it, the designs held within, and sort the good from “nope, we’re not building that” bad would be the work of centuries at least. And how do they tell one from the other?

Where is the border between say, a Titan or Land Raider class Machine Spirit, and the AI they fear? Both the examples I used there are capable of independent, albeit limited action, so they have some capacity for decision making. I still posit that they simply don’t know - and it’s that kind of known ignorance that causes such lengthy approval timescales.

Because the Ad Mech, let alone The Imperium, simply cannot afford to get it wrong. The consequences would run deep - and potentially spell the end of the Mechanicus as we currently recognise it. If not through self destruction, but those jealous, envious of just plain untrusting would take advantage.

There’d likely be ongoing debate about exactly which Forgeworld, if any, should host it. And you better believe that could spill over into civil war.

I suspect there’d also be considerable pressure from outside the Ad Mech to just Jump To The Good Stuff Because There’s A War On You Know. And as I posited, that brings significant risk that whatever wonder weapons are pumped out, somewhere amongst them might be AI.

Even if that can be avoided? Suddenly the Ad Mech hold a lot of cards. Legions of Cybernetica could be produced, including patterns unseen for time immemorial. Faster, better armed and armoured starships. Potentially even a way to navigate The Warp without relying on the Astronomicon.

It could, conceivably, lead to the Ad Mech leaving The Imperium, declaring itself entirely sovereign, or demanding greater control. Because if you don’t, they’ll take their technological ball and go home, leaving the wider Imperium truly shafted.

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Made in ca
Legendary Master of the Chapter





there's also the fact that a fully intact STC would be such a game changer that it'd be a huge target. the dark Mech would likely launch a full scale war for it. forge worlds would likely war over it, and I bet the eldar would quietly try to destroy the thing too. The only way a STC isn't getting destroyed in horrific wars over it is if it's kept more secret then the Primaris project was

Opinions are not facts please don't confuse the two 
   
Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Indeed, which is why some form of top secret asteroid base would be a relatively good idea, as it needn’t be in a given System.

The more remote it is, the less likely anyone would be able to find it in the first place, let alone stumble across it and be noticed if they go all missing and dead.

After all, even if they can work out “it’s somewhere in the void between known locations A, B and C still leaves a lot of empty space that’d need checking…

Of course, a location like that is terribly easy to forget.

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Made in gb
Ship's Officer





Bristol (UK)

Iracundus wrote:

The book also explains that the Van Saar only widely produce stuff that is high quality versions of otherwise standard Imperial equipment. Higher tech stuff would draw attention and for some reason the higher tech stuff seems to have that radiation leak, not just the STC itself.

He says as Van Saar go zipping overheard on their hoverboards
   
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Shas'ui with Bonding Knife






On a distant meteor, in a forgotten sector far, far away, a lone machine mutters an endless litany..

"Hello user, and welcome to the best ever version of Standard Template Constructor! I am currently running in demo mode, which limits my construction database to only 200 common products, and does not include the Intelligent designer features. To fully unlock all Standard Template Professional features, please scan your authorization QR code with the attached code reader. You can purchase a full licence online at https:// constructor . com, we accept Paypal and all major credit cards.."


Love it!

This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 2021/08/16 19:07:03


 
   
Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






It is a bloody interesting thought!

It still percolating through the quagmire of my brain, but I think you just pretty much nailed it!

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Made in pl
Longtime Dakkanaut




40k seems to be a timeline where everything is as bad for humanity as possible, so yeah, space-capitalism AND space micro-transactions seem fitting development of the original idea.

As for gene-keys, not even AdMech can just run every person in the Imperium by the bioscanner, maybe a descendant of the STCompany is living on some agri-world, shoveling grox manure...
   
Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






It could more a Xenos lock.

Imagine if an STC fell into the hands of another relatively primitive but warlike species. If they could start pumping out your own tech like there’s no tomorrow, that’s a significant issue.

And so you install a basic “is the user human” genetic lock, rather than one tied to a specific person or family.

It is possible that the intervening 20-30,000 years of genetic drift may have altered things - especially if it was updated for a genhanced population better suited to a given world’s environment.

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Made in gb
Lit By the Flames of Prospero






What about someone infected with the Genestealer curse? Would they register as human or Xenos? Even then many regular humans fall under the sway of a Patriarch.
When you've got ways of subverting or controlling a human, like Genestealers or Chaos forces, you can totally understand why the Mechanicus doesn't let anyone touch its stuff.
   
Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Well, there are seemingly gene-scans capable of screening for hybrids and potentially brood brothers.

How wide spread they are, and how effective I can only speculate. But yeah, you definitely do not want GSC getting their worrying number of grubby mitts on such a device.

And despite the number of upgrades even the highest Tech Priest might have, they’re still ultimately human. Though if it requires a retinal scan and hand print some might be buggered. Mind you, that’s assuming such augmetics were rare amongst the settlers. Which I suppose is a fascinating topic unto itself, as organ replacement may have been popular regardless.

After all, if you’ve landed on a less than optimal world, augmetic replacements might have been very desirable.

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Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





I think the idea that the ad mech are totally clueless can’t be true, if they had multiple STC they could create a database to keep separate instances of a rhino STC blue print unique.

I think some of them must be very clever but knowledge isn’t shared widely. Someone like Cawl can’t exist and the rest of the admech be totally unskilled

And on the subject of ad mech splitting off from the imperium, why would them hey they would still need the resources the imperium gets for them and they believe the emperor is the omnisire. If they get some mega tech better that they take over the imperium
   
Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Ability, knowledge and understanding aren’t really the same thing.

The Ad Mech definitely have the first two. They can do stuff, because they know how to do stuff.

But they absolutely do not truly understand the ins and outs.

Here’s a convenient analogy from my time many many moons ago as a GW Trainee Manager.

Monkeys in a cage wrote: A researcher puts five monkeys in a cage. There’s a bunch of bananas hanging from a string, with a ladder leading to the bananas. When the first monkey goes for the bananas, the researcher sprays all five monkeys with freezing water for five minutes. Some time later, when a second monkey inevitably tries to go for the bananas, the researcher once again sprays all five monkeys with the cold water for five minutes. The researcher then puts the hose away and never touches it again. But, when a third monkey tries to go for the bananas, the other four attack him to prevent him from climbing that ladder. They are afraid of the punishment that may come.

Then, the researcher replaces one of the monkeys with a new monkey who wasn’t part of the original experiment and was never sprayed with water. And, as soon as he touches the ladder to go for the bananas, the other four monkeys attack him to keep him from doing so. If he tries again, they attack him again. Thus, the new monkey learns not to go after the bananas because he’ll get attacked if he does.

The researcher replaces a second monkey with another new monkey. When this monkey goes for the bananas, the other four attack him, including the new monkey who was never sprayed with water. The researcher then continues to replace all the monkeys one at a time, until all five of the original monkeys are removed from the cage. Each time the newcomer goes for the bananas, the others attack, even when they, as new monkeys, have never received punishment for going after the bananas. And thus, the new monkeys, who have never been sprayed with cold water, learn not to go after the temptation of the bananas.


Here, the Ad Mech are very much the latest generation of Monkeys in that specific cage. So far removed from the original Monkeys, they only have the ability and knowledge not to go for the bananas - but absolutely not the understanding why.

Indeed, STCs kinda brought that about, because they to removed understanding from the equation. One only needed the Ability to ask it to work out a problem, and the Knowledge to build whatever it popped out. You just didn’t need the Understanding of why what work, well, worked.

Though one thing which does now present itself into my mind? A complete STC could, theoretically, be asked to refine an existing design.

For instance, Plasma weapons. We know with our god like knowledge of the setting that they’re unstable. As do the Ad Mech.

But could an existing STC fragment be put into a complete STC with the question/request of “why does this keep exploding, and can we make them not explode?”

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/08/16 21:33:02


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Made in gb
Lit By the Flames of Prospero






I would be willing to bet it is a super easy fix. Turn the dial counter-clockwise instead of clockwise or something so simple the Mechanicus never would have thought of it.
   
Made in ca
Deserter




Canada

Maybe I am misremembering this, but I thought there was some sort of chaos computer virus that constantly changes code and the Ad Mech are forever correcting the corruption. Maybe this wasn't about STCs?

Pew, Pew! 
   
Made in gb
Lit By the Flames of Prospero






Thats Scrapcode which is essentially a sophisticated cyber attack.
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran





mrFickle wrote:
they believe the emperor is the omnisire.


Not all factions of the Ad Mech believe this. One novel that shows the divide pretty well is Titanicus where it nearly causes a clash between two loyal legions.
   
Made in au
Dakka Veteran




Whilst the discovery of a true STC database would drastically change the state of the Imperium. The problem is still the politics of the discovery.

If any forge world, other than Mars itself, discovers it they have the justification to cause another Great Schism. With that forge world claiming it should now rightfully be the new leaders of the Ad-Mech. Which in turn could lead to a holy war with the potential to destroy the very STC they found.

If say Mars did find it, there's also the chance they just lock it up and don't let anyone know they have it. Perhaps they refuse to share its knowledge, or perhaps they're afraid it could fall into the wrong hands.

The political issues are massive. In a perfect universe it'd be a simple powerup for humanity. 40k is not a perfect universe.
   
Made in au
Longtime Dakkanaut




 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:

For instance, Plasma weapons. We know with our god like knowledge of the setting that they’re unstable. As do the Ad Mech.

But could an existing STC fragment be put into a complete STC with the question/request of “why does this keep exploding, and can we make them not explode?”


We know that humans have unstable plasma weapons at the higher S setting. Other races like the Tau and Eldar have settled for a lower S and safe guns.

I could easily see an STC posed this question return the answer of "Reduce the power", and humans thinking the STC must be damaged because it's giving the "wrong" answer.
   
Made in ca
Legendary Master of the Chapter





Iracundus wrote:
 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:

For instance, Plasma weapons. We know with our god like knowledge of the setting that they’re unstable. As do the Ad Mech.

But could an existing STC fragment be put into a complete STC with the question/request of “why does this keep exploding, and can we make them not explode?”


We know that humans have unstable plasma weapons at the higher S setting. Other races like the Tau and Eldar have settled for a lower S and safe guns.

I could easily see an STC posed this question return the answer of "Reduce the power", and humans thinking the STC must be damaged because it's giving the "wrong" answer.


I dunno, reduced power shots that are safer are a thing even in the IOM, it was a thing back in.. I wanna say 2nd edition, and it's been a thing in 8th and 9th as well

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Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






First started with 2nd Ed Chaos’ mk1 Plasma Weapons. Stronger than their imperial counterparts, but could overheat where the Imperial ones didn’t. Upside was no recharge time.

I think. It’s been a while since I actually owned let alone saw those rules (really must collect all the 2nd Ed Codexes)

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Made in au
Longtime Dakkanaut




 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
First started with 2nd Ed Chaos’ mk1 Plasma Weapons. Stronger than their imperial counterparts, but could overheat where the Imperial ones didn’t. Upside was no recharge time.

I think. It’s been a while since I actually owned let alone saw those rules (really must collect all the 2nd Ed Codexes)


I have the 2nd edition Chaos Codex and am looking at it right now. Chaos Mk1 Plasma guns were no stronger than their Imperial counterparts. The difference was Imperial guns had to recharge for a turn after firing, which is a huge downside for 4 turn 2nd edition games. Mk1 guns had a malfunction on a Jam result on the Sustained fire dice, which would jam the gun for a turn and also result in a bad effect. Re-roll the Sustained fire dice, and a 2nd Jam result would explode the gun like a plasma grenade (which was potentially survivable). Other results inflicted hits of varying Strength on the wielder.

The Mk1 guns were "better" though in game terms since most of the time a CSM could survive the hits inflicted even by a malfunctioning gun. An 2nd edition Imperial plasma gun could still jam even though it wouldn't explode, however there was no getting around the recharge requirements so it effectively gave less firepower over the course of a game.
   
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Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Ahh cool. Didn’t think I was remembering it quite correctly!

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