A Take on Androids

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A Take on Androids

#1 Postby Shimwee » Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:08 pm

Sorry for the very long post.

I've been working on this today, wonder what you guys think of it. Me and my marshall tossed the idea of androids around, he had heard something of that somewhere on some forum, but I couldn't find anything. So I boiled up something for myself. Sorry about the massive loads of typo's there probably are in there. No english spellchecker -_-


The androids are in fact a fusion of a Tool Browser spirit and a human (in most cases a Junker, because of their affiliation with Browsers and techspirits).
Tool Browsers are the most likely to go into symbiosis with a human-being because of their nature, they have always been servants of man. Their willingness to help man seems to have stepped to the next level. As the Toolspirits feel they should aid man in it's battle against the Reckoners and the Reckoning, unanimously they have decided to device something that should serve as a counterpart to the manintou's Harrowed.
The Toolspirits have learned to summon a certain spirit, called an Synthesizer, which is infused with knowledge of the workings of the entire human body. After creation a host is selected for the Synthesizer and then it will fuse with it's host.
Commonly hosts that are selected are people that come from a medical or technical background, people who where employed to aid others, either directly or through the supply of technical marvels that iron out the harshships of life.
Becoming an android however doesn't happen over night. It is a process that takes years. There are certain ways that could speed up the process, but we'll get into that later.
Basicly what the Synthesizer does is replacing any damaged cells with synthetic ones and as body functions gradualy get taken over, the corresponding brainparts also become synthesized. As an added gift, sythesized bodyparts are far more effective in their task than their organic counterparts. But as the Android's bodily functions improve, his behavior is also reprogrammed to fit the purpose of the Toolspirits.
As a person becomes more and more synthetical, he will become more of a 'tool'. Unable to resist any plea for help he will become a genuine goody-two-shoe's superhero. The aindroid must defend and help those in need. In the early stages of sythesation the droid will feel compelled to help people on a professional level, a doctor won't leave a wounded person, a technician must repair the machines that he is asked to, a barber will gladly straighten out those with a bad hairday, and an android accountant would gladly help you fill in your taxes.
In a later stage you basicly get the Loyal and Heroic hindrance as he becomes more and more enslaved to people in need.
As the Android is even further synthesized he will also become a pacifist, as it is against the nature of Toolspirits to bring harm to mankind, however, non-humans are still fair game. Also, an android could never destroy any device, appliance, vehicle or any other thing mechanicly or electronicly. He could try to disable it, as that does no real harm. The same goes for humans, who may be subdued for their 'own good'. For roleplaying the gained hindraces, typically no chips are earned. Only if the Android really goes out of his way to get the job done right.
If an android chooses to, he can act against the nature that is forced upon him by his Synthesizer, however this will cause desynchronisation between the spirit and the host. The effects of this desynchronisation I will elaborate on later.
Also an Android can not knowingly engage in any action that would fysicaly injure himself. The Synthesizer will determine when he deems a situation too dangerous. The spirit disables the body to ensure no harm is done. Technically this means, if let's say your droid jumps of a train, if he lands and suffers any wound, he will not have taken the action in the first place, and the Synthesizer forces the player to stay on the train. It doesn't matter that the five blackhats behind him are going to gun him down in a maelstrom of bullets and that the train is about to derail into a ravine, at least he will not have hurt himself.
Surgery could still be performed, because most of the time the person will have to lay still and is subdued.
Also, because the droid is part synthetical he will not have to fear rejection from installed scrappergear. The Android does however still suffer spirit loss. Also, every body part recieves one extra mount, and the torso recieves an aditional extra mount.
On top of that the Synthesizer, being very akin with browser spirits, can output a number of GR to their hosts. Which can be used to power scrappergear or junk-items that require them. The amount of GR generated is equal to the level of sythesation times three. So a full fledged level 5 android would have 15 GR of output per round. However because the Sythesizer lives of the life energy emited from it's host an installed Soul tap will not work because there is no energy left for it to drain.
Also a junker-android can not create devices with over-sized spirits, nor can any android use such devices. The toolspirits see this as a form of abuse and will not allow it.
And last but not least, androids gain acces to tooltricks, they can buy them at the normal cost, or buy them at character creation for two aptitude points. If your droid does not have Science: Occult Engineering, instead use his knowledge die-type and roll a die for every step down the synthetic ladder he is. So an 'unschooled' Android at level 3 with smarts 2d8 could cast tooltricks at 3d8. (If not a junker ignore the powers that are related to Junkerpowers, you will not magicaly gain them out of thin air).

If someone were to turn into an android, would take care of himself and would keep away form harm it would take about (his vigor die-type x 2) years to become fully synthesized. However since your android probably won't be sitting on his rear all day, and probably will have some brown stuff hitting the airconditioning every once in a while, he will get hurt. Once he does he can heal himself up, this works just like with a SRU, as described in the Cyborg-book. However for every wound healed this way, the Android will become more synthesized. To determine weather or not it's an organic or sythetical part that get's blasted, substract the current rathing of synthesation from the wound level that has to be healed. Any wounds that are not 'soaked' (it's not really soaked because it still has to be healed) by the sythetic parts will thereafter be synthetical parts. However organic parts that become synthetical take three times the normal amount of time to be reconstructed. On a side note: if the Android is magicly healed, by say a templar, the wound is already healed and will not have to be reconstructed.

Levels of Androidism:

Level 1 – 0 to 5 synthesation points
At the first level of sythesation the Android gains the Omega Man (or Omega Woman) edge, as the constant reconstruction of his cells stops the aging process. As a tradeof, your droid will be the most helpfull tradesman/professional/scientist he can be, helping anyone who asks for his professional assistance.

Level 2 – 6 to 11 synthesation points
When this level is reached, the Android he will recieve the Loyal hindrance, the ones he calls friends will know him as best friend. Also, the the Synthesizer can now provide the host with imformation from the net, adding +2 to all rolls in known Science, Trade and Professional skills.

Level 3 – 12 to 17 synthesation points
From this point on your droid will have to live with the Heroic hindrance, as he now is even more submitted to the whims of the Synthesizer.

Level 4 – 18 to 23 synthesation points
As further progress in synthesation is made the Android will also gain the first level of the Pacifist hindrance as it is against the nature of the Toolspirits to end human life.

Level 5 – 24 to 29 synthesation points
At this level the pacifism is expanded to all kinds of devices. Also, Junker-androids will not be able to use powers related to gun-spirits anymore, as such devices only seek to destroy. However they now recieve a total of +3 bonus to Science, Trade and Professional skills.

Level 6 – 30 synthesation points
Your character is now completely under control of the Synthesizer, hand over your sheet to your Marshall please. If the rest of the posse is lucky, he might stick around as an NPC.

Androids don't lose bennefits or disadvantages of previous levels as they progress.

Depending on what parts of your body are synthesized first, there will be some different effects.

If parts of the head are synthesized, roll a d4 and apply one of the following effects:
1: Eyes: Enhanced senses. - +2 to sight-based cognition rolls.
2: Ears: Enhanced senses. +1 to hearing-based cognition rolls, and +1 to nimbleness rolls that involve balance somehow.
3: Mouth: Able to detect poison in food.
4: Speach center: Your hero gains Gift 'o Gab.

If parts of the torso are syhtesized, roll a d8
1-3: Lungs: Vigor die-type is raised 1 step.
4-6: Intestins: As food is broken down more efficiently, the Android only requires 50% of the normal amount of food he'd normaly eat.
7: Kidneys: The android becomes immune to the effects of poison.
8: Central Nevrous system: Having your nervous system rewired can be a good thing! Those new fibers run extra smooth, your Quickness coordinate goes up 1 step.

For every five points in Synthesized arms, the droid gets a +1 to all nimbleness rolls that require arms/hand eye-coordination.

For every five points in Sythesized legs, the droid will recieve +1 to it's pace and +1 to his strength die-type to determine load limit.

Every of the 6 main bodyparts have five levels indicating their level of synthesation.

Desychronisation Effects:
These effects are mainly enforced to teach the host proper aindroid behavior.
1-3: FLAME!: Your Synthesizer, flames you, just like on an internet forum, and rages at you in the way of a true passive-agressive forum-dweller.
4-6: Digital wedgy: The Synthesizer does something really uncomfortable, - 3 to all actions this round.
7-8: Sensoric Deprivation: The android's sensoric input drops out for d6 rounds, roll a die to see what sense is disabled: 1-2: Sight, 3: Hearing 4: Both.
9-11: Smacked: Frustrated with the Android the Synthesizer deals (android level x d4) Wind damage.
12-13: Time out: because the android has been naughty and is put on the naughty stool. Sit down on the nearest surface that allows it and stay there for 1d4 rounds
14-15: No Tech Support: for (d4 + Android level) days no Android-related powers can be used, the Synthesizer has shut them down to teach you a lesson.
16-17: Brain pain: In his mind the Android experiences his Worst Nightmare, as a direct result of the action he just took. Roll on the fright table and add your droids current level of synthesation.
18-20: Statistic Anomaly: Roll a d20 on the Statistic Anomaly-table.

Statistic Anomaly:
1-3: Does not compute: Because of faulty 'input' the Synthesizer gets a critical error, everything becomes blue in front of your eyes and you have to be rebooted, you fall asleep for d6 minutes and can not be woken up by any means.
4-5: I'll show you who's boss: The Synthesizer inflicts 3d10 damage to a random bodypart, if the bodypart is already partialy synthesized, and would recieve more wore woundlevels past -5, the damaged is bled over to an other random bodypart. If that also is already too synthesized, repeat this until all wounds are distributed. The wounds can only be healed by the Androids ability to self-repair itself. If he takes too much damage to the head it will not kill him, but any wound level above 4 is bled to another part of the body. Although in a way this strenghtens the android, it also pushes it closer to the point where it will lose control.
6-7: Paranoid Android: Your droid gains the Loco: Paranoid hindrance. He now believes that the enemies of the techspirits, such as gremlins, manitou's and the not-so-kind gunspirits are afterhim in one way or the other.
8-9: Freebee: The Synthesizer is in an extra good mood and lets this one slide, you lucky bastard.
10-15: Parental Control: for d20 minutes the Synthesizer gets full control over the host.
16-17: Will some one please think of the children?!: At the Marshall's discretion, or to totataly abuse the situation, out of nowhere a child apears to have been at the scene the whole time, and now it seems to be in dire need of some rescueing! Time to show you're a good sport and dive into the fray. Just how deep in trouble the tormented toddler is is up to the Marshall, and may very well depend on the kind of behavior that triggered this Anomaly.
18-19: Spirit EMP: The Synthesizer goes haywire and emits some sort of EMP field that scrambles all Techspirits in the burst radios (medium template). The spirits flee their device (normal or junker) and retreat to the Hunting Grounds. They can only be persuaded to return with a (TN 7) roll for normal devices and a (TN 11) roll for junker devices. If it fails the device has to be reconstructed, no components are lost. If it succeeds (Aindroid level) Stability is lost.
20: So long, and thanks for the fish: The Synthesizer has had enough of your tiresome behaviour, since you won't listen anyway, he'll just leave you. No problem if you aren't really far down, or up. But for our more synthetical friends, this can become quite a bummer. All woundlevels that were once healed, are now wounded again, as the synthetics vanish, and the android starts to fall apart.

Some notes:
There should be some prerequisites for this background:
1)Every Android should have at least a level 4 or higher Science, Professional or Trade skill.
2)An android can not have any hindrances that would make hime prone to kill, like bloodthirsty.
3)Maybe they should also get an intolarance hindrance corresponding to the android-lvl with any harrowed or tainted junkers.

anyway it's still a work in progress... any advice on balance or in general is more than welcome.

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#2 Postby Fuzyfeet » Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:41 am

Joseph Fanning wrote up a "netbook" for Androids & Clones about six years ago. It's a nice sized document (40 pages) and covers android (autonomous humanoid robots) in a nice way.

As for your version, I'm really confused by this. It seems a little over powered, with a few Hindrances to balance out the pluses to several skills, an Edge, access to powers and self healing. I also don't understand the progression. If this is based on bounty points it's not mentioned.

That all said, I'm intrigued by the concept. It sounds like a Junker that learned Cybernetic and figured that why couldn't a Browser Spirit be used instead of a Manitou to implant.

But if worked a little different it would be an interesting affliction that could be something Junkers would have to worry about.

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#3 Postby Shimwee » Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:16 am

It's also a first draft, and the principal for progressian in the following: if you het wounds, you can heal them through the power, but will be more and more subject of the spirit that lives inside you.

And I figured, that practicaly being a tool for those in need would counterweight the bennefits. I figured a Marshall could easily use this to get you into any kind of trouble. I was also thinking about adding the level to the roll on the tables, but I might have to reorganise them then.

Do you have any suggestions on how to balance this out... or do you know where I can get a peak at the webbbook you mentioned?

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#4 Postby Shimwee » Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:05 am

Or maybe it would be easier to boil it down to something like this, maybe a 5 point edge or something:

Are technicaly just Browers fused with peepz with scrapper stuff built in. Maybe treat is as a browser in a shell. You'll have to buy the browser seperatly, and once it's inside it can't be removed, unless your gear gets trashed. The GR it generates can used for related powers and for systems installed. Also Omega man, Level hindrances remain (Heroic, Pacifist1).

Ofc than the 'fluff' would be a bit different. but this may also be a little easier to work with than the entire wound-tracking system.

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#5 Postby Zeb Rowe » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:23 am

Intriguing concept. I was working on an android character for LC, and I have at least one tooling around as an NPC in my HoE game, but I hadn't actually worked out the stats. This presents some very good ideas.

I like the concept of a tech spirit as an analog to a harrowed's manitou (though in flavor, this makes the living cyborg into more of a bionic character than an android). In my version, I use the elusive illustrated-on-pg22-but-never-statted "Cybernetics Browser".

One suggestion I might make, and this requires some work, is that the android powers and abilities are purchased à la carte, rather like the cyborg and scrapper implants. Each would then require a point cost and some way of limiting the amount of stuff that goes in the body, like the implant slots. That would, I think, provide checks and balances and keep the android from the dreaded cries of "overpowered!"

I also suggest a few unique edges and hindrances to the android. I plan on using things like "always was a bit... Twitchy" or "I want more life!" for hindrances and edges like "brain the size of a planet", "fully functional" or "longevity morphology".

I'd ramble on more, but I gotta get ready for work.

Thanks for some neat new ideas, hope you find this helpful, and Welcome to Hell.
Epitaph: Player Threatened by Pinnacle!

"...so I unwrap my brand new City O' Gloom box, and right there on the inside of the box bottom, I find the word "Die!!" handwritten in nice big friendly letters..."

What did I ever do to you guys?

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