Chapter 15 - Robotics

Robots, droids, and androids, can be found through the Stellar Winds Universe in all different shapes, sizes and functions. Some droids are dedicated or specific menial tasks, while others service as soldiers, repair men, or even war machines. The usage of droids among all the races have been a fundamental of there development as an advance civilization. This section describes all the various kinds of robotics that can be crafted, or bought, and assembled.

Robot Frames

A robot’s frame is the basic form the robot takes, from a simple bare bones armature to a convincingly lifelike replica or metallic liquid. It includes both the robot’s chassis and its internal power source. The frame determines a robot’s base statistics and base price, as shown on the tables below.

Frame Size: The size of the frame, which determines the robot’s base price, base Hit Dice, and ability scores.

Base Price: The price of the frame (or its components). The base price does not include the cost of accessories (modes of locomotion, manipulators, armor, sensors, or equipment).

Base Hit Dice: The robot’s Hit Dice, not counting any additional Hit Dice that may be added (see below).

Extra Hit Points: Additional hit points gained due to the robot’s size.

Base Ability Scores: The robot’s ability scores, before improvements. Robots that do not have Constitution or Intelligence scores cannot improve these abilities.

Maximum Hit Dice: The maximum Hit Dice the robot can have.

Repair Robotics: Repairing a robot takes a Repair Mechanics Skill Check (Diffiuclty vairus based on project and could be described in Chapter 5 - Skills)

Install Robotics Parts:Installing the various parts to a robot is a simple task of spending 3 hours connecting the parts. No check is needed. Robotic parts are crafted to snap together and come a part with little effort.


How a robot moves is determined by its means locomotion. Most robots have only one means of locomotion, each of which comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, as shown below.

Base Speed: Each mode of locomotion has a base speed. This speed can be improved, but each 5-foot increase in speed also increases by +1,000 CR. The base speed can never be increased more than double the listed amount.

Price: The cost of the components necessary to grant the robot this particular mode of locomotion. This cost is always a fraction of the base purchase of the robot’s frame (see Frame, above).


Without some kind of manipulating appendage, robots cannot lift or move objects. Manipulators can be as crude as a simple probe or as complex as a five-fingered hand.A Medium-size or smaller robot may have up to two functioning manipulators. Larger robots may be equipped with a greater number of functioning manipulators, as determined by their size:

Robot's Frame Size Manipulators
Medium-size or smaller Up to 2
Large Up to 4
Huge or larger Up to 8

Size: A manipulator, as an object, is usually two size categories smaller than the robot for which it's designed; for example, a hand designed for a Medium-size robot can be considered a Tiny object. A manipulator's size is usually important only for portability and concealment purposes.

Damage: Robots can use their manipulators as melee weapons, dealing piercing, slashing, or bludgeoning damage based on the type of manipulator and the robot's size (see Table: Manipulator Damage). Some types of manipulators deal nonlethal damage only.

Price: The cost of each manipulator. This cost is always a fraction of the base purchase DC of the robot's frame (see Frame, above).


Although composed of durable alloys or resilient plastic polymers, robots are easily damaged. For this reason, combat models are usually equipped with some form of armor, depending on the robot's frame.

A robot can be equipped with a suit of removable armor (identical in form and function to armor worn by organic characters), or it can have armor integrated into its frame. A robot may be limited to one type or another depending on its shape, size, and frame.

Removable Armor: Anthropomorphic biodroids and bioreplicas typically wear removable suits of armor, which provides an equipment bonus to Defense. A robot equipped with removable armor must have the appropriate Armor Proficiency feat to gain the armor's full equipment bonus, and the armor's maximum Dexterity bonus applies. Armor penalties Athletics, Acrobatics and Stealth Checks checks apply as normal.

Integrated Armor: This type of armor is welded or otherwise fixed securely to the robot's frame. Integrated armor provides an equipment bonus to Defense. Robots equipped with integrated armor suffer no armor penalties if the armor is installed properly. Improperly installed armor causes the robot to take a –10 penalty on Athletics, Acrobatics and Stealth.

Installing integrated armor on a robot requires a Mechanical Skill Check (DC 20). The check is made after investing an amount of time determined by the robot's size: Colossal 24 hours, Gargantuan 12 hours, Huge 6 hours, Large 3 hours, Medium-size 2 hours, Small 1 hour, Tiny or smaller 30 minutes. Integrated armor can be removed in half the time with a successful Mechanical Skill Check (DC 20).

Integrated Armor: Different types of integrated armor are presented below. Only one type of armor can be installed on a given robot.

Equipment Bonus: The equipment bonus that the integrated armor provides to the robot's Defense.

Weight: How much weight integrated armor adds to the robot's weight.

Speed Penalty: The amount by which the armor reduces the robot's speed, given in feet. If a robot's speed drops to zero because of the penalty, it cannot move (the armor is too heavy for its frame).

Price: The cost of the integrated armor (or its components).


Robots are unable to perceive their surroundings without a sensor system of some kind. Without sensors, they are effectively blind and deaf, and they suffer penalties on certain checks—if they can attempt them at all.

Sight: A robot without visual sensors suffers a –4 penalty on all skill checks and cannot make Spot checks.
Sound: A robot without audio sensors suffers a –2 penalty on all skill checks and cannot make Listen checks.
Touch: A robot without tactile sensors suffers a –4 penalty on all Demolitions, Disable Device, Forgery, and Repair checks.
Smell: A robot without olfactory sensors suffers no particular penalties.
Taste: A robot without gustatory sensors suffers no particular penalties.

Building Sensors: To build a sensor from parts, the a character must follow the stipulations from the Robotics Sensors Experiment in Chapter 10 - Experiments.

Type: The type of sensors (visual, audio, tactile, olfactory, gustatory) included in the system.

Price: The cost of the sensor system.

Programing & AI

Programing technology brakes down into three classes. Mechanical intelligence is extremely limited in class 1, of robotic technology. The best class 1 robots have processors only as advanced as computers, and they are little better than remotes. If a situation falls outside the conditions for which the Class 1 robot was programmed, the robot doesn't know what to do and sees no reason to take any actions at all.

In class 2, robots step closer to achieving true artificial intelligence with the invention of the first commercially viable neural networks: “learning” computers. Designed to mimic how an organic brain processes and stores information, the neural network allows the robot to analyze the data it receives from its sensors and make autonomous decisions based upon that data. In other words, a neural network allows a robot to think.

However, true artificial intelligence is found in class 3. While neural networks allow robots to learn and think, artificial intelligence allows robots to plan and be creative. Further, the AI attaches appropriate significance to what it learns; not only can it create but also it can decide for itself whether doing so is a good idea. In effect, artificial intelligence allows a robot to simulate humanoid behavior (for better or for worse) without being programmed to do so. It learns by observation and deduction, not unlike a human child learns to behave as the adults he knows.

Robotic Resurrection

Robot's core programming and experiences are contained within its central processor- its brain. The brain's "drive to survive" is determined by its force of personality, as represented by the robot's Charisma.

Whenever a robot is destroyed (reduced to 0 of fewer hit points), some brain degradation occurs. Each time its body is destroyed, the robot suffers a permanent drain 1 point of charisma. The brain ceases to function and the robot "dies" if its Charisma drops to 0 as the result of permanent ability drain.

If a robot has at least 1 point of charisma left after its body is destroyed, it's brain can be removed and transplanted into another robot of the same size and frame. Removing a robot's brain from a destroyed frame and installing it in a similar but intact frame requires 10 minutes of work, a mechanical tool kit, and a successful Mechanics Check (DC varies by frame, see blow). Not using a tool kit imposes a -4 penalty on the check.

A robot that gains a new body retains the memories of its previous "life," as well as any previously installed skill software and feat software. It also retains any previously installed mental ability score upgrades. It does not retain the previous frame's armor, locomotive means, manipulators, sensors, physical ability score upgrades, accessories or mount weapons, as these were all destroyed

Robot Frame Mechanics Check DC
Armature or Biomorph 20
Biodroid 30
Bioreplica 40

Skill Software

Like constructs, nonheroic robots do not gain skills. They must be programmed with software that gives them the ability or the knowledge to perform certain skills. Skill software (often called “skillware”) is embedded in the robot's central processor or “brain” and can be saved after the robot is destroyed (see Robot Resurrection). This is not true of skill webs, however (see below).

Writing Skill Software: To write skill software from scratch, a character must be trained in a specific skill. The a character must follow the stipulations from the Write Program Skillware in Chapter 10 - Experiments

Class Skills: All skills programmed into a robot become class skills for the robot.

Feat Software

Robots can also be programed with software that enables them to emulate feats. Feat software often called "featware" is usually embedded in the robot's central processor or "Brain" and can be salvaged after the robot is destoryed (see Robot Resurrection). This is not true of feat webs.

Feat Prerequisites: Regardless of the quality of its feat software, a robot cannot emulate a feat if it does not meet the feat’s prerequisites

Ability Upgrades

A robot can receive multiple upgrades to the same ability score. Robots with armature and biomorph frames have no Intelligence score and therefore cannot receive upgrades to Intelligence. No robot can receive an upgrade to Constitution, since robots do not have Constitution scores.

Upgrades to physical abilities (Strength and Dexterity) always entail a refit or reconstruction and require a factory, workshop, or other facility. Upgrades to mental abilities (Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma) are handled by using a computer to reprogram or add new subroutines to the robot’s brain, neural network, or central processing unit.

Price: The cost of the upgrade.

Strength Upgrade (Class 1): Parts of the robot's frame, including its joints and hydraulic components, are reinforced or replaced with similar components made of stronger materials. The upgrade provides a +2 bonus to Strength.
Price: 30 + one-half the base purchase of the robot's frame + robot's Strength modifier before the upgrade.

Dexterity Upgrade (Class 2): The robot receives replacement joints or ligaments that are more flexible, and the robot's tactile sensors are modified to improve manual dexterity. The upgrade provides a +2 bonus to Dexterity.
Price: 530+ one-half the base purchase of the robot's frame + robot's Dexterity modifier before the upgrade.

Intelligences Upgrade (Class 2): Modifications to the robot's artificial intelligence allow it to think more creatively. The upgrade provides a +2 bonus to Intelligence.
Price: 150+ one-half the base purchase of the robot's frame + robot's Intelligence modifier before the upgrade.

Charisma Upgrade (Class 3): The robot is programmed with character and personality subroutines that enable it to better interpret and simulate humanoid behavior patterns and emotions. The upgrade provides a +2 bonus to Charisma.
Price: 150 + one-half the base purchase of the robot's frame + robot's Charisma modifier before the upgrade.

Wisdom Upgrade (Class 3): Adjustments to the robot's sensors improve its perception, while new software enables it to act more intuitively. The upgrade provides a +2 bonus to Wisdom.
Price: 150 + one-half the base purchase of the robot's frame + robot's Wisdom modifier before the upgrade.Armor

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