5e SRD >Races >

Android

Tracing ultimately back to technological ruins, androids are not born as are most other races, but nor are they made, as are construct races such as the geppettoians or other construct races. Perhaps best thought of as “ensouled machines,” a living android is the result of a mortal soul inhabiting an effectively-immortal android body, which may have housed many souls over the centuries. Consequently, androids occupy a strange gray area between that of most humanoid races, who have bodies that deteriorate, and constructs such as golems, which lack souls altogether.

Physical Description: Superficially, androids resemble humans, sharing their general physical shape and other characteristics, such that in crowded urban communities, androids pass for locals with ease. Two things set these strange beings apart from humans, however, and both hint at their technological origins. An android’s eyes shimmer with a kind of metallic or alchemical glow, and strange subdermal alchemical conduits or bio-circuitry that snakes across his skin, in patterns that resemble ritualistic or otherwise symbolic tattoos. Android bodies are entirely synthetic, made from strange materials and crafted to resemble human bones, muscles, and organs with surprising accuracy. Their bodies even contain systems of artificial nerves and veins, through which flow electrical impulses and alchemical fluids not unlike blood, respectively. Androids come in the same range of shapes and sizes as humans do, with the average android being about 6 feet tall and weighing perhaps 200 pounds.

Society: Though they share the same mysterious technological origins, androids do not often congregate the way other humanoid races do, as their general lack of empathy complicates the formation of societal bonds. As such, androids are usually solitary individuals who blend quietly into human communities and keep to themselves.

Some, the more logical and less emotional, live instead as lone hermits or nomads, wholly unable to connect with other sentient beings. Small enclaves of androids do occasionally form near ancient ruins believed to be connected to their origins, however. Such enclaves are normally bound together through research into android history and the exploration of the places that seem to give “birth” to them.

Alignment and Religion: Steeped as they are in technological artifice, androids are most comfortable when things are codified and structured. Many androids are lawful, and because they have difficulty with empathy, they are often neutral with respect to good and evil. Chaotic androids are rare and usually anomalous—meaning they possess the rare capacity to experience emotion. Contrary to expectations, androids can sometimes be surprisingly pious individuals. The mysteries of their origins and the strange ways that souls interface with their synthetic bodies lead many androids to seek answers from the divine.

They can be found worshipping or even serving deities of knowledge. Others devote themselves to the veneration of the soul itself, since an android’s soul, rather than her body, is the truest marker of her identity. A number of these androids have begun to follow philosophies that seeks purpose and meaning behind their existence.

Aging and Death: Though android bodies do not generally die unless deliberately destroyed, the combined entity of an android body and the soul it houses does undergo something akin to death. As an android ages, the processes that maintain the links between her body and her soul begin to deteriorate (resulting in behavioral patterns not unlike those of elderly humans), ultimately culminating in the shutdown of the body, at which point the soul is ejected and free to journey on to whatever awaits it beyond. After a period of self-repair, android bodies normally reactivate and are re-inhabited by a new soul. Typically, an android “lives” for about a century before her body shuts down.

Androids themselves do not normally mourn their “dead,” as strong emotional attachments tend to be rare for them.

When an android’s body shuts down among her fellows, the body is generally transported to a remote location so that it can undergo its self-repair routines safely. Androids favor abandoned ruins for this purpose, both technological and mundane, and those rare android communities tend to settle close enough to suitable locations that particular stretches of ruins can become known as “android graveyards” to locals aware of them.

After an android body completes its self-repair routines, it becomes ready to house a new soul, and once a soul joins with it, a new android is “born.” Typically, body and soul need only a day or two to become acclimated to one another, as android bodies were designed long ago to connect with appropriate souls with great efficiency. Once acclimated, a newly awakened android is aware of her body’s identifier and typically chooses a name for herself, drawing on the body’s memories for context. If the new android has arisen near an android settlement, she will typically be aware of this fact and seek out that community.

Otherwise, she finds herself alone and must make her way in the world without guidance.

Arts and Crafts: Though androids are not widely known for their artistic endeavors, some among them become skilled tattoo artists out of practicality. With an android’s circuitry-tattoos being their most notable feature, many of them find that incorporating these patterns into actual tattoos gives them a more human appearance. Like their circuitry tattoos, these tattoos often take the form of abstract patterns, rather than pictures or words. Anomalous androids favor less abstract tattoos, however.

Communities and Settlements: Androids rarely congregate in communities. When they do, they nearly always have a greater purpose in mind, with exploration and research of ancient ruins being the most common goal that brings them together. Such settlements are usually within a day or two of some promising site to facilitate ease of research. Other sorts of android settlements are even scarcer, and these are normally formed as a defensive measure in lands where locals are particularly hostile to androids.

Love and Mating: Androids have no practical reason to mate since they cannot reproduce, though most android bodies possess facsimiles of the necessary human organs, allowing them to engage in sexual activity, both among themselves and with other humanoid races. Even so, androids rarely do, since emotional and physical pleasures are of little import to them. Anomalous androids are more likely to develop lasting bonds and partnerships than their fellows, given that they better understand matters of the heart.

Magic: Androids see magic as a tool like any other, and their natural intelligence lends well to the art of wizardry.

They rarely become bards, since the subtleties of music and performance are difficult for them to grasp. Though androids do not have natural bloodlines, some of their bodies are constructed with special circuitry capable of channeling arcane power. Such “magitech” androids are often sorcerers.

Androids are occasionally drive to serve something greater than themselves. Android clerics often serve deities of knowledge, though some instead adhere to philosophies centered around the mysteries of souls or life in general.

Androids rarely become druids or other spellcasters with ties to the natural world, synthetic as they are.

Names: Android common names vary about as widely as those of humans do, since most of them take human names to blend in among them. An android’s name is normally self-chosen once the individual has become accustomed to her synthetic body. In addition to this chosen name, each android has another appellation: the identifier for her body and the processes that maintain it. While the chosen name used by the soul inhabiting an android body normally changes over the centuries, this identifier is constant, conveyed to a new soul sometime after its awakening as an android by the body itself. These “names” vary considerably. One android’s body might be identified with a simple unit number, while another might be named for an animal or plant, and still another could be identified with a flowery turn of phrase or an enigmatic word pairing. Whether androids share their identifiers varies from android to android, with some never feeling cause to and others using them as nicknames, substitutions for surnames, or even as their primary name.

Identifiers: #60091, Blue Fox, Ghost, Last Horizon, Prophet, Willow.

Android Racial Traits

Androids have the following racial traits.

  • Ability Score Increase. Androids are highly intelligent and can figure out most anything. Your Intelligence score increases by 2.
  • Age. Androids possess bodies that age not unlike those of humans, with new androids resembling 16 year olds. They grow old at roughly the same rate as humans and can reach 100 years of age.
  • Alignment. Most androids are lawful, since they function according to the laws of magic or science. They tend towards neutrality over good or evil, seeing both as illogical.
  • Size. Androids are solidly built, standing between 5 and 6 feet tall. You are Medium size.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Android Combat Training. You have proficiency with any one weapon of your choice.
  • Exceptional Senses. Androids can see well no matter the circumstances. Within 60 feet of you, treat dim light as if it were bright light and darkness as dim light. When in darkness, you see only shades of gray without any color. Also, you are proficient in the Perception skill.
  • Constructed. Androids do not take damage as easily as humans. You have advantage on saving throws against spells and effects that deal poison or give the poisoned condition. They also have advantage against enchantment spells.
  • Languages. You can read, write, and speak Common.

Subraces

The two most common types of androids are the alchemical and technological-powered. Choose one of these subraces.

Alchemical Android

Alchemical androids function by having various reagents coursing through their human-like veins. You are an arcano-technological marvel.

  • Ability Score Increase. Alchemical androids move at incredible speed. Increase your Dexterity score by 1.
  • Magical Speed. Your base walking speed increases to 35 feet.
  • Eldritch Tools. You gain proficiency with the artisan’s tools of your choice from the following: alchemist’s supplies, cartographer’s tools, glassblower’s tools, tinker’s tools.

Technological Android

Technological androids are still humanoid, even if they have wires that transmit electricity instead of veins that send blood through their bodies.

  • Ability Score Increase. Technological androids have bodies made from high tech materials. You increase your Constitution by 1.
  • Electrical Defense. The electricity powering your body repels electrical damage. You have advantage on saving throws against lightning and you have resistance against lightning damage.
  • Extra Language. You can speak, read, and write one extra language of your choice.
Section 15: Copyright Notice
Book of Heroic Races: Player Races 2. © 2017, Jon Brazer Enterprises