Arc Robots

ARC Robotic Personality Architecture

ARC generally targets its robots towards the upscale, aristocratic market, though it also sells to customers of a more common background. The aristocracy generally expects their robots to be able to fight, but only on command: ARC robots cannot kill, and they cannot start a fight unless ordered to by their master or someone else they recognize as having authority over them. They may fight in self-defense, or in the defense of others, but may never use deadly force. Robots must further obey all laws of the Alliance (though they are allowed some discretion in how they obey those laws) and must tell the truth (though are allowed some discretion in what they consider the truth, allowing them to dissemble or to omit facts). Unique to ARC robots, they can never discuss any topic that their master informs them is confidential. The robot must stick to the letter and, as it understands it, the spirit of this command. Finally, ARC programs all of its robots with a deep dedication to its master and to the house the manufactured it. The master takes precedent, but some robots lose their dedication to their master and, over time, transfer their loyalties to the broader house.

Some nobles insist on robots with even more flexible morals. ARC also produces “militarized” robots. These robots have an additional -1 LC, requiring special permissions to gain, though very clever hackers can usually trigger the militarized version of a robot without too much trouble (-3 on Computer Programming (AI) rolls). These robots must fulfill the laws of the Alliance and be truthful, but are allowed extremely wide discretion in both. They may also use lethal force, though they must not start a fight without an express command (they may defend themselves normally) and they cannot use lethal force against anyone not involved in the fight, or against anyone not using lethal force against them or those they are meant to protect. While technically legal, such robots come with a host of restrictions. They must be registered as such (treat Social Stigma (Militarized Robot) as equivalent to Social Stigma (Criminal Record) or they must take a Secret (Militarized Robot). If the secret gets out, this will result in a slap on the wrist for the robot’s master as well as a great deal of attention for both the master and the robot (“Why exactly do you need a militarized robot?”) and the robot must replace the secret with the Social Stigma.

Common Traits

Optional Advantages: Higher Purpose (ARC Technology) [5], Single-Minded [5].

Optional Skills: Law (Alliance) (IQ/H), Savoir-Faire (Servant) (IQ/E)

Standard ARC Programming

-41 points

Features: Resilient Traits (Disciplined, Sense of Duty (Maradonian House)); Limited IQ (10)

Disadvantages: Disciplined [-1]; Honesty (Alliance Laws, 9 or less) [-15]; Pacifism (Cannot Kill, Alliance-Recognized Sapient Species Only -60%) [-6] Sense of Duty (Master) [-2]; Sense of Duty (Maradonian House) [-5]; Truthfulness (9 or less) [-7]; Vow (Cannot discuss or reveal anything noted by their master as confidential) [-5].

Militarized ARC Programming

-29 points

Features: Resilient Traits (Disciplined, Sense of Duty (Maradonian House))Limited IQ (10)

Disadvantages: Disciplined [-1]; Honesty (Alliance Laws, 15 or less) [-5]; Pacifism (Cannot Harm Innocents, Alliance-Recognized Sapient Species Only -60%) [-4] Sense of Duty (Master) [-2]; Sense of Duty (Maradonian House) [-5]; Truthfulness (15 or less) [-2]; Vow (Cannot discuss or reveal anything noted by any humanoid as confidential) [-5]. Choose one of Secret (Militarized Robot) [-5] or Social Stigma (Militarized Robot) [-5].

Personality Packages

ARC has five major personality packages, some of which have been carefully cultivated for centuries to form familiar archetypes beloved by ARC customers. Robots programmed with such a package tend to develop along predictable lines, though not perfectly predictable lines. The advantage of such programming is that their neural overgrowth tends to be relatively contained: a Gallant ARC robot tends to become more Gallant over time, rather than growing crazy. This, paired with the security and discretionary protocols integrated into most ARC robots and the friendly bond formed between owner and ARC robot generally means many owners feel safe neglecting routine neural pruning and allowing the robot to grow and develop on their own.

Each personality package comes with associated skills and disadvantages, as well as commonly developed disadvantages and quirks, which the robot may acquire as they “age.”

The Gallant Personality Package

The Gallant Package is the most recent and the most adapted to the current era. These robots come off the factory with a “heroic” personality. They tend to have a rudimentary understanding of psychology and the basics of leadership, and often use these (too often in the estimation of some) to lift the spirits of those around him. Designed for military service, these robots tend to be heroically selfless, charging into battle with warcries and sacrificing themselves happily for their masters.

Over time, most Gallant robots develop standard, predictable “warcries,” that often sound ridiculous and outdated by modern fashion. They tend to develop a deep attachment to politics on a military level, including a deep suspicion for all things Imperial, and a deep admiration and loyalty for the Alliance; this latter sometimes causes a problem if the robot begins to transfer its loyalty from its master to the broader polity of the Alliance. Finally, they can become “overly” heroic, skipping plans and charging recklessly into circumstances far beyond their ability to handle; some owners report Gallant robots taking outright suicidal risks (attacking Imperial battalions alone with a stun gun; charging into fires to safe inconsequential items, etc). Analysis of the broken remains of these robots indicate that this is typically a result of their heroic programming run amok rather than a truly suicidal desire.

Skills: Leadership (A) IQ-1 [1]-9; Psychology (H) IQ [4]-10

Features: Resilient Traits (Selfless)

Disadvantages: Selfless [-5*].

Optional Advantages: Good with Soldiers [1], Penetrating Voice [1].

Common Disadvantages: Impulsiveness [-10], Intolerance (Imperials) [-5], Odious Personal Habit (Makes Everything about Master) [-5], On the Edge [-15*], Overconfidence [-5*], Sense of Duty (Alliance) [-10].

Common Quirks: Congenial, Decisive, Expressions (“Zounds!”, “Huzzah!”, “Tally-Ho!”, etc), Idealistic (Restored Alliance), Likes (ARC Technology), Loud Voice, Mind-Numbing Magnetism (Enthusiastic, Gallant or Jovial), Soft-Spot (Aristocrats).

The Prattler Personality Package

The Prattler Personality Package arose out of the recognized need to have robots spy on other aristocrats. While most aristocrats claim to despise the package, ARC reports suggest that it’s a very popular one, especially among robots intended as serving staff. A Prattler has a deep and profound curiosity about other people, and a talkative nature, especially targeted towards its master. The result is a notorious gossip: the robot has a strong sense of social circumstances, what its master would like to know, and regularly brings those tidbits and facts to its master.

Such robots tend to develop a deep need to be around people, an aristocratic disdain for “lesser” robots, a habit of constant chatter and a tendency to listen in on conversations when it really shouldn’t. Most such robots benefit from the fact that most people ignore robots, though savvy Maradonian nobles learn to treat robots like people when it comes to sensitive information.

Prattlers tend to keep stores of every conversation and tidbit they hear, even those by its master, in its memory banks. Given the coding for discretion, this isn’t usually a problem, but a Prattler that has been hacked can have these files accessed or its loyalties shifted. Thus, the Alliance frowns on Prattlers working in areas with potentially sensitive information: a hacked robot revealing something about Lord Quiette’s affairs is one thing; quite another to have such a robot reveal the location of the living prophetess or the secret plans for their next super-fighter.

Skills: Current Affairs (People) (E) IQ [1]-10, Lip-Reading (A) Per [2]-10; Observation (A) IQ [2]-10,

Disadvantages: Curious [-5*].

Common Disadvantages: Chummy or Gregarious [-5 or -10], Intolerance (Non-ARC Robots) [-5], Odious Personal Habit (Busy Body or Makes Everything about Master) [-5], Selfless [-5*],

Common Quirks: Chauvinistic, Congenial, Distractible, Eavesdropper, Likes (ARC Technology), Mind-Numbing Magnetism (Talkative), Record-Keeper, Tattletale

The Prim Personality Package

The primary purpose of an ARC robot is to serve, and none serve better than a Prim robot. In addition to the Prim’s robot’s primary purpose, all Prim robots set about their work with fastidious efficiency. A Prim techbot leaves the workshop cleaner than they found it, and a prim medical robot has an impeccable bedside manner. They tend to know a great deal about other robots (and have opinions on them) and know the “proper” procedure for everything. They generally won’t correct an incorrigble master if he “does something wrong,” but if someone else does something “wrong” and it affects the master, the perpetrator can expect to get an earful from the robot.

Prim robots suffer from complete humorlessness. Everything must be in its place, and that means everything has a place. Most jokes elicit, at most a comment about “how very droll” the master is, and nothing more. Prim robots can become obsessive about cleanliness, irritatingly judgmental about other robots, and can be overly obsequious, but they work hard and tend to be reliable and predictable.

Skills: Connoisseur (Robots) (A) IQ [2]; Housekeeping (E) IQ+2 [4]; Savoir-Faire (Servant) (E) IQ+2 [4]

Disadvantages: No Sense of Humor [-10].

Common Disadvantages: Hidebound [-5], improve Honesty to (9 or less or 6 or less) [-15 or -20] for -5 or -10 points, Incurious [-5*], Intolerance (Non-ARC Robots) [-5], Odious Personal Habit (Sanctimonious, Pedantic or Makes Everything about Master) [-5 to -10], Selfless [-5*], Squeamish [-10*], Workaholic [-5*]

Common Quirks: Attentive, Chauvinistic, Clean freak, Easily Influenced (Posh), Inappropriate Manner (Servile), Likes (ARC Technology), Literal-Minded, Methodical, Perfectionist, Stickler for Rules, Perfectionist, Record-Keeper, Sanctimonious, Soft-Spot (Aristocrats), Staid.

The Raconteur Personality Package

The Racontuer is the oldest surviving personality package, and actually describes numerous personality packages proprietary to each house. These personalities “branch” from a core AI tree stored in the core of each House’s primary estates, in which all House history is fed. When a personality is compiled from this central AI storehouse, the fresh neural net comes with a store of historical information, traditions and a masterful ability to tell stories.

Raconteurs love to tell stories. Given a dull moment with its master, it will begin to rumble slowly to life and ask if it has ever heard of some heroic moment from the character’s lineage and then, often unprompted, begin to unspool the story. Many Raconteur’s will also respond to an unusual moment with the words “This reminds me of the time…” and then begin to launch into a very long anecdote from centuries ago. They tend to speak slowly, and archaically, using idiom from at least a century ago; most Maradonian nobles can follow them just fine, but others tend to find their speech incomprehensible at times.

Despite how annoying they can be, they represent receptacles of history, and most nobles find their stories genuinely uplifting, and find themselves charmed when their robot rattles into some heroic story with another, only to find that it’s a heroic story about them. However, their knowledge tends to be more focused on the official history of a house, rather than the unvarnished memories of that house, and their tendency to know everything means that a hacked Raconteur can reveal a house’s secrets, if the owner is not careful to engage in regular neural pruning.

Skills: History (Specific Maradonian House) (A) IQ+1 [4]-10, Public Speaking (A) IQ-1 [1]-9

Disadvantages: Hidebound [-5].

Optional Disadvantages: Easy to Read (Outdated Security Software) [-10], Incurious [-5*], Intolerance (Non-ARC Robots) [-5], No Sense of Humor [-10], Oblivious [-10], Odious Personal Habit (Incessant Storytelling) [-5], Selfless [-5*], Sense of Duty (Maradonian House) [-10], improve Truthfulness to (9 or less or 6 or less) [-7 or -10] for -2 or -5 points.

Common Quirks: Admiration (House leader), Chauvinistic, Easily Influenced (Posh), Fatalistic, Inaccessible Idiom, Likes (ARC Technology), Methodical, Nostalgic, Proud, Record-Keeper, Serious, Sincere, Soft-Spot (Aristocrats), Talkative.

The Tender Personality Package

ARC creates Tender robots primarily as medical bots, but some customers order Tender tech-bots or house servants. A Tender robot tends to have a deep awareness of her (they almost always have feminine voices, and thus tend to be referred to in the feminine) master’s physical well-being and emotional state and is deeply concerned and willing to sacrifice herself for the well-being of her master.

The desire for the protection of her master’s well-being can sometimes translate into concern for everyone’s well-being, and can sometimes go overboard. Tender robots might pester her master about their eating habits, freak out about a lack of cleanliness or safety (especially at inappropriate times, such as warning their master to not run “with pointy things” in the midst of battle). They also tend to become deeply concerned for children (intentional, as they’re often coded for watching over children) and to others in need. They can become so concerned for the well-being of others that their failure to protect their master or others that they see as their responsibility can turn into suicidal behavior; many Tender robots will self-deactivate, sometimes dramatically, upon the death of their master.

Tender robots tend to keep extensive medical records of their master’s well-being, often secretly using whatever means possible to make diagnoses of their master (taking their pulse with a light touch, calculating daily consumed calories, etc), or to maintain extensive schedules and psychological notes of its master. These can all be readily accessed by a hacker, requiring regular neural pruning to cleanse the robot of any sensitive medical information.

Skills: Body Language (A) Per [2]-10; Diagnosis (H) IQ-1 [2]-9; First Aid (E) IQ [1]-10;

Features: Resilient Traits (Sense of Duty (Master))

Disadvantages: Selfless [-5*].

Common Disadvantages: Chummy or Gregarious [-5 or -10], Charitable [-15*], Guilt Complex [-5], Hidebound [-5], Incurious [-5*], Odious Personal Habit (Constant Mothering or Makes Everything about Master) [-5], Sense of Duty (Children) [-10], Squeamish [-10*]

Common Quirks: Congenial, Clean freak, Mind-Numbing Magnetism (Cheerful or Optimisitc), Record-Keeper, Responsive, Staid.

Standard Upgrades

Adaptive Countermanagement

7 points
Software Upgrade
Cost: $2500

Many ARC customers complain that robots seem dim-witted or unable to pick up on basic social cues or properly attend to their needs, so ARC rolled out several experiments, and discovered that their customers ultimately sought an adaptive robot that pre-emptively tended to their needs based on its observations. Adaptive Countermanagement gives the robots the programming necessary to “manage its manager.” The robot learns to read its owner’s emotions from micro-expressions and subtle cues, and then apply the results against stored data regarding their master’s previous behaviors and a larger database of sapient psychology. As a result, the robot effectively has the Sensitive advantage for their master only, allowing them to detect their emotions at IQ-3, and they have additional psychological insights, and gain a +1 to assess their master’s psychology. They tend to develop an unhealthy obsession with their master, however.

Advantages: Good with Master [1]

Skills: Body Language (A) IQ [2]; Psychology (H) IQ [4];

Optional Disadvantage: Odious Personal Habit (Makes everything about master) [-5] or Obsession (Advance my version of Master’s goals) [-10]

Counter Surveillance Robotics

35 points
Hardware Upgrade
Cost: $6,000

Aristocrats often need discretion, and discretion doesn’t come better than a robot that can detect bugs and project a privacy field at will. This upgrade installs a standard bug detector (UT106) into the robot, allowing it to detect bugs within 1 yard; this upgrade comes with programming to allow it to better detect bugs and useful search programs. Upgraded robots will, when commanded, search over a room in about 10 seconds to verify that no bugs exist. Second, this upgrade installs a privacy field (UT 106); no sounds within 4 yards of the robot will penetrate the boundary of the field, and likewise, no sounds from beyond 4 yards will intrude into the field. The field has a faint but audible “white noise” sound that gives away its presence, preventing stealth.

Advantages: Obscure 10 (Sound; Area, 4 yard Radius +50%; Nuisance Effect, only prevents sounds from crossing the boundary -20%;) [26];

Perks: Accessory (Bug Detector) [1];

Skills: Electronics Operation (Security) (A) IQ [2]; Electronics Operation (Surveillance) (A) IQ [2]; Traps (A) IQ [2]; Search (A) Per [2]

Ergokinetic Switchboard Upgrade (House Grimshaw Only)

-4 points
Hardware Upgrade
Cost: $200

House Grimshaw often finds it useful to directly shut down or scan through the contents of their robots directly. When they build their robots, they integrate psychic crystals and other psychically resonant materials into the control structures of the robot. This makes the robot “stand out” more to ergokinetic senses (such as Electrical Vision) and makes the controls of the robot “easier” to manipulate directly with the mind. All such robots apply a +4 to Ergokinetic powers applied to them.

Disadvantages: Psi Susceptibility 4 (Erogkinesis only -66%) [-4]

Matchmaker Upgrade

9 points
Hardware Upgrade
Cost: $1500

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single Maradonian noble, in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a genetically compatible partner. The Matchmaker Upgrade allows a robot to tacitly assist its master in this regard. The robot can acquire genetic samples (ideally discretely) and then process them with an internal scanner (rolling this Bioengineering skill). On a success, it can determine genetic compatibility. Most robots automatically send the results via radio to their houses’s central genetic database to build a larger profile of suitable genetic partners, as well as to query Akashic databases about ideal matches. The robot then informs the master of their results, especially if someone the master seems romantically interested in is unsuitable, or someone they don’t seem sufficiently interested in is especially suitable.

Advantages: Accessory (Pocket Genetics Anaylzer) [1]

Skills: Bioengineering (Eugenics; Analysis Only) (A) IQ+2 [8];

Optional Disadvantage: Odious Personal Habit (Busybody, unwanted romantic advice, etc) [-5].

Neurolash Stunner

15 points
Hardware Upgrade
Prerequisite: Hands
Cost: $500

Almost all ARC robots have hands of some sort; ARC often installs a non-lethal neurolashes in the hands of a robot. The robot can, at will, discharge energy directly into its hand; this inflicts 1d (5) fatigue damage, which treats all metallic (non-composite, non-diamonoid) armor as DR 1 instead of applying its armor divisor. The target (including robots) must roll HT at a penalty of -1 per 2 damage or be stunned; those that fail by 5 or more are rendered Unconscious. Other robots are affected by the neurolash stunner as organic targets. Robots with a neurolash stunner may attempt a neurolash parry against a force sword.

Advantages: Innate Attack 1d fatigue(Surge, Arcing or Armor Divisor 5, +170% ; Side Effect, Stunning +50% + Unconsiousness (Easy to Resist+5, -25%) +150%; Melee Attack, C -30%) [15].

Psychometer Upgrade

18 points
Hardware Upgrade
Cost: $3500

ARC customers regularly deal with fellow psychics and not all of them excel at detecting when someone is using a psychic power. ARC can install a psychotronic psi-detector into the robot that triggers whenever someone actively uses psychic powers in their presence if the robot succeeds at an Electronics Operation (Psychotronics) with a penalty of -1 per yard between themselves and the psychic or their target. It only detects when a psychic power is actively used, not the direction, location or nature, and most such robots have a specific, visible signal (such as their eyes changing color from blue to red) whenever the psychometer is triggered. If a psychometer has already been triggered, it rolls at -2 to detect each subsequent use until it’s been recalibrated (which can be done with a minute of concentration and a Electronics Operation (Psychotronics).

Older ARC robot models are more likely to have this upgrade than more recent robots. Robots with the upgrade have a tendency to develop strange superstitions, paranoia and religious inclinations. During the era of the Galactic Federation, the aristocracy tolerated this quirk thanks to its usefulness in being alerted to the presence of psychic abilities, but in the Imperial Era, the aristocracy usually faces few psychic opponents and the effect of the installed psychometer seems to be worsening.

Advantages: Detect (Psi; Nuisance, repeated attempt penalty until recalibrated -5%; Short Range 1, -10%; Vague -50%) [4]

Skills: Electronics Operation (Psychotronics) (A) IQ [2]-10; Expert Skill (Psionics) (H) IQ [4]-10,

Additional Disadvantages: Believer (Akashic Mysteries, Fringe Rationalism, True Communion or some other psychic philosophy) [-1], Cowardice [-10*], Delusion (Various superstitions) [-1 to -15], Fearfulness [-2/level], Paranoia [-10]

Security Failsafes

1 point
Software Upgrade
Prerequisite: Sense of Duty (Master)
Cost: $1000

ARC understands that many of its costumers have discrete information that they never want released. The Security Failsafe program can be tripped intentionally by the robot itself, or whenever the failsafe detects that discrete information is being accessed. If such information is being accessed (for example, by a hacker), the robot’s player rolls Will-Based Expert Skill (Computer Security)+5. If successful, the security failsafe trips. This wipes the robot’s memory and reboots him to factory settings. At the GM’s discretion, if the robot is allowed to continue to be a playable character, he gains the Total Amnesia disadvantage.

Secondary Characteristics: Will +1 [5]

Perks: Security Failsafe [1];

Disadvantage: Replace Sense of Duty (Master) [-2] with Extreme Fanaticism (Master) [-15] for -13 points.

Skills: Expert Skill (Computer Security) (H) IQ+1 [8]

Silvertongue Upgrade

18 points
Hardware Upgrade
Prerequisite: Able to speak
Cost: $3500

ARC robots have an entire catalog of voice-box options from which they can choose. Silvertongue upgrades represent the finest and sweetest designs, from dulcet tones to resonating bases, each has been custom designed to provide a pleasant experience for the owner. Along with the upgrade comes superior interaction options that makes the robot more sociable as a servant.

Advantages: Voice [10]

Skills: Improve Savoir-Faire (Servant) by 2 levels [8]

ARC Robotic Traits

Higher Purpose (ARC Technology) [5]: This form of Higher Purpose provides a +1 to any rolls to operate, maintain or repair any technology created by the ARC corporation. It reflects deeply programmed understanding of the weapon and a sort of broad “equipment bond.” It explicitly does not assist the robot when making attack or defense rolls with the technology.

Good with Master [1]: This is a variation of Good with (Group) from Power-Ups 2: Perks page 13, except it applies only with the character’s master. If the character’s master changes, assume a “learning” based on familiarities to become attuned to the new master.

Security Failsafe [1]: If the robot is ever forced to betray its master or reveal files that it cannot (via hacking or psychic powers), the robot can choose instead to automatically wipes its memory and shuts down, effectively killing the robot. This is a perk because it guarantees the robot the ability to “commit suicide” if it wishes. The GM should always give the robot the option to do this, even if the robot has no conscious knowledge of a hack or psychic intrusion.

Pacifism (Alliance-Recognized Sapient Species Only -60%): This limitation prevents pacifism from applying to non-humans or aliens noted as sapients. Robots with this limitation apply their pacifism to: Humans, Asrathi, Keleni, Nehudi, Ranathim, Slavers, Sparriel, Traders and any other races the GM deems covered by Alliance law. It does not cover other robots, alien beasts or the Anacridian Scourge. As a rule, if the Alliance would consider it murder, the robot’s pacifism activates. In regards to grey areas, such as the Eldoth (considered extinct) or a newly discovered alien race, the robot reverts to its Honesty disadvantage and its own judgment; if a robot thinks it might be considered a sapient race by Alliance law, then it cannot harm it unless it succeeds at an Honesty self-control roll.

ARC Robot Templates

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