Variations on Android Appearance?


General Discussion

Grand Lodge

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I was just curious as to what people's opinions about the visual appearance of androids was, and how much variation a player could have with it. Especially in society play.

Starfinder Core Rulebook wrote:
While the first androids are believed to have been mostly biological, difficult to distinguish from the humans they lived among, modern designs are more varied, and many favor metal skeletons and processors that support synthetic organs and living flesh. Nearly all androids feature a humanoid body shape and tattoo-like circuits that glow through their skin when operating at full power, but beyond this commonality, variations in physical appearance reflect an android's design, role, and personality. Some take pains to blend into human society, while others deliberately display their mechanical nature. Though some androids are constructed or customize themselves to look like other races, such models are relatively rare.

Could you, for example, play an Android who looked like C-3PO or K-2SO from Star Wars? How about one that looked like a T-800 from Terminator? Or a Necron from WH40K? As long as it fits the basic humanoid frame?

Thoughts?


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I feel like, because it says some are constructed or customized to look like other races, there should be rules in place to allow for Small androids. Especially since the Ysoki are the only Small core race; it would add a second option for people who want to be small, but don't want to be a gerbil. (Since not all games allow legacy races, despite how common they are.)


I went with an appearance of Kuze from the Ghost in the Shell movie (not a fan of movie but loved the character design). Originally was going to do an Exo appearance from Destiny but changed due to charcter history.

Either way, the section mentions there is a variety of appearances, some more construct-like while others appear more organic. I imagine as long as you can explain how yer HK-47 is eatin' and drinkin', it shouldn't
matter. *shrugs* If yer not too sure, always run it by GM.

Silver Crusade

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Something I'm wondering is how much an individual android's body can "change." Like, can they gain or lose weight the same way humans can, or does their physique stay the way it was when they emerged from their forge?


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Wikrin wrote:
I feel like, because it says some are constructed or customized to look like other races, there should be rules in place to allow for Small androids.

Why? Starfinder doesn't seem to have any effects based on size like Pathfinder did (at least not for small and medium characters and creatures).

Small races aren't slower; they don't get bonuses to hit, AC, or stealth; and they don't take penalties to Intimidate or have to deal with smaller, less damaging weapons.

What now is stopping you from making a Small android and having it possess the same stats and abilities of a Medium one?

Grand Lodge

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Ravingdork wrote:

What now is stopping you from making a Small android and having it possess the same stats and abilities of a Medium one?

the only thing would be the advantage of getting into small spaces like a goblin tunnel for example


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And, because you weigh less, it would be easier for an ally to carry your unconscious body out of a battle.


Kemuri Kunoichi wrote:


Could you, for example, play an Android who looked like C-3PO or K-2SO from Star Wars? How about one that looked like a T-800 from Terminator? Or a Necron from WH40K? As long as it fits the basic humanoid frame?

So long as the core stats don't change, I don't see why the "skin" matters.


Seems like you could have a lot of fun with this: androids that look like clowns, androids that look like Bigfoot, androids that look like celebrities, and on and on. Heck, I wonder if there's a market in the entertainment industry for androids as actors for that sort of thing. Who needs a guy in a rubber suit when you can hire (or even custom-order?) an android that looks like the part you want?


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I think the only thing you wouldn't be able to do by default would be to make your android physically indistinguishable from another race. That would be giving them a mechanical bonus (to Disguise checks) from what should only be a cosmetic feature.

Of course, adding ways for androids to pass for non-androids to the game could be very interesting....


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Androids were successfully infiltrating the barbarian tribes of Numeria thousands of years ago. I don't see why it would be so impossible now.

Of course, I'd still relegate it to the disguise skill.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

There's no mistaking me for anything but an android, but my body's construction included a head which resembles a jackal's. I once saw an ancient fragment of parchment that depicted a jackal headed alien from the pre-Gap world of Osir (a world now lost to time, but one which bore a resemblance to Akiton). Perhaps I was modeled on those aliens or even built by them? I'm hoping the answers may be revealed through my adventures with the Starfinder Society.

Grand Lodge

I'm thinking of playing an Android Operative Bounty Hunter from Eox, who has an undead themed appearance. Kind of a Grim Reaper type. No one escapes death :)


Due to a high disguise skill, I got my android looking like a human to avoid unnecessary harassment from Meatbags as his motif.

Human: "Huhuhuhu, Hey, Robot, do you guys dream of electronic sheeps?"
*shoots human in the kneecap*
Android Operative: "Yes. I do."


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I think the quoted section speaks for itself. The variation for them is fairly limitless.

When my group talked about it, we just said it could be most anything (within reason) from the bajillion pop culture examples out there: K2SO & C3PO in Star Wars, the "Arnold" T101 in Terminator, Cylons in Battlestar, Data in Star Trek, Bishop in Aliens... You name it.

We talked about whether an Android could reasonably pass as a human, (and while I think that's a question for your DM), we decided that if that's what the player was shooting for, yes, definitely. But it may not be hard for others to figure out you were an android without skill checks if they were actively studying you or interacting with you (see "Flat Affect" class feature), and especially if combat broke out where you were wounded.

-But on that same note, an Android could also play a lot of things off as Augmentations and cybernetics... So there you go.


Kelvin Niner wrote:
There's no mistaking me for anything but an android, but my body's construction included a head which resembles a jackal's. I once saw an ancient fragment of parchment that depicted a jackal headed alien from the pre-Gap world of Osir (a world now lost to time, but one which bore a resemblance to Akiton). Perhaps I was modeled on those aliens or even built by them? I'm hoping the answers may be revealed through my adventures with the Starfinder Society.

More likely, you were modeled on the handsome, sagacious, raconteur Set. :) It's a good look.


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Quote:
Could you, for example, play an Android who looked like C-3PO or K-2SO from Star Wars? How about one that looked like a T-800 from Terminator? Or a Necron from WH40K? As long as it fits the basic humanoid frame?

It these examples, the part you're missing is the synthetic aspect. What these examples are are robots, machines with an AI that governs their functionality, not a soul. They are constructs.

Now, as far as appearances go, providing the android appeared as another humanoid species, then there shouldn't be any reason why you couldn't play a larger or smaller version of the basic android character. If you want to look like a vesk, a goblin, or a drow... or a jackal, then go for it. I highly doubt it's what the people Paizo had in mind, but since when do we listen to them?

Point being is that androids have souls because the their creation process is synthetic and well and nano based. They have physiologial functions that can be improved with training and work. A machine doesn't have a soul and it's capabilities are limited by its hardware (it's physical atts can't increase unless its equipment it upgraded). Now, that's not to say a machine can't have a soul, but that's not for me to decide, I don't play in your game.

If you wanna make it happen though, go nuts.


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Kemuri Kunoichi wrote:
I'm thinking of playing an Android Operative Bounty Hunter from Eox, who has an undead themed appearance. Kind of a Grim Reaper type. No one escapes death :)

You gonna toss your guns to the ground when you run out of ammo and pull new ones out of some endless gun dimension in your pocket as well? :P


So long as it is a humanoid and has the statistics aligning to that of an android, then it's an android, whether you are playing K-2SO or Data from Star Trek: the Next Generation.

I do think that the questions contained within this thread should be brought up with the developers, however.


Quote:
I do think that the questions contained within this thread should be brought up with the developers, however.

I don't see why this needs to go to the developers. If people want it that way in their game's then let them change it. The developers have done their part, they gave us the game with everything we need to improve upon it the ways that best suit our gaming style.

Have we devolved into such an unthinking, incapable community that we need to run to the developers and make sure something is in writing by them before we decide it's okay to include it in our games?

Then again, people will cry out for it, they will put it into a small little 15-30 page booklet and some co-dependent, sucker will pay 20 dollars for it. Fools with money = profits.

You know what the developers are gonna say? "Sure, if you wanna, go for it. We don't care. You already bought our book/PDF... do what you want with it. Use it as a coaster, we still got your money."

Grand Lodge

Knil117 wrote:
You gonna toss your guns to the ground when you run out of ammo and pull new ones out of some endless gun dimension in your pocket as well? :P

If that is a reference to an existing character, I am not familiar with whoever you are referencing. I'm guessing something from a book or game I have not read/played.

Grand Lodge

Hartbaine wrote:
Quote:
I do think that the questions contained within this thread should be brought up with the developers, however.

I don't see why this needs to go to the developers. If people want it that way in their game's then let them change it. The developers have done their part, they gave us the game with everything we need to improve upon it the ways that best suit our gaming style.

Have we devolved into such an unthinking, incapable community that we need to run to the developers and make sure something is in writing by them before we decide it's okay to include it in our games?

Then again, people will cry out for it, they will put it into a small little 15-30 page booklet and some co-dependent, sucker will pay 20 dollars for it. Fools with money = profits.

You know what the developers are gonna say? "Sure, if you wanna, go for it. We don't care. You already bought our book/PDF... do what you want with it. Use it as a coaster, we still got your money."

I would love to hear the devs input on this...I pretty much exclusively play within the organized play 'Starfinder Society' framework, where everything is supposed to be RAW. Maybe they only want people playing androids that look like blue skinned humans, with glowing circuit tattoos.


Kemuri Kunoichi wrote:
Knil117 wrote:
You gonna toss your guns to the ground when you run out of ammo and pull new ones out of some endless gun dimension in your pocket as well? :P
If that is a reference to an existing character, I am not familiar with whoever you are referencing. I'm guessing something from a book or game I have not read/played.

A character from Overwatch named Reaper. His reload animation was just throwing away the two shotguns he was using and then pulling a new pair out of his coat. And the game's design is that, aside from having to reload, you have infinite ammo. Meaning Reaper has a seemingly-infinite supply of fresh shotguns in his coat.

... Damnit; now I'm wanting to make an Android Mystic based on Zenyatta.


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My androids will be looking as inorganic and as robot-like as possible until there's robot player races available.


Bite my shiny prosthetic ass.

Silver Crusade

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I think we'll have them as soon as Alien Archive arrives. The anacites of Aballon just might be the droids we're looking for!

Grand Lodge

ShadowFighter88 wrote:

A character from Overwatch named Reaper. His reload animation was just throwing away the two shotguns he was using and then pulling a new pair out of his coat. And the game's design is that, aside from having to reload, you have infinite ammo. Meaning Reaper has a seemingly-infinite supply of fresh shotguns in his coat.

... Damnit; now I'm wanting to make an Android Mystic based on Zenyatta.

Ah...Overwatch...I played the beta of it for about an hour and got bored. Not really my kind of thing. I know the character you are talking about, but did not make the connection :)


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
I think we'll have them as soon as Alien Archive arrives. The anacites of Aballon just might be the droids we're looking for!

I hope so. If they just end up as NPC/monsters with no player options like the security droid in First Contact, I'll be seriously disappointed.

Grand Lodge

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I played my first SFS game tonight, my Android Ghost Operative Outlaw performed quite well. I picture her looking like a cross between an Exo from Destiny and a Necron from Warhammer40k.

I asked the same question about appearances to the group there (several of which both played and GMed at GenCon, and got to speak with some of the devs there) and they all basically said the same thing everyone here said...make them look like whatever you want, as long as it conforms to the medium humanoid framework.


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Protoman wrote:
My androids will be looking as inorganic and as robot-like as possible until there's robot player races available.

I imagine that there are quite a few androids in the default Starfinder setting who intentionally remodel their bodies to make them look as machine-like as possible as a further way to distance themselves from the humans they're built to resemble, similar to those androids who reject the gender binary that most humans use.

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