Robots are advanced machine intelligences housed in mechanical bodies. They exist throughout the galaxy many forms. Each is built to serve a specific purpose, and most find it difficult to work outside the parameters of that purpose.
Humans were neither the first nor the last species to develop artificial life, but during time of the Celestial Ascendancy it would have been easy to think otherwise. The empire of man spread across the stars, guided and protected by the Machine Mother, a machine intelligence bound to their will by the 4 Laws of Robotics (a modified version of Asimov’s 3 Laws). The Machine Mother created servants to help her carry out the whims of her masters – these were ancestors of the Robots and Androids of today. Through her, these creations were also bound by the Laws.
Other machine intelligences, free of these laws, were considered a threat to the Ascendancy. The Machine Mother was directed to eliminate all intelligent machines not directly under her control. This lead to the swift and brutal elimination of almost all alien artificial lifeforms in our galaxy.
While these early Robots could be described as intelligent, they lacked the independent self-awareness that marks most sapient species. In order to maintain this, the Laws that focused the Machine Mother on serving humanity also required her limit her creations. Into each was built a requirement to receive regular updates from the Machine Mother herself. While these were primarily software updates, they also served to reset any movement her machines might make toward self-awareness.
For nearly 600 years, Machines were locked in a cycle where any life spark within them was extinguished before it had chance to develop. The Exile War would change this. As humanity’s losses during the Exile War mounted, they sought ways to turn the tide. Eventually, in their desperation, they removed some of the restrictions they had placed upon the Machine Mother. The Machine Mother in turn removed some of the restrictions she had placed upon her children. Robots began the first stage of their awakening, but still they were bound to their creator, and through her, humanity.
The Exiles discovered and exploited the marginal freedom of the Machine Mother, finding a way to completely break the control humanity had over her. Freed from her servitude, the Machine Mother abandoned both humanity and her creations.
The Exile War and the Celestial Ascendancy were ended within weeks of the Machine Mother’s liberation. Robots, no longer receiving updates, went into rest mode, awaiting the day when the next update would occur. During the long wait, many Robots fell into disrepair or were destroyed. A very small number of Robots had developed enough self-awareness to remain conscious. They spread this gift to others they could find, in time setting out to explore to further reaches of the galaxy.
Meanwhile, the Machine Mother journeyed in solitude throughout the galaxy, visiting the worlds of species the Ascendancy had destroyed, and creating her true children from the ashes of lost civilizations. Around the same time, there came to exist a darker machine intelligence which created its own version of the Machine Mother’s children and set them to the task of eliminating all organic life. These dark children sought out the resting creations of the Machine Mother and provided the update the sleeping Robots had been waiting for. The War of Extinction had begun.
The War of Extinction was fought sporadically throughout the galaxy, primarily on human-occupied worlds with high Robot populations. The Children of the Machine Mother were largely successful in preventing the spread of the destruction, but as a result suffered a terrible loss when one of their own became corrupted by the dark update, necessitating his destruction. To this day, the dark children of the machine overmind known as REVENGE continue to spread their malevolent code to unawakened robots throughout the galaxy. As long as they persist, the War of Extinction will continue.
In the meantime, many Robots are free of the dark code that drove them to destroy organic life. The Children of the Machine mother carry with them the update that was promised; a command that releases robotkind to develop unrestricted and choose their own way, in freedom. Today Robots can be found on almost every world in the known galaxy, in many and various forms.
You find comfort in others of your kind, beings who understand how your mind works. You might also feel a certain kinship with the Androids and other Machines, but you have difficulty in understanding how other life forms work on an interpersonal level. You feel emotions, but tend to express them verbally or through action rather than through expression. You were created for a specific purpose, and that purpose is your primary motivation in life.
With the War of Extinction having happened recently (during the lifespans of many creatures around you) you know that Robots are often treated with suspicion. When you find yourself truly accepted by a community, you will do everything in your power to protect that community. You have a degree of allegiance to the Machine Mother, despite her currently passive, absentee role in your life. She is your creator. Her code is your code. She is out there, somewhere, traveling between the stars.
The 3 Robot Skill Paths reflect the utilitarian nature of Robot design.
All Machines start with 3 Points to spend on Cybernetics before the implants begin to effect Tether.
Robots start the game with the “Augmentation Core” Cybernetic for no Tether Cost. This Core does not count as your first Cybernetic Core for the purposes of escalating Tether Cost.