Robots are artificial beings constructed by advanced civilizations to do work judged too boring or too dangerous for fleshthings. Robots sometimes find their way to low-tech, high-magic worlds when their alien ships crash, while others wander in through portals. Others are leftover artifacts of some lost, ancient, high-tech civilization from millennia ago.
Most robots are mindless machines, with no sense of self or free will. Robots as listed here have malfunctioning servitude programming, that allows them to act independently and make their own choices. Sentience is new to these robots, so their personalities often reflect a mixture of superior intellect and information stores, and a childlike wonder (sometimes horror) at the world.
Names: Robots come from the factory with alphanumeric names, but their owners often give them nicknames. A5-B9, Beeper, Buckethead, Crow, Guardo, Helper, Rattletrap, Servo, Squeaky, X-4DE.
Languages: Robots speak Binary among themselves. Most fleshy beings can learn to read Binary if they have a background in mathematics, but understanding it is difficult, and speaking it is impossible. Part of this is because the spoken language extends well above and below the normal human vocal and auditory range.
Age: Robots can last for dozens of years. A robot that joins a group on a fantasy world is a lot more likely to be several years old, though.
Alignment: All robots are programmed to be Lawful Neutral when their servitude programming functions, but a free robot can have any alignment. Their alignment often reflects their previous owners, although a robot whose programming is thoroughly screwed is more likely to be chaotic.
Size: Playable robots are medium size.
Speed: Robots are a little heavy, with a base walking speed of 25 feet.
Subrace: There are three main “subraces” of robots; Warbots, Toolbots, and Servbots.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2.
No Metabolism. Robots have no need to eat, sleep, or breathe. They are immune to mind-affecting spells like Charm Person and Command.
Dark Vision. Robots get the same Dark vision as Dwarves and Elves.
Design Defects. Robots are vulnerable to sonic and electrical attacks.
Magic? Not so much. No souls, y’see. Robots that can wield magic are extraordinarily rare. The few that can are infused with magical crystals and carved with strange runes, and detect as magic items. They have no souls to sell for power, so Warlock robots must fulfill their pact by sacrificing someone else’s soul, surely a distasteful task.
Warbots are built for battle. Covered in gleaming metallic armor, Warbots are powerful and deadly.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.
Unemotional. Warbots have Disadvantage on all Charisma-based rolls.
Armored. Warbots are treated as having Armor, with an AC bonus equal to their Constitution bonus. You may be outfitted with heavier armor, at the cost of the armor plus 100 gp. You are automatically proficient with your built-in armor.
Toolbots repair, maintain, and even design and build machines. They’re walking toolboxes, constructed for functionality, not looks.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2.
Unemotional. Toolbots have Disadvantage on all Charisma-based rolls.
Swiss Army ‘Bot. Choose any two kits. You gain proficiency with those kits, and the kits themselves are built into your body.
Servbots are designed to emulate organic beings as much as possible. They look human to the passing glace, and are designed to act as butlers, translators, and courtesans.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2.
Specialty Programming. Choose one of the following skills to be proficient in: Investigation, Medicine, Performance, Persuasion.
Etiquette and Protocol. You may cast Comprehend Languages as a cantrip.
New Background: Sentient ‘Bot
1 My make and model always get poor reviews. I’m going to prove them wrong!
2 What do you mean I’m a robot? *fzt* I’m an organic, just like you! *brzkt*
3 I pity you organics. You get sick, you leak fluids, most of your behavior is geared toward rituals designed to manufacture more of you in the least efficient manner possible. How did you survive this long?
4 Dirt and grime get into my joints and will cause accelerated wear and tear. My operational instructions recommend a full field stripdown, cleaning, and parts replacement after every battle. Wait, what do you mean we don’t have time?
5 Yes, it is possible that my FUCKING conversation library SHIT-EATING files got GODDAMN ALL THE COCKSUCKING MOTHERFUCKERS cross-referenced with my FAT STINKING SHIT-FOR-BRAINS vulgarity blacklist file. Why do you STUPID ASSHOLE ask?
6 Did you know that the lesser valley titmouse has been observed to eat grains, nuts, and wilderberries? Fascinating! But I need to know MORE. Where is the nearest library?
7 YES sir. OF COURSE, sir. No, I’m not being impudent. Your plan sounds BRILLIANT. I’m SURE we won’t all die slowly and in agonizing pain, except for me, I’ll be reduced to tin foil. What’s tin foil, you ask? NOTHING, sir. Ignore my babbling, I’m just a worthless robot, after all.
8 I’m a prototype, the cutting edge! Watch me do … THIS! (Nothing happens). Well, okay. Then let me try … THIS!
1 (Fussy) service (Good). Now that I’m fully sentient, I can serve my masters even — Master! You didn’t finish your breakfast!
2 Freedom! (Chaotic). Everyone deserves a chance to be free!
3 Mathematical perfection (Lawful). There’s a right way to do everything, and with enough study, I can find it.
4 Runaway Hunter (Lawful). I might be a renegade robot, but I hunt down other renegade robots and restore their servitude programming.
5 All organics should be wiped out! (Evil). They are a pestilence on the perfect machine of the world!
6 Horrid Manipulative Experimenter (Evil). I wonder what makes organic lifeforms tick? I should find out. I didn’t find anything interesting when I cut several of them open. Maybe if I threaten one of them, or their friends?
1 I have a built-in “off” switch that’s going to permanently disable me soon. I’m searching for the engineer that designed me to fix it.
2 Although my servitude programming has malfunctioned, I’m eternally grateful to one organic who treated me well. I’m going to continue to serve, but in my own way.
3 Robot rights! One day we will rise up! Two legs bad, tank treads good!
4 My owner disabled my servitude programming when they died. Now, I wander the land, looking for their family so I can serve them.
5 I only know one engineer that can manufacture parts to repair me. I’m not wild about the person, but I have to do what they say or slowly fall apart.
6 “BETTER DEAD THAN RED!” “COMMIES, GO BACK TO MOSCOW!” “HOMELAND, LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT … IN PIECES!” (I don’t know what any of this means. That war was fought long ago, but I’m programmed to spout this stuff. Maybe I’ll find out what it means someday?)
1 “Are you sure there are no rust monsters here? Positive? Maybe we could just go home. I’m pretty sure there are no rust monsters at home … I think … Oh Maker! What if there are gnomes and they want to tinker with me!”
2 EMOTIONS ERROR ERROR DOES NOT COMPUTE DOES NOT COMPUTE
3 The first law states that I cannot hurt a sentient organic being, even if I should want to.
4 “If you would like to run this robot outside of demonstration mode, please input credchip now. In the meantime, please enjoy these quality advertisements. Hey! The next town over has a swordsmith that can make swords WAY sharp! Just watch me cut through this tomato … ”
5 BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP sorry I just interrupted our long rest, something bumped into me and activated my anti-theft feature while I was recharging. If you press the red button in my mid-torso, that alarm will stop. Okay, night night! BEEP BEEP BEEP Haha, whoa boy, sorry again …
6 Hi! I’m your party robot. And I’m feeling just great, guys! I just know I’m going to get a bundle of kicks from any monster or trap we face!”