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Mechanical Men

While robots at TL7 or higher are generally electrical, fiction includes examples of automatons from earlier ages using more primitive sources of power. Here are a few meta-traits for building such mechanicals, and two example characters.

These meta-traits do not assume the nature of the mechanical's "brain." Specifically, they do not include the Doesn't Sleep advantage, as the need for rest can be as much a mental trait as a physical one.


Clockwork Body (TL4): You require winding every day, which takes two strong men one hour to complete. On the other hand, your workings are nearly silent, and you need neither fuel nor air to function. Includes the Machine meta-trait [25], plus Doesn't Breathe [20], Doesn't Eat or Drink [10], and Maintenance (2 man-hours, daily) [-20]. 35 points.

Steam-Powered Body (coal fuel, TL5): You can't operate underwater or anywhere that lacks air, and you emit smoke and steam. You must refuel with coal and water 6 times a day. Includes the Machine meta-trait [25], plus Bad Smell [-10], Doesn't Breathe (Oxygen Combustion, -50%) [10], Increased Consumption 1 [-10], Noisy 2 [-4], Restricted Diet (Common; Substitution, -50%) [-10]. 1 points.

Steam-Powered Body (wood fuel, TL5): You are like your coal-powered cousin, but you burn wood. This is more common, but less efficient. You must refuel 12 times per day. Includes the Machine meta-trait [25], plus Bad Smell [-10], Doesn't Breathe (Oxygen Combustion, -50%) [10], Increased Consumption 2 [-20], Noisy 2 [-4], and Restricted Diet (Very Common; Substitution, -50%) [-5]. -4 points.

Gas-Powered Body (TL6): You can't operate underwater or anywhere that lacks air, and you emit noxious exhaust gasses. Your engine is quite efficient, only requiring fuel once a week. Includes the Machine meta-trait [25], plus Bad Smell [-10], Doesn't Breathe (Oxygen Combustion, -50%) [10], Noisy 2 [-4], Reduced Consumption 3 [6], and Restricted Diet (Common; Substitution, -50%) [-10]. 17 points.


45 points

ST 8 [-20]; DX 11 [20]; IQ 10 [0]; HT 12 [20].
Damage 1d-3/1d-2; BL 13 lbs.; HP 8 [0]; Will 10 [0]; Per 10 [0]; FP 0 [0].
Basic Speed 5.75 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0]; Dodge 8.

Social Background

TL: 4 [0].
CF: Western (Native) [0].
Languages: Italian (Native) [0].


Absolute Timing [2]; Appearance (Attractive) [4]; Clockwork Body [35]; Damage Resistance 2 [10]; Digital Mind [5]; Voice [10].


Cannot Speak [-15]; Duty (to the Luccezzis) (15 or less; Nonhazardous) [-10]; Hidebound [-5]; No Sense of Smell/Taste [-5]; Numb [-20]; Reprogrammable [-10]; Social Stigma (Valuable Property) [-10]; Wealth (Dead Broke) [-25].


Cooking-13 (IQ+3) [12]; First Aid/TL4 (Human)-11 (IQ+1) [2]; Gesture-12 (IQ+2) [4]; Housekeeping-13 (IQ+3) [8]; Mechanic/TL4 (Clockwork)-9 (IQ-1) [1]; Poetry-9 (IQ-1) [1]; Professional Skill (Nannying)-13 (IQ+3) [12]; Savoir-Faire (Servant)-14 (IQ+4) [12]; Sewing/TL4-12 (DX+1) [2]; Singing-14 (HT+2) [1]; Theology (Catholic)-10 (IQ+0) [4].

Rosalio was created in 1758 by Vincenzo Luccezzi, a master clockmaker from Florence, to serve as a housekeeper and nanny to his infant daughter. Luccezzi first thought of a clockwork servant after noticing that his daughter would stop crying whenever he brought out his silver pocket watch.

Rosalio is a slight, feminine humanoid with smooth silver skin. She is unable to speak, but she can produce melodious tones from a complicated system of membranes in her throat. She possesses no means of smelling or tasting, nor can she sense by touch.

Rosalio has developed a miraculously full personality. She loves to sing, and reads voraciously. Her attempts at poetry are intriguing, if decidedly mechanical. And most interestingly, she is a devout Catholic. She dreams of one day being baptized and taking communion, although her maker has told her how unlikely this would be.


-142 points

ST 15 [30]; DX 9 [-20]; IQ 8 [-40]; HT 12 [20].
Damage 1d+1/2d+1; BL 45 lbs.; HP 15 [0]; Will 8 [0]; Per 8 [0]; FP 0 [0].
Basic Speed 5.25 [0]; Basic Move 5 [0]; Dodge 8.

Social Background

TL: 5 [0].
CF: Western (Native) [0].
Languages: English (Native) [0].


Claws (Talons; Kicking Damage Only, -50%) [4]; Cutting Attack 1d (Melee, Cannot Parry, Reach 1, ST-based, +70%) [12]; Damage Resistance 5 (Can't Wear Armor, -40%) [15]; Digital Mind [5]; Doesn't Sleep [20]; Extra Attack 1 (Single Skill, -20%) [20]; Steam-Powered Body (wood fuel) [10].


Automaton [-85]; Mute [-25]; No Manipulators [-50]; No Sense of Smell/Taste [-5]; Numb [-20]; Reprogrammable [-10]; Social Stigma (Valuable Property) [-10]; Wealth (Dead Broke) [-25].


Climbing-10 (DX+1) [4]; Professional Skill (Lumberjack)-12 (DX+3) [12].

This mechanical woodsman has a heavy, roughly humanoid form. It's arms end in a pair of buzzing saw blades; its feet are tipped with spikes that help it climb tall trees. It is loud, clumsy, stupid and mute.

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