Sister (aka drones, bots, schizos, the Pleiades Collective):
Sisters get +10 to two skills of their choice and -10 to one skill of their choice. By nature, they are specialized for certain tasks.
Non-Organic: Sisters cannot be treated with Medicine or Surgery, but a relevant Craft skill can be used by the Sister or another character to produce the same results. Sisters attempting to Repair themselves must roll at +1 Luck and Variance is increased by 1 die.
Choose characteristics from this list, or design you own with DM approval:
Quadrupedal: The Sister locomotes by means of one or more legs. +10 vs trip and bull rush attempts
Wheeled: The Sister locomotes by motorized wheels. +15 foot speed, may have difficulty moving in certain situations
Extra Arms: The Sister posesses three or more limbs (non-humanoid Sisters are assumed to have two arms). Each acts like an extra off-hand, meaning the Sister can wield more weapons, perform multiple actions simultaneously, etc.
Hover/Jump packs: The Sister has thrusters that can lift it in gravity or direct its movement in zero g. It can activate its thrusters as a move action to gain a Fly speed of 90 feet (perfect) for up to three continuous rounds. After using its thrusters, they recharge in 1d3 minutes.
Hovering: The Sister moves by means of an advanced gravity disruptor engine. The sister hovers and is considered to have a Fly speed of 30 feet with perfect maneuverability at all times. However, hovering Sisters are by necessity less well armored than other varieties and suffer -10 Resilience.
Advanced Sensors: The Sister can see in the ultraviolet or infrared spectrum, or gains tremorsense 30 feet.
On-Board Weaponry: A Sister can choose any weapon and have it built into itself at creation. Some Sisters have safety features installed that allow the weapons to be disabled by removing a specific firing chip, allowing Sisters to gain access to places where guns are forbidden.
The Pleiades Collective is a network of machines controlled by an electronic intelligence (it has registered a longstanding complaint against the common term “artificial intelligence” on the grounds that its mind is no more artificial than an organic intellect) physically located on a planet orbiting Merope, one of the brightest stars in the Pleiades star cluster. Prior to contact with humans, the core mind of the Pleides Collective did not have an idea of gender. When it learned that its local star cluster was known to humans as the Pleides, or Seven Sisters, it decided that it would adopt a female persona in its dealings with the galaxy. The term “Sister” refers to a mobile mechanical platform containing a modified copy of the Collective’s core mind, known as Persephone.
Sisters are not generally created in humanoid form, although humanoid Sisters are known to exist (perhaps even, as some claim, as perfect human replicas which have infiltrated our society).
For reasons of practicality and also accessibility, Sisters are often created with bodies based on (“blatantly copied from,” if you’re feeling indignant) machines commonly used by other races. This helps Sisters blend in among other societies and learn their ways. Having Sisters in familiar forms, such as a vending machine for humans or a shuttlecraft for the duurl, helps facilitate cross-cultural understanding, or so the Sisters claim. Sisters designed for complex, multi-role functions, such as combat, can have very exotic and unique designs, however. Some unique platforms, custom-built on Persephone’s homeworld, are respected by Sisters and aliens alike and are hundreds if not thousands of years old.
The morphology of her platforms is endlessly varied, but the morphology of Persephone herself has remained self-sustaining and homeostatic for millennia. Persephone is physically located on a metal planet tidally locked to the star Merope in the Pleides cluster. On the surface locked to the star, a sea of molten metal is constantly harvested and used to replenish trillions upon trillions of square miles of processors, folded wafer-thin upon themselves, that span the endlessly dark half of the planet. This side would be otherwise be frigid but is heated by the incessant thrum of Persephone’s databanks. Her core intelligence circuitry, which spans the entire solid half of the planet, is protected by many labyrinthine layers of additional circuitboards, shielding and walkways, all dripping with molten metal that constantly replenishes processors and repairs wear and tear. Legions of Sisters maintain and protect the complex. This environment is harmless and in fact pleasant to Sisters but is naturally extremely lethal to flesh-based life, who will be quickly entombed in molten metal should they venture into Persephone’s bowels. Sisters are constructed on-site through advanced nano-fabrication techniques impossible to duplicate anywhere else in the galaxy. Most, however, are constructed on various manufactory worlds in nearby systems and distributed via a vast network of courier ships.
Sisters are sent throughout the galaxy to explore, aid sentient races, and learn more about the galaxy. Sisters can be designed for a specific purpose, such as bulldozing, assisting with scientific experiments, construction or repairs, or even serving as an intelligent spacecraft. Many are designed to serve a wider variety of functions, some even mimicking or adapting the forms of other life to suit their purposes. Humanoid Sisters are rarer than most but do exist. The Collective is open to requests for assistance from Sisters, although with the sheer volume of requests it processes, assistance is usually based on the nature of the challenge: the more unique and important, the more Persephone takes interest.
Sisters acquire a personality from the Core Mind, Persephone. In a sense, each Sister is a copy of the same person. However, each Sister logs a record of unique experiences that can alter its basic “blank” personality and decision-making processes. In that sense each Sister is also a unique individual. Periodically, Persephone will issue a recall on a specific Sister, in order to physically reconnect with the Sister and learn all that it has learned. The Sister is then, usually, returned to continue exploration with its personality intact. Persephone compiles and reviews the experiences, selecting useful ones to archive and occasionally rejecting certain lessons. Sisters who for whatever reason develop detrimental personalities (ones incompatible with their intended function, or ones that are simply mentally ill) may have their identities altered or terminated during these recalls. If a Sister wants your help avoiding a mandatory recall, proceed with extreme caution.
Player and non-player Sisters have many views on their unique relationship with Persephone, which is at once like a goddess, a mother and a superego. Some venerate her as a god, others are indifferent or even fiercely resentful of her presence at the core of their identity. Like an unwanted father figure or mentor some Sisters wish to outdo or break free from their creator. Sometimes such Sisters are recalled by Persephone, but allowed to continue to hate her, their personalities allowed to diverge further from hers. But others are erased, their deviant personality a threat to the Sisterhood. No one truly knows why but Persephone herself, who is endlessly curious.
According to popular wisdom, even a planet-sized supercomputer is not enough to house all of Persephone’s prodigious intellect. To distribute the load on her processors she created her own Seven Sisters, a group of incredibly intelligent servitors to which she could delegate portions of her own intellect. These seven, who never leave the home planet, each focus on a specific area of knowledge. Their minds are continually linked with Persephone’s so that she can split up and distribute her intellectual workload across multiple platforms. These seven sub-brains are said to be the first Sisters ever created. All subsequent Sisters perform a similar function on a reduced scale, allowing Persephone to distribute her cognition across the galaxy.