Copyright 04/1982© Roger Moore


   To whose who know Roger : could you ask him to contact me

An android is a technologically produced manlike organism made of organic material, which is capable of rational thought, feelings, and behaviour to a reasonably human degree, but not capable of reproduction. The development of androids depends (obviously) upon a highly advanced framework of biological science, as well as advancements in other fields, but there must be practical reasons for developing androids, where their existence is relevant to the needs of the human culture hosting them. Android populations are typically created and maintained by human societies requiring their services in occupations involving much physical labour, repetitive tasks, and considerable to extreme hazard. The tasks do not usually require above-average intelligence or planning to carry out, as well. The human population in charge of the androids is generally unwilling to perform these tasks themselves and cannot or will not use robotic assistance. Problems often arise due to the androids' similarities to humanity; androids may be equated with slaves and suppression of their rights to proper care may occur, or well-intentioned humans may believe them equal to humanity and develop expectations of them that the androids cannot meet. Androids are often seen as expendable and given little control over their fates.

Though commercial varieties of androids differ considerably on the surface, virtually all of them have certain physiological and psychological characteristics in common. Androids are produced in basically human form, though there are larger and smaller sorts with varying personal skills, characteristics, colourations, and so on. Most androids are stronger than normal humans (muscle tissue is relatively easy to construct) but have poorer physical co-ordination and below-average intellects (nervous and cerebral tissue being more difficult to create and maintain). A high tolerance to pain and physical damage, with a conversely lowered level of self-preservation, is also present. An android may defend itself if attacked, but it may be taught to disregard environmental hazards such as radiation, mildly poisonous/ tainted atmosphere, and unsafe surfaces and structures. Respiratory and digestive systems of a typical android are analogous to those of a human, and many of the same sorts of foods may be eaten by either (though androids must consume more protein supplements, and usually eat more vegetable material than meat).

Initially, androids tend to be quite passive and require considerable human instruction and care. After they are trained to follow human behavioural and thought norms, little formal education is given except as required to perform their jobs. Android thought processes tend to be concrete, literal, unimaginative, and naive early in their lives, but as they gain more experience they can adopt more independent and creative personalities. It has been demonstrated that only androids in services involving considerable activity and variety, and close contact with humans, will develop the self-initiative and flexibility to enter the mainstream of human society as independent beings. Androids employed as common labourers or in other dull and repetitive tasks will almost never do so, but will perform adequately (and unexceptionally) until death. Studies of successful independent androids show most of them were employed previously in military and commercial-merchant organizations, which require considerable independent thought and action. These androids were released from their organizations after extensive testing and interviewing, as required by various local and Imperial laws (eg, Androids Freedoms Act). Exceptional work performance has often helped some to be released from service earlier than others, though there are human detractors who argue that this keeps the incompetent ones in service and casts out the competent ones - an assertion that is not particularly true. One practical reason for releasing androids from service is that, though they do not deteriorate for a long time, after a certain age an droids will show aging effects as humans do but at a very accelerated rate. Android medicine, though extensive, has never developed the refinement and sophistication of human medicine. Freeing androids from service in most cases releases the organization from responsibility for the care of such aged androids (which can be very expensive). There are few services providing outpatient care for androids after their 'retirement', though extraordinary endeavours and deeds might bring a reward of such free medical care.

Androids do enjoy minimal legal protection, and free androids have all the rights of an average human. Ancient fears of android groups killing their human leaders and rebelling in general have proven to be mythical, though individual androids have proven themselves capable of anti-social activities (especially those from combat-oriented military services and piratical/terrorist groups).

Locally, androids are known by a variety of nicknames, nearly all of them from the rich fictional literature of the Solomani: droids, drones, muncs (homunculi), golems, rossums, neuters, franks (frankensteins), hormads, synthetics, mannequins, and many others. Obviously some of these terms are derogatory, reflecting fears and prejudices a few humans still have toward androids. People who manufacture and sell robots strongly dislike androids for reasons of commercial competition.

Android Prior Service Tables

Androids may be produced on most worlds of tech level 9 or higher. A typical android may be grown and matured physically in about four years; it then undergoes an eight-year course in social skills training, with a rudimentary general education and a more advanced, career-directed training. Androids have their life careers selected for them depending on current occupational needs when they reach the half-way point in their social training.

Androids may be used either as non-player characters or as player characters in Space Opera as the referee and players like. In either case, the UPP of an android is generated according to the following table:

Strength / Phys – 2d6+7 (9-19)

Intelligence – 2d6+7 (9-19)

Dext / Agility – 2d6+7 (9-19)

Bravery / Leader – 2d6+5 (7-17)

Constitution – 1d6+10 (11-16)

GTA / MechA / ElecA – 2d6+7 (9-19)

Empathy – 0

Psi / Intuition – 0

This represents the android immediately after it has completed its social skills and educational training. The android then is entered into a service organization at random (Tables I and II).

Android Prior Services

Table I

Table II

1 Army

1 Belter

2 Marines

2 Flyer

3 Merchant

3 Pirate

4 Merchant

4 Rogue

5 Navy

5 Sailor

6 Roll on Table II

6 Scout

These are the 'active' services from which PC androids and free agents may be created. The number of four-year terms served in any service is generated as 1d6+4 (5-10 terms, or 20-40 years); survival rolls are excised for convenience (life is usually dangerous for androids at any rate). The chance that an android will learn a skill each term is 5+, A skill may be rolled on either the service skills table corresponding to the android's career or on the Personal Development Table as the player or referee chooses. No skill level in any skill may exceed a rating of 4; thus if an android rolls five separate gun combat skills, it cannot have a rating of more than 4 with any one weapon. This is a result of the limited memory retention of androids for more subtle skill levels. Excess levels are lost.

Personal Development Table

Pirate Skills

1 +2 Strength

1 Blade Cbt

2 +1 Constitution

2 Gun Cbt

3 +1 Intelligence

3 Gun Cbt

4 +1 GTA / MechA / ElecA

4 Gunnery

5 +1 Dext / Agility

5 Vacc Suit

6 +1 Bravery / Leader

6 Zero G Cbt


Army Skills

Navy Skills

Rogue Skills

1 Blade Cbt

1 Blade Cbt

1 Blade Cbt

2 Fwd Obs

2 Fwd Obs

2 Demolition

3 Gun Cbt

3 Gun Cbt

3 Gambling

4 Gun Cbt

4 Gunnery

4 Gun Cbt

5 Vehicle

5 Ship Boat

5 Gun Cbt

6 Vehicle

6 Vacc Suit

6 Vehicle


Marine Skills

Belter Skills

Sailor Skills

1 Blade Cbt

1 Fwd Obs

1 Air/Raft

2 Gun Cbt

2 Prospecting

2 Air/Raft

3 Gun Cbt

3 Prospecting

3 Commo

4 Vacc Suit

4 Ship Boat

4 Fwd Obs

5 Vehicle

5 Vacc Suit

5 Gun Cbt

6 Zero G Cbt

6 Vacc Suit

6 Water Craft


Merchant Skills

Flyer Skills

Scout Skills

1 Electronic

1 Air Craft

1 Electronic

2 Gun Cbt

2 Air/Raft

2 Gunnery

3 Gunnery

3 Comm

3 Mechanic

4 Steward

4 Gun Cbt

4 Vacc Suit

5 Vacc Suit

5 Vehicle

5 Vehicle

6 Vehicle

6 Vehicle

6 Vehicle

Blade, gun, vehicle, air craft, and water craft skills must be further specified by rolling on the following tables:

Blade Combat

Air Craft

1 Dagger

1 Propeller-Driven Fixed Wing

2 Blade

2 Jet-Propelled Fixed Wing

3 Foil

3 Jet-Propelled Fixed Wing

4 Sword

4 Helicopter

5 Cutlass

5 Air/Raft

6 Cutlass

6 Air/Raft


Water Craft


Gun Combat

1 Small Water Craft

1 ATV (tracked)

1 Pistol*

2 Small Water Craft

2 ATV (wheeled)

2 Autorifle

3 Small Water Craft

3 ATV (wheeled)

3 Rifle

4 Hovercraft

4 ATV (wheeled)


5 Hovercraft

5 Air/Raft

5 Shotgun

6 Hovercraft

6 Air/Raft

6 Laser Weapons**

* Revolver and Autopistol ** Laser Carbine and Rifle

Regardless of however many terms of service were served by an android in whatever service, only five rolls may be made on the mustering-out table, which combines monetary and material benefits:

Mustering Out Table

  1. Gun

  2. Blade

  3. Low Passage

  4. Middle Passage

  5. 5000 credits

  6. 5000 credits

Androids survive low passage travel on a 4+ roll per time, with a +1 DM if a person with Med-4 or better is present. As android physiology is somewhat different from a human's, a -2 DM is applied to the skill level of anyone attempting to treat one medically. Androids must use drugs of different chemical compositions from the ones humans use to achieve the same effects as described in Book 2, and these drugs cost 2-7 times as much on the open market; they are available only on worlds with tech level 15+.

Androids do not develop psionics because of their brain structures. On a roll of 4-, an android will be immediately slain by a psionic assault, regardless of whatever other damage is done, and will otherwise lose a point of intelligence on a second roll of 4-.

An android's life begins, for aging purposes, when it first starts its social skills and educational training. It enters a service at age eight, and will finally begin to show signs of aging at age fifty-two. Every four years starting at age fifty-two and after, an android character must make two saving throws of 9+ to prevent these scores from dropping two points each as well. At age sixty four, all four saving throws must be made on an 11+ or else the two point deduction for each score is made.

NPC androids may be quickly generated by assuming they have served 2-12 terms in a randomly selected service, and have one skill roll for every two full terms of service they have served.

If wounded, androids will remain conscious until two characteristics (or either strength, dexterity, or endurance) have been reduced to zero or below, to represent their increased tolerance of pain and shock. If one score falls below zero, it temporarily becomes 1 until a second score falls to zero.

Learning new skills by sabbaticals or instruction is always possible for any android.

Androids frequently have some distinguishing physical characteristics. None of them have navels, sexual features or organs, and most have no body hair. Senses of touch, smell and taste are slightly less discriminative than human senses, but sight and hearing are as normal. They have faces capable of expressions (from smiles to frowns) and none have any major bodily deformities, though they may appear larger than humans and broader due to their increased musculature. Many bear discreetly located company trademarks or identification numbers on their bodies, and a few have been given skin tones mildly divergent from general human norms (like a crimson or orange tint).