Service Bots And Synthetic Companions

“Service bots,” or SBs, are robotic sidekicks that you can build or purchase to take with you on your adventures throughout the cosmic vast. Each one has a primary purpose in aiding their controlling creature and each one comes with a basic AI personality that can be customized to suit your tastes. Primary purposes of SBs can range anywhere from helping with diplomacy and language, storing some things you’d rather not carry, assist in lifting or moving heavy objects, or traveling across difficult terrain.


Artificial Intelligence vs. Autonomous Intelligence

Typically, in science fiction (and its various sub genres), the term artificial intelligence is used as a blanket term for any android/computer/robot/etc. which thinks in the same or similar fashion as a human being. While this certainly suffices in general, there is a hefty difference between artificial intelligence and autonomous intelligence for purposes of service bots, synthetic companions, or whatever you wish to call your robots. There is an assumption in this book that robots and service bots are a category of machine that can interact with creatures in a programmed way, albeit cleverly, but it is still at its core an automaton reading from a script. SBs are an artificial intelligence that understands many directions but must be commanded to perform them.

A quick search on the definition of artificial intelligence yields this, “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.” [OxfordDictionaries.com] That encapsulates exactly how a service bot would function, and the important factor here is that the artificial intelligence needs a task to be given to it before it can act. An autonomous agent, with a cursory search, will lead to the definition “an intelligence which functions on an owner’s behalf without interference from the owning entity.” [Wikipedia] The mechanic’s drone would be a good example of an autonomous agent; it is intelligent and can act without interference of the mechanic, but it still needs instruction of some sort at some point in time to know what the owner’s behalf constitutes. Autonomous intelligence would be an autonomous agent that is its own owning entity. Autonomous intelligence would be how, in the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, androids as a race function.

There are many interesting stories to tell by exploring the nuances between an artificial intelligence, an autonomous agent, an autonomous intelligence, and non-artificial intelligence. Perhaps a faction of androids have become zealots against the non-artificial universe and is slowly buying up all the SBs they can. Maybe non-artificial creatures have formed a coalition demanding the registering of all artificial, autonomous intelligences to prevent a possible machine revolt against non-synthetic lifeforms or a general feeling of mistrust of thinking machines like a certain machine jihad in a popular science fiction series. It can also add flavor to specific social encounter with a character possibly saying the term artificial intelligence to an android and some small tension occurs. Whatever you feel adds to your game, your character(s), or your playstyle this is a great avenue to explore things such as mechanical and bio ethics and defining what constitutes life.

Artificial Personality

Each service bot is assumed to have a basic artificial personality, largely roleplayed by the player. Keep in mind that the tier of the computer (and overall tier of the SB) represents how advanced the functions are and should reflect in the artificial personality. For example, it likely wouldn’t be appropriate for a tier 1 computer in an SB to function like Socrates or Euripides and likewise it probably isn’t quite right for a tier 5 computer in an SB to function like a simple adding machine. This is still largely up to the player and GM. Perhaps the player has a character concept who is especially gifted with programming or understanding of the complex social interactions that can occur between creatures and their SB’s artificial personality would reflect that at any tier. A service bot’s artificial personality generally means that the add-ons (and any bonuses they confer) are only useful to the owner/operator. An SB can be ordered to use an add-on to benefit the party or another creature but the artificial personality that is standard for that model may cause griping or flat out refusal without some sort of override code.

It is assumed that the artificial personality of an SB is essentially a complex script (meaning the responses are pre-programmed). If something occurs outside of that script’s purview then the SB would likely be confused or simply respond in a negative manner. As a player either upgrades to or purchases higher tier service bots then it is assumed that script has grown accordingly more complex in an attempt to imitate true autonomous intelligence. The pregenerated service bots below are all assumed to have basic artificial personality but the descriptive text for each model should provide some ideas as to how the manufacturer would have programmed the SB to respond in general. Typically, SBs are programmed to be as inoffensive as possible but this again can entirely be reflective of your PC concept. If you are a wisecracking scoundrel then your SB would likely reflect that. Similarly if you are a demure character then your SB probably would try to be as unnoticeable as possible.

A service bot will never respond autonomously unless the owner/operator has specified to do so. SBs need input from the owner/operator and would very likely look to the PC for orders or would simply state something along the lines of “My owner must instruct me” if a non-owner/non-operator attempts to give it an order. Hacking the SB will allow the artificial personality to be rewritten completely with root access, even so far as to betray the owner/operator at a crucial moment. There are many potential subplots that can be had using an SBs artificial personality. It can also be a good avenue to explore concepts such as what is the self, what comprises personality, and other such topics.

Service Bot Design & Mechanics

This book can be used in two ways: to use only our pre-fabricated bots OR to make your own using our rules. Presented later in the book are 100 example service bots. Each of these is presented as a stat block, and the following section will help you understand and break that section down, as well as offer you options for how to customize your SB. These same rules here can be used with a blank sheet (see the back of this book)

Basic Starting Point

All SBs are constructs with the technological subtype and they consist of a power source, computer (see the “Computers” section in Chapter 7 of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook), a frame, controller interface, propulsion, and add-ons. SBs each have a tier and a size. SBs automatically fail saving throws unless you decide to use the optional attributes presented below. SBs are designed to be waterproof and vacuum-proof by design, at least for minor exposure. Prolonged cold of the vacuum of space or full submersion in water will break seals and fry electronics at gamemaster discretion.

Extreme Environments

Service bots can survive briefly in extreme environments such as zero-g, fully immersed in aquatic environments, extreme heat, or corrosive atmospheres. Without special add-ons to enable it to survive longer an SB will begin to take damage after one minute in an extreme environment.

After five minutes, an SB will become completely non-functional in an extreme environment. At the GM’s discretion, the SB’s frame will continue to degrade but not be fully destroyed for years (though power sources may deplete normally), allowing a non-functioning SB discovered in an extreme environment to be recharged and repaired to an operational condition.

Name & Manufacturer

Every SB is given a name (which functions as its type and often includes a serial number, etc), and has a specific, fictional manufacturer listed.

Tier

The tier of an SB determines its general abilities to aid or interact with its operator, perform commands, and its level of autonomy. A higher tier SB usually has a more advanced computer, a higher degree of autonomy, and is better able to aid and interact with its controlling creature. These are still relatively simple robots though, advanced robots are the purview of government and military organizations or creatures who specialize deeply in building mechanical creatures. SB tier is calculated as its computer tier plus 1/2 tier per add-on (rounded down).

Size & Tier

Small or Medium size is the assumed starting size of the frame of an SB. Each size increase or decrease (up to a maximum of Large or minimum of Tiny) adds +1 to its overall Tier and doubles the power consumption of the frame to 2 OU. Small or Medium sized SBs have a bulk equal to its 2 x its tier plus 1/2 for every add-on. For example, a diplobot Mk. 1 with quantum comms add-on is 1st tier, so 2 x 1 + 1/2 = 2.5 rounded down to 2 bulk. Tiny SBs subtract 1 from this value as their bulk due to their size.

Ability Scores, Skill Points, and Saving Throws by Tier

Specific ability scores and saving throws are completely optional for your service bot. It is assumed that SBs automatically fail a saving throw but it can be more interesting to have to roll for the outcome. The same goes for ability scores, for all intents and purposes an SB is considered to fail any check that requires an ability score. Service bots also have 0 ranks in every skill unless using the optional skill ranks listed below.

Service bots are assumed to have a ten ability score across all categories (except Constitution, which as a technological construct is —). An SB is also assumed to have a zero for all of its saving throws except for one which is equal to its tier, most often Fortitude (Reflex requires a form of self-propulsion and Will save would apply to few circumstances). For example, a tier 10 SB could have a Fort +10, Reflex +0, and Will +0. Every service bot is assumed to have zero ranks in any skill but they optionally may choose one skill and have a rank equal to its overall tier. For example, a tier 5 service bot may have Knowledge (engineering) 5 and zero in everything else. A service bot can Aid Another, provided they have an appropriate add-on or optional skill ranks. For example, BlueJo the lashunta wishes to attempt a Physical Sciences check to identify a piece of stone found. His party member J’ala the vesk has her SB equipped with a mass spectrometer. J’ala can order her SB to Aid Another on BlueJo’s check, granting a +2 to that check.

Price

To calculate the price of a service bot, you sum up the price of its components; add-on(s), computer, frame and any frame upgrades, manufacturer bonus (if affecting price), and power source(s). The below example will demonstrate this.

Add-on(s): storage compartment x4 (50 credits each), turbo (2,500 credits each)
Computer: Tier II (250 credits)
Frame: Quad-III (175 credits)
Frame Upgrades: Durability (500 credits)
Manufacturer Bonus: 10% discount off total
Power Source(s): PS Mk II (200 credits each)
Total: (50x4) + 2,500 + 250 + 175 + 500 + 200 = 3,825 credits – (3,825 x 0.10) = 3,442.5 credits

Size

Most SBs are Small or Medium sized constructs, but whether through constant additions, miniaturization, rebuilding, or purchasing a new one, Tiny and Large sized SBs exist. Moving to Tiny or Large sized SBs requires quality components that are more expensive and a higher output battery than a Small or Medium sized SB. SBs are assumed to be independently mobile, but if their propulsion is broken (or it was built without propulsion) then any SB with a bulk of 1 or more must be set on a sturdy surface to function properly. Any SB with a bulk of 25 or more is not meant to be mobile without its propulsion.

Appendages

The frame determines the number of appendages a specific SB possesses. Whether these are legs, tentacles, pogo stick, or whatever you wish to describe them as, all appendages are used for propulsion or manipulation. Their fine motor skills are typically limited. SBs can not typically carefully grasp and operate small objects (such as a laser pistol), although they may easily push or drag tethered objects of 10 bulk or less, although the appendages can certainly pull a lever, push a button, or flip a switch. Appendages can use add-on slots for additional functionality as listed in Add-Ons.

Frame & Speed

Each SB has a frame that serves as its skeleton. The frame determines the number of appendages, movement speed, and how many add-on slots an SB possesses. Frames allowing a higher number of addon slots are more expensive. Each frame comes with a basic, plastic-like assortment of facial features and skin plates to be determined by the person building the SB. These features are cosmetic and the SB is obviously a robot.

Frames allow for an SB to possess zero to eight appendages, to be used as designated by the service bots programming. All SBs with more than one appendage may be controlled by multiple simultaneous operators, for example an Oct-IV frame has eight appendages and could have as many as eight simultaneous operators.

Frames may be upgraded with more durability (allowing the SB to withstand more damage before becoming inoperative) or more add-on slots, each upgrade increases the tier of the SB by 1/2 rounded down and costing +500 credits per upgrade. The prefabricated units listed below do not include this in their tier as manufacturers try to undersell and make their units more desirable than other manufacturers. Each durability upgrade adds +5 HP or +1 Hardness chosen at the time of upgrade. All frames are assumed as Small or Medium, frames with a size of Large or Tiny increase the tier of the SB by 1 and costs +500 gp more than an equivalent Small or Medium frame.

Table: Frames

Name Appendages Add-On Slots Speed Price
Du-I 2 2 20 ft. 75
Du-II 2 4 20 ft. 100
Du-III 2 6 20 ft. 125
Du-IV 2 8 20 ft. 150
Hex-I 6 3 40 ft. 175
Hex-II 6 5 40 ft. 200
Hex-III 6 7 40 ft. 225
Hex-IV 6 9 40 ft. 250
Nil-I 0 1 10 ft. 25
Nil-II 0 2 10 ft. 50
Nil-III 0 3 10 ft. 75
Nil-IV 0 4 10 ft. 100
Oct-I 8 4 50 ft. 225
Oct-II 8 6 50 ft. 250
Oct-III 8 8 50 ft. 275
Oct-IV 8 10 50 ft. 300
Pent-I 5 5 35 ft. 150
Pent-II 5 6 35 ft. 175
Pent-II 5 7 35 ft. 200
Pent-IV 5 8 35 ft. 225
Quad-I 4 2 30 ft. 125
Quad-II 4 4 30 ft. 150
Quad-III 6 3 30 ft. 175
Quad-IV 4 8 30 ft. 200
Sept-I 7 7 45 ft. 200
Sept-II 7 8 45 ft. 225
Sept-III 9 3 45 ft. 250
Sept-IV 7 10 45 ft. 275
Tri-I 3 3 25 ft. 100
Tri-II 3 4 25 ft. 125
Tri-III 3 5 25 ft. 150
Tri-IV 3 6 25 ft. 175
Uni-I 1 1 15 ft. 50
Uni-II 1 2 15 ft. 75
Uni-III 1 3 15 ft. 100
Uni-IV 1 4 15 ft. 150

Controller Interface

The controller interface for an SB is the same as the User Interface of its computer (see the “Computers” section of Chapter 7 in the Starfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook). Typically, SBs have microphone, visual recorder, and a hidden keyboard to accept eye tracking, gesture, typed, or verbal commands. SBs typically have speakers, viewscreen, and appendages to relay gesture, tactile, typed, or verbal responses. More advanced or rare controller interfaces exist, such as telepathic or magical, but these controller interfaces are specialized, more expensive, and highly power consumptive. Assume that any advanced controller interface not covered in this book cost 1,000 credits and require one add-on slot and 1 OU to power. Any standard controller interfaces do not require dedicated OU (it’s part of the base 1 OU all SBs require to be active)

Language

SBs are typically programmed to understand either Common or a default language of the owner’s choice (and it always “understands” it in the form of any controller interface it includes — so spoken as a language if it takes commands verbally, written if it takes commands from a keyboard, etc). Certain modifications can increase the number of languages an SB understands.

Speed & Propulsion

Propulsion of an SB is dependant on the number of appendages selected. It wouldn’t make sense to have a propulsion system for moving appendages if you chose a Nil-I appendage. The actual description of the propulsion system is purely cosmetic, whether it be an anti-grav generator or synthmuscle to move appendages, the movement is essentially the same (though creative gamemasters may have certain forms of propulsion work differently in specific circumstances). Some forms of propulsion grant a fly speed, swim speed, or both. The propulsion system requires 1 OU to function, which is accounted for in the SB needing 1 OU to be operative. Below is a table of suggested propulsion systems and their minimum required appendages. A damaged propulsion only moves at half speed, a destroyed propulsion means the SB cannot move.

Speeds of SBs is based on frame used and listed in Frames.

Table: Propulsion Methods

Method Min. Appendages Description
Anti-grav 0 An anti gravity unit that allows the SB to float over any surface that generates even partial gravity. Grants a 30 foot fly speed (good).
Arm Propeller 6 Small propellers attached to each appendage allow for flying or scooting across ground or liquid. Grants a 20 foot fly speed (good) or swim speed (good).
Atmosphere Jets 8 A centralized vacuum chamber connected to ejection ports along each appendage. Grants a 30 foot fly speed (good) or swim speed (good).
Hop Engine 1 A simple piston engine allowing an SB to hop along a solid surface.
Magnetic Tethers 3 Grappling lines ending in strong magnets that allow an SB to swing across anything with an opposed magnetic charge.
Slither 0 Simulated musculature allowing an SB with no appendages to move at a slow pace, whether by bunching up and releasing, rolling, or any other similar method.
Synthmuscle 2 Fake bone, musculature, and tendons to simulate organic walking with the appropriate number of appendages.
Tracks 1 Plated lengths of rubberized teflon around rolling drums.
Wheel 0 The simplest invention of time still persists, allowing an SB to roll along any solid surface.

HP & Hardness

All service bots are relatively low HP robots. Calculate SB HP as 5 x SB Tier. Each service bot has 2 + SB Tier hardness. A creature can attempt a DC 22 Strength check or a sunder attempt to break an SB. Any successful attempt at breaking an SB results in the player or GM (whichever was the party attempting to break the SB) choosing a random add-on, the power source, or the propulsion as being broken.

Computer

SBs have a computer (see the “Computers” section of Chapter 7 in the Starfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook) inside of them which accounts for the majority of the cost in any given SB. Most SB computers are relatively simple and cheap with a focus on user interaction and AI personality. All SBs are constructed for sale with root access granted to anyone with a password and scannable badge, operator access is granted to the creature purchasing it. The creature purchasing the SB can hack the computer for root access but risks the computer being wiped if they fail (5% chance of wipe). Creatures purchasing an SB can grant other creatures operator access to the SB. Any creature constructing an SB can determine root access and operator access if they also construct the computer. While not necessary, it is recommended that the player secure the data or purchase some countermeasure against hacking into the SB computer. The computers listed in the pregen service bots assume the most basic computer for that tier.

Power Source (PS) & Output Units (OUs)

An SB requires a power source to function, whether that be an internal battery or a visible, small fusion reactor. Regardless of what form the actual power source takes, power sources can power up to a certain tier of SB and a number of add-ons before needing to acquire a higher output power source.

The following table provides a list of power sources with their power ranking, what tier SB they can power, and how many output units (OUs) it produces for powering add-ons. An SB always requires 1 OU to function. A power source is typically considered to last 1 week per charge and may be recharged or replaced (see the “Recharging Stations” section or the “Technological Items” section of Chapter 7 in the Starfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook). Additional power sources can be fitted on an add-on slot. A power source that has been damaged only produces half of its normal OUs and a power source that has been destroyed does not function at all.

Table: Power Sources

Name SB Tiers OUs Price
PS Mk I 1-3 3 100
PS Mk I-A 1-3 4 125
PS Mk I-B 1-3 5 150
PS Mk I-C 1-3 6 175
PS Mk II 1-5 4 200
PS Mk II-A 1-5 5 225
PS Mk II-B 1-5 6 250
PS Mk II-C 1-5 7 275
PS Mk III 1-7 5 300
PS Mk III-A 1-7 6 350
PS Mk III-B 1-7 7 400
PS Mk III-C 1-7 8 450
PS Mk IV 1-9 6 500
PS Mk IV-A 1-9 7 550
PS Mk IV-B 1-9 8 600
PS Mk IV-C 1-9 9 650
PS Mk V 1-10 7 700
PS Mk V-A 1-10 8 800
PS Mk V-B 1-10 9 900
PS Mk V-C 1-10 10 1,000

It is assumed in this book that power sources output all OUs at all times until they need to be recharged or replenished after a week of use. Optionally, you can quadruple the OU rating of each power source and assume that an add-on consumes the listed number of OUs each time it is activated. A power source must have 1 OU remaining to be able to use the propulsion system.

Starship power sources are not expected to be slotted into a service bot. It is entirely the GM’s discretion to optionally allow them to be but there is a 1% chance on each add-on activation that the power source is too much the SB explodes into a 10 foot radius blast, dealing 1d6 bludgeoning and piercing and 1d6 fire damage per SB tier (DC 15 Reflex for half ). Rigging a service bot to explode like this on purpose requires an arm explosives check using the Engineering skill with a DC of 10 + 2 x tier of the SB, and it always takes one round to charge before exploding.

Power Sources & Split Power

A power source only needs to meet the minimum tier for powering an SB to make the robot
functional. OUs can be split into powering specific add-ons while leaving others inoperative. Changing how OUs are apportioned to an SB’s add-ons requires 1 minute for an authorized user or a successful Hacking check. As an example, let’s say you decide to purchase a PS Mk I power source and put it into your SB that has a total tier of 3 and total OUs required of 4. The SB would function properly, but you must decide how to split your remaining 2 OUs (remember 1 OU is required for the SB to function) between the add-ons that contribute to its OU requirements which can be changed at a later time with 1 minute of work or a successful Hacking check.

Add-Ons

Each frame comes with a number of add-on slots that can be used to give an SB some different features that are useful but not necessarily powerful. Each addon adds 1/2 tier rounded down to the SB’s tier. The following table lists add-ons, slots used, Output Units (OUs) required, price, and brief comment on what the add-on does. Any add-ons can also be placed on a mechanic’s drone as a mod for free if under 1,000 credits or for 1/2 price if above 1,000 credits (unless a similar option already exists for drones, in which case you must use that option instead without GM approval). This is not an exhaustive list, but is meant to give several options and give GMs an idea for what kind of things an add-on should be. Add-ons with 0 slots listed are coatings or special layers applied to the entire service bot. More than one coating can be applied to the same bot, but each is paid for separately. Additional layers of the same type don’t increase effectiveness, but instead allow for more uses in one day. The cost of each additional layering however doubles from the previous one (so getting a basic coating once is 1,000 credits, but getting it good for two uses in one day is 2,000 credits, then three uses is 3,000 credits, etc.).

Table: Add-ons

Name Slots OUs Price Function
Alcohol Dispenser 1 1 200 Adds a tap that may pour up to 10 alcoholic beverages before needing to be refilled. A storage compartment dedicated to this add-on may hold 100 alcoholic beverages.
Atmospheric Container 1 1 250 Adds one hermetically sealed, pressurized compartment and a fitting with ten foot hose with breathing apparatus which allows for 15 non-consecutive minutes of breathing for a creature.
Basic Coating 0 1 1,000 Adds a coating of basic materials to the SB. Grants a +5 energy resistance to acid once per day. Subsequent exposure to acid damage results in the coating being used up in a chemical reaction and it must be replaced.
Bathing Apparatus 4 1 500 Adds four storage compartments with various nozzles, brushes/scrubbers, and cleaning solution tanks. Cleaning medium is recycled after every use.
Blueprint Access 1 1 1,000 Allows an SB to access and store the general layout of the area the computer terminal is located. SB is considered to have a Computers skill of +10 for purposes of hacking to obtain schematics.
Charger 2 2 500 Chamber to place a 1 bulk sized items for recharging once per day.
Cleaning Bays 2 1 150 Adds an electromagnetic brush, dryer vent, and mop tank for cleaning surfaces which also double as a washbasin for clothing.
Cooling Layer 0 1 1,000 Adds a layer of heat dissipating allow to the SB. Grants a +5 energy resistance to fire once per day. Subsequent exposure to fire damage in the same day melts the alloy off and it must be replaced.
Defibrillator 1 1 500 Adds a defibrillator unit that shocks a creature out of the unconscious state.
Entertainment 1 1 500 Each entertainment add-on allows the SB to play one of: Tri-vid shows, music, games, or audio/braille/gesture/video books.
Elastic Joints 1 0 250 Upgraded materials to the joints of the SB provide a more realistic movement and a +1 to the DC to identify it as a robot.
Foam Dampener 0 1 1,000 Composite foam layer to dampen the decibels an SB is exposed to. Grants a +5 energy resistance to sonic. Subsequent exposure to sonic damage results in resonance frequency with the foam and it cracks and falls off requiring it to be replaced.
Holoprojector 1 1 1,500 Mechanism to play audio and video, whether recorded by a holorecorder or from data inserted.
Holorecorder 1 1 1,500 Mechanism to record 1 minute of non-contiguous audio and video.
Holoskin 2 3 200 Adds a holoskin projector that was crafted with a +2 Disguise skill.
Insulation Layer 0 1 1,000 Adds a layer of composite materials providing insulation against low temperatures. Grants a +5 energy resistance to cold once per day. Subsequent exposure to cold damage causes the insulation to become brittle and fall off requiring it to be replaced.
Liftjack 1 1 250 Adds an anti-grav jack capable of lifting 2,500 pounds five feet.
Liquids Purifier 1 1 500 Adds a modified storage compartment with an intake hose and creature specific potability enzymes.
Magnetic Clamps 1 2 50 Appendages or frame is magnetic and can travel in aquatic, low or zero gravity, or vacuums provided there is a metallic surface. Reduces move speed by 5 feet.
Mass Spectrometer 2 2 1,000 A storage compartment paired with a chemical ionizer and analyzer. Grants a +2 circumstance bonus to a Physical Sciences check to recall knowledge about your current surroundings’ atmosphere, geography, or geology or to identify where an item analyzed was produced. It takes approximately 1 minute for the mass spectrometer to complete its analysis and must be paired with at least a tier 3 computer.
Medibay 1 1 500 Jet injector connected to a compartment containing 5 units of biologically neutral foam that stops 5 points of bleeding per unit. Foam can be refilled for 1/2 the cost of the medibay.
Mini Teleport 2 3 5,000 Small teleport bay (big enough to fit 1 bulk of item or 5 negligible bulk items) that is paired with a corresponding transporter somewhere else. Must have quantum comms and storage compartment add-ons as well as at least a tier 4 computer to function. May only be used once per day. If using to purchase items, credits must be transferred first via quantum comms.
Non-Conductive Coating 0 1 1,000 Coats the inner circuitry and outer shell of an SB to protect it from electricity. Grants +5 energy resistance to electricity against one source of electricity damage once per day. Subsequent sources of electricity damage in a single day will melt the non-conductive coating and it must be reapplied.
Omnidirectional Thrusters 2 2 1,500 Upgrades stock mini-thrusters to give a 30 foot (good) fly or swim speed.
Omnitool 1 1 200 Adds an omnitool attachment which provides a +2 circumstance bonus to repairing or crafting mundane items.
Pursuit Deterrent 1 0 150 Adds a small storage space to store enough caltrops, marbles, oil, or any other 1 bulk or less items which can be released into a 5 foot square with a programmed signal from the SB operator.
Quantum Comms 1 2 15,000 Near instantaneous and near infinite (on the same plane) verbal communication with a single transceiver.
Realistic Skin 1 0 200 Adds realistic feeling skin or exoskeleton to the service bot granting a +2 Disguise bonus whenever a creature attempts to check if it is a real creature.
Scanning Array 2 1 500 Series of small scanner arrays to allow SB to detect movement out to a 50 foot diameter. Each additional scanning array increases the distance by 25 feet.
Sealed Design 0 1 1,000 This service bot has been sealed against water, gas, and vacuum, and can survive underwater, in deep space, or other harmful conditions without damage for long periods of time. For each day of total exposure to one condition, there is a cumulative 1% chance the seals will break, with a 100% chance after 100 days. After cracking, a seal must be reapplied.
Shovel Scoop 2 1 1,000 A big shovel and scoop on a multi-angle telescopic arm. This can dig or move up to one hundred pounds of materials ten feet at a time.
Storage Compartment 1 0 50 Compartment to store a single 1 bulk item or 5 negligible bulk items at any temperature from freezing to boiling.
Sustenance Condenser 1 1 500 Specialized storage compartment in which raw ingredients can be fed and sustenance similar to field rations but with a limited selection of flavors.
Translator 1 1 1,500 Adds one language with which an SB may communicate.
Turbo 2 2 2,500 Increase move speed of SB by 10 feet.
Waste Collection 1 1 250 Adds one storage compartment with creature specific toilet and folding privacy screens. All waste is first evaluated for fuel use and stored. Gaseous waste is dispersed at operator set times, liquid waste is dispersed at an operator set times, and solid waste is enzymatically broken down. If an entertainment add-on is also installed then operator preferred music is played while privacy screens are unfolded.
Zero-G Thrusters 1 1 500 Adds mini-thrusters that are only truly effective in zero-g, granting the SB an effective fly speed of 30’ (perfect) in that environment, but are ineffective in any gravity.

Additional Rules Concerning Service Bots

The following section is a grabbag of miscellaneous rules clarifications and discussion of how to use service bots in your game.

Example Service Bot Creation

Anna decides to play a vesk soldier who has a service bot sidekick that she wants to use for storing some extra grenades. Anna starts at level 1 and has 1,000 credits to gear up her vesk soldier and she needs to make some decisions about her service bot. Anna knows that grenades are light bulk, it takes 10 grenades to equal 1 bulk and that is the amount that a storage compartment add-on can hold in an SB.

Anna decides to start with the cheapest frame she can get, a Nil-I frame that has 0 appendages and 1 add-on slot for 25 credits. She doesn’t plan on using a lot of add-ons for a while so she decides on the cheapest computer and power source, a tier 1 computer for 50 credits and a PS Mk I power source for 100 credits.

She throws in a storage compartment add-on to hold her grenades for 50 credits. She decides to go with slither propulsion (completing the image of a grenade carrying metal snake in her mind). She does not need to add anything else at the moment so she spends a total of 225 credits to build; 25 for frame, 50 for computer, 100 for power source, and 50 for add-on. Anna also decides, since her character is a vesk, to default to the vesk racial language and is now happy with her personalized, grenade carrying, snake-looking, and Vesk speaking service bot she aptly names “Boombox.”

Actions, AC & Combat

Service bots are programmed never to harm another creature, are somewhat bulky, and typically don’t react to danger to themselves. Their AC is 10 and CMD is 10 unless modified by add-ons. An SB does not have a CMB score. SBs cannot take any action to attack a creature (although wily players can order them to activate/deactivate something that may cause damage to a creature). An SB can only take a move action or a standard action (or substitute for a move action) in a round, it cannot take a both standard and move action, full action, reaction, or swift action (at least, barring GM approval). Giving your SB an order does not require an action unless the controller interface does not include gesture or verbal. For example, if your SB only has a tactile interface you would need to touch it to give it an order and would require a move action.

This book assumes service bots cannot directly harm another creature via attacking it with a weapon or its frame, regardless of whether your SB was built by you, if it was bought, or if it was hacked to its root access. This does not exclude actions such as instructing your SB to flip a switch that causes a door to close on a creature or actions like that. You are free to change this in your own games but some work must be done to calculate starting ability scores, skills, feats, and things of that nature. Be careful not to overshadow the mechanic’s artificial intelligence class ability or you can grant all of the add-ons for free (or severely reduced price) to the mechanic’s artificial intelligence.

Extraordinary Damage

Service Bots are not meant to be in combat but it is inevitable that they will take damage from some source throughout their existence. Anytime an SB takes 1/4 of its hit points from a single source of damage roll from the table below and determine if any add-ons, computer, propulsion, or power source are broken. Anytime an SB without the nonconductive coating add-on takes electricity damage roll on the table below to determine if any add-ons, computer, propulsion, or power source short out for 1d10 minutes.

Table: Extraordinary Damage

% System Affected
1-25 One add-on is destroyed and must be replaced.
26-50 Computer is damaged and must be repaired for 1/2 of its cost. Subsequent roll on this results in the computer being destroyed.
51-75 Propulsion is damaged and must be repaired. Subsequent roll on this results in the propulsion being destroyed.
76-100 Power source is damaged and must be repaired. Subsequent roll on this results in the power source being destroyed.

Initiative

SBs are typically independently moving creatures controlled by a player. This book assumes that a service bot will act on the same turn as the PC owner of the SB, but you may always roll for initiative for your SB. If you choose to roll for initiative for the SB, it has an initiative score equal to its tier.

Riding Service Bots as Mounts

An SB can be ridden like a tamed animal or used as a mobile litter, provided the PC is no more than one size category larger for riding or two size categories larger for dragging than the SB. This can be accomplished either through a DC 8 Piloting check or a Survival check for handling an animal substituting SB tier for CR (see the table in the “Survival” section of Chapter 5 in the Starfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook). Encountering situations in which you are pitched or otherwise are caused to fall off of your SB mount results in 1d6 points of falling damage plus 1d6 points of falling damage for every ten feet fallen. SBs move in odd fashions and as an optional set of rules, can cause unwanted reactions to riding them for long periods. Every hour riding an SB, roll 1d6 on the table below for a potential condition.

Table: SB Riding Conditions

Roll Condition Effect
1 Saddle sore Gain the fatigued condition for 1d10 minutes upon dismount.
2 Motion sick Gain the sickened condition for 1d10 minutes upon dismount.
3 Muscle cramp Gain the entangled condition for 1d4 minutes upon dismount.
4 Vection Gain the off-target condition for 1d4 minutes upon dismount.
5 Tangled up Gain the entangled condition for 1d4 minutes upon dismount.
6 Atrophy Gain the encumbered condition for 1d10 minutes upon dismount.

This is an entirely optional ruleset but can add flavor to the action of riding an SB. Each condition is additive and cumulative; if you ride an SB for three hours then roll three times on the table and you gain each of the effects or add the minutes together each time you roll the same effect. The effects can also begin while the character is still on the mount and then continue after they have dismounted for the listed amount of time (GM discretion).

Weight & Encumbrance

Service bots are relatively bulky for their size, 1 bulk for Small or Medium sized plus 1/2 bulk for each add-on. SBs are assumed to never be encumbered and can carry up to 2,500 lbs. Exceeding this carry capacity causes a 5% plus 1% for every two pounds over maximum carry capacity chance per movement speed for it to be broken from the weight.

Mechanics Using Their AIs to Control Service Bots

The mechanic class possesses the artificial intelligence class ability that can take the form of a drone or an exocortex. An SB can be integrated into this class feature using either of those distinctions. If integrating with a mechanic’s drone, simply add a free add-on slot as a place to slot each drone mod and the SB takes on the statistics of the base chassis and drone base statistics. If integrating with an exocortex, your SB is considered to be remotely and telepathically (range of 15 feet per level) controlled by your exocortex as well as being able to bestow your consciousness (with full access to your class abilities and skills) onto your SB by loading your exocortex into it. Your normal body becomes inert at this point, still ages normally, and still maintains all of its normal processes.


Cosmic Odyssey: Service Bots and Synthetic Companions from Fat Goblin Games
Service Bots and Synthetic Companions
Get It Here on DriveThruRPG
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