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Aazlain

Some facts about bioroids and clones

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Posted (edited)

The core book did a decent enough job of packing as much information as it could in its limited page count, but I think it is a little light on information about bioroids and clones, two playable archetypes. 

I have gathered below some information on bioroids for GMs and players who intend to play androids or clones.

For the purpose of this guide, I'm sticking to 'Canon' information only (Games, RPG, Novels) as opposed to player created content.

Feel free to contribute below. I'll update this first post with your input. Whenever possible, please cite your sources (such as novel or book title, page, chapter, card name).

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DID YOU KNOW?

ON ANDROIDS IN GENERAL (Bioroids and Clones)

Androids and the Law 

Because they are manufactured synthetically, androids are classified as property, not people, so any violence inflicted on them is mere vandalism, not assault or murder. While completely organic, clones are classified as machines and accordingly have no rights. Androids can be impounded without a warrant if suspected of criminal activity, or inaction could lead to further damage to people or property. An officer can also seize a bioroid that appears tampered with, modified, or illegally obtained.

ON BIOROIDS

The Three Directives

'All' bioroids are bound by the Three Directives*, rules which form the core of a bioroid's programming,  but in theory a bioroid could have any number of core directives. Even zero. The Directives are inspired by Isaac Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics".

  • The First Directive forbids a bioroid from harming, or through inaction allowing harm to befall, a human being.
  • The Second Directive requires a bioroid to complete its primary function above all other considerations, save the First Directive.
  • The Third Directive requires a bioroid to preserve its ability to function and report frequently to Haas-Bioroid for repairs and updates.

* If you play a bioroid, you need to decide whether they are still beholden to their directives.

Regular Maintenance

The Third Directive states that the bioroid must report to Haas-Bioroid for regular maintenance (weekly) when doing so would not violate the First or Second Directives. Often this is a simple visit to the nearest HB showroom, but in the case of the more sophisticated or prototype models, this can entail a journey up the Beanstalk to HB’s R&D facility on Luna.

This maintenance might take the form of a simple shutdown and repair, tightening loose joints, replacing worn seals or synthskin, refitting errant wiring, and recharging internal batteries. The entire process can take less than an hour, thereby minimizing the unit’s downtime. Sometimes the process is more involved; replacing a damaged limb or overhauling a power source can take days to complete. Thankfully, due to a bioroid’s extreme durability, these occasions are rare.

Weekly maintenance is important not only for the bioroid’s physical shell but for its quantum brain as well. Shutdown can help break any algorithmic recursions or other infinite loops that may be draining a bioroid’s processing power. [Worlds of Android - Page 40]

Artificial Appearance

Although many bioroid models possess a covering of synthetic skin, common features like silver eyes and cabling at joints mean no one would ever confuse a bioroid for an actual person. Many humans are discomfited by the semblance of humanity presented by synthskin bioroids, so Haas-Bioroid takes great pains to mitigate this so-called “uncanny valley” effect. 

Aim for the chest!

Some bioroid models have their brains located into their torso rather than their head for better protection. (Confirmed for Drake and Frank models)

Bioroid compensation

Bioroid units contracted to corps by Haas-Bioroid are given a weekly credit allowance from HB. Bioroids choose how to spend it. They spend their credits in places so they can socialize with humans and learn from those encounters.

Falling off the grid

Haas-Bioroid has a policy of destroying any unit that has fallen off their grid for any significant time. They don’t want to chance letting any kind of software corruption loose in their facilities.

Most bioroids have a locator beacon installed that can be activated to track down “misplaced units”. [Night on the town adventure - Part 2 - On the Run]

Known models and primary Functions

  • Adam (Industrial Labor)
  • Alix (Investors and financiers)
  • Adonis and Eve (Pleasure)
  • Ash (Office productivity) 
  • Ben (Multipurpose executive assistant)
  • Drake (Detective)
  • Elsa (?)
  • Florence (Nurse)
  • Floyd (Detective)
  • Frank (Heavy labor. Limited social interaction capabilities)
  • James (Clerical unit)
  • Janice Line (Corporate and office work)
    • Brad (Finance)
    • Sally (Overseer)
    • Grey (Customer Service)
  • Kevin and Lisa (Pleasure)
  • Mc-Dreamy (Medical) 
  • Rex (Search and Rescue)
  • Seth (Barista)
  • Steiger (Miner)
  • Welby (Medical)

 

ON CLONES

Fingerprints

Clones have unique (albeit similar) fingerprints, so clones of the same line have fingerprints similar enough to be distinctive. Even a Henry who has never been fingerprinted will likely be identified as a Henry based on his fingerprints alone.

Identifying a clone

Clones are identified by a distinctive tattoo on the back of their necks coupled with a sub-dermal ID chip. Each code is unique to the individual, so law enforcement organizations use the tags to identify ownership.

Housing your clone

If your home is large enough to have a spare bedroom—even a small one—then this is often the best option. In cases were sufficient living space is not available, the best option is to house a clone at either a nearby clonetel or to ship it off to an austere but large clone barrack.

Reproduction

Clones are sterile and can't reproduce. [Exodus - Chapter 5]

End of Lifespan

Clones who have exceeded their product lifespan are taken to a Jinteki recycling facility for 'recycling'. Damaged or defective clones can also be disposed in this fashion.

Clone models and primary functions

  • Desai (Teacher)
  • Florence (Caretaker and personal nurse)
  • Henry (Labor)
  • Molloy (Restaurateur*)
  • Nisei (?)
  • Omoi (Security)
  • Steven (Caretaker and personal nurse)
  • Tenma (Pilot)

* Proprietary to the Mother Molloy's Irish Pub chain.

 

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Below are some topics for which need more information or confirmation. Feel free to contribute.

Clone and Bioroid Lifespans?

Clones (and Bioroids?) are designed with a reduced lifespan, at the end of which, they are 'retired'. How long is this lifespan? Would a clone naturally cease to function at the end of that lifespan or does it need to be 'forcibly retired' by Jinteki?

Quote

Six months ago, Alix 75H2LW walked out of Haas-Bioroid with a life expectancy of at least six years. Since her salvation from the hands of her kidnappers, that time has been cut down to hours. _WoA p.52

Bioroid naming convention.

Bioroids have a name that starts with their model name, followed by a serial number (?) Are there any reference about this naming convention? Number of digits? Is it just random numbers and letters?

Some examples: Alix 75H2LW, Ash 4L1KD5PS, Elsa 5K71R, Floyd 2X3A7C’s, Drake 3GI2RC, Frank 5DE7CE, James AK49I27, Welby 4AR9KA.

 

 

Edited by Aazlain

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Posted (edited)

Shadow also mentions these clones:

Desai (teacher)

Tenma (pilot)

Omoi (security)

Molloy (restauranteur*)

Nisei (psychic?)

It's unclear if K8 police dogs, teacup giraffes, and so on are cloned or bred, if you want to count non-humans. My money is on "cloned", for what it's worth.

In Worlds of Android, a rogue Tenma (of unspecified age) indicates that he doesn't know his own expected lifespan, but guesstimates 10 to 25 more years. No idea what a lack of, uh, manufacturer maintenance might do to that.

*Worlds describes the Molloy series as proprietary to the Mother Molloy's Irish Pub chain.

Edited by TheLonelySandPerson

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Posted (edited)

There's a Ben line of Bioroids mentioned in the free adventure Night on the Town. He seems to be some kind of business analyst as per the below. He's definitely part of a new line of Bioroids.

Quote

"was uploaded with highly- confidential sales reports and economic forecasts so I could demonstrate my analytical abilities."

 

Edited by Roderz

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In the Monster Slayer novella, two additional lines of bioroid are mentioned:  a "Frank", "some sort of labor model", and a "PX", "a versatile design popular with Martian pioneers and in space exploration" (p. 28).

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42 minutes ago, Alderaan Crumbs said:

Interesting there are no pleasure clones, given the bioroid pleasure models.

Is that actually a stated fact/rule for clones, or are there simply none specifically called out in any material? It seems like a whole in the market that Jinteki should be exploiting, aside from the fact that the internal culture might clash with the whole ideal.

Either way, good material.

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It's implied that there are a LOT more clone models than the ones that have been explicitly named, ranging from economical "stock" clones to highly trained ones. You can get custom clones made if you have the money, and I'd suppose that unless you also buy the rights, Jinteki will retain the genome to produce additional copies or related lines.

Which is to say, I am absolutely positive that pleasure clones exist, but the morality of that situation goes way beyond "yikes", so it probably hasn't been touched on in any books or products.

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I meant no pleasure clones as far as those listed here. I haven’t heard of a “Pris” model or such. And it very much does wander uncomfortably close to very hot button issues, so it’s not surprising they aren’t detailed (assuming they aren’t). There’s a lot of really uncomfortable topics around clones that can, depending on the group, be explored but I wouldn’t expect FFG to approach them.

 

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Posted (edited)

Question:

Are all Bioroids only leased, with Haas-Bioroid maintaining ownership, or can a corp or individual purchase and own a Bioroid?

I've seen multiple references of leased Bioroids in Worlds of Androids but no mention of private ownership so far. Also, the third directive seems to reinforce the notion that Bioroids can only be leased.

Edited by Aazlain

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Aazlain said:

Are all Bioroids only leased, with Haas-Bioroid maintaining ownership, or can a corp or individual purchase and own a Bioroid?

I've seen a lots or reference to leased Bioroids in Worlds of Androids but no mention of private ownership so far. Also, the third directive seems to reinforce the notion that Bioroids can only be leased.

It could be a licensing situation. Like video games and some technology we have now. When you purchase a video game today you don't technically own it. You're basically just licensing it from the publisher. That's what is in those massive End User License Agreements games make you agree to before you can play. It could be a similar situation in the Android universe.

 

One line of Bioroids could even have directives or requirements to be always connected to the network (like some games and consoles have done now). You could probably do entire adventures themed around DRM Free Bioroids.

Edited by Noahjam325

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Two Jinteki clone lines from Free Fall:

Hoca (homo caelum fabricata), adapted for zero-g environments - "Each was smaller than a normal human, with a large, bald head, deep-set eyes, dark skin, large hands, and [...] an extra set of arms instead of legs and feet, and extra shoulders instead of hips" (p. 54f.)

Turtleback (homo vacuo operae), adapted for working in hard vacuum - "[He] stood one meter tall, and looked like he was wearing a turtle shell [...]." (p. 180)

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On 4/11/2019 at 3:41 AM, Colgrevance said:

Two Jinteki clone lines from Free Fall:

Hoca (homo caelum fabricata), adapted for zero-g environments - "Each was smaller than a normal human, with a large, bald head, deep-set eyes, dark skin, large hands, and [...] an extra set of arms instead of legs and feet, and extra shoulders instead of hips" (p. 54f.)

Turtleback (homo vacuo operae), adapted for working in hard vacuum - "[He] stood one meter tall, and looked like he was wearing a turtle shell [...]." (p. 180)

Holy crap! I mean... I know G-Modding is akin to playing god, it's basically genetic engineering but I just hadn't been confronted with anything quite so "Dr Moreau-ish" as yet. Probably a bad analogy since Dr Moreau was animal experimentation.

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Posted (edited)

I'm reading through Worlds of Android for the first time, and I didn't see this Bioroid listed yet.

 

Alix (Investor and Financier). WoA p. 14

 

Steven & Florence (Caretakers in senior citizen homes) WoA p. 47

Edited by Noahjam325

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On 4/10/2019 at 10:41 AM, Colgrevance said:

Two Jinteki clone lines from Free Fall:

Hoca (homo caelum fabricata), adapted for zero-g environments - "Each was smaller than a normal human, with a large, bald head, deep-set eyes, dark skin, large hands, and [...] an extra set of arms instead of legs and feet, and extra shoulders instead of hips" (p. 54f.)

Turtleback (homo vacuo operae), adapted for working in hard vacuum - "[He] stood one meter tall, and looked like he was wearing a turtle shell [...]." (p. 180)

As you can see from the picture here: https://netrunnerdb.com/find/?q=Turtle+back not all clones actually look all that human.  In fact a lot of stuff from the Netrunner game suggests that most of them are not very human looking, and only the ones actually designed for human interaction look “normal”. 

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Posted (edited)

Clones with Extreme genome alterations

On 4/19/2019 at 9:11 PM, slope123 said:

As you can see from the picture here: https://netrunnerdb.com/find/?q=Turtle+back not all clones actually look all that human.  In fact a lot of stuff from the Netrunner game suggests that most of them are not very human looking, and only the ones actually designed for human interaction look “normal”. 

 

The turtleback in that picture from the card game looks very human-like. The Worlds of Android book doesn't give a detailed description but they do mention that they are radiation- and vacuum-resistant. 

As Colgrevance pointed out, there is a more detailed description in the Free Fall novel (Chapter 12). This description makes the turtleback loo much more 'exotic' than what is depicted in the card’s art.

On Turtleback Clones (Free Fall novel, Chapter 12)

Quote

Turtlebacks were another brand new offering from the sorcerers’ labs at Jinteki — Homo vacuo operae — roughly “Vacuum - working man.” The one assigned to me stood just one meter tall, and he looked like he was wearing a turtle shell, hence the nickname. His head was almost invisible inside the shell’s embrace; two tiny, deeply recessed eyes peered out at me from the shadows. His arms were long, slender, and had skin like black leather. Like the hocas I’d seen at Midway, he had legs and feet that doubled as an extra set of arms and hands, but they were articulated in such a way that he could walk on them okay, especially in low gravity. I doubted that he’d get very far in one-G, though.

A turtleback didn’t need a spacesuit. The shell and leathery skin protected him from solar radiation, cosmic rays, and extremes of heat and cold. The eyes, protected by thick, transparent membranes from ultraviolet radiation, could dilate wide enough to pick up infrared light. I learned later that he had a large space under the shell that held a pressurized air reserve, and respirocytes in his bloodstream that let him hold his breath for over an hour.

On Hocas Clones (Free Fall novel, Chapter 4)

Quote

Homo caelum fabricata was the Latin name, meaning something like “manufactured space man.” They were clones out of Jinteki, quite new on the market, with the basic human genome altered considerably from the original. Each was smaller than a normal human, with a large, bald head, deep-set eyes, dark skin, large hands, and—the most startling change—an extra set of arms instead of legs and feet, and extra shoulders instead of hips.

Of course, the clone archetype from the core book is most probably intended to represent the more 'vanilla' or human-like clone variations from Jinteki. Not variants with such extreme genome alterations.

 

 

 

Edited by Aazlain

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Posted (edited)

Bioroids 360-degree and infrared vision. 

In the Indentity trilogy, there are multiple mentions of bioroids having 360-degree vision.

It is unclear if all bioroids have this ability but at least three models are mentioned having such capacity: Drake (Detective), Floyd (Detective) and Welby (Medical). It also appears that this is also not necessarily a commonly know fact.

Bioroids also appear to have infrared vision allowing them to see in the dark.

Android: Rebel (The Identity Trilogy Book 3), Chapter 3:

Quote

I had 360-degree vision through vid transmitters all over my body—bioroids are not limited to eyes only, that would have been a design weakness…

Android: Rebel (The Identity Trilogy Book 3), Chapter 14:

Quote

I followed him and ignored the stares that trailed in my wake. Most of the men and women watching me didn’t realize I had 360-degree vision.

Android: Rebel (The Identity Trilogy Book 3), Chapter 28:

Quote

His silver eyes glinted as they tracked me, but that was a passive subroutine response because he had 360-degree vision as well.

Android: Golem (The Identity Trilogy Book 1), Chapter 7:

Quote

The ductwork opening came to a landing. I eased up, able to see through the darkness with my infrared vision.

 

These abilities are not reflected in the Bioroid character archetype of the core rulebook, possibly for game balance reasons. 360-degree vision could be replicated by purchasing ranks in the Rapid Reaction and/or Heightened Awareness talents with starting experience. Infrared vision could be replicated by purchasing night vision goggles (Genesys Core book) or cybereyes. 

 

Edited by Aazlain

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Posted (edited)

Androids lifespan

Here are a few bits of information on androids lifespan from Worlds of Androids. 

It is still unclear but it could be as low as six years for some bioroids models. 

 

Quote

By the age of five, children have learned 80% of their social skills. That’s a fraction of the life expectancy of a bioroid. We can’t wait that long. We accelerate that growth potential in bioroids through play. Bioroids will continue to learn until the day they cease functioning. (p.46)

 

Quote

Six months ago, Alix 75H2LW walked out of Haas-Bioroid with a life expectancy of at least six years. Since her salvation from the hands of her kidnappers, that time has been cut down to hours. (p.52)

 

Quote

Granted, drivers are subjected to far less stress than clones that serve in heavy industry, but even when compared to other light-duty models, Tenmas have exceeded the manufacturer’s expected lifespan. Anecdotal reports indicate owners are purchasing extended service plans rather than replacing them with newer releases, likely due to high customer satisfaction levels. Jinteki has not publicly indicated any plans to discontinue support for the Tenma line, which suggests that they have not yet reached a phase of planned obsolescence. Consequently, the “natural” projected lifespan of a Tenma remains unclear. (p.64)

Edited by Aazlain

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On 4/21/2019 at 7:28 PM, Aazlain said:

Of course, the clone archetype from the core book is most probably intended to represent the more 'vanilla' or human-like clone variations from Jinteki. Not variants with such extreme genome alterations.

 

Don’t have the CRB on me right now, but if I remember correctly it says the Clone stats in the book are supposed to represent a clone who was tailor made to a specific purpose and to use the Average Human stats if you want to play a more human clone.

However, I don’t know if that actually applies to this since it does seem to be a generic description rather than an Android specific one.

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On 4/4/2019 at 3:46 AM, Alderaan Crumbs said:

I meant no pleasure clones as far as those listed here. I haven’t heard of a “Pris” model or such. And it very much does wander uncomfortably close to very hot button issues, so it’s not surprising they aren’t detailed (assuming they aren’t). There’s a lot of really uncomfortable topics around clones that can, depending on the group, be explored but I wouldn’t expect FFG to approach them.

 

I finally found it.

although there are no stars, the book does mention that there is a brothel that has been sued for using clones that breach in genetic copyrights.  So they definitely exist, they just don’t give them stars or name them.

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