FrIEND

There are a couple of rules about robots in Eyes Wide to the Stars. FrIEND, who exists in our current Eyes Wide game, is a good illustration of them!

FReight, Information & ExploratioN anDroid is a robot with six limbs that can be ridden or carry cargo. It stands as tall as a person and can reconfigure its body and hands for different purposes. It’s also kind of a sweet guy.
I’m EXTREMELY grateful to Allegra, who came up with this extremely tortured acronym.
It’s perfect.

Robots are:

  • People. They have a soul and a mind. Just like humans are just barely on the cusp of consciousness, robots are just on the cusp of humanlike protosapience. That means that they can be nudged into full consciousness like humans can and can be sensed as minds like other sapient and near-sapient beings. They can probably learn to reach into hyperspace once they reach consciousness. See: sapient alien spaceships.
  • Built for a purpose, and love doing their job. Unless something elseinterferes and they have to make a choice, they will do their job. A forklift might sneak someone hiding in a crate by bellowing at a guard at volumes that you can hear over industrial machinery even if it’s bending the rules, but it will solve its problems by doing what it loves: forklifting. It might come off as drudging requirement or pride in its work, but it genuinely loves doing what it was built for. That doesn’t mean that it feels like its current job is the best it can be.

Hey, back me up! I can do this kind of thing because you like it enough to pay me to make things up!

FrIEND so far has been useful and cool, but the best part is that there was a chance to gain advantage by leaving him behind and it wasn’t even a choice. At best, it would be like leaving behind the dog. I think I like the “trusted animal” model the most, though we’ll have to see if there are robots somewhere in the setting that we feel are full agents. In a universe populated by humans who regularly enslave humans, it seems likely that there are social forces that want to keep them without agency.

I bet Fifth Worlders have this kind of religious experience, assuming the abundance of mushrooms where they migrate.

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