Welcome back to Card Catalog’s look at Starfinder. As previously mentioned, the resulting characters are getting advanced all the way to Seventh Level and if you have not checked out the overview for this series the link is right here! Also, a reminder that I ignored the suggested wealth table to have more fun with the characters. This week, we are taking a look at Clausweld-7 or C-7, the Android Scholar Mechanic and all of Clausweld’s little friends that is the science officer and general out-of-the-box problem solver of the Troublemaker Beta.
Starfinder fulfills it’s science fiction and space opera promise by including playable Androids as a regular race. These are androids derived from a previous Pathfinder book, like the Lashunta, but are a welcome component of the Starfinder system. Clausweld-7 is going to add to the intellectual throweight of the team and will in conjunction with Chitter and to a lesser extent Hiriko fill knowledge gaps, act as a medic, and a general force multiplier. Starfinder provides quick start Ability Score options where instead of rolling for your Ability Scores, you can start with a preset list of rolls to assign as you wish. If you recall from the overview, no Ability Score can start over 18, but we will get well past them later. With a spread of 14, 14, 14, 11,10, and 10, I am starting our leader character with STR 10, DEX 14, CON 14, INT 14, WIS 11, and CHA 10. Clausweld-7 is an Android Scholar Mechanic, so we will start by unpacking those choices.
Species – Android. Androids in Starfinder are an interesting take because they are partially biologic and are recognized as having souls. Each Android frame can have a different amount of metal or plastic mixed into the biological components, but they often have glowing circuit board like patterns visible on their skin. They are a former slave race that was used, and in corners are still used, for labor but have been freed in the Pact Worlds. For their Ability Score modifiers, C-7 takes the +2 DEX, a +2 INT but a -2 CHA. Additionally, Androids are the Android subtype and count as either humanoids or constructs on targeted effects taking the worse result. They do get a +2 bonus against disease, mind-affecting effects and the like unless designed to target constructs. Similarly, they don’t breath and don’t suffer the negative effects of the vacuum. Their Android bodies come equipped with lowlight and darkvision and have an armor upgrade slot that can fit any upgrade for light armor. Finally, while they have a -2 penalty on making Sense Motive checks because they don’t fully understand emotions, the difficulty of Sense Motive checks against them is also increased by 2.
Theme – Scholar. I knew there would be at least one studious and scholarly character in the Troubelmaker Beta’s crew, and it’s the indefatigable studious Android. I see C-7 as on a literally quest for knowledge and studying something that doesn’t make sense so I decided to push that route for development. As a Scholar, C-7 has specialized in Life Science studying Xenobiology reducing the difficulty of the checks and gaining a bonus on those rolls. Finally, a Scholar Theme provides a +1 INT.
Class – Mechanic. The Mechanic has some of the broadest application and can be a very interesting cross between an Operative and a Soldier. There are two specific paths that make a significant difference for a Mechanic – Exocortex or Drone. All Mechanics have an AI they cobbled together but whether it is a dual processing implant or an external bot shapes how they progress. For C-7, I am going with Pet class and giving him a Drone that we will call Balor. C-7 also gets a bonus to Computer and Engineering checks making him a good team up with Chitter. Finally, C-7 has a customized rig or toolkit that allows C-7 to always have the appropriate tools for computers, engineering, or drone modifications. Also, it will allow C-7 to communicate or control with Balor over 2500’ and is a Mk. I comm unit. I am going to install it as an armor upgrade slot into C-7’s arm! SInce Androids get a free upgrade slot and the Rig has to go somewhere, why not always have it? And why not enjoy the mental image of the forearm splitting open and little tools coming out and C-7 muttering about non-Androids insufficient respect for the mechanical.
For C-7’s starting Feat, I go with Medical Expert since C-7’s role is science officer and organic science officer and bonuses to saving the lives of the rest of the crew will probably be needed. Mechanics actually have limited skills selections with a 4 + INT modifier since they get so many other abilities and access to utility. Computers, Engineering, Life Science, Physical Science, and Perception are definite starts. Medicine and Culture will round it out even if C-7 doesn’t always like to use those skills. Aside from the light armor and small arms, Mechanics do get Weapon Proficiency: Grenades, so I do believe C-7 will be lobbing grenades left and right. With saves and moderate BAB, we look to the Hit Points from Species and Class (10 and the Stamina Points from Class plus CON (8). Finally, Resolve Points start as half your level, rounded up plus your class chief ability score modifier, INT for C-7 (4). For alignment, I settled on Neutral Good for Clausweld. While I understand the idea of making an Android Lawful, these are Androids with emotions and biological components … think more Replicant or Westworld Host. I think Clausweld is generally good, in that the betterment of al the races is something to seek and liberation of the Android species certainly can give hope and Neutral because Clausweld isn’t sure whether the rules of the Pact World and the species that exist are just – see the aforementioned enslavement of the Android species.
Balor gets its own section because it is a fantastic combat drone that will often play fetch with Clausweld-7. A Mechanic with the Drone AI gets to build an entirely separate pet and level it up as you go! The combat drone I have in mind is a four legged attack beast with wheels at the bottom of those legs. While Balor starts with reductive plating, weapon proficiency and a weapon mount, I am adding a second weapon mount as the starting Drone mode so that I can mount a rifle on it for better ranged attack options. Unsprisingly, this means that Balor has Weapon Proficiency Long Arms to start!
Clausweld-7 shows a pretty stable progression as a Mechanic without the pace of the Operative’s skill heavy build or the sheer flexibility and choices of a soldier. Just as a reminder, check the link below for the character sheet since we won’t discuss all of the advancements.
First, on the Ability Score increases, I will push INT as the prime requisite but also DEX, WIS, and CHA. The WIS and CHA are certainly part of learning more about non-Androids and about what these other species truly are. The DEX increase provides additional needed Armor Class, Initiative, and ranged ability. I only doled out a Mark I personal upgrade, but the Trinary Defragmentation Subroutine firmware for the INT bonus helps out a lot especially when we add the High Density Datajack augmentations. Sitting at a 20 INT is a pretty good place for our Android Mechanic.
With the INT upgrades, the retroactive skill ranks come into play so while Computers, Engineering, Life Science, Medicine, Perception, and Physical Science are all kept at full ranks, moderate ranks of Culture, Profession, and Sense Motive are picked up. A small smattering fo ranks in Stealth, Piloting, Athletics, and Acrobatics come from various misadventures that C-7 has had. Finally, I wanted to put a few ranks in Mysticism for C-7’s personal journey and to reflect that. As a Scholar, Clausweld now has a rereoll to recall information once per day on his specialty.
Next we look at the Mechanic Tricks and bonuses from the Mechanic class as we progress to 7th Level. We have three Mechanic Tricks, an increase in the Bypass ability, and then the Overload, Remote Hack, Miracle Worker, and Expert Rig improvements! For the Mechanic Tricks, Clausweld-7 has focused on fixing things as the Troublemaker’s crew tends to break things. Specifically, Quick Repair, Quick Patch, and Portable Power to speed up repairs, make patching during starship combat faster (probably by literally plugging into the computer), and providing power by plugging a computer or starship into C-7’s arm. Overload allows C-7 to force a fault in an electronic device, which is most of them in Starfinder, to remporary render it inoperative while Remote Hack means that C-7’s hacking can happen at range and usually in competition with Chitter. Finally, Miracle Worker goes a long way to being *that* mechanic who can literally pull a ship together with duct tape – check the Core Rule Book at Page 70 for more details. We’ll talk a little more about that improved Expert Rig momentarily.
For general Feats, Clausweld added Skill SYnergy for LIfe Science and Medicine to keep up as the medic, even when Vaelayo is somewhat occupied, Master Crafter, and Weapon Focus – Grenades because Stoli encouraged C-7 to develop the love of explosives
As with other d20 based systems, the Base Attack Bonus and Saving throws also increased. Check out the character sheet linked below for the full write up. The gear and armour have also been upgraded to reflect the character advancement.
Balor has gotten to improve as well! In addition to the Aphelion Laser rifle, Balor has also gotten a new weapon mount for an Arc Pistol when those pesky pirates would swarm in close which also means we picked up Weapon Proficiency Small Arms, but put extra ammo on the Aphelion rifle and hardened Balor’s AI. He has gotten a bit more stubborn as Clausweld and Balor have waded through more combats and the upgraded Expert AI system shows the further development there! For Feats, I added Far Shot, Versatile Focus, and Weapon Focus – Longarms so Balor can keep raining down ranged attacks on Clausweld-7’s enemies!
Bast is our newer addition. The Expert Rig upgrade for Clausweld-7 means that the Rig is now a Tier 3 Computer and I gave it the Artificial Personality upgrade! If you remember, the Rig is in Clausweld’s arm so C-7 is often seen talking to the drone and the arm at the same time. It’s quite funny. Part of the reason for only a Mark I upgrade was to spend the credits on extra Computer Hardening for Bast. Unlike Balor’s eagerness, Bast has a more laconic outlook on things and often will just “lounge” about in the technosphere around C-7. Her personality is best described as acerbic and lazy … but when she has to actually act she gets a mean streak a mile wide!
Clausweld-7 is the latest Clausweld, the 7th in fact as the name suggests. Clausweld-6 underwent Renewal 30 years ago, finally feeling the work of began in the Thyst Rebellion has run its course. Clausweld-7, or C-7, still have not been told just what C-6 had done during that Android uprising. The only remnant of C-6 left when C-7 began this journey as a sentient lifeform is Balor. C-7 has had Balor as a constant companion since the time of awakening where Balor has looked after and protected C-7 the entire time. C-7 has fixed, debugged, and upgraded Balor many times over the decades, but there is still something about Balor’s code that holds a few secrets.
On Absalom Station, C-7 was thrust into a cosmopolitan and pluralistic world which has left many questions. The Androids are a constructed race, but it is agreed and known that Androids have souls, or attract souls to stay with these bodies for some time; C-6 had at least 250 years before choosing Renewal. What was it that makes a soul-filled person a soul-filled person? C-7 has been consumed by this question for the entirety of C-7’s life.
As an Android, even with a modicum of biological parts, Clausweld was easily drawn to tinkering with machines and so C-7 quickly established a life as a Mechanic on Absalom Station. While earning a living taking apart drones, computers, and the like, C-7 delved deeply into the study of taking apart biological constructs as well. Oh, don’t fret like that – there were no vivisections in the process. A normal curiosity compelling C-7 to try to understand how an Android could be so similar to a Lashunta and yet so different. Clausweld’s strength lay in the practical side and so the dissections and repair work continued.
That’s where it stood. Clausweld-7 with Balor at the side, playing “fetch” in the bowels of Absalom Station to study the Human, Android, Kasathan, Elven, and Vesk condition. That is, until a little case of stolen datachips went a bit astray. Balor heard them first, and was the first to greet this strange trio of Vaelayo, Besu, and Chitter who were poking around for some missing datachips. Clausweld was about to shrug and write off this chance encounter with troublemaking newcomers to Absalom station when Balor knelt down and snuggled up to Besu. The Kasathan had no way of knowing this was in any way out of the ordinary, but Clausweld knew. Clausweld knew Balor had never treated anyone else like that.
One pesky turn of events later and Clausweld had signed on as the science officer and mechanic for the Troublemaker as they made their way to the Diaspora to hunt for pirates. Vaelayo had a definite take on what it meant to be alive and channeling the power of the universe, but it was Hiroko that attracted C-7’s attention the most. The Technomancer Philosopher had been making a name for herself on the Absalom positing on the connection between souls and therefore between the species in the Pact Worlds. Her work came at C-7’s question from the metaphysical direction, and there was no reason to stay on Absalom Station when so much could be learned from these companions.
Rooting out the source of the pirates that were harrowing the Ulrikka Clanholding shipments wasn’t the interesting part, though it had its excitement – the Android pirate mate that asked why Clausweld would stand against her was the interesting part. It took this Android sometime to realize C-7 wasn’t C-6, and she tried over and over to get C-7 to see how the dwarves treated their own like Androids. She tried to convince C-7 the only Androids were above enslavement …. And to be honest Clausweld can’t say she is wrong yet.
Clausweld’s focused existence has been somewhat disrupted by Stoli’s arrival and he just encourages and eggs on Chitter while the two of them swap stories and insults. It has certainly gotten in the way of the talks with Hiriko and Vaelayo, though the Bone Sage’s unsouled undead certainly took their share of the attention. It was curious to Clausweld that while the Elves in league with the Eoxian wouldn’t approve of slavery, they had no qualms with the undead servitude of the Bone Sage’s might. Curious indeed.
And now, as Balor plays with Stoli and Bast counsels to stay away from these overly emotional creatures, Clausweld-7 thinks back to try to find why Clausweld-6 finally chose Renewal and whether any work was left behind unfinished.