|Images of androids
Source: Bestiary 3, pg(s). 16
This article might have further canon details available on.
- This article is about the humanoid race. For creatures that have been described generically as androids, see automaton, clockwork, and robot.
- See also: Nanite and technology
Androids were originally designed to resemble all of humanity, and thus androids of all shapes, sizes, colorations, gender expressions, and ethnicities exist.2 Also called "tattooed children of the stars" by Numeria's Kellid tribes, androids are most prominently visually distinguishable from humans by the circuits carved into their skin.24
The average android is 6 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds. Their eyes bear a metallic quality, and their bodies are made of artificial oils, polymers, and nanites that mimic blood, flesh, bone, organs, and other organic systems.4
Androids do not naturally mimic the forms of humanoid ancestries other than humans, and while it might be possible to modify an android foundry to produce such cosmetically different forms,35 such androids would not substantially differ in function or capability from their human-like counterparts.5
Androids carry no memories of their creation. They can struggle to understand or express emotions,234 which can limit their ability to connect socially with other ancestries.2 They have an unquenchable curiosity for knowledge about both themselves and their environment,2 and have keen interests in science, spirituality, and magic as part of their innate drive for enlightenment.67
Most androids become adventurers to protect their fellow androids or to research the history of their people, usually by exploring technological ruins. Androids survive through deception, stealth, and subterfuge, which leads many down the path of the rogue. Others embrace their thirst for knowledge and understanding by becoming alchemists, monks, or wizards.8
Android bodies are purely synthetic, yet respond to healing magic and have souls as organic creatures do. They breathe, eat, and sleep as humans do but with artificial organs, and they circulate their healing nanites like blood through their bodies via pale fluids.6 They are thus inexhaustible, immune to diseases and resistant to other biological effects, and fortified against mental effects, but also suffer the same maladies and vulnerabilities of constructs6 and are susceptible to supernatural curses, including lycanthropy. Despite their nanite system, they are also as susceptible to malicious nanite infestations just as other creatures are.7
While all known androids resemble humans, foundries can produce varying models of androids that are specialized to excel at different tasks.3
Every 24 hours, an android can cause the nanites within their body to surge and greatly enhance their natural abilities for a very short period of time. This causes the android's circuitry-tattoos glow as brightly as a torch.164
Sexual dimorphism and behavior
Androids exhibit the same physical sexual dimorphism of humans and enjoy sexual intercourse,9 though they cannot reproduce through it.29 Androids in the form of children are exceedingly rare, having been designed solely for the purpose of simulating child rearing for parents incapable of reproducing.5
An android sheds their physical human traits and grows weaker as it ages,9 their self-healing abilities fading over the course of a human lifespan.6 An android reaches middle age at around 32 years of age and is considered old at 50, elderly by 65, and at the end of their lifespan at 859 to 100 years of age.2
Death and rebirth
- See also: Android foundry
None—not even the Androffans who created androids—know or understand how or why souls enter android bodies.9 An android's soul leaves their complex, undecaying artificial body about once a century, the shell lying dormant for up to 3 weeks (often in a coffin that resembles an android foundry's incubator, though such a vessel is not required) until a new soul enters.42
A deceased android's soul follows the path of other mortal souls, and upon reaching the end of their soul's natural inhabitation of their body, the android undergoes a process known as Renewal in which their nanites reinvigorate their body to its youthful appearance, reset their mind, and install a new soul.923 A Renewed android effectively starts life as a new creature, knowing only the Androffan language and rudimentary motor skills,2 though they occasionally experience dreams from their last occupant.69 This reset is voluntary; androids once rebelled against their masters to classify a manual renewal as murder.9
An android who dies a premature violent death cannot be Renewed,2 but there are no unique issues in attempting to magically resurrect an android, and an android's soul can be reincarnated. However, other souls cannot reincarnate into a vacant android body.7
Androids, like other mortal soul-bearing creatures, are susceptible to undeath. For example, android zombies retain their body's natural lack of decay, undead android skeletons are largely imperceptibly different from other humanoid skeletons, and incorporeal android ghosts even retain a phantom version of their nanite systems.5
Originating on Androffa, androids arrived to Golarion with the Rain of Stars. Android foundries in the wreckage continue to produce androids, if sporadically, though none of their kind know where they are from or why they were created. Their lack of a history drives their actions62 but also seeds them with feelings of inadequacy and doubt. While they understand their alien and constructed origins, androids on Golarion have collectively forgotten the specifics and purpose of their creation.7
While few and scattered in number, androids share a belief that the First—the first living android—continues to live through thousands of years of rebirths and countless souls. As any of their kind could be the unknowing First, each android holds all other android life as sacrosanct.610 More aggressive androids who look at other mortal life with condescension consider themselves among the Constructed, a philosophy and loose organization that wants to carve an exclusive android society out for themselves and lesser constructs, whether on another planet or on Golarion.10
Along with their rare and dwindling numbers, androids place a high priority on survival. In Numeria, abduction by the Technic League was once a constant threat for lone androids, though less so for groups of them. Many androids who find others of their kind establish secretive enclaves11712 small enough to avoid drawing the attention of slavers and the League.117
Android communities are organized and efficient, with clearly defined roles and intensive educational activities, debates, and inquiries.12 These communities often seem cold and prosaic compared to people of other ancestries, though androids enjoy expressing themselves naturally among their own kind.11 Few outsiders experience such communities firsthand, since such collectives relocate upon being discovered.12
Androids have no inherent aversion to religion, though their unique origin leads them to cast logical doubt on others' worship of creators. Those who do find a religion tend to gravitate to the deities Brigh or Casandalee2 to embrace their artificial nature, or to Gozreh to find their place in the natural order.72 Some are attracted to grand faiths, such as the crusaders of Iomedae and Sarenrae,7 while others see their unique lives as an opportunity to pursue Iroran self-perfection.21013 Desna is also a popular deity among androids.2
Relationships with other races
Many of Numeria's Kellids view them as robot threats in human form, and the once-prominent Technic League considered them lost property. Androids themselves relate poorly to other mortals' emotions. Despite this, androids hold the close few who mentor them immediately after their Renewal in high esteem; despite their adult bodies, new android souls and consciousnesses are more similar to children.11
They also see humans as their own templates and seek to connect with them despite the risks to understand more about who and what they are.11
Some take their marooned status as a sign of their inferiority to humans, or a destiny of ill treatment at the hands of humans, for some unknown distant slight or failure. This results in some androids falling into slavery in Chesed and Starfall.115
A handful of communities welcome androids, however, including Hajoth Hakados in southern Numeria11 and Graymoor in northern Sovereign's Reach. A group of Constructed are rumored to have an underground community, Szamrak's Haven, in the western Numerian Plains.5 The fall of the Technic League and reformation of Numeria's Black Sovereign Kevoth-Kul have also led to Numeria broadly becoming more welcoming to android-kind.12
Elsewhere in the Inner Sea region, androids hide their heritage under tales of celestial ancestry or curses. Others seek blighted lands where their artificial nature protects them from conditions that are fatal to others, such as the Mana Wastes and Sodden Lands, to live free and in peace.115
Paizo has published major articles on androids in Fires of Creation ("Ecology of the Android"), People of the Stars ("Androids"), and Inner Sea Races ("Androids"), and included them as an ancestry in Ancestry Guide.
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- Inner Sea Bestiary, 3. Paizo Inc., 2012 .
- “Android” in Ancestry Guide, 68. Paizo Inc., 2021 .
- “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary 3, 16. Paizo Inc., 2021 .
- “Androids” in People of the Stars, 6. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- “Ecology of the Android” in Fires of Creation, 73. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- “Chapter 3: Rare Races” in Inner Sea Races, 164. Paizo Inc., 2015 .
- “Ecology of the Android” in Fires of Creation, 71. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- “Android” in Ancestry Guide, 70. Paizo Inc., 2021 .
- “Ecology of the Android” in Fires of Creation, 70. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- “Ecology of the Android” in Fires of Creation, 72. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- “Chapter 3: Rare Races” in Inner Sea Races, 165. Paizo Inc., 2015 .
- “Android” in Ancestry Guide, 69. Paizo Inc., 2021 .
- “NPCs” in Inner Sea NPC Codex, 40. Paizo Inc., 2013 .
- “Fires of Creation” in Fires of Creation, 8. Paizo Inc., 2014 .