Automata Species in Flight of the Delirium | World Anvil


Shortly after Airships were invented, The Locksmith and The Watchmaker would create the next greatest invention in history. The first automatons are imitations of life, containing entangled particles to a multiversal counterpart to whatever form of life it is imitating.   The story goes that the watchmaker intended to build a gift for a locksmith. The watchmaker remembered a conversation. The locksmith said "I always wanted a horse, but I don't want to care for it. I'm dreadful at caring for pets." In response the watchmaker decided to build what would become the first form of automaton: simulacra. The frame of brass and gold behaved just as a horse would. The locksmith rejoiced at the gift and encouraged her partner to push further and discover the limits of this invention. The watchmaker went to crafting numerous different frames with different methods of operation.     Automata are defined as constructed constructed mechanisms designed to perform specific tasks, or designed to operate independently of outside influence. They are combination of four distinct parts and each part can make a major difference on how the automaton behaves and what it is capable of.  
  • Frame The frame is the general structure of the automaton and plays a vital role in the automatons physical strength, lifespan, and durability. Automatons naturally degrade overtime, especially when made with iron which rusts.
    Most frames are made of iron or steel, but this comes at a cost of mobility as well. Some modern models come with quantum tethers that connect the other components together with strong and invisible bonding that still allows for high mobility and dexterity. These tethers are still rare, due to the fact that they are expensive and difficult to maintain without the proper expertise.
  • Shell The shell refers to the outer casing and surrounds the other components. Depending on the model and what it was designed for, common shells include brass, iron, and, even minerals such as granite or marble. The primary purpose of a shell is to provide protection as well as add aesthetic value to the finished product.
  • Power source' automatons use a variety of different power sources to achieve operation. Some contain combustion engines requiring fossil fuels to operate while others are charged via electricity. Some are powered by Aether, especially if they contain quantum tethers as their frame.
  • Operations: This is the most vital component as it directly affects what an automaton is capable of and how it behaves. There are three common operation methods used. These operations are independent of the other components. Quantum entanglement is by far the most popular however has several limitations. Second most popular through the use of command cylinders that contain detailed list of commands the automaton can use. This is much more limited compared to quantum entanglement but is significantly cheaper and also preferable in certain circumstances. The third method is behavioral construction which is effectively a combination of the other two methods. For more information on these see the sidebar.

Sentient Automata

Flight of The Delerium is a table top role playing game as well as setting for fiction. The sentient automata are a potential character race for players. Sentient automata are usually passionate and full of life. They are vibrant an optimistic though some may say naive. They often have many goals and fill their lives in pursuit of ambitions. While there are some who deviate from this, the majority do not, and the sentient automata have a reputation for their cheerful demeanor.   They do have some bugs when it comes to their new found self awareness. They tend to fall short when it comes to contextual scenarios involving emotion. An automaton is often overwhelmed by their emotion and can often feel them at inappropriate times. They are adaptive and intelligent, possessing a photographic memory And are capable of making deductions based on information and experience they've acquired.    


  While the most common stereotypes surrounding automatons involves they're optimistic and cheerful dispositions, there are still quite a few people find them unnerving. Automatons are meant to be imitations of life, and sometimes their uncanny appearance and behavior brings out anxiety in those who meet them. Some people are deeply unsettled by automatons and often treat them poorly to the point of outright racism.   Uprisings among the sentient automatons have sprung up in several parts of the world but none more so than in The British Empire where automatons are forced to servitude, sentient or not. This has led many to consider automatons untrustworthy.   Despite this, several organizations of automatons have developed with the primary agenda of building good relations with humankind. Many sentient automatons adore humanity and wish to be human themselves. They do not have the ability to feel tactile sensations and even pain is an inviting concept to them. This desire can develop into prolems. Sometimes, automatons suffer a strange form of depression referred to as Geppetto's Complex or Pinocchio syndrome. This condition usually leads to envy on the part of the automaton. Most of the time this syndrome is fairly mild and never develops further, but there are scattered cases of murders as the automatons seek to rebuild themselves as living organisms by harvesting humans and wearing their skin. These situations are remarkably rare and usually only occur in areas where extreme prejudice towards automatons exist.     Needless to say relationship between automatons and humans have been complicated over the last couple decades.

Quantum Entanglement

The very first form of automaton used quantum entanglement as its form of operation. By entangling the particles of the frame to the particles of a multiversal counterpart that the automaton is meant to simulate, it can be taught behaviors that the quantum entangled counterpart is capable of doing. This can be a tedious process as the automaton has to be taught everything that it is capable of doing. The horse that was built had to learn that it could stand and only then could it learn that It could walk and then It had to learn how to run. After all of this it still had to be taught when it needed to run, walk, and stand and it needed to be taught what outside stimuli needed to be given in order to be considered a command. On top of this if the multiversal counterpart is not capable of doing what it is that is being taught, the automaton will not be able to learn it. This even includes its increased strength, as a automaton based on a human will not be able to learn to lift more than its counterpart despite being perfectly able to.  

Command Cylinders

Command cylinders are brass canisters with sheets of metal rolled inside. Thes sheets are lined with raised bumps and punched out holes that are each designed to trigger sets of motion when translated. Every change to the surface of the sheet will elicit a response in the parts of an automaton capable of motion. This is effectively one of the first programming languages ever made in this reality. The device that reads the cylinder knows what each individual change means and after reading the commands makes those commands happen. This is a very limited approach to creating an automaton. There is a direct limit to how many commands can be added to a canister and on top of this there is a limit to the amount of commands a canister can even have. These automatons are usually found in factories and other positions we're very specific tasks would be needed without having to overcomplicate commands.  

Behavioral Construction

This is the most effective method of operating an automation. A canister filled with Aether reads ethereal sheets similar to that of command cylinders. These commands are stored but don't permanently change the surface of the sheets. This allows for the autonaton to learn behavior of their own accord and expand on that learning with no other stimuli. They are often intelligent and can speak, developing complex personalities. Automatons who use this operation method will inevitably gain sentience, making their place in society complicated, to say the least.  

Automata vs. Imbued

The imbued were an experiment that created a huge list of moral problems and the situation with the sentient automata creates similar issues. Most automata are completely without self awareness, no matter how it may seem. Sentient automata are more complex and often seek to make their own way in life. Some are even trying to find a way to transfer conciousness to an automaton given these developments.

A Twist of Events

An automaton, even one that is sentient, is disconnected from Aether and Quantum Keys. Quantum Keys refuse to work for automata for unknown reasons. When asked, the keys often seem confused. They usually end up simply asking what on earth the wielder is talking about, as to the key, they wernt being held by anyone. It seems that, for whatever reason, a construct is invisible and beyond the reach of quantum keys. Powers given by chords and keys are usually not nearly as effective when used against automatons. Another surprising fact, and one that can frustrate the keys themselves.  

Beasts of Burden

constructs are used all over the world as a source of free labor. There are many jobs a construct can do just as well as a human can, and even more that a construct can do better, quicker, and with less margin of error. From plowing fields to working in a factory, loading ships on a dock to housekeeping and other jobs in the service industry, constructs can be seen doing it all. While the immense racism they often face seems like it would be difficult to find work, most sentient constructs are surprised to find that is not the case. Even in the British Empire, no businessman would deny paying a fair wage to one who can work and do so with a high work ethic, maximum efficiency without sacrificing quality, and most importantly, do so without even the slightest hint of fatigue.  

A Modular Race

Constructs are unique in that they can always be outfitted to do whatever needs to be done. Constructs have a distinctive advantage over humans: they don't feel pain. While many sentient constructs hate this fact, they can't deny the convenience of being able to Simply replace an arm or the advantage of being able to be rebuilt or should they be crushed in some horrific accident. Sentients fear death too, and many are thankful for the blessing, despite their irritation at the trade-of. For this reason constructs come in many shapes and sizes, and can be outfitted on-the-fly in countless ways. Some constructs are designed to be transportation such as the horse mentioned earlier, others are smaller, designed for espionage and sabotage.
Playing an Automaton

Playing A Sentient

Playing as a sentient automaton is one of the few times in off the cuff that a racial choice for a character can affect the base stats of the character directly. Automatons are completely unable to use quantum Keys, the only form of magic in this particular setting. Given that chords and keys are some of the most powerful things in the game, there are major trade-offs the player gains. These trade-offs correspond to the way the player builds their character, and this isn't talking about the various other trappings on the character sheet. An automaton character is literally built and therefore player gets to choose what elements were used in the characters literal creation. The following table lists the available choices for each of the four parts that make up an automaton. Using this table one will be able to determine what benefits, and on occasion disadvantages, that come from each choice. Regardless of the choices made, all constructs receive 50% reduction of all the facts from Aether and Quantum keys. They are also immune to sickness, save for Pinocchio syndrome, and are immune to most environmental effects, unless the effect involves direct corrosion.     TABLE here   On top of these decisions one should consider how they gained sentience. Player characters who are automatons are always sentient, and have a distinct personality and even backgrounds.            

New Life

I stayed in the article living as a sentient automaton can be a rough life. Some parts of the world are shamelessly racist against them, in fear with their sentience can mean. The Humanity's progress initiative is an organization that is specifically built on the foundation that all sentient automatons must be destroyed, and they often do so with extreme prejudice. This initiative is fearful of a violent overthrow of humanity. This belief is bolstered by tales of construct revolution in The British Empire, and a player who chooses to play as an automaton will likely meet them at some point.

Cover image: by totorrl


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