[Once again, players in the campaign, don’t read this post: Spoilers abound…]

Now that we’ve dealt with the chomers in the last few posts, what are we doing about the humanoid Cylons for our new campaign? I’m sticking less closely to the new show that I did in my original campaign, which would have fit into the show canon nicely. First, I’m ignoring the whole Earth Cylons came and convinced the Cylons to stop their war, yadda yadda…the Final Five reveal was a massive disappointment (although it didn’t run me off from the show as it did some fans.)

So — going with what we saw in Razor, I’m positing the Cylons were trying to make life-like infiltration units to collect intelligence and sow dissension in the Colonial ranks; I covered sexbots and similarly android-like toasters in an earlier post. Attempting to reate a more lifelike hybrid android would seem to have led to the modern humanoid Cylon.

In keeping with the new show, there are 12 models that are widely copied and use a shared consciousness (hinted at several times in the early episodes where one Cylon would know things its siblings would.) I’m going with the idea that they vaguely follow the archetypes of the Lords of Kobol or the 12 major Olympians…with their “god” possibly being “the Blaze” or “jealous god” mentioned in the cut scene from Kobol’s Last Gleaming. (I’ve yet to decide on this…)

However — the Cylons can build an android “clone” of a person using 3D flesh printing and programming of the doppleganger. They cannot scan the human brain yet, so they use publicly available information to create as deeply accurate a copy as they can. These can be tripped up by the gaps in their knowledge and mistakes in emulating behavior, but it’s subtle enough people might mistake it for the person “having an off day” or some such. Only with capture and heavy interrogation can the Cylons get a better picture of the person, and create a more lifelike copy. (I’m still tempted to allow destructive brain scanning — they can do a near perfect job, but only if they destroy the original brain…but that doesn’t allow for rescue or escape options.)

The one-offs and copies are similar to the 12 models — they are not biomechanical, other than the cybernetics in the brain, so a DNA or blood test won’t reveal their nature; only a detailed scan or biopsy of the brain would do that. As they are essentially a clone assembled kit-like, they are not super strong or fast, but they have the following traits in common: ELECTRONIC INTERFACE d6 — this is an unconscious uplink to Cylon handlers that allows them to access the perceptions, thoughts, etc. of the agent without their knowledge. They have the complication BACK DOOR d10, where their mind can be hijacked and their actions controlled by their handler. The agent can fight this with a WILLPOWER+DISCIPLINE/RESISTANCE test vs. the WILLPOWER+DISCIPLINE of the handler + the agent’s BACK DOOR complication. Also, they gain the VIRTUAL IMMORTALITY d12 trait, if the Cylons want to resurrect the agent from stored mind-states.

More dangerous are the 12…the command and control Cylons. How these creatures came to rule the Cylons when they were originally just another tool for the centurions to fight Mankind is unknown (or in other words, I haven’t made it up yet…) They are biomechanical androids and gynoids who are good enough copies of humans that they cannot be detected save through a specific test for synthetic material through a biopsy or blood test. They share their memories through staggered data dumps to a resurrection ship or facility (they can do this willingly or schedule times to not distract [usually while they are asleep]) and can communicate wirelessly up to a half mile in urban environments, twice that in open areas. Their muscle fabric is dense and powerful, and run through with synthetic nerve tissue allowing for very fast perception and reaction. Their brains are augmented with biomechanical molecular computers that allow them to store vast amounts of data, recover information faster and with little loss, but their perceptive abilities are hardly better than a human — they see, hear, taste, feel along the same parameters as a person, with only slight improvement to their acuity.

The 12 have the following traits: ELECTRONIC INTERFACE d8, IMMUNITY (most diseases and radiation) d12, PHYSICAL PUSH d8 (they make break the die up to cover any physical attribute for a minute. They need five minutes between each push, and each extra push requires an EASY VITALITY+WILLPOWER test to gain the benefit, +3 each extra time until they can rest for twelve hours.) VIRTUAL IMMORTALITY d12 — if they can run a backup, they can be downloaded into a new copy. The range of these downloads is astronomical and might be some form of quantum entanglement. (this might explain why they don’t spawn their memories outside of their particular model.) Lastly, humanoid Cylons’ cybernetic brains are more robust than their mechanical cousins, and hacking a Cylon is near impossible…but they are also more susceptible to certain radiation frequencies that do not effect humans — VULNERABILITY d8 (they must make an EASY WILLPOWER+VITALITY test after the first hour, with the difficulty increasing each hour by +3. On a fail, they suffer d8W each hour afterwards.) They can be jammed for their communications, if their frequency can be found by brilliant player characters (Difficulty HARD.) ( But not the immortality infodumps!)

My 12s: 1) This is a powerful, very intelligent middle-aged looking man [Zeus-like] who is usually the senior commander and rarely scene outside a basestar. 2) More matronly looking leader, also often a senior commander. 3) Smart and vicious females, these act as spies, provocateurs, and front0line commanders. 4) Doctor/scientists, the males are often in charge of Farms, or are colocated with collection teams during the War. They are surprisingly compassionate, but this won’t stop [most] of them from doing their duty. 5) This woman is a hunter/soldier unit with little compassion or mercy. [I’m thinking of keeping the “Simon” 4 and making this 5 a black woman to keep the Artemis twin vibe to 4’s Apollo.] 6) Similar to the show’s 6, this is a spy and provocaeur with a massive sex drive [Aphrodite] and bigger ego and need to be loved. Might use a different actress. 7) This warrior is not concerned with tactics and good order [unlike the 3]…he’s a killing machine and loves it. 8) This is a mid-management commander, usually on par with the 3. He chafes at his secondary position vis-a-vis the 1s and doesn’t like the favored position of the 3s with the 1s. [Think similar to the 5 from the show, but a bit more Gerard Butler-ish.] 9) Going with the Leoben from the show — he’s a trickerster, messenger, by turns vicious or compassionate. 10) These are the scientist/engineers of the humanoid Cylons: brilliant, methodical, and heartless. Often colocated with Farms during the War. 11) Another scientist type, this female is much more emotionally engaged with her subjects. She is usually running the breeding programs and most of the effort went into breeding a highly intelligent model. 12) This male is handsome, charming, and unstable, so much so the empathy some of this model show for humans is a concern.

There is rumored to be a 13th model — some kind of machine-man hybrid from early on in the android program. These act as oracles with the One God? Still thinking on this one.

So that’s my ideas for the humanoid Cylons…