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Soong-type Android wasted Talent slots

Why are Positronic Brain and Polyalloy Construction set up as mandatory “Talents” and not just part of the Soong-type Android Trait?

A GM can rule them as not being mandatory if they wish. This would allow an Android that is not quite up to speck with Data. (No positronic brain would be a good one to make non-mandatory for a prototype android made by Starfleet in an attempt to duplicate Data.)

Yeah, if you are using the online Lifepath generator tool I’d set it to a mixed species Human+Android so those talents are options rather then forced requirements (assuming your GM is game of course). You can always edit the pdf later to adjust the species name as required to be more specific.

Neither of which explains the design decision to waste two Talent slots for things which should be part of the Trait.

If polyalloy construction and a positronic brain aren’t being used, by definition it’s no longer a Soong-type android, even if they’re cribbing from Dr. Soong’s notes for the basic design.

Humor me … what book and page are android rules?

So maybe the main species should just be Android with Polyalloy construction, with an option for a ‘Soong-Type Android’ species talent that gives it the Positronic brain for your campaign?

It is added into the TNG crew Supplement with Data’s character sheet.

The issue is those two elements are presented as purely positive and way more powerful then a small difficulty shift, which breaks them out of the design space for a Trait. Auto successes from the brain and the wide array of protections afforded by the chassis require them to be “bought” so that the species maintains some level of balance with others.

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Yeah, what Serpine said. Traits are fairly narrowly defined mechanically as difficulty reducers/adders. Both the Talents mentioned are kind of ridiculously more powerful than that, and work very differently mechanically, and thus require the use of other mechanics.

This is correct. Being a Soong-type Android is a big deal, and even in the shows Data is shown to be physically and computationally superior to an ordinary organic humanoid in ways beyond what a single Trait can depict. Data is far more resilient than even the hardiest Klingon, and can process information more swiftly and efficiently than even a highly-capable polymath like Spock.

Now, arguably, it would be possible (though unusual) for an android not to have those talents (or rather, not to benefit from them; the Juliana Tainer android seen in the TNG episode Inheritance is designed to be nigh-indistinguishable from human, to the point where she doesn’t know she’s an android), but that would be a peculiarity best left to GMs and players in an individual game.

In general, the further a character varies from fairly routine humanoid norms, the more likely it is that one or more mandatory talents will be needed to encompass their capabilities.

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Neither of which explains the design decision to waste two Talent slots for things which should be part of the Trait.

If polyalloy construction and a positronic brain aren’t being used, by definition it’s no longer a Soong-type android, even if they’re cribbing from Dr. Soong’s notes for the basic design.

I would imagine that Soong created many types of androids before getting to the level of design he reached with data.

As a point of interest, one of the PCs in my current campaign is an Exo III replicant, which we built using the Polyalloy Construction talent but not the Positronic Brain (aside from his construction he’s effectively human).