No one knows where these strange machines originated, not even the machines themselves. Sages and scholars point to the significant differences between the Children and other automata on the Deadly Sands and say that they can't be from the same source, but what other explanation is there?
Each Child Automaton has a black or dark grey mechanical body that can only pass for human at a distance or if concealed. Their heads look human and are only revealed as artificial when touched, as their skin has the texture of strange, pliable metal.
If your game uses forgeborn, warforged, robots, tick-tock men, or whatever, then use those to represent Child Automata, except you will probably want to reduce their size and movement speed; look at gnomes or halflings for pointers on how that works in your ruleset of choice.
If your game doesn't have artificial people as a character option, then use the following guidelines:
They are immune to disease and poison, and do not breathe, drink, or eat, although can mimic all three.
They heal like normal creatures, as internal systems knit together broken components, a process that baffles scholars. Healing magic works by overcharging these internal systems. Probably. Who knows?
Child Automata do need to sleep each day, just like their flesh-and-blood companions. All Child Automata have the same dream, one of a lush meadow full of tall grass and wild flowers, with bumblebees buzzing and butterflies flitting about. No living person has ever seen such things, so the source of these dreams is of considerable interest to these scholars I keep mentioning. How individual Automata react to these images is up to the player, and if you're running one of those trendy collaborative storytelling type games, maybe the origin of the dreams is also up to the player. Whatever works for you.
Some Child Automata display a sort of compulsive behaviour that may be the result of fragments of deep programming. A player of such an Automaton can roll on the following table.
GO$UB #1987 (d12):
- OBSERVE RECORD REPORT (to whom?)
- COLLECT X AND ANALYSE
- DESTROY X
- I WANT TO BE A REAL BOY/GIRL/WHATEVER
- PRESERVE LIFE
- LOCATE OTHER
- PROTECT X
- UPGRADE BASE UNIT
- LOCATE ORIGIN POINT
- CREATE ANOTHER
- WHAT IS FUN?
- BATHE IN THE BLOOD OF THE FLESHY THINGS