Reference Book: Star Wars Saga Edition Scavenger's Guide to Droids

Droids are integral to the Star Wars universe. Indeed, the Droid Heroes R2-D2 and C-3PO are the first characters featured on-screen in the original movie Star Wars: A New Hope. They also represent two Droid-Hero archetypes: the hero and the reluctant hero. R2-D2 takes an aggressive role in pursuing his; and his master's goals, while C-3PO does what he must do when forced to rise to the occasion.

In the Star Wars universe, few Droids aspire to heroism. More often than not, they obey their orders and programming rather than act of their own accord. Battle Droids fight, but few go beyond their mission plans and orders. Astromechs accompany their pilots into battle, but most simply regard it as another job, albeit a dangerous one. Some bond with their pilots, but the bond does not always lead them to act beyond their programming.

No single event creates a Droid Hero. As a Droid's personality develops, it has experiences or gains programming that extends the Droid's sense of self-awareness. Personality often develops in units equipped with Heuristic Processors, but units with Basic Processors occasionally exhibit such behavior. Droids who manage to alter their own programming, or have it altered for them, are more likely to act beyond their design parameters and kecome heroes.

Playing a Droid Hero brings its own challenges and benefits. Droids are considered property in most of the galaxy. Depending on the era, they might be feared, disliked, shunned, ignored, or not taken seriously. However, Droids are also able to fade into the background, enabling them to move without suspicion when another hero would be easily identified. As machines, they are not vulnerable to environmental threats in the same way that organic beings are. They are more quickly and easily repaired than organic characters.

Throughout all of the eras of Star Wars lore, only a handful of major Droid Heroes exist. Droids that step beyond being merely mobile, intelligent computer systems become truly unique. 

Creating Droid Hero Edit

The Saga Edition Core Rulebook presents two methods for creating a Droid Hero- playing a custom Droid and playing a standard Droid Model. This chapter clarifies elements of the Droid creation process and introduces a third option, using a stock Droid Chassis. Players can use any of the three methods to create their heroes. Each method provides options and trade-offs in levels of customization and character creation time.

Option 1: Playing a Custom Droid Edit

This option, creating a new droid model completely from scratch, gives a player the greatest freedom (see Playing a Custom Droid) . This method also takes the longest, because each element of the droid must be created or selected, and its systems and accessories must be purchased individually.

Option 2: Using a Stock Droid Chassis Edit

Main Article: Droid Chassis

Players can select a stock Droid Chassis when creating a Droid Hero. This streamlined method of Droid creation treats each Droid Chassis as a Species. Each Droid Chassis represents the basis for creating a type of Droid rather than a specific model, so a player can quickly generate a new model of Droid, or emulate an existing model while building a character entirely with Heroic Levels. Stock Droid Chassis can also be used to create specific models of Droids, since the chassis share features of the specific Droid Models of that class of Droid.

However, the customization required to make the Droid Chassis match up with a specific Droid Model in question might make other methods more appealing. In some cases, an existing model might not be exactly replicated, but the differences can be attributed to variances in production or aftermarket customizations to the standard model. The size and speed of a chassis cannot be altered without Gamemaster approval. This book features several Droid Models that are suitable for use as player characters. Each has a sidebar describing how to create the Droid using a Droid Chassis.

Droid Manufacturers Edit

Main Article: Droid Manufacturers

Millions of manufacturing companies produce Droids. Most are small companies that cater to local regions, manufacture specialized units, or focus on highly customized models. The major interstellar manufacturers dominate specific markets, although those markets shift as the demands of the galactic government and mega corporations change.

Throughout the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War, Cybot Galactica and Industrial Automaton are the dominant manufacturers, with Arakyd Industries, MerenData, Serv-O-Droid, and Veril Line Systems as major players in their respective markets. During the Clone Wars, most Separatist Battle Droids are manufactured by Baktoid Combat Automata forces, with other units coming from the Techno Union, Colicoid Creation Nest, and the Commerce Guild. However, Droid manufacturing has existed for thousands of years. In the time of The Old Republic, 4,000 years before The Rebellion Era, Czerka Corporation, Duwani Mechanical Products, and Aratech Repulsor Company dominated the Droid markets of their day; other well-known manufacturers, such as MerenData and Serv-O-Droid, were also becoming competitive.

Although manufacturing plants can be found on both major and lesser world s, a significant percentage of Droids come from either Mechis III or Telti. These two worlds specialize in Droid production to such an extent that their surfaces are essentially covered by automated precision-manufacturing plants. The major manufacturers use these fabrication facilities extensively. Most of the Droids built in these facilities are shipped by bulk freighter, but light freighter jockeys make a decent living running small orders to isolated regions of the galaxy.

Droid Quirks Edit

Main Article: Droid Quirks

Droids are temperamental machines, exposed to every kind of environmental and physical abuse. With limited programming and typically deficient maintenance schedules, many Droids develop odd mechanical glitches and personality quirks. Most are minor- more annoyances than anything dangerous. Memory Wipes can eliminate personality quirks, but they do nothing for physical abnormalities.

Droid Quirks are optional in Saga Edition. They make interesting and easy roleplaying hooks, as well as give players inspiration for the development of personalities and backgrounds for their Droids. Some Droid Quirks might also have minor mechanical effects. If no game mechanic is indicated in the quirk description, a +2 or -2 circumstance bonus to Skill Checks or attack rolls might be appropriate whenever the quirk manifests. Players and Gamemasters are encouraged to select Droid Quirks that make characters memorable. Additionally, Droid Quirks can be assigned as the result of physical damage or sensory overload. If a Droid is reduced to 0 Hit Points, roll 1d20+10. If the result exceeds the Droid's Fortitude Defense, the unit develops a Droid Quirk when it is repaired. The Gamemaster can assign an appropriate Droid Quirk or roll on Droid Quirks Table.

Feats Edit

The new Feats presented here are available in any era. Some of these Feats are available only to Droids.

Aiming Accuracy Droid, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot After aiming as a Full-Round Action, gain a +5 on next weapon attack.
Damage Conversion Droid, Dexterity 13 Take additional Hit Point damage instead of moving down the Condition Track.
Distracting Droid Droid Attempt to deny enemies within 6 squares their next Move Action, with a chance to make enemies Flat-Footed.
Droid Focus Trained in Mechanics and Use Computer +1 bonus to certain Skills and Defenses when dealing with a selected class of Droid.
Droid Shield Mastery Droid, Shield Generator (Droid Accessory) Automatically Recharge Shields in two Swift Actions.
Erratic Target Droid, Hovering or Flying Locomotion, Dexterity 13, Dodge Reduce speed by up to 2 squares to increase dodge bonus to Reflex Defense.
Ion Shielding Droid with Strength 13, or Cyborg Hybrid with Constitution 13 Move only -1 step on Condition Track when Ion damage exceeds Damage Threshold.
Logic Upgrade: Skill Swap Droid, Basic Processor Swap a Trained Skill for an Untrained Skill on the fly.
Mechanical Martial Arts Droid, Martial Arts I, Base Attack Bonus +1 Give an enemy a -5 penalty on attack rolls and damage rolls for one round after striking it in Unarmed combat.
Multi-Targeting Droid, Intelligence 13 You can spread your Aim action across multiple consecutive rounds.
Pincer Droid, Claw or Hand Appendage, Base Attack Bonus +1, Pin, Crush Maintain Pin Feat and make subsequent Grapple checks as a Swift Action. Apply Crush to each check.
Pinpoint Accuracy Droid, Aiming Accuracy, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot Move target -1 step on the Condition Track when you hit with Aiming Accuracy.
Sensor Link Droid or Cyborg Hybrid Share sensor data instantly with an ally.
Shield Surge Droid or Cyborg Hybrid, Trained in Mechanics Trade Vehicle's Shield Rating for damage taken.
Slammer Small or larger Droid, 2+ Appendages, Strength 13 Triple Strength bonus to damage rolls on this special melee attack.
Tool Frenzy Small or larger Droid, 2+ Tool Appendages Gain +2 to attack rolls and damage rolls with nonweapon Appendages in exchange for a -2 penalty to Reflex Defense.
Turn and Burn Droid; Hovering, Flying, Wheeled, or Tracked Locomotion; Dexterity 13 Withdraw by clearing threatened squares in up to 2 squares of movement, move your Speed when using the Withdraw Action. Withdraw as a Reaction by spending a Force Point.

Droid Talents Edit

Main Article: Droid Talents

Droid Talents work the same as the Talents presented in the Saga Edition Core Rulebook. However, each Droid Talent is available only to Droids of a particular degree. When a Droid would normally gain a Talent, such as when attaining an odd-numbered level in a Heroic Class, the droid can instead select a Droid Talent.

New Talents for Existing Prestige Classes Edit

This section features new talents for two existing Droid-only prestige classes: the Droid Commander and the Independent Droid.

New Prestige Class Talents Edit

Adjudicating Droids Edit

See also: Droid Traits

Adjudicating Droids can present unique challenges for the Gamemaster. Although they are essentially living machines, Droids cannot be treated as simply another Species or character type. Below are common Droid issues and information on adjudicating them.

Damaged and Destroyed Droids Edit

Damaged and destroyed Droids are treated similarly to organic heroes when it comes to damage and death. However, Droids are also machines and can be reassembled or have their data accessed by other means, so they have additional options not available to organic characters. New approaches to damage and destruction are presented below. Information on Droid damage and repair from the Saga Edition Core Rulebook is also included here for convenience.

  • Conditions: A Droid is treated the same as an organic character when it comes to the Condition Track and Persistent Conditions. Unlike organic characters, however, a Damaged Droid might gain a quirk (See Droid Quirks).
  • Destroyed: If a Droid is reduced to 0 Hit Points by an attack that deals damage equal to or greater than its Damage Threshold, the Droid is Destroyed. However, it can spend a Force Point to become Disabled instead of Destroyed.
  • Disabled: When a Droid is Disabled (The equivalent of being unconscious), it moves -5 steps on the Condition Track, falls Prone, and is unable to take any Actions. It remains inert and inoperative until repaired. A Droid that is repaired immediately reactivates and can get up to fight again, but it starts Prone.
  • Repair Droid (Requires Tool Kit): A character with Mechanics as a Trained Skill can spend 1 hour of work and make a DC 20 Mechanics check to repair a Damaged or Disabled droid, restoring Hit Points equal to the Droid's Character Level and removing any Persistent Conditions currently affecting the Droid. A Droid can attempt to repair itself, but it takes a -5 penalty on its skill check.

New Optional Rules Edit

The following new optional rules can be included, in whole or in part, in your game to give Droid Heroes some of the versatility seen in the Star Wars films. As with all optional rules, inclusion of the following rules in the game is subject to Gamemaster approval.

  • Sacrificial Appendage: When a Droid would normally be reduced to 0 Hit Points or moved to the bottom of the Condition Track, the Droid can choose instead to have one of its limbs severed. If the droid chooses this option, it is instead moved to the -4 step on the Condition Track, or, in the case of being reduced to 0 Hit Points, it retains 1 Hit Point. The sacrificed Appendage should be a limb rather than a tool that the droid can easily do without. The Appendage can be successfully reattached with a repair check (See Repair Droid). The Droid receives Hit Points from the repair, as usual.
  • Destroyed Droids: Taking into account the method of destruction, the Gamemaster determines what parts of a Droid remain after it is destroyed. Blaster fire or an explosion might scatter small and large pieces around the area. A Droid destroyed by a Lightsaber might have slices or holes burned through its chassis, or large sections of the Droid's appendages might be completely severed. The Gamemaster should also determine which of the Droid's systems, accessories, appendages, or tools are damaged or destroyed.
  • Reactivating a Destroyed Droid: At the Gamemaster's discretion, a character can attempt to salvage and reactivate a destroyed Droid. Reactivating a Droid requires that its Processor, power source, and communication interface must be intact. The battery and communication interface can be replaced or replicated if needed. A destroyed Droid cannot reactivate itself. The character attempting the reactivation must make a DC 20 Mechanics check and work on the droid for 5 minutes.
    • A character can attempt to reactivate a Droid as a Full-Round Action, increasing the DC to 30. If the check is successful, the Droid moves + 1 step on the Condition Track. However, the Droid is still considered to have 0 Hit Points and cannot move, attack, or take any action other than skill checks for skills based on Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma.
  • Salvaging a Destroyed Droid: Salvaging a destroyed Droid requires a Tool Kit, time, spare parts, and additional Mechanics checks (See Repair Droid). A reactivated Droid can assist in its own repairs by using the Aid Another Action, although it cannot attempt to repair itself directly. The time required to salvage a Droid can be affected by the level of destruction sustained by the Droid. Repairs might take several hours, several days, or even several weeks, as determined by the Gamemaster. Destroyed Droids usually require spare parts costing 50% or more of the Droid's original cost.

Improvised Droid Tasks Edit

Heroes might try to take maximum advantage of the unique resources a droid offers. A Droid's built-in equipment, traits, and unique social status in the Star Wars universe cause Droids and Droid Heroes to be called upon to carry out tasks well beyond their original programming.

When considering an unusual request for or by a Droid character, consider the following:

  • Does the droid have a Heuristic Processor? If not, then the request must be governed by the standards of the Basic Processor or Remote Processor, so the task must be laid out in specific terms. Unless the request is defined in ways the Droid understands, the Droid cannot act beyond its programmed Skills, Feats, special abilities, and tasks. Even if the tasks are clearly delineated, the Droid might perform them poorly or inefficiently or become confused if the task does not proceed as planned.
    • A Droid equipped with a Heuristic Processor is better equipped to handle unusual situations, so it can act on fewer, less specific instructions. Additionally, focusing on the advantages of the Heuristic Processor emphasizes the choice of processor in Droid creation, rewarding those players who select it.
  • Is the request already covered by an existing Talent, Feat, or Droid special quality? Don't shortchange players who select certain Heroic Class, Droid, or Droid Prestige Class Talents and Feats by allowing other Droids to replicate those abilities too often. If it seems reasonable that a given Droid might be capable of an action similar to an existing ability, allow the action to proceed with a lesser chance of success and/or a lesser result than could be gained with the existing ability.
  • Is the request likely to be abused by the player in future sessions, or likely to become exploited regularly? If not, allow the idea to be used at least in this instance. However, if the idea could become an unwelcome addition to future sessions, the Gamemaster can avoid denying its use outright by allowing the character to spend a Force Point or a Destiny Point (If appropriate) for the action. Another option is for the Droid to suffer a Persistent Condition and move -1 or more steps on the Condition Track at the end of the task.
  • Should the task be covered by new Talent, Feat, or special quality? Some tasks generated by players are more appropriately covered by creating a new Droid-degree Talent, Feat, or special quality. If the player creates a wholly customized or new Droid Model, a special quality can be added at the Gamemaster's discretion.
    • If the Droid is an existing stock model, create a Talent or a Feat instead. If the ability seems like something a Droid ought to be able to learn, create a Feat. If the ability seems focused on a trademark task of a particular model or degree of Droid, create a Talent specific to that degree of Droid.
  • Adjudicating simple and complex tasks. If the Gamemaster decides to proceed with the request, he or she should decide what actions, attacks, and skill checks are required for success. Simple tasks are typically covered by one skill check, but unique circumstances might require more time and/or multiple checks. Complex tasks should take multiple rounds with multiple checks.
  • Plan for failure. A Droid that performs a task outside its realm of expertise can make for potentially amusing or unexpected situations if it fails. The Droid might become confused, carry out the next operation without completing the first task, return unexpectedly, call on the owner for clarified instructions, or give up and report the failure. In the middle of a battle or a critical mission, this failure can cause confusion or threaten a mission's success, forcing the heroes to act quickly to resolve the situation. Gamemasters should take advantage of this potentially dramatic or amusing situation.

The Droid that Gained levels Edit

In adventuring parties featuring less than five players, adding a Gamemaster-controlled Droid to the party can be a great way to balance the party without having to adjust your encounter design. Many gaming groups can only muster three or four players and a Gamemaster, while the game is designed for a typical group of five players and a GM. Filling those empty player spots with Droids is a nice option, because a Droid can easily fade into the background during noncombat encounters, whereas a living character that does so might seem shallow and one-dimensional. If you decide to include a Droid ally as a means of filling out the party's numbers, you should probably think about the Droid just like you would any other major Gamemaster character, and plan on it being with the party for the duration of the campaign.

You should choose a Droid Model that fills an appropriate niche in the party. Similarly, you should probably think about the kinds of adventures your heroes are going to be going on, and what roles need to be filled. If the party lacks a Pilot, a Pilot Droid seems like a good choice. However, there are other considerations. Some Droids don't do well on adventures due to their forms (Try getting that Wheeled Droid up a long set of stairs). A good option for creating Droids to round out a party of heroes is to use a stock Droid Chassis and then build the Droid from the ground up. This not only lets you build exactly the kind of Droid you need to fill a gap in the party, it unshackles you from the usual physical forms of various Droids.

As the heroes gain levels, so should the Droid. The levels you choose for your Droid should likewise continue to help the Droid fill in the gaps in the party. If the party is short on firepower, the Droid should take levels with a high Base Attack Bonus and good combat Talents. However, you also have another option to consider. If you want the Droid to grow and to develop as an interesting Gamemaster character, consider having the Droid take levels in the Independent Droid Prestige Class. This helps represent the fact that the Droid is becoming more and more unique thanks to its time with a party of heroes at the center of great, galaxy-shaking events.

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