Reference Book: Star Wars Saga Edition Scavenger's Guide to Droids
The relative peace is shattered by a small Astromech Droid waking from its sleep cycle, its lights penetrating the darkness. It looks around to get its bearings. Surrounding the Astromech are other Droids as far as its electronic eye can see. Realizing that it needs to escape, the Droid kicks out its central leg and rolls through the room. The vibrations coming through the floor tell it that the structure it is in is moving, and it surmises that it is held in some giant vehicle. As the Astromech rolls along, it catches sight of other run-down Droids sitting amid the spare parts and junk scattered about the immense room: Protocol Droids, Repair Droids, Power Droids, other Astromech Droids, and some it has never seen before. As it begins to give up hope, the small Droid catches sight of a familiar Protocol Droid with a golden sheen. The Astromech excitedly rolls up, and the Protocol Droid recognizes its friend and exclaims with glee at finding a friendly chassis in their uncertain situation.
Does this scene sound familiar? The time spent by R2-D2 and C-3PO aboard the Sandcrawler on Tatooine reminds us that Droids are an integral part of the Star Wars universe. How much different would the saga be if the Clone Wars were fought between the Republic's Clone Army and bands of organic beings instead of against the Trade Federation's Battle Droids? Where would the story go if R2-D2 were an organic copilot in Luke Skywalker's X-Wing as he made his attack run on The Death Star?
The idea behind Scavenger's Guide to Droids is to provide players and Gamemasters the tools and information they need to generate Droid heroes, enemies, and noncombatants and to insert them into Star Wars Roleplaying Game campaigns. This section holds new options for Droids to become more than mere machines and to develop into full-fledged characters that work alongside or against organic heroes. Droids can be more than just equipment. They can be individuals.
Using this Book
The contents of this book are intended to help both players and Gamemasters create new and improved Droids. Players will find expanded rules on creating Droid Heroes, while Gamemasters will find new information detailing the creation of Droid GM characters and Droid enemies to challenge the heroes wherever they might go in the galaxy.
Chapter One is devoted to Droid Heroes. Players who want to create Droid characters to play will find new rules on creating a fully detailed Droid with which to adventure alongside organic characters. This chapter presents new Talents and Feats to help make your Droid character unique. Also, information about those companies that manufacture the various types of Droids can be found here, along with what a particular brand name brings to the Droid that bears its name. Also included are several stock models that can be used as springboards to help players quickly put together Droid Heroes and jump into the adventure.
Chapter Two looks at Droids from the other side of the gaming table. Drold Allies are the subject of this chapter, in which the Gamemaster will find more information involving new game mechanics behind the portrayal of Droids in the galaxy, including an analysis of what role Droids play in the Star Wars universe as well as in the roleplaying game. Discussions about how Droids should work with and beside organic characters and how they should behave toward those around them can be found here as well as tips on how to make a Droid more than just a piece of hardware.
Chapter Three delves into new Droid Equipment that can be used by Droids or those who work with them. New Weapons and Equipment that Droids can use or have installed into their chassis are found here, as well as new Weapons and Equipment that nondroids might opt to use on or against them. New Starship and Vehicle equipment and systems relating to Droids can be found here as well.
Chapter Four is the Droid Codex, in which many new Droids are detailed. The contents of this codex, however, are different from other statistics block entries. Along with the standard statistics block and description, each entry includes a section that describes how the particular Droid can be used as equipment by a player character, a sidebar detailing ways to build a Droid PC modeled after it, and suggestions about how the Droid could be altered to perform functions not normally allowed by its original programming.
Throughout the Droid Codex, you will also find sidebars that present adventure hooks relating to the various droids. Each of these sidebars is presented from the point of view of a particular individual:
- Klikk is a Jawa trader: a scavenger and a junk trader from Tatooine. Most of his experiences with Droids involve their technical side, and his discussions are about equipment, making repairs, and rebuilding droids.
- Raalo is a Toydarian junk dealer who, despite being highly adept at making repairs and modifications to droids, is more interested in the business side of his operation and seeks to make as much profit as possible. His discussions focus on buying and selling Droids, obtaining Droids (Both legal and illegal) through The Black Market, and relating details about Droids that he has peddled or purchased in the past.
- Mavven is a Besalisk arms dealer who travels the galaxy. His business connections bring him information and firsthand experience with 4th-Degree Droids, and many people consider him the leading expert in Combat Droids. His discussions revolve around Droids in combat, especially their involvement in battles and martial applications such as work in the military, in mercenary organizations, and in security.
- EV-6T6 is an EV-Series Supervisor Droid. Her position, in which she deals with Droids as an authority figure, is most often held by an organic being, and it gives her a unique perspective. Her discussions primarily focus on Droid-to-Droid interactions and on methods of dealing with different Droid personalities.
A Scavenger's Book
One question that might be crossing your mind as you read this is "Why is this a scavenger's book?" With all of the corporations, technicians, and other citizens of the galaxy that work with Droids on a daily basis, why are we focusing on scavengers? Although they might not be the most glamorous denizens of the Star Wars galaxy, scavengers of Droids and their parts and accessories are probably the most numerous of the organic creatures that deal with these mechanical beings. From the group of Jawas living in their Sandcrawler roaming the deserts of Tatooine to the highest-paid Droid technician employed by the wealthy residents of Coruscant, those that repair, upgrade, or perform any kind of maintenance on Droids generally look to scavengers of one kind or another in order to find the best deals on the hardware they need to complete their tasks and to keep the Droids under their care operating in good condition.
As seen in Episode IV, the Jawas that abducted R2-D2 and C-3PO comb the deserts to locate any piece of technology they can grab, refurbish, and sell to the people living in the desert cities and other, more remote locations. This is their way of life and the way they earn a living. With the large number of Droids stored in their Sandcrawlers' cargo holds, the Jawas have a myriad of parts to use to repair any Droids they deem salvageable for resale. Fortunately for our Droid heroes, the Jawas saw how well maintained they were and did not use them for parts, figuring to make a lot of credits from selling two Droids in such excellent condition.
Captains of Space Transports know the value of maintaining Droids. Those who struggle to make ends meet and scrape together every credit they can just to eat and put fuel in their ships know that any Droid they purchase is a significant investment. Keeping that investment in working condition is a minor expense for a long-term payout. With Droids to keep the ship operating smoothly, a Starship captain has more time to devote to keeping the ship running and to finding the contracts that put food on the table and fuel in the tanks. Captains who are short on credits often find that scavengers are the best solution to their Droid maintenance needs.
The technician working for a wealthy benefactor, corporation, or government might have more resources available to obtain better parts, but will usually do everything possible to keep expenses under budget. Corporations and governments have budgets that their technicians are expected to follow, and rich sponsors do not like to see their invested funds squandered. Scavenging parts and accessories from other Droids, or dealing with the scavengers that locate the parts, helps cut costs and keeps superiors happy.
The beings that deal in used Droids and that run the junk shops and Droid parts stores are the ones that scavenge the abandoned technology of any world, searching through the scraps for any usable parts. Junk dealers will have parts from hundreds, perhaps thousands, of different Droid Models. But the way in which they sell those parts can vary as much as any other business in the galaxy. Some dealers keep their wares all thrown together in huge plies behind their shops and allow patrons to rummage through the piles to find what they need. Other dealers might sort through the piles themselves to find what the customer needs (And to charge an extra finder's fee on top of the asking price for the part). The dealer might choose to sell a part as-is, letting the customer take his or her chances on the part's condition, or the dealer could offer to refurbish it for an additional fee.
In every segment of the Star Wars universe, Droids affect the lives of organic beings in some way. Whether Droids cook, clean, and serve organic lifeforms, help improve interactions between different Species, or help keep the Starships that allow interstellar travel and commerce active, their presence is extremely valuable to the galactic way of life. And the scavengers are the ones that keep the Droids running, silently helping maintain that way of life for everyone throughout the galaxy. Without the scavengers that provide their services to repair the Droids, even the mightiest governments would grind to a halt and the galactic community as a whole would suffer. Without Droids, the Star Wars universe that we know could not exist.