From Astromechs to Battle Droids, the Scavenger's Guide to Droids features everything you need to bring the robotic inhabitants of the Star Wars saga to life in your own campaign. Featuring an in-depth look at Droids from the perspective of a variety of Droid experts, this book provides a wide array of new options for droid heroes as well as allies and antagonists.
Main Article: Introduction
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.
Main Article: Droid Heroes
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.
Main Article: Droid Allies
Droids occupy a unique place in Star Wars. They are machines that feel, automatons that think, robots that know. They fight wars, heal the sick, and track down Rebel scum. A droids develops a personality, friendships, and rivalries, just as an organic being does over the course of a lifetime. Droids might squabble among themselves, but they will also offer any parts necessary to help repair a friend fallen in battle. Organic beings often treat their Droids less like property and more like companions. Droids are a remarkable part of life, even if they are not truly alive.
Droids have a significant effect on history. Were it not for a pesky R2 unit, The Rebel Alliance would have never become The New Republic. The legions of Battle Droids are worthy foes of The Galactic Republic. A Droid's recording of a Jedi meditation leads Zayne Carrick to fight his former masters. Droids are important pieces to the puzzle of what the galaxy has become. Some Droid designations are well known as heroes or villains: C-3P0, HK-47, and IG-88.
Yet, some beings in the Star Wars universe consider Droids to be nothing more than tools- just hydrospanners with legs. Droids are sent into battle to be destroyed. They are unmourned if they do not return from unexplored regions of space. Indeed, some beings resent Droids for their efficiency and cause of the perception that they take jobs from organic beings who need feed their families. Droids are refused service in some businesses, and they are denied basic rights on some planets. In spite of, or perhaps because of, all their amazing achievements, Droids can bring out the worst in other beings. Galactic conflicts, such as the Clone Wars, in which Droids are programmed to kill and destroy are not forgotten by the beings whose homes and planets are overrun by mechanical menaces.
This chapter explores the role of Droids in the Star Wars universe, including their struggle for rights, their religious beliefs, and even a few old spacers' tales thrown in for good measure. It looks at Droids as equipment, as well as at some of the unique roleplaying opportunities available to Droid Heroes. Players who would like to give extra spark to their Droid Heroes can find plenty of interesting options. Gamemasters looking to add flavorful Droid characters to their stories can find useful hints, tips, hooks, and aids here.
Main Article: Droid Equipment
Unlike other heroes in the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Droid characters are, literally, made from their equipment. Whether it is built-in or carried, factory installed or an aftermarket change, equipment defines what a Droid can do, and, therefore, what it is. A Droid without its accessories is little more than a talking, thinking computer.
How a Droid thinks of its equipment depends on the type of Droid it is, its intelligence, and its degree of independence. Carried equipment or possessions are less a part of a Droid's sense of identity than equipment that is fully installed and integrated into its processing system. Unintelligent Droids care nothing for their equipment, aside from the standard built-in self-preservation programming. Droids with minimal personalities might care more about keeping their systems functional, but not on an emotional level. A highly intelligent Droid, or a Droid with a highly developed personality, might care a great deal about its built-in systems and might grow attached to certain accessories.
Droid equipment is also referred to as a system. Systems are divided into four categories: Locomotion, Appendage, Processor, or Droid Accessory. However, only those accessories that are integrated directly into the Droid's chassis are considered systems. An accessory that is attached to an appendage or carried by a Droid is considered a possession.
Most Droid Equipment presented here requires installation on the Droid, using the Modifying Droids rules. Droid-specific equipment that does not require installation is noted as such. Equipment that other characters can use on Droids is also found in this chapter. The equipment costs listed are for new systems and typically include installation. However, Gamemasters can adjust costs depending on any number of factors, such as proximity to Droid service facilities, rarity of parts, or other local conditions.
In most of the galaxy, a Droid's master must request and pay for installation of a new system on a Droid. Few Droid shops are willing to make a change simply on a Droid's own request, even if it has the necessary credits. The Droid might be trying to circumvent its owner's wishes, so technicians are likely to refuse to risk the wrath of an owner or, in some cases, violate the law.
Main Article: Droid Codex
The number of Droids present in the Star Wars universe is enough to make one's head spin, for the sheer number of Droid models alone could fill a datapad's memory banks, and these Droids contribute to almost every facet of galactic society. With numerous manufacturing companies continually designing and building new lines of Droids as well as improving existing models, this industry has no end in sight.
This article, aptly named the Droid Codex, features a sampling of Droids from various periods of the Star Wars timeline that are newly written for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game. Each Droid presented has its own full entry that includes a statistics block, a description, a background, and an illustration. Although each entry is typically for the stock version of the Droid, any number of variants can exist and might reasonably be encountered, depending on the interests of the Gamemaster and the players. Each Droid also includes a statistics block for the Protocol Format. Gamemasters who are using the optional protocol rules can give the Protocol Format statistics block to the player who owns the Droid for quick reference.
Each Droid entry also includes a "Playing the Droid" sidebar, which includes a number of details about the construction and design of that Droid. This area contains not only information about how to recreate the Droid from scratch using the Droid construction rules and new equipment from Droid Equipment, it also includes tips on how to properly portray the Droid's personality according to the data presented in Droid Heroes and Droid Allies of this book.
The entries in this chapter indicate a number of modifications that Gamemasters can implement, letting the Droid perform other functions not normally performed by stock models. These modifications might be mechanical upgrades or parts replacements that allow the Droid to undertake new tasks and provide some interesting twists and surprises during game play. These modifications can also serve as inspiration for developing your own variants of the Droid.
In addition to the information listed above, each entry also contains a sidebar feature that provides additional background information about the Droid and offers an adventure seed for an adventure revolving around that Droid, to help the Gamemaster introduce the new Droid into the game.