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Buying & selling droids?


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#1 Jshock

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:41 PM

My group is playing through long Arm of the Hutt, but this is more of a general question that a rules specific one. While cataloging the contents one of the holds (the one full of droid parts), I mentioned to tone of the players that there was @ 2k credits worth of spare parts; also that he could probably build a droid if he wanted. The player had a completely different idea; he figured he could probably build a droid, then sell it off for more than the value of the parts. Now this may be a cruel and despicable idea, but I don't want to squash it (because it's not a really BAD idea, either). How much do you think a hand built droid is worth? Do you think he should basically break even on the cost, or is it worth a little more for creativity? I personally plan on making it a sentimental, heartbreakiing scene either way.



#2 LethalDose

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 06:11 PM

Jshock said:

My group is playing through long Arm of the Hutt, but this is more of a general question that a rules specific one. While cataloging the contents one of the holds (the one full of droid parts), I mentioned to tone of the players that there was @ 2k credits worth of spare parts; also that he could probably build a droid if he wanted. The player had a completely different idea; he figured he could probably build a droid, then sell it off for more than the value of the parts. Now this may be a cruel and despicable idea, but I don't want to squash it (because it's not a really BAD idea, either). How much do you think a hand built droid is worth? Do you think he should basically break even on the cost, or is it worth a little more for creativity? I personally plan on making it a sentimental, heartbreakiing scene either way.

Huh… Well, there's a lot in there.

First, building and selling the droid is fine.  You can do it with whatever level of complexity you want.  For the simpest option, I'd have them roll a mechanics check to build the body (see third bullet point for skill uses in beta txt. p 77) followed by a computers check to program the processor.  Adjust difficulties as you see fit.  Every uncanceled success increases the value of the droid by 10%, Advantages let them keep some parts, threat wastes parts or makes the droid defective, Triumph/despair… use your imagination.  Basically, it'd be like building anything else out of parts, and using your expertise/knowledge/time to increase the value of the raw materials for sale.  If they want to bargain for a better deal, toss an appropriate social skill in there (negotiations, coerce, whatever).

Thats the boring part.  The fact that you seem to have some moral qualms about allowing the construction and sale of a sentient engine, aka a droid, is WAY more interesting.  

I don't think theres really reason to believe that this is an issue in the Star Wars universe.  First, it seems pretty clear that the vast majority of droids are viewed as livestock or tools in the universe as a whole.  While there may be obvious exceptions to this rule, it does seem rather pervasive.  Some owners may become particularly fond of a particular droid, but even then, its not often more than a well-loved pet.  Second, some droids are barely sentient.  Any 5th degree droids, and probably most 4th degree droids, are unlikely to be capable of holding a conversation or displaying much personality.  Finally, they PCs could simply do a memory wipe after ensuring the droid was functioning properly, and let the new owner boot it up.  The original droid has no memory of ever being owned; no harm, no foul.  

So, for the most part, I wouldn't worry to much about the issue. But it gets fun when you do.

Lets say they do build and sell the droid.  Does the droid remember being sold off immeadiately after being built?  Is it sad? Mad? Does it wonder why it was created?  Does it have a bizarre personality quirk? Like vengance?  Maybe it knows exactly who built it, and who sold it to a sadistic, abusive owner.  Does it escape?  Does it try to join the heros?  Does it quietly shadow them and help from the wings?  Or does it have some perverse need to show it love to it's creator by killing him/her, turning it into a new villian for your campaign.

So… yeah, letting the PCs build and sell a droid sounds f***ing awesome!

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#3 kinnison

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 08:16 PM

There is no moral qualms in the SW universe for selling a droid.   Some people in SW think of droids as sentient beings.  Some only think of them as tools.  The Separatist army in the clone wars had as less empathy for them as you would for a pair of boots.

We know there are $2000 worth of parts, but that does not necessarily means they all can be used to build a droid.  You might have parts for two or three different droids, or missing key parts like a motivator, vocabulator or processors.  This can be explained via roleplaying.  heck the droid built could be owned previously by Trex and when given the opportunity try to sabotage the ship.

When the droid is built, it would obviously be used, and not necessarily up to specs.  WHen trying to sell it I would only allow half the list price of a new droid of the same type.  This can be modified by negotiate or even streetwise.  which begs the question, is spending several hours building the droid worth the effort to gain a few hundred credits?

some old  RPG numbers for the price of new droids:

1st degree (21-B medical droid) : 4500

2nd Degree (R2 Unit): 4500

3rd Degree (C3PO): 3000

4th Degree (Battle Droid):

B1 Battle droid is 1800

super battle droid 3300

Droideka: 21000

5th Degree Droid (Binary load lifters, Gonk, Tredwell): 1000

 

 


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#4 Lunatic Pathos

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 03:46 AM

When those hours are otherwise spent lounging while your ship flies through hyperspace, heck yeah its worth it. And don't trounce creativity for the sale of 'realism'. This is wide open for story ideas. Personally, I like to let the dice (threats/advantages) decide the results, so even as a GM i'm playing to find out what happens.

#5 Andrew Tatro

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 04:00 AM

More current RPG numbers for droid prices, taken from the Beta book:

1st degree Medical Droid:  12,000 credits

2nd degree Astromech Droid: 8250 credits

2nd degree Maintenance Droid:  7500 credits

3rd degree Protocol Droid: 8000 credits

4th degree Security Droid: 9600 credits

4th Degree Assassin Droid: 65,000 credits (note that this is an enemy that's capable of fighting a whole party

4th degree Antiquated Battle Droid: 6500 credits



#6 ErikB

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 04:31 AM

kinnison said:

There is no moral qualms in the SW universe for selling a droid.

 

It is probably fair to say that most of the characters in Star Wars don't seem concerned by the idea of owning droids, but that doesn't mean that players or individual PCs couldn't have issues with people feeling they can own sentient beings, fit them with restraining bolts to force them to do what they want, and casually have their memories erased if they start acting up.


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#7 krawnight

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 02:00 PM

More current RPG numbers for droid prices, taken from the Beta book:

1st degree Medical Droid:  12,000 credits

2nd degree Astromech Droid: 8250 credits

2nd degree Maintenance Droid:  7500 credits

3rd degree Protocol Droid: 8000 credits

4th degree Security Droid: 9600 credits

4th Degree Assassin Droid: 65,000 credits (note that this is an enemy that's capable of fighting a whole party

4th degree Antiquated Battle Droid: 6500 credits

 

Is this is the non-beta EofE core rulebook? I'd love to give my new group the option to buy a droid to cover certain skill gaps, but I can't seem to find this pricing info anywhere.

 

Best I saw was a suggestion that the technician character can start with a droid for extra obligation but I have no idea what that "conversion rate" should be.

 

A page number or something would be great, thanks!

 

Found it. Page 409 in the Core Rulebook!


Edited by krawnight, 20 April 2014 - 02:05 PM.


#8 Rikoshi

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 05:42 PM

More current RPG numbers for droid prices, taken from the Beta book:

1st degree Medical Droid:  12,000 credits

2nd degree Astromech Droid: 8250 credits

2nd degree Maintenance Droid:  7500 credits

3rd degree Protocol Droid: 8000 credits

4th degree Security Droid: 9600 credits

4th Degree Assassin Droid: 65,000 credits (note that this is an enemy that's capable of fighting a whole party

4th degree Antiquated Battle Droid: 6500 credits

 

While those prices and models are certainly in the core rulebook, the next question the GM needs to ask is, "Are 2000 credits worth of parts able to create any of these actual droids?"

 

I would rule that any droid assembled from parts like this wouldn't be any stock model droid, and definitely wouldn't fetch as high a price as one.  It's like the difference between buying a car that was made by Toyota or Ford versus an automobile someone built in their garage.

 

That being said, I LOVE the idea of using the morality of making a sentient artificial being and selling it. Heck, I might even use it as an Obligation hook--you're able to build a droid that's advanced enough to be sentient (and fetch a higher price because of it), but now there's the chance that problems might arise because of it later.


Edited by Rikoshi, 20 April 2014 - 05:44 PM.


#9 MonCalamariAgainstDrunkDriving

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 08:09 PM

I love the idea of having the Droid be sad about being sold! That's beautiful.

And yeah, I'd say final value should definitely reflect Successes, Advantages, and Triumphs. Maybe a Triumph gives the Droid memory from a past existence?



#10 Kshatriya

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 08:28 PM

But in all likelihood a handmade droid is not going to be worth as much as a tried-and-true factory model, except maybe to an eccentric person who likes unique or weird droids, or unless the droid somehow is better at certain valued skills than a factory model would be (imo unlikely).



#11 2P51

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 10:13 PM

Droids are fairly ubiquitous and it would depend a lot on the type of Droid in regards to prices and costs and recouping them.  If you're planning on it being more of story narrative aspect I'm not sure you need to worry about specifics in regards to cost and breaking even to take the money aspect out of it might not be a bad idea.


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#12 Nimsim

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 10:19 PM

To preface this, I'm not casting aspersions on anyone's character. This post is more about how I see star
Wars and what's important about it.

Man, listen to all of these space racists. Droids and technology are some of the most important parts of the theme of the movies, and everything from the millennium falcon to the little eyeball droid outside of Jabba's palace is given a personality. Blah blah extended universe book X says that droids are nonsentient and "can't be force users" and blah blah. The great thing about Star Wars is that EVERYTHING is alive and connected. THATS the force. Everything from trash compactors to asteroids to battle droids has a spark of life to it, all of them connected in the force. I think that's the number one thing that you should take in order to give your games the Star Wars feel, that the universe is alive and full of wonder, even if the characters ignore or don't understand it.

So yeah, absolutely feel free to make it a sad moment for the droid being sold. Maybe if the creator has some kind of speech quirk or behavior quirk, have the droid copy it. Emphasize that the character has no idea why the droid acts like that, and never give an explanation. Maybe they'll want to make another droid and keep it this time.

#13 Kshatriya

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Posted 20 April 2014 - 11:54 PM

To preface this, I'm not casting aspersions on anyone's character. This post is more about how I see star
Wars and what's important about it.

Man, listen to all of these space racists. Droids and technology are some of the most important parts of the theme of the movies, and everything from the millennium falcon to the little eyeball droid outside of Jabba's palace is given a personality. Blah blah extended universe book X says that droids are nonsentient and "can't be force users" and blah blah. The great thing about Star Wars is that EVERYTHING is alive and connected. THATS the force. Everything from trash compactors to asteroids to battle droids has a spark of life to it, all of them connected in the force. I think that's the number one thing that you should take in order to give your games the Star Wars feel, that the universe is alive and full of wonder, even if the characters ignore or don't understand it.
 

 

You mean like at the end of Ep III when someone casually references wiping 3PO's memory? :P

 

I mean I consider that far and away the most horrifying thing that can be done to a sentient being - erasing all recollection of how they got to where they are right now. But that's just me. 


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#14 knasserII

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 01:17 AM

To preface this, I'm not casting aspersions on anyone's character. This post is more about how I see star
Wars and what's important about it.

Man, listen to all of these space racists. Droids and technology are some of the most important parts of the theme of the movies, and everything from the millennium falcon to the little eyeball droid outside of Jabba's palace is given a personality. Blah blah extended universe book X says that droids are nonsentient and "can't be force users" and blah blah. The great thing about Star Wars is that EVERYTHING is alive and connected. THATS the force. Everything from trash compactors to asteroids to battle droids has a spark of life to it, all of them connected in the force. I think that's the number one thing that you should take in order to give your games the Star Wars feel, that the universe is alive and full of wonder, even if the characters ignore or don't understand it.

So yeah, absolutely feel free to make it a sad moment for the droid being sold. Maybe if the creator has some kind of speech quirk or behavior quirk, have the droid copy it. Emphasize that the character has no idea why the droid acts like that, and never give an explanation. Maybe they'll want to make another droid and keep it this time.


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(note, on the off-chance that the above reference is missed, this isn't an insult).

Edited by knasserII, 21 April 2014 - 01:17 AM.

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#15 Nimsim

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Posted 21 April 2014 - 07:34 AM

Given how the whole point of the prequels is that all of the characters are flawed, bad people, it makes perfect sense that they'd do something so callous. Keep in mind that wiping 3P0s memory is their way of attempting to hide the mistake of Anakin, something that literally every character in the OT tries to do when talking to Luke. But of course the force has the "lowly" R2, whom the humans all ignore, to further its agenda. Also, consider who carries 3P0 around when he's blown up. Chewbacca, the non-English speaking sidekick apparently likes the droid enough to lug him around. Yes, 3P0 can serve the humans, speaking their language, but in the end he's still just as valuable to them as Chewbacca, who doesn't even get a medal.

Basically, the characters in the movie are almost all also space racists, except for Luke, who is of course one of the few people actually in touch with the force.
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