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DavetheLost

Playing Droids....

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I'm playing a salvaged B1 battle droid who had most of his shoddy processors replaced with high-end astromech parts by an Outlaw tech who wanted to create a ship's mechanic that could give the impression of being muscle.  Having been stolen by the player party B1T2 (Bitz) now sits around telling these youngsters war stories about how he and his brethren bravely sacrificed themselves trying to liberate the galaxy from the Jedi menace.  When we go into civilized space Bitz clambers into a opaque helmeted space suit and lumbers around hoping people will assume he's a Kel Dor or Gank rather than an illegal droid in disguise.

 

System-wise, whilst the droid's low starting stats are painful, I think they make sense for beings that are initially created for a single purpose and are thus likely to be excellent specialists with some nice characterful deficiencies.  Once you get some cash in hand then Cybernetics make a big difference since you can have lots of them and unlike most organics you're not going to have qualms about lopping off a limb to replace it with something superior.

 

From a roleplaying point of view droids have lots of interesting areas to play with in every campaign: perceptions of organic life, how you relate to other droids that may lack your sentience, the prospect of immortality and the threat of obsolescence, and of course the mystery of the Force .

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I'm not sure I like how droids are laid out mechanically.  I would like to see the various droid types dealt with as "species", where protocol droids start with high presence, racial ability to translate etc.  Astromechs have high int, built in tools, etc.

 

The free build approach is somewhat odd, since you can create a massively strong Protocol droid that everyone hates.  But then you can't do hardware upgrades to rearrange stats, or software changes to add/delete skills.   

 

It can work, but has to be watched carefully or you end up with very odd builds.

 

A droid is what he's built to be.  What you're describing ("a massively strong Protocol droid that everyone hates") is a non-protocol droid in a protocol droid chassis.

 

You can do hardware upgrades via cybernetics, even altering stats in that way (increasing Brawn or Agility with new limbs, increasing Intellect with a cybernetic brain implant).  The same way you do with organic characters.

 

A droid's personality, its sense of self, what makes a droid an individual, that is its software.  That's why a memory wipe is sometimes seen as "murdering" a droid.  At best, it's like brainwashing a person to change their personality to be a different person.  Making dramatic software changes would be much the same.  You likely couldn't just swap out a skill like you would a computer program, because a droid's AI is far more sophisticated than that.  It would be a traumatic alteration that would be equivalent to a memory wipe, and could possibly cause software corruption (making the droid "crazy").

 

For a droid character to maintain his sense of self, skills and talents have to be integrated logically and naturally through experience and training, much as it does for an organic being.  You can't just force it in.  Otherwise this new programming doesn't fit properly with the rest of the software.

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