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jhaelen

Why would anyone ever play a droid?

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I agree that droids are given sub-optimal dice pools.

 

I love playing Astromechs in Star Wars.  I was not at all pleased with the droid race as presented in the core books.  They are at a dice pool disadvantage.  I would prefer a selection of droid races to start from with less of a dice pool imbalance, or more starting points.

 

[1] One can have fun with a sub-optimal choice for a character.

 

[2] I often select the sub-optimal choice for a character.

 

[3] However I do not like hidden sub-optimal choices.  I think that they are bad game design.

 

[4] Having a seemingly normal choice surprise me as a sub-optimal choice is off-putting.  Especially a staple choice, like a droid.

 

[5] A sub-optimal-choice masquerading as a normal or average choice could ruin a character concept, and spoil the game part of role-playing.  Both the role-playing and the game part have merit, and need to have attention paid to them.

[5a] I played in a Warhammer 40,000 game with a class that starts with a sword that did something like 2d10+3 damage, and everyone else had a gun that did like 5d10 damage.  It was nuts.  I could run up to the monster and hack at it, do less damage, and be in danger . . . while everyone else was not up in the monsters face, but far off shooting at range and doing more damage.  My concept of a bad-ass was ruined. I mean + x2.5 damage for being from any other class is a bit odd.

[5b] I played a mad scientist in the original Deadlands, and could not do mad science as it took years to make a contraption.  My concept of mad science making gadgets was ruined.

 

[6] Selecting something because it looks neat, but does not perform nearly as well SHOULD NEVER be the default assumption of acceptable.  Folks should be warned beforehand of a sub-optimal choice, and be made aware that there character will be less effective due to their choice.  The presence of such a choice is disheartening.  

[6b] Frankly I do not trust the FFG RPGs enough to show up at a session and make a character without reading the book.  I would need to spend some time researching what options were sub-optimal, and then perhaps I would select an option that was sub-optimal, but the choice to be sub-optimal, perhaps glaringly so, would be mine.  

 

[7] Just present a warning that says "hey you get 55-less points because you are a droid, but have built in equipment, and can do things that organics cannot do without them spending credits on some cheap gear, and thems the breaks kid, now scram".  

 

[8] Droids should be able to recoup those 55-points they are behind with credits.   I mean non-droids can spend credits in order to buy nigh all of those abilities that are apparently worth 55-points.  

[8a] I would allow a droid to start with and/or buy some number of cybernetic parts that would give a +1 bonus to an attribute (as equipment, not a attribute), effectively making that attribute cost less XP and effectively be worth more XP.  

[8b] Starting with two cybernetic systems that gave a +1 bonus (maximum attribute 2), and one cybernetic system that gave a +1 bonus (maximum 4 or 5) or something like that would fix things.

[8c] Mostly I would like to see a book of droids with droid races and rules for making droid PCs that were on par with other races and/or had options to re-coup those 55-points with credits.

Edited by darkrose50

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A droid can start with 3 stats at 3 and set one to 4 if they like for extra obligation.  Droids in Star Wars are presented are specialized to functions or even hyper specialized.  That's what the rules allow someone to do.

Considering that your other three Characteristics are 1s, it's still a crappy deal. Very few character types are well served by having substandard capabilities in half of their Characteristics.

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I think the main problem is that a lot of people get bogged down in the mechanical parts of what is in its very nature a narrative system. Some character types might be more weak, that doesn't mean they aren't fun to role play. If you are the type of player who loves to optimise then of course droids aren't for you. Play a super min-maxed gremlin Gank cyberneticist. To be honest, I dont think this system is really designed for people who like to min-max and optimise everything out the wazoo. Narrative play doesn't work well with min-maxing and stat optimisation and typically leads to boring Mary-Sue characters.

 

That said, droids are great specialised utility characters. They can specialise from the start and the fact that they don't need to drink, eat, sleep or breath makes for fantastic RP utility as well as having plenty of practical applications; if the party needs a sentry - droids don't need to sleep, if the party needs to board a wrecked ship with no life support - the droid doesn't need a space suit, if the party is in a survival scenario where food or water is hard to come by - the droid doesn't need to eat.

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I agree.  If you're primary concern is that you're at a disadvantage on dice pools, you are missing the point.

 

Droids once again are hyper specialized in Star Wars.  R2 is a fixer bot.  3PO is a social bot.  K2-SO is a tactical bot.  Think tool that talks, not Mr. Data.

 

They aren't great or even good at everything, they do one thing, they do it very well, and then they move on.....

Edited by 2P51

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I don't think I've ever seen someone suggest that playing "a tool that talks" is a good thing. Especially right after someone posts that min-maxers won't want to play droids. I would contend that min-maxers are among the few that might droids attractive.

And for that tired old "in a narrative system" crap, this system is a blend of traditional mechanics with narrative mechanics. Neither operates here without the other, and neither is totally dominant. I've seen players that want full-on narrative systems turn their noses up over the "crunch" in this system more than I've seen players preferring traditional-mechanics respond to the opposite.

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I think the main problem is that a lot of people get bogged down in the mechanical parts of what is in its very nature a narrative system. Some character types might be more weak, that doesn't mean they aren't fun to role play. If you are the type of player who loves to optimise then of course droids aren't for you. Play a super min-maxed gremlin Gank cyberneticist. To be honest, I dont think this system is really designed for people who like to min-max and optimise everything out the wazoo. Narrative play doesn't work well with min-maxing and stat optimisation and typically leads to boring Mary-Sue characters.

 

That said, droids are great specialised utility characters. They can specialise from the start and the fact that they don't need to drink, eat, sleep or breath makes for fantastic RP utility as well as having plenty of practical applications; if the party needs a sentry - droids don't need to sleep, if the party needs to board a wrecked ship with no life support - the droid doesn't need a space suit, if the party is in a survival scenario where food or water is hard to come by - the droid doesn't need to eat.

Agreed. They're specialized in the movies and the rules for CHARGEN reflect that.  Works fine as is in my mind.

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You know, one of these days I'm going to have really dig into the droid creation rules and play an Astromech. I've only skimmed them since I'm not really on the market for a new character and I have enough concepts in reserve that I don't really have to worry about it for a while. But playing an R2 and all of R2's limitations sounds like either a blast or pure agony.

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A droid can start with 3 stats at 3 and set one to 4 if they like for extra obligation.  Droids in Star Wars are presented are specialized to functions or even hyper specialized.  That's what the rules allow someone to do.

Considering that your other three Characteristics are 1s, it's still a crappy deal. Very few character types are well served by having substandard capabilities in half of their Characteristics.

 

 

As your other characteristics are not important at all it is a spending deal. Iff 90% of all your roles are limited to 3 characteristics being better than humans on those 3 while inferior in the others is a great deal. Outside of jack of all trades which separate and operate alone and without support of the group no character roles on regular base on a lot of characteristics. For anything else there is skilled assistance anyway. ;-)

 

Oh and let's assure you that astromechs are extremely strong characters. My pilot is lucky to have one. And I am lucky that my wife loves astromechs and plays one, that duo might be a disgrace on parties, but they are nearly unbeatable in space. Int 5 and Agi 5 rocks for an astromech droid. 

Edited by SEApocalypse

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We have two droids, both of which are built as generalists.  You don't have as good a starting stat line as a human, but it's not the end of the world.  They are still fun to play and have some advantages that the meatbags don't get.

 

As others have said, they were designed to be hyper-specialised like many of the ones we see in the movies.  But if you want an even spread of stats you can do that too.

 

Mostly I'd assume people want to play a droid because they like the concept. 

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Being completely immune to all mental force powers is a pretty significant advantage if you have no interest at all in making your character force sensitive. A droid would be a huge asset to force sensitive characters in an F&D campaign in many ways, because it would never be fooled by visions and illusions. 

 

Droids are also immune or highly resistant to a huge variety of other things that hurt organic beings, like asphyxiation, poisoning, disease, extreme temperatures, radiation, starvation, and so on. 

 

Droids are also entirely unaffected by old age. If you want to play a character who was around during the Mandalorian Wars a droid is pretty much your only option. They can be truly ancient  and still keep ticking, though old droids might get eccentric.

 

Droids are also uniquely capable of cheating death. It's the one type of character where straight up being reassembled after death makes sense. Unless the droids memory core was destroyed it can always be rebuilt with new parts. It's also virtually impossible for a layman to distinguish a droid that has been temporarily disabled from a droid that has been permanently destroyed, meaning it's much more likely a droid gets left for dead than any organic. A droid can even intentionally shut itself down to pretend that it's dead.

 

Droids that look like standard chassis are also uniquely able to blend in. They are so commonplace in the galaxy that hardly anyone questions what a droid is doing. A sentient droid that is able to pretend to be a standard model can lie their way out of situations no organic being could ever fib their way out of, like getting caught in a hangar control room on the most secret and secure battlestation in the galaxy and simply saying you were locked in a closet by rebels.

 

On top of that you have flawless memory, perfect timekeeping, the ability to make complex calculations in an instant, and all sorts of other mental edges an electronic brain possesses.  

 

Also having an implant limit of 6 standard and no ethical dilemma to replacing limbs or augmenting their brain gives droids some very good options in that department if they can get the money together. 

 

 

 

I think droids are one of the most powerful race choices there are if you're willing to play to their strengths. Let alone the ability to simply say you shut down and becoming indistinguishable from a non-functioning droid is insanely good. Imagine if an organic had the ability to turn themselves indistinguishable from a corpse without medicine checks. 

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If you're going to list all of the non-mechanical advantages of being a droid, don't forget the non-mechanical disadvantages too. The main one being that droids are not "people" as much as they walking (usually), talking (sometimes) tools. Even the heroes treat them as lower than even (biological) slaves, and rightfully so. At best, a droid is a well-regarded pet, and at worst is though of on par with a smartphone AI.

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Droids are also uniquely capable of cheating death. It's the one type of character where straight up being reassembled after death makes sense. Unless the droids memory core was destroyed it can always be rebuilt with new parts.

This is going to vary. RAW droids get the same death conditions as organics. 141/151+ critical and they're done for.

At my table, I wouldn't stray from RAW on this.

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This is going to vary. RAW droids get the same death conditions as organics. 141/151+ critical and they're done for.

At my table, I wouldn't stray from RAW on this.

 

Not really representative of how droid "deaths" are treated in the films though, where they are frequently dismembered, blown up, hit by laser fire and so forth.

 

I mean, C3PO discovers stormtroopers in cloud city, they shoot him, dismember him, and send him to be recycled, yet he was relatively easy to repair, even with only what little tools were available in a prison cell.  Sure, you may argue he simply didn't roll 150+ on the crit table, but the point is the imperials treated him like he was dead/destroyed. If you're an organic being and you become incapacitated in a fight your enemies would never simply throw you in the garbage, they would either finish you off or imprison you. 

Edited by Aetrion

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I think droids are one of the most powerful race choices there are if you're willing to play to their strengths. Let alone the ability to simply say you shut down and becoming indistinguishable from a non-functioning droid is insanely good. Imagine if an organic had the ability to turn themselves indistinguishable from a corpse without medicine checks. 

 

I dont know, going to sleep while surrounded by the enemy sounds like a terrible idea. Hell, in real life going to sleep surrounded by friends means that you wake up with a ***** drawn in sharpie on your forehead. Surrounded by Stormtroopers? That could end badly.

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They did the same with Anakin and Maul as well and both were not dead either. 

Crits are just that crits and none of those things that happened to C3PO was a deadly critical hit. Deadly in this contest usually should be harsh damage to the droid brain itself. Death by lose of personality is basically guaranteed in those cases even if you repair the droid and install a new droid brain.

 

 

And btw, we have real world examples of people throwing wounded into their graves, that is something quite common in situation when people of little to no regard to human life. Most people in the star wars galaxy have no regard at all to droid life. 

Here just the first result, I got, it's even recent news from 2016: 
https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2016/04/nigeria-military-cover-up-of-mass-slaughter-at-zaria-exposed/
http://newsrescue.com/many-were-buried-alive-in-the-zaria-mass-grave/#axzz4TcNFF3VY

 

They even burned some of the injured alive and did not bother to kill them first. Just normal human cruelty. 

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I dont know, going to sleep while surrounded by the enemy sounds like a terrible idea. Hell, in real life going to sleep surrounded by friends means that you wake up with a ***** drawn in sharpie on your forehead. Surrounded by Stormtroopers? That could end badly.

 

There are tons of situations in fights where it would be extremely handy to be able to convince an opponent that you're defeated just long enough for them to turn their attention to a more well armored party member.

 

Bottom line is, without scanning it or poking around in its insides there is no way of knowing if a droid is just not moving, in low power mode, or not operational at all. When a droid is fully offline it's also shown several times in the movies that it can still be repaired. The rules don't specify a state between disabled and irreparably destroyed for a droid because organic beings don't have one, but droids should. 

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I dont know, going to sleep while surrounded by the enemy sounds like a terrible idea. Hell, in real life going to sleep surrounded by friends means that you wake up with a ***** drawn in sharpie on your forehead. Surrounded by Stormtroopers? That could end badly.

 

There are tons of situations in fights where it would be extremely handy to be able to convince an opponent that you're defeated just long enough for them to turn their attention to a more well armored party member.

 

Bottom line is, without scanning it or poking around in its insides there is no way of knowing if a droid is just not moving, in low power mode, or not operational at all. When a droid is fully offline it's also shown several times in the movies that it can still be repaired. The rules don't specify a state between disabled and irreparably destroyed for a droid because organic beings don't have one, but droids should. 

 

 

Your WT counts for disabled, crits for irreparably. That works for organics and droids alike. Though there are a few force tricks to bring organics back iirc my heal/harm ;-)

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You can resurrect someone who has died between your last turn and when you use the power with Heal/Harm, that's correct.

 

I still think droid death is entirely different from people death, because you don't need to physically destroy a person's brain for the brain to be irrevocably destroyed within maybe half an hour of the person's body shutting down. A droid brain on the other hand could sit unpowered for centuries, and unless it's destroyed by corrosion or something like that it would be fine.

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You can resurrect someone who has died between your last turn and when you use the power with Heal/Harm, that's correct.

 

I still think droid death is entirely different from people death, because you don't need to physically destroy a person's brain for the brain to be irrevocably destroyed within maybe half an hour of the person's body shutting down. A droid brain on the other hand could sit unpowered for centuries, and unless it's destroyed by corrosion or something like that it would be fine.

That is correct, but that is not the same as the initial claim. Droids are just as dead under the same game mechanical conditions as organics and that is fine and consistent with the lore as well. Besides, organics can live in hibernation for centuries as well. ;-)

Not everything is equal, there are a lot of things which simply will not kill a droid, but there are huge differences between organics as well, as we have organic species native to vacuum environments, methane, ammonia, and oxygen-nitrogen atmospheres, etc ... oh and Gand ^-^

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I always thought that Threepio had all the makings of a mass murderer. Uptight and prissy, I figure one day a protocol droid like that'd snap or surge and just kill the next one that sasses it. Imagine a Cad Bane-esque 3PO unit, all worried about etiquette and is unfailingly polite in over six million forms of communication, until someone is intentionally rude and he blasts the pest with a built-in blaster pistol.

 

Then he fusses about the mess he's made and how rude it was of him. 

 

Or a Commando droid from the Clone Wars survives, perhaps in an altered form, just as Order 66 passes. It's been released from all its directives--the CIS is gone, its command structure is gone--and it has to survive in a droid-hostile galaxy. What would it look like after a decade or two? 

 

How about an "Ace" pilot Ratatouille style? There's a human meatbag who's along for the ride, thinks he's actually in charge but it's the astromech behind it that's really driving. 

 

Droids were the "ground level" viewpoints of the Star Wars universe. Plenty of potential for RP'ing.

 

Mechanically though, as someone trying to learn this system, their strengths seem hard to grasp. Having a larger variety of skills available to one does make it rather appealing. 

 

 

You ever saw C-3PX in Legends?  He looked just like 3P0 and was a Bounty Hunter.

 

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/C-3PX

 

 

Also, Auralnauts got you covered.

 

Edited by Brother Malachai

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I don't think I've seen it mentioned yet, but droids do get extra cybernetic implants.  Two more IIRC.  That can translate into a pair of extra stat bonuses right there.

 

I've been tinkering with the idea of making one of these guys as a Bounty Hunter Assassin. :D

 

terminator-5-sarah-connor-actress.jpg

 

Spoiler Alert:  That's pretty much what Guri is. 

 

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How about an "Ace" pilot Ratatouille style? There's a human meatbag who's along for the ride, thinks he's actually in charge but it's the astromech behind it that's really driving.

´

Is that not what a new hope is all about?`I mean we know that R2-D2 is actually an ace and clone wars veteran with more victories than whole red squadron combined, maybe even gold and red combined. And than Luke turns off his targeting computer, hears odd voices and "makes" then the shot with inhuman precision. A shot which should have been doable for someone like R2-D2 with his inhuman calculation times and a direct connecting to the x-wing, making the weapon systems of the ship an extension of the little droids body. ;-)

SCNR. ^-^

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Is that not what a new hope is all about?`I mean we know that R2-D2 is actually an ace and clone wars veteran with more victories than whole red squadron combined, maybe even gold and red combined. And than Luke turns off his targeting computer, hears odd voices and "makes" then the shot with inhuman precision. A shot which should have been doable for someone like R2-D2 with his inhuman calculation times and a direct connecting to the x-wing, making the weapon systems of the ship an extension of the little droids body. ;-)

Perhaps, but only from a certain point of view. ;)

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