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amrothe

Dedicated Crafter and the Droid Problem

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So reviewing all of the varied bonuses and benefits a player can get between crafting their own tools, droids to assist them, workshop etc it seems a starting player can do very well for himself far better then I think the designers intended.

 

 

 

Let's take our dedicated crafted a Drall with starting stats of Brawn 2 Agi 2 Int 5 Cunning 2 Willpower 2 Presence 2 

 

Yes he is focused on one thing crafting and thus is average (but not below average in everything else)

 

As a Drall he has the benefit of adding an extra boost when providing skilled assistance

 

 

Now our Drall takes (engineer) scientist as his template as it not only allows (100 xp access) to dedication but also will  give 2 speak binary as well as all of the crafting skills (mechanics 2 computer 2 medicine 1) (10 xp obligation for mechanics 2) as well as the important k. education at 2

 

With 4500 credits and  some luck rolling YYGGGBB (tools and another pc assistant) vs difficulty 4 they can craft a specailist droid chasis

 

some additional luck will be needed to get as high as possible on a labor directive for computers needs 6 advantage on a check of YYGGGBB vs difficulty 1

 

This gives un an assistant droid with int 2 and computers 5

 

Now we generate another specialist droid chasis and input a  Repair Directive in it

With the droid doing the programing and Drall assisting the roll would be YYYYYBB vs 3 difficulty and would require 6 advantage to build us a droid with Mechanics 5.

 

The initial computer 5 droid would make it trivial overtime to master all of the standard directives, but he will eventually build the

droid who will replace him a  Droid with the Navigator Directive will have computers 5 and 2 ranks in Technical aptitude.

 

The last Droid to be built will be a medical droid with medicine 5 and as many ranks as possible in surgeon.

 

 

With these three droids and our mechanic our drall is prepared to make a +1 int mod for himself and +1 skill implant mods for the droids, giving them +1 computer, repair or medicine respectively

 

Our inventor now is ready to make his own tools for computers, mechanics and medicine each one granting him 1 success 1 advantage and upgrading the roll by 1.

 

 

Then 135xp later all spent on talents our drall picks up +1 int (dedication) (inventor x2) (speaks Binary x2)

 

Thus when crafting with his droids he is sharing his now 7 int and 5 boost dice (1 for drall 2 binary 2 inventor) to the droids 6

skill ranks combined with the tools this means crafting checks of YYYYYYYBBBBBB with 1 automatic success and advantage.

 

With a proper workshop the character could grab another boost die from Research records. With the practice makes perfect selection he can get another boost die for really tough items

 

 

Now in terms of productivity our crafter having to be involved all of the time would cut into adventure time a little too much.

 

Eventually he is going to have to replace himself in the engine and create a specalist chassis with 6 int needing 4 triumph/16 advantage or some combo inbetween. Admittedly this will take time and money but after the first time he succeeds he can implant a +1 int mod into the droid and have him assist the other droids plus The high int droids can be programmed to hold each skill at 6 with the implant and thus being able to craft at peak performance even when our technician is not around.

 

 

Droids building droids and then building whatever you want.

 

As long as you have the parts.

 

 

Yes a GM can try and withhold resources/kill or kidnap the robots etc/  but nothing here is restricted or illegal.  Just a solid low xp combo to get amazing crafting rolls.

Edited by amrothe

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The thing you are overlooking? The time factor. 36 hours to build one droid (if I recall correctly). Is this guy doing nothing but building droids while everyone else is out killing stormtroopers?

 

plus how does one pay for all those droid parts if you are not out getting rich?

Edited by Desslok

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Oh time is certainly a factor as is money. Mainly I make these points to show what I percieve as flaws or problems with the system. 2 advantage to raise a created droids skill is the problem I see here. It just gives pcs the ability to make extremely competent droids at low xp levels. I would suggest it be 1 advantage per rank level eg 3 adv to go from 2 to 3.  12 advantage for a skill 5 droid from a base 2 template sounds about right 6 advantage does not. I'd also recommend not letting non pc droids to be upgraded to skill 6 with an implant.

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The answer is yes. Yes its easy to break the new crafting rules. Min/Maxing on mechanics/INT and making droids with high Mechanics to assist you, tools that upgrade your checks, schematics for everything to lower the difficulties to ~0, and a workshop + workbench for their benefits in cost recovery etc..... 

There are a few other threads talking about this on both EOTE and AOR. The real problem is min-maxing crafting being used to arm yourself with "god-tier" armor/weapons/droids/cybernetics to make your OP at everything else too. With enough Triumphs and Advantages you can make some STUPIDLY OP guns and other equipment. Don't be that player that breaks the storytelling game with your optimization and as a DM don't let someone else be that player. :)

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And as the GM, faced with this God Amonst Men at crafting? "Well, the rest of the party has been captured and now you have to negotiate with the Hutt for their release. Go ahead and roll your Streetwise. Whats that you say? You only have one green in streetwise? Well, have fun crafting droids in the bowels of the Spice Mines of Kessel!"

 

That or I slap the taste out of the players mouth and tell them to knock that S off and make a reasonable, well rounded character.

Edited by Desslok

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I have no problem with this.  A super specialized character isn't BAD -- Mechanics and Computers isn't just for crafting.  If the character is spending ALL their time and money on building up their droids and tools (and schematics), they're not really contributing to the party.  No need for heavy handed GM veto -- they didn't earn credits or experience.  The problem solves itself.

 

The 'some additional luck' for even the first droid directives has less than a 20% chance of getting 6 advantages the first time.  Is the assisting PC really going to stick around and keep assisting for 48 hours a shot?  "Ok, so I'll build another to assist."  How many sets of 4500 credits can you afford?

The tools -- even with six yellow it's a 8.3% chance to get 2 triumphs.

The 'proper workshop' requires GM approval, which implies a lot of story participation, between credits and obligation.

 

Yes, at the end it's very powerful.  But it's such a slow build that by the time you have all that in place, with the same amount of credits and xp the other characters have gotten to some really powerful setups too, and had more fun doing it.

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The thing you are overlooking? The time factor. 36 hours to build one droid (if I recall correctly). Is this guy doing nothing but building droids while everyone else is out killing stormtroopers?

 

plus how does one pay for all those droid parts if you are not out getting rich?

Or he's spending the time the ship travels through hyperspace supervising the first set of builder droids to rank out numerous being-hours of work during every hyperspace jaunt.

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Two things are true for me right now:

 

1) I have a craft-happy, half-droided up party of players.

 

2) I am playing through all of the synth- and robot-related quests in FALLOUT 4.

 

1) + 2) = 3) Those droids are going to have some fun when the "son" becomes the "Father", so to speak.

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The fix is written in the book.  I think a lot of people look to the rules like an MMO, "how much DPS can I stack with this?!?" without even bothering to read the stuff about the GM and PC having a conversation about what the PC wants to make and the templates they want to access as to whether the GM even allows it.  

 

I know when I would have that conversation and the answer from a PC is to create a bunch of droids to rule lawyer the crafting so I can create a wall of auto-win items, my answer is sorry, no.  We aren't here to break the game, we are here to make characters and you aren't doing that.

 

The 'fix' is right there in the rules.

Edited by 2P51

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There is no RPG that can't be broken mechanically.

 

If a GM allows it and doesn't put their foot down and tell the min/maxer to knock the sh*t off, then they get what they deserve imo.

 

Wish I could 'favourite' this a few times.

 

This was intended to be a narrative style RPG so it's painfully easy to min-max if you're trying to play it like WoW or Diablo.   

 

But no sane GM wouldn't put the breaks on something like this.

 

In fact, a lot of the infamous abuses of 'crunchy' systems like D&D 3.5 relied on a GM allowing wilful misinterpretations and outright abuses of the rules, things that no GM worthy of the name would let happen.

 

Also, you're not supposed to sit around doing factory work every day.  It's a pulp science-fantasy setting where you're supposed to go out and shoot stormtroopers and rescue princesses and blow up superweapons.

Edited by Maelora

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Mainly I make these points to show what I percieve as flaws or problems with the system.

If it is a flaw, then it is a flaw that every game has, not just this one. Min/maxers and D-bags will always try to break systems or push them to there max. It is up to the GMs to curtail these activities. If they do not then the players will walk all over them.

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Also, you're not supposed to sit around doing factory work every day.  It's a pulp science-fantasy setting where you're supposed to go out and shoot stormtroopers and rescue princesses and blow up superweapons.

 

What?!  Adventuring?!  You mean bad guys might come to my factory of uber boom sticks?!?!

Edited by 2P51

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Also this assumes the poor droids enjoy being slaves to a furry meatbag hamster.  Droids in Star Wars are usually quirky as anything.  I gave a free roll on the positive and negative personality traits for ours.  Or I just play them NPCs. The Outlaw Tech built a protector droid that (unbeknownst to her) nurtures a secret, unhealthy crush on her and has started killing her boyfriends.

 

Our Droid Mechanic had waited a long time for a Droid-builder class to come along, and it was always on the cards she'd want to build a little 'family'. We discussed all this, deciding that they would have entertaining supporting roles (including comedy relief) that didn't take away from the PCs, but could provide a helping hand when required.  But usually they'd stay on the ship or at base like all the other NPCs.

 

(Also, every faction in our campaign hates droids; even the one faction that allows them secretly resents the uppity rust-buckets. Droid Rights - or the complete lack of such - is a major theme in our games).

 

Anyway, BeeDee finally came up with the following DIY family members with all the credits she'd been hoarding since the game began:

 

QT-KT: Katie ended up being a PC so she didn't cost a credit.  She's sort of the love-child of C3PO and Jessica Rabbit :)

 

RT: Artie has an unassuming Labour chassis, and rather illegal Elimination protocols. He's a lot like LoaderBot from Tales of the Borderlands. Loyal, loving, simple, but filled with existential doubts about his self-worth and whether he is capable of better things than killing. He has amusingly basic speech patterns and speaks in a deep, classically robotic voice.  He has a not-so-secret crush on Ellie.

 

LE-B9: Ellie is a small medical droid, industrious and cheerful to the point of being irritating. She'll see the positivity and chance for betterment in anything, even when you're missing limbs and bleeding out.  She has the voice and personality of a precocious ten year old girl.

 

2T: Tootie is a Navigation droid that can't actually speak beyond bleeps and bloops, but he's getting pretty good at playing the Kloo Horn, and would rather do that than Astronavigation.

 

AJ-Q8: Ajay is an officious protocol droid with a huge false mustache. He speaks in a heavy accent, like an Indian diplomat at the height of the British Raj.  He has extremely flowery speech patterns, is a stickler for the correct social protocols, and is incapable of using one word when a dozen would sound better. He's basically C3PO as played by Peter Sellers doing his terrible 'Indian Doctor' act.

 

CD-KC:  Something went drastically wrong with poor Casey's programming... or she's just naturally obnoxious. While she identifies as female, she has the voice and manner of a stereotypical Cockney workman circa 1971. She's lecherous, crass, opinionated, narrow-minded, wilfully-ignorant and ridiculously lazy. She's a capable repair droid, though inspiring her to actually do anything beyond complaining or reading 'PlayDroid' requires the use of a shock prod.

Edited by Maelora

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Yeah, currently I'm GMing and running a GM PC that's a crafter, and you've got to put limits on it. For one, I don't let characters know every template right off the bat; I do an Education check for each template, against it's base difficulty, with each success adding 10% of the template. That's only allowed once; past that, to learn more, you have to either study an item in-depth (Education) or take it apart (Mechanics) in order to learn the whole template. I'm 200-and-some-change XP in, and can only actually craft Reinforced Clothing, Customizable Armor, Energy Pistols, Monotask Chassis, Labor Directives, and Specialist Tools. And you better believe I'm taking apart every **** thing I can. I'm finding it works pretty well, it's a slow build.

 

Hell, we did just make a bunch of Negotiation Monotask droids to fill the hole left open by our Negotiator who left the group (we took a week off from adventuring to heal up from a particularly nasty encounter that was very close to being a TPK), and then in the very next session, the adventure put us in a position where we couldn't bring them with us. Like, circumstances happen, they won;t *ALWAYS* be able to have their droids with them.

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responding to Qeyleb. The first droid doesnt need 6 advantage on chasis it just needs to succeed and if you want to make it easier/cheaper use a monotask chasis 24 hours of work for the first one. The laboror directive is difficulty 1 and takes 8 hours to program and gives computers 2 to the droid +1 for each 2 advantage. even alone YYGGGB vs 1 difficulty its not that hard to get 6 advantage  total cost to build and program 600 credits and 32 hours minus 1 hour per success.

 

This gets you a computer 5 monotask robot to program with  and is very cheap. create a monotask for mechanics with mechanics 5 and boom you also have great crafting for 1200 credits and 64 hours or less

 

My point was not to optimize brokenness but to point out how much easier and cheap it is to program droids with max skills then it is for PC's to earn those skills through xp.

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My point was not to optimize brokenness but to point out how much easier and cheap it is to program droids with max skills then it is for PC's to earn those skills through xp.

 

Yeah, but your point is stupid.

 

Any game mechanic can be broken. It's up to the player and the GM to forge a story, not sit there and roll dice to see how many imaginary robots they can make in a session. And it's up to the GM to tell them to knock it off if the player insists on sitting there rolling dice to see how many imaginary robots he can make.

 

Plus there other tools in the GM's toolbox to prevent this from coming into play. Lets see how long the God Amonst Crafters is willing to make robots when the player sits there doing nothing all game long and his sessions consist of this exchange:

 

"I want to shoot stormtoopers too!"

 

"Sorry mate, you're back on the ship making a robot. You'll get to roll at the very end of the game. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to the rest of the team and their escape from the Dungeons of the Empresses of Eternal Pleasures."

 

Or there's the other popular "Okay that was a pretty good session. You rescued the Leather Goddess of Phobos and saved the planet. Everyone gets twenty experience and are knighted "Heroes Of The Realm". Oh, except for you. You pushed a button all session long. You get five."

Edited by Desslok

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A monotask droid is a minion and wouldn't get rank 2, it would just get the general skill. Minions don't get ranks of skills. You'd need 6 droids grouped together for a rank of 5, which really is also against the rules as assistance should be limited to only one other entity, maybe another with GM approval.

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Also this assumes the poor droids enjoy being slaves to a furry meatbag hamster.  Droids in Star Wars are usually quirky as anything.  I gave a free roll on the positive and negative personality traits for ours.  Or I just play them NPCs. The Outlaw Tech built a protector droid that (unbeknownst to her) nurtures a secret, unhealthy crush on her and has started killing her boyfriends.

 

Our Droid Mechanic had waited a long time for a Droid-builder class to come along, and it was always on the cards she'd want to build a little 'family'. We discussed all this, deciding that they would have entertaining supporting roles (including comedy relief) that didn't take away from the PCs, but could provide a helping hand when required.  But usually they'd stay on the ship or at base like all the other NPCs.

 

(Also, every faction in our campaign hates droids; even the one faction that allows them secretly resents the uppity rust-buckets. Droid Rights - or the complete lack of such - is a major theme in our games).

 

Anyway, BeeDee finally came up with the following DIY family members with all the credits she'd been hoarding since the game began:

 

QT-KT: Katie ended up being a PC so she didn't cost a credit.  She's sort of the love-child of C3PO and Jessica Rabbit :)

 

RT: Artie has an unassuming Labour chassis, and rather illegal Elimination protocols. He's a lot like LoaderBot from Tales of the Borderlands. Loyal, loving, simple, but filled with existential doubts about his self-worth and whether he is capable of better things than killing. He has amusingly basic speech patterns and speaks in a deep, classically robotic voice.  He has a not-so-secret crush on Ellie.

 

LE-B9: Ellie is a small medical droid, industrious and cheerful to the point of being irritating. She'll see the positivity and chance for betterment in anything, even when you're missing limbs and bleeding out.  She has the voice and personality of a precocious ten year old girl.

 

2T: Tootie is a Navigation droid that can't actually speak beyond bleeps and bloops, but he's getting pretty good at playing the Kloo Horn, and would rather do that than Astronavigation.

 

AJ-Q8: Ajay is an officious protocol droid with a huge false mustache. He speaks in a heavy accent, like an Indian diplomat at the height of the British Raj.  He has extremely flowery speech patterns, is a stickler for the correct social protocols, and is incapable of using one word when a dozen would sound better. He's basically C3PO as played by Peter Sellers doing his terrible 'Indian Doctor' act.

 

CD-KC:  Something went drastically wrong with poor Casey's programming... or she's just naturally obnoxious. While she identifies as female, she has the voice and manner of a stereotypical Cockney workman circa 1971. She's lecherous, crass, opinionated, narrow-minded, wilfully-ignorant and ridiculously lazy. She's a capable repair droid, though inspiring her to actually do anything beyond complaining or reading 'PlayDroid' requires the use of a shock prod.

That is pretty awesome. Its the one thing that I wish I could do as a GM, is to have different accents and voices for my characters. 

 

This is also about a perfect example of how to do the Mad Scientist level droid crafter too.

 

That also reminds me of another way to view droids, especially in more of a combat role. Watch Ice Pirates :)

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That is pretty awesome. Its the one thing that I wish I could do as a GM, is to have different accents and voices for my characters. 

 

 

I'm a pretty good actress, but I picked things I know I could do at the table. I know a lot of Cockney Rhyming Slang for instance, and I can do Irish, Indian and Australian accents.  

 

My point was that this guy churning out what he hopes are SlaveBots is going to blow a fuse when they insist on being taken to see the shockboxing finals or wanting to get married. The Droid Tech can be a fun support spec if its played right.

 

Another good example of an automated base pretty much at war with itself is the Sink from Fallout's Old World Blues. Barry White as a Seed Planter machine, warring lesbian light switches, a homicidal maniac toaster (who wants to burn the world but can only cook toast), and a little ball of misery and self-loathing named Muggy, simultaneously cursed with an obsession for coffee cups and the realisation of how pathetic his obsession really is.  

Edited by Maelora

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That is pretty awesome. Its the one thing that I wish I could do as a GM, is to have different accents and voices for my characters. 

 

 

I'm a pretty good actress, but I picked things I know I could do at the table. I know a lot of Cockney Rhyming Slang for instance, and I can do Irish, Indian and Australian accents.  

 

My point was that this guy churning out what he hopes are SlaveBots is going to blow a fuse when they insist on being taken to see the shockboxing finals or wanting to get married. The Droid Tech can be a fun support spec if its played right.

 

Another good example of an automated base pretty much at war with itself is the Sink from Fallout's Old World Blues. Barry White as a Seed Planter machine, warring lesbian light switches, a homicidal maniac toaster (who wants to burn the world but can only cook toast), and a little ball of misery and self-loathing named Muggy, simultaneously cursed with an obsession for coffee cups and the realisation of how pathetic his obsession really is.  

 

How did I forget Old World Blues?!? When you tell Toaster that the world already burned is one of the better interactions in the Sink. There is also the Stealth Suit that nags you about the Pip-Boy light.

 

I'm a bit jealous about your voice ability. I cant even do a decent southern accent and I have lived in Texas for 30 years

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