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Droid Tech (EotE) and Droid Specialization (AoR) combination

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Ok, initially, I thought there would be several repeat non-ranked talents in the Droid Specialist specialization.  Looking at it, the only repeat talent is Rerouted Processors.  Here are the stats (DS= Droid Specialist, DT = Droid Tech)

Similarities:

Career Skills:

  • Computers, Mechanics, Perception, 

Specialization Skills:

  • Computers, Cool, Mechanics

For both Career and Specialization, the Droid Specialist and Tech only share four skills.  This is surprising, it also means they are not a carbon copy of each other.  These four skills help define the role for these two specializations, which is focused on the mechanical and technical situations.  In addition, Perception and Cool are practical combat/investigation skills that allows a group to spot trouble and to plan ambushes.  Presence, Intellect, and Cunning are going to be a decent priority for a PCs to focus on for these four skills.

Intellect (2), Cunning (1), and Presence (1) are the characteristics the skills rely on.

Talents:

Both specs share six talent types, though it is in different numbers of each in three cases.  A combined ten appear in Droid Specialist and thirteen appear in the Droid Tech. 

  1. Speaks Binary (Two in DS/Three in DT) - Adds a up five (5) Boost Die to NPC droids being directed by the PC.
  2. Grit (Two in DS/Three in DT) - Adds five (5) to the PC's Strain Threshold.
  3. Machine Render (Two in DS/Three in DT) - Heals an additional five (5) wounds for Mechanics checks to heal.
  4. Dedication (One in DS/One in DT) - Gain two increases to a single characteristic.
  5. Hidden Storage (Two in DS/Two in DT) - Gain hidden storage in a vehicle or equipment with a total encumbrance of four (4).  That is hiding a blaster rifle.
  6. Reroute Processors* (One in DS/One in DT) - Non-ranked.  An once per encounter ability that lowers one characteristic by one while raises another characteristic by one.  Lasts until the end of the encounter.

The one talent that is noticed is the Reroute Processors.  This is a non-ranked talent that comes in at 25 XP for both specializations.  Buy it once and save the XP on other specializations.

The ones mentioned above are ranked, so getting a third specialization with these in it will just make them better.  Giving an NPC droid five boost die can easily help out a party, whether in a firefight or doing maintenance.  Hidden storage is one of those talents that can be fun, especially if you want to smuggle a blaster rifle.  Or bring in a modified rivet gun to nail an opponent to a wall.

Differences:

Skills:

  • DS gets Athletics, Knowledge (Education), Piloting (Space), Ranged (Light), Vigilance for career.
  • DS gains Melee for specialization.

Droid Specialists gain a bit more combat focus from their career skills in addition to the more used Piloting (Space).  The Education focus for Knowledge makes the Specialist for book smart and to boost investigation and research sessions.  The Ranged (Light) and Vigilance makes it a go person for firefights and can be left alone to fend for themselves for a bit.

Brawn (2), Intelligence (1), Agility (2), and Willpower (1) are the characteristics needed by these skills, which can be a problem for those seeking to make the most out of their characteristics.  Adding the skills from the similar discussion can easily make them a "jack of all trades, master of none".  However, because brawn is tied to soak and Encumbrance threshold, having two skills be dependent on it can be useful.

  • DT gets Astrogation, Coordination, Discipline, Knowledge (Outer Rim), Piloting (Planetary)
  • DT gains Leadership

On the other side, Droid Techs are more focused on on party support.  Astrogation is often used for space travel and can give the Tech a role for helping the pilot.  Outer Rim is useful for getting through and to places that are off the beaten path.  Leadership is also extremely useful, as there is a prior incentive to build droid followers for Speak Binary.  Planetary provides a bit of relief for the pilot of the group, especially if the team has access to two or more vehicles.

Intellect (2), Agility (2), Willpower (1), and Presence (1) are needed for the skills mentioned above.  Adding the similar skills to this discussion means that Brawn is the only one not used outside of the Wound and Encumbrance Thresholds.  In addition, having four skills rely on intellect means that a character can justify having this being the focus for character.

Talents:

DS has access to:

  • Design Flaw (Two)
  • Toughened (One)
  • Gearhead (Two)
  • Repair Patch Specialization (Two)
  • Combat Programming* (One)
  • Desperate Repairs* (One)
  • Master Artisan* (One)

For being a combat focused Specialization, the Specialist plays it up in this regard.  Being able to heal two additional wounds with repair patches is nice.  Getting rid of two Setback die from Mechanic checks with an out of combat bonus is also nice, especially when combined with Machine Mender.  This makes the Specialist a good combat repair tech.

Design Flaw, though, makes the Specialist decent in basic combat to extremely useful in combat against droids.  Adding Advantage can cause crits to occur more often, especially for using melee weapons.

With Combat Programming, a droid the Specialist is working on gains a rank in two different combat skills.  This is good, as it can easily help the team heavy/sniper split the threat.  However, when combined with the above mentioned Reroute Processors, this can push a droid with meh combat stats to a competitive, if I dare say, superior, combat junky.  Being able to increase a droid with Agility 4 and Ranged (Heavy) 2 to Agility 5 and Ranged (Heavy 3) is something that can easily tip the combat into the PCs favor.  Especially if said droid is a PC who has the various bodyguard talents.

Desperate Repairs is a God-send for the Droid PCs.  In exchange for being staggered and immobile for one round, the droids negates all strain and heals one critical with a rating of Hard or less.  That bodyguard PC Droid might be looking out for his new Specialist friend.

Last but just as equally important, the Master Artisan allows a Specialist to suffer two strain and decrease the difficulty of the next Mechanics Check by.  This can be done to a minimum of Easy.  This talent can be activated once per round.  Again ONCE PER ROUND, a Specialist can decrease the Mechanics check by one.  

DT has access to:

  • Deft Maker (Two)
  • Eye for Detail (Two)
  • Improved Speaks Binary* (One)
  • Supreme Speaks Binary* (One)
  • Redundant Systems* (One)

If the Specialist is the combat specialization, then the Droid tech is the support version.  Deft Maker removes Setback in the same vein as Gearhead, but is focused on droids instead of modifications.  Check with the GM before combining the two for constructing droids.

Eye for Detail can be likened to the Master Artisan, especially in regards to the strain being taken.  However, where the MA has the strain taken before the check, Eye for Detail can be taken after the roll but before interpreting results.  This converts a number of Successes into Advantages, up to the number of ranks in Eye for Detail.  One Success needs to still be around in order for the check to succeed.

Redundant Systems is a once per session ability, but it allows the Tech to use parts from a functioning device to repair a broken device.  While it might not be much on the surface, it does allow a tech to repair droids, vehicles, and other pieces of equipment with an Easy Mechanics check.  This will not break the original device.

Improved Speaks Binary adds a Boost die to an NPC when it assists another character, on top of the Boost added by Speaks Binary.  Which is eh until...

Supreme Speaks Binary, which is directed at NPC, non-minion droids up to the ranks the PC has in Speaks Binary.  A once per encounter ability, it allows the NPC droids that aren't minions to use the PCs ranks in a skill that PC has.  For a combat skill that is reasonably used with maxed out Speaks Binary, that means five droids can use the PCs ranks, plus gain access to the boost die from Speaks Binary.

The Experience Math

Minimum for cross career specializations: 180

Minimum for Droid Specialist and Droid Tech: 255 (125 for DS/100 for DT)

The minimum is at 75 Experience to go from 5 Experience to 25 Experience to get access to the Dedication Talent.  For the Droid Specialist and Droid Tech, it would take 100 Experience and 125 Experience to get the Dedication talents.

Max Experience spent on a cross career specializations: 630

Max Experience spent on Droid Specialist and Droid Tech: 605

Usually, it will run a PC 630 Experience points to take both specializations in full (300 Experience per full tree, plus a 30 XP "cross career tax").  In the Droid Specialist/Droid Tech case, it is actually at 605 due to Reroute Processors not being a ranked talent.

 

This is just my perspective about the Droid Specialist/Droid Tech specializations.  I hope this is informative and useful for you.  Let me know if you ahev any questions, comments, and critiques.

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Here's the question on my mind: What's an interesting Droid PC to play alongside this combination? DS/DT is really good at healing you (and can dump your strain once per session), can fudge around your characteristics and combat skills, and has both Melee and Ranged (Light) available. Soldier/Vanguard/Commando, maybe?

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4 hours ago, Kaigen said:

Here's the question on my mind: What's an interesting Droid PC to play alongside this combination? DS/DT is really good at healing you (and can dump your strain once per session), can fudge around your characteristics and combat skills, and has both Melee and Ranged (Light) available. Soldier/Vanguard/Commando, maybe?

It would really depend on the role, focus, and skills.  As is, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to get an ultra specialized droid.

 

That being said, could you add a bit more to the situation?

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You mentioned bodyguard talents in your post, and I think that's a good line of thinking for the Droid PC. The DT/DS is very good at repairing you and can flush your strain in a pinch, so it makes sense to follow them around using Bodyguard. The DT/DS also helps provide tactical flexibility through Reroute Processors and Combat Programming. The ability to boost two combat skills at once is particularly important because bodyguards need to be able to switch between melee and ranged combat easily; since you're stuck positioned next to the person you're trying to protect, you can't shift to maintain your preferred range vs. the enemy.

Soldier/Vanguard sets you up nicely for all of that. It's arguably the best Bodyguard spec, and the Soldier career gives you access to all the personal combat skills to provide a base for Combat Programming to build off of. It also provides a couple of ranks of Rapid Reaction and Seize the Initiative, which improves the party's tactical situation overall. Given the need for flexibility, this build might call for something a little less hyper-specialized than your usual droid build. You might start with 3 Brawn/Agility/Willpower (toss in 2 Presence for Cool checks and the odd instance where you need to moonlight as a protocol droid), with Willpower giving you a little better strain threshold and Vigilance roll, and once you've rolled initiative in combat, Reroute Processors can shift a point from Vigilance to whichever of Brawn/Agility looks like it will be more useful without losing either of the things you took Willpower for in the first place.

As for the next spec, you have two great career spec choices in Commando or Sharpshooter, depending on whether you want to withstand damage better or kill enemies faster. The nice thing about Sharpshooter is that True Aim works at any range, and you have two instances of Deadly Accuracy, allowing you to boost a melee-range skill and a ranged-combat skill (and Sniper Shot can help if an enemy tries to kite you by ducking outside of your normal range). There's also Heavy, but I think that spec has less utility for a bodyguard-focused build, since even Dynamic Fire can't make Gunnery weapons viable at Engaged range.

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9 hours ago, Kaigen said:

You mentioned bodyguard talents in your post, and I think that's a good line of thinking for the Droid PC. The DT/DS is very good at repairing you and can flush your strain in a pinch, so it makes sense to follow them around using Bodyguard. The DT/DS also helps provide tactical flexibility through Reroute Processors and Combat Programming. The ability to boost two combat skills at once is particularly important because bodyguards need to be able to switch between melee and ranged combat easily; since you're stuck positioned next to the person you're trying to protect, you can't shift to maintain your preferred range vs. the enemy.

Soldier/Vanguard sets you up nicely for all of that. It's arguably the best Bodyguard spec, and the Soldier career gives you access to all the personal combat skills to provide a base for Combat Programming to build off of. It also provides a couple of ranks of Rapid Reaction and Seize the Initiative, which improves the party's tactical situation overall. Given the need for flexibility, this build might call for something a little less hyper-specialized than your usual droid build. You might start with 3 Brawn/Agility/Willpower (toss in 2 Presence for Cool checks and the odd instance where you need to moonlight as a protocol droid), with Willpower giving you a little better strain threshold and Vigilance roll, and once you've rolled initiative in combat, Reroute Processors can shift a point from Vigilance to whichever of Brawn/Agility looks like it will be more useful without losing either of the things you took Willpower for in the first place.

As for the next spec, you have two great career spec choices in Commando or Sharpshooter, depending on whether you want to withstand damage better or kill enemies faster. The nice thing about Sharpshooter is that True Aim works at any range, and you have two instances of Deadly Accuracy, allowing you to boost a melee-range skill and a ranged-combat skill (and Sniper Shot can help if an enemy tries to kite you by ducking outside of your normal range). There's also Heavy, but I think that spec has less utility for a bodyguard-focused build, since even Dynamic Fire can't make Gunnery weapons viable at Engaged range.

Ok, you're talking about the droid PC.  Which is a nice idea anyway.

I'll have to check other sources.  However, like you mentioned, a Bodyguard Spec is good to have in order to help out the Tech/Specialist.

There's is that, but there is also the Leader abilities that can also be useful.

 

One thought that recently came to me for a player character is a Toydarian who works on the old Separatist droids.  He rebuilds them and uses them fro security and mercenary work.

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