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penpenpen

Droid-controlled power armor

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So, I had this idea.

Take a heavy power armor, like the Rampart or Kav-dann and add a droid brain to control it when it's empty or the wearer is incapacitated, something like Phase III Dark trooper.

So, concept established, how to do this rules-wise?

I'm thinking something of the lines of simply crafting a small mono-task droid and simply count it as wearing the armor as well, allowing it to control any attached systems and even move it around if the wearer isn't doing so already. The most-likely quite crappy attributes will limit it's usefulness (somewhat mitigated if programmed with elimination directives) but could reasonably be allowed to assist it's user in some tasks. Adapting the NPC astromech droid rules from Stay on Target might be an idea.

As a drawback, you could apply the encumbrance for a Sil 0 character (5) and/or have it occupy a number of the armor's hard points (2-4 seems reasonable).

Or maybe someone has an idea for a custom attachment?

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

 

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16 minutes ago, penpenpen said:

Take a heavy power armor, like the Rampart or Kav-dann and add a droid brain to control it when it's empty or the wearer is incapacitated, something like Phase III Dark trooper.

That is so beautifully cheeky I'm stealing it right now.  I think using it like the astromech co-pilot is a great idea.  I'd have to puzzle out the math but I think 2 hard points is probably sufficient - we'd still want to be able to attach other things to the armor to increase utility.  Pardon me while I go upgrade my double-light-repeating-blaster-cyber-harness.... 

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9 minutes ago, themensch said:

That is so beautifully cheeky I'm stealing it right now.  I think using it like the astromech co-pilot is a great idea.  I'd have to puzzle out the math but I think 2 hard points is probably sufficient - we'd still want to be able to attach other things to the armor to increase utility.  Pardon me while I go upgrade my double-light-repeating-blaster-cyber-harness.... 

True. Your little monotask droid deserves something shoulder mounted and repeating to play with. Even if it only has an Agility score of 1, put enough blaster fire out there and it'll hit something eventually. ;)

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6 minutes ago, penpenpen said:

True. Your little monotask droid deserves something shoulder mounted and repeating to play with. Even if it only has an Agility score of 1, put enough blaster fire out there and it'll hit something eventually. ;)

I was thinking "aim no longer cost an Maneuver" or "upgrade Coordination checks" but I guess it depends on the task.  I don't feel like I possess the expertise in the minutiae of the system to truly balance those suggestions but my gut says everything would probably work out. 

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2 minutes ago, themensch said:

I was thinking "aim no longer cost an Maneuver" or "upgrade Coordination checks" but I guess it depends on the task.  I don't feel like I possess the expertise in the minutiae of the system to truly balance those suggestions but my gut says everything would probably work out. 

Well, if you let the droid assist your actions like in the NPC astromech rules, you get boost die, which is much the same as a free aim and pretty close to an upgraded check.

I also figured it could be useful for the droid to simply take the armor and run away if the wearer should become incapacitated.

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Interesting Idea. It feels like an armor attachment more than a true "Droid" and an HP hungry one at that.

 

 

4 hours ago, penpenpen said:

something like Phase III Dark trooper.

This is something I've wondered about. Is that actually how it's supposed to work, or just assumed by later writers?

I mean, in Dark Forces the Phase I seems to be just the droid frame with the sword and shield attached. Like some kind of test bed system but not actually intended to ever be fielded. Phase II is totally the production model, the Phase I skeleton with the outside armor and heavy weapons.

And that's what bugs me. By the looks of it, Phase II is just Phase I in an armored suit with a plasma cannon and a jetpack.

Which is why Phase III as a droid/armored suit always bugged me. It was more of a new thing instead of an addition. It almost feels like Mohc's design was a fairly minimal combat droid (lots of investment in a solid frame and programming, but that's it) that then different Phases of armor could go on top of, and said armor could also be worn by a human should there be a need. Which is why, after all that time developing droids, the final "Phase III" you fight has Mohc's fat rear in it... he threw the droid frame out and hopped in himself. 

 

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That's a pretty good idea for Kav-Dann armor to get your character to cover if WT or ST is exceeded and they're knocked out. It'd be really cool if having it could allow assistance with certain tasks. Trouble is, getting powered down. Jumps to 12 Encumbrance. I can just see a destiny point getting flipped so a storm trooper NCO has an ion grenade to lob... but this can be countered with Hardened. But then, that's 2 HP, and however many using a droid brain runs you.

What about wearing shield gauntlets and an energy buckler? You'd be harder to shoot with Deflection 3 (+3 ranged defense) and Defensive 1 (+1 melee defense) , provided you can stack the Deflection from both, though I could see that being disallowed either by actual or house rules for the same reason Defense is not stacked, in which case it would only behoove you to wear one, unless you want the 2 Deflection from the Gauntlets and the one Defensive from the buckler, with the Deflection 1 of the buckler negated by disallowing stacking.

Down side: no additional assistance with tasks from the droid brain.

Bright side: instead of taking armor HP, they would take only 1 of your personal Encumbrance each if you wore both.

My character is a hired gun merc, so I'm looking to create a formidable combatant, staying hard to hit and countering powering my armor down, so this might work for me. But if you're looking for droid assisted slicing or something, probably wouldn't help you.

Perhaps a custom cybernetic brain implant? It has a computer access link, so maybe trade out the Intellect +1 for instead allowing certain interfacing and task assistance when interfaced with your custom armor? Perhaps causing arm or leg implants to pair with your armor somehow, functioning like some of the armor mods like Repulsor Assisted Lifting or Integrated Slicer Gear. Saves you the HP and Enc, instead drawing on your cybernetic implant capacity. Expensive sure, but hey, go big or go home in a box.

Edited by HVSD

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It's not really the same thing as what you're talking about here, but the title of your post reminded me of something fun that happened in my first campaign.

From the very start of the campaign, the players had a crummy astromech co-piloting one of their ships. His designation was M8-T1, or Matey. The running joke for half a year was that Matey was so old, he had rusted into the astromech slot and couldn't be removed. Eventually, on of the players finally decided to free Matey (who now sported a sweet rust-beard), and make use of the astromech as more than just a pure co-pilot.

Skip forward two sessions, and the players are in the middle of a big battle against some malfunctioning loading droids. That same player had the brilliant idea to disable one of the droids without killing it. One mad mechanic montage later, and Matey was sporting a 10 foot tall loading droid mech suit. 

I might have let my players get away with a lot of silly things.

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