Jump to content
Malashim

NPC Droid experiences

Recommended Posts

Hello there, in my function as a GM at my table i sense a little (maybe) problem coming up. Coming from long term Shadowrun playing and knowing the troubles Riggers had to go through i had some almost nightmares when one of my players started beating around the bush for droid henchmen (guarding the ship, support in combat, helping with checks, caring for the ship in general).

So i looked over the ones i could find and noticed something i never cared about as a GM before - the really "good" ones (Nemesis) you could run as a NPC sidekick were all restricted, and a lot of the Rival level alright looking ones were ok - but seemed a bit squishy and still quite expensive.

Does anyone have some experiences as a player or GM with techy PCs and a Shadowrun-Rigger like build (a sortiment of drones/droids for different tasks)? I can clearly see the power you can get out of them with Speaks Binary and some of the very usefull non combat droids, but they seem a bit too expensive when they pretty much get destroyed by 2 or 3 attacks. Not even speaking about Minion Droids...

How did it work out in your groups?

Are there must haves outside the restricted league when they shouldn't pop like expensive fireworks?

Can you even run such a thing without building every single droid yourself (or stealing them with restraining bolts)? <- building everthing himself would actually be the biggest problem because time is quite often one of the adversaries they face...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not an answer to your overall question, but I would say the biggest defence an NPC droid has is the fact that it's an NPC and you control the enemies it will face.

When I control the NPC combatants, I try to have them target what they would see as the biggest threats, which is almost always the big heavy guy shooting at them. If/when I have an encounter with enemies that are supposed to prevent access to a terminal or some other macguffin, they may instead target whoever is fiddling with it first instead.

Also, I would think the kind of NPC 'minions' you're describing should be a little glassy/weak, or very expensive. Unless it's your goal, the players shouldn't really be buying another PC, and if they are, it shouldn't be cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Roderz said:

Not an answer to your overall question, but I would say the biggest defence an NPC droid has is the fact that it's an NPC and you control the enemies it will face.

When I control the NPC combatants, I try to have them target what they would see as the biggest threats, which is almost always the big heavy guy shooting at them. If/when I have an encounter with enemies that are supposed to prevent access to a terminal or some other macguffin, they may instead target whoever is fiddling with it first instead.

Indeed. Why waste an action shooting at these guys.
1482052708722.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Roderz said:

the players shouldn't really be buying another PC, and if they are, it shouldn't be cheap.

The exception is another actual player, that makes sense.

 

48 minutes ago, penpenpen said:

Indeed. Why waste an action shooting at these guys.
1482052708722.gif

I really tried to find a gif of R2 malfunctioning in RoTJ after being shot by the stormtrooper but it was not to be.

Edited by Roderz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Roderz said:

 

I really tried to find a gif of R2 malfunctioning in RoTJ after being shot by the stormtrooper but it was not to be.

I'd call that a despair on a computers check during a firefight.

On a sidenote, since starting with this system I can't watch the movies anymore without constantly noting what would be despairs and triumphs. Surely, I'm not alone in this?

Edited by penpenpen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My players “rescued” an old astromech from a derelict ship waaay back at the start of our first campaign! He generally gets either verbally abused or forgotten about until their ship needs repairs during combat... so far I think he’s been off the ship twice in all that time!

I kinda regret giving him to the players... mainly because they insist that I do the bleeps & whistles whenever he communicates ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With non combatant droids i agree on the things mentioned, but when it gets to droids with weapons things get different. I generally try not to kill anyone (or anything) unless their actions and the dice tell otherwise, but my NPCs act in a mostly realistic way so combatant droids will draw at least some fire.

On the other side i'm not interested to cripple someone who plays a Droid Tech and uses one or two droids as his "weapons" in combat encounters. So i'm looking for more player level advice that i could pass on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having players that want to invest in NPC droids can be a godsend for GMs worried about how to bleed credits away from loot-happy players. There's no faster way to turn thousands of credits into nothingness (short of removing PCs ships from them, which I've done a few times).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, HappyDaze said:

Having players that want to invest in NPC droids can be a godsend for GMs worried about how to bleed credits away from loot-happy players. There's no faster way to turn thousands of credits into nothingness (short of removing PCs ships from them, which I've done a few times).

Thats true, but i had a quick discussion with my gang of Nerdowells about looting the universe and by now it worked out great, they accept the "loot" i place exactly as that and only "loot" enemys when i equip them with an "upgrade" weapon/equipment wise, which also falls under the "loot i placed for looting" category. My favorite so far is placing more as they are able to carry out there and press a bit on the time so they have to decide if they want to take the "big cash" or the "nice toys". Worked out pretty good so far.

My main fear right now is that i've seen some riggers in Shadowrun loose (and i mean really loose) drones where the pay out was smaller than the loss - often only due to some lucky shot. And i have absolutely no experience with PC owned NPC droids so far. So i can't even give him advice on what models tend to work well while staying non restricted, and if it is worthwhile to put some good equipment on them or if this only raises the cost of the fireworks :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, Malashim said:

Thats true, but i had a quick discussion with my gang of Nerdowells about looting the universe and by now it worked out great, they accept the "loot" i place exactly as that and only "loot" enemys when i equip them with an "upgrade" weapon/equipment wise, which also falls under the "loot i placed for looting" category. My favorite so far is placing more as they are able to carry out there and press a bit on the time so they have to decide if they want to take the "big cash" or the "nice toys". Worked out pretty good so far.

My main fear right now is that i've seen some riggers in Shadowrun loose (and i mean really loose) drones where the pay out was smaller than the loss - often only due to some lucky shot. And i have absolutely no experience with PC owned NPC droids so far. So i can't even give him advice on what models tend to work well while staying non restricted, and if it is worthwhile to put some good equipment on them or if this only raises the cost of the fireworks :D

Shadowrun economics are a mess (much like this game). Getting 5k for a job where you risk your life and your 20k of gear is silly. It's even sillier that Johnson pays per runner rather than per job. The idea that the Johnson will pay 10 guys twice as much as a more skilled group half that size is just stupid with sprinkles on it. The Johnson should have a budget for the job--if that's 20k for the job and one guy can do it all himself, then that one guy gets all 20k. This logic applies to doing jobs for pay in EotE too.

Edited by HappyDaze

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, HappyDaze said:

Shadowrun economics are a mess (much like this game). Getting 5k for a job where you risk your life and your 20k of gear is silly. It's even sillier that Johnson pays per runner rather than per job. The idea that the Johnson will pay 10 guys twice as much as a more skilled group half that size is just stupid with sprinkles on it. The Johnson should have a budget for the job--if that's 20k for the job and one guy can do it all himself, then that one guy gets all 20k. This logic applies to doing jobs for pay in EotE too.

Yeah didn't like that also back in the days, we always went with a whole budget for the job - paid the expenditures and divided the remains, felt better and more logic. That is also the way i plan now in SW.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the recurring questions about this game is about NPC's in general.

A lot of players have bad memories of bad GM's making off with loot or plot important devices and using NPC's to protect those seems natural, whether they're mechanical or organic.

Yes, droids are expensive.  If a PC starts dragging one around into combat it could get broken.  All too true.

So far my group of PC's don't seem all that interested in purchasing any droids BUT they did pick up three extra Astromechs on a procurement mission for the Rebellion.

One of the droids was sold and the other two were activated and hang out on the ship.

"Goldie" is a favorite among the crew and the PC's have outfitted the little guy with a blaster pistol.  However its programming is basic so it's only rolling Y for combat checks.  I don't think it's hit anything yet . . .  And that's part of the charm.  Goldie is rarely involved in combat but when it is, it's not a real issue.  Also if Goldie get's bored, he'll hit up the PC's for games of Dejarik.  THAT's a skill that Goldie does well at.  Goldie's primary programming suite involves slicing & computer operations.

The other droid is a green astromech owned by the GMPC and that's led to a bit of conflict (as GMPC's will do).  While one PC was setting up an programming Goldie the GMPC grabbed the green droid and set it up as a maintenance droid.  The green droid tends to ignore the PC's directives and is a maintenance droid who helps out the NPC mechanic with upkeep.

And in my campaign the droids are more for color.

I do recall one mission where the PC's were going to break into an Imperial facility to extract data.  The PC's planned on taking Goldie along so that they would have a dedicated slicer.

However the Imperial facility was located in an ocean and when Goldie saw that they group was going to sneak to the facility aboard a rickety makeshift wooden fishing boat, Goldie refused to get on the barely seaworthy ship.

The PC's were initially angry, but later were grateful because their local pilot refused to get closer than 100 feet to the facility.  And droids are notoriously bad at swimming.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

Shadowrun economics are a mess (much like this game). Getting 5k for a job where you risk your life and your 20k of gear is silly. It's even sillier that Johnson pays per runner rather than per job. The idea that the Johnson will pay 10 guys twice as much as a more skilled group half that size is just stupid with sprinkles on it. The Johnson should have a budget for the job--if that's 20k for the job and one guy can do it all himself, then that one guy gets all 20k. This logic applies to doing jobs for pay in EotE too.

I've never looked at it as the Johnson is giving group A 25k cause there is 5 of them but would give group B 50k cause there is 10 of them. Its the Johnson is hiring the PC group and his budget is 5k per PC. Plus, I tend to not present the pay that way either. I lump sum it and let the players worry about the split after.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Malashim said:

Thats true, but i had a quick discussion with my gang of Nerdowells about looting the universe and by now it worked out great, they accept the "loot" i place exactly as that and only "loot" enemys when i equip them with an "upgrade" weapon/equipment wise, which also falls under the "loot i placed for looting" category. My favorite so far is placing more as they are able to carry out there and press a bit on the time so they have to decide if they want to take the "big cash" or the "nice toys". Worked out pretty good so far.

My main fear right now is that i've seen some riggers in Shadowrun loose (and i mean really loose) drones where the pay out was smaller than the loss - often only due to some lucky shot. And i have absolutely no experience with PC owned NPC droids so far. So i can't even give him advice on what models tend to work well while staying non restricted, and if it is worthwhile to put some good equipment on them or if this only raises the cost of the fireworks :D

Why are you worried about the droids being restricted or not? Its edge of the empire, not Obey the Law. If you are going to take the droids and shoot some place up, the fact that the droids are restricted isnt what is going to get you sent to Kessel.

Personally, I think your best bet (or your player's) is not to go big, and get a $15k nemesis assassin droid to use as his combat skills, but to go cheap. Get a group of refurbished B1 battle droids and have them act as a minion group. 5 minions can be a nasty dice pool, especially with the PCs support, and they arent all that expensive if they get shot up. If you are also generous with salvaging destroyed bots, you can even reduce the cash expenditure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, korjik said:

Why are you worried about the droids being restricted or not? Its edge of the empire, not Obey the Law. If you are going to take the droids and shoot some place up, the fact that the droids are restricted isnt what is going to get you sent to Kessel.

Personally, I think your best bet (or your player's) is not to go big, and get a $15k nemesis assassin droid to use as his combat skills, but to go cheap. Get a group of refurbished B1 battle droids and have them act as a minion group. 5 minions can be a nasty dice pool, especially with the PCs support, and they arent all that expensive if they get shot up. If you are also generous with salvaging destroyed bots, you can even reduce the cash expenditure.

The thing with restricted comes from the group in general, not very combat heavy and they try to stay under the radar (to some degree the fault of my campaign so far) while moving actually not so far on the edge and quite close to the coreworlds. Until now they kept a low profile and the obvious equipment as legal as possible, the campaign will open up more sandboxy in the future and i'm quite interested to see if this will change, but right now they can operate from Coruscant to Tatooine on purpose.

The theme is lightly focused on the core to mid rim underworld, dipping into Empire- and Rebellion Jobs - realizing that both (if not all) sides suck, while the real edge territories are "blocked" by obligations that should be solved before running there. And all that shortly ABY...

 

I'll talk about a few options with the player in question as i got some interesting ideas out of the postings so far and will see what options he prefers.

Thanks a lot for all the input!

Edited by Malashim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, AceSolo5 said:

My players “rescued” an old astromech from a derelict ship waaay back at the start of our first campaign! He generally gets either verbally abused or forgotten about until their ship needs repairs during combat... so far I think he’s been off the ship twice in all that time!

I kinda regret giving him to the players... mainly because they insist that I do the bleeps & whistles whenever he communicates ?

I have players that have stuck a restraining bolt on an astromech behind a droid uprising, not knowing it's one of the ringleaders and expecting they'll be able to keep it by the end of this adventure. Little do they know a compatriot has removed the bolt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...