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UndeadToast

Droid System Fail!

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Playing a droid character has never appealed to me personally but the version presented in EotE is VERY weak in my opinion. The character starts with just 1 point in each charcteristic! Granted you get 175 xp to start with but it will cost 120 points just to get those stats to what is average for every other species in the game. This leaves only 55 xp to build your droid if you want to start it off well rounded in all areas.

I realize customization and specialization is part of playing a droid. But any player character needs to be well rounded to some degree. I feel the current system starts the droid off weak and takes too much xp just to get it to average.

What my group has played around with completely changes the character generation for droids. We left the starting charcteristics at 1 and lowered the starting xp to 100. We then increased the starting credit value for droids! Working together to modify the costs of cybernetic implants from the gear section and creating some of our own to fill the gaps we created a list of 'Starting Parts' available for purchase. Lets face it, part of the fun of playing a droid is BUILDING your own not just investing xp to increase numbers. We are also currently working on a droid talent tree that is a free specialization tree for selecting the droid character. It still counts against the maximum of 3 any character can take but provides droid specific talents like ion shielding or computer interface jack.

We are also testing the idea of turning experience points into credits for droid upgrade points only. It is the charcters option to take 5xp and turn it into 500 credits but those credits must be used specificly to purchase new upgrades to the droid itself. This part has been a little more difficult to work out but we are giving it a try. Any suggestions are welcome.

Let me know what you think!

jhaelen likes this

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I really like the idea of allowing droid characters the opportunity to use tangible game resources to improve themselves.  I think this should be made far and away the biggest selling point for droids as PCs.  Rather than focusing entirely on character creation and changing up how droids are stated up and advance (starting xp, characteristics, etc), I think a bit of love and attention should be enacted to give droids a bunch of interchangeable parts that would make them well worth playing and keep with the highly specialized nature of droids in the setting of Star Wars. 

Allowing a droid player to modify their skill training outlay, their stats and their appurtenances the same way any other character would have a blaster modified would fit imo.  It wouldn't be something they could always do on the fly, but if they had a bit of downtime and plenty of cash they should be able to swap out gearing, skills, talents, etc.  All based on what droid parts they are in possession of.  It would also make for some fun in planning your droid for a specific task.  If you are going to be doing a ****** and grab job to retrieve a comrade from some shifty Sullustan gangster's hideout you can probably ditch the universal communication and technician training packages and go with something that has a bit more kick, like the OT-Vigilante IX software (Ranged (Heavy) 1, Ranged (Light) 2, Melee 1)…and then go in guns blazing.  And then when you get inside and come up against a bunch of e-locked blast doors and bazaar alien languages, the other players get to turn to you and go…"oh g.d. it Trey…a lot of good the shooting and chopping is going to do us now!"  Heck I'd even be in favor of a droid PC, with enough resources and desire, temporarily taking on the role of the group ship's droid brain if they wanted to really flex their stuff as a pilot/navigator/spacer.

TLDR; Droid PCs should work in some fashion like an Eclipse Phase character in that:  Your mind is software - Program it.  Your body is a shell - Change it.

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I like this… I was hoping for more Droid customization in the core rules and I hope through this Playtesting phase we will be able to nudge FFG into a good direction towards adding more for Droid characters than what's already in there.

I am also hoping they will eventually change the Droid Species description away from Class Four and more general, with more customization features available.

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I doubt they're going to completely change how droids work, though, and I very much doubt they'll go the way of Eclipse Phase, as droids have never been shown to swap bodies and parts on a whim.

I could imagine them changing it so they have… say, 90xp, and rather than 1 in each characteristic, having the player able to play 3 in 2 stats, 2 in 2 stats, and 1 in the last two stats. That way, as in the actual setting, droids are very specialised in the task they're designed for.

It's for that reason I don't actually have that much of a problem with the standard rules - they could maybe do with having 210-220xp or so instead though, so they can put some more XP in characteristics.

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If I'm truthful, I would have rather them not had Droid PC's in the core book and instead had a more useful race, as I don't feel the half page format does the droids justice. I feel they would have been better served with an EotE supplement with full customization rules and maybe droid specific careers and specializations.

I also like MILLANDSON's idea of giving droids a spread of ability points to spend rather than a big lump of XP.

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I have only just become aware of this conversation but couldn't find the topic mentioned at the end of the thread. I was just taken to the root page of the forums. However, I would still like to comment on the conversation so far. I understand the general feeling about Droids and I agree that Droids do seem to have the short end of the stick, but I think it is also a factor of changing your perspective and expectations. When designing a Droid look at skills rather than attributes, if you have an Agility of 1 but a Pilot (Space) of 3 you are still rolling three dice one of which will be a proficiency dice. I think it is still a sensible idea to do something about the level of attributes a starting Droid has but remember that the dice pool works both ways.

For a Con game I ran, I pregenerated a Droid and loaded him with a fairly decent skill level, I improved one or two attributes but mostly left them at one. The player still enjoyed the character and was quite effective, he enjoyed it so much he asked if he could take the character sheet.

Another option might be to provide Hard Points and allow Droids to be modded like equipment, perhaps even with Hard Points being purchasable with xp (though I would make that expensive).

Just my thoughts

Eldath

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I certainly agree with the option to have droid players upgrade themselves...but that shouldn't change character generation.

 

The main reason they are "weak" as far as xp to stat/skill ratio compared to other races is that they have HUGE racial advantages...dont eat, breathe or DIE!!!

 

Plus the roleplaying advantages are potentially considerable...who shoots at droids?  Ok if they shoot back maybe, but a droid trying to remain discreet can do so very easily.  Sure this works against you too since many will not take you seriously, but I think the advantages outweight the disadvantages...meaning a player should "pay" for those advantages.  If you upgrade the power level of droids I think you're just encouraging a party full of them.  Anyone who seriously wants to play a droid (as opposed to some moron who picks the character based on its stats) is going to quickly realize the advantages/disadvantages and be just as useful to any party as someone with more "points".

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The key thing about droids are that they are inherently narrow functioning characters by design. Even though CP30 and R2D2 are highly individual characters as far as droids go, they exhibit a narrow band of skills. CP 3O  can talk all day to just about anything, his lack of disaplin and combat skills means he quite litrally can fall apart in combat. R2 is a bit mor ruggid, but beyond machanical and computer checks with the breif burst of improvised combat, he is very narrowed down with computer.s Even assissin droids are narrow minded, typically focused on combat skills with a splash of a secondary skill to make getting to the target easier.

Under that understanding, it makes sense that droids will typically stick to their designated function despite their independance as that is what they do best. If your looking for all rounders your better off looking at most other races. As a droid you get more starting ranks in skills and even if you go for a fairly broad skillset (a 2, 3 stats and a 4, which comes to 140) you can get a pretty good headstart in talents, that will typically put yourself ahead of the curve in your chosen specialisation when compared to other races.

If you want to buy more ranks with it, you can hold of a session with your remaining exp and bank it to produce yellow dice in your speciality. This doesn't include the fact that droids can pretty much have every good cybernetic if they so wanted to, that enables them to be deleveped really well without looking like a freakshow human with every possible organic system replaced with cybernetics.

Playing as a droid comes with a certain baggage that you must be prepared to accept in the same way a wookie is. If you want to make a specialist character with a headstart into a talent tree/rank tree, you realy can't do much better, though it comes with great competion from other specialists races that pump huge starting stats. Such as Drull with a int 4 as standard.

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Having just finished reading all three Core Rulebooks and finishing my lists of all available species, career, and power choices, one thing immediately stood out: Droids suck. Like hard.

 

While I don't consider myself a min-maxer I really couldn't bring myself to ever consider playing a droid.

See, I get what FFG was trying to do, creating them as a species that was inferior to a biological species but with a potential to be superior in a very narrow specialization.

The problem is, they failed to do even that. No matter which other species you choose, you'll end up with a better specialist than when you try to do the same thing with a droid.

The balancing is just off.

For anyone not believing it, here's a challenge: Create a droid character that is actually better at something than a character with any one other species!

 

Imho, the final nail in the droid's coffin (or whatever else it is that they're disposed of in) is their inability to ever become Force Sensitive.

 

There definitely needs to be _something_ that makes them actually be good at something. Implants would be an obvious way to go. This is just screaming for a dedicated source book.

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I certainly agree with the option to have droid players upgrade themselves...but that shouldn't change character generation.

 

The main reason they are "weak" as far as xp to stat/skill ratio compared to other races is that they have HUGE racial advantages...dont eat, breathe or DIE!!!

 

Plus the roleplaying advantages are potentially considerable...who shoots at droids?  Ok if they shoot back maybe, but a droid trying to remain discreet can do so very easily.  Sure this works against you too since many will not take you seriously, but I think the advantages outweight the disadvantages...meaning a player should "pay" for those advantages.  If you upgrade the power level of droids I think you're just encouraging a party full of them.  Anyone who seriously wants to play a droid (as opposed to some moron who picks the character based on its stats) is going to quickly realize the advantages/disadvantages and be just as useful to any party as someone with more "points".

I fully concur... plus droids get to build-in almost anything they really want to.. if they can afford it. Most of the droid players I've seen had no issue once play began. Immune to vacuum, sleep, and hunger. Droids are actually quite well balanced. I have only had one of 6 Pl arties not have a droid chosen by someone.

Also, a pc droid in an x-wing with a pc pilot is a force to be reckoned with... it tones down the y-wing a bit. (A 3 pc y-wing is really a problem, balance wise, in ship combat.)

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