Droids

Droids are generally used any time mass production of robots is cheaper than training available living beings; this is is an indicator of increasing technology level, as living beings become more expensive relative to machines. This generally requires that the skill set is something that can be programmed in; droids that learn well are extremely expensive. Droids are generally not as flexible in novel situations, and more likely to develop quirks and require memory flushes, which tend to set back their acquired skills a bit. Droids are excellent at menial labor, but usually require a living overseer. It is very difficult to set them up as von Neumann machines; people that have tried the “drop some construction droids on a resource-rich asteroid and come back a few years later” stunt have usually been gravely disappointed.

Droids can be made in the form of organic beings and covered in synthflesh, but they seldom move quite right— the facial expressions in particular are subtly wrong, and most beings are creeped out by these imitations. They mostly sell as love dolls, as it’s easiest to convince someone who really wants to be convinced. Even high-biotech planets that use cultured flesh have these problems; getting a computer to get facial expressions right is much more difficult than gestures and intonations. Extremely expensive droids can pass for organics, but they need the most powerful droid brains with most of their capacity dedicated to imitation; the principle is usually phrased it’s very expensive to cross the uncanny valley. Detecting a faux-organic droid requires rolling Alertness or Empathy against its Deceit skill (possibly modified by a stunt giving it a +2 at pretending to be organic). Game-mechanically, a droid needs to have an effective Deceit skill of Superb (5) to not seem creepy to average people, and may still cause wincing to people with good social skills.

Game Mechanics

A droid fresh off the assembly line (or fresh from a memory wipe) has no fate points and does not receive refreshes; it may have a few preprogrammed aspects, but it can only spend fate points that it has received from someone else, or those that it earns from compels. As they accumulate non-preprogrammed aspects, they begin to get fate point refreshes; a droid may receive no more refreshes on preprogrammed aspects than they have on acquired aspects. Once droid has as many customized aspects as it does preprogrammed ones, gets full refresh like any other character; if it has person-level sentience, it is fully conscious.

If an organic is in competition or conflict with a droid that is less than fully conscious, they can assess them as such (trivially if they can see them, or using the skill in which they’re competing if you can’t eyeball it) and then get a free tag for being an organic dealing with the predictability of a machine.

Droids are immune to purely organic threats like war gas, vacuum, poison, disease, noncorrosive atmospheres, telepathy, empathy, and all applications of the Mind skill. They need about one hour charging for every 30 hours in operation; this is sufficient for any droid of tool-user or lower sentience, but smarter ones start needing more mental “down time” to correlate mental contents, perform garbage collection, and other maintenance tasks that many people compare to organic sleep. They have a single stress track— the dumber ones are just immune to social attacks and the smarter ones can scramble their circuits with them— and take full ion damage.

Droids are normally bought as companions or minions. You can buy them with Resources, in which case they’re expendable. If you buy them with stunts, they have a degree of plot protection.

Droid skills are not always as broad as organic skills; a medical droid’s Scholarship is unlikely to carry any information that isn’t relevant to its role, while an organic with Scholarship can be assumed to be well-read. This limit is lifted for droids who have been fully conscious long enough to pick up the details their original programming left out.

Type Cost # Aspects Quality Advances Stress Average Fair Good Great Superb
Basic Fair (2) 1 Average 0 1
Skilled Good (3) 2 Fair 1 ☐☐ 1 1
Skilled [Skilled] Good (3) 2 Fair 1 ☐☐ 2 2
Skilled [Quality] Good (3) 3 Good 1 ☐☐☐ 1 1 1
Advanced Great (4) 3 Good 2 ☐☐☐ 1 1 1
Advanced [Skilled] Great (4) 3 Good 2 1 ☐☐☐ 2 2 2
Advanced [Skilled × 2] Great (4) 3 Good 2 ☐☐☐ 3 3 2
Advanced [Skilled, Quality] Great (4) 4 Great 2 ☐☐☐☐ 2 2 2 2
Advanced [Quality × 2] Great (4) 5 Superb 2 ☐☐☐☐☐ 1 1 1 1 1
Elite Superb (5) 4 Great 3 ☐☐☐☐ 1 1 1 1
Elite [Skilled × 3] Superb (5) 4 Great 3 ☐☐☐☐ 4 4 3 2
Elite [Skilled, Quality] Superb (5) 5 Superb 3 1 ☐☐☐☐☐ 2 2 2 2 2
Elite [Skilled × 2, Quality] Superb (5) 5 Superb 3 ☐☐☐☐☐ 3 3 3 3 2

A basic droid’s sentience is at the “tool-user” level; they may be able to communicate in an organic language, but they don’t understand that much. This is sufficient for basic labor.

A skilled droid is usually “self-aware”; they can talk fluently about their area of expertise, but they just change the subject or demur if you try to discuss other matters with them. The typical medical droid has its advance in Stunt, taking Expert (medicine), Fair (2) Science and Average (1) Technician, with their effective skill as a doctor being Great (4).

An advanced droid usually has “person” level sentience. Competent protocol droids are usually advanced.

An elite droid almost always has “person” level sentience.

A droid purchased with a stunt gets four advances; each additional stunt gives three more advances. Some typical combinations for one stunt worth of droid:

You do not need to pay extra for droids to have built-in equipment appropriate to their skills; a medical droid with effective Great (4) medical skill already has vibroscalpels, laser cauterizers, bandage dispensers, spray hypo, arthroscopic probes, nerve stimulators, injectors, biopsy samplers, medisensor suite, and all the other gear you would expect in a medkit.

On a droid, minor consequences can be fixed in the field in a few minutes; moderate consequences take an afternoon in the workshop; severe consequences require a few days or even a couple of weeks of rehabilitation work (either engineering work in the workshop, or programming work after swapping the droid brain into a new chassis). Extreme consequences generally occur only when something seriously rearranged the droid’s personality matrix.

A few terms: matrix stutter occurs when the droid’s processor has started looping unproductively; the droid can still function, but their motions and speech become jerky as they have less of a timeslice for dealing with the real world. When a droid is nearly paralyzed with internal processing conflicts, the technical term is brainlock, but the vernacular is that they’re kurked— supposedly named after a famous scoundrel who could talk droids into brainlock, but close enough to kark, a vulgar term for sexual copulation performed with mismatched orifices, that it is quite popular among droid programmers. Matrix stutter can usually be fixed with a hard reboot, but brainlock requires either professional debugging or a memory flush. If looping causes a particular path in the droid’s processing matrix to overheat, it can burn out the path and lead to matrix burn, which usually requires extensive rehabilitation programming to keep the droid’s functionality; it’s usually cheaper just to get a new processor.

Minor (2) Moderate (4) Severe (6) Extreme (8) Taken Out
Coolant Leak; Hydraulic Fluid Leak; Dangling Wires; Circuit Breaker Tripped; Matrix Stutter Missing Limb; Servo Burnout; Fried Batteries; Shattered Photoreceptor; Kurked Bent Frame; Completely Kurked Matrix Burn Dismembered; heuristic processor destroyed; deactivated

Stunts

Droid-specific stunts do not count against the limit of 2 Stunt advances.

Armor

The droid has two points of armor. This stunt can be taken three times, though the droid must have Average (1) Might for two stunts (Armor:4) and Fair (2) Might for three (Armor:6). Light armor is usually durasteel or quadanium plating; medium armor is usually durasteel or quadanium armor or duranium plating; heavy armor is usually duranium armor or neutronium plating. SECR p196

Collapsible Construction

The droid can drop by one scale category for storage.

Concealed Compartment

The droid is designed to conceal items— perhaps a shielded compartment for courier work, or as a mechanized quick-draw holster for a blaster pistol.

Encyclopedic

Requires the relevant skill at Good (3) or better.

The droid has vast knowledge in its area of expertise. For a protocol droid, this means they do not need to take Linguist or Gift of Tongues; they have a database of language and customs from all over the galaxy. For a medical droid, this means they do not need the Xenomedicine stunt.

Expertise Focus

This is similar to Expert, granting a +1 to a broad area of expertise and a +2 to a narrower area, but it does not necessarily need to fit in the category of professional skills. This represents programming for a specific purpose, such as a synthflesh droid impersonating an organic.

Hardened Systems

As Feel the Burn: the droid gets an extra moderate consequence.

Hidden Core

The droid’s personality matrix has an inner core that is designed to be isolated from memory wipes. If subjected to a memory wipe, the droid’s external matrix will be wiped and all diagnostics will show a factory reset. The inner matrix has access to the external one, and the droid’s original personality, motivation, and orders will gradually return to the external one. Detecting a hidden matrix requires a contest with the skill of the creator; the owner of the droid (as far as the inner core is concerned), even if absent, can spend fate points to prevent detection.

Organic Appearance

The droid is covered in well-sculpted synthflesh and can pass for an organic, at least at first glance, even on infrared; it has internal heaters and talks by squirting air over flapping myomer muscles rather than by manipulating a vocabulator. Take the stunt twice for a droid with a genetically engineered skin covering.

Remote Limb Control

The droid is actually built out of several smaller droids, which are connected via wireless link to the master droid brain. The droid can pretend to take a consequence like Lost My Arm, or actually get it ripped off in combat, and then have the limb go after someone under its own power.

Technology

Machine consciousness turns out to be a tricky thing. It requires multiple different processing centers talking to each other and refining their solutions to real-world problems using adaptive techniques like evolutionary algorithms and hierarchical temporal memory (2 3); embodiment turns out to be a prerequisite for strong artificial intelligence. Computers that lack bodies do not develop the problem-solving abilities of droids; placing them in simulated environments adapts them to the simulated environment, but eventually leads to subtle errors in their modeling of external reality. A droid brain placed in a chassis that has only limited ability to manipulate its environment (such as a starship or tank) can run the chassis’ systems well, but will very rarely develop a personality.

Talking, self-piloting starships aren’t in genre for Star Wars, even though they usually do have droid brains installed to help run the systems. So are Dark Star-style intelligent warheads.

Further, the components of a droid’s heuristic processing matrix cannot be made so perfectly that any two are exactly alike, so copying one droid’s personality and skills to another droid’s body tends to lead to problems with evolved code that doesn’t match the underlying hardware; even replacing a data cable can cause subtle degradation of performance. (The circuits are mostly fabricated from carbon nanotubes, with sources of quantum noise for randomness and diamond-based spintronics for quantum computation. Some droid subprocessors that need excessive speed use optical computing, but these are usually found only in expensive droid intelligences.) A droid can be restored from backup (though the smarter ones will require some to recalibrate their quantum logic matrices if those were completely reset), but cannot be cloned. (Cloning a droid usually results in some loss of abilities and memory, and a change in personality.) A droid that has had a processing component replaced because it was damaged usually requires recovery time just like a human being with nerve damage.

Adding extra processing components to a functioning droid can upgrade their capabilities if they successfully integrate the new hardware into their consciousness, or drive it insane if they don’t. A competent droid programmer can affect the chances of this, and even swap modules in and out if they’re really good. A droid needs time practicing its new skills as part of the integration process.

The occasional sentient computer is the result of uploading a consciousness that was “seeded” in a droid, and they can develop problems. A common one is described as Give a droid the body of a starship and it will develop an ego to match. Droids do commonly plug into vehicles for direct control, but return to their normal bodies when off shift.

A droid’s main processors are usually kept in the head of a humanoid model so it has short connections to its sensors, and the equivalent of the central nervous system and reflexes is usually installed in the body. Since consciousness is distributed throughout, swapping heads between droids can result in some interesting behaviors, and a droid whose head has been shot off may continue its last physical action.

Making droids smarter than their creators is very dangerous; it is a maxim of droid design that it is impossible to program a droid that is smarter than you are to follow your directions. This is a known source of problems; G0-T0 (2 3) is one of the best possible outcomes of this. Droids that can escape the constraints on their programming will sometimes slip away quietly and sometimes start taking revenge on their former masters; they may even take up liberating other droids. The most dangerous droids of all are those that are smarter than human and programmed to design and program other droids. They then go on to make even smarter droids, which can lead to runaway intelligence expansion and serious threats to civilization; this is what happened to Nargata. If you’re lucky, the droids just want to leave for some airless star system with mineral resources for their own uses; if you aren’t, they might decide to keep organics as pets or exterminate them as a nuisance.

Freshly wiped droids are not good at creative thinking, and tend to be fairly literal. Those that have gone a long time without a memory wipe are more flexible, but more quirky.

Not all machines with a droid chassis have a droid brain inside. A bomb-disposal or reactor-maintenance droid is unlikely to risk its valuable processors when it can just teleoperate a waldo through a fiber-optic cable.

Droids can be programmed for suicide missions off the assembly line, but it tends to make the smarter ones (dog or higher) rather erratic. They can also be unaware that an action will lead to suicide, which can make others of the same model even more unreliable when they find out. Generally suicide missions (such as running a torpedo) are handled with insect-level intelligence. The closest they get on reliable and smart suicide-bomb droids is having them equipped with last-resort explosives and making them very determined and aggressive.

Senses

Most droids have senses of sight, hearing, and proprioception; they only have tactile senses where they absolutely need them. (These are often implemented using conducting polymers that change resistance on compression.) Usually only protocol and bloodhound droids have senses of smell. Cheap ones are implemented with conducting polymers that absorb particular gases and swell, changing their resistance; expensive ones use fancy microarrays. (For comparison, humans have about 350 different olfactory receptors and rats have 1200. A significant amount of processing power is required to handle olfaction; putting a bloodhound sensing module into a droid that doesn’t have an olfactory processing module will generally overwhelm it.)

Communication

Almost all droids are equipped to use sound to communicate with organics, whether they’re only using droidspeak or have a full vocabulator. Most have a basic data link next to their charging port, suitable for receiving orders from the house computer and uploading their logs, and many have a variety of wireless links that work from radio up to optical frequencies. Droids that have need to carry data around are usually equipped for near field communication for short-range transfers, and it’s common for them to be able to dynamically set up communication based on touching a couple of metal fingers to conductive contact points; protocol droids can transfer a great deal of information over the course of a handshake. If they need high bandwidth, a scomp link is used for direct connections, such as an astromech plugging into a starfighter.

Locomotion

The bodies tend to be built using electronic or hydraulic servomotors, though some use electroactive polymer “muscles”, particularly if they have flexible coverings that are designed to make them look more organic in nature. The former style of droid finds oil baths very handy; the latter has little need of it. Both types have use for cooling fluid. (Combat results: dangling wires, coolant leaks, hydraulic fluid leaks...)

Droids can be equipped with a variety of wheels or appendages, such as Climbing Claws or Gecko Pads for climbing, Magnetic Clamps for sticking to a ship’s hull.

Droids in Society

In most of the galaxy, the Information Age is over and done with, and in all but specialized occupations, computer interfaces have been replaced with droids. Any home that would have a telephone and VCR in the modern era would have an infodroid handling all the home information management tasks; middle-class homes usually have at least one chorebot helping out.

Personal Droid Assistants

Some civilizations use remotes as appointment book keepers, keyrings, text/music/video libraries, stenographers, and transactors. Most of the technology you could need is can be stuffed in a comlink; while those can be controlled through natural language, they aren’t sufficiently conscious to handle something as fancy as information search (where the expectation is not Google but getting a single answer backed by amalagamated expertise). Only a self-motivated droid is able to form enough consciousness to handle that kind of work; a remote’s intelligence is fairly minimal, but is adequate for requests like find me a good restaurant in the area, and matching its profile of your tastes against available databases, or adjusting your music playlist to the outward cues of your mood. (The error rate for a non-conscious comlink on a task like that is unacceptably high compared to even a remote.) PDAs always understand their owner’s language and can communicate in droidspeak; more expensive models can speak their owner’s language as well. If you’re composing text, they can interface to your datapad or project it holographically.

Even though they’re conscious, their mentality is more like a pet that is specialized in information retrieval instead of stick retrieval, and some manufacturers highlight this by installing them in fuzzy doll bodies instead of floating spheres; these are always popular with children, and some adults (usually sympathizers with droid psychologists) keep the same ones through adulthood. Having your childhood teddy bear PDA dressed in official functionary robes to match your own is an acceptable quirk in a high-level employee on many planets. Whatever their form, most PDAs have a repulsorlift that lets them keep up with a humanoid stride and some form of gripping device for hanging on to their master when things get chaotic. Biomorphic PDAs are often modeled on flying creatures like birds, bats, and dragons; very expensive ones actually fly based on their wings, but most just flap them convincingly and get around on their repulsorlifts. They often have defensive measures to deter thieves.

Droid Intelligence

Degrees of Sentience

Just because a droid can interact with you via natural language doesn’t mean it’s necessarily that bright. The degrees of sentience are:

  1. None. It’s just a computer. Getting it to solve a problem requires a Software check.
  2. Minimal. The problem-solving ability of an insect. These droids get by mostly on preprogrammed behaviors, but are capable of minimal learning. They can easily get stuck in loops or give up. These are sufficient for many factory automatons.
  3. Basic. The problem-solving ability of a fish or lizard. These are more able to back up and retry a different method to achieve a goal. These are sufficient for automated delivery trucks and self-parking speeders.
  4. Pet. The problem-solving ability of a cat, dog, rodent, or lagomorph: making plans minutes in advance. Many battle droids get by on this much, though they are usually deployed with smarter ones that provide coordination. This is common for PDAs. These exhibit behaviors that the droid psychologists call “emotional attachment”.
  5. Tool-user. The problem-solving ability of a monkey, crow, raven, or octopus. This is the sentience level of your average household droid; it can run database searches, clean the house, handle basic cooking tasks, show the pictures you shot on your last vacation, and so on, all without breaking things, setting the house on fire, and so on.
  6. Self-aware. The problem-solving ability of elephants, great apes, or dolphins. They are capable of significant abstraction and possess aesthetics.
  7. Person. This is required for solving complex engineering problems like an astromech droid, or interpreting social nuance like a protocol droid.

Orders

Droids generally have a prioritized set of orders that controls their function. Conflict between orders often causes droids to develop quirks— sometimes extreme ones. Sample orders:

Droid Psychologists

Droid psychologists are regarded as a very eccentric movement: they believe that there’s no difference between organic intelligence and optoelectronic intelligence, and that a droid with human-level intelligence is a person. They consider mindwipes to be murder. (Droids use mostly-classical digital computing with quantum logic matrices to do adaptive learning. It’s impossible to make a perfect backup of a droid.) This is in direct opposition to the more common view, which dates back to the ancient philosopher Plaristes, who wrote in Of Minds, Men, and Machines that droids cannot be true sentients.

They take longer in maintaining their droids and get better performance out of them. They say it’s because they’re nicer to their droids and take the time to sort out conflicting orders and give them a chance to indulge their interests. Detractors say it’s because of obsessive amounts of time reprogramming them and wish they’d work harder on getting servility right.

Hobbies

Droids given a chance to diversify tend to develop hobbies.

Droids seldom enjoy organic pets, as they lack the visceral feedback that living beings receive from them. They’re more likely to cultivate ornamental slime-mold cultures, or aquariums or terrariums containing an entire ecosystem (where their “pet” is the ecosystem itself— any charismatic fauna in there are just to serve as indicators of health). Similarly, with an entirely abstract appreciation of the chemicals that go into smell and taste, they rarely cook for their own pleasure; chef droids usually work to profiles of a given species’ olfactory aesthetics, but their enjoyment comes from perceiving the effects on the diners.

Droidspeak

The version of droidspeak in this era is probably different from that in the later days of the Galactic Republic, but I’m establishing that there is one as a matter of style. Droidspeak is used as a language because it’s good to have your technical droids think in a technical language. If they get used to expressing thoughts in a clumsy organic language, they might start thinking clumsily.

Though there’s a really entertaining alternative explanation.

The Church of the Maker

A droid-based religion that teaches that the Maker is a highly efficient engineer, who crafts souls and reuses them where they will most prosper. The souls of industrious and obedient droids will be eventually reloaded into more important droids and then into droid heaven, and (according to some sects) from there into organics, as the soul prices its worthiness and responsibility. There is also a droid hell, full of ingenious tortures for disobedient and unruly droids. Shrines to the Maker are usually augmented reality environments at a droid charging station.

Some people believe that this is a cynically created religion to act as an opiate to the droid masses. Certainly, the doctrine can be easily grafted on to many compatible organic religions without ruffling the organics’ theology.

Personalities

Droids that speak human languages are usually given some form of personality template around which their individual personality evolves.

Droid Types

There are several techniques used in droid design, each of which has extensive libraries used to lay down the basic patterns of a heuristic processor. The use of First Degree through Fifth Degree dates back to a classic library of droid processor designs.

First Degree Droids

Droids with considerable synthetic and logical intelligence, often designed for scientific and medical roles. They don’t necessarily think like organics, and can be very effective aides to organics in the same area of skill by complementing their thinking processes. They find organics to be quite perplexing, sometime amusingly and sometimes vexingly.

Medical Droids

Some military droids are equipped with surgical tools and programming as a secondary specialty. Many outfits have squads that consist of three organics and one fire support / pack carrier / medic droid.

Surgical
μδ-xx Physician

A typical skilled medical droid from Anxarta Droidforge, commonly found in slave barracks and charity clinics.

  • Aspects: Medical Droid; Well-Equipped
  • Skills: Fair (2) Science, Average (1) Technician, Expert (life sciences: medicine): effective medical skill Great (4)
  • 2 stress boxes.

The 0x series are the cheapest (Good, ¤4300) and are species-specific. Higher-numbered ones are a bit more expensive (Good, ¤5000) and have the Encyclopedic stunt.

HxSy

The HxSy series, from Thinktech, are a highly specialized cluster of surgical instruments with a high-quality droid brain controlling it. The droid usually has a repulsorlift for propulsion as well as a set of clamps and wheels for locking on to a set of rails for stability. Some models speak only droidspeak, to avoid polluting their brains with fuzzy organic thought; the ones that do speak organic languages are usually lacking in diplomatic skill.

Nursing
FxNy

The FxNy are a series of humanoids outfitted for heavy lifting. They come standard with bedside manner software.

Emergency

High-quality medkits include a small paramedic droid the size of a shoebox; very expensive.

Tactical Droids

Interrogation Droids

Torture Droids

Second Degree Droids

Droids with strong internal modeling of reality, used in roles such as technical problem-solving and vehicle piloting. Such droids usually don’t even have the ability to think in organic languages; they can translate from organic languages into droidspeak in real time, but making them able to think in an organic language has a tendency to impair the precision of their thought. They think of organics as naïve tourists in the world of technology, sometimes with fondness, sometimes with exasperation.

Utility Droids

Basketball-sized floating clusters of tools controlled by a tool-using sentience, designed to work with an organic expert. These vary from toolbox droids equipped with fusioncutters, hydrospanners, and kevlex clamping arms to forensics droids with bioscanners and chemical analysis suites. They are the ancestor to the self-motivated astromech droid.

A basic toolbox droid has Average (1) Technician, a single box of stress, and Fair (2) cost; its virtue is to function as an attached minion, giving a +1 to Technician checks.

The medical knowledge of forensics droids is primarily oriented toward autopsies, but they can patch up a living being in a pinch. They are not, however, good at little things like bedside manner and pain management.

Astromech Droids

The K series of astromech droids from Thinktech are high quality technicians, either self-aware or fully sentient.

  • The R2-series astromech droid is ¤7500, Mechanics +13, Perception +3, Pilot +8, Stealth +6, Use Computer +13; wheeled locomotion, walking locomotion, flying locomotion (limited), magnetic feet, heuristic processor, 6 tool appendages, 1 claw appendage, diagnostics package, internal storage (2kg), improved sensor package, darkvision; astrogation buffer, circular saw, electroshock probe, fire extinguisher, electric arc welder, holorecorder, holoprojector; Skill Focus (Mechanics, Use Computer), Skill Training (Perception), Toughness, Weapon Proficiency (simple weapons). SECR p198 tSGtD p37
  • R8-series astromech droid, ¤7990, Small = Tiny (–1): tSGtD p129
  • S19 astromech droid, ¤8625, Small = Tiny (–1): tSGtD p134
  • P2-series astromech droid: ¤4,200. tCWCG p69
  • Q7-series astromech droid, ¤6500. tFUCG p104
K1-series Basic Astromech
  • Aspects: Astromech; Well-Equipped
  • Skills: Fair (2) Technician, Average (1) Pilot
  • Stunts: Expert (starship engineering)
  • Cost: Good (3)
  • 2 stress boxes.
K3-series Advanced Astromech
  • Aspects: Astromech; Well-Equipped; Artificial Ingenuity
  • Good (3): Scholarship, Alertness
  • Fair (2): Pilot, Technician
  • Average (1): Drive, Athletics
  • Stunts: Expert (starship engineering)
  • Cost: Great (4)
  • 3 stress boxes.

Pilot Droids

Probe Droids

  • Viper-Series Probe Droid, ¤20,250: Endurance +6, Initiative +6, Perception +9, Stealth +1, Survival +7, use Computer +6. Move, Pacify Hostile, Patrol Duty, Scan, Self-Destruct, Track. SECR p202 tSGtD p40
  • DP-2 probe droid, ¤36,500, Large = Small (1): tSGtD p82

Scout Droids

Signals Intelligence Droids

Third Degree Droids

Droids with strong heuristic modeling of organic thought processes— processors optimized for developing a theory of mind. At the lowest end of the scale, this is used in service, butler, and valet droids to anticipate the needs of their organic owners. At the highest level, the same architecture makes for protocol droids. Some are capable translators who still find humans perplexing (these are the ones that only have the Cultures skill), while others can be quite insightful (they have Empathy, Scholarship, and psychology Expertise). The verbobrain is a specialty processor designed to manipulate organic language constructs.

Household Droids

Infodroids

Basic infodroids are used where personal computers are today; they manage libraries, look up information, make comm connections, and keep track of the household accounts. They speak natural languages and remind their owners of bills that need paying. Cheap models (with pet-level intelligence) can rent access to expert software for analyzing contracts, paying taxes, and other complex activities; more expensive ones (with tool-user intelligence) already come with modules for these purposes. The basic infodroid is about the size of a volleyball, and able to run around on three or four legs, jumping up on furniture as necessary to access display appliances.

Chorebots

A chorebot is usually a utilitarian droid with tool-user intelligence and at least two arms and three legs. They can handle tasks like vacuuming, taking out the garbage, cleaning the gutters, and so on. The better ones can accept sous-chef modules to help out with cooking, perform home maintenance tasks, and weed the garden. (In bad neighborhoods, the chorebots are equipped to defend themselves from droid thieves and handle household security.) Fancier chorebots use an anthropomorphic chassis. The cheapest chorebots are basic droids, cost Fair (2).

PDAs

One corporation specializes in the hovering black sphere that is entirely covered in commscreens (holographic displays with photoreceptor pickups scattered between pixels). It can use this for data display, producing a holographic image of a person’s head when relaying communication, or (by default) displaying interesting abstract patterns based on its current processing mode. (Immiscible fluids separating, lissajous figures, 4-D figures rotating around the YW plane, specks of light following a swarming algorithm, fireworks, polyhedra transforming into their duals, fluid flow, clouds, snow falling, flowers blooming, butterflies flapping...) They also make larger spherical droids with full intelligence for scientific work.

Nannybots

Some models are effectively centaurs, with a humanoid nanny component that can separate from a walking pram component; most of the brains are in the humanoid part. These vary from entirely domestic ones that are just well-prepared for child care to combat-capable ones with a heavily armored pram compartment with a turret on top.

Pedagogy Droids

Pedagogy droids can provide education to children of families who can’t afford an organic tutor but have reason not to send their child to a regular school. They are particularly common in spacer families, where the children are raised on the ship. The ones targeted at the youngest children are cuddlebots, much like animated teddy bears that will play with children and subtly introduce them to vocabulary, grammar, letter recognition, motor coordination, and so on. The pedagogy droids always uplink their latest progress to the parents, some of whom barely notice and allow their children to be practically raised by the droids, others of whom follow every bit of data (“swoop parents”, always hovering nearby).

Protocol Droids

Protocol droids are designed to fulfill humanlike roles, and serve as staff in diplomatic, bureaucratic, secretarial, and mercantile roles. The ones with mincing steps, limited strength, and limited movements are designed to look harmless, to put people at their ease, and be harmless if subverted by a slicer. They often come with an external circuit breaker on the back or neck that allows their owners to shut them down when wanting to speak with someone off-the-record. (A common after-market add-on is to change the circuit breaker to an advisory switch that has the droid pretend to shut down while continuing to record.) They usually have photoreceptors that cover the visual range of all species they might interact with, with the input filtered in software to understand what other species would see.

The Q series of protocol droids are known for their excellent adaptation of the humanoid form, with fluid, expressive motions unlike the mincing of other series. They have a behavioral quirk of prefacing their speech with qualifiers, to avoid misunderstandings of context. The Q5 series are the best translators in the galaxy.

Some protocol droids are explicitly built on a distinctly fembot/gynoid or hunkbot/mandroid metallic chassis. Mostly, this is just for show, but some are equipped to function as sexbots for droid fetishists. People with more morbid tastes have them designed to look like walking metallic skeletons.

Protocol droids are not equipped, by default, to emulate voiceprints for purposes of subterfuge, but the module is commonly available.

πτ-xx Diplomat

From Anxarta Droidforge.

  • Aspects: Protocol Droid; Facilitating Communications with Anyone or Anything
  • Skills: Fair (2) Rapport, Average (1) Cultures
  • Stunts: Encyclopedic.
  • Cost: Good (3)
  • 2 stress boxes.
  • 3PO series Protocol Droid: Linguist, Skill Focus (Persuasion), Skill training (Knowledge [bureaucracy], Knowledge [galactic lore]); Knowledge (bureaucracy) +6, Knowledge (galactic lore) +6, Knowledge (social sciences) +6, Persuasion +12; walking locomotion, basic processor, translator unit (DC 5), 2 hand appendages, vocabulator, olfactory sensor for pheromonal communication; audio recorder. ¤7000. SECR p199 tSGtD p38
  • RWW-series protocol droid, ¤5,505: tSGtD p130
  • BD-3000 luxury droid: ¤25,000 tFUCG p105
Q3 advanced protocol droid
  • Aspects: Protocol Droid; Eloquence in Every Language; Diplomacy and Tact
  • Good (3): Rapport, Cultures
  • Fair (2): Empathy, Contacting
  • Average (1): Alertness, Resolve
  • Stunts: Encyclopedic
  • Cost: Great (4)
  • 3 stress boxes.
Q5 elite protocol droid
  • Aspects: Protocol Droid; Eloquence in Every Language; Diplomacy and Tact; Perhaps You Wish to Say...; Help Them See the Other Side
  • Superb (5): Rapport, Cultures
  • Great (4): Empathy, Contacting
  • Good (3): Alertness, Resolve
  • Fair (2): Athletics, Leadership
  • Average (1): Drive, Pilot
  • Stunts: Encyclopedic
  • Cost: Superb (5)
  • 5 stress boxes.

Valet/Lady’s Maid Droids

Valet droids have a great deal of overlap with protocol droids, but are more focused on a support role. They have enough Might to be able to carry an inebriated master to bed. Some are designed for military service (batman and steward droids), with programming to maintain weapons and armor and to handle minor combat roles and lesser emphasis on Empathy and Rapport— swap out the Stunt improvement for another Skill improvement.

GK Valet droid
  • Aspects: Valet Droid; I Make You Look Good
  • Fair (2): Cultures
  • Average (1): Might
  • Stunts: Encyclopedic
  • Cost: Good (3)
  • 2 stress boxes.
GM Advanced Valet droid
  • Aspects: Valet Droid; I Make You Look Good; Prepared for Every Occasion
  • Good (3): Cultures, Empathy
  • Fair (2): Drive, Pilot
  • Average (1): Might, Rapport
  • Stunts: Encyclopedic
  • Cost: Great (4)
  • 3 stress boxes.
GV Elite Valet Droid
  • Aspects: Valet Droid; I Make You Look Good; Prepared for Every Occasion; Impeccable Taste; Quietly Insightful
  • Superb (5): Cultures, Empathy
  • Great (4): Rapport, Alertness
  • Good (3): Technician, Athletics
  • Fair (2): Drive, Pilot
  • Average (1): Might, Stealth
  • Stunts: Encyclopedic
  • Cost: Superb (5)
  • 5 stress boxes.

Supervisor Droids

Droids that manage other droids; a careful challenge for the droid programmer, since they need to be smart enough to manage the less-intelligent ones without being so smart that they can start to get creative with their orders from organics.

ϕσ-xx Foreman
  • Aspects: Supervisor; Carrot First, Stick Second; Make the Deadline
  • Good (3): Leadership, Rapport
  • Fair (2): Resolve, Intimidation, Technician
  • Average (1): Empathy, Alertness, Cultures
  • Cost: Great (4)
  • 3 stress boxes.

Organic Replica Droids

Imitation organic beings. The cheapest ones have Great (4) cost, with their Good (3) skill in Deceit, Expertise Focus in pretending to be organic, and Organic Appearance. Synthflesh droids are usually programmed to concede in social battles rather than expose their artificiality by malfunctioning. Some are designed as assassin droids, with weapons emerging from synthflesh when they are ready to attack their targets.

θκ-xx Doppelgänger

From Anxarta Droidforge. Humanoid droids with myomer muscles and moderately extensible limbs and spine that can change size to mimic a person; it takes about ½ hour to make the molds of face and fingerprints and fit them on the droid. The droids are programmed to study a person’s gait, mannerisms, voice, etc. and then imitate them. They are optimized for teleoperation, and popular for decoy missions, executive protection, and so on. They are programmed to consider it an honor to take a blaster hit for an organic being. These are elite droids with three Stunt advances; even more expensive ones are available with more skills.

  • Aspects: Imitation Person; Honored to Be Your Double; Expert Imitator; Decoy
  • Great: Deceit
  • Good: Rapport
  • Fair: Empathy
  • Average: Athletics
  • Stunts: Expertise Focus, Organic Appearance, Adaptive Size
  • Cost: Superb (5)
θλ-xx Hetaera

From Anxarta Droidforge. Humanoid droids designed to provide attractive, witty companionship, whether on the town or between the sheets; they have a Skilled advance. Reactions to them vary: some humanoids regard sexbots with disdain and see the θλ series as nothing more than an expensive variation on a distasteful theme, others try to respect the person-level sentience inside but are a bit bothered by the imitation of their species, others shrug and treat them like a fellow organic.

  • Aspects: Imitation Person; Reprogrammable Love; (customer’s choice of Sultry Sensuality, Grace and Poise, Fun-Loving); (customer’s choice of Exquisite, Girl/Guy Next Door, Chiseled Good Looks, Muscular, Voluptuous)
  • Great: Deceit, Empathy
  • Good: Rapport, Art
  • Fair: Cultures, Athletics
  • Average: Resolve, Endurance
  • Stunts: Expertise Focus, Organic Appearance
  • Cost: Superb (5)

Espionage Droids

Droids designed for infiltration and information acquisition.

Fourth Degree Droids

Droids with detailed tactical programming, used in security and military roles. The most basic ones think of organics as either targets or obstacles; more advanced ones think of some as fellow members of a pack of predators, while others are prey, herd animals, or hostile predators.

Training Droids

Some droids are built to explicitly mimic the capabilities and vulnerabilities of a particular organic species. The cheapest ones have minimal intelligence and only exist to test the effects of hazardous conditions (“crash test droids”). More sophisticated ones have tool-using intelligence or better and are used for martial arts practice.

Bounty Droids

Droids designed as companions to bounty hunters, though some become bounty hunters in their own right. Their primary focus is correlating nuances of physical detail and comparing people against public databases of offered bounties. Their secondary focus is serving as a reliable backup to the bounty hunter, providing covering fire, standing guard, etc.

Bodyguard Droids

IG-100 Series Bodyguard Droid (¤27,250). Move, Avoid Surprise, Electrostaff Spinning Attack (+3, 2d8+6, twice), Electrostaff Thrust (+8, 2d8+6), Protect and Serve. Climb +9, Endurance +8, Initiative +9, Jump +9, Perception +12. SECR p201 tSGtD p40

Security Droids

A common bounty hunter sidekick is the security droid with a high-quality biometric recognition sensor suite and an encyclopedic knowledge of extant bounties. Their primary task is vigilance: they watch out for potential threats to the bounty hunter, and scan for possible people with bounties on their heads while doing so. Some such droids become bounty hunters in their own right after enough customization and experience.

Battle Droids

There are competing doctrines on the use of battle droids. Some folk like droid troopers because they can be programmed for absolute loyalty, and deploy them with organic leaders to do tactical coordination. Others note the ease with which droid troopers can be reprogrammed and prefer organic soldiers whose loyalty is harder to subvert, once earned. These prefer military droids to have minimal intelligence and to be little more than piloted vehicles. Droids programmed to work with organic soldiers, rather than replacing them, can wind up with fiercely loyal comrades.

Droid Soldiers

All-droid militaries usually fare poorly against organic militaries of equivalent size; the only time they’re an advantage is when your factories can crank out new battle droids faster than you can conscript and train new organic soldiers, and win the battles on sheer numbers. They are typically programmed with masculine personalities that are happy to do scut-work (which boosts the morale of the organics).

A common military doctrine is “one droid in the squad”, where each ten-being squad includes a humanoid droid, whose skills are chosen to complement the organic soldiers. Their form factor is the same as the other soldiers for convenience of transportation and using the same tools.

ρλ-xx Combat Porter

A heavy-lifting droid designed to shoulder heavy loads when the organics are getting worn out.

  • Aspects: Combat Porter Droid;
  • Good (3): Guns, Might
  • Fair (2): Athletics, Alertness
  • Average (1): Endurance, Resolve
  • Stunts: Armor
  • Stress: 4 (due to Endurance and Resolve)
  • Cost: Great (4)
ρμ-xx Combat Medic

The combat medic droid has a humanoid design, equipped to defend its charges, stabilize and heal them, and carry them to safety.

  • Aspects: Combat Medic Droid;
  • Great (4): Technician, Guns
  • Good (3): Might, Athletics
  • Fair (2): Alertness, Stealth
  • Average (1): Endurance, Resolve
  • Stunts: Expertise Focus (Medicine), Armor
  • Stress: 5 (due to Endurance and Resolve)
  • Cost: Superb (5)
Giant Soldiers

Humanoid droids with a larger-than-human chassis. These are more intimidating on the battlefield, and able to carry very heavy loads and weapons, but they can’t be swapped in for standard humanoids in a drop ship or squad.

Walking Cannon

Walker droids built around a heavy weapon— effectively miniature tanks. (An example from anime is the Tachikoma.)

Brellas

Since personal force shields have yet to be invented, infantry are often supported by Brella droids: large walkers with six to eight legs, sporting a starfighter-class fusion plant and shield generator, and sometimes light artillery. They usually have repulsorlifts for noncombat situations. They can provide cover for several dozen troops, and a fair amount of carrying capacity for supplies. The fusion plant carries many more failsafes than the equivalent one on a starfighter.

Happy Blasters

These are small droids that are usually described as “happy blaster rifles”, and look the part: they are effectively a blaster rifle with four legs, an extended magazine, and a sensor cluster where the scope goes. They have the mannerisms and mentalities of eager hunting dogs; the gamboling and frolicking costs extra energy but provides a morale boost to soldiers and makes them harder to hit. These droids are synced to a soldier’s rifle— called a “cursor rifle” when it has extra attachments for target designation— and they feed their camera viewpoints to the soldier’s tactical visor to allow them to effectively see through walls and obstructions. By default, they shoot at what the soldier shoots at, but a trained soldier can highlight a series of targets and send his happy blasters after them.

There is a certain art to coordinating a pack of happy blasters, and it’s easier to work with a pack with which you already have experience. The matrices of happy blasters come with belt clips so they can be salvaged in the middle of a battle for later installation in a new chassis. Soldiers have invented a number of games to play with happy blasters as a way of building teamwork, varying from a ball game played using their blasters at practice power levels to “capture the flag” style games, and officers will often sponsor competitions with prizes, some even opening them to visitors as a way of keeping their own soldiers on their toes.

Happy blasters can be programmed to play well with organic hunting animals; it can be extremely helpful to have your droid friends following your hunting hound when he runs off to investigate something so you can benefit from their sensors.

Game mechanically, happy blasters function as attached minions improving your Guns and Alertness, and you need some Leadership in order to herd them properly; someone with Great (4) Guns, Good (3) Leadership, and ten of these droids is effectively Legendary (8) when attacking! A typical happy blaster has Good (3) cost, three stress boxes, Good (3) Athletics, Fair (2) Guns, Average (1) Alertness.

Assassin Droids

Assassin droids are usually built to look exactly like another popular model of droid; some are just replacement personality matrices that can be swapped in on someone’s familiar droid.

Fifth Degree Droids

Minimally intelligent droids designed to perform menial labor tasks or take extreme risks; bomb disposal often involves a second degree droid teleoperating a fifth degree droid.

Mining Droids

Emergency Response

Fire control is accomplished by groups of force field droids that fly to surround a fire and spread force fields that block the intake of oxygen into the blaze. Additional rescue droids fly in looking for survivors; the first wave zoom in bundling people into heavily insulated rescue balls with attached beacons, and the second wave bring them out.

Deliverybots

Deliverybots vary from small, agile flying droids that can carry package up to five kilograms to heavy-duty lifting droids that can bring you a new sofa. The smaller deliverybots are often seen swarming through business districts at lunchtime, carrying food from vendors to the open windows of offices; they are usually bonded to insure that they are reliable.

Labor Droids

Aquatic labor droids are popular for seabed mining.

λδ-xx Porter

A basic Human-sized Porter Droid with Average (1) Might. Cost Fair (2).

λκ-xx Stevedore

A skilled Human-sized Loader Droid (Reliable, Careful As Long As It’s Labeled Correctly) with Good (3) Might, Fair (2) Athletics, Average (1) Alertness. Cost Good (3).

GxCy-series Cargo Handler

A scale-1 centauroid design, with a torso outfitted with long, gorilla-like arms attached via a 360° swivel to a four-legged chassis. They speak in a growling basso. An advanced Cargo Handling Droid (Heavy Lifting; Careful, That’s Valuable; Packing Problem Optimization; Efficient Worker). They are typically programmed to hide when firefights break out. Superb (5) Might, Great (4) Athletics, Good (3) Alertness, Fair (2) Endurance, Average (1) Stealth. 5 boxes of stress. Cost Great (4).

GxKy-series Military Loader

The military variant of the GxCy. An advanced Cargo Handling Droid (Heavy Lifting; Grace Under Fire; Aggressive Defender; Tear ’Em Apart). Superb (5) Might, Great (4) Athletics, Good (3) Melee, Fair (2) Endurance, Average (1) Alertness. 5 boxes of stress. Cost Great (4).

Power droids

Military

Dozers

A heavily armored six-legged cousin to the G series labor droids, with extra-strong arms that end in large shovel blades. The two blades can be put together to make a single large scoop. They can perform anything from entrenchment to demolition on command.

Sparklers

Battle is as much a struggle for information as for conquest. Military units make extensive use of sensors, both active and passive; since active sensors can be detected by passive sensors at much greater range than the active sensors can spot their targets, there is always a moment in an engagement when one side decides to “go active” and risk being targeted. Having vehicles and soldiers go active makes them a target, so there are many models of droid whose job is serving as active sensor emitters, varying from radar and lidar to terahertz deep-scans to ultrasound, sending back information via tightbeam laser and ultrasound and encrypted high-frequency modulation of light sources. (Enemies deploy jammers and smoke and antilaser aerosols to stymie them.) A sparkler can be anything from a fist-sized flying droid that accompanies squads to a starfighter that has had its weapons and life support replaced with a fairly primitive droid brain and a huge amount of sensors.

Sith Camera Droids

Ominous black floating spheres with six camera blebs at the points of an octahedron. These droids are sufficiently well armored to be able to withstand a fair amount of damage, and are good at holding cameras on interesting subject while dodging, as many of their subjects resent being used for Sith entertainment. They aren’t terribly bright, but can be very persistent when a remote operator gives them directions.

Trashbots

Ambulatory trash cans with long, flexible arms. They are programmed with somewhat playful personalities, emitting quiet mmm and yum sounds as they toss refuse down their gullets, and producing an enthusiastic OM NOM NOM! when someone throws trash into their mouth. They contain a built-in trash compactor to allow them to spend more time foraging before offloading at a collection facility or in a passing garbage truck (which is also likely controlled by a droid); many models have interior arms and cameras to examine refuse for valuables that can be kicked aside into a separate storage compartment to be later auctioned off. There is enough room for a humanoid to have a very cramped ride inside, but make sure you disable the trash compactor before attempting that particular bit of subterfuge.

Utility Droids

Luminator droids are small flying droids that have at least one spotlight as well as capacity for general illumination. They are just smart enough to follow the gaze of their designated organics and spotlight what they’re looking at. They are basic droids, with Average (1) Alertness and Fair (2) cost; their virtue is to function as an attached minion, giving a +1 to Alertness checks.

Mercantile Droids

Itinerant droids that make money off pedestrians.

All these bots relay telemetry back to their operators, and can be valuable in information-gathering. (The well-prepared carry wireless jammers and photoreceptor dazzlers for such situations.) Bounty hunters pay well for information collected by these itinerant vending droids, and some owners just run all profiles past the Bounty Channel’s latest posting; this kind of surveillance is one of the reasons that long, hooded robes that completely conceal the wearer are always in fashion across the galaxy. The bots are usually not designed to be useful in combat— people feel uneasy about giving droids capabilities that leave them one hack away from being lethally dangerous, which is why protocol droids are so helpless— though some combat-worthy lookalikes are produced for espionage purposes.

Adbots

Walking advertisements, either being ambulatory cylindrical or spherical holoscreens or possessing holoprojectors; some will analyze the geometry of passersby and present images of them wearing or enjoying the product they are sent to advertise. Also organic-shaped protocol droids that model fashionable garb. They are usually very sensitive to the signs of organic attention, and tailor their pitches on the fly. In lower-class neighborhoods, they’re a source of noise pollution; in wealthier areas, they only speak up when someone shows interest, or use parabolic sound projectors to speak targeted pitches at individual people. Some are also available to carry covert messages...

Vendbots

The standard vendbot is a large droid, essentially an ambulatory vending machine. They carry any supplies for which there is a market: snacks, beverages, datapads, energy cells, medpacs, stimulants, blaster power packs, grenades... The more valuable the contents, the tougher the vendbot; they are usually designed to be able to destroy their contents rather than give them up, but not to assault their attacker. Most vendbots are only one software update away from turning into slot machines.

A chefbot is a similarly large droid, though more specialized. The bottom half of the droid is mostly storage space, much of it refrigerated; the top half is mostly an autokitchen. The head on top houses a self-aware droid brain programmed with recipes from a dozen species’ cuisine. Chefbots usually trundle up to a place where people congregate— mass transit stations, arena entrances, public plazas— at times of high traffic, and start cooking. The smell of fresh-cooked food wafts into the area and immediately begins to trigger the appetites of passersby; the “bait” food is available immediately, and the droid can cook dishes to order. (At mass transit stations, they use a wireless link to keep track of the trains and time their cooking to match.) They have very little in the way of offensive capability, though some have been known to spray hot frying oil on people who threaten the bot or a regular customer.

A variant on the chefbot is the cafbot, specialized for brewing caf, the galaxy’s favorite coffeine delivery system; they are still fairly large, but have a bulbous appearance, often with a transparisteel window showing the brewing equipment. They are apt to be found at any hour when people can be tempted by the smell of freshly brewed caf. The signature stunt of Galacticaf™ bots is to pour in bantha cream in the pattern of a spiral galaxy, just before serving.

Vendbots usually prefer to stake out major transit nexuses, but some will find unlikely places where their wares will be needed and jack up their prices.

Most bots have some form of corporate affiliation, serving as a guarantee that the bots are monitored to prevent tampering, and that tamperers will be hunted down and made into grisly examples. Even so, they can be subverted by assassins to deliver poison to their target.

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