War in Hapes
The Star Wars RPG system allows not only for the use of a variety of different types of weapons and armor, but the ability to modify them further. This can be done via four different ways, each usually having either additional costs involved or some kind of drawback to compensate for the new effects added to the item in question.
The four ways to modify a piece of equipment are:
- Using the Feats Tech Specialist, Superior Tech, and Starship Designer
- Buying and adding Upgrades using the Equipment Upgrades system
- Attaching an Accessory to a ranged weapon
- Finding items with Gear Templates
Tech Specialist & More
Tech Specialist, Superior Tech and Starship Designer are all quite similar in function: they allow you to add special “traits” to your weapons, armour, devices, droids and vehicles at the cost of credits, time and a Mechanics roll. Superior Tech is essentially an improved version of Tech Specialist with better available traits that can be taken at level 9. Starship Designer allows you to design your own starships from scratch, but more importantly allows you to upgrade a starship’s hyperdrive, hull (hit points), shields, weapon accuracy, and add emplacement points (for things such as upgrading weapons, shields, and adding accessories).
Any one of the following traits can be added to any Armor, Device (any item), Droid, Vehicle or Weapon, and unless noted otherwise an item can only ever have one trait applied to it. To add a trait, you must first pay 10% of the cost of the item being modified or 1000 credits, whichever is higher. It then takes a day of work to complete the modification, however if someone with Mechanics assists you in the process you divide the time required proportionately. At the end of this time, you must succeed on a DC 20 Mechanics check, which can be assisted as normal (for an additional +2) by anyone participating in this process.
- Agile Armor: The armor’s Maximum Dexterity Bonus increases by 1
- Fortifying Armor: The armor’s equipment bonus to Fortitude Defense increases by 1
- Protective Armor: The armor’s Armor Value increases by 1
- Enhanced Strength: Increase the device’s Strength score by 2
- Improved Durability: The device’s damage reduction increases by 1, and it gains extra hit points equal to 1/4 of its maximum
- Mastercraft Device: Skill checks made using the device gain a +1 equipment bonus
- Additional Upgrade: Increase the device’s number of Upgrade Slots by 1
- Enhanced Dexterity: Increase the droid’s Dexterity score by 2
- Enhanced Intelligence: Increase the droid’s Intelligence score by 2
- Enhanced Strength: Increase the droid’s Strength score by 2
- Enhanced Dexterity: Increase the vehicle’s Dexterity score by 2
- Improved Speed: Increase the vehicle’s speed by 1/4 of its base speed
- Improved Shields: Increases the vehicle’s shield rating by 5
- Improved Accuracy: The weapon gains a +1 equipment bonus on attack rolls
- Improved Damage: The weapon deals +2 points of damage with a successful hit
- Selective Fire: An autofire-only ranged weapon can be set to fire single shots, or a single-shot ranged weapon can be made to have an autofire mode.
Upgrades are individual components that can be added to existing equipment to give them additional benefits. Every item is capable of being modified, which is represented by the existence of “Upgrade Slots”. Every specific component has a listed number of “Upgrade Points” that use up these slots, with more extensive and expensive components using up more slots.
Unless noted otherwise, every piece of equipment comes with 1 upgrade slot unused. The only exceptions to this are Basic Armor (which can’t be upgraded unless given the Additional Upgrades trait or made into Light Armor) and certain Weapons that may come already fully upgraded. There are several ways of adding more, though.
Adding Extra Upgrade Slots
This can be done in several ways. The easiest is for someone with the Tech Specialist feat to add the Additional Upgrade trait, which is extremely handy when it comes to giving items otherwise unable to be modified an extra benefit.
The next is to increase the equipment’s size, with the benefit of giving it one extra upgrade slot. Weapons become the next size up (Tiny → Small → Medium → Large → Huge), Medium weapons being one-handed for Medium creatures and Large weapons being two-handed. Armor increases in grade (Basic → Light → Medium → Heavy). This process doubles an item’s cost.
The final way is to strip a weapon or suit or armour to reduce its effectiveness in some way. Stripping equipment requires a DC 20 Mechanics check, 8 hours of work, and costs 50% of the base cost of the item being stripped. On a failed check, the item ceases to work until fixed, which requires an additional hour of work to attempt another Mechanics check and another 50% of the base cost. On success, the item returns to functioning and the upgrade slots are gained.
Upgrade slots gained by stripping a piece of equipment can never be used to install upgrades that affect an area being stripped – e.g. if stripping a weapon’s damage, you can’t install a modification that improves its damage.
- Damage: Reduce the damage dice dealt by one step (d12 → d10 → d8 → d6 → d4 → d3 → d2)
- Range: Reduce a ranged weapon’s range by one step (sniper to heavy, heavy to rifle, rifle to pistol, pistol or simple to thrown, thrown weapon to melee)
- Design: Turn it into an exotic weapon, requiring an exotic proficiency to use
- Stun Setting: If the weapon has a stun setting, strip it to gain 1 upgrade slot
- Autofire: If the weapon has both single-shot and autofire settings, it can be stripped to just having a single-shot mode to gain 1 upgrade slot
- Defensive Material: Reduce the armor’s Armor Value and equipment bonus to Fortitude Defense by 1 (to a minimum of 0)
- Joint Protection: Double the armor’s weight and decrease the Maximum Dexterity Bonus by 1 (which can reach negative numbers)
Installing upgrades requires time and a Mechanics check, the time and DC required varying depending on how many upgrade points it uses and the quality of the upgrade. Upgrades can either be commercially bought, or scratch-built.
Scratch-built upgrades cost twice as much as commercially-bought ones, and require a Knowledge (technology) check to see if you know how to construct that particular modification. If you don’t, reverse-engineering an existing upgrade of that type will provide you the knowledge necessary to do so.
|Upgrade Points||Commercially Bought||Scratch-Built|
|0||DC 10, 10 minutes||DC 15, 1 hour|
|1||DC 20, 1 hour||DC 25, 1 day|
|2+||DC 30, 1 day||DC 35, 1 week|
Upgrades fall under three categories: Universal, Weapons and Armor. Universal upgrades can be applied to any item, including weapons and armor, but not including droids or vehicles.
A full list of the existing upgrades can be found here.
Accessories are relatively simple items that can be attached to ranged weapons to provide an added benefit. They tend to be easily-removed attachments like Targeting Scopes and Bipods that can be swapped in and out on the fly and while in the field.
All weapons can only hold a limited number of accessories, which is measured by Accessory Slots. The number varies, but generally pistols can hold 1, whereas rifles can hold 2 or 3. Particularly large or bulky accessories may require more than 1 slot. More Accessory Slots can be added to a weapon by giving it the Accessory Rails upgrade.
Listed below are a number of basic accessories. More advanced accessories exist, but must be located during the course of the adventure. Unless mentioned otherwise, every accessory is assumed to use up 1 Accessory Slot.
- Ascension Cable Projector: Allows you to fire a magnetic grappling hook and syntherope cable. The mechanism can lift you vertically 30ft a round, or be used as a zipline to move 60ft a round if moving to a lower elevation. Maximum range of 150ft.
- Bayonet Ring: Allows you to attach a melee weapon to a rifle (but not a pistol). Doing so makes the combined weapon two-handed (doubling your strength modifier to damage rolls) and increases the damage of the melee weapon by one die step (d4’s to d6’s, d6’s to d8’s, etc). A weapon with attached bayonet ring must always be wielded in two hands.
- Bipod: Used either to steady the aim of a weapon or provide a stable firing platform for an automatic weapon that requires it. Setting up a bipod requires a move action, and must be set by a character who is either prone or adjacent to cover. After aiming for the first time against a target, when using a bipod you can reduce the number of swift actions require to aim on subsequent turns by 1 (normally 2). A weapon with attached bipod must always be wielded in two hands.
- Computerized Interface Scope: A targeting scope that visually links up to a helmet package or visor, also allowing you to transmit the image to others via comlink or display on a datapad. Otherwise functions like a Macroscope.
- Electroscope: Identical to a Macroscope, but displays electronic read-outs such as range and atmospheric conditions. Also provides the benefit of low-light vision when in use.
- Flash Suppressor/Silencer: Only works on slugthrowers and mass drivers. Reduces the weapon’s firing range to Short Range only, but reduces the penalty to Stealth checks to immediately hide after sniping from -10 to -5. Also makes the weapon much quieter, and ideal for covert missions.
- Laser/Light Array: Contains a targeting laser and a glow-stick. When using the Aid Another action to assist an attack roll while the targeting laser is active, the recipient receives an additional +1 bonus. This does not stack across multiple lasers on one target. The glow-stick illuminates a beam of light up to 30ft long.
- Macroscope: When aiming at a target using a Macroscope, you reduce the range category by one step (Long to Medium, Medium to Short, Short to Point Blank). You take a -5 penalty to Perception checks to notice anything other than your target when doing so.
- Party-Popper: A single-use projector that fires a pulse rifle shot. It shoots in a 30ft cone directly in front of the user that targets everyone within the area. A Party-Popper deals 2d8 damage (plus half level as normal) on a hit, dealing half damage on a miss.
- Pump-Action Missile Launcher: Holds a single missile, usually either frag for infantry or light concussion for vehicles. Costs 2 Accessory Slots and a weapon with attached missile launcher must always be wielded in two hands.
- Retractable Stock: Allows a pistol or carbine to be fired using Rifle ranges and proficiency when the stock is extended, or as a Pistol when the stock is retracted. Attempting to fire a weapon with an extended stock one-handed induces a -5 penalty to attack rolls.
- Underbarrel Grenade Launcher: Functionally identical to a regular Grenade Launcher, though uses the proficiency for the weapon it’s attached to. Holds 4 grenades and uses Heavy Weapon ranges. A weapon with attached grenade launcher must always be wielded in two hands.
Gear Templates are not so much a way to modify equipment as they are simply an additional way in which a specific item can be distinct from others. Gear Templates tend to be rare and demonstrate a particular style of manufacture, material used or culture that the item originates from, and each possesses accompanying benefits and drawbacks.
Examples of Gear Templates include Dragoon, Togorian, Lorell, Rakatan, Cortosis Weave, Sith Alchemical Weapon, Terenthium Alloy, Durasteel Cast, and so forth.
The full list of different Gear Templates will not be provided here. Finding items with templates is a matter of discovering loot through the course of an adventure or finding a store that sells a respective item.