The Inventor's Handbook
Special Modifications Is Now Available for Star Wars®: Edge of the Empire™
"Sir, I don’t know where your ship learned to communicate, but it has the most peculiar dialect. I believe, sir, it says that the power coupling on the negative axis has been polarized. I’m afraid you’ll have to replace it."
The sourcebook for Technicians living at the fringes of the galaxy, Special Modifications offers plenty of tasty new gear, along with rules for crafting your own weapons, gadgets, and droids. Game Masters will find hints for getting the most from their technical encounters, such as fleshed-out guidelines for slicing that come complete with consequences for failures and situational challenges that they can add to their Technicians' mechanics checks in order to amplify the narrative tension. But as much as this book helps your Game Master better incorporate your Technician into your ongoing campaign, it is your Technician that derives the primary benefits.
Among its 96 pages, Special Modifications introduces a wealth of new backgrounds, motivations, obligations, specializations, and signature abilities for your Technician. Along with the book's four new playable species, these options afford you fantastic new freedom to reinvent your Technician or to invent the one that best suits your vision of a tinkerer living and working within the galaxy's shadiest, grittiest locations.
Special Modifications introduces three new specializations for your Technician, each of which allows you to pursue a new avenue of invention.
- The Cyber Tech excels at creating and installing mechanical prosthetics. As a Cyber Tech, you can use your talents to replace your friends' missing limbs or upgrade them with impant armor or neural recorders that would allow them to record and store sensory data with the same veracity as data stored within a computer system. Moreover, your specialization in the realm of cybernetics allows you to upgrade yourself beyond the standard limits and use your cybernetics more effectively and imaginatively than other characters might.
- The Droid Tech specializes in constructing, repairing, and managing droids, and is unparalleled in this capacity. While you will have to decide for yourself where you stand on the ethical concerns of limiting or altering the nature of a creature's sentience, there's no one better at developing custom droid directives or getting droids to work the way you want them—whether that means simply talking to them in binary or rewriting their programming. And if your group needs an army of combat-ready droids? There's no one better than a Droid Tech to have on your side.
- Finally, the Modder is an expert of attachments, and can tweak personal gear and starship systems in ways that they far surpass their original factory settings. Sometimes that gear and those starships might be your own, but just as often, you're likely to be improving these things for your friends and associates. This makes you an extremely valuable addition to any group traveling through the roughest parts of the galaxy. Your group will never know what you might find along your journeys, but if your Modder's along for the trip, it's a safe bet that you'll get the best possible value from anything you find. Modders are generalists in the sense that they diversify their technical interests, but they're specialists in the sense that they always make things better than they were.
Whether you create a new Technician or explore the possibilities inherent in these specializations as you advance your existing Technician, you'll find that their unique talents allow you to tackle a whole new range of challenges. And life at the edge of the Empire is full of challenges.
New Signature Abilities
In addition to its three new specializations, Special Modifications introduces two signature abilities that allow you to truly distinguish your elite Technician from the hordes of lesser practitioners. Both Inventive Creation and Unmatched Calibration give you new ways to spotlight your talents, but where Unmatched Calibration offers profoundly beneficial new mechanics—such as dice rerolls—that are immediately recognizable, Inventive Creation stands out for its potential impact on your game's narrative.
This intriguing signature ability is rife with potential for both you and your Game Master, and developer Max Brooke takes a moment to illustrate just a bit of its potential:
"The ability to escape disaster by jury-rigging a new device with nothing but the equivalent of a hydrospanner, some depleted power cells, and half of a droid chassis is a time-honored tradition in all forms of heroic adventure, and the Inventive Creation signature ability included in Special Modifications gives players (and Game Masters) a potent new storytelling tool to recreate such scenes in their own campaigns. When a Technician activates Inventive Creation, the character immediately gathers up useful items in the scene to build an item that lasts until the end of the scene. If you have upgraded your ability sufficiently, you might even be able to create a fully functioning vehicle.
"Players can benefit from this ability in many ways, some more obvious than others, but Inventive Creation gives GMs new opportunities, too. For instance, when a character activates Inventive Creation, the GM can use it to flesh out the scene and engage players. Instead of simply allowing the character to build the device, the GM can identify the list of unlikely items that the player has at hand and ask how the Technician retrofits them into a functional device, encouraging the player to be as creative as the Technician in the description.
"Alternately, the GM can ask the player to list the supplies available in an environment controlled by the PCs. This establishes details for use later in the scene. For instance, if the Technician’s player says that there happens to be a barrel of tibanna gas—useful for fueling many devices—then the GM should keep this barrel of extremely flammable material in mind for later, especially if a firefight breaks out in the impromptu workshop. If the player and GM are both stuck for ideas as to supplies on hand, the GM can solicit the other players for ideas, and in some scenes the other PCs might need to chip in, giving some of their gear to the Technician to help build the device to get them out of their current situation.
"The GM should also keep in mind that the signature ability dictates that the jury-rigged device always fails at the end of the encounter. If the characters aren’t careful, they might be making their escape in a patchwork vehicle right as its engine goes out. Or they might be relying on a rapidly assembled weapon, only for it to run out of ammunition as one fight wraps up and another begins. Just as Inventive Creation is a very powerful problem-solving tool for the PCs, it can also be a very potent problem-creating tool for the GM. For that reason, the ability's greatest strength may be in how it can help keep the story moving quickly from one action-packed encounter to the next."
Bring Your Hydrospanner
The Star Wars galaxy is a vast and fantastic place, full of myriad adventures, but for all its greatness, it's always possible to make it just a little bit better. You want to start tweaking and tinkering with it? You had better bring your hydrospanner, and you'd do well to pick up your copy of Special Modifications.
Special Modifications is now available at your local retailer and online through our webstore. Pick up your copy today!