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They say you must face your fear to overcome it. While that is a bit melodramatic, as a youngin’ playing Dark Forces, several of those rotating sprites freaked me the heck out. The Dianoga was of course one of them, but the Phase I Dark Trooper was equally spooky to me back then. Frankly, while exploring dark Imperial bases as Kyle Katarn, these babies can still give me a quite the jump scare.
The stats here are not anything revolutionary, and have been done in a similar manner elsewhere. Where I hope this article adds value is in the two adventure seeds below. Spring a skeleton battle bot or two on your players for me, will ya?
Phase I Dark Trooper [Rival]
Developed to test the robotics and metallurgy underpinning the larger Dark Trooper project, the Phase I was never meant for battlefield usage. A relatively large number of units were produced while tuning the locomotion systems and perfecting the phrik alloy composition. While the project was sabotaged by the Rebel Alliance, quite a few prototypes remained in service as security droids in garrisons across the Empire. Since these droids were developed in parallel to Moff Rebus’ weapon designs, they were never expected to fire weapons and as such lack both the appropriate hand articulation and ranged targeting programming. Rather than scrap these units, an ambitious maintenance officer aboard the Arc Hammer suggested fitting inexpensive melee weapons for use in close quarters. Over time, these units were phased out as repair parts became increasingly expensive to custom manufacture. While the vast majority of Dark Trooper prototypes were decommissioned by the New Republic, intelligence data suggests several were lost in the chaos that ensued during the final days of the Galactic Empire. Functional droids continue to guard abandoned Imperial facilities, and, worse still, it is possible units have fallen into criminal hands.
Br 3, Ag 2, In 1, Cun 2, WP 2, Pres 1
Soak 5, W. Threshold 19, Def M/R 2/1
Skills: Athletics 1, Cool 1, Melee 2, Perception 1, Vigilance 1
Talents: Adversary 1 (upgrade difficulty of all combat checks against this target once).
Abilities: Droid (Does not need to breathe, eat or drink and can survive in vacuum or underwater. Immune to poisons or toxins.)
Equipment: Integrated vibrosword (Melee; Damage 5; Crit 2; Range [Engaged]; Defensive 1, Pierce 2, Vicious 1), combat shield (Defensive 1, Deflection 1), phrik plating (soak 2, cortosis) or battle plating (soak 2), integrated commlink, integrated scanner goggles.
The Resistance, over-matched by the First Order and desperate for supplies and equipment, have dispatched small teams to abandoned military depots across the galaxy. One such team, dispatched to survey the old Imperial Ice Station Beta on the frozen world of Anteevy, has failed to make three pre-arranged comm checks. The PCs are charged with investigating their disappearance, and with search and rescue if required. No First Order activity has been reported in the sector, so Resistance command suspects a simple mechanical failure in the team’s starship.
The PCs arrive to find the original survey team killed by bladed weapons. Whether the players investigate further or attempt to leave, they quickly become hunted through the unpowered facility by several reactivated Phase I Dark Troopers, equipped with original phrik plating. While the PCs must fight for their survival, should they defeat the murderous droids, then the Imperial station will be clear for salvage operations. While the former robotics construction facility has been gutted of major equipment, the lumbering former Empire left behind stocks of supplies and tools deemed “too insignificant for removal” when the base was abandoned.
Phase I, Take Two
Shortly after the signing of the Galactic Concordance, the PCs serve as investigators to ensure the now surrendered Empire adheres to treaty obligations. While raiding a facility operated by holdout forces disavowed by the now pacified Imperial remnant, the PCs discover Phase 1 Dark Troopers lacking phrik plating. On closer inspection, it is revealed these droids are of recent manufacture. They appear to have been produced after the destruction of the Arc Hammer, and do not exactly match New Republic records.
This worryingly suggests renegade Imperials, secretly refusing to abide by the treaty, are attempting to redevelop the Dark Trooper project. The PCs must seek out and eliminate this resurgent project, while navigating the complex political realities of peace with the Imperial remnant.