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I remember when Age of Rebellion first came out there was quite a debate on the TIE Defender stats. To some, it was a bit of a betrayal where an under powered ship was presented instead of the absolute beast that it was in TIE Fighter. To others, it was a balanced package with appropriate trade offs and was thus lauded for avoiding high grade, overpowered cheese. Personally, I felt it was a bit weak but very close, and d20radio’s own Brett Bambridge presented both a mechanically and narratively compelling solution to power it up just half a notch into perfection.
My group has always been quick to point out when Star Wars Rebels feels like the Star Wars RPG (Season 1’s propping up unconscious stormtroopers is such a PC plan!), or seems to feed directly into the RPG with something that would be awesome for a campaign or session. While it is never immersion breaking, it seems to occur pretty often. I’m not sure if that is just because the show’s format, because of the EU/Legends’ debt to the West End Games roleplaying books, or the subtle hand of former West End games RPG freelancer and now LucasFilm Story Group Pablo Hidalgo. Whatever the cause, Rebels has again given a gift to disaffected RPG playing TIE Defender fans with the highly experimental, souped up TIE Defender Elite. I hope the Defender Elite below is of use to those who wanted a more powerful variant, and that the extreme cost, rarity, and “bad guy ship” limitations assuage those who were happy with the model straight out of the book.
TIE/Dd “Defender Elite” Prototype Upgraded Fighter
A high performance test bed for trialing improvements to the already highly advanced TIE Defender, the Defender Elite was an extremely limited run prototype space superiority fighter designed under Grand Admiral Thrawn’s New Fighter Initiative. The Defender Elite was a further push by Thrawn to equip the Imperial Navy with high quality conventional weapons and equipment, an effort that would later be sidelined by Tarkin Initiative super weapons. Equipped with the latest SFS P-sz9.7 model Twin Ion Engines, this starfighter boasted both increased speed and maneuverability over and above the base TIE Defender. Survivability was also expanded with upgrades to the shield generator array. As an experimental prototype, these upgrades came at the cost of reliability and maintainability. A very limited supply of spare parts were held on Lothal with many components being custom manufactured by the small team of technicians with the top secret clearances required to work on the Defender Elite. In addition, the ship’s numerous experimental systems heavily stressed the power systems. While extremely powerful, the Defender Elite was never meant to perform outside scripted test flights and demonstrations. The strain of real combat would likely quickly drain those over-stressed power systems. Built at the Imperial Armory Complex on Lothal and primarily tested on world, a handful of prototypes were sent to other Imperial facilities. A prototype each was dispatched to Sienar’s Advanced Research Division on Corulag, to the TIE Factory above Nar Shaddaa for production line trials, and to the Emperor’s Royal Guard for evaluation.
Sil 3; Speed 5; Handling +3; Def 2/-/-/1 Armor 3
Hull Trauma 10; System Strain 6
Hull Type/Class: Starfighter/TIE Series.
Manufacturer: Sienar Fleet Systems.
Hyperdrive: Primary: Class 2. Backup: None.
Sensor Range: Short.
Crew: One pilot.
Encumbrance Capacity: 4.
Passenger Capacity: 0.
Consumables: Three days.
Price/Rarity: 550,000 credits (R) / 10
Customization Hard Points: 0.
Weapons: Wing tip-mounted medium laser cannons (Fire Arc Forward; Damage 6; Critical 3; Range [Close]; Linked 5), Cockpit-mounted concussion missile launcher (Fire Arc Forward; Damage 6; Critical 3; Range [Short]; Blast 4; Breach 4; Guided 3; Limited Ammo 6; Linked 1; Slow-Firing 1.)
Additional Rules: Kill Switch (The Defender Elite’s control surfaces and avionics can be disabled remotely via comm signal. Once the kill switch is activated the Defender Elite’s handling becomes -5, the speed becomes 0, and the craft will come to a stop at the end of the next round. At the GM’s discretion this may cause a collision as per AoR pg. 256.), Prototype Manufacture (Each Defender Elite starfighter is a custom manufactured prototype test-bed overburdened with experimental upgrades. Maintenance and repairs require specific technical expertise, specialized tooling, and unique replacement parts: increase the difficulty of any check to service the Defender Elite, and upgrade the difficulty once if the character does not have access to full technical readouts. In addition, double the base cost of all repairs.)