Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Technician Career for Edge of the Empire (Quit Breaking Everything)

Following up from last week, we’re going to take a bit of a deeper dive into the specific careers that you can pick up for Edge of the Empire. In alphabetical order , we’re finishing up with the Technician career.  The Star Wars Universe is full of fantastic technology.  From energy weapons, to omnipresent robots, to fantastic starships, technology is a touchstone of the Star Wars Universe.  In an environment with this level of technology, the people who work with and repair technological equipment are worth their weight in credits.

Edge of the Empire tells stories about criminals and other folk who exist on the fringes of civilized society.  Technicians are responsible for keeping the universe up and running, and without Technicians, everything eventually breaks down and nothing works the way its supposed to.  Technicians fill a vital role in the shadow economy, and because of that are vital to the Edge of the Empire mindset.
What this means in terms of the Edge of the Empire game is that there is a market for professional technical experts, troubleshooters, and artisans.  Technicians fill all of these roles and go further.  An essential part of the Star Wars experience is getting to fly around the galaxy in your own starship, and without a technician, that ship can fall into disrepair very quickly, and suddenly fail at the most inopportune times.  


The Technician has 8 career skills that collectively represent the professional knowledge that all Technicians should have.  Those skills are:
  • Astrogation
  • Computers
  • Coordination
  • Discipline
  • Knowledge (Outer Rim)
  • Mechanics
  • Perception
  • Piloting (Planetary)

Looking at the career skills for the Technician, a couple of things come to the forefront.  With Computers and Mechanics  the Technician is equipped to handle the bread and butter technical tasks that are expected of them. Coordination, Discipline, and Perception are all skills that focus on keeping the Technician aware of what’s going on around them. Knowledge (Outer Rim) and Astrogation enable the Technician to either find a market for his or her services, or locate parts and other rare commodities.   Piloting (Planetary) means that the Technician can be manning the transport while the rest of the team works their way through a target location.

(Remember, when you build your character and select the Technician Career, you gain a free rank in four of these skills)

The Technician’s Role

The Technician has the skill set and motivation to make a pile of credits because everybody needs a competent engineer who can diagnose a variety of technical problems, and/or fabricate a specific “item” with no questions asked.  Technicians with access to a Starship (Spoiler alert, your group gets one of those for existing) can move from system to system leaving quality workmanship in their wake while accumulating a fortune in loose credits, spare parts, and/or technological gizmos.  

Technicians have the easiest time integrating out of the shadows that the rest of the Edge of the Empire careers thrive in.  Honest, hard working mechanics are priceless, and there are thousands of opportunities for them in the Outer Rim and beyond.  The question then that you should ask yourself as a Technician is what keeps you hiding in the fringes of society?  

How does this career interact with a group of characters in Edge of the Empire?  Technicians are astonishingly helpful to a group of Edge of the Empire characters.  The starship that moves the group from place to place needs a healthy dose of maintenance, and can require significant repairs.  The gear that everyone else uses can be customized and improved upon, and the Technician is one of the best equipped careers to perform this work.  Finally, the Slicer Specialization makes the Technician an expert at intrusion and accessing computer networks.  

Technician Specializations

There are three Technician Specializations offered in the Edge of the Empire core book.  Like other games that offer specializations or archetypes, these are primarily intended to strengthen an existing concept, or push the core career in a slightly different direction.  The three specializations presented are:

  • The Mechanic
  • The Outlaw Tech
  • The Slicer

Remember, Each Specialization offers four additional career skills, (1 free rank in two of those skills) and access to a talent tree linked to that specialization.  Let’s dig a little deeper into each of these.

The Mechanic

The Mechanic focuses on the role traditionally associated with the Technician, that of the master engineer who can fix just about anything with the most unlikely parts.  The Mechanic takes this aspect and turns the dial to 13.  With additional career skills and talents that make this task both more affordable and easier, the Mechanic is the person you want watching the engines of your ship while you’re trying something incredibly stupid/dangerous/essential to the mission.

The Mechanic specialization adds Brawl, Mechanics, Piloting (Space), and Skullduggery to the list of career skills for Technicians, and they will gain a free rank in two of those skills if this is your starting specialization.  This is one of the ways that a character can start with two ranks in Mechanics that come up every so often, if the Mechanic puts a free rank from Technician and a free rank from Mechanic into it.  The talent tree for Mechanic  is focused on making sure that the Mechanic has the right parts and the right opportunities for making sure that his or her repairs hold in the most desperate of situations.  There are also options for making sure that the Mechanic always has a chance to fix the ship/speeder/droid/gun/take your pick regardless of their own situation.

The Outlaw Tech

The Outlaw Tech is a designer/fabricator who’s always looking to push the accepted limits of technology.  Doesn’t matter if they’re super charging the engines for a custom swoop or reconfiguring the Navcomp on an Astromech, the Outlaw Tech sees the factory standard settings of the rest of the galaxy as a combination of “Good Enough” or “Suggested Starting Points.”  Relentless Tinkerers, the Outlaw Techs are undisputed experts at customizing and improving gear.

The Outlaw Tech specialization adds Knowledge (Education) Knowledge (Underworld) Mechanics, and Streetwise to the Technician’s career skills (remember, you get a free rank in two of those if this is your starting specialization)..  This gives the Technician a potential two ranks in Mechanics, and does a fine job of rounding out the Knowledge base of the Technician.  Streetwise is always handy for finding contacts on the Black Market.  The Outlaw Tech has a talent tree that focuses on turning spare parts into high quality gadgetry, and being able to make improvements to gear that other folks are going to want in abundance.  

The Slicer

Computer networks are a critical part of the galactic infrastructure, and it makes sense that there is a career specialization that focuses on how to make the best usage of data hidden all over the networks.  The Slicer has unparalleled abilities to access computer systems and can take control, subvert, or sabotage with reckless abandon.  They can also be cool operators who steal vast amounts of data and sell of critical bits of information to the highest bidder.  

The Slicer specialization adds Computers, Knowledge (Education), Knowledge (Underworld) and Stealth to the career skills offered by the Slicer, and you get a free rank in two of these skills if this is your starting specialization.  The Slicer’s talent tree is full of benefits and options for gaining access to computer systems and using them to maximum effect.  In some instances, the Slicer physically has to access a location, so some of their talents are bent towards physical intrusions as well.  

Technician Stories

I always feel the urge to describe Star Wars and its sprawling universe as one of the greatest westerns of the genre.  It’s filled with tiny towns (independent worlds) who are just trying to survive in a hostile universe.  There are bandits, criminals, oppressive governments, and a host of other things that are actively trying to influence the larger universe around them.  In that context, there are a lot of interesting stories that you can tell with a Technician.  The ones offered by the book are fairly straightforward ideas that you can probably work something out with.  Everyone has their own reason for entering the trade, but here are some interesting options.  

  • Mad Genius:  Some of the very best Technicians are touched by a spark of genius that moves them in ways that the rest of society can’t fathom.  These Technicians are pushed to the edges of civilized space in order to continue their work, and they as often turn out works of technological artistry as they do weapons of mass destruction.
  • Scavenger: Some folks are born on the edges of society and have to spend their days picking the bones of technological ruins in order to eke out an existence.  These Technicians are often extremely practical individuals who learn their trade through hard work and trial and error.
  • Secret: Every so often, a Technician can find themselves in position of a secret blueprint or design, or prototype.  In order to fully understand this secret, they often travel all over the galaxy tracking down where it was made, who designed it, and trying to answer a host of other questions.  One of the potential interesting questions that come with this story is “Who else might be looking?”  

Modifications are our Speciality

Now if you’ve got some more questions or ideas about putting together a Technician character don’t worry. Fantasy Flight Games released a book specifically for Technicians, Special Modifications.  Featuring new species, specializations, and a host of new equipment options, this book also takes you into the edges of polite society and into the wilds where your skill with a spanner may be the difference between making the jump to hyperspace or slamming into a star.


This marks the end of the careers for Edge of the Empire, so next week we’ll try and pick up on the Skills chapter and break down how skills work and what you can do with them.  That’s it for us this week.

Game on, Game Fans.  

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