Psi-punk: Drones Preview

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Psi-punk: Drones Previews

Last month we took a look at the Technomancer archetype for Psi-punk. These masters of electrokinesis are adept at manipulating technology, and their favorite tool is the drone.

Drones Defined

Drones are small robots built to serve a specific purpose. While common household appliances often meet the definition of what constitutes a drone, it’s rarely practical for someone to bring a vacuum cleaning robot along on a perilous mission. Most drones used by technomancers are built to improve upon a skill or ability they aren’t very good at or to give them new abilities they don’t otherwise possess.

As autonomous robots, drones act according to their programming unless otherwise instructed by someone with thea bility to communicate with them. Anyone with the cyberpsi Gift (a sub-set of the electrokinesis power) or with a cyberpsi magic device of PR: 1 or greater can communicate directly with a drone and give it instructions not related specifically to its inherent program parameters. Someone with the appropriate Technical skill may be able to hack a drone’s on-board computers and force them to behave differently as well.

In simple terms, that means anyone can own a drone as long as they’re okay with the way it was built to function. It takes someone with specific abilities to make a drone outperform its fellow robots and behave in new ways.

What’s Ahead

In the upcoming Drones book, we’ll take a close look at these robots. We cover how to use them, how to steal control of a drone from another user, and how to build and price new drones. Finally, we provide several example drones for immediate use in your games.

Here’s an example drone from the book. Over the coming weeks, we’ll preview a few more.


ODFs: +0*; DDFs: -1
Size: Mediocre (-1)
Speed: Great (+2)
Handling: Fair (+0)
Weapons: Good (+1)
Durability: Fair (+0)
Gifts: Psychometry PR: 2, Scent
Cost: Superb [50]

Hounds were designed specifically to track creatures or objects and discern what recently happened to them. These drones are used by private investigators, police, and hit men to track victims (current or potential).

Programming a hound to begin searching for a scent is as easy as holding up an object worn or used by the target and allowing the drone to sniff it with its sensors. It then follows the scent trail until it either hits a dead-end or discovers the target.

Once the target is discovered, the hound can be ordered to use its psychometry device to read up to one week into the target’s past, as per a Great (+2) result (see page 117 of the Psi-punk core book). It transmits scenes from the target’s past to the controller’s preferred communication device where it may be recorded for playback if desired.

These dog-shaped drones are fast enough to overtake most humans on foot. They can run at up to 25 mph (40 kph). Although their bite isn’t very harmful, it can easily hold most civilians.


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