If you choose the drone option for your artificial intelligence, you begin play with a robotic drone that you design. See Building Your Drone below for instructions on creating your drone.

All drones have a neutral alignment and the same senses as an ordinary human. A drone is considered a construct with the technological subtype for the purposes of spells and effects targeting it. Your drone speaks all of the languages that you do. Your drone is proficient in your choice of small arms or basic melee weapons, and it gains specialization in that weapon type once you reach 3rd level.

Like most constructs, a drone cannot recover from damage on its own. If a drone is reduced to 0 Hit Points, it becomes inactive until it is restored to 1 Hit Point or more. If a drone takes damage from a single attack equal to or greater than its maximum Hit Points while it has 0 current HP, the drone is destroyed.

If your drone is ever destroyed or lost, you retain its mind and all its subroutines in your custom rig and can replace its body for free using your custom rig after 24 hours of uninterrupted work. You can take a single 8-hour rest during each 24 hours spent working, but any other interruption greater than a moment of conversation requires you to add 12 hours to the time required to rebuild your drone. In addition, every time you gain a mechanic level, you can rebuild your drone from scratch with the same amount of work, allowing you to change any or all of the choices you made for your drone (including ability scores, chassis, feats, mods, and skills).

Building Your Drone

Building a drone is a multistep process. First, choose the drone’s chassis, which along with your mechanic level determines its base statistics. Next, choose your drone’s special abilities and feats. Finally, select your drone’s modifications (“mods”), which grant your drone additional abilities and allow you to fully customize it.

Other than those aspects determined by your drone’s chassis and mods, the exact details of your drone’s appearance and personality are up to you.

Drone Chassis

Each drone has one of three chassis types that determines its size, starting statistics, and initial mods, as well as the drone’s overall look and theme. These chassis types are combat, hover, and stealth, and they are presented on page 75. Each is organized as follows, using the terms below.

  • Size: This is the base size of your drone. Regardless of the mods you give your drone, its size does not change.
  • Speed: This shows the drone’s land speed and its speeds for any additional movement types.
  • AC: This is the base Energy Armor Class (EAC) and Kinetic Armor Class (KAC) for this chassis. Add the bonus to its AC from Table 4–3 and your drone’s Dexterity modifier to these numbers to determine the drone’s EAC and KAC.
  • Good Save: This type of saving throw is your drone’s best saving throw. This saving throw uses the Good Save bonus progression on Table 4–3.
  • Poor Saves: These types of saving throws are your drone’s worst saving throws. These saving throws use the Poor Save bonus progression on Table 4–3.
  • Ability Scores: This shows the drone’s base ability scores. Drones have no Constitution score. Any DCs or other statistics that rely on a Constitution score treat a drone as having a Constitution score of 10 (no bonus or penalty). Drones can’t use items that grant additional ability score increases.
  • Ability Increases: These are the drone’s ability scores that increase as you gain levels, as determined by the Ability Increase progression on Table 4–3.
  • Bonus Skill Unit: Some chassis come programmed with knowledge of a skill that is a part of the chassis itself. This skill is a class skill for your drone, and it gains a number of ranks in that skill equal to your mechanic level. Your drone can use this skill while not under your direct control. This skill is in addition to the skill gained via the drone’s skill unit ability (see page 76). You can’t change this skill unit when you gain levels or when you rebuild your drone unless you choose a new chassis. If a chassis does not have a bonus skill unit entry, it gains no bonus skill units.
  • Initial Mods: Each chassis comes with initial drone mods that are a part of the chassis itself. These are in addition to the mods a drone gains by level. You can’t change these mods when you gain levels or rebuild your drone unless you choose a new chassis. The list of mods appears on page 77.

Drone Base Statistics

Your drone’s abilities are determined by your mechanic level (or the level you assign to it through your control net ability) and the mods you select for your drone. Table 4–3 on page 76 determines many of the base statistics for your drone. These base statistics modify the starting statistics determined by the drone’s chassis. The terms used in Table 4–3 are as follows.

  • Class Level: This is equal to your mechanic level. If you have the control net class feature and assign fewer levels to your drone than you have, the drone’s base statistics are determined by the level you assign to it.
  • Hit Points: This is the drone’s maximum number of Hit Points. For the purposes of spells and other effects that rely on Hit dice or level, your drone’s equivalent Hit Dice or level is equal to your mechanic level (or the level you have assigned to it with the control net class feature). Drones do not have Stamina Points.
  • Base Attack Bonus: This is the drone’s base attack bonus. Armor Class: Add the listed bonus and the drone’s Dexterity modifier to base Armor Class values listed for its chassis to determine the drone’s total EAC and KAC. Your drone cannot wear armor of any kind, and you cannot increase your drone’s AC further without selecting the appropriate mods.
  • Good Save Bonus, Poor Save Bonus: These are the drone’s base saving throw bonuses. Each chassis type designates which saving throw uses the good save value and which ones use the poor save value.
  • Ability Increase: Increase two of your drone’s ability scores, as designated by its chassis, by this amount.
  • Feats: This is the drone’s total number of feats. You can select a drone’s feats from those listed in Drone Feats on page 76. A drone cannot select a feat that requires a base attack bonus of +1 until it gains its second feat at 3rd level. Mods: This is the number of custom modifications you can add to your drone.
  • Special: Your drone gains these abilities when you reach (or assign via control net) the appropriate level, as noted on the table. These abilities are described in the section below.
Class Level Hit Points Base Attack Bonus Armor Class Good Save Bonus Poor Save Bonus Ability Increase Feats Mods Special Abilities
1st 10 +1 +0 +2 +0 1 1 Basic mods, limited AI, master control, skill unit
2nd 20 +2 +1 +3 +0 1 1
3rd 30 +3 +2 +3 +1 2 2
4th 40 +3 +3 +3 +1 +1 2 2
5th 50 +4 +4 +4 +1 2 3
6th 60 +5 +5 +4 +1 3 3
7th 70 +6 +6 +5 +2 +1 3 4 Expert AI
8th 80 +6 +7 +5 +2 3 4
9th 90 +7 +8 +5 +2 4 5
10th 100 +8 +9 +6 +2 +1 4 5 Upgraded power core
11th 110 +9 +9 +6 +3 5 6 Advanced mods
12th 120 +9 +10 +6 +3 5 6
13th 130 +10 +11 +7 +3 +1 5 7
14th 140 +11 +12 +7 +3 6 7
15th 150 +12 +13 +8 +4 6 8
16th 160 +12 +14 +8 +4 +1 6 8
17th 170 +13 +15 +8 +4 7 9
18th 190 +14 +16 +9 +4 7 9
19th 210 +15 +17 +9 +5 +1 8 10
20th 230 +15 +18 +9 +5 8 10 True AI

Drone Special Abilities

Your drone gains the following abilities at the levels indicated.

Drone Mods

As you gain levels, your drone gains custom modifications, gear, and programming that give it additional capabilities and options. Any level-based abilities for your drone’s mods use your full mechanic level, regardless of whether you’re using control net to assign fewer levels to your drone.
Your drone gains its first custom modification at 1st level and an additional mod every 2 levels thereafter. Mods are grouped into two categories, basic and advanced. You can choose basic mods at any level, but you must be 11th level (or have assigned at least 11 levels to your drone) to select advanced mods. Some mods require your drone to have other custom mods installed before they can function. Unless otherwise noted, each mod can be selected only once.

Drone Feats

When choosing feats for your drone, you can choose from the following: Blind-Fight, Cleave, Deadly Aim, Far Shot, Great Cleave, Great Fortitude, Improved Combat Maneuver, Improved Critical, Iron Will, Jet Dash, Kip Up, Lightning Reflexes, Lunge, Mobility, Multi-Weapon Fighting, Nimble Moves, Opening Volley, Penetrating Attack, Shot on the Run, Skill Focus, Skill Synergy, Slippery Shooter, Spring Attack, Strike Back, Suppressive Fire, Versatile Focus, Versatile Specialization, Weapon Focus, and Weapon Specialization.

At 10th level, when the drone has an upgraded power core, you can also choose Extra Resolve, Improved Great Fortitude, Improved Iron Will, and Improved Lightning Reflexes. GMs can expand this list to include feats from other srcs.

Skill Unit
Prerequisites: Mechanic, Level 1

Choose one of the following skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Computers, Engineering, Perception, or Stealth. This is a class skill for your drone, and it gains a number of ranks in the chosen skill equal to your class level. Your drone can use this skill when not under your direct control. You can change your drone’s skill unit whenever you rebuild your drone from scratch. Additionally, whenever you are directly controlling your drone, it can use any of your skill ranks if you wish, assuming it has the appropriate tools to do so (a drone without manipulator arms cannot use Engineering to disable a device, for example).

Upgraded Power Core
Prerequisites: Mechanic, Level 10

Your drone gains a pool of Resolve Points equal to 1 per 2 levels it has (minimum 1). Your drone can spend 1 Resolve Point to make a full attack without requiring your direct control and at only the normal –4 penalty for a full attack instead of the –6 penalty. Your drone regains Resolve Points after a full 8-hour rest as normal.

True AI
Prerequisites: Mechanic, Level 20

Your drone’s AI can act with complete autonomy. Each round on your turn, your drone can take a full suite of actions (either a full action or else a move action, a standard action, and a swift action) without requiring your direct control, and it makes full attacks without your direct control with the normal –4 penalty. You don’t need to issue commands to your drone for it to take actions. You must still directly control the drone for it to use your skill ranks.

Limited AI
Prerequisites: Mechanic, Level 1

Each round on your turn, after you have acted, your drone can take either a move action or a standard action to attack (your drone doesn’t make a separate initiative roll). You must be able to issue simple commands to your drone, but you don’t have to spend actions to issue these commands. To receive these commands, your drone must be able to see or hear you or be within range of your custom rig. If you become unconscious or otherwise unresponsive, or if your drone is ever out of range, your drone cannot take any actions until you are again able to command it or it is once more within range.

Master Control
Prerequisites: Mechanic, Level 1

As a move action, you can directly control your drone. This allows the drone to take both a move action and any standard action this turn (one from your control, and one from its limited AI). If you also take a swift action, your drone can take a swift action as well, or it can combine its actions into a full action. Your drone must be able to see or hear you, or be within range of your custom rig, for you to directly control your drone.

Expert AI
Prerequisites: Mechanic, Level 7

Your drone’s AI has grown more sophisticated, giving it a more robust combat routine when not under your direct control. Each round on your turn, the drone can take a move action, take a standard action to attack, or make a full attack (this last option allows it to shoot more than once if it has the necessary weapons to do so). The drone takes a –6 penalty to full attacks made without your direct control instead of the normal –4 penalty. Like limited AI, you must still be conscious and within range.