Threat Assessment: HK-51 Series Assassin Droid

There’s a number of dangerous individuals out there, and any one of them could pose a threat to your hero when they least expect it.   In this week’s installment, we’ll be taking a look at a threat that could make most spacers soil their flight suits.  While assassin droids might very well be illegal under Imperial law, there are some assassin droid designs that have been around for a very long time, because they are very good at what they do.  While the overall design of this week’s threat might be considered archaic, it wouldn’t take much to update the base technology to current standards, resulting in a canny and very dangerous droid with no qualms about the eradication of meatbags.

HK-51

Cautionary Statement: Assassination protocols have been engaged and weapons are at full charge. Proceed at your own risk… meatbag.

HK-51 Series Assassin Droid (Nemesis)
Game
: Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beta

Characteristics
Brawn 3
Agility 4
Intellect 2
Cunning 3
Presence 2
Willpower 3

Skills
Athletics 1, Cool 3, Coordination 1, Mechanics 2, Perception 2, Stealth 1, Streetwise 2, Vigilance 3, Brawl 2, Ranged [Heavy] 3
Talents
Adversary 2, Brace, Deadly Accuracy (Ranged [Heavy]), Lethal Blows (x3), Durable (x2), Precise Aim, Quick Strike, Stalker, Targeted Blow
Abilities
Droid (does not need to breathe, eat, or drink, and can survive in vacuum or underwater, immune to poisons or toxins, cannot be Force-Sensitive)

Soak/Defense: 7/0
Wound Threshold: 17
Strain Threshold: 15
Systems: Internal comlink, enhanced data module (as datapad), enhanced optics suite (as per the armor attachment), improved sensor package (as scanner goggles), durasteel armor plating (as laminate armor with superior armor customization attachment)
Equipment: Heavy blaster rifle (Ranged [Heavy], Long, Damage 12, Crit Rating 3, Accurate +1, Auto-fire, Cumbersome 3, Pierce 2, Superior) with Augmented Spin Barrel, Forearm Grip, and Superior Weapon Customization attachments, extra reloads, emergency repair kit (x2)

Background: An improvement on the HK-50 series of assassin droids, the HK-51 series has a rather storied history for an assassin droid.  While much of its design is based upon the almost-legendary assassin droid HK-47, said to have been built and designed by the Sith Lord Darth Revan roughly four millennia ago, the HK-51 was never put into large-scale production.  Given the extreme animosity that HK-47 showed for organics as made clear by his derisive moniker of “meatbag,” it was perhaps best for the galaxy that this new and deadlier wave of assassin droids remained an unknown quantity.  They did make appearances during the time of The Cold War some three and a half millennia ago, but the difficulty in procuring the designs and components kept them a rare sight throughout the galaxy.

However, ancient lore has a habit of being uncovered by the most unlikely of individuals, and with their tenacity and toughness, it’s not unheard of for an HK-51 assassin droid to resurface, their metallic bodies upgraded and reinforced with the best that modern technology has to offer.  The end result is a ruthlessly efficient assassin droid that can give even the most hardened spacers pause.

Design Notes: Most of the threats I’ve designed for Edge of the Empire so far have been things that a novice group of spacers shouldn’t have too much trouble dealing with.  The HK-51 assassin droid is one of my first attempts at what I’d consider a high-level threat, one that a novice group of spacers are going to have a very difficult time dealing with.  They can absorb enough damage to make most small arms fire useless, and what damage does get through is going to take a while to chew through their high Wound Threshold.  Plus the full stock of talents that makes it very good at rendering meatbags dead; with the spending of a Destiny Point, it’s quite possible that the HK-51 could take out all but the toughest of rookie player-characters in a single shot.  I strongly considered giving it three ranks in Adversary, but I prefer to leave that for major-league villains, though a GM could certainly add the extra rank if they want to use the HK-51 as a major villain in their campaign.

One bit of warning to GMs though, is that the HK-51’s heavy blaster rifle is one hell of a trophy should the players manage to defeat the droid.  So it’s probably best to have the HK-51 use intelligent tactics and make a strategic withdrawal once it’s suffered a critical hit or taken damage greater than half its wound threshold.  Then again, the HK-51’s rifle makes for a very nice and very tangible reward for any Bounty Hunters or Hired Guns in the party, and it still has several modification options available for the weapon’s built-in attachments.

Image is originally from the Star Wars: The Old Republic and is taken from Wookieepedia.

[Ed. Note: Given that the original model for these droids is, in fact, HK-47 and given that HK-47 is fond of securing his 'identity' in various upgrades and systems and considering the fact that he seems almost impossible to truly destroy, if you really want to see your players dead, go ahead and give one of these that extra rank of adversary and introduce them to the original.  It will be fun for the whole family.]

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