Pit droids are a common fixture on the Outer Rim planet Tatooine where the
local Podraces are the most popular form of entertainment. Adrenaline-packed
and fast-paced, the races draw huge crowds that fill the sun-drenched arenas
despite Tatooine's high temperatures. Gambling for credits and watching for
crashes keeps the crowds cheering throughout each exciting race.
Podracing is too complex for human pilots, as it requires extremely fast
reflexes. Repairing the Podracers can also be dangerous especially during
the excitement of a race, which is where pit droids come in. The cheap and
expendable droids work in the Podracer pit crews, frantically fixing the
temperamental Podracers when they roar into the pit areas for repairs.
The common pit droid, or DUM unit, is mass-produced on the manufacturing planet
Cyrillia. The droids are just over a meter tall and come in a variety of colors.
Capable of lifting many times their own weight, the droids' strength is legendary.
Their saucer shaped heads have two antenna used to communicate with other droids.
They come with fairly substandard programming, which can be upgraded. The droids'
programming does endow them with a permanent sense of urgency. Because of their
low-grade programming and overzealous work ethics they can cause a considerable
amount of damage in a short period of time unless they are supervised. As a
convenience to their customers, the Cyrillians designed the droid with a very
large and prominent on/off switch - the entire pit droid nose. A sharp hit to the
nose causes the droid to immediately shut down, bringing any work or destruction,
as the case may be, to a halt. Being shut down also causes the droid to fold up
into a small easy-to-store or dispose-of size. The droids don't seem to mind
being suddenly deactivated, unlike other droids who find a forced shutdown a
Disposing of an irreparable pit droid is a delicate operation and often requires
disintegration. As mentioned earlier, pit droids are extremely strong and if a
malfunctioning droid is accidentally activated, chances are it will frantically
attempt to fix the nearest object that even slightly resembles a Podracer engine.
Especially dangerous is a droid with a damaged on/off button. Most pit droid
owners keep an ion blaster on hand, just in case, to shut down a damaged droid
so it can be repaired later.
What artificial intelligence the droids possess is focused almost entirely on
quickly executed Podracer repair. With very little left for reasoning, even when
deployed for their primary function, the droids seem scatterbrained. They move
from one task to another without always finishing the first, much to the dismay
of their fellow droids. It often seems implausible that the droids can do anything
but cause more damage to a Podracer, but somehow they always manage to fix the
powerful engines just in time to get their pilots back in the race.
New shipments of pit droids arrive regularly on Tatooine from Cyrillian factories.
Despite their low price, there exists a flourishing trade in used and rebuilt droids.
Because Cyrillia controls the pit droid market, they have standardized the design so
that any droid part, regardless of year or make, will fit on any other droid. Varying
levels of quality, including different alloys and artificial intelligence chips,
affect the droids' price. However, it is fairly easy to disguise a cheap droid as a
high quality one with a few simple tricks. In a crime-ridden city like Mos Espa,
finding an honest pit droid dealer is challenging, so having a basic knowledge of
pit droid mechanics can save the buyer a lot of trouble. Any used droid with a fresh
coat of paint is definitely suspect. Checking the droid's front display panel for
slicing can reveal malfunctioning programming or falsified strength and power levels.
Pit droid dealers can be found in the market districts of most any Tatooine city where
Podraces take place. One typical Mos Espa dealer is Watto, a blue Toydarian who deals
in everything from astromech sensor packages to hyperdrive units. The Toydarian's shop
is a cluttered mess of parts and scraps. His slaves and droids repair equipment while
he argues with customers over the inflated prices of his precious junk. Precious,
because on remote Tatooine, far away from the Galactic Core, any machinery or metal
scrap has some value - even a rebuilt pit droid.
- Capsule taken from www.starwars.com
Model: Cyrillian DUM
Repulsorlift repair: Podracers: 5D
- Humanoid body (two arms, two legs, head)
- Reinforced armor (+2D to resist damage)
- On/off "nose" switch
Size: 1 meter tall
Cost: 1,000 (new), 600 (used)
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