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Can a mechanic's drone use throwing weapons?


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

I had an idea for a three armed combat drone designed to look like a xorn and was wondering if it could use a starknife in one of its arms. Ideally I would like for it to able to use the starknife in both melee and as a throwing weapon.

I have included the text for both entries. I noticed that they both say that the weapon can not be disarmed and that it takes an hour to swap out a weapon; which implies that it is fixed to the arm. Technically, it doesn't say that a weapon can't be thrown though. I'm kind of curious if anyone else has an opinion on this. I included the relevant drone mod entries below.

Melee Weapon Arm:
Your drone is equipped with a robotic arm to which you can
affix a one-handed melee weapon, allowing your drone to
wield that weapon and attack with it. This weapon cannot
be disarmed. Wielding a two-handed melee weapon requires
two melee weapon arms. If you do not already have a weapon
to equip, you must purchase it separately. Swapping out a
weapon in a melee weapon arm requires use of your custom
rig and 1 hour of work. You can select this mod multiple
times, each time adding an additional melee weapon arm to
the drone.

Weapon Mount:
You can affix a small arm or another one-handed ranged
weapon on your drone, allowing it to wield that weapon and
attack with it. This weapon cannot be disarmed. Mounting
a longarm, a heavy weapon, or another two-handed ranged
weapon requires two weapon mounts. A weapon mount can
hold up to two batteries, two magazines, or two of another
type of ammunition for the affixed weapon, provided this
ammunition is of light bulk or less. Multiple weapon mounts
used to affix a single two-handed weapon count as a single
weapon mount for the purpose of how much ammunition it
can hold. The drone reloads these batteries or magazines
automatically, which takes the usual amount of time for the
weapon. Spent batteries or magazines are stored within the
drone. You can replace all of a weapon mount’s batteries or
magazines as a move action. You must purchase separately
or already have the weapon and ammunition for use with a
weapon mount. You can replace the weapon with any other
weapon that meets the criteria for your mount (for example,
if you have two weapon mounts, you could replace a longarm
with a heavy weapon). Swapping out a weapon in a weapon
mount requires use of your custom rig and 1 hour of work.
You can select this mod multiple times, each time adding an
additional weapon mount to the drone.


The intention is that weapons are bolted on. That's why there is a specific amount of time needed to replace and it cannot be disarmed.

But from a gamebalance POV I see no reason to disallow it. Yes, you gain a minimal amount of flexibility, but you can throw it exactly once until you get the returning quality somehow. Even stretching the definition of the weapon mount to have another one as "ammunition" would give you one whole additonal starknife. No biggie, but probably not intended.


I think you could do this with the manipulator arm, but you'd have to accept the attack penalty. :/

Liberty's Edge

You got to go with the returning property. A starknife with the returning property ends up being slightly cheaper than a semi-auto pistol. The drone can't full attack and the range is slightly worse; but on the plus side you get to apply STR and the full specialization bonus to its damage.
The main reason I want this is for the concept though.

So I know that the melee weapon arm can equip a starknife, as it is a melee weapon. The melee arm entry only says the weapon can't be disarmed; it doesn't say the weapon can't be dropped or thrown. But it also doesn't say it can be dropped or thrown; so its probably best to assume that you can't throw a weapon with it.

On the other hand, the weapon mount says that you can equip a small arm or another one-handed ranged weapon. I'm wondering if a starknife could be equipped on a weapon mount instead; in other words, does it count as a one-handed ranged weapon?

Just as a side comment, it looks like you could technically equip a bow on your drone. It would require two weapon mounts and the Special weapon proficiency; and it would only be able to fire three shots.


Badblood wrote:
On the other hand, the weapon mount says that you can equip a small arm or another one-handed ranged weapon. I'm wondering if a starknife could be equipped on a weapon mount instead; in other words, does it count as a one-handed ranged weapon?

I would say no. The rules make the distinction between thrown and ranged weapons very clear. For starters, they don't even use the same ability modifier for attack rolls. Just because it's a melee weapon that can be thrown as a ranged attack does not make it a ranged weapon.

I would say that going just by the rules, you could strap it to a melee weapon arm and have the drone throw it. That's obviously not intended, but I don't see anything that would disallow it. It just says that the drone can wield the weapon and attack with it. And obviously, throwing a starknife counts as attacking with it. It doesn't state that the drone can only do melee attacks with it, just that it can attack and that it needs to be a melee weapon.

And furthermore, this doesn't strike me as particularly broken or nonsensical, so I would allow it as a GM. Not sure if this would work in SFS, though, it seems like something that needs clarification.

Liberty's Edge

Yeah, I'll probably drop the idea because I only play PFS and I don't like playing characters that depend on iffy rules. Darn.

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