One of my players in a Shadowrun 4th edition game I'm about to start running would like to play rigger with a bear drone; a drone that looks like a bear complete with claws. I was going to use the Steel Lynx (SR4A 350) as the base for the drone but have run into a wall when I went to give it a bladed weapon as claws.

my question is:

How do I determine a drone's base physical attributes (specifically strength) and is there a way to upgrade this attribute.

Thank you

  • \$\begingroup\$ There is a melee drone in shadowrun 5 which fights with two katanas or something like that, but I think the rulebook just says "it does X damage". Can't check atm, I'm sorry, but maybe someone else has the book at hand. \$\endgroup\$
    – Patta
    Jul 10, 2015 at 6:38

1 Answer 1


SR4 handles drones a lot less efficiently than SR3, as the tables and rules are scattered over (almost) all source books. I used to play riggers only, but quit playing riggers when we changed to SR4 so I'm not proficient with them anymore.

From my SR3 experience, I'd expect a bear drone to have a modification called "robot arm" - better have two of them, plus legs (best start with a walker drone). This modification comes with a rating that is equivalent to any attribute for tests, i.e. strength as well as dexterity (<- is that correct back-translated, not using the English rule books). You can add modifications that raise Str or Dex as well as any cyberarm/-hand modifications, i.e. (finger)nailclaws (<- backtranslated). In SR3 there was a lot of capacity and weight calculation behind this:

  • First for putting the arms on the drone, then for putting the mods in the arms.
  • Each for both weight and capacity
  • Each for both max and current ~

The process seems to be streamlined in SR4, but as I said, i'm not proficient in the exact rules.

BTW. usually players can't design completely new drones. They buy stock and modify them. If you want to allow a drone like that, I'd have the player make up a backstory of why someone built that drone the way it is.

  • Who designed it?
  • Who built it?
  • Where? What resources were used for development, manufacturing and assembly? (Remember, it takes facilities comparable to R&D-department plus factory to built stuff from scratch.)
  • What's its original purpose, e.g. pet drone for an eccentric rich or from a theme park?
  • Where can you get spare parts for repairs from?
  • How did the PC get hands on it?
  • Is someone out there looking for such a recognizable thing, e.g. was it stolen?

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