Tales from the Outer Rim
Reprogramming in this case refers not to writing new droid software, but altering aspects of a droids behavior (generally who the droid perceives as its master). Reprogramming comes in two flavors: temporary and permanent.
Temporary reprogramming doesn’t last long (generally only a bit longer than a scene). It is mainly useful for bypassing threats, or for things like temporarily making security droids into your allies.
1. Disable the droid
This is not as hard as it sounds. Many droids have external power switches, and all can be affected by ion weapons. Restraining bolts are also sometimes an option (though restraining bolts can only be fitted on specific points on a droid’s chassis; for obvious reasons, security droids cannot generally be fitted with restraining bolts). A droid could possibly be coerced or tricked into allowing access to its data port(s), but this is generally difficult to impossible (programming safeguards exist to dissuade the droid from doing so).
2. Reprogram the droid
Reprogramming on the fly takes time (generally 5 or more minutes), and requires a difficulty based on the droid’s class:
|1st degree (medical, science droids||21-B medical droid, DD-13 medical assistant||Average ()|
|2nd Degree (astromech, maintenance droids||R2 astromech, WED-15 Treadwell||Hard ()|
|3rd Degree (protocol, servant droids)||3PO series protocol, 3D-4X administrator||Hard ()|
|4th degree (security, combat droids)||B1 battle droid, G-2RD guard droid||Daunting ()|
|5th degree (labor, specialist droids)||ASP labor droid, MSE series||Average ()|
Obviously these difficulties are generalities; specific models may be more or less difficult to slice. If the droid in question is a nemesis, the difficulty will almost certainly be Formidable () to impossible.
Permanent reprogrammingTemporary tampering with a droid’s programming wears off after a scene. Permanently altering a droid’s programming is also possible, but is much more difficult and time consuming (taking hours, in some cases even days). It is also a serious crime on nearly all worlds; droids are generally property of someone, and altering one’s programming to recognise someone else as its master is theft. The would be slicer can almost certainly expect to be labeled a criminal (read: Obligation) and may also be targeted with a bounty if the droid is valuable enough to warrant it (read: more Obligation).
In general, the would be droid slicer will need easy access to the droid in question for a lengthy period of time. This may involve abducting the droid in question. Difficulty of the slice is generally the same as the table given above, but the difficulty is automatically upgraded twice, as reprogramming risks frying delicate circuits or corrupting the droid’s core programming (rendering it unrepairable).