Bad Motivator Talent?

I’m thinking about getting the Mechanic specialization (EotE, Technician) and was reading up on some of the talents.

When I got to Bad Motivator I felt that I should check what GMs in general thinks should be able to fail with use of this talent.

“Once per game session, the character may take a Bad Motivator action to make a Hard Mechanics check. If successful, one device (subject to GM’s approval) spontaneously fails due to the character’s involvement, or because it was about to fail anywasy and the character noticed it (this is the character’s choice).”

In the films the quote about the bad motivator is Luke talking about a droid that explodes after buying it from Jawas.

So would a droid count as a “device” for the purpose of the talent?
Would a speeder? A starship? I can see a speeder bike failing like in Star Wars: Rebels where they explode at a certain speed due to tampering in production line, or even a TIE-fighter. But larger ships? I think not. Would a weapon on a ship count as a device? For example one of the turbo lasers on a corvette?

As the talent states that it is either due to tampering by the character, or the character just notices that it’s about to fail, it could be visible on our ships sensors that something is wrong with another ship.

Could any weapon count as a device? It would feel anticlimactic if the weapon of a Nemisis level adversary failed in the final showdown in an adventure.

Or is it purely for devices like doors, command consoles, etc.?

Obviously “subject to GM’s approval” means that the GM could say no to any use of the talent, I’m just wondering what other GM’s and players think.

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I would rule that a droid is a device, unless it’s a PC or Rival or Nemesis (minions would be okay though).

The name of the talent is likely the spirit for its use - the same thing as your example. R2-D2 sabotaging the other droid.

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I’d rule it as something fairly minor. A droid, a weapon, a component of a speeder, a door mechanism, etc.

But this is one of those things where you as a GM need to be very willing to “just say no.”

There are five or so topics from the old forum on the Bad Motivator talent, they might be worth a look. I’d have sworn there was one I was involved in, but I can’t find it for the life of me.


For larger ships, maybe use a Triumph or a couple of Adv something to have like a hyperdrive or a weapons system fail.
As you said, it is all about GM discretion.

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