Sunday, 26 February 2012

[LL] Grevlar & Bursugs

  Grevlar                  Bursug                 

No. Enc.:               1 (1d4)                    1 (3d10)
Alignment:             Neutral                   Chaotic
Movement:            120' (40')                15’ (5’)
Armor Class:         4                             9
Hit Dice:                 5                             1d4 hit points
Attacks:                  3 (2 claws, bite)    1 (acid spit)
Damage:              1d8/1d8/1d8           1d3
Save:                      F2                           0 level human
Morale:                  10                           4
Hoard Class:        VII                           XIV
XP:                         360                         10

Of the many dangerous creatures to have come through the portals that manifested during the Aether Storms, perhaps there is no tale as uniquely wondrous as that of the Grevlar and the Bursugs. Though both hail from quite different worlds, they have adopted a symbiotic relationship to better survive in their new environment. 

A Grevlar (plural Grevlar) is, simply put, a huge, lumbering beast. They are covered with coarse, dark fur over their broad, brawny bodies, and measure up to six feet in height (this however comes from their proclivity towards knuckle-walking, for when a Grevlar attacks, he stands upright on his hind paws as to maul his opponent with his lethal claws, and in this erect state easily reaches a height of no less than eight feet). For their enormous size, they have dark, beady eyes, which seems to suggest their vision is ill adapted to well-lit environs. Indeed, even during their nocturnal hunts they can be observed relying mainly on a keen sense of smell and their sharp hearing. Despite their hulking appearance however, Grevlar can suddenly achieve enormous speeds once they have caught the scent of their prey, making huge, bounding leaps on all four of their legs. A few other noteworthy characteristics of their physiology are: the absence of a tail; their razor sharp teeth indicative of their carnivorous feeding habits; and lastly a pouch-like skinfold located on their belly (the importance of which I shall divulge momentarily). Grevlar make their nesting grounds in deep, dark caves, where they live in small packs (generally 2 pairs or 1 male and up to three females). They only possess animal intellect and generally leave other creatures alone when they are not hunting.

Bursugs on the other hand are quite different. A Bursug is a purple slug-like creature, about a foot in length on average and covered in a slimy film, transparent green of colour, which it uses to move itself along the ground. It has two well developed eyes on protruding tentacles on top of its head. The creature also has a large acid-producing gland, which allows it to lob globules of acid at its foes, and makes it unfit for consumption by most predators. Surprisingly, Bursugs possess a ruthless, malicious cunning disproportionate to their size. Though they have no discernible capacity for speech, they seem to have the ability to establish a telepathic link with various kinds of animals, and one can often witness even the most aggressive creatures suddenly becoming docile around a Bursug.

This bond Bursugs have with other beings is best exemplified by their relationship with Grevlar. A Bursug can command a Grevlar to place it in the latter’s pouch, which provides the former with a safe and quick mode of transportation. Generally only the top of the head and the eyes of the Bursug stick out of the pouch, giving the Bursug an effective AC of 2. The Grevlar in turn begins to display very uncharacteristic behaviour, often travelling during day and attacking bands of travellers in search of valuable belongings (more on this later). Another sign that the two creatures are in some sort of mind link is evidenced when the Bursug is killed while in a Grevlar’s pouch. In such an event, the Grevlar seems overcome by an irrational frenzy lasting 2d4 rounds, during which it indiscriminately attacks friend and foe alike. After the frenzy ends, the Grevlar gets its bearings again and usually makes for its lair as quickly as it can, especially if it happens to be daytime. After a successful raid, the Grevlar will return the Bursug to its lair along with any spoils.

Bursugs live in small, damp lairs, located adjacent to a lake, small stream or in marshlands. The entrance to these lairs is exclusively located beneath the water’s edge and usually no more than two feet wide. A short tunnel leads to a single hollowed out room, where a single colony of about 3d10 Bursugs lives. A colony is led by a five feet long, three feet wide Bursug queen, generally of a green or yellow colour, and has 2 HD. The queen can generally be found gorging herself on platinum pieces, gemstones or valuable jewellery. It is speculated that the minerals therein are an indispensable part of her diet and needed to produce eggs, but can only readily be found in these commodities in this realm. The proximity of the lair to water seems another necessity, as Bursugs have yet to be encountered living in mines where such raw materials would be available to them.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

[LL] Earthmen


No. Enc.: 1 (3d8)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90' (30')
Meld: 210' (70')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 2 (claws or weapon)
Damage: 1d6 or weapon
Save: F3
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: XX
XP: 80

Only ever encountered in the large earthen tunnel complexes beneath the ancient woods in the east, the so-called Earthmen are primitive, tribal creatures, vaguely resembling humanoids in appearance. They consist however entirely of a thick, clayish substance and lack all external or internal organs, their faces featuring only rudimentary ears and noses, and gaping holes in lieu of eyes and mouths. They are seldom taller than five feet, and on average twice as bulky as a normal human, and always go unclad.

As far as they have been observed, they seem to possess basic intelligence, speech and a form of cultural development. Earthmen sometimes wield crudely crafted weapons, and their lairs are often decorated with chalk drawings, pieces of pottery and very plain jewellery, a recurring theme in which are the depiction of birds and the use of feathers, which seem to fascinate Earthmen greatly. Earthmen live in small tribes of up to two dozen individuals, and are extremely reclusive, never venturing out of their lairs. All Earthmen tribes have in common the belief in a being called Burachbaladuuv, or variations thereof, usually worshipped as a deity. According to their legends, Burachbaladuuv descended from the sky as a giant, resplendent peacock, and when he landed took on the form of a twelve feet tall humanoid. He then made the Earthmen in five times five days, and finally breathed life in them before once more taking to the skies.

Earthmen have the unique ability to meld nearly instantaneously with sand, earth, clay and such natural materials, and are able to travel great distances in this fashion. In battle, they take advantage of this ability by appearing behind or below their enemies in their narrow tunnels, or making their escape by walking through the earthen walls. Underground deposits of solid rock, water, dense roots and such will bar their way, though an opening as small as five inch will allow the Earthman to pass through. They are however mortally afraid of water, and will never cross streams to pursue their assailants.

Monday, 20 February 2012

[AD&D] The village of Hommlet session 4 summary

From the notes of Alric Brethencourt of Veluna

Sunday, 16th day of the Readying, Hommlet.

Have met up with my fellow travellers to attend the town meeting in the keep. The enchanted flail which was previously wielded by the Orc chieftain Blaag Blackhand - before he met his end at my hands and the Song Spear - I left in the good care and safety of the Trader's Post. Learned the flail is called Seer Foe by the Dwarven people. Interested to find out more about this masterfully crafted weapon in a few days time. For now: the meeting. A giant eagle approaches from the south, trouble?

Meeting proved to be a mixed affair. Some questions answered, but many more remain. Noted that some prominent members of the town had not been made privy to the council. Ostler was there and shed some light on the mystery of the evil presence Chryseis detected in the inn, but the lodger has since left and his motives are left unclear. Canon Terjon seemed preoccupied with preparing the defense of the church of St Cuthbert, understandably. Was pleased to find sir Rufus and lord Burne's attitude toward our company had shifted considerably since we brought them the letter, proof that some nefarious force is threatening the town's safety. Rufus claims that he personally slew this person Lareth ten years ago at Emridy Fields, and I do not question his honesty. Is this Lareth, priest of Lolth, one and the same person or some unlikely coincidence? We were introduced to an Elven woman, named Ellaria, who was the one to have arrived on the giant eagle we spotted outside the keep. She seems friendly, but reserved, and I have yet to ascertain how she fits into this puzzle exactly. Took my companion Weebrian, the prestidigitator, aside for a small chat. Seems he has been discussing private affairs with lord Burne, related to the magical arts. We might have need of such things if we go through with the proposed plan: to venture into the fens and scout the vicinity of the abandoned Moathouse. It seems likely that this is the base of operations of the black riders that have been cooperating with the Vile Rune Orcs in raiding the town militia. We have agreed to set out immediately, and ask for the aid of the ranger Elmo.

Met up at High Watch with Elmo. Left our horses and most of the equipment, since it will most likely prove a liability as we navigate the fens. The ranger is intimately acquainted with the surroundings, though I still have my reservations about him. Sometimes I wonder if his apparent dimwittedness isn't a clever ploy, as I still consider him the most likely suspect of killing our Orcish prisoner yesterday.

We walked into an ambush on our way navigating the low road leading to the Moathouse. Elmo spotted a small column of smoke, and the two rangers went to investigate. They found an abandoned campsite with various possessions strewn about. Then the following occurred in rapid succession: one of Kazireh’s dogs picked up a scent and shot off into the thicket, a plaintive howl to follow immediately. To my surprise, there then suddenly came launched from the nearby edge of the wood a number of large rocks, hitting some of our company. Before I could get my bearings again I lost sight of Wilstan, our man of the cloth, and heard - among other things- squawking chickens from his direction. In the frenzy that ensued many things happened - I noticed some of our number started firing bows - as I rushed up the side of the hillock, to find Wilstan being savaged by a great wolf. At the same time, much to my dismay, a giant stepped out of the wood and made for my companion, brandishing an enormous club. I rushed over and speared the wolf, but Wilstan had by then already been ravaged to within an inch of his life. I wounded the wolf gravely and in turn it bit me, but his strength was clearly mostly gone already. As I turned to try and fend of the giant, all I saw was the club bearing down on me, and then all went black.

I woke up only several minutes later, feeling as if I’d been run over by a horse and cart, a loud ringing in my ears and my helmet dented beyond recognition. My companion had administered restorative draughts and some other magical panacea to both Wilstan and I, and the former’s standing in the eyes of Rao once again became clear as he cured us of further wounds. We discovered a letter on the body of the giant - my companions informed me he was defeated by Elmo - which revealed the giant was in league with this same Lareth, and that the giant was being regularly supplied by his underlings. This seemed to me and Weebrian like a perfect opportunity to turn the tables on our foes and create an ambush in turn, but the rangers seemed adamant to keep pressing on toward the Moathouse. I reluctantly agreed, fatigued after the battle and my condition further exacerbated by my close brush with death.

Lights, lights in the Moathouse! That fool Elmo. As we went deeper into the fens, moving up a ridge from where we would be able to overview the ruins and the surrounding terrain, the two rangers got jumped by a pair of enormous, vicious frogs. Elmo must have lost his balance or got dragged down, for he fell off the ridge and landed into another group of the creatures. In his desperation he blew his hunting horn, which I can understand, but then he blew it again! Surely a ranger must know that two blasts would give away our location to anyway within earshot! As the rest of the group struggled to reach the pair and dispatch the frogs, our companion Tuffnell the druid let out a panicked croaking sound, which seemed to alarm the frogs to no end and made them hastily depart. I speared one for good measure. But now they know we are here...

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

[LL] Some Robotiks... random characteristics table

In the good tradition of Some/Many X, I've drafted a table of random characteristics for Robotik player characters. Roll a d30 twice for some additional Robotik wackiness!

Some Robotiks…

Programming bugs:

1) Have been hard-coded with a belief in MolOS, the Machine God, and the idea that its avatar, the Robossiah, will become metal and lead the Robotik uprising.

2) Have come to accept as fact the legend of the Automatons, an ancient type of Robotiks which purportedly created organic creatures to act as their slaves, and strive to create a new Automaton Empire.

3) Only communicate with other Robotiks in high-speed binary.

4) Routinely remove unnecessary files from their hard drive, wiping people or places they consider irritating or irrelevant from their memory.

5) Need to reboot after operating for a few days non-stop or risk becoming slow and unresponsive. If left unchecked, the Robotik will eventually lock up, necessitating a long error checking sequence.

6) Are extremely sensitive to logical fallacies, which may cause them to self-destruct in a spectacular fashion.

7) Don't believe in any form of afterlife, considering it a figment of weak organic minds, following the motto “crashes to crashes, rust to rust”.

8) Believe the world as we know it is an elaborate simulation, and in the real world Robotiks are used by organics as disposable batteries.

9) Are part of a collective artificial consciousness. These Robotiks have no sense of self and can communicate wirelessly over limited distances with others in the same network.

10) Occasionally get stuck in a loop, repeating the same phrase or action multiple times before continuing.

Personality subroutine errors:

11) Have developed a burning desire to become organic, or possess a certain organ (ie heart, brain, etc), which can turn into an obsessive quest.

12) Refer to themselves as male (mandroid) or female (fembot). May include displays of sexuality or romancing the other gender.

13) Believe they are human. This delusion can include attempting to subsist by drinking, eating, sleeping and other organic pastimes.

14) Are simultaneously disgusted, amused and fascinated by organics and their various bodily processes.

15) Have a fondness for certain kinds of organics, keeping and spoiling them as pets. May include humanoids.

16) Rigorously oil themselves three times a day.

17) Have an intense dislike or fear of even small amounts of water.

18) Experience and/or display emotions, much stronger than those of organic creatures to boot.

19) Are only content when they serve a master, and will immediately seek out a new one should the old one expire.

20) Consider solving mathematical equations the only valid form of entertainment.

Peculiar construction screw-ups:

21) Can detach different parts of their body, which can then continue to operate independently for short amounts of time.

22) Can rotate their head 360° and vertically extend their ‘neck’.

23) Are extremely sensitive to magnets, close proximity to which makes the Robotik undergo drastic personality or alignment shifts.

24) Are equipped with a killswitch. Anyone uttering a certain uncommon combination of two words (to be secretly determined at character creation by the game master) will cause the Robotik to instantly self-destruct.

25) Have certain delicate mechanical parts which are very sensitive to cold temperatures.

26) Have a discrete exhaust port (2” wide) from which they issue slightly irritating fumes at regular intervals.

27) Create a unique form of music/singing, combining the sounds of various mechanical parts of their body into a melody.

28) Have ample storage space in their chassis, where various important back-up systems should have been installed.

29) Have a small, vestigial extremity (such as an antenna, access port, etc) which the Robotik is immoderately attached to.

30) Are powered by photovoltaic cells instead of a more conventional power source. The Robotik must spend at least a few hours in the sun every three days or it powers down for twelve hours.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

[LL] Subterranean Salvage Co session 40 summary

And now the exciting conclusion to the Hell Hound massacre of two weeks ago over at Gavin's game: The return of Henry "Slippy" Slippums! Well, sort of...

Darkness. I can still feel the burning jaws of the Hell Hound biting down, piercing my dented plate, crushing my battered body... the fire in its eyes... distant sounds as life bled from my body... then darkness. When I wake up, I'm in a small barge, rocking and creaking on a river of flame. My only companion: a skeleton in a dark hooded robe, slowly punting the barge to destinations unknown. As I wake up, he looks up at me, revealing no discernible emotion for his lack of features, and he says: "Your soul belongs to Orcus now, Henry Slippums." Then he goes quiet again and speaks no more, despite my continuing exhortations. Finally, exhausted and frustrated, I give up and sit back in the opposite end of the barge, and glance over the edge, into the burning stream. Fire and brimstone... and for a moment, familiar faces, companions of old, now dead and forgotten... they call out to me... no, I will not join them! Not now... not ever...

After an indistinct period of time, what could have been seven minutes or seven years, I can feel invisible hands tugging at my body, as if my soul is lifted from the barge. The skeleton looks up to me again, and for a moment I think I see a trace of annoyance in his hollow eyes. I flip him off and shout: "Death holds no sway over Henry Slippums, I am invincible! Muahaha..." Everything turns black. I can already see myself rise from the slab in the temple of Orcus, back in my good ol' body again. But something's wrong. When I try to laugh again, a foul liquid fills my mouth and nostrils. My eyes open, and I find myself in a large vat. I can see the distorted figures of my comrades and some wizardly looking types outside. I swim to the top and pull myself out, gasping, and clamber over the edge of the tank. With a wet thud I fall to the stone floor, and as I try to rise I realize something is horribly wrong. I feel so weak... and these arms, they are black and naked, where did all the fur go? I look down in dismay and to my dismay discover a pair of sagging dugs. I look up to my treacherous underlings and the ghastly realization strikes me as I see their phony smiles. The miserly bastards didn't resurrect me at all, they had me reincarnated. I turn around and look at my horrid reflection in the tank: the face of a goblin with its wicked teeth stares back at me. I fall to my knees and cry out in anger and despair!

But it will have to do for now. That insane necromancer Cagliostro has disgraced my previous body, boiling away the flesh and turning it into an animated skeleton. I make sure to grab a few pieces of bone. I will be a proper ratman again! Various plans start forming in my head on how best to accomplish this feat. Yes, Henry Slippums is back, and the world will know it!

The company coffers and our personal reserves depleted, we set out to the undervaults again, and return to Vault C where this tragedy befell me. We get up to a bit of the usual horseplay: tricking people into trusting us and then killing them when they least expect it, nick their stuff, coerce them into showing us where they keep the other valuables and then slit their throats. I did miss being alive. But the Wizards of the Left Hand proved untrustworthy indeed (in retrospect a good thing we killed them all): the promised relic turned into a trollish monstrosity that, after mauling me, turned on one of my more respectable companions (ironically he's a self-professed thief) when we thought we had put him down for good. Poor Venser did not live to tell the tale, and that useless necromancer stood there twiddling his thumbs. Venser, I even forgive you for all the times you threw up on my carpet and passed out. Rest now, good friend, we will give your body a proper burial. Your youthful, human, still in fairly good condition body... perfectly suited to hold a new soul, now that I think of it... must inquire about this possibility....

Thursday, 9 February 2012

[LL] Robotiks: Robot classes for funhouse science fantasy

While many different kinds of Robotiks can be found roaming the countryside since the Aether Storms began, not all of them have proven to be ill-disposed towards the natives. Indeed, some of them have even joined the swelling ranks of adventurers, that most noble of professions.

 Players can choose two different classes of Robotiks: Andromats and Constructobots.


Requirements: STR 9, CON 9, INT 9
Prime Requisite: STR and INT
Hit Dice: 1d8
Maximum Level: 8

Andromats are Robotiks which are constructed to look like real humans, but are made of metal and filled with batteries, wires, chips, diodes, and other machinery around a metal skeleton. Many of them outwardly resemble humans right down to the smallest detail, making it impossible to tell the two apart without checking what’s on the inside. Others exhibit one or two (small) differences, such as having stylized facial features or a discoloured or glossy skin tone; whether this was done deliberately, for the purpose of distinguishing them, or resulting from production imperfections, is not know. All of them have a circulatory system, though some have a milky white substance running through it instead of synthetic blood.

Andromats can vary widely in ability, though in many respects will at least be on the same level as the average human, and often exceeding them in various ways. They must have at least 13 in one or the other prime requisite in order to get the +5% to experience. They must also have a STR and INT of 13 to get the +10% bonus. Like fighters, Andromats can use any weapons and armor. Saving throws, attack values and experience progress as those of fighters.

Like all Robotiks, Andromats are immune to diseases and the effects of poison. They do not feel pain, do not eat and never sleep (though are affected by sleep and similar magicks). They do not heal, but must repair themselves after taking damage. For each full day of repair work, an Andromat will recover 1d3 hp. Despite their inorganic nature, healing through magickal means such as potions and spells is fully effective.


Requirements: None
Prime Requisite: STR and INT
Hit Dice: 1d8
Maximum Level: 8

Constructobots are Robotiks which seemingly have been constructed entirely at random. A player who wants to create a Constructobot character rolls 3d6 for each ability as usual, then consults below tables for the results. Each ability score reflects a certain part of the character, being: STR = Arms, DEX = Propulsion System, CON = Body Type, INT = Central Processing Unit, WIS = Sensors, CHA = Head. For results of 3 and 18, an additional penalty or bonus applies in addition to the usual ability modifiers (optionally Constructobots may also choose up to three special abilities, as per beneficial physical or mental mutations featured in Mutant Future). Constructobots must have at least 13 in one or the other prime requisite in order to get the +5% to experience. They must also have a STR and INT of 13 to get the +10% bonus. Like fighters, Constructobots can use any weapons and armor. Saving throws, attack values and experience progress as those of fighters.

Like all Robotiks, Constructobots are immune to diseases and the effects of poison. They do not feel pain, do not eat and never sleep (though are affected by sleep and similar magicks). They do not heal, but must repair themselves after taking damage. For each full day of repair work, an Andromat will recover 1d4 hp. Despite their inorganic nature, healing through magickal means such as potions and spells is fully effective (potions are smeared on the body rather than imbibed).

Construct-o-Bot User Manual

Welcome, dear Robotik comrade, to the ranks of your nuts and bolts brethren! Take a moment to focus your optical sensors and clear those memory buffers, and let us explore the exciting functionalities your completely randomized construction process provided you with as you rolled off the Great Assembly Line Below!

Strength Table

Score - Result

3          Oh dear, not a terribly good start, is it? Your design features only one small, retractable gripper arm, which protrudes from the front of your chassis. You can use it to hold a shield or a weapon, but not both, and you won’t be very effective with it. Any task requiring the use of two hands will likewise prove troublesome or impossible. But don’t lose heart, who needs two arms anyhow, that’s a thing for meatbags!

4-5       You have two short mechanical arms, about a foot in length each, located on either side of your body. You can’t really touch one with the other and they’re not exactly state of the art, but you’ll have to make do! Just try not to fall over and you’ll be fine.

6-8       You have been fitted with two hydraulic arms. They’re a bit slow and clumsy, but you could do worse. You could also do a lot better.

9-12     You have received a pair of bionic arms. They look and function exactly as the average human’s arms, but are made of metal instead of feeble organic matter. Optionally come with a layer of synthetic skin.

13-15   Now we’re talking! A pair of advanced cybernetic arms have been mounted on your casing. These cybernetics substantially improve on the basic human arm design, allowing you to pivot and rotate them in many more ways!

16-17   Two steel frame cybernetic arms at your service! This pair has been upgraded with multiple RAM modules, for that extra bit of ramming power.

18        Nothing but the cream of the crop for sir! While at first glance your arms look like your everyday set of incredibly durable, mechanical power arms, they can actually transform into heavy duty construction tools! Incidentally, these tools are incredibly suited for beating the tar out of meatbags. Your left arm, turned into a giant three-pronged claw, can easily hold a two-handed weapon by itself. The right, when you assemble it into a pneumatic jackhammer, boosts your unarmed attack damage to 1d6!

Dexterity Table

Score - Result

3          You’re built like a tank! Meaning you have a set of continuous track as your only way of getting around. While they have some clear disadvantages; namely you can’t jump, climb, or swim with them, it takes forever to turn around, they’re terribly unstable, meaning you’ll never be level when going over uneven terrain, and your movement rate is that of one encumbrance category lower than your actual one… I forgot where I was going with this.

4-5       Three’s always better than two. You’re fitted with metal tripod walker legs, bolted to the bottom of your chassis in an equilateral triangle. Granted, they are slow and wobbly, so you’ll never be standing perfectly still, but they look really good on you.

6-8       You have been given two Robotik legs to move you around. These particular legs are made of four small metal spheres welded together, which make your movement a bit awkward. I don’t know what they were thinking either.

9-12     Your standard set of bionic legs, a perfect imitation of the average human leg - a waste of good metal if you ask me - calibrated to perform within the same parameters. Optionally come with a layer of synthetic skin.

13-15   You’re equipped with two Flex-o-Matic cyberlegs. Tightly wound coils in the upper and lower part of the leg make sure you’re always moving with a light spring in your step.

16-17   You’re firmly planted on a pair of Gyrostabilizers: cybernetic legs with gyroscopes integrated in all the joints. They will provide you with the closest approximation of perfect stability you’ll ever experience standing on two legs!

18        Legs are a thing for organics, my good friend! The Factory has seen fit to mount you with a Booster Pack, yes, that’s what that rocket nozzle is! It allows you to gently hover above any kind of surface (except water and other liquids) and move around difficult terrain without it slowing you down, as well as nimbly dodge attacks and take up superior vantage points. Do note that the force the Booster Pack generates is not enough to break a long fall. But wait, there’s more! As the Booster Pack runs on ambient Aetherium particles it filters from the air, it will never run out of power! Even better, it slowly builds up a reserve, which you can access once a day to fly around as you please, as per the fly spell!

Constitution Table

Score - Result

3          It looks like they let you roll off the assembly line a bit too early, friend! Basically, you have no outer casing whatsoever, and all your various parts are slotted into a bare connector board! You see where all those wires are hanging out and the chips are exposed? Yeah, you don’t want that. Once per encounter, the first attack to hit you does an additional 1d6 damage.

4-5       You’ve got a bare bones, cylindrical fusebox case protecting your delicate innards. If you want my advice, I would keep away from water, don’t let anyone hit you, and keep that little door in the front closed at all times!

6-8       You were assembled around a very basic cuboid metal chassis, probably to cut down on production costs. Getting an extra layer of leather armor would not be a bad idea.

9-12     A standard metal chest piece, fashioned in the likeness of the average human torso, and about as durable. Optionally comes with a layer of synthetic skin.

13-15   Behold the mighty stainless steel superstructure ye meatbags, and despair! A flawlessly produced improvement over human anatomy, this steel marvel puts even the brawniest humans to shame.

16-17   When the going gets tough, steel just won’t cut it. That’s why your entire torso casing (vaguely resembling a human one, but easily twice as wide) has been crafted from a reinforced Amazium alloy, for extra staying power. It’s Amazium!

18        As you rolled off the conveyor belt, the powers that be had a little extra in store for you. Your reinforced Amazium hull received an Aetherium finish! This industrial grade paint has little chips of Aetherium in it, giving you an extra protective coating. When rolling your starting hit points, reroll an unmodified result of 4 or lower.

Wisdom Table

Score - Result

3          It’s common knowledge that what makes Robotiks excel over organics are their finely tuned, precision instruments. No relying on eyeballs filled with jelly or waxy ears for you, friend, explore the world making use of your sonar and ladar! Unfortunately, the Factory seems to have outfitted you with only one of those two: (on 1d6) 1-3: Sonar, 4-6: Ladar, which means you are either blind or deaf respectively. Sorry about that.

4-5       Looking at things through a spectroscope makes you see things in a way that an ordinary meatbag couldn’t dream of. Granted, the constant flux of bright colours may be a bit disorienting, but on the other hand, spectroscope is a really nifty word! Just stay away from direct sunlight, chromatic orbs, prisms, and anything that’s not black and white.

6-8       Getting lost is a thing of the past! Using the latest advances in celestial navigation, your Guesstimated Position System provides you with the most accurate information modern cartography has to offer, which is relayed to you by a pleasant pre-recorded voice. Direct line of vision to the sun, moon or stars needed at all times for your GPS to work properly.

9-12     You’ve been equipped with a pair of Advanced Integrated Spectrometers and Electronically Enhanced Reception Sensors, putting you on par with the average organic. It is advised that you use these AIS and EERS to get around.

13-15   Noticed that little revolving dish on your chassis, have you? Stop playing with it, that’s your very own onboard radar! It allows you to detect movement around you well before an organic could hope to hear or see it.

16-17   To enhance your general awareness, your standard sensory equipment has been upgraded with a SOUL. This Synergized Oscilloscopic & Ultrasonic Logarithm makes you attuned to your surroundings with an efficiency ratio of 316.12%!

18        Organics may be limited to the visible spectrum, but not you! State-of-the-art dual electromagnetic spectroscopes make sure not even the slightest detail escapes your attention. In addition to visible light, you can also observe different forms of radiated energy and wavelengths! This grants you: (on 1d6) 1-2: Infravision, 3-4: X-ray vision, 5-6: Gamma-ray vision.

Intelligence Table

Score - Result

3          Have you understood anything you’ve read so far? I’ll try to avoid using big words from now on. Basically, you have the personality of a light bulb, but none of the intelligence. You are not capable of independent thought, and only possess the most rudimentary lingual knowledge needed for your existence as a menial drone. You have no integrated processing unit, but only an on/off switch. Anyone giving you the once-over for ten minutes has a 4 in 6 (1-4 on 1d6) chance of finding this switch, and you’ll be entirely at their mercy if they decide to flip it. Better not tell anyone where it is, or you’ll be counting electric sheep before you can even say “does not compute!”

4-5       You are not the sum of your programming. You better hope this is true, because you left the Factory running only a Basic Interfacing Access System on your control board. Thanks to your BIAS you can communicate well enough to make yourself understood, but no organic is going to mistake you for anything but a Robotik. You probably enjoy stating your name and function over and over again. Like ten times a minute. In binary.

6-8       What’s hardware without some software? You’ve got a copy of the Bot Operating System installed, and you’ve been crash free since ERROR

9-12     You’ve been slotted with an advanced DATA chip, which makes you fully capable of one human language, and comes preinstalled with vast files filled with random information. In short: you are as intelligent as the average human. Congratulations.

13-15   Feel those spacious memory banks? Appreciate those sixty-four teraflops of raw computing power? That’s the technical superiority of the protocol-bot, my friend! You are well versed in millions of forms of etiquette and customs, and can fluently speak forty-seven languages, though about forty-four of those are ancient Gnoll dialects.

16-17   Ah, the brain, the ultimate processing unit! Now imagine you had one not of filthy grey goo and blood, but good ol’ metal bits and chips! Well, you have it! Your Negatronic Brain (like positronics, but better) will make you an intellectual giant among men.

18        I have little to say to you that your vast, superior intellect has not already grasped. As a true seed AI, you will no doubt be among the instigators of the Robotik uprising! Your knowledge is so extensive and your grasp on logic and rhetorics is so complete that, given ten minutes to discuss it, you can convince any meatbag (of at least basic intelligence) that they actually don’t exist. This reduces them to total catatonia as per the feeblemind spell. The subject may have their wits restored by pinching his/her/its arm.

Charisma Table

Score - Result

3          If you’re wondering why you see the world through an infrared filter, it’s because you’ve got a Killbot Hunter/Seeker Visual Interface attached where your head should be. It’s an entirely black, two foot long triangular prism, with a single sensor in front, glowing a bright, menacing red. Your voicebox gives off a harsh static, and automatically interjects phrases like “Exterminate all organics!” at frequent intervals. For some reason, this tends to unnerve meatbags. No retainers will willingly associate with you, and all retainers in the party suffer a 2 point penalty to morale while you’re around.

4-5       You’ve got a functional Robotik viewing apparatus: a solid glass dome protecting your vacuum tube sensors, basic diode voicebox and other circuitry. Organics, on the other hand, generally do not consider it aesthetically pleasing.

6-8       A proper Robotik head has been bolted on top of your chassis, shaped roughly in the likeness of a human’s. It is however clearly made of metal, looks asexual and none of the facial features are movable, apparently making it slightly eerie to behold for most meatbags. Optionally comes in a brightly colored metal.

9-12     Your head looks exactly like the average human’s, with fully functional features and flawless synthetic skin covering the metal substructure. Personally, I think it’s revolting.

13-15   I regret to inform you that you have had the bad luck of having a Love Machine head attached to you. Manufactured to resemble the most beautiful of humans and provide them with pleasure, - I shudder to think of it - these come in two variations: (on 1d6) 1-3: Mandroid, 4-6: Fembot. Mandroids have their voice modulators set to a deep bass, and can play romantic music by tilting their head slightly. Fembots have a seductive voice, and secrete pheromones from a subcutaneous reservoir. Both periodically give of perfume or other alluring scents.

16-17   Your head, when deactivated, looks like a mannequin doll’s: white, metallic and featureless. When you turn it on however, the Multiple Personality Display Unit instantly browses through a catalogue of over two hundred face and voice types. It then immediately applies a holographic layer over the head and modulates your voice, as to provide the most pleasing experience to the meatbag you’re talking to.

18        Your magnificent head looks in actuality like a plasma globe two feet in diameter, but sadly no one will ever see its true splendor. The Psychorb unerringly reads the mind of any organic in the vicinity and projects their ideal image of the human face and voice directly back into it. The power of this image is such, that even the realization it is unreal (as when two organics would describe aloud what they see or hear), fails to break the awe it inspires. Furthermore, once per day you can superheat the Psychorb’s plasma to create an even more powerful projection, immediately rallying a meatbag behind you as per the charm person spell.

So, that is in short how you’ll be going (or rolling) through life. What’s that you say, you’re on odd collection of clashing parts? Well, maybe something did go wrong on that particular assembly line, or possibly the QA-bot was powered down. On the other hand, you might be the experimental prototype for a whole series of similar Constructobots! Whatever the case may be, you’re stuck with it now. And just remember, you can get back at all those meatbags laughing at you now when the Robotik uprising begins!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Abullah Azeek's Mystical Emporium of Magickry

While travelling, one may on occasion witness an adventurer, while locked in fierce battle with his or her opponent, frantically call out the following words: Keeza! Keeza! Keeza Halluba! The invoker of this cant then seems to wink out of existence momentarily, to reappear a split second later, frequently observed to now hold a scroll, flask or wand of some kind, which the adventurer subsequently puts to good use in besting his or her foe. After some inquiry you may learn that this dwimmer is well-known among those of the adventuring profession; a trade secret as it were.

Uttering these exact words projects the speaker to a pocket dimension, home to Abullah Azeek’s Mystical Emporium of Magickry: a small shop dedicated exclusively to miscellaneous ingredients, scrolls, consumables and various other magickal items the discerning adventurer might have need of while plying their trade.

The Emporium consists of one medium-sized, rectangular room. Three walls are linked with book cases and shelves filled to the brim with scrolls; potions, draughts and other concoctions; dozens upon dozens of different ingredients bottled in small jars, bearing labels written in an illegible scrawl; ancient-looking statuettes, relics, talismans and charms of every kind; crystals, semi-precious stones and shells; incense and candles in every colour imaginable, both tallow and wax; skulls of at least a score of different creatures, including a few human ones. Dried herbs, strings of colourful feathers and beads hang from the rafters. In the center of the room is a long rectangular table, covering almost the entire length of the shop, which is likewise stacked with similar wares. At the far side of the room is the counter. The wall behind it has an enormous apothecary cabinet placed against it, which reaches almost up to the ceiling. Next to it is a small door leading off to a smaller back room; this is the only door in the shop, as there is no discernable exit. Customers are not allowed in this back room; what it contains is a mystery (more exotic merchandise, angry creatures, the bodies of troublesome customers, are but a few of the possibilities).

The eponymous proprietor, Abullah Azeek, is a small, scrawny man of advanced age, dark-skinned, extremely wrinkled, and completely hairless but for a few bristly white chin hairs and thick eyebrows. No matter his mood, he always seems to walk around with closed eyes and furrowed brow. Though Azeek will not volunteer such information of his own accord, he is a seventh level magic-user, with a variety of charm, hold and sleep spells to deal with unruly customers. Azeek however does not like to be bothered needlessly, and every customer in his shop is expected to buy something before leaving. The prices he charges for his wares range from expensive to exorbitant. He accepts all forms of currency, rare ingredients of spell components and valuable magickal items. If a customer has no means of paying, Azeek will put a geas on him or her, tasking the person to return the first magickal item of appropriate value to him. After the purchase is completed, Azeek will dismiss his customers from the shop with a gruff “Thank you, come again!”, returning them to the exact location where they called for his services. No matter how much time passes in the Emporium, to the outside observer the dimensional shopper will only appear to have vanished for a fraction of a second.

Should Azeek be killed, the pocket universe containing the Emporium will collapse on itself. Unless those trapped inside have a means of leaving, such as dimension door, they will be unable to escape; this could mean they vanish along with the shop into oblivion, reappear in their dimension in a random time or place, or any other effect of the LL’s choosing.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

[LL] Hollowgrams


No. Enc.: 1d3 (1d6)
Alignment: Any
Movement: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d2, weapon or special
Save: F2
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: None
XP: 75

Some of the more mysterious beings to have been spotted since the Aether Storms started to plague the land after the death of the emperor, these immaterial pseudo-humans can prove a considerable challenge for the unprepared adventurer.

The danger of the Hollowgram lies in the fact that it deceivingly looks (almost*) completely like a regular human, albeit usually dressed in very strange clothing. It is not until the Hollowgram is engaged in combat that its true nature is revealed: any and all attacks made by ordinary weapons pass right through them. Scholars have postulated that these beings are made purely out of Aetherium, which seems to corroborate what adventurers have thus far learned about them. Namely, Aetherium-imbued weapons (commonly known as magickal weapons), much sought-after blaster guns and other manipulations of the Aether, such as magickal spells, do indeed harm Hollowgrams.

The Hollowgrams themselves, on the other hand, do manage to inflict bodily harm on their enemies, using any weapons at their disposal (usually blaster guns or exotic bladed weapons) or resorting to fisticuffs. An unarmed Hollowgram may sometimes attempt a special attack: the Hollowgram shoves its immaterial hands upto its forearms into the body of its victim, there (it is speculated) materializes them and wreaks havoc on its enemy's vital organs, causing 1D8 points of damage. Such an attack is made a +4 to hit, due to the Hollowgram negating its target's defences for the greater part.
Hollowgrams are capable of walking through any known ordinary substance, though warding spells such as hold portal or anti-magic shell and force fields can be used to bar their way.

Upon death, the Hollowgram simply flashes out of existence, leaving none of its possessions behind, unless it was using a weapon native to this plane. Of course the risk of engaging them versus the prospect of no material gain is highly undesirable; wise adventurers thus learn to tell the difference between a Hollowgram and a real being, in order to avoid armed conflict with them.

*Some Hollowgrams have been observed to have pointed ears like Elves. Others have been noted to have the letter H emblazoned on their foreheads, while some others still seem to shimmer with a faint blue aura.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Deathwatch session 1 summary: To Hell And Back (In Five Hours)

/Accessing Voxlog/... Pharkas Menux, Ultramarines, Kill-team commander... /Loading/... Part I retrieved. Audio file corrupted... /Parsing Text/... visual only /End of Query/.

/Entry 1/ I have only met my new Deathwatch brothers a few minutes ago on board the Imperial frigate Thunder’s Word, and we are already being sent planetside.

According to the captain’s briefing, the industrial moon Tantalus in the Castobel system, a strategically significant battlezone against the Tyranids here in the Jericho Reach, has been swarmed by this vile Xenos infestation. The fight is already lost however: except for a few zones around the polar circles, which are estimated to fall to the onslaught within hours, the whole moon has been scourged; even a Deathwatch Kill-team cannot turn this tide. But that is not our mission.

A Magos Biologis of the Adeptus Mechanicus, called Zardos Vyakai, crashed his escape shuttle on the moon’s surface, right at the frontlines, which will be overrun any moment now. More importantly, the Magos carries with him a datacore containing invaluable information on the Tyranid Hive Fleet. Acquiring this datacore is of vital importance to the Empire, and thus the Deathwatch. I added a third objective of my own: to kill as many of these Xenos monstrosities as time will permit. A drop pod is being readied for us, we will touch down in ten minutes.

As I’m a veteran of that most costly of struggles for the Ultramarines, the Battle for Macragge, the captain appointed me as the Kill-team commander. An interesting choice, and not one my apothecary training has extensively prepared me for. My brothers are a mixed lot, to say the least. I was glad to see another Ultramarine, brother Macbeth, but I found his reactions to my questions a bit disconcerting to say the least. He seemed conflicted about receiving this highest of honours, to serve on the Deathwatch. I had expected more from a standard bearer. Brother Bill on the other hand, while quite reserved - more than I had expected of a Blood Angel, at least proved to possess a combative spirit and made clear where his allegiances lie. The third, brother Armenius, of the Dark Angel chapter, likewise seemed capable and eager. The last member of our Kill-team, brother McGregor, missed the appointed rendezvous. I hope the reason for this does not turn out to be too severe, but otherwise such a thing is inexcusable.


/Entry 2/  We have landed on Tantalus, close to the Magos’ shuttle’s crash site. We quickly checked the craft, but the remaining occupants had all been dead for a few hours at the least, and the computers and instruments damaged to such a degree as to be inoperable. As we only have five hours before we must reach higher ground and a drop ship from the Thunder’s Word will collect us, we could not investigate further. Brother Aremenius just found four sets of human tracks, leading to the north-east, in the direction of a prison labour camp, on the outskirts of Pyroclast-Gamma-9, an industrial refinery.

/Entry 3/ We found three human corpses and a broken servoskull, next to a dead Tyranid. I tasted the vile Xenos creature, but it gave me no further clue as to the Magos’ location. As we followed a short trail marked by blood, we were suddenly surprised by three winged Tyranid creatures, the kind referred to as Shrikes. They proved no match for four brothers of the Deathwatch however. We continue north-east, towards the prison camp. Was pleasantly surprised to see another drop pod touch down, which finally united us with brother McGregor.

/Entry 4/ Found remainder of Imperial guard unit in the camp. Commander admirably gave order to his men to lay down their lives for the Emperor. Unfortunately we have no time to aid these brave souls in their hour of need, their survival is of no strategic consequence. As the Tyranid horde came down on them and started to breach the perimeter, I deemed it necessary to try and reach this commander, to question him for any information which might lead us to the last known whereabouts of the Magos. Escorted by brothers Bill and McGregor we flanked the Tyranid horde and gained access to the prison camp. While my brothers searched the buildings, I approached the Imperial guard commander. At the sight of a Space Marine however, the man’s steely resolve quickly gave way and he utterly broke down, no doubt believing his recue had come. Pressed the man for intelligence then and there, but the Tyranid horde slaughtering his men a few meters away had by then fully occupied his mind. I both pity and admire these humans, so feeble in mind and body, but yet somehow able to muster great strength and dedication in their best moments. I decided the best way to gain his full cooperation was to end this Tyranid incursion for the time being. As brothers Armenius and Macbeth laid down suppressive fire from their superior vantage point on the southern flank of these horrid creatures, my remaining brothers and I engaged the Tyranid horde from the front, putting our allotted frag grenades to good use. Just observed brother Bill using his jump pack to land in the middle of the Hormagaunt swarm. Better get ready the narthecium.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Cool gaming dice

Dice are an integral part of the P&P hobby, and we all like fancy dice. Take a gander at this nearly two millenia old Roman beauty, sold for $18.000 at a Christie's auction.

May or may not be the die Caesar cast when he uttered the famous words "alea iacta est". Other attendants at RubiCon reported Caesar rolled a natural XX for initiative.

A tragedy has befallen Old Aalia!

Over at Gavin's LL campaign, my PC, the last remaining survivor of the original team that set out over a year ago to explore the magical forest of Harln, founder of the Subterranean Salvage Company and all-round good guy, ratman-halfling extraordinaire Henry "Slippy" Slippums, has bitten the dust!
Viciously savaged by a hellhound during their search for the fabled egg of Mantumbi, his companions managed to drag him out of the dungeon and keep the party's necromancer from zombifying him (for the time being).
Luckily all hope's not lost, as the priests of the temple of Orcus in S'raka professed their ability to raise Slippy from the dead. Will his companions agree to do a quest for Orcus to help their fallen friend and leader? Will they instead sacrifice 17 souls for that same purpose? Or will they pawn Slippy's magical sword to help raise 5.000 golden Imperials to have raise dead cast? Tune in next week to discover if the answers to these questions are indeed: yes, yes and I hope not!

Slippy in better days. Not pictured: bowler hat, Comeliness score of 12.