I’ve always been a huge fan of science-fantasy, though it’s something of an untapped vein in fantasy gaming—for all those sword-and-planet novels where some earthman is whisked away to another planet in Appendix N, we pretty much just have Expedition to the Barrier Peaks and Adventures on Dungeon Planet. (I’m being facetious, but it really is an under-appreciated, if niche, genre.) The new Pathfinder adventure path, Iron Gods, is looking like a pretty rad science fantasy campaign in the “barbarians and robots” land of Numeria, which has me inspired. I’d like to run something in that vein—if not an Iron Gods conversion, at least some kind of science fantasy mashup.
To do that, I need robots.
Collector Robot A soft whirring noise accompanies this flying mechanical creature. Its arms and hands end in spindly, multi-jointed fingers, and four circular rotors hold the creature aloft. High Concept: Flying Collector Robot Trouble: Prone To Electrical Overload; Fragile Sensor Suite Aspects: All-Around Vision; Mission: To Acquire New Lifeforms Skills: STR +3, DEX +3, CON +0, INT +1, WIS +2, CHA +0 Ranged Attack: Integrated Stun-Gun (+3 DEX) Nonlethal. Defense: Reactive Gyros (+3 DEX)
Mental Stress: OOO
Moderate (-4):Physical Stress: OO Physical Consequences: Moderate (-4): Stunts Advanced Tracking System: Gains +2 to Overcome with Wisdom when tracking. Hardness: Comes with armor plating on par with light armor, giving one free invoke/session.
I started out with the collector ‘bot from the first Iron Gods module, giving it a bit more meat/crunch than my previous attempts. It’s a medium-sized CR 3 designed as a tracker/scout, and to acquire new lifeforms and bring them back for study. Robots in d20 don’t have any Constitution, which made that fun and interesting; rather than finagle with a Con score out of thin air I wanted to see how adversaries worked using the same armor system as players, figuring it may be a good fit for that. (Free invokes will draw combat out a bit more; ditch it if you prefer things fast and cinematic.)
Originally I was going to give it a stunt that put Biometric Tagging Chip Aspects on things, kind of like a dart gun to aid in tracking (and assist in aiming for future ranged attacks). But really, that’s what Create Advantage is for. Mentioning it as an idea generator.
This also brings us to the Nonlethal weapon tag:
Nonlethal weapons, like stun-guns, tasers, and blackjacks, are designed to incapacitate instead of kill. A target may be Taken Out or take a Concession as normal with a nonlethal weapon, but neither should lead to the death of the target due to the weapon’s non-lethal nature: it knocks them out or stuns them without grievous bodily harm. Granted, someone with a heart condition may run into problems, and it’s always trouble if you’re stunned and unconscious when flying hundreds of feet in the air…