Saturday, May 14, 2016

Upcoming Besitaries: Black Bestiary II and a Big Psi-Watch Book

Well, I'm currently working on a few bestiaries. As of this afternoon, I'm waiting on six final pieces of artwork for Black Bestiary II, the last pieces to be commissioned from Vic Shane. So right now, I'm letting Black Bestiary II sit on the back burner. When I get the last art I'll take a long weekend and get it put out.

In the mean time I'm finally setting up a big, and as yet untitled Psi-Watch Bestiary. This one will include all the content from the previous two short monster books: Mutant & Machine and All The Agents, as well as a ton of new content. I also want to revise Vector of Infection as a part of the bestiary, and include stats for named setting baddies like Elizabeth Vose, various Culture and Bleeding Ghost threats, MOI and some others. The other day I had a great inspiration- spawned by rereading a ton of classic Lovecraft- that led to the creation of several major setting villains.

I'm shooting for a bestiary that's at least as big as Black Bestiary Vol I, maybe bigger. Over the last two weeks I've added about 30 villains. I might release an intermediary third bestiary, or just push right for a the combined big bestiary. I don't quite know yet. In the mean time, take a look at three very fun stat blocks inspired by 1990s comics that will be making it into this bestiary. The artwork of course, is not mine, and not what will appear in the final sourcebook.

Armory Cyborg – CR 5
Medium N Monstrous Humanoid (heavy cyborg)
XP 1,600
Init +3 Senses Darkvision 60 ft, lowlight vision, perceive unencrypted wifi/radio/television signals, Perception +12
Languages English, either Arabic or Farsi, one other Earth language of choice

AC 24 Touch 13 Flatfooted 21 (+3 DEX, +3 armor, +8 natural)
HP 6d10+24+20* hp (77 HP)
FORT +9 REF +8 WILL +3
Immune extensive cyborg immunities, dazed, stun, pain effects
Weaknesses Cybernetic Security Risk -2

Spd 40 ft
Melee +11/+5 slam (1d6+5 bludgeoning, 20/x2)
Ranged +9/+9/+4 cyber-guns (2d6 variable damage type, 20/x3, 50 ft range increment, full auto)
Special Qualities Ferocity, Unhealing 

Str 20 Dex 17 Con 18 Int 11 Wis 13 Cha 10
Base Atk +6 CMB +11 CMD 24
Feats Combat Reflexes*, Improved Point Blank Shot, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot
Skills Computer Use +4*, Craft (electronic, mechanical) both at +6, Drive +6*, Pilot +6*, Perception +12, Stealth +14
Gear utility bodystocking
Headware- Onboard Computer +2, Attack Barrier, Combat Computer (combat reflexes), Targeting Optics +2, Technical Database, Piloting Link
Defenses – Recoil Dampening Braincase, Pain Editor
Bodyware – Durability Implants x2, Haste Implant

Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, squad (4-6) or platoon (12-16) often grouped with other military super-humans of roughly equivalent CR
Treasure standard (including gear)

Special Abilities
Scan Optics (EX)
As a move equivalent action, the Armory Cyborg can activate a deep scan of nearby targets, one of her cybernetic eyes flaring with a starburst of exotic energy. The Armory Cyborg becomes aware of all Energy Resistances, Immunities and Vulnerabilities of all creatures within a 30 ft cone.

Reactive Gunfire (EX)
The Armory Cyborg can make ranged attacks against adjacent targets without provoking attacks of opportunity, and may make attacks with her cyber-guns as an attack of opportunity.

Piloting Link (EX)
When the Armory Cyborg drives or pilot any vehicle modified to accept a direct neural interface, the Armory Cyborg provides that vehicle with a +2 insight bonus to Armor Class.

Versatile Armory (EX)
The Armory Cyborg gets his name from his seemingly limitless variety of built-in weapons. She’s got a gun capable of killing anything in his onboard arsenal, it’s just a matter of finding it.

The Armory Cyborg may change the damage type inflicted by her cyber-guns as part of an attack action. She may change damage types in between attacks in a full attack sequence. The damage types available to choose from include:
·         Ballistic
·         Non-lethal Ballistic
·         Piercing (representing darts, power-launched shuriken or needler type weapons)
·         Electrical
·         Fire
·         Force
·         Sonic
·         Undefined Energy (not subject to energy resistance or immunity. This energy type is available for only one attack every two rounds.)

You could purchase a pair of F-22 Raptors for what it costs to place a fully-trained, fully-equipped Armory Cyborg into the field, but any government or mega-corp capable of fielding an Armory Cyborg probably considers that a good bargain. Armory Cyborgs are highly specialized full conversion cyborg supersoldiers. They are equipped with limitless firepower: with a thought, the cyborg can shape her modular cyber-systems into virtually any ranged weapon ever devised by mankind.

Armory Cyborgs are deployed as first-strike assault troops. They are the heavy gunners of most mega-corp and PMC units, and official militaries such as Psi-Watch and Puzzle Ops wield their Armory Cyborgs in a similar manner. Armory Cyborgs are violent and proactive, and sheer fuckin’ overkill can solve any problem. If a problem persists, just apply more gunfire until it goes away.

Armory Cyborgs have gun-metal silvery cyber-chassis composed of an evershifting panoply of modular mechanical components. When needed, part of the Armory Cyborg’s artificial body can become a firearm or military energy weapon, and the Armory Cyborg can adjust her weapons load out on the fly. The Armory Cyborg maintains a false human appearance, a cyber-skin mask resembling their birth face composed of bullet proof synth-flesh covering a metallic skull. Similar synth-flesh covers the Armory Cyborg’s hands and forearms. Armory Cyborgs wear the field uniform of their employer or patron government proudly.

Augmentus – CR 9
Medium N or any Lawful Humanoid (aberration, élan, psionic)
XP 6,400
Init +3 Senses Lowlight vision, Perception +3
Languages Celestial, English, at least two other Earth languages of choice

AC 22 Touch 18 Flatfooted 19 (+3 DEX, +4 deflection*, +4 armor, +1 shield)
HP 14d8+42 hp (105 HP)
FORT +7 REF +7 WILL +12
Immune non-magical disease
Weaknesses Cybernetic Security Risk +2 (yes, his attack barriers are so good he gets a +2 bonus on WILL Saves to resist cyber-hacking, but is still at risk for cyber-hacking due to his implants)

Spd 30 ft, Flight 60 ft (average, but can hover)
Melee +11/+11/+6 combat balanced daggers (1d4+3 slashing, 19-20/x2)
Ranged +13/+8 parasitic psi-bolt (3d6 force, 20/x3, 50 ft range increment plus power point loss, W-DC 20 negates)
Psi-Like Abilities (ML 14th Concentration +17) 
Constant – Detect Teleportation
- Detect Remote Viewing
At WillConcussive Onslaught (7d6 force, F-DC 20)
-          Fold Space (as move action)
-          Mental Barrier (*included in stat-block above)
-          Telekinetic Force (up to 475 lbs)
1x/day – Psychic Crush (5d6 damage on save, W-DC 20)
            - Shrapnel Burst (13d6 piercing, R-DC 20)

Str 16 Dex 16 Con 16 Int 16 Wis 16 Cha 16
Base Atk +10 CMB +13 CMD +26
Feats Dodge, Hover, Point Blank Shot, Psychic Shot, Two Weapon Defense, Two Weapon Fighting
Skills Acrobatics +20, Autohypnosis +20, Bluff +20, Computer Use +12, Fly +24, Knowledge (psionics, technology) both at +20, Pilot +8
Gear pair of +1 combat balanced daggers, +1 utility bodystocking,
Headware – Onboard Computer, Attack Barrier +3

Environment any
Organization solitary, pair or trinity, plus assorted servants, such as Techno-Fascists, Black Operators and the like
Treasure double or triple standard (in lair, also including gear)

Special Abilities
Parasitic Psi-Bolts (Ps)
The Augmentus can fire painful blasts of psionic lightning that burn power points directly out of the brains of their target. A psionic target struck by one of the Augmentus’ parasitic psi-bolts loses a number of power points equal to the damage inflicted by the psi-bolt, unless they succeed at a DC 20 WILL Save. If a target has fewer power points remaining than the amount of PP lost, the target is shaken for one round per extra power point; targets who are already shaken become frightened instead. The target can attempt a new DC 20 WILL Save at the end of each round to end the effect.  Non-psionic creatures damaged by the parasitic psi-bolt suffer no additional effect beyond mere damage.

Augmentus are highly evolved post-humans with vast and dangerous psychic abilities. The Huxley Emergence has spent decades breeding the ultimate psion- the next stage of human evolution, as far above ‘uncivilized’ psions as they are above baselines. Given enormous freedom, unimaginable luxuries and all the praise due clever, fast-learning and coldly perfect young psi-warriors as children, Augmentus grow up believing every single bit of Emergence Doctrine. Augmentus are cold and imperious, unable to relate to baseline sapiens as anything other than a master praising a particularly cute pet. That’s the best case scenario- worst case, Augmentus view baselines as slaves and sometimes livestock. 

Young Augmentus are given command of Huxley Emergence small facilities and military units during their late teens, allowing them to put the tactical training they’ve spent their entire lives mastering to practical use. By the time an Augmentus is 25, he or she is a proven, tempered military genius with a dangerous suite of psionic weapons to draw upon.

Augmentus wear somewhat ostentatious, elaborate armored bodysleeves custom-forged in Emergence armor-foundries. Their armored costumes are eminently practical, but beautiful as well, in the strange and elaborate aesthetic style favored by the Emergence. Most wear long cloaks slung off one shoulder and strange jewelry made from odd platinum and titanium alloys.
Augmentus are divided evenly between genders, in order to maintain a positive gender balance as future generations breed, and might appear to be any one of the races of mankind. All Augmentus wear their hair in elaborate styles that require many man-hours of servant’s labor to keep styled. Vanity is a symbol of the species’ genetic, mental and physical perfection.

Similar Creatures
The following creatures can be built with the Augmentus stat-block.

Augmentus Sadist – CR 7
An Augmentus Sadist treats the neurology of ‘lesser beings’ as her private playground, enjoying twisting neurons to the point that pain is ecstasy and vice versa. Such beings are dangerously flirtatious and sexually predatory, and their armored body sleeve is exceptionally risqué, giving it the Near Nudity property.

·         The Augmentus Sadist might be NE or CE in alignment, rather than lawful.
·         Remove the Two Weapon Defense and Two Weapon Fighting Feats.
·         Replace these feats with Super Kawaii (which increases her AC to 25), and Favored Energy (pleasure).
·         Her parasitic psi-bolt inflicts Pleasure damage rather than Force Damage, giving her the following changed ranged attack line
o   Ranged 13/+8 parasitic psi-bolt (3d6+3 pleasure, 20/x3, 50 ft range increment plus power point loss, W-DC 20 negates)
·         Replace her two +1 combat balanced daggers with a +1 dagger giving her the following changed melee attack line
o   Melee +14/+9 dagger (1d4+3 slashing, 19-20/x2)

Cultureborn Noble – CR 7
The Augmentus stat-block can easily be re-skinned as a member of the star-spanning Culture race. Only cosmetic changes are necessary to made a Cultureborn Noble: the character’s skin is a dark mahogany and their body is covered in luminous bio-tattoos. The Cultureborn Noble adds Culture to his or her list of languages known. Nothing else changes….especially not the killing arrogance.

Trans-Time Summoner – CR 10
The Trans-Time Summoner is a powerful, cruel psion from a probable future where Mutants are the dominant class, and the most powerful Mutants rule as decadent royalty. The Trans-Time Summoner is only concerned with his or her own amusement, with playing the great games that Mutant nobility of their home-time play to amuse themselves. Trans-Time Summoners trapped in our timeline lost one of these great games, and fled in ashamed exile to the past. Their only agenda is to return to their probable future, hopefully with increased powers and new allies stolen from the present.

Trans-Time Summoners are every bit as arrogant as true Augmentus, and even more obvious in the disdain for ‘headblind downtimers’, as they call most of 21st Century humanity. Their utility body stockings are reinforced with glistening, translucent artificially grown crystals with major energy dampening properties.

The Trans-Time Summoner is a fairly extensive rebuild of the Augmentus stat-block.
  • The Trans-Time Summoner is immune to Electricity, Fire and Force Damage.
  • The Trans-Time Summoner has Sonic Resistance 10.
  • The Trans-Time Summoner has a new ability: Parasitic Life Gate (SU).
  • Increase all power saving throws to DC 22.

Parasitic Life Gate (SU)
When the Trans-Time Summoner slays a creature with the Psionic subtype with his Parasitic Psi-Bolts, the Trans-Time Summoner gains a number of energy points equal to the victim’s highest mental ability score modifier (INT, WIS or CHA). Energy points are lost 24 hours after they are gained, if not expended before then.

The Trans-Time Summoner can expend seventeen (17) energy points to summon one or more powerful allies from his alternate future. This ability functions much like the summoning monster ability, and once summoned, the creature or creatures remain in the present for 2d4 hours or until slain.

The Trans-Time Summoner can choose to summon either:
·         a single Mutant Slaver or Rogue Psion
·         a pair of Street Freaks or Time Scum
·         1d4+1 Detroit Lamprey

Codeword – CR 11
Medium LE or LN Humanoid (human, mph, mutant)
XP 12,800
Init +6 Senses Darkvision 60 ft, lowlight vision, Perception +23       
Languages Arabic, English, Farsi, Russian

AC 27 Touch 17 Flatfooted 21 (+6 DEX, +1 dodge, +1 natural, +9 armor)
HP 16d8+80+20 hp (172 HP)
FORT +15 REF +11 WILL +9
Immune slashing damage

Spd 40 ft
Melee +15/+10 shortsword (1d6+3 slashing, 19-20/x2)          
Ranged +20/+15 military plasma rifle (2d12+1 fire, 18-20/x2, 30 ft range increment, semi-auto, 12 cell) OR
             +19/+14 snub-nosed ion pistol (2d6 electrical, 20/x2, 10 ft range increment, semi-auto, 15 cell)

Str 14 Dex 22 Con 21 Int 13 Wis 18 Cha 13
Base Atk +12 CMB +14 CMD 30
Feats Dodge, Improved Critical (military plasma rifle), Improved Precise Shot, Mobility, Point Blank Shot, Shot on the Run, Spring Attack, Weapon Focus (military plasma rifle)
Skills Disable Device +17, Intimidate +12, Knowledge (tactics) +8, Stealth +25, Survival +15, Perception +23, Pilot +13
Gear +1 nanoweave tactical body armor, +1 shortsword, +1 snub-nosed ion pistol and 4x spare clips, +1 military plasma rifle and 6x spare clips, smartphone, possibly other gear (see below)
Bodyware – Dermal Weave, Durability Implants x2

Environment any
Organization solitary, pair or rapid response unit (2-4 plus 1d3 Psion Elites or similar)
Treasure double standard (including gear)

Special Abilities
Codeword Specialization
Codeword operatives are assigned an intimidating codename based on their unique meta-human talents and fighting style. When creating a Codeword, roll 2dX on the following chart, to determine the Codeword’s combat identity and special abilities. Place the columns as desired. Usually the first column is the first word of the codename, but not always. You can also roll twice on one column rather than once on each column, if desired.

If you actually roll up the name of a published 90s comics character, so much the better.

First Codeword (D8)
Second Codeword (D8)
1 War (increase BAB by +4) (EX)
1 Strike (gains an additional melee attack at highest BAB when making full attack) (EX)
2 Fire (weapons gain the flaming property, gains immunity to Fire) (*swap elements if desired to create Cold or Shock, ect codewords) (SU)
2 Blast (ranged attacks inflict half damage on adjacent targets, REF DC 18 none) (SU)
3 Death (melee weapon attack gains the vorpal property) (SU)
3 Frenzy (recovers 1d6 HP when reducing an opponent to 0 HP) (SU)
4 Blood (melee weapon attack also inflicts Bleed 5) (EX)
4 Fury (gains the greater rage ability of a 16th level Barbarian, 39 rounds of rage per day) (EX)
5 Kill (automatically confirms critical hits) (EX)
5 Hawk (gains Flight Speed 150 ft, good) (SU)
6 Shadow (gains spell-like ability: at will- invisibility, 1x/day –greater invisibility; CL 16, Concentration 20)
6 Blade (gains a +3 keen longsword and Weapon Focus/Weapon Specialization for this weapon, providing) (EX)
7 Ghost (can become ethereal as a move equivalent action at will, up to 5 rounds/activation) (SU)
7 Shield (+4 natural armor bonus to AC, gains +1 bashing large steel shield (+3 shield bonus to AC) (EX)
8 Mind (gains Wild Talent, Up the Walls, Psionic Body, Mind Over Body and +8 bonus HP) (EX)
8 Wolf (gain scent, two claw attacks at highest BAB, 1d6+2 slashing, 20/x2 and +4 REF Saves) (EX)

Nanoweave Tactical Armor (EX)
The Codeword’s nanoweave tactical bodyarmor provides excellent protection from ballistic trauma. Reduce the damage dice size of a ballistic attack by one step (from D8 to D6 to D4 and so on) when used against the Codeword.

Codeword operatives are the best of the best: elite and anonymous government operatives who conduct highly illegal, rogue missions around the world at the behest of the powerful. Codeword operatives are consummate professionals- assassins, spies, thieves and super-soldiers capable of pulling off the most impossible missions and making it look easy. Their extreme competence gives them a snarky confidence that does more than border on arrogance. Codewords thrive on violent machismo (even female Codewords) and radiate an easy familiarly with violence- they are intimidating without even trying.

Codeword operatives go into battle in matte black and grey nanotech body armor reinforced with ballistic armor plating. They fight fully masked in colorful, armored latex hoods, a bright spot of threatening color on their otherwise drab field uniform. When the mask is off, as Codewords relax back at HQ or prepare their weapons for another mission, they’ve usually got a stinking Cuban stuck between their stubble coated jaws. Many ritually scar or tattoo their faces with exotic, mask-like glyphs around their eyes, the ultimate symbol of loyalty to the elite, ultra-black special operation groups they fight for.

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