Questons (The Threat from the Deterministic Dimension)

Warning!!! – Players in my Spear! Fang! Raygun! campaigns should not read this entry. It will ruin your day if you do!

Queston

Threat from the Deterministic Dimension

# Encountered 1d3+1
Alignment Lawful Neutral
Size M
Movement 40’
Dexterity 12
Intelligence 18
Armor Class 5
Hit Dice 8
Fighting Ability 8
Attack 1 (geas-raygun)
Damage special
Saving Throw 13
Morale 12
Experience Points 1,800
Treasure None

Questons are visitors from the Deterministic Dimension. They stand 5’ tall and appear like encephalitic androids, though are not machines, and wear tabards with a single yellow “!” emblazoned upon them (a symbol which is also found in the Hyperborean runic script).

The Questons seek to guide events upon the Forlorn Plateau according to a teleology of only they seem aware. To accomplish this, they blast living beings of all kinds, from lowly insects to Barbaric Pantless Atlanteans, and send them upon often pointless seeming quests, like moving a single boulder twenty yards or burying the corpse of a currently living chieftain to the western riverbank of the Dreadskull River.

Above all other animal life on the Forlorn Plateau, whether beast or sentient or somewhere between, the Questons exhibit a particular obsession with Fanged Cave Goons, whom the transdimensional meddlers have driven to discover fire and invent the wheel and cave painting—though the process and results of these endeavors has been less than optimal for the Questons (see entry for Fanged Cave Goons). Somehow the Fanged Cave Goons fit prominently in the Questons’ designs for the Forlorn Platea, but as of yet, those ends remain unclear.

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Queston blasts Fanged Cave Goons with geas-raygun.

Geas-raygun: This futuristic-looking raypistol projects a 30’ cone wherein all targets must succeed at a Save vs. Device saving throw or suffer the effects of a geas spell as if it were cast by the Queston.

Predetermination Field: Within 300’ of a Queston, no dice rolls can be made by Player Characters. Instead, the GM should generate a last of pre-rolled numbers appropriate to each die type and present these lists to the players. While a PC is within the Predetermination Field, whenever they are called upon to roll a die, players will instead take as their result the top number from the list for the corresponding die type and so on and so forth going down the list for future rolls of that die type. This field persists even if the Queston is killed; it is intrinsically tied to their presence on the Forlorn Plateau. (Note: these numbers are not necessarily randomly generated; the GM is free, even encouraged, to generate the strings of results according to whim. Who is to say that the PCs are not predetermined to roll fourteen natural 20s in a row followed by a single natural 1 while in proximity of the Queston? The predetermination field should undermine the assumption of probability and randomness on which the game system operates. This is what makes the Questons truly frightening opponents.)

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Original Queston concept.

 

 

 

Dreadskull River Beaver

Dreadskull River Beaver
Giant, moody river-dwelling rodents
# Encountered 1d3 (3d3 in lair)
Alignment Neutral
Size Large
Movement 40’ (60’ swimming)
Dexterity 6
Intelligence 3
Armor Class 4
Hit Dice 6+2
Fighting Ability 6
Attacks Bite/tail
Damage 2d4/2d8
Saving Throw 13
Morale 8
Experience Points 450
Treasure D (lair only)

Dreadskull River Beavers are 14’ long semiaquatic rodents who build their dams along the winding, labyrinth of river channels from the Jungles of Baslaag to the Dreadskull River Delta. Notoriously territorial, Dreadskull River Beavers will aggressively defend their dams against any and all intruders.

 

imagesThe dams are impressive structures riddled with nesting chambers and tunnels that often span a hundred yards across a channel. Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans of the Surly-bearded Tribe seek out abandoned dams to serve as river fortresses; though more often than they would like, the original builders return, none too pleased to discover squatters.

 

For barbarian hunters, few animals offer a challenge and payoff equal to the Dreadskull River Beaver. A complete pelt, unmarred by wounds, will often sell for 1,000 Blood Knots (equiv. to gold pieces) in a Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean village, but the real treasure is to be found in the Dreadskull River Beaver’s rectum. The castor sacs of these magnificent beasts yield the vital components of many valuable concoctions, from perfumed body oils to painkillers to flavoring for food, but when combined with a paste made from the crushed petals of the white lotus that grows on the cliffs of the Holy Mountain, the excretion of the Dreadskull River Beaver’s castor sacs serves as a powerful hallucinogen that allows Barbaric, Pantless Atlantean shamans, and those unfortunate enough to join them, to peer through the walls of reality into the placid, deathlike realm of Null-Space, which the shamans refer to as “That Deep Shit.”

 

Jade Robo-sarcophagi of the Warrior Phantoms of the Ethereal City of Ruul

Jade Robo-sarcophagi of the Warrior Phantoms of the Ethereal City of Ruul
Ancient ghost-powered robot warriors
# Encountered 3d3
Alignment Lawful Evil
Size M
Movement 40’
Dexterity 8
Intelligence 12
Armor Class 3
Hit Dice 6
Fighting Ability 6
# of Attacks 4 (by weapon)
Damage by weapon
Special Abilities Ghost in the Machine;

DR 3; SR 3:12

Saving Throw 15
Morale 12
Experience Points 580
I (minus gems)

20181203_175447The robo-sarcophagi are six-armed, jade constructs that serve as tombs for the shriveled and mummified remains of the elite warrior class of the ancient humanoid city of Ruul. They roam the Feral Savanna and northern reaches of the Jungles of Baslaag in hovering war-chariots, driven by a need to capture human sacrifices to power the soul-dynamos of the Ethereal City of Ruul.

A phylactery of black crystal embedded in the mummy’s chest binds the long-dead warrior’s ghost to the robo-sarcophagi and serves as its power source. As the warrior’s tomb, he sarcophagi also contain his-or-her most treasured possessions, from gems and jewelry to magical items.

After thousands of years, the warrior phantoms have become exceedingly cruel and callous. They rarely communicate with living creatures, preferring to torture them to the very limits of what is survivable until they are returned to the Ethereal City.

On occasion (a 1:12 chance), a fragment of the nobility and honor which guided the warrior in life may remain, and they will speak with living creatures if they share a language (highly unlikely, as the language of Ruul is unique on the Forlorn Plateau), though the likelihood of their aiding captives is very slim, as they understand the necessity of the sacrifices to the soul-dynamos and would not conscious work against their own people’s survival. However, sects within the Ethereal City exist that oppose the continuation of the city’s stagnant afterlife.

Ghost in the Machine – The ghosts of the warriors that power the robo-sarcophagi are able to detach from the jade constructs that house their bodies and move about as incorporeal phantoms. While the ghost is outside the sarcophagi, the robots may not take any actions other than to defend. The phantoms are able to operate outside the sarcophagi for 1d3 rounds (treat as ghosts of 4 hit dice) and may not do so again for 1d3 days. These ghosts may only be harmed by silver or magical weapons or may be vanquished if the black phylactery inside the sarcophagi is destroyed.

Bodies of Jade – The latticework of jade stone and five gem eyes (250 gold each) protects the robo-sarcophagi from physical attack and sorcery, granting damage reduction of 3 points and a 3:12 chance to resist sorcery.

Red Pygmy Tyrannosaurs (Low-level Antagonists for Spear! Fang! Raygun!)

Red Pygmy Tyrannosaur
Aggressive, semi-intelligent 7’ tall pack carnivores
# Encountered 3d4
Alignment Neutral
Size M
Movement 30
Dexterity 8
Intelligence 6
Armor Class 6
Hit Dice 2+2
Fighting Ability 2
Attack Rate 1/1 (bite; or weapon)
Damage 2d8 (bite); see below for weapon
Saving Throw 16
Morale 8
Experience Points 65
Treasure None
turok 1
The cover for this Gold Key Turok: Son of Stone comic was the catalyst for the creation of Red Pygmy Tyrannosaurs.

Of the myriad species born of the bio-vats of the Hyperborean-Insectoids, few trouble the Wastelands of Kurg! and thus the Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans like the Red Pygmy Tyranonsaurs. They are squat—compared to the traditional, lankier Tyrannosaurus Rex—and upright-walking like older, pre-Jurassic Park conceptions of the T-Rex, but make up for it with a vicious persistence in giving adventuring types absolute hell at every turn.

Violence: While they possess subhuman intelligence, allowing them to establish ambushes and use crude weapons, such as pointy sticks and heavy boulders, Red Pygmy Tyrannosaurs quickly resort to employing their powerful, teeth-filled jaws in combat, primarily due to the frustration that arises from their failure to dexterously utilize these weapons with their stumpy arms and three-clawed hands (-4 on attack with such weapons). It is this frustration which simultaneously keeps their further evolution in check and drives their fathomless hatred for Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans, who often taunt them over these shortcomings. So it comes to pass, inevitably in every battle, with a roar of depthless self-loathing and ire, and a casting aside of these killing-tools, that Red Pygmy Tyrannosaurs will resort to simply biting their prey.

Behavior: Red Pygmy Tyrannosaurs are driven to roam the Wastelands of Kurg! by an insatiable and bestial urge to torture, maim, and kill other beings, but this instinctual psychopathy does not mean they are without culture and language. Red Pygmy Tyrannosaurs communicate through guttural, complex growls and roars. This language is complex enough for humans to understand but nearly impossible to speak without quickly developing a sore throat.

Territory & Civilization: Social hunters on the verge of developing a tribal society, the Red Pygmy Tyrannosaurs rove their hunting territories in loose confederations of packs, settling usually in cave systems close to regions bountiful in prey, primarily within the Bloodplains, Feral Savanna, and Inflamed Badlands. Each pack is ruled by an “alpha” who is both stronger and smarter than the others; the most powerful alphas are experts at ambuscading prey and intelligent enough to use subterfuge and assassination to kill rivals. The smartest of these leader rise to command breeding rights over several packs. Inter-pack conflict is rampant, however, and these larger settlements rarely last for very long, unless the Red Future Tyrannosaurs are involved (see below), at which point the Red Pygmy Tyrannosaurs may be forced into communal living at the behest of their “gods.”

Yield, Trophies, & Plunder: Their red skin is popular with hunters of the Tyrannokiller tribe of Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans as a pantless, onesie-like suit of armor made from their hide (with the head for a helmet and the tail intact). Wearing such a suit of armor is sure sign of brimming combat prowess and lends one the swaggering confidence of primitive style. Also, anyone who bears a necklace of Red Pygmy Tyrannosaur teeth is granted a +2 on reaction checks with members of the Tyrannokiller tribe. Additionally, arrowheads made from the teeth of of Red Pygmy Tyrannosaurs are often stronger than the poor, flint ones commonly used by Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans, granting a +1 to hit.

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Red Future Tyrannosaur miniature from my home Spear! Fang! Raygun! campaign.

Red Future Tyrannosaurs: A few centuries ago, a race of red-skinned reptilian humanoids wearing tunics and romper-like outfits made of technologically advanced silver fabric and bearing crystalline weapons began to appear before feral packs of Red Pygmy Tyrannosaurs. They arrived via scintillating portals from a far-future version of the Forlorn Plateau and presented themselves as gods to their un-evolved ancestors. Since then, the Red Future Tyrannosaurs have meddled in the evolution of the Red Pygmy Tyrannosaurs, paradoxically guiding them toward their own development in the future. (More on Red Future Tyrannosaurs later.)

 

 

 

 

 

Goolaag (Octopoid Slavers in Spear! Fang! Raygun!)

Goolaag
octopoid slavers of the Underplateau
# Encountered 2d3 (6d6)
Alignment Lawful Evil
Size M
Movement 20
Dexterity 15
Intelligence 11
Armor Class 6 (or armor)
Hit Dice 2
Fighting Ability 2
Attack Rate 4/1
Damage by weapon
Saving Throw 14
Morale 7
Experience Points 124
Treasure I

A race of amphibious cephalopods from the Underplateau who raid the surface for slaves. They look like upright octopuses  whose beak and eyes are arranged on their front side in a permanent scowl. Goolaag are tremendously cruel and driven by Ferangi-like desire for wealth, willing to betray anyone or commit any offense for personal gain.

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First imaginings of Goolaag

Their own city is a domed structure underneath the vast Underplateau Sea. There they lead hedonistic lives, lazing under the care of slaves and engaged in trivial endeavors such as watching squigglevision, pitting slave against slave in blood-sports, and dining upon banquets of underworld krill. For the Goolaag, the pursuit of comfort and wealth is the only worthy goal in life; love and friendship are nonexistent.

Goolaag technology is rather advanced, though they do not necessarily construct or design much of it themselves. Goolaag engineers will spend their days dreaming up new contraptions to make life easier and devices to capture and torture slaves and command the most intelligent of their slaves to build these devices. The Goolaag, however, have mastered the Hyperborean-Insectoid technology in modifying organisms, creating mutant variations of original stock through breeding programs. In this, the Goolaag are much more tentacles-on and see the breeding of slaves and stock to create new lifeforms as a worthy pursuit, the only one in which, other than capturing slaves, they will put any effort into.

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Original stats for Goolaag.

Special

Inky Discharge (recharge 4:6 per turn): Goolaag can release an inky cloud that obscures sight like the Darkness spell within a 15’ radius of themselves. (There is a 1:12 chance they release the ink involuntarily if surprised.)

Enslavement (recharge 4:6 per day): Within their massive cerebrums, Goolaag possess glands capable of producing subsonic ululations that sap the will from other beings. They may pulsate these glands to cause all within 15’ to become sluggish and agreeable (treat as a Charm Monster spell with a more limited range).

Untold Anatomy: Blessed with an abundance of strange glands and sacs, Goolaag are able to carry way more equipment than they would otherwise appear capable, using their various bladders and sacs for storage.

Slave entourage: Goolaag are almost never found alone, if they can help it. They hardly travel by themselves and they are always accompanied by a retinue of slaves to attend to their every (and I mean, every) need. Only one out every three Goolaag is important enough to be attended by a slave entourage.

Domesticated Creatures (1d4): In addition to their slaves, Goolaag have domesticated and bred numerous species to serve their needs. Depending on the environment in which the Goolaag are encountered they may  have with them one of the following creatures:

  1. Transport crab – An enormous crab that’s shell and ganglia have been modified so that it serves as a transport vehicle.
  2. Bunker-starfish – A collection of starfish with colonial behavior that can swarm and harden their outer membrane to create a protective shell around a group of Goolaag.
  3. Anglerfish-ships – Fish modified to serve as submarines for undersea transport; Goolaag ride in their fish’s massive, translucent throat.
  4. Forward Operating Clam – A giant clam which the Goolaag have modified to serve as a base of operations. The interior is filled with biotech necessary to serve their purposes.
goolaag fortress
Goolaag fortress on surface

Goolaag Armory: Goolaag use rather advanced weapons and armor for the usual

creatures of the Forlorn Plateau. Whenever Goolaag are encountered, roll to determine how they are

equipped, in terms of arms, armor, and equipment. All will have one weapon, a 3:12 chance of being armored, and 1d3 items of equipment.

 

Weapons (1d8):

  1. 1d4 vibro-daggers (1d5)
  2. Electro-pike (1d8 plus stun)
  3. Bubble-caster (special)
  4. Ink-grenades (blindness; 15 ft. radius)
  5. Rigid hologram axe (1d6)—wrist device slides onto tentacle
  6. 1d4 Electric eel whips (1d2 plus stun)
  7. 1d4 Tentacle maser pistols (2d3)
  8. Bladed starfish shurikens (2d4)

Armor (1d3)

  1. Crab shell armor (AC 5)
  2. Forcefield shield (AC +2)
  3. Aqua-plate (AC 3; water-filled bladders that absorb impact)
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Goolaag with electropike

Equipment (1d6)

  1. Squiggle-vision communicator
  2. 3d3 water globes
  3. 3d3 fish tubes
  4. Psi-active jellyfish helm (grants one psionic power and 1d3+1 power points)
  5. Forcefield generator
  6. Narcotic holothurian

Slave entourage (1d6)

  1. 2d3 Barbaric, Pantless Atlanteans
  2. 4d4 termitoids
  3. 2d3 red pygmy tyrannosaurs
  4. 1d3 giant sexy cave amazons
  5. 4d4 fanged cave goons
  6. 2d3 Mix of the above