Have a COW (Creature of the Week) #1: Damaged Combat Android

Now that the Aliens & Asteroids book is out in the world and folks are starting to play in their own campaigns, we thought it might be helpful to start sharing some new creatures to include in those campaigns. Or at the very least, inspire some thoughts on what to create for your own worlds.

In an early adventure, I had my playtesters explore an abandoned alien base that just happened to have a couple of androids waiting for them when they turned the power on.

Design Thoughts

When creating the abandoned base, I decided that the previous tenants were doing a variety of experiments on Dominion technology. As the Dominion uses Cydyne-built androids in many different places, they would be fairly easy to “acquire” for testing. And if I was an alien exploring human tech, I’d grab two — one to tear apart and one to keep together.

As a result, I decided that I would build a “whole” android as well as a “damaged” android. And with AI technology advanced about 200 years in the future, the “damaged” android has been driven insane by what was essentially torture. That gave me some interesting ideas to tinker with as far as abilities and stats went.

In both cases, they were powered down when the power was shut off for the facility. So when the power comes back on, they’ll start prowling!

“Whole” Android

Essentially I just started with the stat block for a “Standard Combat Android” in the book:

  • Standard Combat Android (Mid-level): Attribute 11, Traits: Legged (10m), Sprinter (doubles speed to 20m), Laser Rifle (Ranged) (d6+2; 2-150m range; RS2; 30 round battery), Tactics, Enhanced Combat Armor (AR4/AP20), Observant

The android would have been “nerfed” as much as possible to reduce the chance of self-harm or harm to its captors (no ammo and armor stripped):

  • Captured and “Nerfed” Android (Mid-level): Attribute 11, Traits: Legged (10m), Sprinter (doubles speed to 20m), Laser Rifle arm (Ranged) (d6+2; 2-150m range; RS2; no ammunition), Tactics, Enhanced Combat Armor (AR4/AP20), Observant
  • “Laser Rifle” arm can be used as a stabbing weapon in combat (d6+1)
  • Armor is reduced to AR4/AP0

When encountered, this android will stalk its prey, using Tactics to its advantage. But it has been isolated from the other android and does not know it is still in the facility. It will attempt to “grab and stab” any potential targets to inflict maximum damage with the weapons it has at its disposal. Ultimately it is programmed to escape capture, though it does not know its current location or how to get back to its original post.

“Damaged” Android

The “damaged” android has also been “nerfed” but is also missing its legs

  • “Damaged” Android (Mid-level): Attribute 11, Traits: Laser Rifle arm (Ranged) (d6+2; 2-150m range; RS2; no ammunition), Observant
  • Due to current damage, HP starts at 6
  • Due to lack of legs, speed is reduced to 5m and it must use its non-weapon hand to pull itself along
  • “Laser Rifle” arm can be used as a stabbing weapon in combat (d6+1)
  • Armor is reduced to AR4 with zero AP remaining

Due to trauma suffered during its capture and torture, it is locked in berserker mode. It will attack any target it sees as a threat until it is eliminated, with no plans to escape.

Team Up!

If the two androids should meet during the session, they will pair and work together from that point forward. The “whole” android can apply the Tactics trait to grant its damaged partner an extra attack each round, making it even deadlier to any target it attaches itself to.

Possible Enhancements

Working with an advanced group of PCs? Change the setup a bit and add one or more of the following traits to these androids:

  • Tough Bastard (doubles HP) (Creature Trait)
  • Superior Combat Armor (AR5/AP0) (Creature Trait)
  • Laser Knife (d6+1) for non-ranged hand (Special)
  • Self-Destruct (Drone Trait)
  • Stealth (PC Trait)

It’s easy to extend these even further by looking at the lists of PC Traits, Drone Traits, and Creature Traits in the book to ramp up the difficulty.

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