Have a COW (Creature of the Week) #10: Memory Drones

This week and next, I’d like to go back to look at how a few drones have appeared in our campaign. First the Memory Drone, and then Rifle Drones.

Design Thoughts


The concept of the “Glitch” is one that I’ve played with a few times and I debated how it might affect a large ship, essentially asking this question: What if an entire ship went through the same process of digital enlightenment that the Neogen went through? How would an entire ship react to suddenly being self-aware in the middle of space?

One of the ideas I had was that the ship might create its own drones to help it process various things. Perhaps it could have drones that fight off invasions like infections or aid when dealing with traumatic events. I would guess that becoming sentient and discovering that you have living being wandering around inside you (i.e. “the crew”) could be considered a bit traumatic, as would being invaded by a group of space marines!

In the latter case, I decided to play with one of the character’s self-declared fears: a fear of “space ghosts.” But how would I do that? The answer: holograms!

These drones would be created like spawning extra processes in a computer… each would take a memory of an event, such as attempting to “interface” with a crew member, and use a holographic display to show the event in high def detail with the ability to pause, rewind, and fast forward as necessary. While one was working as a projector, others would view the projected image from multiple angles to try and understand what was going on. Conceivably it could have several of these drones throughout the ship working on the same or different memories.

However… such holographic projections could be perceived by other creatures as “ghosts” running around the ship. ๐Ÿ™‚

Creature – Memory Drone

Send in the drones…

  • Memory Drone: Attribute 10, AR2/AP10, Traits: Legged (five legs) 10m, Melee Combat (Charge, run hard at target at Disadvantage, do d6 damage), Miniaturization, Programming: Simple, Programming: Advanced, Holographic Projector

I had them playing various scenes in slow motion with blue holograms and absolutely no sound. It was a bit creepy and definitely played on the character’s fears a bit. I remember sending one or two of these drones out onto the surface of the ship and watching that character run away quickly. ๐Ÿ™‚

Possible Enhancements

Among the ideas I’ve toyed with were:

  • Locomotion: Bladed (Fly, Speed 10m) – give these drones the ability to fly
  • Audio Projector – give them a built in speaker to add another dimension, perhaps projecting sound down corridors to see what sort of reaction it gets from intruders
  • Nanotech – enable these drones to break into hundreds of smaller pieces, each showing mini versions of a particular scene. Such mini projectors could then be used to torture intruders something along the lines ofย A Clockwork Orange.

Depending on how cruel these Glitches became (largely dependent on how they were treated in the first hours/days/weeks of becoming sentient), they could really be quite nasty.

Looking for more creatures for your Aliens & Asteroids campaign? Check out the rest of the Creature of the Week series!

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