Friday, August 21, 2009

Dangerous Encounter: War Never Ends…

For this encounter, the party should be in a small village, i.e., their home village or one they’re passing through, perhaps doing some trading or resting between treks, etc. The set-up doesn't really matter. What does matter is the badly injured person who staggers into the center of the village amongst screams and shouts from the townsfolk.

When the party reaches the victim, they can see that he's covered with blisters and burns. He gasps that he and two others were tilling some nearby fields when a Commando Cyborg (MF rulebook, pg. 68) appeared from nowhere, screaming “Comites! Comites!” in a raspy metallic voice. The Cyborg then opened fire on the farmers with a flamethrower. The villager coughs, rasps “And he’s heading this way!”, then falls unconscious.

If any PC examines the injuries of the victim, they’ll notice that the burns and blisters seem to be very localized and rounded on the edges - hardly the sweeping grotesque damage caused by a flamethrower. However, a rogue Commando Cyborg in the area is dangerous indeed, and the party should be assigned the task of stopping this mechanical killing machine before it arrives.

The fields are about a mile away down a long-forgotten stretch of road. As the party nears the location, they can hear the roar of the ‘thrower being fired. Smoke rises from the burning fields. When they arrive, they'll see the Commando Cyborg standing in the center of the burning fields, firing his flamethrower seemingly at random. He's still shouting out “Comites! Comites!” just as the farmer described. Two bodies - presumably the other farmers - lay nearby.

Commando Cyborg (1) (AL N, MV 120’ (40’), AC 4, HD 23 hp remaining, #AT 1, DG 5d6 (flamethrower), SV L5, ML 10, Mutations: thermal vision, increased physical attribute (STR))

The Commando Cyborg is actually battling a Combat Nanomite Swarm (New creature, click here for a link to a description) that has entered the area. With all of the smoke and flames, the party may have trouble seeing the Swarm, though the Cyborg's thermal vision allows it to see the microscopic 'bots just fine. The Nanomite Swarm is what caused the farmer’s injuries as well as the deaths of the other two villagers. The party may assume that the Cyborg has gone “Frankenstein” and is shooting at the "ghosts of the past," but the Cyborg is actually trying to destroy the Swarm before it drifts into the nearby village.

Combat Nanomite Swarm (1) (AL N, MV 75’ (25’), AC 7, HD 6, #AT 1, DG Special (see description), SV L0, ML 11, Mutations: none)

The Cyborg has been badly damaged in the running battle with the Nanomites. He’s down to his last 23 hp, and his optic emissions (gamma eyes) and energy ray (electricity) abilities are offline. His vocalizer has also shorted out. (His shouts of “Comites!” is a actually a warning about the “Combat Nanomites.”)

PCs need to destroy the Nanomite Swarm before it eventually discovers the nearby village and begins the systematic destruction of all townsfolk. If the PCs attack the Cyborg, it will attempt to defend itself, but it will not attack the party. It is focused on trying to destroy the Swarm - a still-active remnant of a battle long-forgotten. If the Swarm is defeated and the Cyborg is repaired, it will become a loyal ally of the PCs and defender of the village. This new relationship could be a hook for future adventures.

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