Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dangerous Encounter: Power Struggle

This adventure should begin shortly after the PCs pass through a fairly populated area. As they exit the region and away from the population center, one of the PCs should find a note hidden in one of their pockets. The note is fairly cryptic: "PLEASE, NEED HELP. WILL REWARD YOU WITH UNLIMITED POWER." At the bottom of the note is a crude map that leads off the main roads and off into the hilly grasslands. There is no signature nor clue as to who may have slipped it into their pocket.

If the PCs decide to investigate, the hike will be pretty uneventful as the land they traverse is slightly hilly, but otherwise flat and clear. The area was once used by Bygone farmers so the lands have been tilled and cultivated to the point that no forests have yet encroached over the centuries. No trees bigger than a sapling have grown here. As they cross over one of the rolling hills, the PCs should see a tall, thin structure on the next hill about a mile away. It is hard to identify at this distance, but it looks like a monstrously tall pole hundreds of feet high. Nearer to the PCs, however, is a large beast standing in the center of the footpath. The creature is an Electrophant (MF rules, page 69), and it appears to be standing over the body of a dead Electrophant lying nearby. The living Electrophant is very obviously agitated as the dead Electrophant was its mate. In a blind rage, the Electrophant will charge the first PC it sees or hears, attempting to trample for 4d8 hit points of damage.

Electrophant (1) (AL L, MV 120' (40'), AC 4, HD 9, #AT 2 or 1 (2 tusks or trample or electricity, DG 2d4/2d4 or 4d8 or 4d6, SV L5, ML 6, mutations: energy attack (electricity))

The Electrophant seems to be protecting the dead body of its mate, but its morale is pretty low at this stage. If the fight seems to be going against it, it will give up and lumber off over the hill. If the PCs investigate the body of the dead Electrophant, it doesn't seem to have died of any massive injuries or wounds. In fact, it seems to have died from shock! (And not the electric kind.) If they prepare to touch the dead creature, the Mutant Lord should hint that, according to wasteland wisdom, the gold tusks of the Electrophant still carries a powerful electric charge and they should proceed with caution. However, once they make contact, they'll find out the tusks have absolutely no charge left in them, as if the creature had been drained of power. (The tusks are worth 200 gold pieces each if anyone thinks to remove them.)

As the PCs approach the tall tower, they'll see it's a Bygone wind-powered turbine. The turbine seems to have been recently repaired and refurbished, and its blades seem to be turning at a quick pace. Leading from the base of the turbine are a set of cables which run down the length of the tower to a brick building at its base. Sitting on top of the building and nestled around the point the cables enter the building are four large jet-black spheres. Blue veins of electric fire flash over the surfaces of the spheres. The spheres are Pfrzt --
energy absorbers from the Bygone days.

Pfrzt (4) (AL N, MV 60' (20'), AC 7, HD 4, #AT 1, DG Special, SV L2, ML None, mutations: energy absorption (electric), energy-retaining cell structure)

About 100 yards to the right of the tower is a small lean-to. An older man with a leather apron and welder's goggles scrambles out from the shelter and races to the PCs.

"Thank the Bygones you got my note! I need you to help me dispose of those...BALLS!" he says, as he points at the spheres.

The man's name is Tedison, and he's a tinkerer/inventor by trade. He explains that he discovered the Bygone turbine several months and has spent that time refurbishing it back into operating condition. He uses it to power his workshop and home (the brick building). Several days ago, the Pfrzt settled onto his home, absorbing every volt of power his generator produces. Tedison attempted to poke one of the spheres with a wrench and got a heart-stopping jolt of electricity. When he came to, he went to find someone who could help him get rid of the "creatures."

"I'll bet those damnable balls also sucked the life right outta that poor 'Lectric Beastie back yonder," he says, motioning in the general direction of the dead Electrophant.

Tedison begs the PCs to get rid of the Pfrzt. As the PCs approach, the Pfrzt will ignore them unless someone has a strong energy signature, i.e., someone is carrying a lot of stored energy in the form of power cells and batteries, or if one of the PCs is an android or robot. One of the Pfrzt will bounce lazily toward the PC, attracted by the energy signature. If the Pfrzt contacts any charged device or power supply, it will instantly drain it of all remaining charges, rendering it useless. If an android PC makes contact with a Pfrzt, they will take 3d6 hit points of energy-draining damage unless a save versus energy attacks is made. (They will take half-damage if successful.) A Pfrzt is immune to all energy-based attacks as it simply absorbs the discharged energy. And striking a Pfrzt with any weapon that isn't non-conductive will shock the attacker for 3d6 hit points of damage. Pfrzt have no morale, so they cannot be driven away. They will only stop when they are destroyed.

Once the Pfrzt have been dealt with, the power is once again restored to Tedison's home and workshop. As thanks, Tedison offers his technology identification and repair services any time the PCs are in the area. Tedison can also use his turbine to fully recharge any power cell, pack, clip, beltpack, and backpack the PCs bring to him. (He cannot recharge minifusion cells, plutonium clips, and radioactive batteries, though.) Tedison asks the PCs to keep his presence a secret as he'd like to continue inventing in peace.

1 comment: