Sunday, August 5, 2018

DIY 30 #5: Slaves of the Star Beasts

(This post was written several months ago concerning a development in my Greyhame Game in which Star Beasts were descending to terrorize the land; the trouble has since been dealt with, but I haven't written about my Greyhame Game here for a while because the number of games--two per week--got to be too many ... anyway, I'm posting it as DIY 30 to save a bit of time!)

My players ignored the descent of the Black Ships of the Star Monsters three times (session 30, 31, and 32 of the Greyhame Game, none of which really appear on this blog), other than to send hirelings off-screen to aid with the defense (and/or to die, killed by bizarre star-things). In a kind of Blackmoorian fit, they continued to delve into the dungeon, ignoring the crisis in the realm of men, and so a great number of the people of Brakeridge and its nearby towns have now been captured and carried away to the stars as slaves of inhuman monsters ... Well, such is player agency! I figured I'd post this, now that the Star Thing has generally been settled, and there's little chance of encountering them again for some time.


The Star Beasts are re-worked Moon Beasts from Pathfinder and from Matt Finch's Swords & Wizardry version of them in the Cyclopean Deeps and its sequel. Likewise their associates, the Denizens of Leng ...

They dwell as parasites on the vast Star-Things that carry the Star Elves here and there across the cosmos, following Solar Winds and Star Seeds, and whatever else may be "Out There". In the way that humans and cats dwell one by another, neither quite subduing the other, never quite communicating, yet nevertheless associated, so the Star Beasts and the Star Elves dwell ... and which is which in the terrestrial analogy??

Regardless, where the Star Elves are content to travel and Sing among the Stars, the Star Beasts descend and take slaves wherever they may, and sell them on the next terrestrial or jovian world, OR across dimensions in some other Place unknown to the ken of those not well versed in the secrets of the universe ...

These Star Beasts descend in Black Ships, preceded by a silvery mist, upon which their black shape may be seen against the starry night; then their slave-contingents and their crew of Beasts and Leng-Denizens descend to round up the next batch of slaves ...


Each Black Ship of the Star Beasts carries 1-3 contingents of slaves (d20 roll for each contingent):

18 P'wek, tripedal and three-armed creatures from a distant world. They each wield 2 spears with wickedly barbed blades (1-6 damage) and carry a shield; they advance with the shield in front and thrust over it with their spears.
AC 4 / HD 2+2 / THAC0 17 / MV 120' / ATK 1-6/1-6 / Save as Fighter 2 (SF2) / M 8

20 Tachii, reptillian creatures with finned heads and without tails. Once per day they can spit up to 10', and the target must save v. breath weapons or be blinded (-4 to attack, +4 to AC) for 1-3 rounds.
AC 6 / HD 1* / THAC0 19 / MV 180' / ATK 1-6 / S F1 / M 7

24 Klackons, insectoids with armored carapaces like plate armor and armed with spears. They need never check morale, as they are united in purpose by shared pheromones and consider any individual's life worth only what it offers to the greater good.
AC 3 / HD 1 / THAC0 19 / MV 120' / ATK 1-6 / S F1 / M 12
(source: Master of Orion and Master of Magic games)

24 Humans, from another world, pallid and miserable. They speak no known tongue. Four of them are armed with laser wands, which when directed against someone, force the target to save v. death rays or take 2-12 damage, half of which is radiation damage.
AC 7 / HD 1-6 hp / THAC0 20 / MV 120' / ATK 1-6 / S Normal Man / M 6 (8 with leader)

24 Sectoids, small humanoids with grey skin, bulbous heads, no nose, and large black eyes. They are armed with light crossbows (1-6 damage); 2 are psionic, and 1/day may mind control (as charm person) or cause panic (as cause fear), and may use ESP within 60' at will.
AC 8 / HD 1-1 / THAC0 20 / MV 120' / ATK 1-6 or psionics / S NM / M 6 (8 with leader)
(source: X-Com games)

18 Mutant Humans, taken from a Tomb World from across the stars. 6 have useful mutations (d12): (1) spit acid 20', 2-12 damage (save v. breath for half); (2) third arm, gain second attack; (3) acid blood, causes 1-3 damage to opponent when struck in melee; (4) immune to fire, even fireball-type sells; (5) poisonous bite, 1-3 damage and save v. poison or die in 1 turn; (6) horned skin, AC 5; (7) defensive vomit 1/day, all within melee save v. poison or at -2 to attack for the rest of the melee; (8) psionic, may use ESP 30' at will; (9) third eye, able to see invisible; (10) redundant organs, take only half damage from all attacks; (11) stinking sweat, all in melee save v. poison or nauseated and at -2 to hit and damage; (12) super-chameleonic skin, able to become invisible at will
AC 7 / HD 1 / THAC0 19 / MV 120' / ATK 1-6 / S F1 / M 8

8 Kzinti, ferocious bipedal cat-men with naked rat-tails, ears like naked bat-wings, and who only speak the Heroes' Tongue. Each is armed with a wtsai short sword with which he can deal 3-8 damage, in addition to a claw and a bite attack.
AC 6 / HD 3+3 / THAC0 16 / MV 210' / ATK 3-8(wtsai)/2-5(claw)/2-7(bite) / S F4 / M 10
(source: Larry Niven's Known Space stories)

24 Alkari, bird/pterasaur men from a low-gravity world. Because of their keen eyesight, they are at +2 to hit with their light crossbows (1-6 damage). They cannot fly in normal gravity.
AC 7 / HD 1-1 / THAC0 18 (ranged) / MV 180' / ATK 1-6 / S NM / M 8
(source: Master of Orion games)

12 Synths, synthetic humanoids that are immune to charm person, sleep, illusions, poison, or cold (and maybe some other effects, appropriate to androids). They strike with their fists, each dealing 1-6 damage.
AC 5 / HD 2+2 / THAC0 17 / MV 180' / ATK 1-6/1-6 / S F3 / M 10

18 Kuo-Toa, amphibious fish-men ancient enough to evolve in parallel on other worlds. They suffer a -1 "to hit" in direct sunlight, but due to their slippery skin, they are only grappled or affected by a web 25% of the time.
AC 4 / HD 2 / THAC0 18 / MV 90' / ATK 1-6 / S F2 / M 9

18 Slug Men, disgusting and slimy slugs with arms that leave trails of slime wherever they go. They have a decent armor class because of the secretions from their skin, and take only half damage from blunt or piercing weapons because of their rubbery make-up.
AC 5 / HD 2 / THAC0 18 / MV 90' / ATK 1-6 / S F2 / M 8

Green Men of Mars, genetically modified for normal gravity--so, 10' tall and with four arms. They disdain shields, but may fight with up to 4 weapons or 2 two-handed weapons (or 2 normal and 1 two-handed).
AC 7 / HD 3+3 / THAC0 16 / MV 120' / ATK (by weapon) 1-6/1-6/1-6/1-6 / S F3 / M 9
(source: Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom stories)

18 Hlaka, grey-furred creatures with 2 leathery wings and 3 eyes on their flattish face. They have a tail with a poison sting (save v. poison or die in 1 turn), and may attack with it (2-in-6 chance) or their weapons (4-in-6).
AC 5 / HD 2 / THAC0 18 / MV 150'/fly 300' / ATK 1-6 or 1-4 plus poison / S F2 / M 6
(source: MAR Barker's Empire of the Petal Throne RPG; same for entries 14, 15, and 16)

12 Hlyss, vaguely insectoid creatures with 4 segmented legs, 2 arms, and a chitinous exoskeleton. They have a tail that stings (save v. paralysis or paralyzed for 1 turn). They may attack with both their weapon and sting in the same round.
AC 4 / HD 2 / THAC0 18 / MV 90' / ATK 1-6/paralysis / S F2 / M 9

18 Pe Choi, creatures vaguely like man-sized walking sticks with black chitin that provides an armor class like plate+shield. Their broad senses of hearing and vision (which extends beyond the spectrum humans can sense) allows them to see invisible within 200' with a 60% success rate. Furthermore, they are surprised only on a 1 in 10 chance because of their natural ESP.
AC 2 / HD 1+3* / THAC0 18 / MV 120' / ATK 1-6 / S MU2 / M 8

12 Shen, black-scaled, dragon-like humanoids with beak-like snouts and glittering crests along their skulls. Their tails have a knobbed, bony appendage with which they strike on a 2-in-6 chance, while they have a 4-in-6 chance of striking with their weapon.
AC 2 / HD 3 / THAC0 17 / MV 90' / ATK 1-6 weapon or 1-4 tail / S F3 / M 9

8 Mutons, buff humanoids skinned with green cybernetic and nano-reactive armor. Their muscles are similarly enhanced, and their organs are doubled in order to be redundant, and they take only half damage from any physical attack (even magic weapons). But for all that, they have no mind to themselves and are extra susceptible to mind-influencing effects, saving at -4 vs. charm person, suggestion, illusions, etc.
AC 3 / HD 4+1* / THAC0 15 / MV 210' / ATK 2-7 / S F5 / M 11

12 Silicoids, creatures whose structure is silicon-based. They are essentially rock-men; their outer hides are tougher than plate armor, they are immune to poisons, and any type of fire-damage heals them for a number of hit points equal to the damage that would have been dealt (by a fireball, for instance). And yet, their silicon nature makes them slow so that they automatically lose initiative ...
AC 1 / HD 3+3 / THAC0 16 / MV 30' / ATK 1-8 / S Dwarf 5 / M 9
(Master of Orion games)

8 Tentaculats, otherworldly things which resemble nothing so much as brains with a single beak, held up by a fringe of a dozen tentacles. They float through the air rather than supporting themselves upright, and may attack with 4 tentacles, each of which forces a save against paralysis or the target is paralyzed 1-4 rounds, plus 1 bite attack for 1-8 damage.
AC 7 / HD 3 / THAC0 17 / MV 120' / ATK x4 paralysis/bite 1-8 / S MU3 / M 8
(X-Com 2: Terror from the Deep)

18 Taxxons, ever-hungry, sapient, centipede-beings. Their soft flesh is easy to cut, but their voracious mouths deal 1-4 damage and may bite twice, and if they strike with both bites, they may seize a character to deal 3-12 damage per round automatically until thrown off some how; moreover, given their hunger, their morale is almost unbreakable as they seek to devour the next creature (unless strongly commanded not to by their masters).
AC 8 / HD 2+2 / THAC0 17 / MV 180' / ATK 1-4/1-4 plus seize 3-12 / S F3 / M 11
(K. A. Applegate's Animorphs series)

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