Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Destroy the Humanoid

Thinking about ATARI. How a relatively simple device prompted in my young braincase such wonder and joy and tension and excitement.  Adventure has prompted a series of posts in here: I am fairly certain I knew it well before any contact with Moldvay Basic or the Fiend Folio.  I think I think about RPGs to satisfy some inner Player 1 more than any other reason. My imagination zone looks like the cover of Adventure plus the cover of Warlords, mixed liberally with confusion about the Swordquest game, and a million million horror comics that I cannot fully recall.

The logic escaped my 7 year old brain.
Pitfall and Pitfall 2 are another thing: On its own, the first is a somewhat lackadaisical stroll to the East.  Monotonous.  The second one gave me fits in terms of sheer maddening difficulty. Sometimes in moments of duress I can still hear the music (switching over when I ride the balloon) and feel the urge to duck under the swooping Cave Condors. Once, I got all the way to the end where you get the rat and the cat that Yoohoos you (I know full well it does not make this sound) and I accidentally jumped over the rat and it pushed me into the always-flowing underground river and my mouth hung agape and I never again played it and I may have smashed my controller and got a stern talking-to from the folks about anger and frustration.

Berserk!  A simple, easy-to-understand premise, evoking a mildly heightened heartbeat at just the thought of it.  No wonder that guy(s) died!  A mark of pride was to maneuver my man-atar to a spot where the bolts of Berzerker-hate would pass harmlessly through the empty sprite-less neck zone of me.

To return: there is much to love about the mere idea of Berzerk, and I only recently found out that it was prompted by a rich fictional history that was well-developed by the time the 2600 and arcade games came on the scene.  Sabre-hagen something or other. Anyways, the Berzerkers are the height of life-killing machines, turned even on their own creators and marching across the galaxies in a never-ending quest for Nihil and Calm. They are filled with so much contempt that they even destroy each other upon contact!

I think they must have inspired the Necrons from 40K (a relentlessly gruesome and boring army to my mind but terribly Metal and relaxing to paint)

Aside: the wiki for 40K stuff is an exercise in dreary sameness, lacking the phun of Rogue Trader

Dave Otto: Security Guard, Music Lover, Authoritarian (actual picture!)
Return: Berzerkers!  Evil Otto!  are they machines in the customary sense?  androids? Synthetic beings?  mere bipedal gun platforms?  why does Otto smile relentlessly? (the real story of this is almost as frightening as any fiction)  Why are the walls of the never-ending maze (edit: it is possible for it to end) electrified?

Why can't the actual future/now look like this?
Herein lies stats for them for the few systems I know, as well as meagre ways to tweak them for your setting.  Also, a DCC Maze-Curse, or spell, or something.


Berserker (Based on the Clay Golem - I think a standard L/L character will be summarily trounced by this monster so exercise caution)
Hit Dice: 10 (15 hit points - brutally imposing, easy to kill!)
Armor Class: 7 [12]
Attacks: 1 electrified fist/grasp/hug (3d10) or 1 lazer bolt (1d20)
Saving Throw: 5
Special: Immune to slashing and piercing weapons, immune to mind affecting spells, double damage from lazer blasters and friendly fire
Move: 6
Alignment: (Lawful) Neutrality
Challenge Level/XP: 14/2,600


Berserker (Skeleton/Hulker Type): Init -5; Atk sizzling grasp -4 melee (1d14) or lazer blaster -2 missile fire (range 120’, 2d8+2); AC 13; HD 4d8+10; MV 20’; Act 1d20; SP faultless tracking 100’, immune to mind-altering spells, heal 2 hp per round, duoble damage from friendly fire; SV Fort +10, Ref -7, Will +10; AL N.

(Maybe I make an Evil Otto Patron Later for s'n'g's - you'd like that wouldn't ya, humanoid?)


Tags:  Group, (Dis)organized, Dauntless, Slow, Messy (variation: sizzling), Terrifying, Construct, Mindless, Large
Blaster (d10+5 damage), Electrified Grasp (d10 damage)
6 HP, 3 Armor
Reach, Forceful
* Move swiftly toward foes without thought of collision

Some Berserker-related moves

High Scorer
When you deftly evade a group of Berzerkers in close quarters, Roll +DEX:
On a 1 or less, SUMMON EVIL OTTO, at some distance
On a 2-7, Hesitate and the Berzerkers move into close combat range
On an 8-10, the Berzerkers stand dazed - guidance AIs must recompute
On an 11+, 1d3 Berzerkers crash into each other and are destroyed outright

That's all I got for the moment.  Cross one frozen post from March off my list!

Also: now it's posted, I think I promised more at the start than I've actually delivered, so MOAR SOON

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