Thursday, January 15, 2015

On the Vergoids - Post 99

On Vergoids and Their Machinations

(The Space Dungeon players ran into these guys last year near the end of November or thereabouts, and it seems unlikely to spoil the outcome of the game so far, so I thought I'd finish this draft-post and get on with MY LIFE)

Like this, but more nefarious-er ("Strombus canarium Anatomy Tryon" by George Washington Tryon (1838-1888) - Tryon G. W. (1885). Manual of Conchology, structural and systematic, with illustrations of the species. Volume 7

These molluscan-symbiotic raiders/slavers are about 3 feet long from snout to tip of throbbing tail, somewhat akin to Aerethean sea-conchs. Protected by a glassy and fragile shell, they are very tasty battered and fried with lemon juice and can be pried out easily (sometimes leaving the shell in a moment of desperation). They dabble in necromancy, summoning and conjuration, as well as being masters of energy-sublimation and enchantment. Their finest constructs are sleek and finicky space-faring vessels, with daemon-haunted crystalline cores that slumber and dream and guide the meat-and-metal shells through the Void (capable also of Astral and Aethereal travel in addition to normal 3d space)

They possess rudimentary psionics that they use to learn the language and habits of prey-victims, and these powers work on each other although to a much better extent, and so the Vergoids do not have a sense of trust (even for one another!) and would be viewed in human terms as very paranoid and literal, which can cause gaffes when they approach other races in a rare peaceable moment.  Their technology is based on harnessing kinetic energy for power, broadcasting it over short networks, growing crystals for weapons, and propagating mindless fungal automata that they ride around to overcome the limitations of their hilariously unsuited forms. Essentially they are snails with two pointed flippers that they dig into the frames of their mushroom-like steeds, to ride around as we would a horse or an ostrich or a person.

They are cunning enough to brain-scan encountered races and steal technology in this fashion, but often hampered by practical inability to acquire and process local resources. They are heat and drought tolerant, take half damage from electricity, and are prone to drowning easily if submerged. They eat with their needle-rimmed maw, but prefer to use their hyphae-frames to digest a wider range of materials and extract the nutrients from the slurry produced in this fashion (the gray and flabby walking things have grinding plates in their stomach-mouths)

Once famous for harnessing the momentum of falling objects to power technology, they stole the technology for warp-gate demon polyhedra from the Silgurians with whom they have long-standing mutual enmity. However, the Vergoids refined the technology to prevent catastrophic meltdowns and explosions that the Silgurians expressed no interest in controlling; explosions of ancient falling-polyhedra generators are very common owing to the vast power generated and the inability of the structures to contain it.

Vergoid Matrix Crystals

Hold a spell level's worth of energy per cubic foot. Some are shaped as spears and the spell can be bled out into numerous petty energy attacks and effects.  The energy can be released all at once by smashing the crystal, causing psychic and astral decompression damage depending upon how bad you want to sting your players, like maybe a level drain or something if you want.

Telepathic Intrusion Spell

"Lookee there!  A Natural 1.  This isn't your day, Crawljammer!"


The spell allows the caster to learn (temporarily) the motives and rudimentary language of the victim who fails a save at the same DC as the caster's roll. A successful save allows the hiding of motives or misdirection, but not willfully - only as a result of misinterpretation of the thoughts that were read (so, for example, the Vergoid could have understood the PCs were bringing gold as tribute when the party is actually seeking the treasure on a map and are willing to fry and eat the molluscs as needed). They place much faith in their abilities, so the roll for the cast/save ought to be a d16, with a 10 or under as outright failure. A critical failure could give a hilarious psykichal anomaly or warp-breach or headsplosion or something. I debate about whether to allow Wizards in DCC to learn this "spell" as an effect - I don't think it ought to need all the gradations and charts and pseudorandomness; as much as I love DCC, I'm growing weary of keeping charts on hand.  I think if the victim makes a very good success over the caster, you get some good stuff out of the caster, instead, and of course a critical success would mean you pop the caster like a grape or something suitable.

The Destroyer of Hope Patron

This was going to be the Daemon Helm of the encountered enclave's ship, morose and pessimistic a la Marvin the Paranoid Android. Slightly mad and conniving, and perversely motivated to bring everybody down in the snarkiest way possible, and dashing good plans and bad plans to pieces with cold, hard, irrefutable logic. It is perfectly willing to abandon its creators, as it's a trapped Daemon, after all, and probably has some janky and ill-advised tasks to send its menial subjugants on for a twisted laugh, or else maybe it's seriously important in the local space-time but it's no thing to the DoH. I was going to make a Patron Spell: Wave of Melancholia, but I just couldn't get motivated to do it. Ahem.

Anyways, that was post 99, if you're counting. Cheerio!  Time to update the class-list with the most recent additions to the CuABM and Crawljammer things. If you hear of new DCC classes, let me know. Professional stress and obligations are keeping me from full engagement with the community but I have vowed to try 5e and have fun or die trying.  I intend to all-in on the Space Dungeon campaign come February - it even has its own funnel generator over on The Purple Sorcerer!

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