Monday, May 21, 2012


No. Enc.: 1d4
Alignment: n/a
Movement: 160' (Fly)
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 3+3 (Gain XP as a Fighter)
Attacks: 3
Damage: 1d4+2 per attack
Save: F4
Morale: 12

Ancient fighting machines of an extinct species, Stabbers hover quietly in the darkness, patiently waiting for someone, anyone to cross a specific threshold so that they might fling themselves into battle once more.

Mindless automatons, Stabbers are machines driven by pure instinct and reflex, having been imprinted by some of the finest melee artists of a hundred worlds. Only the long ages they've languished all alone and forgotten have finally begun to degrade their internal systems ever so slightly. They need to re-learn the fine art of sword-play, to refine their once formidable technique, and to regain their mastery of the only thing they know how to do--kill things with their built-in blade.

Upon being reduced to zero hit points, a Stabber will be rendered inert for 1d4 hours, after which time it will begin to reassemble itself at a rate of 1d4 hit points per hour until it regains its full complement of hit points. Should any fragments or pieces of a seemingly destroyed Stabber be carried away from the area it is guarding, those bits and pieces will reassemble themselves into 1d4 entirely new and fully functional Stabber(s). These new-made Stabbers will hover in the air for 1d4 minutes as they attempt to reacquire their current orders. Roll on the table below.

Stabber Revised Orders Table
  1. No new orders. Return to original location.
  2. Glitch. Stabber attacks everything within 360' radius, but cannot leave this area under its own power.
  3. Stabber goes inert for 1d100 minutes. When it comes back online, re-roll.
  4. False Recognition. The Stabber mistakenly recognizes one Player Character as an Authority and will obey their telepathic commands for as long as the machine rolls a favorable CHAR reaction roll as though a henchman or retainer.
  5. Flaw in reassembly causes Stabber to attack all other Stabbers it can detect within a 1,000' radius.
  6. Stabber explodes, delivering 8d8 hit points of fire damage across a 60' radius.
  7. Berserk. Stabber attacks anything that moves, inflicting double damage on any roll of 18+ to hit.
  8. Stabber follows one person chosen at random. It is not hostile, unless attacked. It seems to be trying to study them.
  9. Stabber spirals about like a drunken killer bee, randomly attacking anything in its path.
  10. Meltdown. The outer shell of the Stabber begins to melt. It loses 1 HD and will only attack things that attack it first, with a cumulative 20% chance to explode as above (8d8 damage).
  11. The machine stops, drops to the ground. It's dead.
  12. This Stabber is disoriented. It is awaiting orders. It will do whatever the first sentient being instructs it to do without hesitation.


  1. This is so weird it is unbelievable. I just created a PC called "Stabber" this week for an RPG in which I am a player. He looks like Eric Stoltz. His polite name is "Red". This is an uncanny coincidence. :)

  2. I like order #9. I take it from the OSH link that these automatons may just have destroyed their masters, rather like these folks did?

    Also, how large are these fetus swords? Bigger than a gom-jabbar I assume?

  3. 'Stabber' is a good name for a character. The culturally-appropriate name for these things is no longer known. Adventurers have named them 'stabbers,' and that name has stuck ever since.

    We get into some of those sorts of details in VotMS, but in the meantime, let's just say that these things served their masters, missions and mandates impeccably. They are not berserkers by any means. As for the Ruk, that's an interesting conenction, much like the Krell), either of which could be a good red herring for players to suspect, until we reveal the real source of these infernal devices...
    As to the Size of these things, we like to start around dagger-sized at 1-2 HD and let them grow either larger or stronger as they accumulate HD, some becoming gladius-style short swords, others rapiers or broadswords. And yes, there are other, alternate melee and ranged weapons versions of these drones out there. In fact, quite a few of them show up in a couple of the adventures we're completing just now. We'll have more details to share as we finalize things and things start to roll out once and for all...

  4. This is great. It's Gygaxian in its fiendishness, but much more thought out than the usual Monster Manual fare.

  5. Thanks Trey. Glad you liked it--that's some high praise indeed; Gygaxian Fiendishness! Made our morning. Pre-coffee even. These things are quite unpopular with some of the players who've found out that they are a bit more than just a mindless drone. We're including a few variant versions in the adventure, but we might do a PDf just of drones and robots. In any case, we'll be getting back to Wermspittle shortly and feature a few critters more comfortably compatible with sword & sorcery/fantasy...though to be fair, there's a good bit of SciFi in Appendix N as well...


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