View Full Version : The universe of AT-43 / The alien race of the Therians

2013-01-18, 01:03 AM
d20 AT-43 - Therians

AT-43 is more or less discontinued nowadays, and I thought it would be a good subject for a d20 write-up. After all, AT-43 models can be purchased so cheaply it would be prudent for any d20 Future player to pick up a few for gaming purposes. The various races like the UNA or Red Blok are easy to write-up, but I thought the Therians deserved a bit more than that.

What is AT-43?

AT-43 was a science fiction tabletop wargame using 28mm miniature figures and terrain to scale developed and published by the French company Rackham. The game is classified as a platoon/company level game similar to Warhammer 40,000.

Released in December 2006, the game features pre-painted plastic miniatures of mechs, vehicles and infantry units with corresponding cards showing the stats and gameplay options for each unit type. The game features alternate activation of units (similar to Chess) using the sequenced card mechanic. It also features command resource management (LPs) to enable special unit actions called 'Combat Drills'.

Unlike many other miniature figure wargames, all of the miniatures are supplied pre-assembled, and pre-painted. The game also provides a few pieces of 3-dimensional scenery, and 2-dimensional game mats to allow player to decide between mission-based objectives, or skirmish-based combat.

The first published product in the game line was the starter box "Operation Damocles" which comes with abridged multi-lingual rules. The main inspirations for AT-43 were typical Science-Fiction troopes from the 1950s and 1960s, but updated with a modern slant. The Cold War and the escalating conflicts from that period are also themes in the game. Stylistically, the game tried not to depict a dystopian future, but a future where propaganda from each side paints everything in bright colours.

Following Rackham Entertainment's liquidation, Cyanide Studios bought all the IP rights to AT-43.

The Universe of AT-43

« "Peace is such a disproportionate ideal, no universe, no galaxy will ever be vast enough to shelter it. We have never had any other choice than war, and our victories to come will spawn our enemies to be!" »

In AT-43 [After Trauma: Year 43], humanity is at war with the technologically advanced Therians, a presumably robotic species bent on subjugating and transforming all planets for their ultimate purpose: the crafting of a "better", more organized universe under their rule, which they refer to as their "therian heaven". Humanity is seen by them as nothing more than pathetic, primitive animals. The center of mankind is the planet Ava, which came under attack by the Therians. The United Nations of Ava managed to push back the invaders, but bitter fighting left the planet in ruins. This pivotal event is referred to as the Trauma. 43 years later, the human forces launched a counterattack under the codename "Operation Damocles" on one of the Therian's factory Planets, the starting point for the AT-43 miniatures game.

Although the UNA and RedBlok will often be identified as the "human" race, this is not the truth. By reading the Therian back-story in their Armybook, you will find that it is actually the Therians who are the Human Race. The Therians hail from the Solar System SOL, which is located towards the tip of a spiral arm in the Milky Way Galaxy, and originate from the Third planet from the Sun. The Therians home planet was reconstructed by the Therians into a dyson sphere covering the sun long ago. Having become virtually immortal by re-engineering their own bodies, the Therians have been engineering the universe itself to prevent it from collapsing into a Big Crunch, a trillion years in the future, thereby insuring their eternal longevity. The Therians had predicted that without their intervention, the end of the Universe is inevitable, and that life will cease to exist in the future. Because of their all-encompassing view of existence, they see the only way to maintain existence is to destroy all known forms of planets and life and transform them into their type of traveling homeworld. To other races who do not share their same point of view, the Therians idea seems like the destruction of life itself, when ironically it is actually the permanent preservation of life. Most races will resist the Therians because they will fail to see their end-goal, and will put up resistance. Even though there are Races like the UNA who are powerful enough to temporarily disrupt the plans of the Therians, there are none who can hold them off for good. In the end, the Therians will either have their way or life will cease to exist when the Universe comes to an eventual halt.

Besides the external threat of the Therians, humanity is still fighting against each other: The Red Blok, a revolutionary faction with communist ideals, is at odds with the United Nations of Ava. The Red Blok started as an uprising on Ava's manufacturing planet Hades, and manifested itself into a political movement. At first the political opposition was crushed by the armed forces from Ava, but as the Avans started to think that the threat was subsided, the Red Blok managed to convince the planetary troops that their ideals were a better way of life. The Defense force later joined forces with the struggling workers that they were assigned to subdue, and after a violent rebellion they created their own formal government. After the formation of the Red Blok, Ava lost its main production facilities, and the political movement spread throughout the planets under Avan control. The Red Blok is now a major threat to the Avan ways of life. Even though the Red Blok and the U.N.A. are allied in their efforts against the Therian threat, they are by no means on friendly terms. The bitter taste left between the two sides has led to disastrous un-cooperation, and communication failures. There is still a deep underlying distrust between the two sides, and as time goes on these feelings only burn deeper and deeper.

An alien race with as yet unknown motives are the Karmans, highly evolved, sentient apes from the planet Karma. The Karmans originally allied with the Therians when they first attacked Ava. The Karmans, like most races in the galaxy, owe their technological achievements to the ancient knowledge passed down through Therian relics left behind on their planet. Now that they see the massing army of the Therians, and that no one can escape their threat, the Karmans return to Ava to fight with Humanity to take on the omnivorous threat of the Therians. The Karmans do not want the balance of the universe destroyed, and though they have no allegiance to the humans, they see it fit to keep them around for the benefit of the galaxy. Not much is known about them yet, but concept art and a preview miniature show that they are a highly evolved Ape-like species that uses their technology to amplify their strength. After the release of the Official Rulebook more information has been provided regarding the Karman.

Further more, the emergence of a third party and the development of hybrid technologies gave to the conflict a new dimension. The rush to armament and industrial espionage are more relevant now than ever before and the battles extend to all the known planets of the solar system.

d20 Therians

The Therians

Therians are a hostile invading race of post-singularity bio-mechanical cyborgs who use skeletal, cybernetic troops designed with spider-like design nuances. They are extremely long-lived and view themselves as a form of what they call "hyperlife" and consequently other thinking beings are considered to be irrelevant, atavistic, ephemeral, and trapped at a stage of development that they long ago transcended.

Careless and unfeeling, the Therians are intent on bending the galaxy to their will. They are bent on subjugating and transforming all planets for their ultimate purpose: the crafting of a "better", more organized universe under their rule, which they refer to as their "therian heaven."

This arrogance leaves them with few scruples regarding the exploitation and destruction of other forms of intelligent life. They possess almost unlimited numbers and astounding levels of technology including highly developed nanotech and information systems that allow them to reshape their habitat spaces in any way they can imagine it.

The Therians are obsessed with the immortality of their species and so have embarked on a remarkable and horrific plan to restructure the entire universe into a static and therefore eternal system of dyson sphere habitats that suit their extravagant "living needs".

Therians are distinctive, Resembling large black-armored robotic skeletons with a white armored facemask. A fearsome bright orange glow seeps from beneath their armor plates, powering their sophisticated biomechanical frames, as well as their weapons.

Therians have the ability to graft fearsome and powerful weapons to themselves; everything from wickedly sharp mechanical claws, to powerful high tech energy cannons. Therians can even graft themselves into giant bio-mechanical walking robots, turning themselves into giant walking tanks.

The Therians consider themselves to be the almighty craftsmen of a better universe, a universe which is to be organized and bent to their will. They have dedicated themselves to an extraordinary mission: each star, each planet must be transformed, remodeled. The Therians' abilities are infinite and their technology is all-powerful. All the resources in the universe could only offer a very temporary resistance against their will.

Four factions meet around the prodigious Therian project.

• The Cyphers, who take care of the proper functioning of thedoom devices, which are used to transform conquered stellar systems into Therian heaven.

• The Warriors, who have developed a taste for combat along the countless battles fought against the combined forces of the universe. They lead the troops to victory.

• The Web Striders, who are secretly searching for the consciousnessthey believe lies deep inside the marvelous Therian machines. One day the machines will give birth to a new algorithmic life form.

• H/Babel - a mysterious sect, heretofore unknown.

All the Therians are united by the Therian dream; they all seek to wipe away the pathetic opposition of the short-sighted creatures opposing them. The confrontation between the Therians,supported by their powerful technology, and the primitive animals challenging them can only end in a bloodbath.The passage of time is the Therians’ ally because the future is on their side.

Eventually, it is revealed that the Therians are in fact the descendants of humanity and that Sol is the sun at the heart of Thera, the first habitat they constructed. It is also revealed that they created both the Karman apelike species and the Avan humanoid species from modified stores of DNA from Earth.

Therian Golem (Warrior)

Therian armies are composed of terrifying machines: automated combat walkers and golems that are directed by the nanomachine host for a Therian overseer. With powerful weaponry and tactics courtesy of a millennia of PvP and PvE wars on the EMI Grid (the entertainment and discussion network that connects all Therians) they are a terrifying prospect on the battlefield. Particularly when they start nano-constructing new units!

The basic Therian warriors are called Golems, and are assigned into either shooting-based units known as Storm Golem Squads, or assault-based units known as Assault Golem Squads.

Playing as a Therian Golem:

- +6 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom, -4 charisma: The Therian's robotic form gives them a sturdy build with powerful electro-fiber muscles; unfortunately, they are also careless and unfeeling bio-mechanical monstrosities. As such, they lack caring, logic or personal skills.
- Medium Construct (living construct)
- A Therian Warrior's base land speed is 30 feet
- Powerful Build (Ex): +4 to grapple, bull rush, overrun. They are considered size category Large for weapons, natural attack tables, and carrying capacity.
- Darkvision: 60 feet (Ex): Their monstrous robotic heritage has left them with good vision in the dark spaceships and cavernous worlds Therians call home.
- Natural Armor: +4
- Damage Reduction 2
- Automatic Languages: Common/Basic
- Favored Class: Fighter/Fast Hero
- Level Adjustment: +2
- Therians take a -4 penalty to Hide checks due to the noticeable bright orange glow that surrounds them.
- Therians have a +4 bonus to Intimidate checks. They are known for being cruel and capricious. Many an enemy has been struck down by a Therian energy weapon or eviscerated at the end of a wickedly sharp Therian claw.

Construct Traits: Therians pass all Will saves they are required to make and are immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease and necromancy effects. Any effect that requires a fort save is harmless to a Therian. They are not subject to critical hits, energy drain, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain or the effects of massive damage. Unlike other constructs, Therians are skilled constructs and gain 4 skill points per level.



Going Further

I'm thinking about writing up some more stuff, more Therians, and then the Red Blok vehicles and mechs. Anybody want to see more? Anybody familiar with AT-43 and can help me out?