View Full Version : Tripods and ray guns

2008-02-20, 11:19 PM
I'm running a post-apocalyptic D&D 3.5 game centered on the conquest, domination and harvest of the gaming world by extraplanar invaders, Ethergaunts (I will also use some other alien-like monsters like Bodaks). The PCs are entirely clueless about these happenings; they come from a secluded mining village in a desert which for the last hundreds of years has been used by greedy merchants who exchanged mined "rock oil" (the fuel for many of the invaders' vehicles) for wheat seeds engineered by the extraplanar entities that become sterile after one harvest - a quite unfair deal. I can add many more details later.

In the brief future, the PCs will confront the alien invaders for the first time and I have to decide how I will model their vehicles - tripod walkers and flying ships - and their weapons.

I can see two basic ways to model the vehicles: either treat them like a fancy chariot, and the CR is the CR of the pilot or turn them into fully-fledged constructs and disregard the pilot or else it would be overkill.

As for the disintegration weapons the easiest way would be using futuristic weapons as recommended by the DMG 3.0 but I am fancying the idea of just treating them as magic items that don't look much like magic items - picture for instance the staves of the Go'auld guards in Stargate SG1. I could just make staves, rods or even new categories of magical items and imbue them with obliterating spells.

So, any other first thoughts?

Meat Shield
2008-02-21, 12:02 AM
Well, depending on how 'obliterating' you want these weapons to be, I have always thought of these sorts of scenarios as treating the weapons as wands of <insert energy spell here>. Wands of scorching ray, fireball, lightning bolt, and magic missile would work well I think. And the spell trigger would be a certain electrical signal sent to the device, instead of a command word spoken.

2008-02-21, 12:05 AM
I don't know if you'd be interested in a new system, but there's a d20 Modern Future game out there. It has a lot of the stuff you're talking about, and it should be easy to convert the monsters you need to that system. Also, just remembered that I had this bookmarked: d20 Modern SRD (http://www.12tomidnight.com/d20modernsrd/Home.php).

If not, I know the 3.5 DMG also has futuristic weapons, but I can't remember what they're like. I know they're in the same section as the Asian weapons, Renaissance weapons, and Modern weapons.

2008-02-21, 12:15 AM
For things like tripods, I'd suggest doing the following: take a typical pilot (say an Ethergaunt)'s skills, feats, mental ability scores, and anything else that might matter, and build a "Tripod Template" to put on top of that: Construct HD, abilities, and HD-derived things like Attack Bonus, Fort, and Ref saves.

What you end up with is a simple Construct with the skills, feats, and mental scores of whatever is piloting it. Figure out a CR for the combination; it shouldn't be too much higher than the highest component's.

Also makes it easy to plug your players into one if you want to let them...assuming they don't try to hock it or do anything related to equipment gold piece price.

That's my thought. Kinda complicated, but it's a comprehensive system once you get the basic tripod stats down.

2008-02-21, 04:02 AM
You could use the retriever's (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/demon.htm#retriever) stats for the tripod. I know, it's listed under "Demon" for some reason, but it's actually a construct. Just reflavor it.