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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Apr 2006
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    Default [Friend/Foe] Cleansers of the Plague

    History

    The Loss of the Thunderflight

    In the first years of the Plague, as the Weeping ravaged the surface world, deep underground, gnome society went on blissfully unaware. Strange tales of people of all races dying as their bodies twisted and wept blood filtered in through the few surface traders that came back and were all dismissed as completely mad. A demon-caused plague, sweeping over the entire surface world? Preposterous! How could any such thing be?

    Then it came to the ancient city.

    To give the gnomes credit, they reacted quickly enough. The Thunderflight was an Nether trade ship that had been sent two months previous from the ancient city to a halfling colony to trade in grain and ore. Many Netherese and even a few Aether were gathered by the dock to greet the sailors on their return. The Thunderflight soared in through the main cavern tunnel, floating majestically between the twin basalt columns that flanked the entrance. Gleaming iron plating and twin plumes of smoke were illuminated by the magic lanterns at the tunnel entrance, making for a beautiful sight. One enthusiastic Netherese artificer raised a spyglass to his eye so he could view the hardy sailors of such a magnificent vessel.

    What he saw was sheer horror.

    Pale, twisted mockeries of nature crewed the vessel's decks. Their clothing torn and stained, much like the Thunderflight's banners. They wept blood. The deck was scattered with the twisted bodies of those who didn't make it. They had caught the plague from the halfling settlement, which had entirely succumbed to the Weeping, and had made a mad, desperate rush home. All of them in pain, all of them desperate and feral, all of them quite insane, all of them come to bring the blight to the holy city.

    The artificer cried out, and the sentries sighted in. The captain of the watch made a panicked, tragic decision. He ordered every watchtower cannon in the city to turn on the Thunderflight and fire. Cannons blasted in the cavernous city, magical thunder and fire were loosed by the mages of the watch. Aether and Nether gnomes came together to defend their city. The insane stories of the Weeping, the ravaging of the surface world, it was all true. And it must not come here. The Thunderflight was destroyed barely beyond the tunnel entrance.

    Afterward most gnomes simply dismissed the Plague as a surface problem that should be contained, but left to the surfacers to deal with. One gnome, however, knew the truth. Uruk Al'Azred, the gnome artificer with the spyglass, swore over the flaming wreckage of the Thunderflight that the Plague would be cleansed.


    Unforseen Programming

    It took years. The Weeping raged above, but Uruk Al'Azred kept working. At first he made proposals to the ruling council for his creation. They rejected them time after time - the Plague was a threat, true, but not one worth wasting valuable resources on while there were still arcane secrets undiscovered in the city, let alone elsewhere in gnome lands. Tired of the council's hypocritical stance and failure to see the danger right in front of them, Uruk struck out on his own.

    He'd need raw materials, so he bought what he could and stole the rest. One thing Uruk was was devious, and though it took many years, he finally gathered the raw arcane materials required. During the intervening time, he was busy with other pursuits. His home, once a simple laboratory and artificer's forge, became the operating theatre of grisly, inhuman experiments. He kidnapped plague victims and their families from the surface, kept them contained in special force cages, and butchered them alive. Uruk did whatever was necessary to gain even a small understanding of the Plague, and in the time he spent he learned much. He subjected his "subjects" to extreme temperatures, living autopsies, disease interaction experiments, every sick and twisted experiment imaginable. In the end, he learned all he needed to.

    His creation was magnificent: living constructs of iron and mithril, immune from all disease, able to hunt down and pacify all those infected, as well as those who had any dealings with them. The perfect synthesis of surgical blades, disinfecting fluids and the will required to do what was necessary. Only through careful pruning of the population and all those infected was the Weeping to be stopped. They were perfect. They were the Cleansers, a hundred living metal instruments for the surgical removal of the diseased tissue of the world.

    Then, with a word, he turned them on.

    Too quickly, they achieved sentience. The first being they saw was Uruk, and they knew he had handled the diseased. Perhaps Uruk would have been able to reason with them, explain that he had taken all the necessary precautions to avoid infection, had the Cleansers not operated their flensing blades and acid sprays and taken Uruk apart on the spot. Then, without a word, they left the artificer's lab burning, moving towards the surface.

    The Rediscovery

    Rumors would spring forth, from time to time, of metal horrors claiming entire villages. Even as the Plague died down, entire towns would simply drop off the map, people too afraid to investigate any sudden loss of contact with a town in fear of contracting the Weeping themselves.

    Several years ago, a ranger named Jorn Tenbrier came across an amazing discovery. Jorn's favorite enemy was the Plaguetouched, a damned race that had risen from the survivors of the Weeping. Jorn felt only the purest hatred for the pathetic creatures, for they represented the Plague which had taken his family and the filth of the Plague Fiend. He had murdered hundreds of Plaguetouched, and had tracked down a small farmhouse where several of their kind had taken shelter, when he witnessed a remarkable thing. First horrible screaming, then the sight of metal beings slicing apart the infected, cleaning the ground, disinfecting the infection. It was so brutal, so efficient. It represented only the strongest will to do what was needed to clean up the Weeping. Jorn was moved.

    Nobody knows why Jorn wasn't taken apart instantly by the Cleansers, all they know is, for the time being, Jorn now operates as the discoverer of new sources of Infection for the Cleansers to "clean up", their front man and fixer. Jorn employs agents throughout Ursoule to track down rumors of the Weeping or Plaguetouched communities, and report directly to him. Then, with the coldest heart and most ruthless execution, the Cleansers come calling to "fix" the situation.
    Last edited by soylentplaid; 2007-03-09 at 07:01 PM.
    Winnar of the Friend or Foe Design Contest (entry), Best Overall, Best Fitting ToB Setting, Staff Choice and Rookie. w00t!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: [Friend/Foe] Cleansers of the Plague

    Cleanser Drone

    Small Construct
    Hit Dice: 6d12+10 (51 hp)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 30 ft.
    Armor Class: 20 (+3 Dex, +6 natural, +1 Size), touch 14, flat-footed 21
    Base Attack/Grapple: +8/+6
    Attack: Flensing Blade +6 melee (1d6+2/18-20) or Slam +5 melee (1d4+2)
    Full Attack: 3 Flensing Blades +6 melee (1d6+2/18-20) or 2 Slams +5 melee (1d4+2, reach 5)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./10 ft.
    Special Attacks: Disinfecting Spray, Flensing Blades
    Special Qualities: DR 1/-, Construct traits, darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, spell resistance 15, Detect Infection, Purge Infection
    Saves: Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +6
    Abilities: Str 12, Dex 16, Con , Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 10
    Skills: +8 Survival, +7 Search, +8 Knowledge (Anatomy), +6 Heal, +4 Gather Information
    Feats: Combat Expertise, Skill Focus (Survival), Track, Weapon Focus (Flensing Blades)
    Environment: Any
    Organization: Solitary, Surgical Team (3-10) or Swarm (11-100)
    Challenge Rating: 6
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: Always neutral
    Advancement: 7-10 HD (Small)
    Level Adjustment:

    A metallic creature roughly the size and shape of a halfling or a gnome. Its featureless metal plating hangs over a sleek, curved frame, and is highly polished to a silvery, reflective shine. Two amethyst eyes shine coldly in its blank face. Three segmented tentacles erupt from its back and wave through the air, ending in wickedly curved blades, and a small articulated nozzle occasionally pokes out from under it's face plate.

    Cleanser Drones act as the main force for the Cleansers of the Plague. A Drone will doggedly track down those it considers even remotely infected and attack without mercy, whether its target is a fully grown half-orc warrior or an infant child. Drones use their flensing blades to dissect the remains of their targets, and thoroughly disinfect both the body and the surrounding area with their disinfecting spray. Drones are often broken up into small hunting parties that some have dubbed "surgical teams" when need be, and it isn't unusual to find solitary drones acting as scouts for the much larger force. A Cleanser Drone can potentially be reasoned with, but since it considers almost every being it comes in contact with tainted, that may prove difficult.

    Cleansers speak Gnome, and can communicate with any Cleanser within sight telepathically.

    Flensing Blades
    Treat these blades as +1 cold iron weapons. They have a reach of 10 feet and can be used to attack adjacent opponents.

    Disinfecting Spray (Ex)
    A Cleanser Drone can unleash a spray of harsh disinfecting chemicals and bioreactive breakdown agents as a standard action. This deals no damage to anything non-organic (such as constructs, elementals or metal or stone objects), but to anything organic treat as a 15 foot spray of acid that deals 1d6 damage per round for three rounds (reflex 14 for half, based on Wisdom). Those who make their saves do not take damage on consecutive rounds.

    Once sprayed, a Cleanser Drone cannot spray again until 1d4 rounds later.

    Detect Infection (Su)
    Cleanser Drones were designed to ruthlessly track down victims of the Weeping and those who have ever possibly been in any sort of contact with it. Of course, this doesn't tend to leave a lot of "non-infected" people. At will, a Cleanser Drone can detect plague victims as the Detect Plague spell cast by a 5th level cleric. As well, this ability can detect creatures who have ever been in contact with either a Plague victim or Plaguetouched, or who has been in the repeated presence of them, who glow sickly gray to the Drone. By spending a fourth round of concentration, the Drone can detect anyone who has had secondary Plague contact (contact with one who has had contact with).

    Purge Infection (Ex)
    With its detailed knowledge of anatomy and biology, a Cleanser Drone is more effective at "purging" those who have been touched by the Weeping. A Cleanser Drone has a +2 insight bonus to attack and damage versus Plaguetouched and those infected with the Plague.


    Cleanser Controller

    Medium Construct
    Hit Dice: 16d12+20 (124 hp)
    Initiative: +2
    Speed: 30 ft.
    Armor Class: 28 (+3 Dex, +15 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 20
    Base Attack/Grapple: +11/+16
    Attack: Flensing Blade +18 melee (2d6+3/18-20), or Slam +17 melee (1d6+3), or Disinfecting Spray
    Full Attack: 3 Flensing Blades +18/+13 melee (2d6+3/18-20), or 2 Slams +17 melee (1d6+3, reach 5), or Disinfecting Spray
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./15 ft.
    Special Attacks: Disinfecting Spray, Flensing Blades
    Special Qualities: DR 10/-, Construct traits, darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, spell resistance 15, Detect Infection, Purge Infection
    Saves: Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +6
    Abilities: Str 20, Dex 16, Con , Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 10
    Skills: +18 Survival, +16 Search, +16 Knowledge (Anatomy), +14 Heal, +14 Gather Information
    Feats: Alertness, Combat Expertise, Great Fortitude, Skill Focus (Survival), Track, Weapon Focus (Flensing Blades)
    Environment: Any
    Organization: Solitary plus Surgical Team (3-10 Drones), or Swarm (10 plus 11-100 Drones)
    Challenge Rating: 16
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: Always neutral
    Advancement: 17-19 HD (Medium)
    Level Adjustment:

    A much larger version of the smaller Cleanser Drone, still proportioned like a gnome but just a bit taller and broader than a human. Cleanser Controllers act as commanders for the main Cleanser force and sometimes lead surgical teams against particularly dangerous or elusive foes.

    A Cleanser Controller has the same qualities as a Cleanser Drone except as noted in the above statistics block and here.

    Disinfecting Spray (Su)
    A Cleanser Controller's Disinfecting Spray deals 1d8 damage instead of 1d6 (reflex DC 16) in a 20 foot cone.

    Detect Infection (Su)
    Instead of a cone, the area of a Cleanser Controller's Detect Infection ability is a 120 foot spread centered on the Controller. The Controller's caster level for this effect is 15.

    Purge Infection (Ex)
    A Cleanser Controller has a +4 insight bonus to attack and damage versus Plaguetouched and those infected with the Weeping.
    Last edited by soylentplaid; 2007-03-17 at 08:32 PM.
    Winnar of the Friend or Foe Design Contest (entry), Best Overall, Best Fitting ToB Setting, Staff Choice and Rookie. w00t!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Apr 2006
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    Default Re: [Friend/Foe] Cleansers of the Plague

    Jorn Tenbrier

    NE Human Ranger 13
    Hit Dice: 13d8+13 (79 hp)
    Initiative: +7
    Speed: 30 ft.
    Armor Class: 25 (+5 Dex, +10 armor), touch 13, flat-footed 20
    Base Attack/Grapple: +13/+15
    Attack: +3 Plaguetouched Bane Composite Longbow +22 ranged (1d8+5/x3) or +2 shortsword +17 piercing (1d6+4/19-20)
    Full Attack: +3 Plaguetouched Bane Composite Longbow +22/+17/+12 (1d8+5/x3) or +2 shortsword +17/+12/+7 piercing (1d6+4/19-20)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
    Saves: Fort +9, Ref +13, Will +7
    Abilities: Str 14, Dex 16(20) Con 12, Int 12, Cha 15, Wis 16
    Skills: Knowledge (nature) +10, Survival +12, Search +12, Spot +16, Hide +25, Move Silently +23, Handle Animal +8, Climb +8, Jump +5, Swim +5
    Feats: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Manyshot, Improved Precise Shot, Stealthy, Weapon Focus (Longbow), Improved Critical (Longbow), Improved Initiative
    Spells Carried: 1st-Speak with Animals, Summon Nature's Ally 1. 2nd-Speak With Plants, Snare
    Animal Companion: Hawk, +4 HD, +4 Nat. Armor, +2 Str/Dex, 3 extra tricks, Link, Share Spells, Evasion, Detection
    Class Abilities: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, favored enemies, Track, Wild Empathy, Archery Combat Style, Endurance, Improved Archery Combat Style, Swift Tracker, Evasion, Archery Style Mastery, Camouflage
    Favored Enemies: Humanoid (Plaguetouched) +6, Monstrous Humanoid +2, Humanoid (Elf) +2
    Possessions: +3 Plaguetouched Bane Composite Longbow, +2 shortsword, +3 chain shirt, Gloves of Dexterity +4, Lesser Bracers of Archery, Boots of Elvenkind, Cloak of Elvenkind, Bag of Holding Type IV, Amulet of Natural Armor +3, Goggles of Night, 150 platinum pieces, 340 gold pieces
    Last edited by soylentplaid; 2007-04-02 at 10:58 PM.
    Winnar of the Friend or Foe Design Contest (entry), Best Overall, Best Fitting ToB Setting, Staff Choice and Rookie. w00t!

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Friend/Foe] Cleansers of the Plague

    Sample Encounters
    • The players come across a dishevelled, half-crazed man on the road, cut up badly and on the brink of death. He manages to croak out one word - "...cleansers..." before he goes limp.
    • The players are hunting a plaguetouched criminal when they are approached by a strange man in hunting leathers, a ranger. The man reeks of death. The man takes one look at the party, sneers in disgust, and disappears into the forest. Strange encounter. Should be the last they've heard from him. Besides, it's almost time to make camp...
    • The Cleansers have come to a small town and have deemed the entire population "tainted". The townsfolk have so far managed to keep the small scouting party at bay with only moderate casualties, but it's only a matter of time before the night air is filled with the cold, efficient "cleansing" of the main force.
    • The players have caught word of a man named Jorn who's come up with what he calls "the perfect cure". With several members of their families and close friends either stricken with the Plague, or having been transformed into hideous monstrosities, fortune seems to have smiled on them. Will they be so happy when they find out what his idea of "cure" is, and will they have already let slip the locations of their loved ones?
    • A Plaguetouched PC has met with an unusual gnome with an unusual offer - Uruk Al'Azred had a backup lab near the surface, and most of his research exists in archival copies there. This may be the needed breakthrough to finally come up with a cure for their affliction. All that needs to be done is find the lab and raid it. Simple, right? One wonders... did Uruk make any early prototypes?
    Last edited by soylentplaid; 2007-04-02 at 10:55 PM.
    Winnar of the Friend or Foe Design Contest (entry), Best Overall, Best Fitting ToB Setting, Staff Choice and Rookie. w00t!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: [Friend/Foe] Cleansers of the Plague

    Warforged with attitude....intriguing. :)

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [Friend/Foe] Cleansers of the Plague

    Wow... Brutal, evil, just wow.
    "I reject your reality, and subsitute my own" -Adam Savage

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Meat Shield's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Friend/Foe] Cleansers of the Plague

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireball.Man.Guy. View Post
    Wow... Brutal, evil, just wow.
    Yeah, that just about sums up what we have been going for over in the Tears of Blood world. Great flavor Soylent!
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    Vampire Ninja Death Squirrel by Jacklu
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Mann View Post
    Frankly, we're a bunch of nerds here, and we like to argue.
    Tosk, Ogre Ranger
    Grishak, Blue Psion Nomad
    Otheym, Warforged Ashworm Dragoon

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Friend/Foe] Cleansers of the Plague

    Thankya, thankya. Now, I only need the time to actually finish the thing :P
    Winnar of the Friend or Foe Design Contest (entry), Best Overall, Best Fitting ToB Setting, Staff Choice and Rookie. w00t!

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Friend/Foe] Cleansers of the Plague

    Alrighty, units are posted. Any comments on CR or any particulars, let me know.
    Winnar of the Friend or Foe Design Contest (entry), Best Overall, Best Fitting ToB Setting, Staff Choice and Rookie. w00t!

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Meat Shield's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Friend/Foe] Cleansers of the Plague

    First, a link to something you may want to include: Detect Plague (no sense having you reinvent the wheel ).

    Second - the Cleanser drone - wow is he tough! May want a lower power version so lower level parties can play as well.

    Aren't DCs for acid or poison from constructs usually Cha based, not Wisdom?
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    Vampire Ninja Death Squirrel by Jacklu
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Mann View Post
    Frankly, we're a bunch of nerds here, and we like to argue.
    Tosk, Ogre Ranger
    Grishak, Blue Psion Nomad
    Otheym, Warforged Ashworm Dragoon

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Friend/Foe] Cleansers of the Plague

    Monkeyed with the Drone to make it weaker and slightly tweaked the Controller to make it tougher. Used your suggestion of Detect Plague (Controllers still get to detect in an area). Further suggestions helpful.
    Winnar of the Friend or Foe Design Contest (entry), Best Overall, Best Fitting ToB Setting, Staff Choice and Rookie. w00t!

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Friend/Foe] Cleansers of the Plague

    Back into the fray with sample encounters. One more thing and it's ready for submission.
    Winnar of the Friend or Foe Design Contest (entry), Best Overall, Best Fitting ToB Setting, Staff Choice and Rookie. w00t!

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