Thursday, 23 August 2018

Adrift on the Night's Black Sea: Armatures

Somehow, I've gotten myself roped into running another game. It seems one of my Star Wars pitches was too appealing to pass up:

"The Solemnis took flight to the stars 200 years ago. Designed to transport a self-sustaining population to a new world, she held the combined knowledge and the most advanced technology of her homeworld.

Many of Solemnis' systems have failed irreparably over time, including navigation. No communications have been received from the homeworld in over a century, and the original crew are long dead. Their descendants debate on the fate of the vessel, and conflict is about to flare."

The group have requested that I run this using Lamentations of the Flame Princess, as that's what they're familiar with. I've also chosen to incorporate Raggi's playtest ideas in Eldritch Cock, as they're awesome.

So, the game is going to take place on a huge warp-capable generation ship that has lost contact with its homeworld and has suffered steady degradation over centuries, both mechanical and in a societal sense. No one really understands how the ship works any more, navigation and other functions have failed irreparably, and the original crew (now several generations down the line) has divided into factions vying for control of the vessel. I'm thinking Lost in Space-meets-40k-meets-Foundation, lots of tech-mysticism, societal collapse and weird space-horror shit, with a smattering of retro-futurism thrown in for good measure.

I'll be using Dan's ideas on O'Neill cylinders to design the Solemnis - I have an idea for a cluster of O'Neill cylinders rotating around the central command structure and engines. Travel between the different areas will be dangerous and different compartments will have wildly different biomes, technology levels and cultures. Underneath it all is old archaeotech from the Old World that no one understands but everyone wants.

The new LotFP playtest rules don't contain any material on demihumans, and I'm fine with that. I generally like running human-PC-only games as it helps me enhance the other-ness of demihumans. Also a vaguely sci-fi settings means I can have some weird aliens, mutants, and trans/post-human NPCs for them to encounter. However, to add a bit of variety I thought I'd add a robot-type class for my PCs to use. Enter, armatures.

Credit, Amir Zand

As I mentioned above, the current inhabitants don't really understand how the advanced systems of the Solemnis work and rely on rote dogma for maintenance tasks. This includes the fabrication system, which sometimes ejects artificial beings into the habitats. These beings don't really understand what they're doing either, but have a vague idea of some purpose they were designed for. These beings are known as armatures and are generally humanoid in form, but often sport bizarre  and sometimes contradictory characteristics.

Class: Armature

You were created for a purpose. What that is, you’re not exactly sure. No two of you are exactly alike, although the mindless shells that perform rote tasks around the Solemnis clearly share a similar mindset. You’re different, though. Your sinews of plasteel and nerves of nanofilament mark you out from the organic passengers of the Solemnis, and your individual thoughts and desires distinguish you from your artificial brethren. What lies ahead?

Class Features:
  • Roll your stats normally, then roll randomly for locomotion, function, and design quirk. Adjust stats and abilities accordingly.
  • You self-repair at the same rate of healing as an organic, but the Tech skill applies to treatment in place of Medicine. Medicines and stims won’t work on you, but neither will poisons or most toxins.
  • You don’t need to eat or breathe. You only ‘sleep’ for 4 hours.

Credit, Jakub Rebelka

Locomotion (1d8):
  1. Insectile Legs: You scuttle around on a number of multi-jointed legs with gripping feet. You make all Climb rolls with advantage when not in Zero-G.
  2. Quadruped: Your torso emerges from a four-legged chassis. You count as being mounted at all times, ignoring the ranged penalty. You can climb normally, but slowly.
  3. Tracks: You clatter about on a set of treads. You move at full speed when navigating difficult terrain, but large obstacles can block your passage. You make Climb rolls with disadvantage.
  4. Wings: A pair of vibrating gossamer wings sprout from your shoulders. You can fly at your normal speed, but it takes an action to take off. 
  5. Bipedal: No special effects.
  6. Bipedal: No special effects.
  7. Bipedal: No special effects.
  8. Bipedal: No special effects.

Function (1d12):
  1. Peacekeeper: In-built armour plating grants you +2 base AC.
  2. Cargo Loader: Gain +2 STR.
  3. Medical: Gain +1 to your Medicine skill.
  4. Astrogation: Gain +2 INT.
  5. Hydroponics: Gain +1 to your Survival skill.
  6. EVA: Take advantage on all Climb rolls when in Zero-G.
  7. Psi-Monitor: Gain +2 CHA. You are aware of Psionic Powers used within 100’.
  8. Maintenance: Gain +1 to your Tech skill.
  9. ICE-Host: Gain +1 to your Data skill.
  10. Protocol: Gain +1 to your Etiquette skill.
  11. Analysis: Gain +1 to your Science skill.
  12. Navigation: Gain +1 to your Pilot skill.

Design Quirk (1d20):
  1. Multispectrum Vision: You can see in the dark and have a 1-in-6 chance to detect invisible objects/creatures.
  2. Inertial Compensators: You can fall 20’ instead of 10’ before suffering damage.
  3. Charge Capacitors: Enemies who attack you in melee must Save or suffer 1 damage.
  4. 360° Vision: You can see all around you and are only surprised on a 1-in-6.
  5. Afterburner: You can dash a distance equal to double your movement rate but can’t move for 1d6 Rounds afterwards. Charges made with this deal triple damage.
  6. Targeting Laser: You can mark an exposed target as an action. Your ranged attacks against this target are made with advantage, and you will always hit them when firing into melee (unless you fail your hit roll). This ends if you make any other action or if the target moves to cover.
  7. Revenant Protocols: When reduced to 0HP or less you may act normally for an extra Round before losing consciousness.
  8. Babel Library: You make all Language & Culture skill rolls with advantage.
  9. Animus Cells: You heal at twice the normal rate.
  10. Mechadendrites: You have mechanical tentacles instead of arms. They can fit into tight spaces and you take advantage on all grappling rolls.
  11. Sub-assembly: You can detach one of your arms and give it a set of instructions, i.e. pull this lever, hold this object until X happens etc. It will interpret your instructions quite literally.
  12. HAZMAT: You can store toxins and poisons in internal reservoirs and project them at a target. You can store one projection’s-worth at a time.
  13. Heat Shield: You make all saves to resist heat and flame effects with advantage.
  14. Luminous: You can project a beam of light as bright as a torch for a number of hours equal to your Level.
  15. Quantum Manipulation: Gain +1 Luck.
  16. Extra Arm: You have an additional arm. Nice one.
  17. Smokescreen: Once per day per level as a regular action you can project a cloud of thick smoke that covers a 50’ area, obscuring all within from sight.
  18. Alacrity Fibres: Once per day per level, as a free action, you may declare that you act first in initiative order. If you attack, make the attack roll with advantage. You must Save after your turn or suffer 1d8 damage.
  19. Chameleoline Skin: If you stand perfectly still you can blend in with your surroundings. Some things may still be able to sense your presence.
  20. Holdout Compartment: There is a small compartment concealed somewhere on your body. It can hold an object the size of a handgun and will defeat all but the most thorough investigations.


  1. I look forward to seeing what else boils out of this demented ether.

  2. you could add snake like movement and add some sort of climb or maybe constrict ability.
    Ideas i know less what to do with, hover chassis, or snail like form.


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