Thursday, 2 March 2017

Savage Shadowrun Second Edition version 0.9 released!

Savage Shadowrun Second Edition Release 0.9 is here!

It has been some time since the last release, and a lot of work has been done on Savage Shadowrun SE in the meantime. The main focus of this update is the Matrix chapter, which now comes with even faster rules for having the Decker run the Matrix and break into systems at the table, without the rest of the group having the time to order and eat pizza!
A few adjustments have also been made in the Magic chapter, and some cyberware and equipment has been reworked. Check the changelog below for all major changes.

You can find the updated PDFs in the usual place, in normal, printer friendly light, and printer friendly versions. But wait, there's more! For all of you who want that extra bit of crystal-clear resolution there's now a 300dpi version of the PDF!
Also, if you missed the post on Google+, there is now a rudimentary character sheet available, both in normal and printer friendly versions. You can find them with the Companion PDFs.

Enjoy the shadows, chummers!


The changelog for V0.9:

Overall:

-Name
Since Savage Shadowrun Second Edition does not provide any setting information which is not needed to explain the new rules and/or mechanics, it has been renamed to a Companion instead of a Conversion.

-Corrections
A ton of small errors (grammar, spelling, etc.) has been corrected

Character Creation:

-Contacts
Contacts and the Connections Edge are now seperate again. Contacts represent single persons a Shadowrunner knows and may call upon for help and usually has to pay.
The Connections Edge represent a group which can help the Shadowrunner.

-Assenssing
This is no longer a seperate skill. Astrally perceiving/projecting characters now use Notice.

-Hacking
The Hacking skill has been renamed to Decking.

Magic:

-Backlash
Reordered Magic Backlash into the setting rules, expanded the rules, and clarified Drain damage.

-Summoning
Elementals now only require an action to summon instead of a few hours, but Mages require a source of the respective element when summoning them.

-Foci
Foci are now bound individually with Edges.
Spell Foci give a bonus to a specific power and now act like Trademark Weapon.
Power Foci give a general Spellcasting bonus, but come at the price of additional potential for disaster.
Weapon and Sustaining Foci remain unchanged in their function, but are now also bound individually with Edges.

-Ki Adept Powers
Many powers have been reworked to reduce redundancy with existing Edges and reduce overal complexity.

Matrix:

-Initiative
Initiative in the Matrix has been clarified and reworked. There are no longer boosters which would be redundant to existing Edges.

-Cyberdecks
Prices have been adjusted.

-Utilities
Utilities have been completely overhauled. They no longer have an individual rating and now come at a flat price. They now provide the Decker with the capabilities of certain skills in the Matrix (Fighting, Stealth, Persuasion, Notice), or useful tools (Decrypt, Armour, and more). In any case the Decker rolls their Decking Skill, the Utility now simply enables them to do so in the respective situation.

-Actions in the Matrix
These have been reworked accordingly to the new Utilities. Matrix actions now largely work like real-world skills to make the Matrix more easy to get into for players.

Gear:

-Cyberware
Some cyberware has been reworked to remove redundancies to existing Edges and/or reduce overall complexity. For example, Wired Reflexes no longer copy the Level Headed Edge, but grant a flat bonus to Agility rolls when trying to interrupt an opponent on their turn.

-Equipment
Some equipment has been reworked to reduce overall complexity.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

History of my DIY Bennies - the road so far

I have been making custom Bennies pretty much from the start of my Savage Worlds "career". Right now I am able to produce Bennies tailored to every game I want to play in or run, but the road to get here has been a long one. Let me tell you the story of my making custom Bennies from the beginning.

The very first Bennies I used weren't actually something I'd call "custom Bennies". They were simple glass beads, which I sorted by colour and assigned one to each player. I got them from Amazon, in a big bag of mixed form beads.
They served their purpose, but they didn't really add anything to the game. They were markers for a meta-resource used in the game we played, not props helping us to immerse ourselves better in the universe we were playing in. I wanted to get some nice-looking Bennies, but the official ones were impossible to get in Germany for reasonable amounts of money. So I had to get creative.

The first step on the road to the great Bennies I bring to the table now was a rather small one. I had bought wooden disks to use as markers on a battlemap, about 1 inch in diameter. Through a lucky coincidence I found out there were sticker sheets available, pre-cut with circular cuts, which fit those disks. These became my first true custom Bennies, made for Savage Warhammer 40k (Dark Heresy) and Savage Deus Ex games. They had some big problems, though. As you can see, the Imperial Crest isn't truly centred, and there's a black line going through the cyberpunk Benny.

This happened because the sticker sheet came with an MS Word document to align the images on the page to where the pre-cuts were on the sheet, but they didn't truly align, no matter how I modified the printer settings or which way I inserted the paper. The idea was sound, but using the pre-cut sheets clearly didn't work for what I wanted to do.

The next step saw two major changes. First I changed from the wooden disks to actual poker chips. Those I could also buy in bulk, and they came blank. They also had an inner diameter of exactly 1 inch, which was perfect, as I could buy a circular 1-inch-diameter paper punch tool. Now I was able to freely design motives for the Bennies, print them onto full-sized sticker sheets, cut them myself and apply them on the poker chips. I used this method for a long time, producing Bennies for games I ran (Deadlands Reloaded, Savage Rifts), and games I played in (Saga of the Goblin Horde).



This worked well, but after a while I got frustrated with the plain look of the Bennies. Also the 1-inch print area proved to be rather limiting. I tackled these problems in two steps. The first step saw me switching to a different brand of poker chip, which came with a shiny surface and, luckily, a design that still fit the 1-inch cut prints perfectly.

While this improved the visual aspect of the Bennies, I still wasn't happy. By another lucky coincidence I stumbled across a paper punch tool with a diameter exactly equal to the inner area of the new brand of poker chips, 1.25-inch in diameter. I experimented with this new tool and the result was stunning in difference:


I lost the shiny border around the smaller 1-inch print, but I gained an incredible amount of area to put the actual Benny image on. I quickly started to replace my older Bennies with new ones, with better designs now that I had so much more area to work with.



This is my de-facto standard for producing custom Bennies right now. I am very happy with the outcome. They handle like poker chips, and if it wasn't for my cheap inkjet I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between mine and official Bennies.

If you want to produce high-quality custom Bennies for your own games, please watch this video I made explaining the whole process. You will also find links to the tools I use in the video's description: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4J8ZLa-Iuc

Friday, 28 October 2016

All Hallows' Thief


Halloween, Halloween
Strangest sights I’ve ever seen,
Corporate Goons, stealthy Drones,
Mercs and Gangers,
Warfare Zones.
Halloween, Halloween
Deadliest I’ve ever seen!

This PDF brings you an adventure framework to run for your Interface Zero 2.0, Daring Tales of the Sprawl, Savage Shadowrun, or any other urban setting game. It assumes a more gritty dystopian tone, but it could be run in a modern setting as well.
Strictly speaking it is not a Savage Worlds One Sheet, as there are no stat blocks or mechanical passages in it. Instead All Hallows' Thief provides you with an overview of the situation, the important NPCs, and the main location. Due to this generic approach the GM will have to adapt it for their respective games, but this being Savage Worlds it should be easy to do so.
So what is it about? A stolen piece of art, a desperate art thief and his double-crossing fence, a ruthless gang, the Yakuza, and a band of player characters smack dab in the middle of it all. The tricks are high stakes and the treats may either be a fat paycheck, or a bullet with the character's name on it.

You can find All Hallows' Thief here (PDF):

Monday, 26 September 2016

The Saga of the Goblin Horde continues

A few months ago I had the great pleasure of being able to sit down with my girlfriend as players and enjoy a game of Saga of the Goblin Horde, run by non other than its creator, Richard "Zadmar" Woolcock. Last Saturday Richard once again offered to run his brainchild, this time for the monthly gathering of Munich's roleplayers. Not only were my girlfriend and I able to join his game again, but I also got to add to the game with some props! Table tents, paper minis, status tokens, and of course custom Bennies.
This time there were not two, but six players (a new record for Richard). Due to the Setting Rules of SotGH, this meant not 6 but 30 creatures under player control on the field! Of course this being Savage Worlds, it handled nicely and we got two fights done that day, not to mention all the other great stuff! But I get ahead of myself.







I will talk about the mechanics first, and then give my impression how it translated into narrative and fun at the table.

The players chose from the SotGH archetypes published so far plus one quick addition (the Goblin Princess), so the gang-bosses setting out to wreak havoc upon the humans were the River Goblin, Goblin Scout, Goblin Pyromancer, Goblin Psionicist, Goblin Wolf Rider, and the Goblin Princess.
We had roughly 7 hours available to us, so Richard opted to run two adventures back to back: Dungeon Squat and Pub Crawl.

Dungeon Squat is a refreshing take on the typical dungeon exploration session. Instead of being the ones clearing the dungeon, here the goblins are the land lords... and pretty pissed at the invading humans! Problem is, there's a lot of the invaders, so what to do...?
Richard devised a simple and quick answer to that question. The goblins seeded the cave with traps, which came in the form of custom made cards, each representing a trap to be prepared by the goblins. Each trap had a corresponding skill assigned to it, and was prepared by the goblins scouting the cave for fitting trap locations - Notice rolls; these rolls would provide a modifier for when the trap was actually sprung (-2 for critical failure, -1 for failure, +0 for success, +1 for each raise.).

Mechanics: Thus prepared we awaited the arrival of the humans. Expecting cowardly borderland goblins and some quick loot, they had no idea what they were walking into. Each player had been assigned two traps, according to their goblin's skills (the cards were drawn randomly by the players, but afterwards could be freely exchanged, as long as every player had two cards in the end). To release a trap, the player chose a human to inflict it upon and rolled the corresponding skill noted on the trap card.
Players were dealt cards from the action deck to determine their order of play. Also, a clubs card meant some kind of complication, which should be narrated, and inflicted a -2 on the trap skill roll. The result of the trap skill roll inflicted either damage to the goblin, their target, or both (Critical Failure: Suffer 4d6 damage; Failure: Suffer 3d6 damage; Success: Suffer 2d6 damage. The adventurer suffers 2 wounds; Raise: The adventurer suffers 2 wounds and loses their Bennies; also each killed adventurer netted the killer goblin's player a Benny).
After the last trap was sprung we switched to tactical combat on a battlemap and charged the remaining adventurers and their henchmen. I believe we outright killed three of them, and severly wounded a few more. This helped a lot, but of course some goblin flunkies still died for the greater good. To quote Izzy Toecutter, "Shit happens." 10 Wildcard Adventurers and their 12 henchmen walked into that cave. Only the bard lived, because we willed it so (order from the big chief, somebody had to tell the tale to the other humans and all that). The tactical battle went quick and fluid, despite the huge number of minis.

Narrative: We started at the main Redfang Tribe encampment, where we received our orders from Chief Bignose: the humans are getting bolder and need to be taught a lesson! Ambush them, make our point, then go and burn down their meeting places for adventurers so no more will come... "taverns" or whatever the humans call them.
Travelling to the ambush site took about a day, and interludes were used to give out some initial bennies and share some nice (ahem) stories about love, tragedy, victories, and desires. The archetypes provide great hooks for this, and the tales told by the players began to set the mood.
When we arrived at the cave where we were supposed to take on the humans, the local borderland goblins had funny ideas about our presence. What ideas we will never know, because Maeson Crispyface blasted the leader and second-in-command of the borderland goblins in the face. With fireballs. That shut them up and the Redfang goblins got to work.
The trap card mechanic was an awesome way to handle a trapped dungeon, and it made the narration easy and lots of fun! Describing how our traps inflicted horror upon horror on the clueless human invaders had the whole table roaring with cheer and laughter time and time again. During a campaign game the cards could be used simply as pointers, to let the players come up with their own ideas, but for a one-shot game it was perfect. Everybody couldn't get to their turn fast enough to narrate more pain and suffering onto the hapless humans.
The big fight afterwards was a great bowl of laughter, mayhem, and many confused dying humans. Some players actually narrated the use of leftovers of the sprung traps in the fights. As per our orders, we let the bard live to tell the tale. Skally Finback really wanted a song to be sung about him, but the terrified bard couldn't hold a note. Probably for the best.







Pub Crawl is an adventure which can be run stand-alone, but ties in neatly after Dungeon Squat. Not content with the annihilation of the adventuring party, the goblins set out to teach the humans a lesson in humility. The objective was to destroy the three taverns in the nearby town.

Mechanics: Another interlude brought some more Bennies during the travel to the town, and a run-in with a guard patrol was resolved with Quick Combat. Afterwards simple sneak rolls got the goblins successfully into town.
Tavern #1 was a very new building, made from wood. The Goblin Psionicist mind-controlled a patron to start a fight, which provided enough distraction so that the Goblin Pyromancer could get to work, and the wooden tavern didn't stand a chance.
Tavern #2 saw the beginning of rainfall, so simply fireballing it was no option, but collapsing it from underneath via a Stealth and aceing Strength Check by the River Goblin did the trick just fine.
Tavern #3 was partially built over water. At this point the guards were alerted and the patrons had barred some of the doors. This was fought as a tactical combat, followed by a Dramatic Task to break the wooden support beams in the water and collapse the whole tavern into the river. The Goblin Princess had it done by round 3, without breaking a sweat. Yes, she's scary like that.
Following the collapse of the tavern, every guard and armed human in town set out to hunt the goblins down! A Chase ensued, with the goblins riding a stolen tavern down the river, with many humans in hot pursuit by horse on the riverbanks and boats on the river. The chase concluded with the tavern reaching the waterfalls, were the goblins showed the blessing of the luck of the brave, and the few humans who actually made it to the bottom of the fall alive were quickly dispatched via Quick Combat.

Narrative: By now the players had a good grasp on interludes and some more tales were told. Ambushing the guard patrol was a lot of fun... well, for the goblins. Our humour is lost on humans, I guess. The raid on tavern #1 went smoothly. The Goblin Psionicist mind-controlled a patron and tried to start a fight. His friends, assuming to poor fellow simply had a few ales too many, tried to restrain him. Meanwhile, the Goblin Pyromancer snuck through the kitchen, grabbed a few heavy items, entered the bar room, and smashed a whole wall of bottled spirits. A fireball later the patrons were running for their lives, the tavern caught fire quickly, and the goblins continued on through town.
Tavern #2 wouldn't go down that easily (or so we thought). Built from stone and with rain setting in, this could have been a problem, but the River Goblin spotted the partially broken support columns in the tavern's cellar, and went to break them down. Meanwhile, spotting a roaring tavern brawl happening in the tavern, the Goblin Princess didn't want to miss out on the fun and joined the brawl... with her sword. The ensuing chaos and panic alerted the guards, but also gave the River Goblin enough time and distraction to finish crushing one support column, and down the second tavern went.
Tavern #3 proved a more difficult target. Build partially over the river, it too had support columns as a weak point, but these were massive and underwater. The River Goblin scouted ahead, and determined they could be collapsed if pulled by a rope strong enough. Problem was, the only place to apply the right angle of leverage was inside the tavern, where a bunch of alerted sailors had barred some of the doors and were prepared for a fight.
The goblin gang leaders shrugged and sent their flunkies to break down the doors. A fight wasn't a hindrance to them, it was entertainment! Not so much for the goblin flunkies who got beaten to death by the sailors and other patrons of the tavern - which in the end did make absolutely no difference. Wading through the blood of slain humans the goblins fixed ropes to the support columns and pulled them clean apart. Well, the Goblin Princess did, for the most part.
The tavern roared into the river, a broken building now more resembling a very strange raft stocked with ale and spirits. The goblins rode their loot down the river, pursued by humans in boats and on horses. A mind-controlled ballista took out the more heavy defences, the Goblin Scout sent arrow after arrow into the pursuers, the River Goblin was death from below incarnate, and the Goblin Pyromancer couldn't stop swearing because everything was just too bloody wet!


This chase led the goblins on their tavern-raft along the river, straight to and down the waterfalls. The Goblin Princess of course travelled in style - inside an empty keg. By luck and skill all goblins made it to the bottom of the falls without major injuries, but all gang leaders were running dangerously low on flunkies. Luckily only a few humans had followed them down the waterfall (probably because they couldn't turn their boats around in time). A few well-placed fireballs, arrows, and bites took care of that problem.
Mission accomplished! And some nice loot to show off in the Redfang camp. Satisfied with their work the goblins set out on the journey home.

Conclusion: Richard not only has a knack for interesting new mechanics, he also uses the existing core mechanics in fun ways that tie in neatly with the narrative. He tends to run games favouring the mechanical side of Savage Worlds (which I like a lot), but it never bogs down the narrative! Instead it provides a great base for telling epic stories and ties in perfectly with his lively descriptions of scenery and NPC/PC actions.

Saga of the Goblin Horde provides a rich environment to play not-average goblins. The archetypes are well thought-out, quick to pick up, and fun to play. The adventures allow you to explore well-known situations in fantasy games through a refreshing new perspective. If you haven't already, check out the SotGH one-sheets Richard published so far!

Final Verdict: 5/5 dead goblin flunkies, would plunder again!

Monday, 8 August 2016

Savaging Settings: Starcraft Broodwar - The Zerg


Few games have made an impact on the gaming world as huge as the Starcraft series. Mostly known for its demanding competitive aspects, the Starcraft games also feature a rich history of an entire cluster of worlds, explored in detail not only through the main game storyline, but through novels, online publications, art-books, developer commentary, and many other sources.

While it may seem limiting in its scope at first, being an RTS game which focuses almost exclusively on the military side of things, the Starcraft universe offers a playground for almost any kind of RPG campaign one can imagine.
This series of Savaging Settings postings will explore each of the three main races of the Starcraft universe from a mechanical side, offer stats, setting rules, and descriptions, and will conclude with an entry about adventures and campaigns. This series will focus on the original Starcraft games, Starcraft and Starcraft: Broodwar. Supplements for the changes and units introduced with Starcraft II may follow at a later time.
I will kick of this voyage with my favourite race:

The Zerg

Surfacing to the public eye in 2499 on the backwater colony world of Chau Sara, the Zerg quickly establish themselves to be a terrifying enemy, a writhing and mutating plague of biblical proportions. Hunted mercilessly by both Protoss and Terrans, the Swarm nevertheless manages to conquer and infest a large number of planets, including the Protoss home-planet of Aiur. Controlled by the Overmind, the Zerg Cerebrates and queens carry its will throughout known (and unknown) space, guiding the Swarm broods towards their goal. The exact nature of that goal is unknown. The Swarm broods seem to attack anything in their way, with only conquest and assimilation on their collective minds.

Live for the Swarm!

Wherever the Zerg go, they infest all living things, assimilate them into their fold to adept to new territories and further the Swarms strife towards perfection. Upon arriving on a new planet a Zerg brood first establishes a hive cluster, a base of operations from where they spread further. Hive clusters consist of buildings, although the term is used lightly. Zerg buildings are their own living, breathing entities, and not all of them are immobile.
Zerg Hatchery
In the beginning of a hive cluster's existence, there is only a single hatchery. This central building spawns larvae, small creatures capable of mutating into any Zerg required by the hive cluster. While transforming into another form, a larva is protected by an egg. Despite their fragile looks, these eggs are capable of withstanding almost any natural and man-made dangers, making a Zerg infestation very hard to eradicate, as the eggs can survive under pretty much any environmental condition.
A Zerg hatchery also functions as a nexus point for the spread of creep. Zerg creep is a thick carpet of organic matter, completely blanketing the area of Zerg activity. Not only does it serve as a foundation for Zerg buildings, it also allows the swarm to move around quickly, supply its buildings and troops with nutrition, and also functions as a kind of warning system. Cerebrates and queens are aware of anything that happens on their hive cluster's creep. Sneaking up on Zerg, difficult under most circumstances, is all but impossible on creep without highly specialised gear... and even then only when there are no Overlords around.
As the needs of the Swarm increase, more buildings are added to the growing hive cluster. These allow the Zerg to access different strains of their vast DNA repository and morph the larvae into different Zerg forces.

Setting Rules

Zerg are vicious aliens, driven by a single intellect of seemingly limitless capabilities. They have evolved over countless generations, assimilating and mutating benevolent strains of traits from creatures across the galaxies. They are, in the most literal sense of the words, a well oiled organic machine bred for war.

Creep Dwellers
The creep provides nutrition, biofeedback, and shelter to all Zerg. While on or above creep, all Zerg make a Natural Healing roll every hour. Zerg buildings regenerate as per the GMs discretion. Creep also allows Zerg for significantly easier movement. All Zerg ground forces increase their Pace by 2 while on creep.

Fearless, not entirely mindless
Only a fracture of Zerg actually possess self-awareness. The mindless broods are controlled by these nodes of the Swarm intellect: Cerebrates, Brood Queens, and Overlords, all of which in turn are under direct control of the Overmind. When not under direct control, Zerg resort to a sort of hive mind. Zerg units receive a +2 bonus to recover from being Shaken when within 5" of another Zerg creature or building.

Infiltration Masters
All Zerg ground forces have the ability to burrow themselves in all but the densest of materials. Even man-made concrete poses little hindrance for their digging abilities. Zerg ground forces may burrow and hide underground. They can't move while burrowed and receive a +2 bonus to Stealth rolls.

Unbound Travellers
Zerg air units are able to leave a planet's atmosphere and gravity field by means unknown. In space they must be supplied nutrition by Overlords.

DNA Weavers
During their crusade amongst the stars the Zerg encountered and assimilated countless creatures, adding their DNA to the Zerg's repository. This allows them to mutate their units as needed for any given environment or situation, at frightening speed. There are possible mutations provided for certain Zerg creatures. These may or may not apply to the encountered Zerg forces as per the GM's discretion.

Zerg Units

Ground Forces:


Cerebrates and the Overmind
Controlling the innumerable broods isn't an easy task, not even for a being as powerful as the Overmind. It created the Cerebrates, huge worm-like creatures of immense psionic power, who in term each control a brood. These broods are often specialised to perform a specific task, or provide highly refined versions of Zerg creatures. The Cerebrates in turn rely on Brood Queens and Overlords to control their forces. The flesh of a Cerebrate may be slain, but unless such an attack is carried out with a very specific type of damage the Cerebrate will regenerate within mere hours. Only during the Brood War was it revealed that the Protoss' Dark Templar possess the power to ultimately kill a Cerebrate. I will not provide stats for the Overmind and its Cerebrates, as both are plot devices and possess psionic power beyond the scope of any character.


Eggs and Larvae
The live of any given Zerg creature starts as a larva, grown in a hatchery. From there the hive mind chooses what is needed for the given situation and the larva is encased by an egg, only to be reborn as the required Zerg. Larvae are truly mindless, they are only capable of crawling a short distance, feeding from the creep, and transforming into an egg. The egg itself is surprisingly durable. It has a Toughness of 20 (10).




Drone
The Drone is the basic worker of the Zerg broods. Drones collect resources too sturdy to be directly absorbed by creep, and mutate into buildings. Fully grown drones measure around 150 centimetres.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4(Z), Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d4
Skills: Fighting d4, Notice d6
Pace: 6, Parry: 4, Toughness: 6 (2)
Special Abilities:
Armour +2: Carapace Armour
Claws: Str + d4, AP 1
Floating: Drones hover slightly above the ground and ignore most difficult terrain
Metamorphosis: When supplied with enough nourishment, a drone may metamorph itself into any Zerg structure required by the Swarm. With the exception of a hatchery this requires creep.


Zergling
Zerglings are the Swarm's scouts and trackers. They are the vanguard of a Zerg invasion, adept at locating prey and remaining unseen until it is too late. The Zergling in itself is a capable warrior, but easily felled by a trained force. Unfortunately for most defenders, Zerglings seldom appear alone. They usually travel in small to large groups before the actual invasion, and are grown in uncountable numbers during the fighting. Zerglings grow stunningly fast and reach a size of about 180 centimetres head to tail-end.
Zergling with Metabolic Boost ("Speedling")
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4(Z), Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Climbing d6, Notice d8, Stealth d8, Survival d8, Tracking d8
Pace: 6, Parry: 6, Toughness: 7 (2)
Special Abilities:
Armour +2: Carapace Armour
Claws: Str + d6, AP 2
Low Light Vision: Zergling eyes adapt easily to low-light conditions. They ignore penalties for Dim and Dark Lighting.
Possible Mutations:
Metabolic Boost: the Zergling gains the Fleet-Footed Edge
Adrenal Glands: the Zergling gains the Improved Frenzy Edge and their damage becomes Heavy Damage


Hydralisk
The Hydralisk is often used as the symbol of the Swarm's power and bloodlust. Evolved from traits gathered from peaceful herbivores, these ruthless creatures are not even a shadow of their former existence. Used in huge numbers as spearhead and shock troops, Hydralisks are found in every engagement. Despite their snake-like appearance, they move with ease across any terrain. Their main weapon, sharp needle spines, are propelled by muscle force alone and are able to penetrate surprisingly thick armour.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6(Z), Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8

Skills: Climbing d8, Fighting d8, Notice d6, Shooting d8, Tracking d6
Pace: 6, Parry: 6, Toughness: 12 (4)
Special Abilities:
Size +2: Hydralisks grow up to 6 meters tall
Armour +4: Carapace Armour
Claws: Str + d6 AP 2
Needle Spines: Damage 2d8 + 1, RoF 1, Range 24/48/96, AP 4
Possible Mutations:
Muscular Augments: increases Pace to 8
Grooved Spines: increases Needle Spines range to 30/60/120


Lurker
Lurkers are not created from larvae, but mutate directly out of Hydralisks. They bare little to no resemblance to their former form, as Lurkers are only able to attack at a vastly reduced range and only when buried. Their spines shoot out in waves to the surface, inflicting heavy damage to everything in their path that is not Zerg. While Lurkers are very hard to detect when buried, they are all but defenceless against melee attacks.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6(Z), Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8

Skills: Fighting d4, Notice d6, Shooting d8, Tracking d6
Pace: 6, Parry: 4, Toughness: 12 (4)
Special Abilities:
Size +2: Lurkers grow up to 6 meters tall
Armour +4: Carapace Armour
Needle Spine Waves: like the Burst power, AP 6, used with Shooting.


 Ultralisk
These towering hulks of muscle and razer-sharp bone-blades are the pinnacle of Zerg ferocity. Bred as siege-breakers, there is little in the known systems to slow an Ultralisk down, let alone stop it in its tracks. Dwarfing even Terran tanks, Ultralisks are capable of taking out entire units of Terran Marines with one swoop of their giant tusks. Even tank-armour is little more than an annoyance to this beast.


Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4(Z),
Spirit d8, Strength d12+4, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d10, Intimidation d8, Notice d6
Pace: 6, Parry: 7, Toughness: 46 (30)
Special Abilities:
Size +9: Ultralisks tower over most tanks
Gargantuan: Attackers add +4 to their Fighting or Shooting rolls when attacking an Ultralisk due to its massive size. Ultralisks may only be damaged by Heavy Weapons.
Armour +30: Carapace Armour, counts as Heavy Armour
Claws: Str + d10, AP 30, HW
Improved Sweep: claws as long as a truck and a surprising mobility make the area around an Ultralisk a death-zone
Redundant Organs: Ultralisks ignore Wound Modifiers when soaking damage.
Possible Mutations:
Anabolic Synthesis: Increases Pace to 8
Chitinous Plating: Raises Armour to +40


Defiler
Just like the name suggests, Defilers are bringers of pestilence and death wherever they go. Acting as a harassment and support unit, the Defiler has little means to directly defend itself on the battlefield, but can be devastating to enemy formations. Unleashed on civilian populations without protection, a single one of these creatures is able to eradicate whole colonies.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8(Z), Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d4, Survival d6
Pace: 6, Parry: 4, Toughness: 12 (4)
Special Abilities:
Size +2: Defilers grow up to 5 meters long
Armour +4: Carapace Armour
Defiler Abilities: Defilers use Smarts to cast their Spell-abilities and have 15 Power Points
Consume: the Defiler may consume another Zerg creature to immediately regain 3 + Size Power Points
Dark Swarm: The Defiler is able to cast Obscure with a range of Smarts x 5 and with an LBT. This is a large cloud of stinking mists, filled with tiny gnawing creatures.
Metasynaptic Processes: Defilers gain the Rapid Recharge Edge while burrowed
Possible Mutations:
Plague: Fast-acting carcinoma with incredibly high infection rates grow directly on the Lurker, which it is able to eject via poisonous clouds. It has the Blast power with either Acid or Disease trapping (it may choose the trapping every time it casts Plague). The disease is Long-Term Chronic, Major Debilitating.


Air Units:


Overlord
The flying Overlords are the backbone of the Overmind's control over the Swarm. While not as powerful as the Brood Queens, Overlords make up for their lack of abilities through sheer numbers. They act as relays for the Overmind's psionic signals to the broods, and, depending on their DNA strain, as fast mobile detectors and troop transporters.
Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d12, Vigor d10
Skills: Notice d10, Tracking d8
Pace: -, Parry: 2, Toughness: 21 (4)
Special Abilities:
Flight: Overlords have a Flying Pace of 4 and a Climb of 0. They may not run.
Size +10: Overlords are immensely huge creatures, capable of lifting up such large beasts as Ultralisks.
Huge: Attackers add +4 to their Fighting or Shooting rolls when attacking an Overlord due to its massive size.
Armour +4: Carapace Armour; counts as Heavy Armour.
Detector: Overlords ignore up to 6 points of penalties when searching for creatures (including penalties for invisibility).
Possible Mutations:
Ventral Sacks: Allows the Overlord to transport ground forces.
Pneumatized Carapace: The Overlord's Flying Pace increases to 6. They may now run.


 Brood Queen
Psionicly connected to the Cerebrates, Brood Queens are powerful nodes of the Overmind's will. They are able to directly control vast numbers of Zerg, and their more direct abilities make them a feared sight on any battlefield.
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d10, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Notice d8, Shooting d10, Tracking d8
Pace: -, Parry: 2, Toughness: 16 (4)
Special Abilities:
Flight: Brood Queens have a Flying Pace of 8 and a Climb of 1.
Size +6: Fully grown Brood Queens are about as big as an adult elephant.
Large: Attackers add +2 to their Fighting or Shooting rolls when attacking a Brood Queen due to its large size.
Armour +4: Carapace Armour
Infest Terran Building: Brood Queens may infest any Terran building they can safely approach. Civilians caught this way are then transformed into Infested Terrans.
Queen Abilities: Brood Queens use Shooting to cast their abilities. They have 25 Power Points.
Parasite: The Brood Queen launches a small parasite which attaches itself to any other unit the Brood Queen can see (Range 12/24/48). If the target is biological in nature this parasite bonds with the target and may only be removed by nano-tech medical equipment. This is a trapping of the Farsight Power and allows the Brood Queen to see through the attached parasite. The duration is extended to "1 hour (1/hour)".
Possible Mutations:
Ensnare: Allows the Brood Queen to cast the Entangle Power. The Brood Queen shoots globs of sticky slime at the target(s).
Spawn Broodling: Allows the Brood Queen to cast the Bolt Power. The Brood Queen launches a special parasite at the target, which burrows inside the target and consumes it from within. Should the target die from this ability, two Broodlings burst from the corpse and attack any non-Zerg creatures nearby.
Gamete Melosis: The Brood Queen's Power Points increase to 35.


Mutalisk
This winged menace usually appears in large swarms. Their screeching can be heard from far away and strikes terror into the hearts of those who know about Mutalisks. Their large bodies house strong muscles, able to spew glaive worms at terrifying speed. Leathery wings carry the Mutalisk across the battlefield. They are very agile, but slow to take up speed. A Mutalisk's blood is highly corrosive, dissecting specimen is at this point all but impossible.
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6(Z), Spirit d6, Strength d8,
Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d8, Shooting d8, Tracking d6
Pace: -, Parry: 5, Toughness: 11 (4)
Special Abilities:
Flight: Mutalisks have a Flying Pace of 6 and a Climb of 3.
Size +2: Mutalisks grow to up to 5 meters tall
Armour +4: Carapace Armour
Glaive Worms: Damage 2d8, RoF 1, Range 12/24/48, AP 4
Bouncing Projectiles: With a Raise on the Shooting roll the Mutalisk may also make a free attack against an additional target within 5" of the original target. This can happen a maximum of two times per round.
Acidic Blood: If a Mutalisk is killed by explosive means everyone under a MBT centered on the dead Mutalisk takes 2d6 AP 4 acid damage (other Mutalisks take the damage, but ignore the AP).
Minor Regenerative Abilities: Mutalisk Extras gain a +2 bonus on Vigor rolls to check if they are Incapacitated or dead after a fight.


 Devourer
These large flying beasts evolve directly out of Mutalisks. Devourers are heavy flyers, bred to take on enemy airborne forces. Most small craft don't even bother them and they are able to face Terran Battlecruisers heads-on. Their mutated anatomy prevents them from shooting at steep downwards angles, so they can't attack ground forces.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6(Z), Spirit d8, Strength d10,
Vigor d10
Skills: Notice d6, Shooting d10
Pace: -, Parry: 2, Toughness: 26 (15)
Special Abilities:
Flight: Devourers have a Flying Pace of 6 and a Climb 1.
Size +4: Devourers measure about 10 metres.
Large: Attackers add +2 to their Fighting or Shooting rolls when attacking a Devourer due to its large size.
Armour +15: Carapace Armour, counts as Heavy Armour.
Acidic Globs: Damage 3d8, RoF 1, Range 24/48/96, AP 20, HW
Acid Spores: When hit by the Devourer's Acidic Globs the armour of the target and all adjacent non-Zerg's units is reduced by 1. This effect stacks up to 10 times and lasts for the entire combat.


 Guardian
The Guardian is the second strain of large flying Zerg to mutate directly out of a Mutalisk. It evolved to complement the Devourer on the battlefield, as Guardians are bred to spit highly corrosive acid over huge distances onto ground forces. Their exact method of flight baffles scientists, as Guardian's have no wings. This seems to result in a rather slow movement. For some reason they are unable to use their ranged attack in space, although they are perfectly capable of space travel.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6(Z), Spirit d8, Strength d10,
Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d6, Shooting d10
Pace: -, Parry: 5, Toughness: 26 (15)
Special Abilities:
Flight: Guardians have a Flying Pace of 4 and a Climb 0.
Size +4: Guardians measure about 10 metres.
Large: Attackers add +2 to their Fighting or Shooting rolls when attacking a Guardian due to its large size.
Armour +15: Carapace Armour, counts as Heavy Armour.
Acidic Globs: Damage 3d8, RoF 1, Range 30/60/120, AP 20, HW


Scourge
Scourges are perhaps one of the most terrifying Zerg creatures. Not because of their physique, as Scourges are only about the size of a Zergling. They aren't very durable either. What makes them such fearsome organisms is their means of attack. Scourges descend onto their targets in swarms and trigger a biological chain-reaction inside their bodies, which ends with them detonating in a deadly cloud of carapace shrapnel and acidic plasma. Even a few hits from Scourges can take out a Terran Battlecruiser.
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4(Z), Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Stealth d8, Survival d8, Tracking d8
Pace: -, Parry: 2, Toughness: 7 (2)
Special Abilities:
Flight: Scourges have a Flying Pace of 8 and a Climb 3.
Armour +2: Carapace Armour
Plasma Metamorphosis: When a Scourge reaches its intended target it detonates itself. This attack automatically deals 3d8 AP 20 Heavy Damage in an SBT centred on the Scourge. This attack requires the Scourge to be airborne, so it doesn't work on ground targets.


Special Units:


Infested Terran
When a Brood Queen infests a Terran Building any humans still inside are caught and assimilated into the Swarm. These Infested Terrans are a terror to behold, clad in pieces of armour and covered by organic Zerg matter. Their personality is shredded by this experience, replaced by suicidal obedience to the Swarm. In rare cases the Swarm keeps a person's intellect intact to further the Swarm's goals. They retain all their memories and skills, but they are completely obedient and loyal to their new Zerg masters.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6(Z), Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Shooting d8
Pace: 8, Parry: 6, Toughness: 8 (2)
Special Abilities:
Armour +2: Carapace Armour
Plasma Metamorphosis: When an Infested Terran reaches its intended target it detonates itself. This attack automatically deals 3d8 AP 20 Heavy Damage in an SBT centred on the Infested Terran.


Broodling
Growing from flesh-eating parasites injected by Brood Queens into their unlucky targets, Broodlings are small in size, but driven by ferocious hunger and rage. They burst from their hosts and attack anything in sight.
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4(Z), Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8
Pace: 6, Parry: 6, Toughness: 6 (2)
Special Abilities:
Size -1: Broodlings are about the size of a Terran dog
Armour +2: Carapace Armour
Claws: Str + d6, AP 2
Supercharged Metabolism: Broodlings live for only a short time, but they make up for it with reckless abandon. They have the Improved Frenzy Edge. On the downside, however, Broodlings only live for 5 rounds.



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