Monday, 28 September 2015

Another Monster...

 Hello again. My quest to string together three words in a vaguely entertaining fashion continues with this Runequest monster. If you want to convert it to D&D, then it should be a breeze, unlike the opposite proposition (I'll probably get round to it eventually). Please enjoy. As usual, credit to the people who are good at this and whose example pushes me into ever more embarrassing arenas (Zak S, False Patrick, Noisms, Scrap Princess, etc...)

                                       Fractal Optimiser

In the far wastes of Zhar, there is a space inhabited not by men, but by information. Living fractals that are able to occupy this plane of existence , not because they belong here, but because of the horrible damage wrought to reality when the moon fell from her place in the sky.

These creatures ...they are not to be understood on our terms. The environment they inhabit is at once, arid desert and mathematical euqation. To wander there is to risk dissolution and madness...yet some do, for the fractal beings seem never less than pleased to communicate and welcome pilgrims. This welcome of theirs, might take the form of an implanted bliss; a blasting, uncommunicable truth; assimilation into their number or the discovery of the pilgrim's bleached bones upon the steps of their mother's home a thousand miles away. Somehow they know to weep for their foolish children.

And yet these beings, these anomalous guests, are not the focus of the words before you. They do not, afterall, leave the desert. Their purpose is private enough and unfathomable enough to the princes of men, that they are considered no more dangerous than a shark. A shark will never eat you in your bedroom.

Recall I told you that these beings are not to be understood on our terms? I did not lie to you. But they possess some of the qualities we might associate with life...seeming consciousness, purpose and emotional weight. There is an ecology at work. They even produce excrement... waste matter. Except this substance is not matter, for the beings that produce it are, or subsist on ideas and information. Indeed, their shit lives. Ahh, now you raise an eyebrow! It is this defecation that proves of the greatest danger to men.

Waste ideas, a violent, coruscating storm of mobile waste information, imploding into itself (the concept of 'self' having lost all meaning), a mandala that cannot find satisfaction in the undulations of its own presence, but must violently pull in other information, other data in order for it to cease to exist. Or at least this is how it seems in dully remembered, incohate dreams...memories of when these miasmic, chaos blurs/mobile, possibly living shit storms came the way of men.
Fortunately they destroy themselves after a certain amount of information has been collected, as if a balance had been re-asserted. Furthermore, though capable of moving as fast as a good horse, they rarely make it as far as civilised lands without first discovering a tribe of nomads or a cave of primitives. They are drawn to the thoughts of sentient beings in order to erase the problem of their being.

Their touch invites's very substance (also a kind of idea) and consciousness becomes fused with the über mass of semi-alive information. Those with a strong will can resist. likewise they can be fought with the weapons of will; certainty of purpose serving to act as surely as hapless absorption when it comes to satiating their needs. If one trusts hard enough in the steel they wield or the magics they utter, then that individual might prevail...but this is rare indeed.

After drawing a certain amount of conscious reality into their core, a critical juncture is reached and they wink out of existence. It is possible to escape from the Fractal Optimiser (as they were dubbed by the Order of the 66 Archons), requiring the consumed to face a riot of insane pre-consumed sentiences. This battle occurs purely in the realm of thought and it is a struggle of ego vs conceptual annihilation.

Curiously, adamant bottles have appeared in certain bazaars in Vornheim, Jukai, Marlinko and Syrone. Within, is contained the raging essence of a Fractal Optimiser. They change hands for thousands of silver; weapons of considerable power.

Characteristics -------------Attributes ------------------------1d20 Location AP/HP
STR: (-) ------ ------ Action Points 3 --------------------- 1–20 Incohate Form 0/11
CON: (15) ------ ----- Damage Modifier 0
SIZ: 6d6+20 (40) ------ Magic Points 18
DEX: (14)------ ----- Movement 12
INS: (15) ------ ------ Strike Rank 15
POW: (18)------ ----- Armour None
Abilities: Dark Sight, Immunity (Any attack made wthout an accompanying wilpower roll better than the attack it supports and better than the Fractal Optimiser's own Willpower resistance roll), Regeneration (1 HP/Round), Terrifying, Life Sense, Engulf, Flight
Skills: Endurance 52%, Evade 64%, Perception 75%, Willpower 70%
Combat Style: Absrobing Undulation(Fractal Pseudo Appendage) 60%

Damage: Special


If a character is engulfed by the Fractal Optimiser, then they must roll Willpower vs Willpower. Failure indicates that they have been absorbed into the Optimiser. Within, the consumed finds themselves in a fractured, shifting dreamscape, composed from the memories of its previously absorbed victims. Here they will be forced into something resembling spirit combat with their own identity.
The affected character may choose to use either his Willpower or a Passion in an extended test against either their own Willpower stat or another Passion, GM's choice. Success leads to escape, although magic points will be drained consumate with the utimate degree of success at a rate of 3 MP per Fractal Optimiser success level (maximum loss of 12 mp) . Any degree of failiure results in the victim remaining trapped in the Fractal Optimiser with the same loss of MP. Reduction to zero MP, means the characer has been forever lost.

The Optimiser vanishes after it absorbs MP equal to its SIZ.

Its HP are an abstraction, not really representing anything material so much as its remaining reality. If its HP are reduced to zero, it transforms into a random mundane object drawn from the consumed information within its form. This could be literally anything.

Obviously there's some fluff from my own campaign mixed in with the description of the Fractal Optimiser. It's really up to you why the beings that produce these things exist. I leave that to the GM as an exercise in RPG imagination powerz.

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