Sunday, 15 November 2015

Six Experimental Men

Six steel sarcophagi, vertical and equidistant, two to a wall, doors heavy but unlocked.

Within each is an Experimental Man. They have no memories and no names. They understand the language of Fire and that of the PC's. Each man has a ceramic key in the centre of his chest. Turning the key activates the man.

Each man is mad and soon to die. When they awaken they roll morale. For every turn they are awake and every question they are asked, make another roll. On each failure an activated Man advances in his madness by one degree.

All stats are as follows unless otherwise stated in the description.

Armor chain, Move standard', 2 Hit Dice, 8hp, blow 1d6 damage, Morale 7.

MAN #1 (Armour - none)

Hollow glass with candles jammed to the inside like an iron maidens inward-facing spikes. Activation makes the man 'breathe' in and the candles ignite. Each candle-flame is a tiny fire-imp making furious abacus-calculations.

Mathematician - Deals easily with logic problems and quantifiable numbers. May provide PC's with knowledge the DM thinks they could have worked out already but have not.

Madness - 1-Counts visible things. 2-Counts invisible things. 3-Counts continously. 4-Demands others count. 5-Attacks any unevenly-numbered things (people, fingers, bricks).

MAN #2

Pure black anthracite with a circulatory system laid out on the surface of his skin in sulphur.
Activation makes the sulphur burn blue and the anthracite glow a deep, dull red.

Prophetic - Can deliver prophecies in a number of words equal to the level of the asking PC. These need not be absolutely predictive but can be created by the DM using their knowledge of this module in its entirety. Every prophecy requires a reaction roll.

Madness - 1-Sees own death at hands of PC's. 2-Asks them to leave. 3-Demands they leave. 4-Asks why they want to destroy him. 5-Attacks PC's madly.

MAN #3 (Regen 1hp per round)

Stacked ceramic discs like a man sculpted from standing coins. Activation makes the coins shift like leaves as a hidden current animates them.

Magic detection and dis-spellment. Immune to magic. Can detect magic once per turn. Can cast dispel magic at will, this requires a reaction roll.

Madness - 1-silence, he will not speak unless spoken to. 2-Isolation, he sits in a corner and will not move unless persuaded to. 3-Self harm, he disrupts his own field and claws out his own ceramic discs. 4-He either throws himself into an electrical field or casts dispel magic on himself, collapsing into a pile of dead disks.

MAN #4

A sheet of thin blue steel etched with a labyrinth of criss crossing straight lines. Activation makes the steel unfold into an origami-man with a face shaped of modernist gaps.

A Thief. This man has all thief skills at 5 in 6 (83% in AD&D)

Madness - 1-Searches the tomb for objects to steal (he is immune to electrocution). 2-Pickpockets PC's. 3-Hides from and tracks PC's. 4-Backstabs and robs PC's.

MAN #5

A man of terracotta with plates of toughened glass, you can see inside he's full of soil with micro-tunnels running through. Activation awakes a colony of burning ants, glowing like specks of flame they dash about inside his shell, visible through the glass their movements sketch the semblance of a face.

A Swordsman and adventurer. The man is bold and fearless, he attacks and moves as a Lvl 7 fighter.

Madness - 1-Seeks out difficult challenges, ants trickle from his mouth. 2-Refuses to ignore very difficult challenges, more ants escape. 3-Relentlessly attacks the most overwhelming challenge possible whilst compulsively vomiting burning ants.

MAN #6 (Armour plate & shield, HD10 d8/d8 damage)

A huge dull-blue ceramic ogre, eight feet high, bound with bands of riveted iron, with a featureless hole for a face and a mask of dark-black glass raised like the visor of a knight. Activation causes a roar like solar wind or radio noise, the face swims with blinding blue-white sunspots and the black visor lowers to protect onlookers from the light

A Poet. This man dreams of another world, one made of and shaped by fire itself.

Madness - 1-asks wide-ranging questions about PC's and the world. 2-becomes ever more absorbed with questions of fire and investigates environment to discover more. 3-Becomes subdued and reluctant to communicate. 4-Opens own casing releasing strand of pure blue-white plasma that burns through immediate area for 3d6 damage before disappearing, leaving empty shell behind.


  1. Oh my... I have a spot coming up in an adventure that could really work with something like this. Is this for/from Veins?

    1. Its from 'Broken Fire Regime', the sort-of-sequal to Deep Carbon Observatory

    2. Awesome, can't wait! Any release date planned yet?

    3. HOPEFULLY early in 2016. Hopefully.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. "Relentlessly attacks the most overwhelming challenge possible whilst compulsively vomiting burning ants"

    any resemblance to the author is coincidence

  4. Man 5 brings to mind a PC I had in a Pathfinder game... except he was made of wax and full of bees. He was also quite mad.