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Men in Black 1: The Industrial Druid

Roger’s Red Sword Wizard and –C’s Blue Mage set me thinking about what great monsters they would make. So here’s a series of monsters/classes all this week. #1: the Industrial Druid


…he whose sable arms,
Black as his purpose, did the night resemble
When he lay couched in the ominous horse,
Hath now this dread and black complexion smear’d
With heraldry more dismal; head to foot
Now is he total gules; horridly trick’d
With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons,
Baked and impasted with the parching streets,
That lend a tyrannous and damned light
To their lord’s murder

The Industrial Druid is like those Wild Men of Europe, only all about the savage annihilating splendour of the machine. Where the common or garden Druid works to preserve balance and stuff, the Industrial Druid is a perpetrator of atrocities: it marks the land with its technological lusts. The Industrial versions of Druids’ leveling-up fights are full-scale wars, in which the dehumanizing of minions helps to power the Industrialist’s apotheosis.

Encountered as monsters, Industrial Druids have 4-9 Hit Dice (d6s), AC 1, and d12 followers (a mix of lower level disciples and wage-slaves). Their treasure consists of machines, parts and raw materials. There is a 10% chance of exotic metals, suitable for working into +1 swords by a master smith, and 20% chance of a “magic” item that replicates the effect of some spell (e.g. hypodermics that induce Sleep, tasers for Magic Missile) with 1d6 charges remaining.

As a PC class, Industrial Druids are mechanically identical to regular LL Druids (fighting as clerics, benefiting from +2 on saves vs fire and electricity), with the following exceptions:

1. They must wear metal armour and a full-face helm: being stripped of armour strips them of their powers, which are replenished after a full day encased in iron (shackles don’t count). They cannot sneak: at first level this is merely because of their armour, but at 3rd level and above they wheeze and clank at all times and at 5th level they leave oily footprints by which they may be tracked. They can only use complex mechanical or chemical weapons, such as crossbows, composite bows, guns and fire, or those weapons developed for domination: flails, whips and pizzles.

2. What sets the Industrial Druid apart from a mad scientist is its ability to elevate relatively simple siege engines and winches into self-aware agents of exploitation.
From 1st level all Industrial Druids can Command a machine once per day, for 1 round/level, during which they enter a Deep Thinking fugue state and can take no other actions. Machines so commanded tend toward murderous destruction: the Industrial Druid must save vs. WIS each round it requires the machine to conduct a non-violent act, to prevent the temporarily uplifted device from going off on a bloody rampage.
At 3rd level they may poison or purify water but only if paid to do so (at least 1gp/level).
At 5th level they may summon an environmentally-unfriendly mount.
At 7th level they may adopt a giant robot form for 1 round/level/day: twice human sized but weighing 4 tons, this form need not breathe, is resistant to fire and cold, has 20 STR and AC-1, and does 3d6 damage with its fists. While in Robot form the Industrial Druid’s HP are reset to maximum, but when the form’s time runs out any previous wounds take full effect again, adding to any damage taken while a Robot.
Beginning with 7th level, in order to level up an Industrial Druid must destroy another Industrial Druid of higher level and take their stuff.
At 8th level and each level thereafter the Industrial Druid attracts d6 followers – roll d20 -13 for each follower’s level. If the result is 0 or lower the follower is a 0-level wage-slave with no special abilities. Results of 1 or higher are Industrial Druids (50%), Grease Monkeys (20%), Chaos Monks (20%) or toadying Clerics (10%).
At 9th level the Industrial Druid must construct a fortress/lab/lair.
3. Most Druid spells work fine as is. Wherever a Druid spell affects animals or plants, reskin it to apply to machines and urban life – hence Machine Growth (5); Commune with City (5); Sparking Doom (7); Find Device (2) etc.
In place of Barkskin (2) use Iron Cage (+4 AC but not higher than AC 18. -2 move)
Call Lightning (3) requires some mechanism or power supply nearby – this includes machines summoned with Machine Companion. If the latter is used, the Companion takes damage equal to that dealt by the lightning bolt.
Charm Machine (2) can extend the Command Machine ability for up to a day at a time. One WIS save is required on casting the spell to avoid rampages for the whole day.

Additional spells:
Create Familiar (by Frankensteinian or Rotwangian means) (1) (allows creation of machine familiars),
Strict Timekeeping (2) (dictates everyone’s initiative for 1 round/level, costs everyone 1HP/round),
Worker’s Riot (3) provokes violent rage in d30 HD of humanoids (they get to save vs magic),
Charge Me Up (3) (steals 4d6 HP from characters nearby, starting with the weakest. PCs reduced to 0 are unconscious but do not require first aid),
Army of Drones (4) (possesses 1 level 0/1 character per level of the Industrial Druid, makes them work like zombies for 1 day/level, but if you don’t remember to command them to eat and rest then they die in CON-3 days),
Blight Land (5) prevents anything growing and putrefies water within a 1 mile radius.

  1. trey
    April 22, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Very cool.

    That is all.

  2. May 3, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Holy crap. This is so good

  1. April 22, 2013 at 8:59 pm

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