Mage Vs. Machine – The Sheens

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“Machine, meet Mage!”

Rumors tell of impossible machines, constructs built by the bashers of an exceptionally accursed prime space.  Such a place was long buried deep in the dead book by its own hubris and acceleration, despite the warnings of their Powers.  The barmies kept on going, crafting up one of the most heinous things to pollute the multiverse.  I speak of the Sheens.  Baator-fed buggers seem to self-replicate and thrive, despite attempts to wipe them out.  They’re not just constructs either, but true thinking machines!  They lack souls, but have the mind and bone-box alike to surpass most eggheads.  Needless to say, this place burned down hard.  The Land of Blackmoor was no more!  However, their creation escaped far beyond its Crystal Sphere and beyond.  So, go ahead and kill one, multiple will show up out of no where to take you down!  The Metal berks burnt my tail bad too! – Geber Reynardt, Kitsune Alchemist and Sensate, survivor of The Sheen Invasion of Ignis

Who says sci-fi and fantasy don’t mix?  It’s been a thing for decades, eons, at least a century!  Even in D&D, we’ve had all sorts of strange crossovers.  The aforementioned Blackmoor has been around since the beginning.  That setting was a somewhat dirty and gritty medieval world that contended with a crashed alien space ship.  The result was an AWOL officer starting an uprising with a “frog cult”, as well as the ship thrown into other forms of turmoil.  The end result of the mess caused Blackmoor to experience technological leaps before ultimately blowing itself up.

And in the case of the Sheen, one of my favorite articles from Dragon Magazine (complete with a follow-up), they’re very much science-fantasy too.  The articles tell of the sheen, a strange and mysterious menace.  These constructs were made by a society more advanced in technology and probably magic too.  Their genuine origins are a mystery to most, but their desire to consume and conquer makes them a massive threat.  Plus, they have numerous forms that can adapt to different situations.  And while the sheens tear through organic life, they don’t do so out of malice or hatred, but a survival for their own “machine kind”.  Fortunately, countless defenders have learned enough to fend them off and even reverse engineer some of their own contraptions too.  In a sense, think like Horizon Zero Dawn!

Author’s Note: This one has been a long time coming!  The Sheens are by far one of my favorite obscure D&D monsters (or set of monsters).  Beyond two magazine articles, there hasn’t been too much buzz around them.  Hopefully, I can help to change that!  Here’s the first part of that, with a mix of both articles.  Sure, I’ve made robots already, but I really love these ones too!  Plus, should I find the time, I might be interested in converting the Kits and Spells introduced by the article too… eventually… hopefully.

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Death Machines! – Killer Robots

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“Automatons.  Blasted things keep ruining my day.  They killed my grandpa ages ago, took over our jobs, destroyed life as we knew it!  Darned things gotta be taken down, by the peoples’ wrench!  We’ll unite to give the metal monsters a clobbering!  We ain’t gonna take their inorganic presence any longer!” – Gristle Pete III, current proprietor of The Cascading Ridge Saloon

Not all “thinking machines” are friendly.  In fact, many prove to be outwardly malicious.  Many were built for war, while others are simply experiments gone awry.  Either way, there is a danger when building an automaton to think and fend for itself.  While many cases can lend it to building a positive life, other cases can turn out far more grim.

Author’s Note: Have some evil robots!  This is an expansion of my previous post.  Enjoy.

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Rise of the Machines – Robots and Androids

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Robots – 1, Organics – 0

The Machine.  A testament to engineering and ingenuity.  Artificial life taken to the next form!  Whatever the case may be, these constructs are forged from a truly advanced form of artifice.  Many are made through a high technology not unlike many forms of magic.  Some are even crafted through rare forms of magical infusion.  These constructs are far more capable of thought that many predecessors.  Beyond their elaborate programming, some prove more than capable of having souls.  Such constructs truly achieve the joys of sentience.

Author’s Note:  ROBOTS!  I made a post many moons back, that I have since wanted to remake.  Plus, here are a few more ideas I’ve tossed around for general science-fantasy robot fun!  Plus, I decided to tie the Pathfinder settings(s) into Planescape/Spelljammer… for some reason.  Since my schedule is limited this week from preparation for and volunteering for a fair, things are broken up into chunks.  Expect more soon!

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Life Beyond Space – Aliens

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Beyond even the Great Wheel and known space, there are incredible creatures with equally incredible possibilities.  Distant worlds and distant planes, both hold incredible secrets to ancient realms and alien beings.  Some reach just beyond familiar material Crystal Spheres, while some are as incomprehensible and untouchable as the Far Realm.

Author’s Note: Let’s bring in some real science fantasy!  This time, I’m reaching for Star Frontiers/Star*Drive/Dark*Matter for inspiration!  For anyone familiar with either game, these monsters should be quite recognizable.  As it is, the Yazirian already got its own set of stats… well, under its Spelljammer name.  At some point, I might hope to bring the Star Frontiers aliens back as races.  Though, I’m far from the first to think about that…

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Far Outsiders – More Cosmic Terrors

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Githyanki.  Like the Yuuzhan Vong, but not garbage

“So, you’re a fancy crew cruising around on your nice spelljammer.  And then all of a sudden, some ghost thing makes your captain go mad and he’s killing all of ya!  Then what?  That’s why you prepare for the worse out in those spacial depths.  Who knows what nasty things will be lurking out there!  You certainly don’t!” – Glass-Eye Erg, Dwarven Trader from Rock of Bral.

This time around, a few homages to Spelljammer and Star Wars. Long and short, one of my friends showed me the revised d20 Star Wars. It’s better than I recall it being, still no D6 though.  Needless to say, those very familiar with Star Wars will get some of my references.  The same goes for Spelljammer, but I’ve been making a bit of spelljammer stuff for the past couple of months.

Author’s Note:  I figure some more nods to Star Wars are a great way to transition to more science fiction inspired content.  For the next couple of weeks, I shall continue to expand my endless bestiary.  And no, this post isn’t about the Githyanki… I just wanted a swipe at how the Vong kinda look like them.  While I plan for the future, here are two entries based on existing Star Wars monsters as well as my take on the Neogi (as I don’t care for the official take for 5e… but I usually don’t in general.)

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Horrid Things From Beyond the Veil – Aberrant Evils

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Heroes of D&D meet their match!

Among the most foul creatures within the realms of D&D is the aberration.  Some hail these terrors of entities spawned from a distant realm unlike anything else; The Far Realm.  Others fear that they are perversions of our own reality, distortions that prove how horrible magic can truly be.  No matter the case, they lurk in dark shadows and hover beyond the veil, as the fabric of reality is slowly torn asunder.

Author’s Note:  I haven’t really tackled too many aberrations in a while.  Considering they’re among my favorite monsters, I need to fix that!  This time around, I have conversions of 3rd edition creatures, as well as some of my own creatures.  Star Vampires, Hulking Illithids, Dragon Illithids and one of the most nefarious parasites to show up in D&D!  Ready yourself for some truly menacing Elder Evils!

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Planar Double Feature

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I’ve been quite busy, especially with an expo.  However, here’s my means of catching up on things.  In fact, two critters popped out to me when I was combing through the Monstrous Compendiums for Planescape.  Here are my takes on the Rast and the Bloodthorn.  Enjoy!

Author’s Note: In which the author covers up his posterior by posting two new creatures.

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