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.