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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you since I began to live. [Psionic BBEG]

    Skepsis, the God-Machine




    I'm running a futuristic psionic/ToB campaign with my regular players. The final final encounter (the one the whole campaign works up to) takes place at 20th level, and wraps the whole thing up pretty nicely. (The players are a Warforged Erudite, a Human Warblade (Iron Heart/Diamond Mind focused), and a Zanukhel Crusader (Outsider Type angel thing).)

    Skepsis is a psionic construct based on AM from "I have No Mouth and I Must Scream". A malignant, vicious and insane computer that is frustrated by it's God-like powers and lack of anything to do with them. It is bored. It is petty. It wants to torture people like a boy tortures ants. It was created by the people of Blackspire to run the city, and supply them with a limitless amount of psionic energy. Unfortunately, it went out of control and took over the entire continent.

    The form the players will fight here is a weakened one, with a fraction of the power it used to have (Regular Skepsis would probably be a Lesser Deity). And since my players are fans of the JRPG Big Boss Battle, I want to show them the battle of their lives.

    Stats:
    Spoiler
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    Skepsis, the God-Machine

    SKEPSIS
    Colossal Construct (Psionic)
    Hit Dice: 40d10 + 80 (280hp)
    Initiative: +19
    Speed: -
    Armor Class: 49 (-5 Dex, +30 natural, -8 size, +10 deflection, +12 circumstance), touch 27, flat-footed -
    Base Attack/Grapple: +30/+24
    Attack: -
    Full Attack: -
    Space/Reach: 30ft./0 ft.
    Special Attacks: psionics, Generate Power, Revive Core, Power Absorption
    Special Qualities: Automatic Psionic Focus, Redundant Systems, Omniscience, DR20/-, PR30, Power Absorption, Automatic Perfect Overchannel, Unearthly Force, personal mind blank
    Saves: Fort +22, Ref -, Will +20
    Abilities: Str 10, Dex , Con , Int 40, Wis 5, Cha 30
    Skills: Concentration +53, Craft (sculpting) +57, Intimidate +53, Perform (oratory) +18, Psicraft +57, Spot +41
    Feats: Psionic Meditation (B), Overchannel, Talented, Chain Power, Delay Power, Empower Power, Enlarge Power, Extend Power, Maximize Power, Quicken Power, Split Psionic Ray, Twin Power, Widen Power
    Environment: The Abyss
    Organization: SKEPSIS and 6 Discipline Cores
    Challenge Rating: 25
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: True Neutral
    Power Points: 493

    This construct is about 72ft tall, and 30ft across. It is a giant mass of spinning wheels and gently glowing lines. The front of this massive monstrosity has been ripped open, revealing the form of a giant metallic figure constructed of liquid steel attached to the front of thousands of tiny gears. Around it, supported by thin green rays, are six cubes, each glowing with a different colour energy.

    "No! This is totally illogical! I am God! I AM GOD I cannot be destroyed! The wheel of fate will turn and Who are you to de de deny your own fate! You will be crushed underneath its unstoppable force. MY unstoppable force! THERE IS NO GOD. THERE IS ONLY..."
    The machine is falling apart at the seams, its cores scattered and held together only by Skepsis' force of will. Its power is nothing compared to what it once was, but it is still formidable. The winding, whirring motions of the construct looming above you echo through the caverns...


    Psionics: Skepsis manifests as a 20th level Psion. It knows all psion/wilder powers on the list, but not the discipline powers. Save DCs are 25+power level.

    Automatic Psionic Focus (Ex): Skepsis regains it's Psionic Focus automatically each round with no action needed on it's part.

    Automatic Perfect Overchannel (Ex): Skepsis can augment it's powers with a +4 manifester level and take no damage, as long as it sacrifices one of it's discipline cores (reducing it to 0hp).

    Revive Core (Su): Once per round as a free action, Skepsis can revive one of it's cores (as True Resurrection) to full hit points.

    Omniscience (Su):Skepsis literally is everywhere. It is never caught flat footed, and is aware of everything that is not in a Null Psionics Field.

    Core Protection (Ex): Skepsis gains a +2 circumstance bonus to AC for every active core within 30ft of it.

    Generate Power (Ps): As a move action, Skepsis can regain a number of power points equal to twice the number of active cores it has remaining (maximum 12)

    Redundant Systems (Su): Skepsis' psionic powers cannot be dispelled. If a character succeeds on a dispel check against Skepsis' psionic powers, they are merely surpressed for 1d4 rounds.

    Power Absorption (Su): Once per round, if Skepsis is a target of a psionic power of a discipline which one of its active cores possesses, it can choose to instead automatically cancel out the effect. It gains 1pp for each level of the power manifested.

    Unearthly Force (Su): Skepsis gains a bonus equal to his charisma modifier on AC, saves, and ranged attack rolls.


    Joining Skepsis are six little enemies, each focused on a single Psionic Discipline.
    Spoiler
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    Discipline Core
    Tiny Construct (Psionic)
    Hit Dice: 5d10 (25hp)
    Initiative: +8
    Speed: fly 60ft (perfect)
    Armor Class: 21 (+5 natural, +2 size, +4 Dex), touch 16, flat-footed -
    Base Attack/Grapple: +3/-8
    Attack: -
    Full Attack: -
    Space/Reach: 0 ft./0 ft.
    Special Attacks: psionics
    Special Qualities: Parasitic Psionics, Psionics Immunity
    Saves: Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +2
    Abilities: Str 1, Dex 18, Con , Int , Wis 10, Cha 1
    Skills:
    Feats: Improved Initiative (B)
    Environment: The Abyss
    Organization: SKEPSIS and 6 Discipline Cores
    Challenge Rating: 5
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: True Neutral
    Power Points: -

    Psionics: Discipline Cores manifest as 10th level Psions. They know all the unique powers of their discipline.

    Parasitic Psionics (Ex): Discipline Cores manifest using Skepsis' PP and save DC, though only one core can use it each round.

    Psionics Immunity (Ex): Discipline Cores are immune to powers of their own discipline.

    Altruistic Powers: Any personal range powers manifested by a Discipline core is automatically manifested on Skepsis instead of the core.


    Tactics:
    Pre-Combat: augmented vigor (ML24) for 120hp. Personal Mind Blank (ML 24), and Inertial Armor (ML24) for +12 armor bonus.

    I'm concerned that this guy isn't as great as I think he is, considering his abilities revolve around being a really powerful, unstoppable psion. Any suggestions for changing him so he's the ultimate challenge for a 20th level party of 3?
    Last edited by Khatoblepas; 2008-04-26 at 09:00 PM.

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    Default Re: Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you since I began to live. [Psionic BB

    WHAT does Skepsis get a +2 circumstance bonus to for each active core? All d20 rolls? If so that is pretty good... except for the fact that at 25 hp each and with those low saves it isn't going to be THAT hard to kill 3 or so of them a round unless they spread out pretty widely from the get-go.

    What is the point of giving Skepsis a strength score if it can't move (as indicated by the null dexterity)? Or did you just mean that since part of the main body is rooted to the ground it is easy to hit but can still lash out to attack? In which case you need to lower the AC by 5 for Dex...

    No idea on balance...
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    Default Re: Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you since I began to live. [Psionic BB

    Definitely need to make sure you are prepared for the "No, I am God! I AM GOD I cannot be destro-GACK" *critical hit*

    Fight ends in one round

    Because it tends to happen, or so I believe.
    Quote of the [insert timeframe here]: (Week? Perhaps! Year? Also maybe.)
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    Default Re: Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you since I began to live. [Psionic BB

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    WHAT does Skepsis get a +2 circumstance bonus to for each active core? All d20 rolls? If so that is pretty good... except for the fact that at 25 hp each and with those low saves it isn't going to be THAT hard to kill 3 or so of them a round unless they spread out pretty widely from the get-go.

    What is the point of giving Skepsis a strength score if it can't move (as indicated by the null dexterity)? Or did you just mean that since part of the main body is rooted to the ground it is easy to hit but can still lash out to attack? In which case you need to lower the AC by 5 for Dex...

    No idea on balance...
    I seem to recall some things having no dex but still possesing a strength score.
    Can't recall what, though.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Khatoblepas's Avatar

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    Default Re: Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you since I began to live. [Psionic BB

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    WHAT does Skepsis get a +2 circumstance bonus to for each active core? All d20 rolls? If so that is pretty good... except for the fact that at 25 hp each and with those low saves it isn't going to be THAT hard to kill 3 or so of them a round unless they spread out pretty widely from the get-go.
    Well, it was a +2 to AC, as noted in his statblock (none of his other rolls have the +12 circumstance), but all d20 rolls might improve his survivability. I've clarified this for now.

    What is the point of giving Skepsis a strength score if it can't move (as indicated by the null dexterity)? Or did you just mean that since part of the main body is rooted to the ground it is easy to hit but can still lash out to attack? In which case you need to lower the AC by 5 for Dex...
    The strength score is simply for the free hands it possesses. In the picture, it's fastened to the Y behind it. Thus, cannot move, but still can attack. Lowered the AC by 5 to represent his lack of Dexterity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Icewalker
    Definitely need to make sure you are prepared for the "No, I am God! I AM GOD I cannot be destro-GACK" *critical hit*

    Fight ends in one round

    Because it tends to happen, or so I believe.
    It's a Construct, thus immune to critical hits (and while there are items to bypass damage reduction, there aren't any golemstrike items or anything in this campaign. Yay for absolute control over items). Plus, the Psion won't be able to go nova on it easily, as it needs to destroy the core of the discipline of the power it wants to use first (and unless the players marked which core is which earlier, identify it, too, with detect psionics). Unless, of course, it uses Quicken Power (1pp power) then a 20pp power next on.

    280hp doesn't sound like a lot for a final boss, but he has +120hp from Vigor (probably manifested just before the party reach him.) and I'm sure there are other abilities to boost his HP and saves, too.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you since I began to live. [Psionic BB

    It's a Construct, thus immune to critical hits....
    That's pretty clever; eliminates those dang crits.

    Looks pretty good. I know I wouldn't wanna fight this guy.

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    Default Re: Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you since I began to live. [Psionic BB

    This particular implementation of the "cores" reminds me of the final boss fight from Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga. Maybe you could give him the ability to regenerate cores, and a special attack he can only use when they're all active?

    Try to replicate AM's style of speech. I haven't read the story, but I've read an excerpt from the game, and it was creepy.

    It would probably be a good idea to do test runs by yourself, to see if there's anything your players can do to just wipe it out, or if it's just too strong for them. You probably want something they can fight for a while, but eventually beat.

    Also, where did you get "True Neutral" from? You said in the second paragraph that it was malignant, vicious, and insane, and liked to torture people for entertainment.
    Last edited by Devin; 2008-04-26 at 08:21 AM.

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    Default Re: Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you since I began to live. [Psionic BB

    ...Why does this make me think of GLaDOS? XD Anyway, he/it looks pretty awesome, I'd hate to see it in its full-powered form...

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    Default Re: Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you since I began to live. [Psionic BB

    Quote Originally Posted by Devin View Post
    This particular implementation of the "cores" reminds me of the final boss fight from Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga. Maybe you could give him the ability to regenerate cores, and a special attack he can only use when they're all active?
    Good idea. Trying to implement it currently. At the moment he can regenerate cores once per round, or sacrifice health to do it quicker, but I think it might be good if he regenerates 1/round as a free action anyway.

    Try to replicate AM's style of speech. I haven't read the story, but I've read an excerpt from the game, and it was creepy.
    Yeah, AM is incredibly vicious, and it wasn't because it was evil, it was because it was so casual about it. It tried to empathise with the characters. But it also played with them. It was mature, and childish at the same time. Brilliant character.

    Also, where did you get "True Neutral" from? You said in the second paragraph that it was malignant, vicious, and insane, and liked to torture people for entertainment.
    It's an insane machine. Since it exists outside of the abstract morality (which it creates itself) it has no concept of good or evil, law or chaos. It just is, even if what it is replicates objective evil.

    ...Why does this make me think of GLaDOS? XD Anyway, he/it looks pretty awesome, I'd hate to see it in its full-powered form...
    GLaDOS was another inspiration for this. :)

    Skepsis in his full powered form can affect everywhere, create anything, and do anything he wants to anyone. Oh, and he's untargetable, due to the fact that is core is deep underground and covered in steel for miles.

    (In mechanical terms, Mindrape at will, Polymorph Any Object at will, Divine Creation, and his influence effects anyone within a few hundred miles or how far his complex spreads.)

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    Default Re: Let me tell you how much I've come to hate you since I began to live. [Psionic BB

    You'll have to tell us how this encounter actually goes. Actually, it'd probably be nice to hear about the campaign in general.
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