Thursday, August 17, 2017

House Grimshaw, Part 2

I wanted to take the opportunity to stop and address something I had essentially ignored over the creation of the entire Alliance: they use robots, a lot.  One of the elements I had proposed for the economic hardships that helped spawn the Empire was the over-use of robotic labor and the increasing desperation of the average citizen.  The Empire ostensibly removed a lot of robotic labor, which is why I didn't talk much about Imperial robots, but the Alliance should still make use of them, from secretary bots to guardian robots.  To emphasize that, I've created a robot unique to house Grimshaw, which gives our space wizards a nice space golem to accompany him.

Tools of House Grimshaw

Grimshaw Background Options:

Add the following traits to Aristocratic background:

Traits: Ally (Guardian Robot, 400 points, 15 or less) [30].

Skills: History (H) IQ-1 [2]; Law (Alliance Aristocratic) (A) IQ [2].

Optional Disadvantages: Fanaticism (Oracular Order, House Grimshaw, or the Alliance) [-15], Hidebound [-5].

Eleganian Psi-Techniques

Blaster Absorption (Hard)

Default: EK Shield-3; cannot exceed EK Shield

Characters may opt to use this technique instead of EK-shield whenever they’re hit by blaster fire. This applies Hardened 3 to the shield against blaster fire only. This reduces the armor divisor (5) to no armor divisor. Roll after each attack, but only pay the fatigue cost once per minute.

Force Sword Absorption (Hard)

Default: EK Shield-3; cannot exceed EK Shield

Characters may opt to use this technique instead of EK-shield whenever they’re hit by a force sword. This applies Hardened 3 to the shield against force swords only. This reduces the armor divisor (5) to no armor divisor. Roll after each attack, but only pay the fatigue cost once per minute.

Hand Deflection (Hard)

Default: EK Shield-2; cannot exceed EK Shield

The character may concentrate all of his EK shield to his hand; multiply the DR of the EK shield by 5! If the character makes a bare-handed parry, apply this DR to any attacks made against his hand.

Grimshaw Technology

Empty Blades

Grimshaw knights often learn the Power Generator perk, and use it to power specially design force swords that don’t contain any power cell. Instead, the user spends 1 fatigue to power it for one minute. This prevents anyone not a Grimshaw from using the force sword against the Grimshaw. It also means the blades can be (even) lighter.

Guardian Robot 374 points

While many Grimshaw certainly become knights, the wealthy and powerful of the House enjoy using hulking, baroquely beautiful robots built by their own foundries. A guardian robot stands 9 feet tall and weighs 500 lbs and have carefully sculpted black, glossy diamondoid armor edged in gold, and with transparent panels that reveal churning (and decorative) clockwork beneath. Their primary purpose is sheer, intimidating bulk, though they’re equipped with seizure-based neurolash fields in their right hand, and they have superior senses: they have superior hearing and can scan the insides of packages or through clothing. They’re also designed to be exceptionally durable and can shrug off most small arm blaster fire. They lack the ability to speak, and instead communicate in deep, bell-like tones.

A guardian robot frame costs $100,000. It requires 4d cells per week.

Attributes: ST 30 (SM -10%) [180]; DX 10 [0]; IQ 10 [0]; HT 12 [20]

Secondary Characteristics: Perception +2 [10]; SM +1;

Advantages: Absolute Direction [5], Ambidexterity [5], Appearance (Attractive, Off-the-Shelf -50%) [2], Discriminatory Hearing (Profiling +50%) [23], Doesn’t Breathe [20], DR 80 [80], High Pain Threshold [10]; Machine [25]; Penetrating Vision 1 (Blockable, Dense Substances -30%) [7]; Protected Hearing [5]; Protected Vision [5]; Reduced Consumption 3 [6], Telecommunication (Comm System, 100 mile range, Burst +30%,Secure +20%, Video +40%) [19]*.

Perks: Accessory (Neurolash Hand) [1], Accessory (Personal Computer) [1]

Disadvantages: Cannot Speak (Beep) [-20]; Electrical [-20]’ Maintenance(one person, monthly) [-2], Restricted Diet (Very Common, power cells [-10];

Grimshaw Relics

The Riddle-Sphere

Associated Communion: True Communion (The Exiled Master) or Broken Communion (Madness)

Statistics: Ally (The “ghost” of Janus Daijin), Universal Psionics, Visions (Overwhelming), Legendary Reputation (Exiled Master or Madness) +1

Cost: $1,000,000

Janus had in his possession an ancient device that predated the Alexian Empire, and used lost technology (likely similar to the Citadel of Caliban), which he called “the Riddle Sphere.” The Riddle Orb is a silvery sphere that weighs 20 lbs and is small enough to carry in two hands, but unwieldy. It seems to have some internal power source that draws on ambient psionic energy and it interfaces with the wielder through a psionic or neural connection upon touching it. To wield it, one must unlock it by mastering its strange security features and its “riddles” by exploring the mental landscape it presents and solving its puzzles. These typically require IQ rolls or Expert Skill (Psionics), but can require any skill the GM requires (or be played out). Once unlocked, the Riddle Orb typically grants the wielder awareness of distant places throughout the galaxy and allows him to use his psionic powers in those remote places without any regards for distance. It may have additional powers.

Janus Daijin embedded his conscicousness (or was trapped by the Riddle Sphere) and his mind still lurks within the Riddle Sphere. He typically offers his insights to the wielder (treat him as IQ 18 and with access to at least Administration-18, Expert Skill (Psionics)-18, Politics-18, Strategy-18 and Teaching-18, though he no longer has access to his psionic powers, he can tutor others in it), and he’s extremely interested in the state of House Daijin. His advice is almost certainly biased towards his own interests, which seem to be the restoration of House Daijin, but it might involve other hidden agendas, and he may have gone mad.

Over time, the Riddle-Sphere has become steeped with both Janus’ mind and with the legends that swirl around it, becoming a true relic of Communion. It’s exact nature is up to the GM: if it’s a benign guide, then it serves the path of the Exiled Master. If Janus has gone mad and has a malevolent agenda, then it serves the Path of Madness.

The Crown of the Usurper

Associated Communion: Dark Communion (The Mystic Tyrant) or True Communion (the Righteous Crusader)

Statistics: Sense Sin, Legendary Reputation (The Mystic Tyrant or the Righteous Crusader) +1

Cost: $250,000

When Shio Daijin took the Alexian throne, he refused the Alexian crown, claiming he sought only to restore order and to purge the Empire of those who would destroy it. Thus, he crafted a new crown of diamondoid, a simple band of gleaming, starlit black. After his death, House Grimshaw took possession of the crown and keep it locked away in their secret vaults.

The Crown of the Usurper has gained a tricky reputation. According to legend, Shio Daijin could see into the hearts of men. His enemies claimed he used this to tempt the wicked to join him, while his apologists claimed he used this power to hunt down the wicked and destroy them. Those who wear this crown gain the same ability. The Legendary Reputation gained by the wearer depends on the GM: if Shio Daijin was true to his word, then he was a Righteous Crusader, otherwise, a Mystic Tyrant; alternatively, the GM may decide that the wearer shapes the legend of the Crown of the Usurper: a righteous wearer becomes a crusader, and a monster becomes a tyrant.

The Grimshaw Signet

Associated Communion: True Communion (The Righteous Crusader)

Statistics: Data Retrieval 1; Interface; Genetic Override

Cost: $60,000

The Grimshaw Signet ring is always worn by the Duke of House Grimshaw, and was a gift from the Duke of Daijin to the first Grimshaw, Ren Grimshaw. Though it has become a true relic (one seeped with the imagery of the Path of the Righteous Crusader), it has long contained complex psychotronic machinery within it. In the hands of a Grimshaw, it can interface with any computer or device that he touches with the ring, allowing him to read any data within the device, and to control it (though he has no unique hacking skills); it also allows the Grimshaw to bypass any aristocratic biometrics, allowing him to “read” as a member of any house. This last is one of the great secrets kept by house Grimshaw, though by now most of the major houses have at least a suspicion of the signet’s true powers.

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