Thursday, August 27, 2009

Death Machine (Mutant Future version)

Slowly, the guardian arose and coasted back toward the flaming ruins of the two invaders. Training its remaining guns and weapons on the wrecks, the robot began to pound the remains until they were molten.

It was not called a Death Machine for nothing.

- “Out of the Sun…” by James M. Ward and Roger Raupp, Dragon #101

Although Mutant Future has an icon in the guise of the spidergoat, this beastie pales in comparison to the most iconic figure in Mutant Future’s older brother, Gamma World – the Death Machine. That thing’s taken on gods, for crying out loud. When one of these aptly-named weapons platforms comes humming over the horizon, it’s time to find the nearest patch of purple flowers to duck behind and start praying to your tribe’s totem that it passes you by.

In order to share that terror with the residents of Mutant Future, I’ve converted the 1st edition Gamma World version of the Death Machine into one suitable for use in MF (and therefore Labyrinth Lord and most early versions of D&D). I’ve worked the conversion as close as I could using the Robot section of the MF rulebook and it’s about 99.8% true to the original – a hellishly nasty piece of business. Take it out for a spin.

Death Machine (Mutant Future version)

Hit Dice: 100 (750 hit points)
Frame: Armature (60’ long x 27’ wide x 12’ high)
Locomotion: Inductors (Top Speed: 100 MPH)
Manipulators: None
Armor: Force screen (AC: 1; can take 400 points of damage before collapsing), Megatanium (AC -1)
Sensors: Nerve Web (range: 6 miles)
Mental Programming: Programming
Accessories: Self-destruct system, self-repair unit (NOTE: These are optional. The Gamma World version of the Death Machine didn't possess these qualities, but they're sensible additions to it. For a more by-the-book version, remove these accessories.)
  • 2 blaster cannons (short range/damage: up to 2,250’/100 points of damage; medium range/damage: up to 4,500’/75 points of damage; long range/damage: up to 9,000’/50 points of damage)
  • 6 exterminator cannons (normal range/maximum range: 450’/900’; instant death to living targets not protected by a force field, otherwise no effect)
  • 16 batteries of 4 fusion rifles each
  • 4 plasma guns (normal range/maximum range: 300’/600’; damage as plasma bomb)
  • 8 laser batteries of 5 guns each (short range/damage: up to 2,250’/20d6; medium range/damage: up to 4,500’/15d6; long range/damage: up to 9,000’/10d6)
  • 6 micro-missile tubes with 1d100 missiles each
  • 1 mini-missile launcher with 5d10 missiles.
  • Energy damping field (150’ radius; acts as a negation bomb)


Gamer Dude said...

Holy mother of mercy...that thing is impressive. I vaguely remember our DM throwing one of these things up against our "high level" (14 - 16) AD&D group one Saturday afternoon...

Heh, we got our rear-ends handed to us and had to have the wizard teleport us out pronto.

Nasty, nasty piece of work, that.

1d30 said...

I think I know why you want the Death Machine to self-repair: it can't heal naturally and it would kill the splendor of it to encounter one at minimal HP. Yet it makes no sense to encounter a totally undamaged one.

But maybe they have a local "nesting temple" (automated repair hangar) and if the PCs destroy the hangar they won't be able to repair anymore. The Death Machines would have to fly away and find another nest!

(Or at least that's the plan)

It would have a sort of "sneaking into the Dragon's cave while she's away" feel to it. But they could hide in the human-size areas of the hangar until the coast was clear. The main problem seems to be the risk of encountering a Death Machine near the hangar, since they would be more commonly found there. That and actually FINDING the hangar, since the only way to do that would be an ancient encrypted map or else tracking a Death Machine back to base!

Adam Thornton said...


I think you're at + about 50 to track the MILES-WIDE SWATH OF UTTER DEVASTATION.

"The Death Machine Nest? Oh, that's easy: just follow that brand-new, utterly straight canyon of melted magma. Yeah, that one over there. The way it went will be hotter than the other direction."

Chris T said...

Nice one.

I love Gamma World but have yet had the opportunity to insert a Death Machine.

BTW did you catch the Spidergoat reference in Weeds the other week?

Jayson said...

In fact, the death machine in the article quoted above was based at a functional automated military facility that did have repair bays, so the "nest" idea has the imprimatur of Dragon Magazine!