EXTERMINATE! — 4 Comments

  1. “Me, I prefer unironic, unexamined, embrasure of the 14 year old within” – That just made my week (and is a line I can’t wait to steal and slip into conversation).

    I grew up watching Doctor Who on TVOntario (my dad was a big sci-fi nut, so gathering around the television each week was a family event), so the Daleks have a special place in my heart. When I try to explain to my friends who never watched the show why Daleks are cool and scary all they see is a shambling garbage can with a toilet plunger. Needless to say I really appreciate this monster.

    •Immune, resist and vulnerable are all mechanically sound and fit with the material.
    •Resolute is an interesting trait – I’ve never seen modifiers to Diplomacy or Intimidate in a monster stat block before (it actually made me go and read the skill descriptions again), but I like it – it’s one of those examples where the mechanics of something can open up the possibilities for an encounter.
    •Enemy of the Daleks is a great trait and full of flavour.
    •Blaster is great – I wasn’t sure what type of damage you were going to make the Dalek’s trademark attack, but I think the triple combination of damage types is both a good simulation, and will prevent the attack from being resisted (the penalty to death saves is also a nice touch – since it’s supposed to be nigh impossible to survive)
    •I like how the Dalekanium grenade trades off AC for an attack – I can see using something similar for all sorts of monsters (or a good simulation of reactive armour)
    •Plunger of Doom made me laugh – while the blaster hasn’t changed all that much over the years; it seems like every writer of Doctor Who leaves their stamp on what the hell the ‘plunger’ does… this is a good power though. Great human shield image and useful for artillery

    One last thing. You have exposed my lack of technical knowledge – I had to look up what COBOL was.

    • Well, what language would the most evil race in the galaxy speak? PERL? 🙂

      I just wanted to say I really appreciate your feedback on mechanics, et al. You hit a lot of the design intent correctly, which tells me I did something right. Yes, the “blaster” was pretty much a “Resist THIS, human!” combo, and also reflected the types of effects often seen on the show (remembering this is an abstraction of 30+ years of various Daleks, continuity being a total mess on Dr. Who, probably due to everything being all wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey).

      I had toyed with a variety of ways to increase lethality, such as having them coup de grace as a minor action, but I tend to dislike those mechanics because they take some of the decision making power out of the hands of the DM when it comes to killing PCs. The “harsher death save” mechanic increases tension while still giving other characters a chance to act, and makes a heal check to stabilize much more important.

      The Plunger-o-Doom was inspired by the episode “Dalek” in the first season of the reboot/revival. I loved the line “What are you going to do, plunge me to death?”, but I wanted a mechanic which worked in 4e combat and would be simultaneously sort of slapsticky and yet need to be taken seriously.

      The “Resolute” trait is there because while it’s really, really, hard to negotiate with Daleks, it’s not impossible, as we’ve seen the Doctor manage to get them talking plenty of times (usually right before he does something clever and they all explode). Threatening or bullying them never works, but if put into a situation where victory seems impossible and they see a chance to survive and return to fight again (or to stall until more daleks arrive), they just might stop shooting for a second. (Sontarans, on the other hand…). 4e lacks any kind of formal “morale” system, so these decisions tend to be purely DM calls, but I think if a creature or species is known to be “cowardly” or “brave”, above and beyond the norm, that there should be a mechanical component to reinforce their behavior. (The DM can always apply whatever other modifiers he sees fit; the game ninjas won’t come and take away his DM license.)

  2. I like your Dalek mechanics, and I hope at some point you post the rest. I’m not a 4E fan and have never bought any of it, other than the Gamma World Boxed Set (because, you know, Gamma World! Who can resist?) So I’m not entirely sure how it would play, but it looks awesome.

  3. Pingback:Daloids! – Lizard's Gaming and Geekery Site

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