Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wargaming the Battle of Austa

The Austa system (Magyar 2503) represented the last high population world in Anise subsector that had been untouched by Admiral Kemper’s Magyar offensive. In 1000 the mainworld was the highest population world in the entire sector, with 90 billion inhabitants. A second major world, Geaamshuu, had over 2 billion inhabitants.

The Austa system was first explored by the Vilani during the Ziru Sirka, who named the mainworld Karikmir. And although both Karikmir and Geaamshuu have abundant water and orbit within the habitable zone of Nagishar, the G2 V primary, both worlds had dense carbon dioxide-nitrogen atmospheres with a notable absence of free oxygen. The Vilani established an outpost on Karikmir but did not attempt to colonize either world.

The Terran Confederation assumed control of the system late in the Interstellar Wars, and Confederation terraformers introduced genetically modified algae to both Karikmir and Geaamshuu, producing breathable atmospheres on both worlds by the end of the Rule of Man. Terran colonists flocked to the system and began settling Karikmir and Geaamshuu in earnest. Lacking an asteroid belt, the colonists thoroughly explored the system over the following centuries, establishing mining bases on several other planets and moons.

During the Long Night Austa became a major power in the region, rivaling both the Tolson Interstellar Kingdom and Tralp, though its general reach had been greatly curtailed by the time the Imperium entered into the region. By 400 Austa was an impoverished, over-populated, TL 8 planet eager to join the Third Imperium. By 700 disappointment in Imperial rule led Austa to embrace the Solomani Movement; with assistance from the government of the Autonomous Region the economy of Austa finally began to improve, increasing its technology level from 9 to 12 in just 200 years.

Although the majority of the system’s population is Solomani, a small Vilani minority appeared during the Long Night, refugees from worlds conquered by Tralp and reavers. These newcomers were shunted to Geaamshuu and the mines on Dikhii, the innermost world.

The Austa System (circa 1000)
Orbit
Radius (AU)
NameUWPRemarks
PrimaryNagisharG2 V
0.32DikhiiFDB5669-8Mi Pe Tz
0.5UkaalimY9C4000-0Tz
0.71GeaamshuuF5879DF-4Ho
1.01Austa (Karikmir)B796AAA-DHi In
1.98KiselinaY6CA000-0Co
2.82ZamruznalY9A3100-5
TopkaH200457-7Mi Sa Lk
4.53ChervenLGG
Cherven AyY300000-0Sa Lk
Cherven BeeY100000-0Sa Lk
SofiaY301100-8Fr Sa Lk
Cherven EyeY202000-0Fr Sa Lk
Cherven EnY433000-0Fr Sa
Cherven YuY202000-0Fr Sa
9.02OranzhevLGG
Oranzhev EffY425000-0Fr Sa Lk
Oranzhev VeeY336000-0Fr Sa
PolyaG414244-5Mi Fr Sa
15.15ZelenLGG
RositsaY300254-9Mi Sa Lk
GenadiH10048A-9Mi Sa Lk
KrasimirY20426B-8Fr Mi Sa
25.76ZhultLGG
Zhult BeeY100000-0Sa Lk
Zhult EeY100000-0Sa Lk
Zhult GeeY202000-0Fr Sa Lk
Zhult ArrY200000-0Sa
Zhult ExY100000-0Sa
38.64MoyataHCB4664-7Mi

Order of Battle

Austa’s enormous population supported formidable defenses, including 24 separate wings of system defense boats and a squadron of large planetoid monitors. The great dilemma that faced the Austan commanders, though, was how best to defend settlements dispersed so widely across the system. In a compromise, 5 wings were dispatched to the gas giant Zelen, 9 wings were positioned at Geaamshuu, and the remainder were placed at Austa along with the Austan system squadrons. No regular Confederation units were available.

Solomani Confederation Units
UnitTLJRating
Austan SDB Wing 11300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 21300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 31300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 41300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 51300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 61300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 71300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 81300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 221300-2-2
Austan SDB Wing 231300-2-2
Austan AssautRon1330-0-4
Austan Monitor Squadron1305-1-2
Austan PatRon1333-1-2

Admiral Kemper committed most of the 4th and 18th Fleets to the assault, which she herself directed. Her plan called for a carefully coordinated jump of units from Guenivier (Magyar 2505) and Ferstenberg (2704). She hoped that the presence of such a large Imperial force would result in the surrender of the system without a fight.

Imperial Units
UnitTLJRating
285th BatRon1446-5-6
337th BatRon1446-3-6
894th BatRon1334-1-4
214th CarRon1441-1-5
265th CruRon1442-1-3
810th CruRon1330-3-5
355th BatRon1445-3-7
106th CarRon1441-1-4
293rd CarRon1331-1-4
484th BatRon1446-1-3
568th BatRon1444-0-4
2542nd Colonial BatRon1334-1-4
926th BatRon1334-1-4
355th CruRon1443-0-3
484th BatRon1446-1-3
Sternbach Colonial CruRon1332-0-2
115th TankRon1440-0-4
155th TankRon1440-0-4
244th TankRon1330-0-4

Resolution

Unfortunately for Admiral Kemper, the Ferstenberg task force arrived in-system several hours ahead of the Guenivier task force, jumping just outside the 100-diameter limit of the mainworld. Austan defenses were scrambled to engage the invaders, and were surprised when the Guenivier task force emerged from jump space. While the Ferstenberg task force engaged the SDB wings, the Guenivier task force focused on the squadrons

  • Turn 1
    • Attack
      • Imperial Ferstenberg task force rolls 6
      • Austan SDB wings roll 1
      • Imperial Guenivier task force rolls 1
      • Austan squadrons roll 2
    • Damage
      • SDB wings 22, 23 eliminated
      • 265th CruRon eliminated
      • Austan AssaultRon eliminated
      • No damage
  • Turn 2
    • Attack
      • Imperial Ferstenberg task force rolls 1
      • Austan SDB wings roll 3
      • Imperium Guenivier task force rolls 1
      • Austan squadrons roll 4
    • Damage
      • SDB wing 8 eliminated
      • Stenbach CruRon eliminated
      • Austan PatRon eliminated
      • 355th CruRon eliminated
  • Turn 3
    • Attack
      • Imperial Ferstenberg task force rolls 2
      • Austan SDB wings roll 1
      • Imperial Guenivier task force rolls 2
      • Austan squadrons roll 2
    • Damage
      • SDB wing 7 eliminated
      • No damage
      • Austan monitor squadron eliminated
      • No damage
  • Turn 4
    • Imperium conslidates forces
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons rolls 6
      • Austan SDB wings roll 4
    • Damage
      • SDB wings 6 and 5 eliminated
      • Eliminates 568th BatRon
  • Turn 5
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons rolls 5
      • Austan SDB wings roll 3
    • Damage
      • SDB wings 4 and 3 eliminated
      • No damage
  • Turn 6
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons rolls 3
      • Austan SDB wings roll 1
    • Damage
      • SDB wings 2 and 1 eliminated
      • No damage

After Action Report

With the mainworld defenses defeated, the Imperial force moved quickly to destroy the orbital highport before regrouping and jumping outsystem, bound for Anise. While the primary mission objective had been achieved, attrition was beginning to take a toll on the Imperial squadrons: a scant 14 weeks after entering Magyar sector, Kemper’s CruRons were particularly thin and two disabled Inkaalurs needed to be scuttled and left behind. Had all of the Austan SBD wings been massed around the mainworld Kemper’s force would have have been unlikely to have assailed the starport.

The two task forces began methodically combing through Anise subsector, destroying all Class A and B starports they encountered. The rich worlds of Amunet (2507), Milenky (2603), Lontarelli (2801), and Sweet (2901) all fell rapidly to Kemper’s raiders, and were followed by the pre-high population worlds of Volund (2607) and Typoer (3210). Pinnock (2701) and Waldrin (2910) both surrendered without a fight. The success and tempo of the Imperial operation at times outpaced resupplies, and as squadrons depleted nuclear missiles they improvised with mass drivers to destroy targets.

Kemper demonstrated the fundamental weakness of Magyar’s planetary defense forces. Prior to her invasion, most of the systems in Beta and Delta quadrants faced few threats beyond piracy, occasional Aslan raids, or (more likely) hostilities from neighboring Confederation systems. As such they had relatively limited system and planetary defences, lacking deep meson gun sites, nuclear dampers, or city-sized meson screens. The planetary navies rarely drilled with Solomani regular forces and were generally unprepared for fighting a TL 14 force.

Once Kemper had broken the Confederation naval forces in Anise subsector, the Solomani worlds were essentially defenseless, allowing her to reduce industrial and infrastructure targets at will. This vulnerability which would eventually lead to the creation of the Home Guard following the war.

Copyright Information

The Traveller game in all forms is owned by Far Future Enterprises. Copyright © 1977 – 2017 Far Future Enterprises. Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises. Far Future permits web sites and fanzines for this game, provided it contains this notice, that Far Future is notified, and subject to a withdrawal of permission on 90 days notice. The contents of this site are for personal, non-commercial use only. Any use of Far Future Enterprises’s copyrighted material or trademarks anywhere on this web site and its files should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks. In addition, any program/articles/file on this site cannot be republished or distributed without the consent of the author who contributed it.

Materials produced by Digest Group Publications (DGP) are copyright © Roger Sanger. Any use of Digest Group Publications' copyrighted material or trademarks anywhere on this Web site and its files should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights. Usage is intended to follow the guidelines announced by Roger Sanger on the Traveller Mailing List for preserving the overall Traveller milieu.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Bloated Purple Spiders of the Neighbouring Vales: Spiders of Leng

The horrific spiders of Leng are another product of H.P. Lovecraft’s novella “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.” Lovecraft provided scant details on this monster, and Paizo included a version in the Pathfinder Bestiary 2. Sandy Petersen will provide a CR 12, but only slightly less nasty version in his Cthulhu Mythos for Pathfinder Kickstarter.

The Kickstarter also included a great Leng spider miniature that I painted last week, as seen in the picture to the right. The sculpt is absolutely fantastic and approximately Huge size. I experimented some more with a glazing technique—using many, very thin layers of semi-translucent paint to gradually build up color. I am reasonably happy with the results. On one hand, I wish I had gotten a little more of a reddish hue for the bloated body. But on the other hand, the sepia wash settled in a way to make the “skin” seem uncomfortably real. I decided it was best to leave be.

The following 3.5e version is a straight back-port from the Pathfinder rendition, but I might revisit this to incorporate some Petersen elements once that book comes out.

The following text is Open Game Content.

Leng Spider

This immense purple spider has a legspan of nearly forty feet and a hideously bloated body, yet still moves with fluid grace.

Dark Aspirations. The spiders of Leng have long warred with that realm's more humanoid denizens, yet this does not make the spiders allies of sane life. These spiders see themselves as deserving of true positions of power, and the only creatures they suffer to live apart from their kin are their magically controlled slaves.

Bound to Leng. Fortunately, the spiders have no intrinsic way to travel to the Material Plane, and must use portals or other methods to visit this world.

Artistic Trap Builders. Leng spiders construct lairs of dangerous and haunting beauty made of webs and other materials found nearby.

A Leng spider's body is 18 feet long and weighs 6,000 pounds.

Leng Spider CR 14

Usually CE Huge magical beast (extraplanar)

Init +13; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Listen +21, Spot +21

Languages Aklo; tongues

Defense

AC 29, touch 17, flat-footed 20
(+9 Dex, +12 natural, -2 size)

hp 202 (15d10+120 HD); fast healing 10

Fort +17, Ref +18, Will +10

Immune cold, confusion and insanity effects, poison, sonic; SR 25

Offense

Spd 40 ft., climb 40 ft.

Melee mwk flail +22/+17/+12 (3d6+8), bite +16 (2d6+4 plus poison)

Ranged mwk bolas +23 (1d8+8)

Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.

Special Attacks web (+24 ranged, DC 25, 15 hp), web weaponry

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 15th)

At will—arcane sight, dispel magic, fabricate (webs only), freedom of movement, tongues

3/day—air walk, invisibility, major image (DC 19)

1/day—charm monster (DC 20), insanity (DC 23), mirage arcana (DC 21), veil (DC 22)

Tactics

During Combat Leng spiders fight intelligently and delight in luring prey into deadly traps.

Morale A Leng spider withdraws if reduced to half its normal hit points.

Statistics

Str 26, Dex 29, Con 26, Int 21, Wis 17, Cha 22

Base Atk +15; Grp +31

Feats Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Iron Will, Point-Blank Shot

Skills Balance +11, Climb +16, Concentration +26, Jump +23, Knowledge (any one) +23, Listen +21, Spellcraft +23 (+25 to decipher scrolls), Spot +21, Tumble +20, Use Magic Device +24 (+26 with scrolls)

Ecology

Environment any

Organization solitary, pair, or cult (3–6)

Treasure double standard

Advancement 16–30 (Huge), 31–45 HD (Gargantuan)

Special Abilities

Poison (Su) Injury, Fortitude DC 25, initial and secondary damage 1d4 Con plus confusion for 1 round. A Leng spider's venom causes flesh to blister and rot away and the mind to experience vivid and horrific hallucinations—these visions cause the poisoned creature to react in an unpredictable manner, as if confused. The hallucination element of this poison is mind-affecting. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Web Weaponry (Ex) A Leng spider is talented at using its webs to construct masterwork weapons. This technique of weapon creation allows the spider to effectively create a flail or bolas by attaching a heavy object such as a rock or chunk of metal to a cord of webbing. The spider attaches one end of this webbing to a leg and can then wield the weighted cord as a masterwork flail or a masterwork bolas. It can only wield one such weapon at a time—it must use its other legs to walk. If a Leng spider drops or loses a web weapon, it can create a new one as a full-round action, provided it has access to heavy-weight objects of the correct size (such as loose rocks or skulls).

Skills A Leng spider has a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened.

OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a

The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is Copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc (“Wizards”). All Rights Reserved.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Two Gugs

As I had mentioned in an earlier post on gugs, I received two new gug miniatures from two separate Kickstarters. The gug on the left is from Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos for Pathfinder, while the gug on the right is from the Reaper Bones III set.

Whenever I get a new giganto set of miniatures, I try to do triage, sorting the prospects into three or four categories based on priority. High priority are minis that are immediately useful for a game, easier to paint, and/or particularly cool. At the other end are minis that I either don’t like or are unlikely to be used, like steampunk figures. Both gugs ended up in the high priority bin, but I was a little surprised that I decided to paint them first out of the new batch.

Both are really nice sculpts and were a lot of fun to paint. They are very different takes on the same concept: both are Large creatures with 2-inch bases, but much smaller than the Pathfinder Battles gug, which is probably twice as tall as either. I was initially disappointed by the size of the Reaper gug, but it has grown on me. It is certainly the most alien rendition of the monster, with a pretty gruesome maw. I was not quite sure how to paint this, but was fairly happy with how ghoul flesh looked on this figure. The Petersen gug probably better fits my idea of the gug from H.P. Lovecraft’s Dreamlands.

In any case, I don’t think any of my players would like to see either of these gugs appear on the play mat. Which is a weird sort of endorsement for these minatures.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wargaming the Raid on Tralp

The Dootchen Estates, supremely confident in its own military prowess and long isolated from the fighting of the Rim War, did not feel particularly threatened by the Imperial invasion of Anise subsector. After all, in over 3,000 years of recorded history no foreign army had ever set foot on the capital world of Tralp (Magyar 1913). The government of the Estates had even sent two divisions of armored infantry and two regiments of the elite Aazlantrope into the Solomani Rim to assist the Confederation. They would soon regret that decision.

The Tralp mainworld orbits inside the 100 diameter limit of its K5 V primary, so the Imperial 9th Fleet was forced to jump in-system just outside this area, giving the defenders enough time to scramble an interception force as the 9th made at best speed for Tralp. The Imperials were met by the two system defense squadrons as well as the Confederation 12th AssaultRon, the 56th FleetRon, and the 6th HSRon.

Order of Battle


Solomani Confederation Units
UnitTLJumpRating
12th AssaultRon1332-8-6
56th FleetRon1334-0-5
6th HSRon1431-1-5
Tralp PatRon1130-0-2
Tralp Monitor1100-0-2
120 SDBs110

Imperial Units
UnitTLJumpRating
380th CruRon1443-2-3
381st CruRon1442-1-4
587th CruRon1452-2-2
602nd CruRon1452-2-2
706th CruRon1443-0-3
811th CruRon1441-2-3
428th BatRon1445-1-4
492nd BatRon1444-0-6
495th BatRon1444-0-6
246th TankRon1430-0-4

Resolution

For this battle, I used rules from Fifth Frontier War instead of Invasion Earth. FFW allows units to be reduced before being eliminated completely; it also treats SDBs individually rather than combined into wings of 50 SDBs. Together these changes create more back-and-forth as space combats go quite a bit longer than in IE.

  • Turn 1
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons roll 6
      • Solomani squadrons roll 1
    • Damage
      • Imperials deal 7 damage, eliminate Confederation 6th HSRon, Tralp PatRon
      • No damage
  • Turn 2
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons roll 2
      • Solomani squadrons roll 5
    • Damage
      • Imperials deal 4 damage, eliminate Tralp monitor squadron and reduce 12th AssaultRon to 1-4-3
      • Solomani deal 2 damage, reduce 428th BatRon to 3-1-2
  • Turn 3
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons roll 4
      • Solomani squadrons roll 1
    • Damage
      • Imperials deal 5 damage, eliminate 12th AssaultRon and reduce 56th FleetRon to 2-0-3
      • No damage
  • Turn 4
    • 56th FleetRon withdraws and jumps outsystem to Namedih (Magyar 1713)
    • Imperials move to the Tralp interface, engage SDBs
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons roll 5
      • Tralp SDBs roll 1
    • Damage
      • Imperials inflict 60% casualties on SDBs
      • SDBs do 1 damage, reduce 706th CruRon to 2-0-2
  • Turn 5
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons roll 3
      • Tralp SDBs roll 1
    • Damage
      • Imperial squadrons inflict 20% casualties on SDBs
      • No damage
  • Turn 6
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons roll 1
      • Tralp SDBs roll 4
    • Damage
      • No damage
      • Tralp SDBs eliminate 706th CruRon
  • Turn 7
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons roll 6
      • Tralp SDBs roll 3
    • Damage
      • Imperial squadrons inflict 50% casualties on SDBs
      • SDBs inflict 1 damage, reduces 811th CruRon to 1-1-2
  • Turn 8
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons roll 3
      • Tralp SDBs roll 1
    • Damage
      • Imperial squadrons inflict 20% casualties on SDBs
      • No damage
  • Turn 9
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons roll 1
      • Tralp SDBs roll 2
    • Damage
      • Imperial squadrons inflict 10% casualties on SDBs
      • No damage
  • Turn 10
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons roll 3
      • Tralp SDBs roll 4
    • Damage
      • Imperial squadrons inflict 40% casualties on SDBs
      • SDBs inflict 1 damage, reduces 587th CruRon to 1-1-1
  • Turn 11
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons roll 6
      • Tralp SDBs roll 1
    • Damage
      • Imperial squadrons inflict 90% casualties on SDBs
      • No damage
  • Turn 12
    • Attack
      • Imperial squadrons roll 5
      • Tralp SDBs roll 3
    • Damage
      • Imperials eliminate remaining SDBs
      • No damage

After Action Report

The subsequent battle in far orbit above Tralp was vicious but decisive. The Imperial Fleet dispatched the system squadrons as well as the 12th AssaultRon and 6th HSRon; the 56th FleetRon was severely mauled and barely managed to jump out in the face of destruction.

The 9th Fleet then moved into position for bombardment runs when swarms of system defense boats emerged from the atmosphere. The 706th CruRon was shredded in the subsequent fighting and the 587th CruRon and its Lightning-class fleet intruders were forced to pull back from the fray. After grinding down the persistent SDBs the Fleet destroyed the mainworld’s Class B starport and left the capital city of Tralpstad a smouldering ruin. It is ironic that one of Kemper’s most iconic decisions of the campaign is also the most atypical: the selection of a largely symbolic target rather than one with high industrial or military value.

After razing Tralp Admiral Arrighetti and the 9th Fleet began to systematically harrass the member worlds of the Estates. The Jump-5 capabilities of her Lightning-class fleet intruders allowed them to strike essentially anywhere in Voyager subsector, and by the time Confederation reinforcements jumped into besieged systems they found only shattered starports, shipyards, industrial centers, and communication networks. In only 18 weeks the 9th Fleet struck at Wondagaal (2204), Stevanic (2413), Voorond (2416), Vaderwall (2218), Pieper (1919), Vivian (1817), Voetsak (1815), and Headley (1714), all lightly defended systems with good or better starports. Word of the Raid on Tralp quickly spread throughout Magyar and soon no Confederation world in the sector felt safe.

Copyright Information

The Traveller game in all forms is owned by Far Future Enterprises. Copyright © 1977 – 2017 Far Future Enterprises. Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises. Far Future permits web sites and fanzines for this game, provided it contains this notice, that Far Future is notified, and subject to a withdrawal of permission on 90 days notice. The contents of this site are for personal, non-commercial use only. Any use of Far Future Enterprises’s copyrighted material or trademarks anywhere on this web site and its files should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks. In addition, any program/articles/file on this site cannot be republished or distributed without the consent of the author who contributed it.

Materials produced by Digest Group Publications (DGP) are copyright © Roger Sanger. Any use of Digest Group Publications' copyrighted material or trademarks anywhere on this Web site and its files should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights. Usage is intended to follow the guidelines announced by Roger Sanger on the Traveller Mailing List for preserving the overall Traveller milieu.

Monday, July 10, 2017

To Satisfy His Ravenous Maw

One of the kids in my junior delvers game played a lizardman fighter whose main claim to fame was being swallowed whole by a tyrannosaurus in a pocket dimension—probably the most metal character death imaginable. It turns out he is a pretty talented artist in addition to being an imaginative role player. He recently produced a gruesome drawing with all sorts of nasty monsters, and this horror in particular really struck my fancy.

The following text is Open Game Content.

Acheronian

The gaunt, stooped figure stands over nine feet tall upon two legs that end in three toes; its long arms nearly reach the ground. Its flesh is gray and rubbery, with two red eyes that burn out from a face without a mouth, ears, or nose. A vertical fissure runs down the center of its chest from the base of the neck to the waist. This fissure opens and closes as if drawing breath, revealing sharp, jagged teeth.

Denizens of the Depths. Acheronians live in dismal caverns and tunnels far beneath the surface of the earth.

Mysterious Lurkers. Although acheronians appear intelligent and are able to understand Aklo, they do not speak. They prey on any living creature that stumbles into their areas.

A Horrific Maw. An acheronian’s enormous mouth is located in its chest, which can gape open to reveal rows of jagged teeth. These creatures attempt to grab opponents and pull them in to their terrifying jaws.

0e

Acheronian CL 9 (1,100 XP)

If an acheronian hits with both arms, it will automatically bite the victim for an additional 4d6 points of damage.

HD 8; AC 1 [18]; Atk 2 arms (1d4), 1 bite (4d6); Move 15; Save 8; Al C; Special bite

3.5e

Acheronian CR 6

Usually NE Large aberration

Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +6, Spot +6

Language Aklo

Defense

AC 18, touch 10, flat-footed 10
(+1 Dex, +8 natural, -1 size)

hp 60 (8d8+24 HD)

Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +7

Offense

Spd 40 ft.

Melee 2 slams +11 (1d4+6), 1 bite +9 (4d6+9/19–20)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 15 ft. (5 ft. with bite)

Special Attacks improved grab, savage bite

Tactics

Before Combat A solitary acheronian tends to lurk in the darkness, waiting to pick off stragglers.

In Combat An acheronian focuses on a single target, preferably the weakest available.

Morale An acheronian attacks until reduced to 25% of its hit points, or 15 hp for a typical individual.

Statistics

Str 22, Dex 13, Con 16, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 9

Base Atk +6; Grp +16

Feats Alertness, Improved Initiative, Multiattack

Skills Hide +6 (+10 in rocky or underground areas), Listen +6, Spot +6

SQ resilient

Ecology

Environment Any underground

Organization Solitary, pack (2–16)

Treasure Standard

Advancement 9–16 HD (Large), 17–24 (Huge)

Special Abilities

Improved Grab (Ex) To use this ability, an acheronian must hit a creature at least one size smaller than itself with its slam attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold, picks up the opponent, and transfers it to the mouth as a free action, automatically dealing bite damage.

Resilient (Ex) An acheronian has a +4 racial bonus on Fortitude and Reflex saves (included in the statistics block).

Savage Bite (Ex) An acheronian’s bite is particularly dangerous. It applies 1-1/2 times its Strength modifier to damage inflicted with its bite attack, and threatens a critical hit on a 19–20.

Skills The skin of an acheronian changes color, allowing it to blend in with its surroundings and providing a +4 racial bonus on Hide checks. In rocky or underground settings, this bonus improves to +8.

5e

Acheronian Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)

NE Large aberration

Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14

Languages understands Aklo but can’t speak

Defense

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)

Hit Points 133 (14d10 + 56)

Saves Dex +4, Con +7

Offense

Speed 40 ft.

Multiattack The acheronian makes two slam attacks and one bite attack.

Slam +7 melee, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

Bite +7 melee, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (4d8 + 4) piercing damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 17). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the acheronian can’t bite another target.

Statistics

Str 18 (+4), Dex 13 (+1), Con 18 (+4), Int 9 (-1), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 9 (-1)

Skills Perception +4, Stealth +4

OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a

The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is Copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc (“Wizards”). All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Magyar Sector in the Rim War: The Tralp Raid

The Dootchen Estates circa 1000
The Dootchen Estates circa 1000

As the Imperial 4th and 18th Battle Fleets methodically crushed Confederation resistance in Anise subsector, the Imperial 9th Fleet moved directly into Voyager to harry the Dootchen Estates, a Solomani interstellar polity with origins in the Long Night.

As the Rule of Man collapsed and technology levels crashed, the population of the garden world Tralp/Voyager (Magyar 1913) exploded. Soon Tralp began preying on neighboring systems, seizing technological resources and laying claim to entire worlds.

The first worlds to fall were located in the Girii Cluster, nine systems centered on the high-population world of Girii, now known as Ownes/Voyager (Magyar 1917). The Cluster had been settled by Vilani dissidents during the Ziru Sirka, forcefully absorbed into the First Imperium, and then later incorporated into the Terran Confederation and then the Rule of Man.

The worlds of the Girii Cluster were ripe for plunder, and by -1400 the Tralpean occupiers had stripped the Vilani inhabitants of their property and then instituted a cruel racially-based class structure that grew only more stratified as the Long Night deepened. As Girii lay on the Aslan Route, a sprawling J-2 path that connected Terra (Solomani Rim 1827) and Kusyu (Dark Nebula 1226), the system soon became an important Aslan outpost. By -1200 the mainworld, renamed Ouoarl, was claimed by the Tearlauih, an Aslan clan that had embraced Solomani culture. The Tearlauih grew very prosperous during the first Aslan Age of Discovery and controlled several key worlds on the Aslan Route.

By -500 Tralp and its subject worlds formed the Greater Tralpryk, a pocket empire that proved strong enough to push back against the Aslan and the neighboring Neoslavic Bloc. By 101 the Tearlauih had become so weakened by the Aslan Cultural Purge that the Tralpryk was able to seize control of all Aslan-dominated worlds in Voyager subsector. At its height the Tralpryk claimed 32 systems, including most of Voyager subsector as well as choice worlds in Clown and New Town. While never a true naval power, the Tralpryk maintained formidable ground armies to seize and hold new worlds. The fabled Aazlantrope were elite armored units said to have been specifically created to combat Aslan raiders.

The entrance of the Third Imperium into the region represented a significant threat to Tralpean ambitions: surrounding worlds clamored for Imperial protection from the Tralpryk. The case for intervention was strengthened by the Tralpryk’s brazen use of chattel slavery, outlawed by Article VI of the Warrant of Restoration and anathema to Imperial sensibilities. The Tralpryk itself was repulsed by thoughts of joining the Imperium, which would have required the Tralpryk to be dissolved and each world admitted individually. In 400 most of Clown, Anise, Kline, and New Mars subsectors joined the Imperium while the Tralpryk defiantly stood alone.

The Tralpryk was therefore relieved by the creation of the Autonomous Sphere in 704 and became a strong advocate for the formation of Solomani Confederation in 871. This new government welcomed multiworld polities such as the Tralpryk, which joined the Confederation as a powerful member-state. In 924 the Tralpryk itself was reorganized into the Dootchen Estates, a federation that gave member worlds additional rights and authorities while curtailing the influence of Tralp.

The new Dootchen government promoted a romanticized identity that cast the Estates as stalwart defenders of Solomani worlds against alien invaders. Their unsavory racial politics and enthusiasm for military intervention soon made the Estates the darling of more radical elements within the Solomani Party. The Estates therefore enjoyed an unusual degree of influence at the highest levels of the Confederation.

On the other hand, the Estates were distrusted and resented by neighboring Confederation worlds and member-states. And outside the Confederation the Dootchen caste system was frequently held up as a deplorable example of Solomani racial policies. All of this made the Estates an irresistible symbolic target for Kemper’s forces.

So while Anise subsector was besieged by the Imperial 4th and 18th fleets, the 9th Fleet was hopping through lightly populated systems en route to Tralp, the capital of the Dootchen Estates.

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