Hey, there! I’ve conjured up another set of authors to create a new set of monsters to share with the world. Much like with previous entries, I gathered three authors together and gave them a prompt in the form of a cool image of a monster and let them go to town. They were to work on their own and create their take on the monster, which I get to share with you today. Each of these monsters has unique abilities and flavors and are open for anyone to grab for their games! So, how did things turn out? Let’s take a look!
First, here is the image that was used as the prompt.
And now our three monsters!
Data Guardian by John Curtin
Data Guardian CR 8
LN Medium construct (magical)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +16
EAC 20; KAC 22
Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +5
Defensive Abilities speed of information
Immunities construct immunities
Speed 30 ft.
Melee datablade +20 (1d10+14 E)
Ranged byte blast +17 (2d8+8 E)
Offensive Abilities mutually-assured destruction
Str +6, Dex +4, Con —, Int —, Wis +2, Cha +0
Skills Acrobatics +16, Computers +21, Mysticism +16
Languages Common (cannot speak)
Other Abilities mindless, unliving
Byte Blast (Ex) As a standard action, a data guardian can fire a deadly lance of electricity from its shield and launch this bolt as a ranged attack against EAC at a target within 60 feet.
Mutually-Assured Destruction (Ex) When a data guardian is destroyed, its programming routes all available resources into one last-ditch effort to protect its objective. Dozens of stacked duplicate copies of the data guardian form in the space and attack as one, creating a dangerous onslaught. As a reaction when a data guardian is reduced to zero hit points, it can make an attack against the creature that reduced it to 0 Hit Points, rolling twice on the attack and taking the better result. If the attack is a critical hit, roll damage three times instead of twice. A creature with the remote hack feature, the shortwave feature, or a similar ability can, as a standard action, attempt a DC 27 Computers check to disable this safeguard.
Speed of Information (Ex) As a creature of pure information, a data guardian typically moves faster than most lifeforms can react. A data guardian does not provoke attacks of opportunity while moving unless it is under the effects of a slow spell.
Technomagical constructs of digital information converted into a corporeal form, data guardians represent the physical embodiment of a firewall given life through magic. Technomancers often use these as guardians in the same way that necromancers of old used skeletons: as mindless constructs to defend valuable things and secure places. Often, a data guardian is summoned as part of a magical trap, where it executes its deadly combat protocols to its fullest extent. Designed without the capacity to learn, data guardians are only as effective as their programming; thus, most technomancers make the coding as simple as possible for the guardian, such as “kill anyone accessing the computer that isn’t me,” or “destroy the computer if anyone attempts to access it.”
The data guardian’s dying attack is its most unique feature, partly because it represents a singular technomagical achievement. By utilizing a mix of quantum computing, parallel processing, and the data guardian’s underlying source code, the data guardian creates dozens of versions of itself cohabitating the same space but minutely offset in time. When the guardian and these copies attack, the onslaught of dozens of strikes makes a successful defense difficult and increases the data guardian’s chances of striking a deadly blow. Many a technomancer have returned to their protected things to find their data guardian destroyed, but the would-be thief dead by the guardian’s blade.
John Curtin (he/him) is a writer and educator living outside of Boston, MA. With backgrounds in music, robotics, and the outdoors, he is always looking for new ways to have adventures, in the real world and in the realms of make-believe. You can follow his personal account on Twitter at @Curtin_Writes, or further Starfinder tomfoolery at @StarfinderFacts.
Nokkohoi by Tineke Bolleman
Nokkohoi CR 5
CN Medium undead
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +9
EAC 16; KAC 20
Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +8
Defensive Abilities honorable death
Immunities undead immunities
Speed 30 ft.
Melee spirit sword +14 (1d6+10 S; critical bleed 1d8)
Offensive Abilities fighting style (wrathful warrior), frenzied fighting, ignore pain, raw lethality
Str +5, Dex +3, Con —, Int –1, Wis +2, Cha +0
Skills Athletics, +16, Intimidate +11, Survival +11
Other Abilities spirit gear, unliving
Honorable Death (Ex) A nokkohoi can only be defeated if it is killed in combat, and the nokkohoi itself sees its defeat as honorable. When dying in such a way, its body and items slowly disintegrate. In all other instances, a nokkohoi comes back to life in 1d4 days.
Spirit Gear (Ex) The weapons or gear a nokkohoi carries is part of its being. While the items can be disarmed, broken or taken away, they eventually re-form in the nokkohoi’s possession. An item that is lost or otherwise not in the nokkohois possession but not broken, can be called to its side as a swift action no matter how far away it is. A broken or destroyed item regenerates itself in one hour. Items that would normally require a power source or battery are powered by the nokkohoi itself. Weapons or gear used by anyone other than the nokkohoi refuse to function. Guns don’t fire, powered weapons do not power on, and melee weapons only function as the most basic version of itself.
Nokkohoi are undead creatures obsessed with dying again. They are most often those who in life followed a martial or military lifestyle, and who rose when their death was not to their satisfaction. A nokkohoi’s physical form and abilities closely resemble who they were in life. They hyper focus on a single fighting style, either a style they mastered while alive, or a style they preferred above all others. Nokkohoi are prevalent under worshippers of certain faiths, and are considered to be a blessing by worshippers of those gods, as not everyone gets to have a second chance at attaining honor. Nokkohoi roam about, searching for a worthy opponent to take on and will ignore those they consider beneath them. If attacked by an unworthy opponent, nokkohoi will usually choose to incapacitate rather than kill. Only opponents that give a nokkohoi a real challenge are deemed worthy of dying by its hand. This behavior seems to be instinctual in the nokkohoi, and prevents a nokkohoi from creating more if its kind. When several nokkohoi rise at the same time, they go to great lengths to avoid each other. No nokkohoi has been observed fighting its own kind, even when manipulated to face another.
Tineke Bolleman (she/her) is an avid gamer, weather tabletop, boardgame or videogame. She volunteers for Paizo organised play. She loves all animals. You can follow her on twitter @direottergames for weird game posts, geeking out about animals and the occasional cat picture
Reliquary Militant by Lau Bannenberg
Reliquary Militant CR 7
LG Medium construct (good, lawful, technological)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +14
Aura aura of menace (20 ft., DC 17)
EAC 19; KAC 20 (+1 with shield aligned)
Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +8
Immunities construct immunities
Speed 30 ft.
Melee holy converted dueling sword +14 (1d8+8 S)
Ranged integrated corona laser rifle +12 (2d6+4 F; burn 1d6)
Spell-like Abilities (CL 7th; ranged +12)
3rd (1/day)—mystic cure (level 3) (DC 20), remove affliction (DC 20)
2nd (3/day)—force blast (DC 19), remove condition (DC 19), restoration (lesser) (DC 19), shield other (DC 19)
1st (at will)—life bubble (DC 18), share language (DC 18)
Str +4, Dex +2, Con —, Int +0, Wis +5, Cha +0
Skills Intimidate +19, Medicine +19, Mysticism +14
Languages Celestial, Common
Other Abilities unliving
Gear inheritor’s grace I, converted dueling sword, field riot shield (+1/+2)
Aura of Menace (Su) Any creature hostile to the reliquary militant within its aura of menace must attempt a Will saving throw. A creature that fails the save takes a –2 penalty to AC, attack rolls, and saving throws for 24 hours or until it deals damage to the reliquary. When the effect ends for a creature, that creature can’t be affected again by the same reliquary’s aura for 24 hours.
When a true crusader of Iomedae breathes their last, the corpse often holds a residue of the soul’s devotion. During one desperate siege a chaplain praying for divine intervention was given specifications for a robot body with a reliquary compartment. When they placed the heart of their fallen commander in it, the robot rose to defend the chapter and led relatively inexperienced troops to victory.
Since then, the use of reliquary militants has spread throughout the church. They have proven particularly effective as a force multiplier for green recruits, cowing enemies and keeping their own troops sustained with divine healing. Units backed by a reliquary militant have managed to fight off vastly larger enemy forces.
While the robots themselves don’t have much personality they occasionally catch a glimmer of insight from their departed patron. They often become mascots, and this has stirred up some theological controversy. The eventual compromise was that while modifying the Heaven-given specification of the robot body was not allowed, it was acceptable to supply the robot with customized clothing, armor and shields. Common designs include the unit’s heraldry or symbols of the original crusader. This compromise also gives wiggle room to put utility enchantments on the external gear.
Some find a walking reminder of their fallen comrades disturbing though. Even more disturbing are rumors that followers of Zon-Kuthon have emulated these robots but used still-living but helpless Joyful Things as relics. There is also concern in the church that followers of Damaritosh or Hellknight orders will try to steal the designs.
Lau Bannenberg makes his lair in the Netherlands but has been living in his imagination forever. He studied medieval history before dual classing to computer science. His recent work includes SFS #3-19 Rat’s Repentance and several monsters in the Battlezoo Bestiary (currently on kickstarter!). He just launched his website minigame-republic.com as a refuge for downtrodden skill challenges and misunderstood minigames.
And that’s our monsters! I hope you enjoyed both checking out these monsters and appreciating the different takes on the monster design here. If you’re interested in contributing to Summoned Monsters or have a prompt for a future article, please drop me a line at KnowDirection@hotmail.com or reach out to me via Know Direction’s Discord!