September 12, 2019

Meet the Rift Rats!

Comments from the Finger: I finally caught up on Rift Rats! 

I love this season of Hero Club. It's always great seeing such a well-produced campaign using a book that's occupied such a massive part of my life, but George and Nick really get what makes Dark Matter great: it doesn't take itself too seriously. This season is hysterical (though it takes an episode before it descends into full-on farce) and you should absolutely listen in.

Meet the Rats!
The cast of Rift Rats, the titular Rats, is phenomenal. It’s just only three characters (plus some recurring side characters), but they manage to be funny, clever, and downright dangerous. So, I’m going to build the rats as NPCs for use in your Dark Matter game, and let you know how I’d write them as characters using Dark Matter rules. My versions are going to be a little different to the versions presented in the podcast, so if you want to spot all the differences, go listen in!

C.B. (Cheeseburgers) is a wendįgan, which means his tiny, adorably furry appearance belies an instinctual knowledge of machinery and tech unmatched by most other races in the ‘verse. Armed with his powered frame and his borderline fanatical loyalty to his friend Rae (Raegan Cross), he’s ready to jaunt anywhere in the ‘verse his best friend takes him.

Building C.B.
C.B.’s original build is that of an Enhanced warlock, with most of the selected spells refluffed as various types of gadgets. This is a popular choice for technological characters, since eldritch blast is basically a laser to begin with, and the warlock chassis provides ample room for customization. Naturally, Dark Matter’s gadgeteer class builds somewhat on the warlock’s invocation structure, so it makes a good fit for this conversion. Plus, it gives you a mech suit, and who doesn’t want a mech suit?

Cheeseburgers (C.B.)
Small humanoid (wendigan), lawful good 
Armor Class 13 (17 while in the Experimental Frame)
Hit Points 25
Speed 25 ft. (30 ft. while in the Experimental Frame) 
STR 8 (−1) DEX 16 (+3) CON 12 (+1)
INT 18 (+4) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 12 (+1) 
Skills Data +7, Technology +7
Senses thermalsight 30 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Common
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)= 
AI Companion. Whenever C.B. makes an Intelligence (Technology) check, he treats the result as a 10, if it would be lower.
Experimental Frame. C.B. pilots a powerful exo-suit. While in his suit, he gains the following benefits:
  • His size is Medium.
  • His movement speed is 30 feet.
  • His Armor Class is 17.
  • He gains 5 temporary hit points at the start of each of his turns.

Overcharge. A blaster deals two extra dice of its damage when C.B. hits with it (included in the attack). 
Multiattack. C.B. makes two melee weapon attacks.
Repeater. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 60/180 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (4d6) radiant damage.
Gadget. C.B. uses one of the following gadgets:
     Blink Button. C.B. teleports up to 15 feet.
     Micro-Missiles. Two missiles automatically hit targets of C.B.’s choice within 30 feet, dealing 1d6 force damage each. The missiles can target the same creature or different ones.
     Overheat Beacon (Recharge 5-6). Each blaster within 60 feet of C.B. (excluding those carried by C.B.) overheat until the end of C.B.’s next turn.

Reagan Cross
A natural born troublemaker and crack shot gunslinger, Reagan Cross is a woman who plays by her own rules. Alongside her partner in crime, Cheeseburgers, she spends her days robbing from the corrupt and double-crossing other thieves across the ‘verse. She’s not without a moral compass, however; while she’s quick to pull the trigger, she always knows who to aim at.

Building Reagan Cross
Reagan is a spectacularly acted character, but the build is as simple as can be: gunslinger, plus or minus some odds and ends. The original multiclassed Pugilist for some reason, but in this case, I’ll be basing the statblock on the Smuggler in Dark Matter. This template provides a concise way to implement gunslinger NPCs, with the Lucky feat thrown on for good measure.

Reagan Cross
Medium humanoid (human), neutral good 
Armor Class 16 (tactical nanofiber vest/studded leather)
Hit Points 39
Speed 30 ft. 
STR 11 (+0) DEX 18 (+4) CON 16 (+3)
INT 10 (+0) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 10 (+0) 
Skills Deception +3, Perception +3, Persuasion +3, Piloting +7
Senses passive Perception 10
Languages Common
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP) 
Critical Shot. Reagan’s blaster attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.
Dodge Roll. As a bonus action, Reagan can move up to 15 feet. This movement doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks, ignores difficult terrain, and can move her through hostile creature’s spaces, as long as she doesn’t end her movement there.
Lucky (3/Day). Once per turn, Reagan can reroll an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, or cause an attack roll against her to be rerolled. She chooses which roll is used.
Quick Draw. Reagan has advantage on initiative rolls. Additionally, she can draw or stow up to two weapons when she rolls initiative and whenever she takes an action on its turn. 
Multiattack. Reagan makes two ranged weapon attacks.
Ion Cannon. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 30/90 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d6) radiant damage, or 9 (2d8) radiant damage if the target is within 15 feet.
Magnus Opum. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 60/180 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d10) radiant damage. The weapon then overheats, and can’t be used until the end of the smuggler’s next turn.
Repeater. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 60/180 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d6) radiant damage. 

Kora Icehill
Kora Icehill is at once naïve, brilliant, and surprisingly bloodthirsty. As a glacian, a reclusive race dedicated to the principles of science, she inherited an analytical mind and a hunger for knowledge. However, unlike most of her race, she also felt the lure of adventure. It was natural, therefore, for her to join the GCC to explore beyond the confines of her planet.

Building Kora Icehill
Kora’s actual build in the podcast is an artificer, which is all well and good (especially for a science fiction game), but I’ll be spec-ing her as an alchemist in these stats. There’s a couple of reasons for this: I think it provides a better contrast with the more tech-savvy C.B., while maintaining her scientific know-how, and I think it makes her even more dangerous in combat, with a simpler set of statistics.

Kora Icehill
Medium humanoid (glacian), lawful neutral 
Armor Class 13
Hit Points 32
Speed 30 ft. 
STR 9 (−1) DEX 16 (+3) CON 14 (+2)
INT 18 (+4) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 9 (−1) 
Skills Arcana +7, History +7, Nature +7
Damage Resistances cold
Senses passive Perception 11
Languages Common, Glacian
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP) 
Reagent Dice. Kora has 5 reagent dice, which are d10s. She can spend a reagent die and add it to the damage roll of any bomb she throws, or spend one or more dice dice to brew any of the following potions over the course of 10 minutes: potion of climbing (1 reagent die), potion of growth (1 reagent die), potion of healing (1 reagent die), potion of water breathing (1 reagent die). She regains these dice when she finishes a long rest. 
Bomb. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 30/60 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d10 + 4) fire damage. Additionally, each creature within 5 feet of the target must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take half the damage dealt.
Cryo Bomb. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 30/60 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) cold damage. Additionally, each creature within 5 feet of the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes half the damage dealt and its speed is reduced by 10 feet until the end of its next turn.
Repeater. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 60/180 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d6) radiant damage.
Smoke Bomb. Smoke fills a 10-foot radius sphere, which causes the areas to become heavily obscured. The smoke lasts for 4 rounds, or until a moderate wind disperses it. 
Flashbang. Each creature with 5 feet of Kora can’t take reaction until the start of its next turn.
Syringe. Kora can administer a potion to a willing creature within 5 feet of her.

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