Mechageddon! Encounter — Simulation 2

Friday, May 24, 2024

By Joe Blomquist
This encounter is a prequel for the Mechageddon! Adventure Path that represents the player characters’ (PCs’) ongoing training after enlisting in the New Valor Defense Force. Run this encounter after completing Simulation 1: Valko Derby, after the PCs have leveled up and created their own mechs (or upgraded the mechs from Simulation 1 to tier 2).


THE LAST STAND OF KARNATH! — CR 6

After catching Firefight’s notice playing Valko Derby, the PCs were invited to step out of the valkopods and become the real huzkars by joining the New Valor Defense Force. NVDF training is comprehensive for all recruits, regardless of prior vocation, to prepare them for military duties and potential challenges from combat training and mech repair to physical fitness and aircraft piloting. All potentially dangerous training occurs in simulated environments utilizing some of the galaxy’s best virtual reality technology. As a result, NVDF training pods are a familiar sight to every NVDF recruit, even if they aren’t offered many chances to train in the simulated valko cockpits. But with the placement exam schedule communicated well in advance, the prevailing mood is a flux of excitement and anxiety as everyone hopes for the chance to prove themselves. Read or paraphrase the following to set the scene.

Commander “Raptor” Wano’s voice issues a disembodied message as his training assistant, Lieutenant Bastian-5, helps the recruits into individual cockpits in the training center’s testing chamber. “Recruits! Today is your placement exam. Do well and you might find yourself in the 3rd battlegroup as the 13th, 14th, or even 15th Valko squadron under my command! Thanks to an agreement with Storyteller Productions, today’s exam will feature colossi from the popular Kaiju Riot holovid series. As you know Lt. Bastian-5 is a huge fan of those movies—time to make them proud. Today you get to be the heroes!”

A fullbody illustration of Commander Vadien “Raptor” Wano.

Art by Guilherme Olivieri


Culture or Profession (Charisma-based) (Recall Knowledge)

The Kaiju Riot! series of films is well-known on Daimalko and has small cult followings all over the galaxy. NVDF recruits have likely seen one or more of the films and that film knowledge could help them in the upcoming simulation. For more benefits of watching these films, see Trivial Knowledge, below.

10+: The Kaiju Riot! series follows the often-terrible exploits of a lone colossus, Gadrakor. In early films, Gadrakor brutally destroyed several Daimalkan settlements. Critics applaud these early films for teaching the benefits of environmentalism through cinematic media. Eventually, Gadrakor became a hero, defending Daimalko against unspeakable horrors.

15+: Pop star Jollys Vass got her start with the hit Don’t Fall, a ballad written from the perspective of two damai lovers who were separated during Gadrakor’s rampage in Kaiju Riot! 1. In that film, Gadrakor’s characteristics were based on questionable information about an illusive colossus called a drakogor. In the years since, groundbreaking field research about real drakogors has provided new material for the sequels.

20+: In Kaiju Riot! 3: The Doom from Beyond, Gadrakor teams up with a nearly invulnerable mechanical version of himself from the previous film, Mechagadrakor, to face a demonic version of himself, the space emperor colossus King Gadrakor.

25+: Gadrakor and his iterations have all the same abilities as a real drakogor: they can absorb energy attacks to power their breath weapons, which deal sonic damage, and have a hardened mantle that adds to their natural armor. Encourage the PCs to swap out their simulated mechs’ weapons to avoid giving the enemy an advantage.

The Mission

The PCs’ simulated mechs begin in the center of Karnath, an ancient Daimalkan city lost to colossi attacks long ago. The simulation completes almost instantly, finalizing the holographic details of a breezy spring afternoon with streets empty except for the PCs. A Daimalkan orb rests in a hollow built into the bronze statue the PCs’ mechs are positioned around. Four wide streets wind in all four cardinal directions leading away from the monument. Tall office buildings and empty residences line each block except for the planetary transit landing pad northwest of the PCs.

When the PCs are ready to begin, Commander Wano’s voice gives the final orders before the simulation begins. “The Gadrakors have only one goal: Destroy the orb. To pass this exam, you only have to stop them. Defeat all your enemies and protect the orb. Good luck, recruits.”

PCs and Mechs: This encounter is designed for four level 2 PCs. As part of their ongoing training at the NVDF Academy, the PCs have been learning the ins and outs of various mech configurations to better prepare them to their assignments as huzkars in the new modular Apex valkos, or as support crew for others who are assigned that role. As a result, players should create Tier 2 mechs for their PCs using the rules in Starfinder Tech Revolution.

Map: This simulation uses the monument side of Starfinder Flip-Mat: Metropolis. The PC’s mechs begin the encounter huddled in the middle of the map around the monument. 1 square represents 10 feet of terrain.

Trivial Knowledge: Watching the Kaiju Riot! film series has given the PCs prior knowledge of their opponents’ capabilities. The PCs can attempt the normal Recall Knowledge checks to identify their foes’ abilities prior to the beginning of the encounter. They may attempt these checks using Culture or an appropriate Profession skill instead, using the same DCs.

Creatures: The three holographic colossi the PCs face are inspired by the popular holovid, Kaiju Riot 3: The Doom from Beyond. The three kaiju begin the encounter near the edges of the map and have a single goal in mind: destroy the orb at the center of the monument the PCs are protecting. The colossi act well as a team, contrary to their adversarial roles in Kaiju Riot 3. King Gadrakor relies on its roar and fearsome presence to throw the PCs off, while Gadrakor tries to draw them away from the monument or take them out with its breath weapon. Mechagadrakor is the key to their strategy. If nobody attacks Mechagadrakor, it moves adjacent to the monument and spends the next two turns attacking the orb. The other two eventually attempt the same tactic until the PCs target them with attacks. All three colossi fight until they are destroyed.


Gadrakor — CR 3
Unique Variant Drakogor
XP 800
N Huge magical beast (colossus)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, sense the masses; Perception +8
Aura frightful presence (80 ft., DC 12, shaken 1d4 rounds)

DEFENSE HP 40
EAC 14; KAC 16
Fort +7; Ref +7; Will +4
Defensive Abilities Resistances electricity 5, fire 5

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +12 (1d6+7 P; critical burn 1d10) or claw +12 (1d6+7 S; critical bleed 1d6) or tail slap +12 (1d8+7 B; critical knockdown)
Ranged particle laser blast +9 (1d4-3 F; critical burn 2d6; range 60ft.)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Offensive Abilities breath weapon (60-ft. cone, 4d6 E&F, Reflex DC 12 half, usable every 1d4 rounds), living battery, roar (DC 12)

STATISTICS
Str +4; Dex +1; Con +2; Int +0; Wis +0; Cha +0
Skills Acrobatics +8, Athletics +13, Intimidate +8

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Living Battery (Ex) Drakogors recharge their breath weapons by consuming energy attacks. When a drakogor takes at least 10 damage from any weapon that targets its EAC, as a standard action on their next turn they redirect the energy into a breath weapon dealing the same type of damage as the attack.

Roar (Su) Gadrakor’s roar creates unsettling vibration. Gadrakor roars as a standard action. Creatures within 100 feet must succeed at a DC 12 Fortitude save or become sickened for 1d4 rounds. Creatures who are shaken from Gadrakor’s frightful presence are panicked for 1 round (no save). Once a creature has been exposed to Gadrakor’s roar, it cannot be affected by any other drakogor’s roar for 24 hours. This is an emotion, fear, mind-affecting, and sense-dependent effect. Other drakogors are immune.


Mechagadrakor — CR 3
Unique Variant Drakogor
XP 800
NE Huge construct (colossus)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +8

DEFENSE — HP 40
EAC 15; KAC 17
Fort +3; Ref +3; Will +0
Defensive Abilities hardened mantle; Immunities construct immunities

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +12 (1d4+7 P; critical burn 1d10) or claw +12 (1d4+7 S; critical bleed 1d6)
Ranged particle laser blast +9 (1d8+5 F; critical burn 2d6; range 60 ft.)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Offensive Abilities breath weapon (60-ft. cone, 4d6 So, Reflex DC 12 half, usable every 1d4 rounds), living battery

STATISTICS
Str +4; Dex +1; Con –; Int +1; Wis +0; Cha +0
Skills Acrobatics +8, Athletics +13, Intimidate +8
Other Abilities unliving

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Living Battery (Ex) Drakogors recharge their breath weapons by consuming energy attacks. When a drakogor takes at least 10 damage from any weapon that targets its EAC, as a standard action on their next turn they redirect the energy into a breath weapon dealing the same type of damage as the attack.

Hardened Mantle (Ex) Mechagadrakor has a +4 racial bonus on saving throws against critical hit effects. In addition, it reduces the damage it takes from a critical hit by 3 to a minimum of 1 unless reduced by other means.


Drakogor colossi - Art by Sophie Medvedeva

King Gadrakor” Art by Sophie Medvedeva


King Gadrakor — CR 3
Unique Variant Drakogor
XP 800
LE Huge magical beast (colossus)
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, sense the masses; Perception +8
Aura frightful presence (80 ft., DC 14, shaken 1d4 rounds)

DEFENSE HP 40
EAC 14; KAC 16
Fort +7; Ref +7; Will +4
Defensive Abilities ferocity; Resistances fire 10

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +12 (1d6+7 P plus grab) or claw +12 (1d6+7 S plus grab) or tail slap +12 (1d10+7 B; critical knockdown)
Ranged particle laser blast +9 (1d4 F; critical burn 2d6; range 60ft.)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Offensive Abilities breath weapon (60-ft. cone, 4d6 A, Reflex DC 12 half, usable every 1d4 rounds), roar (DC 14)

STATISTICS
Str +4; Dex +1; Con +2; Int +0; Wis +0; Cha +0
Skills Acrobatics +8, Athletics +13, Intimidate +8

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Deadly Grasp (Ex) When King Gadrakor succeeds at a combat maneuver to maintain a grapple, it can make a tail slap attack as a move action.

Roar (Su) King Gadrakor’s roar creates unsettling vibration. King Gadrakor roars as a standard action. Creatures within 100 feet must succeed at a DC 14 Fortitude save or become sickened for 1d4 rounds. Creatures who are shaken from King Gadrakor’s frightful presence are panicked for 1 round (no save). Once a creature has been exposed to King Gadrakor’s roar, it cannot be affected by any other drakogor’s roar for 24 hours. This is an emotion, fear, mind-affecting, and sense-dependent effect. Other drakogors are immune.

Development: The orb has 100 Hit Points. If it takes enough damage to reduce it to 0 or below, the orb is destroyed and the simulation ends in failure. If the PCs manage to defeat their foes, the simulation ends in victory the moment the last Gadrakor falls and the opening chords to Jollys Vass’ triumphant Don’t Fallstart to play.


CONCLUSION

If the PCs successfully protect the orb, when the simulation ends they are formally offered spots in the NVDF’s 3rd Battlegroup as huzkar recruits. The next step in their training will be piloting brand new Apex mechs! If the simulation ends in failure, the PCs can enter remedial training before attempting the placement exam again, or accept positions in Valko Support, Infantry, Tank command groups, or even as Skywatch air support pilots. At this point, the group is ready to level up once more and begin their Mechageddon! campaign.

Last Stand of Karnath Map: Map by Damien Mammoliti

Map by Damien Mammoliti


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Tags: Mechageddon Starfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Starfinder Encounter Starfinder Roleplaying Game
Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

HUZZAH!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber

Again this is so good. I can't wait to get my party to this series after we finish our current AP.


Is the damage for the base Gadrakor's particle laser a typo or is it really meant to be 1d4-3?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Educated guess says it should be +3. There's no mechanical rationale for it to be -3.

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