Is there anything like the Borg or Zerg in PF?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

Silver Crusade

Is there anything that has a collective consciousness other than insects both big and small?

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

There are Formians in the City of Axis in the Great Beyond. They're big, extraplanar ants, but you will be assimilated.

Grand Lodge

I don't know what "zerg" are but for the Borg -- back in Dungeon 71 Wolfgang Baur wrote his masterpiece "Kingdom of the Ghouls" -- pretty universally considered one of the greatest adventures ever published (that was late 2E).

In the adventure the PCs hear of something taking over the Underdark that is forcing the Drow, Druergar, Mind Flayers, etc., etc., to flee the Underdark for the surface.

I strongly feel that had the editor, the GREAT Chris Perkins, allowed Baur (who had hired Perkins a few years earlier) to add another 3K words to develop the adventure, "Kingdom of the Ghouls" would universally accepted as one of the top 2 or 3 adventures of all time. (It was ranked #3 all time for Dungeon adventures in issue 116.) The adventure screams for just a bit more development -- it is waaay too tiny.

I've always described that adventure as "The Borg Invades the Underdark" because the True Ghouls (Baur's creation) seem so much like the Borg to me.

Incidentally, Baur's True Ghouls became one of the most iconic monsters of D&D, one of his greatest achievements in D&D.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Zerg? As in Emperor Zerg (it was emperor right?) from the Toy Story movies (the arch-nemesis of Buzz Lightyear?)

Borg... well its not written up/stated up (yet) but Numeria has its "metal men/automatons."

Oops and forgive me, I see you asked about PF... not Golarion specifically.

and @ W.E. Ray... I think I have that issue of Dungeon magazine. Now I need to go and find it. ;)

~Dean


Anyone who says they don't know what zerg are, is lying.

Grand Lodge

It's one of the most famousest covers, too -- the Brom painting of the True Ghoul lady on the cover.

I think they have copies in the Scratch-N-Dent sale, but check.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The Caulborn in Kaer Maga: City of Strangers are kind-of a hive mind, although they don't physically assimilate non-Caulborn. (Grabbing memories, though...that, they do.)

Grand Lodge

I like Ross's idea of the Formian as a possibility -- I also just thought of the Intellect Devourer; it is a really good possibility.

(If you go with Formians, though, you have to use the illustration from the 2E Monstrous Compendium cuz the current illustration SUCKS!)

Silver Crusade

Zerg = Starcraft (Video Game)


You could have the Inevitables go on a "You organics have wasted your potential, the chaos must be purged" spree. They do what they must because they are compelled to stop choas.

As for the zerg... that might be fun to piece together.

Hydrolisk: It would need a pair of scything claw attacks and the ability to hurl dart / quills. A serpentine body, large size catagory. Advanced versions would have a burrow speed.

Also, could be a fun thing to have a Summon turn his beastie into... A Queen of Blades Summoner.


Not PF (and possibly not OGL) but in the BECMI Creature Catalog there were zerg/alien type creatures called the Hivebrood. However, the nasty thing about them was they had a type called Hiveminds who could gain the abilities of other creatures by eating their brains. Now the really nasty part was that they could also pass those abilities onto all other Hivemind within a certain range. And the really, really nasty part would be trying to work out what CR that encounter would be...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Akatas are also pretty close. Alien, animal-like, pack attack, infects with zombiefication, nasty.


If you're actually interested in zerg, there was a d20 project long ago to recreate all of the Starcraft units in DnD terms. I think a lot of the fruits of that project are here. I'm not aware of a conversion project for pathfinder, but the original material is easily adaptable and a lot of it works pretty well imo (though admittedly I've only tried running 1 or 2 of the critters from there)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The Scourge in Warcraft had much of the same effect. So a good type of such apocolaypse would be a tried and true Zombie invasion, as they kill the soldiers and commoners they get raised to join the onslaught.

So actually, an undead horde, and something that raises the dead as undead in moments and you've got what you need.

Contributor

The Axiomite Godmind is a collective of sorts (in that when it forms, it does so out of the temporary mass merging of higher tier axiomites). They literally form their own godlike ruler out of themselves as needed to periodically plot the course of their race and their armies of inevitables.

When it forms, the race itself is likely tapped directly into it, listening to it, and probably being affected by its calculations and decrees.

When the Godmind is active, consider the lesser axiomites to be like less malevolent Asurans from SG:Atlantis. When it's not active, much more individual, but likely able to tap into remnants of that higher order structure.

Grand Lodge

Crap, I blundered, guys -- anyone looking to get hold of Baur's "Kingdom of the Ghouls," it's in Dungeon 70, not 71.


karlbadmanners wrote:
Anyone who says they don't know what zerg are, is lying.

Had no clue what it was until Lost Soul posted it was a critter in Starcraft. A game that never sparked any interest within me. When I have seen it used before, I thought it meant to attack with overwhelming force...but had no idea of its origin.

greg


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
karlbadmanners wrote:
Anyone who says they don't know what zerg are, is lying.

Heh heh... well Karl... I can see you have chosen an appropriate nickname. ;)

I too had no idea (and wasn't lying... and I see Greg Wasson was in the same boat with me. I've never played Starcraft either. Or WoW).

So, thanks to Lost Soul and Greg for telling me (and any of us that might not know) what a "zerg" was.

Still thinks it's from the Toy Story movies... and Buzz Lightyear's nemesis.

Contributor

Outside of some of the more malicious extraplanar races, there's not really anything that fulfills the world-destroying plague of unstoppable alien invaders it sounds like you're looking for. This is definitely a super cool concept, but has been done so many times in so many ways it hard to do it without the gut reaction being "Oh, they're ripping off [Xenomorphs, Tyranids, the Borg, Daleks, Zerg, the Sheen, etc]." I'm sure we'll get to them... but just not yet.

Folks are right, though, the formians do have the hivemind thing going. We've been saving these guys for something special, so don't expect to see new Pathfinder stats for them in 2011. These will do the trick if you're really interested in using them, though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
karlbadmanners wrote:
Anyone who says they don't know what zerg are, is lying.

[channels jonah hex] Ain't nobody that called a liar that went to bed happy![/jonah hex]

Dark Archive

Some sort of alien plant race, that plants seed pods on captured people (or animals, at first) and has parasitic vines snake all through them and use them as ambulatory 'drones' could be neat. They would remain alive, but be turned to the purposes of the plant-overlords.

Sort of zombie musk creeper, if the creeper itself was the size of a house, sentient and psionic...

War against the Chtorr meets Puppetmaster.

My Cyth V'sug worshipping myconid ripoffs kinda did something like that, using spores to render captured people compliant, infecting them not only with a parasitic fungus, but also linking them to the hive-mind.

The game needs more creepy plants. :)

The Exchange

Set wrote:


My Cyth V'sug worshipping myconid ripoffs kinda did something like that, using spores to render captured people compliant, infecting them not only with a parasitic fungus, but also linking them to the hive-mind.

The game needs more creepy plants. :)

kinda like this in real life? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordyceps_unilateralis

read the lifecycle, the fungus forces the ant to clamp on a leaf at a specific spot on a tree. Fascinating, scary stuff.


LostSoul wrote:
Zerg = Starcraft (Video Game)

Thank you. I've heard the term, but never played the games.


Greg Wasson wrote:
When I have seen it used before, I thought it meant to attack with overwhelming force...but had no idea of its origin.

Zerg in Starcraft are the team that can produce lots of small units very quickly. This is where the term Zerg Rush comes from. A Zerg Rush is when you're playing an RTS game and hundreds of zergs swarm your base, usually while you're still setting up. Of course after StarCraft the term was applied to doing the same thing with any units that can be produced quickly to overwhelm the unprepared adversary.

As for "SOMETHING" that can swarm in quickly and decimate a community, and add the defeated units to its own ranks, I recommend wights. When a wight kills someone with its Energy Drain attack, the killed person rises as a wight in 1d4 rounds. This is substantially faster than the time it takes to rise as a ghoul (the next midnight) or a vampire (1d4 days), and only a few wights can become an army of wights very quickly if they're attacking somewhere unprepared for such an attack.

Wights don't have a hive mind exactly, but wights are enslaved to the wight who created them until that master is destroyed. The wight entry in the Bestiary doesn't specify a maximum number of spawn any single wight can control and there's no Universal Monster Rule for Create Spawn, but when wights are attacking, any single wight could be master to others on the battlefield.


There was also that species in the 3.5 Miniatures Handbook which i think was very zerg-like. I forget the name however.

Dark Archive

'Xenomorphs' from the Aliens movie, make decent sci-fi versions of the wight-o-calypse scenario. Every human they drag back to their lair gets facehuggered and used as a host for a new alien shock trooper, which obviously takes more than 1d4 rounds, but is still in keeping with the theme.

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