|Public Domain Image|
• tentacle +3 (1d6)
ACT 1d24 + 2d20
“A big greyish rounded bulk, the size, perhaps, of a bear, was rising slowly and painfully out of the cylinder. As it bulged up and caught the light, it glistened like wet leather. Two large dark-coloured eyes were regarding me steadfastly.” — H. G. Wells, The War Of The Worlds
Martians are a strange race of conquerors hailing from, as their name suggests, the planet Mars. The martians are reasonably strong, even though they move sluggishly in Aerth’s gravity, but they primarily rely on their strange fighting machines in war.
Though technologically advanced, over the eons their physical forms have degraded and atrophied into primitive cephalopodic shapes. They are so devolved that they no longer have a proper digestive system, instead simply absorbing their victims’ blood directly into their bodies through the use of glass pipettes.
MARTIAN WAR MACHINES
• 1d10 tentacles +10 (1d12, 20’ reach)
• Heat Ray (Ref Save DC 14, 3d30 damage)
SP black smoke
The martians travel from planet to planet by launching themselves across space in large canisters, fired from enormous cannons buried underneath the red planet’s surface. The machines they use are large and terrible, standing higher than a church, and weighing several tons. Their machines have three tentacular legs, with dozens of thinner tendrils dangling down and acting as hands or fingers. From the central mass of the machine is a strange hood, in which the martians pilot the machine. And finally, extending on an odd tube, is the martians’ greatest weapon: the heat ray.
The martians also make use of a strange compound known simply as black smoke. Some martian fighting machines are equipped with this in addition to a heat ray or instead of it. When canisters of the substance are dropped, a black gas spreads about 500’ in all directions (at a rate of 100’ per round), requiring anyone within that area to make a DC 14 Fort Save each round or take 2d16 damage.
• Whilst exploring a network of underground caverns, the party accidentally stumbles across a large metal cylinder, buried in the rock for millions of years. Within the crashed ship, martians wait dreaming in cryosleep…
• The party is transported to Barsoom, the dreamlands of Mars, and must help a clan of green martians fend off invading martians.
• A meteor streaked across the sky the other night, landing in the nearby woods. Strange hammering noises and greenish lights have been emanating from the crash site.
• A sorcereress has recently been employing giant tripodal war machines, things that are clearly not of Aerth. The local lord has hired you to investigate and find out where she is getting the horrific weapons.
• A group of beastfolk have begun worshiping the corpse of a martian as their god, and through their faith have managed to bring it back to life in an undead state. Their “god” is now instructing them in how to construct fighting machines and produce the black smoke. The beastfolks’ early attempts are crude, but deadly.
• In a nearby valley, strange sounds of battle have been heard from the deep woods, and occasional flashes of light have been seen. Deep in the woods, a group of Mi-Go face off against the martians. It is an excellent opportunity to steal some alien technology, and if the party were to help one side or the other, who knows what rewards they may obtain...
Written by Tristan Tanner of The Bogeyman’s Cave — check it out!