Scutigera - Big Insectoid Thing with money in its gut

Here is the Indiginous Lifeform for our new Burning Empires Game… as written it has approximately 1 billion Trait Points (too many?). It is suppose to be a capable of a firefight challenge for a small group of hunters, but I am worried that I have doubled up on the toughness aspect.

This is on a partially life supporting word, approximately once a week the surface is washed with radiation from a pulsar and so humanity lives in underground Sieches/warrens cut into the mountains. These guys roam the wastes.

Comments demanded. :slight_smile:

The Concept:

Large beasts that can survive the pulsar radiation (that is highly dangerous to other life) and can be hunted for something in their bodies (for money). Big and dangerous.

Design Criteria:

Reminiscent of the Sandworms of Arrakis, but NOT sand worms of Arrakis. Dangerous and worthy of a Firefight all by themselves. Require a group to bring them down.

Name: (scientific) Scutigeromorpha Gryllus - (common) Scutigera or Grylus – (vulgar) Scut

Description: The size of a small train car, the burrowing Scutigera is both a horror and a gold mine. Once relatively common in the inter-seich wastes the Scutigera is now rare and hard to fine. They have been hunted for their ability to digest and extract micro-Illurium crystals and grow large, pure, and complex Illurium Crystals within an organ of unknown use. When cornered the Scutigera invariably releases a pulse wave of radiation and ionized particles very much like the pulsar companion star which washes over the planet almost weekly. The radiation wave damages electronic equipment and vehicles; and can disorient individuals unaccustomed to its effects. Hunters typically use simple weapons and explosives to kill the beast. Some xeno-biologists claim that the Scutigera lies somewhere between a carbon based lifeform and a silicon based life form. However, current consensus is leaning toward a symbiotic relationship between the Scutigera and a unknown number of radiotrophic and lithotrophic bacteria.

The Scutigera is reclusive and difficult to track; though partially collapsed tunnels are considered excellent, if dangerous, locations for mines. The Scutigera typically rises to the surface following a Solar Storm (pulsar companion radiation event). The reason for this behavior is not understood; however, it maybe that the Scutigera is absorbing required radiation form the near-surface. During this time of low activity and near-surface presence hunters using specific detection machinery, and instincts, may find and attempt to kill the Scutigera for the Illurium crystals which may fetch a high price on the blackmarket. However, extraction of the Illurium crystals is difficult due to the radiation and fragile nature of the large crystals.

Will: 3
Perception: 3
Agility: 4
Speed: 5
Fort: 8
Power: 8

Steel: 7
Hesitation: 5
MW: 14 (Veh) AT-2


Close Combat: 4
Observation: 4
Infiltration: 5
Survival: 4
Barren Waste-wise: 7
Strange Radiation-wise: 3 (may FoRK to SSWs)
Squad Support Weapons: 4 (Natural Weapons Only)
Hunter-Wise: 3


Many Many Limbed – char

Burrower – Dt - Uses Surface Speed when underground – When underground the Scutigera moves as fast as a grav sled and can quickly dip below detection range.

Mammoth – Dt – Uses Vehicular Scale Damage – the size and shape of a train car.

Chitinous – Dt – At2 – The Scutigera is covered in segmented chitin.

Rare – char – Wary and reclusive, the Scutigera are hard to find.

Multifaceted Compound Eyes – char – The Scutigera has a number of compound and multifaceted eyes.

Segmented Body – char

Ambergris Gut - Natural Crystal Refinery – Successful Survival Test at Ob 3, by the hunter following the kill, produces a Cache of Crystals typically worth 3D Resources (you still need a fence, and you can bargain up of course). This is a “Cash on Hand” type transaction.

Crystalline Mandibles – Dt - Close combat Weapon equivalent to a Kerrn Sword

Crushing and Rolling – Dt – Close Combat or Ambush Weapon as EAP Grenade w/o Devastator and Intelligent Tech Traits. May be used once per Firefight when it first comes out of the ground. – The Scutigera bursts out of the ground throwing rocks and boulders in all directions. It typically targets a major threat, and then tries to crush it into paste.

Pulsar Burst – Dt – Squad Support Weapon as Effector with the Blast Tech Trait (may be used once per Firefight – bad for vehicles and high tech weapons, most groups approach a likely target on foot.

Restricted Range – Char – Restricted to the wastes only. Avoids the poles and the larger mountain areas where the Sieches are located.

Instinctive Killer – May use Survival as Tactics in natural territory. – Within its home terrain is a wily and vicious beast.

Strange Biochemistry – Dt - +2ob for Psychology skill use, Hulling, and Biological skills. Its internal chemistry makes it confounding for everybody.

Awesome. I’m glad they’re on my side. I’m a B1 in Monster Burner-wise so I can’t comment on the numbers other than to say we’ll give it a try and see what happens!

Your side? you better Assess the Factions then take them, otherwise our hunter is all over that.

Good point. But still, it’s not the Vaylen who are going to…be…hunting…hmm…that gives me an idea.

Bat-Kraken approves!

Very cool and scary critter. I’d love to hear about battel with this thing.

It’s Will is pretty high for a giant bug and with that Forte they will need, what, 12 damage to incapacitate it?

If I was a player (and resources were important to me enough to hunt these things) I’d use a building scene to circle up a comm tech, help me build a sensor that might predict migratory patterns and snipe the bugger from a mile away :slight_smile:

  • Don

That is why they are only near the surface rather than right at the surface… plus they should be able to escape quickly by diving down if you are not there to blow them to bits.

Also the Scut blushes because it caught Bat-Kraken’s eye.

Pretty cool idea–like the xenobiology elements.

The only thing that made me go “hmmm” was the “Multifaceted, Compound Eyes” for a creature that (a) lives almost-exclusively underground as a burrower and (b) is exposed to a lot of radiation. For A, it’s just not common here on Earth (though what is uncommon here, sure, can be common elsewhere). For B, you’ve (sort of) established that the crystalline elements are symbiotic (and internal?) and so I can’t imagine why its eyes would be crystalline; and if they aren’t then radiation would likely ruin them quickly–maybe their young can see, the better to follow their dames through the huge, dirt-riddled, semi-collapsing tunnels that they leave behind, but then lose their vision once they are mature enough to begin to go near-surface?

But B is a lesser issue to A, which speaks to selection–eyes are evolutionarily expensive and, as such, only evolve when they are used A LOT.

A minor niggle, though… I like! Now get it to Crush and Roll that damned Bat-Kraken pest…

Yes! Good point.

how about changing the “Multifaceted, Compound Eyes” trait to “How the hell can that thing see me, It has no eyes!” Char trait?

Unless you have a better suggestion…

We could also do “Sense by Vibrations” but then we dive back into the world of the Sandworms of Arrakis…

What if it could see radiation? Even minute bits and during the radiation storms it craves it’s nearly blind because of how bright it is out?

What if it could see radiation? Even minute bits and during the radiation storms it craves it’s nearly blind because of how bright it is out?

also sexy… would that mean it homes in on morons using Fusors or Jack Lasers? and Grav Shuttles, etc… would they be sitting ducks? Would Radio broadcast draw its attention?

What trait would that be?

Well I don’t find “Sense By Vibrations” to be a problem, given that it’s most blind, burrowing creatures’ discrimination sense (heat being a close seconds).

But the “Sees Radiation” thing could work too: its depth of penetration (brightness) would be a fine depth gauge, in conjunction with other sense to tune it for the density of various strata. And it does give it a way to know when a storm’s raging, to go “fill up.” And, yep, it would mean that there’s a BIG risk to using radiation-emitting weaponry or comms gear, when hunting them (or even in the subterranean warrens!).

And, hell… maybe the symbiont grew the eyes, the better to make the “Crystalline Whoozawhatsis Gland” it needs. The original, non symbiotic Scut were basically gigantic burrowing insects.

IDEA! The crystals are grown as part of the crystal-symbiont’s life cycle. At the end of the cycle, the Scut burrows to the surface, rolls onto its back, and EXPLODES with a thermonuclear detonation that’s designed to fire the crystal-symbionts seeds into space at solar escape velocities, to find another suitable planet and host, though it take eons drifting through the void…

The “Multi-Faceted Compound Eyes” are actually extrusions of the Illumium Crystals that are attached to the Scutigera’s central nervous system. The crystals are not sensitive to the visible-spectrum, but are highly sensitive to ultraviolet and smaller radiation. The “Eye” are studded up and down their body giving them termendous sensitivity to near-by sources of radiation.

I like your exploding idea, but it might not even be necessary for the eggs to leave the planet. they could be launched into a ballistic curve which exposes them to more intense radiation that prepares them to ‘germinate.’ (like pine cones after a forest fire).

PS: why are both my active threats (Kerrn Parts) both about procreation?

Perhaps you should talk to Kris…