13 – Do Synthetics Bleed?


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Berzerk Android

The party elects to investigate the prone humanoid figure lying in the passageway to the north. From a distance, Ibben makes mental contact and determines that she is a synthetic – an advanced android – but that her mind is ‘broken’. With an apparent sense of pity, Olive decides to ‘fix’ her, and proceeds down the hallway with Gene and Yobo. Suddenly the synthetic springs to life, catching everyone by suprise, and hits Olive with some kind of stun ray!

Olive Gene, and Yobo are about ten feet from her, while the rest of the party are behind in their standard marching order. Surprise round is over, and the first normal combat round begins. The referee makes individual initiative rolls for the PCs and the synthetic. Results (in order) are: Slinker (on 7); Apollo and synthetic (on 6); Olive (on 4); then Gene, Yobo, Aka-Vasha, Ibben, and Rasputin (all on 2!). Retainers will not act this round.

Round 1

The defective synthetic, now crouching in a defensive position on the hallway floor, opens her mouth and emits a noise like electronic feedback (it sounds the same as what Ibben detected telepathically). You see evidence of previous damage upon her form, perhaps from energy weapons.

(The referee tosses a die.) The Slinker, crossbow drawn, fires a shot with superhuman speed before anyone else can respond. (Roll is 2.) He really ought to have aimed first, however, as the quarrel ricochets off the floor mere inches from Yobo…

“Damnation!” cries Judge Apollo. He draws his sword and leap into action, racing past the allies in front of him. His intent is to take down the female synthetic as fast as possible, but it will take a few more seconds to reach melee. (It’s a bit of a run from the third rank; he will strike at the end of this round.)

As Apollo rushes forward, the synthetic aims her pistol at Gene and fires! (Roll is 4.) She misses, and again the shot strikes mere inches from Yobo!

(Olive spends a Karma Point to reroll his Save vs. Stun. The result is 12; a success!)

Olive suddenly sits back up, dazed only momentarily. “Rerouting neural pathways…” he says, and his eye flickers between red and a deep purple color. Olive quickly leaps towards the deranged synthetic, but instead of attacking, he tries to disarm her! (Opposed DEX check; the roll is 13. Olive only gets one attack since he intends further actions this round.) The swift android nearly knocks the pistol from the synthetic’s hand, but her reflexes are even more uncanny as those of your ally! Much to your surprise, Olive actively blocks any further shots against her!

Snapping to his senses, Gene rushes forward, trying to sidestep Olive and deliver a strike to the synthetic’s midsection. (Opposed DEX check; Gene’s roll is 7.) Olive moves to stymie Gene’s attack. Still, by moving adjacent to the synthetic Gene hopes to distract her attention from the others and give them opportunity to attack.

Having nearly been hit by two stray shots, Yobo’s nerves are frayed. “This robot wasn’t made for fighting – my hindquarters!” he yips at Gene. Wary of getting blasted in the hail of gunfire, Yobo stays down on all fours and scurries back towards the main body of the party.

Aka-Vasha lunges forward, and bypasses Olive as the android blocks Gene. “Now I will finally see if you will bleed or leak!”, cried Aka-Vasha as she charges the android with an arcing blade. (Roll is 11 +1 = 12. Hit for 4 +3 = 7 damage!) The cutlass slashes the synthetic’s torso, spewing a milky white fluid and answering Aka-Vasha’s question.

Ibben involuntarily takes a step back as the synthetic leaps to life. “She is insane!”, he says redundantly. He draws his pistol from his robes and, eyeing the synthetic carefully, he decides the shot is too risky, and instead sweeps the area with echolocation and waits patiently for an opening.

When Rasputin sees Olive protecting the synthetic, he breaks off his attack. He realises Olive is correct; she has already been attacked and is most likely in some sort of ‘defensive mode’. As soon as he decides this, Rasputin calls out to “Hold your fire. Try to disarm and subdue the android.”

Apollo has judged the situation for himself, however, and he continues his attack. (Roll is 17 +1 = 18; damage is 9 +1 = 10!) Too far away to prevent the strike, Olive shouts “NOOooo!” as Apollo brings his greatsword down on the deranged synthetic. More milky-white synthetic gore spews to the vault floor as she is forced to her knees from the blow. The pistol falls from her hand and clatters to the ground.

The synthetic appears determined, however. She twitches bizarrely for an instant and grabs a long metal bar that was lying along the wall, using to block any further attacks…

What are your actions?



  1. (You know, I really like the chaos in combat from a ‘declare first, then roll initiative’ system. It seems much more realistic (and interesting) that the party reacts in different ways when surprised like this.)

    (As an aside, I can’t believe that five of eight PCs rolled ‘1’ for initiative!)

  2. “She’s down! Keep her down Olive! I’ll take care of that bar.” – Apollo shouts.

    The mutant judge sees the wisdom in Olive and Rasputin’s tactics and refrains from hurting the female android any more. He strikes at the metal bar she is holding hoping to disarm her.

  3. Gene tries help restrain the android if he can. If the android is restrained he will draw his pistol until it is determined not a threat. If it continues to attack or tries to escape he will shoot it.

  4. Thinking that one more body in the fray would be more likely to hamper efforts rather than aid them, Ibben continues to keep watch on the surrounding corridors, hand on his pistol.

  5. “I don’t know who’s more dangerous- her (pointing at the synthetic) or you guys!!!” snarls Yobo. He slinks over towards the rear of the party and waits to see what happens next. He has a bad feeling about keeping the synth around and says so “for all we know she’s gorram compound executioner!”

  6. Seeing everyone act so emotionally doesn’t make much sense to Olive, but his emotions were fully synthesized, so panic and passion have always been difficult to him to understand. The android’s voice booms, in cheerful tones, as his volume output reaches its maximum. “Exclamation: Everyone, please halt so we can figure this out.” As Olive steps back, putting the synth between him and the nearest wall, still defending her, his form seems to vibrate. “Repulsion field initiated.” The green android moves into a position like a mime prentending to be up against a wall, standing sideways between the group and the stranger. Looking over his shoulder, he speaks to his synthetic sister. “Introduction: Hello, my name is Bobby Olive and I am attempting to save your life. What is your name?” As an afterthought, Olive speaks again. “Warning: I would not attempt to make any attempt to attack to me or through me. I am very capable of defending myself.” It was intended more for the synth, but he wanted his fellow team members to exercise caution as well.

  7. In the mad-panic of the foray, Aka-Vasha grapples with the android’s arm to free her of her gun.

  8. Seeing that the pistol has fallen to the ground, Rasputin makes a grab for it, using his sword for extra reach if required.

    Once the weapon is secure, he quickly attempt to determine its use (having seen it in action) and uses it against the synthetic if the situation is not in control by then.

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