The Arachnotron is a not uncommon type of robot in the Cosmic Era, almost exclusively used in industrial and maintenance roles, where it's surefootedness, low clearance, high mobility, and multiple appendages make them useful for such tasks. In Spider City, the arachnotrons of the city have been hacked and reprogrammed to patrol and protect the city from intruders and invaders.
Common Arachnotron - this robot has average stats, and is only armed with an assortment of 'weapons' that would be found in a well stocked toolbox, such as drills, saws, knives, acetylene torches, and such. While these can be dangerous, the real threat of this robot is it's ability to go unnoticed, act as a spy, and if pressed into combat, they are 115 kg of fearless intensity. A bodyslam from a common arachnotron can topple a man in power armor.
Security Arachnotron - similar to the common arachnotron, the security version has a higher grade sensor system and has the ability to recognize faces and identities. In addition to being as smart as a dog, the security bot has access to actual weaponry. It is more common for security spiders to be armed with non-lethal weaponry such as sedative gas, tear gas, bean bag guns, squirt guns, and more interesting non-lethals, some can be armed with needlers, conventional firearms, grenade launchers, and low power lasers. These are exclusive to high security areas.
Emergency Arachnotron - these spider bots are the size of vehicles and are generally kept dormant unless there is an emergency or disaster that requires their attention. These machines are capable of rapidly tunneling through debris, moving things like damaged water mains, ruptured power feeds, rescuing victims from crashes, and otherwise being massive spider shaped search and rescue units. They are enormously tough, grounded and insulated, and have the ability to pick up injured people and return them safely to triage areas.
Given the name of the campaign, spiders are almost a given. The danger of normal spiders isn't their size, or menace, or ability to inflict damage in combat. The most important trait when dealing with conventional spiders is Perception. They are reclusive, like to hide, and can move quickly to deliver their bite and escape. Players will likely spend most of their time in some sort of body armor or armor suit. Spiders can find their way into a damaged suit, or when players take it off, they become vulnerable to bites.
The impact of the poisonous spider bite is that certain species can cause nausea, necrosis, paralysis, and other medical issues. Unless there are medical supplies available, this can compromise the ability of a character to operate. Hard to be a badass power armor marine when a couple spider bites have the marine barfing inside his helmet. Likewise for the badass special forces ranger trying to deal with a jammed gun while slowly losing function in their hand from a festering spider bite. Nasty!
The synthetic alkaloid Herakleophorbia IV is a tightly regulated substance, ingesting it causes the creature that consumed it to grow to increasingly massive size. This substance, officially denied, was first used to address food production issues, but made more. It was later commandeered by various unsavory groups who use it in their attempts to create manmade titans.
Class 1 - Dog sized, 25 kg
Class 1 titan spiders can deliver painful bites, and lethal species can deliver bites that are much more likely to be fatal due to their increased size. They are still vulnerable to melee attacks and all weapons. They are also unable to penetrate armor with their bites so can in some instances be more of a nuisance, or something to cause shock or horror reactions.
Class 2 - Human Sized, 100 kg
Class 2 titan spiders can be traumatizing the encounter. They can bite through light armor and heavy clothing, and are large enough to spin webs that can trap people. Against unarmored foes, these spiders are incredibly dangerous. Against power armor, their webs are a nuisance, and they are easy to kill with gauntlet punches and weaponry.
Class 3 - Pony Sized, 300-500 kg
Class three spiders can drag victims away kicking and screaming, trap a lone power armor trooper in a web they can't tear their way out of, and are beginning to become resistant to firearms. They can resist ballistic weaponry and concussion weaponry. These massive spiders are likely to have either consumed most of their neighbor spiders, or are in the process of eliminating their competition.
Class 4 - vehicle sized, 1000 kg
These spiders can cause shock and horror when encountered. They are resilient, able to shrug off conventional weapons, able to carry off victims with relative ease, spin webs strong enough to trap armor and vehicles and inconvenience light and medium mecha. At this size, titan spiders are predominantly hunting a jumping spiders, as web spinners this large are too heavy to balloon between structures to spin webs spanning buildings. A 1500 kg tarantula is able to damage power armor with it's bite, or cocoon it with relative ease, trapping the soldier inside until they suffocate or starve.
Class 5 - True Titan, 10,000 kg
Class 5 titan spiders are the size of large tanks and mecha. The stuff of 1950s atomic horror movies made chitin and flesh, true titans can bite through power armor, immobilize light and medium mecha, and generally become the stuff of nightmares, causing military brass to pick up the comm and call in airstrikes and cruise missile intercepts.
The Failed Brundle-Bartok Teleportation System
The Brundle-Bartok device was intended to be a point to point teleportation system, allowing for people and goods to be flash moved from place to place without need for logistic support. In action, it was a glaring failure, but the technology, and the horrors it created, were instrumental in the creation of the Bioforge device. Spider City's antagonist, being the antagonist, has both systems at their disposal.The Brundle-Bartok system was built from schematics and plans found in a 3rdNet data dump, and the foe has built a set of these.
Brundle Spiders - the villain of Spider City has taken residents of the city and forced them through the Brundle-Bartok pod, but placing a single spider in with them, creating horrific human spider hybrids to come out of the other pod. The change isn't instant, and there are three major stages.
Stage 1 - Superhuman, the hybrid human-spider demonstrates elevated strength, agility, and perception, allowing them to easily best normal humans in such activities. This stage persists for a few days before the onset of stage 2. During this stage, sexual urges are heightened, and they will engage in intercourse where possible. Women impregnated this way will either have topical miscarriages, or will have difficult pregnancies that end in the birth of misshapen human spider hybrid creatures.
Stage 2 - stats remain elevated, some increase further, humanity slips away and more spider traits become apparent. They will start mutating to have multiple eyes, the emergence of extra limbs, and a distending of the abdomen as spider physiology becomes more manifest. They still act in a semi-human manner, and can use tools and such.
Stage 3 - Slimy Spider, the Brundle Spider appears as a slick and slimy skinned abomination of whatever spider they were crossed with. Manifestion varies from spiders with human faces, humanoid bodies with spider thoraxes and heads, 'centaur' like spiders with human torsos growing out of their thorax, and the rest. These Brundle spiders are no longer human and constitute and alien intelligence. They are not prone to using weapons, or following orders.
In contrast to the Brundle Spiders, who are selected from unwilling victims or hostages, who are then returned to various parts of the city, bioforged spider hybrids are picked from those loyal to the villain. The outcome of this process is a fairly specific 'Spider Soldier'. The spider soldiers retain their humanoid shape, but have 4-6 arms, and their faces become spider horror, multiple eyes, manipulator mandibles, and all that. Their strength is increased, and perception is greatly increased. The soldiers have pheromone implants that allow them to dominate Brundle spiders and titan spiders, that will recognize them as superior. This will cause the other spider creatures to retreat, or take non-aggressive stances toward the Bioforged spider soldiers.
The antagonist of Spider City likewise has the know-how and data to operate a cloning facility. One of the first things the antagonist does when preparing for launching the Spider City event is to commandeer or set up a cloning facility where he creates female clone versions of himself, creating them as superhumans with the general abilities of stage one hybrids and the pheromone powers of the bioforged. These function as his lieutenants and commanders, recruiting allies, subverting potential rivals, and assisting in his technological endeavors. By the time the Spider City event is green lighted, his Copy Cat spidettes will have encounter suits, and a variety of quiet weapons, favoring squirt guns, net launchers, and silenced sniper rifles. In a combat situation, the clones will direct the lesser spiderlings in their general actions while using their gear and skills to pick off high powered opponents. Outside of combat, Spidettes can use their pheromones to be very seductive, and after vigorous mating, will paralyze their paramours with a poison bite, and then full body horror, extend a concealed ovipositor and pump the fertilized spider eggs under their skin. After hatching, the spiders chew their way free, consuming the host from the inside out, and creating SWARMS of spiders who have the resident's DNA stamp, meaning biometric detectors and systems will operate for the spiders. (doors opening).
Similar to the Spidettes, Many-Arms are a clone version of the antagonist of Spider City, but modified to have six arms, a poison bite, and the manual grip and strength to climb vertical surfaces. These clones do not have the antagonist's intelligence, just a feral and vicious cunning, and an urge to kill. Most are relegated to the fall out of concealed spaces for grappling fights, choke holds, and general abduction. More intelligent Many-Arms can and will pick up and use weapons. Single handed weapons are preferred as holding a rifle or two with six hands is much more difficult coordination wise than six knives, or multiple pistols. They are an intermediate threat, and will avoid the actual giant spiders, as the giant spiders have no compunction about snatching them and eating them like any other prey.
The Antagonist takes a Many-Arms, or a Spidette, or bioforged horror and injects them with the Claremont biomodification serum, causing them to gain a large amount of muscle mass and tremendous strength. The War-Spider is a hulked out horror version of whatever they were before the treatment. Some war-spiders will manifest a chitious armor carapace, others will have their mouths replaced with full on pedipalps and mandibles, and they become absolute horrorshows. These are created as counters to power armor troopers.
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