Welcome to Monster Mondays! This week we are bringing you a new incarnation of the machine ghost, this time in the form of the Steadfast Captain. The captain went down with his ship, and then lingered far too long.
A once handsome phantom plays a discordant song on the fiddle, sparks flying as the bow meets the strings. His face is twisted in pain as he chokes to death again and again.
The Steadfast Captain CR 11
AC 24, touch 20, flat-footed 22 (+4 armor, +2 Dex, +8 deflection)
hp 107 (8d8+64);
Fort +10, Ref +8, Will +6
Defensive Abilities catastrophic rejuvenation, channel resistance +4, incorporeal traits, undead traits, well versed
Speed fly 30 ft. (perfect)
Melee calamity touch +8 (11d6 damage to object touched), longsword +9/+4 (1d8+1 half damage to corporeal creatures)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks calamity touch 11d6, dirge of doom (25 rounds), discordant jamming (DC 20), fascinate (25 rounds), possess machine (CL 10, huge), suggestion
Bard Spells Known (CL 8th; concentration +15)
3rd (4/day)—dreadscape (DC 20), confusion (DC 20), dispel magic
2nd (6/day)—allegro, blindness/deafness (DC 19), blur, mirror image
1st (6/day)—charm person (DC 18), silent image, technomancy, timely inspiration, unseen
0th (at will)—dancing lights, detect magic, ghost sound (DC 17), haunted fey aspect, prestidigitation, read magic
Before Combat If the steadfast captain detects another vessel approaching he will assume they are pirates or salvagers intent to steal his ship. He will prepare himself by casting blur. If the enemy ship remains some distance away, he will try to scare them off with discordant jamming. If he sees a boarding party approach, he will cast mirror image and then hide in the floor. If the void kissed transport is boarded he will begin combat by activating dirge of doom and casting dreadscape, hoping to disable the pirates. If dreadscape does not disable them he will try confusion instead. Afterwards he will attempt to sunder any air generation systems with his calamity touch.
Str -, Dex 14, Con -, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 25
Base Atk +6; CMB +8; CMD 18
Feats Harmonic Spell, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus Perception, Skill Focus Perform String, Spellsong
Skills Acrobatics +17, Bluff +22, Diplomacy +22, Knowledge (arcana) +8, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +8, Knowledge (engineering) +8, Knowledge (geography) +15, Knowledge (history) +8, Knowledge (local) +8, Knowledge (nature) +8, Knowledge (nobility) +8, Knowledge (planes) +8, Knowledge (religion) +8, Perception +10, Perform (dance) +17, Perform (string) +22, Profession (pilot) +10, Stealth +13
SQ bardic knowledge, bardic performance (25 rounds), countersong, distraction, inspire competence +3, inspire courage +2 (25 rounds), loremaster 1/day, versatile performance (sing, string)
Gear cloak of resistance +1, headband of Charisma +2, longsword +1, masterwork fiddle, studded leather +1
Environment void kissed transport
Calamity Touch (Su)
By passing part of its incorporeal body through an object the steadfast captain can attempt a touch attack as a standard action. The steadfast captain inflicts a number of d6s equal to its CR as a standard action, this damage manifests as supernatural aging to the object, and bypasses all hardness except for adamantine. Any object reduced to half health not only gains the broken condition, but also permanently gains the timeworn technology quality.
Discordant Jamming (Su)
As a standard action the steadfast captain can touch an intervessel communication system or a heads up display unit, or other technological or magical communication device to fill the communication channels with a mixture of static and violent screaming, as well as repeated visuals of both the steadfast captain’s death and the intruder’s own impending demise.
Discordant Jamming blocks all conventional uses of the devices for the turn, and does 2d10 damage and 1d4 charisma (fortitude negates) damage to all creatures using the devices. If the device’s interface is primarily visual, discordant jamming can be resisted as a gaze attack, if the device’s interface is primarily audio, this counts as a sonic effect.
Possess Machine (Su)
Once per round the steadfast captain can merge its body with a machine on the material plane. This ability is similar to possess object (caster level 10th). The steadfast captain does not require a receptacle. The steadfast captain can possess any object or construct with moving parts up to its size limit. The steadfast captain can possess a machine up to Huge size. The steadfast captain can only attempt to possess a given machine once per day.
In addition to the usual abilities of an animated object the steadfast captain can activate or deactivate any of the machine’s abilities as a full round action. The steadfast captain can select new targets for a machine’s abilities upon activation.
Machines possessed are valid targets against any spell that protects against possession, even those that normally only target creatures.
Void Kissed Transport
The languished transport drifts, sections of it open to the void of space, a few lights blinking in the dark the only sign of life.
Gargantuan Space Vessel (Broken, Timeworn)
AC 6 (+modifiers)
hp 310/640; vp 31/64; Hardness 10 (metal)
Base Save +4
Maximum Speed 2; Acceleration 1
CMB +4; CMD +14
Ramming Damage 1d3 + Speed VP
Propulsion thrust (1 square of engine, Hardness 10, hp 40)
Driving Check Profession (pilot) +5 to the DC or Profession (sailor) +10 to the DC; Control Device steering wheel and rigging
Means of Propulsion thrusters (external; 4 squares, hardness 20, hp 80) stardraws (external; 30 squares, hardness 0, hp 300)
Crew 1; Decks 1; Cargo/Passengers 6 tons/6 passengers
Point Buy 4/7
Systems air generator (broken), heads up display unit
When the void kissed transport’s air generator stopped working the steadfast captain sent the rest of the crew and passengers away in an escape pod, hoping that they could find help while he continued repairs. The captain never heard from them again, and never managed to get the generator up and running, ultimately dying a noble if painful death.
The agony of his death and the lack of clear focus for who was responsible lead to the captain lingering as a machine ghost, forever trying to fix the broken air generator, but forever lacking the essential parts to do so. The captain’s perceptions have become twisted in undeath, assuming that any visitors are pirates or salvagers intent to kill him and steal his ship, and he resists any boarding attempts with every means available to him.
Should the air generator be fully repaired, or a piece of the air generator used to make a brand new functional machine, the captain will finally be put to rest. Before this can happen though, the captain will likely have to be subdued, as he will do his best to try and suffocate any intruders aboard his vessel.
After putting the captain to rest there is still the mystery of the missing crew, cast off in an escape pod into the depths of space. Information left in scrawled notes and on the ship’s systems might be enough to reveal their heading. Depending on how long the captain has haunted his ship it still might be possible to rescue them, or to have an all new ship full of ghosts to try and put to rest.