This week, in the second of our series of creatures which challenge players primarily outside of combat we introduce the Lossi, strange vermin that are made of information and live inside computers.
Lossi CR 1/3
A fist-sized blob of protoplasm writhes and shifts in form, exuding the acrid stench of ozone and burnt plastic.
EAC 9; KAC 10
Fort +2; Ref +0; Will +2
Speed 20 ft.
Melee slam +0 (1d4 B)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Spell-like Abilities (CL 1st)
Virtual Infestation (Ex)
Lossi can convert their bodies into living data, infesting a computer system and creating a secure nest for themselves. Lossi infesting a computer are unable to be detected by normal senses but lose their own ability to sense the outside world, retaining only their technological blindsense. In addition, Lossi take half of any damage dealt to a computer they infest (distributed evenly amongst them if multiple Lossi are infesting the same computer). The number of Lossi that can infest a single computer is determined by its tier. A tier 1 computer can be infested by two Lossi, with each additional tier doubling the number of Lossi able to infest it.
Lossi also have some ability to defend their nests from hackers and intruders. As long as at least two Lossi are infesting a computer, it is treated as possessing the fake shell countermeasure, though the shell displays gibberish and nonsense code and is obviously false. As long as the computer is infested with at least half the maximum number of Lossi, the DC of the Computers check to overcome this countermeasure is increased by 2. Lossi can also affect those touching an infested computer with their spell-like abilities, though no more than once per round regardless of the number of Lossi infesting the computer.
Environment any technological ruins or spacecraft
Organization solitary or trojan(2-32)
When data signals and transmissions are sent through the emptiness of Hyperspace, the packets of data that are lost or corrupted in the transmission eventually coalesce, solidifying into globules of living data, mindless vermin known as Lossi. Often found in abandoned factories or derelict starships, Lossi create nests made of junked electronics, centered around one or more computers which they keep powered by stripping the energy from any other technology they can find.
While they can become a great nuisance in urban areas as they scavenge further and further afield for technology to power their nests, Lossi pose little threat to people and will instinctively retreat to their nests when threatened, hiding inside their computers in an attempt to appear harmless.
Technology is a ubiquitous presence in many Starfinder games and despite their measly CR, the addition of a nest of Lossi to a situation involving computers can increase the difficulty of challenges and even create surprising new ones.
- A locked door is simple enough to bypass, but when a nest of Lossi has infested the control system, that becomes much more difficult. Watch out for electric shocks while you hack through their defenses.
- Quick! The ancient mainframe has been activated and is counting down. The players have to destroy it before it launches a doomsday weapon. However, a nest of Lossi has infested the mainframe and any damage done is spread amongst the nest as a whole. Can they stop the countdown in time?
- It can be difficult telling trash from treasure in an area infested with Lossi. It’s particularly frustrating when you’re trying to find your favorite laser rifle amidst the junk after the little vermin made off with it last night and drained the batteries.
Lossi can even provide challenges to players well above their CR. Because their virtual infestation ability simply increases the DC of Computers checks, rather than providing a static DC, it continues to be relevant at higher levels. Further, Lossi can be used as ‘dungeon dressing’ in larger complexes, acting as part of its ecology. Their presence can also be used to signal to players the location of backdoor computer consoles and hidden treasure caches.
That’s it this week for the Lossi. Join us again next week for the third in our series of creatures to challenge your players, beyond combat.