Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekly 4e Homebrew: Heavy-Metal Constructs

Every Sunday, I'll have a completely homebrewed Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition element that you can use in your games. I do take requests so you can either post a comment here, email me at with the subject "Homebrew Request", or send me a tweet on Twitter (@brannonhutchins) with the hashtag #weekly4e.

As part of my Humor Campaign, I introduce to you the radical race of the Heavy-Metal Constructs.
Heavy-Metal Construct
Made to rock, and live to rock on.
Racial Traits
Average Height: 5'10"-6'
Average Weight: 200-300 lbs.

Ability Scores: +2 Strength; +2 Intelligence or +2 Charisma
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Low-light

Language: Common, Keanureevsian
Skill Bonus: +2 Endurance; +2 Bluff or Diplomacy

After Party Coma: You do not sleep and instead enter a state of full inactivity for 6 hours to gain the benefits of an extended rest. While in this state, you are dead to the world and have difficulty noticing approaching enemies and other events, taking a -10 to your Perception roll instead of the normal -5 penalty.
Living Construct: You are a living construct. You do not need to eat, drink, breathe, or sleep (though nothing stops you from doing so). You never make Endurance checks to resist the effect of starvation, thirst, or suffocation. All other conditions and effects affect you normally.
Oil Bloodied: When first bloodied in an encounter, the square you are currently occupying becomes covered in oil. The oil slick makes the square difficult terrain. If a creature runs or charges through the square, they must make a DC 15 Acrobatics check or fall prone in the squares opposite the square they came from when entering the oil slick square or the nearest unoccupied square and take 1 non-lethal damage.
Self Storage: You can carry an additional 25 lbs. of equipment in your body that does not count toward your total carried weight.
Stability: When an attack would knock you prone, you can make a saving throw to avoid falling prone.
Sonic Boom: You can use sonic boom as an encounter power.

Sonic Boom; Heavy-Metal Construct Racial Attack
Amps suddenly burst from your shoulders, sending out a massive feedback burst to deafen your enemies.
Encounter * Thunder
Minor Action; Close burst 3
Targets: All creatures in burst
Attack: Charisma +2 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 1d6 + Constitution modifier damage.
Increase to +4 bonus and 2d6 + Constitution modifier damage at 11th level, and to +6 bonus and 3d6 + Constitution modifier damage at 21st level.

Heavy-Metal Constructs are a race of living machines created to fight during the Battle of the Bands. They have since made a life for themselves in the grungy island nation known only as Detroit. And it is so metal there.

Play as a heavy-metal construct if you want...
  • to be totally rad and the most radical member of your party.
  • to play a character that knows how to live a metal life.
  • to be a member of a race that favors the bard, fighter, and paladin classes.

Physical Qualities
Heavy-Metal Constructs resemble metallic humanoids, run by gears and cogs kept running by a replenishing supply of magical oil. They tend to wear torn jeans and maybe a t-shirt, if they are feeling fancy that day, also torn. Metallic tendrils run from the back of their heads, resembling long flowing hair. Built tall, strong and with talent, they are not only born to kick ass and take names, they are also born to do it by song. Panels along its body open and close, revealing equipment and supplies.
HMCs do not age like normal creatures, but eventually their parts rust and decay, forcing them to replace and rebuild bits and pieces of their bodies over time. Eventually, the time comes for them to rust away. Should a HMC reach this point, a hidden subroutine activates, and they quickly construct an offspring, usually with pieces of themselves added on. There are times where adventurers have found HMCs next to half constructed others, not yet activated.

Playing a Heavy-Metal Construct
There is nothing a heavy-metal construct can't rock to. They live to enjoy the moment and rarely plan beyond the next day or, even more rarely, the next week. It's a non-stop party and they've invited themselves as the band.
They travel around in family units called Bands. Some heavy-metal constructs may go years, decades, or even the full length of time since the Battle of the Bands before meeting a Band they can call their own. Sometimes they connect with a traveling party of adventurers as their band, to the annoyance of the party.
Heavy-Metal Construct Characteristics: bold, brash, reckless, awesome, rockin', party animal
Male Names: Animal, Blue Thunder, Crash, Crush, Reeve, Thor, Zap, Zip
Female Names: Athena, Barracuda, Hail Mary, Lush, Vixen, White Lightning

Designer Notes: I was originally going to redo the entire racial descriptions into a format matching the Essentials, but I don't have time for that.

Not much more to discuss outside of the fact that the Sonic Boom power was based on how, in the 3.5 version of the Humor Campaign I ran, the HMC Bard would amplify his music. It was all fluff and in good fun, and is now a part of the race's identity.

The Heavy-Metal Construct race was created for the Wizards of the Coast Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition system.

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