Monday, October 17, 2016

Encounter: (Inspired by) Adjudicator

Long tongue, fat knife, they scream
a runnin for their life-ife-ife.
I haven't written a monster in a while, so I feel like writing a monster. So here's a monster inspired by Demon's Souls.

Known Lore

Adjudicator as the name applies, is a judge. It decides whether one is guilty or not guilty, and happily devours sinners. As is the style with FROM's Soulsborne games, putting together any meaning of a character is something of a puzzle waiting to be solved, so this section might be spoiler-y and worthy of skipping if you ever want to play for yourself.
Physically, we notice he has a bird on his head, a blade sticking in his left side, a broken cleaver in his left hand, a full sized one in his right, and a very long tongue. He is very tall and very round.

First off, we have a shield with a painting of the Adjudicator and the description we get from the shield is thus.
Cowardly acts and the eating of birds must not be the deeds of a Hero of Storms. If the one being judged displeases the Adjudicator's master, the Golden Crow, the deceased soul will be gnawed upon until nothing but their bones remain.
Next we have his weapon, which says this about him:
A large cleaver forged from the soul of the Demon "Adjudicator." It is the Adjudicator's own weapon, and transforms sinners into delicious-looking cuts of meat
This is basically all we have to go on to understand who and what he is before relying on conjecture.
To me, my interpretation of this is:

  1. The "adjudicator" is actually a meat puppet that isn't really involved in the judgement process; just the execution. The real brains belong to "The Golden Crow."
  2. The adjudicator is insatiably hungry.
So let's see where we can go from there.


The adjudicator is about two stories tall compared to a character which gives a size modifier of SM+2. On the other hand, the Golden Crow on his head is SM-3, it's a really big bird, but not a giant like the adjudicator.
Starting with the adjudicator itself, I take the stats of the Corpse Golem from Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 1, and scale it up to SM+2 using the directions from Low-Tech Companion 2 and Fantasy.
This gives us about 40 HP (rounding to a nice easy number.) and 33 ST.
His weapon, though realistically, is a giant knife, is mechanically similar to a cutting axe/mace, so I'll base it's stats on a Small axe from Low-Tech scaled up two sizes. This comes out to something like:

0Small Axe (SM+2)sw+2 cut20U$281.2518.7525
He also has a damaged cleaver broken in half. For simplicity, I'll base this on a hatchet.
0Hatchet (SM+2)sw+1 cut20$25012.520
So now we have his two weapons, and we have his basic stats.

Let's change some of his advantages a bit, and give him Injury Tolerance for taking half damage and 4 DR for Tough Skin. He's not exactly undead, so I can change some of those traits too. I feel like he is a bit slower than the corpse golem as well.

ST: 33HP: 40Speed: 6
DX: 12Will: 8Move: 4
IQ: 8Per: 8
HT: 12FP: 12SM: +2
Dodge: 9Parry: 10, 10UDR: 4 (Tough Skin)
Right Cleaver (14): Reach 2-3, 6d+2 cutting, has an unbalanced parry.
Left Cleaver (14): Reach 2-3, 6d+1 cutting.
Stamp Kick (14) : Reach C-2: 4d+2 Crushing. Failed roll means no retreating backwards.
Tongue Striker (14) : Reach C-5: 5d+1 Crushing.
Traits: Crushing Striker (Tongue, Long 2, Cannot Parry), Damage Resistance 4 (Tough Skin, -40%, Everywhere but Wound, -5%)[12], Doesn't Eat, Fat, Gluttony (6), Extra Attack 1, High Pain Threshold (Everywhere but wound, -5%)[10], Injury Tolerance (Damage Reduction 2 (Except in wound), No Blood, No Brain, No Vitals)[62], Off-Hand Weapon Training (Axe/Mace) Slave Mentality, Unfazeable, Wounded
Skills: Axe/Mace-14, Brawling-14, Professional Skill (Butcher)-20
Class: Demon
The only reasonable way to hurt this monster is to attack its wound. If the crow is defeated or stopped, that may also stop the adjudicator.

In terms of CER, this encounter has an Offensive Rating of 42 and a Defensive rating of 58. By aesthetic coincidence, we have a CER of 100, making this a challenging boss for 1 new 250 point character, a worthy foe for about 2 to 4, and fodder beyond that.

Now, for the golden crow. I, being lazy, I'd say take the Macaw familiar from Dungeon Fantasy 5, p.23 and modify it a bit. Increase the IQ to 14. Add to it's skills Diplomacy-20, Detect Lies-30, Law(Tribal)-30, Theology-16, Thanatology -16, Hidden Lore (Demons)-16. Subtract Filch and Fast-Talk. remove limitations from Photographic Memory. It has a psychic link with the adjudicator itself, and if it matters, a Compartmentalized Mind to explain how it operates independently of the adjudicator. The increase in IQ also increases Will and Perception. To its disadvantages add Intolerance (Cowards and Those That Eat Birds). Likewise, to its advantages add Detect (Guilt). If it gets a chance to meet a player character by him or herself, it may try to use a malediction to inflict chronic depression as if effected by Guilt Complex and honesty for 1d days as a quick contest of her Diplomacy versus the target's will, dredging up any past committed sins. In a fight, this is more likely to take the form of hallucination, this is the same quick contest, but if the target fails to resist, she has lucid visions of every terrible thing she has ever done. Class this encounter as a demon likewise.

In terms of CER, the Golden Crow has an Offensive Rating of 29, and a Protective Rating of 8, for a total CER of 37.

Other Thoughts and Conclusion

If you wanted to go one step further and integrate more of the game mechanics into GURPS, the knife has the Steal Vitality enchantment (add $30,000 to it's cash value) but slightly modified. Every 3 HP of damage the cleaver does, the Adjudicator recovers 1 HP.
Important to consider that in the video game he is fought in a very tightly constrained room, and usually 1:1. He is probably not at all difficult put in a wide open field or outnumbered heavily. In that case, I'd recommend including fodder monsters; skeletons are appropriate from the source material, but also maybe a combination of weak demons and divine servitors as they would be there to lead sinners to hell, and heroes to heaven?

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