Future Tech Meets Fantasy

By William Canavan

The concept of introducing futuristic technology into a fantasy
D&D setting is almost as old as Dungeons & Dragons itself. From
Advanced Dungeons and Dragons' Expedition to the Barrier
Peaks, to Basic D&D's City of the Gods, to AD&D 2nd Edition's
Tale of the Comet, future tech' has a long history of finding its way
into the world of fantasy. Now with d20 Future Tech, it is even
easier to incorporate advanced technology into your D&D setting.

Although there are many examples of future tech in fantasy from which to draw, this article will focus on mecha.
For those not familiar with the term, "mecha" is both singular and plural, derived from Japanese animation in
which it can refer to any type of equipment, from weapons and armor to vehicles and starships. In d20 Future,
the term "mecha" specifically refers to giant piloted robots, with the rules for mecha operation found in d20
Future and d20 Future Tech. Mecha usually look like armored giants, although some are designed to resemble
animals or mythical creatures.
The temptation to pit your PCs against mecha from d20 Future
For another look at future tech introduced to
Tech can be great, but despite the similarities of the d20 Modern a fantasy world, check out the Return
and D&D rules, mecha are surprisingly tricky to incorporate into Expedition to Barrier Peaks.
a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. For example, one of the
first questions a DM may encounter is how to determine the challenge rating of a mecha. Unfortunately, the
answer is "you can't". Mecha are not creatures; they aren't even constructs. Mecha are very large, very powerful
pieces of equipment. Therefore, they do not have a CR of their own.
The Challenge of Challenge Ratings
So if mecha don't have a CR, how can you plan a balanced encounter with one? The key is in recognizing that a
mecha is no different from a suit of magic armor. The armor has no CR of its own, but should only be in the
possession of an NPC with enough wealth to afford it. By using table 4-23 in the DMG (pg. 127) you can
determine how much wealth an NPC of a given level should have.
Yet while D&D uses a cash system of gold pieces to determine
wealth, d20 Modern uses an abstract system of purchase DCs
and wealth checks. By converting a mecha's purchase DC into a
gold piece value, you can determine the minimum level a NPC
must be in order to possess a particular type of mecha
(assuming it's somehow available to them!). This in turn will
allow you to determine the level of the encounter. To simplify
conversion between the two systems, use the table below:
Mecha
Gold
Purchase Piece
DC
Value

Minimum
NPC
Level

Escape Artist. you should be able to calculate the EL for any mecha. and a pair of dangling arms.000gp 15 43 75. use to make the mecha more effective in combat. serves as a prerequisite for a number of you might want to consider using a mecha pilot that would other mecha-related feats that a pilot could provide an EL of 2 to 4 levels higher than the average party level.500gp 11 39 25.000gp 19 Mecha pilots require a number of skills and feats to be truly effective (and for mecha introduced to D&D campaigns. As the chart tops out at PDC 47. It is rounded and might remind one of a cross between an overly stout (if gigantic) dwarf and a lumbering beetle. is nearly five feet wide.000gp 14 42 60. Updated stats for the D&D 3. shadowy crystal. The device stands over nine feet tall. Move Silently.000gp 16 44 100.500gp 18 46 175. 47 250.750gp 10 38 17.500gp 13 41 45. Climb. their inclusion will need to be improvised). several of these will simply not exist. any encounters with mecha more expensive than that should be at least Encounter Level 20. Keep in mind that the minimum NPC level is just a guideline for Drive. Its original stats can be found in the 1st edition AD&DDungeon Master's Guide. All of the skills listed above should be considered cross class skills for any D&D character that wishes to put ranks into them. .000gp 9 37 13. The Mighty Servant of Leuk-o The Mighty Servant of Leuk-o is a towering automaton of jet black metal. A character without these skills can attempt to use them untrained (except for the Pilot skill. the level of the mecha's pilot. Also remember that a party should Pilot and Tumble checks made while be able to defeat four encounters of the average party level in a operating mecha. then updated for 2nd edition AD&D and placed within the Book of Artifacts. Without it they suffer a -4 penalty to Balance.000gp 20 Perhaps the most famous mecha in the history of D&D is the legendary artifact known as the Mighty Servant of Leuk-o.5 version of the Mighty Servant are presented below.000gp 17 45 137. which is trained only). So unless you want the PCs to have an easy time. Mecha Operation also single day.000gp 12 40 32. and several mysterious fibrous materials. Hide. The Computer Use skill is needed to operate the mecha's sensors and the Pilot and/or Drive skills are needed to maneuver it (unless the pilot uses the Tumble skill). Using these rules. and some six feet deep. The servant has two stocky legs. on which it walks with a curious swaying motion.36 10. Mecha pilots should take the Mecha Operation feat as soon as possible.

An internal compartment is configured to seat two man-sized creatures comfortably. this dreadful thing is quite heavy. Zero Point Energy Power Core . although others believe it plunged through a dimensional rift opened in that great conflict. citing the craftsmanship and appearance of the thing. PS-25 Tiger Claws (right arm). Leuk-o forged an army that rivaled even Lum's. With the power of the Mighty Servant to back him. In terms of d20 Future Tech. Nano Repair Unit (left arm). The Mighty Servant with the standard equipment package (see below) has a purchase DC of 47. speculate that it is the handiwork of a now extinct branch of the dwarves. it must be said) that never in their race's extensive histories has anyone ever found a reference to this construct. the Mighty Servant of Leuk-o is a large mecha with the following statistics: The Mighty Servant of Leuk-o(PL 8) The Mighty Servant of Leuk-o primarily serves as a light infantry support mecha. particularly in siege warfare. The Mighty Servant is believed by many to have been destroyed in this final battle. but turned against his master when he came into possession of this instrument of destruction. their mighty artifacts unleashing powers greater than any since harnessed. Dwarf sages note (with some reluctance. and is hideously noisy when in operation. Size: Large (-1 size) Bonus Hit Points: 220 Superstructure: Megatanium Hardness: 30 Armor: Megatanium Bonus to Defense: +17 Armor Penalty: -8 Reach: 10 ft. At last. The 20th level NPC fighter from the Dungeon Master's Guide (pg. Strength Bonus: +8 Dexterity Penalty: - Speed: 20 ft. Passenger's Cockpit (torso and back). always ending in stalemate. As might be expected. Base Purchase DC: 47 Standard Equipment Package: Class VI Sensor System (helmet). replacing an armored vehicle on the battlefield. the Mighty Servant of Leuk-o should be piloted by a 20th level character. It has also proven effective in close-combat situations. as many as five others might perch safely upon the servant when it is in motion. Tsunami480 Plasma Cannon (shoulders x2 and left arm). Some sages. making it impossible to state just what their nature might have been. It is said that their battle laid waste to a great kingdom and left a scorched desert in its wake. The workmanship and materials evidenced in the Mighty Servant are unlike any found in the recorded histories of men. 177) would make a suitable pilot. Externally. weighing nearly two tons. All accounts of the Mighty Servant begin with its discovery by the infamous General Leuk-o. As presented below. Mk IV Defense Field (right arm). Lum and Leuk-o faced each other. Pilot's cockpit (helmet and torso). The two forces clashed many times. Leuk-o was a follower of the warlord Lum. the two forces met in a final battle. History The Mighty Servant of Leuk-o is believed to be a construct of some ancient and mysterious race who lived in and around the Barrier Peaks before migrating to the far west.

The pilot and passenger in the cockpit have 100% concealment and total cover from any external attack. the glabrezu acts as an enhancer. granting up to 24. it may return to its physical body as a free action and use all of its powers. the Mighty Servant has a Strength score of 26. banishment and similar effects. Whatever its true origins may have been.. and +1 for the enhancement bonus. It is also not subject to critical hits. and cannot run or charge unless the operator has the Mecha Operation feat. While it possesses the mecha. and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless. for a total defense score of 26. 66). It has a number of claw attacks based on the pilot's base attack bonus (BAB). the demon reverts to its incorporeal state unharmed. but it keeps any other abilities it may have been granted by other means. in a hostile atmosphere. If the demon is exorcised or otherwise removed from the mecha. These enhancements are usually in the form of acid resistance 10. paralysis. It also has a life support system for the pilot and a "space skin". it uses its own Strength bonus and size penalty instead of those of the pilot. it uses its own size modifier instead of that of the pilot. it takes only ½ damage from fire and electricity-based attacks. Demonic Possession: The Mighty Servant of Leuk-o is a more than just a large mecha. energy drain. which allows the mecha and its pilot to operate underwater. If the demon finds a suitable pilot. The Mighty Servant also has a single ranged weapon. it can drop any or all of these enhancements at will. Life Support (power core). The number of ranged attacks is based on the pilot's BAB. ability drain. . The mecha's sensor system also grants the pilot darkvision up to 180 feet and also allows him or her to see through almost any barrier.500 feet away. or the effects of massive damage. +12 equipment bonus for megatanium armor. If the Mighty Servant is destroyed while possessed by the glabrezu. Spell-like or Supernatural Abilities. disease. Structural Enhancement x2 (back and power core). stunning. The first affects a single target up to 1.000gp worth of magical enhancements to the mecha. Each successful claw attack inflicts 6d8+8 points of damage. As a vehicle. but doing so drops all of the enhancements to the Mighty Servant. so it will be wary of revealing its true nature. Defensive Capabilities: The Mighty Servant has a base Defense score (i. Immunities: The Mighty Servant is created with the "mecha as vehicles" variant rules from d20 Future Tech (pg. However. +4 deflection bonus for the Mk IV defense field. the mecha was possessed by a glabrezu long before it was discovered by general Leuko. This demon uses the power of the Mighty Servant to tempt Lawful and Good heroes into becoming Chaotic Evil warlords. the glabrezu cannot use any of its Extraordinary. The second attack mode affects a 60 foot cone (reflex save DC: 19 for half damage). non-lethal damage. It has a base speed of 20 feet. It can again shuck its physical form and repossess the Mighty Servant at any time. or even in a complete vacuum for up to 24 hours. and a +1 enhancement bonus to the mecha's defense score (AC). Each successful ranged attack in either mode inflicts 12d6 points of fire damage. Should the pilot displease the demon. It loses any enhancements provided by the demon. Offensive Capabilities: From an offensive stand point. Heavy Fortification (power core and boots x2 ). As a possessing demon. the Mighty Servant reverts to an "ordinary" mecha. ability damage. sleep. Hit Points and Speed: The Mighty Servant of Leuk-o has a megatanium superstructure that grants the mecha a hardness of 30 with 20 base hit points and 100 bonus hit points. An additional 100 bonus hit points are granted by two structural enhancements. The Mighty Servant's ranged weapon has two modes of attack. Armor Class) of 10 with a -1 modifier for size. necromancy effects. spell resistance 13. It is also immune to mind-influencing effects and to poison. Its Nano Repair Unit repairs 5 hit points of damage per round. The demon is vulnerable to dismissal.e. Again.(plus 4 slots). Space Skin (power core). and only ¼ damage from cold-based attacks.

He truly believes that what he seeks is just a unique iron golem and has no idea that he has stumbled across the Mighty Servant of Leuk-o. and d20 Future Tech has expanded rules for mecha construction and combat. 51-80 The messenger is possessed by the glabrezu. He is willing to pay the group handsomely if they escort him to the golem's resting place and help him bring it safely back to civilization. d100 Motivations 01-50 The messenger is telling the truth. but it is remote and dangerous. and there are many ways to bring this powerful artifact to the attention of your PCs. Consider the following: 1. but does not want anyone else to know its true nature. it disappeared through a dimensional rift during General Leuk-o's final battle against Lum the Mad and his Infernal Machine. All of these books should be consulted before attempting to introduce the Mighty Servant of Leuk-o into your campaign. He believes he has discovered its location. 2. A messenger seeks out the party and begs them to stop the warlord. This allows the DM to insert the Mighty Servant into any campaign setting despite its origins in Greyhawk. or whether he might have used them to further enhance the Mighty Servant. It plans to lead the would-be heroes to the Mighty Servant in order to corrupt them. these rules were used to determine the value of the Mighty Servant's enhancements. There is no telling how many wishes he was granted by the glabrezu. Note that General Leuk-o had this artifact in his possession for a very long time. 25). The Treasure Hunter: An old man approaches the party seeking their help in recovering a lost iron golem of dwarven design. 61-90 The Mighty Servant is the prized possession of a great red wyrm. The Warlord: A powerful warlord has discovered the Mighty Servant of Leuk-o and is using it to conquer nearby lands. d100 Motivations 01-60 The old man is a sage and a collector of rare oddities. DMs are encouraged to tailor the Mighty Servant to fit their own fiendish needs. The current pilot has displeased the demon and it wants a . 91-100 The old man is possessed by the glabrezu. 91-100 The Mighty Servant is floating in the Astral Plane. d20 Future contains detailed rules for building and operating mecha. If the heroes don't act. He knows that he has found the Mighty Servant. d100 Complications 01-60 Another group overhears the old man and attempts to beat the party to the "golem". Adventure Hooks The Mighty Servant of Leuk-o is a famous artifact from the World of Greyhawk. these rules were used to determine the Mighty Servant's base purchase DC. The stats listed above are a baseline only. civilization is doomed. The Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss contains detailed rules for demon-possessed objects (pg. According to legend. The glabrezu itself can be found in the Monster Manual.One of the demon's favorite tactics for corrupting a pilot is to offer wishes that improve or add to the powers of the Mighty Servant. 61-90 The old man is a sage and collector of rare oddities.

. During that time. 81-100 The messenger is in the service of Lum the Mad. 51-80 In addition to the Mighty Servant. About the Author Bill Canavan has been gaming for more than twenty-five years.new pilot for the Mighty Servant. All Rights Reserved. d20 Modern. ©1995-2006 Wizards of the Coast. d100 Complications 01-50 In addition to the Mighty Servant. and Star Wars d20 games. Inc. a subsidiary of Hasbro. Inc. 81-100 In addition to the thousands of warriors or commoners (above). the warlord has raised an army of thousands of commoners who believe they are on a holy quest for the forces of Law and Good. he has written and run adventures for the Dungeons & Dragons. He wants the Mighty Servant destroyed so that no one will be able to stop his own attempt at conquest. the current pilot of the Mighty Servant is a 10th level fallen paladin/10th level blackguard. Bill currently lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two cats. . the warlord has raised an army of thousands of evil or possibly undead warriors.

No portion of this work may be reproduced in any form without written permission. This Wizards of the Coast game product contains no Open Game Content. Any reproduction of or unauthorized use of the material or artwork contained herein is prohibited without the express written permission of Wizards of the Coast. All rights reserved.wizards. and Forgotten Realms are registered trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast. To learn more about the Open Gaming License and the d20 System License. places. Visit our website at www. and the distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast. This product is a work of fiction. All Wizards characters. Dungeons & Dragons.com/dnd .com/d20. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson and on the new edition of the Dungeons & Dragons game designed by Jonathan Tweet. Richard Baker. Inc. Inc. ©2001-2006 Wizards of the Coast.S. This material is protected under the laws of the United States of America. Skip Williams. Any similarity to actual people.Based on the original Dungeons & Dragons® game by E. D&D. or events is purely coincidental. organizations. Inc.A. and Peter Adkison. character names. please visit www.wizards. Inc. Made in the U. Monte Cook.