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Something in the future wants you dead

I was thinking about the Terminator series of movies the other day. It is a brilliant series of movies where even the bad ones are entertaining. The TV series Sarah Connor Chronicles is probably the best of the franchise really, but I digress. I love the Terminator franchise as it addresses a bunch of issues while being fast-paced and enjoyable.

The premise of the series is that the world is taken over by an AI sometime in our near future and it tries to wipe out humanity. It fails and as the AI(Skynet) begins to realize this, it builds a time machine to send back assassins to the past to kill the leader of the resistance before they can be a threat.

The terminators target Sarah Connor (the mother of the resistance leader), John Connor (the actual resistance leader) and in the most recent film, Terminator: Dark Future, Dani Ramos the leader in a new timeline after John was successfully killed. The consistent theme of the Terminator films is that the future is always doomed, just the details change. Someone must always save the future.

I think the Terminator series would make a brilliant D&D adventure idea for a D&D Plot.

Some villain (or group of villains) in the future controls the world but the heroes of your campaign (or their inheritors) thwart them in the end. These villains send back constructs to assassinate your heroes before they can. The heroes may get a warning from a future protector or maybe they need to work it out on their own. In the movies, there is usually a protector who eventually dies, but the heroes in a D&D game are less likely to need protecting as much. You can forgo the protector in a D&D game.

I am including two monster write-ups with a couple of Chronological Construct Killers. Both versions are more melee threats but can use ranged weapons if they need to. Their actual attack damage is relatively low, but they are very hard to put down. They also look like ordinary people, so it is hard to spot them as a threat until they start pounding. You can destroy them but there are always more. The future can always send more.

From a plot standpoint, the only way to stop these from periodically showing up is to find out what threat will rise to power and stop them before they do. 

What threats?

In the Forgotten Realms it might be Manshoon or possibly Szass Tam .

In Eberron maybe it is the Lord of Blades or possibly Vol.

Ultimately the villain of such a plot needs to be intelligent, ambitious, magically capable or having followers who could potentially develop the sort of power where widespread domination is an option, not just a city or small nation.

The one you chose should be appropriately terrible so as to be a challenge for the pc’s. Alternatively, you could pick someone who is not yet a villain to see how they deal with the moral implications. Maybe the villain has not been created yet and its creator isn’t a bad person.  There are a lot of directions to go there. Watch the movies for ideas.

Chronological Assassin

The Chronological Assassin has one purpose. It hunts its target till that target is dead. They are iron at their base, so very heavy. They have an odd leather skin fashioned to appear as skin. They can appear as any medium-sized race, these constructs are capable of passing as a normal person as long as one doesn’t try to talk to them much. They can speak but only a few limited phrases but anyone talking to them will get a sense something is off about them.

They are given a name and an image of their target at creation.  The means of their transport through time is one way and limits what they can bring with them, but they are usually sufficient to the task. They feel nothing. They never tire. They cannot be reasoned with, charmed, or dissuaded. They can either be avoided or if you are lucky, destroyed

Chronological Assassin

Medium construct, lawful evil

Armor Class 18 (Natural Armor)

Hit Points 184 (16d12 + 80)

Speed 40 ft.

STR 23 (+6)

DEX 12 (+1)

CON 21 (+5)

INT 18 (+4)

WIS 15 (+2)

CHA 10 (+0)

Saving Throws STR +11 DEX +6 CON +10 INT +9

Skills Intimidation +12, Perception +12

Damage Resistances Radiance; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks

Damage Immunities Poison,

Condition Immunities Charmed, Frightened, Paralyzed, Poisoned, Unconscious,

Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 22

Languages Common but does not often speak.

Challenge 14 (11,500 XP)

Proficiency Bonus +5

Immutable Form. The Chronological Assassin is immune to any spell or effect that would alter its form.

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the Chronological Assassin fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Resistance. The Chronological Assassin has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Siege Monster. The Chronological Assassin deals double damage to objects and structures.

Actions

Multiattack. The Chronological Assassin makes two slam attacks.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d6 + 8) Note: They are considered a magical weapon.

Longbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 150/600 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d8 + 1) piercing damage.

Chronological Executioner

The Chronological Executioner is the perfection of a killing machine. The iron construct is paired with a liquid orichalcum exterior which allows it to change its appearance. It is also equipped with a more powerful consciousness forged from the partial soul of another being. They are still relentless and single minded but pass more easily as a normal person.

In combat, they can shape their exterior into a mercurial blade up to 15 ft long which they can use with devastating effect. To make matters worse, they can heal their injuries which makes them even harder to destroy.  They run faster than most people, they can look like anyone, and still cannot be pleaded with. They will kill their target and anyone who gets in their way.

Medium construct, lawful evil

Armor Class 19 (Natural Armor)

Hit Points 385 (22d20 + 154)

Speed 40 ft.

STR 28 (+9)

DEX 12 (+1)

CON 25 (+7)

INT 19 (+4)

WIS 15 (+2)

CHA 18 (+4)

Saving Throws STR+ 15, INT +12, WIS +10,

Skills Intimidation +12, Perception +10

Damage Resistances Radiance, Fire, Psychic, Cold, Necorotic; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks

Damage Immunities Poison,

Condition Immunities Charmed, Frightened, Paralyzed, Poisoned, Unconscious

Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 24

Languages all but does not often speak.

Challenge 20 (25,000 XP)

Proficiency Bonus +6

Immutable Form. The Chronological Executioner is immune to any spell or effect that would alter its form.

Innate Spellcasting. The Chronological Executioner’s innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 20). The Chronological Executioner can innately cast the following spell, requiring no material components.

At will: Alter Self

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the Chronological Executioner fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Resistance. The Chronological Executioner has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Siege Monster. The Chronological Executioner deals double damage to objects and structures.

Actions

Multiattack. The Chronological Executioner makes two slam attacks.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d6 + 8) Note: They are considered a magical weapon.

Mercurial Blade. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 15 ft., Hit: 24 (3d10 +8)

Legendary Actions

Detect. The Chronological Executioner makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.

Mercurial Blade. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 15 ft., Hit: 24 (3d10 +8)

Repair. The Chronological Executioner repairs 1d6 +7 damage

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