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“So, what progress have you had taking that fortress? I understand you had some problems with a dozen or so magical warriors that were giving you grief? Especially since the War Goddess wanted them taken alive?”

“Oh, them. We captured about six of them and their gear. Coccooned them up good. Would have had seven, but we lost the one.”

“Suicide?”

“No, insanity. BAD case of arachnophobia. Think we broke the kid. Had to cut them out of the webbing and knock ‘em out before they went cardiac. Don’t think the Chief’s going to get ANYTHING out of that one besides gibbering.”

EShemar K-23 Aracha War Steed[]

The Horrorwoods Tribe of Rifts Earth MUST have encountered the Gruesome Tarbid of the Horror Forest, because that’s obviously the inspiration for this arachnoid War Steed. Looking like a giant chromed metallic spider, complete with pivoting spinnerets, gleaming sharp fangs, and sharp hair-like barbs along its many legs, the Aracha inspires fear just in its visual aspect, let alone its capabilities. 

Though well-armored and quite nimble (the spider mecha is a SUPERB jumper), the Aracha is decidedly slower than War Steeds like the Monst-rex, so it is unpopular with traditional cavalry warriors. In built-up areas like old-growth forests, mountains, and cities (ruined or otherwise), where speed is less of an issue, the Aracha comes into its own. Its ability to spin web traps and wrappings makes it popular with headhunter, monster capture, and field engineering units. The Aracha is intelligent enough that it can be taught to construct simple rope traps, coverings, and nets. 

The Aracha has appeared in the Horrorwoods, SilverMoon, and Ghost Rider stables. 

Abilities[]

Aracha
Type EcoS-K-23
Class Warmount
Crew Robotic AI, Ecotroz Fragment
Number of Riders 1
Number of Passengers 1
Original Tribe Horrorwoods
MDC By Location
Head 70
Main Body 360
Legs 90 (8)
Mandibles 45
Physical Size
Height 18 ft
Length 20 ft
Width 15 t
Weight 2200 lbs
Physical Attributes
IQ 8
PS 30 Robotic
SPD 55 mph
Leaping 60 ft up/across

>40 mph + 1d4x10 yards across/+15 ft up

Swim Speed 5 mph along bottom
Maximum Depth 800 ft
Power System Nuclear 20 year
Other Attributes
Sensors
Standard Sensors Yes
Addition Sensor1 Motion 200 ft
Additional Sensor2 Radar 60 mile
Additional Sensor3 360 Degree Vision
Special Systems
Cybernanite Repair 4d6 MD/hr / 40 MDC
Special System 1 Molecular Foot Pads
Weapon Systems
Primary Weapon Lightning Fangs (2)
Secondary Weapon Webbing Cannon
Third Weapon Shock Bite
Fourth Weapon Optional Modular Weapon Mounts (2)

Leaping[]

Can make an astonishing standing leap of 60 ft up/across. A running start in excess of 40 MPH adds 1d4x10 yards across/15 ft to height.

Climbing[]

Can climb with the best of them; at roughly HALF its running speed. 

Special Systems[]

Molecular Foot Pads[]

The Aracha can cling to and climb any sufficiently strong surface that can hold its weight. Note that the rider and passengers had better be firmly belted on or they’ll fall off during such maneuvers.

Weapons Systems[]

Lightning Fangs (2)[]

Range Ion Pulse 4500 ft
Range2 EMP 2000 ft
Damage Ion Pulse 5d6 MD

1d6x10 MD double shot

Damage2 EMP Special
Rate of Fire ECHH
Payload Unlimited

Mounted just above its vibro-fangs, the Aracha carries two high-powered ion cannons. These weapons are dual-mode; they can either deliver a straightout powerful armor-blasting shock, or they can deliver a directed electromagnetic pulse for incapacitating targets. Aracha riders like to use the EMP mode to slow down techno-prey prior to trapping them. Does Critical Damage on a roll of 19-20. 

EMP Blast[]

This attack does 5d6 EMP damage (no physical damage) per strike. The resulting percentage of the target location MDC is the chance of shutdown/disablement. All damage is cumulative. Damage in excess of 50% target MDC will require repair to make it functional; 75% or more damage will require replacement of the entire electrical system. Does double damage to non-shielded civilian systems. Bionics are -1 to dodge, roll, and strike for the affected limb/system, lasting 1d4 melees, non-cumulative, before the system resets itself.

On an unmodified roll of 18-20, it causes unshielded BIONICS and robots to spasm for 1d4 melees (Cyborg is at HALF bonuses to strike, parry, dodge, roll, and is -3 to initiative. Reduce speed by HALF).

Against organic targets, victims must roll versus non-lethal poison (16 or better) , or be electrocuted; stunned for 2d4 melees; -8 to strike, parry, and dodge.

Webbing Cannon (1)[]

Range 500 ft
Damage None
Rate of Fire ECHH
Payload Conditionally Unlimited

The Aracha mounts a rear mini-turret with a pivoting spinneret-cannon that sprays a quick-setting megadamage polymer that can form incredibly tough fibers. The fibers can also be spun into coccoon-wrappings, allowing the Aracha to construct protective fiber-walls, barriers, restraint bags, and even emergency shelters.

The webbing matrix itself is generated by a nanite-impregnated microfac in the war steed’s bulbous abdomen that renders megadamage materials, particularly plastics and composites, into a fine slurry that cures rapidly when sprayed and formed into strands or sheets.

Damage[]

None. A single 1-inch strand of the synthetic spider-web can hold up to 3 tons and has 1 MDC per 10 ft length; more if braided.

Used to coccoon-spray a target, the cannon can spray up to 50 MDC in one attack, so if the Aracha uses all six of its attacks on wrapping a single target, it can create a web shell with 300 MDC, or generate a 3,000 ft line in a single melee. 

Payload[]

Conditionally Unlimited; the Aracha’s ready-reserve has 1,000 MDC worth of polymer matrix ready to go, but can generate more through consuming MDC materials (at a ratio of 2 consumed MDC to 1 MDC of produced webbing) that are reprocessed into new webbing compound.

Shock Bite[]

Range Melee
Damage 2d6 MD

The Aracha also sports vicious-looking metal fangs that are actually contacts for a powerful electroshock system. This allows the War Mount to bite into a target and deliver a powerful stunning charge, even through body armor. 

Stun[]

Victims must also save versus non-lethal poison (16 or better) or be stunned for 2d4 melees; -8 to strike, parry, and dodge. Effects are cumulative with additional bites. A successful save means the victim only loses initiative for that melee. This effect is applicable to megadamage organic beings and those wearing EBA, but NOT power armor.

Optional Modular Weapons Mounts (1-2)[]

The Aracha can mount one or two additional weapons similar to those carried by the Monstrex. 

Programming[]

The Ecotroz have installed robotic AIs, then infected the matrix with a low-level Ecotroz sentience. The resulting Awakened intelligence has a predatory, aggressive, but very patient persona, akin to a well-trained watch animal, and a high animal intelligence of 8. 

Typically has the following, in addition to basic Shemarrian Animal Programming: 

  • Prowl 60% (+5% per level of experience for Ecotroz entity)
  • Climbing 98%/85%

The Ecotroz entity can also pick up one Secondary skill at levels 2, 6, and 12 of experience, though the nature of the Aracha intelligence and design is such that it is limited to skill selections from Technical Language (understanding), Rope Works, Lore, Espionage (Trap Construction), Military (Camouflage, Trap/Mine Detection), and Wilderness ( Hunting, Identify Plants and Fruits).

Combat[]

Attacks Per Melee 6
Bonuses
Initiative +3
Dodge +7
Parry +6
Auto Dodge Leap Dodge (no actions)
Strike +1, +2 w/ranged weapons
Roll +3
Pull Punch +4
Disarm Unknown
Entangle Unknown
Knockout/Stun Unknown
Critical Strike 19-20
Attacks
Bite 2d6 MD
Kick/Stab 2d6 MD
Leg Scrape 2d4 MD
Leap Attack (2 attacks) 4d6 MD

Arachas are patient, but aggressive combatants, and excel in ambush tactics, striking from walls and ceilings, using the terrain around them to leap about to confuse targets.

CANNOT be surprised from behind, thanks to its motion detectors

Leap Attack (2 attacks)[]

4d6 MD plus has a 60% chance of bowling over legged prey (lose initiative and one APM getting back up).

Ecotroz Fragment[]

The Ecotroz intelligence fragment inhabiting the ‘bot gives the Aracha an aura and behavior more befitting a sentient being than a robot. 

The Aracha has the following Natural Psionic Abilities (no ISP Cost), all equivalent to 6th level with regards to range and proficiency.

  • Presence Sense
  • Sixth Sense/Danger Sense

The Ecotroz fragment does occasionally need sleep/rest...though they only need 2 hours of rest/meditation per 24 hours...they can push this, going without for as many days as they have I.Q. points, but will have to go dormant for 4d6 hours after such exertion.

Note also that the Ecotroz-possessed ‘bot can infect other bots with the Ecotroz viral-entity, by bite or sustained touch (takes 3 attacks). 

Variants[]

EcoS-K23Sm[]

Silvermoon variant, nicknamed the ‘Moon Spider’, adapted for space operations. It is most notably chromed in laser-ablative mirror armor (lasers do HALF damage). The K23Sm can also fly and manuever in space at about 50 MPH. 

EcoS-K23Gr[]

Ghost Rider variant. The only important difference between the Ghost Rider-fielded Arachas and the Horrorwoods’ version is the lack of an Ecotroz essence in the Ghost Rider ‘bots (they run off a pure neural intelligence). Reportedly the Ghost Riders have also been tinkering with their Arachas to produce electrically-conductive webbing, allowing them to be used to string power conduits or create electrified webbing traps.

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