“ You’re looking to hire some mercs and want some advice? Those roid-rangers in the black? The blacker-than-black $#!+? They’re bad news, hard-end off-the-envelope, headcases. I dunno where they found the witches’ brew in their veins, but they are flat-out wicked-evil. Maybe it’s the black juice they’re pumping, or maybe they were already deranged, but they’re slaughter-dogs through and through. You want something destroyed? They’re the ones for the job. You want anything left afterward, including your conscience, avoid getting them involved at all costs. I’d use those guys only as a last resort, if you didn’t plan on living with the aftermath or mind dying in the flames.”
- 1 Blacksteel RageRanger
- 2 Abilities
- 2.1 Sensory Systems
- 2.2 Special Systems
- 2.3 Weapons Systems
- 2.4 Programming/Skills
- 2.5 Combat
aka ‘BlackJuicer’, ‘BlackBoiler’, ‘Baner’
(based on the ARCHIE-3 Juicer Robot from Mark Sumimoto’s A.R.C.H.I.E. Three vs. The World in Rifter # 4)
The RageRanger is the BlackSteel-corrupted variant of the A-100J Juicer Bot, an ARCHIE-3 android disguising its robotic actuators under layers of psuedoflesh to appear as a hyper-muscled Juicer, for infiltration purposes. Apparently enough were in residence at the Factory/Temple Number 5 when the BlackSteel took it over that several examples were converted, and the malign entity took inspiration from them.
RageRangers look like Juicers, heavily muscled human(oid)s, with a tendency towards having dark swirling patterns on their skins, black teeth, and wild eyes...none of which tends to draw much adverse attention from the already normally extreme Juicer community. RageRangers tend to be withdrawn, taciturn, and even more aggressive than the average juicer. They don’t speak much, and even that’s usually grunts and simple orders, meant to keep others at arm’s length and moving where the BlackSteel wants them to.
Despite their decidedly antisocial aura, though, most Juicers simply see them as rather more unruly and bad-attituded fringe members of their own community. Seeing or hearing of them in action, many Juicers have come to the conclusion that the ‘RageRangers have a line on a new variant of the Juicer conversion process, or some serious new drugs, and this has started rumors of ‘Black Juice’ being out there.
In combat, the RageRanger begins to really show its differences; the juicer harness writhes like a living creature, muscles distend, the skin bulges and flexes in inhuman ways, black spikes protrude through the skin, and boils and dark sweat erupt on the skin. RageRangers exhibit supernatural strength, speed, and agility, and absolutely no fear of death. While they otherwise ignore people for the most part, in combat they are brutal, sadistic, and merciless, and often do not distinguish between enemies and allies in the heat of battle. RageRangers seem to fairly seethe with hatred and kill-lust, becoming monstrous in aspect, and making observers suddenly realize they’re in the presence of deady-serious supernatural madness.
RageRangers are insidious because they can get in amongst other mundanes (non-Shemarrians), mingle, and cause all sorts of grief without it being blamed on a mad malign alien-machine intelligence. They are also building up something of a cult following amongst other Juicers...all the more insidious because RageRangers can, if given the opportunity, infect other Juicers with malign nanotech that can boost their performance, but at fatal cost.
To anybody already familiar with the BlackSteel, RageRangers should come as a horrifying development; apparently living beings infected with the BlackSteel (it would take some sharp observational skills to realize that the ‘rangers are really robots disguised as Juicers).
|Crew||Corrupted Advanced NI|
MDC By Location
|False Skin Overlay||120 SDC|
|Leaping||20 ft across/15 ft up
|Swim Speed||20 mph|
|Maximum Depth||500 ft|
|Addition Sensor1||Motion Detector|
|Special System 1||Selt-Destruct|
|Special System 2||BlackSteel Traits|
|Secondary Weapon||BlackThorn Storm|
|Third Weapon||BlackRage Infection|
|Fourth Weapon||Handheld Weapons|
RageRangers outside of combat appear to act like normal, although anti-social and aggressive juicers, but once in combat, their true abilities show.
Can wear any Juicer body armors and frequently does as part of its disguise.
Basic, Low-Light/Night Vision (2,000 ft range), Infrared, Thermo-Imaging (2,000 ft range), telescopic (6,000 ft) and Magnification (x60) Optics.
Amplified Hearing (can hear noises as low as 10 decibels at 500 ft), plus ultrasonic band hearing.
Modulating Voice Synthesizer
RageRangers can mimic a variety of voices, the better to disguise their true nature.
100 ft range; built into the false skin for all-around coverage.
Standard. Just as ARCHIE-3’s ‘bots will destroy all evidence of themselves, the BlackSteel also leaves little trace of its creations. Completely obliterates itself (1d4x100+250 to immediate vicinity, and 2d4x10 MD to a 10 ft radius). Any remains will be a black slag-like material that slowly evaporates away with the taint of evil.
Has an effective H.F. of 10 when fully ‘roided out’.
If destroyed, RageRangers bleed a corrosive ichor not unlike powerful battery acid. This makes destroying the ‘bots near sensitive equipment a risky undertaking. Typically a destroyed RageRanger will splatter in a 4d6 ft radius, its fluids doing 1d4 MD per melee for 1d6 melees. Immediately dosing the splatter with a powerful base substance, or diluting it with copious amounts of water will stop or slow the damage.
The chassis wil regenerate damage at a rate of 10% per hour per location damaged.
Silver weaponry does DOUBLE damage to BlackSteel creations. If a called shot of 20+ (modified) strikes the skull or chest area with silver, the tainted container/CPU/powerplant will be struck and an explosion of 6D6 MDC to a 3 ft. radius will erupt and annihilate the Black-Steel... and decommission the ‘bot (self-destruct will still go off, however).
Attacking with Holy Magic will cause the normal materials of the ‘bot to expel the BlackSteel. The ‘bot will still fight on using its original programming, but it will lose its viciousness and malevolent cunning (reduce initiative by HALF), and BlackSteel properties, and all other aspects of its operation remain unchanged. However, the expelled BlackSteel will remain a threat if picked up and incorporated into other machines.
The RageRanger can extend retractable claws from its hands, similar to those in most Shemarrian warrior-castes.
|Range||40 ft radius|
|Rate of Fire||ECHH|
|Payload||5 uses ready / 24 hours|
The RageRanger can, in the heat of battle, ‘grow’ spikes through its skin and fire them off like a fragmentation grenade, clearing an area around itself. Though not actual BlackSteel, the blackthorns are still jagged, messy, and painful if lodged in flesh, and the RageRanger can regenerate them.
On an umodified ‘to strike’ roll of 18-20, the jagged projectiles will stick in a target’s flesh, and irritate the wound further, increasing required healing time by 10%. Saves versus infection/disease will be at -1 unless the projectile is removed and the wound THOROUGHLY cleaned.
Conditionally unlimited uses, the RageRanger can manifest enough spikes for 5 blasts per 24 hours.
Given a chance, a RageRanger can tamper with another Juicer’s harness, infecting its workings with extremely minute amounts of BlackSteel and altered nanotech. The result is that the next time the Juicer engages a chemical surge enhancement, instead it triggers a blind berserker rage and blackout that is not just a danger to the Juicer’s enemies, but to anybody within range (only the RageRanger will be ignored by the raging Juicer).
The tampering process itself requires a full minute (4 melees) to accomplish. Under the effects of the BlackRage, the Juicer adds 2 APMs, is +2 on initiative, +2 to strike, increases damage from hand to hand blows by 50%, and the Juicer can take as much as 50% of their SDC/HP below 0 in damage, unheeding of the pain and damage, without penalty, before they finally collapse, utterly dead.
It IS possible for a victim to survive BlackRage, but this requires the victim be subdued fairly quickly and a Medical Doctor or a Lore: Juicer roll be made to reset their drug harnesses (takes 2d4 melees). The victim will be exhausted and traumatized by the experience (HALF all bonuses and APMs for 3d6 hours afterwards) and loses -1d6 months from their already abbreviated lifespan.
Use of Handheld Weapons
RageRangers can pick up and use just about any infantry-scaled weaponry, and are strong enough to use cyborg-scale weaponry as well. If subtlety is not an issue, then the RageRangers will be equipped with BlackSteel-Corrupted weapons like the BsL-22 Pulse Rifle and the BsI-20 Ion Pistol.
Same as for the baseline A-63 All-Purpose Heavy Robot:
- Pilot: Automobile, motorcycle, hovercycle, jetpack, aircraft, all at 90%
- Radio: Basic 98%
- Math: Basic 90%
- Computer Operation 90%
- Prowl 70%
- Swim 94%
- Land Navigation 94%
- Climb 90%/80%
- Wilderness Survival 94%
- Swimming 94%
- Intelligence 90%
- Detect Ambush 70%
- W.P. Blunt
- W.P. Knife
- W.P. Sword
- W.P. Whip/Chain
- W.P. Ax
- W.P. Paired Weapons
- W.P. Energy (all)
|Attacks Per Melee||7|
|Auto Dodge||yes, no actions|
|Strike||+8, +4 w/ranged weapons|
|Restrained Punch||5d6 SDC|
|Full Punch||4d6 MD|
|Power Punch||1d4x10 MD (2 attacks)|
|Leap Kick||6d6 MD (2 attacks)|
|Body Block||1d6 MD|
RageRangers are incredibly aggressive and will attack anything and anyone within reach, including allies, except other BlackSteel units.
- Automatic Parry