<“...wrap you and give you as a present for Doctor Vivisectus ! She’ll be so PLEASED!”>
“Those pre-Rifts museums musta LOVED acquiring mummified remains, because we keep running into them here in the New West. Or maybe there’s just a lot of necromancers who like making dried-up flesh golems. Sure seems that way, and I’m really starting to hate it. We try finding some pre-Rifts location, and somebody’s already claimed it with an army of the walking dead. I hate vampires and I hate dead things that don’t know their proper place. #### this; I’m going to try my luck further north.”
<<“I am struck by the favored variations of style and practice among even my own cadre; besides the usual proficiency in tape weaponry, one of my sister-soldiers has taken up the art of Gift-Wrapping her prisoners. I believe she feels the added humiliation of being entrapped in festive ribbon and presented to the interrogators decorated with a silk flower helps break the prisoners. Another one of my party has gotten devilishly obsessive with knot work, but often conceals metal chains in them to prevent repeats of the ‘Gordian solution’. Then there’s the one of my party who’s taken up shinbari....we tend to give her her space when on and off duty and try to ignore the sounds from her latest ‘work in progress’...”>>
“I’d feel grateful for the quick medical attention you provided in putting me in a full body cast if not for the fact that YOU’RE the reason most of my bones are broken, and I suspect that the reason I’m effectively gift-wrapped isn’t for reasons of your altruism in wanting to make up to me for beating me down in a manner most brutal.”
“Ah, you’re the the silent and menacing type.”
“What the f---?! Ninja mummies guarding this place?! FEMALE ninja mummies?! What the hell did I do wrong in this life to deserve THIS?!”
The ‘Tangler’ is a subset variant of the ‘Berserker’ class, that first appeared in the ranks of the fringe tribe Clan Shelley. They were designed in parallel with the ‘ScreamQueen’ and share many of the same basic characteristics.
What is of interest is that while there are both EShemar and NeShemar Tanglers, they both use the same bionic/robotic frame, unlike the Harpies/sub-Harpies. NeShemar who choose this chassis-class often have dramatic and all-too-often traumatic backgrounds (usually involving disfiguring conditions or injuries, near-death experiences, or dismemberment, requiring cyborgization), or unassimilated psychological problems (fear of showing their true faces/appearances, desire to remain hidden, finding security in anonymity, etc.). Tanglers are less common than ScreamQueens, and less proactive, being more inclined to ambush-combat, but they are still finding important roles in Clan Shelley’s circus of darkness.
Tanglers resemble rather comely human(oid) females, but tend to be wrapped up partially or almost completely in bandages (actually MDC duct tape), and sometimes in ancient Egyptian- or South American-styled jewelry. They have a full body covering of biosystem faux-flesh that is virtually indistinguishable from the real thing, but they rarely ‘go naked’ without their signature wrappings. Under the fleshy sheath is hard Shemar myomer-muscle and ceramalloy skeleton, and a cold fusion nuclear power cell, though, capable of shedding most small arms fire and of delivering serious power in movement and combat.
In combat, the Tanglers can throw off portions of their bandage-armor, or spray fresh material from ports in their arms or torso, to entangle opponents. Tanglers are ambush-predators by nature, preferring to lure targets into prepared traps, then striking from behind cover. They are also fond of using berserker-style tactics and weapons, such as archaic-looking Egyptian-styled vibroblades, staffs, and laser-staffs.
The major shortcoming of the Tangler-class is that the cyborgs/gynoids are lightweights, both in terms of armor protection and integral weaponry, compared to other Shemarrian caste-classes. Against opponents packing heavy firepower, Tanglers stand little chance if caught in open ground, thus limiting their range of operations to antipersonnel work against ‘soft’ targets.
Besides serving in combat parties, Tanglers also serve as wardens of prisoners, interrogators (sensory deprivation of wrapped prisoners is a favorite tactic), and facility guards. They also often accompany parties of male ‘Mummers’, serving to retouch and repair their wrap-armor and process any prisoners taken by the larger cyborgs and ‘bots.
Tanglers remain an exclusive caste-class of Clan Shelley. Because of their love of entangling ambushes (and subsequent interrogation of captured prisoners), Clan Shelley’s Tanglers get along very well with the Lost Eclipse’s Nahsi spideroid Elite, and when the two clans cooperate, the two Elites frequently collaborate. It is becoming increasingly common for a Nahsi to sport a ‘retinue’ of one or more Tanglers, or for a Tangler to have an attendant ‘swarm’ of several spider-drones (like the ‘chitterling’ or NEMA spider-probe), courtesy of these collaborations.
|Class||Robot Gynoid/Full Conv Cyborg|
|Crew||Advanced NI Ecotroz Fragment / Transplanted Brain|
|Original Tribe||Clan Shelley|
MDC By Location
|Leaping||6 ft up 12 ft across +20% running start|
|Swim Speed||15 mph|
|Maximum Depth||1000 ft|
|Cargo||Carry/strapped to body|
|Addition Sensor1||Amplified Hearing|
|Additional Sensor2||PPE Sensor|
|Additional Sensor3||Full Body Motion Dector|
|Cybernanite Repair||4d6 MD/hr 60 MDC|
|Special System 1||Double Jointing/Advanced Rotary Joints|
|Special System 2||Generate Wrappings|
|Special System 3||Line Caster|
|Special System 4||Stealth|
|Primary Weapon||Tangler Shooter|
|Secondary Weapon||Eye Lasers|
|Third Weapon||Chemical Sprayer|
|Fourth Weapon||Retractable Finger Claws|
The Shemar and NeShemar are very similar except the NeShemar has a few extra systems for their cyborg natures above standard NeShemar cyborg life support systems.
Neshemar Only Systems
Modified even more than the standard systems. Reduces oxygen intake by as much as 80%, can go an extra 60 minutes on one lung of air (on top of the other systems, this means 24 hours on one breath), and a week without food or water while still remaining active. Can also put the cyborg’s organic components into a state of hibernation, allowing for extended minimal life support good for up to a year of dormancy. Ideal for laying low (and often buried).
Psionic Electro-Magnetic Dampers
+1 save vs all psionic attacks, +2 save vs possession, +1 save vs magic illusions and mind control.
Hidden in sheaths in the forehead/temples. These are typically only unsheathed when maintaining cover isn’t an issue (like when fighting in the darkness). When deployed, penalties for fighting blind are HALVED, and +1 to dodge.
Just perfect for hearing faint sounds around you in the dark, and the sounds of tomb raiders.
Spying and tech exchanges by the EShemarrians have allowed them to acquire the means of producing a cyborg-scale PPE sensor system similar to the Japanese SNARLS system. Can be used to detect abnormal auras, supernatural energy, even detect shapechangers (though only 25% chance of success) Range: 200 ft. Up to 500 ft (but w/ 50% error).
Full-Body Motion Detector
A network of micro-pore air pressure detectors built into the artificial skin, registering sudden movement around the cyborg. This system works best with minimal covering (no EBA or heavy armor being worn), and the bonuses are less effective or negated entirely by the Tangler’s wrap-armor. As such, it gives the gynoid/cyborg an extra edge if finding themselves suddenly bereft of their customary sheathing (and most likely in retreat). +1 on initiative, +1 dodge and roll, and cannot be surprised by a back/sneak attack.
Double-Jointing/Advanced Rotary Joints
The flexible structure and jointing of the cyborgs makes them extraordinarily limber, allowing them to rotate their heads nearly 270 degrees (this is particularly scary when one is approaching them from behind) and bringing their arms to bear behind them (ideal for cutting or blasting enemies attempting to strike from behind). Despite their tight wrappings, Tanglers are still surprisingly flexible, to the point where some opponents have wondered if they have connected skeletons at all, or if it is just the bandages holding them inside.
Tanglers have a small nanofactory system inside their bodies that can create fresh ‘mummy wrappings’; can produce fresh material at a rate of 10 MDC every 15 minutes, and has a 400 MDC reserve specifically set aside for wrapping creation, before needing new material stocks. Old wrappings can be reused and recycled, specially formulated MD stocks assimilated, or raw materials can be converted at a rate of 2 consumed points of MDC for 1 MDC of wrapping material.
The Tangler can throw lengths of the wrapping material as adhesive grapples, allowing the gynoid to ‘spiderman’ with ease, climbing, swinging, and rappelling with surprising speed and grace. Effective range of 100 ft.
Tangler wrappings are also very effective at muffling sound and damping thermal readings; +10% to the Shemar’s Prowl skill, -30% to enemy Read Sensory Instrument rolls when using thermal sensors
|Rate of Fire||ECHH|
Special projectors in the arms and torso can shoot off a mass of entangling MDC bandage fabric, often impregnated with quick-set adhesive and a quick-dry resin that hardens the initially pliable material into harder-than-steel bindings. The material can be shot as a wad that hits like a strap-gun, or as a streamer still connected to the Tangler, allowing the gynoid to use it as a lariat or leash.
MDC: 2 MDC per foot of material
The adhesive holds with a PS of 30.
Payload: Conditionally Unlimited; the Tangler’s internal ready-reserve has 400 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 wrapping) that are reprocessed into new wrapping.
Eye Lasers (2)
|Damage||1d6 MD / eye|
|Rate of Fire||ECHH|
Improved version of the open market bionic model, though not as powerful as the larger robotic/Harpy version.
Bonus: +1 to strike
|Range||50 ft 10 ft area spray|
|Range2||5-10 ft mist|
|Damage||varies by chemical|
|Rate of Fire||ECHH|
|Payload||50 doses, up to 5 chemicals|
Tanglers can also forcibly exhale or spray various chemical agents, often made to look like dust or tomb miasma.
Retractable Finger Claws
The hands are fitted with retracting catlike claws. Silver plating is a common modification.
Optional Use of Handheld Weaponry
Tanglers can use handheld weaponry, typically disguised to look like ceremonial gear, heavy jewelry, or concealed under their bandages (in the latter case, only small or flat objects, like throwing blades).
Varies by the convert’s original skill-set; or can use the Cyber-Humanoid OCC, plus the following skills:
- Lore: Demons and Monsters (+15%)
- Rope Works (+10%)
- Hojo-Jutsu (Binding) (+10%)
- W.P. Whip
- W.P. Duct Tape*
- W.P. Staff
- W.P. Hand to Hand Expert (if a HtH skill is not already possessed)-Can be changed to Martial Arts or HTH: Gladiator (see Rifts Mercenary Adventures, pgs. 24) for the cost of two ‘other’ skills.
Identical to the Berserker. The EShemar shares all the basic Shemarrian programming, basic combat and espionage/reconnaissance. They also have the following skills:
|Hojo-Jutsu (Binding)||60 +5/lvl|
|W.P. Whip||8th lvl|
|W.P. Duct Tape*||8th lvl|
-(50%+5% per level of experience)
Remember, EShemar can also learn additional skills similar to a Neural Intelligence; many Tanglers put their additional skills towards Medical, Espionage, Rogue, or additional Weapons Proficiencies.
W.P. Duct Tape
Skill in using rolls of duct tape (as well as fly strips and similar sticky ribbons) as entangling and thrown weapons. The roll can be handheld like a garrote, yoyo-thrown as a lasso, or thrown as a roll-projectile. Some advanced practitioners have even been known to be able to loop unreeling rolls around stanchion points to create quick trip-traps. A master of duct tape can wrap-bind a prisoner or tape-gag a target within seconds.
NO damage if used as an entangling weapon, 1 point damage if used as a thrown weapon (though the roll must weigh 1 lb. or more, and MD attacks are only possible with MD-grade duct tape and a throwing strength of Extraordinary or Supernatural). +1 to strike at levels 1, 4, 8, and 12, +1 to entangle at levels 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12. One time bonus of +1 to entangle if using double-sided tape. The danger is, on a failed roll of 1 (1-2 if using double-sided tape), the practitioner gets THEMSELVES entangled in their own sticky tape.
- Actions/Attacks Per
Melee: (NeShemar) By skill and skill level. Note: Bonuses are in addition to those possible from the NeShemar’s elective training.
- Initiative +4
- Dodge +6
- Parry +6
- Automatic Dodge (takes no actions)
- Strike +5
- Roll +1
- Entangle +2
- Knockout/Stun on a Natural 18-20
- +1 save vs all psionic attacks
- +3 save vs magic
- impervious to bio-manipulation
- +2 save vs possession
- +1 save vs magic illusions and mind control
- Actions/Attacks Per
Melee: (EShemar) 10(!) Note: Bonuses are in addition to those from the Ecotroz Shemar’s training/programming.
- Initiative +3
- Dodge +6 (+7 without wrappings)
- Automatic Dodge (takes no actions) +2 (+3 without wrappings)
- Strike +6 (+4 w/ranged weaponry, +6 w/ Shemarrian Rail Guns)
- Roll +4
- Entangle: +4
- Knockout/Stun on a Natural 18-20
- Controlled SDC Punch 2d6+15 SDC
- Restrained Punch 1d4 MD
- Punch 2d6 MD
- Power Punch 4d6 MD (counts as two attacks)
- Head Butt 1d4 MD
- Kick 3d6 MD
- Leap Kick 4d8 MD (counts as two attacks)
- Karate Kick 5d8 MD (counts as two attacks)
Unique Tangler Accessories
|Damage||1d6 MD, 4d6 MD 5 shot pulse laser|
|Damage2||2d4+1 MD spear|
|Rate of Fire||ECHH|
|Payload||Unlimited, 100 shot battery|
A light megadamage spear or polearm, often disguised as an ancient Egyptian fan or ceremonial sceptor-staff, but concealing a laser weapon. Point and shoot.
Weight: 18 lbs
Fan-headed Laser Staffs have a ‘spray’ mode that does 1d4 MD and 3d6 MD respectively to a 10 ft wide area.
A TW weapon acquired through trade with the Wayfinders and quickly becoming a favorite accessory of the Tanglers. This TW hand weapon resembles an ancient Egyptian ankh symbol, with a gemstone set at the conjunction of all its arms. Held like a punch-dagger through its closed-loop upper end, the device is pointed and fired like an energy pistol. It incorporates several different spells, giving it considerable versatility, and is powered by a regenerating TW power-stone. Lifeblast is perfectly in keeping with the ankh’s original symbolism, Stunblast allows it to preserve life, Laser Blast is an economical and effective long range destroyer, and Desiccate the Supernatural, though PPE-expensive, is also perfect for an Egyptian weapon for use against the undead. The vampires of the West are quickly coming to fear the sight of the ankh nearly as badly as that of the cross.
Weight: 5 lbs
- (Lifeblast) 300 ft
- (Stunblast) 200 ft
- (Laser Blast) 1,600 ft
- (Desiccate the Supernatural) 250 ft
- (Lifeblast) As per description on Rifts Book of Magic, pg. 108. Equivalent to 10th level spell.
- (Stunblast) Target must save versus magic or is -6 to strike, parry, dodge, roll, disarm, and entangle, -2 to initiative, and loses one attack per melee
- (Laser Blast) 1d6+16 MD per blast, double damage to beings sensitive to sunlight, 1d6+16 HP to vampires.
- (Desiccate the Supernatural) 3d6x10 MD (HP to vampires) to supernatural threats
Rate of Fire: ECHH
- (Lifeblast) 8 PPE
- (Stunblast) 8 PPE
- (Laser Blast) 3 PPE per shot
- (Desiccate the Supernatural) 25 PPE per shot
PPE Capacity: (Light) 100 PPE battery capacity; recharges at 5 PPE per hour, 10 PPE/hour at a leyline, 20 PPE/hour on a nexus or in a dimensional pyramid.
Note: The user can pump his or her own PPE or ISP into the weapon to recharge it an emergency, but at DOUBLE the above listed PPE cost (x4 if ISP; so 10 PPE battery shot takes 20 PPE/40 ISP to manually recharge)
Two laser spots in the ends of the ankh’s crossbar can be instantly re-calibrated with each selection-change to provide accurate range-finding; +1 to strike.
Cost: Because of rumors that the creators of the underlying TW magetech are about to release a similar device on the open market for about 470,000 credits, the Wayfinders are also discretely making the Ankh-Blaster available to fellow magic users and academics.
The PPE crystal can flash red if supernatural evil entities approach within a 90 ft radius. Cost: 10,000 credits
The PPE crystal can flash yellow if active magic occurs within 120 ft of the weapon. Cost: 10,000 credits
Mystic Marksmanship (3 PPE for a single shot)
Gives a +3 to an aimed or called shot. Cost: 9,000 credits (A popular option with collectors who want to get the most out of their expensive acquisition, even if they are not themselves good shots)
210 ft range, 3d6 MD + temporary blindness; unless eyes are shielded, victims are temporarily blinded (-10 to strike, parry, dodge, and other combat moves) for 1 melee round, + 7 seconds per additional Starburst fired at them in the same melee round. Targets are -2 to dodge. Vampires suffer an additional 1d6 damage and are blinded twice as long. PPE Cost: 6 PPE per shot. Cost: 63,500 credits
Globe of Daylight
This adds a gold solar disc to the center of the ankh, and allows it to project a Globe of Daylight spell. (1 PPE for a single shot), 30 ft range, lasts for 15 minutes, and illuminates a 180 ft area. Unlike the spell, the Globe CANNOT be moved once it has been ‘fired’. Can be used to mark an area or ‘seed’ a perimeter to keep off animals and creatures vulnerable to sunlight. Additional duration can be bought for 500 credits per additional 3 minutes of spell life. Cost: 12,500 credits
Note: A variant of this is also available as a head diadem, with the solar disc on the brow, and has the advantage of being able to move the Globe of Daylight.
|Rate of Fire||ECHH|
This is simply a pure-tech laser pistol version of the Ankh-Blaster. Not as versatile, but a lot less expensive or complicated to create. It’s essentially a Shemarrian gauntlet-laser, powered by induction from the powerplant of the gynoid/cyborg holding it. The weapon is becoming increasingly popular with those EShemar and NeShemar who do not want to, or cannot, for whatever reason, wear a laser gauntlet.
Two laser spots in the ends of the ankh’s crossbar provide accurate range-finding; +1 to strike.
Effectively Unlimited; powered by induction by the linked cyborg/gynoid holding it.. If removed from the EShemar/NeShemar’s hands, it has a built-in 10-shot battery capacity.
A heavy (500-700 lbs) coffin-like, often heavily decorated, armored case large enough to accommodate the Tangler, this is, in reality, a modified cybo-fab, which can be used to repair superficial damage. Can repair 6d6 MD per hour, and can repair 200 MDC before needing material stocks to convert to MD repair material. If the Tangler takes more than 50% total body damage, then it’s time to summon a Tinker for some more serious repair work.
Sarcophagi can also quick-fit new wrapping armor and perform minor modifications (such as weaving fire-resistant or chemically resistant wrappings). It can spin a new set of bandage armor (or a restraint cocoon) with 100 MDC in about 5 minutes.
The sarcophagus also acts as a sleep chamber, communications alcove, and emergency shelter (it has 300-400 MDC). Sarcophagi are coded to the individual Tanglers, and will alert their owners if they are tampered with, but they can be used to repair/outfit other Tanglers as well.
Too heavy to be easily transported as part of a smaller group, Tangler sarcophagi are typically carried aboard larger vehicles or tucked away inside a hideout or base of operations.
Tanglers can get variant wrappings, such as fire-resistant bandages (heat and plasma do 25% LESS damage), chemically resistant wrappings (corrosives do NO damage), ghillie-mesh, and the like.
Clan Shelley trade with the Wayfinders further up the West Coast means that it’s entirely possible for Tanglers to get TW spell-casting Upgrades, or, at the very least, faux-magic Upgrades. While actual necromancy is out of the question, Tanglers will LOVE to toy with the trappings of being liches, and animating corpses via cybernetic implants, merging with shadows, amplifying Horror Factor, casting curses, or other dark side manipulations, just to screw with the heads of unwelcome or unwary outsiders, will be in keeping with both Clan Shelley’s theme and that of the Tangler caste.