This is an illustration for the first SPLICERS: Unleashed contest. Posters on the Palladiumbooks forums were given the opportunity to create new fan contributions to this harsh setting by writing up their innovative concepts and allowing the voting polls to decide what winning selections would be illustrated and implemented into the Unleashed setting. Man…were there some great entries. The following illustration is a preview of what’s to come…
The Splice must flow!
Written & Created by Quantum07
Illustrated by Chazio
The Scarecrows, those creepy, strange, power-hungry creatures that serve their mysterious Librarian masters. They are feared for their strength, speed, and agility. They strike fear into even the most hardened soldier. They have remained unchanged by the Librarians for years. Until now…
As the Kraken's assault the shorelines, no one noticed the strange figures crawling out of the Leviathans in the shadows. They did not fire a shot, merely disgorged their passengers. The first to meet them did not even see them as their bodies were literally ripped into two halves and thrown 20 feet (6 m) from their origins. Later, some received a glimpse of the creatures. They looked like normal scarecrows, withered, desiccated humans, but there was something wrong. Their muscles seemed overly large, and tore through the skin at points. The movements were less smooth than a scarecrow's, and when they moved; they seemed to twitch and spasm forward. The slow, hypnotic movements delayed the watchers just long enough, and the creature launched itself forward, wrapping its limbs around the host armor's torso, and with a couple of wrenching motions, flung the upper half away. That was the first documented report of what we have come to know as the Ragdoll.
The Ragdoll is a Special Forces version of the Scarecrow. They have been bio-engineered and fed the elixir of life. This deadly combination makes a warrior with unparalleled strength. The elixir provides the supernatural strength, but the bioengineering provides the unique muscle twitching that makes the Ragdoll what it is. The uncoordinated movements, and the ripping muscles, actively increase the Ragdoll's strength for their favorite attack. The Ragdoll wraps its arms around a person, and the muscle spasm releases ALL the energy in the contracted muscles, usually resulting in dismemberment. The twitching muscles, which seem random, are subconsciously controlled, allowing them to dodge even energy blasts without a thought. One last bio-enhancement provided to the Ragdoll is the inclusion of an elixir storage pouch, allowing them to spend more time away from the house.
Alignment: Almost always evil or selfish
Ragdoll O.C.C. Powers:
1. Muscle Spasms: Reduce P.P. by -1D4, and can perform a tearing attack. Once Ragdolls grapple an opponent, the Ragdoll can use attacks per melee to try to rip the opponents in half. Each attack does damage to the Ragdoll himself as his muscles rip through his skin.
2. Supernatural Strength: Human strength becomes Supernatural, even stronger than most Splicers (which is the equivalent to Robotic Physical Strentgh. The Ragdoll can carry up to 50 times his P.S. attribute in number in pounds, can lift up to 100 times his P.S., and inflicts Mega-Damage with his bare hands and feet in melee combat
3. Super-Endurance: Becomes a Mega-Damage being. Supernatural endurance allow Ragdolls to fight and conduct strenuous exercises/activity 10 times longer before feeling the effects of exhaustion, and remains alert, operating at full efficiency for up to 5 days (120 hours) without sleep. Has a problem getting to sleep, but only requires 3 hours of sleep.
4. Super-Speed: Ragdolls are slower than normal Scarecrows due to their awkward movement. Increased leg spasms allow the Ragdoll to leap 120 feet (36.6 m) up or across after a short run (half from a dead stop), and 60 feet (18 m) high without a short run.
5. Super-Healing: Ragdolls bio-regenerate 2D6 M.D.C. per melee round and is +20% vs coma and death. Virtually impervious to pain, no amount of physical pain will impair the Ragdoll until he is down to zero M.D.C. or less. At that point the Ragdoll will collapse into unconsciousness, but the Ragdoll will continue to regenerate and when back up to at least 3 M.D.C. above zero, the Ragdoll regains consciousness and is ready for action within 1D4 seconds (one melee action).
6.Superior Senses: The Ragdoll possesses the same incredible acute senses as the Scarecrows: Crystal clear sight and hearing, can clearly read a street sign about one mile (1.6 km) away and hear a whisper (a 10 decibel noise) up to 100 feet (30.5 m) away. Senses of touch and taste are slightly increased, about twice as good as a normal human. The sense of smell, however, is greatly enhanced, roughly equal to a dog’s (a thousand times more keen than a normal human). Ragdolls can track a scent that is two days (48 hours) old, provided it hasn’t rained in time, and recognize an odor from smelling a small sample.
Specific scent abilities:
1) Recognize and accurately identify general/common/known smells, including gases, food, and other distinctive odors.
Range: 100 feet (30.5 m) per level of experience.
2) Identify specific odors, including the scent of specific individuals, items, or monsters.
Range: 25 feet (7.6 m) +10 feet (3 m) per level of experience.
3) Track by smell alone! Does not need to follow tracks or any other visible trail.
Range: Roll once for every 1000 feet (305 m) of the trail.
Cannot track by smell through moving water.
7. Retractable Finger Talons (Optional): These set of razor sharp talons retract into protective sheaths within the thick muscled fingertips, leaving only a slight pointed edge that the casual observer is not likely to notice… until it’s too late. The talons are used to help secure struggling quarry/opponents for the muscle spasm assaults and aid the Ragdoll in climbing when necessary.
Maximum Damage: +1D6 M.D. to normal punch damage, and 4D6+10 M.D. for Claw Strike/Slash Attack.
Bonus: +15% to Climbing Skill
8. Penalties: In addition to the desiccation, which reduces the P.B. by ˝, and M.A. by -1D4, he cannot resist orders from his librarian. If the commands seem suicidal or against the Ragdoll’s alignment, he can attack to save at -6, he loses 1D6 MDC every year after his transformation from permanent damage of the muscle spasms. Can go up to two months before running out of elixir of life with a full storage pouch. Cannot detox, as afterwards the muscle spasms would destroy the character. He is -5 to strike with ranged weapons.
MDC Living Body Armor: Never wears one, as it restricts the overly large muscles.
Standard Equipment: Vest of office, hooded cloak, set of dress clothes, Face Wrap, tinted goggles, one light Bio-weapon, two MDC daggers, weapon for each WP, knapsack, backpack, saddlebag, water skin, two weeks emergency rations. The daggers and any other melee weapon have 1D4X10 Bio-E available for upgrades.
Money: 2D4X100 credits
Upside: You are the strongest there is. You can rip a human in half in a second, and can wrench open a host armor given time. You are the future face of the Librarians and will destroy your enemies swiftly.
Downside: You are a slave to your Librarian, and there is no way out. When he goes crazy, you have no choice but to go along with it or be crushed by your own spasm muscles.