With the sequel coming out soon, I thought I’d take a bit to talk about some of the unique sci-fi elements of The Surge and how to incorporate them into your game. Set in a dystopian future, where an industrial accident coupled with rampant cybernetics usage has resulted in a tech zombie nightmare, The Surge is a fun action horror game with an interesting take on tech zombies (not to mention exploring ideas of subjective reality, nanite enhancements, emergent AI and more). One of the more common foes, particularly early in the game, are deceased or comatose workers whose cybernetic exoskeletons and on board computers have turned into deadly zombie-like foes. Presented below is a version of the Starfinder tech zombie with these elements included. Perfect for any industrial setting where something has gone horribly wrong. Other foes thematically appropriate include various robots (AA1 page 94, AA2 page 108), AHAV (AA1 page 8), Anacite (AA1 page 10), Assembly Ooze (AA1 page 16), Electrovore (AA1 page 44), Cybernetic Golem (AA2 page 66), Nanite Golem (AA2 page 67), Khefak (AA2 page 78), and Scavenger Slime (AA1 page 100).
THE SURGE CYBER-RIG ZOMBIE CR 4
N Medium undead (technological)
Init +4; Senses blindsense (technology) 10 ft.; Perception +8
DEFENSE HP 50
EAC 14; KAC 20
Fort +6; Ref +6; Will +3
Immunities undead immunities
Weaknesses vulnerable to electricity
Speed 30 ft.
Melee integrated tool-weapon +12 (1d6+9 B or S or P, or various energy types depending on the integrated tool)
Offensive Abilities violent outburst
STR +5; DEX +3; CON —; INT —; WIS +1; CHA +1
Skills Acrobatics +10, Athletics +15
Other Abilities mindless, unliving
Gear integrated cybernetic rig (requires a DC 20 medicine check to remove, and takes 10 minutes), rig integrated industrial tool (varying from hammers, chisels, saws, to arc wielders and plasma cutters, a variety of different tools can be mounted to the rig, and will determine the damage type of the zombie’s attack).
Environment industrial settings
Organization solitary, pair, crew (3–12), or shift (13+)
Integrated Weapons (Ex) A surge cybernetic zombie’s melee weapon is integrated into its cybernetic rig and can’t be disarmed.
Violent Outburst (Ex) A surge cybernetic zombie can charge and make a single attack without penalty once per encounter as the cybernetic systems animating it super charge with aggression.
Once a cybernetically enhanced worker, some horrible accident has left them a shambling shell of their former self, shuffling about their former workplace and going through the motions of labor, but with corrupted programming that compels them to attack any creature not affiliated with their work crew.
Next week I’ll stat up the basic cybernetic rig and talk about the next most common foe of The Surge – berserk enhanced humans!
Artist and Writer