Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Technological Meta-Monster: The Glitchling

Long time no see, how ya been.

The sleep of reason produces monsters. Alas, so too does reason produce monsters in its waking hours. Our refined machines of logic and silicon are haunted by ghosts, crawling with bugs. What began in Man's mind progresses ever further from Man.

Credit to Everythings
The glitchling is one such monster.

You don't put it in a dungeon. You don't play it at a table. It comes into existence when there is no table to play at.

When playing a game online and something goes wrong with the technology you're using, there's a chance that a glitchling is spawned into that game. Set the chance to your liking (recommended settings: Easy mode - 1 in 20, MERCILESS - always spawns).

As of yet there have been three "species" of glitchling discovered. Their nature is based on the error that produced them. No doubt many more wait in potential, waiting for the catastrophe that will be their birth.

Glitchling Base Stats:
HD: 2
AC: As chain
Move: As monkey, can "noclip" through thin obstacles
Attack: 1d4, touch leaves wounds as if pixelated chunk of victim has simply been deleted.
Morale: 6, fleeing glitchlings will temporarily despawn, see Tech Malfunction below.
Appearance: Scrawny grey-green cortical homunculus. Black screen eyes. Trackpad fingertips.
Smell: Burning plastic
Tech Malfunction: The glitchling is merely the avatar of a more lingering sort of curse. Destroy it or drive it away and it will simply respawn in 1d6 10-minute turns. The curse is bound to a random object in the party's inventory, selected when the glitchling first spawns. The way to detect and remove this curse depends on the variant of the glitchling, per below:

Glitchling Variants:

Cause: Born from video lag, image upload issues, and the like.
Appearance Modifier: Polygonal or pixelated, minor lag and skipping when it moves.
Motivation: Obscure what you want to find, reveal what you want to hide.
Tech Malfunction Modifier: The curse-bearing object becomes clouded with visual artifacts. The curse is lifted by exposing it to either blinding light or total darkness.
Ability - Censor Bar: Each round the glitchling can select a single creature, object, or environmental feature. Any sensory details about that object beyond its general position are removed, blocked off by a black square (or the audible, olfactory, etc., equivalent).

Cause: Born from issues with the reception and transmission of sound.
Appearance Modifier: Speaker-funnel mouths, warped ears, bass-boosted voices, tongues like heaphone mics.
Motivation: Incite beautiful tragedy, discord, and dissonance.
Tech Malfunction Modifier: The curse-bearing object quietly buzzes and hums. The curse is lifted by matching the sound's tone, with a crystal cup or metal fork or whatever else you can find.
Ability - Dogwhistle: Once every 1d6 rounds the glitching can shriek and provoke a roll on the random encounter table. It can also ventriloquize and mimic any voice it's heard before.

Cause: Born from failure to connect to the internet.
Appearance Modifier: Flesh made of wires, wheezing server in chest.
Motivation: Ruin your interpersonal connections. Sour friendships, scare off hirelings, piss off potential enemies.
Tech Malfunction Modifier: The curse-bearing object is stuck to the stuff around it by fine, glassy threads. The curse is lifted by preventing it from attaching to any solid objects for 1d6 rounds.
Ability - Proxy Hijack: Once per round the glitchling can steal an object that someone it can see is holding or wearing.