Monster of the Week: Protector 101

Thank you, have a nice day.

Films Synopsis: Originally released in 1986 with the title, Killbots, this late-eighties horror-com bombed at the box office but saw new life when it hit VHS shelves with a revamped name- Chopping Mall (rumored to be suggested by a janitor). Chopping Mall tells the comedic tale of three late-eighties security robots who go on a killing spree inside a Plaza Mall during one long and murderous evening.

The unlucky victims of these rogue bots are a group of teenage employees who made the mistake of deciding to have an after-hours party at the shopping center. Unfortunately for them, a bolt of lightning corrupts the state-of-the-art circuitry of a trio of Protector bots, resulting in the security drones killing off the teens one-by-one as the newly sentient droids take to their security patrol. Filled with lasers, gratuitous nudity and the protectors’ trademark ‘Have a nice day’ tagline, Chopping Mall is b-movie horror at its worst (or finest!) And for us gaming fans, it gives us the first robot-themed horror film to kick off the new year! That’s right – its 2020 and to ring in this new and totally futuristic DECADE, all month long we’ll be converting horror Constructs!

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Check out the Loot the Corpse Instagram for Loot for this monster!

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Protectors may be sentient but they definitely aren’t terribly smart. Like most constructs, they can follow basic instructions most notably guard, patrol and attack. They see all foes with the same level of threat which is why they use their blasters with seeming randomness no matter the type of opponent encountered. While they are not tactically minded, they do understand the value of surprise and will typically find the darkest or most out-of-the way spot in a given structure to hide and catch any potential intruders unawares.

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Throwing a protector (or three) into the laboratory or lair of a mad gnome, tinkerer or artificer can add some variation and comedic laughs to an encounter (make sure to use their signature ‘Have a nice day’ every time they stun, knock prone or otherwise disable a player). Protectors are definitely best in a campaign world with everyday magic (like Eberron) but can also be a unique opponents custom designed model, for instance the scrappings salvaged from alien beings. 

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The base ability stats along with resistances and magic resistance for the protectors were mostly pulled from similar clockworks found in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes. For the actions, including their blaster attack, these were based on the movie kills by the protectors and combined with the iron cobra’s random bite attack (again from Mordenkainen). The cool berserk mode, where one of the protectors starts randomly shooting everything in the movie, is of course, pulled from the flesh golem (always a great source of inspiration).

But what do you think, are the protectors too slow and limited to laser your characters to death?  Or will they end up having a nice day anyways? Download my rendition of Chopping Mall’s protector 101’s in pdf format for your campaign electrify their year with bolts of laughs.

And, if you want to get this and all the creatures to date in a single, indexed PDF as well as a handy-dandy Fantasy Ground version of these creatures, consider heading over to my Patreon and becoming a Patron!

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