Collective Assault Drone

January 9th, 2017

Joshua Zaback

Exotic Encounters Archive

It’s Technology Week here at Necromancers of the Northwest, and for Exotic Encounters, that means new robots. This week’s offering is a terror of networked machines bearing laser rifles. These devices communicate with other machines, allowing them to gain tactical advantages and quickly achieve directives, much in the way I imagine real robot monsters would operate. Best in larger groups to maximize the deadly efficiency of communication and coordination, the collective assault drone can also make a fine solo robot enemy at a lower CR. Enjoy.


Collective Assault Drone

This mass of metal plates and dangling wires boasts a shimmering shield of pale blue light surrounding the roughly spherical construct. A single bright blue eye is flanked by a pair of protruding rifles.

N Medium construct (robot)
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0


AC 21, touch 15, flat-footed 16 (+5 Dex, +6 natural)
hp 75 (10d10+20), force field (40 hp, fast healing 8)
Fort +3, Ref +8, Will +3
Immune construct traits
Weaknesses vulnerable to critical hits, vulnerable to electricity


Speed 10 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)
Ranged 2 integrated heavy mount laser rifles +16 touch (2d10)
Special Attacks coordinated assault, self-destruct


Str 10, Dex 20, Con —, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +10; CMB +10; CMD 25
Feats Ability Focus (self-destruct), Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Fly, Knowledge [engineering]), Weapon Focus (laser rifle)
Skills Fly +24, Knowledge (engineering) +19
Languages Common
SQ communicate with machines


Environment urban
Organization solitary, pair, or assault squad (3-10)
Treasure standard


Communicate with Machines (Ex) A collective assault drone can communicate with any technological device within 1 mile of its location. This allows it observe the area within 10 feet of any piece of advanced technology (any item created using a technological lab) or any creature of the robot subtype as a standard action, as with the spell scrying. The collective assault drone can also communicate telepathically with other robots within that area.

Coordinated Assault (Ex) A collective assault drone can command all other collective assault drones within 30 feet to fire on the same target. This is a full-round action. If it does, each other collective assault drone within the area makes a single attack with its integrated laser rife against the specified target as a free action. Because of the computing power it takes to conduct such a strike, whenever a collective assault drone uses this ability, all other collective assault drones involved in the attack behave as if confused for 1d4 rounds.

Integrated Weapons (Ex) A collective assault drone has 2 integrated laser rifles with a range increment of 250 feet.

Self-Destruct (Ex) A collective assault drone is programmed to self-destruct if damaged. Whenever the assault drone suffers hit point damage, it begins to self-destruct. Each round, it audibly counts down in Common, starting from 3 on the first round, then 2 on the second round, and so on. When it reaches 0 (on the fourth round), it explodes, dealing 8d6 points of fire damage to all creatures in a 30-foot radius. A successful Reflex save (DC 17) halves this damage. The saving throw DC is Constitution-based.



Collective assault drones are the result of machine intelligence and intercommunication, coming together to create a collective consciousness. Though not the first devices connected in this manner, collective assault drones are among the most common. Part of an interconnected super-entity of networked machines, all speaking to each other, collective assault drones are made up primarily of communications components, force field generation units, and advanced weapons (usually laser rifles).

Like all members of this networked entity, the collective assault drones serve the collective will of countless machines conducting wireless communication, and their tasks evolve according to the consensus opinion of the greater entity to which they belong. Generally, collective assault drones are charged with eliminating threats to the collective as a whole, and are its main arms of enforcement.

Essentially a group of networked computers, collective assault drones work exceptionally well with one another and are rarely encountered alone. Typically, collective assault drones operate in small groups of 4 to 8, which in turn may form smaller parties, as their task demands, but all the while staying within communication range. They use their communication ability to observe threats and coordinate the best way to deal with them and achieve their directives.