Automated Hazards of the Continental War

Hazards for Yellow King: The Wars

Black Star technologists working both for the Loyalists and the enemy have loosed onto the battlefield a variety of experimental automated killing machines. Although they promise their superiors that the devices distinguish between friend and foe, experienced soldiers understand otherwise. They flee from devices bearing their own nation’s markings as quickly as from those from the other side of the frontlines.

Now and then you may wish to treat more advanced robots as Foes, requiring a full fight to vanquish. Mostly they appear as Secondary antagonists. In theory you could wrap an entire weird war mystery around sapient machines executing a plan of their own.

For the purposes of this post, we’ll treat the various death machines the squad might encounter as hazards, with Injury cards avoidable with general ability successes.


Resembling a mechanical box on robotic legs, the mini-interrogator (seen above) was designed to extract intelligence from hostile forces. Equipped by design with a cute, welcoming face, it trundles up to moving beings it identifies as human to ask a series of non-sequitur questions. “How far are we from Calais?” “What juice do you get from a duck?” “Which sister do you like best?” Whether the person it approaches responds or not, the mini-interrogator reads their deep secrets, recording them in encoded form onto an acetate disk inside its workings. A unit dispatched by the scenario’s main antagonists may by this means gain information the squad doesn’t want them to have. The mental probe can have harmful effects. Those targeted make Difficulty 4 Health tests to avoid Injury—Minor: Muzzy-Headed; Major: Head Butt.

The mini-interrogator doesn’t literally head butt you; it just feels like it.

Roving Royal

Initiates into the secret of Carcosa understand why an automated vehicle with a cannon mount, its targeting directed by a mammoth skull crammed with electronic components, has been nicknamed a roving royal. Primarily an anti-personnel weapon, it homes in on movement, firing its guns at opponents in hard-to-reach places. A Difficulty 4 Battlefield success avoids InjuryMinor: Bruised While Taking Cover; Major: Hurled and Scorched. Current models betray a design flaw. A well-placed shot into the teeth of its skull apparatus explodes a Roving Royal quite nicely, though one does have to let it get rather close to fire accurately at this weak spot.

Sonic Hoverer

The sonic hoverer conceals the roar of its engines by bubbling itself in an anechoic field. This absorbs and silences sound waves. Squad members noting its approach with Sense Trouble realize that they’re hearing less than they usually would. Used to soften up an opposing force before an attack against them, the hoverer temporarily dampens the mammalian auditory processing system. A Difficulty 4 Fighting success with a bazooka, grenade launcher or similar hand-held missile takes out the sonic hoverer before it draws near enough to exert its effect. Otherwise squad members make Difficulty 4 Health tests to avoid InjuryMinor: Ringing Ears; Major: Auditory Disruption.



-1 to Sense Trouble tests.

Discard on a Sense Trouble success. Discard after 2 hours (world time.)



-2 to Sense Trouble tests.

After 2 hours (world time), -1 to Sense Trouble tests.

After 4 hours (world time), discard.

The Yellow King Roleplaying Game takes you on a brain-bending spiral through multiple selves and timelines, pitting characters against the reality-altering horror of The King in Yellow. When read, this suppressed play invites madness, and remolds our world into a colony of the alien planet Carcosa. Four core books, served up together in a beautiful slipcase, confront layers with an epic journey into horror in four alternate-reality settings: Belle Epoque Paris, The Wars, Aftermath, and This Is Normal Now. Purchase The Yellow King Roleplaying Game in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

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