Saturday, April 30, 2016


In pop culture, the name “Devastator” carries certain weight—literally.  Devastator was the first super-robot (gestalt to you fans out there) in the Transformers line, formed when the Constructicons combined.  Other giant robots would come along (I always thought Bruticus and Predaking were terrifying) and neither the individual Constructicons nor Devastator were the brightest tools in the shed…so you’d think familiarity would breed contempt.  But Devastator’s place in our mental mythology was secured by his appearance in The Transformers Movie, when the hushed voice of the otherwise jaded, I’ve-seen-it-all Kup whispers a horrified “Devastator” as the giant bot takes shape.  This was soon followed up by a shot that puts the audience in the Autobot defenders’ POV as Devastator rips open their defenses while Megatron calls for slaughter.  From then on, Devastator’s iconic status was assured.

So if you’re going to use the name “devastator” in your game, you better deliver.  Pathfinder’s devastator does, with a CR 22/MR 8 Gargantuan war machine powered by the soul of a corrupted and imprisoned angel being tormented for all eternity.  It’s got immunities and damage/spell resistance galore, its attacks are +5 unholy anarchic weapons that deal every kind of damage, it has nasty spell-like abilities like implosion and an at-will blade barrier, its aura boosts demonic allies, and the thing even absorbs good magic to gain temporary hit points. 

It. Is. A. Nightmare.

In fact, it’s so grim and grisly it feels like something more out of the Warhammer or even the Warhammer 40K universes rather than Pathfinder.  Even the Bestiary 5 art seems like Warhammer art—no surprise, since Helge C. Balzer also does work for Games Workshop.  And that’s perfectly appropriate for a construct this mythic and monstrous.  When you want to shrink the hope of Good and Man down to a single flickering candle flame…and then introduce a hurricane to snuff that flame out…the devastator is the way to go.

One final note: Remember what I said about every cannon golem having a name? That goes triple for devastators.  (In fact, the full entry in Pathfinder Adventure Path #78: City of Locusts outlines the three named devastators known to patrol Golarion’s Worldwound.)

Obviously, devastators are meant to lead demonic invasions.  Since I assume you can handle that, here are three more unusual scenarios involving devastators:

When the army of demons and oni burst out of the Shadow Realm, their first target was Rotaru, the jinushigami whose forest lined the slopes of the Sleeping Mountain.  After three days and nights of fighting, the outsiders fed the exhausted elder kami into the eternal burning furnace of a devastator prepared especially for his tree-trunk frame.  Now not only do the demons have a new weapon of war for the second phase of their invasion, but as long as the mountain spirit is imprisoned the Sleeping Mountain will smoke, blotting out the rays of the sun so the dark spirits can frolic.

There was a time when demons were common in space, their ships knifing through the blackness like horrible flaming sharks.  Driven back and sealed within the Pain Nebula, demons are no longer a threat, but their many war machine creations are.  Demon moons not tied to any one planet or star float from system to system, their surfaces pockmarked with scars and furnaces.  Some of these carry undead, shadows, oozes, degenerate races like morlocks, and especially constructs.  Nearly every demon moon is patrolled by at least one devastator, and true demon worlds may have dozens.

Taniyar was an angel rescued from the metal gizzard of a devastator after a century of torment.  She spent twice that long recovering in a celestial hospice as her body and mind were restored.  Only the healing of her mind didn't take.  Now she longs to return to the only home that makes sense to her, the excruciating cage at the heart of a devastator.  Adventurers investigating either an incident of vandalism and theft at a heavenly library or the disappearance of Taniyar herself will eventually track her to the Junk Plane, where she has just used the stolen plans to finish constructing a new devastator.  The construct will be her agonizing home for the next millennium as she smashes world after world.

Pathfinder Adventure Path #78 90–91 & Pathfinder Bestiary 5 77

I had Devastator as a kid, but early on I broke the hard-to-transform Hook so I almost never got to play with him fully constructed.

No comments:

Post a Comment