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Template Grafts | Universal Monster Rules


The Swarm

Source Alien Archive pg. 110
Originally an insectile race called the kucharn, the Swarm is now a single-minded collective with a desire to consume all things and absorb their best qualities into itself. The Swarm moves from planet to planet in tremendous organic hive-ships, reducing each so-called “feeder world” to a barren husk incapable of supporting life, and occasionally altering its own DNA in the process to take on qualities from that world’s species. Once it has consumed everything of use on a planet, the Swarm moves on, not bothering to hold territory.

Ironically, one of the most violent races in the galaxy also birthed one of the most peaceful, as a mutation within a sub-hive gave life to the shirrens, who broke away to form a new species. The Swarm is notorious not just because of the invasion that finally ended hostilities between the Pact Worlds and the Veskarium, but also thanks to the warnings of shirrens, who understand the Swarm’s might and its hunger as no other race can.

While individual components of the Swarm have some form of intelligence—or at least a set of complex programmed behaviors that resembles intellect—they cannot generally be reasoned with in any fashion. Swarm components rarely communicate with other creatures, as they see every alien entity as either a food source or a threat. The Swarm’s morale is unbreakable, and while individual components might retreat for tactical reasons, fear is utterly unknown to the Swarm and its components.

The Swarm rarely wields manufactured weapons, instead integrating biotechnology grown or grafted onto component creatures. Because of its constant genetic upgrading and experimentation, the Swarm encompasses components with a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and capabilities, from the mighty dreadlancers to the microscopic, bloodstream-infesting toxicytes.

Aliens in "The Swarm" Family

NameCR
Antecursor3
Ceretoram9
Convecyte2
Dissolver11
Dramovire8
Dredger1/2
Effigene5
Escutchide5
Molitera6
Nauphage2
Pyschovox12
Revulsor4
Swarm Corrovox3
Swarm Mindreaper7
Swarm Thresher Lord10
Vorphoma1
Xersk16

The Swarm, Antecursor

Source Starfinder #20: The Last Refuge pg. 59

Antecursor CR 3

XP 800
CE Small monstrous humanoid
Init +4; Senses blindsense (vibration) 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +13

Defense

HP 33
EAC 14; KAC 15
Fort +2; Ref +4; Will +8
Defensive Abilities Swarm mind; Immunities acid, fear effects

Offense

Speed 30 ft., fly 45 ft. (Ex, average)
Melee claw +8 (1d4+4 S)
Ranged stinger +10 (1d4+3 P plus paralytic neurotoxin)

Statistics

STR +1; DEX +4; CON +0; INT +1; WIS +2; CHA -2
Skills Acrobatics +13, Athletics +8, Life Science +8, Physical Science +8, Stealth +13
Languages Shirren; telepathy 300 ft.
Other Abilities tracking (blindsense)

Ecology

Environment any
Organization solitary or advance (2–5)

Special Abilities

Stinger (Ex) As a ranged attack, a Swarm antecursor can launch a poisoned stinger from its tail with a range increment of 50 feet. Each stinger is coated with a paralytic neurotoxin (see below).

Swarm Mind (Ex) Members of the Swarm are bound together into a singular hive mind by a blend of exuded pheromones, imperceptible movements of antennae and limbs, electrostatic fields, and telepathic communication. All Swarm creatures with 30 feet of each other are in constant communication; if one is aware of a threat, all are. (Such awareness can spread along a “chain” of Swarm creatures under appropriate circumstances, potentially alerting distant Swarm creatures). In addition, once per round when within 30 feet of another Swarm creature, a Swarm creature can roll twice and take the better result on a saving throw against a mind‑affecting effect.

Paralytic Neurotoxin

Type poison (injury); Save Fortitude DC 14
Track Dexterity; Frequency 1/round for 4 rounds
Cure 2 consecutive saves

Description

A Swarm antecursor’s lithe body bears two pairs of large wings and oversized compound eyes. The creature’s scorpion-like tail keeps it stable in flight and can launch an organic stinger at foes. An antecursor is frequently dull green and brown with matte-gray wings, but those scouting urban areas are sometimes gray, with iridescent markings resembling electric lights.

Antecursors often form the first wave of any Swarm onslaught, infiltrating target worlds and gathering intelligence to send back to the hive mind. Swift and stealthy, they avoid engaging opponents; if attacked, they use their neurotoxin to incapacitate enemies so they can escape. Antecursors usually appear to be alone, but due to their long-range telepathy, attacking one often means several more antecursors will soon arrive as backup. Antecursors are somewhat more intelligent than most Swarm components, and thanks to the hive mind’s shared memories, they can capably operate in nearly any planetary environment even if they haven’t have experienced it firsthand.