Battle Spheres

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Just Surviving Battle Spheres Copyright © 1999 by Andrew Judd

Battle Spheres are a recent addition to the machines of war implemented and designed by Pearza. From a secret processing factory, she has started to mass-produce these devices.

At first glance, it merely appears to be a high quality sphere of steel (perfectly spherical) of varying size depending on owner's initial purchase. However, as with all baatezu devices, looks can be deceiving. This sphere is highly intelligent and is able to communicate telepathically as its fiendish creators! It is a psionically created item with only one power:

Metamorphosis (actually, there are two minds; there is a tiny figurine in the center of the sphere within a tiny hollow point that is also psionically empowered)!

Upon the owner's command, the sphere will transform into anything of its approximate mass and is able to maintain this form indefinitely! The Battle Sphere now possesses all of the form's natural attack forms and locomotion (flight, claw, bite, etc) and its AC. The Hit Dice and THAC0 are stagnant despite its form, but they are frequently good (a 600-lbs. sphere of steel can take quite a lot of damage). However, the Battle Sphere does not have any of the form's magical attacks/defenses/abilities, etc. (much like the shape change spell in effect) To change form, the Battle Sphere must be in its true form for 1 hour before changing.

Repairs are very hard to perform, frequently needing a visit to the baatezu and payment of 25% initial cost to repair it and possibly other things depending on how evil the DM is feeling. Limited Wish or Wish can heal 10hp or all of it respectively.

The Battle Sphere is knowledgeable in enormous amounts of available forms to take, specializing primarily in monsters with powerful physical prowess (dragons, all known fiends, tarrasque for the enormous models, etc). Remember though, the Battle Sphere is limited in form to only that of creatures of the same size category (you need a LARGE sphere to be able to assume tarrasque or large dragon form). The statistics are highly mutable so the more stable ones are given here:

Battle SphereAll: Fearless Morale (19-20), Int 15, Align. LESize S - 6 HD, THAC0 15, XP 2000, 3000gpSize M - 12 HD, THAC0 9, XP 6000, 9000gpSize L - 18 HD, THAC0 3, XP 15000, 24,000gpSize H - 27 HD, THAC0 0, XP 35000, 50,000gpSize G - 36 HD, THAC0 -3, XP 75000, 120,000gp

As you can tell, the larger models are worth virtually entire kingdoms if sold at all. Of course, the GP values are purely abstract; the baatezu make contracts of these of anything they can get away with for the berk that wants to buy one. Only the armies with direct support and funding from Pearza have major access to these objects (note that battles that Pearza personally participates almost always have her personal Battle Sphere Brigade, since the actual production cost of these devices are mere fractions of their actual value).

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