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Skag (Borderlands)

Generic skag


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Borderlands is a 2009 FPS  video game, which spawned a series. It takes place on an alien planet named Pandora. The locale wildlife can be remarkably hostile, and the skags are a common example of such alien predators.

This profile only covers the skags seen in the first Borderlands game for now because, well, we have to start somewhere.

You can refer to our Lilith profile for much more about the setting, incidentally.


  • This profile features tabletop RPG mechanics about the video game’s gameplay – see our video games writeups FAQ for more.
  • This profile features non-canon hypotheses about in-game events and mechanics – see our video games writeups FAQ for more.

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Overview

Skags are predators on the planet Pandora, where the action of the Borderlands 1 and 2 games takes place.

Being quadrupedal social predators they loosely evoke wolves. However, they are far more aggressive and are physically more reminiscent of reptiles or amphibians. Skags are a major threat for human colonists on Pandora.

Like the bulk of Pandora’s ecology, skags hibernate during the seven-year winter and are active during the three-year summer.

They will attack practically everything, and devour everything. If even their powerful digestive acids cannot process something they will vomit it back close to one of their burrows, perhaps in the hope that it will eventually become edible.

A skag growling threateningly

This impressive level of aggression may be tied with building up reserves for the winter hibernation.

A burrow of skags usually holds 3-4 skags (often an adult and a few youngs), and burrows tend to come in groups of 5-6. Skags more or less coordinate with each other when hunting. At the very least, those preferring ranged attacks will support those preferring closing in.

Being social animals, skags can be tamed.


Powers & Abilities

Skags are large, robust predators. They apparently keep growing throughout their life and have a very long natural lifespan (though their practical lifespan is much shorter).

A pup is about the size of a pit bull, and adults can easily be larger than tigers. Our game stats assume that they hunt/track by sense of smell, though it’s not apparent from the game.

A skag on a dusty slope

Skags have numerous ways to kill things :

  • Their claws.
  • A surprisingly long-ranged pouncing attack to knock their target down.
  • Using their powerful, long tongue to lash and club. The tongue of a skag gets bigger (both in absolute and in proportional terms) as they get older.
  • Spit a blob of digestive acid, usually over a short ballistic act.

In the game there are various types of skags specialising in various attacks. But since this is video game logic our game stats assume that all skags can use these various attacks.

A skag shoots out its tongue

Furthermore, skags appear to have very flexible genetics. Thus, they can be mutated in improbable manner – particularly if they get exposed to Eridian technology on Pandora.

Some specimen are known to have become infused with a fire energy or electrical energy. These energies seem similar to the ones used for special ammunition. Perhaps they ate guns charged with this energy. Such specimen are also resistant to the energy type infusing them.

There are persistent rumours of a skag larger than a giant mining truck. It has predictably been dubbed “Skagzilla”.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Young skag

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Psychopath
Int: 01 Wil: 00 Min: 01 Occupation: Predator
Inf: 01 Aur: 00 Spi: 01 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 005 HP: 000

Powers:
Acid immunity: 01, Acid: 02, Analytical smell/tracking scent: 05, Digging: 01, Jumping: 01, Running: 04, Shrinking: 01, Suspension: 09

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Acid can be used to lower the BODY of the ground before Digging is used.
  • Suspension is hibernation.

Advantages
Iron Nerves.

Drawbacks:
Catastrophic Rage.


Adult skag

Dex: 03 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Psychopath
Int: 01 Wil: 01 Min: 01 Occupation: Predator
Inf: 01 Aur: 00 Spi: 01 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 005 HP: 000

Powers:
Acid immunity: 01, Acid: 04, Analytical smell/tracking scent: 05, Digging: 02, Jumping: 01, Running: 04, Stretching: 00, Suspension: 09

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Acid can be used to lower the BODY of the ground before Digging is used.
  • Skin armour only against attacks that they are facing.
  • Suspension is hibernation.

Advantages
Iron Nerves.

Drawbacks:
Catastrophic Rage.


Big mean skag

Dex: 04 Str: 05 Bod: 05 Motivation: Psychopath
Int: 01 Wil: 01 Min: 01 Occupation: Predator
Inf: 01 Aur: 00 Spi: 01 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 005 HP: 000

Powers:
Acid immunity: 01, Acid: 05, Analytical smell/tracking scent: 05, Digging: 03, Jumping: 01, Running: 04, Stretching: 01, Suspension: 09

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Acid can be used to lower the BODY of the ground before Digging is used.
  • Skin armour only against attacks that they are facing.
  • Suspension is hibernation.

Advantages
Iron Nerves.

Drawbacks:
Catastrophic Rage.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Borderlands.

Helper(s): Ethan Roe, Roy Cowan.

Writeup completed on the 25th of August, 2013.

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