Rollers

Rollers

rating: +11

13 votes (+12, -1) 4.6★

rating: +11+x

Entity Classification

Agressiveness 5/5 Rollers will mindlessly attack any wanderer they come across. Your only options are fight or flight.
Frequency 5/5 In levels they do inhabit, they are very common.
Intelligence 1/5 Very similar behavior patterns that do not change over time. Naturally rolls towards noise or other cues, but doesn’t seem to do so because it is acting on its own accord. It feels as if it’s programmed to carry out only a small set of behaviors.
Pritoria Index 3.667/5 Rollers are extremely aggressive and maintain the ability to cause a large amount of damage. Fortunately, there are many options to escape or counter-attack.

Description

terrifying.png

fig 1.0 The Roller.

Rollers are spheres of muscle, cartilage, and other organic tissue edged with a thick layer of pale, grayish skin. In the levels they inhabit, they roll around haphazardly seemingly with no destination in mind. Upon sensing lifelike movement or sound, they will not hesitate to anomalously accelerate to high speeds to crash into the source. A hit that breaks your feet or topples your balance could very much follow with a hit that breaks your neck.

Although it is relatively simple to detect a roller, they still do have a range of appearances. At the very smallest, rollers will be about 6” in diameter, and ~2 ft. at the largest. (15-63 cm diameter.) Rollers will always be near-perfect spheres unless damaged in some way.

Behavior

The behavior of the rollers is relatively simple. Normally, it will haphazardly roll around on relatively smooth surfaces. If being suspended in the air or on a surface too rough to roll around on, it will cease all attempts at movement. The directions it rolls around are random, but it seems to prefer not to hit walls. It has been concluded after extensive research that it detects nearby wanderers via both sound and movement. They seem to be able to detect “lifelike” movement. The method of how they do this is not yet fully understood.

The likelihood of being detected increases with the speed or duration of the movement. The closer a wanderer is to a roller, the lesser the movement required to alert the roller. This also applies to sound, louder sounds being more likely to trigger the entity. How the roller is able to detect sound is not yet fully understood and research is still ongoing.

Rollers will rapidly accelerate in the direction of the wanderer it has targeted. They have been known to reach speeds of 30 mph in a matter of seconds. On occasions, rollers accelerate without a limit. Also features of their unique movement, rollers can turn on a dime, but cannot jump or propel themselves off the ground in any way, allowing them to be jumped over. (This is not advised.)

After reaching about 130-140 mph, a roller will dissipate into nothing. It could be that the roller in these instances spliced itself into another level entirely, but a more likely explanation is that this feature is a built-in safety mechanism with the purpose of avoiding substantial amounts of damage to the surrounding level. Even with this measure in place, dents and holes in levels where rollers are not natural within may have been damage caused by rollers in the past.

The maximum detection distance of a roller ranges from 6-20 meters. A roller will still pursue unless you have traveled out of said sensory range, and ceased movement. A roller will eventually stop pursuit if a wanderer is completely still and in a place where it cannot reach the wanderer. Additionally, rollers cannot detect movement through walls.

Hitting a surface at high speeds will slow it down largely, granting time to flee an encounter. Upon hitting a target, rollers will continue to hit that target multiple times, even after it stops moving, before moving on. The blunt force from multiple strikes will likely knock down any target. Furthermore, any hit to the head, neck, back, or chest will prove fatal with how fast a roller will accelerate.

Lastly, rollers are completely solitary and don't exhibit aggression towards other rollers. When coming across another roller, it will act passively as if it does not exist. Unfortunately, other rollers are the only confirmed beings they will not attack on the spot.

Biology

The exterior skin of rollers is very similar to human skin. The major differences being the far greater durability and layers of roller skin, and the pale grayish color. Rollers can exhibit colors closer to human skin tones, but this is rare.

Under the skin of rollers is a mass largely consisting of human muscle tissue, or cartilage. Cartilage takes up a lot more of the space inside a roller, especially near the center where a sphere of bone resides. All of these components are packed together tightly, and contain trace amounts of heavier elements, making them heavier for their moderately small size.

Use

Rollerskin is very hard to obtain, but the price is high due to it maintaining high strength whilst still being relatively light. The skin is often used in protective gear with the process of preparing the skin for said gear being similar to tanning leather. The only feature differentiating the resource from leather is that the end result is intensely strong.

Rollers themselves have been used on multiple occasions for malicious purposes. While rollers are an unorthodox weapon, they can cause mass destruction in the right setting. They can be easily transported due to being unable to move unless on a flat/smooth enough surface. Although attempts to attach weapons to them have resulted in dysfunctional rollers, unmodified rollers themselves have been proved to be of great use to raiders and even large groups. It is not uncommon for major attacks on settlements to utilize rollers to destroy the group they are attacking just to make sure they do not come back.

There have been attempts to bring rollers to places where they shouldn’t be, the most prominent example being multiple let loose in The Darkness presumably by a madman. The rollers in The Darkness were fortunately never found, nor is there currently any form of roller population residing on The Darkness. This is likely due to their specialized behaviors.


Survival Guide

In the event you come into range of a roller, slowly move away, or wait for it to pass whilst it meanders in your direction. In the event in which an encounter is inevitable, travel to high ground or a space inaccessible to the roller if you have the ability to do so within the short time window before an attack takes place.

In an encounter, a roller is often hard to dodge due to its pure speed. If a hit is inevitable, make sure the place the roller crashes into isn’t vital. If you can move out of the way fast enough, you still must act quickly via fighting back or evacuation, as rollers can turn quickly. If you manage to manipulate it into hitting a wall, you should have enough time to leave the sensory range of the roller.

Making a large sound as a distraction is usually a foolproof strategy, but be wary: if you throw something with the intent of making a noise away from you, the roller will still sense your movement if you aren’t subtle about it.


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