“They’ve had all their humanity taken away. That’s a living brain jammed inside a cybernetic body, with a heart of steel. All emotions removed.” –The Doctor (Rise of the Cybermen, 2005)
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Cybermen are a staple villain in Doctor Who, second only to the Daleks and possibly The Master. We’ve seen several different variations of these metal monstrosities over the years, though they all possess some shared qualities. They were once human (or at least mortal men of flesh), they are now part machine and part humanoid, and they will stop at nothing until the Cybermen are the only life form in the multiverse.
This is great for Dungeon Masters who are willing to dip their feet into the established science fiction pool. We have a foe that good characters will want to try to save, who will almost certainly start combat situations, and have grand, tier-spanning goals. Since the Cybermen aren’t native to fantasy, we can either make our own version (half construct humanoids are very Eberron-eske) or we can have them invade the world from another plane. Either way it’s established that their resources and tactics aren’t always the same, so that justifies any difference between expected power and abilities compared to what we build for play at the table.
The Cybermen presented here are built for late Paragon. The Mk I and Mk II have very different mechanics. They could represent Cybermen from two very different times, different dimensions, different resources on hand at creation, or even the differences between an invading Cyberman and one made from a native of this world.
Arcana 22: The strange men you see before you are known as the warriors of Cybrus. Born of another world, they have only been seen before by oracles and planar travelers. It is said they will stop at nothing to destroy all life.
Arcana 29: Cybermen consider themselves to be the perfect race, emotionless and efficient. Able to upgrade themselves, different models have been written about as they were experienced at different times. A few things have been consistently reported: they have exceptional armor, unerring resolve, and should not be exposed to lightning.
Leaders of different models can be determined by the black paint on their helmets.
Arcana 38: The otherworldly Cybermen were once very similar to humans, before altering their form with construct magic, until they were beyond recognition. Behind each metallic warrior there is still flesh, blood, and the remains of a tattered soul.
Cyberman MK I
Tactics: The Cybermen are fearless and the MK I are no different in this regard. They benefit greatly from fighting in close quarters, as the electric arc of others can heal their damage, at least partially. However, due to their feeling of superiority and the desire to leave no survivors, they will often split up in order to flank and cut off escape routes.
Once in melee, unless they face many opponents, they will use Slam as their main attack, in order to reduce opponents more quickly.
Cyberman MK II
Tactics: These warriors are much tougher than the MK I but have no built-in ability to rebuild themselves. They must instead seek out sources of lightning energy if they manage to take extensive damage.
Built to withstand heavy fire, they take on their mission to not just destroy other races, but expand their ranks, with frightening efficiency. One line of Cybermen, will act as artillery, firing with wrist blaster while a second group moves into melee, grab a victim and slowly drags them behind the firing line.
Tactics: The Cyber Leader is programmed to make decisions for small groups of Cybermen and give orders in battle. While they could hold their own in melee, they find more success in the back lines, firing along with MK II models.
They will issue a Full Volley whenever serious threats are determined, or hold such actions if waiting for a portal to be breached, so that the full force attack happens as soon as enemies are within sight.
Any foe that gets too close, soon finds itself hurled back with lesser Cybermen advancing into melee.
They keep their commands communicated through silent telepathy unless trying to intimidate their opponents.