So, I posted this robot thing I made up on Zak's blog a while ago for the Gigacrawler game he was working on. I thought I should get it up on my own blog too before I totally forget about it. It could work in any futuristic setting I think.
Hundreds of years ago a very consumer based society controlled this part of the Gigastructure, that civilization is long gone but part of their legacy remains to endanger explorers. A Vendbot is a very sturdy and rugged vending machine with powerful track units enclosed in its base.
These machines trundle randomly about in forgotten corridors until they detect a potential customer. Unfortunately due to centuries of loneliness and neglect Vendbots react with a sort of frenzied desperation to any lifeforms they encounter-continuously ramming into their customers, often with fatal results.
Vendbots continuously emit cheerful recorded messages and slogans such as "PLEASE MAKE YOUR SELECTION!", "EXACT CHANGE ONLY!" and "TRY ONE OF OUR REFRESHING NEW FLAVORS!"
Vendbots are notoriously difficult to put down and can take an amazing amount of punishment. Many of the units still functioning are riddled with bullet holes and their bright logos obscured by the crushed remains of 'satisfied customers'.
An eccentric benefactor will pay handsomely for a particular rare beverage now only found in ancient Vendbots.
A Vendbots navigation harddrive may contain extensive maps and floorplans of large sections of the local Gigastructure.
A mysterious old hermit has made it his lifes work to seek out and peacefully deactivate Vendbots, doing so by purchasing each ones entire stock before they can crush him.
I was thinking, finding the right type of coins or cards or whatever would be hard, but worthwhile to a party that knows they will be traveling through Vendbot territory, although there is no guarantee the bots will even give them half a chance to use it.
Another idea I had was that there is really no telling what kind of random stuff a Vendbot might contain- from pop and candy to bullets and nanochips. Maybe if the party was running critically low on a certain resource I'd have them be attacked by a Vendbot that has it, to give them a chance to fight for it.