Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Devastation Drive-In — 'The Children' (1980)

Environmental Hazard:  Cindercloud

The atomic detritus of The Ancients gave rise to many of the abominations of the Mutant Future...


There is nothing that terrifies the Mutant Future's remaining Pure Human populations more than the roiling, creeping miasmas known as cinderclouds.  They leak from the most antiquated and dilapidated of Ancient reactors, and can vary in size from several hundred feet wide to, horrifyingly, miles in diameter.

Cinderclouds have no impact on flora, animal fauna, or materiel...but any Pure Human youth 15 years or younger cought inside its borders transforms into a cinderkid (see below) upon failure of a Saving Throw Versus Death.  Pregnant Pure Human women must also make a Saving Throw Versus Death, or give birth to infant cinderkids at term.

When a cindercloud envelops a region, the resulting cinderkids unite to kill off every person and animal they encounter.  And even if the besieged adults survive the experience, they are faced with the dreadful realization that, with the loss of all their offspring, their own future is just as dead....


No. Enc.:  1d6 (3d8)
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement:  45' (15') 
Armor Class:  8
Hit Dice:  3
Attacks:  2 (2 claws)
Damage:  1d8 / 1d8, + special
Save:  L5
Morale:  12
Hoard Class:  None
XP:  185

Cinderkids are Pure Human children transformed by cindercloud vapors into malevolent monstrosities with only one goal:  to relentlessly stalk and incinerate any and all beings they encounter.  None are safe in their presence.

Cinderkids are so named because of their lethal scorching touch.  Anyone struck by both hands in the same combat round not only takes the initial contact damage, but they are also embraced in an unbreakable hug that does a sustained 4d6 damage each round thereafter.  No further attack rolls are necessary...and the only upside is that victims usually burn to death within moments.

Cinderkids are nigh-indestructible, being immune to the effects of all blunt trauma, firearms, toxins, diseases, and Mental Mutations.  Upon being beaten or shot, they are knocked backwards to the ground, but then arise unharmed at the end of the very next round.  Chopping off both of a cinderkid's hands—which requires a "called shot" and a To Hit roll of 18-20—will kill it instantly.  (Note that both hands must be removed, as a one-handed cinderkid can still latch on for base damage plus 1d12 continual damage per round.)  Obviously, dismemberment will eliminate a cinderkid threat.

The creatures have no need to eat or respire, but may somehow absorb sustenance through their hands during the burning process.

While cinderkids' physical abilities are impressive enough, it is their cunning that makes them truly dangerous.  Aside from pale skin, dark eyes, vacant smiles, and blackened fingernails, they look just like ordinary children...and they use their innocent appearances to lull adults into a false sense of security.  They never run or make overtly threatening gestures; all they do is methodically walk towards adults with arms extended for seemingly loving hugs.  Cinderkids can vocalize, but generally only make single exultations ("Mama!" or "Daddy!" or the first names of those they recognize) so as to lure unsuspecting adults to their doom.  They also feign helplessness when encountering armed resistance, and cower in fear to manipulate the sympathies of their foes...and then lash out at the first opportunity.  They remember how to do routine physical tasks, like open doors and windows, and climb vertical surfaces.

Perhaps the most horrible thing about cinderkids is that their favorite victims are their own families.  They normally congregate and attack in packs, but individuals will break off to visit their former homes and massacre those that love them most...while grinning the entire time.

Mutations:  Pain Insensitivity [D], Unique Mutation ("Death-Touch")