Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mutants In The News — The Dread Yetisaurus Edition

Yesterday, the dino-rific Love In The Time Of Chasmosaurs blog brought attention to articles in Nature and Discover Magazine about Yutyrannus, a feathered theropod that may have been the abominable snowman of the terrible lizard kingdom:  shaggy, carnivorous, and cold-loving.

Chasmosaur's creator David Orr's favorite bit mirrors mine, involving speculation that the "feathers might have been a winter coat...[as] Yutyrannus lived at a time when the average yearly temperature was a nippy 10 degrees Celsius.  Maybe it was the tyrannosaur equivalent of woolly mammoths and woolly rhinos, whose shaggy coats protected them during the Ice Age.

'The idea of woolly tyrannosaurs stalking colder climates in the Cretaceous is kinda mind blowing.'"

Yes, yes it is.

And just remember, folks:  no matter what the fossil record tells you, we here at A Field Guide To Doomsday did it first.

"N" is for "Needlewing"


No. Enc.:  0 (2d12)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  3' (1')
  —Fly:  180' (60')
Armor Class:  0
Hit Dice:  1 hp
Attacks:  1 (peck)
Damage:  1 hp + poison
Save:  L1
Morale:  11
Hoard Class:  VII, VIII
XP:  6

Needlewings are tiny (3" tall), iridescent birds that feed on the nectar produced by the deadliest species of mutant flowering plants.  They dart and flit about, captivating onlookers with their dazzling beauty.

Much like Ancient clownfish and anemones, needlewings live in symbiosis with their host flora.  The birds nest in and/or around the plants, using them for protection and sustenance...and return the favor by attacking and subduing anything that approaches, for they inject venom (determined randomly on the Poison Class Table) with each and every stab of their beaks.

Some needlewings have developed a specialized toxin that acts as a contact version of the Fragrance Development Mutation.  Upon injection and a failed Saving Throw Versus Poison, their hypnotically-compelled victims march right into the clutches of the carnivorous host. Needlewings with this variant venom often stray far from their plants, actively hunting down prey.

A needlewing's Hoard Class represents the scattered/buried possessions of victims consumed by the host.

Mutations:  Toxic Weapon (Venom)