Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"N" is for "Negahorse"


No. Enc.:  2d6 (3d6)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  210' (70')
Armor Class:  5
Hit Dice:  10
Attacks:  1 (bite, kick, trample)
Damage:  1d8 or 1d12 or 3d6
Save:  L5
Morale:  9
Hoard Class:  None
XP:  2,400

Negahorses are stocky, ill-tempered equines found in blasted plains and desolate wastelands.  Predators give them a wide berth.

Negahorses discharge antimatter energy from their eyes, heads, and snouts—their craniums to glow and crackle with an indigo nimbus before release.  The beams act as a combination of the Energy Ray and Disintegration mutations:  usable once every 3 rounds up to a distance of 50', and destroying WILx10 lbs of matter (dead and living alike), and utterly lacking the "reduced to 1 HP" side effects.  Negahorses have WIL scores of 12+1d8.

Only the bravest / most foolhardy individuals attempt to take negahorses as mounts.

Mutations:  Reflective Epidermis (Radiation), Unique Mutation ("Antimatter Blast")

Friday, May 24, 2013

"M" is for "Muckripper"


No. Enc.:  0 (2d8)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  90' (30')
     —Swim:  90' (30')
Armor Class:  5
Hit Dice:  8
Attacks:  1 (bite)
Damage:  2d8
Save:  L4
Morale:  9
Hoard Class:  None
XP:  3,560

Muckrippers are bloated, 15' long, amphibious fish that congregate near the most toxic of pools, favoring ruined water treatment plants, slurry pits, and industrial retention ponds contaminated with heavy metals.  Highly aggressive, they usually charge head-on, but also conceal themselves beneath the mire to ambush passing prey (Surprising on a 1-4 on 1d6). Pods of muckrippers even chase victims up trees, and then gnaw through the trunks until they collapse....

Muckrippers disgorge glowing gobbets of filth [Radiation Class 5-10; determine at random on 1d6] at distances up to 25'.  They are obviously immune to all poisons, disease, and radioactivity. 

Mutations:  Dermal Poison Slime, Toxic Weapon ("Toxic Glob")

Friday, May 17, 2013

"F" is for "Freakock"


No. Enc.:  1 (1d4)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  120' (40')
         —Fly:  18' (6')
Armor Class:  3 (7)
Hit Dice:  5
Attacks:  1 (peck)
Damage:  1d4
Save:  L3
Morale:  8
Hoard Class:  VII
XP:  1,400

Freakocks are iridescent, 3' tall birds with long tails that unfurl into expansive, eye-riddled fans.  The extra eyes grant 360-degree vision (thereby preventing being Surprised) and fire energy beams [determine type at random].

A freakock generates a swirling, kaleidoscopic field that disorients foes, making its effective AC 3.  Those targeting with Echolocation, other non-visual super-senses, and / or mechanical systems treat the birds as having AC 7.  And though of animal intelligence, freakocks possess powerful minds (WIL 12+1d4) and the psychic powers to match.

Freakocks can only fly short distances, and usually just seek higher elevations so as to avoid predators.

Fluids from freakock eggs make serums that grant 1d3 positive Mental Mutations, at the risk of intense psychic burnout (a -2d4 WIL) and the random acquisition of one of the following Drawbacks:  Atrophied Cerebellum, Phantasmal Damage, or Phobia.

Mutations:  Control Light Waves, Disintegration, Energy Ray (Any), Increased Sense (Vision), Mental Phantasm, Mind Reflection, Mind Thrust, Unique Sense (360-Degree Vision)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mutants In The News — "Squirrels. Why Did It Have To Be Squirrels?" Edition

When I was itty-bitty, there was a squirrel that lived in our yard that I taught to eat out of my hand.  I named him Hungry Henry.  Every day when I checked the mail, he'd scamper down to see me.  I'd hold a pecan wedge between my thumb and index finger, and he'd deftly pluck it and chew it up like a chainsaw did lumber.

You have no idea how much joy that brought me.

And I fed him for a very, very long time; like, at least a year or two.  It got to where I could pet him, and sometimes hold him when my folks weren't around to chastise me.  He had a weird little purr.

Hungry Henry and I had a relationship.

So I was devastated when I found his little roadkilled body one afternoon.  It was one of my very first experiences with the harsh realities of Nature.

I loved that squirrel, and it translated into a fondness for all of his kinfolk.

Which means it was extra traumatic when, months later, I watched another squirrel systematically devour a nest a baby mockingbirds.

See, there was this nest in one of our backyard pecan trees, with four or five chicks.  I'd spent weeks spying on it, watching the mama bird tend her eggs.  The inevitable hatching was one of those miraculous childhood experiences.  I'd go check on the babies when the mama was away.  They were so ugly, they were adorable.

And one particular Saturday, right after I'd looked at the developing chicks, up scampered this squirrel to same tree.  I, delighted, thought it was after the pecans.  It was like a cartoon, and I was about to make a new squirrel sidekick, because try as I might, all my efforts to befriend other squirrels after Henry failed miserably.

Nope.  The squirrel looked up at me—right dead-on into my eyes—and then darted up the trunk, dove into the nest, grabbed a hatchling, zipped down with a dangling bird-baby in its jaws, bolted up into a giant tree across the yard...and proceeded to feed.

There was a cacophony of panicked chirping, and I was stunned.  Just dumbstruck.  And then I freaked as only an elementary schooler can freak.

I sped into the house, sobbing and wailing about the carnivorous beast, but my folks wouldn't believe me.  "Squirrels eat nuts," they said dismissively.

It took what seemed like forever to get them to come investigate (and I still remember my dad's eyerolls and grousing), and I dragged them outside to the tree...

...just in time to see that awful squirrel sitting in the nest, devouring another chick right there over the other babies.   It bolted when it saw the three of us.

My folks panicked, in decidedly different ways.  My mom ran to our encyclopedias, madly researching squirrel dietary habits, because she was convinced it was rabid.  My dad went to the nest, saw the gore, and ran for his rifle.

And the next couple of hours were kind of a blur.  I cowered inside, listening to the mayhem around me.  Unsatisfied with her researches, my ma called libraries and universities and zoos to find out if squirrels really did eat baby birds.  My dad staked out the tree, and many shots were fired...

...but that squirrel proved far craftier, and managed to make 3-4 more trips back to the nest, dodging gunfire  (and, I later found out, rocks and even shoes) and ignoring my dad's enraged yelling.

It ate every single last chick.  Nothing could stop it.

My dad eventually came in, as angry as I'd ever seen him.  He started to make a big batch of poisoned corn-grain-dogfood to kill the squirrel.  My mom wanted to rush me to the ER to get rabies shots, because she wouldn't believe that I hadn't touched that squirrel like I did my precious Hungry Henry.

Calm eventually prevailed, and there was no mass-poisoning of wildlife or injections in stomachs.  I think it was the Houston Zoo who ultimately assured my mom that squirrels were omnivores, and that we weren't dealing with a diseased aberration.

That was an awful, awful day.  And I have never, ever looked at squirrels the same way again.

I don't think I've ever told anyone my squirrel stories before, so, um...yeah.  Thanks, I guess? Sorry?  I dunno.  This all kinda bubbled up.

And I am definitely seeing this movie, purely for cathartic purposes.

Friday, May 10, 2013

"D" is for "Dohvarr"


No. Enc.:  1d4 (1d4)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  150' (50')
Armor Class:  3
Hit Dice:  3
Attacks:  2 (2 claws)
Damage:  1d4 / 1d4
Save:  L3
Morale:  7
Hoard Class:  VI
XP:  125

Dohvarrs are slight, 3' tall humanoids with bulbous, balloon-like heads and oversized, luminous eyes.  Lacking sexual characteristics (amongst other things, like ears, noses, mouths, and hair), their genders are indeterminate.  Dohvarrs scurry and scamper on all fours as quickly as they do bipedally, and can cling to almost any surface.

Dohvarrs prey on psychic energy, and always attack those with the highest WIL scores.  They selectively use their Vampiric Fields on such targets, affecting only the desired victim(s) and no other targets.

The little creatures are quite noisy, and screech and keen like predatory birds when agitated. How they do so is utterly baffling.

Mutations:  Enhanced Vision (Thermal), Increased Balance, Optic Emissions (Bright Eyes), Shriek, Vampiric Field (Modified)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

"F" is for "Featherfear"


No. Enc.:  1 (1d3)
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement:  90' (30')
         —Fly:  120' (40')
Armor Class:  4
Hit Dice:  9
Attacks:  3 (2 claws, 1 peck)
Damage:  2d6 / 2d6 / 1d8
Save:  L7
Morale:  12
Hoard Class:  XV
XP:  1,820

Featherfears are man-sized, metal-plumed birds that combine amazing resistance to harm and blind, insensate wrath into one ferocious package.  The brutes disembowel with wicked, 2' long talons, and eat their suffering victims alive.

Sadistically, a featherfear can shapeshift into any basic (albeit man-sized) animal—spider, snake, rat, scorpion, etc.—that most terrifies its prey.  The bird knows instinctively what form induces maximum panic in its chosen target.  [Treat the altered form as having the same stats, damage output, and mutations.]

Surviving combat with a featherfear—not actually defeating it, just surviving the encounter—is a rite of passage in many backwoods Mutant Future cultures.

Mutations:  Atrophied Cerebellum [D], Beguiling, Force Screen, Metamorph (Modified), Natural Armor (Extreme), Regenerative Capability

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Let's Go To Gamma World. Meet... The Maali.


No. Enc.:  1 (1)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  150' (50')
        Biped:  60' (30')
Armor Class:  6
Hit Dice:  11
Attacks:  3 (2 claws, 1 gore) or 1 (weapon)
Damage:  1d6 / 1d6, 2d8, or by weapon
Save:  L11
Morale:  11
Hoard Class:  XVIII
XP:  7,300

The solitary maali (singular and plural) are enormous, shaggy ungulates with radiation-ravaged heads and hides.  The creatures often appear "simple" due to scar-induced drooping tongues, crossed eyes, etc., but they are shrewd, and speak multiple humanoid languages. Maali generally roam as quadrupeds, but can locomote bipedally (standing over 15' tall)...and use tools, weapons, and artifacts while doing so, thanks to leathery hands on their forelimbs.

Maali lay claim to large swaths of forest, and are quite protective of the their domains and the wildlife within. They dispatch predators and hunters with extreme prejudice.

Despite the maali's fascination with Ancient technology, the sight of robots sends them into epileptic fits.  Treat as Paralysis that lasts for 1 full turn, after which they can act and behave normally.

Mutations:  Ability Boost, Aberrant Form (XenomorphismHands), Bizarre Appearance (Burns & Scars) [D], Control Weather, Displacement, Dual Cerebellum (+1 extra random Mental Mutation), Energy Ray (Sonic), Force Screen, Mental Phantasm, Seizures (Modified) [D]

New Mutation

Displacement (Mental):  Allows mutant and its possessions to teleport out of danger, once per hour and up to a distance of 200'.  The mutant has no idea as to where it will reappear within the area.  The mutant never teleports into a solid object or any location that results in instantaneous death.  The Mutant Lord may wish to force the mutant to teleport during ANY stressful event (representing the body's unconscious desire to escape over conscious objections).  It is possible that situations arise where it's where it's impossible to teleport out of danger because of the limited radius (as in the entire region could be hazardous), so the mutant remains where they are and must wait an hour to try again.

Not-The-Designer's Notes:  The Maali and Displacement appeared in 1982's Famine In Far-Go, which was designed by Michael Price, and developed by Price and Michael J. Richie. Illustration provided by the enigmatic Darlene.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"B" is for "Bighorn Seal"

Bighorn Seal

No. Enc.:  0 (3d6)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  45' (15')
Armor Class:  5
Hit Dice:  7
Attacks:  1 (headbutt)
Damage:  2d6
Save:   L4
Morale:  8
Hoard Class:  None
XP:  790

Bighorn seals are 13' long, 2-ton, stumpy-limbed aberrations that inhabit rugged, rocky terrain and blasted badlands, and they favor extreme climes (both hot and cold) over temperate zones.  They feed on thorny scrub and nasty mutant plants that other species avoid.

Aggressive and territorial, bighorn seals Charge their foes, but look quite ridiculous in the process.  Anyone thus attacked must make an Ability Check Vs Willpower, or be Paralyzed for 1d3 rounds with paroxysms of mirth at the beasts' blubbery galumphing.

Mutations:  Increased Balance

Saturday, May 4, 2013

"S" is for "Splicesaur — Trirannosaurus X"

Splicesaur — Trirannosaurus X

No. Enc.:  0 (1)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:  120' (40')
Armor Class:  3
Hit Dice:  22
Attacks:  3 (3 bites)
Damage:  5d8 / 5d8 / 5d8
Save:  L11
Morale:  11
Hoard Class:  VII x3
XP:  15,000 (+2,000 per extra Mutation)

One of the most horrible creatures birthed by the apocalypse, the trirannosaurus X is a 25' tall, triple-headed monstrosity that terrifies even the mightiest of Mutant Future predators.  It stalks grasslands, swamps, and forests, and seemingly favors humanoid prey.

Trirannosaurus Xes Swallow man-sized or smaller victims on To Hit rolls of 17-20.  And they are never Surprised, thanks to 360-degree vision.

As if the beasts couldn't be any more nightmarish, 10% of any encountered are albinos with vast mental abilities.  These sentient specimens posses:  Albinism [D], +1d4 beneficial Mental Mutations, and Willpower scores of 7+1d10...and their claws are dexterous enough to manipulate tools and artifacts!

Mutations:  Dual Headed (x2), Increased Sense (Smell, Vision)