Saturday, October 5, 2013

Devastation Drive-In 3-D — 'The Relic' (1997)

Environmental Hazard:  Morphungus

As the Ancients encroached into the farthest, most isolated corners of the globe, they discovered hundreds upon hundreds of new species never before catalogued...


Morphungus is an orange, gelatinous, parasitic organism that infests leafy tropical plants (mutant or otherwise).  The substance is riddled with viral DNA that fantastically codes for multitudes of animal proteins and hormones simultaneously, and it infuses its host with the same.

Any creature that eats such morphungal leaves (raw or cooked) also absorbs the proteins, and undergoes radical metabolic change and rampant growth within 4d6 hours.  The smallest insects shift into 2 HD terrors (with attacks to match), and larger creatures grow into things much, much worse...

...with humanoids suffering the most horrible fates, transforming into chimerical monstrosities!

The creatures thus transformed by morphungus actually depend on the substance for sustenance, and require ever-increasing quantities to survive...but when it runs out, only one other food suffices:  living brains!

Some remote tribes actually force-feed morphungus to domestic animals and citizens, so as to create an army of murderous beasts...and when said army devours all available stores, they are dispatched to enemy territory to massacre entire rival villages!


No. Enc.:  1 (1)
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement:  180' (60')
Armor Class:  3
Hit Dice:  18
Attacks:  3 or 2 (2 claws, 1 bite, or 2 tail-slaps)
Damage:  2d8 / 2d8 / 3d10, or 1d10 / 1d10
Save:  L9
Morale:  11
Hoard Class:  XXII
XP:  12,500

The once-humanoid kothogas are living nightmares, all claws and jaws and mandibles.  Their 25' long, 1.5-ton bodies are as lithe and agile as those of panthers (granting Surprise on a 1-4 on 1d6), but strong enough to smash through steel security doors.  Their scaly hides render them invulnerable to primitive projectiles and gunfire alike.  Kothogas climb vertical surfaces and ceilings with ease, and effortlessly make standing leaps of 50' or more.  They can hold their breaths for up to an hour, and fight just as well when submerged as on land.

Kothogas ordinarily feed on the hormones produced by morphungus...but ultimately turn to throbbing brains.  Kothogas must consume 3 human brains (specifically, the hormone-producing regions:  thalamus, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland) a day, or suffer an agonizing 3d6+1 damage.  

When a kothoga successfully hits with both claws, the target is gripped about the shoulders, allowing for a free bite attack...and the victim must immediately make a Saving Throw Vs Death.  Failure indicates instant decapitation.  After such a kill, the kothoga spends 1 full round feeding, and then disgorges the unwanted cerebral matter, and attacks again.

Kothogas dislike temperature extremes due to their amalgamated genetic structure, and suffer an extra +2d6 damage from both cold- and heat-based attacks.

It's almost impossible to determine which is more dangerous:  a well-fed kothoga that still retains a semblance of memories and intelligence from its former sentient existence, or a starving one in a berserk, brain-craving frenzy!

Mutations:  Frailty (Dietary Dependence, Temperature Susceptibility) [D], Increased Sense (Hearing, Smell, Taste, Vision), Regenerative Capability