Absorber

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 90’ (30’)
AC: 7 or by armor
HD: 10
Attacks: 1 touch or by weapon
Damage: 1d3 plus special or by weapon
Save: L10
Morale: 4
Hoard Class: Always 1d4 high-tech weapons and 1d3 suits of armor, VII, XV (x5), XXII

Many of those in the wasteland wonder about the origin of this particular humanoid mutant. Most assume that it is nothing more than a random mutation that managed to thrive, as is the case with many of the creatures that inhabit the wastes. But there are those who speculate that these creatures are in fact one of the numerous sentient alien species that mankind encountered before the final wars.

As with many creatures, the origin does not really matter… they are vile monsters bent on gaining as much wealth as possible, and they could not care less about those they hurt or kill in pursuit of their riches.

In their natural form, these monsters appear as pale or green skinned obese humanoids. Their flesh is doughy and always appears sickly. They have hair, which varies in style from individual to individual, but is always uniformly black. The ears are slightly pointed and they possess only two fingers and an opposable thumb on each hand. The feet are similarly formed. The species has both male and female genders, but they can easily assume the form of whatever creature they absorb (see below).

What makes these creatures so incredibly dangerous is that they can absorb a living target into their body by simply making flesh to flesh contact. The victim is allowed a saving throw versus death to avoid this hideous fate. These creatures have a Constitution score of 6+2d4 and if the victim’s Constitution score is higher, the victim gains a +1 to the saving throw for every point its score is higher than this creatures. Likewise if the creature has a higher score, the victim suffers a -1 for every point difference.

If the saving throw fails, the victim is absorbed by this monster. The maximum number of victims the creature can absorb at any time is equal to one per three points of Constitution. So if the creature has a Constitution score of 12, then it can absorb 4 victims.

While the victims are absorbed, the creature gains 3 hit points per point of the victim’s Constitution, and any damage the creature suffers comes off this total first. If the extra hit points are used up, the victim is killed.

Also this creature is able to shape-shift and can assume the physical form (including physical mutations and attributes) of the victim. The only limit to the length of time that the creature will be able to keep the form is how long it takes the creature to fully consume the victim. The victim loses 1d4 points of Constitution per day (and the creature likewise loses the extra hit-points it gained from absorbing the victim). Once the victim reaches zero constitution, it has been fully absorbed and is forever destroyed.

There is only one way to free a trapped victim from this absorption. The creature must be hit with the vampiric field mutation. If the creature is hit by this mutation, any victims absorbed will be allowed a new saving throw versus death per round until the absorber either dies (in which case they die as well) or escape. The same bonuses and penalties apply as mentioned above, but the victim gains a +1 cumulative per round of exposure until they either escapes or the creature dies.

During this attack, the absorber is not allowed to use the extra hit-points it gains from the victims, only its natural hit-points. If the victim escapes, they will emerge completely naked and vulnerable to attack. They must make another saving throw versus stun or be stunned for 1d4 rounds as they adjust to having their own bodies back. Of course this leaves them vulnerable to the vampiric field mutation as well. Any Constitution damage they have sustained will return at the victim’s natural healing rate per day.

Now when these creatures engage in combat, they will always attempt to make skin to skin contact with a victim. It should be noted that any organic being can be absorbed in this manner. If the victim is fully encased in armor or there is no skin available for touch, the creature will simply attempt to kill it.

These monsters are always willing to use armor and high-tech weapons in combat, but they also always keep one or both hands uncovered. Also they will always use those who they absorbed as a disguise and can even access their memories, personality and physical mutations (but not any mental mutations). They will use this to literally clean out the victim’s home of anything of value – they will even go as far as to clean out any banks or other institutions that the victim may use.

They are also loners, and only interact with other members of their kind when they need to reproduce. They do so through sexual intercourse with their own kind and the females have the same gestation period as humans, and give live birth to a single offspring. The child has a 50/50 chance of going with either parent and will stay with them until their ability to absorb other creatures finally emerges, around 9-13 years of age. When this happens, the parent sends them packing, without fanfare or treasure – they have to earn their own. After this, they have little or no contact with one another.

It should be noted that they cannot absorb members of their own species or for some strange reason any creature that is capable of altering its physical appearance.

Personality wise, they are greedy and arrogant creatures and always have a horrible jealousy streak when it comes to those who have more than they do. They will actually hire mercenaries and assassins to take out members of their own species (and absorb the killers later) in order to gain the treasure and wealth they have accumulated – this goes as far as their mates and offspring as well). They live in richly appointed homes (often former victim’s homes) and always have a massive amount of wealth stashed away, which they guard using high-tech traps and even robotic units if they can acquire them.

There are no real redeeming qualities when it comes to these monsters.

Mutations: Bizarre appearance, Metamorph (modified)

Source: Doctor Who villain Abzorbaloff

Chris Van Deelen is the author of the Skirmisher Publishing LLC sourcebook  Creatures of the Tropical Wastes  sourcebook, co-author of its  Wisdom from the Wastelands  game supplement and contributor to the  'Sword of Kos: Hekaton'  Anthology.