Bonus Monsters for 'Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #32: Shapeshifters'

Derek Holland

have fed well, they find each other and mate. Eggs are laid in water or moist soil, and the resulting larvae feed like plants for the entire winter, taking nutrients directly from the minerals and organic content found in dirt. Come spring, the larvae transform and new swarms become saplings.

For the most part, both forms are harmless. Should a tree be damaged, it transforms into a swarm and flees. The insects are only dangerous is when they need sap or blood. Veteran humanoid woodsfolk can tell the trees’ sexes by the shape of the cones (since male and female cones look very different), and avoid female trees during "the biting season."

Mutations: metamorph.


Tower Rat
No. Enc.: 1d6 (3d8)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90' (30')
Fly (see below) 300' (100')
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1 (bite)
Damage: 1d8
Save: L2
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: VII

Tower rats live most of their lives on vertical surfaces (thanks to a variant of the psionic flight mutation) and travel between buildings and cliffs by changing into pigeons. They prefer to nest at least five stories above the ground, burrowing into ruin walls to survive winter storms. Because of their weight and digging actions, these 8' long rodents are a major source of damage to the remains of skyscrapers and other Ancient ruins.

Young rats are the main source of coins and other treasures the rats like. They cannot climb as well as the adults, so the young enter buildings like normal rats, moving on floors and ceilings and clawing up the walls. This gives them an advantage over adults: they can carry a lot more, including the shiny objects.

If reduced to fewer than half their normal hit points, tower rats transform and fly away, a tendency that allows them to thrive as pests throughout the major ruins of the world.

Mutations: gigantism, metamorph, special.


Yellow Egret
No. Enc.: 0 (4d10)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90' (30')
Fly 150' (50')
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 1 (peck)
Damage: 1d6
Save: L2
Morale: 5
Hoard Class: I in nest

This wading bird is commonly found in and near rivers, where it stalks frogs, fish, and small aquatic mutants. It stands 5'-6' tall, weighs 30-50 pounds, and is generally very peaceful. The egret is exceptional for its rapid metamorphosis, escaping predators by changing from a bird into a fish (usually carp or pike) within 2 rounds. This makes it a very difficult animal to hunt, and its feathers have become prized as a sign of hunting prowess. A great deal of skill is required to take the bird quickly; if they are too slow, hunters will just have a scaled carcass to eat.

Mutations: metamorph.