Carnivorous Grubs

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 3d10
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 60’ (20’)
AC: 6
HD: 4 hit points
Attack: 1 bite
Damage: 1d4
Save: L1
Morale: 6
Hoard Class: Incidental

One of the most commonly encountered types of genetic mutation in the wastelands is gigantism. Many species, particularly those of insects, were affected by this mutation and are many times larger than their original ancestors.

One particular type of beetle benefited from this mutation, but also suffered a serious drawback. Originally known as the common Larder Beetle, the creature remained only at the larva stage, instead of eventually entering a pupa state, it stayed in grub form. The larva or grub grew to massive sizes, some being as long as foot and weighing around two pounds.

The creatures are always hungry, and will actively seek out meat to consume. It does not have to be fresh, it can be long dead and rotting, just as long as they can access the meat they will eat.

The creatures have a special sense that allows them to detect the chemical traces given off by meat of any source and they will home in on it. It can be underground, hidden away in metal containers, up in a tree, it does not matter.

In combat, the grubs will use their insubstantial mutation to pass through armor in order to get at the succulent meat hidden away. This reduces the AC of all targets by +4, making it very easy for the creatures to eat. Once they have managed a successful bite, they inject a toxin that weakens the target. Anyone bitten by the creatures must save versus poison or temporarily lose 1d4 points of Strength. If multiple creatures bite, then the target must make multiple saving throws. If a victim is reduced to zero strength, they are helpless and cannot move or defend themselves physically. They can still use mental mutations but that is it. Lost Strength returns at the victims natural healing rate per hour.

Each individual creature will consume fifteen hit-points worth of flesh before it is finally sated. When this happens, the creature will slink away and sleep for 1d6 hours, at which time it will awaken and be famished once again, and begin the hunt for another meal.

If a swarm of these creatures kills a target, they will gorge themselves. Once the feeding frenzy is over, if there is still organic material remaining, instead of going into a sleepy stupor, they will go into a mating frenzy. The creatures are asexual and possess both male and female reproductive organs, and once the mating is finished (2d3 turns), they will each lay 1d6 eggs in the remains.

It takes 4d6 days for the eggs to mature and hatch, at which time they will either consume the rotted flesh that remains, or immediately go on the hunt for fresh meat to consume.

As noted, these creatures can travel through any type of terrain in order to get at meat, except for force-fields and they cannot fly. Otherwise, they can eventually get at any meat.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons), gigantism, insubstantial, toxic weapon, unique senses (detect flesh)