Chris Van Deelen

wilderness, usually in the blasted ancient ruins that dot the wastes. While the common live on the outskirts of larger communities, begging and stealing what they can until they are discovered and either exiled or killed.

Another reason that many people will not go near these creatures is because both types always carriers of various diseases. They are immune to all disease. Whenever they physically strike or bite a target, the victim must make a saving throw versus disease or become infected with a randomly chosen disease (picked by the Mutant Lord).

These creatures live off eating the dead, feasting on any humanoid they can catch, or even drinking the blood of their victims. There are rumors that persist in the wastelands that there are members of this twisted species that have two or even three of these dietary requirements.

It is speculated that they are either sterile or simply do not engage in sex. It is clear that these unfortunate victims of toxins that just so happen to have the same overall mutations. Scholars argue that it’s more of a case of the latter creating more of these creatures than the former. After all, most of the time these creatures cannot stand one another!  But there have been sightings of males and females pairing off and protecting one another, at least among the commons. There have even been reports of twisted children or offspring to be found among the commons.

But on top of this, there is mounting evidence that they are created through the use of specialized bio-weapons that were used during the final wars, or possibly as terror weapons (see Wisdom from the Wasteland issue 35: Terror Weapons for more information)

Despite what they look like, the loners are actually quite tough and are usually very hard to kill. Both types when engaged in combat will use any weapons that they may have, and they rather enjoy weapons that have an area of effect, such as explosives. Due to their twisted bodies though, these creatures never use armor. Sometimes though they like to get in close and personal and use their hands to beat and their mouths to bite and rend. They loners are very tough and as such they will often fight to the death, but the common are cowardly. If they are up against a superior force, or if they have taken more than 25% of their total hit-points in damage, they will attempt to flee.

Another strange fact about these deformed creatures is that approximately 25% of them are able to control vermin. When it comes to the loners, they all have this capability. This is similar to possession, but they do not have to concentrate or ‘leave their bodies’ in order to control these creatures. They are capable of controlling up to half their hit-dice in vermin (insects, rats, other similar creatures) and the creatures can be mutants, they do not have to be the un-mutated type. These particular monsters will only tolerate the vermin as companions, unlike others of their own kind.

The lairs