Grabber

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1 or 3d20
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 240’ (80’) or 90’ (30’) (note the second set of stats are for newly hatched)
AC: 6 or 2
HD: 20-30 or 1
Attacks: 10-15 tentacles, or 1 harpoon or bite / 1 harpoon or bite
Damage: 10-15 2d6 or 4d4 plus blood drain or 5d6 / 1d4 plus blood drain or 1d6+1
Save: L20 or 1
Morale: 11 or 5
Hoard Class: None

Someday all the various scholars in the wastelands will finally come together and pool their resources in order to determine the ‘unknown’ origins of many of the creatures that inhabit the wastelands.

Until that point in time, many of the various mutants that have appeared will be a mystery. Many will still be classified as ‘aliens’, others as genegineered monsters, and even more as the product of radiation and toxins.

If the various legends and rumors are to be believed, this particular creature is supposed to have its origins in the early 21st century. Supposedly one night off the Emerald Isles something fell from the heavens and landed in the ocean. A few days later strange occurrences began to take shape in a tiny fishing village on one of the remote islands off Ireland. But once again this is nothing more than legend and myth that was created to explain the origin of this particular creature.

Grabbers are huge water-dwelling creatures that seem to be nothing more than a mass of writhing tentacles surrounding a huge hole that it uses as a mouth. The outer-rim of the mouth is surrounded by inward-pointing fangs. There are several organs that appear to be eye-stalks on the peripheral of this feeding orifice. The fully grown version of these creatures are upwards of twenty to thirty feet in diameter, and have a 20 plus 3d12 tentacles that have a reach of 30’ feet each. The flesh is a mottled blue-green-grey, which makes perfect camouflage when it is in the water, but does little to help it on land.

The creature is aquatic and needs water to survive, although it can stay on land for several hours before it starts to feel the effects as its flesh begins to dry out. After 1d4+2 hours on land, the creature must make a saving throw versus death or suffer 3d6 hit points damage per 3 turns. Once it starts to take damage it will either retreat to the ocean or find a source of water where it can immerse its body and regain the moisture it needs.  While in the water, the creature will regenerate 2d4 hit points of damage it has sustained per round.

In combat, the monster will get one attack with its tentacles for every two hit dice it possesses. It can use these attacks to inflict damage or it can attempt to grapple a target and pull it towards the large mouth. The creature has an effective strength equal to the number of hit dice it possesses. See Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 11: Optional Combat Rules for more information on grappling. The creature will gain a +1 to hit with the bite attack for every tentacle that it uses to drag the victim towards its mouth.

This monster has another attack it can use instead. It can shoot a long harpoon-like appendage from its mouth at a target. If the harpoon hits, the creature can then begin to suck blood from the target at a rate of 3d3 points per round. This blood will be used to heal any damage it has sustained. Otherwise the blood is drained to provide the nutrition the monster needs. It has one serious drawback however. Alcohol is a deadly toxin to the creature! A single drop acts as class 7 poison to the monster as long as it has more than 10 hit dice. Otherwise it acts as class 14 poison to creatures under 10 hit dice.

If anyone has consumed alcohol and they are attacked by the creature, their blood acts as a class 5 poison to one that is over 10 hit dice, and still acts as a class 14 poison to the smaller creatures. Anyone bitten and if the creature survives, it must make an immediate moral check or flee, or in the case of the larger creatures, if the moral check fails, they will all-out attack and try to kill the drunk they tried to eat.

The fully grown creature has a special attack. If it rolls a natural 17-20 with the bite attack, it swallows the prey that is humanoid sized or smaller. The prey must then make a saving throw versus death or the creature will bite the head off and spit it out, while keeping the body in order to digest it. Only one saving throw is required and if the save succeeds, the prey still needs to escape, and will suffer 6d6 points of acid damage per round. All items carried must make a saving throw versus energy (using the victim’s save) or if the Mutant Lord has access to Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 1: Artifacts manuals and toolkits, the items must save versus acid. Either way, items that fail suffer 1d3 condition levels of damage for each failed save.

They breed once every year and lay massive clusters of eggs, numbering 10d20. The eggs are always laid upon the shore or bank, and they hatch after 1 week, releasing mini versions of the monster, which have no tentacles but do possess the harpoon tongue and can still bite. They grow at the rate of 1 hit dice per month and will continue to gain one hit dice up until 12 months after hatching. Once they hit the 12 hit dice cap, they will continue to grow, but gaining only 1 hit dice every six months after.

Mutations: Aberrant form (multiple body parts, natural weapons), dietary requirement change (blood) (d), requires water to survive (d), vulnerability to alcohol (d).

Source: Grabbers (2013)

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.