Kaalium

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d8
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 150’ (50’)
AC: 3
HD: 15
Attacks: 2 claws or 1 weapon
Damage: 2d8+3 / 2d8+3 or by weapon type
Save: L18
Morale: N/A
Hoard Class: 1 energy weapon (100%), 1d8 gadgets (80%)

These creatures are definitely not of Earth origin. They are typically found in the empty spaces between the worlds, haunting lost ships or destroyed stations, and are the bane to post-apocalyptic explorers in general. Ancient text files indicate that they are not the remains of a weapon of war created by humans – they were created at least ten thousand years before mankind even considered reaching for the stars.

The original shape of the creature is that of a large segmented, red-brown egg. This hides the actual creature, which can open the shell to release four long, spiked legs, a pair of pincer-like protuberances, dozens of yards worth of wire, and a small head with a single glowing eye.

As soon as it is capable, the creature will begin to assemble a body for itself, using whatever parts are available. This can be furniture, equipment, even body parts. Building a body for itself requires at least 1d6 hours, depending on the availability of spare parts.

When complete the creature will begin its second task, which is to create more like it, building a literal army if given enough time and resources. Given the proper resources, this creature can replicate another in 24 hours, and the numbers will continue to grow exponentially from there on in.

Fortunately, despite being strong and quite resilient, the creatures can be destroyed if they are shot directly in the head. See Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 11: Optional Combat Rules for rules covering called shots. If more than 15 points of damage is inflicted, the creature is destroyed.

During combat, the creature can take a single round to literally rip parts off fallen or helpless foes and use them to repair damage they have sustained. This requires a single action, and if the target is still alive (but helpless due to injury, paralysis etc.), the target must make a saving throw versus death or die instantly due to the horrific trauma of having part of its body savagely removed.

Doing so will allow the creature to instantly repair 3d6 points of damage it has sustained, if the target was organic. If the target happened to be a robotic unit, then the creature will heal 6d6 points of damage. Even if there are no targets available, the creature can still give up a single round to heal 2d6 points of damage by grabbing debris or other detritus scattered about. Some older, more advanced models are capable of adding new limbs to their bodies and in doing so are able to increase the number of attacks they are allowed to make per round. This will increase to 4 claws or two weapon attacks.

The creatures are always armed with at least one advanced energy weapon (randomly determined by the ML before the encounter begins), and due to the nature of the creature, has unlimited ammunition for the energy weapon. The creature can and will use primitive firearms in a pinch, if they are available and their energy weapons have been rendered useless for some reason.

They have no interest in communication. The only goal they possess is to invade, destroy and create more of their kind. Those who have managed to break past the firewalls and look at their programming code are baffled by the seemingly random nature of the code, and as such are positive they were created by aliens or are possibly invaders from an alternate dimension.

When no parts are available for these creatures to use, they will go into hibernation for centuries or longer, as was the evidence discovered back in the late 20th century when they were found on the moon.

The only time they have treasure is the weapons they have built into their bodies, and occasionally they will have incorporated a handful of gadgets as well, some useful (determined by the ML) others just to add substance to their forms.

Mutations: None

Source: Moontrap (1989)