Chris Van Deelen

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.

No. Enc: 1 (1d4)
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40')
                     60' (20') Swim
AC: 5
HD: 18
Attacks: 3 (bite, claw, claw), laser
Damage: 1d8+3d6+4/2d6+3d6+4/2d6+3d6+4 / 5d8
Save: L8
Morale: 8 (10)
Hoard Class: None

Katahdin are grotesquely mutated Grizzly bears found deep in the primordial forests of the East coast.  These creatures are huge, reaching well over sixteen feet from the tip of their nose to the end of their stubby tails, and even when on all fours their shoulders reach to between six to seven feet, and weigh in at 2,500 pounds. These creatures can live up to thirty years in the wild, and reach maturity around eight years of age, but typically are destroyed well before this point because of their evil temperament.

Females reach sexual maturity around five years of age and when they mate, like their ancestors, they produce between 1 and 4 offspring, with 2 being the average. The cubs stay with the mother for about two years before they head off on their own to find territory.

What sets these creatures apart from their un-mutated ancestors (other than the greatly enhanced size) is their appearance. These creatures are completely bald, having lost all body hair. One of the mutant's eyes is significantly larger than the other as well, typically for some reason, the right eye. This huge orb is blood red and has a large black pupil.

Like their ancestors, these creatures have wicked claws, but even more so, as they tend to grow about twice the length of their un-mutated cousins. Even metal has difficulty standing up to the wicked blows from these creatures.

When encountered alone, it is typically a male, but if more than one is encountered, it will be a female and her cubs. The cubs will have only 25% of the hit dice and an AC of 7, and are capable of defending themselves with a bite and two claws (doing only 1d3 / 1d6 / 1d6).  When encountered with the cubs, the female will fight to the death.

Males are bullies. They enjoy picking on other creatures smaller than they are (AKA playing with before killing and eating), although if they encounter a creature that can cause them harm, they have been known to take the cowards way out and run.

These creatures have been known to move at great speeds for short periods of time, although it isn't known if this is a mutation or just an evolved version of the burst of speed that the mutant’s ancestors were capable of. For 3d8 rounds the creatures are able to double their movement rate (both land and swim).

When they are in the woods, despite being bald, their flesh takes on the coloration of the surroundings and as such can become effectively invisible, making these creatures all that more dangerous.

Approximately one in