New Mutant Monday # 25 - Hiko Kaeru

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 2d4
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: Flight 60’ (20’)
Ground 90’ (30’)
AC: 6
HD: 2
Attacks: 1 burst
Damage: special, see below
Save: L2
Morale: 6
Hoard Class: N/A

Another creature which originated in Asia managed to find its way to the West coast of the former Canada and United States.  This little frog has mutated to become significantly larger than its ancestors and has developed an unusual dietary requirement – it likes energy!

Physically, the creature is about two feet in size from the tip of its nose to its rear. The legs are nearly twice as long and the webbing between the individual toes has grown to massive proportions. This allows the creature the ability to fly, albeit clumsily. It still prefers to hop but it can use its flying ability to get wherever it needs to be.

On top of this, the little creature is capable of clinging to any surface without falling. It could be sheer ice, a field of oil, it does not matter, the creature will always retain its footing.

These creatures live in the damp temperate rain-forest, staying close to any open body of water. They are always active from the beginning of April until the first snow-falls in late October, although there are plenty who remain active year round right on the coastline, especially around the ruins of Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria. The rest which live deeper in the forests and mountains go into hibernation until the temperatures warm up.

Unlike their ancestors, these creatures do not consume food to survive. In fact, they no longer possess mouths to feed with. Instead they sun-bathe. Even if the sun is behind clouds, enough UV energy breaks through to keep them happy and healthy.

The flesh of the creature is able to blend into the background quite easily, and instead of using this ability to attack, they use it to hide from potential predators, with one exception, which will be outlined below.

If they encounter predators, these creatures will flee. If they are incapable of fleeing, they have a specialized attack they can employ to defend themselves. They are able to release a powerful burst of energy in a fifteen foot radius. This burst has two effects – first, it causes 5d6 points of damage. The second is it acts like an EMP. Any electrical devices carried by the target must save versus energy – using the targets saving throw. (or if the ML has access to Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 1, then the save is against electrical). If the save fails, the device will suffer 1d3 condition levels of damage.

This can be particularly bad for robots, androids and other similar units. These units take double damage from the burst. Additionally, they must make an additional saving throw (see above) or shut down for 2d6 turns.

The creature can only use this attack once per twenty-four hours. If it is forced to use it twice, the strain is too much for the creature and it dies as a result.

When encountering technological items which use power-cells or robots, the creature will use a variation of the vampiric field mutation. This mutation has a circumference of 30 feet. It will drain 1d6 charges from all electrical devices (or if it does not use charges, 1 minute of power). This will translate into additional hit points, just like those gained from the vampiric field mutation. All damage sustained by the creature will first come off these additional hit points. Robots and similar units will suffer damage as a result.

If the creature is attacked by energy based attacks (or weapons), the damage will heal instead of harm, and will likewise contribute to giving the creature additional hit points. All non-energy based attacks will cause the creature regular damage.

Often they will stay hidden and drain all the energy from weapons and devices carried by individuals or groups. Suddenly the group finds its under attack and goes to defend against the attacker, only to discover their weapons and spare cells are completely drained.

Mutations: Aberrant form (new body parts), chameleon epidermis, gigantism, vampiric field (modified)