New Mutant Monday # 29 - Tanks

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 90’ (30’), burrow 30’ (10’)
Armor Class: -1
Hit Dice: 25
Attacks: 3 (bite, claw, claw)
Damage: 3d6 / 4d8 / 4d8
Save: L10
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: None

These are gargantuan mutated badgers. These creatures can easily reach twenty feet from the tip of their snout to the stubby little tail at the rear, and weigh in excess of six thousand pounds. They have changed quite drastically over the generations since the apocalypse and have undergone quite radical genetic changes as a result.

First and foremost is the size. They are massive! Secondly is that instead of fur, they are covered by thick metallic plates, hence the name.

Thankfully the tanks are solitary, preferring to live by themselves, and only getting together with one another during the brief mating season that takes place late in fall or early winter (usually between November and December).

Both sexes are of equal size and weight, and only another member of their species can differentiate between male and female.  When they encounter each other out of mating season, the battles that erupt from these chance encounters are things out of legend. The roars and sound of metal tearing metal can be heard for miles and anything that is caught in the battlefield is inevitably killed (unless they can escape, which thankfully isn’t too difficult because despite the size, tanks are fairly slow).

The creature retains its natural bite and claws, but both are razor sharp and are able to rend flesh, bone, muscle and even metal with ease.

The gestation period for the female is quite long, lasting three years, and once a single pup is born, it stays with the mother for five more years, until it reaches the size and strength to care for itself. They can live quite easily for sixty or seventy years, as there are few predators that are capable of killing one, and getting at the flesh if the enemy is able to kill it is a difficult task at best.  To make matters worse, the metal plates covering the body are reflective, causing lasers to bounce away without effect.

Due to their size and food requirement, a single tanks territory can cover two to three hundred square miles in size and they guard their territory ferociously. All predators are forced out of their territory, not just other tanks.

One very disturbing aspect to the beast is that they are able to burrow into the ground with ease. A favorite tactic of the creature is to burrow in rough terrain where their passage wouldn’t be noticed as easily as it would be on the plains and wait for prey to approach. Using this tactic, the tank is able to surprise a target on a 1-2.

Their diet consists of whatever it can find, although it does prefer to eat fresh meat. However, it does require metal in its diet, and will often scavenge through old ruins or mines to find and consume metals. This is one of the primary reasons they are found in the Rocky Mountains, as they are capable of detecting concentrations of metal. Once metal is converted through a strange chemical process in the body into the metal plates that cover it from head to toe.

Those living in the territory claimed by a tank find that they are constantly on the lookout for signs of its approach. These signs are anything but subtle, and typically they have plenty of warning simply because of how the ground can tremble at its approach.

Killing one is difficult, as already stated, because of their natural armor, which is all but impossible to get through because of the thickness and density.  They are completely immune to poisons. Many have tried to use poisons against the beasts only to discover that all it seems to have done is add flavor to the food that they used to lure the creatures in.

Mutations: gigantism, natural armor (special), unique sense (detect metal)