New Mutant Monday # 37 - Master Caps

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d4 clusters
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: As per host
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: see description
Damage: see description
Save: L6
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: None

These mushrooms are found along the rain forested region of British Columbia. At first glance, they appear to be just another common variety of mushroom and are typically ignored. With the exception they are typically about two to three feet in height.

When a creature approaches within twenty feet of these mushrooms, they attack. The mushrooms teleport from the ground and attach to the body of the target. This is considered to be a mental attack and requires a successful mental attack to achieve. The mushroom has a Will Power of 3d6.

Once it has successfully attached itself to the body of a target, it inflicts 1d6 points of damage and injects spoors into the body of the target. The target is allowed a saving throw versus poison. If it succeeds, the spoors do not take root. It also begins to try and dominate the target via parasitic control. During the three rounds required to gain control over the target, the mushroom can be attacked, but any non-mental mutation or attack which affects the mushroom will also affect the target, inflicting half damage on the target.

If the mushroom is successful in controlling a target, it will then use the target as a method of spreading its offspring. The target will act perfectly normal, with one exception – it will insist on travelling towards the nearest community. While the mushroom is on the target, it will then use its control light waves mutation to keep itself invisible.

Once the target has entered a community, the mushroom will then teleport off its victim. Strangely enough, the mushroom will retain control over the target, and this control can only be broken if the controlling mushroom is destroyed.

If the mushroom was successful in implanting spoors into the victim, the target will begin to bloat. Over a period of 2d12 hours, the victim will gain size, until its nearly twice the size it used to be. Small, grey pustules will appear on the body and it will seek out groups of people or life. If it can get within 30 feet of a group, it will then spontaneously erupt, spewing spoors everywhere in that radius. This kills the victim, but at the same time in 1d12 days, a new patch of the mushrooms will appear where the victim died, using its corpse as food.

Anyone caught in the explosive spoor radius must make a saving throw versus poison or likewise become infected. Unlike the original victim, these will not seek to infect others; instead they will leave and find a place along a trail, path, road etc. Once they have found a suitable location, they will lay down and die, becoming a new patch.

If a target has become infected, they can be cured using any medical technology that cures disease, up until the point they are ready to burst.

The caps of these plants also act to redirect any energy attacks (such as laser, blaster, etc.) directed at the plant. Any energy attack is treated like a ranged attack and the plant makes a roll to hit in order to redirect the attack at any target within range, but most of the time it redirects the attack back at the attacker.

Mutations: Control light waves, parasitic control, reflective epidermis, teleport