New Mutant Monday #4 - Brutes

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d6 or 8d6 (herd)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 150’ (50’)
AC: 4
HD: 20
Attacks: 2 hoofs, 1 bite and 2 kicks
Damage: 2d10+3d6 / 2d10+3d6 / 1d8+3d6 / 7d6 / 7d6
Save: L20
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: None

These creatures are intelligent, mutant horses. At first glance, if one ignored their physical size, they would appear to be regular Clydesdale horses - which happen to stand at ten feet at the shoulder!  They also tend to weigh in excess of 4000 pounds, making them some of the largest mutant horses to be found anywhere in the wastelands.

As stated, they are also very intelligent; some having the same intellectual level as many humans, although they are incapable of speech and do not possess telepathy. Still, the mutants have found ways to communicate with others, through facial expressions and even simple techniques like Morse code.

Due to their high intelligence, these creatures typically do not make good draft animals. Most of the time they find such actions and duties far beneath them, although if they are treated very well and compensated for their work, they sometimes will ‘hire’ themselves out to those who are willing to meet their terms.

Finding out what these terms are can often be frustrating for all parties involved, unless a telepath happens to be involved. Most of the time they will want certain types of foods, mainly grains or nuts, which they find difficult to obtain. Sometimes they will want protection from deadly predators, other times they will simply want territory to call their own.

Oddly enough, most of the time they do not like to deal with regular humans or pure humans. They are able to detect if someone is a mutant, simply through smell alone.  They are more likely to interact and form friendships with Exotics and humanoids.

These animals still tend to live as herd animals, much as their ancestors did in the distant past. Each herd is controlled by a single Alpha, who takes all the mares as his mates. Occasionally he will allow other males in the herd to mate with the females, but only under extreme circumstances, or if the male has proven himself of breeding.

Sometimes these mutant animals will meet a person and a bond will be formed. There is no mutation, no reason for this to happen. Both the horse and the individual will feel a kinship that is instant and powerful, and this is for life. This type of bonding is quite rare, maybe only 10% of the creatures ever find someone.

The bond is one of mutual loyalty, trust and love. It is so strong that one of these creatures will leave the herd, its family, in order to be with the person it has bonded with. It has even been known to happen to Alpha’s. They will be very protective of those they bond with and will fight to the death to protect their friend. Oddly enough, bonds are usually created between members of the opposite sex. A male will bond with a female humanoid, a female with a male humanoid, and so forth.

Despite their size, these mutant horses have the same gestation period as their ancestors, and a single foal is born. It requires the same length of time to reach sexual maturity as well. Foals are raised by the entire herd, and are lovingly cared for and protected. Threaten a single foal and earn the wrath of the herd. Few predators are stupid (brave?) enough to try and single out a foal for a possible meal.

In combat, these mutant horses use their strength to their advantage. They have kicks so powerful they have been known to kill a foe with one strike, and the bites they can inflict do terrible damage as well. If they are being flanked, they can get up to five hits in a single round, three to anything in their front, and two kicks to their rear.

These creatures are also very tough due to the muscle mass they possess. A lot of physical attacks can be ‘shrugged off’ as they fail to penetrate the dense muscle fibers. This gives the mutants a damage reduction of 6 against all kinetic, slashing and piercing types of attacks.

Mutations: Gigantism, increased physical attributes (strength), increased mental attributes (intelligence),