New Mutant Monday # 40 - Doom Circles

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: N/A
AC: 5
HD: 14
Attacks: Special, see description
Damage: Special, see description
Save: L14
Morale: N/A
Hoard Class: Incidental

At first glance, these appear to be mushrooms which grow in a near-perfect circle, typically about 10 feet in diameter. The fungus produces a powerful pheromone which attracts all manner of life to come and stand in the center of the circle. This effect has a 50’ radius, and anything coming into that radius must make a saving throw versus poison. Those who fail will step into the circle and stand there unmoving no matter what happens, for 2d4 rounds, at which time they are then attacked by the mushrooms. A typical ten foot radius can hold 4 human-sized creatures. If the radius is filled, then those who failed will remain outside the radius until anything inside is killed.

Each mushroom will fire a single ray of laser energy (which is stored when they absorb energy from the sun each day). Anything standing in the circle will be subject to 3d6 beams, each doing 1d4 points of damage. After the first round, only 1d6 will be able to fire each following round. They will always concentrate on a single target, even if there are four targets inside the circle.

Once a victim has been killed, any waiting outside will then step into the circle and will be subject to the laser attacks. Creatures who are unaffected by the pheromones will be able to attack the mushrooms freely. The mushrooms are not defenseless however, as they are immune to any and all energy-based attacks. To make matters worse, if hit by an energy attack, there are two possible effects. First, they attack will be re-directed at the attacker, with no to hit roll required. The other is they will absorb the energy, allowing 3d6 to fire their laser blasts at anything standing in the circle, and instead of only 1d4 damage, each blast will do 2d4+1 damage, but only on the following round.

The mushrooms will gain nourishment from the decomposing bodies within the circle. Once every four days they will release a spore-cloud, which will travel on the winds until the spores settle upon a corpse, at which time the spores will take hold and grow a new circle. It should be noted that the circle is a single fungal growth, even if it has many mushroom stems.

Consuming the dead mushrooms will give the user a damage reduction of 5 points against all types of energy-based attacks for 2d6 hours. If the consumer has an energy-based mutation attack, on top of this damage reduction, the user will find their energy-based attacks are increased by +2 per dice for 2d6 hours.

A single growth of this fungus will produce 2d4 doses for consumption.

Mutations: Energy ray, fragrance Development