New Mutant Monday #5 - Predisquirrel

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 180' (60')
AC: 5
HD: 6
Attacks:  1 bite, 4 claws
Damage: 3d4+3, 1d6+3/1d6+3/1d6+3/1d6+3
Save: L8
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: None

As strange as it sounds, this creature went from being a simple gatherer to a apex predator. In the wilds of the temperate rain-forests of British Columbia and Washington, massive amounts of radiation and other toxins were released during the final wars. This was nearly always incidental, due to the number of major cities located in such close proximity to one another.

These creatures still retain at least a slight resemblance to their ancestors, but they have grown to monstrous sizes. The mutants are now approximately four feet in length and two wide, and can weigh as much as 100 pounds.  Instead of the usual four limbs, it now possesses six – four forearms and two hind legs. The forelimbs end in long, wickedly serrated claws. The head has become wider, in order to accommodate a total of seven eyes instead of two. There are three on the right and left side, with a final eye located directly in the center of the forehead. Lastly, the creature has developed two rows of inward-pointing teeth, giving it a very nasty bite.

This creature prefers to stalk their prey rather than come out and fight head-on. Do not let this lull you into a sense the creature is not all that formidable. Quite the contrary.  In combat, the creature will stand on its hind legs and first attempt to bite. Whether this is successful or not, the creature will then slash at its prey, hoping to disembowel or at least wound the prey enough for it to finish it off. Every successful strike with the claws will cause the wounded individual to make a saving throw versus energy. If the saving throw fails, the victim will suffer an additional 1d4 points of blood loss per round, per wound. This can be alleviated by binding each wound, which will take 1 round per wound.

As bad as this is, it is not the worst. The creature has incredible depth perception and is nearly impossible to surprise. It gains a +2 to all attack rolls, and the creature cannot be surprised. The central eye is quite special as well. If the creature is standing perfectly still, no matter what the terrain is, anyone looking at it will instead look ‘through’ it. The creature is not invisible, and this only works against living organisms. Robots, other artificial creatures, and even sensors or items such as a scope on a rifle will reveal the creature. This means the monster is able to surprise on a 1-3.

The fur is also quite tough, giving the monsters a natural damage reduction of 4 against all physical forms of attack. Energy and mutations (as long as they do not cause impact or kinetic style damage) are effective against these monsters. They do have a couple of weaknesses. They are very vulnerable to toxins. Toxic weapons, including poisons, cause double damage and any saving throws suffer a -4. Also, the mouth is vulnerable as well. Any physical attack hitting the mouth will not gain the 4 points of damage reduction – all mouth damage is doubled and the creature must make a saving throw versus death or be stunned for 1d6 rounds. Hitting the mouth is a -6 to hit.

They are very territorial and will only stand the presence of another of their kind during mating season (early spring). If another enters their territory, they will fight until one or the other submits or is killed.

Females give birth to 1d4 blind and naked pups, and the offspring will stay with the mother until they reach maturity, typically 18 months after birth. At this point the female ‘encourages’ her offspring to leave and find territories of their own. Despite their size and mutations, these creatures live only for about 20 years at the most.

They are omnivores, due to the mutations and toxins which changed them. They still hoard nuts and berries, but supplement their diet with meat and blood of other creatures.

Mutations: Aberrant form (multiple body parts, natural weapons) damage reduction, dietary requirement change (omnivorous) gigantism, unique sense (see description)