New Mutant Monday #58 - Cannon Flea

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 2d12
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 90’ (30’) or 1 jump for up to 50’
AC: 2
HD: 1
Attacks: 1 slam or 1 bite
Damage: up to 5d6 or 1d4
Save: L2
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: N/A

The shorelines of the oceans are a perfect home for many different species. Rarely will anything go hungry along the shores, as the deeps tend to give up a bounty of dead for scavengers to feast upon.

Some species has mutated greatly to deal with the lean times that can occur, when the ocean does not wish to relinquish the dead for those to devour. The common sand flea, a little creature that has survived on the shores for millions of years, is just such a species. Before the final wars, these tiny creatures could barely be seen, due to their size and natural camouflage. Radiation and the toxins in the water, as well as the dead they feasted upon have altered them.

The average member of the species is now about a foot in diameter and weighs around ten pounds. The body has a thick shell, covered in spikes, and four small but powerful legs which can propel the creature up to fifty feet in a single bound. The creatures are even more difficult to see now since they have chameleon epidermis, allowing them to blend in perfectly to the background.

They live together in small colonies, claiming a particular stretch of shoreline as their own. For the most part they are harmless, content on consuming the dead carcasses and seaweed that wash up on the shores, but they are also fairly territorial. They will often wait and watch, their shells blending in with the background. If they are not hungry, they will let trespassers leave without attacking, as long as the trespassers do not linger for more than 10 rounds. If this happens, they will attack.

If they are hungry, they will attack anything that enters their territory, attacking from all sides until the trespasser is dead. They are called Cannon fleas because of their attack. They will launch themselves at a target up to 50 feet away and ram into the body. The damage inflicted is based upon the distance from the target, starting at 5d6 for anything up to 10’, and decreasing by 1 dice for every 10 foot increment, until they inflict only 1d6 for targets at ranges of 41-50’. This is considered to be a ranged attack. They can only use this attack once per hour, and after that they can only bite for 1d4 points of damage.

If the flea rolls a 18-20 on this jump attack, the spikes on their bodies impale the victim, inflicting double damage and also allow the flea to automatically bite without having to roll an attack.

Even after the flea has been removed (inflicting an additional 1d6 points of damage due to the barbs on the spikes), the victim will continue to lose 1d3 points of blood per round until the wounds can be tended to, requiring bandages, drugs and so forth, and this requires an additional round.

They also tend to surprise on a 1-3 on a d6 due to their natural camouflage. The best way to deal with these creatures, especially if someone realizes they are traveling through territory controlled by them, is to keep moving and not stop for anything.

Mutations: Chameleon epidermis, gigantism, natural armor, spiny growth (modified).