New Mutant Monday # 60 - Slicks

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120’ (40’)
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 9-30
Attacks: 3-10
Damage: 1d6 per pseudopod
Save: L14 (regardless of total HD)
Hoard Class: N/A

Plants are some of the heartiest life on the planet, returning to devastated locations far sooner than fauna. They are also just as susceptible to mutation from radiation and toxin, and many species have evolved from the fallout left over from the final wars.

This creature is actually a colony of algae, which has become mobile and instead of waiting for prey to enter, it will leave its home and literally chase down their food source. The colony varies in size from 3 (for a 9 hit-dice colony) meters square up to ten meters square (for a 10 hit dice colony), depending on the hit-dice. Each colony will have a minimum of nine hit dice.

At first glance, the creature looks like a large bloom of algae, although it can be found anywhere, which is usually enough to warn a possible victim that something is amiss.

Whenever a target approaches within 60 feet of the bloom, it will suddenly lurch towards the target with shocking speed, hoping to engulf and then melt the victim with the acidic secretions, sucking up the slurry as nutrients to feed the colony.

The slick is capable of attacking with 1 pseudopod per 3 hit dice, and will attempt to beat a target into submission or better yet, kill it so the colony does not have to chase it. Each pseudopod will inflict 1d6 points of damage and if the creature hits with three or more successful attacks, the victim must make a saving throw versus stun or become stunned for 1d4 rounds. If this occurs, the creature will then slide over the victim, covering it completely.  While covered, the victim will suffer 4d6 per round. Any items carried by the victim must make a saving throw versus acid or suffer 1d3-1 points of condition damage per round (see Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 1 for more information).

When the colony engulfs the victim, it will enter the body through any open orifices (nose, mouth, ears, anus, etc.) and contaminate the body. The victim must make an immediate saving throw versus death or be killed outright.

Even if the victim survives that attack, they are required to make a second saving throw versus poison or the colony will plant seeds in the body, which will slowly grow over 1d4 days. Once the seeds hit critical mass, they will burst out of the body through all orifices and immediately consume the body once free, using the acid secretions to melt away all organic material, leaving nothing but bones.

Although this is a plant and not slime, it is vulnerable to all manner of attack. A victim trapped by engulfing can still fight against the creature, and unless it uses an area effect weapon, will not suffer damage from attacking it. The victim’s companions (if any) can likewise attack the colony without having to strike at the colony on the victim. If they do strike the colony on the victim, the engulfed individual will suffer half the damage inflicted.

Touching the colony using natural weapons will likewise cause 1d6 points of acid damage to the creature touching it. This acid only affects the creature touching it for that round and will not continue to burn after contact has been removed.

The worst part about this creature is that it will contaminate any water or food carried by a victim, no matter how well the container is sealed. 2d6 hours after contact with the creature, any food or water will be thoroughly contaminated and if consumed, will have the same effect as mentioned above. The contaminated sustenance must be thrown away or burned to prevent a new colony from forming.

For every 3 hit dice of flesh consumed, the colony will grow by 1 hit dice. Like many similar monstrosities that can be found in the wasteland, the colony will bud and split off a new colony with 9 hit dice. This new colony will travel and find a place to lurk and hunt.

Mutations: Toxic weapon