New Mutant Monday #82 - Siponer

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d8
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 90’ (30’)
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 8
Attacks: 1 siphon or 2 bites
Damage: 1d6+1 or 2d4+2 / 2d4+2
Save: L8
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: XV

It is uncertain if these creatures are human mutants, or insects that have evolved to appear somewhat humanoid in appearance. No one knows for certain, but they are reviled across the wastelands because of what they do.

All members of this species appear to be humanoid, although they are quite tall and gangly. The average member is approximately eight feet in height, with long, double jointed legs and arms. They are completely hairless, with greyish-white skin. A large, bulbous sack covers their back and there is a single, long tube that climbs up the back, disappears into the back of the creature’s skull, and reappears out the forehead. The face is slightly elongated and it possesses four eyes, two on either side of the skull, and a shark-like mouth filled with small, tearing teeth.

The purpose of this strange protuberance is two-fold.  First, it uses the tube to feed off victims. The second is much more terrifying in its purpose. When engaged in combat, the creature will try to grapple a victim. Despite its gangly appearance, the creature is surprisingly strong, having Strength of 15. It will attempt to grapple a target, and if this succeeds, then it will stab the victim with the protuberance. This inflicts 1d6+1 points of damage and injects a class 11 poison into the victim, forcing a saving throw. If the save succeeds, the victim can fight back. The venom only works once per 24 hours so the victim will not require continuous saving throws.

If however the save fails, the victim will be paralyzed and the creature will then feed off the victim, sucking out 2d6 hit-points worth of fluid per round. Multiple creatures can feed from the same victim, hastening its demise. If the creature has suffered any damage, the drained fluids will be used to heal itself. There are no further benefits other than it is fed.

Once the victim has been drained (reaches 0 hit-points), the creature will then inject the victim with a specialized toxin. This will turn the victim into one of the walking dead (see page 101 of the Revised Mutant Future Core book). There are two unique differences however. First the victim cannot spread the virus and turn others into more walking dead. The second is they are used as organic traps by the creature. The victim becomes bloated as the toxin injected converts all the internal organs and muscle into an acidic, explosive soup.

These creatures are under the full control of the creator. They will always be sent to confront large groups that move into the territory controlled by these creatures. Any energy weapon used against the creatures will cause them to explode. Any piercing or slashing damage that causes more than 10 points of damage in a single attack will cause them to explode. When they burst, they will cover an area of thirty feet with the acidic remains of their bodies. Anyone trapped in the area of effect must make a saving throw versus stun or be hit by the acid. If the save is made, there are no further effects. This will cause 5d6 points of damage and will eventually fade away, losing 1d6 points of damage per round until it no longer causes damage. To make matters worse, the acid also acts as class 11 poisons, requiring a saving throw or become paralyzed. Any items carried by the victim must likewise save versus acid (see Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 1 for more details) or suffer 1d3 condition levels of damage.

These creatures live almost entirely in forests, and prefer hotter climes, and are most frequently found in the tropics, although they can be found all the way up and down the coastlines of most continents, as long as there are forests. They live in small hierarchies, with the oldest leading the small group. This one always gets to feed first and is always the first to attack when other beings are encountered.

The homes are typically made from branches and other natural materials, and often are mistaken for mounds of rubbish or large nests when built in trees. They are hermaphrodites, and as such are able to both impregnate and become impregnated. This occurs during the height of winter, and in one week they lay a clutch of 2d6 chicken egg-sized leathery globes. It takes three months for the young to develop, at which time they emerge, looking like misshapen spiders. These creatures flee into the forests, where they will live or die, but eventually they grow to adult size, which takes three years. Once they reach this age, they will converge upon others (always non-siblings, they know at a genetic level) and start a new colony.

They are not intelligent, and act on pure instinct. They have no use for treasure, but often the areas around their homes are filled with the remnants from their victims.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons), bizarre appearance, dietary requirement change (blood), toxic weapon, unique senses (sense close genetic relatives).