New Mutant Monday #85 - Fengchao Xinshen

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement: 90’ (30’) Psionic flight
AC: 6
HD: 6-24
Attacks: Special, see description
Damage: by mutation – see description
Save: L6-20
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: XVII

When first encountered, one believes they have come across a pile of severed heads. That is exactly what they appear to be, slack jawed, cataract covered eyes and mottled skin. Those who know the legend of these creatures will take that opportunity they have been given to run, and run as fast and as far as they can, that or hit the group of severed heads with an exorbitant amount of explosive weapons and hope that it is enough to destroy them all.

Some believe that this collective of minds was an experiment in transcendence gone horribly wrong either in a hidden laboratory in the United States, or maybe it was created as a terror weapon which could double as an intelligence gathering tool by a rogue nation located Asia. No one has any knowledge and this is one bit of information that the collective will not divulge.

There are always a minimum of six heads in a single collective, and when encountered will have 4 plus 2d10 heads in total. Each head will provide one hit-dice

The heads are not dead – far from it. They are alive, and they are patiently waiting, communicating with one another and expressing ideas and thoughts as they wait for other intelligent beings to come close enough to be noticed.

Any creature with an Intelligence of six or better are detected and quietly analyzed as soon as they come within 500 feet of this creature. The heads take 2d6 rounds to decide if they want to have the mind of the newcomer join them or not. For every point of intelligence over 8, there is a 5% chance they will decide that it will be worthy of joining. This chance increases by 10% for every non-drawback mental mutation possessed by the creature.

If the potential victim leaves the 500 foot radius before the creature has made up its collective mind, they are safe. If the collective mind decides they want the creature to join them, they are in grave, grave danger.

Although individually easy to destroy, as a whole the creature is incredibly dangerous. The creature has a collective Will Power of 18 plus 1 point for every two heads. It has no actual physical means of attack, but instead has several different mental mutations that it can use. First it will use mental stun attack, in order to immobilize the victim. This is a mental attack and if successful, the victim will be stunned for twenty rounds minus the victim’s Will Power score (always at least one round). After this, the collective mind will use disintegration on the victim. If the attack succeeds, the body is destroyed, but the head and mind is left untouched. The collective will then use their neural telekinesis to bring the head into their midst, where a tentacle will shoot out from the stump of the nearest head and burrow into the neck of the latest addition, adding its intelligence and mental mutations to the collective.

While these attacks are taking place, the other heads in the collective will use neural thrust, ancestral form, control weather, damage turning, force screen – greater, killing sphere, neural telekinesis, possession, temperature control and vampiric field. It can use one of these attacks for every 3 heads possessed by the collective per round. So if the collective has 18 heads, then it can use six of these attacks per round. The ML is encouraged to use home-brewed mental mutations in lieu or addition to the attacks listed.

Sometimes these creatures can be spoken with, but this typically is done using neural telepath, and always at a great distance, as if anyone who possesses this ability comes within 500 feet, the creature will attempt to absorb it into the collective. They can be bargained with, willing to trade knowledge for knowledge, or for the possibility of adding a new mental ability to the collective. They have a 50% chance plus 5% for every head over six that they can answer any question put to them. Sometimes they will trade answers for physical goods, such as treasure, weapons, other goods, computers or robotics, but mainly they will want knowledge, something they don’t already know or possess.

Sometimes they will trade all the wealth they possess for the location of a new and unique mental mutation, which they will want to add to their collective. Although they typically stay in one location, they are fully capable of flying using psionic flight, and will do so gladly in order to seek out new knowledge or a new type of mental mutation to add to their collective.

Oddly enough, even if the head belonged to an animal, once they have severed it from the body, it takes on a human appearance, even if it was clearly of another species. It is assumed that the collective want some uniformity to their overall appearance.

On top of the mutations listed above, the heads always have 1 additional mutation (always a non-drawback) per two heads, which the ML should determine before the encounter beings.

Mutations: ancestral form, control weather, damage turning, force screen – greater, killing sphere, neural telekinesis, neural thrust,, possession, temperature control and vampiric field, plus 1 additional randomly determined mutation per two heads.