New Mutant Monday Series Two #26 - Fungal Puff Heads

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 2d4
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: N/A
AC: 8
HD: 6
Attacks: See description
Damage: See description
Save: L6
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: Incidental

This mutated mushroom can easily be mistaken for humanoids if the conditions are right. The ancestor of these fungal growths were tiny, only being a few inches in height, and were incapable of movement.

The mutant version of this fungal life-form can reach five to six feet in height, and are able to move – after a fashion. They are able to teleport from area to area, as long as there is soil for these creatures to burrow into. If there is no soil, the creatures cannot teleport into that location.

From all appearances, they look like large mushroom growths, with a white, formless body and a grey, puffy head which has a single brown lump surrounded by a white circle of tougher fiber.  The head often looks deflated, and there are no visible arms or legs. When the creature moves, two arms will sprout from the body, and it can swivel its head and even though there are no eyes or other sensory organs visible, the creature can see, hear and sense the way a human can. The brown lump is what they use to sense their surroundings.

For the most part these beings are capable of surviving just fine without ever interacting with other creatures. If they have discovered a location rich in nutrients, they will often stay there for years, occasionally teleporting to nearby locations in order to allow the places they previously inhabited to rejuvenate.

Sometimes the fungal life-forms will help this process by killing other creatures, depositing the bodies in the open land and allow decay to reduce the remains to nutrients which they can use.

If they are forced to engage in combat, the creatures have three main types of attack. First they can shoot a stream of acidic spores at a target. This has a range up to 100 feet, and is considered a ranged attack. The spores will inflict 3d6 points of acid-based damage, which will continue to burn each round, losing 1d6 per round. The acid can easily be washed off, using any liquid, and has no effect on anything except for flesh. They can use this attack once every 2nd round, and can only use it up to 4 times in a single day.

The second attack is more insidious. The creatures are able to teleport a ‘bomb’. This has a range of up to 250 feet, and when it detonates the ‘bomb’ will have a radius of 30’ and inflicts 5d6 points of thermal damage. The creatures can only use this once per week, and anyone caught in the explosive radius can make a save versus energy for half damage.

The third attack is a dart the creature can shoot. This has a range of 200 feet, and they will have 2d6 darts. The weapon will inflict 1d6+4 points of damage and the target requires a save versus death. If the save fails, the creature will gain the mutation allergy. This will last 1d4+3 days, and during this time the victim becomes vulnerable to a randomly determined substance. Anyone touching or coming within 10’ of the substance will automatically suffer 1d8 points of damage per round until they move away, remove the object, or stop touching it.

After they have used up all their attacks, and if the targets have not been killed as a result, the creatures will teleport away and hide. No moral check is required. The range is 1000 feet and must be line of sight in order to teleport, and they can use this ability once every three rounds, and there is no limit to the number of times they can teleport in a single day. It is what helps keep the creatures alive.

The bomb attack is also a way for the creatures to reproduce. Anything killed by the bomb, or a combination of the bomb and the acid spoors, will sprout 4d6 tiny versions of this creature. They will appear 1d4 days after the death of the creature and this is the only time they are able to move without teleporting. The spoor beings have 1 hit point and a movement of 30’ (10’). They will run away from the corpse and try to locate a place to settle in an drop roots. When they have found a suitable location, they will do so and gain 1 hit dice per month until they reach their adult size.  They are incapable of using any attacks until they have reached at least 3 hit dice, and are incapable of teleporting until they reach full adult-size.

            Anyone trying to communicate with the creatures will find they are completely uncooperative. They will never engage in any sort of dialog, and those who have tried to read the minds of the beings find the few thoughts they are able to touch are so alien as to be damaging. Any being attempting to use telepathy will be subjected to a Will Power mental attack (with the creatures having a score of 2d4+6). If the creature successfully attacks, the would-be mind readers suffers 3d6 and must save versus stun or become confused for 1d4 rounds. An unsuccessful attack on the creature’s part imparts strange and unsettling alien thoughts, which make absolutely no sense at all.

These beings can easily move via teleport to any open patch of ground, and as such they are typically rarely found inside ruins. They need ample water and rotting matter to survive, and although the ruins tend to make excellent grounds for finding corpses, the lack of open soil is a major deterrent for the creatures.

They likewise have no need for treasure or artifacts, and will simply leave such items on the bodies of the victims they have killed.

Mutations: Mind thrust (modified), natural vegetal weapons, teleport, toxic weapon