New Mutant Monday Series Two #38 - Plains Walker

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d12
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement: 90’ (30’)
AC: 6
HD: 5
Attacks: 1 bite and 2 claws
Damage: 1d4-/ 1d6 / 1d6
Save: L5
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: III, 1d4 pieces of jewellery (50%), 1d3 gemstones (35%), X, XII

These mutated Hyenas’ were originally found on the massive, radioactive plains of Africa, but recently have made an incursion into the plains of the continental United States. No one is certain how they managed to do this, although some believe they found a working gateway or matter-transmitter and were able to make the crossing through that means. After all, they are found nowhere else across the ruined globe.

These mutant beasts are significantly larger than their ancestors, averaging around six feet in height and weighing in excess of nearly three hundred pounds. They still retain a similar body-structure to their ancestors, but the front paws have developed into fully-functional manipulative appendages, including opposable thumbs.

And they are intelligent. The creatures possess a human-level intellect and as such many believe they were touched by the Uplift virus, which is responsible for the appearance of so many intelligent species across the globe.

Like their ancestors, these creatures live together in small packs, typically about a dozen or so individuals. They are always led by the strongest and fiercest member of the pack, and any member can attempt to take over as leader of the pack at any time. Unlike many other pack-animals, if the leader is disposed, he or she is not killed or exiled, but simply absorbed back into the pack. This can often lead to the former pack-leader reasserting itself down the road. The males are the hunters, and the females are the scavengers, as they both constantly seek to find enough food to feed their pack. They live a nomadic life-style, constantly on the move, following prey and scavenging across the plains. They use tents and other such structures for their shelter, and the creatures possess few belongings, as they want to be able to pack up and move at a moment’s notice. Despite this, the creatures do value coins, gems and jewellery, and will often festoon their bodies with any jewellery they discover or happen to conveniently ‘find’.

Those who encounter these creatures rarely realize what they are actually dealing with. The mutants are capable of changing shape and are able to take on the form of humans. Even in this form they have a mussy, unkempt appearance, and there typically is a strong odor of carrion around them. They are gruff and blunt, and more often than not come across as rude and crude, and as such many believe they are nothing more than primitive tribals.

These mutants are willing to trade, always looking for meat and domesticated animals (which they can purchase if need be and butcher later). They are also more than willing to hire themselves out as guides and assistants for those trekking across the plains, although more often than not if the person or group hiring them will end up disappearing – straight into the bellies of the pack. This will only happen if the individual or group appears to be weak. They have nothing but contempt for the weak, but have great respect for the strong and powerful.

When the beasts engage in combat, they often take the unwary by surprise. They are able to modify their claws, coating them in a substance which appears to be metal and increasing the damage the natural weapons inflict. Furthermore once per fight, they will suddenly spring into a whirling dervish-like dance, gaining an additional three claw attacks per round for three rounds.

On top of this, the beings will laugh manically during combat, and those who hear it (200 foot range, centered on the being laughing), must make a save versus stun or be frightened. If the saving throw fails by five or more, the target will flee at their maximum movement rate for 2d6 rounds in a random direction. If they cannot flee, they will fall into a catatonic state for the same length of time. Those who simply fail the roll suffer a -2 to hit, +2 to their AC, and -2 to further saving throws for 2d6 rounds. It does not matter how many of the creatures cackle like this, only a single roll is required by anyone hearing the sound.

Another reason these mutants will take the form of humans is with one another, they are infertile. It does not mean they will not mate frequently and with much gusto, but if they want to increase the membership in their pack, the females will always seek out strong and mutation-free human males. Sometimes they will attempt to woo the men, although this can be rather difficult since the females tend to be as gruff and rude as their male counterparts, other times they will capture a male and take him back to the tribe, where each female will in turn mount him and mate until she has become impregnated. After which he will be killed and devoured by the tribe. The males of the species are likewise able to impregnate human females, although they find it is much easier to simply mate, kill and eat them than deal with a human female carrying their offspring.

It has been known to happen from time to time and on these rare occasions the female is cared for by the pack until she has given birth. Unlike males who are then killed and eaten, those who have been cared for by the pack are then dropped near the nearest human settlement and allowed to live. The offspring are always taken by the pack.

The young always are born looking like pups, and will stay in this form until they reach puberty, which occurs around the same time as a human child, although they can speak, albeit garbled, while in this form. These creatures have typical human life-spans as well.

Mutations: Aberrant form (xenomorphism), accelerated natural attacks, alter natural weapons fear generation (modified), metamorph (modified)

 

Accelerated Natural Attacks

Physical

The mutant is able to speed up the number of attacks it gains per round. For a short period of time it is able to gain additional attacks with only its natural attacks (claws, bite, horn, and so forth). The mutant will gain twice the number of natural attacks it gets, but this will last for only 1d6 rounds. It can use this ability once per six hours.

Alter Natural Weapons

Physical

This mutation allows the mutant to enhance or otherwise alter the natural weapons it or another creature possesses. This is always considered a touch-based attack against targets which are unwilling to have their mutations changed. The effects are based purely upon the Will Power score and are described in the chart below. Note only one type of alteration may be made at any time, with one exception (see table).

 

Alter natural weapons table

Will Power Score

Modification

Effect

03-10

Enhanced damage

The damage is increased by one plus the power score per dice.

11-15

Increase Size

The mutant can create a larger natural weapon than is normally found on a creature its size. It can use the next category size for damage. For example, a humanoid mutant creates claws, which do 1d6. With this option the mutant can use the claws as if he was a large creature, doing 1d8 damage

16-20

Ease of use

The creature gains a one plus the power score modifier to hit  when using the ranged weapon.

21+

Extra modification

The mutant can modify a single natural weapon with all of the above modifications

Series Two Index