New Mutant Monday Series Two #78 - Adimant-Worms

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 3d8
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 60’ (20’)
AC: 1
HD: 2
Attacks: 1 bite, 1 claw
Damage: 1d8 plus acid, 2d6 plus grapple
Save: L6
Morale: N/A
Hoard Class: Incidental

Originally found only in the great Asian alliance, this particular insect is not a natural mutant – instead it was genetically engineered to produce strands of silk which were stronger than steel and yet light-weight and easily worked into clothing.

With the advent of the end of the final wars, many of the creatures were either released or simply managed to escape their confines and survived in the radioactive wilds, mutating further and adapting to the new, harsh environment.

The creatures are really only dangerous in their larval stage, as once they enter their cocoons and undergo the metamorphosis, they are timid, docile moths only intent on consuming leaves and eventually laying eggs for the next generation.

Originally the insects were bred to be fed a special diet of metal-laced leaves in order to produce the special silk which was harvested and used exclusively by the military industrial complex, but as the creatures mutated due to exposure to radiation, they grew larger. The adult moth is about four feet in length, with a wing-span of twelve feet. The creature weighs about fifty pounds. The larva grows to about two feet in length, and by the time it is ready to enter its cocoon, it can weigh up to 100 pounds. The larva is capable of moving only on the ground, and predators find it incredibly tough, and as such generally leave it alone. The skin of the larva is laced with the metal it not only consumes but uses to spin the cocoon it eventually uses to enter its next stage of life.

Until this point, the creature lives exclusively on a diet of plant matter, and metals. The tiny jaws excrete a powerful acid which easily breaks metal down, and they slurp up the remains, incorporating it into their skin. The larval form of this creature continues to consume for a period of six months after hatching. Each month it consumes metal it will gain between 10 and 15 pounds of weight.

For the most part, these creatures are harmless, even the larva, as long as they have metal to consume. They are found in forests or in ancient ruins, which are typically brimming with sources of metal to consume. They are even found in mines and in the mountains where veins of natural metals are located.

If they encounter anyone wearing metal armor or carrying copious amounts of metal, the creatures will attack. They do not care about the organic’s wearing the metal – unless it is a plant, then it’s an all-out buffet!

The creatures will latch onto the target with their powerful claws. They are allowed a grapple check each round, with the creatures having Strength of 16. The claws will automatically inflict the damage each round, and the creatures will gain a bonus of +2 to their bite attack.

Any metal armor or weapons are allowed a saving throw versus acid or suffer 1d2 condition levels of damage. Non artifact armor or weapons will be utterly destroyed in 2d3 rounds, depending on the size of the armor or weapon in question. The ML has the final say in this. This acid will inflict 2d8 points of acid damage per round of exposure to organics.

Anyone wearing armor or carrying a weapon which is subjected to the attack can drop or discard the item in question, but they will still take the acid damage for an additional 1d2 rounds. Base, water, and other such liquids or substances will negate the effect of the acid.

Due to the metal in their flesh, the creatures are very hard to injure, and gain a damage reduction of 10 against all forms of physical attacks, including energy, explosive, and so forth. Psionic mutations still affect the creatures as normal and are not subject to the damage reduction.

After six months, the creatures enter their cocoons, and then spend the next thirty days undergoing the metamorphosis into the adult stage. They then use their acid one last time to escape the cocoon and emerge as adults. They now gain flight 150’ (50’) and their AC is reduced to 6, but they retain their hit dice and lose their damage reduction.

The silk from their cocoons can be woven into all types of armor, increasing the weight by only 10% but increasing the overall AC by -2, and the wearer gains a damage reduction of 5 against all attacks, except those mentioned above.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons), complete wing development (adult only), damage reduction, gigantism, toxic weapon.

Series Two Index