New Mutant Monday Series Two #79 - Explobug

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 2d12
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 30’ (10’)
AC: 3
HD: 1d4 hit points
Attacks: 1 bite
Damage: 1
Save: L1
Morale: N/A
Hoard Class: N/A

Strange mutant ticks which are found in nearly all temperate and tropical forests across the globe. These creatures are feared for several reasons, first and foremost is the fact that whenever they are struck by kinetic energy, it causes them to explode! The second is they tend to attack in swarms, and although tiny and relatively easy to kill, they are able to teleport wherever prey happens to be taking refuge.

The average specimen is only about six inches, and their bodies remain almost unchanged in appearance except for the increase physical size. They are typically a dark, reddish brown in color and have eight legs. There is a large white spot located directly on the center of the back, and seems to have no real purpose.

The insects often lay in wait, hiding in trees and under bushes and other ground-based foliage, waiting for prey to pass close by in order to attack. The creatures then will teleport onto the prey, surprising on a 1-2 on a d6. If the surprise is successful, the creature will then make a mental attack, forcing the prey to completely ignore it as it feeds. If the attack fails, then the target is allowed a chance to spot the creature each round, and if the target has any companions, then they will have a chance to spot it as well.

The bite causes only 1 point of damage and it will drain 1 hit point of fluids per round for six rounds before dropping off. The bite also has the properties of injecting a local anesthetic, so the target will not feel any pain from the attack.

Typically only 1d4 of these creatures will attack a single target, with all getting a single surprise roll. If there are more targets available, or if the target is large size or bigger, then more will teleport and latch on in order to feed.

The natural reaction of many creatures is to swat at the insects, and this constitutes a kinetic-based attack (which includes pretty much every type of physical attack, including claws, bites, arrows, bullets and so forth). Even a single point of damage inflicted on the insect will cause a powerful chemical reaction and it explodes! The burst radius of the explosion is 10 feet, and the insect will inflict 3d6 points of explosive damage. Strangely enough, this does not set off a chain reaction with other members of the creature’s species, so killing one with a kinetic-based attack will not cause the others to explode. Other attacks, such as psionic, energy, toxins and the like will not cause the creatures to detonate.

Sometimes when prey attempts to flee, the creatures will pursue. Even though they are quiet slow, they are fully capable of teleporting at will, and each teleport has a range of 500 feet. They do not have to have line of sight, as the insects instinctually know where they can and cannot teleport, and this mutation will never fail. So if a group of the insects is particularly hungry, they will chase down a target and can teleport through anything to get at it, except for energy barriers such as force-screens and the like.

Some survivors in the wastelands have figured out a way to domesticate these insects and as long as they are fed a steady diet of fresh blood and fluids, they will remain docile. The insects are used as a form of biological weapon by these survivors and those who do not know of the unique properties of the bugs often do not live to learn from their mistakes.

Mutations: Clinging, gigantism, neural teleport, toxic weapon

Series Two Index