Shuna Sassi, The

Chris Van Deelen

Chris Van Deelen is the author of the Skirmisher Publishing LLC sourcebook Creatures of the Tropical Wastes sourcebook, co-author of its Wisdom from the Wastelands game supplement and contributor to the 'Sword of Kos: Hekaton' Anthology.

No. Enc: 1d3
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 150' (50')
AC: 3
HD: 7
Attacks: 1 (fires quills) or 2 (punch and punch or punch and kick) or by weapon.
Damage: 1d3 (plus class 14 poison), 1d4 / 1d4 or 1d4 / 1d6 or by weapon
Save: L7
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: V (x4), VI, VII, VIII, X

Shuna Sassi are a race of Human / porcupine chimera's that are said to have existed before the end of the final wars, although there is no proof of this and most wasteland scholars believe that they are simply one of the many genetically engineered life forms created by the Ancients. Supposedly, they took their name from the original progenitor as the name of their genetic species.

Physically these creatures appear to be fairly human, except for a coat of thick quills that cover their shoulders, back, head and portions of their lower anatomy. The rest of their bodies are covered with a soft down-like fur. Coloring is pretty much universal across all members of the species, although males are slightly darker.

Due to their physical makeup, they tend to live in the lower temperate or tropical climes, as clothing that isn't destroyed by their natural protection is expensive and hard to come by.

These creatures are capable of taking Pure Humans and Mutant Humans as mates, and any offspring have a 50 / 50 chance of taking after either parent.  Oddly enough, there is never any mixing of the species... it's either a pure Shuna Sassi or takes after the other parent.

Like humans, these creatures have a regular life span and both sexes mature between nine and thirteen years of age, and the females, once impregnated, give birth in nine months, always to a single child. Multiple births are completely unknown in this species.

Despite the odd appearance, many species of Mutant Human as well as Pure Humans find them to be very attractive and quite exotic. This is more due to the fact that they have an ability to control the type and amount of pheromones that their bodies produce. These have different effects, generally anything from getting a positive reaction upon first meeting to driving a target nearly insane with desire. The Mutant Lord should decide the effect and the length of time it lasts, and the target is allowed a save versus poison to negate the effects.

To add to the effect, they are also empathic, being able to tell the general emotional condition of a creature they encounter and can often tailor their pheromones to each individual so suit each occasion.

Unlike actual porcupines, these creatures are very quick and agile, and in combat like to use their quills (which they can fire) from a distance. Most of the time, the fight is over before their opponents even know it due to the powerful toxin that is injected once the quill hits. Fortunately, they are also immune to their own toxin.

Even though their flesh looks normal (and is quite soft and supple to the touch), it is quite resistant to puncturing weapons, and they have a damage resistance of 3 against all piercing and puncturing weapons.

If an opponent is immune to the quills or toxin, the humanoids are also quite adept at hand to hand combat, and are not adverse to using weapons or even artifacts. The only thing is that they are (because of the quills) incapable of using artifact armour. Although not quite as hardy as many other creatures, they are capable of rapidly healing injuries, even to the point of eventually regenerating lost limbs. Like most humanoids, their personalities run the entire range. There are good and there are bad members of the species.

They never live in groups, preferring a solitary life or the life with their chosen mate (if 2 or 3 are encountered, it is always with their mate and / or their offspring).

Mutations: Aberrant form (Xenomorph - chimera with a porcupine), empathy, increased physical attribute (dexterity), natural armour (modified), pheromones, regeneration, spiny growth, toxic weapon (Class 14 poison)

Source: Nightbreed (1990)