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: 1
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 210' (70')
AC: 0
HD: 20
Attacks: 1-6 tendrils or special (see description)
Damage: 3d4 plus special (see description)
Save: 20
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: None

This creature defies definition by the various wasteland scholars who have discussed it. They can't even agree if it is a species or a unique creature, if it is organic, like a colony of insects or a technological marvel such as a colony of nanites.

The creature appears as a thick cloud of just that, thick black smoke.  The size is never constant, going in size from a few feet across to dozens of feet in a matter of a few seconds.

This 'smoke' can move at astonishing speeds, disappearing in a blink of an eye. And because of its nature, it can go pretty much anywhere. Any opening that is large enough to allow oxygen to enter is large enough for the Smoke to enter as well. There is no hiding from the creature.

Another thing about the creature is that it rarely seems to act the same from one moment to the next. It can be completely ruthless, attacking anything near it with a brutality that is terrifying, and yet the next moment, it could simply leave the area, slowly and quietly without harming a soul.

The motives of the creature have never been determined, although it is speculated that it is actually a guardian to someone or a specific location and is able to judge the intentions of those near whatever it is guardian and acts appropriately. This is, however, just pure speculation.

In combat, the creature can produce 1-6 tendrils per turn that it uses to attack anyone near it. Each time the tendrils of smoke hit, it is with such force that the victim must make a save versus stun or be not only knocked prone, but stunned by the attack for 1d4 rounds.

If a foe is particularly tough or troublesome, the creature will simply envelop it completely, cutting off the oxygen and will enter the victim's body through any orifice it can find. No attack is required when it attempts this, and the victim is allowed a save versus death. If the save succeeds, the victim manages to avoid the attack and can move freely.

If the save fails however, the Smoke envelops the victim and will proceed to cause 3d6 damage per round as it literally rips the victim apart piece by piece from the inside out, as well as from suffocation. It will continue to use this form of attack until the creature is dead or until the monster decides to release the victim (which isn't often), or if it takes enough damage.

Finally, this strange creature is able to lift creatures weighing up to 1000 pounds and hurl them away. It can hurl a 100 pound creature up to 100 feet. Heavier creatures will be hurled shorter distances, while lighter creatures even further away. Treat a hurled creature as if it was suffering from a fall.

This requires a grapple check (if the Mutant Lord is using any sort of grappling system, or see Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 11: Optional Combat Rules). If the Mutant Lord doesn't have such a system in place, it will be strength versus strength check, with the Smoke having a strength equivalent of 30. Roll 1d20 and add the strength. Highest roll wins.

If this monster has a creature in a grapple, it can toss it around like a rag doll, smashing the unfortunate victim into the ground, walls, trees, what have you. Each round that it smashes the victim, it takes 6d6 points of damage. Every round the victim is allowed a grapple check to break away.

This creature is completely immune to all manner of physical attacks. Gun fire, melee weapons, and so forth seem to just pass through the creature without any effect. The only way to affect the creature is through explosions, fire, and energy based attacks. Even then, it is hard to have any visible effect on the creature (thus the very low AC),

It is also unknown if the creature has any sort of sentience that most dwellers in the wastes recognize as such. No attempts at neural communication have ever been successful, as well as verbal speech and many other forms of communication have all failed.

Lastly, no one has been able to ever tell if they have successfully destroyed one o these creatures or not. For what the denizens of the wastes know, it could be a unique creature that even after is appears to have been wiped out once and for all, shows up again in anywhere from days to years in another location somewhere in the wastes.  All that is known for certain is that if enough damage is dealt to the creature, it appears to dissipate and the attacks end.

Mutations: Metamorph (special)

Source: Lost - Season 1: Pilot (2004)