Swamp Devil

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: 1d4
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40')
                     180’ (56’) Swim
AC: 3
HD: 10
Attacks: 2 punches or 1 stomp and 1 vine attack
Damage: 2d6 / 2d6 or 3d8 / 1d6 plus special
Save: L8
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: None

The toxins and mutagenic compounds released during the wars that ended civilization not only destroyed many species, but also gave birth to many more. Not a single location on the planet was spared from the mutagenic touch of these compounds. Several humanoid-like plant mutants evolved into entirely new species in the wetlands and swamps of the world.

The mutant plant that has been dubbed the Swamp Devil is but one of the many mutant creatures that can be found. The creatures appear to be massive ten foot tall humanoids constructed completely out of twigs, vines and leaves. A good estimate of the weight of these creatures would be approximately 300 pounds.  These creatures have vaguely humanoid forms, with two arms, legs a torso and a head. The head is barely more than a round lump shaped somewhat like a skull, with two bright eyes which can be seen glowing clearly, even during the daylight hours. 

These creatures need two things to survive… they need plenty of water, the murkier the better (a lot of the nutrients that the creature needs to survive are found in the mud contaminated water), as well as blood.

Although barely sentient, the creature displays a very evil nature. They seem to take great delight in terrorizing their victims before they finally wrap them up in their vines to drain away the blood from the body.

They have been known to lay in wait for days in water choked with weeds and other debris, biding their time until some unwary creature comes close enough for the creature to spring its trap, bashing the target into unconsciousness and then wrapping it up in its vines to drain away the bodily fluids.

These monsters have a 3 in 6 chance of surprising a target if the creature is moving through water or swamp. They will take this advantage to pummel the target, inflicting as much damage as they can. They will then wrap their vines around the target, one per round. Each vine has to make a successful to hit roll, and once it has latched on, the only way it can be removed is by cutting it (doing at least 4 points of damage and the vine has an AC of 1) or by pulling it off with brute strength. The creature has an effective strength of 18 for strength versus strength contest.

Each round that the vine is attached, it will drain 1d6 hit points of blood or other body fluids from the target. To make matters worse, the creature regains these hit points if it has suffered any damage. Unlike Vampiric field, the creature cannot gain a reserve of hit points. Each creature has 1d6 plus 4 of these vines and they grow back at the rate of 1d3 per day (that is if any are cut off or otherwise destroyed).

If both of its punch attacks hit in a round, the target must make a save versus Stun or be knocked to the ground, giving it an immediate stomp attack for free.

These mutant plants are sexless, and reproduce through seeds. Every year at the end of the winter cycle, the creatures will produce 5d6 seeds. The seeds take 30 days to mature, growing to be about four inches in diameter and weighing only a quarter pound. Once they are mature, the mutant plant picks them from its body and drops them into bodies of water that have fast moving currents.

The currents carry the seeds away and eventually they get lodged in the muddy bottom or the shoreline, where they begin to grow. It takes 5 years for the creature to grow to full maturity, at which time they can survive on the nutrients in the water alone. They gain 2 hit dice per year and once they reach the 10 hit dice, they can pull out from the ground and move around freely. It is also at this time that their plant bodies need blood from other creatures to survive.

These creatures have no use for technology and never hoard any items or objects they find.

Mutations: chameleon epidermis (special), dietary requirement change (blood), modified vines and roots (special, see description).

Source: Swamp Devil (2008)