Tick, Gargantuan

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d8
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 60’ (20’)
AC: 2
HD: 2
Attacks: 1 bite
Damage: 1d6 plus special (see description)
Save: L2
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: None

Gargantuan Ticks are slow-moving and rely on stealth to attack a target, but once they latch onto someone, they are incredibly deadly.

And hideous to behold.

These creatures live in forests and jungles across the globe and thanks to their natural camouflage are difficult at best to spot. The creatures are nearly two feet in length and weigh about five pounds when they are not engorged with blood.  After they’ve been well fed they can reach three feet in length and weigh 15-20 pounds.

These particular monstrosities surprise their targets on a 1-3 due to their chameleon epidermis and have two types of poison at their disposal when they bite. First, if it is clear that the target hasn’t noticed them, they can inject a toxin that acts as a local anaesthetic, allowing them to gorge on the blood of a target without the target knowing it. The second toxin is if the target is aware and the creatures want to feast without being killed. They can inject class 11 poison and paralyze the target.

Once it latches onto a target can only be removed by killing it, or by pulling it off with a strength versus strength roll. The tick has the strength equivalent of 12 for this action. And if the tick is pulled off, it inflicts an additional 1d10 damage from the bite attack in the process.

Removing a tick in this manner is a dangerous proposition at best because the tick’s body is covered in the same class 11 poison, so that a target that touches it has to save or become paralyzed.

Each round that the tick remains latched onto its target, it drains 1d6 hit point’s worth of blood. Like creatures with the Vampiric field mutation, this allows the creature to heal any damage it has sustained and build up a reserve of hit points as well. The more blood it drains, the tougher it gets. There is no limit to the amount of blood the creature can hold.

After feeding, the Ticks will seek out one another to mate. Unlike their ancestors, the males don’t die after mating. They can continue to hunt and feed. The females will use the blood they have consumed to lay eggs in the ground. For every hit point of blood they use, they can create 10 eggs. A Tick female that has consumed 100 hit points of blood could produce 1000 eggs. Infestations of these creatures are not unheard of. Again, unlike their ancestors, these mutants don’t die after laying their eggs.

These eggs typically hatch after two weeks and the larva are one inch in diameter and have only 1 hit point, and have a movement of 3’ (1’). The bite inflicts only 1 point of damage and they can only consume 1 hit point of blood per round. Once they have consumed 12 hit points they can then undergo the metamorphosis that will take them to their next stage of life. They skip over the typical metamorphosis which turned their ancestors into nymphs and become adults.

To top it off, the Gargantuan Ticks are also carriers to a disease. Anyone bitten by the creature must make a save versus poison or become infected by Lyme disease.

Lyme Disease
Save Modifier +2
Infection Duration 4 weeks
Affected Stats: Int -2, str -4
Damage per day 1d4

Symptoms: Muscle soreness, fever, headaches, short term memory loss, loss of sleep.

See Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 8: Diseases and medical options for more information.

Mutations: carrier, dermal poison slime, gigantism, toxic weapon (anaesthetic bite, class 11 poison)

Source: Ticks (1993)

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.