Wetland Stalker

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90’ (30’)
                     60’ (20’) Swim
AC: 5
HD: 18
Attacks: Special or 2 (fists)
Damage: 1d10+3d6+ special (see description)
Save: L14
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: None

These creatures are the terror of any who would seek to damage, destroy, or harm the natural order of the wetlands across the wastes.

No one has been able to figure out if these creatures are actually plants, or some sort of mutant animal that has the characteristics of plants. All that is known however is that they are encountered one at a time, and there have never been reports of more than one ever being found in one wetland. It is not known if they are territorial or if one creature chooses a specific location and becomes the guardian of that location.

The creatures are massive. They stand at around eight feet in height and can easily weigh in at more than 600 pounds. They appear to be massive, muscular creatures with thick claws for fingers and three long elephantine tentacles that drape down from the forehead. The eyes are large and ruby red, with no visible sign of iris.

In reality, the creatures are made up of massive amounts of differing types of plants and other swamp matter. They are held together by a nucleus that is kept in the head of the creature, where it’s limited intellect and source genetic code is stored.

These creatures are attracted by emotions. The stronger, the easier it is for the creatures to come calling. Positive emotions are like food to the creature. It basks in the light of such emotions and gains the regenerative mutation but instead of an increase to the healing rate, it regenerates this per round instead of per day.

Negative emotions however, cause the creature pain and it will attempt to drive out, or outright destroy the origins of these emotions. Anything that expresses fear, anger, hostility, and so forth to the creature will be subjected to an acidic attack. Any touch from the monster will cause 5d6 points of acid damage per round. Each round the acid will weaken by 1d6 points of damage until it dissipates completely. The creature can use this attack as often as is required.

In combat, this mutant can use its massive fists to great effect. Anything hit by the attacks must make either a strength or dexterity check or be knocked prone. On top of the damage caused by the fists, the creature will then be subjected to the acid attack. Note that this acid has a chance of destroying armour as well as weapons. If the Mutant Lord has access to Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 1: Artifacts, Manuals and Toolkits, all items must make a saving throw versus acid or suffer 1d2 condition levels damage. Otherwise the items must make a saving throw versus poison, using the targets save.

Due to the nature of the creature’s physical form, most attacks have little or no effect on it. It takes only half damage from kinetic attacks (bludgeoning, etc.) and only 25% damage from piercing attacks (bullets, arrows, and so forth). Energy and mental attacks do full damage, while acid and fire cause no damage to the creature. It is however, vulnerable to cold based attacks and takes double damage from these forms.

When the creatire leaves its home, it will sustain 3d6 points of damage per day that it isn’t in contact with water or other sources of wetlands. Usually the creature is hearty enough to travel from one wetland to the next, where it can set up its territory.

The Territory of the mutant plant is typically 100 miles in diameter, and even though there can be many of these creatures in a particularly large swamp, their territories never overlap one another’s.

The mutant plant reproduce once every decade by budding. The bud appears as a small, almost cancerous growth on the back of the mutant and after two months, it separates from the parent host and drops off into the swamp or water. Here it stays hidden for 18 months, growing at the rate of 1 hit dice per month. Once it has reached its physical maturity, the new mutant plant bursts from its wetland womb and heads out into the world to find a swamp of its own.

These creatures have a special bond with their swamp. They know through their neural telepathy about anything that is in the wetlands, their location as well as their intentions.

Those who wish to harm the swamp are eventually found and dealt with.

Mutations: Aberrant form (xenomorphism), epidermal dependence (wetlands), increased physical attributes (strength), neural empathy (special), regeneration (special), toxic weapon (acid touch)

Source: Man Thing comics

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.