Yao Guai

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d4
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 150' (50')
                     60' (20') Swim
AC: 5
HD: 8
Attacks: 3 (bite, claw, claw)
Damage: 1d6/3d4/3d4
Save: L8
Morale: 6
Hoard Class: Incidental

These creatures are mutated black bears and are common throughout the radioactive wastelands of North America and Northern Europe. As with their ancestors these creatures are fairly even tempered and often will flee an encounter instead of fighting. The difference is if someone threatens their cubs or is clearly hostile towards them.

These creatures are just slightly larger than their ancestors, being an average of 8 feet in length and weighing around 700 pounds. They are not pretty to behold, having patchy fur covering their bodies and their eyes are large and glow a brilliant white. Combined with their large teeth and sharp claws, they give off a very imposing visage which often strikes fear into the hearts of those they encounter.

These creatures can live up to thirty years in the wild, and reach sexual maturity around six years of age. Females reach sexual maturity somewhat sooner, around five years of age and when they mate, like their ancestors; they produce between 1-2 cubs, although occasionally they will give birth to a litter of three. The cubs stay with the mother until they reach sexual maturity before they leave in order to discover their own territory.

These mutant bears are significantly smarter than their ancestors, and have the intellectual capability of a six year old humanoid child. The older these creatures grow, the more intelligent they become, but they are incapable of speech. Some wasteland scholars believe that these creatures are the by-product of the ‘Uplift Virus’ (see Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 6: Factions for more information). If they are the genome altering virus was not as successful with these mutants as it had been with other creatures found in the ruins.

Due to their remarkable intellect, these mutants have a near insatiable curiosity and will often watch anything that catches their attention for hours on end. Often this is what will trigger their aforementioned aggression, especially if they see something that will possibly harm them, their cubs, or their homes.

One thing that has been discovered about these creatures is that they seem to have a genetic disposition for the color red. They are fascinated by the color and there have been unconfirmed reports about several of these mutants playing with large red balls or other strange items they have discovered in the ruins.

Many wasteland tribes have managed to domesticate these mutant bears and are treated like members of the tribe instead of guard animals. These bears typically play that particular role but also serve as bodyguards for the more important members of the tribes they have allied with.

When engaging in combat, these mutants employ a modified version of psionic flight , which allows the creatures to appear to leap great distances in order to attack a target. When using this attack, the creatures gain a +2 to hit and any damage inflicted will be doubled. They