New Mutant Monday Series Two #17 - Vegarep

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d6
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 90’ (30’)
AC: 2
HD: 12
Attacks: 2 claws, 1 bite, and rake (see description)
Damage: 2d6+4 / 2d6+4, 1d12+2, 4d6+8
Save: L16
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: II, IV,X, XII

It has been debated among the wasteland scholars whether this monster is a mutated reptile, or if it happens to be some sort of mutant plant, as it has similarities to both species. Other scholars have hinted at the possibility the Chimerians might be responsible for this beast, having decided to try mixing the genetic code of two entirely different life-forms.

These beasts have a humanoid build with two legs, two exceptionally long arms, a powerful musculature, and a head. The body is covered by what appear to be green scales, with a patch of bone-like growths on the head and shoulders, which extend to two or three inches from the flesh. The scales are not in fact scales, but are instead a very tough bark-like material, which are highly resistant to most types of damage. There are additional spikes on the elbows of these beasts, and the hands have long, wickedly sharp talons. The face is elongated and the beast has no lips, revealing a jaw filled with omnivorous teeth. The eyes are deep-set and look like chips of obsidian. Where the body is not covered by scales, the flesh is uniformly grey and very dense, although not quite as dense as the scales.

These beasts live in small packs, hunting and feeding off the blood and consuming the flesh of the creatures they kill. When food is scarce, they can be found sunning themselves on the rocks and open areas where sunlight is able to filter through the canopy, basking in the radiant light. This will keep the beasts alive indefinitely, but they love fresh blood and meat and will always take the opportunity to hunt.

These creatures, despite having a humanoid appearance, have the intellectual capacity of an animal. They can communicate with each other, using a series of hisses and what sounds like leaves rustling, and those who have attempted to study the sounds have determined it is not a language. The beasts cannot be reasoned with or communicated with. Unless they have recently fed, they look at all other creatures as food, and that is it. If they have fed, they will often watch other creatures moving through their territory, carefully staying hidden while tracking. If the prey makes the mistake of staying in their territory, these beasts will attack once they are hungry.

 They also do not show any interest in artifacts, although they like silver and gold and have been known to coat the surface of their lairs with coins, and will actively seek out such trinkets, as for some reason the color and texture are appealing to the beasts.

In combat, they are quite formidable. They are large and powerful, their claws and bites inflicting heavy damage, and their flesh is very tough to penetrate. These beasts have a natural damage reduction of 10 against all physical attacks, but they will take normal damage from energy and mental attacks. When they engage with prey, they will wade in and slash with their claws, and if both claw attacks hit, they will fall to the ground in a grapple (they have Strength of 20 for this purpose). If the grapple is successful, then the beasts will rake with their hind legs, much in the same manner as a cat. This will take place on the next round after a successful grapple.

When they bite, half of the damage inflicted will be in the form of blood-loss. This is like the nectar of the gods to these creatures. Any damage they have sustained will be healed at a rate of 1 for 1 so if they inflicted 10 points of damage with the bite, 5 points will be blood loss, and they will heal 5 points of damage. If they have not sustained any damage, they do not gain a reservoir of additional hit-points.

Creatures which use natural attacks on the beast will discover the spines can inflict damage. If an opponent attacks the beast from the rear with a natural attack and hit, they will suffer 1d6+3 points of damage from the forest of spikes growing from the back of this creature. This typically discourages others from attacking..

Found only in tropical rain-forests, the beasts are only active during the daylight hours. When night falls, they find a mossy patch of ground and seem to ‘merge’ with the terrain, effectively becoming invisible. Although they are not active during the darkness, they can still attack and defend themselves, but they are at a disadvantage. All attacks are made at a -4 to hit, and their Strength for the purpose of grapple is 10. The advantage is they can surprise on a 1-3 while in this state. 

It has likewise been discovered using any sort of light-based weapon on these creatures will not have the intended effect. Like absorbing blood, damage from lasers or other light-based weapons (including ultraviolet and infra-red) heal damage. Again unlike blood, these weapons will give the beasts a hit point reserve, but this reserve will never be more than half of their total hit points. For example, a beast has 66 hit points, and is hit by a laser. All the damage is absorbed, and the creature gains an additional 33 hit points. All additional hit points are wasted.

Once a year, during the month of June, the beasts become lethargic and will burrow into the soil, no matter the time of day. They will then sprout 2d6 buds, and after thirty days, the buds will fall off the body and disappear into the jungle. The buds are their young, and they appear as small, four armed seedlings. The buds will travel until they find a corpse, which they will then burrow into and feed off the blood and decaying matter. They will gain 1 hit dice per day until they reach 4 hit dice, which means they have consumed all the matter available. At this point the creatures will leave and begin to hunt like the parents. It requires 2 full years for the beasts to reach maturity.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons, xenomorphism), immunity (modified), natural armor (modified)