New Mutant Monday Series Two #66 - Beetle Bats

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d8 or 10d10 (swarm)
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement:120’ (40’) Flying
                  30’ (10’) ground              
AC: 4
HD: 1 hit point
Attacks: See description
Damage: See description
Save: L1
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: N/A

These heavily mutated insects have several common characteristics with the mammal bat – to be specific, the vampire bat. There are those in the wastelands who believe these creatures are horrific monsters, capable of shape-change and sucking the very life-essence from a creature in order to sate their monstrous appetite for blood. This simply is not true, as these creatures are in some ways both dangerous and beneficial.

The mutant insects are only about four inches in length, and weigh a tenth of a pound. They have glossy black bodies, which in light shimmer like gems, making the little creatures oddly beautiful. The back carapace opens and folds away neatly to reveal large, clear wings, which allow the little insect’s excellent speed in flight. They possess six legs, with the back legs being as long as their bodies, ending in tiny, sharp claws which allow them to cling to any surface. The head is inset into the body, providing excellent protection, and from which they can protrude sharp mandibles. These are coated in a slick film which has two properties… first it is a power anesthetic which deadens the nerves as they cut into the flesh to drink the blood. Secondly, it possesses a powerful anti-bacterial property, which upon introduction to the bloodstream, will destroy any disease or organic nanotechnology plaguing the victim.

The creatures have two main methods of feeding. First is they often hunt alone, looking for a single victim to land upon. They will gain surprise on a 1-4 on a d6, and when they land they will bite. The bite causes only 1 point of damage and the victim is allowed a saving throw versus poison. If it fails, the anesthetic properties kicked in and the victim does not feel pain. Otherwise, they will feel the slight sting of the bite, which will reveal the insect, allowing them to react.

If undisturbed, the creatures will suck up to a total of 6 points of damage in blood, draining 1 hit point per round. Once it has filled its need, the creature will detach and fly off, leaving the victim feeling no worse for wear, other than possibly a little tired from the blood loss.

These creatures can also land and attack as a swarm, which makes them far more dangerous. Divide the total number of beetles in a group by ten, and these creatures will attack as a 4 hit-dice monster. The damage will be 1d4+1, and they will automatically drain 1d8 points of blood each round after. Trying to kill the creatures one at a time will often lead to the death of the target, so area effect weapons or attacks are often the beast recourse the victim has. For each group of beetles which successfully land, they will continue to drain until each has sucked 1 hit point of blood. Even a single group, left unchecked can quickly drain and thus kill an average humanoid.

These creatures live as bats used to, seeking underground caves, ruins or places which they can roost and sleep during the daylight hours. They hang from the ceiling, and when they are spotted with light, the ceiling appears to be coated in little jewels, as the shells refract and redirect light. It is quite beautiful to behold. Like bats, the ground is always covered with the slick, horrifying-bad stench of their droppings, which appears as a black tar-like sludge. The stench of these places causes anyone who enters to save versus stun or become sickened, which will persist until they leave the area, at which point the stench will still keep them sickened for an additional 1d10 rounds. The stench covers an area of 1d6+4 x 10 feet radius.

Also, anyone walking or moving through the excrement must make a Dexterity check every round or fall prone. Thankfully the black sludge is disease-free, due to the nature of the creatures.

Finally the little insects mate constantly. After they have consumed their fill, they will pair off and mate. The female will lay a clutch of 1d12 eggs, which are added to an ever-growing mound, which hangs like a stalactite. These mounds can grow in size, containing hundreds of eggs. As such every day there will be 2d12 new members of the community hatching, and they take 2 months to grow to adult size. Once a colony reaches 200 or more members, the latest adult additions will fly away and start their own colony.

There are those in the wastelands who go out of their way to capture and keep these creatures as pets, willingly allowing the creatures to feed off them in order to keep themselves disease free.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons, xenomorphism), complete wing development, echolocation, natural armor, toxic weapon (modified)

Series Two Index