New Mutant Monday Series Two #71 - Squifungi

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 90’ (30’) fly
AC: 8
HD: 3
Attacks: 8 tentacles and one bash (see description)
Damage: 1d3 and see description
Save: L3
Morale: N/A
Hoard Class: VI (75% all types of coin), VIII, IX, XIV (artifacts only, 50%)

It has been discovered that various species of fungus are exceptionally hearty when it comes to resisting the effects of radiation. Many different species remain completely unchanged in the post-apocalyptic landscape, some even seem to thrive on hard radiation, sometimes being the only life found in the hottest deathlands located across the globe. As such, it has led many of the wasteland scholars to speculate on how so many different type of mutant fungus life-forms have appeared.

Most scholars agree the only way such creatures have come about is through direct genetic tinkering, and there are those who blame the Chimerian faction for the creation of this particular type of mutant fungus – and the Chimerian’s flat out deny having anything to do with the creation of this strange form of fungal life.

On average, the typical species of this fungus can grow up to three feet in height, and although they appear to be rooted in place, they are fully capable of moving through the means of psionics. When not seeking sustenance, the fungal growths look like nothing more than large mushrooms, as they hide their tentacles along the stem of their body, meshing it perfectly so anyone not carefully inspecting the fungus will not notice, often with fatal results.

When seeking sustenance, the creatures will lay in wait, typically along trails, roadsides, or even near fields of planted crops – anywhere there is activity. They will watch as creatures come and go and are capable of producing a spore cloud. This has an area of effect of 100 feet, centered on the creature itself. Anyone moving into area of effect is allowed a saving throw versus poison. If it fails, they will feel an overpowering compulsion to approach the mushroom. This compulsion will manifest itself in curiosity, or in more primitive creatures – hunger.  This compulsion will last for only 1d3 rounds.

When a target gets within five feet of the creature, it will literally fly into action. The creature will pull up its roots and fly at the target. It will attempt to wrap the tentacles around the target, with each successful tentacle attack giving the creature a bonus of +1 to hit on the next attack. So if it strikes with all eight tentacles, the first one is at its regular to hit roll. If it succeeds, the second gets a +1, and even if the third misses, the forth will still have the +1, if the fifth hits, then the sixth has +2 to hit and so on.

After the creature has wrapped at least three tentacles onto the target, it will attempt a grapple, with the creature having Strength of 8, gaining +1 for each tentacle. If the grapple is maintained, then the creature will automatically inflict regular damage for each tentacle it has holding the target, without having to roll for damage. Any tentacles which missed will have the creature’s regular to hit roll, but it will not have the bonus to hit as described above until at least one has hit that round.

The creature can either continue to strangle the target with a successful grapple each round, or it can smash its body into the target. This will inflict 2d6+2 damage after a successful melee attack and exude acid, which will cause a further 1d8 damage per round for 2d4 rounds. Additional smashes will increase the length of time the acid affects the target by 1 more round.

Once the target is dead, the creature will imbed roots into the body, and over a period of 2d12 hours, drain the fluids and nutrients it requires. When it has finished, it will plant 10d10 spores into the corpse and then fly away, in search of another location to lay in wait until it requires sustenance.

The spores require 21 days to mature, and as time progresses, the spores will consume the remains, until nothing, not even bones are left. Only 2d10 in percentages (up to a maximum of 20%) will survive. They will have only 1d4 hit points and no tentacles, and will require 6 months to mature to adult size. They can gain the nutrients they require from soil or rotting matter.

It is known these creatures do not possess an intelligence that most other creatures recognize. Anyone attempting to use neural telepathy will find the creature’s do not really possess a centralized intellect – and anything they do detect will be either completely alien, or so unintelligent as to be nothing more than background static. As such, the creatures have Will Power of 12+1d12, and gain a damage reduction of 8 against all forms of psionic attack.

Finally it has been discovered the flesh of these creatures can be consumed, and tastes like a cross between squid and mushroom soup. It is tasty but does not confer any other benefits to anyone consuming the flesh.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons, xenomorphism), flight – psionic, toxic weapon.

Series Two Index