New Mutant Monday Series Two #73 - Doppler Mullein

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d4
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: Immobile (see description)
AC: 7
HD: 10
Attacks: 1d4 roots and see description 
Damage: 1d8+5 per root and see description
Save: L12
Morale: N/A
Hoard Class: Incidental

At first glance this plant appears rather innocuous, just one of many similar plants, which live on the sides of mountains and hills, typically located near water. Oddly enough, they are also found quite close to ancient trails and highways, growing prolifically.

These plants can grow up to ten feet in height, and are always perfectly straight. They are fairly thick at the base, tapering to only an inch or so at the tips, with fronds growing close to the stem. The coloration is an emerald green during the spring, fading to a white-tan as fall closes in, finally turning a dead-grey in the winter, when the plant is dormant.

These plants are predatory, requiring the body fluids of other creatures to survive on top of the nutrients they can gain from the soil and water. They prefer to burrow roots into the corpses of creatures they have killed to slowly drain the nutrients and other useful materials as the bodies decay.

These plants attack by waiting patiently for a creature to come within their area of effect. They have a system of roots, which spread out up to thirty feet from the plant in all directions. As soon as a creature enters this area, the creature is attacked by 1d4 roots. This is a melee attack, and unless the creature has a means to detect the plant, this insidious plant will gain surprise on a 1-2 on a d6.

Each root which successfully hits will be lodged in the target itself. In order to remove the root it is a grapple check with the plant having a strength of 12. If the plant wins the grapple, the root will automatically drain 1d6 points of blood per round. This has a two-fold effect – first it will use the blood to heal damage it has sustained on a one for one basis. Secondly, if the creature being drained has any mutations, the plant will automatically incorporate the mutation into its genetic structure.

The plant will gain the mutation in 1d3 rounds, and unless the plant is killed, the mutation will remain active for 1d4+3 days. The plant can obtain a maximum number of mutations equal to half its hit dice score through this method, and it will never gain any drawbacks. It is intelligent enough to understand which is the most powerful mutation possessed by a target and will always incorporate this first, then it will gain mutations (at the rate of 1 per round, no matter how many roots have burrowed into the target), until it has gained all beneficial mutations. Once the mutations fade, then the plant can regain new mutations through this method.

Furthermore, the plant will be fully capable of using any type of mutation – physical, plant or mental. It will also know how to use the mutations but will be hampered by any range, penalties or maximum number of uses.

By taking such mutations, it often allows the plant to become fully mobile and allows it to move, fly, teleport and so forth. Often when this plant is encountered, it will already have an additional 1d4 randomly determined mutations, which can be of any type except for drawbacks.

If the plant is fully healed when it drains blood and fluids, once it has drained a total of 100 hit points, the plant will sprout furry blossoms, which are very similar to that of a dandelion. These seeds will spread in the wind, and will often travel on the air currents for hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles before they finally land and take root.

The leaves of the plant are likewise capable of storing energy, and they often are filled with thermal (laser) and ultraviolet energy, which they have stored from sunlight beaming down on them. Each plant will have 4d12 leaves and each can store up to 3 dice worth of energy. This will be an even mixture of laser and ultraviolet energy, although the ML can determine what other types of energy each leaf carries. The plant can then project this energy up to 250 feet in distance and it is considered a ranged attack. The damage inflicted is always 3d6 of a specified energy. The plant can only fire one of these leaves per round.

When the plant is subjected to an energy attack, it will automatically store the damage inside the leaves, preventing harm to the plant, and it can use this stored energy on the next round to make its own attack. The ML must determine how many leaves the plant has at the beginning of the encounter, and 50% will already be charged. If the plant takes damage and it exceeds the capacity to contain this, only then will the plant release the charges on its next round. Finally in a last ditch defense, if the plant is surrounded, it can release all its stored energy in a single powerful burst. This burst has a radius of only 15 feet but all the energy is released at once and can subject those in the area of effect to multiple types of energy attacks. Doing so puts great stress on the plant and it must save versus death or die from the effort, which could also kill other members of its species which happen to be close by. Even if the saving throw succeeds, it will still lose 1d100% of its original hit points.

It has been discovered these seeds, if they can be gathered before they take root, and are brewed into a tea, can reverse the effects of recent mutation. If consumed within seven days of gaining a new mutation (beneficial or drawback), or if the drinker has been exposed to any sort of toxin, virus, parasite or even drug which would alter the genetic structure, they will be cured.

Mutations: Energy retaining cell structure, full senses, prehensile tendrils (modified) plus 1d4 randomly determined mutations of any type except drawback!

Series Two Index