Creepy Mutant Plants

Well, I’ve spent the first few days of Spring Break on a combination of being lazy and resting from being sick while not being able to take any time off from work. I’m finally starting to feel better, so it’s time to start doing things I’ve been putting off. First up, this post featuring two new mutant plants for Mutant Future.

Bloodcap

Bloodcap, a mutant fungus, resembles a pale blob that produces thick, crimson jelly from cavities in its irregularly shaped cap. A single bloodcap grows to about two yards across almost always on the ground near some larger plant. While the bloodcap itself is immobile, its jelly oozes slowly. A bloodcap feeds on the carbon found in adipose tissue, the connective tissue in which fat is stored in animals. A bloodcap’s body acts much like an auditory organ. By rapidly expanding and contracting its blobs of jelly, a bloodcap produces sucking noises which it uses as a form of echolocation.

When a bloodcap detects a potential source of food, it spews a glob of acidic jelly out to a range of 45 feet as a ranged attack with a +2 bonus to hit. If the jelly misses or falls short, it oozes toward the nearest. A blob of jelly inflicts 3d6 points of damage from its highly caustic acid that rapidly breaks down the bonds of molecules containing carbon, attacks as a 4-HD monster, and has a 9 AC and 4 hit points. A successful bare-hand or similar attack against a blob of jelly exposes the attacker to the blob’s acid. The blob absorbs adipose tissue from its victim and then oozes back to the bloodcap to deliver the nutrients.

No. Enc.: 1d8
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: None, or 30′ (10′) for jelly
Armor Class: 9
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1
Damage: 3d6 (acidic jelly)
Save: L2
Morale: None
Hoard Class: None
XP: 245

Mutations: Dermal Acid Sap; Full Senses (Echolocation, Hearing); Unique (Acidic Jelly)

Flying Drosera

The flying drosera is an intelligent, carnivorous plant. It resembles a fleshy vine covered with stems that excrete a viscous, clear fluid from their tips. This fluid is a paralytic poison used by the flying drosera to disable its prey. The monster follows up a successful poison sap attack by constricting its prey like a python (regardless of whether the prey is paralyzed by the initial attack). Most of the time, this monster moves by slithering, but via mental power it can fly at a speed equal to its Will times 10 feet per round.

Flying droseras live in small packs, usually high up in the boughs of the larger trees in their forested hunting grounds. These monsters communicate with each other via clicking and body posture. While they have no need for treasure, they understand the bargaining power of coins and technological artifacts. Communication with flying droseras is difficult, but it is not unknown for these monsters to offer treasure to appease powerful, intelligent creatures.

No. Enc.: 1d4 (2d4)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120′ (40′), or fly (3d6 x 10′)
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks: 2 (poison sap, constrict)
Damage: Class 11 poison/2d8
Save: L6
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: VI
XP: 1,320

Mutations: Dermal Poison Sap (Class 11); Free Movement; Full Senses (Hearing, Sight); Psionic Flight

March 16th, 2016  in RPG 1 Comment »

Inevitable

Today’s daily prompt of “Inevitable” comes from this site. I got about 350 words in just over eight minutes.

Another Sunrise

“Be careful,” I said. “Step up or you’ll hurt yourself.”

Hank whimpered, hands groping through the air, feet shuffling over pine needles and dirt. He tried to talk, but the knotted rope I’d tied around his head and between his teeth made that impossible. Unsteadily to be sure, Hank made it up over the rocks.

“We’re almost there.”

It had been slow going. It was never easy walking my victims up to the edge, what with their hands tied together and the bags over their heads, but the effort was worth it. Worthwhile acts are difficult.

“You can’t really blame me,” I explained, guiding Hank around the trees by yanking the rope around his waist in the direction he needed to walk. “I’m not like other men.”

He started crying again. The sound made me smile. I spoke up a little so that’d he be able to hear me over his sobs.

“Imagine, Hank, if you can, what it would be like living on an alien world. A world where the rules about polite behavior, about right and wrong, were the opposite of what you knew in every fiber of your being to be true. Can you try to imagine that?”

Hands groping blindly, Hank stumbled a bit. I waited for him to regain his balance.

“Try, Hank. This is important.”

Hank nodded, a frantic jerking of his head.

“I’m like that alien, Hank. Your world’s rules aren’t native to me. You see a puppy or a baby, you instinctively want to pat it on the head. Right? Of course, I’m right. Well, Hank, when I see a sanctimonious sack of crap like you, I want to kill.”

Hank choked out a strangled sound, almost musical. We’d arrived at the top of the ridge. The sun was just coming up, crimson spreading across the sky like blood draining from a slit throat.

“It’s inevitable, Hank. Beautiful and inevitable.”

Hank screamed until he hit the rocks at the base of the ridge. I sat down to enjoy the sunrise.

March 5th, 2016  in RPG 1 Comment »

First Light

I found this PDF of 365 writing prompts on-line. This morning, I hit 314 words on the prompt “First Light”. Yesterday, I posted the first part of a short story I’m trying to write. The story started as an eight-minute writing exercise. As I get more done, I’ll update the PDF at the Google Drive link.

Crawl

“Shh.”

My baby mewled again. He was hungry. I was hungry. We had to have food, which meant I had to crawl. All around us, total darkness pressed in. Squatting next to my son, I could feel the rough wall against my back. I knew the ceiling was just inches above head. I had to crawl.

I wrapped my son tighter in his blanket and then slid him into the hole I’d dug in the wall near the floor. He would be safe there. Scared, hungry, alone, but safe. Steeling myself against his cries, I did what I had to do. I crawled.

Through the blackness, feeling my way along with my shoulders. Left at the first intersection. Right at the next. When the floor turned from stone to loose earth, I knew it was time to dig. I couldn’t use the same hole as last time. They’d be watching. Each time I had to go farther, leave my son alone longer.

Dirt and stone rained down on me, sliding across my face, as my fingers dug into the ceiling above me. I felt something hard, the edge of an oblong box. It was heavy, and there was little room to slide it, so I changed the direction of my dig. A few minutes later, I squeezed around it, having hollowed out a large enough space, and so I continued to worm my upward. My tongue was coated with dirt, but I didn’t spit. I was making enough noise as it was.

Then, abruptly, a clump of earth and grass fell past me, and I could see first light. I could smell the watchers. One of them coughed. Another said something. I didn’t understand their language, but what he said made the other laugh. Their guard was down.

Fools. My nails could claw through their guts easier than they clawed through the ground.

February 28th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

The Last Man on Earth

Back to writing eight-minute writing exercises. I was rather ill all of last week and didn’t get any writing done that’s worth mentioning. Today’s prompt: The Last Man on Earth. I got about 376 words, but I went a little over time because I had to get to Ed.

Hey, Toots!

Most of the movies got it wrong. For one, a head shot didn’t necessarily kill a zombie. Take the head completely off? That’d work, but a bullet or knife all by itself? Not usually. The zombies were also fast, strong, and clever. They hunted in packs, and you needed to stay downwind of them if you didn’t want to get sniffed out.

Judith fled. The others fled as well. Stan was nearby, breathing hard, great raspy breaths. Alice cried as she ran. Others shouted. Expletives. Words of encouragement. Someone shrieked and shrieked and then stopped shrieking. Judith didn’t look back to see who it was.

“There!” Phil yelled, pointing to the left. “The school!”

Judith turned just as a zombie lunged for her. She could feel its fingers scrape down her leg, but it couldn’t get a grip on the denim. Phil was in the lead. He hit the door, slamming to a halt, and then pulled hard. The door opened, and Phil was inside. Judith caught the door before it closed. She paused, looked back. At least twenty zombies charged toward the school. Half of the group was done, being torn apart by fingernails and teeth. The screams. Judith would hear those screams again in her nightmares.

“Move! Move!” she shouted, pushing Stan as he staggered into the door jamb.

The engine’s roar announced the truck’s arrival. It was a big pick-up. A farmer’s truck, and it slammed through a pack of zombies, crushing bones and pulverizing muscle. The vehicle fishtailed across the street. The driver gunned the engine, and the truck surged forward. Another zombie caught the front grill in the back and went down under the tires. Judith stood transfixed. Alice ran past her into the school. She was still crying.

A few short seconds later, the truck skidded to a halt just a few yards away from Judith. The driver’s side window was down. Ed grinned at her, a toothpick clenched between his hairy jaws.

“Hey, toots!” Ed said, his eyes crawling down her body. “You remember when you said you wouldn’t go out with me even if I was the last man on earth?”

Judith rolled her eyes, stepped into the school, and pulled the door shut. Some things never changed.

February 24th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Almost Recovered

Well, my grand writing plans last week got squashed under the heel of an awful head cold that has at last faded to a nuisance. Much of last week is a blur. I even missed OwlCon because I forgot which weekend was which. Yay.

This week, I feebly climb back into the saddle. I just got done updating information for my twice-monthly 1E AD&D campaign. I was going to work on details for Safe Harbor, the player-collaborated starting village, but I can’t find the notes or the hand-drawn map. Fortunately, I do have a scan of the latter. Grr.

Next up, a couple of new entries for Swords & Wizardry.

Transfiguration

Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white (Luke 9:28-36).

Spell Level: Cleric, 4th Level
Range: Caster only
Duration: 1 hour

By means of this spell, the Cleric transfigures himself into a semi-transcendent being. His clothing and armor become dazzling white, and his features radiate light and power. Against living bipeds of human size or small, his voice gains the power of Suggestion, but hypnotic suggestions to perform evil actions automatically fail. The Cleric’s ability to “turn” the undead increases. He rolls 2d8+4 instead of 2d10 when attempting to affect the undead, and he affects 3d6 creatures of the targeted type. Those turned will depart and not return for 4d6 rounds.

Thrice-Blessed Wine: A Lawful cleric casts Protection from Evil on a bottle of fine wine (at least 50 gp value). He then stores the wine in a sacred cellar for one year and one day, at which time he casts Protection from Evil on it again. The wine is stored for another year and a day, at which time a third Protection from Evil is cast upon it, thus creating a bottle of Thrice-Blessed Wine.

Up to four cups can be poured from a bottle of Thrice-Blessed Wine. If the wine is consumed, the quaffer is healed 1d6+6 hit points of damage and gains the benefits of Protection from Evil for 4 hours. If the wine is poured or sprinkled in a doorway or window, no evil creature can pass through that portal for 4 hours.

February 22nd, 2016  in RPG No Comments »