Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bloat-Puffers of Ain 4 [Humanspace Empires]

No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Inimical
Movement: 60' (20')

Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 9
Attacks: 2 (Corrosive Vapors or Engulf)
Damage: 3d8 or Swallow (3d6/turn within the beast's digestive system)
Save: L6
Morale: 10
Vile and wily macrobial predators that shroud themselves in corrosive vapors, Bloat-Puffers are vicious ambushers who use crude but effective tactics to trap their prey within shattered installations and ruined buildings. Psychically transparent*, Bloat-Puffers hungrily seek out the most intelligent prey available so that they might assimilate their prey's brain and nerve tissues into an ever-growing tumor-like pseudo-cortex that is distributed through-out the entire colony-creatures interior fluids. They also maintain the partial skeleton of their last victim, suspended in a special fluid-sac where it floats like a macabre mannequin. It is suspected that the skeleton is kept not as a trophy, but as some sort of internal referent for the dissolved cortex, so that accumulated tissues and memories of their assimilated victims have some sort of familiar referent thus making them more tractable and controllable.

A Bloat-Puffer tends to be 10' in diameter for every HD, some specimens have been observed in the Northern Wastes by drones that are estimated to be more than 200' in diameter, but that could be a faulty interpretation brought on by all the weird interference in the area...

When a Bloat-Puffer attacks, it spews approximately one-third of its mass toward the victim and can extend this pseudopodic assault 10' outwards for every HD it possesses, thus a 9-HD Bloat-Puffer can strike out to 90' with an engulf attack. The corrosive vapors that constantly roll off of the gellid flesh of the thing are effective out to 30' range before they are too dilute or diffuse to do much real harm.

They are big, clever and can cling to just about any surface, including ceilings and walls, a favorite tactic in places that can support their massive bulk. Another favored tactic that some Bloat-Puffers will use is to wait at the top of an incline or ramp and then come rolling down upon their prey at high speed, like a gooey juggernaut...

*Psychic Transparency means that the creatures cannot easily be detected by psychic means, and are immune to most psychic attacks, and cannot be communicated with via telepathy, empathy or any similar discipline/technique.

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