Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Plodder-Shell

Plodder-Shell
No. Enc.: 1d4 (2d4)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 30' (30')
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 1 (Stomp)
Damage: 2d4
Save: F4
Morale: 12

Slow but steady, the powerfully built Plodder-Shell keeps walking at the exact same pace no matter what obstacles it must push through or climb over. They are physically incapable of backing-up, so they will sometimes have to loop around if they miss a ramp or bridge or entrance.

No one need ever tell a Plodder-Shell where to go, they always know where they are headed and do not stop, even when being loaded or unloaded by sling-cranes or rolling freight-derricks. Even when they are asleep, the Plodder-Shell continues to walk onward, ever onward. They never stop. Those who herd Plodder-Shells in order to use them as cargo transports and the like build special circular tracks where the creatures can continue their ceaseless perambulations and still be at-hand for when there is work to be done or a load to carry along.

The great docks that service the Plodder-Shells and their drovers are also set-up as a series of interwoven ring-shaped ramps where special hoists and massive block-and-tackle set-ups are used to load and unload the various platforms, frames, cages, packs and other cargo-carrying mechanisms slung, bolted, hooked or hung around, off of or on to the dense and nearly bronze-hard shell of the gargantuan beasts. Cable-dangling stevedores and other dock-workers like the mallet-men swing and sway overhead, each one striking loose the pins, unlatching the catches and either disconnecting or reconnecting the huge carts, wagons, travois and other load-bearing conveyances towed by the mighty Plodder-Shells as they clomp past. It is a sight to behold, but unless you are cleared by the Union, or have special permission, you're not going to get much of a chance to see this in action. It's a dangerous place to work. Only those with strong limbs, quick reflexes and a high threshold for pain are even considered for hiring. But it does pay well...

No one rides a Plodder-Shell. They don't like passengers and will sway back and forth in an extremely unsettling fashion until any would-be passenger is dislodged or gives up.

Plodder-Shells are immune to all mind-influencing magics, Sleep is meaningless to them, and even if you could Charm one, it will still just keep walking onward.

They are incredibly strong, usually docile and extremely hearty beasts who have successfully crossed vast expanses of desert simply because it was in front of them. They graze upon a form of moss that covers sections of three or six closely-adjunct planes, but how they manage to do this is not fully understood. The young budling Plodder-Shells tend to congregate in clusters around points where two or more Ley Lines intersect, leading many scholars to believe that Plodder-Shells might have some sort of affinity or ability to detect Ley Lines.

Plodder-Shells can pull or push 1d4 tons of cargo per Hit Die, the largest specimens having the capacity to move tremendous amounts of freight at a steady, regular rate of movement. For every 4 HD, the movement rate is reduced by 10', thus a 4 HD Plodder-Shell has a steady 20' movement rate, and an 8 HD Plodder-Shell moves 10' and at 12 HD the thing is just too big to move under its own power any more and so it drops dead right in its tracks.

One other very curious feature of the Plodder-Shell is that when it dies, the creature's body actually decays across more than one plane simultaneously.

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