Thursday, December 15, 2011

Guest Blogger -- Porky's New Monster: The Manitrude [Labyrinth Lord]


Manitrude
No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90' (30') + 30' (10') per initial Hit Dice
Armour Class: 4 (jacket) / 8 (tubers)
Hit Dice: 1d6
Attacks: 1-6 (1 per initial Hit Dice)
Damage: 1
Save: C4 (Improves with additional  Hit Dice)
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: None
XP: 300 per initial Hit Dice

Manitrudes are sentient molluscotuberoids, tough chitinous jackets each carried aloft a mass of dexterous tubers. In immature Manitrudes these tubers are used to draw nutrients from the environment, whether soils, mould colonies or humid atmospheres.

As the creatures develop, however, they become increasingly coordinated and agile and take to hunting ever larger prey, pinning their victims and feeding on their vital fluids by a powerful osmotic mechanism. A mature Manitrude is able to strike swiftly by propelling itself from surfaces, and even distract and mesmerise its victims, reputedly in some cases setting intricate traps; it is suggested by the enlightened that an ancient and adept Manitrude may even be capable of a form of flight in fluids as thin as air, and a rudimentary speech by means of vibration.

The tubers themselves are often damaged in the course of exploration, excavation and pursuit, but rapidly regrown down from the jacket, which itself also grows additional folds as the central nervous system evolves. These lost tubers quickly sprout young Manitrudes into the surrounding space, while the growth of the jacket has led to speculation that Manitrudes are able to learn from their consumption of other creatures, and are perhaps capable of developing immense intelligence over time; scholars hungry for the knowledge they may possess are known to have commissioned collecting expeditions. Manitrudes are long-lived, and may be effectively immortal while possessed of sufficient developed tubers to at least subsist.

In combat a Manitrude will select a single victim and strike rapidly, attempting to enwrap the individual while shielding tubers and victim alike with its jacket. To this end it may leap double its maximum Movement in the first round. For each successful attack by a Manitrude against any target, the hit point lost is transferred to the Manitrude and the target is enwrapped, with the following effects: a) the target suffers a cumulative attack penalty of -1, b) the Manitrude has the number of Attacks available to it reduced by 1, and c) the Manitrude continues to attack this target once per round regardless of its number of Attacks, transferring the hit point each time. Effects a)-c) last until the Manitrude is next successfully attacked by any individual; hit points lost to a Manitrude by a target may be recovered as normal, while the Manitrude adds those gained to its running total, increasing the initial level permanently if it is exceeded. The lower of the Manitrude's two AC values is used when the jacket is placed between attacker and tubers, the higher otherwise and at range.

If a Manitrude is dealt a total of 6 or more hit points of damage with any single blow, its maximum Movement is reduced by 30' (10') and number of Attacks by 1; the Manitrude will then attempt to flee. If the maximum 6 Hit Dice are rolled, the Manitrude may fly for one quarter of its total available Movement when uninjured, and may also attempt communication.

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The Manitrude is the brain-child and creation of Porky from Porky's Expanse blog, working from an illustration by Hereticwerks/Garrisonjames.

5 comments:

  1. Cool creature--and the write-up gets bonus points for using the phrase "dexterous tubers."

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  2. A creature to be feared, nice one Porky!

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  3. Thanks guys. It's not a Hereticwerks write-up if it doesn't push the envelope in language too. I'd worry if I bumped into it for sure, but the interesting thing is just how it might interact. If it's learning from individuals like the characters, there could be a high degree of understanding, but if it's learning from all kinds of sources, or it's exceedingly ancient, who knows..?

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  4. We just discovered this little gem of Porky's which seems perfect for "The Warlord's Guide to Barsoom". I can make an argument that it is an Abmucoid.

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    1. ABmucoid?!? Gadzooks but that's a great idea! Oh what fun this might lead to...

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