This is a monster for a project I'm poking at, sort of like an OSR take on Metro 2033.
Armor: As Chain
Hit Dice: 2
Hit Points: Suit, 4. Subtype listed below
Move: 3/4 Standard
Damage: As weapon while sealed. As subtype when seal is broken
Number Encountered: 1d6
Experience Points: 300
Stalkers that venture up to the surface must protect themselves. They cover any exposed skin, wrap their faces in oiled cloths, and wear gas-masks to filter out the poisons and the fallout. Sometimes, when they have them, or are venturing into hot zones, they wear sealed protective suits, that keep their bodies insulated from the contaminants.
The surface is dangerous. Many stalkers do not come back.
But sometimes their suits do.
They come to the metro entrances, sometimes alone, sometimes in small groups. They know the passcodes, and the names of the sentries. They wish they knew how. They beg to be let in.
Once inside, the first sign that something is wrong, is that they will not take off their suits. Even though their faceplate is fogged up, their voice is muffled, and their suit is filthy. There’s surely a good reason for it. They’ll do it at home. They definitely stink, and they’re going to incinerate the suit once they hit the showers. It’s just another quirk, God knows we all have a few of those.
They maintain it as long as they can. They try to hide the lumps and bulges. They want so badly to be the stalker that the suit belonged to.
Eventually, inevitably, the charade must end. Eventually there will be no remaining excuse. The suit will become unsealed. And once one is unsealed, the others will split open as well. The contents will be released. And then, people will die.
Subtypes of Stuffed Suits
- The Charred
- The Bone Sludge
- The Vermin
- The Plague Air
- The Gears
- The Slime Mold
- The Reminiscence
- The Salvage
As the suit is breached, radiation detectors go wild. The baked, blistered, and burned corpse scrambles through the rent in the suit. It still sizzles with heat. It smells like bad meat coming out of the oven. It flings itself into some poor sod’s arms for comfort, which would be upsetting enough, if it weren’t as hot as a branding iron.
Grab: +2 to hit, no armor bonus. 1d4 heat damage, increasing a die type each round of contact. Save vs Paralysis to dislodge.
Morale: 6, but a failure makes it cling ever-tighter.
The Bone Sludge
It pours out of the suit, a red-ish, brown-ish, black-ish, oily sludge. It smells a foul, sick, and sweet, like boiled candy vomit. Swept along in the flow are bones. Large bones and small bones, fibulae and carpals churn around in the goop. A skull clatters to the floor. The sludge needs more bones. Yours will do.
HP: 8, immune to physical damage
Engulf: +2 to hit, no armor bonus. 1d8 acid damage, and save vs paralysis. On a failure, you are engulfed, and the sludge starts eating your skin away to get to the bones for 1d12 acid damage. It starts with the most exposed areas.
Morale: 12. It needs bones. Yours will do.
They swarm out. Some of them go for you. But some scatter for dark corners and hidden holes. To multiply. You have not seen the last of them. They will topple the fragile ecosystem and stand at the top of the food chain above your picked-clean skeletons.
Those that attack, attack everyone. Don’t be alone.
Morale: 10, 5 after losing half its mass.
Roll 1d8 for sub-subtype
- Bio-luminescent Roaches
They glow. They sound like chalk cicadas, smell like rust, and taste like poison.
# Released: Hundreds
Swarm HP: 25. But you'll need to hit them more than one at a time.
Swarm Gnaw: +2 to hit, 2d6 piercing as they attack at exposed skin
Wing Screech: Save vs Paralysis as the screaming of their rubbing wings drives you into the fetal position with your hands over your ears for 1d4 rounds.
- Snake-jawed Rats
They aren’t limited to taking small bites. Regular rats won’t stand a chance. They don’t squeak; they hiss and slaver. They smell like wet dog dipped in an algae bloom.
# Released: 15+2d6
Swarm HP: as number rolled, 1hp per rat
Mass Nibble: +2 to hit, 1d6 piercing. Save vs disease on hit, as the rats bring it everywhere.
- Slightly-too-smart Seven-fingered Monkeys
They might be great pets. They’re pretty cute. Except they’re just a bit too smart. They recognize vulnerability and exploit it. They might pretend domestication, and eat you in your sleep.
They smell like wood chips, squeak like inquisitive door hinges, and recognize patterns far too easily.
# Released: 7+1d8
HP: 3 per monkey
Frantic Clawing: +2 to hit, 1d8 slashing
Hold On To Your Stuff: +4 to hit. On hit, some of the creatures slide their little hands into your packs or pockets. Go down your list of items and flip a coin on each, losing it on heads, until you lose 1d4+1 items. Then the creatures that managed to grab something flee. You’ll have to track the beasts down to recover them.
- Sucker-tailed Blind Cats
They have large, pale white eyes. They stand still, as if listening, or feeling out air currents. And they attack quickly and confidently. When they do, you’ll find that their mouth isn’t where you thought.
They grab their prey with their multiple sucker-lined tails, and bring it under their body, where it is devoured in a quick, bloody struggle.
They smell like cats. It’s anyone’s guess where the mewing comes from.
# Released: 8+3d4
HP: 3 per cat
Bite: +2 to hit, 1d6 piercing
Claw: +2 to hit, 1d6 slashing
Sucker Grab: +2 to hit, Save vs. Poison or become docile for a single round
- Blood-honey Bees
They have red and black stripes, and don’t fly quite straight, as though drunk. They sound like bees do, except when they burp.
They’ll form a hive. Their blood jelly is highly nutritious. If only you didn’t use calories re-making the blood they used to develop the stuff, it might be worth it.
# Released: Hundreds
Swarm HP: 30. But you’ll need to hit them more than 1 at a time.
Sting: +2 to hit, 2d4 piercing damage, and save vs Poison. On a failure, the wound does not close right, and the bees can smell it. They’ll be back
- Drill-beaked Birds
They fly by spiraling gracefully through the air, their long feathers trailing behind them. They attack the same way, burrowing straight into their prey.
They whistle, pitch rising and falling with the Doppler effect as they pass by. They smell like ground oats mixed with copper. They miss the open sky. The longer they stay underground, the more rabid they become.
# Released: 12+2d12
HP: 1 per bird
Peck: +2 to hit, 1d4 damage
Drill Charge: +2 to hit, 1d8 piercing damage. They do better if they build up speed. They’ll try to go straight through.
- Stinging-haired Bats
They hang from roofs and dangle their hair in the air currents. They normally trap and eat small insects, but they’ll nibble bits off larger paralyzed prey as well. And their hair hangs at just about head heights.
They sound like Geiger-counters, smell like vinegar, and sting like direct and prolonged nerve pinching.
# Released: 10+2d10
HP: 2 per bat
Bite: +2 to hit, 1d4 damage
Stinging Hair: +3 to hit, 1d4 damage, save vs poison or take an additional 1d6, save vs paralysis or be immobilized until a successful save. Saves get 1 harder each round the longer contact is maintained.
- Saw-legged Ants
They bite, but you’re already screaming by then. Their tiny legs are sharp and serrated. They’ll make nests in concrete, and search for food to bring home. You’ll want to poison them, and soon.
They don’t smell. They sound like tiny diamond saws, and infested concrete gives off a constant plume of fine dust.
# Released: Thousands
Swarm HP: But you’ll need to figure out something other than swords and clubs.
Sharp Legs: +2 to +10 to hit, 1d4-1d20 depending on the number of ants in contact with flesh.
The Plague Air
The suit deflates, expelling a cloud of gas. It smells foul. By the time you’ve smelled it, it’s too late. Save vs Disease. In fact, everyone Save vs Disease. You cannot fight the Air. Now it’s a question of what to do. Some of you, maybe all of you, are infected. Do you seek a cure and risk spreading it? Do you quarantine the station and let it burn out? Can you prevent its spread? If not, it may take the whole underground.
Time to be practical.
It doesn’t come out of the suit. But you can hear the grinding of metal-on-metal. The whirring of an engine, perhaps. The smell of tarnished brass fills the air. And the sharp, rusted chunks of metal that tear through the fabric, turn the suit into a mass of sharp, jagged spikes. Its waddling lumber might be comical, if not for its clear, murderous intent.
If you manage to knock it to pieces, the suit is full of gears of all sizes. None seem to fit together.
Flying Blades: Save vs Device, or take 1d6 slashing damage
Hedgehog Hug: +2 to hit, 1d8 piercing damage, and target is impaled. No further damage unless jostled. 1d4 per hit The Gears take until dismantled, or the victim is pried free.
The Slime Mold
It’s banana yellow, translucent, and lightly man-shaped, as it emerges. Inside it’s globular form, you can see a brain stem, and a nervous system. If you know what those look like. But you probably don’t have a lot of time to examine closely. You are full of nutrients, after all, and it knows that.
Its skin shakes and vibrates, and as it tries to render you down, it emits “THANK YOU FOR CONTACTING BEREZNIKI CHEMICAL CONCERN, HOW MAY I DIRECT YOUR CALL?” in a loud, pleasant female voice.
Render Down: +2 to hit, 1d6 acid damage, armor does not apply. The Slime Mold gains half of the damage as HP.
Nerve Puppet: The Mold’s nervous tendrils find yours. Save vs Magic. You lose a sense for 1d6 days, but gain encyclopedic and working knowledge of a subject for the same duration.
Sense (Roll 1d6)
6. Roll twice and lose both
Subject (Roll 1d6)
4. Nuclear Physics
6. Roll twice and mash the two together imperfectly
The suit was empty. But now, you remember things that never happened to you. Whoever this was, there wasn’t enough left to make a real ghost. But there were memories. Memories of loved ones. Of days gone by. Of battles. Of places on the surface.
Each person near the suit must Save vs Magic or relive a memory. While they relive it, their body tries to do what they’re remembering. This can be funny, if they remember a long lost lover, or dangerous, if they remember a fight with bandits.
If you saved, good luck reining in those that didn’t.
Stalkers are searching for valuable salvage up there. This one found something. And while he didn’t make it back, he brought something home anyway.
Roll on the salvage table. Also, if you want to drop a fun plot hook in the players’ laps, this is a great way to do it.
Let me know what you think, and feel free to use.