Thursday, August 11, 2011

Savage Menagerie: Apocalypse Cow

No. Enc.: 4d10
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 240' (80')
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: Special
Damage: Special
Save: L1
Morale: 4
Hoard Class: None

The Apocalypse Cow looks like any other standard bovine beast of burden, except that it has softly glowing eyes and a slight green glow about them. They are incredibly docile and gentle creatures, but--ironically--they are also one of the most dangerous creatures to roam the wastelands. Due to its molecular instability from generations of exposure to radiation and toxins, there is a good chance that an Apocalypse Cow will explode with the force of a fragmentation grenade if frightened, startled, or injured.

The Apocalypse Cow is never found in the wild by itself; rather it is a herd animal found in large roving groups of 4d10 cattle. These herds will be found wandering the plains, quietly grazing, mooing softly. Smart PCs may notice that the herd is surprisingly undisturbed and unhunted by natural predators. An Apocalypse Cow is a very skittish and tense, and stress or a high heart rate could trigger the Cow's explosive reaction mutation. If an Apocalypse Cow is startled, it has a 20% chance of exploding, atomizing the Cow and harming those who are too close to ground zero. This explosion will do 6d6 hit points of damage to all within 60 feet of the explosion. If an Apocalypse Cow is injured, it has a percentage chance of exploding equal to the amount of damage done, or 20%, whichever is higher (i.e., if it takes 30 points of damage from a laser shot, it has a 30% chance of exploding. If it takes 4 points from a thrown dagger, the chance of it exploding is 20% rather than the 4% from the dagger).

An exploding Apocalypse Cow is bad enough. Where the true danger lies is if nearby Cows are harmed when one explodes. When these nearby Cows are startled or injured, a potential chain reaction could be triggered. Example: The initial Cow is injured, and it explodes for 24 points of damage. Those Cows within 60 feet will, in turn, have a 24% chance of exploding. Any of THOSE that explode may trigger other nearby Cows. It is said that Western horizons occasionally light up from the sheer magnitude of a herd of exploding Apocalypse Cows.

Interestingly, the meat of an Apocalypse Cow is very much sought-after as a delicacy and will fetch a hefty price from any food vendor or barterer. Of course, the trick is how to "harvest" the meat without causing a catastrophic explosive chain reaction amongst the herd.

Mutations: explosive reaction NOTE: The Apocalypse Cow is inspired by a number of things: this shirt at Offworld Designs; the radioactive exploding cows found in one level of Destroy All Humans; and the fact that a gentle docile creature like the cow could be a walking timebomb is endlessly funny and terrifying.


  1. "Those eyes...My God...THOSE EYES!"

    Nice work. :)

  2. And here I thought it was a reference to this this poster from Very, if you dare!

  3. Hmmm... I was hoping for something that was "50 feet tall and shoots fire from her teats." And maybe a big blue guy with antennae to save the world from her. ;D