Monday, October 1, 2012

[Mutated Monday] Savage Menagerie: Pincushion

Welcome to the first Mutated Monday of October! Today's mutant menace is harmless if avoided. But contact with one is either a death sentence or the beginning of a new mutation for the victim!

No. Enc.: 1d6 (1d12)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 30' (10')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 1
Attacks: Special
Damage: 1d4/Special
Save: L1
Morale: None
Hoard Class: None

Pincushions are small (2-3 inches wide), land-dwelling animals that look like spiky balls, similar to oceanic sea urchins. Pincushions have no discernible features other than their thorny outer shell. They propel themselves slowly, rolling along upon their spines, usually settling into a small culvert or ravine. The spines of a Pincushion are not just used for locomotion and protection from predators -- the spines are also a Pincushion's means of reproduction.

If any living creature is pricked by a Pincushion, they will first take 1d4 hit points of damage from the injury. The spine will then break off in the victim and begin to work its way deeper into the body. If fire is used to immediately cauterize the wound, the victim will take 1d6 hit points from the flame, but the spine will be damaged enough where it won't pose any further threat. If, however, the spine is allowed to work its way into the body, the victim should make a save versus poison or death. Failure means that the spine has worked its way to the victim's torso where it will proceed to grow into a small nest of Pincushions. The victim will die a painful, agonizing death within the hour as his organs are speared and punctured. Within a week, 1d20 baby Pincushions will erupt from the corpse's abdominal area. Conversely, if the save versus poison or death is made, the victim will suffer another 1d10 hit points as his body fights -- and eventually accepts -- the invader. Within 7 days, his body will suddenly break out with small thorny spines as he acquires the spiny growth mutation (MF rulebook, pg. 26).

Because of the deadly threat Pincushions hold, some wasteland bandits and marauders use them in traps (imagine a covered pit with them or perhaps a simple "bucket over the door" filled with them). Insidious villains have fired them from slingshots at foes they wish to kill in the most painful of ways. They have also been used in horrific inquisitions by sadistic warlords.

Mutations: toxic weapon, spiny growth


  1. Much more nasty than my monster today!

    Love it! I'll have to use this one somewhere.

  2. Cool. The "parasites" issue of Wisdom From The Wastelands had a much more innocuous version. Yours is nas-tay.

  3. I thought a neat concept would be "make your saving throw, get a mutation; miss your saving throw, and you die."

  4. Vicious. Very, very vicious. This is one critter we definitely need to add into the ecology around the Bitter Sea...