Tuesday, June 28, 2022

[MCC RPG] Savage Menagerie: Corpse Owl

Corpse Owl: Init +0; Atk claws +2 melee (1d6) or bite +2 melee (1d4); AC 12; HD 3d6; MV 20', fly 70’; Act 1d20; SP necro-animation virus; SV Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +3; AL N; Crit M/d4.

In the Terran wastes, there is no creature more feared and loathed as the Corpse Owl. The Corpse Owl is a virulent disease carrier—one that has been whispered to carry the same virus responsible for the fall of The Ancients.

The Corpse Owl is a large bird (about 1 or 2 feet tall) that, by most outward appearances, should be dead. It’s often covered with wounds and injuries that would be fatal to most creatures. Its body is twisted and torn. Patches of skin and feathers slough off. A sickly fetid odor can be detected long before the Corpse Owl is seen. Corpse Owls are usually found nesting in the highest tree or tallest ruins in the area. Corpse Owls are usually found singularly; groups of two or three are extremely rare. The Owl’s nest and surrounding area is coated in a yellow-green fluid that reeks of rotting flesh and foulness, and this liquid is extremely dangerous...

A Corpse Owl attacks with either its beak or claws for minimal damage. But the real danger of a Corpse Owl is from the disease it carries. The fluids leaking from a Corpse Owl host an aggressive necro-animation virus, which can kill and reanimate a victim within minutes. Even a small droplet of this ichor can infect a healthy victim. If a character is successfully attacked by a Corpse Owl, or if they make contact with this foul substance, they should make a DC 18 Fort save. A successful save will cause the victim to crash to the ground, writhing in agony as the virus courses through their system. Every muscle will lock up for 12 hours and a raging fever will cause delirium and delusions. They’ll also suffer 2d6 hit points of damage as a result. If the save is failed, however, the victim will succumb to the disease within moments, dying within 2d6 rounds. The victim will rise as a Screamer within 1d4 turns (MCC Rulebook, pg. 196). The safest way to deal with a Corpse Owl is with long-range weaponry. Hand-to-hand or close-up combat is suicide.

If a sudden outbreak of Screamers erupts in an area, it could be the work of a Corpse Owl that has nested nearby. It is theorized that an Ancient “bird flu” virus mutated during The Great Disaster, and that the Corpse Owl was the eventual evolutionary vector.

(The Corpse Owl originally appeared on this blog as a Mutant Future creature!) 

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