The last couple of weeks was all about drones… but today I have something weird from the depths of my warped mind… This one has not appeared in any adventures yet, but has a lot of promise. I see it as a weird adaptation of alien life that could be terrifying in an ocean-based story.
This all began with a “what if?” What if a creature turned itself inside out to eat its prey and protect its young? In its benign form, imagine a creature that looks a bit like a fleshy pillow, smooth on the outside. In that form, it digests its food and in the process creates a buoyant gas allowing it to rise in the water. But to gather the food or protect itself, it unfolds and turns itself inside out. In this form, it’s essentially an inverted stomach with hundreds of tiny nodules that erupt filaments to grab food out of the environment. When it is “full enough” (i.e. all those filaments are occupied), it flips back an digests its food, rising again.
If it has young, it can tuck them inside itself when it turns inside out.
Why is this terrifying? Imagine a cloud of hundreds of these, all inside out. A person, even in a full-body wet suit or A&A’s standard combat armor, would look like a giant tasty morsel. They would stick to him and then try to fold around him, emitting digestive juices which are highly acidic and capable of eating through most substances. Now imagine a giant one of these big enough to envelop an entire person at once.
Creature – Praepostero
- Praepostero (Low-level): Attribute 7, AR2, Traits: Buoyancy (sinks @5m while inside out, rises @5m while buoyant), Grab (Immobilize, Athletics check to break free, Immobilized creatures grant Advantage to Allies); Digest (drains 1d6 HP if immobilized, while victim is enveloped); Tough Hide (AR2)
- Praepostero (Mid-level): Attribute 9, HP 18, AR2, Traits: Buoyancy (sinks @5m while inside out, rises @5m while buoyant), Grab (Immobilize, Athletics check to break free, Immobilized creatures grant Advantage to Allies); Digest (drains 1d6 HP if immobilized, while victim is enveloped); Tough Hide (AR2), Tough Bastard (Doubles base HP), Regenerating Health (Heals 1 HP per turn)
Imagine if some of these had some additional capabilities:
- The ability to emit a cloud of ink to hide within in the dark.
- The ability to emit a cloud of a chemical capable of confusing or even incapacitating a victim in the water.
- The ability to extend those tendrils farther and retract again…
Honestly I can’t get over the idea of a big one of these enveloping you and consuming you whole… [shudder]
Looking for more creatures for your Aliens & Asteroids campaign? Check out the rest of the Creature of the Week series!