Kangaruins

Kangaruin

As a creative type, I am often asked “Where do you get your ideas?” (Well, by ‘often’, I mean, ‘Often when I’m in a generic interview being read the same questions they ask everyone who fills out the form’.) I am even more often asked “Man, do you know how bad your stuff sucks?”, but that’s another issue. Anyway, to answer the first question (the answer to the second question is, by the way, ‘All too well.’), just about darn near everywhere, and surprisingly, not from really good drugs, which I suspect would be most people’s guess. Where was I? Oh yes. Ideas.

A week or two ago, I was watching a documentary on the problem of kangaroos invading Australia’s suburbs. Yes, I know that sounds like a Sci-Fi (sorry, ‘SyFy’) channel “original movie”, or the leadup to some sort of joke, but it’s actually a fairly major issue, as you have multi-hundred pound kangaroos roaming people’s backyards, standing in front of cars like a deer… erm… a kangaroo caught in the headlights, etc. On a few occasions, they’ve even broken into people’s homes, and one such news story got media attention and headlines referred to “ninja kangaroos”. My mind immediately got to work, and produced these critters for Earth Delta, which are not in any way ninja kangaroos. (I do intend to create some more rules for Kangaroid PCs, though… how did I leave those out, anyway? Then you could be a ninja kangaroo, except you’d need to use the monk rules, or the rogue, or something.)

From a design perspective, I wanted to keep these basic — even at higher levels, you need bread-and-butter monsters who just do a few simple things. I also had to embody the most iconic aspect of kangaroos, which is, of course, hoppity hopping all over the place. The two breeds, the kicker and the leaper, are slight variants on each other, power-wise, and their various “knock prone” abilities synergize well. This is deliberate; kangaroo collectives are called “mobs”, and so these creatures are designed to be used in groups, so that as soon as one has knocked an enemy prone, the others can move in and attack, taking advantage of their extra damage.

The “common mutations” section was inspired in two different ways. First, I knew I wanted some kind of “freaky-ass tail” variant; my original idea was to add a thagomizer, but I decided a sting worked better (no reason a DM can’t change that, of course — Earth Delta is all about the mix-and-match). The other was based on some cool fossils of extinct, carnivorous, kangaroos. The mechanic is designed to reflect the idea of coarse, irregular, teeth ripping open gaping, bleeding, wounds, and the restriction for “bloodied targets only” is really more fluff than anything else, but it’s always nice to have a couple of surprises to pull out, to have monster abilities change, even a little, as the fight progresses.

Oh, yeah, the usual disclaimers apply — this is all “fresh off the manuscript”, barely edited, never mind playtested, yadda yadda yadda.


Kangaroos

Kangaroos are group-oriented herbivores that have proven themselves to be quite effective survivors as suburban sprawl engulfed them. After the Cataclysm, they had to adapt to deal with all manner of new and changed predators. They’ve mutated less than many creatures, but have still become much more powerful and dangerous than they once were.

The most common type of mutant kangaroo is known, simply, as the kangaruin. There are several variants and subspecies, and a typical mob will hold individuals of several types, all of which can interbreed freely. Kangaruins strongly resemble slightly larger, slightly rougher and more scraggly versions of their ancestors, with one interesting exception — their arms have shriveled to near-useless stubs.

Kangaruin Leaper

Kangaruin Leaper

Level 16 Skirmisher

Medium natural beast

XP 1,400

HP 154; Bloodied 77

AC 29; Fortitude 28; Reflex 30; Will 27

Speed 6, Jump 6

Initiative +17

Perception +12

Low-Light Vision

Traits
Jumper
Kangaruins can clear obstacles up to 3 squares high as part of their move action if they jump.
Hop On Top
The kangaruin leaper does +2d6 damage against prone targets.
Tie Me Kangaroo Down
The kangaruin leaper has a +2 bonus on saves to end any immobilized, slowed, or restrained condition.
Standard Actions
m Kickback • At-Will
Attack: +21 vs. AC
Hit: 3d8 + 11 damage, and the kangaruin leaper can choose to either shift 2 squares away from the target, or knock the target prone.
Bouncing Kick • Encounter
Attack: +21 vs. AC; As part of this action, the kangaruin leaper may jump, perform the attack, and jump again, so long as the total distance jumped does not exceed its speed. (So jump 2 squares, kick, jump 4 squares, for example.) The kangaruin does not provoke opportunity attacks from the target of the kick, whether it hits or now.
Hit: 3d8 + 11.
Triggered Actions
Out Of The Way • Recharge 5 6
Trigger: An enemy charges the kangaruin leaper and makes a melee attack. This power triggers after the attack roll is made.
Effect (Immediate Interrupt): The kangaruin gains +4 to all defenses against the source of the triggering attack. If the attack misses, the kangaruin and the attacker swap places, and the attacker falls prone.
Skills Athletics +18
Str 20 (+13) Dex 24 (+15) Wis 18 (+12)
Con 18 (+12) Int 2 (+4) Cha 15 (+10)
Alignment unaligned     Languages

The leaper’s mutations include dozens of small changes to muscle fiber, bone structure, and neural speed, making it fantastically agile and responsive, easily battering down enemies and then kicking them to bloody pulp.

Kangaruin Kicker

Kangaruin Kicker

Level 16 Brute

Medium natural beast

XP 1,400

HP 194; Bloodied 97

AC 28; Fortitude 30; Reflex 27; Will 27

Speed 6, Lump 4

Initiative +12

Perception +10

Low-Light Vision

Traits
Hop On Top
The kangaruin does +2d6 damage against prone targets.
Tie Me Kangaroo Down
The kangaruin kicker has a +4 bonus to Athletics checks to escape being grappled, and a +2 bonus on saves to end any immobilized, slowed, or restrained condition.
Standard Actions
m Hard Kick • At-Will
Attack: +21 vs. AC
Hit: 4d8 + 14 damage, and the target is knocked prone.
c Tail Swipe • Encounter
Attack: Close Burst 3 (All enemies in burst); +19 vs. Reflex
Hit: 3d10 + 10 damage, and the targets are knocked prone.
Triggered Actions
M Frantic Attack • At-Will
Trigger: The kangaruin kicker is bloodied.
Effect (Immediate Reaction): The kangaruin kicker makes a hard kick attack at all adjacent enemies, at a -2 to hit, but +5 to damage. .
Skills Athletics +18
Str 21 (+13) Dex 18 (+12) Wis 15 (+10)
Con 24 (+15) Int 2 (+4) Cha 15 (+10)
Alignment unaligned     Languages

Kickers are larger, tougher, and slightly slower members of kangaruin packs. They are even more difficult to restrain than their leaper cousins, and somewhat prone to panic if seriously injured. Typically, a kicker will start attacking an enemy, then, once it’s been battered to the ground, leapers will… erm… leap in, and finish it off.

Common Mutations

M Scorpion Sting (poison) • Encounter
Attack: +19 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 6d6 + 3 poison damage, and the target is slowed (save ends).
First Failed Saving Throw: Target falls prone (save ends).

The kangaruin’s tail ends with a large stinger, capable of injecting a poison that causes dizziness in addition to searing pain.

m I Ate A Dingoes Baby • At-Will
Requirements: Bloodied creatures only.
Attack: +21 vs. AC
Hit: 3d8 + 5 and ongoing 5 damage (save ends). If injured again by this power before saving, the ongoing damage increases to 10.

The kangaruin has developed sharp, jagged, nasty teeth. It will not use them in combat against an enemy unless that enemy is badly injured, then a bloodlust overwhelms it and it attacks. It likes to bite at the same place again and again, tearing the wound open.

One thought on “Kangaruins

  1. VictorVonDave

    Nice, I have a very cool picture in my head of these mutant creatures swarming through a post-apocalyptic suburb, squashing everything in their path. I imagine them being like that kangaroo-thing from the Flintstones by way of David Cronenberg (with gross, wrinkly skin like a naked mole rat).
    Absolutely love the I ate a dingo’s baby mutation – increasing the ongoing damage on a subsequent hit is a nice mechanical effect that makes it easy to picture the nasty attack.
    I don’t think it would ruin the leaper to make tie me kangaroo down the same for both of them (the kicker’s version).

    Also I learned something new – I had no idea a stegosaurus’ tail spikes had a formal name :)

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>