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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Toadstool Ray

These creatures inhabit dense forests and swamps, using their gas-filled bodies to float through the air in search of prey. They begin life as a large, flat grayish mushroom, about two feet across. Gradually their stem withers to a narrow tail and their body slowly shifts and spreads, taking on a manta-like shape. The hollow chambers within their body fill with a putrescent vapor that's lighter than air, and eventually they rise from the ground in slow flight, shifting direction with flaps of their primitive wings. Their stem becomes a flexible tail, tipped with a sharp spine, while their flesh exudes a sticky tar-like substance, which serves to seal any vapor leaks and as a weapon. Typical specimens have a three or four foot wingspan and a two to three foot long tail.

The creatures have primitive senses, capable of sensing changes in air pressure. They attack by dropping on prey from above, lashing at it with their tails and enveloping it with their sticky bodies. Any damage inflicted is quickly sealed with the sticky tar that coats the creature's body, but not before a cloud of foul vapors escapes, choking and possibly blinding the target.

Once prey is secured the Ray feeds on the corpse, then deposits spores on the remains, restarting the life cycle.

Toadstool Rays have the following characteristics:
  • Mediocre toughness - Rays are somewhat fragile and easily damaged. They heal superficial damage at a Good rate however.
  • Average flight - Rays can fly slowly, but are more inclined to lurk and drift on air currents.
  • Good tail attack - The sharp spine on the Ray's tail inflicts average damage.
  • Envelop - There is a Good chance a Ray can envelop smaller targets, effectively trapping them with their bulk. Multiple Rays will cooperate using this tactic, and are capable of smothering even large targets. An enveloped target has a Fair chance each round of being pinned or suffocated by the Ray's body.
  • Gas cloud - Any blow suffered by the Ray has a good chance of causing a five foot radius cloud of noxious gas to spray forth. Anyone in the area of effect must make a Good resistance check or be blinded and disoriented for 1d3 rounds.
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