Monster of the Week: The Swamp Beast

Category: Monster of the Week
Created on Thursday, 16 September 2010 Written by Steve

Also Known As: Compost Monster, Swamp Elemental, Plant Demon  

Description: The swamp beast is an animated, humanoid creature made of decaying plant matter. The typical swamp beast is 8’-10’ tall, but specimens as small as 3’ and as tall as 25’ feet have been encountered. Swamp beasts have glowing red eyes and give off a very strong rotting odor.

BMA Classification: Swamp beasts are classified as a monster by the Bureau of Monster Affairs.

Powers: Swamp beasts are incredibly strong and very violent. Their strong odor is also very distracting to most people, and sometimes causes nausea.

Vulnerabilities: High-velocity projectiles will pass right through a swamp beast, often causing no damage whatsoever.  Explosives are effective against swamp beasts, especially if they can be lodged within the creature’s body prior to detonation. Being made of plant matter, swamp beasts are extremely vulnerable to fire.  However, their moisture content can make it difficult to get the fire to catch.  White phosphorus grenades, flare guns, and thermite charges have all been used to good effect in the past.  Napalm is absolutely wonderful for this, but can be difficult to obtain in the field, so plan ahead.

Biology and Habitat: The exact mechanism by which swamp beasts attain cohesion and rudimentary intelligence is unknown. A number of theories, running the gauntlet from plausible to absolutely barking mad, have been put forward. As soon as the beast becomes animate, it begins lashing out at anyone or anything in its general vicinity.  The creature's rampage continues until it is killed or the force animating it dissipates of its own accord.  

Sightings: Despite the name, swamp beast-like creatures have been encountered in landfills and compost piles the world over. They are most commonly encountered in the South, and some researchers believe that hot, humid climates are more conductive to their formation.

The first American sighting of a swamp beast may have been recorded by Daniel Boone. According to a journal fragment possibly written by Boone (historians are divided as to  fragment’s authenticity), he encountered a swamp beast in Virginia’s Great Dismal swamp during one of his extended hunting trips, most likely in the 1760s.

The largest swamp beast on record, nicknamed “Big Slimy,” was killed by a group of rum runners near Lafayette, Louisiana in 1924. Photographic evidence puts Big Slimy at somewhere between 25 and 30 feet tall.

Additional Information: The most active area for swamp beast activity is the Florida Everglades, usually between May and August. M-Forcers in the area commonly refer to this time of year as “swamp beast season.” In late September, the Key West M-Force office hosts the Swamp Beast Shindig, an end of season party, complete with awards for things like most swamp beasts killed, biggest swamp beast killed, best swamp beast story, and most creative swamp beast elimination.

Body: 5 + height
Brain: 2
Job: Swamp Elemental (14)
Gimmick: Rampage (10)—A successful roll of this Gimmick will destroy any inanimate object attacked by the swamp beast, and do double damage to any living target.
Damage Resistance (13)—Roll when a swamp beast takes damage. If the Gimmick succeeds, damage is reduced by the roll. The Gimmick does not work against explosive attacks or damage from chopping weapons.  
Noxious Odor (10)--Upon first encountering a swamp beast, an opponent must make a Nerve roll resisted by the swamp beast’s Gimmick roll. If swamp beast wins the roll, the opponent suffers a -2 to all rolls for the duration of the battle. If the swamp beast’s roll succeeds and the opponent’s roll fails, the opponent is incapacitated by nausea for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 the swamp beast’s roll. Once the character recovers, he suffers a -3 penalty to all rolls for the remainder of the battle.
Weakness: Fire (15)—Roll whenever the swamp beast takes damage from a fire-based attack.  If the Weakness takes effect, the monster’s Body score is reduced by 1 for every 5 points of fire damage. For every 3 points of Body lost, the beast’s Damage Bonus is reduced by 1.
Skills: None
Armor Rating: 0
Damage Bonus: + Body/3
HP: Body x 3
Yum Yums: 1

©2012 by Hex Games
Monster of the Week: The Swamp Beast.
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