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    BisectedBrioche's Avatar

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    Default Creature: Damn Headhumpers!

    Someone's stated a xenomorph, I remember a while ago someone stated a metroid so here's another parasitic alien for you to enjoy. The headcrab of Half Life fame;

    In front of you lies the corpse of a man (or maybe an elf, its hard to tell), covered in blood with its torso split open and the fingers twisted into claws. Resting next to it is the corpse a small four-legged insect like creature curled into a shape to fit its victim's head. In the distance, a bloated figure stumbles around with a few black versions of this beast on its back. Meanwhile you ready your weapon as you hear a familiar scream and turn around to face another creature, stripped of most of its flesh. You have stumbled into the lair of some headcrabs.

    Headcrabs are a species of exo-parasitoids, which come in three varieties: Normal, fast and poison. While they are quite weak they are capable of controlling humanoids by perching themselves on the heads of their hosts and burrowing into their spines, overriding voluntary movement and using their victim as a living puppet. A headcrab has a round, dome shaped body with a mouth on its underside, four legs and two claws at the front. It is covered by brownish, yellow, chitenous armour.

    Standard Headcrab
    Tiny Aberation
    HD 1d8 (4hp)
    Speed 20 ft. (4 squares)
    Init: +1
    AC 12; touch 11; flat-footed 11
    BAB +0; Grp +0
    Attack Claw 1d2 +0
    Full-Attack Claw 1d2 +0
    Space 2.5 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
    Special Attacks Jump, Headhump
    Special Qualities Poison immunity
    Saves Fort +2 Ref +1 Will +1
    Abilities Str 4, Dex 12, Con 16, Int , Wis 10, Cha 1
    Skills
    Feats Improved Natural Armour
    Environment Any
    Organization Lone (1), group (3-4, + 0-3 headcrab zombies),
    Challenge Rating 1
    Treasure None
    Alignment Neutral

    Jump The headcrab may jump at a target (making a standard jump check) from up to 5 feet away. Alternatively, as a standard action the headcrab may ready itself and then jump at an opponent from any distance at the beginning of the following round with a +10 bonus to its jump check.

    Headhump On successfully hitting with a prepared jump attack the headcrab may initiate a grapple attempt against any humanoid or monstrous humanoid creature, clamping themselves to their target's head. It may also do this against a helpless or prone target. If they maintain the grapple for two rounds then they override their victim's motor skills by burrowing into their nervous system. Their victim acquires the Headcrab Zombie template.

    Poison immunity The headcrab is immune to all poisons, magical or otherwise.

    Poison and Fast Templates
    One of the following templates may be added to the standard headcrab to create a poison or fast headcrab (you may not add both).
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    Poison Template
    Attack
    Replace the claw attack with a Stinger attack (one point of damage plus poison)
    Special Attacks
    The headcrab gains a poison attack, upon being hit by its sting the victim must make a fortitude save DC 10 or take damage equal to half its maximum health (this attack never drops it below 1hp) which is restored at a rate of 1/10 max hp per round as the body manages to fight the toxin's effect off.
    CR
    Increase the headcrab's CR by 1

    The poison headcrab looks similar to the standard headcrab, however its armour is black in colour and its body and legs are covered in hairs. Large white fangs cover its mouth. It emits a rattle when it senses a potential host that can be instantly recognised by anyone who has heard it before.

    Fast Template

    Speed
    Increases to 30 ft. (6 squares)
    Abilities/Saves
    Dex is increased by 4
    Feats
    The Fast headcrab gains the Lightning Reflexes feat
    Challenge Rating
    Increase CR by 1

    The fast headcrab is recognisable by its significantly longer legs. It is otherwise undistinguishable from a standard headcrab.


    Headcrab Zombie
    This template is applied to all humanoid or monstrous humanoid creatures of small size or larger (henceforth referred to as the Base Creature) who fall victim to the headcrab's Headhump ability. The victim's voluntary movement falls under the headcrabs control however they may take purely mental actions as long as they first succeed on a DC 10 concentration check.

    Type
    The creatures type changes to monstrous humanoid (if it was not already)
    AC
    AC is increased by 1 due to the protection the headcrab provides to the head.
    Attack
    The base creature gains a claw attack appropriate to its size;
    {table=head]Size|Damage
    Small|1d3
    Medium|1d4
    Large|1d6
    Huge|1d8
    Gargantuan|2d6
    Colossal|2d8[/table]
    Reach
    The base creature's arms become longer, doubling its reach
    Special Qualities
    The base creature inherits the headcrab's Poison immunity
    Should the zombie be subject to a critical hit or 5 or more points of blunt damage the headcrab must make a strength check vs. the attacker or be knocked off the zombie. A zombie that has had its headcrab knocked off dies immediately and may not be revived (however they may be resurrected as their former self with a resurrection spell or better).
    Saves/Abilities
    The base creature retains its Fortitude and reflex saves however the previous increases by 1 and the later takes a -1 penalty. Con and strength gain a bonus of +1, dexterity remains unchanged. Will saves, wisdom, charisma and intelligence are the same as the headcrabs.
    Skills The HCZ gains no skills
    Feats The zombie retains all the feats that the headcrab had
    Environment Any
    Organization Lone (1), Group (3-4 headcrabs, + 0-3 headcrab zombies),
    Challenge Rating Increase the base creatures CR by 1 (2 if the headcrab had a poison or fast template).
    Treasure None
    Alignment Neutral

    A headcrab zombie looks the same as the base creature. However it is usually covered in blood, mutated to have huge, twisted claws and its face (if the headcrab is removed) is pale and its mouth open, set in a horrific scream.

    Poison and Fast Zombie Templates
    Spoiler
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    Poison
    Size
    The poison zombie's size category rises to the next one up as it becomes bloated with poison.
    Special Attacks
    The zombie becomes bloated and hunched over. Up to 5 (*3 per size category) poison headcrabs may ride on it. The zombie can throw one of these at a target as a standard action (treat as a jump attack with no preparation needed).

    A poison headcrab zombie turns purple and bloated due to the toxins present inside it. Its hunched bloated figure can carry several poison headcrabs, which control it via their toxins rather than directly interfacing with its nervous system.

    Fast
    Speed Increase by 50%
    Saves/Abilities
    Dexterity is increased by 1
    Skills +10 racial bonus on jump and climb checks, may take 10 on either at any time

    Fast zombies have lost most of their body mass and internal organs, leaving only muscles and bone. This makes them much faster and more agile than other zombies.
    Last edited by BisectedBrioche; 2007-10-11 at 02:45 PM. Reason: Spelling and grammar check
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  2. - Top - End - #2
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    DracoDei's Avatar

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    Default Re: Creature: Damn Headhumpers!

    I think I have seen a go at stating this creature out on these boards before... not familiar with the game so I couldn't comment on which is better, but it seemed worth mentioning.
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    Default Re: Creature: Damn Headhumpers!

    actually. by HL lore, there are more, rare, breeds of headcrabs. including a fast-poison hybrid, and a smart version.

    anyway, you got the organization wrong.

    the organization of headcrabs stands as: AMAP (as many as possible) with RARE times that a few get separated from the main group. they usually swarm by pure numbers and work their way to get as many zombies as possible. they usually hand in packs of over a dozen. (that are about 100ft spread. more at very large packs)

    largest estimated headcrab swarm is 500+ headcrabs, 200+ zombies. of the group about 5% are toxic and 15% are fast. (a part of this swarm was encountered in HL2.) with a speculated intelligent hive-master. (this pack is too smart for common headcrabs. it uses rather advance combat maneuvers as surrounding, flanking, separating, and abusing hight advantage. as well as using thrown weapons in the form of toxic headcrabs.)

    also-toxic headcrabs CAN kill. in addition to the instant venom damage (that heal) they deal slight damage afterwards (that does not heal), killing a victim that took many doses of venom.


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    BisectedBrioche's Avatar

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    Default Re: Creature: Damn Headhumpers!

    Quote Originally Posted by boomwolf View Post
    actually. by HL lore, there are more, rare, breeds of headcrabs. including a fast-poison hybrid, and a smart version.

    anyway, you got the organization wrong.

    the organization of headcrabs stands as: AMAP (as many as possible) with RARE times that a few get separated from the main group. they usually swarm by pure numbers and work their way to get as many zombies as possible. they usually hand in packs of over a dozen. (that are about 100ft spread. more at very large packs)

    largest estimated headcrab swarm is 500+ headcrabs, 200+ zombies. of the group about 5% are toxic and 15% are fast. (a part of this swarm was encountered in HL2.) with a speculated intelligent hive-master. (this pack is too smart for common headcrabs. it uses rather advance combat maneuvers as surrounding, flanking, separating, and abusing hight advantage. as well as using thrown weapons in the form of toxic headcrabs.)

    also-toxic headcrabs CAN kill. in addition to the instant venom damage (that heal) they deal slight damage afterwards (that does not heal), killing a victim that took many doses of venom.
    I decided to base the headcrabs on how they're encounter in the games rather than their actual habits. That means fewer during encounters and no (direct) deaths from PHC venom (we shall assume that all D&D characters are wearing an invisible HEV suit )
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Creature: Damn Headhumpers!

    I've always seen them as aberrations with an Int of 1 or 2.
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    Default Re: Creature: Damn Headhumpers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Krimm_Blackleaf View Post
    I've always seen them as aberrations with an Int of 1 or 2.
    There's nothing particularly alien about them (except, of course, the fact they're aliens ). They can't do anything a terrestrial creature can't. Plus when you look at them they seem to act on nothing but instinct (contant attacks, no attempts to find cover or avoid water or barnicles) so IMO its 0 int for them.
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    Default Re: Creature: Damn Headhumpers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bisected8 View Post
    There's nothing particularly alien about them (except, of course, the fact they're aliens ). They can't do anything a terrestrial creature can't. Plus when you look at them they seem to act on nothing but instinct (contant attacks, no attempts to find cover or avoid water or barnicles) so IMO its 0 int for them.
    I've never played Half-life my self, but headcrabs fall under the Abberation creature type. They are aliens.

    Abberation is more of a catchall catagory for... weird things:

    Lovecraftian abominations (Beholders... kinda).
    Extra-terrastrial beings (Neogi, these creatures here).
    Products of a bygone age (Aboleths or Ethergaunts)
    or of a farflung future (Illithids).
    Simply something with a bizzare anatomy or abilities (Athaches, Carrion Crawlers, Rust Monsters).
    Creations of a mad wizard (Chuuls).
    Or even normal things that have been warped (the Kaorti and their creations).

    So, the Headcrabs would be a Abberation.
    Last edited by Justyn; 2007-10-10 at 08:50 PM.

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    Default Re: Creature: Damn Headhumpers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Justyn View Post
    I've never played Half-life my self, but headcrabs fall under the Abberation creature type. They are aliens.

    Abberation is more of a catchall catagory for... weird things:

    Lovecraftian abominations (Beholders... kinda).
    Extra-terrastrial beings (Neogi, these creatures here).
    Products of a bygone age (Aboleths or Ethergaunts)
    or of a farflung future (Illithids).
    Simply something with a bizzare anatomy or abilities (Athaches, Carrion Crawlers, Rust Monsters).
    Creations of a mad wizard (Chuuls).
    Or even normal things that have been warped (the Kaorti and their creations).

    So, the Headcrabs would be a Abberation.
    As I just explained, I don't think they're that strange. There's plenty of creatures on Earth who can do the things they do, admitedly not all at once and definatly not to humans.
    Last edited by BisectedBrioche; 2007-10-10 at 08:51 PM.
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    Default Re: Creature: Damn Headhumpers!

    You could have the poison headcrab do more 'normal D&D' damage with their poison (i.e. 1d3 or 1d4, mabye even 1d6 CON damage as primary and secondary damage), then their hp would still be lowered, it would still recover over time and it could actually kill someone.
    Last edited by Drglenn; 2007-10-10 at 09:10 PM.
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    Default Re: Creature: Damn Headhumpers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bisected8 View Post
    As I just explained, I don't think they're that strange. There's plenty of creatures on Earth who can do the things they do, admitedly not all at once and definatly not to humans.
    Last time I checked, there was nothing on earth that could take over another creature's body, AND mutate it to suit its needs.

    The monster manual says that:

    "An abberation has a bizzard anatomy, strange abilities, an alien mindset, or any combination of the three." Headcrabs have all three.

    Lords of Madness gives several types of abberation origin points; the one that these fall under is "out of space": simply put, they are from another part of the material plane, but the materal plane nontheless.

    To sum it all up: Headcrabs are abberations.
    Last edited by Justyn; 2007-10-10 at 09:11 PM.

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    Default Re: Creature: Damn Headhumpers!

    Leucochloridium paradoxum
    Alright, so it's not quite a mutation, but the Headcrab thing isn't too much of a jump... Also, Spinochordodes Tellinii can cause grasshoppers to drown themselves, so again, basic mind-control is within bounds.

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    Default Re: Creature: Damn Headhumpers!

    I'll change the type to aberation to avoid an argument.
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    Default Re: Creature: Damn Headhumpers!

    You say that speed increases by 10% for fast headcrab zombies - I assume you mean 10 feet, since 33 base move isn't much of an improvement on 30 .
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    Default Re: Creature: Damn Headhumpers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain van der Decken View Post
    You say that speed increases by 10% for fast headcrab zombies - I assume you mean 10 feet, since 33 base move isn't much of an improvement on 30 .
    No, I just wasn't using my head
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