Friday, December 11, 2009

Blast from the Past: The Hydragen


No. Encountered: 1-4
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120’ (40’)
Armor Class: 3
Hit Dice: 14
Attacks: 2-7 bites or mutation
Damage: 5-30 per bite, or by special
Save: L14
Morale: 10
Horde Class: VII (XIX)

XP Value:  6000/+900 for each head over two
Original Stock: Diamond-backed rattlesnake

The Hydragen is a huge, mutated descendant of the diamond-backed rattlesnake. It is found in many places in the deserts of southwest North American (the old United States and Mexico). Hydragens range from 50’-65’ in length in adulthood and appear to be large, multiple-headed serpents; 2-7 heads are present and each is well equipped with razor-sharp fangs and teeth. The six major fangs, in the upper jaws along the front, contain class 11 poison effective only against mammalian creatures (including humans, of course). Because of their speed, these monsters rarely go hungry, although relatively intelligent beings give them a wide berth. They are not especially intelligent themselves, but Hydragens readily pursue any prey and use their cunning to drive victims into dead-ends (box canyons and the like) to prevent escape.

If the creature is in grave danger or confronted by many opponents, a special power of the Hydragen can be brought into play. The creature can generate large amounts of highly explosive gases in its stomach, and once every 12 combat rounds it can belch out clouds of this gas from all of its heads, directed at as many different targets (within range) as it has heads.

Each head then uses the Hydragen’s pyrokinesis ability to ignite the gas clouds, at ranges between 30’-100’ as desired, creating an explosion with a 20’ radius of effect. The flames and concussion from the blast will do 10d6 damage to all within the blast area, , and beings of man-size or smaller out to 35’ from the blast center stand a 75% chance of being knocked down and suffering 1d6 damage.

A Hydragen may generate this gas only three times a day. If this fails to stop an opponent after the third use, the Hydragen will retreat. Those beings caught in the blast areas may take half damage (5d6) if they are immune to either fire or sonics, or no damage if immune to both. Note that even if the victim is immune to these effects, the 75% chance of being knocked down for 1d6 damage still applies.

Hydragens prefer living in isolated locations like deserts and barren, rough terrain. The brilliant patterns of yellow, red, and black across the Hydragen.s back stand out clearly in any terrain or environment, though this is not yet a major problem for it, since its speed and tenacity make up for its lack of camouflage.

A Hydragen nest is a shallow depression in sandy soil about 20’ across and 6’ deep. There is a 20% chance of 1-6 eggs being buried 3’ below ground. Each egg is 15” long, ovoid in shape, and dull yellow in color. It is very possible that more than one adult Hydragen inhabits the nest or the area nerby. There is also a good chance (65%) that 1-6 treasures and 1-2 artifacts will be in or near the nest, previously appropriated from some unfortunate adventurers who ventured too close.

Each head of a Hydragen has its own brain, and the heads work together with exacting coordination. Among other advantages, this accounts for the creature’s immunity to illusions and illusional attacks or forces. The lifespan of a monster of this sort is estimated to be over 200 years.

Mutations: Giaganticism, multiple body parts, dual cerebellum (special; head), toxic weapon (venom and flammable gas generation), temperature control – heat (pyrokinesis)


  1. Keep 'em coming Anrgy Man. Your conversions of old monsters are a joy to read. One can't have too many well made critters for our games!

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