Friday, September 23, 2011

Winter Is Coming- New Monster [Shadowrun 4e] The Golo-Golo

This is an entry in response to T. W. Wombat's Winter Is Coming RPG Blog Festival.

The Golo-Golo is a creature with no accepted taxonomy, which has only been documented within the last twenty or so years, though as with anything, there are sketchy reports of sightings from before that time. The name is a bastardization of a pidgin Russian name, Golodnaya Gololed, hungry hoarfrost; a reference to the only time the creatures seem to be prevalent, which is on the heels of a particularly cold weather front. It has not been observed where they go when temperatures warm, because they are never found when the temperature on the ground is above freezing. It is thought that they have some degree of burrowing ability, or some other means by which to sink underground and keep their bodies cooled. Not surprisingly, it has been found that they have a particular weakness to heat or fire, and that is the primary means by which they are repelled.
The creatures themselves resemble a large, meter- to two meter-wide whitish-gray pancake, with no discernible orifices, sensory organs, or appendages on their dorsal side. Their skin is rough, similar to shark skin, but much more pliable (and remarkably resistant to puncture). However, caution should be taken when handling them, because their skin excretes a small amount of a venom which has a powerfully narcotic, soporific effect.

On their ventral sides, they have a complicated series of mouth-like organs which excrete digestive enzymes and also reabsorb the resultant digestive slurry. All around the edge of the animals are curved, venom-containing hooks, which the animal can either rapidly flip into an upward-facing direction, or else seem to involuntarily flip up if sufficient pressure is applied to any part of the dorsal side of the animal. The result is that if the animal is stepped on, the hooks flip up and pierce the ankle of the offender, and deliver a powerful dose of its venom. Within seconds, the victim begins to become dizzy, sluggish, and weakened, finally collapsing on the ground, usually only steps away from the animal. It then uses a rhythmic contraction of its muscles to slowly propel itself over top of the victim, where it will engulf them and begin excreting digestive enzymes from its many mouthparts. Since it continually exudes its soporific venom from its skin, the victim will usually not awaken while it is being consumed alive, and, ultimately, there is little that remains. It should also be noted that the venom seems to be remarkably volatile, readily soaking through layers of clothing and being absorbed into the skin, but also not remaining in the material for more than twenty or thirty minutes before dissipating.

The creatures do not appear to have any sort of eyes, but do exhibit a small degree of thermal sensing in addition to what seems to be their primary sense of detecting vibrations in the earth. Additionally, their ventral sides seem to have thicker skin, and more ability to resist heat than their dorsal sides, evidently a mechanism by which to resist the body heat of their prey while they are feeding. The animals seem to have no capacity to right themselves if turned upside-down, nor any ability to move whatsoever. A strange observed ability is that they seem to be able to move themselves through thick snow much more quickly than they can simply by wiggling across the ground. It is not certain whether this is merely observers’ bias, or if it is actually an innate ability by the creatures.

The most unique aspect of these creatures is their paranormal abilities. While they do appear to be dual-natured (this is debated), they do not seem to have any ability or desire to astrally hunt. They do, however, appear to have a marked ability to compel victims which approach within a 30 meter or so diameter to move directly towards them. The area of their psychic affect seems directly connected to their size, with larger creatures being able to influence victims from farther away. This psychic influence does not seem limited entirely to compulsion, either, as many people have nearly trod upon the creatures without noticing them, before being pulled away by a more observant (or less readily affected) companion. This effect seems to function in the astral plane, where they are frequently overlooked amidst the other astral noise of the area. Finally, it has been observed that there might be a correlation between frequency of blizzards and number of Golo-Golos in the area, indicating that they might have some sort of limited ability to influence the weather, based on some as-yet unobserved psychic link between the animals.

Transporting the creatures has proven to be an extraordinarily difficult endeavor, as well as creating an environment for them in which they can survive for more than a few hours, drastically limiting the ability for study in controlled environments. Nevertheless, some very enterprising (and resource-laden) individuals have captured the animals and created enclosed environments for them as curiosities.

Note: both the Dual-Natured power and the weather control powers are optional, based on how the creature is intended to be used.

Average Size
B    A    R    S    C    I    L    W  Edge Ess  M  Init  IP
4     1     4    2     4    2    0     3       2      6    4     7     1

Large Size
B    A    R    S    C    I    L    W  Edge Ess  M  Init  IP
5     1     4    3     5    3    0     4       3      6    5     8     1

Movement: 2 / 5 (through thick snow)
Skills: Infiltration (5), Perception (4), Unarmed Combat (4)
Powers: Compulsion (Paranormal; Movement only), Concealment (Paranormal), (Dual Natured,) Enhanced Senses (Vibration), Hardened Armor (2/4), Immune (Cold), Magical Guard (3), Natural Weapon (digestive enzyme: DV 4P, AP 0, acid damage), Venom (Soporific; see below), [Weather Control (Blizzard)]
Weaknesses: Reduced Senses (Blind), Vulnerability (Heat, Fire)

Soporific Toxin:
Vector: Contact
Speed: Immediate
Penetration: -2
Power: 10
Effect: Disorientation, Stun Damage
Penetration is negated by a sufficiently high rated environment suit (such as the Mitsuhama EE Suit, AR55) which protects against environmental toxins. Effect is immediate, often within 20 seconds or less, with delirium and disorientation taking effect before unconsciousness. Stun damage from this poison does not carry over into physical damage.

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