Krootchiks for Mutants and Masterminds!

Ahhh Kruthiks. I love them in 4e D&D where they’re the new posterchild for wrongness. This is a game where demons, devils, dragons and slimy tentacled beasties are par for the course, but Kruthiks as just plain…. well, wrong: they’re Alien. And I mean that in the classic sci-fi horror movie meaning of the word.

Look at the facts, ma’am. Kruthiks are strange creatures which combine reptilian and insectoid elements in a way that doesn’t quite resemble either. They’re clearly not related to any other species on this planet, have acidic blood which they use to good effect, and – most crucially – evolve. Kruthiks start as comparatively weak Hatchlings, their strengths and abilities changing as they grow from one form to another. The only thing missing is the egg/facehugger stage, which personally I’d just set as a 1hp plot device with a single +6 vs. Reflex face leap attack and leave it at that.

Here’s Kruthiks…. I mean, Krootchiks (lawyers are scary. They have acidic blood you know) for Mutants & Masterminds so you can throw these critters into your Superhero/Warriors & Warlocks/gritty crime drama/anything-else-you-care-to-mention game. I’ve tried to keep the baseline stats roughly the same level as their Fourth Edition counterparts, moderately adjusted to better fit M&M’s way of working.

supermanvsaliens2
Hands up if you’d kill for a Superman vs. Aliens movie. What if the Aliens had Acidic Kryptonite Blood? Yep. Thought so.

Krootchik Hatchling and Young

Statwise the only real difference between the 4e Hatchling and Young entries is their squishiness. Hatchlings are Minions, Young aren’t. In M&M terms that converts to “no difference at all” – the GM just decides whether this critter is destined to fall with a single failed Toughness save or fight on, as dramatically appropriate. Remember that in M&M you don’t get XP for killing things (or XP at all for that matter), so anything can be Minionized if the action demands a quick and dirty battle, or your uber-villain needs loyal troops.

When it’s time to get up close and personal, Hatchlings and Young rely on their claws to do serious damage, while they lash out in frenzied bite attacks if anyone comes near. Building an Aura attack in M&M is fun and the result is downright nasty. If you’re in range, make a Toughness save or you’re bitten. Simple as that :D

It’s their other abilities which make these (and all other) Krootchiks particularly scary foes. They’re fast and can even move at full speed along walls and ceilings – and with the ability to burrow (acidic claws have their uses!), they can come from damned near anywhere to get you. If you’re in an enclosed space that’s 6 potential surfaces through which an attack can come. So….. don’t be in an enclosed space!

These are set at Power Level 4 meaning a group of soldiers, space marines or ninjas (Ninjas vs. Aliens! Oh yeh!!!) might just be able to take some of them out. Maybe.

Krootchik Hatchling/Young, PL4 50pp
Str 14, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 4, Wis 10, Cha 6
Tough +5, Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +2
Attack +3 (Melee +4), Defense +3, Init +3

Claws (Strike 4, DC19)
Aura of gnashing teeth (Strike 2, DC 17, Duration:Sustained, Aura)
Protection 4, Burrowing 2 (2mph), Speed 1 (10mph), Super-Movement 2 (Wall Crawling 2), Super-Senses 4 (Low-Light Vision, Tremorsense)

Climb +8, Notice +1
Attack Focus (Melee) 1

Krootchik Adult

Bigger, meaner and with fully developed acidic spikes (ie the tail, if you’re going for the true Alien look) we have the Adult. One of these could go toe-to-toe with a street-level superhero and give him a pretty good fight (Daredevil vs. Alien, perhaps?) while a whole bunch of ’em would give any PL10 group pause for thought. These critters are stronger, faster and just plain meaner. I’ve given them the Survival skill to reflect their cunning and sense of self-preservation which the Young seem to lack.

Krootchik Adult, PL6 90pp
Str 17, Dex 18, Con 17, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 8
Tough +8, Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +3
Attack +6 (Melee +8), Defense +4, Init +8

Claws (Strike 4, DC19)
Aura of gnashing teeth (Strike 2, DC 17, Duration:Sustained, Aura)
Acidic Spikes (Blast 3, DC 18, Alt Save:Fort, Poison, 30′)
Protection 5, Burrowing 3 (5mph), Speed 1 (10mph), Super-Movement 2 (Wall Crawling 2), Super-Senses 4 (Low-Light Vision, Tremorsense)

Climb +12, Notice +4, Survival +5
Attack Focus (Melee) 2, Improved Initiative 1

Krootchik Hive Mother

And here’s Big Momma! She’s physically imposing, spits poisonous acid and has claws which can cut steel without breaking stride. But that’s not her worst trait. Any other Krootchiks close to her become much more dangerous to be around as they fight to protect their mother; they gain a +2 to their damage DC with their melee attacks. In D&D terms that might not sound a lot, but this is Mutants & Masterminds where that’s the difference between being hit by a sword and being hit by a shotgun. That’s gonna hurt!

At Power Level 8, the Hive Mother on her own isn’t much of a challenge against a fully fledged PL10 superhero – but she’s rarely alone. Drop a load of Adults and an entire freakin’ horde of Hatchling Minions into the mix and you’re looking at an Alien/Supers battle royale, baby!

Krootchik Hive Mother, PL8 130pp
Str 20, Dex 18, Con 20, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 10
Tough +12, Fort +12, Ref +10, Will +7
Attack +6 (Melee +8), Defense +4, Init +8

Claws (Strike 8, DC23)
Acid Blast (Blast 5, DC 20, Alt Save:Fort, Poison, 50′)
Mother’s Frenzy (Boost 2, Single Trait: Melee Damage, Others Only, Extended Reach 2 (10′), Aura:Permanent, Duration 2)
Growth 4 (Permanent, Large), Protection 7, Burrowing 3 (5mph), Super-Movement 2 (Wall Crawling 2), Super-Senses 4 (Low-Light Vision, Tremorsense)

Climb +12, Notice +6, Survival +9
Attack Focus (Melee) 2, Improved Initiative 1

As this is Mutants & Masterminds – the ultimate generic rule system – there’s no need to use these just in your superheroic games. For that classic movie feel drop Krootchik egg into your player’s battered Far Trader starship and let them confront facehugger, Hatchling, Young and finally Adult in the close confines of a flying tin box. Give them Hero Points as the critter escapes only to return bigger, meaner and more cunning than before, and have the final battle real close to an airlock. Job done.

Want something a little more sword & sorcery? How about pitching Barbarian hordes against Alien hordes when an egg-encrusted meteor falls from the sky. Can the players unite the Seven Clans of Vh’orr to confront this new threat? What if one of the Krootchik Adults somehow gained intelligence? Picture an Alien Ranger with paired serrated longswords……….

supermanvsaliens3
If there’s one thing cooler than a Superman vs. Aliens movie, it’s the idea of an Alien/Superman hybrid appearing before the closing credits……..

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3 Responses

  1. WilliamPall says:

    Oh wow . . . and here I am co-GMing a Mutants and MasterMinds campaign starting tomorrow.
    All about the time travel baby . . . who says they can’t go to the future . . . meet some of these krüthik (er, did I get the right “ü”? I never know), and oh how wonderful . . . . ::yoink!::
    .-= WilliamPall´s last blog ..4e DragonLance =-.

  2. ben jackson says:

    heh, nice article I particulary like your concept of Fantasy meets aliens. It’s strange but ever since I saw the cursed swordsman archetype in the warriors and warlocks previews I’ve been thinking about an NPC for a fantasy campagin who is a green lantern. Becuase the corps must have been aorund for a long time before Hal jordan and Alan scott, right?

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