Stuffed Crocodile

Mazes, Martians, Mead

[Labyrinth Lord] Martian Hematophage

Interior illustration to H. G. Wells' novel Th...

Martian Hematophage
No. Enc.: 2d6 (4d6)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 30’ (10’)
Armor Class: 8
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 2
Damage: Tentacles (1d4) or Beak (1d6), or according to weapon
Save: F2
Morale: 6
Hoard Class: IX

According to some these are the last remnants of an ancient people that have ruled over large parts of the world for eons. They are philosophical beings, with a long history of peace and technological advancement among their once warlike race. They now enjoy a society of leisure, their mechanical appliances allowing them a lifestyle that would seem unbelievable to anyone else. Where others toil in hardship just to survive they discuss philosophy and politics (which they see as the same), enjoy sophisticated art created during their long history, and enjoy themselves with games of the mind (their own) and body (other peoples’ at least).
This does not mean that they are not dangerous, far from it. All their ethics, advanced as they might be, only ever consider their own race, all the games in the arena are fought by slaves captured in the surrounding lands (and their three-legged walking machines can cover a lot of ground in a short time), and all the real worth they admit other beings to have is as a food source for them.
Their original form, long before they altered themselves through different methods of selective breeding and eugenics to the form they have today, might have been similar to the tripoid walking machines they so like to use. This was before they decided to get rid of all those pesky bodily functions they could replace by mechanical means. The modern Hematophage’s so called body though consists of a disembodied head up to 1.5 meters across, with two protruding eyes and a beak-like mouth. They sport two branches of eight slim, whip-like tentacles around the mouth, often called ‘hands’. They reproduce asexually, children being born by “budding” off a parent. Internally, the Martians consist of a brain, lungs, heart, and blood vessels; they have no organs for digestion, and sustain themselves by mechanically transfusing blood from other animals into their arteries by artificial means (thus earnning them the name “hematophage” or “bloodeater”).
The ear, a single membrane located in the back of the head, is nearly useless by now and most of their eugenics experts expect it to disappear within a few more generations.
Their brain is the only thing that really matters to them, as it allows them to create the technological wonders that enable them to rule over their sphere of power with an iron fist, breeding small, less technologically adapt beings as cattle and playthings for their idle minds. It also allows them to communicate with each other, telepathy long ahving taken over the role of speech for them, although a few remnants of other communication skills remain, mostly by the means of gestures.
They are not very formidable physically, barely able to move along without their walking machines, but are abe to perform great feats with their hands.

Yes, these are the Martians from H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. I loved this book as a kid, and for some reason I always thought it might be a good source for some roleplaying stuff. Others did so as well, I at least saw Wells’ Martians done for CoC and AD&D 2nd edition before. The latter one even a weird positive variation of these creatures in  one of the Kargatane netbooks. Yesterday I was thinking about a one-shot adventure for my group, and for some reason (maybe because I am reading “A Princess of Mars” right now) I instantly thought about a Sword and Sorcery yarn with Martians in it. And these guys in particular were a fantastic concept that nearly fit right in. Just have them be slavelords as well.

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7 responses to “[Labyrinth Lord] Martian Hematophage

  1. Blair August 6, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Awesome!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Selective breading | Allthingsgrati

  3. richard August 7, 2011 at 8:11 am

    I’m trying to wrap my head around how eugenics might work asexually. I’d also love to see some of their machines – the tripod, obviously, but others, too. What do they do with the drained remains of their cattle?

    Like

  4. Geoffrey August 7, 2011 at 11:48 am

    still working on that one with their machines.
    so far I think they’ll just feed the remains to the other cattle still waiting in the slave pens (because how else would they keep them there without starving to death? a dedicated food production? for cattle? … yes, they are pretty much assholes)
    also about the eugenics: you just kill the one that doesn’t fit in. at least after you started to geneer asexual reproduction into it.

    Like

  5. Pingback: [Labyrinth Lord] Tripod « Stuffed Crocodile

  6. Pingback: [Labyrinth Lord] Martian Artifacts « Stuffed Crocodile

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