Monday, December 7, 2009

2e Tuesday - Fens

That's right, Gamma World 2d edition... what 2e did you think I meant?  Every Tuesday I will pick one of my favorite monsters from the fully illustrated bestiary included in the 2d edition Gamma World Basic Rules Booklet and convert it to Mutant Future.  Today's monster is...

Fens (Man-Fish)

No. Enc: 1d10
Alignment:  Neutral
                Fly (bird-form only): 240' (80')
                Swim: 240' (80')
                Land: 30' (10')
Armor Class: 7 (fish-scale armor)
Hit Dice:  8
Attacks:  1 (tailslap or weapon)
Damage:  6d6 or by weapon
Save:  L4
Morale: 7
Hoard Class:XIII

Fens are intelligent fish-men who blast through their underwater world propelled by their powerful tails.  They can survive on land for up to 24 hours but move clumsily on their stubby legs.  They exude a protective slime that protects them against heat and lasers - they ignore the first five instances that such attacks would have damaged them.  On land Fens sometimes wield low-tech weapons such as swords, clubs and spears, but in general they prefer the brutal efficacy of their tailslap in hand to fin combat.  Underwater the Fens often use their spears to ram at high speed (doing double normal weapon damage) before engaging up close with their tail.

Interestingly, all Fens possess the ability to transform into a bird of their own size.  In bird form their tailslap is replaced with two talon rakes for 2d6 damage each and a beak attack for 1d6.  If a Fen stays in bird form for longer than a day it risks permanently becoming trapped in that form, although it will always long for the water and the companionship of its own kind.  This leads to poignant moments as the other Fens return to Man-Fish form and slip back into the water as a forlorn giant bird runs up and down the shore...

Mutations: Metamorph, Special (protective slime)

The Fens intrigue me.  A Man-Fish makes as much sense as any other mutant hybrid, but a Man-Fish that can change into a Bird?  I think the Fens are a sort of swiss-army creature - you could literally run into them anywhere.  I think it would be amusing to have a recurring Fen NPC (I am envisioning a big bumbling oaf, good natured but always messing things up) that the PCs keep meeting in the oddest places.  They first meet him in the river, then run into him in the forest, and after commandeering a helicopter and flying to a floating cloud city, who do they run into but mister Fen!

(Fens illustration from the Gamma World 2d edition Basic Rules Booklet, bird silhouette added by myself)


  1. Nice conversions. Looking forward to seeing more. These can come in handy in my Mutant Future game too.

  2. Fen NPC (I am envisioning a big bumbling oaf, good natured but always messing things up

    I beg to differ. A creature that can exist in water, on the earth and in the air is going to have a pretty freaky view on things... esp. if they've had to put up with all the deadly 2e water mutants.

    Considering their fast speed in the water maybe their communities are widely spaced out in the lakes and seas where they live with buildings placed far distant from each other on the sea-bed or connected by long hidden tunnels.

    Perhaps the entrance to their world is at the top of a mountian accessible only by the air.

    What secrets do they hide in their aquatic catacombs..? :)

  3. @Chris T - I like it! The tunnel at the mountain top leading down to the underwater domain is a nice touch.

  4. Nice touch with the bird silhouette...I was just looking at my copy of GW 2e and realized how much better your rendition looks than the original...

  5. @ The Angry Man -

    Thanks! I scanned it out of my book, then adjusted the color levels and contrasts to make it pop and threw that bird silhouette in because it seemed like there needed to be some nod to the bird transformation. I was pleased with how it turned out; thanks for the compliment!

  6. Nice work Carl, and nice suggestions Chris T.!

  7. Here's another: they could contol the edges of sunken ancient cities, living on the levels underwater and flying to the tops of ruined scyscrapers, always looking out to the empty sea beyond. Perhaps they are waiting for something? Do they fear it's approach or are they secretly preparing for it's arrival..? :)

  8. @ Chris T - I love it. Very Call of Mutant Cthulhu! I picked the Fens because they just seemed to beg a lot of questions. As you suggest, a creature at home underwater, on land and in the air would have a unique perspective on the world. You pretty much have to make up a cool backstory for them.

    In my campaign, one of the plot hooks that the PCs have yet to bite on is a section of the deep channel running through the swamp that is controlled by the evil Trout-Men. Last session, my PCs started talking about feeding Trout-Men to the giant eagle that they recently commandeered. Perhaps the Fens could be an ally, the ancestral enemies of the Trout-Men.

  9. Going by your game reports its sounds like you've got a sweet campaign going.

    But seeing as I'm on roll re GW/MF day-dreaming: Maybe throw in some moral quandary? Maybe the Fen have certain objectives which they have in forming the alliance which the PCs may find, if not out and out evil, perhaps a little... distasteful. :)

    Of course, the Fen community is not monolithic, contrary to what the Knight of Genetic Purity might say. There are many Fen tribes scattered across the wastelands with different priorites and customs etc etc.



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