Death Snails «Molnangs»

Reported By: unknown contributor in Dragon Magazine 126

Role: Monster
Base Stock: Garden Snail

MCC Stat Block: Molnangs 'Death Snails' (1d4-1 (1)): Init +3; atk see description; AC 11; HD 9D7 hp 36; MV 10' ; 1d20+1d14; SV Fort +2, Ref -2, Will +1
Mutations: (P) Deathray (Special), Acid Secretion (Special), Deathfield Generation, Plysical Reflection (Greatly Improved) and Taller

Number Appearing: 1d4-1
Morale: 2
Hit Dice: HD 9D7
Armor: 1 (AC 11)
Size: Large 4 Meter Shell

Movement: MV 10'

Attack: See Description

MS: 13   PS: 41
IN: 1   DX: 5
CH: 1   CN: 16

Frequency: Rare
Organization: Unknown
Activity Cycle: Day
Diet: Plants and Animals of all kings
Habitat: Temperate forests
Tech Level: 0 - 0
Artifacts: Unknown

Description (Initial Observations): Horribly dangerous and destructive predators, molnangs leave an unmistakable trail of blasted earth (no living plants or animals or even their remains) wherever they go. For this rea- son, they are sometimes called pathfind- ers or roadbuilders in moments of dark humor. If this path is touched before it is a day old, the victim takes 1d6 hp damage from the residual acid. About 50% of all molnang encounters begin with the discov- ery of a molnang track, so molnangs are often surprised or left alone.Molnangs cannot hear, but if they see a living creature within 30 meters in front of them, they train their eyestalks on the interloper and fire a beam equal in every way to that of a black ray gun. If hit from behind, a molnang turns (this takes an action turn) and fires. It can fire a ray every other action turn.The molnang secretes a powerful acid all over its black body. If touched in combat, the acid does an automatic 10d6 hp dam- age to the snails opponent, its weapon, or its armor (as appropriate). The acid ruins any weapon except one made of duralloy, which can survive one (and only one) hit. When an attack misses the snails body, it is assumed to hit the massive, golden shell, which is as sturdy as duralloy, reflects all kinds of energy except kinetic (including heat, cold, radiation, electricity, sound/ blasters, and light/lasers), and is proof against acid and black rays.If it fails a morale check (most likely, if hit more than once or twice in combat), a molnang withdraws into its shell, pulls the operculum shut, and generates a death field. Thereafter, it is unable to fire its death ray (even after regaining conscious- ness) for the rest of the day. Strength equal to the molnangs (in one creature) is required to pull the operculum open while the molnang is alive inside (even if it is unconscious). The molnang can, however, be attacked by a life leech and other men- tal mutations. Vibro weapons and energy maces are not reflected by the shell.Molnangs are good to eat, once they have been leeched of their acid content. However, they contain muscleworm larvae (DRAGON issue #108) 75% of the time, and so should be cooked carefully. The brilliant metallic gold shell is a far greater prize, as it can be cut with vibro tools into shields which reflect beams of heat, light, radiation, sound, etc., as well as acid and black rays. (They are no help against a burst of energy such as a bomb or a sonic last however.) Such actions require a check vs. DX x 4 for a character to bring the shield into play during normal combat conditions (assuming the character is not surprised). The shell weighs 500-800 kg and is worth twice that in gold pieces to someone who can make use of it.Molnangs are seldom hired or recruited because it is all but impossible to safely communicate with them.

Reactions: No known interactions

Behavior: Behavior modeling incomplete

Behavior: Behavior not recorded

Society: Anthropological studies incomplete