Monstrous Physique — Metroid

E3 is this week and one of my favorite pieces of news from the expo is the revelation of not one, but two new Metroid games! Metroid is one of my favorite game series as it features lots of exploration and atmosphere. The protagonist, bounty hunter Samus Aran, usually finds herself completely alone in alien locales. This isolation in addition to the alien landscapes makes for a great sense of dread, which is something I always enjoy. The landscapes are full of alien creature and none are more notable than the main antagonists of the series, the metroids. With all the hype for the games, I just had to stat up the metroid. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the metroid!

Metroid artwork from Metroid Prime

This floating creature resembles a jellyfish hood. Its translucent body contains strange organs and a pair of mandibles on the bottom side.
Metroid                            CR 4
XP 1,200
N Medium aberration
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +7
DEFENSE
AC 17, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+4 Dex, +2 natural, +1 size)
hp 37 (5d8+15)
Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +3
DR 5/magic
Weaknesses vulnerability to cold
OFFENSE
Speed fly 40 ft. (perfect)
Melee bite +9 (2d6 plus grab)
Special Attacks constrict (2d6), latch
STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 19, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 8, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +2 (+6 grapple); CMD 16 (can’t be tripped)
Feats HoverB, Lightning Reflexes, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Fly +14, Perception +7, Stealth +12; Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth
SQ life leech
ECOLOGY
Environment Any
Organization solitary, pair, or swarm (3–12)
Treasure none
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Latch (Ex) When a metroid uses its grab ability to grapple a creature, it clamps on to its target and is difficult to remove. While latched, a Metroid gains DR 5/— and fast healing 2. Breaking the latch requires a successful DC 15 Strength check or to deliver a total of 15 damage (after damage reduction) to the metroid in one attack. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Life Leech (Ex) A metroid grappling a creature drains life energy away from a creature, feeding on the energy. When a Metroid deals constrict damage, it gains a number of temporary hit points equal to the constrict damage dealt. These temporary hit points stack. Once the metroid has a total number of temporary hit points equal to half its total hit points (16 temporary hit points for the typical metroid), it grows one size category. When the metroid has a number of temporary hit points equal to its total hit points (37 temporary hit points for the typical Metroid), it grows one more size category. A Metroid can never grow beyond Large size in this manner. Once a metroid has grown, it does not shrink in size, even if it loses its temporary hit points.

Metroids are alien creatures, said to be the creation of an ancient race. They are predators that subsist on the life energy of other creatures by biting on to them and draining away energy. Metroids are known ambushers and once they have latched on to a creature, it is quite difficult to remove them. The feeding process tends to leave the creature intact and scholars debate as to how exactly a metroid leeches this energy. Common metroids are all the same form, albeit with size differences depending on how successful of a hunter it is. Rumors say that more advanced or mutated forms of metroids exists which appear more like fierce beasts than the typical alien appearance. Metroids reproduce asexually and, left unchecked, are capable of overrunning an ecosystem as they have few natural predators. A typical metroid is 2 feet long and weighs 100 lbs.

For any would-be bounty hunters, here are stats for a metroid companion:

STARTING STATISTICS
Size Small; Speed fly 40 ft. (perfect); AC +1 natural armor; Attack bite (1d8 plus grab); Ability Scores Str 10, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 2, Wis 8, Cha 10; Bonus Feat Hover; Special Attacks latch; Special Qualities darkvision

7TH-LEVEL ADVANCEMENT
Ability Scores Dex +4, Con +4; Special Attacks constrict, life leech

SPECIAL ATTACKS
Latch (Ex) When a metroid uses its grab ability to grapple a creature, it clamps on to its target and is difficult to remove. Breaking the latch requires a successful Strength check (DC = 10 + 1/2 HD + Consitution modifier) or to deliver a total of 15 damage (after damage reduction) to the metroid in one attack.
Life Leech (Ex) A metroid grappling a creature drains life energy away from a creature, feeding on the energy. When a Metroid deals constrict damage, it gains a number of temporary hit points equal to the constrict damage dealt. These temporary hit points stack and last for 1 minute. Once the metroid has a total number of temporary hit points equal to half its total hit points , it grows one size category. When the metroid has a number of temporary hit points equal to its total hit points, it grows one more size category. A Metroid can never grow beyond Large size in this manner. Once a metroid has grown, it retains its size until it loses its temporary hit points.

In Your Game

The Infant Alien
While exploring, the PCs stumble upon a metroid egg. Shortly after the encounter, the egg hatches and the infant metroid imprints on one of the PCs. The PCs must manage with the infant creature while also attempting to keep it in check as it attempts to feed.

The Last Metroid
The last metroid of a particular planet is in captivity. Rather than destroy the creature, the PCs are tasked with meeting the hunter who capture the metroid and transport it to scholars for study. The PCs must traverse an alien landscape fraught with danger to reach the hunter.

Metroid Hunters
A swarm of metroids suddenly invades an environment and the PCs have to hunt the creatures to save the local fauna. The PCs must avoid the overwhelming number of metroids while also tracking down the dreaded metroid queen.

Monstrous Origins

Metroids are a staple enemy for their titular series, Metroid. In the games, they are a common adversary and are actually quite formidable. Unlike most other enemies in the game, metroids require a specific attack or weapon to properly to destroy. I’ve tried to replicate that nature with the latch ability. The other main thing that metroids are known for is their attack which drains health away from the protagonist Samus. I added this as an extra ability to the constrict attack of the metroid. Beyond that, there’s not much to the metroid. It is more of an ambush creature and works well when attacking a single PC or as a “fun” wrinkle in the middle of another encounter. Metroids have a nasty habit of attacking at the worst time and throwing one in during another fight works wonders. For the animal companion, I toned down the damage reduction abilities just a little bit to keep it in line with other animal companions. I also held off on giving the life leech ability until later. I also tweaked it a bit to avoid a “free” large animal companion.

That’s it for this week! Please let me know if you would like to see more alien creatures. If you end up bringing metroids into your game, or you have any request for a future Monstrous Physique, please drop me a line at KnowDirection@hotmail.com

Luis Loza

Luis Loza is a freelance writer from Lincoln, Nebraska. He has written for Paizo Inc, Legendary Games, Rogue Genius Games, and more third-party publishers. His hobbies include gaming both tabletop and video, making jokes, obsessing over time travel, taking naps with Hugo the cat, and walks with Heather the wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos.

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