It’s Not a Bug, It’s a Feature

Not unlike plants, bugs are individually not scary.  Of course, in the real world, plants are not frightening even in groups.  A swarm of ants or wasps can be truly terrifying, especially to those who are allergic to the stings of such insects.  They’re also immensely strong for their size and armed with powerful weapons even if they do not have stings.  Also like plants, bugs are everywhere and are quite alien.  Where humans work together and organize themselves, a hive of swarming bugs literally has a single mind and one that can be surprisingly clever.


Just imagine them if they had individual intellects that were similarly aimed at a single goal.


Here’s a giant bug, a giant bug race and a couple of edges for buggy characters.


Emperor Beetles are man-sized insects that strongly resemble stag beetles. A wild Emperor Beetle’s carapace is generally a dull brown, black or green color but the Shan have bred their own lines of Emperor Beetles for generations and all manner of colors and patterns exist in domesticated animals. While unintelligent, they can be trained to perform a few simple tasks, such as guarding a location or attacking a foe.

Agility: d6 Smarts: d4(A) Spirit: d8 Strength: d12 Vigor: d10

Skills: Fighting: d6, Guts: d10, Notice: d4

Pace: 7 Parry: 5 Toughness: 11(2)

Special Abilities: Armor +2: Tough Carapace

Mandibles: Str+d6


These sentient humanoid insects have a strictly hierarchical society.  Though they do not have the gender and physical divisions such as queen, drones and warriors, each member of Mantrid society does have a specific role to play within their society and one that they are not allowed to vary from.  The queen or one of the individuals that she has appointed make the decisions about what this role will be when a Mantrid reaches adulthood.  Often this decision is easy as some of the mutations within the species make the role the young Mantrid should play obvious.  Other times, it is not so obvious and people outside the race might question the wisdom of some of these decisions.  Very few Mantrids do and those who do either fall in line or abandon their Mantrid society.  Mantrids appear to be a cross between a praying mantis and an ant though their thorax is angled on the vertical axis.  Four of their legs are on their abdomen while the other two are on their thorax and end (usually) with hands that possess three powerful fingers.

Mantrids are exceptionally variable creatures.  They mutate not only from generation to generation but sometimes also within their lifetimes, their bodies changing in sometimes dramatic ways.

*Outsiders – Mantrids are clearly different from most of the races they encounter.  Unless they are dealing with other members of their species, they are treated with fear, disdain or distrust.

*Powerful Muscles – Mantrid body structure is such that their muscles are much more efficient than most mammal’s.  They start with a d6 Strength.

*Sticky Feet – All Mantrids possess almost microscopic hooks on their feet.  These tiny hooks allow them to walk on vertical surfaces and even upside down on any but the slickest of surfaces.


Requirements:  Novice, Insect, Vigor d8+

Your exoskeleton is particularly durable.  It provides a +2 armor bonus.


Requirments:  Seasoned, Insect, Vigor d8+, Carapace

Your carapace has grown exceptionally thick and resistant.  The armor bonus it provides increases to +4.


Requirements: Novice, Insect, Agility d8+

Perhaps you are less insect and more arachnid.  Rather than the standard 6 limbs of your species, you have 8.  These two extra limbs grow on your thorax and end in hands.  This provides you a bonus non-move action every round.


Requirements: Novice, Insect, Str d8+

Whether spurs and spikes growing from your forearms or long nails on the tips of your fingers, you possess a set of claws.  These claws do Str + d6 damage.  The claws also allow you to dig rapidly and you gain the burrowing ability.

Scythe Claws

Requirements: Novice, Insect, Str d8+, either the Eight-Limbs edge or the one handed hindrance.

A number of your forelimbs end in large, scythe like forearms.  These razor sharp appendages can be used as weapons for Str+d8 damage and have a reach of 1.  If you have taken the one handed hindrance in conjunction with this edge then only one of your arms ends in a scythe.  If you have the Eight-Limbs edge instead, then two of your arms end in the appendages while two end in normal hands.


Requirements: Novice, Insect, Vigor d8

You possess a highly poisonous stinger in addition to your claws.  This may be an articulated tail or simply a barbed appendage on the tip of your thorax.  In either case, this weapon does a Str + d4 damage and any victim who suffers a shaken result must make a vigor check or be paralyzed for 2d6 rounds.

17 Year Locust

Also known as Apocalypse Bugs, these creatures are the scourge of nations, continents and even planets.  They begin innocently enough, born from eggs no larger than a human head.  They grow quickly for a time after hatching and are soon the size of a dog.  Their growth cycle slows after that but continues for the duration of their lives.  By the time they reach the end of their natural lives, they are larger than elephants.  Their diets change as well.  At birth they eat only vegetation but as they grow larger it shifts.  Within two or three years of their birth they begin to eat carrion, then start to hunt small animals, including other insects, reptiles, birds and even mammals.  Eventually, they are entirely carnivorous and will attack anything that is smaller than them to satiate their massive appetites.


Almost exactly 17 years after they hatch, the female Apocalypse Bug lays several dozen eggs in a hidden location, often a burrow that they have created or an otherwise out of the way location.  If she encounters a male member of the species within the last 2 to 3 years of her life, the pair mates and these will be shared offspring.  If no such mating has occurred, then these offspring are essentially identical to their mother (though approximately half will be male.)  These eggs gestate for a full 17 years, forming the second portion of the Locust’s lifecycle.  Of course, most of these nests are discovered during this time and far more 17 Year Locust eggs are devoured by predators or otherwise destroyed than hatch.  However, the eggs are not without a defense mechanism.


These eggs are laid inside a massive, membranous sack.  Should this sack be pierced and the mucous like fluid inside exposed to air, it explodes.  This does 2d6 damage to everything within a large burst template though it should be noted that the eggs have a toughness of 12 so are rarely damaged by this explosion.  Even if the sack is not prematurely pierced, it explodes at the end of the 17 year gestation period.  This scatters the eggs over several hundred yards just before they hatch, helping to ensure that each of the young has a plentiful food supply to start their lives.


Due to their extensive lifecycles, it is not uncommon for 17 Year Locusts to become little more than old wives’ tales between the depredations of the largest beasts and the hatching of the next generation.  As such, it is not uncommon for people to be surprised by their infestations.


Agility: d6 Smarts: d4(A) Spirit: d8 Strength: Varies, see table  Vigor: Varies, see table

Skills: Climb d8, Fighting: d8, Notice: d6

Pace: 7 Parry: 5 Toughness: Varies, see table

Special Abilities:


Variable Size:  17 Year Locusts grow throughout their lives.  Their strength, vigor, armor, size, toughness and the damage they can do with their mandibles grow in proportion.

Age                 Strength          Vigor   Size     Armor  Toughness       Damage

Up to 1 Year   d4                    d4        -2         –           2                      Str

2-3 Years         d4                    d4        -1         –           3                      Str+d4

4-5 Years         d6                    d6        0          1          6(1)                  Str+d4

6-7 Years         d8                    d6        1          2          8(2)                  Str+d6

8-9 Years         d10                  d8        2          2          10(2)                Str+d6

10-11 Years     d12                  d8        3          3          12(3)                Str+d8

12-13 Years     d12+1              d10      4          3          14(3)                Str+d8

14-15 Years     d12+2              d10      5          4          16(4)                Str+d10

16-17 Years     d12+3              d12      6          4          18(4)                Str+d10


At 12 Year and above, opponents get a +1 to hit 17 Year Locusts.


One thought on “It’s Not a Bug, It’s a Feature

  1. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find
    this matter to be really something which I think I would never
    understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get
    the hang of it!

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