Previews04/13/2003


Excerpt: Living Dumpster



When walking down an alley, most people try to ignore the filth that surrounds them. That's why the living dumpster is an effective urban predator. Camouflaging itself among the detritus of a city alley, it waits for victims to walk nearby. Then it comes to life, smashing them against the alley walls, then scooping them up and digesting them within its cavernous interior.

Living dumpsters look just like their ordinary counterparts, made of solid steel with large swinging doors on the top and small caster wheels on the bottom. Many are covered in graffiti, although few graffiti artists live long enough to finish tagging a living dumpster. That's one clue to identifying a living dumpster: unfinished graffiti. Another clue is the pattern of blood spatters on nearby alley walls.

Most of the time, a living dumpster is dormant, simply a receptacle for trash. But every few weeks, it needs to feed. As a carnivore, it can't draw sustenance from garbage -- unless it's behind a butcher's shop. So it ambushes an unsuspecting passerby, usually at night. The living dumpster uses its great bulk to smash a victim against the walls of the alley, then finish the meal by swallowing its meal whole. It's smart enough to know that too many disappearances in the same alley will attract attention, so it periodically rolls itself into a new alley, waiting until foggy nights when it won't be observed.

The living dumpster has no limbs, but it can roll itself around on its wheels and open and close its lid at will. It can also tip itself over on its front to scoop up a victim, then right itself. If the living dumpster swallows a living victim whole, it can shake itself vigorously to pulverize its meal against the interior walls.

Living dumpsters do not speak. They weigh between 500 and 1,000 pounds, depending on how much trash they have inside them.

Species Traits

Construct: Living dumpsters have the traits and immunities common to constructs (see Chapter 8 of the d20 Modern rulebook).

Wall Smash (Ex): If the living dumpster bull rushes a foe against a wall, it can make a free slam attack against that foe. If the attack succeeds, it deals 2d8+18 points of damage. If there's a foe between the living dumpster and a wall, the living dumpster can make grapple attempts, trying to stuff the enemy under its steel lid.

Swallow Whole (Ex): A living dumpster can swallow an opponent it's grappling if the foe is Medium-size or smaller. If the living dumpster succeeds at a second grapple check, the grappled opponent has been swallowed whole. Swallowed characters take 1d8+9 points of damage from the vigorous shaking of the living dumpster. The swallowed creature can attack the living dumpster from inside using natural weapons or a Small or Tiny weapon. A living dumpster can hold two Medium-size creatures at a time.

Wheels: Because the living dumpster relies on small caster wheels for locomotion, its speed is reduced by half on very soft or soft surfaces such as mud or thick lawns. It can't negotiate stairs, although it can hop up or down a curb without difficulty.

Living Dumpster: CR 5; Large construct; HD 8d10+20; hp 64; Init -2; Spd 30 ft.; Defense 19, touch 7, flat-footed 19; (-2 Dex, -1 size, +12 natural); BAB +6; Grap +16; Atk +11 melee (1d8+9, slam); Full Atk +11 melee (1d8+9, slam); FS 10 ft. by 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.; SA wall smash, swallow whole; SQ construct, wheels; AL evil; SV Fort +2, Ref +0, Will +2; AP 0; Rep +0; Str 22, Dex 7, Con --, Int --, Wis 10, Cha 1.

Skills: None.

Feats: None.

Possessions: None.

Advancement: 9-18 HD (Large); 19-24 HD (Huge).

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