Right now, we don’t have anything particularly original or iconic in the game. We have a substance, the stuff that makes up the extradimensionals and causes the zombies, but no real original monsters of our own. Everything is a modified and ripped version from other source, or a natural animal of some sort, maybe with some common trope applied to them.
Worse, I don’t think we really get properly horrific with any of the monsters in game right now.
Obviously, this is a text based game, but I think working together we should be able to come up with one or two good monsters without just inserting a creature from another setting into the game, and a powerful enough description that it works even through text.
Here’s the current ideas I’m working with, in their current state:
Egg-layers (Needs a better name)
Still pretty rough as an idea, but basically a small, racoon-like creature with a spiked tail, it is attracted to and only attacks sleeping victims, implanting a powerful anesthetic (to allow it to escape if the victim wakes by making them very slow) in addition to a sack of eggs that will eventually hatch and deal large amounts of damage to the player if left untreated. They can be hunted and processed into a natural source of painkiller that can be very useful to a wilderness player.
Hard, smooth, rectangular towers with razor sharp edges that taper off more to towards the top, they stand about 8 feet tall with a single “eye” on the front near the top, always oriented towards their prey. They are almost impervious to normal attacks, have little in the way of offensive power, and remain stock still while being observed by the player, but they still pose an interesting and unique challenge. When the player isn’t observing them, they move rather quickly, making a scraping noise as they move along the ground. They will pursue the player, trying to be right next to them if possible, and are common in some areas. They can not follow the player indoors.
They are most often found in groups of 4 to 8, clustered in a circle around a corpse (human, zombie, or animal).
The threat comes from the fact that they will try to surround the player, forcing him to starve to death or attempt to escape and hurt himself (possibly killing himself) in an attempt to move past them by climbing over the top of their tapered bodies and slicing himself open on their razor sharp edges. If a player seeks shelter inside, they will attempt to block all exits, meaning that the major worry with dealing with them isn’t so much their relatively non-dangerous nature so much as stupidly trapping yourself. Even then, the player can attempt to kill them (if he has something powerful enough to penetrate their armor) or push his way past them (if he has strong enough armor to withstand the edges, or enough drugs and medical supplies to survive it). Killing one will make the others flee, permanently, in favour of prey that can’t fight back.
They are basically vultures that make their own opportunities. Overcoming them is fairly trivial with some thought - since they don’t move when observed, wide open spaces make it trivial to move out of their range, but an incautious player can easily face difficulty if he decides to hide indoors from them instead… or if they have the misfortune of running into a group while being pursued by creatures that work well in open plains.
Large, heavily transformed zombie bats with dusty brown fur, large wings and vicious teeth. Don’t actually eat metal in gameplay (they do cluster around it and lick the rust off, but not enough to cause damage within the game’s timeframe) they could nevertheless be used to explained the preponderance of damaged vehicles thanks to their willingness to tear them open to get to the victims within, and they would (relatively rarely) spawn around vehicles or piles of vehicle parts, giving a sense of thematics to their presence. In reality, however, they do not “eat” metal - rather, they are quite carnivorous, which is unfortunate for the player. They exist in small packs of flight capable eaters that will mostly try to avoid the player and scatter, though they will occasionally appear (especially in junkyards) led by a Junk Glutton, a larger, landbound and far more aggressive specimen. All Metal Eaters will aggress against the player if the Junk Glutton is doing so, and if he is driven off or killed they will also flee.
Metal Eaters and Junk Gluttons, true to their name, are very dangerous to players in vehicles. The fliers are quite fast, and have the ability to damage vehicle structures, but will only do so if the player is in it. Junk Gluttons can usually be outrun in a vehicle… unless the Eaters manage to damage it enough first for them to catch up.
Both of them navigate primarily by sound, relying next on sight with a focus on moving objects, and have a poor sense of smell (except, thematically, the smell of rust, though I doubt that would have an effect in game).
Recommended strategies for fighting Eaters and Gluttons: They are relatively fragile, and focused on hit and run tactics versus players on foot and grab and cling damage over time to piloted vehicles. It’s recommended that you leave your vehicle if you attract the attention of eaters, to keep it safe. They are easily taken down with ranged weaponry, but melee is quite a bit more difficult. Moving the fight indoors is a good way to protect yourself from them. While the Eaters have the ability to eventually tear down doors and break through windows, if the players moves inside and stops making sound, they will often quickly forget the hunt and move on, since they can neither see nor hear the player. Soundmaking devices such as radios work well against these creatures, as they will prioritize investigating things that sound like prey over things that look like prey.
If you decide to fight, the Glutton can eat quite a bit of damage and is strong enough to easily bash down doors, but usually moves slower than a running player, relying on the Eaters to wear them down enough for the Glutton to catch up. It might be worth engaging the Glutton quickly, however - if it is killed, the Eaters will disperse.[/td]