“Triangular Head. Huge, slanted black eyes. Just like a Praying Mantis. It’s whole body was gangly, nobby…but you could still sense it was powerful, and no– I would not say it was a “Big Bug”– it was definitely humanoid despite the mantis/insect qualities…”
– Eyewitness Report, “The Musconetcong River “Mantis Man” Returns”, PhantomsAndMonsters.com
Though they are known by many names across different cultures, the true name of the Mantis Men – if they even have one – is unknown. The most common moniker is a recent one, lent to it by paranormal reality shows that have introduced encounters with the aliens into popular culture. And alien they are, indeed. The origin of the creatures, their nature, and desires, is a mystery to even those well-versed in the occult. Possessed of an intellect so bizarre, communication with the entities is impossible.
It is generally accepted that – due to their sometimes translucent bodies and apparent resistance to earthy weapons – that the Mantis Men are not of this Earth. It would appear they only come here to hunt, though what drives them to our world or how they arrive is unknown. Some scholars speculate the Mantis Men can sense where the veil between worlds is the thinnest and possess some method of tearing through, perhaps through their formidable fore-claws. Mantis Man fore-claws are highly sought after for this reason – though one has never been known to have been removed. Others believe the creatures are opportunistic travelers, slipping through gates opened by others, or through the summoning of another entity.
The Mantis Men prefer warm-blooded prey, and will eat anything they can kill. They will stalk prey until they are able to strike without being seen. While on Earth, a Mantis Man will establish a lair away from prying eyes — the high floors of abandoned buildings, sewers, caves, or thick forests. Victims will be dragged back to these lairs to be devoured.
The Mantis Men appear to have no interest in the affairs of humanity or the Mythos races, caring only to hunt. Knowledge of the Mantis Men among the Mythos races is almost as scant as that of humanity’s. Alien writings on the subject consist only of warnings to avoid the creatures or to leave them be. There are spells capable of summoning and binding Mantis Men. Only the most foolhardy would attempt such a thing. The Mantis Men are every bit as intelligent as humans, and will not take peacefully to a binding. They will seek every opportunity to slip their bonds and vengeance themselves.
There is one consistent bit of knowledge among all cultures, however. The Mantis Men hate to be seen. Every bit as reclusive as their namesakes, the Mantis Men prefer to remain hidden, and unless they are hunting, will make every attempt to flea an area if it detect a threat. But, if one catches even a glimpse of them, the Mantis Men will often attempt to kill the witness. The reasons why the monsters are driven to kill to protect their secrecy – as with almost everything else about them – is obscured in mystery.
Stun: The Mantis Man can launch a psychic assault against a potential victim or threat, stunning them. This attack produces an audible series of clicks and chirps, not unlike a cricket’s song. The Mantis Man makes a POW x 5 roll – on a success, the target is stunned. The target will remain stunned until they either make a successful POW x 5 roll, or the Mantis Man leaves the area. Once free, the victim will flee in terror for 1d4 rounds. Suffering a psychic attack from a Mantis Man costs the victim 1/1d4 Sanity.
Translucent: On a successful Sneak roll, a Mantis Man can turn itself translucent, visible only as a faint distortion of the air, for a number of rounds equal to its POW. Anyone trying to see a Mantis Man in this state must make both a successful Spot Hidden and Luck roll.
Opportunistic Traveler: At Keeper’s discretion, any gate opening or summoning spell is capable of drawing a Mantis Man to our world.
Mantis Men, Ultraterrestrial Predators
char – rolls – avg
STR 3d6+6 19-20
CON 3d6 10-11
SIZ 3d6 10-11
INT 3d6 10-11
POW 4d6 14
DEX 3d6+6 19-20
Mov 8 – HP 15
Av. Damage Bonus: +1d6
Weapons: Raptorial Legs 40% damage 1d6 + db
Snatch 60%, damage 1d6 + grappled for Mandible attack
Mandibles 40% (90% if held), damage 1d4 + db.
Pounce 50%, damage grappled.
Armor: 3 points of tough exoskeleton, and normal weapons do only minimum damage to Mantis Men, due to their otherworldly origin.
Spell: At Keeper’s Discretion.
Skills: Sneak 95%, Spot Hidden 90%
Sanity Loss: 1/1d10 to see a Mantis Man.