“They are small, gray or brown, and look velvety soft. Cute, really. Except for those tusks. Those actually look like they could do some damage. Then, when the little bastards start swarming, all thoughts of cuteness vanish right quick. Wish I didn’t take that path through the forest. Didn’t even notice the little holes in the hillside where I decided to take a break, until they started streaming out. I woke up not long after that.”-from the dream journal of Charles Curry
Alternative names: dream-feeders, bed critters
Tusk Mice live in burrows in the wildernesses of the Dreamlands. They look much like, if somewhat larger than, the mice of the waking world except that they have a pair of long needle-like tusks that protrude from their lower jaw. They are rarely a threat to the regular denizens of the Dreamlands, unless their burrows are disturbed. If their burrows are disturbed they will swarm their attackers in a pack until the attackers retreat.
For dreamers, on the other hand, the Tusk Mice are perhaps at their most dangerous since they have the ability to pierce the veil of sleep and to feed on the dreamer in the waking world. For most dreamers the feeding process causes the dreamer to quickly wake, so the Tusk Mice will rarely try to feed on them unless attacked since they will get little or no sustenance. Dreamers for whom waking is difficult or impossible are the favorite prey of the Tusk Mice since they can often feed for hours. As they feed, they seem to fade from sight in the Dreamlands, while in the waking world they manifest around the body of the dreamer as shadowy shapes. There, they begin to feed on the dreamer by stabbing their tusks into the victim, but rather than drawing blood, they siphon away their victim’s energy. While in this twilight feeding state Tusk Mice are immune to mundane weapons, so often the only defense is to wake. The primary things they do have to fear while in this state are cats. Due to their ability to easily pass between the waking world and the Dreamlands cats can harm Tusk Mice, even in their feeding state, from either side of the veil. In fact, a single cat is enough to scare off even a large pack of Tusk Mice whether in the Dreamlands or the waking world. A further danger of Tusk Mice to dreamers is their ability to find a dreamer that they have previously fed from, no matter how far the dreamer has moved from them in the Dreamlands. The dreamer can only be freed from the pack when all of the Tusk Mice that originally fed from the dreamer have been killed.
Tusk Mice, feeders on the sleeping (Pack)
char. roll average
STR (2D3+3)5 35
CON (2D6+1)5 40
SIZ 2D3x5 20
DEX 4D6x5 70
POW 3D6x5 50–55
Average Hit Points: 6
Average Damage Bonus (DB): n/a
Average Build: –2
Attacks per round: 1 (bite, feed, overwhelm)
The profile above assumes a pack of ten Tusk Mice. Increase the pack’s SIZ by +10 points and hit points by +3 per five additional Tusk Mice, and reduce these by the same amount to account for losses. Each time an opponent wins a combat against the pack, reduce the number of Tusk Mice by one (no damage roll required), with the death of two Tusk Mice reducing the pack’s collective hit points by one. A pack of twenty or more may attack one or more targets in a single round. When attacking multiple targets, adjust damage based on the number of Tusk Mice attacking each target (each multiple of five Tusk Mice attacking a single target will do 1 point of damage).
Favorite Prey: Dreamers for whom waking is difficult or impossible such as people in comas, or those suffering from various other illnesses/injuries that cause them to sleep a great deal and/or have difficulty waking. This may include people on sleeping pills, other medication or drugs. They also target people who have had strokes, or who have sustained head injuries who, while appearing to be to some degree active in the waking world, may actually be roaming the Dreamlands.
Feed: First the pack must make a successful “Travel to Waking World” roll. If successful they can make a feed roll. If the feed roll is successful and they are uninterrupted for 30 minutes, they drain the victim of 1 MP per 10 Tusk Mice feeding. However, the victim has a chance to wake up for each feeding roll made (successful or otherwise). Normal dreamers have a cumulative 25% chance to wake up for each feed roll made by the pack (after the first feed roll the victim would wake on a roll of 25 or less, and after the second they would wake on a roll of 50 or less, etc.). If the dreamer’s roll to wake is successful, the pack does not drain any MP and the dreamer wakes, though any MP drained on previous feed rolls are still lost. Dreamers whose ability to wake is impared have a 1%-20% cumulative chance to wake after each feed roll depending on the severity of their condition (percentage set by the Keeper). The pack will voluntarily stop feeding after 2D10 hours if the dreamer does not wake otherwise. If all of the dreamer’s MP are drained before the pack stops feeding, each further successful feed roll will drain one POW. Magic spells may provide protection or enable damaging attacks against Tusk Mice at the Keeper’s discretion. A cat will scare off a pack of up to 20 Tusk Mice if it is present when they arrive. If a cat arrives after the Tusk Mice start feeding it will immediately recognize what is occurring and attack them, doing normal damage. Once the cat has killed at least ten percent of the Tusk Mice the rest will flee. Multiple cats can scare off larger packs at a rate of 1 cat per 20 Tusk Mice.
Overwhelm (mnvr): as a pack (and only in the Dreamlands), Tusk Mice may assault and overwhelm an individual (foregoing attacks on multiple opponents). Due to their numbers, a pack of ten Tusk Mice gains one bonus die with the attack. Each pair of Tusk Mice performing the maneuver deals 1 damage; thus, ten Tusk Mice inflict five damage per round.
Fighting 50% (25/10), damage 2 (+1 per additional 5 Tusk Mice in the pack) Feed 66% (37/15), siphon 1 MP per 30 minutes of uninterrupted feeding per 10 Tusk Mice (see above)
Overwhelm (mnvr) 50% (25/10), damage 1 per 2 Tusk Mice (see above)
Dodge 30% (25/10)
Skills: Travel to Waking World 100%
Contents: 50% Mustache, 20% Rum, 30% Demented Cultist