Giant roaches that want to eat your face off. If that sounds like the making of a good film, then Guillermo del Toro’s 1997 Mimic is something you definitely want to check out. A full-length creature feature about a bio-engineered race of ‘roaches’, Mimic follows the evolution of these spliced vermin as they climb up the food chain to go after their creators – mankind.
When a fictional disease rips through the streets of New York City, scientists, lead by Mira Sorvino’s Dr. Susan Tyler, create a hybrid mantis/termite creature to hunt down the disease carriers – the ever present New York roach. Thinking they designed the race to die off after only a generation, several years later the high-metabolism of the judas breed have allowed them to reach epic proportions. And their favored diet has changed with their new morphology – man.
Moody and dark, the film presents the judas breed as a tough species with the ability to walk upright and appear vaguely human. But aside from their mimicry, how do they compare to other 5th Edition creatures? Let’s take a look.
Conversion. The most likely candidate for an easy conversion for the judas breed are the thri-kreen. Bipedal, intelligent and possessing 6 legs just like the mimics of the film, the Dark Sun natives seem like a near-perfect translation. However, looking at the abilities between the two, they are fundamentally quite different opponents.
For one, thri-kreen lack wings, and flight is often times a game changer in D&D. And thematically, while thri-kreen enjoy humanoid meet like the judas breed, they are substantially more intelligent, possessing a culture and the ability to fight with weapons. The judas breed are, despite their adaptive natures, still beasts.
Thri-kreen, like humans, are also substantially much weaker than most predatory animals as society has evolved to bred out the need for primarily physical traits to make room for social and intellectual ones. Therefore the judas breed would by necessity need to be much stronger than thri-kreen who have weaponry and tactics in their arsenal.
Additionally, the judas’ are said to go into frenzy when the scent of blood is near, a much more primitive, but also very powerful fighting factor over the thri-kreen. With all of these differences, the phase spider is actually a decent base creature, with the various ameliorating changes previously mentioned, making the judas breed considerably more formidable than your typical thri-kreen and a decent challenge for even new adventurers.
What do you think, is the giant roach a suitable opponent for your urban campaign (Ravnica and The Simic Combine anyone)? Download my rendition of the Mimic’s Judas Breed stats in JPEG1 | JPEG2 or pdf format for your campaign and hunt your players down and tear them apart!)
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Want more buggy inspiration? Check out Simon Oliver and Terry Moore’s the Exterminators: