Varmint bust, by Jacques00
Varmints are large, silicone-based lifeforms that are currently infesting the fields on T.'s Ranch in New Texas.
This New Texan varmint is a big, blue creature near to the size of a burly Terran doberman, though its posture is more squat, and its frame is rippling with muscle. Its jaw is filled with razor-sharp teeth, slavering as it draws near to you, a hungry glint in its big green eyes. Several spikes coat the creature's flat head, including a pair that curl into horn-like protrusions around its head, almost ram-like.
History/Personality/Information of Note
Like giant rodents, varmints tend to be more of an overgrown nuisance than anything else. They seem to eat up most produce grown on New Texan fields as well as other material, including silicone and even credit chits.
Though highly aggressive and usually attacking on sight, varmints can be subdued and 'wrangled' through non-fatal means. It is ill-advised to engage or provoke the beast when one is not strong or quick enough to escape its attacks.
The Captain Steele is able to wrangle varmints after accepting a job from Cameron. It is unknown what happens to them after they are turned in to Cameron. The cow-boy does mention "popping" the ones Steele brings to him, suggesting he kills the hog-tied creatures and then disposes of their corpses later on, likely in a compost pile.
If Steele wanders off of New Texas with one (somehow accidentally smuggling one through customs), the varmint will break loose and tear up the inside of Steele's ship after departing the planet. Steele can choose to kill the stowaway varmint (if a weapon is equipped), simply let the creature be until it eventually wanders off the ship of its own accord, or attempt to tame it. A bimbo Steele can tame the varmint automatically, while all others will need to seek out a professional) to help.
Varmints are initially encountered as single scavengers, but after encountering them enough times and Steele is at level 6 or higher, there is a slight chance that Steele may be ambushed by a pack of varmints, numbering about 2 to 4 varmints in a pack.
Varmint combat actions include:
- Leap Attack - Pounces and attempts to bite the opponent, causing penetrating kinetic damage. This attack also has a chance of tripping the opponent, and if this attack is consecutive, it may result in a stun.
- Maul - If tripped and on the ground, the varmint may savage the opponent for a large amount of penetrating kinetic damage.
- Ram - A powerful piercing attack with a chance to stun.
- 100% immunity to lust attacks
The varmint will not drop any credits but is worth 250 XP.
If it was defeated using the lasso, the varmint will also be tied up and carried in the inventory like an item, taking up an inventory slot. It is only possible to carry one varmint at a time.
Varmints are associated with Cameron's varmint wranglin' optional capture mini-quest.
There is also a small cause/effect event related to the varmint as well:
Tame a Varmint
Carrying a captured varmint onto the ship may inadvertently result in a stowaway varmint. If the varmint is in Steele's inventory and Steele lands on any planet besides New Texas, the varmint may break free and wander on the ship (putting the varmint in the ship's storage may prevent this from occurring). Once this happens, Steele can choose to Kill It, Leave It, or Try to Tame it.
If choosing to tame it, Steele must either be a Bimbo to win it over or have Natalie Irson help you tame it, which will require a silicone bag. After successfully taming the beast, if Steele has 50 credits or more, a leash and collar will be purchased for it, enabling the ability to Lease or Unleash the pet as well as equipping the leash so the varmint can follow Steele into battle. Steele can choose to Buy Leash Steele doesn't have one.
A wild or unleashed varmint may have a small chance to run away. While Steele is on the ship, there is a 1/120 chance per minute the feral varmint will run away; or if it has been tamed, a day after it was last unleashed, there will be a 1/240 chance per minute it may wander off while still on the ship (it can also be re-leashed an hour after it was unleashed).
Taming a varmint is a repeatable event, so if a stowaway/pet varmint is ever lost, a new one can be carried aboard with the same results. However, if Steele tames the varmint through Natalie, the varmint will be attached to Steele and will never run away.
Big T. mentions in one of his talk scenes that the original New Texan colonists battled "super varmints," the dominant race on the pre-Terraforming planet, which were larger and more aggressive ancestors to the modern-day varmints. Apparently they were exceptionally dangerous and fairly intelligent.