It is rumored that the Buggems appeared even before the onset of the shadow years, having been spawned decades earlier by the radioactive fallout of an atomic bomb test. In appearance, these malevolent creatures have the synthesized features of a man and a gargantuan insect. The creatures are bipedal (standing between 150-200 centimeters/5-6½ feet) and have only two arms. Their bloated abdomen and thorax are connected to a large head complete with long, fern-like antennae and broad mandibles. When attacking, Buggems either strike with their two claws and bite, or they can use a crude weapon such as an axe, sword, or mace. When using a weapon the creatures can also bite.
These termite men live within nests made up of a myriad of burrowed passages and chambers. Due to the lack of light in the Buggem nests, the creatures have developed heightened senses that allow the Buggems to see in the dark. Buggem nests are found in almost all climes and are easily recognizable by the prominent mound of dirt formed over the opening into their chambers. Like any of their smaller relations these termite creatures are primarily fungus eaters, raising their own food supply deep within their dark burrows in strange fungus gardens.
Although they prefer to remain in their nests, Buggems must occasionally venture outside to get hosts for their parasitic infants.
These hosts are invariably humanoid and always perish during the eventual hatching of the young.
In a world of for more dangerous creatures, the Buggem species survives partially due to two unique mutations that occur occasionally among their kind. Appearing in one creature out of twenty, the Buggems’ first mutation is that of gas generation. Several different types of gas are possible with varying probability of appearance. The types and associated probability are:
40% - Opaque gas
40% - Caustic gas
20% - Poison gas
Each mutated Buggem is able to generate only one type of gas, and may use this ability only three times per day. Each generation fills a five meter by five meter (16 feet) area and lasts for five minutes or less depending upon the strength of the prevailing winds (if any).
Opaque gas forms a billowing, harmless cloud, thick, white, and impenetrable to normal vision. Caustic gas is an acidic vapor that burns all within its area of effect, for as long as the victims remain in the cloud. In addition, all individuals affected fight and defend at a penalty. Poison gas is a colorless, odorless cloud of lethal vapor. All buggerns are immune to any of the gases' effects.
The second mutation is more rare, occurring in only 1% of the species. The abnormality causes the termite man's size and strength to decrease, but, in return the creature gains greater dexterity, heightened intelligence, and telepathic ability. These telepaths are able to communicate with any member of their hive regardless of distance or physical obstruction. They direct all important actions taken in their nests, allowing a degree of intelligence to enter into their lesser brothers’ actions. In addition, these biological freaks use archaic weaponry such as blasters, lasers, and death ray projectors whenever such advanced weapons are available.
(The creature first appeared in first edition Gamma World module: GW1 Legion of Gold)