Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spider, Primal

Here's my take on a more Shelob-like spider for old-school gaming - from Malevolent & Benign. Art by Jeremy McHugh.


SIZE: Large (12 ft. wide)
MOVE: 60 ft., in web 120 ft.
DAMAGE: 2-12
MAGIC RESISTANCE: 10% (and see below)
RARITY: Very rare
TREASURE: In Lair: 1-20k sp (10%), 1-12k ep (15%), 1-10k gp (40%), 100-800 pp (35%), 3-30 gems (20%), 1-10 jewelry (10%), any 3 magic items (50%), 1-4 phantasmal traveling spell books (50%), 1-4 phantasmal scrolls (50%)
INTELLIGENCE: Exceptional to genius
ALIGNMENT: Neutral evil
LEVEL/X.P.: 7 / 2,500 + 12/hp

General information: Primal spiders consider them-selves the master arachnids. They believe they are the primogenitors of all other spiders. They are tyrannical, paranoid, hateful, despairing, and destructive. Other creatures live to serve or as feed. They are always surrounded by such servants, and any arachnid of less than average intelligence obeys their every command without hesitation, as primal spiders know and speak the language of eight legs. This includes spiders, solifugae, scorpions, whip scorpions, mites, and ticks. A primal spider can control 300 HD of unintelligent arachnids, along with 30 HD of intelligent arachnids at a single time before some will start to wander off, unaffected by the spider’s commands.

Primal spiders are hermaphrodites, and they hate one another with the vastness of the sea. Mating only happens after one spider defeats another in combat and impregnates the weaker. If the weaker survives and recovers, it lays 2-20 eggs in an egg sac it keeps attached to its body. Upon hatching, the parent spider eats all but the first four hatchlings. The hatchlings flee quickly and grow into full-sized primal spiders after 50 years. During the young stage they have 4 HD, but all other abilities are the same as an adult’s. In addition to continuing the species, primal spiders can choose to create egg sacs, containing 2-20 of any type of arachnid, at will. These lesser creatures hatch in 2 weeks and are representative of their species in all ways.

Primal spiders combine the abilities of many different types of spiders. They can weave webs as complex and intricate as an orb weaver, they can hunt and jump like the tarantula they superficially resemble, but they mostly prefer to live in large underground complexes lined with silk and filled will servants and food. They have two poison types, which they can vary at will. One causes death and the other paralyzes for 10 turns. Saves against a primal spider’s poison are made at -2. The molt remains of a primal spider are desired by assassins throughout the world, as adding the charred remains increases the effectiveness of any poison, reducing saves against it by -2.

Primal spiders have darkvision to 120 ft. and possess excellent senses. They can detect hidden or invisible creatures within 50 ft., and they can instill the fear of death in all enemies within 50 ft. at will, acting much like the fear spell. Saving against spells negates this effect, but affected creatures flee as fast as possible from the primal spider for 8 rounds and have a base 50% chance of dropping any held items (reduced by 5% per level of the fleeing creature to a minimum of 5%). Creatures with greater than 6 HD save at +1 for every HD beyond 6. A creature that has successfully saved against the spider’s fear is immune to that spider’s fear for 24 hours.

Primal spiders use phantasmal magic at the 5th level of ability possessing four 1st, two 2nd, and one 3rd level spell per day. They enjoy collecting phantasmal spell books and scrolls, sending out their minions to acquire such when information concerning a local illusionist reaches them. Such acquisitions are hostile ones, of course. They are immune to illusion/phantasm magic and have 10% magic resistance to other magic.

Languages: Primal spiders speak common and the true language of eight legs.

Physical description: Primal spiders superficially resemble tarantulas in build. Their fur is black as pitch with tips pure white. When fully extended, they cover a diameter of 12 feet. They are capable of squeezing through small openings that a medium-sized humanoid could pass through without difficulty.

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