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Lifeforms
Fauna
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4.17
6 Votes

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Comments: 7
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.1667
Condition: Normal
ID: 1303

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November 18, 2005, 12:16 pm

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Solitaire Spider

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A very rare spider, combines a certain degree of inteligence and wickedness. Living in underground locales, it can survive for long periods of time without fresh food. Even a rat is good, but it likes bigger prey, even humanoids.

Full Description
This spider does not use its web like other spiders do. With a black body and brownish-black hair, it relies on its camouflage skill. It often lurks on a victim above doors or tighter spots, unmoving and unnoticed for long hours. In the fore-legs it holds a piece of its web (it is very firm, only a little sticky, but above all: it is black). This web is wrapped around the head of the unsuspecting victim, and it is bitten in the neck. The spider then holds the victim, so it does not scream or move too much, and waits until the poison takes effect and the victim passes out.

It’s poison is a weakening and paralysing toxin, it can put one to sleep for hours. It could be possible to harvest it.

It also has a nest - a place where the victims are deposited. It takes a few days until a victim dies (meanwhile safely webbed in a cocoon). The spider takes care that it does not run away, and regularly administers another substance: weakening and conservating. When the victim is finally dead, the body can endure for tens of years without decomposing. If the spider has enough of other food, it is even excelently preserved. (If your campaign allows raising dead, this can be useful. But a simple Speak with Dead spell can do much too.) If the spider has enough fresh prey, and enough preserved bodies, it will lay eggs into some.

The Solitaire Spider is a loner. It is relatively smart, and it can ambush its prey effectively. On the other hand, it is ready to run away if the opposition is strong, and strike when it senses weakness. It avoids attacking groups. You could make it even smarter, and let it use treasure of former victims to lure new ones.

Usage: A properly used Solitaire Spider can with a bit of luck knock out a whole group of adventurers. This is rarely necessary, only if the group does not hold together. It is useful for “vanishing” of a character, often of the last-in-the-line. This way or that way, if the character (group) does not manage to free itself, someone else can do it. Paradoxically, the Solitaire can save someone from a life-threatening situation (at least temporary… ).

DM: “You hang over that bottomless hole, your fingers slip slowly, and you realise you have left your friends too far behind…”
PC: “Help! Help… well, so I try to gather my last Strength…” (Roll fails)
DM: “Your fingers cannot hold you anymore… but in the last moment some long limb with a claw catches you!”
PC: ” ??? ummm, OK, fine…”
DM: “A great black spider pulls you out, and wraps you some black cloth around the head. While you struggle for your breath, you feel something biting in your neck…”
PC: “Nooooooo!”

Note: There are a few more anatomical details below in a response to Zylithan’s questions.



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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted MoonHunter
November 3, 2005, 23:49
0xp
Simple, but effective. Not every great monster has to have uber powers.
Voted Cheka Man
November 4, 2005, 12:44
0xp
Very good and realestic. A monster who could survive well in forests or ruins.
Voted Pariah
November 5, 2005, 10:10
0xp
Spiders are fun.
Voted Dragon Lord
November 9, 2005, 8:30
0xp
Who needs uber-powerful, world domineering, munchkin overlords anyway

A simple spider is soooooooooooooo much more fun

Love it - 4/5
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
November 16, 2005, 23:28
0xp
The "In RP" bit in the end gives the general idea. Smooth and steady post.
Voted Zylithan
November 17, 2005, 23:03
1xp
This post is very confusing to me. How big is the spider? I was picturing a small thing until at the end a great big clawed arm comes out a grabs a guy. (and no previous mention of claws either) Is the black thread like a hood or a noose? How Does this surprise someone? Why would they be unable to scream with a hood over their head? I like the details you put in, and I'm assuming it's just me because other people rated this post higher, but I find it very confusing. I'd love to get a better understanding of it, because I like many of your other posts more :-)
manfred
November 18, 2005, 12:12
0xp
Obviously, you shouldn't believe everything you read, especially if it is written by people with a secret poetic license. :)

Sooo... let's explain it all and see if there is anything missing.

The creature we are talking about has to be big enough to restrain a human at least for a while, and drag the body to its lair. If it is hiding above doors and stuff, it's body shouldn't be much bigger than a human's. Given that, the longer limbs would have a similar size - five to six feet plus makes for a good operating space. Spiders do have claws on their limbs, not necessarily as weapons (though who knows at this size), but for climibing.

However, there is a possiblity that with enough food a spider grew... and became _bigger_.


The black color of the thread is necessary for masking - the typical subterrenean enviroment doesn't go with light colours. The thread is a woven into a hood of sorts. This is then wrapped tightly on the victim's head. The paralysing poison should do the rest to silence it. However, you are right, a victim might give off some noise before passing out - as nothing is certain. But a noiseless kidnapper sounds just more cool. ;)

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