In the frozen wilds, you will find creatures adapting to the harsh conditions in myriad ways. One of those is the vicious, yet patient, ice spider.

Ice spiders are specially made for the cold, able to hibernate for long periods to conserve energy and then attack with savage ferocity to fill their bellies and preserve their young for future victims. These creatures come in three main varieties: small (usually in a swarm), large, and huge.

These spiders will often find or make a lair in a small natural or ice cave and then form a trap “door” to cover it, then wait…

Stealth is the name of the game for these predators, hiding in plain sight and quietly walking on spider legs through the cold night. They will go to any lengths for a meal and can wait for days or weeks in stasis with a hair trigger to jump on anything that crosses their path. These spiders will often jump from their concealed hiding holes to surprise a victim. Large spiders will surprise on a roll of 1-2 on a d6. Huge spiders will surprise on a roll of 1-4 on a d6.

Large and Huge spiders will build vast, sticky webs in their lairs, with tremendously strong strands that only a character with Str 18 can break free from in 1 round. All others take 1d3+1 rounds to cut themselves free.

Special: The ice spider poison does not damage the victim, but simply makes it more susceptible to the cold – slowing body processes further to preserve the body for consumption. Effects:

  • After the first failed Save vs. Poison, the victim is slowed to 1/2 their movement speed.
  • After the second failed Save vs. Poison, they are reduced to one attack every other round.
  • After the third fail, the victim is slowed to 1/4 their movement speed.
  • After the fourth fail, they are reduced to one attack every third round…

Creature stats:

  • Small (Swarm) Ice Spiders: HD 1; AC 8 [12]; Atk 1 bite (1d3 + poison)/3 bites in swarm (1d3 + poison); Move 120’, Jump 10’, 2x speed in web; AL N; Special: Poison (victims get Save vs. Poison at +4), see description
  • Large Ice Spider: HD 2; AC 6 [14]; Atk 1 bite (1d6 + poison); Move 120’, Jump 20’, 2x speed in web; AL N; Special: Poison (victims get Save vs. Poison at +2), see description
  • Huge Ice Spider: HD 4; AC 4 [16]; Atk 1 bite (2d6 + poison); Move 120’, Jump 30’, 2x speed in web; AL N; Special: Poison (standard Save vs. Poison), see description

Other thoughts…

  • Some cultures have made a habit of using Ice Spider venom as an anesthetic and will go out of their way to hunt the creatures and harvest their venom sacs
  • These creatures have developed a shiny blue exoskeleton that can reflect the sun in bright daylight, so they tend to hunt at night or only emerge from their lairs briefly to attack their prey and pull it back into the darkness with them
  • Some explorers have reported huge nests in the ice caves in the high mountains and there are rumors of a gigantic queen spider

 

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