Occasionally I get creepy ideas from pictures that just, somehow, turn into creatures in my adventures. This was definitely one of those times.

Design Thoughts – Space Spiders

Sometimes, you just need a bug hunt. In this case, it was the bugs who were hunting a friend of our heroes – Bob, the Skaali they rescued from a Grey Man prison months before. He sent them a message that basically was a cry for help, and our PCs went running!

The planet Bob was calling from happened to be a jungle world that was infested with giant spiders. They weren’t always giant. A lab experiment gone wrong changed them, using a similar type of radiation to what the Dread use to modify Dread Hollows. But it only affected a single species. Almost overnight the planet was infested by spiders that are able to go dormant for years at a time buried in the dirt, drawing some nutrients from the rich organic soil.

The Avicularia Drunantia, or Drunae for short, were a regular species on the planet before the accident. After the accident, they became the dominant hunter and were a perfect foil to the Dread. They hunted in the jungles, sensing movements in the soil. And they ran roughshod over the planet for YEARS after the Dread attacked, essentially fighting them nearly to extinction.

My thoughts were simple… Spiders. BIG spiders. Everybody loves spiders, right?

The Drunae

There were three levels of these critters. Small and plentiful. Car-sized and scary. Building-sized and horrifying. I think I managed to capture that with these stats:

  • Space Spider (Low-level): Attribute 8; Locomotion: 8 legs; Traits: Bite (d6), Inject Poison (every other turn, can inject a poison during the bite that does an additional +1 damage, causes Speed to reduce ½ each turn until it reaches 1, round up), Hivemind, Nightsight (+1 Perception at night, -1 Perception in daytime)
  • Space Spider, Giant (Mid-level): Attribute 10; Locomotion: 8 legs; Traits: Bite (d6), Inject Poison (every other turn, can inject a poison during the bite that does an additional +1 damage, causes Speed to reduce ½ each turn until it reaches 1, round up), Hivemind, Tough Hide (AR2), Grab, Squeeze, Rip, Nightsight (+1 Perception at night, -1 Perception in daytime)
  • Space Spider, Mega (High-level): Attribute 12; Locomotion: 8 legs; Traits: Bite (d6), Inject Poison (every other turn, can inject a poison during the bite that does an additional +1 damage, causes Speed to reduce ½ each turn until it reaches 1, round up), Hivemind, Tough Hide (AR2), Grab, Squeeze, Rip, Tactics, Plated Armor (AR3/AP15), Regenerating Armor, Nightsight (+1 Perception at night, -1 Perception in daytime)

Additional details:

  • Number appearing: 1d20 Space Spiders every 5 turns; 1d6 Space Spiders, Giant every 10 turns; 1d3 Space Spiders, Mega every 20 turns. If a battle lasts that long, it will attract the big mommas.
  • Each Mega will have 1d20 Space Spiders on its back when it arrives. Each Space Spider, Giant will have 1d6 Space Spiders on its back when it arrives.

There are Dread on the planet as well, but they are fighting a losing battle against the Drunae. Should one or more of the Mega Spiders suffer defeat, the Dread may emerge to see what can be done.

We had several fun battles utilizing flamethrowers and sniper rifles that ended up with bug guts everywhere!

Possible Enhancements

If this wasn’t enough, I also pondered the idea of the Giant and Mega-level spiders leaving egg sacs in various parts of the landscape that would open and create swarms of tiny, hungry biters that would just overwhelm their opponents.

Thankfully, this was enough. 🙂

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