Gamemaster’s Guidepost: The Ecology of Giant Spiders in Dungeon Fantasy, Part II

Guest Post by Anders Starmark

A continuation of Ander’s previous post on the ecology of giant spiders.

Spider Webs
The spider can cover a hex in webs in one minute. A strand is about 0.4 inches thick, with DR equal to the spider’s ST/3 and HP equal to the spider’s ST. The strands are very sticky, and anyone who touches one is stuck. A stuck person cannot select the Move or Change Posture maneuvers or change facing, and is at -4 to DX. Spiders are not affected by their own webbing. 

To break free, the victim must win a Quick Contest of his ST or Escape skill vs. the web’s HP. Each attempt takes one second and costs the subject 1 FP. Alternatively, he may try to destroy the webbing. Spells hit automatically; other attacks are at -4. The web can only be damaged by burning or cutting damage. Magical weapons do twice normal damage to the webs. The web is normally used to spin webs, but the spider can also try to shoot a strand towards their target.

A person can try to pass through a web without touching any of the strands. This is a DX-10 roll; +2 for each Size Modifier lower than 0; -2 for each Size Modifier higher than 0; +1 for each strand that has been destroyed.

Example: Heather Halfling encounters a giant spider’s web with DR 5 and ST 15. If she wants to pass through the hex, she has two options: 1) destroy the web with her trusty sword, or 2) try to pass through the web without touching any of the strands. She tries option two. With a DX of 14 and Size Modifier -2, she needs to roll 8 or lower (14-10, +4 for Size Modifier). If she destroys two strands, the target number goes up to 10.

Unfortunately, she rolls a 12 and is stuck. She can now try to break free using her ST 8 or her Escape skill of 14. She chooses the latter and is free of the web. However, she is still not through the web.

Spider Venom
The spider’s mandibles are covered in a yellow-green slime. This is a powerful, paralyzing poison. A person who is bitten must make a HT roll with a negative modifier equal to the spider’s age category. On a failure, he is paralyzed for a number of hours equal to the margin of failure. On a failure of 5 or more he first falls unconscious for as many hours as the margin of failure, and is then paralyzed as above. On a critical failure, he goes into a coma.

AGE CATEGORY 1: BABY (<20 yrs)
Baby spiders are approximately two feet in diameter and live in flocks of 3d individuals. They are essentially large, dangerous animals. However, they are also fairly cowardly and flee if the enemy seems too much to handle.

ST 6           DX 13         IQ 4            HT 12
Will 9        Per 9           Speed 6.25 Dodge 9
Move 6
Size Modifier: -1; 50 lbs.
Traits: Chummy; Cowardice (12); DR 1; Enhanced Move 1 (Ground Move 12); Giant Spider; Super Jump 2; Wild Animal
Skills: Brawling-15; Jumping-13; Stealth-13; Tracking-13
Attack: Mandible-15 (1d-4 pi+) + poison
AGE CATEGORY 2: YOUNG (20-60 yrs)
Young spiders are about one yard in diameter. They still hunt in flocks of about 2d+2 individuals and have become bolder as they age.
ST 12                 DX 12         IQ 5            HT 12
Will 11               Per 10         Speed 6.00 Dodge 9
Move 6
Size Modifier: 0; 225 lbs.
Traits: DR 2; Enhanced Move ½ (Ground Move 9); Giant Spider; Magic Resistance 1; Super Jump 1; Wild Animal
Skills: Brawling-14; Jumping-12; Stealth-12; Tracking-14
Attack: Mandible-14 (1d-1 pi+) + poison
AGE CATEGORY 3: MATURE (60-120 yrs)
A mature is a hairy, black beast about three yards in diameter. The males stop growing at this stage and never become larger or more intelligent. They are mostly solitary from this stage on. Most males die when they are about 300 years, but some can live longer. Those females who survive this phase start growing very rapidly.
At this age, spiders mate and lay eggs.
ST 18                 DX 10         IQ 6            HT 10
Will 12               Per 10         Speed 5.00 Dodge 8
Move 5
Size Modifier: +2; 750 lbs.
Traits: DR 3; Magic Resistance 1; Giant Spider
Skills: Brawling-12; Jumping-10; Stealth-10; Tracking-14
Attack: Mandible-12 (1d+2 pi+) + poison
Middle aged spiders are about 5 yards in diameter. At this age, most spiders live in mountainous terrain, hunting by night. Usually they try to ambush their prey from above and drive it into a box canyon or an area blocked by webs.
ST 24                 DX 10         IQ 8            HT 10
Will 13               Per 10         Speed 5.00 Dodge 8
Move 5
Size Modifier: +3; 1 700 lbs.
Traits: DR 4; Giant Spider; Magic Resistance 2
Skills: Brawling-12; Jumping-10; Stealth-10; Tracking-14
Attack: Mandible-12 (2d+1 pi+) + poison
AGE CATEGORY 5: OLD (240-500 yrs)
The old spider is about 7 yards in diameter and prefers to live in the mountains. It often occupies an old orc or dwarf fortress
ST 30                 DX 9 IQ 10          HT 10
Will 13              Per 11         Speed 4.75 Dodge 7
Move 4
Size Modifier: +4; 3 500 lbs.
Traits: DR 5; Giant Spider; Magic Resistance 2
Skills: Brawling-11; Jumping-9; Stealth-9; Tracking-15
Attack: Mandible-11 (3d pi+) + poison
AGE CATEGORY 6: ANCIENT (500-1 000 yrs)
Ancient spiders are truly terrifying creatures, measuring nine yards in diameter. They mostly live underground, but sometimes leave their lairs to hunt on the surface; after all, the food supply underground is somewhat limited.
ST 36                 DX 8          IQ 12          HT 10
Will 13               Per 12       Speed 4.75 Dodge 7
Move 4
Size Modifier: +4; 1 700 lbs.
Traits: DR 6; Giant Spider; Magic Resistance 3
Skills: Brawling-10; Jumping-8; Stealth-8; Tracking-16
Attack: Mandible-10 (4d-1 pi+) + poison
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