Wednesday, December 8, 2021

OSR: Monstergirls for the OSR: Arachne

Number Appearing: 1
Alignment: Any, but usually True Neutral, Chaotic Neutral or Neutral Evil
Languages: The Lingua Franca plus 1d3 other mortal tongues.  She can also communicate with Spiders as if they shared a language, as well as Insects and other creeping things.
Treasure: Money and weapons left by her previous victims, or offerings of spices, liquor and fine foods from those seeking to appease her or the Queen of Spiders.

The Arachne are created by a fusion of mortal flesh and spiritual power.  When a Medium, a magic-user who allows spirits to possess them in exchange for power grows too close to their patron, sometimes their union can become permanent, as the more dominant of the souls devours and envelops the other.  This usually happens during moments of extreme stress, psychotic breaks or at the brink of death.  When this happens, the more dominant soul does not destroy the more submissive soul, but the two of them merge together, creating an entirely new entity. 

This entity will have the memories of both former souls, but it will have a different personality.  This is the most common way Arachne are created, but not the only way. 

Arachne themselves resemble human women from the waist up, regardless of what race the Medium was before.  Their lower bodies are the bodies of spiders, covered in chitinous exoskeletons with twitching hairs.  The Arachne also sometimes have additional human-looking arms, extra eyes or strips of flesh-covered chitin on their upper halves.  Also, only female Mediums can become Arachne.  Male Mediums who merge with spider spirits tend to gain unique forms based on their degree of submission or domination to the spirit.  The reasons for this are unknown to any but the Spider Queen, but she seems to favor that shape for her female acolytes. 

In terms of usual personality, Arachne are not evil, though they are often depicted as such in stories and folklore.  Instead, the primary trait Arachne almost always exhibit is selfishness and self-centeredness.  They are amoral and apathetic, caring little for other people or their problems.  Such things do not concern them, unless they infringe upon the Arachne's plans or desires.  Some Arachne do like to hurt people and exploit them for their own gain, but most Arachne are only malicious by accident. 

An example of a typical Arachne thought process is that she spies a handsome man and decides she wants to talk with him, or perhaps make him her lover.  So she ambushes him, ties him in spider silk and carries him away to his lair.  She probably won't eat the man and might even be a passionate and exotic lover, or she might copulate with him and then in the throes of passion, gobble him up.  Alternatively, she may keep him in her lair and grow bored with him, only keeping him where he is out of sheer habit.  But regardless of what she does, the feelings of the man on the subject, much less his loved ones back home, will never enter the picture naturally.  She will only ever acknowledge those feelings if she is forced to by external circumstances.               

HD 5
AR 2 [Natural Armor]
Atk Weapon (1d8+2/1d8+2 + Poisoned Weapons) or Poison Fang
Mor 13
Saves 12 or less

Spider Climb: Arachne can stick to walls and surfaces like a spider and are able to walk on the walls and ceiling with no difficulty. 

Weaving: Arachne can produce webbing as if they could cast the spell "Spider Silk" at will. 

Poisoned Weapons: Arachne poison their weapons, which causes any creature that is hit by one to take 1d6 poison damage per round, until that creature passes a CON save or takes 3d6 poison damage.

Poison Fang: Arachne can make a bite attack that does 1d6+3 sharp damage on a hit, plus it induces the effect of their poison.  Besides the poison that coats their weapons, Arachne can also produce a different type of poison that is unique to each individual. 

Spellcasting: Arachne have a number of Mana Dice equal to their HD.  They can cast the following spells as an action.  These spells do not trigger Chaos or Corruption, but Arachne's MD do burn out as normal.  Arachne know the spells - Arachnophobia, Cloudkill, Speak with Animals, Spider Climb and Venom Bullet.

Daughter of the Queen: Arachne are the adopted children of the Queen of Spiders.  They can speak with spiders as if they shared a language, and all spiders and spider-like creatures get +4 to their reaction rolls when dealing with Arachne.  Insects and Insect-like beings, by contrast get -4 to their reaction rolls when dealing with Arachne and if attacked or threatened by an Arachne, must save or become frightened.  On a failed save, those creatures cannot move toward the Arachne and take 1d6 COG damage a round until they drop to 0 COG or cannot be threatened by the Arachne anymore for whatever reason (for example, she is dead or they ran away).  If reduced to 0 COG, these creatures immediately flee and gain the Conviction, "I am terrified of spiders and anything that resembles one."  COG lost like this then returns at a rate of 1 point per day.

- Set traps, ambush prey, isolate from the group and destroy
- Inject with venom, incapitate if necessary, then restrain with webbing
- Utilize any advantages that terrain might provide, dropping down from ceilings, climbing up walls, etc
- Use guerrilla tactics against superior foes

To customize an Arachne, roll on the tables below:

Where did this Arachne come from?


1- She was a (Spider) Wizard favored by the Queen of Spiders.  This form and power is her gift.  This Arachne can attempt to charm spiders or spider-like creatures 1/Day.  Creatures she has charmed will treat her like their leader and do anything she suggests of them, as long as it is not unreasonable, suicidal or against their moral code.  If she commands such a thing, those creatures get a new save.
2- She was a Medium who merged with a Spider Spirit.  She has good relationships with 1d6 weaker spirits who she can call on to aid her, in exchange for a favor or other service.
3- She was dying, but on the brink of death, the ghost of a giant spider possessed her body in an attempt to preserve it's own life.  She can catch dreams, ghosts and other immaterial things in her webs.  Additionally, Undead will not attack her unless she threatens them first.
4- She is the offspring of another Arachne and a mortal.  She is savage and brutal, and anyone who fights but doesn't defeat her must save or gain the Conviction, "I am terrified of spiders and anything that resembles one."

How beautiful is this Arachne?


1- Horrific.  The divide between the two halves of her body are not clean, part of her face resembles that of a spider and parts of her lower body resemble that of a human's, to terrifying affect.    
2- Ugly and Frightening.  Her human upper half is blighted with spider-like features, giving her 1d6 of the following: mandibles; an inhuman face; an eerie voice; long, stiff hairs like a tarantula; potruding teeth or fangs; extra, human limbs on her upper body; marks like those on a spider's exoskeleton on her skin; bulging, black eyes.
3- Odd and Unsettling.  Her human upper half is mostly normal, apart from the extra eyes that all Arachne have.  But her features are still odd and something about her fails to allow you to fully relax around her.  There's nothing especially scary about her, except for the fact that she looks at you like that.
4- Lovely.  The Arachne is a vision of grace and beauty, her upper half soft and plump in the right areas, while her bottom half is majestic and powerful.  People underestimate her and tend to give her the benefit of the doubt, until she proves such things are undeserved.  

What traps does this Arachne make with her webs?


1- Noise traps.  Tripwires attached to piles of stones or coins that when tripped, cause an enormous racket.  She'll hear you coming.
2- Net traps.  Trip one and you'll be wrapped in a sticky net and suspended above the ground.
3- Tiger pits.  The bottom of the pit is covered in sticky webbing.  Anything that falls down there is stuck and will need to be cut free to move.
4- Falling logs.  A tripwire is attached to a net of strong, but non-sticky threads that suspend either heavy logs or large stones.  If the tripwire is tripped, the logs or stones fall on your head, doing 3d6 damage, save for half.  Those with a DEX of 16(+2) or higher take no damage on a successful save.

What weapons does she make out of her webs?


1- A lasso.  She can ensnare creatures or weapons with it, then yank them up towards her. 
2- A kumorningstar.  A ball of webbing that, when it hits a creature, ensnares that creature in a tangle of threads, grappling and restraining that creature, preventing it from moving.
3- A garrotte.  When she wraps it around a creature, she can wrap it around that creature's throat and squeeze.  That crushes the creature's throat, cutting off the flow of oxygen to it's brain and doing 1d6 CON damage a round.  If this reduces a creature's CON to 0, that creature falls unconscious and starts dying.  CON damage done like this is healed if the creature can start breathing freely again.
4- Nooses.  As garrotte, but she just brings you up to a high place, wraps one around your throat and throws you off a ledge.

What does her 'Poison Fang' do?


1- It causes a creature to take 1d6 STR damage per round until that creature passes a CON save or takes 3d6 STR damage.  If this STR damage causes a creature to become over encumbered, meaning it is carrying more items than it has inventory slots, that creature gets -4 to do any action based on STR and Atk rolls and automatically acts last in the initiative.  Lost points of STR start to come back after 1 day, then continue returning at a rate of 1 point per day. 
2- It causes the creature injected to take 1d6 DEX damage per round until that creature passes a CON save or takes 3d6 DEX damage.  If this DEX damage reduces a creature's DEX to 0, it is paralyzed and cannot move for 1 hour. 
3- It causes agonizing pain, any creature exposed to her venom takes 1d4 damage every time it takes an action, which includes movement.  This damage cannot reduce a creature below 0 HP.  After using this, the Arachne will usually retreat and wear her enemies down.
4- It is non-lethal, with any creature who is exposed to it sweating it out through their pores.  However, the poison is extremely flammable.  Should the creature take any amount of fire damage within an hour of being exposed to the poison, that creature bursts into flames.  These flames cannot be extinguished by anything short of a vacuum or total immersion in water.  The poison can also be neutralized through certain chemicals, but only a Sage who had studied the Arachne's venom would be able to know which ones.  The Arachne knows what can do this, of course.  She can also extinguish the poison as a free action.
5- It causes a creature to take 1d6 CHA damage per round until that creature passes a CHA save or takes 3d6 CHA damage.  If this reduces a creature's CHA to 0, that creature's shadow abandons them and joins the Arachne.  The shadow has equivalent stats to the creature it left, but can only be hurt by things that could hurt a shadow.  Creatures without shadows are also considered Undead for the purposes of spells and are damaged by sunlight.
6- It is non-lethal, but it causes a creature to secrete pheremones that attract a dangerous local creature or type of creature, other than the Arachne.  Example monsters includes 1d6 [1= Bears; 2= Big Cats; 3= Giant Crayfish, Crabs or Lobsters; 4= Wyverns; 5= Trolls; 6= Dragons.]  These creatures find the creature injected with this venom irresistible and depending on the type of creature will either want to snuggle with it or eat it, 50% of either.  

Arachne Plot Hooks:


1- An Arachne has kidnapped a handsome man and taken him to her lair, a cave in the hills.  Retrieve him, alive if possible.  The Arachne is friendly, polite and aristocratic, but will not surrender her prize.  Her lair is also full of horrible booby-traps and hazards she can easily evade. 
2- A group of Goblins who serve an Arachne want to please her, so they have kidnapped the most handsome men they can find and are forcing them to participate in a beauty pageant to see who is the most worthy of their "Queen".  The challenges in the beauty pageant are bizarre and dangerous and suit Goblin sensibilities, with events such as knife-throwing, shark-jumping and the swimsuit contest.  Winners get to meet the Arachne, losers get eaten.  Save the contestants and try to escape with your lives.   
3- As above, except the players need to infiltrate the contest to get close enough to the Arachne to slay her.
4- A greedy merchant found a strange spider several days ago, one that wove webs of gold thread.  He captured the spider and is secretly hiding it in a jar in his basement.  The Queen of Spiders, who blessed that spider, is greatly displeased with this.  So an Arachne and a small army of spiders, small and Giant, have been dispatched to find the Queen's child and slay the kidnapper.  The players and townspeople don't know this, all they know is that a small army of Giant Spiders is attacking their town. 
5- An Arachne, after spying one of the player characters, has fallen in love with him.  She begins stalking him, causing trouble with her presence and leaving him strange gifts, such as birds with severed heads, and writing him embarassing love notes.  Find a way to get rid of her, without making her mad.  She will hurt the other player characters if she has to, but she will only fight her love if she must.  She also might be a bit of a psycho, and if angered, might try to kidnap her love and hold him captive until he loves her. 
6- An Arachne and a Mantis-Maid, servant to the Insect God, are having a spat over who is better at something.  This could be anything from who is more beautiful to who is the better wrestler.  Either way, this argument is causing the local populations of insects and spiders to go crazy and they are causing problems for the locals.  The locals don't know this, all they know is that Ankhegs keep eating their cows and Spiders are mummifying people and that they'd prefer such things don't happen.  Please go and mollify the spirits or whatever is responsible and make them stop.  The players could just kill one or both of the arguing women, but a better way would be to find some way to solve the dispute in a non-lethal manner.

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