Friday, December 31, 2021

OSR: The City of Brass

artist unknown

It is a city located deep underground, below the Veins but above Hell, floating on the surface of the Cauldron.  It is a mega-metropolis, a hub for entire planes, a secret world unto itself.  You could spend a lifetime exploring the city and not run out of interesting things to see or do.

The city resembles a giant puzzle cube of stairwells, plazas and palaces, with streets that wind up and down into its' labyrinthine surfaces, passing through sculpted arcades and carved tunnels.  Every inch of the city is encrusted with decoration- reliefs adorn the walls, statues dot the streets, beautiful tile work supports your feet on shining hands. 

Unlike everywhere else in the depths of the Earth, darkness has no power here.  The city overflows with light, from the lava flows that pass through the city's canals and under her bridges, to the countless magical lights to the glowing occupants, shining with magic and heat, the city is a blinding beacon to all around it, a defiance of all that is gloomy, drab and dull. The city was designed with this mind, with metal domes that glitter like a million new pennies and towering glass sculptures that spray rainbows through the air.  The whole city is a feast for the eyes.

Yet for every plaza with astonishing artwork, jeweled walls and beautiful people attended by flocks of servants, there is an unfinished neighborhood wracked by ethnic conflict, where wildly diverse people forced into close quarters butcher each other.  Riots are not uncommon in some parts of the city and there are multiple insurgent groups operating in the City, seeking to overthrow the government, take over the City or something else similarly violent.

Similarly, these outer areas are also known for their grime and poverty.  The flesh markets of the City are vast, importing mortal cattle from every known world and several unknown ones.  At the World-Gates, steel and gold is traded for flesh.  And even for those who are not enslaved, most have little hope of escaping the grinding wheels of poverty- they will spend their lives laboring in front of a blistering furnace, guarding a door or endlessly polishing the walls of the City's plazas. 

The lucky few might end up becoming part of a Genie's household.  This is a privilege only granted to slaves, but most Genie slaves are treated better than some Freemen, with only a few exceptions.

by derdevil
Inhabitants of the City of Brass:

Genies.  Primordial lords of elemental magic, most of the Genies in the City live in palatial estates within the more developed districts, the City constructed around their domains, or in secluded caverns nearby, for those who favor quiet.  Efreeti and Deep Janeen are the only ones to commonly live in the City, but Marid and Djinn are known to visit occasionally.  The Genies of the City compete with each other for status and power over the City, throwing elaborate street festivals come election years and peppering other times with commissioned public works and games to entertain the citizenry.  The Genies are largely indifferent or ignorant of the violence in the unfinished blocs of the city.  Other problems, such as the simmering unrest toward their apathetic rule also pass beneath their notice.

Azers.  Ageless spirits of living fire in self-crafted shells of metal, Azers were commissioned long ago by the Efreet to build the City of Brass for them.  Despite the impossible splendor of the City, the Azers are still not finished, expanding and improving the outer layers of the City, which are still lovely, though nothing compared to the opulence of the center.  Azers also work at some of the City's forges and are among the best smiths in all of creation.  Be aware of this fact if you attempt to hire one, as there is no end to those who wish to enlist the Azers in their projects. 

Salamanders.  Serpent-folk with molten skin and burning hands.  They are the original inhabitants of the area that the City of Brass is built on.  Some have accepted the fact that the City is not going away and have moved in.  These Salamanders work at the forges, attend the nobles and participate in civic affairs.  A substantial minority of the Salamanders are less content and some are even engaged in an active insurgency and a campaign of terror to overthrow the Genies and grind the City into dust.

Souls.  The dead who have come up from Sheol.  They resemble one of the mortal races, but translucent and seemingly insubstantial.  Most are here as part of a work program or have been let out for the weekend.  They are quarrelsome individuals, grumpy and bad tempered.  Most react to attempts to help them or genuine love with scorn, disbelief or extreme skepticism.  If they have the chance to make you upset or rebuke your generosity, they will.  If you are mean to or abuse them, they will react with smug satisfaction.

Outsiders.  Creatures who have come up from Sheol or down from Heaven.  They have urgent business in the City.  Demons are here to score good deals or to participate in one of the innumerable ethnic or political conflicts brewing in the City.  Angels are usually here to capture Souls that have broken their parole or overstayed their visas in the land of the living and need to be deported back to Sheol.

Surface and Veins Folk.  Some are slaves, but some are citizens.  They live here, attempting to fit in and find prosperity in the City, while doing their best to adapt to their strange new environment.  Here, old ethnic, religious, linguistic and political disputes are born anew among the diverse and fractious population and new ones are created by the bad conditions and constant, bubbling tension many are forced to live under.

Trade and Industry:

The City of Brass is a voracious beast, consuming huge amounts of water, food and other resources.  Unrefined resources flow like water into the city and emerge as worked goods, which are disseminated out to the surrounding communities.  A large minority of the worked goods in the Veins, from forged steel to woven fabrics come from the City. 

The City not only sells to Veinsfolk, but to travelers from distant lands and other worlds.  The vast bazaars of the City spill up and down the vast plazas, some composed of multiple layers of stalls, stores and displays.  Here you can find merchants squatting amidst clouds of perfumed smoke, hawkers walking and shouting out their wares and customers of all colors, sizes and shapes pushing and shoving to try and get the best deal.  If you know where to look, you can find almost anything for sale.    

Besides the Bazaars, which sell an eclectic mix of goods and services, there are also brick and mortar stores that sell goods both fine and common.  The Street of Steel is a long line of forges and smelters, where blacksmiths of dozens of races mold metal and pour steel.  The Flesh-Yards are full of auction blocks and huge pens made of iron bars, where slaves from countless worlds wait to be sold.  The Path of Silk does not lead to a brothel, but is instead where the weavers and seamstresses hawk their wares, selling fine rugs, beautiful garments and exotic clothing that is all the rage in some place you've never heard of, but are sure is somehow important.

by Alexander von Wagner

Amusements in the City of Brass:

The City is not just a place of business and cold calculation, it is also a vast spectacle of art and beauty.  Some of the areas of the City are feasts for the eyes.  These are areas that have been finished by the Azers, but there are other parts of the City that are far less beautiful, as the Azers have yet to reach these areas, or perhaps the locals have sullied them on purpose or by simple circumstance. 

Yet even in these areas, beauty abounds, from the mosaics crawling up the walls to the ornate tile-work, multi-colored stones intershot with veins of natural minerals, so cunning in their construction that they could be confused for natural tunnels, or so orderly and precise that they could be nothing but the work of inhuman hands. 

Besides the amazing architecture, there is also plenty of other things to do in the City.  The Nymph District is a nest of brothels, pleasure-houses and nymphariums, where prostitutes of every race you can imagine sell their services.  The Red Squares host gladiatorial fights between slaves, paid gladiators, volunteers and wild beasts.  The Greatest of these pits is the Brass Ring, a huge arena where the greatest of fighters and the most fearsome of beasts clash in terrific battles to the screams and adulation of the crowds.  There is the Symphonic Walk, a series of a streets that are designed to reflect and channel sounds in such a way that a single musician can be heard streets away as if he was on the other side of the road.  Here people tip-toe on padded shoes and musicians quietly brawl for the best spots, fighting with padded staves and silken strangling cords.

Many of the Genies seek to be adored as much as the City itself, so they commission museums where they display dazzling collections of art and stolen treasures, or vast grounds where they loose their menagaries to the gaping stares of visitors and locals alike.  If you long to test yourself against one of these beasts you can leave the City with one of the many guides who offer their services; this will enable you to track and hunt a dangerous beast and return with a trophy in time for tea.  Alternatively, book passage on one of the Brass Ships and take a pleasure cruise across one of the rivers or lakes of magma that ring the City.  These boats can also take you to other places in the Veins or away from the City, but why would you ever want to leave? 

You can also find other less carnal pleasures in the City.  Temple street is the place where the faithful were permitted to build their fanes and they strove to out-do each other in beauty. Flying buttresses and intricate stonework crowd the avenues as sacred prostitutes and street-prophets declare the superiority of their Gods.  Or if you long to feed your mind, you can explore the Yizawa's Librarum, perhaps the world's largest collection of books, scrolls and written works.  

There are also many academies and places of learning here, including on ones too niche or taboo to be taught in more conventional places.  Here you can learn surgical techniques from enslaved Kytons or the History of the Kilaji Confederation by the Demons who helped it to collapse.  You can study necromancy with the disciples of the Prince Perpetual or debate the merits of Chaos with mutated philosopher-magi.  Truly, the City lacks nothing in terms of what one could do.

by Andrew Mar

Enemies of the City of Brass:

The Druids of the Veins- Druids hate civilization, no matter where it is.  And Veins Druids are no exception.  They have been trying to destroy the City since they discovered it, regarding it as an abomination.  Expect them to unleash plagues of parasitic animals, clouds of hallucinogenic pollen and try to trigger volcanic activity to drown the City in boiling rock.  The Druids, so far, have been largely unsuccessful in their attempts, but they have made life quite miserable for the creatures living in the city's outer districts. 

The Order of the Searing Hand- A secret society of Salamanders, hell-bent on defeating the Council that rules the City and overtaking it.  The Searing Hand believes that the City of Brass is an intrusion into lands that rightfully belong to the Salamanders, and regard the Efreeti and their minions as colonizers and oppressors who need to be driven out.  The Searing Hand operates through small cells of highly capable agents who gather intelligence, carry out acts of sabotage and assassinate high-ranking enemies.  They try to avoid indiscriminately attacking civilians, as they don't want to hurt other Salamanders who could be later convinced to join the cause.

The Chained- A Chaos Cult which opposes slavery and the degredation of intelligent creatures, the Chained are dedicated to the liberation of all slaves within the City of Brass and holding the slave-masters to account.  Their plan is to initiate a slave revolt and then, once the City is under their control, put the slave-masters on trial.  Their plans are highly unrealistic and unlikely to succeed, but they do not seem aware of this fact, or perhaps they are just optimistic.  Note that the Chained are not the only Chaos Cult operating in the city, but it is one that seems like it is actually legitimate, and isn't actually controlled by double-agents and agent provocateurs secretly funded by the Genies.   

The Brazen Fists- When the City's foundations needed to be laid, the Genies enslaved a number of Fire Giants to aid the Azers in this process.  But after the task was done, the Azers forgot about the Giants and the Genies were too busy, so they left the Giants in the hands of their slaves.  These slaves were either unwilling or unable to stop the Giants from escaping their captivity.  The descendants of these Giants are still out there, plotting to destroy the City in a colossal act of revenge against the Genies who enslaved their heroic ancestors.  However, unlike others who despise the City, the Giants are not likely to bother with subterfuge, but instead plan on slaying the inhabitants with boulders and enormous axes, then smashing the City to pieces beneath their iron-shod boots.  

Plot Hooks:


1- You are hired by a man whose sister was kidnapped by slave-traders and sold as a prostitute.  She is currently working in the Obsidian Boudoir.  Please rescue her. 
2- The party are hired by a man who plans to bring a magic sword to the City of Brass to sell to a Genie.  Unfortunately, the sword is cursed and their employer knows it.  He plans to sell the sword and flee as soon as he completes the sale.  He's bringing you along in case he needs muscle. 
3- The Genies of the City have vast, well-guarded collections of incredibly valuable items.  There is a fortune to be made and your current client, a wannabe master thief thinks he can pull off the heist of the century with your help.
4- The party is hired to act as double-agents, infiltrating a suspected club that is believed to be hiding a Chaos Cult.  Infiltrate the club and decapitate the leadership, then escape.
5- The party are Chaos Cultists, working to undermine the City of Brass' government and society, to bring about a more equal future.
6- The outside district the party is in is attacked by Giants!  You can join the defense of the City or you could use this as a distraction to accomplish another goal, such as getting filthy stinking rich. 
7- A fugitive has fled to the City in order to escape justice.  Find him and return with proof of his death.  But be careful, the City does not tolerate foreign bounty hunters infringing on it's sovereign territory, so you'll have to avoid both the City's constables and the potential allies of your target. 
8- A charismatic warlord is recruiting men for a war.  It could be a good way to make some money to sign up with him, or it could be a good way to die for a cause you don't care about.

artist unknown

Friday, December 24, 2021

OSR: Four Secret Techniques for the Fighting Man

Here are a couple of extra Secret Techniques for the Fighting Men.  For more advice on making Fighters based and murderpilled check out the original here or this post for some additional Fist Arts.

by unknown artist

Weapon Arts:


This school applies to rifles and other long guns. 

There are soldiers and there are warriors.  The difference may seem semantic, but only by those who have not met one of the latter.  The soldier fights for many reasons: patriotism, money, conscription and fear of legal repercussions, etc.  He may good at what he does, but he is not the best of his breed.  The warrior is different.  The warrior is the man who feels an almost instinctive urge to fight, to do his duty.  For him, war is his calling.  He is worth a hundred common soldiers because unlike them, he will never, ever surrender.  Unlike the soldier who merely wants to get paid and survive, the warrior will fight to his last breath because honor demands it.  This is the fighting style created by those men.  It is not clean nor elegant, it is not disciplined nor organized.  What it is is highly effective.  These men are craftsmen and their craft is death.  This school exists as the sum total of the lessons they have gleaned from countless battles, passed down to those who were worthy to stand beside them.       

Novice: "Only in death does duty end."  You can use a rifle as a Melee weapon that does 1d6 blunt damage, even if doesn't have a reinforced stock or bayonet attachment.  If you have a STR of 16(+2) or greater, you can also do sharp damage by trying to impale an enemy with the barrel of the gun.  However, every time you use a firearm not reinforced for melee combat as a melee weapon, there is a 1-in-6 chance that you damage the weapon, possibly beyond repair.    

Journeyman: "In a fight there is only winning and losing.  Rules against hurting are for games."  If there is an enemy that comes within melee range while you hold a firearm, you can make a kick attack against them.  This attack does 1d4 damage on a hit and the enemy must save or be knocked prone. 

Expert: "Death is lighter than a feather.  Duty, heavier than a mountain." You can make a melee attack against any enemy within range or use your kick attack as a bonus action on your turn if you so choose.

Master: "What cannot be changed must be endured.  Death cannot be defeated, so he must be embraced."  If you fire upon an enemy and there is another enemy adjacent to them, you may fire upon that enemy as well.  You may do this for any number of enemies, but the one beyond the first gets a +1 bonus to their Save vs Firearm and the one beyond that gets a +2 bonus and so on.  

artist unknown
Fist Arts:

Dragon Style

Dragons are usually clumsy fighters, they are so powerful that they crush all opposition through brute power.  Whether it is with breath weapons or crushing jaws, nothing can stand against them.  But Dragons are also highly intelligent.  As such, they have developed strategies for fighting large numbers of small creatures.  These movements and strategies were studied by some of the best fighters in the world which eventually led to the development of a new Fist Art, the Dragon Style.  Dragon Style is a flowing stance, mimicking the rolling gait of the Dragon's four legged walk.  It is a style that focuses on launching overwhelming attacks and crushing an opponent as quickly as possible.  It lacks somewhat in defense techniques, but it is otherwise a very powerful style.  

Novice: "Dragons do not attack unless victory is assured."  Your unarmed strikes do 1d6+Atk damage.  At the start of each combat, until you attack someone, you receive a bonus to your Armor equal to your level.  This bonus goes away once you make an attack.

Journeyman: "Just as the power of a punch comes from the legs and chest, so should your spirit empower your flesh."  You can, by spending 1 FS, wrap your unarmed strikes in fire.  This does +1d6 fire damage on a hit.  The flames last for 1 minute or until you choose to extinguish them.

Expert: "When fighting the weak, be strong.  When fighting the slow, be fast.  When fighting the distant, be close."  As an action, you can launch yourself through the air and attempt to smash into someone.  This requires you to spend 1 FS per 10' launched.  Then make an attack roll.  On a hit, your attack does normal damage plus X, where X is the amount of FS you spent.

Master: "No matter where you run, the Dragon's vengeance is inescapable."  When an attack would damage you, you may make a save.  On a successful save, you lose 1d6 FS and the attack misses as you disappear in a cloud of smoke and ash.  You then immediately reappear within 5' of the creature who attacked you.  On a failed save, you take damage as normal.

by Wesley Burt


Many of the races of this world possess claws, sharp fangs or horns.  Thus, it is makes sense that their fighting styles would incorporate these advantages into their fighting styles.  This is the nature of the Maneater School, an ancient school with as many variants as it has adherents.  Every race has its own version, each one subtly tuned to be used with horns, claws or anything else a race might possess.  For example, the Oxman version focuses on goring, with a special move where the adherent throws an opponent into the air and moves beneath him so the opponent falls onto their horns and impales himself.  As this move, as well as the name, implies, Maneater is a killing school, but rather than focusing on pure lethality, as some vicious schools do, Maneater focuses on maximizing the efficiency of each attack, so that the battle can be won with the minimum amount of strikes.     

Novice: "I'm beginning to understand it now, the reason why I was born a wolf."  If you possess natural weapons, they do 1d6+STR on a hit.  If you do not, your unarmed strikes do 1d6 damage on a hit.  You also learn a charge attack where you can rush head-long at an opponent and attempt to increase the force of your attack.  This charge attack does +4 damage, but the target may attempt a DEX saving throw to avoid it entirely, instead of contesting the attack with a defense roll.   

: "The right move is always going to be the hardest, but it's always worth it."  Your unarmed strikes now do magical damage.  If you make a melee attack against a creature and miss or are successfully defended against, you can make a grapple check against that creature as a free action. 

Expert: "Tame the beast inside.  That's the only way to be a man in this world."  If you do not possess natural weapons, you may now grow claws, fangs or horns.  If you do, you may grow an additional type of natural weapons.  If an opponent is put into a vulnerable position where he cannot adequately defend himself such as being grappled, thrown (either in the air or having just landed), knocked prone, you made a surprise attack against him, you may make an additional unarmed strike against that creature. 

Master: "But I don't care.  Because the winners in this world are those who live without hiding their true nature."  You unarmed strikes now do 1d8+STR damage.  If you successfully hit a creature with an unarmed strike, instead of dealing damage, you can instead force them to save.  On a failed save, you can break or disable one of their limbs.  On a successful save, you instead only dislocate or stun one of their limbs.

by Jeremy Saliba

Revised Shield Rules:

Shields take up 1 inventory slot

They add +1 AR to a creature's total. 

Shields don't count as armor if an ability says something like "As long as you aren't wearing armor", so a creature can have Natural Armor and a shield without falling prey to the "Armor doesn't stack" rule.  The same applies to helmets, by the way.

Once per round, as a reaction to taking damage, a creature with a shield can reduce the damage taken by 1d8, assuming that the damage is of a type that a shield could protect someone from.  For example, a shield could protect you from being stabbed with a knife, but not a fireball. 

Below is a revised version of the Unbreaking Art secret techniques, intended for a low-magic setting. 

The Unbreaking Art

This school applies to shields.  

Novice"Life is the teacher, pain her rod of correction."  Once per round, you can reduce the damage of a successful attack against you by 1d8 as a reaction.  You can sunder any shield, even ones that ordinarily could not be broken.  These shields may not technically be broken, but they will become at least temporarily unusable, the why being left up to the Referee.  Referee's discretion also applies to this, as some shields may still be unbreakable and cannot be sundered.

Journeyman"The hand of mercy can only be grasped when it's absence is felt."  Once per round, you can reduce the damage of a successful attack against you by 1d10 as a reaction.  Your shield can reduce the damage almost any attack would do, even from damage types that a shield ordinarily couldn't protect you from.  Referee's discretion still applies to whether a shield could blunt any form of damage- poison gas will not be stopped by a shield and if you are carrying a metal shield, you will likely not be able to use it to protect you from electrical damage. 

Expert"The hand of mercy can only be grasped when it's absence is felt."  Once per round, you can reduce the damage of a successful attack against you by 1d12 as a reaction.  If an effect would damage or otherwise harm a creature and you stand between them and the source of damage, that creature receives advantage on any subsequent save against the effect.  Additionally, if it would be damaged, the creature may reduce the incoming damage by 1d12 as it bore a shield.

"While the trueborn can worry about being disowned, those who are adopted never need to fear being discarded."  When saving against damage or a harmful effect where having a shield would be beneficial, you automatically have advantage on any save.  If for some reason you would have disadvantage, you instead do not, but do not gain advantage.  

artist unknown

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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