The Trapspider Template (Eclipse d20)

Trapspider (+32 CP / +1 Level/Challenge Rating Spider Template).

What lunatic would install a scything blade and a spiked pit trap in the kitchen pantry? No one in their right mind would live in or build this place!

-Pretty much every adventurer at one time or another.

Trapspiders – according to some legends created or modified by someone called “Grimtooth” to make his traps for him – are a communal variant on the various common monstrous spiders that colonize old ruins, dungeons, and similar environments. A colony normally consists of 2d4 adult individuals (the young tend to wander off once hatched and do not develop their special powers until approaching adulthood). They feed on flesh, bone, and modest amounts of various metals, but are relatively passive as adults. Adult trapspiders normally wait for potential prey to come into their lair – usually a corridor or room. They gain their name from their ability to “spit” traps. As individuals they can cause an opponents location to abruptly be full of bear traps, or to have a spiked pit there, or to be attacked by various other traps, or they can attempt to shove targets into existing (and usually more dangerous) traps.

Their lairs tend to have elaborate, extremely dangerous, corridor or room traps (or even multiples thereof) – a result of the spiders communal efforts. Oddly enough, such traps are often reasonably aesthetically pleasing. While they are rarely great works of art, they often feature fountains, basic statuary, silk curtains, pivoting walls concealed by abstract murals, and other decorative features, as well as being kept relatively clean and neat. The spiders themselves use their ability to conceal themselves as part of the decor, pretending to be boxes, jars, torch-sconces, or similar items.

Lending further credence to the stories of their deliberate creation, Trapspiders always leave a way to deactivate their major traps – albeit rarely a conveniently positioned one. If unsupervised, the most common strain tends to create mathematical puzzles that must be solved to turn off the traps for a day (how they do this when most are unintelligent remains confusing). Unfortunately, while there’s usually a convenient keypad or some equivalent showing a spider with no legs for “0″ and 1-7 legs for the digits to enter the solution, the spiders tend to use base eight – so, for example, a diagram showing a trap in the center, overlaid by a circle with a line extending to the center, with five button-images underneath, would be asking for the first five digits of Pi in base eight. Other strains may produce chess (or other game) puzzles, block puzzles, riddles, or any other form of puzzle. Of course, if they are under someone’s control, pretty much anything goes.

Once the primary trap of a Trapspider nest has been deactivated, they tend to be a bit passive – apparently assuming that, with their primary trap deactivated, anyone left in the area is friendly – or at least authorized to be there. That makes it fairly easy for adventurers to “milk” them for a bit of their trap-creating Venom. While that normally loses potency in 1d4 days, it’s fairly easy for a competent alchemist (Craft/Alchemy DC 15, Craft/Poison DC 21, Knowledge/Nature DC 25) to stabilize the stuff, allowing it to be kept for months.

The Template:

  • Add 3d6 Mana With Reality Editing, Corrupted for Increased Effect and Specialized for Reduced Cost / maximum range of 5′ per size category above “Tiny”, only to shove targets into traps (1 Mana to move a Large or smaller target up to ten feet, save as per their basic venom) and create Traps.
    • Creating traps costs 1 Mana/CR of the resulting trap (things like “roach motels”, mousetraps, and ant-baits don’t cost anything) and is limited to a maximum CR of (Hit Dice + number of assisting trapspiders (9 CP). Spitting a bunch of bear traps is an early favorite.
  • Rite of Chi with +2 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted / Takes one hour per die, only to recharge the mana reserve above (3 CP).
    • Trapspiders do take a few hours to rebuild their venom reserves, but this is rarely especially limiting. Traps, after all, keep.
  • Immunity / Traps (Very Common, Severe, Major), Specialized / only versus their colonies individual or collective traps (7 CP).
    • Trapspiders can easily ignore or evade the effects of the traps they produce, forcing enemies who engage them to deal with ongoing trap effects in addition to whatever the spiders do.
  • Blessing, Specialized and Corrupted / only to allow them to be “milked” for 1d4 vials of their trap-creating “venom” (2 CP). One Vial = 1 Mana.
    • This does the spiders no good at all, unless it just encourages adventurers to leave them alive – and so is another argument for them being engineered somehow.
  • Innate Enchantment (5000 GP Effective Value, 6 CP): This grants them:
    • Disguise Self (Personal-Only, 1400 GP): Trapspiders can readily disguise themselves as balls, boxes, small casks, vases, or similar items, and usually do so while resting in their lair.
    • Barkskin (Personal-Only, 1400 GP): Trapspiders incorporate some of the metal that they eat into their chitin, gaining a +2 bonus to their Natural Armor. This also means that Trapspider Chitin makes good knives, pots, armor, and similar goods.
    • Immortal Vigor I (Personal-Only, 1400 GP): Trapspiders gain (+12 + 2 x Con Mod) Hit Points thanks to their partially-metallic composition.
  • Occult Sense / Detect Traps (6 CP). Trapspiders are almost unerring about spotting traps.
  • +3 Skill Specialty in Aesthetics (Traps) (1 CP). Trapspider trap-lairs tend to feature colonnades of statues, polished floors, and intricate designs. They’re the nicest-looking rooms and corridors that will ever kill you!
  • +3 Skill Specialty in Architecture (Interior Decorating). Trapspiders can actually make their lairs look quite pleasant and inviting, helping them lure victims in.
  • Template Disadvantage: Compulsive (Leaves deactivation mechanisms on major traps, as above) (-3 CP).
  • If it matters, Trapspiders are considered to be Magical Beasts, although this does not change them otherwise.

Trapspiders are, of course, one of the major reasons why old ruins and such are so often full of elaborate traps with no discernible sensible function, reason for being there, or apparent builders. They’re also why such traps often have insane deactivation methods – if only so that their original creator could turn off any traps that they built in inconvenient locations.

In play, trapspiders can be extremely annoying in their lairs; they tend to prefer ongoing traps – such as arcs of energy that hit anyone who steps on the wrong floor tiles – and will run about the area quite unaffected, spitting minor traps at people and trying to get them hit by more energy arcs. Unsurprisingly, their treasure – when they have any – is entirely incidental to their feeding, and usually consists of items that they will not eat (gems and other minerals, wood, cloth, more durable metals, and so on).

Trapspiders play a prominent role in the current events of the Anomaly game, where they explain WHY to ancient castle is full of insane traps – so here they are to cause headaches for other adventurers.

Advertisements

3 Responses

  1. The ‘immunity vs there own traps’ should probably be ‘immunity vs. trapspider generated traps’, considering the living in colonies thing would likely mean there would be several traps that might have been created independently.

    • It is poor phrasing. I’m afraid that I was thinking of “their” as a collective term. Easily fixed though; thank you for pointing that out!

  2. […] The Trapspider Template – A template for artificial creatures that will fill hallways and rooms with insane traps […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: