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Monster Profile #16: Scorpions n Spiders

Posted by Jon Wood on Aug 25, 2005  | Comments

Monster Profile #16: Scorpions n Spiders -

Dungeons and Dragons Online has released their 16th monster profile. This time, it's a 2 for 1 deal as they introduce us to scorpions and spiders, some of the more poisonous critters you might run into while taking a stroll. Gross.

Special Qualities: Hide, poison, burrow
Organization: Solitary or hive (4+)

Scorpions—at least of the monstrous variety—present a unique challenge to unwary adventurers. They are incredibly large, ranging from the size of a dog all the way up to the size of a horse. Capable of hiding and burrowing for short distances beneath soil or loose rock, the scorpion is a very dangerous foe despite its mindless nature. Indeed, as a near-mindless creature, it cannot be affected by many of the tricks or spells that affect other monsters. A typical encounter usually entails the scorpion darting out of the shadowy corners of a dungeon chamber and, unnoticed, making its attack. Unless a character is especially wary (once again rogues prove their usefulness—if you can find a trustworthy one), the scorpion won’t be noticed until its stinger is descending into vulnerable flesh, dripping with poison. Even after the fight has begun, the scorpion has the tendency to quickly burrow beneath the earth, frequently enabling it to spring up on a flank or behind its target… rendering attempts to dodge or block its blows very difficult indeed.

In Xen’drik, the drow possess a strange affection for the scorpion. They use ensorcelled scorpions as guards, wards, and traps against the intrusion of would-be heroes. They seem to especially enjoy employing scorpions in dungeon areas where adventurers could be trapped, or near where they might hope to rest.

Especially large or more powerful scorpions—night, desert, and death stalker scorpions—should simply be avoided whenever possible. You’re directed to seek the firepower of a talented wizard or sorcerer to blast these creatures from afar, or gain access to immunity to poison (such as that provided by a neutralize poison spell)—or to simply run as fast as you can.

Ah, but we can leave behind such freethinking debate for another time, as now we can inform the reader of the threats posed by the typical monstrous arachnid. Obviously, there’s the poison. Once again, bring a cleric—or make the more obvious choice not to get hit. And then there’s webs which prevent or inhibit movement. Among some species, there’s the egglaying spider queens whose eggs must be quickly and carefully dispatched lest new creatures emerge.
Encounters with some of the larger and more dangerous spiders—glass spiders and darkfang spiders in particular—is not uncommon in Xen’drik. 
[ expand press release ]

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