Adversary Compendium Preview: Aranea
The Adversary Compendium, at least the first one, is designed for lower level play while including some challenging creatures for higher level groups. Today’s preview is definitely on the lower end of the scale, but the deceptive nature of the creatures make them excellent adversaries for most levels of group. This one is a Mystaran staple, but they were made universal in 3rd & 4th Edition. Without further preamble, I give you the mystical arachnid, the Aranea.
3 Communication (Deception)
1 Cunning (Arcane Lore)
2 Dexterity (Bite)
3 Magic (Entropy)
2 Perception (Seeing)
1 Strength (Jumping)
Speed 14, Health 30, Defense 12, Armor Rating 0
Dark Vision: Aranea can see perfectly in low light conditions or even in absolute darkness. However, the presence of strong light gives them a -1 penalty to all Actions they undertake.
Favored Stunts: Poison Bite and Skillful Casting.
Poison Bite: Aranea can inject poison as a combat stunt for 2 SP. Aranea Poison afflicts the target with -2 Dexterity until the end of the encounter.
Shape Change: Aranea can assume a unique small or normal sized humanoid form. To change forms requires an Activate action. It is possible to dispel or see through the change as it is merely an illusion. However, the illusion itself is flawless.
Spells: Aranea are arcane spellcasters with the facility of a 3rd level mage. This includes a Spellpower of 13 (or 15 for Entropy spells), and they know at least 4 spells.
Talents: Entropy Magic (Journeyman)
Wall Crawler: Aranea can move up walls and even hang from ceilings without a loss of Speed.
Weapon Groups: Brawling and Light Blades
Web: Aranea can spin a web thread for movement and to bind incapacitated targets. It takes a Strength (Might) test versus TN 13 to break free if bound.
Equipment: Aranea may carry simple equipment, such as a dagger, or a satchel, but in general they leave their belongings in their treetop homes.
Aranea are intelligent, giant spiders that often live in webs suspended in the trees of shaded, thick forests. They look like typical giant spiders with a few exceptions, the top of their heads appear to have a large lump on them, and their foremost legs end in tiny chitinous arms instead of spider legs. The typical aranea has a hunger for knowledge and power but tend towards a mercenary outlook.
People will often stumble into the nesting places of an Aranea colony, and will usually be tricked into leaving. Only if they believe themselves to have the advantage will they attack on sight, dropping down unexpectedly and beginning combat with a disorienting or immobilizing spell. Aranea will only fight to the death to protect their homes, and often try to prevent outsiders from reaching them in the first place.
Aranea can speak common human languages as well as any nearby sylvan tongues, such as elven, so their disguises are often impeccable. Aranea are carnivores, but often find it too much trouble to catch sentient prey. They claim that they do not eat thinking creatures as part of their conceit of civilization, but in actuality aranea crave the blood of thinking beings, especially phanatons which they consider to be a delicacy..
As they consider themselves consummate mages, Aranea will have a separate web in which they weave their magic references directly into the webs. Aranea often learn the Haste, Illusion, Paralysis, Phantasm, and Sleep spells, and if a caster is patient enough and the webs are still intact they can be studied.