This week I thought I would return to my B/X – BECMI Campaign word of Panzoasia, with a whimsically creepy denizen of the Underworld.
Number Appearing: 1 (10% chance of 2 – 4 in lair)
Size: Medium (5’ long body, 10’ maximum leg spread.)
Walks at 1 ½ x human speed.
Climbs at 1 ½ x human speed.
Armor Class: 3 better than unarmored.
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks & Damage: Bite (1d6 + Paralyzing Venom), or shoot Blinding Light.
* Infravision: 180’
* Illuminating Eye: Equal to a Light spell, but affecting other subterranean natives as actual daylight.
* Blinding Light: 1 target with 300’ must Save versus Wands or be blinded for 1d6 Rounds.
* Paralyzing Venom: Victim must Save versus Paralyzation or be unable to move for 1 Turn.
* Climbing: can scale vertical walls, and crawl across ceilings, even if slimy or slippery.
* Move Silently: as a 9th Level Thief.
Saves: As Thief 4
Treasure: 900gp value of weapons, armor, jewelry, adventuring equipment, and various curios, + 25% chance of a random magical item.
Challenge: Four 3rd Level Characters
The Cyclops Spider is an intelligent Underworld predator perfectly adapted to hunting its subterranean prey. At first glance it simply resembles a rather colorful giant spider, but a second look will reveal the bizarre differences. Instead of the numerous eyes of “normal” giant spider, the Cyclops Spider possess a single, large one resembling that of a human – with a blue iris and bloodshot sclera. In place of a spider’s fangs the creature has a grinning mouth filled with needle-sharp teeth, and a bright pink tongue. The spider’s body is covered with hair, in a green-and-purple striped pattern. Each of its eight legs ends in a hand-like arrangement of three, segmented fingers – with which the spider can pick up and employ objects.
The Cyclops Spider is most noted for its ability to emit bright light from its single eye, on account of which it also called a Lantern Spider. This light is just as debilitating as daylight to to those subterranean creatures who are sensitive to it (such as Goblins). The creature can also focus the light from its eye into a concentrated beam capable of temporarily blinding even creatures from the surface world. While the Cyclops Spider does not build webs, its paralyzing venom and ability to emit debilitating light ensures that it can obtain its favorite food – small subterranean humanoids.
Cyclops Spiders are as intelligent as humans, and can speak the language common to all sentient arachnids as soon as they hatch. They can also learn and speak humanoid languages (including Common), which they sometimes do in order to taunt their prey. Their lair (or “parlor”) will always be in a small cavern accessible only by climbing. There they store and display the treasure they collect from their victims. They place no value on coins, however, and do not collect them. Although generally solitary, they will occasional play host to one another, at which time they will show off particularly interesting objects from their collections. Cyclops Spiders are unique among arachnids for preferring to sleep on colorful, stuffed cushions, which they obtain in their infrequent raids on the surface world.