Anyone who isn’t overly fond of bugs might want to skip today’s Daily D4.
Did you squirm in you seat when the acromantulas chased Harry and Ron through the forbidden forest in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? Did you suddenly feel the need to head for the lobby to refill your popcorn when Frodo entered Shelob’s lair in The Return of the King? When Bilbo Baggins faced the spiders of Mirkwood Forest did you grimace at the thought of having to fight giant spiders? Arachnids appear in nearly every bestiary for fantasy RPGS to date, and they’ve definitely earned their place. They’re highly adaptable predators with a wide variety of tactics, they can be found in almost every environment on the planet, and plenty of players are certain to find them creepy. In any discussion about spiders in RPGs the goddess Lolth and her drow minions are certainly worth mentioning. Employing enormous spiders like hunting dogs they patrol the caverns of the Underdark filling them with their webs as they carry out Lolth’s wishes. So if encountering a pack of giant spiders under the command of drow doesn’t make you reconsider a visit to the Underdark I don’t know what will.
So your Star Wars campaign has been going on for a few months and you’ve already used some of the most recognizable creatures from the Star Wars universe. If you’re looking for something challenging that might also prove to be a nasty surprise for any force uses in your party I’d suggest an encounter with a taozin. The first time I heard about the taozin I was reading Darth Maul Shadow Hunter, and the thought of an enormous insect lurking in the depths beneath Coruscant is just terrifying. These giant insects are natives of the moon of Va’art were thought to be extinct for many years until one was discovered by a young padawan being pursued by a Sith Lord. So what makes these things so frightening? Well for a starter they’re enormous and they can expel silken webbing to capture their prey. Their shells are also highly resistant to lightsabers and due to they able to mask their presence making themselves appear invisible in the force.
This race of tribal insect-like people make their home on Athas and they’re one of the most unique races from any campaign setting. These nomadic hunters are more at home in the deserts that make up most of their world than the other races they encounter. They make their own weapons out of their solidified venom and live among their own kind preferring a life in the wilds to one surrounded by the walls that shelter others not of their tribes. Some consider them little more than brutal savages acting on pure instinct, but that is a mistake. Like all insects their society is highly ordered and they will defend what is theirs fiercely if they must. Strangely many of the Thri-Kreen exhibit psionic abilities which they use effectively in their hunts. With an average lifespan of less than thirty years the Thri-Kreen are a short lived race, but the make the most of the time they have.