New Mutant Monday # 70 - Ursoarach

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d6
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 90’ (30’)
AC: 3
HD: 10 (2 for young)
Attacks: 2 paws, 1 bite or webbing
Damage: 3d6 / 3d6 / 1d8 and poison, and special
Save: L14
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: XII, XIII, XIV (artifacts only)

It is a well-known fact by the survivors of the final wars that scientists as well as would-be geneticists loved to tinker with the genome of not only humanity, but all life. Many mixed and mingled genes from various species to create chimera’s, and many of these creatures made those who saw or encountered them wonder exactly what the hell was going through the creators minds. 

One such creation was the combination of grizzly bear and tarantula genes, creating a truly monstrous hybrid of mammal and arachnid. And of course as fate would have it, this monster not only survived the final wars, but thrived and bred!

Physically the creature is the size of a healthy adult grizzly bear, and has the overall shape and appearance of such, except it has a eight eyes and a face only a spider could love. Instead of jaws it has two massive mandibles which are perfect for sucking out fluids, which has become the creatures’ primary means of sustenance.

When engaged in combat, the creature can bash away with its powerful paws, use its webbing to grapple, and finally bite with the mandibles to try and paralyze a victim with class 11 poison. Generally if the target of a paw attack from one of these monsters does not take a target down, they will then attempt to bite.

Once the victim is either dead or incapacitated due to the venom, the creature will wrap the target up in a cocoon, which is coated with the same paralytic venom, ensuring that the victim will remain pliant and helpless and then they will be stored away for feeding later. These creatures require a lot of blood and bodily fluids to maintain their size and metabolism, which means they spend nearly every waking hour on the hunt for food.

When they are hunting, the creatures have several methods they use to try and ambush prey. First they like to hang from strong and heavy tendrils of webbing, allowing them to literally get the drop on prey. They require trees, overhanging cliffs or even ruins for this. The second method is they like to burrow into the dirt or heavy underbrush and conceal themselves in the same manner as a trap-door spider. Finally they will often cling to surfaces, especially in ruins or caverns, and once again get the drop on a target. These creatures gain a surprise on 1-3 as a result.

Unlike their grizzly ancestors, they lay 1d4 large eggs after mating during the winter. The eggs are protected by both parents and are kept warm by wrapping the eggs in webbing and placing the corpses of previous prey inside, allowing the decaying matter to warm and provide nutrients to the eggs, which is absorbed through the leathery shell. It takes six months for the eggs to hatch, at which point the young are ready to join their parents in the hunt only a few hours after hatching.

The young grow to adult-hood in four years, at which point they leave the parents and set up their own hunting territory. Once this happens the parent’s part ways and go back to living life alone, until it is time to find mates once again.

Although they have no use for treasure, their dens tend to accumulate a great deal due to their victims. Even though one might think that the dens would exude a powerful stench of rot and decay, but that isn’t the case. Due to the creatures draining all fluids, the remains are typically nothing more than mummified husks, which still decay but do not stink the way decaying matter typically does.

The webbing of the creatures is incredibly strong, requiring a strength of at least 30 to break. It can be cut easily enough however, with any bladed weapon, but it can also be used to produce a soft and very strong cloth-like lining for armor. This gives the wearer a damage reduction of 5 against all kinetic damage (such as bashing, falling, ballistics and so forth) and increases the wearer’s AC by -1. It can be worn with any type of armor and the benefits will stack.

It should be noted that this creature can move along any surface at its full movement rate due to the clinging pads upon its feet.

Mutations: Aberrant form (chimera – spider and bear, natural weapons, new body parts – clinging pads), dietary requirement change (blood and bodily fluids), toxic weapon, webbing.