New Mutant Monday # 74 - Skull Spider

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d6
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90’ (30’)
Armor Class: 1
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1 claw, 1 bite
Damage: 1d4+4 / 1d4 & class 11 poison
Save: L2
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: Incidental

 

At first glance, these creatures appear as some sort of unusual skull, typically on top of what look like a pile of finger-bones. When approached, it becomes apparent that this creature is not merely discarded bones after all.

These creatures are typically found in ruins, buildings, mountains and forested locations, and always build their lairs in massive piles of bones (when possible), to use as camouflage. If they cannot do this, they will hide in rocks, piles of rubble or branches or wherever they are capable of staying out of sight. When it bones, these creatures will gain surprise on a 1-4, whereas any other location, they will only gain surprise on a 1-2.

What appears to be bone is a very tough exoskeleton that protects the spider from most forms of attack. The finger-bones are in fact its legs and its primary means of locomotion. Unlike other types of spiders, these creatures are fairly slow, due to the weight of their natural armor. Thus the reason they have turned to ambushing as their primary means of hunting.

When engaged in combat, the creatures will strike with their eight legs, attempting to latch onto a target. Here they will then bite, injecting class 11 paralytic poison in order to try and incapacitate their target.

If this is successful, then the creature will drain blood from the victim, inflicting 1d4 points of Constitution damage due to blood loss. The creature will consume up to 16 points before leaving the target, sated with its meal. If Constitution drops to zero, the victim dies from blood-loss; otherwise the victim will recover lost Constitution at the natural healing rate per day.

The spiders can produce webs, just like their ancestors, but they mainly use it to wrap victims in order to keep them docile and easily accessed when they need food. After the victim has died, the blood drained from the body, the spider will consume the flesh to sustain itself. The webbing is very strong, having Strength of 18 (which must be exceeded in order to break free). It can be cut quiet easily, and if the victim has a dagger or natural claws, they can escape with little trouble. It takes one spider 1d6 rounds to completely cover a humanoid-sized victim in the webbing, longer for larger creatures (left to the ML’s discretion).

Once the spider has drained 16 points in total, it will convert the blood protein into material needed to produce and lay eggs. It will create 16d6 eggs, which it will always hide in piles of bone (sometimes made from the victim’s it has killed). The eggs look like tiny bits of misshapen bone, and as such are often mistaken for this.

The eggs will require 3 months to develop, and then they will hatch. The young will spread out, leaving the nest to find territory of their own to hunt in. Unlike most other types of spiders, which are usually quite territorial, these spiders are a little more social, often staying together in small groups in order to bring down larger and more difficult prey – and for mating purposes - as long as they have ingested enough blood.

Mutations: Natural Armor, toxic weapon