Starfinder: Puppeteer Arachnid

Chris Van Deelen

Puppeteer Arachnid Expert CR 4 XP 1,200

Neutral small vermin

Init +5; Senses: Blindsense (vibration) 120 feet; Perception +15

 

Defense                                                             HP 45

EAC: 16; KAC: 17

Fort: +3 (+13); Ref: +3; Will: +7

Defensive Abilities: Damage reduction 4 / -, hardened survivor; Immunities: Poison, radiation

 

Offense

Speed: 20 feet.

Melee: 2 claws +10 (1d4+4 P)

Space: 2.5 ft., Reach: 2.5 ft.

 

Statistics

Str +0; Dex +5; Con +1; Int +0; Wis +3; Cha +0

Skills: Acrobatics +10, athletics +10, bluff +15 (3), sense motive +15, stealth +15

Other Abilities: Fast latch, slow control

Languages: Telepathic communication

 

Ecology

Environment: Any

Organization: Solitary

 

Special Abilities

Fast Latch (Ex): With a successful grapple attack, the puppeteer is able to establish immediate control over the victim. See Slow control for more information.

Hardened Survivor (Ex): The Puppeteer is completely immune to poisons and radiation, and it is able to withstand extreme conditions, even utter vacuum. Whenever the beast must make a saving Fortitude saving throw when dealing with environmental conditions, it gains a +10.

Slow Control (Su): If the Puppeteer is able to successfully strike 3 rounds in a row with its claw attacks, the victim must make a will save (DC 15) or become enslaved by the arachnid and is under the arachnid’s control. It can make the victim do whatever it desires while it digs in deeper. Over the next 2 hours the arachnid will insert its tendrils deep into the victim’s nervous system and mind, and once it has completed its task, the victim is lost. The mind, the memories and everything that made the victim who they were has been absorbed by the creature. If the arachnid is removed before this happens, the victim must make a will save (DC 15) or permanently lose 1d3 points of wisdom score, but the victim will recover from the trauma. If more than two hours have passed before the creature is removed, then the victim’s mind has been absorbed and lost. The arachnid will use its memories and personality in order to make it appear as if everything is normal, but this often will lead to the arachnid making a successful bluff check. If it fails, then the victim’s former friends or comrads will figure out something is amiss. No matter what, once the arachnid has been removed once this stage has been met, the victim’s body survives the process but the mind and personality is gone.

Telepathic Communication (Ex): The Puppeteer is able to telepathically speak with any creature within its line of sight, with one exception – it has unlimited range when it comes to thinker bugs, which is always has an open and direct line of communication. This bypasses the need to be able to speak or understand any language. This can be used at will.

 

One of the smallest types of Arachnid, this particular member of the species is probably the most terrifying of them all. Small, weak, and easily dispatched, the creature can make up for this by lying in wait until a potential target presents itself. The creature itself is only two and a half feet in length, unlike the other arachnids, it is obsidian black in coloration. It has a long, segmented body which is protected by thick plates, and there are no visible eyes. Strong mandibles are located at the front, and it has numerous centipede-like legs.

The puppeteer does not really need eyes, as it relies on its ability to sense movement through the ground, and thanks to its telepathic ability, it can sense whenever a thinking, sentient creature, one which would make a suitable host, is nearby.

As a means of both survival and attack, the puppeteer will lay in wait, hiding just beneath the surface of the ground, or using natural terrain in order to remain unseen. Once suitable prey is close at hand, it will attempt to attack the creature. It always attempts to grapple at first, but if this does not succeed, the creature has a slower method of taking control. If it is able to successfully attack a target with its claws three times in a row, it can gain control through this method.  Otherwise the creature will attempt to latch onto a victim while they are resting or sleeping, or otherwise incapacitated.

Once the creature has successfully taken control of a target, it will being a process of inserting itself into the victim’s nervous system, spinal column and mind. This takes time, but once two hours has passed, the victim’s mind, memories, skills and personality are absorbed by the creature and it has complete control over it. This includes personal knowledge, such as skills and feats, as well as more general knowledge such as languages and the like. It can use the victim’s memories to obtain layouts, passwords, and so forth. All this information is relayed back to a thinker, where it can be put to good use against the enemy.

Typically the creature will use the victim’s armor or clothing to hide its body, although considering its size, this can be quite difficult to achieve.  If given the opportunity, the puppeteer will stay away from others, trying to use the victim’s knowledge and memories in order to come up with a plausible story, where the victim will not be around others.

An excellent spy, the creature will use the body of its victim for as long as it can possibly get away with it, but once the gig is up, the creature will use whatever  weapons or abilities the victim has in order to kill those would otherwise try to stop it. Unlike most other types of arachnids, this creature has a strong sense of self-preservation and will actively attempt to escape with its life it at all possible.

It does share several things in common with the thinker, but the one aspect that sets it apart entirely is the fact it cannot control other arachnids, and is not protected the way they are.

Starfinder Creature Index

Chris Van Deelen is the creator and contributor to over half of the Wisdom from the Wastelands series, contributor to the Swords of Kos: Hekaton anthology, and the recently released 'Swords of Kos: The Rite'. He also wrote Creatures of the Tropical Wastelands, and 100 Oddities found in a Car. As prolific as he is, Chris Van Deelen continues to write and produce material which will be in publication soon. Not only is he a prolific content creator, he also has a wide selection of fiction and stories! If you like his work, please follow his personal author page on Facebook and on Twitter to keep up with his latest news and game content.