Monday, March 30, 2020

OSE Encounter Activities - Scorpion, Giant

I have a fondness for Scorpions of all sizes. Apocryphally, when I was only a year or so old, our home was invaded by these arachnids one sweltering summer. The intruders likely belonged to the Striped Bark species, which is common around those parts. I was crawling about the boringly beige shag carpet mostly naked due to the heat, when I apparently found a few new friends and started playing with the Scorpions like toys. Dangling them by their tails and swinging them around giggling according to witnesses. Following family lore, this continued until my father came in from working outside and smashed them with a shoe, with much sobbing, wailing, and weeping on my part. I was somehow un-stung, but absolutely heartbroken that my toys had been so unceremoniously squished.

Nowadays, I’m not certain I’d be so inclined to treat them so casually, but I haven’t come across one in ages outside of pet-store cages. I do recall desperately wanting one of those beautiful ebony Emperor Scorpions that seemed to be pretty popular as pets during the eighties, but the mere thought of having one in the house was anathema to my mother, who was not a fan of creepy-crawlies.

In D&D terms, they’re much more interesting to me than Giant Spiders (it’s the deadly sting and menacing claws that make for such memorable mêlées), and I enjoy the bonus they engender to their sting on a successful Claw attack in OSE. Their deadly venom is definitely another tick mark in favor of an eventual d100 Unusual Venoms/Horrible Fates More Interesting than Death table.

I find it interesting that instead of being Neutral like most Vermin/Animals, they’re listed as Chaotic (perhaps some bias from the writers has crept in here), though I must admit they seem perfectly at home prowling around abandoned Temples and Evil Shrines. Since their real-world counterparts are on every continent save Antarctica, I see no trouble with slotting them into just about any terrain, although I have a certain fondness for placing them in Deserts, and there’s a one that plays a key role in my Desert Hexes. I find it hard to control myself sometimes and restrict them just to Giant-size (the bigger the better, and I often fondly recall a dreaded Arduin titanic Scorpion that levels towns).

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