Friday, April 3, 2020

OSE Encounter Activities - Spider, Giant

With this entry, we reach a few milestones! We’re over halfway through the Monsters in OSE (seventy down, sixty-eight more to go)! Also, here we have our first “pun monster.”

Giant Spiders make great dungeons denizens. Their webbing makes for delightful decoration, and they’re a dead-simple way to slightly squick out most people due to their alien nature (too many eyes, too many legs, inscrutable goals, etc).

As I’ve admonished before, should you find yourself playing with someone who is genuinely terrified of them, they can easily be edited out and avoided completely. They’re hardly essential monsters and it really doesn’t serve the spirit of fun to intentionally play upon a Player’s phobias. I know I’d immediately leave any table with a Referee this petty and pointlessly cruel. If a Player looks uncomfortable, it never hurts to stop and ask them if they are okay. You’re game will be better for it.

That being said, I do personally love Spiders. Like Ghouls, they’re excellent “teaching monsters” and Crab Spiders even give your Players a slight boost to their Save versus Poison and potentially a few frantic turns to come up with an antidote. No one wants to be bitten by a Spider, so there’s usually a little caution when encountering them, which is essential to telegraph for this hardier style of play.

I don’t think I’ve ever used a Tarantella, but I love little artifacts like these. Of course, they’re based on the misconception of Tarantism, where it was thought a Wolf Spider’s bite and venom induced manic dancing in the victim. Outbreaks of dancing plagues were surprisingly common it seems, so be sure to add the old St. Vitus Shuffle to your Town Events tables 😊.

Instead of Tarantula, the monster is named after those fast folk dances. I believe this is the first “word play” monster that I’ve made it to so far, and so naturally I couldn’t help but lean a little bit into to the silly with it to celebrate. The contagious effect a single failed Save could have on onlookers are surprisingly terrifying though and could easily take out an entire Adventuring Party. While the dance can last for up to a dozen turns (2 hours), according to the rules the dancers collapse after five. What an ignominious yet humorous way to accidentally arrange a TPK.

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