DM Briefing Room: Giant Spider

DM Briefing Room provides a look into some of my personal ideas on game design.

I’ve previously mentioned some plans for a game for my kids. For the drama I really want to lay out a huge miniature in front of them during their first adventure. I still want to start them out as Level 1 characters, and their opponents in this adventure include a variety of bugs and insects, so I decided that the climax of the adventure would include a Giant Spider.

Since the lowest level huge spider is far too high in level, I decided to create the Giant Spider at 5th Level. I’m expecting them to hit Level 2 before they meet the Giant Spider, so while it will be a tough encounter, it won’t be impossible.

After going back and forth a little bit, I decided to base the Giant Spider on a Deathrattle Viper from the Monster Manual (pg. 240).

Here’s what I’ve got for now, though it is certainly subject to change, especially now that I’ve put it out here for public comment:

Giant Spider                                                                                             Level 5 Brute
Huge natural humanoid                                                                                    XP 200

Initiative +6 Senses Perception +7; low-light vision
HP 75; Bloodied 37
AC 17; Fortitude 16, Reflex 18, Will 16
Resist 10 poison
Speed 6, climb 6 (spider climb)
Melee – Bite (Standard, at-will) * Poison
              +8 vs Armor Class; 1d6+4 damage, and the Giant Spider makes
               a secondary attack against the same target.
Secondary Attack
               +6 vs Fortitude; 1d8+2 poison damage and ongoing 5 poison
               damage (save ends).

Ranged – Bloodied Web (free, when first bloodied; encounter)
                  Ranged 10; +11 vs Reflex; the target is immobilized (save ends).

Alignment Unaligned Languages
Str 12 (+3) Dex 19 (+6) Wis 10 (+2)
Con 15 (+4) Int 2 (-2) Cha 14 (+4)


My main concern is that just the number of squares threatened by the huge spider make the spider a bit rougher than the original creature, though I also took away a fear aura which would have penalized attack rolls to anyone close enough for a melee attack.  I partially balanced this by adding the web attack when the spider becomes bloodied with the idea that the spider will try to retreat at that point into an area protected by some hazardous terrain (Web covered).

I’m also curious to see just how something like this might turn out when the Monster Builder is added to DDI. 

Please leave comments letting me know any adjustments you might reccomend.

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