Sunday, 26 October 2014

Driders and Nightgaunts

In a recent session of my ongoing Griffin Mountain game (though its been stuck in Dragon Pass for a good while now) the party made a bit of a nause up of a heroquest, and Tarndisi is now deceased.

The story is that the party got lost whole crossing the Colymar Wilds and ended up crossing over to the Otherowlrd. Since they included a couple of members of the Order of Black Arkat, they inadvertently got recruited into a failed/stalled heroquest by an troll follower of Arkat who was trying to snuff out one of the last Aldryami strongholds in Dragon Pass. They duly reassembled old Zorak Kang, who had been chopped into little bits by Babeester Gor while trying to steal her axe, and then belatedly balked at the idea of letting him marmalise Tarndisi. After one of the PCs got his head chopped off by the irate troll they ran off and let him do the deed, escaping the hero plane at the Wild Temple.

So Tarndisi's Grove was overwhelmed by Trolls at the start of the Second Age. Trolls took over the land between the Thunder Hills and Starfire Ridges. They became followers of the EWF, worshipping the Black Dragon and they got involved in some of the dodgy biological experiments taking place at the Zoo, as Cragspider wanted to use the EWF magic to reverse the curse of kin. Cragspider is just one of a race of troll-spider-centaurs, the Driders, and she helped create the Nightgaunts as well.

During the Dragonkill War the Temple of the Black Dragon (which included monasteries of Humakt the Claw and Zorakan the Talon) which occupied the site of Tarndisi's Grove was destroyed, and Cragspider decamped to Cliffhome.

The Colymar Wilds are a fungus forest surrounding a ruined EWF temple and a pool called the Blackmere sacred to the Night Hag, a spirit associated with Xentha goddess of Night, and with whom King Colymar negotiated the terms of his settlement in Dragon Pass. The Night Hag can manifest as an ominous black granite monolith shot through with web-like veins of quartz, as well as a Mistress Race Troll or a hooded human female.

The wilds are inhabited by Voralans, giant spiders, Driders and the ruins of the temple have a colony of Nightgaunts. Trolls are frequently found here on pilgrimage to pay their respects to the hero Zorak Kang and the Black Dragon.


A Drider has the upper body of a female dark troll on the torso of a giant spider. They mate with dark troll males and eat them in the process. They are unfortunately not immune to the curse of kin, and most Driders are puny half trollkin creatures, hungry little brigands who set traps for the unwary. Driders worship Aranea and Arachne Solara, though some use sorcery derived from the Lead Grimoire of Black Arkat and a few are shamen following the night spirits of Xentha.

The full size Dark Driders are solitary creatures but can be found in small groups in the (reformed) Colymar Wilds, Beast Valley and the Black Dragon Mountains, usually accompanied by bands of Drider-kin. The puny drider-kin habitually live in packs as they couldn't survive nay other way, and are sometimes found as pets in the lairs of Trolls in Halikiv and Dagori Inkarth. They are very dangerous in numbers, as their sticky webs, though weak, will immobilise a warrior if enough are used.

They are famed weavers and make marvellous cloths of their own silk which they dye black with the tincture of the night sky itself and can weave darkness and cold spirits into the weft. The lead weights they use at their looms are prized among human craftsmen. They demand wood from the scared trees of the Aldryami to make their looms in payment.

Dark Drider

STR 3d6+6 (16-17)
CON 3d6+6 (16-17)
SIZ 4d6+9 (25)
INT 2d6+6 (13)
POW 2d6+6 (13)
DEX 2d6+6 (13)
CHA 3d6+3 (13-14)

AP 3 Dam +1d8 SR 13

D20 Hit Location AP/HP
1          Right Hind Leg      3/6
2           Right Centre Leg  3/6
3-4        Right Front Leg    3/6
5           Left Hind Leg       3/6
6           Left Centre Leg   3/6
7-8        Left Front Leg     3/6
9-10      Abdomen            3/9
11-12    Thorax                3/9
13-14    Chest                  1/9
15-16    Right Arm           1/7
17-18    Left Arm               1/7
19-20    Head                   1/8

Typical Skills:
Acrobatics STR+DEX+50, Athletics STR+DEX + 30, Brawn STR + SIZ, Dance DEX+CHA+20, Endurance CON x3, Evade DEX x3, Influence CHAx4, Willpower POWx4, Folk Magic (INT+POW) x3, Devotion (Aranea) POW+CHA, Exhort (Aranea) INT+CHA, Craft (Weaving) DEX+INT +50%

Troll Militia STR+DEX (Excellent Footwork, Club, Mace, Maul, Spear, Sling Medium Shield); Drider Webbing STR+DEX+20 (Mancatcher, Web, Grapple, Bite)

Mace M 1d8+1d8 6/6 Bash, Stun Location
Short Spear M !d8+1-1d2 Impale
Round Shield L 1d3+1+1d8 4/9 Bash, Ranged Parry, Blocks 3 locs.
Web L Entangles Web STR = Drider's STRx2
Bite S 1d3+1d8 Venom, potency CONx2

Drider Venom
Type: Ingested or smeared
Delay: 1D3 Combat Rounds
Potency: Drider’s CON x 2
Full Effect: 1D3 hit point damage to location struck, applies –1d6 penalty to victim’s DEX (upon reaching 0
DEX victim becomes paralysed)
Duration: 6D10 minutes

Typical Spells:
Folk – Bludgeon, Demoralise, Darkness, Chill, Extinguish
Divine – Shield, Absroption, Fear, Cult specials – Carapace (inc natural armour and extends it over trollish part of the body), Spiderlimbs (increases climb skill and confers immunity to webs), Spiderbite (Truns head into a spider head, increases bite dmaage to 1d8, doubles poison potency and gves bite an impale special effect).


STR 2d6 (7)
CON 2d6+6 (13)
SIZ 2d6+3 (10)
INT 2d6+3 (10)
POW 3d6 (10-11)
DEX 3d6+3 (13-14)
CHA 2d6 (7)

AP 2 Dam -1d2 SR 11

D20 Hit Location AP/HP
1           Right Hind Leg 1/6
2           Right Centre Leg 1/6
3-4        Right Front Leg 1/6
5           Left Hind Leg 1/6
6           Left Centre Leg 1/6
7-8        Left Front Leg 1/6
9-10      Abdomen 1/9
11-12    Thorax 1/9
13-14    Chest 1/9
15-16    Right Arm 1/7
17-18    Left Arm 1/7
19-20    Head 1/7

Typical Skills:
Acrobatics STR+DEX+50, Athletics STR+DEX + 50, Brawn STR + SIZ, Endurance CON x2, Evade DEX x 5, Stealth DEX x3,Willpower POWx2, Folk Magic INT+POW

Troll Militia STR+DEX (Excellent Footwork, Club, Mace, Maul, Spear, Sling Medium Shield); Drider Webbing STR+DEX+20 (Mancatcher, Web, Grapple, Bite)

Club M 1d6-1d2 4/4 Bash, Stun Location
Round Shield L 1d3+1-1d2 4/9 Bash, Ranged Parry, Blocks 3 locs.
Web L Entangles Web STR = Drider's STR x 2
Bite S 1d3-1d2 Venom Potency CONx1

Typical Spells:
Folk – Bludgeon, Demoralise, Darkness, Chill, Extinguish


These horrible little monsters were stitched together to serve the Black Dragon as scouts and aerial infantry. They are about the size of a trollkin, maybe a little smaller, with soft moth-like wings, compound eyes and feathery antennae on a thin troll-like body. They are not particularly intelligent, but can use stone spears. They have a nest in the ruins of the Temple of the Black Dragon and conduct a never ending war with the Wasp riders. They allegedly keep the mystical tradition of the Night Dragon going, and a few have been seen sporting scales and claws.

Their combat tactics involve swoops whispering dread curses to Demoralise the enemy, then hurling javelins from above to thin the ranks, bolas to stop any escapes and then moving in with the long spear as a last resort. Their soft wings make them very hard to hear in the dark, and on moonless nights they will flutter down unnoticed beside sentries and garotte them. They cut off the skin of the face and wear it as a gruesome mask, and cut out the tongue and make a charm that enables them to copy a persons voice.

They derive great pleasure out of causing fear and confusion and will be happy to kill only a couple out of a large group as long as the rest are duly terrified. If they are feeling lenient they may let travellers pass in return for leaving them the head of a giant wasp or wasp rider, their old enemies. If they are in a less forgiving mood they will sneak into camp and paint a darkness rune on someone's forehead, and give the party the chance to sacrifice the Nightgaunt's selected victim in return for free passage. If the sacrifice is not given freely then they will take it and 1d3 more victims besides.

They live in the ruins of the Temple of the Black Dragon and anyone approaching it will have to deal with them one way or another. They do not like bright sunlight however, and will stay hidden during the day.


STR 2d6+3 (10)
CON 2d6+6 (13)
SIZ 2d4+4 (9)
INT 2d6+3 (10)
POW 2d6+6 (13)
DEX 2d6+12 (19)
CHA 2d6+1 (8)

AP 3 Dam -1d2 SR 15

D20 Hit Location AP/HP
1-2 Right Leg –/5
3-4 Left Leg –/5
5-6 Abdomen –/6
7-9 Chest –/7
10-12 Right Arm –/4
13-14 Left Arm –/4
15-16 Right Wing 2/4
17-18 Left Wing 2/4
19-20 Head –/5

Typical Skills:
Athletics STR+DEX+70, Brawn STR+SIZ, Evade DEX x 5, Endurance CONx3, Stealth DEX x 6, Willpower POWx2, Folk Magic INT+POW

Aerial Scout (Skirmishing, Javelin with Atlatl, Sling, Bolas, Spear, Dagger, Garotte)

Javelin H 1d8+1-1d2 3/8 Impale
2H Spear L 1d10+1-1d2 4/10 Impale
Bolas - 1d4-1d2 2/2 Entangle
Garotte S 1d2-1d2 ½ Stealth

Typical Spells:
Demoralise, Darkness, Chill, Extinguish, Speedart, Ventriloquism, Curse

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