The Spider Nest

This is another Vestitas hexcrawl encounter. Gonna be honest, this one kind of revolves around its map and the stats of its antagonist, neither of which are things we are actually producing at this point. So mostly what we have is rules for an area covered in webs. They can’t all be winners.

Summary: An enormous spider makes its lair in an abandoned hab block deep in the jungle. It requires large animals to use as incubators and food for its young in order to hatch them. Humans are sufficient.

Hook: The abandoned ruins of the hab block are clearly covered in webs. Players may arrive here after randomly encountering some of the spider children and tracking them back here.

Exploration: The webs are arduous terrain (which imposes a -30 penalty to WS attacks and evasion actions whether Dodge or Parry), and also count as a treacherous environment, requiring a Hard(-20) Agility test to Run or Charge through without falling prone during the movement. When spiders attack someone standing in webs, their natural weapons count as Snare(1) for the children and Snare(2) for Shelob. The web is quite flammable and a flame weapon will clear the area for as far as its blast reaches.

Only three floors up and the sewer system below remains of the hab block, and even these are all in advanced states of decay. Only a handful of rooms remains standing on the top floor, only a few more on the second, and even the bottom floor has only a dozen or so rooms, while the sewer below is about as large as the bottom floor. The top floors are mostly empty but occasionally contain ambushes by spider children.

The sewer level is more densely packed with the spiders and also contains the wandering Shelob. Shelob’s nest is currently full of empty carcasses that have already been devoured by her children, all hanging by their ankles from the webbed ceiling, and with her children growing Shelob herself is looking for a new host to inject her fresh eggs into.

Confrontation: Upon encountering the players, Shelob will attack, but if she begins to take critical damage, she will retreat to her nest. Shelob will fight to the death in her nest. Since the players are right on top of her nest, Shelob will make no attempt to retreat with only one unconscious or wounded character to use as a host for her eggs, but will instead attempt to kill them all to keep her nest safe.

This is the kind of post that would go much better with a map, since the layout of the hab block and the location of the spiders within it is the bulk of the actual content for an encounter like this. If you’d like to help us buy Dungeonographer so we can make those kinds of maps, please donate to our Patreon.

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