Hot answers tagged

85

As with other aspects of the game, as the GM you have a lot of leeway here. Just because the Adventure Path/Campaign/Monster Manual says that these creatures are spiders doesn't mean that they have to be. After all, all a monster is is "A block of stats with fluff" (Thanks @Grey Sage, I particularly liked that quote) You can easily reskin spiders with creepy,...


73

One thing to keep in mind before you just port spider-like abilities over to something that isn't quite a spider is that real arachnophobia isn't just a matter of being "creeped out" by them. I have a good friend who suffers from it and it's a real condition that is completely outside of his control. Halloween is a terrible time for him, because fluffy toy ...


24

You should probably just have this discussion with the player, rather than trying to plan something out without their input. Phobias are very personal things, and no matter your best intentions, creating a creature that acts almost exactly, or even partially like a spider, could still trigger that phobia. Ask them what it is about spiders that worries ...


21

While I agree with the selected answer, I feel like I would be remiss if I do not suggest some kind of slime creature as a substitute, since it has worked for us. I don't have resources handy at the moment, but slimes and other similar creatures can easily tick these boxes while avoiding general insect imagery. Need them to risk getting stuck in one place? ...


13

In my experience, "high level guy shows up and punches you in the face" comes across as "rocks fall, everyone dies" - DM fiat. And the players may be right, since it's possible that you didn't establish the laws well enough ahead of time. For this reason, it's vital to build up to that confrontation, in the same way as a real legal system will go from ...


12

If you're wary of your reskinning being too apparent, an option that has at least some amount of preexisting relevance is a Dilophosaurus, the dinosaur that killed Dennis Nedry in Jurassic Park: https://youtu.be/MNoWveBtrZc?t=164 It spits sticky goo, you could easily say its bite is venomous, and if you describe it as it appears in that scene, it isn't too ...


8

My wife is highly arachnophobic, so my group has had to handle this in the past. Our system is pretty simple. Rather than replacing the creatures, we use a set of code words: spiders are now sheep. Everyone, including my wife, knows what the words really mean. But because we keep them consistent among themselves, it offers each player a choice: mentally ...


7

Have you considered splitting the powers up between multiple opponents? For example, instead of giant spiders, you have a sect of net wielding goblin rangers with a viper animal companions. The goblin uses the net to trap opponents so its comparatively weak snake can bite them more easily. And the sect has a preferred tactic of launching a surprise ...


5

Jeff L makes a really good point about why this might not be the best idea. However, if you really want a spider replacement, the Ettercap is just about ideal. It has these things going for it: Poisonous bite Web ability Web walking ability Humanoid, so doesn't look much like a spider The picture in the Monster Manual is pretty much the opposite of scary, ...


4

If the encounter should have immobilization of the characters you could use giant insects in place of spiders. This will keep the theme of real life animals made into giant monsters. Example: Giant moths that spin cocoons out of silk to trap PCs and have a poisonous dust that emits from them. OR: Giant ants that craft devious traps out of leaves. PCs ...


4

Response out of personal experience and irrational fears in RPGs. Not necessarily a direct response to "what to use in place of spiders" but more "how to handle out of game phobias in game". I have a fear of zombies and they scare the hell out of me (I can usually handle skeletons). Unfortunately, undead are a pretty regular theme in most RPGs. I've played ...


3

The way to approach this depends on your goal. Is your goal to portray a realistic setting, even if that isn't the most fun thing for your group? Or is your goal to have a game in which characters aren't evil? I ask because I sometimes see games that go like this: Player: I'd like to torture some civilians for fun! DM: I let my players do what they ...


3

This is, as you rightly suggest, an issue of campaign design as well as of player management. The campaign design aspects come in at a surprisingly foundational level, in my opinion: What is the distribution of physically powerful NPCs and institutions in your world? If they are plentiful, the question becomes, "Why does this campaign world need the PC ...


1

There is no well-defined answer. You almost certainly want a demiplane accessible through a portal as your secret area. It's just too trivially easy to bypass otherwise (e.g. Polymorph to Umber Hulk; tunnel to location) On how the portal to get to the demiplane might trigger, the most official answer is "however you want." The Manual Of The Planes gives ...


1

If I was a BBEG and I was truly concerned with someone finding my base or identifying my minions (and potentially connecting them with me), I would not mark them with any sort of arcane sigil, no matter how powerful a spellcaster I was, out of fear that a more powerful (or lucky) caster could come along and detect magic the sigil I put down to identify them. ...


1

SPavel's answer covers the artificial consequences (if you break our laws, we will punish you) quite well, but there are also natural consequences to all this mayhem. I mean, we're not talking selling liquor on Sundays here, right? These are laws that someone put in place because if someone broke them, it would be bad. So, let the players see what they're ...



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