Monday, January 3, 2011

General Rules: Monsters - Mercurial Spider

Mercurial Spider (from Dragon Magazine #341)
Tiny Construct

Hit Dice: 2d10 (11 hit points)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 20 feet, climb 10 feet
Armor Class: 17 (+2 size, +3 Dexterity, +2 natural); touch 15, flat-footed 14
BAB/Grapple: +1/-10
Attack: Bite +6 melee (1d3-3 plus poison, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing, 20 x2)
Full Attack: Bite +6 melee (1d3-3 plus poison, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing, 20 x2)
Space/Reach: 2½ feet by 2½ feet/0 feet
Special Attacks: Poison
Special Qualities: Construct traits, darkvision 60 feet, tremorsense 60 feet, fluid form
Saves: Fortitude +0, Reflex +3, Will +0
Abilities: Str 5, Int 2, Wis 10, Dex 17, Con -, Cha 2
Skills: Climb +11, Hide +15, Move Silently +6, Spot +6
Feats: Weapon Finesse
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: -
Alignment: Any
Advancement: -
Level Adjustment: -

Like a tiny spider made of liquid silver, this small creature slides and crawls from place to place with calculated efficiency.

Mercurial spiders in their natural form appear as smooth an silvery versions of Tiny monstrous spiders. They rarely stay in their natural shapes due to their natures and advanced shapeshifting abilities. Rumors say that evil mages sell mercurial spiders as "valuable statues" only to later rob the buyer's corpses as they lie poisoned while they slept.

Mercurial spiders possess a well-earned reputation for patience. These solid familiars can wait in one place for days before striking and always act with caution. mercurial spiders revel in court politics, replacing webs of silk with those made of intrigue.

Construct familiars are common among mages of the Collegium.

The mercurial spider prefers to attack incapacitated foes and uses its fluid form ability to get close to sleeping or otherwise unaware victims. For this reason, they prove the familiar of choice for those involved in plots and assassinations.

Fluid Form (Su): The mercurial spider may mimic the form of any Tiny inanimate object. This ability is like the spell statue except that the spider may adopt any form and it does not gain hardness through the use of this ability. This transformation lasts until the spider wills it to end or upon its destruction.

This ability also allows a mercurial spider to pass through small holes or even cracks without slowing its speed. As long as the opening allows the passage of liquid, the spider can slide through the hole.

Poison (Ex): Bite, injury, Fortitude DC 11, initial and secondary damage 1d6 Strength. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Skills: Mercurial spiders have a +4 racial bonus on Hide and Spot checks and a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks. A mercurial spider can choose to Take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened. Mercurial spiders use wither their Strength or Dexterity modifier for Climb checks, whichever is higher.

Construct: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, disease, death effects, paralysis, stunning, sleep, and similar effects. Not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage. Destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points, cannot be raised. Cannot be healed with healing magic unless it specifically says it works on constructs, and does not heal on its own.

Mercurial Spiders as Familiars
Mercurial spiders can serve as familiars for characters eligible to obtain familiars including arcane engineers, hexblades, mind weavers, shadowsworn, sorcerers, and wizards. To do so, the character must take the Improved Familiar feat, be at least a 7th-level caster, and must meet the prerequisites required to construct the familiar, including the creation cost, experience point cost, and time spent.

Creating the body of a mercurial spider involves gathering a sufficient quantity of mercury and mixing it with the proper rare metals and poisons costing a total of 1,500 shillings. This requires either a DC 15 Craft: Alchemy check or DC 15 Craft: Metalsmithing check. After creating the body, the spellcaster continues by summoning a familiar in the normal manner. Upon completion of the summoning ritual a spark of the creator's consciousness inhabits and animates the prepared body. This personality mimics the animal form that it inhabits, but retains some of the creator's habits and traits.

Should a construct familiar become damaged, its master may repair it. This may be accomplished through spells like repair light damage, or through more mundane means. Physically repairing a construct familiar takes one hour and costs 10 shillings in supplies per hit point repaired.

Caster Level: 7th; Prerequisites: Craft Construct, polymorph, spider climb, caster must be at least 7th level; Market Price: 6,500 shillings; Cost to Create: 4,000 shillings + 200 experience points.

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