Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bonus Post: RUNE Monster: The Small Land Crab

RUNE is one of my all time favorite computer games, and of course, when the P&P version came out, I HAD to buy it. It's got a lot of great ideas for for any DM to steal, including the chart that tells the "runner" who to attack(it's a competitive game, and even the person behind the screen is playing for points), and let's not forget the "Death Insurance" that allows characters to spend points to create a save file for their character.

A lot of cool monsters were presented in the games(there were 2 PC games, a PS2 port, and the P&P game).

Land Crab(small)
Climate/Terrain: Subterranean
Frequency: Common
Organization: Solitary
Activity Cycle: Any
Diet: Omnivore
Intelligence: Animal(1)
Treasure: None
Alignment: True Neutral
No. Appearing: 1(or 2d6)
Armor Class: 3 or -10
Movement: 15
Hit Dice: 1
Thac0: 20
# of Attacks: 2
Damage/attack: 1d4/1d4
Special Attacks: Special
Special Defense: Camouflage, Rock Hard Shell.
Size: Small(2-3')
Morale: Steady(11-12)
XP Value: 35

A Land Crab is a subterranean crustacean. When dormant, sleeping, or hiding, a land crab looks like a large low rock on the floor. Even to the touch a land crab's hard outer shell feels like the same cold stone of the subterranean caverns in which it lives. When it decides to attack or move however, the land crab can be rather noisy, scuttling about on it's eight white legs. 2 large pincers with the same rock coloration as the shell protrude from the forward sides of the creature.

Combat: A solitary landcrab is as likely to rush to the attack as it is to sit and wait to gain a surprise advantage. When it does sit and wait however, the foes of a landcrab have a -4 penalty to surprise rolls. A landcrab's outer shell is virtually un-breachable except by the very mightiest of blows by the most heroic of warriors. Even a dragon would break its teeth before being able to pierce the hard shell of the land crab. Where a Land Crab is vulnerable however is on its legs and the part of the arm right behind the pincer. As such, the AC for the Shell and pincers is AC -10, while the legs and arms are AC 4.

Habitat/Society: Land Crabs are territorial, a single section of cave will be staked out and defended by an individual land crab for its own use. Only during breeding season will they gather willingly in any numbers. Some humanoids keep small land crabs as guardians in large numbers, but they have to keep them well fed or they'll start to feed on one another.

Ecology: Small Land crabs normally subsist on the various creatures they can scavenge, even capable of eating poisonous fungi with seemingly no ill effect to them. A land crab preys on anything it can catch(and it's pretty fast), but the usual prey seems to be rock goblins, mosses, lichens, and tube strikers. A land crab's shell is useful for creating items that petrify or harden things. A small land crab's natural predators include nearly any sentient meat eating race that is able to kill them. Land crab meat requires heavy spicing however, as plain, the stuff is almost unpalatable for anything but goblin-kind.

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