Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Non-Dark Sun Creatures in Dark Sun - Cave Fisher

There are many creatures from the various monstrous manuals that have been officially added to Dark Sun. I added some unofficially for my game and I'm sure a lot of other DMs do the same.
There is no inherent problem with this, although the flavor text often doesn't fit with the Dark Sun setting. My goal is to list the various monsters that "don't fit" and rewrite their flavor text to make them fit.
I often add a new Athasian variant as well.

Cave Fisher

Cave Fisher Cave Fisher, Psionic
Climate/Terrain Rocky Badlands, Underground Rocky Badlands, Underground
Frequency Rare Very Rare
Organization Group Group
Activity Cycle Night Night
Diet Carnivore Carnivore
Intelligence Semi- (2-4) Low (5-7)
Treasure J, K J, K, M
Alignment Neutral Neutral
No. Appearing 1-4 1-4
Armor Class 4 4
Movement 1 1
Hit Dice 3 4
THAC0 17 or 15 16 or 14
No. of Attacks 2 2
Damage/Attack 2-8/2-8 2-8/2-8
Special Attacks Adhesive trapline Adhesive trapline, Psionics
Special Defenses See below Psionics, See below
Magic Resistance Nil Nil
Size M (7' long) M (7' long)
Morale Steady (11-12) Elite (13-14)
XP Value 175 650

The cave fisher is a large insectoid that has adapted to life below ground.
The cave fisher has a hard, chitinous shell of overlapping plates and eight legs. The 6 rear legs are used for movement and traction on stony walls and corridors. Because of these limbs, the fisher has no difficulty in moving up and down vertical walls. The front pair of legs are equipped with powerful pincers, which are used for killing and dismembering prey. The most unusual feature of the cave fisher is its long snout, which can fire a strong, adhesive filament. The monster can also use its adhesive to anchor itself in place on walls and ledges.
The cave fisher has two ways of hunting. Its preferred method is to string its long filament in the vicinity of its lair. The filaments are thin and strong, making them exceedingly difficult to detect or cut. There is only a 20% chance of noticing the strand at 10’, and no chance at all of seeing them at a greater distance. A detect snares and pits spell will reveal a strand. The filament is coated with an adhesive which can only be dissolved by liquids with a high alcohol content (such as the cave fisher’s blood). The filaments can only be cut by magical or psionic edged weapons. The fisher’s favorite food are small, flying creatures like insects and bats. Ever opportunistic, they are constantly trying to vary their diet by trapping a careless humanoid. If more than one fisher inhabits a lair, they will frequently pool their resources to catch larger prey. Once the victim is trapped in the filament, the cave fisher draws its prey in, reeling its filament in like a fishing line.
Should a tempting target escape the monster’s neatly laid traps, the cave fisher will try another mode of attack. It will spend one round drawing its filament in and then shoot it at the prey, striking with THAC0 two lower than normal. It will try to snare its prey in this manner so long as it remains within the fisher’s established territory. If the prey is hit by the filament, the monster can pull a weight of up to 400 pounds at a movement rate of 15’ per round. In the event that a “tug of war” breaks out, the fisher has a strength of 20 with its strand (18/00 with pre-revised rules).
In addition to the standard attacks of cave fishers, psionic cave fishers also have the following psionic abilities:
Psionic Summary
Level: 4
Dis/Sci/Dev: 2/2/9
Attack/Defense: EW, MT / MB, IF
Score: 12
PSPs: 68
Psychometabolic: Metamorphosis, Biofeedback, Catfall, Chameleon Power, Heightened Senses, Reduction
Telepathy: Mindlink, Attraction, Aversion, Ego Whip, Mind Thrust

Habitat/ Society
Cave fishers prefer living on ledges and caves located above well-traveled paths, sharing their lairs with others of their kind. No more than four cave fishers will be found in one lair. Standard and psionic cave fishers will share territory. Their filaments are always strung before their lair, and they attempt to kill anything they trap, often storing food for future use. Their territories are very small, and never larger than about 300 feet to either side of the lair. Anything man-sized or smaller is considered fair game by the cave fisher and halflings are thought to be tasty treats. A single cave fisher would never attack a large, well armed party for the sake of a single meal.
Still, they are cunning, and a group of the monsters might reel in their filaments and attempt an ambush if they thought they could get away with it. If hunting in one area becomes scarce, the cave fisher will simply find a new area to hunt, where the small game is more plentiful and careless.
Like all predators, the cave fisher is interested in survival. This means a steady supply of food and a mate. Females lay eggs in the vicinity of the lair, which they protect from predators. The young scatter when the eggs hatch, seeking lairs of their own.
Although the cave fisher does not collect treasure, its lair is often strewn with the possessions of its former victims.

The cave fisher preys primarily on small flying game. It is not the top predator in its ecological niche, and has learned caution in dealing with other monsters. The cave fisher is sufficiently intelligent to know the dangers of preying on large, well-organized groups, who might grow tired of its depredations and hunt it to extinction. The monster instinctively picks the easiest route for survival, and relies on stealth and cunning to trap its prey and avoid being eaten itself. The filaments of the cave fisher can be made into thin and very strong rope. The filaments are wound onto reels and then specially treated to dilute the adhesive. The resulting strands are made into ropes, while the diluted adhesive is turned into a special solution, which when applied to gloves and boots, greatly increases traction for climbing.
Cave fishers can be eaten and is similar to a crustacean in taste and texture. An adult cave fisher provides twenty-five pounds of edible meat. The chitin of the cave fisher is also valuable for making armor and other items. A single adult cave fisher provides fifteen pounds of armor quality chitin.

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