I’ll change the title when my players have encountered this beastie, but I could use a little help building it. I want to do a cave fisher, and I think it’s going to call for a custom conflict of some sort.
It’s a cross between a giant spider and a lobster that lives and hunts in underground places. It can make a long, sticky strand like spider silk, but it doesn’t build webs - it dangles a sticky strand like a fishing line from a high spot. Mostly it catches bats as they fly through the tunnel - I imagine every dusk and dawn the bats swarm past the trap line and get stuck to it like flies on fly paper. But it’s semi-intelligent and it likes to supplement its diet with the occasional larger prey like a goblin or an adventurer.
The original version of the cave fisher pulls the target up to itself and then tries to dismember it with claws. This seems crazy for any animal - pull an armed and armored murder hobo up to your face? No way. But I was thinking - why not crack the prey like a crow cracks walnuts - by hauling it up and dropping it on rocks repeatedly?
So now I’ve got an idea for a creature that sets an attended trap and then enters a conflict with whoever trips the trap. The encounter probably happens in an underground space with a high ceiling. The cave fisher is fixed to the ceiling and it makes a strand that’s only sticky for the last six feet or so, then lowers that strand near a chokepoint like an entrance or a narrow place in the chamber, or near something appealing like a pool of fresh water.
So if players don’t say they’re doing something like waving a tool ahead of them as they walk, they’ll be subject to the trap. I think a reflexive Scout test at Ob3 or so should be right for the character who triggers the trap. Success means they spot the glimmer of the strand before they contact it. Failure means they’re stuck to the strand and the fisher begins pulling them up.
This is a really bad situation. If the players don’t have access to Dance of the Fireflies or Lightness of Being it will be very difficult to fight the cave fisher because the ceiling is probably beyond the reach of their light sources - lost in darkness. The thread itself is very difficult to sever as originally written - only magical weapons can cut it. It doesn’t burn. It can be dissolved by strong alcohols (like the cave fisher’s blood). Presumably the cave fisher can dissolve it with saliva like a spider.
I think I need a custom conflict to represent this, but I’m not sure how to structure it. Characters piling on to overwhelm the strength of the fisher so it can’t haul its victim up? Cushioning the fall of the character? Climbing the walls to try to get some light on the fisher? I’m not sure… Maybe I have to wait and build the conflict based on how the players respond?
Any help at representing this terror would be appreciated.