The Wolf Spider

So I was thinking of running an adventure where a large wolf spider is attacking travelers along a trade route and the patrol has been sent out to eliminate it.

Now I know Wolf Spiders can get big in some areas and the venom would be deadly to Mice. So what should its nature score be and how should I handle this?

Any ideas?

Wolf spiders are not really a threat to mice. However, a wolf spider would definitely be a threat to the insects mice merchants would use to haul their goods. I would handle a wolf spider like this:

Wolf Spider
Nature (spider) 3
Insect Hunter, Opportunistic, Frightening, Defensive Biter
Eight legs: +2D Defend
Bite: +1s successful Feint
Note: A compromise in a conflict might result in a mouse having been bitten, giving the mouse an Injured condition.

An excellent way for a Patrol to deal with a wolf spider (or any spider) is to have an Apiarist train a Spider Wasp, specifically the Tarantula Hawk wasp.

In my games, our Apiarist uses a number of bees and wasps. I count them as team members in conflicts if she succeeds in an Apiarist test before the conflicts begins or as Gear if she fails. If a team member I’d use the spider wasp like this:

Tarantula Hawk
Nature (wasp) 3
Aggressive, Stinging, Spider Hunting
Wings: +1D Maneuver
Stinger: +2s successful Attack
Note: against spiders and insects the stinger is used as is, against mice and other animals it is only +1D Attack.

As an alternative to a wolf spider, you could have a deadly Black Widow spider or Brown Recluse spider having built a web across the trail merchants use. The Guard might find that simply relocating the trail around the spider may not be enough, since even an inadvertent encounter with either spider could result in a deadly bite. Black widows may run away rather than fight, but the brown recluse is a very aggressive spider.

For those two species of spider I would add that in a conflict, death or at least Injured and Sick both are on the line.

I’ve seen some videos on YouTube of tarantulas attacking (and eating) mice. A quick look at their Wikipedia article indicates that, yeah; while they mainly eat insects, they can feed on animals as large as mice and small snakes. Are there tarantulas in the Territories? This map I’m looking at on the Wiki says they’re found all over the United States, as well as South America, Africa, southern Asia, and Australia. So, I dunno. Seems pretty likely that they could be found within the Territories.

Would be a pretty neat enemy for the Guard, I think.

Thanks for posting this.

Well unless my research is wrong some of the larger Wolf Spiders have been known to attack smaller mice, though insects are their primary diet.

Wolf Spiders range from 1/2" to 2" in body length and some can grow bigger.

The Brown Recluse was my second choice, mainly becuase I like the look of the wolf spider, and having a patrol clear a trail of a web would be a great idea.

My idea was to have a hermit mouse that raised two spiders as pets that are very protective of him and his hole in a tree cause some trouble out of a town’s limits.

Having a patrol having to arrest this mouse for attacking travelers, he is a bit off the rocker, would be made difficult when his pets try to defend him.

I’m interested in said research regarding wolf spiders attacking mice, if you wouldn’t mind pointing me to it. I’ve not seen anything to substantiate such a scenario myself. I could perhaps see a defensive bite happening, or maybe even a pinkie being snatched; they are opportunistic hunters after all. I should note that I am referring to those species of wolf spider that exist in the USA. Species in other countries I know less about. But if there is a giant mouse eating wolf spider out there, it probably lives in Australia.

As I understand them, wolf spiders in the USA range in size from less than a millimeter to about 30mm, depending on the species and gender. This is body length only, so adding the leg length about doubles it. I’m not aware of any species in the USA with a body size of 2 inches or more, but I am definitely interested if you would post a reference. All of my knowledge is interest/academic based and not collegiate.

I like the looks of the wolf spider too (note my avatar, and name for that matter). It strikes a very intense image - that can be both awe inspiring and scary as heck at the same time. Plus, it has a badass name. Wolf spider - how cool is that?

You’ve got an interesting scenario there. A trained wolf spider attacking mice is a lot different than one in the wild doing what they do naturally! It reminds me of creepy Pit Bulls, or guard dogs.

Since these are trained spiders I’d let the Player’s know that receiving an Injury (being bitten) as a Compromise during the Conflict is a definite, with the possibility of Sick (from the venom) on top of that if the spider wins.

As for stats, I think I would keep them the same, but I might change the Bite to act like s Sword given that these spiders are trained and all.