Scurrying from the sands rises a monstrously-sized spider. Standing taller than a horse, its lean frame rocks gently and its pale hair bristles in agitation.
Sand Stalker CR 4
Str 19, Dex 17, Con 15, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 2
Base Atk +6; CMB +11; CMD 24 (36 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Perception, Stealth)
Skills Acrobatics +8 (+12 jump), Perception +9, Stealth +14 (+18 in sandy environs); Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics to jump, +4 Stealth (+8 in sandy environs)
The front four legs of a sand stalker are hollow. When a gust of air or wind blows across them, they create a hypnotic sound that can be heard by all creatures within a 100-foot spread. Those hearing this sound must make a successful DC 15 Will save or become entranced. This is a sonic, mind-affecting effect. If the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by the same sand stalker’s attraction for one day. The save DC is Constitution-based.
An entranced victim takes the most direct route possible, walking toward the sand stalker. If the path leads into a dangerous area, (fire, over a cliff, and so on), that creature gets a second saving throw. Entranced creatures can take no actions other than to defend themselves. A victim within 5 feet of the sand stalker stands there and offers no resistance to the monster’s attacks. The effect continues for as long as the sand stalker’s legs are subjected to wind. A bard’s countersong ability allows the entranced creature to attempt a new Will save.
Environment warm deserts
Organization solitary or colony (2-5)
Treasure 1/10 coins; 50% goods; 50% items
Sand stalkers are agile, 12-foot-long, aggressive, hunting spiders with voracious appetites. Thankfully they are found only in deserts and usually away from civilized areas. The sand stalker is a wanderer; though some do occasionally build lairs. These consist of an open hole constructed in areas where the ground is hard enough to prevent a flood of sand and debris from filling the lair. Some sand stalkers cover their burrows with a “trapdoor” (noticeable with a DC 20 Perception check). If the ground is unsuitable for burrowing, the stalker takes up residence in whatever shelter is available, such as an abandoned temple or beneath a rocky outcropping.
Sand stalkers are typically solitary creatures though on some occasions a few of the creatures nest together. A typical nest consists of 1d4+1 sand stalkers, usually two males, and two females with the female sand stalkers being the dominate forces in the nest.
Sand stalkers are carnivores and hunt all manner of desert-dwelling or desert-traveling creatures. Aggressive predators, they prefer to use stealth to attack by surprise. They burrow just beneath the surface of the sand, leaving their front forelegs exposed where the wind catches them and plays an eerie flute-like sound. They use this deception to attract prey. Creatures that are affected by the hypnotic sound are attacked as soon as they come close. If hungry or threatened, a sand stalker uses its superior speed to run down its prey.
Sand Stalker from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Authors Scott Greene and Erica Balsley.