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Harmattan Tarantula (Spheres)

Climate, Harmattan Tarantula CR 5

XP 1,600
N Small magical beast (climate)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 40 ft.; Perception +12

Defense

AC 20, touch 16, flat-footed 15 (+5 Dex, +4 natural, +1 size)
hp 48 (6d10+18)
Fort +8, Ref +10, Will +3
Defensive Abilities fortification (50%); DR 5/slashing or 5/– against nonlethal; Immune weather (Wind, Aridity), mind-affecting

Offense

Speed 35 ft., burrow 35 ft., climb 35 ft., fly 55 ft. (poor), swim 55 (sand only) ft.
Melee bite +12 (1d6+1 plus 1d6 nonlethal plus drybone venin)
Special Attacks attuned mantles (severity 4), desiccating web (+13 ranged, DC 16, 6 hp, swift action, 1d4 round recharge)

  • Borne Aloft (mantle, wind); 40 ft. fly speed with poor maneuverability
  • Desiccant (mantle, aridity); 1d6 nonlethal damage with natural, unarmed, and touch attacks
  • Mummified Flesh (mantle, aridity); DR 4/slashing and medium fortification
  • Sand Swimmer (mantle, aridity); 40 ft. swim speed through sand and 40 ft. tremorsense
  • Whispering Winds (mantle, wind); can whisper and hear others under mantle (other harmattan tarantulas)
  • Wind Tunnel (mantle, wind); ranged attacks take no penalties due to wind and gain a +2 bonus on attack rolls
  • Zephyr’s Flight (mantle, wind); increase all movement modes by +15 ft.

Statistics

Str 13, Dex 20, Con 17, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 13
Base Atk +6; CMB +6; CMD +21 (+33 vs. trip)
Feats: Iron Will, Skill Focus (Stealth), Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +14, Climb +17, Fly +3, Perception +12, Stealth +25, Swim +9; Racial Modifiers +8 Climb, +4 Perception, +4 Stealth
Languages Terran (cannot speak)
SQ weather attunement (Wind, Aridity)

Special Abilities

Desiccating Web (Su)

A harmattan tarantula cannot spin webs like a normal spider, but can create silk to protect its burrow or slow down prey. This functions as the web universal monster ability, except the harmattan tarantula can use this ability an unlimited number of times per day, and can use desiccating silk as a swift action. The save DC is Constitution-based.

A creature entangled by the harmattan tarantula’s webs is drained of moisture by the dehydrating strands. Whenever a creature fails to escape from a desiccating web, it suffers 1d6 nonlethal damage (as the Desiccant (mantle) talent).

Drybone Venin (Ex)

Bite––injury; save Fort DC 16; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d6 nonlethal damage and whenever the poisoned creature would take a 5-foot step, they must succeed at a Reflex save or fall prone (DC 16); cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.

About

Environment warm deserts
Organization solitary, mates (2)
Treasure none

This large spider’s coat seems to consist of fine, shifting layers of sand which swirl in patterned bands.

Resting in shallow, dry burrows, the harmattan tarantula is an incredibly intelligent, mobile, and capable hunter of lowland prey. Because of their supernatural connections to the very essence of sandstorms, they are capable of flight, digging, and even “swimming” through sands. Harmattan tarantulas are about the size of a young child, nearly 2 to 3 feet long, and possess dozens of sensitive hairs along their legs that allow them to watch the very ground itself. It is very rare to come across a harmattan tarantula purposefully, and humanoids and other travelers are often not aware there may be one present or lurking in the dunes.

Harmattan tarantulas prefer to lay in wait, camouflaging against the sands or creating shallow burrows to watch for prey from, ambushing prey with their webs or chasing them down with their superior maneuverability. The harmattan tarantula’s hunting techniques consist of drawn out applications of low-lethality venom that dehydrates their prey, consuming their moisture. Peculiar enough, harmattan tarantulas are partial to fruit with high water content, such as grapes and watermelon, and may prefer that when available to other prey.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Spheres Bestiary: Magical Beasts and Climactic Encounters, © 2021, Drop Dead Studios; Author: Steven Alpert.