The Architects of Betrayal (TAB) 45: Arachnophobia: A How To Guide
Updated: Jul 20
So, how to cause full blown Arachnophobia in an entire group of players and their characters? (I mean besides flashing the above image at them over and over) See, the trick is timing. They've already run into two driders. Simply piling more on would only inure them to the shock level.
So first we'll present them with a non-threatening little Haunt. Just a goblin mage of long past intent on killing is opponent. Well, until you disturb him. He really doesn't like being disturbed when he works.
Anyways, this particular adventurous conundrum was found in the north passage. (For some reason they didn't want to go south this time). Now I'd like to take credit for this particular haunt but in reality I stole it nearly verbatim from the PFSRD. All I did was increase the CR to more appropriately confront the group with pain . . . I mean a challenge. I did it for a challenge. No, really!
Quit reading this with that look.
Of course the first one to disrupt the haunt was the gnome. I mean, gnomes am I right? As he entered its range the goblin specter flipped around and cast Tsunami. This swept the party back the way they'd come for a bit until Globat manage to dispel the spell. This of course dropped the group a good ten feet. What; you thought I'd miss that opportunity?
But that wasn't the only spell in the haunt's repertoire, which they discovered upon their return. In fact it had about seven. Next on the menu: Stormbolts! Yay! And on it went until their patience was exhausted.
I was able to pin down the exact moment of that evolution. It was when Quagrim yanked out his pistol, screamed "MY PATIENCE IS EXHAUSTED!" and unloaded on the poor specter. (He didn't really say that; it was implied)
Once the haunt had been negated the group was undecided as to how to proceed. Quagrim, Minerva, and Globat were debating attempting to talk to the haunt. Meanwhile the glowy Kobold decided to explore beyond the arch this particular haunt was blocking. There he found a massive residential quarter with entire houses cut into the rock, stalactites, and stalagmites. I think he was looking for friends.
A trio of driders was only too happy to oblige him. He managed to call the others before they could get into position. They assembled with murderous glee in their eyes and a sense of king sized overconfidence in their step. And this is where my step by step process comes into play:
Step One: Make the group face a group of scary drow(because they aren't scary enough right?) spider hybrids.
Step Two: Have the Spiders quaff a potion of darksight. Step Three: Have the first cast deeper darkness within a radius that encompasses said group. This had the wonderful effect of rendering all but the kobold blind.
Step Four: Have the next drider teleport around and trip everyone with a whip, before using its remaining attacks to dance on the bloodrager's prone form.
Step Five: Have the gunslinger bring the paladin within single digits of his life total.
It was about this point that the group began to grasp what they were up against. Quagrim had a fine view of the party's near dismemberment due to his casting of True Seeing. This made him grimly aware of their plight as the anti-paladin moved to smite the prone (and might I add, severely bleeding) paladin; said gnome then burned a hero point to cast true sight again, this time on Globat. As soon as Globat's vision cleared and he could see the bullet ridden soon to be corpse that had once been a paladin he did likewise and cast heal. Damn them both!
From there things shifted downhill quickly. Not only did the gnome and the kobold take to the skies (robbing me of the chance to trip them again) or the samsaran cast Shocking Image (maxing the images I might add) but my dice began rolling like traitors. One of these days boy, I'm going to arrange them in a circle and melt one (chosen by lowest roll of course) in front of the others. That'll teach the treacherous little bastards!
Anyways, after that near fatal first round, the group was able to wipe that party. But wait! There's more! The fight had only lasted about thirty seconds, but that was enough time for the noise it created to bring forth a veritable horde of Driders from every nook and cranny of said residential quarter. It was like some reenactment of a Frank Marshall movie . . .
The group quickly decided on an abbreviated plan of RUN AWAY! This version involved a teleport spell with optional shit yourselves/grab a body to loot. They chose shit themselves. Well that's what I'm assuming since they didn't grab any bodies anyway. Globat teleported them back to the entrance of Mt. Hotenow.
Okay, so maybe not quite enough for a true phobia yet, but clearly a traumatizing experience. It's a work in progress.