Posted by : David Guyll June 18, 2013

In a game that combines owls and bears (among other things), where panthers can have tentacles and extra legs, and numerous creatures imitate mundane objects like cloaks, swords, pillows, floors, ceilings, and more, I am not only surprised that the major variable with vermin seems to be size, but also that being able to do things like shoot webbing would be regarded as inappropriate.

When it comes to vermin as a whole I think that the game should offer an actual toolkit approach that goes above and beyond just picking a size and one of two hunting methods. Why not let us build our own bugs, by choosing movement methods (such as flight, swimming, burrowing, and/or
climbing speeds), attacks (bite, stinger, claw, etc), and any other special
attacks (like webbing or poison)?

Sure, give us the more mundane insects as examples, but make it easy to add wings, grasping pincers, acid-sprays, and more supernatural traits so that we can cook up some truly horrifying monstrosities, like a giant wasp that can spray blinding acid at its prey (bonus points if said acid causes other giant wasps to go into a frenzy and tear the target to shreds). What about ants with a bite that causes excruciating agony? Those are both based on real-world insects; since this is D&D we should be able to easily cobble together some kind of flying spider with a scorpion stinger that breathes fire.

It is better than having pages upon pages devoted to a bunch of insects of various sizes, sometimes with an elemental/fiendish/divine power tacked on.

I find it strange that James refers to the lamia of Editions-past as a Classical monster. The mythological lamia was a person whose children were killed or stolen by Hera, and was then transformed into a child-eating monster.

She seems to be handling it pretty well.
Most of the art I found showed her either with the lower body of a snake, or having a snakeskin article on hand, though I guess there is a bit about her just having a distorted face. A later story mentions that she could not close her eyes, and would continue to see her dead children until Zeus gave her the ability to remove them (which gave her the gift of prophecy, for some reason).

There are a few other variations, such as multiple lamias being likened to vampires and succubi, or that Lamia was forced to eat her own children, but nothing that really makes me think of a person with the lower half of a lion/goat/deer/etc, a list of enchantment and illusion spell-like abilities, and a Wisdom draining touch. The list of spell-like abilities inspires a few cliche scenarios of women in need turning out to be the bad guy, or a voice crying out for help, but there is no explicable reason for them. Same goes for their Wisdom-draining touch.

While the 4th Edition lamia might be no more accurate, the concept of a mass of intelligent bugs inhabiting a fleshy sack is at least more interesting and unique than yet another half man, half quadruped, nonsense array of magical powers or no. If you are going to change its name, then you should also scrap the previous lamia for something that hits closer to home. I would start by giving them the lower body of a serpent (which she might be able to conceal for a time, but it manifests as an article of clothing), swallow whole, and maybe some sort of divination powers (that it might use on another's behalf...for a price).

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to Posts | Subscribe to Comments

Followers

Recent Comments

Popular Post

Blog Archive

- Copyright © Points of Light -Metrominimalist- Powered by Blogger - Designed by Johanes Djogan -