Posted by : David Guyll July 10, 2013
One of the ways that the team behind Next is trying to do this is by tying some monster together. Yesterday's Legends & Lore gave a flavor snapshot of the ettercap that presented a potentially objectionable way that they could "interact" with pixies, namely by bartering their dust with
hags and feeding off of them to gain magical powers.
Today's Wandering Monsters takes a somewhat closer look at the ettercap, as well as giving us a similar preview for the lamia.
I guess I do not mind them being tied to the Feywild, but then I wonder why they have no desire to live in harmony with nature. An "uncontrolled garden choked with spiders, webs, and sinister predators" makes for a compelling backdrop, but what are the odds that pixies would blunder into that sort of place, or any animal for that matter? On a similar note, why do they hate good fey? Are they the creations of a powerful fey entity that was cast out of the courts? Maybe a corrupted spider spirit? It would be nice to get some sort of reason than just "because".
A bigger question is what sort of things do they get from hags? Ettercaps do not strike me as having a particularly advanced culture. In 2nd Edition they were pretty much solitary creatures that lived in nests, largely ignoring treasure even as a means of enticing additional prey into their traps. So...why? What do they have to gain? What would they buy with their hag-monies, and from who?
|I guess a spider-choked forest is probably |
not the worst place Neko has set up shop.
I said before I kind of like the idea of an ettercap turning into an aranea after eating enough fey creatures, but it presents two problems. The first is if araneas are intended to be a separate creature. If so, then why do ettercaps happen to turn into the exact same thing? Also, why is it that they gain lightning and force magic from the blood of creatures that are normally associated with charms and illusions. Spiders already have a penchant for being able to mislead prey, so why not run with that?
My problem with the lamia pretty much starts at its high concept: it is a half human, half lion that has a list of charm and illusion spells that it can draw from. Oh, and it can drain your Wisdom by touch because why not. Not only are there already plenty of centaur-like monsters out there, but I do not see any resonating theme here, and associating them with Graz'zt is just adding to the confusion.
Why do they have the lower bodies of lions? Why do they all have the exact same spell-like abilities? Why do they drain Wisdom with a touch? If you want to add Graz'zt to the mix, then would it not make more sense for them to be something created by him, kind of like an exarch or high priest? This would make them somewhat rare, but could also make a good legendary candidate. You could give them lair traits that shroud the ruined city in illusions and befuddle people who get to close.
It in no way explains the lion-parts (which I would just scrap), but at least presents a reason for all the illusions and Wisdom-draining.