Random Encounters06/14/2004

What's Bugging You?

Plenty is bugging you, if you meet any of these creatures. Vermin don't make much of an impact on the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons; they are mindless and somewhat easy to defeat, given enough damage-dealing power. Their single immunity (mind-affecting effects), does not help them very much. However, they may be woefully underutilized in your campaign. If vermin themselves don't seem to have a place in your game -- or provide a suitable challenge -- then try using them in unusual ways.

One aspect of vermin that makes them particularly useful is that they turn up just about everywhere. While you rarely see colossal monstrous scorpions in the streets of Waterdeep or Greyhawk, smaller versions live in the alleys and sewers of these and other cosmopolitan areas. And wilderness areas are sometimes overrun by them, especially if they serve as an important food source for other large creatures. This month's Random Encounters gives you a new look at vermin enemies and allies that you can add to your campaign today.

The Werewasp

In remote parts of the world, lycanthropy has somehow mutated, or been changed magically, and a new strain called entomanothropy is loose. See the results of it in the werewasp.

Entomanothropy Runs Wild

Make your own were-vermin with this new template, and scare your player characters (and maybe your players, too!).

The Fearsome Hill Giant Werescorpion

For something truly horrifying, add the hill giant werescorpion to your campaign.

Vermin Druids and Their Companions

Druids are normally associated with animals, but some like vermin better. Use these rules to create spider druids, ant druids, or even druids with locust swarm companions.

About the Author

Robert Wiese began playing D&D with the blue boxed set (the one after the original three small pamphlets). He has campaigned through three and a half editions of his favorite roleplaying game and has tried Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars, and some other games as well. Throughout it all he has learned that a great DM makes a great campaign. So he is happy to assist great DMs with little ideas such as these random encounters. He led the RPGA Network through the tough times and now works at UNR as a biochemical researcher. Life is very full between studies, work, pets (two dogs, two cats, fish, a toad, and two rats), and gaming, but he always puts his wife and his faith first.

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