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Thursday, 3 November 2016

Drider Teeth

A magic item from my weekly WP&WS game.

Drider Teeth are found in sets of six. Each is a glossy black chitin false-tooth, essentially shaped like human teeth but longer and sharper.

Each tooth fits into a single tooth-socket in the gums. Extracting a tooth (so that the socket is free for the false tooth to fit into) deals a single point of damage: if your system uses flesh and grit, the damage goes directly to flesh. Once placed in the gums, the wound rapidly heals over, and the Drider Tooth becomes part of the user's normal dentition. 
Each tooth has a different effect on the wearer. If they haven't been identified, then which tooth is selected will be random: roll a d6 to see which tooth is selected first (and then a d5 for the second tooth, a d4 for the third and so on). 

Roll a 1: The tooth gives the host perfect tremmorsense. They can feel any movement on the surface they are standing on, accurately pinpointing its location by tracking subtle vibrations.

Roll a 2: The host's saliva can spin webs. A small gland under the tongue allows the host to 'spit' strands of silk. This silk is as tough as normal silk, and can be woven into ropes, cloth and so on. The host can produce an area ten feet across of woven silk, or fifty feet of silk chord or rope, before their glands run dry and need a day's rest to recharge.
Roll a 3: The host's bite is poisonous. They deal no more damage than normal unarmed attacks, but enemies taking damage from an unarmed attack must pass a save vs poison or else suffer an addition 15 extra damage.
Roll a 4: The host can walk up walls and over ceilings just as if Spider Climb had been cast.
Roll a 5: The tooth lets the host move without creating any vibrations, and prevents them ever being trapped in webs. 
Roll a 6: The tooth allows the host to talk to spiders as if Speak With Animals had been cast on them. 

In addition, the teeth cause the host to be physically transformed; the more teeth in their mouth, the more their body is altered. The body naturally rejects these transformations; at two stages in the process, the host makes saves against magic as their body rebels against their transformation into a Drider. Failure indicates that the transformation continues to warp them, whilst a successful save results in the body fighting-back against being mutated.
With only one tooth, small chelicerae unfold from within the host's cheeks. These can be kept concealed inside the mouth normally, but emerge from the corners of the mouth if they wish to spin webs, use their poisonous bite or convers with spiders.
When a second tooth is worn, a Save vs Magic must be made; success means that the second tooth falls from the gum and is not worn. Another tooth must be extracted to put the tooth into its socket if the applicant is really keen. With a second tooth, the host's eyes split into eight pairs, around their head. They have an arc of vision far wider than most people, and can see to their sides as well as in front of them. This makes them quite hard to flank and gives them accurate peripheral vision. At this stage, the host's transformation begins to cause them difficulties; the XP costs for each additional level is doubles.
Once a third tooth is worn, the host's limbs extend and develop a third joint, causing them to bend in odd ways. This may give an advantage (+1 on a d6, +3 on a d20, or +15 on a d%) on rolls to wriggle through spaces.
When a fourth tooth is worn, the host's arms split length-ways, giving them two sets of arms. This lets them carry either: a ranged weapon like a bow as well as their close-combat weapons; two ranged weapons (letting them make two shots rather than one); a two-handed weapon AND a shield; several melee weapons (letting them attack twice in close-combat); or else weapons and utility items such as torches or holy symbols.
When five teeth are worn, the host's skin thickens into a glossy black exoskeleton, giving them +3 AC.
Like when two teeth are put in, trying to put a sixth tooth results in a Save vs Magic. Again, failure results in the tooth 'sticking' and further transformation. A successful save shows the body has made a last-ditch effort to return to its natural state; all six teeth fall from the host's mouth, and all benefits from the teeth are lost. When all six teeth are worn, the host's lower legs likewise split into multiple limbs. They sprout a bulbous lower abdomen, and their body re-arranges itself to resemble the classic 'Drider' anatomy. They gain an extra Hit Dice of their normal size (this will be a Flesh dice if your game uses flesh and grit). They no longer gain any benefits from gaining levels save for extra Hit Dice (which will all be Flesh Dice if your system uses them) and improved saves.

Drider teeth can be extracted once worn, undoing the transformation they cause.

(For reference, a full Drider has the following alterations from a normal character:
Permanent Spider Climb and Speak With Animals (spider only). Spin webs. Tremor-sense. Immunity to webs and causing vibrations. Poison bite for 15 damage. +1 hit dice. +3 AC. Multiple arms (potentially allowing two attacks). A bonus to wriggling. Double XP costs and no benefits save for hit-dice and saves from the point the teeth are put in.)

Like the Eloi I mentioned in a previous post, this is a sort of 'sideways advancement' that takes the character in a different direction compared to imply gaining levels.

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