Creepy Crawly Casting

July 26th, 2012

Alex Riggs

Obscure Arcana Archive

            It’s once again time for Obscure Arcana, and the name of the game today is vermin. From creepy-crawly spiders to creepy-crawly…well, anything, really, vermin—especially giant vermin—are a staple of fantasy. But, for whatever reason, they’re also one of the creature types most skipped over by designers, with perhaps the exception of vermin animal companions and familiars, and even that’s never in the core rules. So today we have some vermin-themed spells for the bug enthusiasts out there.


Awaken Vermin

Awaken Vermin

            You awaken a vermin to human-like sentience. To succeed, you must make a Will save (DC 10 + the vermin's current HD). The awakened vermin is neutral toward you. You have no special empathy or connection with a creature you awaken, and unless you can convince it that a task is in its best interest (whether with bribes, diplomacy, intimidation, or other means) it will not act on your behalf.

            An awakened vermin gets 3d6 Intelligence, +1d3 Wisdom, and +1d6 Charisma. Its type becomes magical beast (augmented vermin), and it is no longer considered mindless (meaning that it is no longer immune to mind-affecting effects). The vermin immediately gains skill points appropriate for its new Intelligence score and its Hit Dice, as well as a number of feats appropriate for its Hit Dice. An awakened vermin’s class skills are Climb, Escape Artist, Fly, Perception, Stealth, and Survival. An awakened vermin can't serve as an animal companion, familiar, or special mount.

            An awakened vermin can speak one language that you know, plus one additional language that you know per point of Intelligence bonus it possesses (if any). This spell does not function on vermin with an Intelligence score.


Enhance Poison

Enhance Poison

            This spell makes poisons more virulent and difficult to resist. If the target is a creature, then any natural poisons that creature possesses are enhanced for the spell’s duration (for example, the poison delivered by a spider’s bite or a scorpion’s tail would be enhanced, but a vial of poison in the possession of a drow assassin would be unaffected). Alternatively, if the target is a poison (such as a vial of poison or poison already applied to a weapon), only that dose of poison is enhanced.

            In either case, an enhanced poison has its saving throw DC increased by +2, and requires one additional consecutive save in order to be cured. Further, any attempt to magically cure the poison (such as the neutralize poison spell) automatically fails.


Illusory Swarm

Illusory Swarm

            You create an illusion of thousands of tiny insects, including the sound, smell, and feel of the creatures. Each illusory swarm takes up a square (if it is made of non-flying creatures) or cube (if it is made of flying creatures) 10 feet to a side, and can be moved up to 20 feet as a free action while concentrating on the spell. You create one swarm per three caster levels you possess, to a maximum of 3 swarms at 9th level.

            If you direct one of the swarms to enter a square occupied by another creature, that creature may make a Will save to disbelieve the swarm. If the save is successful, that creature disbelieves all illusory swarms created by this casting of illusory swarm, and is immune to the spell’s effects. A creature can only attempt to disbelieve illusory swarm once per casting, even if another swarm moves into its square later. Similarly, the first time that an illusory swarm enters the same square as a creature with spell resistance, if you fail to beat that creature’s spell resistance, that creature automatically disbelieves the swarm.

            Creatures that fail to disbelieve the swarm, and who occupy the same square as one or more of the illusory swarms at the beginning of their round, must succeed on a Fortitude save or be nauseated for one round. If a creature’s square is occupied by more than one such swarm, they do not need to make separate Fortitude saves. Instead, they make a single Fortitude save, though the DC is increased by +1 per illusory swarm beyond the first.


Tail of the Scoprion

Tail of the Scorpion

            With this spell, you grow a new appendage, as a massive, armored, jointed tail tipped with a barbed stinger and dripping with poison erupts from your body. For the spell’s duration, you gain a secondary sting natural attack that deals 1d8 points of damage (if you are a Medium creature), and has a reach of 10 feet. Additionally, the sting delivers a virulent poison, outlined below. The saving throw DC to resist the poison is equal to 10 + 1/2 your class level + your Constitution modifier.


Tail of the Scorpion Poison


Venomous Bite

Venomous Bite

            With this spell, your face twists and mutates, until your mouth resembles that of a poisonous insect, with vicious mandibles and wicked, venom-tipped barbs. For the spell’s duration, you gain a secondary bite natural attack that deals 1d6 points of damage (if you are a Medium creature). Additionally, this bite delivers a virulent poison, outlined below. The saving throw DC to resist the poison is equal to 10 + 1/2 your class level + your Constitution modifier.


Venomous Bite Poison