Crimson Harvester

Crimson Harvester
Small Vermin
Hit Dice: 2d8+2 (11 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 30 ft., climb 20 ft.
Armor Class: 16 (+1 size, +3 Dex, +2 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-1 (+9 when biting)
Attack: Bite +2 melee (1d4-1 plus Con drain)
Full Attack: Bite +2 melee (1d4-1 plus Con drain)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Con drain
Special Qualities: Resistance to acid and cold 10, vermin traits
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +1
Abilities: Str 8, Dex 17, Con 12, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 1
Skills: Climb +11, Perception +4, Stealth +7
Feats: Weapon FinesseB
Environment: Subtropical or tropical forests
Organization: Solitary or colony (2-4)
ECL: 2
Treasure: 1/10 coins; 50% goods; 50% items
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 3-4 HD (Medium); 5-8 HD (Large)

Crimson harvesters, commonly called blood spiders, are large spiders that live in tropical and subtropical forests and jungles. They are all black, except for distinctive red stripes across their back, which marks them to anyone watching for one.

Blood spiders are hunters – instead of spinning webs, they lie in wait for prey. They typically attack anything their size or smaller, as long as it is warm-blooded – birds, small mammals, even small humanoids if the spider is large enough.

Blood spiders would be utterly unremarkable, aside from their blood-draining ability, except that they can spin a substance called blood silk. For every 5 Con points' worth of blood a blood spider drains, it can spin enough silk to make a piece of cloth 1 inch wide and a foot long. For this reason, they are often kept as pets by blood mages, who keep them well-fed and harvest their silk. A blood spider of any size can go for up to 1,000 gp to an interested buyer.

Combat

A crimson harvester typically lays in hiding, either in a hollow in a log or under some brush, or on a tree branch, and pounces on its prey. It always seeks to latch its jaws onto its victim, whereupon it begins to drain the creature's blood.

Blood Drain (Ex): A harvester drains blood, dealing 1d4 points of Constitution damage in any round when it begins its turn biting a victim. Once it has dealt 6 points of Constitution damage, it detaches and scuttles off to digest the meal. If its victim dies before its appetite has been sated, it detaches and seeks a new target.

Grappling Bite (Ex): A crimson harvester's jaws are exceptionally strong; if it scores a hit with its bite attack, it digs in and holds tight with its legs, effectively grappling its prey. A grappling blood spider loses its Dex bonus to AC (becoming AC 13), but holds on with great tenacity. Blood spiders have a +10 racial bonus on grapple checks (already figured into the Base Attack/Grapple entry above).

A biting spider can be struck with a weapon or grappled itself. To remove a spider through grappling, an opponent must achieve a pin against it.

Skills: A crimson harvester has a +4 racial bonus to Perception and Stealth checks and a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks. It uses its Dexterity modifier instead of its Strength modifier for Climb checks. It can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened.

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