Tuesday 5 April 2011

An Adventure for Every Monster - Beetle (anything but Boring)

Oooh, shiny beetle!

Frequency Common
No appearing 3-18
AC 3
Move 6”
HD 5
% in lair 40%
Treasure type C,R,S,T
No of attacks 1
Damage per attack 5-20
Special attacks Nil
Special defences Nil
Magic resistance Standard
Intelligence Animal (but see description in MM about a hive mind)
Alignment Neutral
Size L (9’ long)
THAC0 15
XP value 90 + 5/hp

Deep in the ruins of the Caverns, all is not well. A band of dwarf and gnome miners have stumbled across a rockfall and, keen to find out what is on the other side, have broken through. What is on the other side, however, is a colony of Boring Beetles. There’s nothing boring about this monster, however, as they have made mincemeat of the dwarves’ fighters and now block access to the chambers beyond.

The dwarves need help and that’s where the party comes in. The little guys will promise a generous share of whatever is found on the far side of the breach in return for the assistance of the party in ending the chitinous menace.

The average of 3-18 is of course 10.5, which I think we shall generously round up to 11 beetles, which is a respectable 55HD of damage these beasties can take.

There is a good chance that the party will run across the beetles first and then the dwarves and gnomes, who are hiding out nearby, having built defensive works to stop them being attacked. If this is the case, then the little guys will weigh in to tilt the balance of combat in favour of the party, and drive the beetles back towards the breach.

Beyond the breach is the lair of the beetles. There, they have, as detailed in the MM, been cultivating moulds, slimes and fungi for food. Industrious, aren’t they? There is of course a good chance that some of these tasty morsels are of the ‘bad for the health of the party’ variety – yellow mould, green slime, violet fungi and of course our old friend the shrieker.

Deep in the heart of the beetles’ tunnels, there lies something that will give the dwarves and gnomes cause to reconsider their deal with the party. I’m not talking about the treasure garnered by the beetles over the years, although that is pretty impressive. No, this is an outcrop of rock in which sparkle glittery crystals. Hundreds of them - or at the very least, dozens.

Turn to page 25 of the DMG. That’s the table to roll on. They are currently un-mined and unfinished but if dwarven miners get a chance, that could very well change. Of course, the dwarves are now beginning to regret having been so generous in their offer of recompense and will start thinking about how to ‘arrange’ things so that the party might not get to collect their reward.

Although the dwarves and gnomes might not have their fighters any more, they will have sufficient weaponry to make the party’s life difficult. They will also have the advantage of their racial abilities when it comes to fighting in the dark and underground

C,R, S and T treasure type is a very interesting combination and if the rolls go right, could give a spread that runs all the way from thousands of copper pieces right up to scrolls and potions. The probability is tilted towards higher value coins – 40% likelihood of 2000-8000 gp and 50% 1000 to 6000pp is pretty good, and that’s even before you factor in the 55% and 45% for gems and jewellery respectively. It could be that the beetles currently inhabit an old dwarven fastness or lair and this will give the dwarves even more reason to stake their claim and defend it, especially if they find dwarven skeletons and armour lying around.

And of course, all this precious metal in such heavy concentrations, along with gems in both their finished and unfinished state might attract the attention of a Xorn. If the DM is feeling very sadistic.

Frequency Very rare
No appearing 1-4
AC -2
Move 9”
HD 7+7
% in lair 40%
Treasure type O,P,Q (x5), X,Y (I’m assuming this is in their lair, rather than in a little shoulder bag)
No of attacks 4
Damage per attack 1-3 (x3), 6-24
Special attacks Surprise on a 1-5
Special defences See description
Magic resistance Standard
Intelligence Average
Alignment Neutral
Size M (5’ tall)
THAC0 12
XP value 1275 + 10/hp


  1. Fun theme and plenty of ideas. The ordinary can be scary too. I'm all for doing more with creepy crawlies, fungi and the like.