Welcome to this Black Friday edition of Frightful Fridays! This week's image is courtesy of Patrick Curtin, and it continues the creepy vermin trend. However, this time the monster is one of those crazy amalgamations--specifically a combination of bear and spider. I can imagine some utterly insane wizard looking upon the owlbear and shouting to no one in particular, "I can do better!" I decided to use the trapdoor spider as the "better half" of this crossbreed, because, in my mind, there's nothing more frightening than this thing launching itself out of a concealed pit at its prey. (I also deviated a little from the image, since I felt the thing should have four spider legs in addition to the four bear legs.)
I hope you enjoy this week's Frightful Friday! As always, I am open for any suggestions for future installments.
This disturbing combination of large, brown bear and spider has eight legs, alternating pairs of bear and spider. Its head is mostly spider-like, including mandibles and multiple eyes, but it also features a bear’s ears, eyes and nose.
Spiderbear CR 5
N Large magical beast
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +9
AC 17, touch 11, flat-footed 15 (+2 Dex, +6 natural, –1 size)
hp 57 (6d10+24)
Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +4
Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +11 (1d8+5 plus poison) and 2 claws +10 (1d6+5)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks poison, traps
Str 20, Dex 15, Con 19, Int 3, Wis 14, Cha 12
Base Atk +6; CMB +12 (+16 grapple); CMD 24 (36 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Perception), Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Climb +17, Perception +9, Stealth +13 (+21 when in trap door); Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth (+16 when in trap door)
Environment temperate forests
Organization solitary, pair, or crater (3–8)
Poison (Ex) bite—injury; save Fort DC 17; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d2 Str; cure 1 save. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Traps A spiderbear leaves its empty trap doors for potential prey to fall into. While a spiderbear has no capacity to specifically craft traps, the empty trap doors make natural pit traps, and the creature coats the interior with its poison to further debilitate victims. The creature instinctively knows where its trap doors lie and will not accidentally fall into them itself. Spiderbear Pit: CR 3; Type mechanical; Perception DC 25; Disable Device DC 20; Trigger location; Reset repair; Effect 20-ft.-deep pit (2d6 falling damage plus poison [spiderbear]), DC 20 Reflex avoids.
Many adventurers do not realize they have entered a spiderbear den until one of their party falls into one of its many trap doors or the creature ambushes them from one. The creature stands 8 feet tall and weighs up to 2,000 pounds.
Sages speculate that the spiderbear’s genesis derived from an insane desire by an ancient wizard to outdo the owlbear's creation. The most common species of spiderbear combines features of the grizzly bear and a giant trapdoor spider. Like the owlbear, a spiderbear breeds true, and it has established itself in remote forests where it hunts and kills other prey—including owlbears. Owing to the creature’s trapdoor spider origins, a spiderbear is a much more patient hunter, and it waits to ambush prey falling into one of its abandoned trap doors or drawing close to its hiding place.
Rumors persist that larger, more deadly versions of the spiderbear exist, such as a combination dire bear/giant tarantula.