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Shadowgrub encounter

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My fated had a short encounter with a group of Bandersnatch, Shadowgrubs (as Bandersnatch already have rules and fluff and I did not use them because I didn't read my sourcebooks... , luckily in my game the creatures were never named so I'm renaming them now!) yesterday, and they seemed to enjoy it so I thought I'd share. 

 

Location- an underground cave, at least 30-40 yards in every dimension, there are several (at least three) exits from the cave. 

"You enter a large cavern,large enough for the walls to fade into the shadows beyond the reach of your lamp. Stalagtites and stalagmites litter the floor and ceiling, and whilst there is a path through them you will need to watch your footing. as you progress further into the maze of stalagmites you see there are three exits to the room, none of which are lit in any way" 

If the players are using a light source of any kind then as soon as they reach the centre of the cave they may take a TN10 Notice check. If they pass they can hear scuttling noises in one of the three exits, if they pass with an additional  level of success they can hear it in two of the exits. 

"A high pitched squeal from the cavern to the south draws your attention, you turn your lantern towards it in time to see three Centipede-like creatures come scrabbling out of the shadows, one of them much larger than the other two, but all larger than the biggest dog"  

The Fated now enter dramatic time. 

The Matriarch is investigating the  light source with some of her brood, as long as at least one fated passed the notice flip then determine initiative as normal, if none of the fated passed then the matriarch and her brood automatically win initiative in the first round. 

The Shadowgrubs will try to stay in shadow as much as possible, using their (0) actions to move around the cavern and only attacking when they can do so without exposing themselves to too much light. They will attack the fated with the least wounds by preference, and they will always attempt 'Crawl into shadow' given the opportunity. If wounded they will retreat into darkness and move to attack another fated. 

The Matriarch is much smarter than the rest of her brood and will initially stay back in the shadows away from the fated (usually outside loS if possible) once a fated is wounded by a Shadowgrub she will attempt  to attack the same target. If a Shadowgrub is slain by the fated she will let out another shriek in her next activation- at the end of the round three more Shadowgrub hatchlings will appear in the northern tunnel.

The fight should lead the players on a goose chase round the cavern, with the stalagmites/ties providing lots of shadows for the Shadowgrubs to jump between. If the players have only a single light source they will struggle to keep tabs on them all, especially when the second group arrive. If the players have (or create) more light then they'll find it much easier to squash the bugs. 

If at any point there is only a single  Shadowgrub remaining (hatchling or Matriarch) it will retreat to one of the nests at the end of the tunnels.

If the players examine the bodies they will find them insubstantial except in direct light, and even then they are flimsy and crumble under touch. 

If the players investigate the nest  read the following text:

"you follow the tunnel away from the cave, as you travel you find your hands and head occasionally catching on what feels like strands of silk, though you can see almost nothing when you check. The end of the tunnel is a rockfall, but the shadows around it are deeper than they should be, even deeper than the darkness around the. the strongest light cannot dispel these shadows and though you can see shapes amongst them it is almost impossible to tell what they are by sight alone"  

The deep darkness at the tunnels conclusion is the Shadowgrub Matriarchs nest, spun from webs that reflect no light whatsoever it is impossible to see what is inside them except by touch. To touch the shadows a fated must pass a TN10 WP duel first, or they will refuse to do so for the next 10 minutes. 

Inside the nests there are several piles of Shadowgrub eggs (worth 2-3 scrip each if they can be delivered to an apothecary without exposing them to light, a Wilderness or Alchemy test with a TN 13 will know this), as well as a selection of skeletons, old weapons and rotted clothing. (tailor to suit the current larger mission)   There will also be the remaining Shadowgrub if any escaped, but it will stay in the (stable) shadow lair unless the players attempt to take the eggs, at which point it will attack them. 

Once they have finished investigating the area the fated may leave via the third tunnel which will take them back on track for whatever mission they are supposed to be doing. 

here's the quick stats I scribbled up for the Shadowgrubs yesterday (didn't have the Bandersnatch card or the right sourcebook so made it all up) 

 

 

Condition: Unstable shadow Lair: The character that afflicted this condition may use this character for the purposes of LoS and range for all attacks and abilities. at the end of each turn this character suffers a single wound which cannot be reduced. Once two wounds have been taken this way end this condition. This condition can also be ended by surrounding the character with strong direct light on all sides. If this condition is ended in any way unbury the character that inflicted it within 3yards, touching shadow if possible.  

 

shadowgrub.png

shadowgrubm.png

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Just for the record, Into the Steam has stats for Bandersnatches, and the Heart of Darkness adventure has a bunch of info on Bandersnatches (including eggs and webbing). 

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