So, as always, the acid test for a new monster is whether or not it interfaces with this game’s unique systems. I wanted a spider enemy. I’ve been playing a lot of Spelunky (classic) and those abominable spiders who drop horrifically from the ceiling… they’re just repulsive in a wonderful way. And their webs are gross too. I decided we needed a horror in the arachnoid tradition in our caves as well.
I decided to start with the web – and then move to the spider. The version of this that sprang to mind was basically like the bear trap from Nethack – where when you try to move… You are caught in a bear trap. You can’t move for X turns. But that doesn’t make use of our snakeyness.
But what if, instead, your speed is dramatically slowed while you’re in the web – but of course as you move you’re still caught in the web for each segment of your tail? Now, we’re at least using our systems. But I became concerned… what if you’re 42 segments long? I didn’t like the idea of punishing successful snakes that much – plus it would be boring to be slow for that long. But what if you could see where the strands of web were attached to the walls and you could destroy them, thus destroying the web. Cool. I’m into that.
And since you have a way to actively address your entrapment, it becomes fairer to semi-conceal the presence of these web strands. So, you can see the places where they’re attached to the walls – but not the strands themselves – until you’re trapped in them! Creepy.
Moving on from the web to the web-maker, I didn’t want to go to traditionally spidery so I went to sort of a steampunk place with it. I present to you the Technospinner .
The right eye sees naught but the throbbing electromagnetic pulses of the hated living. The left eye sees only Windows95 Screen Savers. They’re understandably confused and a bit irritable. But don’t underestimate these predacious crawlers.
They construct somewhere from 3 to 5 Web Posts in the walls. Between them the Web Strands are automatically generated – between any two posts that have direct line of sight. They’re invisible to all but the Technospinner and whatever hapless creature should bumble into them (other monsters can get caught as well). When this happens the Technospinner crawls around behind and has lunch. I decided that they are generally quite slow but move at triple speed when traveling along the strands of their web.
And finally if Web Posts are destroyed they will actually construct more, so you better take them out directly. They will never willfully engage in combat with a creature that is not trapped in their web – but if you manage to get at them they don’t have many hit points so they should squish fairly easily into puddle of guts and gears.
Beware the Technospinner – what high-tech webs they weave.