Tuesday 31 March 2009

The Giant Vinegarroons of Lamarakh

In the jungles and swamps of Lamarakh live vinegarroons - voracious scorpion-like hunters. Most are smaller than a man's hand, and eat small insects. But others grow to the size of bears, and attack anything greater than 2' in size. They are eight legged and armed with strong pincers and long whip-like tails.

Vinegarroons take their name from the acetic acid they produce, which has a pungent, not unpleasant vinegarish smell. This odour is a tell-tale sign of danger, which those growing up in Lamarakh are well aware of. Travellers, however, may find the scent attractive - and this is usually their downfall.

Giant vinegarroons lair in caves and tree-hollows, but they like to lie in ambush, either buried under a layer of soil or hiding in a tree. They are astonishingly agile for their size and fast climbers. Whether up in the branches or under the soil, they surprise their opponents on a roll of 1-4, rather than the usual 1-2, and are only themselves surprised on a roll of 1. They have very poor eyesight, and rely on their two very long feelers - usually up to three times the length of their body - to sense prey. If they are waiting in a tree the feelers will be disguised as hanging creepers; if they are lurking underground the feelers will be hidden beneath leaf litter. As soon as something comes close, the vinegarroon strikes, jumping out of hiding and attacking with pincers and tail. If both pincer attacks hit, the tail attack is at +2 to hit.

Vinegarroons use their acid for defence. If seriously threatened they can spray a burst of the substance out from the abdomen. This blast covers a wide area and burns metal and skin, causing 1d8 damage to anything within a 5 yard radius and permanently damaging armour by d2 points.

Giant Vinegarroon

Armour Class: 2
Hit Dice: 4 (L)*
Move: 150' (50')
Attacks: 2 claws/1 tail, or Acid Spray
Damage: 1d10/1d10/1d6, or 1d8 (special)
No. Appearing: 1
Save As: F3
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: V
Intelligence: 0
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 125


  1. Eeeew.

    Man they're one of the few creatures that freak me out a bit. Give me spiders any day.

  2. I had no idea these critters existed. Very cool write-up!

  3. Weren't these chaps in the MM2, under Solifugid or some such? I distinctly remember nasty little whippy monster bugs (although probably not ones that spat concentrated vinegar as a defence mechanism...).

    I imagine the Giant Vinegaroon has a prominent role in the ancient art of Kobold sauerkraut manufacture. :p

  4. Eugh. We have these where I live. I think Vinegaroon might have even been modified from a Spanish name, but I'm not sure.

    V-word: Nogre
    Meaning: Giant-tongue for a dwarf (As in midget) or pygmy member of their own races.

  5. mthomas768: I must have some sort of congenital immunity to fear of spiders and the like. I showed that photo to my wife just before I posted it and she almost literally had a heart attack. I find the things fascinating.

    Jeff: I think there are some in your neck of the woods, actually. Well, in Arizona and places like that. Which is your neck of the woods from where I'm standing.

    Chris: No idea, I never payed all that much attention to the MM2, except for the obvious monsters like Yak Folk. I think kobolds could also use the things for their annual conker tournaments - the tribes with the pet vinegarroons always win...

    Rach: I think you may be right about that. I read it somewhere, though I can't remember where.