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D&D 3E
ant colony 
19th-Apr-2006 08:52 pm
i'm running a game where the protagonist is chasing a thief who stole a sword. she's chasing him across a plain and he's trying to lose her. i thought it would be a good idea for him to lead her into a giant anthill and try to ambush her. does anyone know anything about ants?

i kind of thought i'd handle it like the borg in star trek where the ants would just ignore her until she disturbed them then they'd go all out. i kind of need some ideas for what to do in the colony, and i'd like a map if you know of where to find one. i can't find any good ones online although i'm about to go scour the wizards map a week archives for something appropriate. i'm probably gonna end up drawing my own map but i don't really feel like it.

i need a good idea for the ambush. i thought maybe i'd have the thief plant something she'd pick up in a pile of eggs. a note or a scroll. something she can't resist. he'd plant it, sneak out of the nest, and she'd find it, pick it up, disturb the eggs and the ants would go nuts. what do you think? if i wanted to be really nasty i could treat the scroll with contact poison. but she's only second level and i don't want to kill her... right away >:]
20th-Apr-2006 02:18 am (UTC) - eh, map...
just make that up as you go, nobody will notice.

how come you're trying to decide how the thief will accomplish the ambush? let the players worry about that part :)
20th-Apr-2006 04:38 am (UTC)
Sounds like a Formian colony to me. There's good descriptions and ideas in the Monster Manual description.
20th-Apr-2006 08:27 am (UTC)
as long as they are only formian workers, cr 1/2 (1d8+1).. formian warriors have a cr 3 (4d8+8) and would maybe be a little rough to deal with. (pg 108, monster manual 1)

anyways i love formian stuff and this sounds like a good idea even if you don't use them. also formians are planar outsiders from mechanus so it's a little bit weirder to get involved with them.

also do you think the ants would let a piece of paper lie around amongst eggs? they would probably sort it away in the food pile since it's papery.. i guess.
20th-Apr-2006 05:09 pm (UTC)
I was a bug man (exterminator) for nearly 20 years. Sadly, I know vast amounts about ants. LOL

These are your ants, in your world, so do with them as you like. If it were me, I would have the dire ants stop and sense the intruders with their antennae at least. No ant colony would let anyone inside that was not one of them, IRL.

Could your thief know about these ants and their habits? Maybe he used to hide in their lair when he was a kid by covering himself with some of their 'hive scent' (ants work almost completely on scent to communicate). He coats himself, then waits for the person chasing him to come in. He either sets a trap for her or just physically pelts her with another type of scent, the one for alarm. Immediately, all of the worked ants rush away from her, and the gallery is silent for a moment. You could even have the rushing ants knock her prone if you like (Balance checks or some such would apply of course). The thief takes off while this happens. When she gets up, she hears the loud clicking of a warrior ant coming towards her. She would not know what the sound was, so give it some specific dramatic description, and let her do as she would. When the warrior gets there, it's going to immediately enter melee and die trying to kill her.

For actual creatures, either make up your own 'Dire Ant', try the Monster Manual for that type (giant insects), and damp down the warrior to a reasonable CR.

If you want the theif to get away, he can do so while she is fighting the warrior. Don't forget the sinister laughter echoing through the tunnels as he runs to freedom, leaving her to die. If you however want the thief to be killed, say he was carrying his 'fear' scent potion/bottle in his hand and one of the workers knocks him over too.

Sounds like it should be fun. If you need any more suggestions or any answers, let me know. And good gaming!
24th-Apr-2006 05:48 am (UTC)
i just want to quote the author "does anyone know anything about ants?" halarious! this is going on my aim profile
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