V is for Vermin

Technically the rule book lists them as a Swarm, but I'm going to use the term vermin*.

The vermin in today's post are small, swarming creatures such as ants, bats, beetles, frogs, lizards, rats, scorpions, snakes, spiders, or ticks. Of these, I have only really used a swarm of rats, and then only when called for by The Oldenhaller Contract, an adventure from the 1e rule book.

Really, though, a swarm is something that should scare the crap out of most characters. When hundreds of scorpions rush at you, things can look pretty grim. You know you can stomp a handful or two at a time, but many are going to get past your defenses, through your armor like it's not even there, and into your unprotected skin.

A large group of bats can distract a party who is trying to track or trying to fight. A swarm of spiders is even more uncanny, because the creatures don't usually behave with such a hive-mind. There must be something controlling them. And, you never know which ones are poisonous.

On a little less freaky note, one other time I can remember using a swarm is actually for a magical item I gave a PC. You can check it out here, the Staff of the Stinging Sphere.

*Note: Vermin can be used to talk of ratmen, too, though the Skaven are not small creatures.

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