Some monsters are just creepy, like the ones based on spiders and worms. Heck, real spiders and worms are creepy enough. Make them 7 feet tall, weighing 300 pounds, and you'll do more than shriek when someone drops one down the back of your shirt.
Ettercaps have been a D&D staple for decades. Any characters venturing into the deep woods keep their eyes peeled for the telltale webs that indicate these monsters may be nearby. The trouble is, you usually don't see them until they want to be seen -- which is a few seconds after they snare you.
The Ettercap is a handy immobilizer. They can project their webs up to six spaces, causing a Save to avoid being entangled. One web might not be too hard to avoid, but two or three coming all at once can be a problem.
You know that creepy feeling that ettercaps give you when your character finds a web in the woods? Finding a pile of slime-covered bones in a cave gives you the same feeling, because it means there could be a grick somewhere near. With five (5!) attacks, DR10/magic, the ability to track by scent, and a speed that lets them move faster than most characters in armor, you don't want to meet a grick in a dark tunnel.
Gricks are cheap, they have two attacks that cause magical damage, and you get to place them on random feature tiles instead of on your starting tile, meaning that for a few points you might cause your opponent some real headaches. They're Difficult 20, but who cares? These things are like caltrops, except they're big, slimy, and eat people.
About the Author
Rob Heinsoo started playing D&D with the original brown box in 1975. He's now the lead designer of D&D Miniatures.