Kobold Press

Lost City Playtest Preview: Trignotarbs

Parasitic waspThe patrons and designers have completed the first drafts of the The Lost City of Kadralhu patronage project, and now is a great time to jump on if you’re curious but haven’t yet signed up. This week, we continue to present pages from Logan Bonner, Michael Furlanetto, Tracy Hurley, and Quinn Murphy.

We tried to choose sections that were as spoiler-free as possible, but if you’re planning to play this adventure, you should probably not peek.

Later this week, we’ll show you themes for the new oklu race and the section about the tainted plant Malsalix. Now, though, we present the trignotarbs.



Long thought extinct by even the eldest eladrin sages, trignotarbs are queer amalgams of parasitic wasps and webless spiders. They embed their larvae in living hosts, who are drained of both knowledge and life by the insectile parasites. The larvae then molt into gardeners, hunters, and savants with the most powerful eventually attaining the rank of queen. Other castes may exist yet unknown to scholars…

Trignotarb Larval Myriad (Level 16 Minion Lurker)

Thousands of larvae lurk on every trignotarb, and they even haunt the ground on which trignotarbs have perished. The larvae hunt for living creatures, sapping their prey of life as they burrow. Once the prey is weak enough, the trignotarb takes over its mind.

Medium natural beast (swarm); XP 350
Initiative +20; Perception +12; darkvision

HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion
AC 29, Fortitude 29, Reflex 27, Will 26
Speed 0
Immune disease; Resist 5 all, half damage from melee and ranged attacks

Parasitic Possession • Aura 1
Attack—+19 vs. Fortitude.
Hit—The target loses one healing surge. If it has no healing surges remaining, it is dominated by the larva.

Alignment unaligned; Languages
Str 15 (+10)         Dex 27 (+16)       Wis 18 (+12)
Con 15 (+10)       Int 18 (+12)         Cha 21 (+13)

Larvally Controlled Creatures

A creature that falls victim to a trignotarb larva spends its first day dominated. Next, it progresses to the recently infected stage. Add the following trait to its statblock.

Recently Infected

Emergence from the Swarm
The larvally controlled creature gains a +1 on all attacks for every other larvally controlled creature within 5 squares of it.

Alignment unaligned; Languages Trignotarb

After 1 week, the larva within a recently infected creature progresses to the nearly mature stage. Replace the appropriate elements of the host creature’s statblock with the following. Retain two powers—one of which should be an at-will power—using the original damage and effects. Remove the other powers and traits.

Nearly Mature


HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion
Immune disease; Resist 5 all
Action Points none

Emergence from the Swarm
The larvally controlled creature gains a +1 on all attacks for every other larvally controlled creature within 5 squares of it.

Alignment unaligned; Languages Trignotarb

Find your way to The Lost City of Kadralhu today by becoming a patron—and perhaps a playtester as well!

7 Replies to "Lost City Playtest Preview: Trignotarbs"


December 20, 2010 at 11:26am

Still love the creature, still hate the name. Not sure why the name bugs me, but it sounds much more like Star Trek original series than it does like Conan or Greyhawk.

A minor concern, I know. Overall, it seems to be a good season for parasitic insectoids, what with the Horakh winning King of the Monsters and all.

Sersa V

December 20, 2010 at 12:56pm

I’m admittedly a bit confused as to how the parasitic possession is supposed to work. It’s written like an attack power, but it doesn’t specify when the aura triggers.

I’m also not an especially huge fan of auras that require attack rolls. :/

Also, why, as a swarm, is it not vulnerable to close and area attacks? Is this intentional?

Otherwise, it seems like a super nasty monster, and I’m interested to see it develop. I’m a fan of lasting harm, too, so the threat of being taken over by a parasitic monster is welcome. :)

Sersa V

December 20, 2010 at 1:05pm

Also, for a creature with 27 Dexterity, it sure is slow. ;)

I think immobile monsters are neat, but is this intentional or that zero a typo?


December 20, 2010 at 2:28pm

I think the close and area attacks problem is an oversight.

I’m not clear on the movement part. I expect we’ll hear from the designer here in a bit.

Mike Furlanetto

December 20, 2010 at 4:47pm

I’m the first to admit that I’m terrible with names – and now that you mention it, “The Trignotarb Alliance has developed a new disruptor technology that makes our shields useless!” might sound better than a fantasy creature. :)

Sersa V, I went back and forth on the immobility. The main way the myriads show up is in the death throes of other trignotarbs, and (at least in the playtest draft, although I’m still thinking about this one), _lots_ of myriads get created. Giving them movement seemed like it would make them too complicated to run.

The vulnerabilities are another area where I’m torn. The usual swarm vulnerabilities make sense, but the combination of resist 5 all plus the swarm traits becomes pretty complicated. The version above tried to make it simpler, but I’m still not convinced it’s the best solution.

The possession is meant to be an attack and would probably be better worded as one. I may have been seduced by the idea of an aura more than the mechanics. :/


December 20, 2010 at 4:53pm

And this is why Open Design loves playtests. :)


December 20, 2010 at 5:12pm

I pondered a similar idea, but the parasite were bred and trained by slavers and similar bad folk to break anyone they catch.