Continuing on with the monsters from the Bestiary, this time I change things slightly. Our next two creatures are being examined together. While I should say this is because of how bad I’ve been at updating lately, it’s really because they’re so similar as to be basically two different takes on the same creature. Certainly, the guys at Paizo must’ve felt that way, since both are on the same page.
Now, put your antennae together for the…
It’s a very fitting irony that we have another big bug after everything I wrote about the ankheg; after all, everything I wrote there is true here also, more so in fact. The giant ant just doesn’t seem threatening in any regard because, well, common ants aren’t really more than a nuisance – a single ant is barely worth being noticed, even if it’s big.
In fact, I’d so far as to say that this guy looks rather adorable; he makes me think of “Anty” from Honey I Shrunk the Kids. Remember Anty? Certainly, the giant ant doesn’t seem overly threatening, and even the descriptive text doesn’t have any menacing overtones, noting how a nest of giant ants doesn’t have as many members as a normal-sized nest would.
By the way, anyone else think that the name of this creature is redundant? I mean, shouldn’t it be called the Gi-Ant?
…yeah, that was incredibly lame, I admit it.
As far as adventure potential goes, however, I think that a giant anthill might just be the coolest dungeon ever. Remember how that ant farm you had as a kid looked? Imagine one of those on a human scale. I have no idea why the PCs would need to infiltrate one, or for that matter what treasure there’d be or what enemies they’d face (besides the obvious), but it really seems like a fun idea.
Ideally, I’d find a way for the giant ants to be sentient, and have them mischievously stealing food while singing a happy song. Not so for these next creatures.
ARMY ANT SWARM
Paizo’s inclusion of the army ant swarm is self-evident in its justification; these are the only kinds of ants that really evoke a sense of fear in people. Rightly so – army ants are the Nazis of the insect world.
Simply calling them “army” ants implies that there’s a rigorous sense of order to what they’re doing. These insects have a specific goal in mind, and are going to use force to achieve it. And of course, it’s no use fighting them; there are thousands of them to replace each fallen soldier, and each is a menace.
Just look at that picture to the left. That aggressive red coloring. Those soulless, angry eyes. The pincers spread wide as if about to attack. Clearly, we’re looking at a well-trained, ruthless killer. You can practically see the ranks, marching in formation, sweeping over any and all resistance.
I don’t know about you, but I can almost hear their battle hymn now…
Oh yeah – evil to the core, that’s what those things are.