Spider Bankers of the Bureau of Universal Exchange

 I'll put in a picture when I have one. We're working on these a bit at a time. The Spider Bankers have been in Troika since the beginning and I've always meant to get around to using them more. They appeared in Wengle Instrumentality, and they're in the upcoming Streets Of Troika book, but they deserve a proper entry I think.

When picturing them I always imagine the presence of the triceratops foreman in that old puppet sitcom "Dinosaurs" or the baboon from Ren & Stimpy. Just with a little bowler hat and pin strip vest.

This is a cross post from the Troika Patreon, where you can see more or these

Spider Bankers of the Bureau of Universal Exchange

Skill 9
Stamina 18
Initiative 3
Armour 2 (thick chitin)
Damage as Large Beast
1. Polishing their eyes with a huge silk handkerchief
2. Adjusting their hat
3. Drumming their many tiny hands on the counter
4. Staring inscrutably
5. One par of hands absently calculating on an abacus
6. Twitching without obvious cause
Scattered throughout Troika are the silo-like Bureaus of Universal Exchange. Windowless and towering one enters the ground floor through your choice of many small doors into cramped corridors which twist and turn until eventually ending in a barred and shuttered window. There are no signs indicating what is expected or provided, and the spiders are behind the bars filling the space with its chitinous bulk, tapping the fingers of their tiny hands impatiently against the counter. They have an uncanny head for the value of things, they will never confer, and you will never get a bargain. After a bare moment in the scrutiny of one eye, then another and another, the spider banker will know and offer only exactly what it's worth and not a penny more, minus a small handling fee of course.

 ## Violence

If attacked inside their bank the spiders will first try to slam the security shutter down on their assailant and flee. One would need to test their luck to stop this happening. If caught or cornered they will fight viciously, attempting to incapacitate attackers with their venom and spinnerets so as to take them away later as compensation for the inconvenience.

 ## Ecology

The bureau is assumed to be connected to, or at least tacitly endorsed by, the Universal Council of Troika. Such a vast and wealthy institution as the spider bank could, if it wished, shift its weight and topple whole boroughs or counties, ruin the barge houses, bankrupt nations. Indeed, sometimes they do, yet they City does nothing and so the people assume it is all according to plan.

 ## Lair

The bureaus are the only place one is likely to find a spider banker, and then only from behind their steel bars. The buildings only allow entrance through tunnels to the cashier windows, and no one, not even the spiders, come or go in the course of the day. The banks are connected through a hidden network throughout the city, and if one were to somehow get past the spiders and into it, they would find vaults upon vaults strung under the city like crystals on a chandelier, the labyrinthine mirror city of the spiders. The only non-spiders to be found in their tunnels are decerebrized debtors shuffling carts of labelled goods from vault to vault.

 ## Special

When bringing them alien currency for exchange into Troikan pennies randomly determine how valuable it is at the exact moment of exchange. Roll 2d6, in order. The first is the penny, the second is foreign currency, thus determining the ratio. Always add one in the bureau's favour. They're running a business after all.
Spider Banker bites are dangerous. When injured by the bite of a banker the recipient may test their luck or else fall limp in their arms, to be passed back along it's belly through its many arms to be spun into a silk parcel for later. Unless an anti-venom (sold at great expense by mercenary hearted spider bankers) is applied the envenomed subject will start coughing up pennies, 1d6 every hour. Each penny coughed up reduces their stamina by 1, until they finally expire. Sleep and eating is impossible, triggering instead another coughing fit of 1d6 pennies.

Monsters Are Fine

 Hello party people.

It's been a while, I don't know how long, I don't read dates, ain't got time for that. 

I have spent a lot of time trying to do good, publish books and fight the struggle against the absolute treacle of life. It is hard. I'm starting, slowly, a little RPG Publishing Apprenticeship program (where people learn about my inability to answer emails in any reasonable timeframe) in an effort to convince me and the universe that everything is not fated for doom and dissolution. What I'm saying is, it's fine. I watched a talk by a designer I really like, Jeff Vogel and he said something like "if something pains you now it's gonna kill you in ten years". Post, and crowdfunding, kinda pain me. You have to switch off your creative brain and submit yourself. It's like having to do Marina Abramović's Rhythm 0 every four months.

What I'm saying is it's fine, right?

Anyway, I'm making a monster book. I'll talk about it here and post it on Itch as a work in progress. It's gonna be the stuff I think about that I don't have time to write a book for, in pieces, and it'll be good and eventually long. That's the plan. It'll be a gift to my younger self, the kind of book I would have lost my mind over seeing, and totally enflamed my head with thoughts of the unseen world these things live in. There's a well of power behind that which I need to get back to. There ain't no power in post.

EDIT: Oh, and go back Fever Swamp! If it does well I'll avoid having a heart attack for a few more months.