Mantis Man

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Mantis Man
Mantis Man
skill 6
stamina 5
Attacks 1
Weapon Used Large Claw (but see below)
Habitat Forests, Hills, Plains
Number Encountered 1
Type Humanoid/Insect
Reaction Neutral-Unfriendly
Intelligence Average

Origins and DistributionEdit

The so-called Mantis Men have, in their isolation, developed an alarming method of ensnaring their food. When first encountered, a Mantis Man will invariably be standing totally motionless, more like a life-sized statue than a real being. Its long arms and hands will be raised to its chest, clasped together as if the "statue" were praying devoutly. A wary creature may spot a blink of an eye, or a tremble of the hands, before the Mantis Man's arms shoot forward to grab its prey![1]

Out of the Pit states that the Mantis Men are from the northern Baklands.[1] However, their only appearance in canon comes from near a Dwarf village within the cityport of Kharé.[2] In addition, they also occur on the Encounter Tables for Plains and Forests.[3] Perhaps then they are found in such places not just in the Baklands but in other isolated areas in the Old World and possibly even Allansia and Khul.

Their origins are equally mysterious. Despite their name and attack method, they are not particularly insect-like, especially when compared to similar creatures such as the Giant Praying Mantis of Bone Island,[4] or the Mantis Demon from the Place of Battle in the Tourney of the Planes.[5] In fact, the Red Manchurian from Sky Lord is a much more Mantis Man-like creature![6] Nevertheless, they have been categorized as Humanoid/Insect here for want of a better designation.[7]

Red Manchurian

A Red Manchurian - a more literal version of a Mantis Man


Mantis Men are tall, spindly humanoids with long, thin limbs. Their feet end in three clawed toes, and their "praying" hands each have three elongated fingers which are tipped with curved, hook-like claws. Their bodies are covered in tough, chitinous armour that is roughly divided into spike-fringed segments. The head of a Mantis Man is topped by a row of short, stubby horns that starts just above the brow and forms a single line to the back of the skull. Their face is flat and square-shaped, with two small eyes and a tiny nose situated above a wide, grinning mouth, full of razor-sharp teeth.[8]

Mantis Man Head

Mantis Man head detail

Special AbilitiesEdit

A Mantis Man can be fought normally, but if at any time it delivers a successful strike on its opponent, it will lift and kill them instantly with a bite to the neck. A victim's only hope, therefore, is to try and damage its arms and render it unable to attack.[1]

In Kharé - Cityport of Traps, this process was handled somewhat differently. At the start of every Attack Round, throw two dice for the creature. If the number rolled is less than its skill, it has caught its victim and death is certain. If the number rolled is equal to or higher than its skill, it has missed.[9] Here things get a little confusing because you are then instructed to "roll for Attack Strength as normal",[9] it would it appear that if the Mantis Man rolls a higher Attack Strength, it has just parried your blow, though this is not explicitly stated.

The Mantis Man's low stamina score is supposed to reflect the amount of damage its lethal arms can take before being destroyed.[10] So, if you reduce its stamina to zero, it is still alive though unable to attack. It is unknown whether the Mantis Man can regenerate damage suffered by its arms, or whether the arms can recover naturally from wounds through rest and recuperation.

Further NotesEdit

  • In the wild, Mantis Men live alone or in small groups. When out hunting, though, they will always be on their own to avoid tipping off their prey by excessive numerical presence.[1]
  • Mantis Men are attracted to bright and shiny things, and will often hoard any such items found on their victims.[1] For example, the Mantis Man of Kharé had a Golden Locket containing a Sun Jewel worn around its scrawny neck.[11]
  • Mantis Men appear as one of the 100 creatures in the "Out of the Pit" bestiary in Warlock Issue 2.[12]
  • The hut behind the Mantis Man in Khare - Cityport of Traps is full of bones, including human ones. It is possible these are the remains of the creature's previous meals.[13]

See AlsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Out of the Pit - pp.79-80
  2. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - 8, 37, 55, 76, 117, 153, 348, 359, 401, 423, 429, 461, 472
  3. Allansia - p.135, p.152
  4. Template:Bloodbones - 320
  5. Sword of the Samurai - 138, 294
  6. Sky Lord - 214
  7. Non-canon
  8. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - 153
  9. 9.0 9.1 Kharé - Cityport of Traps - 55, 76
  10. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - 77
  11. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - 117
  12. Warlock Issue 2 - p.4
  13. Kharé - Cityport of Traps - 27

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