Assassin bugs are already gifted with a great name. But they’re also perfect for fantasy role-playing for more National Geographic-y reasons: they live in caves, suck blood, and have a nasty venom-packed proboscis or rostrum. Coming in giant and great varieties, Pathfinder’s assassin bugs are a nice new option when you need an ambush predator.
Trapped in a cave by giants, adventurers have only one option for escape: dig through a caved-in section of tunnel and hope it leads to an exit. It does—but the rockfall hides giant assassin bugs as well. Lucky adventurers may also find the skull of the unlucky gray who triggered the avalanche, cutting short its otherworldly expedition.
Minotaur slaves are difficult to control at the best of times. Worst yet, they attract pests: giant assassin bugs, who seem to delight in feeding on the bovine humanoids. Down on their luck, an adventuring party has no choice but to accept a job at a plantation clearing out a nest of assassin bugs. Unfortunately, that means that when the minotaurs stage a revolt, they see the adventurers as simply more overseers to be slain.
Great assassin bug eyes glow for several hours after death. After getting on the wrong side of some duergar in a bar, adventurers must defeat they gray dwarves in an assassin bug race—essentially, a steeplechase where the racers must slay a great assassin bug and return with the still-glowing eyes. This being a duergar game, the adventurers should expect ambushes, deadfall traps, psychic attacks, and myriad other underhanded schemes, particularly on the return route.
—Pathfinder Adventure Path #81 82–83 & Pathfinder Bestiary 5 36
Apparently the assassin bug in D&D dates all the way back to early White Dwarf and the 1e Fiend Folio. Not a bad pedigree, though the Pathfinder version sticks much closer to the real thing.
Looking for the ghoran? We covered her waaay back here…but damn, she got an art upgrade in Bestiary 5. Props to Aleksey Bayura for making this plant PC race look properly badass.