Thursday, September 20, 2018

Your Giant Spiders Are Boring

I was thinking about spiders today, (probably because there is now a big one with a web attached to my sink faucet and I was doing dishes and I do not like spiders,) and it occurred to me that some predatory spiders do some kinda funky things in order to score their meals. (Bolas spiders and trapdoor spiders were the first ones I thought of.) But, spiders in, like, monster manuals usually only have some combination of 1) venomous bite, 2) traditional webs, or 3) shooting webs (or venom), which seems like a silly thing for an actual real-life spider to do and therefore probably a game-ism. (Click for spoiler)

So, I went to Wikipedia, naturally. Anyway, here's how to spice up giant (or regular) spiders in your chthonic dice game of choice:

Roll 1d12 at least once, but more is definitely fine:
1) Spider spins a small web between its forelegs, which it tangles prey with as it pounces
2) Spider spins a line with a sticky blob on the end, swinging it around a few times like a bolas and then hurling it at prey to snare it and draw it in
3) Spider builds a webby home underwater, detecting ripples on the surface to locate prey - yes, this is totally a spider that will burst out of the water and nab your swimming adventurer to drown them
4) Spider has a concealed trapdoor which it will pop out of and nab you
5) Spider mimics some other organism - bonus points if it does something creepy like mimic a human... or treasure chest lel
6) Spider shoots janking darts at you when it feels threatened - these may or may not be poisonous
7) Spider spits sticky web fluid at prey - yeah, click the link, this is actually real
8) Spider spits venom at prey - this is actually the same spider above - their attack is actually a combination of both
9) Spider runs up and bites you - pretty standard
10) Spider jumps/drops from distance and bites you - also common, but scary
11) Spider spins sticky webs, which it can detect vibrations from - but your adventurers will totally notice any web thick enough to snare them unless it's real dark
12) Spider spins non-sticky webs or tripwires, which it only uses for the purpose of detecting prey - these are very fine silk, and difficult to notice

Oh, and even better? You can totally reskin a lot of these to work with something non-spidery if you want. (A lot of them already exist in non-spidery form, anyway. Manticores and mimics and snakes and such.)

Use this in your game! I will.

(No pictures of spiders for this post, because I don't like spiders, and I don't want to comb through dozens of spider pictures to find a good one and discomfit both myself and arachnophobiacs who are reading this. Cheers!)


  1. Who does a man have to kill to get into one of your games?

    1. Alas, I don't run online games. But, if I ever do, I'll certainly say so on this blog!

  2. Nice list and really reminds me that fact is often stranger than fiction. I especially kinda love trap door spiders because its a great way to combine the classic pit trap with spikes and giant spider.