Anansi (5e Race)

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"Most races have an inherent, irrationally intense fear of spiders that goes far beyond their actual potential to do harm. Add to that the existential horror of self-aware spider people, and it's no mystery why most shudder at the word 'anansi.' If you can get past the seemingly 'empty' black eyes and the too-many legs though, they're actually decent people."

-Drelson Bronzehall, wandering diplomat and cultural anthropologist.

Physical Description[edit]

Credit to Opoterser

Anansi are sentient jumping spiders. They are very light for their size, and have a phenomenal ability to jump due to their well-developed inner hydraulic system. Their four front-most legs are much more flexible than other varieties of spiders, and terminate in two small grasping "fingers" each. Anansi hunt primarily with the potent venom they secrete from their bodies, and can bring down prey many times their size. Anansi can be many different colors, with some even having semi-reflective exoskeletons.


Anansi evolved from simple spiders in the underdark, but were forced to move above ground by Lolth who viewed them as impure abominations. This resulted in the anansi becoming mistrustful of magic and, to a lesser extent, elves. This tension has recently been somewhat assuaged by the elves' dedication to preserving nature, but many of the less-contacted anansi clans are still mistrustful.

After the drow exodus to the underdark, the Anansi spread out among the forests of the world, and began to acclimate. Recently, some Anansi clans have began exporting limited quantities of wood, ore, and furs to trade in cities. Citing a need to slightly modernize conditions, the broodmothers Ax'hi, Ne'ka, Vi'wen, and Ta'geh have signed minor trade agreements with several cities.


Anansi society revolves around the broodmother, a female anansi who voluntarily undergoes metamorphosis to become a large and long-lived matriarch. The broodmother must not only be a voluntary, but will always be chosen as such by popular vote, as she possesses very limited movement and cannot hunt. This makes good public relations incredibly important for any aspiring broodmother, for without the clan's support she would simply be neglected and starve to death. She then chooses a partner, who then fecundates her and is immediately exiled. Her functions as broodmother are both administrative and reproductive: She is the only fertile female in the whole clan and only with her death can another female become a broodmother and fertile herself. Males, on the other hand, are always fertile, but can't reproduce unless the females let them.

The reach of a clan is generally limited to the forest they live in. Unlike Humans, Dwarves, Elves, and other nation-builder races, Anansi are more concerned with the long-term sustainability of their clan forest. For most Anansi, the first step in expanding the clan's influence is to plant trees and protect species that do so, like squirrels and birds to a certain extent. This also means that they will attack with no hesitation lumberjacks and hunters of small species.

They don't build as such. Their "fortresses" and homes are the cups of the biggest and sturdiest trees, reinforced and envelopped as giant cocoons by web, reinforced with weaver adhesive and stone, which makes them as stong as steel. They are nocturnal and only the guards, generaly stalkers, are awake during the day.

As their locations tend to be easy to spot, commerce is not completely farfetched, although difficult: They are only active during the night, every transaction must be approved by the broodmother and they don't use coinage, as metal has absolutely no value to them. Their silk, limited amounts of wood, feathers they obtain from birds and, ocassionaly, their own poison are great products they are willing to let go in exchange for meat, tree saplings or fresh prisoners.

Anansi Names[edit]

Anansi are born in large broods, and so are not individually named at birth. Anansi young are nameless until they return from their first hunt, at which time they choose a name for themselves. Anansi names are frequently harsh and sibilant; most are composed of two syllables joined by an apostrophe.

Male: Ke'kron, Xe'lak, Vu'ki, Ne'vek, Sa'zi

Female: Vu'Hel, Fe'wah, Do'cek, Um'pex, Qa'sin

Anansi broodmother's are referred to simply as "mother" by their offspring and "Broodmother [name]" by others.

Notable Examples: Broodmother Gu'zel is perhaps one of the most famous anansi; her mastery of illusion magic led her clan's forest to be feared by orcs, bandits, and goblins alike. To this day, many still speak of the "legend of the nightmare wood" around campfires late at night.

Anansi Traits[edit]

Race of evolved jumping spiders.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Age. Anansi are fully capable of survival at birth, they start hunting in group at 1 week of age, they hunt independently at the young age of 1 month old, they choose a subclass at 6 months old and mature over the course of 7 years. Anansi males and the females who do not become broodmothers generally live to age 40 or 50. Broodmothers can live for more than 150 years.
Alignment. Anansi are generally true neutral as they spend most of their time simply hunting and gathering to support the current broodmother. They may change their moral alignement depending on the races that frequently contact with them.
Size. With the exception of the broodmothers, anansi are small creatures weighing around 20 to 60 pounds while standing between 3 and 4 feet tall. Broodmothers, on the other hand, are enormous beings almost unable to move, as they are 6 feet tall or more and weight over 120 pounds.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Fangs. Instead of doing an unarmed attack, you can attack using your fangs. Your fangs are natural weapons in which you have proficiency. In a successful attack, you deal 1d6 + Strength modifier + proficiency bonus piercing damage. You may also inject your anansi venom as a bonus action.
Anansi Venom. The creature injected with your venom must make a Constitution saving throw. The DC is equal to 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. On a failed save, the creature is poisoned. At the end of each of its turns, the creature should take a new Constitution saving throw, ending the effect in a success. After you use your poison, you can’t use it again until you feed yourself and complete long rest.
Spider Jump. Your jumps can be calculated using your Dexterity score and modifier instead of Strength score.
Spider Climb. You have the ability to move up, down, and across vertical surfaces and upside down along ceilings, while leaving your front-most legs free. Your climbing speed is the same as your walking speed.
Languages. You speak Common and Anansi. Anansi is a language of clicks and hisses with many harsh sounds interspersed. Anansi are able to speak common,but only very roughly as they have trouble with many sounds. You can't write nor read
Subrace. Choose one between broodmother, weaver, stalker and mariner.


Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma, Intelligence and Wisdom increases by 2. Your Strength and Dexterity decreases by 2
Altered Body. Your size class is now medium. Your movement speed is now 5 feet.
Absolute dependance. You require to be fed, cleaned, defended and carried away by 3d4 servant anansi. Servant anansi are those without a subclass whose only function is to serve the broodmother.
Spawn. Each day, as long as you are being fed, you can lay a number of eggs equal to six times your level per day. Those eggs hatch after an hour. The spawn conceived this way are not considered a servant anansi until a week of being born.
Pheromone. You may use an action to excrete special pheromones to charm every creature in a 25 feet sphere with the center being your position. Each creature must do a Charisma saving throw with DC equals to 8 + your charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus or being charmed for a minute in a failed save. A charmed creature will not attack the broodmother willingly and has disadvantage in all attack rolls, saving throws and skill checks against your allies. You can't use this trait again until you complete a short or long rest.


Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity and Constitution increases by 1.
Developed Spinnerets. You have five web points that can only be replenished after having a full meal and getting a long rest.
Spin Web. You can expend two web point to cast the "web" spell without needing material components.
Spin Rope. You can expend one web point to produce 25ft. of silk rope. This rope has similar properties than hempen rope and can be used in the same ways. It dissolves after 1d4 hours.
Natural Adhesive. You can expend one web point to produce 1d6 ounces of adhesive. One ounce of this adhesive can cover one-foot square surfaces. The adhesive hardens into a rock-solid state after being exposed to air for 1 minute or 1 round rotation. This adhesive can cojoin solids for 1d4 hours or until it gets wet.


Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity and Intelligence increases by 1.
Assassin Training. You have proficiency with one ranged simple weapon of your choice.
Predatorial Hunt. You can designate any creature you can see, hear or smell as your prey. For the next hour, you have advantage on Wisdom (survival) checks to track their movements.
First strike. When using a ranged weapon in which you have proficiency, in a surprised creature that is at full health and before you roll your attack throw you may choose to coat the ammunition with your anansi venom. In a successful attack, the damage is doubled and the creature suffers the effects of the venom. You can't use this trait again until you feed and finish a long rest.


Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution and Strength increases by 1.
Water Strider. Movement increases to 50ft when in water that is at least 1 foot deep.
Water breathing. You can breath air and water.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

Normal anansi

2′ 11″ +1d12 16 lb. × (1d4) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)


6′ 0″ +1d20 120 lb. × 1 lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

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