Spider Rider (3.5e Class)

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For the Prestige Class version of this Base Class, click here

Spider Rider[edit]

Orethyl pointed, Look! There a spider rider leading the left flank. See! he thought to his monstrous spider.

Yes, thought his monstrous spider, Aranai, back to him, We should engage with caution.

Aranai began to crawl forward, but accelerated into a scuttle, faster than any horse. Catching his foe in the flank, he speared her on his lance, breaking it with shards and splinters flying through the air. As Aranai leaped on his foe's spider, he drew his blade to finish the job.

The war would be won, whatever the cost...

Spiders are sacred. A bond with a Spider is the ultimate gift. Such are the teachings of the Spider Riders. But the Spider Riders are a class split in two: a half of them worship Lolth, and the other Arachne, Lolth's sister. This resulted in a war that will last until one side is subdued or destroyed utterly: the War of the Spider Riders. Both deities gift their greatest followers with Spider-Bonds. They are given a Monstrous Spider egg, and when it hatches, the new Spider Rider is bonded mentally, physically and spiritually to the spider. In a ritual she is given a new name (usually in Drow, and more often than not related to Spiders).

Adventure: Spider Riders usually adventure to gain power with which to use in the War of the Spider Riders. They also adventure in order to fulfill a task appointed to them by either Lolth or Arachne (whichever one they worship), or to find new candidates to teach in the art of the Spider Riders (usually followers of Arachne only for this last one, but there are exceptions, though these are usually adventuring in the Underdark). Neutral Spider Riders usually adventure to discover the "True Path of the Spider Riders", or to unite all Spider Riders to pass judgment on the true Spider Queen.

Characteristics: Spider Riders are totally obsessed with spiders: their minds, bodies, and souls are tied up to the arachnids.

They can rarely stop thinking about spiders in some way (even if only a corner of the mind is considering some spider theory), and they oft find themselves unconsciously weaving spider-knowledge into conversations. They simply love spiders with their hearts, minds, and souls and can't imagine others not doing the same (even to a small degree). In fact, a Spider Rider's idea of impressing someone is showing off her knowledge of spiders. Because of this, most Spider Riders' marriages (if they have one) are other Spider Riders or Drow (if they are non-Drow).

The Spider Rider and her Monstrous Spider are as one: they share a mental connection. This means that, while both the Rider and the Spider have their own personalities, opinions and desires, they know one another's thoughts, opinions, and desires.

Alignment: Spider Riders are Chaotic by nature, and thus must be of a chaotic alignment. Most Non-Drow Spider Riders are Chaotic Good or Chaotic Neutral, as Lolth bonds very few non-Drow with spiders. Drow Spider Riders are split 50-50 between Good and Evil, as both Lolth and Arachne are careful to whom they grant bonds, and thus, despite the larger number of evil Drow, there tends to be even numbers of Spider Riders on each side.

Religion: Spider Riders are a class split down the middle: one half worships Lolth, and the other Arachne. Both sides seek to overthrow the opposing Deity and turn all Spider Riders to the "true" path. There are few neutral Spider Riders, but those that are generally do not worship either deity, but instead wish to unite all Spider Riders under one banner and pass judgment on both deities, casting the "false" Spider Queen aside to follow the "true" path. These Spider Riders worship Aranae.

Background: The origin of the Spider Riders goes as far back as about one hundred years after the expulsion of the Drow. Lolth and her sister Arachne had agreed to become equals as the Spider Queens, twin goddesses of the Drow. But Lolth tricked Arachne and cast her down. Enraged, Arachne persuaded the Drow to follow her and make war on Lolth and her evil minions. Few followed, but they were only the beginning. One rose among them to lead them against the armies of Lolth, and they named him Oree'tolth (Brother of Spider), for, as a gift from Arachne, his mind and soul was bound with a Monstrous Spider.

Soon their bond was so strong that they fought as one: many eristloth (Drow of Lolth) fell before his might in battle, and none could match him. Armies would break on him, and those he led never fled, even when battles looked bleak. To match him, Lolth gifted her greatest priestess with a Spider-Bond. She was named Olee'tolth (Sister of Spider) by Lolth, and she rode out to meet Oree'tolth. They fought for hours, each perfectly matched in skill and power. Neither could outmatch their adversary, and Oree'tolth marveled at how powerful Olee'tolth had become so quickly. All of his blows where matched by hers, her clerical magic matched for his wizardry (he was a wizard before he was bonded). But at last, his backhand swing struck her down. She felt the dying screams of her spider through her mind as she died, but in death throes she shot him down with her hand crossbow. But their teachings live on, and both deities gift their strongest followers with Spider-Bonds. But Arachne gives indiscriminately, while Lolth only gives to Drow. But what of their Spiders' names, and their original names before they where bonded? Their spiders were named Geldril (Oree'tolth), and Gulith (Olee'tolth). And their original names where: Akaloth and Akalith Baenre; twin Drow children of Lolth and Correllon Larethian.

Races: Drow are very often Spider Riders, simply because of the part of their psyche that dictates their spider obsessions. Humans are rarely spider riders, as most are too squeamish, scared (arachnophobia) or untrusting to even get near a monstrous spider, let alone ride one. Dwarves, gnomes, orcs (and half-orcs), and Halflings are never Spider Riders. Elves and half-elves occasionally become Spider Riders, so that they can overthrow Lolth.

Other Classes: Other classes tend to jump to conclusions when it comes to Spider Riders, especially humans (and elves): they tend to assume that they are servants of Lolth, and are reluctant to change this first judgment. Evil Spider Riders are great friends of Arachnomancers.

Role: The Spider Rider takes the role of a fighter/fast attack member of the party. Their skill in arms and their spider mounts make them ideal front-line fighters, and the spider's speed makes them excellent at fast attacking, and getting where they are needed. But the Spider Rider truly comes into her own at 3rd level when the spider is finally large enough to mount.

Game Rule Information[edit]

Spider Riders have the following game statistics:

Abilities: Spider Riders need high strength, dexterity and constitution scores, for the same reasons that a Fighter does. High intelligence scores can be useful for skill points.

Alignment: Any Chaotic (only). Chaotic Evil spider riders must worship Lolth, Chaotic Good spider riders must worship Arachne and Chaotic Neutral spider riders must worship Aranae.

Starting Age: Moderate

Starting Gold: 5d4x10 (125gp)

Hit Die: d8

Table: The Spider Rider
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Spider Mount, Unbreakable Spider Bond, Spider Empathy
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Web Climb
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Summon Spider Swarm 1/day
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Spider Climb
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Summon Spider Swarm 2/day
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Planar Web 2/day, Rebuke Spiderkind
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Summon Spider Swarm 3/day, Servant of the True Spider Queen
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Perfect Rider +1
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Spider Jump 20ft(20ft)
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Perfect Rider +2, Summon Spider IV 1/day
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Spider Jump 20ft(40ft)
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Planar Web 3/day, Perfect Rider +3
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Summon Spider VI 1/day, Spider Jump 40ft(80ft)
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Perfect Rider +4, Summon Spider IV 2/day
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Summon Spider VI 2/day, Spider Jump 160ft
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Master Rider
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Spider Jump 320ft(100ft)
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Planar Web 4/day
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Poison Touch 3/day
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Planar Web 5/day, Summon Spider IX 2/day

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level; ×4 at 1st level)
Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), Use Rope (Dex), Balance (Dex), Tumble (Dex), and Knowledge (religion) (Int).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the spider rider.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Spider Riders are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, with all types of armor (heavy, medium, and light), and with shields (except tower shields).

Spider Mount (Su): When the Spider Rider gains her first level in the Spider Rider Prestige class, her Monstrous Spider Egg hatches (see below). The spider is immune to fear effects, and can speak, understand and read any languages that the Spider Rider can. The spider is no longer mindless (see below), but is ridden as a creature of intelligence 1.

Spider Empathy (Su): At 1st level the Spider Rider can speak mentally to any Spiderkind[1] creature within 30ft. The spider will understand whatever the Spider Rider says to it. The Spider Rider knows the location of any Spiderkind[1] within 30ft, even if she can't see them. She can use the Handle Animal skill with spiders (and monstrous spiders). She is treated as having the Vermin Trainer feat for prerequisites (she effectivly benefits from the feat because of her Spider Empathy ability).

Web Climb (Su): At 2nd level the Spider Rider can walk or hustle while on a web (even vertically or if upside-down) as if it was normal ground. She can use this ability to walk up walls or on the ceiling (although she has to be touching the web at all times to stop herself falling off). She is unaffected by the Web spell. The web climb ability usually mirrors crawling.

Summon Spider Swarm (Sp): once a day at 3rd level the Spider Rider can cast the Summon Spider Swarm spell as a spell-like ability (the caster level is equal to the character's Spider Rider level). Every two levels hereafter she may use this spell-like ability one more time a day to a maximum of 3 times a day.

Spider Climb (Sp): At 4th level, the Spider Rider can cast the Spider Climb as a spell like ability a number of times a day equal to one quater of her Class Level (rounding down). The caster level is equal to half her class level (rounding down).

Web Hide (Su): A Spider Rider of 2nd level or higher can use the Hide skill even while being observed, so long as she is within 5ft of natural or magical webs of at least 5ft in diameter.

Planar Web (Sp): Two times a day at 6th level, the Spider Rider can cast the Web spell as a spell-like ability (the caster level is equal to the character's Spider Rider level). The web materializes out of thin air at the point where the spell-like ability was aimed at. The number of times it can be used increases by one every 6 levels to a maximum of 4 times a day, and then once more at 20th level to 5 times a day.

Rebuke Spiderkind (Su) At 6th Level, the Spider Rider may rebuke Spiderkind[1] as an evil Cleric would rebuke Undead. Treat the spider rider as a Cleric of five levels lower than her Spider Rider levels for this purpose. Your Monstrous Spider Mount is unaffected by your rebuke attempts, and receives a +4 bonus against enemy Spider Rider rebuking attempts.

Servant of the True Spider Queen (Sp): At 7th level, the Spider Rider's faith in the Spider Queen grows. She gains access to the Spider domain as if she was a cleric (with levels equal to six less than the number of levels she has in the Spider Rider class) and the special ability granted by the domain. She is treated as a cleric for spellcasting purposes when using spells from the Spider Domain.

Perfect Rider (Ex): At 8th level the Spider Rider gets a +1 competence bonus to her ride checks while riding her Monstrous Spider. This increases by +1 every two levels hereafter to a maximum of +4.

Spider Jump (Ex): At 9th level as a swift action, the Spider Rider gains the ability to travel between two points as if by means of a Dimension Door spell. He can travel up to the number of feet shown in the Special column of Table: Spider Rider and a maximum total number per day, equal to the value in parenthesis. The spider rider may include his spider mount in a Spider Jump. When this ability is performed it appears just like when a Jumping Spider "jumps".

Summon Spider IV (Sp): Once a day at 10th level the Spider Rider can cast the Summon Spider IV spell as a spell-like ability (the caster level is equal to the character's Spider Rider level). This increases to twice a day at 14th level.

Summon Spider VI (Sp): Once a day at 13th level the Spider Rider can cast the Summon Spider VI spell as a spell-like ability (the caster level is equal to the character's Spider Rider level). This increases to twice a day at 15th level.

Master Rider (Ex): At 16th level, the Spider Rider does not suffer penalties to ranged attacks or AC penalties due to charging while mounted when mounted on a Monstrous Spider.

Poison Touch (Su): Three times per day at 19th level, the Spider Rider can secrete poison from her fingertips as a free action. This causes the same effect as the poison of a Huge monstrous spider upon anyone touched by the Spider Rider with a melee touch attack (the touch attack grants an attack of opertunity). The poison cannot be harvested, or saved by any means, and any residue disapears at the end of the round.

Summon Spider IX (Sp): Twice a day at 20th level the Spider Rider can cast the Summon Spider IX spell as a spell-like ability (the caster level is equal to the character's Spider Rider level).

Monstrous Spider[edit]

Monstrous Spider Mounts have the following game statistics:

Hit Die: d10

Table: The Monstrous Spider Mount

Rider's Level Size HD Natural Armor Special
1st T/S 2 +0 Monstrous Spider Traits, Unbreakable Spider Bond
2nd M 4 +0 Evasion, Share Spell
3rd L 6 +1 Uncanny Dodge, Shrink 3/day
4th H 8 +1 Fast +10ft
5th H 8 +2 Bonus Feat
6th H 10 +2 Fast +20ft
7th H 10 +3 Slippery Mind
8th H 12 +3 Fast +30ft
9th H 12 +4 Bonus Feat
10th H 14 +4 Improved Evasion
+2 H +2 +5

Class Skills ( 2 + Int modifier per level)
Climb (Str), Spot (Wis), Hide (Dex), Move Silently (Dex), Jump (Dex) and Use Rope (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All the following are class features of the Spider Mount:

Monstrous Spider Traits (Ex):

The Monstrous Spider Mount must either be a web spinning or a hunting spider, but with the Dungeon Master's permission, it may be a Specific Monstrous Spider. Use the base statistics for a spider of the Mount’s kind, but make the following changes.

Hit Dice: The number of d10 Hit Dice that the Monstrous Spider Mount has (this replaces it's normal Hit Dice). A Monstrous Spider Mount has a good Base Attack Bonus and good Fortitude and Reflex saves (treat it as a character whose level equals the Spider’s HD). A Monstrous Spider Mount gains additional skill points and feats for bonus HD as normal for advancing a monster’s Hit Dice. The Monstrous Spider Mount has 2+ Intelligence Modifier skill points per Hit Dice, but must train for one hour a day with the Spider Rider in order to retain these skill points.

Natural Armor: The number noted here is an improvement to the Monstrous Spider’s existing natural armor bonus.

Size: Upon hatching, the Spider is tiny size. D4 hours later, she sheds her skin and becomes small size. When a new level in Spider Rider is gained by a Spider's Rider, she sheds her skin and grows one category in size up to a maximum size of Huge at 4th level.

Type: The Monstrous Spider Mount's type changes from Vermin to Magical Beast (Vermin).

Ability Scores: The Monstrous Spider Mount's ability scores are chosen using the elite array, replacing the 10 and the 8 with the rider's Intelligence and Charisma scores, which the Spider shares. The racial ability score adjustments, Armor Class and Attack modifiers and Bite damage due to size for the Spider are shown on the Table below.

Optionally a DM may allow their player to roll 4 sets of 4d6 discarding the lowest die and arrange the results among the Spiders Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom scores.

Table: Monstrous Spider Adjustments by Size
Size Str Dex Con AC/Attack Bite Damage
Tiny -8 +6 +0 +2 D3
Small -4 +6 +0 +1 D4
Medium +0 +6 +2 +0 D6
Large +4 +6 +2 -1 D8
Huge +8 +6 +2 -2 2D6

For details on Monstrous Spiders, see Monstrous Spider: Tiny, Small, Medium, Large and Huge.

Unbreakable Spider Bond (Su): Spider shares a bond with her Rider that transcends the physical. If a Spider Rider dies, the spider dies instantly as well, and the rider must attempt a Fortitude saving throw of DC 25. If the saving throw is failed, the spider rider loses 4 HP per Spider Rider level. She will then go into a rage for D12 + (her constitution modifier) rounds as if she was a 1st level barbarian.

At all times, the Spider and Rider can communicate empathetically, see out of each others eyes, and can locate each other as if by the Locate Creature Spell.

The Spider Rider automatically passes ride checks to attack while mounted and to control her mount in battle when mounted on her spider, and has full control over her spider's speed at all times.

Shrink (Sp): 3 times per day at 3rd level, the Monstrous Spider can reduce it's size to any size category smaller than itself as a swift action. This spell-like-ability lasts until the spider decides to end it, which it can do as a free action. The caster level is 1 for this ability.

Fast (Ex): At 4th level, the Monstrous Spider's land and climb speeds increase by +10ft. At 6th level, the bonus to the spider's speed increases by an additional +10ft and increases again at 8th level by another +10ft.

Bonus Feat: The Spider may select a bonus feat from the following list: Improved Critical (Bite), Ability Focus, Acrobatic, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack (Bite), Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, Stealthy and Weapon Focus (Bite).

Evasion (Ex): If the Spider makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the rogue is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless spider does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Share Spell (Ex):At the Spider Rider’s option, she may have any spell (but not any spell-like ability) she casts upon herself also affect her Spider. The Spider must be within 5 feet of her at the time of casting to receive the benefit. If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting the Spider if the companion moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect the Magical Beast (Vermin) again, even if it returns to the Spider Rider before the duration expires. Additionally, the Spider Rider may cast a spell with a target of “You” on her Spider (as a touch range spell) instead of on herself. A Spider Rider and her Spider can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the companion’s type (Magical Beast (Vermin)).

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): The Spider retains her Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if she is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, she still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.

Slippery Mind (Ex): If a spider with slippery mind is affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fails her saving throw, she can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC. She gets only this one extra chance to succeed on her saving throw.

Improved Evasion (Ex): This ability works like evasion, except that while the spider still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks henceforth she henceforth takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless spider does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

The Epic Spider Rider[edit]

Table: The Epic Spider Rider
Hit Die: d8

Level Spider Jump Special
21th 80ft.(440ft.) Summon Spider IV 2/day
22th 100ft.(540ft.)
23th 120ft.(620ft.) Summon Spider V 2/day
24th 120ft.(620ft.) Bonus Feat
25th 120ft.(620ft.) Summon Spider VI 2/day
26th 120ft.(680ft.)
27th 120ft.(680ft.) Summon Spider IV 3/day
28th 120ft.(740ft.) Bonus Feat
29th 120ft. (740ft.) Summon Spider V 3/day
30th 120ft. (800ft.)

(4 + Int modifier per level; ×4 at 1st level)
Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), Use Rope (Dex), Balance (Dex), Tumble (Dex), and Knowledge (nature and religion) (Int).

Class Features[edit]

All the following are class features of the Epic Spider Rider

Spider Mount (Ex): at 21st level and every second level hereafter, the Spider Rider's Monstrous Spider Mount gains 2 Hit Dice.

Spider Jump (Ex): The maximum total distance jumped per day and per jump increases as shown in the Spider Jump Column in Table: Epic Spider Rider.

Summon Spider IV (Sp): The number of times this ability can be used increases to 3/day at 21st level, and increases by 1/day every 6th level hereafter.

Summon Spider VI (Sp): The number of times this ability can be used increases to 3/day at 23rd level, and increases by 1/day every 6th level hereafter.

Summon Spider IX (Sp): The number of times this ability can be used increases to 2/day at 25th level, and increases by 1/day every 6th level hereafter

Bonus Feat At 14th and every 4th level herafter, the Epic Spider Rider gains a bonus feat chosen from the following list: Armor Skin, Combat Archery, Damage Reduction, Devastating Critical, Dire Charge, Distant Shot, Energy Resistance, Epic Endurance, Epic Leadership, Epic Prowess, Epic Toughness, Epic Weapon Focus, Epic Weapon Specialization, Exceptional Deflection, Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Manyshot, Improved Stunning Fist, Improved Whirlwind Attack, Infinite Deflection, Instant Reload, Legendary Commander, Legendary Rider, Legendary Wrestler, Overwhelming Critical, Penetrate Damage Reduction, Perfect Two-Weapon Fighting, Reflect Arrows, Spellcasting Harrier, Storm of Throws, Superior Initiative, Swarm of Arrows, Two-Weapon Rend, Uncanny Accuracy. In addition to the feats on this list, the Epic Spider Rider may treat any feat designated as a Fighter Bonus Feat, but not listed here, as being on his or her bonus feat list.

Ex-Spider Riders[edit]

If the Spider Rider makes a huge decision that the Spider objects to (switching from Lolth to another goddess, for example), offends the Spider, ceases to revere Spiderkind, takes the spider "for granted" or otherwise upsets the spider, the Spider will leave the Rider. The Spider Rider looses all its Supernatural and Spell-like abilities gained from being a Spider Rider, and can only contact the Spider to apologize. If the spider accepts the apology, the Spider will come back to the Rider and the Rider will regain all Spider Rider class features (but not before the Spider accepts the apology).

If the Spider Rider's Spider dies, the Rider can never have another Spider to replace her deceased Spider. However, the Spider Rider can spend 4 hours in a ritual to bring back the spider to life. The Spider will then return to life in her original body (and so it is needed for the ritual). If the deity that the Rider worships believes the Rider to be unworthy, then the spider will not return to life. If the deity changes her mind, then the ritual can be retaken.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Any creature that resembles a spider.

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