Spiderfolk, Variant (5e Race)
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Spiderfolk are tall, thin insectoids that until recent years, primarily dwelled underground. They are extremely tribal and many tend to be distrustful of those outside their immediate circle, though those select few who truly gain their trust can expect to be rewarded with a lifelong companion. Their chitin is thicker around the chest area, and they have 1 more set of arms then normal. They cannot wield weapons in these arms; however, they are capable of basic movements and allow for ease of climbing.
The age of creation: 0->2728 A.o.C
The age of creation lasted for roughly 2728 years, reaching back to the beginning of the Spiderfolk's recorded history. Records from this time are sparse, though the remains of the Wall of Anchura serves as a monument to both the ambition and reclusive-ness of the race. Located hundreds of feet underground, the wall exists beneath the Impassible mountains of barren central Astria. No indication of Lolth’s influence have been found during this age, though tribes would have been limited in numbers during this time.
Near the end of the creation era, several writings reference the existence of a great construct. Though location varies between texts, all describe a towering, castle-like structure. A number of tribal texts document the first ever meeting of tribes to have occurred at the construct, from what evidence there is, it seemed to be of peace, unity, or something along those lines (dead languages are not easy to understand). The writings of Kliisdi, a well respected elder from the Ezzk tribe, recounts the attendance of key leaders from 52 tribes to work towards an agreement. Unfortunately, the contents of this agreement were theorised to have been destroyed during the age of ashes, and many inscriptions referencing it are faded and worn.
The end of the age of creation was the first meeting of Drow, Drider and Spiderfolk occurred on the boundary of Astria’s Underdark.
The age of ascension: 2728 A.o.C (0 A.o.A) to 982 A.o.A
Lolth’s introduction to the Spiderfolk left many tribes deeply divided. While some embraced their newfound purpose in Lolth’s army, others were perturbed by the disruption to their peaceful existence. Despite this, Lolth's influence over the Spiderfolk steadily grew and in 578 AoA, the first recorded instance of the “mark” was documented. The marked were deemed by Drow and Spiderfolk alike to be chosen by Lolth, and both races saw those that bore the mark as ones to respect. However, as more and more marked Spiderfolk were born, tensions began to develop between races, as the Drow began to believe their god had found more suitable subjects.
Regardless of the tension, the Spiderfolk experienced a significant population spike during his era. The once modest population grew into the millions. Religion spurred by Lolth’s influence soon seeped into their traditions, and the first Spiderfolk queen was crowned in 700 AoA. In 982 AoA, the Drow, unable to ignore Lolth’s ' favoritism ' any longer, declared a holy war against the Spiderfolk.
The age of ashes: 982 A.o.A (0 A.o.As) to 1001 A.o.As.
The period during this thousand year war came to be known as the age of ashes. Though they were outcast by Lolth, the Drider's strong bonds with the Spiderfolk meant they would often turn on their Drow allies. Due to the nature of this war, written records are few, though 2 major battles have been recorded. After years of a military stalemate, the war finally turned in the Spiderfolk's favour after the 'invention' of their own crossbows in 458 A.o.As, 200 years after the Drow developed theirs. Legends were told of skilled warriors that could wield 4 hand-crossbows at once, most notably Hex d'Marala and Dalharil d'Katrill. The two major known battles were:
- The battle at Crimson Pass: The first major clash between Drow and Spider. Two armies of 200,000 Spiderfolk fought 215,000 Drow, with both sides suffering heavy losses. In an attempt to curb a complete genocide of their races, those remaining forged an uneasy truce to allow both populations to recover.
- The defense of the Al’kashin Tribe-lands: A heavily outnumbered Spiderfolk tribe totalling 1,300 units defended against an attack of over 5,000 Drow and Drider. The attack was largely planned and executed under the tactical will of Dalharial, who turned over 300 Drider to his cause.
On the 9th of (whatever equates to mid spring in your world), 1000 A.o.As, the Drow surrendered on the outskirts of Astria after experiencing a loss of 3 million soldiers throughout the war, nearly eradicating their presence in Astria. The Spiderfolk's population similarly suffered, having been reduced to half. The war deeply shook the Spiderfolk’s faith, and only a few short months after the resolution of the largest war in their history, the Spiderfolk once again found themselves embroiled in battle; this time, against each other.
The Divide: 1001 A.o.As (0-) to (10-)
The divide remains a sensitive subject with the remaining Spiderfolk druids from this period, and is best avoided in polite conversation. Recorded texts from this time are extremely precise abut the ferocity of the warfare of the faithful and the faithless. Many of the remaining marked, driven to extremes by their own blind faith, or the faith of those around them, launched a ruthless slaughtering of hundreds of thousands Spiderfolk in the name of Lolth, most of which were those who actively spoke out against Lolth. In these short 10 years, faithful armies led by marked slaughtered 1 million of their own kind in their civil war. After the Battle of Crackwind pass, the faithful, noting both the lack of new marked to recruit into their armies and the damage they had done to their own people, agreed to the signing of an oath between factions.
The battle of Crackwind Pass: The battle of Crackwind pass marked the end of the slaughter. 300 thousand Spiderfolk were involved in this clash, and only a handful from each side remained, surrounded by the mass of bodies both on the top of the Crevice and down below. Even today, it is said that the amount of death that occurred set a river of blood flowing deep into the hundred foot gorge. The Spiderfolk oath remains to this day as one of the most important documents in their history. Although many of the smaller tribes, and deep dweller tribes, do not pledge to this oath, it is a requirement for any monk, paladin, cleric or druid to make.
|“||No Spiderfolk shall ever end another Spiderfolk, nor shall we engage in wars with our own kind. If a Spiderfolk dies to your blade, then you shall be damned by Lolth for all eternity, and you shall be banished from our lands.||”|
The age of repent, and the age of growth.: 10- to Present.
The age of repent details the rebuilding of the Spiderfolk masses. Many of the once great tribes were reduced to dust either in the age of ashes, or The Divide. What occurs after this is entirely up to the DM, or player who creates their character’s discretion. A good idea is that the Spiderfolk regrew their strength, ascended to the surface, and colonised the Deserts/Jungles of Astria, set scouts out to gain favour with nearby settlements, set up trade routes, etc. Then again, if the DM chose to create their own lore (or even apply some of this lore into their world in their own way), then this matters not.
Spiderfolk are often Divided into 1 of 3 categories in terms of social structure.
The largest and most common class structure, Lolth;s influence can be seen in this female dominated society. This consists of 4 noticeable tiers of importance, with higher Tiers receiving better treatment.
- The Royals - The Royals are the likes of The Queen and her Council. They command the highest respect of any Spiderfolk, regardless of social structure. Playing one is highly ill-advised.
- The Middle Class - Your average Spiderfolk would tend to fall into this category. Most of the citizens in this category are hardworking and accomplished at whatever craft they specialize in. With few exceptions, they care little for wealth, and are content in living a modest life.
- Slaves - Slaves are the rabble, and are treated as such. Slaves are generally prisoners of war, orphans, or those in indentured servitude.
- Outcasts - Those who broke the Blood Pact are often seen here, with some being outcast due to other reasons. These people are treated similarily to the Drider in drow culture, being both feared and hated for their actions.
Tribes-people have a simple social structure. If you're strong, you get respect. If you're strongest, you're the leader. Unlike the heirarchy, these tribes are often unskewed in terms of leadership. Despite females being bigger and stronger, adaptations to the Astrian Desert, or wherever they live, can skew the favour towards male dominance in these societies. This social structure is almost exclusively preserved by the Primal Spiderfolk, and rarely exceed 1000 members to a tribe.
Isolationists and Surface Dwellers
Isolationists and Surface dwellers follow no known social structure, partially due to the recent asencion to Toril. This aspect is up to the DM, however It is recommended that these creatures be remarkably more peaceful than their under-dwelling cousins; though still chaotic as always.
Terrifying yet oddly attractive Humanoids. Inspired by the original. In the case of Favoured Enemy, etc, Spiderfolk count as Fey, unless you are using the UA ranger, in which case they are humanoids.
Ability Score Increase. Dexterity score increases by 1, Wisdom score increases by 1 and Charisma score decreases by 1. As usual, You cannot increase your ability score past 20 when using this feature.
Age. Most Spiderfolk mature by 12 years old, and most live to over 100, but few past 120.
Alignment. These creatures care little for law and order. Despite obvious structure, many align themselves as neutral or chaotic.
Size. Most Spiderfolk stand tall, ranging from 5'10 to well over 6 feet tall, with most females reaching 7 feet by the end of their lifespan. Your size is Medium, and you weigh around than 130 lbs.
Speed. 30 feet, 20 Climb.
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.
Multiple Limbs. You have 2 extra arms. As a result, whilst climbing your NORMAL hands are free. You may make an athletics to climb rough terrain at advantage if you choose to use all your arms (making another athletics check if you wish to drop the grip with two or more arms), and you can climb on almost any surface, including ceilings. These arms cannot hold weapons, however there IS a feat (Armed and Ready) which allows for the wielding of light weapons. You cannot use these limbs to cast using somatic components. You can use these limbs to interact with and manipulate objects, open doors, and reload weapons (However, these do not allow you to use the "extra attack" feature with crossbows).
Web Walker. You ignore any movement penalties caused by webs, both natural and magical.
Cold Weakness. You become immobilised if the temperature drops below freezing and you are not wearing any warm clothing. If you are wearing warm clothing, then you become immobile if the temperature drops below -20 degrees Celsius. Additionally, You’re ill-acclimated to cold temperatures and climates, as described in chapter 5 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide.
Languages. Common, Undercommon (This is a derivative of normal undercommon, similar to an accent or slang)
Subrace. Several different subraces exist. You may choose one of the following to add, and adjust your stats accordingly
Striders are taller Spiderfolk, however most of that size resides in their limbs. Their limbs are very thin however.
Ability Score Increase. Dexterity score increases by 1.
Size. Height: 6’5 to well over 8 feet. Weight: 80 to 145 lbs.
Uneasy Appearance. You have disadvantage on ability checks to charm other creatures.
Far Strider. Your movement increases by 5 feet, your climbing speed increases by 5 feet, and can jump 5 feet higher and further.
A rare kind of Spiderfolk, not much is known about these elusive primitives. They retain many characteristics of spiders, some resorting to moving on all 8s. One thing in common, is that they have been reported to be EXTREMELY hostile to outsiders. These are also the only species NOT derived from Drow, yet are still classed as Fey.
Ability Score Increase. Strength score increases by 1, Constitution score increases by 1, Intelligence score decreases by 2.
Terrifying Appearance.. These creatures gain proficiency in intimidation. When you are subjugated to a melee attack, either before or after the roll but before you know whether the attack hits or misses, as a reaction you can force that creature to make a DC 8 (+proficency bonus, +strength or charisma modifier) wisdom saving throw or be frightened by the you for 1 round and gaining disadvantage on all attack rolls. Once used, you cannot use this again until you finish a short or long rest.
Abnormal Stature. These creatures cannot wear armour, bar leather or hide, and have a natural armour of 13 (+ dexterity modifier). This creature's AC cannot be reduced by any means.
A note the the DM. You should frequently introduce constitution or strength based intimidation checks with this subrace, as towering menacingly over someone isn't exactly based on your charm.
These spiderfolk decended from one of two places, the feywild, or from Lolth herself. The argument of which has been heavily debated, however the Pale Hunter (A Spiderfolk Demi-God) Was theorised to be a creature of Fey.
Ability Score Increase. Wisdom score increases by 1
Ancient Views. Born of a different time, and somehow here, these creatures live up to 1000 years, and you gain proficiency in history.
Wild Incantations. You gain two cantrips of choice from the druid or cleric class. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for this cantrip.
These Spiderfolk bare striking resemblance to drow, Losing most of their carapace in place of flesh, and often resulting in a maximum of 3 or 4 eyes.
Ability Score Increase. Charisma score increases by 1
Innate Spellcasting. Your spellcasting ability for these spells is Charisma. You can innately cast dancing lights and poison spray. At 3rd level, you learn Witch-bolt, and can cast it once per long rest.
Deceitful. Creatures are wise to your deception. You gain proficiency in deception as a result, however all people are naturally distrustful of you as a result, and may reject you from normal places. (roleplay aspect)
Ability Score Increase. One stat of your choice increases by 1, that isn't dexterity or wisdom.
Variant. You gain 2 of the following: 1 skill proficiency of your choice, learn an extra language of your choice, gain a tool proficiency of your choice, or gain a permanent +2 to your passive perception and investigation modifiers.
Why Variant?. The reason this variant exists is to add viability to the base Spiderfolk, and to extend your roleplay.
Random Height and Weight
|Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|5,6||+3d6||25 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|