Dungeons & Dragons: How To Run Driders In Your Campaign

The itsy-bitsy spider came out the water spout, and it was the servant of a spider god that lured you into a trap and ate you into pieces.

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Run Driders In Your Campaign

The itsy-bitsy spider came out the water spout, and it was the servant of a spider god that lured you into a trap and ate you into pieces. The world of Dungeons & Dragons is filled with creatures of all shapes and sizes, particularly ones that leave us with nightmares. Driders are a prime example; standing around eight feet tall, they lurk in dark tunnels, entrapping their targets with webs.

Surprisingly, Driders are deeply entangled in the lore and history of Dungeons & Dragons. That being said, while any Dungeon Master can simply throw Driders at their party as opposition, there are a couple of ways you can get creative with how they are incorporated.

What Are Driders & Where Did They Come From?

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Run Driders In Your Campaign

Driders are the Spider Queen Lloth servants who have failed her when tested. More specifically, the Dungeon Master’s Guide describes Driders as Drow who have been summoned by Lloth to complete a test, only to fail and be turned into a Drider.

When cursed, Driders do whatever they can to please the Spider Queen, whether in the hopes of being transformed back into normal Drow or to prove themselves worthy of their new form.

While most Driders end up alone wandering the world, some may work in groups to support each other.

Drider Abilities & Features

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Run Driders In Your Campaign

Driders alone are incredibly strong, especially against an unsuspecting party. Naturally, being Chaotic Evil, they have an Armor Class of 19 and 123 Hitpoints.

Being mostly part-spider, Driders can move naturally and climb on any surface (yes, including upside down) for up to 30ft per turn while also having 120ft of Darkvision. Driders are also known to be stealthy hunters, so they have 19 Passive Perception and additional skill bonuses of +5 Perception and +9 Stealth.

Driders have Sunlight Sensitivity, so they will rarely be active in the daytime or daylight. This also means that parties can effectively use Radiant damage against them to hurt them brutally.

Coming from a mystical realm of existence, Driders have mild spellcasting, being about to use visionary-focused spells to aid in hunting, including Dancing Lights, Darkness, and Faerie Fire.

Driders can attack three times in a single turn, being able to choose between its Bite, a Longsword, or a Longbow (each besides the Longsword uses Poison to deal extra damage).

Using Driders For Storytelling

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Run Driders In Your Campaign

The lore and background behind Driders are already tragic, which means they are excellent creatures to use for story elements in your campaign.

Whether to send your party against the Spider Queen herself or to provide redemption for a lucky few, Driders can be used in various ways. Brief examples include:

  • A Drider wants to return to their home but is searching for any way to remove the curse so their family does not see them in that form. The party is launched into a major quest to find a cure to restore Driders.
  • Two soldiers were supposed to return by sundown, but they were trapped in a den of Driders. The town sent the party to rescue them.
  • Trapped in a magical prison of creatures, the party works with a captured Drider to escape, vowing vengeance against Lloth.
  • A Drow party member receives a magical summons from Lloth themself, promising that if they succeed, they can make one wish of any choice.

Roleplaying Driders can be challenging, as each can have goals and motivations, especially after being transformed. While some may be willing to communicate and find peace for themselves, most will be arrogant and devoted to the Spider Queen to even be reasonable to talk with.

Roleplaying Driders comes down to the specific plot point and storytelling you use for each Drider.

Not specific to Driders, adding your flair and personality to Driders can help reveal elements of the world itself. Does a Drider with a metal arm and reinforced legs mean they are learning to make their augmentations, or is someone purposely helping them for an unknown reason?

Using Driders For Combat

Dungeons & Dragons: How To Run Driders In Your Campaign

Since Driders are natural hunters, it is common for your party to be their prime target.

First, have your Driders set web traps in narrow spaces while using webs as obstacles in other areas. Driders will do what they can to constrict and limit the movement of an unsuspecting party, so they have the best advantage when hunting them.

While some Driders will go out and purposely hunt outside their homes, it is usually only for a specific reason.

Once your Driders have set their webs, have them patiently wait from the ceiling of a tunnel or a hidden tunnel. When someone gets their foot trapped in a web, they can climb from their hiding spot and pick off the party individually.

From here, it’s simply a game of either frightening off the party to have them leave a Drider’s domain or secure and ensnare all of them to succeed in the battle.

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