Posted In Articles, Front Page, Monsters | 14 comments

Chris McFann, Arachnidrake(Illustration by Chris McFann)

It’s raining drakes! Find a whole slew of these fierce mini-dragons in the Book of Drakes. Masters Daigle and Welham can show you the way…


An impossible combination of spider and dragon stares at you with its six eyes while its mandibles clack in hunger. Hundreds of bright red spiders on the drake’s hide give the appearance of crawling skin. Upon seeing prey, the creature spits out a sticky glob, which expands into an acidic web, threatening to cover its target completely.

Unsettling in appearance and behavior, the arachnidrake (or spider drake) assumes the worst features of dragon and spider. The multitude of tiny red spiders covering nearly every surface of the creature does nothing to assuage the fear of potential victims. The creature constantly hunts down prey to feed its appetite as well as to care for its brood.

Arachnidrake (CR 4)

XP 1,200
NE Medium dragon
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +11 …

AC 18, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+4 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 47 (5d12+15)
Fort +7, Ref +8, Will +5
Immune dragon traits, magic paralysis, sleep; SR 14

Speed 30 ft., climb 60 ft., fly 100 ft. (poor)
Melee 4 claws +8 (1d6+3), bite +8 (1d8+3 plus poison)
Special Attacks breath weapon (30-ft. cone, 2d6 acid damage plus web, Reflex DC 15 half, usable every1d4 rounds), spider swarm, web (+9 ranged, DC 17, 5 hp)

Str 16, Dex 19, Con 16, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 12
Base Atk +5; CMB +8; CMD 22
Feats Ability Focus (web), Alertness, Improved Initiative
Skills Climb +20, Fly +4, Perception +11, Sense Motive +11, Stealth +16, Survival +8; Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth
Languages Common, Draconic

Environment temperate forests or underground
Organization solitary
Treasure standard

Breath Weapon (Su)
An arachnidrake spits out an acidic blob of webbing that spreads into a 30-ft. cone, ensnaring all in the cone’s path. Those who succeed at the Reflex save take half damage but avoid the web. Those trapped in the web take 1d6 acid damage/round (Fortitude DC 15 half). The save DCs are Constitution-based.
Poison (Ex) Bite—Injury; save Fort DC 15; frequency 1/round for 3 rounds; effect 1d4 Dex; cure 1 save.
Spider Swarm (Ex) An arachnidrake can direct the swarm of spiders living on it to attack 1/day. This functions as a quickened summon swarm, except it cannot be dispelled, and the swarm appears in the drake’s space.

Typical Characteristics

A spider drake measures 5 ft. from snout to stubby tail and bears eight pincered claws. For its size, the creature is surprisingly light, typically weighing about 70 lb. Its hide matches the hue of the spiders it hosts, making it difficult to find individual spiders on the creature’s body.

Much like other drakes, spider drakes associate with humanoid creatures—but not those in any kind of typical civilization. Rather, they seek out drow, ettercaps, or the occasional hermitic spider worshipper. Drow see the drake as a tool they can use to weaken their enemies while ettercaps sometimes regard the creature as a divine avatar. A cunning arachnidrake uses this situation to get other creatures to hunt for it.

The spiders constantly replenish their numbers, and even if only a pair of the vermin survives an attack on the arachnidrake, they produce a new swarm in rapid fashion. The spiders cannot survive long when separated from their host. When the creature grows too old or weak to sustain them, the spiders encourage the drake to find a secluded spot in order to devour the creature and leave the carcass cocooned for 4 weeks. After this time, a new spider drake emerges, refreshed and ready to begin its continual hunting cycle again.

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  1. I want to kill it, so it must be a good monster!


    July 7, 2011

  2. Great concept. I like the mechanic of the quickened summon swarm to simulate the colony on its back.

    Ask a Shoanti

    July 7, 2011

  3. Chris McFann did an awesome job on the art for this beastie on fairly short notice!


    July 7, 2011

  4. And I’m not sure how I missed this, but the touch AC should be 14, rather than 13. Mea culpa.


    July 7, 2011

  5. Very cool monster. Makes me wish my players were lower level.


    July 7, 2011

  6. As a general rule, I don’t care for kit-bashed monsters (a la the owlbear), except the ones that come down to us from various mythologies. But this one is just creepy enough that I like it!


    July 7, 2011

  7. Spider-drake, Spider-drake
    Most impossible creature
    That Welham did make
    Covered by tiny cobs
    Appearing today in the KQ blog
    Look out!
    Here comes the Spider-drake!

    Theodric the Obscure

    July 7, 2011

  8. I think I heard that spider-drakes eat spider-pigs. That’s what I heard. :)

    I love this critter for a drow familiar, or for a tiny boss over a tribe of goblins or orcs. And that art really, really puts it over the top.


    July 7, 2011

  9. Moar drakes! :)

    Adam Daigle

    July 7, 2011

  10. Geekgasm!!

    Crimson Jester

    July 7, 2011

  11. Wow! as awesome as creepy! 😀

    Hugo Solis

    July 7, 2011

  12. …but can I have one for my familiar? Oh do, do say yes. #TeamSpider


    July 9, 2011

  13. You could get an arachnidrake as a familiar with the Improved Familiar feat, but your character would have to be about 13th level (following the progression of the IF table). Alternately, you could get one with the Willful Companion feat.

    I hope that helps.


    July 9, 2011

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