drop spiders Species in Scarterra | World Anvil

drop spiders

Dropping spiders are an ambush hunter prevailent throughout Scarnoctis capable of causing great harm to humanoids. While rare for a mortal to be killed outright by an attack of dropping spiders, it takes a long while to recover from these attacks and it could leave a person vulnerable to other dangers underground.   Per their name they drop from the ceiling on unsuspecting prey below. Their spinnerets' webs act as proxy "wings" letting them glide down accurately at prey below. They can also wave their web "wings" as sticky nets to snatch flying insects out of the air, though this is a desperation move as they usually prefer to go after larger prey and only go after small insects when very hungry or the insects are flying in large swarms just asking for it.  
by Eron12 with Hero Forge
Beznak Bristlebranch, Dwarf Deep Ranger
If there is a colony of drop spiders in a cavern near you, and you don't need to use that cavern. Don't worry about it. Drop spiders are good at keeping away vermin such as goblins.   If you need to remove them, remember drop spiders are deadly when they are dropping but they are fairly slow and clumsy when they are ascending.
  If you do need to get of a colony of drop spiders, take a stone golem or find a gutsy dwarf in full armor who just drank a bunch of spider antitoxin.   The spiders will drop and try to eat the large "prey creature" below but they won't be able to pierce their prey's outer shell. The spiders will give up and then go scuttling up the walls to prepare another drop.   At this point, they are very vulnerable to alchemists fire or an invocation, but if you don't have access to this, a bunch of crossbows will do in a pinch. You'll just have to have to have the crossbowmen kill as many of they can then flee before the spiders drop again,    

Basic Information


Adult female drop spiders are larger than dinner plates, with a diameter of about three feet. Males are a fair bit smaller.   Adults of both sexes have needle like extensions similar to real world mosquitos both to inject debilitating poison into prey, anesthetize pain and suck up blood.

Genetics and Reproduction

Female Drop spiders are much bigger than male spiders. After mating, it is very common for the female to eat the male because 1) she is hungry and 2) she can.   Males are generally swift enough to be able to flee from a hungry female were it not that a female's pheromones typically leave them in a drunk stupor that slowly dissipates after mating.   Males might be able to survive to mate a second time if they can shake off their pheromone stupor fast enough post mating and run away fast enough. Under ideal circumstances, a swift, clear minded male could survive to mate three or four times.

Growth Rate & Stages

It takes about a year for a male drop spider to reach sexual maturity. At which points males tend to mate and die.   Females will surprise a male's size by the end of their first year, but they aren't typically at their full size until their second year, though they can mate after one year, they usually mate after their second year. Juvenile female drop spiders are sexually mature but they don't have the ability to excrete a large quantity of male attracting pheremones until age two.   Under ideal circumstances, a female could have up to ten or twelve clutches of eggs in her lifetime provided there are enough uneaten males to mate with.   Females tend to infertile around age four and die around five years old.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Juvenile drop spiders are much faster than adults and do not tire easily. They tend to capture small prey by running them down. They will liquify the insects and rodents they capture and drink up the slurry.   As they metamorphisize into their adult bodies, they instinctually adopt the drop ambush style of hunting their kind is famous for. Adult drop spiders can turn smaller prey into slurry but they mostly drink blood from larger prey without killing or crippling their targets outright.   The spiders use their web spun "wings" and superior eyesight to carefully glide down and land on (hopefully) unsuspecting prey. They will try to pacify their prey with an injection of poison from their mandibles, then slurp up a bunch of blood, then break off and scurry away once fed.   Females need to be well fed on fresh blood in order to mate and release a clutch of eggs. They can subsist catching smaller prey without much blood but they cannot breed on such fare.   Males are smaller and faster than females, and they don't need to drink large quantities of blood to mate, so they are much more prone to hunting smaller prey, even as adults.

Additional Information

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Drop spiders can be found throughout Scarnoctis. They can migrate through almost anywhere but they prefer to lair in spacious caverns with high ceilings.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Relative to other spiders, Drop Spiders have superior eyesight able to see in the dark at long ranges to accurately gage ambush drops and also snatch fast moving insects or small bats out of the air with uncanny accuracy.   Their sensitive to hearing and vibrations is weak compared to other spiders. They cannot effectively use their nets to trap prey very well because if something gets stuck in their webs they often don't notice till their prey struggles out.
Dropping Spiders are heavily inspired by Blood Bugs from the fantasy world Araea created by Quirilion
Genetic Ancestor(s)
five years
Geographic Distribution
Drop Spider RPG stats Willpower 3   Dexterity 4, Strength 3, Stamina 2, Perception 3, Wits 2   Abilities: Alertness 3, Animal Ken 1, Athletics 2 (+1 gliding), Brawl 2, Stealth 2   Health: OK, -1, -3, Dead   Bites inflict four dice of S damage, five dice of H lethal damage.   Anyone taking a single health level of lethal damage needs to make a Stamina saving throw or suffer four levels of bashing damage minus any successes rolled on the saving throw.


Please Login in order to comment!