Prestige Classes


Many creatures of the Underdark are drawn to the power of the spider and that of the master of spiders—the arachnomancer. The attractiveness of the arachnomancer class depends more upon the candidate’s race, culture, and personal interest than it does upon class. However, all arachnomancers are spellcasters—specifically arcanists. Clerics with the Spider domain sometimes multiclass in arcane studies just so that they can develop as arachnomancers.

Most drow worship their spider goddess Lolth, and they tend to extend that reverence to most of spiderkind as well. Thus, arachnomancers usually enjoy high standing in drow society. Many other Underdark races, such as aranea or chitines, are spiderkind themselves, so they particularly enjoy the abilities that this prestige class grants them.

Hit Die: d6.


To qualify to become an arachnomancer, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Alignment: Any evil.

Base Save Bonus: Fortitude +4.

Skills: Climb 3 ranks, Knowledge (nature) 4 ranks.

Spells: Able to cast spider climb, summon swarm, and web as arcane spells.

Special: The candidate must undergo a scarification ritual.

Class Skills

The arachnomancer's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana, nature, Underdark local) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), and Spot (Wis),

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The Arachnomancer

Level Base
Special Spells per day
1st +0 +0 +2 +0 Poison save bonus, speak with spiders, spider magic +1 level of existing spellcasting class
2nd +1 +0 +3 +0 Spiderform (S, M, L)
3rd +2 +1 +3 +1 Poison touch (1d4 Str) +1 level of existing spellcasting class
4th +3 +1 +4 +1 Command spiders +1 level of existing spellcasting class
5th +3 +1 +4 +1 Spiderform (T, H), webwalking
6th +4 +2 +5 +2 Poison touch (1d6 Str) +1 level of existing spellcasting class
7th +5 +2 +5 +2 Wall of webs 1/day +1 level of existing spellcasting class
8th +6 +2 +6 +2 Spiderform (G)
9th +6 +3 +6 +3 Poison touch (1d8 Str) +1 level of existing spellcasting class
10th +7 +3 +7 +3 Spider blast +1 level of existing spellcasting class
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the arachnomancer prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Arachnomancers gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Spells per Day: At 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th level, an arachnomancer gains new spells per day (and spells known, if applicable) as if he had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which he belonged before adding the prestige class. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (improved chance of turning or rebuking undead, metamagic or item creation feats, or the like). If the character had more than one spellcasting class before becoming an arachnomancer, the player must decide to which class to add each arachnomancer level for the purpose of determining spells per day, spells known, and overall caster level.

Poison Save Bonus (Ex): An arachnomancer adds his class level to all saves against poison.

Speak with Spiders (Su): The arachnomancer can communicate with any spiderkind creature (see sidebar) as a free action. Mindless creatures can communicate and understand only extremely simple concepts (one word at best), but they generally don’t try to eat someone who communicates with them.

Spider Magic: Add the following spells to the character’s spell list (or to each spell list, if he has more than one): 0—stick; 1st—summon Small monstrous spider; 2nd—spiderskin, summon Medium monstrous spider; 3rd—neutralize poison, poison, summon Large monstrous spider; 4th—giant vermin (spiders only), repel vermin, summon Huge monstrous spider; 5th— spider plague; 6th—summon Gargantuan monstrous spider; 7th—spider shapes³; 8th—summon Colossal monstrous spider; 9th—shapechange (into spider or spiderkind creature only; see below).

1 As summon monster, except that the spell summons one monstrous spider of the indicated size, 1d3 monstrous spiders one size category smaller, or 1d4+1 monstrous spiders two size categories smaller.

2 As insect plague, but summons spider swarms instead of locust swarms.

3 As animal shapes, but allows transformation into monstrous spider form only.

4 New spell described in Underdark.

Spider magic spells are added to the character’s class lists of available spells, so that he may choose them whenever he has the opportunity to acquire new spells of the appropriate level. He does not automatically learn them (in the case of a spellcaster who keeps spellbooks) or know them (in the case of a spellcaster who does not keep spellbooks).

Spiderform (Su): Beginning at 2nd level, an arachnomancer may transform himself into a Small, Medium, or Large monstrous spider three times per day. At 5th level, he can also take the form of a Tiny or Huge monstrous spider, and at 8th level, he can take the form of a Gargantuan monstrous spider. This ability functions like polymorph, except that the indicated forms are the only ones available and the duration of the change is up to 10 minutes per arachnomancer level. Resuming normal form requires a standard action but does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Poison Touch (Ex): The arachnomancer can secrete poison as a free action. When he first gains this ability at 3rd level, his touch deals 1d4 points of Strength damage. The damage increases to 1d6 points at 6th level and to 1d8 points at 9th level. In each case, a successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + arachnomancer level + arachnomancer’s Con modifier) halves the damage, to a minimum of 1 point. The arachnomancer’s poison cannot be harvested or saved for any purpose.

Command Spiders (Su): At 4th level, an arachnomancer gains the ability to compel any spider or spiderkind creature (see sidebar) in the same way that an evil cleric can rebuke or command undead. The arachnomancer can attempt to command spiders a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier. He is treated as a cleric of a level equal to his character level (not arachnomancer level) for the purpose of turning checks and turning damage.

Webwalking (Su): Beginning at 5th level, an arachnomancer can ignore webs (magical or nonmagical) as if affected by a freedom of movement spell. He can climb webs at his normal land speed without needing to make a Climb check and walk along webs without needing to make a Balance check.

Wall of Webs (Sp): At 7th level, an arachnomancer gains the ability to create a wall-like barrier of webs once per day. Unlike the webs produced by the web spell, those in the wall of webs are resistant to fire and as tough as steel. A wall of webs functions like the wall of iron spell (caster level equals arachnomancer level), except that an arachnomancer can use his webwalking ability to move through the wall unhindered, and any other creature can use freedom of movement to do the same.

Spider Blast (Sp): Once per day, a 10th-level arachnomancer can produce a 50-foot-long, cone-shaped blast of extremely poisonous, normal-sized spiders. Every creature within the area of the blast takes 5d4 points of damage and must make 1d4 Fortitude saves against poison (DC 10 + arachnomancer level + arachnomancer’s Con modifier; 1d6 points of Strength damage for both initial and secondary damage). Each creature is also allowed a Reflex save at the same DC for partial effect: Success means the victim takes half damage and need make only one Fortitude saving throw against poison (though the second saving throw normally required against a poison’s secondary effect still applies). The spiders fade away at the end of the arachnomancer’s turn.

Scarification Ritual

To demonstrate his seriousness and devotion to the study of arachnomancy, a candidate for this prestige class must undergo a scarification ritual that involves searing his flesh with brands and rubbing dark ash or other pigmentation into the wound to create a raised, dark scar. The end result of this rite is a face well marked with a spider insignia.


The term spiderkind includes all of the following creatures in the D&D® game.

City of the Spider Queen: Arachnoid creature, drider vampire, wraith spider.

Fiend Folio: Chwidencha.

Monster Manual: Aranea, bebilith (demon), drider, ettercap, phase spider, monstrous spider, retriever (demon), spider swarm.

Monster Manual II: Neogi, shadow spider, spellgaunt.

Monsters of Faerûn: Chitine, choldrith, myrolochar, subterranean (hairy and sword) spiders, yochlol (demon).