Driders were drow that have been transformed from the waist down so they had the body of a spider. The transformation was typically a punishment for failing a test of Lolth.[1][4]


Driders were created from drow in an agonizing process. From their waist up they retained their form, from the waist down, their form changed into that of a spider. They grew physically stronger but kept all magical and other abilities and skills they learned during their lives.[5]

Driders were centaur-like creatures, appearing as drow from the waist up, with their lower portions replaced by the abdomen and legs of immense spiders.[4]

Driders were sexless because Lolth did not want to have a race of enemies to the drow.[6]


Driders were bloodthirsty.[4] They kept their memories and personalities from their times as a drow but added to this came a sense of shame, hatred, and fear that made them violent hunters, and a death wish that made them want to die in battle— especially in one with a drow.[7]

They were tireless hunters and there were two reasons for this. First, hunting was the only thing that could give their lives meaning, second, they needed to drink blood at least every four days or their bodies started to deteriorate from which they could die outside of a battle.[8]

Driders expected drow to double-cross them in a bargain and it happened often that the drider died at the end of a bargain between a drow and a drider. Thus, they took some precautions to take drow alongside them to death.[8]


Physical abilitiesEdit

Driders developed a poisonous bite, that sapped strength of their victims[9] and paralyzed them for ten to twenty minutes. This poison had a different way of delivery. Driders could deliver it by spitting it on their weapon. Used this way, the poison turned into a sticky coating on the weapon. They were immune to all poisons.[7]

As mentioned above, driders had a death wish. This and their general unstable mental state made it hard for them to feel fear.[8]

Driders could reliably climb like spiders,[9] the only difference between these two species' movement abilities was the driders' inability to walk upside on ceiling, they were too heavy for that.[8]

About half of the drider population had the ability to spin webs like spiders. They could do so up to ten times per day and these webs worked like a rope of entanglement. It was dangerous for everybody except for its creator.[8]

They also had a penchant for hiding and sneaking[4] and had sharper senses than drow.[8]

Their darkvision had a shorter range than the ones of the drow.[10]

Magical abilitiesEdit

All driders could inherently cast clairaudience/clairvoyance, dancing lights, darkness, detect good, detect law, detect magic, dispel magic, faerie fire, levitate, and suggestion once per day.[4] Dhairn once noted that these abilities were essentially the same as those owned by powerful blessed drow and used this fact to dupe driders into supporting his cause by calling them blessed creatures of Lolth by pointing this out.[11]

They could also cast normal spells like clerics, sorcerers, or wizards. Those who cast spells like clerics could cast spells from two of the Chaos, Destruction, Evil, and Trickery domain. Their sorcerers often learned the spells, daze, detect magic, ghost sound, invisibility, lightning bolt, mage armor, mage hand, magic missile, ray of enfeeblement, ray of frost, read magic, resistance, silent image, and web.[4]

They also had a resistance against magic,[2] but it was much lower than that of a drow.[8]


Driders were able ambushers and often laid traps, prepared ambush sites and so on around their lairs.[8]

They were capable of using weapons but rarely used armor. They used them for additional protection against ranged attacks but otherwise used their protective gear as ammunition.[8]


Driders were created from drow in an agonizing process that required a yochlol, or to be more precise Lolth's power as channeled through the demon, during the ritual that initiated the process.[7] Only drow could be turned into driders.[1] The change could be reverted with a wish spell.[6]

When a Lolthite drow reached a certain level of power, that drow underwent the Test of Lolth administered by Lolth herself. Those who fail this test but survive were turned into driders by the Spider Queen.[12]

The second category of drider origins were drow mages. Part of the duties of Lolth's clergy was to ensure that their idea of society was kept free of dissidents and mages were put under general suspicion. Once they reached a certain level of power, they were abducted and then subjected to a test of loyalty called the Test. Failures were turned by a Lolthite priestess into a drider with magical energy channeled directly from Lolth.[13]

The third category of driders came about when Lolth summoned a drow she considered promising to the Demonweb Pits. They were subjected to a test by the Spider Queen and when they failed, they were turned into driders and send back.[1]

It was possible to temporarily turn creatures into driders by use of the spell spiderform[14][15]

Once turned into these aberrations, driders left their homes in shame[12] for they were outcasts in drow society.[4]

A drider was found either alone, in pairs or in troupes consisting of one or two driders and seven to a dozen monstrous spiders,[2] though driders were most often encountered alone.[8]

Driders spoke Common, Elven, and Undercommon.[4] They could speak any language they could speak during their drow days, but Drow Sign was hard for them due to their transformation.[6]

Drow held driders in low esteem. Driders left the drow cities by themselves or were penned somewhere,[1] or were driven out,[8] when they turned into driders to live as hermits or hunters but sometimes came back to the city's fringes. They were tolerated there as a representation of Lolth's will and as a remainder for the fate of failure to live up to the Spider Queen's standards.[1] Another role of theirs at the city's fringes was that of a buffer and guardian of the city by killing potential intruders.[8]

Individual driders could be found outside of drow society and practically everywhere— including other planes of existence and the Sea of Night on spelljammer-pirate ships.[6]

Notable dridersEdit


The term "eight legs," a reference to a drider, was used among the drow as a threat.[20]



In Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition, the creation of driders was changed from a punishment to a blessing. 5th edition, according to Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes returned the process to being a punishment, and driders were shamefully kicked out of their drow House to wander the Underdark alone.


Computer Games



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 120. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 89. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  3. Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 60. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  5. Ed Greenwood (July 1991). The Drow of the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 10. ISBN 1-56076-132-6.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Ed Greenwood (July 1991). The Drow of the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 12. ISBN 1-56076-132-6.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Ed Greenwood (July 1991). The Drow of the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), pp. 10–11. ISBN 1-56076-132-6.
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 Ed Greenwood (July 1991). The Drow of the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 11. ISBN 1-56076-132-6.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 89–90. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  10. Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 89, 103. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  11. Lisa Smedman (January 2007). Sacrifice of the Widow. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 99–103, 216–217. ISBN 0-7869-4250-9.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 182. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  13. Ed Greenwood (July 1991). The Drow of the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), pp. 9–10. ISBN 1-56076-132-6.
  14. Matthew Sernett, Jeff Grubb, Mike McArtor (Dec 2005). Spell Compendium. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 201–202. ISBN 0-7869-3702-5.
  15. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 74–75. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  16. Lisa Smedman (January 2007). Sacrifice of the Widow. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 65. ISBN 0-7869-4250-9.
  17. Philip Athans (2008). A Reader's Guide to R. A. Salvatore's the Legend of Drizzt. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 61. ISBN 0-7869-4915-5.
  18. Douglas Niles (1991). Feathered Dragon. (TSR, Inc), p. 72. ISBN 1-5607-6045-1.
  19. DreamForge Intertainment, Inc. (1994). John McGirk. MenzoberranzanStrategic Simulations, Inc..
  20. R.A. Salvatore (August 2012). Charon's Claw. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 243. ISBN 0-7869-6223-2.


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