The most distinguishing feature of this species was that they had translucent, cobweb-like wings. They used these to aid and steer great leaps, traveling up to 70 feet (21 meters) horizontally on average. So long as their wings were intact and had room to beat, they could fall almost any distance without being harmed.
The body of a hunting spider measured around 10 feet (3 meters) in diameter.
These spiders were of average intellect for a creature of their nature. This made them capable of being trained and of recognizing people by their gestures, smell, and voice. They generally lacked the intellectual capability to recognize if someone was a spellcaster. Hunting spiders also disliked bright lights and had a fear of fire, meaning that a campfire was typically sufficient to deter them.
Much like a bird, giant flying spiders would use their airborne capabilities to ambush potential prey.
Giant flying spiders were generally not known to sleep.
These spiders were an omnivorous species. Some of their favorite prey included small animals, goblins, kobolds, and even other lesser species of spiders. They generally did not try to prey upon humans unless they were alone, unarmored, and had no significant source of flame near them.
Giant flying spiders exclusively inhabited subterranean areas. In Faerûn, they could particularly be found living in underground caverns beneath the Goblin Marches, Stonelands, and Cormanthor. They occasionally came up to the surface to hunt, particularly at night.
Some individuals were known to train giant flying spiders to act as guardian animals, which would remain loyal so long as they were regularly fed. Many were known to serve wizards as familiars, especially drow wizards.
- Canon material does not provide a year for the events described in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, but Christopher Perkins answered a question via Twitter and stated the year was 1492 DR. Corroborating this, Dragon Heist page 20 refers to events of Death Masks (set in 1491 DR) as being "last year". Unless a canon source contradicts this assertion, this wiki will use 1492 DR for events related to this sourcebook and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage (which is referenced on pages 5 and 98 of Dragon Heist).
- Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage
- Christopher Perkins (November 2018). Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 150. ISBN 978-0-7869-6626-4.
- Ed Greenwood (July 1991). The Drow of the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 124. ISBN 1-56076-132-6.
- James Butler, Elizabeth T. Danforth, Jean Rabe (September 1994). “The Stonelands and the Goblin Marches”. In Karen S. Boomgarden ed. Elminster's Ecologies (TSR, Inc), pp. 27–28. ISBN 1-5607-6917-3.
- Ed Greenwood (March 1993). “Campaign Guide to Myth Drannor”. In Newton H. Ewell ed. The Ruins of Myth Drannor (TSR, Inc.), p. 12. ISBN 1-5607-6569-0.
Magical spiders: Bloodsilk spider • Electric spider • Glass spider • Gaze spider • Goblin spider • Pet of Kalistes • Spellgaunt • Steeder
Planar spiders: Demonweb terror • Fire spider • Myrlochar • Phase spider • Tomb spider • Vortex spider
Constructs: Arachnar • Bone spider • Jade spider • Retriever • Spiderwalker • Stone spider
Creations of Lolth: Abyssal widow • Chwidencha • Drider (Vampire) • Shunned
Outsiders: Bebilith • Darkweaver • Greelox • Inferno spider • Yochlol
Humanoids: Aranea • Chitine • Choldrith • Ettercap • Werespider
Miscellaneous: Kitthix • Neogi • Rhylfang • Susurrus
Undead spiders: Wraith spider