Giant wolf spiders were smaller than usual giant spiders, but were more agile. As such, they were much faster at crawling and climbing. Like giant spiders, they had the ability to climb awkwardly shaped walls and hang upside down on ceilings, sense when a creature was caught in their web, and travel well across webbing.
They were less strong than giant spiders, but were more intelligent, robust, and wise. As such, when combined with their superior speed, they were fantastic stalkers. This allowed them to hunt their foes across plains, underground, or in burrows.
Wolf spiders were said to have very good eyesight and potentially even a basic sense of smell. In addition, they tracked their prey by the use of their scent-detecting organs, which were located in their pedipalps.
Female wolf spiders were incredibly protective of their offspring, which often numbered in the hundreds. As such, they were known to carry their offspring in little cocoons under their stomachs, or sometimes the offspring would even ride their mothers.
Due to their great tracking abilities, these arachnids often descended from rooftops or hid under spongy surfaces to surprise their enemies.
Giant wolf spiders relied on their bite in order to take down their foes. As well as piercing their opponents, their bite was poisonous. If the poison caused their foe to become unconscious, the poison would remain in their system for an hour, as well as causing them to be paralyzed.
These giant arachnids were known to lurk in many places across Faerûn, such as Omu in Chult, the Western Heartlands, and the Braeryn of the Underdark city of Menzoberranzan. Giant wolf spiders were known to skulk around some areas in Maztica, such as in the hilltop ruins of the Ixtul Valley.
A great threat to a female wolf spider was another female wolf spider. On sight, they would fight each other to the death, and the victor would bear responsibility to raise the fallen spider's young.
In Eleint 1367 DR, an adventurer slew a huge yellow giant wolf spider in the woods south of Shadowdale. Somehow, it emitted a magical glow, even after it had died. Not willing to give up such a grand trophy for nothing, the adventurer took it to Jhaele Silvermane of the Old Skull Inn. She traded the glowing spider corpse for a week's stay at the inn with as much ale as the seller could manage.
In the 14th century DR, the evil goddess Loviatar was known to send wolf spiders to her followers in order to show her favor. In the 15th century DR, many druids of the Realms had the ability to wildshape into giant wolf spiders.
- The Sword Coast Legends manual outlines how one can create one's own characters. The example given is a pink wolf spider called Charlotte who asks adventurers to find her eggs.
- Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 330. ISBN 978-0786965614.
- Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 90. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
- Gregg Chamberlain (November 1982). “Souping up the spider”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #67 (TSR, Inc.), p. 15.
- Gregg Chamberlain (November 1982). “Souping up the spider”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #67 (TSR, Inc.), p. 17.
- Christopher Perkins, Adam Lee, Richard Whitters (September 1, 2015). Out of the Abyss. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 194–195. ISBN 978-0-7869-6581-6.
- Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, Robert J. Schwalb, Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins, Matt Sernett (November 2017). Xanathar's Guide to Everything. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 24–26. ISBN 978-0-7869-6612-7.
- Christopher Perkins, Will Doyle, Steve Winter (September 19, 2017). Tomb of Annihilation. Edited by Michele Carter, Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 204. ISBN 978-0-7869-6610-3.
- Larian Studios (October 2020). Designed by Swen Vincke, et al. Baldur's Gate III. Larian Studios.
- Jeff Grubb (November 1991). Endless Armies. (TSR, Inc.), p. 13. ISBN 978-1560761464.
- Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Running the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 22. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
- Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 101. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
- Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, Robert J. Schwalb, Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins, Matt Sernett (November 2017). Xanathar's Guide to Everything. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 24. ISBN 978-0-7869-6612-7.
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