So, my first blog. And, as I am best known on this site for my many spidery creations, it seems to me that my first blog should be on the subject of spiderkind in the D&D game.
For thousands of years, spiders have had a special place in mythology, from the Greco-Roman legend of Arachne (who, for those who don't know, was turned into a spider for beating a goddess in a weaving contest), to the depictions of spiders in Moche art. Even today, spiders have a special place in our stories, such as Shelob, Ungoliant and Aragog in The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter respectively.
Spiders are so prominient in so many creative works for so many good reasons. Many people fear even small spiders, so, on the side of evil, there is nothing more terrifying than a huge, many-legged, spider, with deadly poison and an attitude to match. Yes, dragons are certainly scary, but for so many people (arachnophobes), a colossal spider of death is a damn sight more scary. And, with so many forms of hunting, spiders have a wide variety of nasty things that they can do to heroes. Such as... poison.
There is a certain asthetic to spiders that makes them special. Firstly, the webs. Whenever you say "spider", most people will think "webs". Spider webs are perfectly adapted to their fucnction, ensnaring foes many times the spiders size. Webs have become a byword for trap or deception. "Webs of lies" is a common metaphor. Coupled with the unique abilities of many species of spider, and you have yourself something more than a giant arachnid.
And, with so many pluses (or "Aaagh!s" if you are a PC), spiders naturally make a great foe for PCs in the D&D game at any time and place. Real-world spiders enhabit just about everyware on the globe (yes, even Mount Everest!), and so, monstrous death-spiders can enhabit anyware in the D&D world. Forest? Check. Desert? Check. Dungeon? Make that a BIG check!
Spiders can come hand-in-hand with one of the most prominent evil creatures in the D&D game. The drow. Yes, many people complain that they are over-used, and yes, they can be really difficult to DM. But, they come alongside some of the most detailed background material in the game. On top of that, they are unpredictable, scary (in their own, special way) and unpredictable. And they have their own spidery goddess. The list goes on!
So, spiders can be really great enemies. And, on top of that, it is surprisingly easy to create a spider-related character. That is, of course, one of the objectives of the Arachonomicon; increasing options for spidery characters.
For those reasons, and because of my own, personal interest in spiders (really, Sam? I never would have noticed!), I have dedicated more D&D creations to spiders than any other topic. And the spidery goodness has continued into the 4th edition with my sourcebook (see above). But, where to next? Now I have written a sourcebook on the subject, has the subject run dry?
For, you see, while spiders maintain their image, there will always be more spideryness for me to work on. No, I'm not planning a new Arachonomicon (that was too much hard work for me to repeat it, only a few months after it's completion), but believe me, there is plenty of stuffs I can do with my spidery allies. And that does include a 4th edition spider domain (dibs!).
So, if you are of an arachnophobic disposition, prepair yourself now. I will unleash a new wave of spydric terror, the likes of with has never before been seen (except in the Arachonomicon, of course).
May the great web entangle your prey, Sam Kay, Lord of Spiderkind.