Sapping Spider (3.5e Monster)

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Author: Eiji-kun (talk)
Date Created: 12-23-10
Status: Complete
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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Sapping Spider[edit]

Sapping Spider

CR 6

TN Fine Vermin (Swarm)
Init/Senses +4/Darkvision 60 ft, Tremorsense 30 ft; Listen +0, Spot +0
AC 22, touch 22, flat-footed 18
(+4 dex, +8 size)
hp (12d8+24 HD); Healed by negative energy
Immune Physical Damage, Positive Energy
Fort/Ref/Will +10/+8/+4
Weakness Vulnerabilities to Area Effects
Speed 20 ft, climb 20 ft
Melee Swarm (3d6 plus poison)
Space/Reach 10 ft/0 ft
Base Atk/Grp +9/-
Special Actions Distraction, Infest, Poison
Abilities Str 1, Dex 19, Con 15, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 2
SQ Negative Biology, Swarm Traits, Vermin Traits
Feats -
Skills Jump +12*
Advancement None
Distraction Any living creature that begins its turn with a swarm in its square must succeed on a DC 18 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Infest As a full-round action, a sapping spider can focus on burrowing into the target. They deal twice as much damage as normal (6d6 plus poison) and force a Fortitude save DC 18 against having spiders burrow into the victim and automatically becoming affected by poison. Due to the venom, the victim rarely feels what has occurred, though a subject who is immune to poison but failed his saving throw may immediately make a Heal check as a free action, DC 15, to realize they are infested. While infested, the side effects are mild, but quickly grow in severity. The presence of spiders in the body under the skin causes 1 point of any positive energy healing they receive to be negated. Negative energy applied to the victim is also negated in the same amount. This may at first seem like a boon, but every time the target is exposed to negative energy, the amount of resistance is doubled from 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and so forth. When resistance hits 64 points, the body is full of spiders. They burst out, immediately manifesting a sapping spider swarm on the spot and dealing 12d6 points of damage and 1d6 Con damage on their exit, ignoring damage reduction. The new swarm will immediately attempt to infest everyone, then flee.

A single sapping spider can post a threat of infesting, but never serious injury. A single sapping spider only has 1 hp, AC 22, and a +21 attack roll to bite for 1 point of damage plus poison. Poison does not retain it's ability damage for only a single spider, but it does determine if the bite is felt or painless.

Negative Biology Sapping spiders have a unique biology that allows them to be healed by negative energy. When exposed to negative energy they actually spawn and multiply very rapidly. Positive energy has no effect on them at all.
Poison Injury, Fortitude DC 18, initial and secondary damage 1d6 Dex. The poison works as an painkiller. Those infested cannot feel the bites of the sapping spider, and they receive a +4 bonus to saves against pain-based effects such as a symbol of pain spell. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Skills Sapping Spiders use their Dex modifiers to Jump checks, and have a +8 racial bonus to Jump.

Strategies and Tactics[edit]

Sapping Spiders can be found both in swarms and individually, but they only pose a direct threat of harm to others in their swarm state. When alone a sapping spider acts much like any normal spider, shying away from others and running from danger. However, if the target is asleep or incapacitated, the individual sapping spider will attempt to infest the body in the night. If within a swarm, the sapping spider becomes much more aggressive, attacking organic living creatures for use as food as spawning grounds. They also follow undead creatures but do not attack them, in the long term presence of negative-energy powered creatures they begin to multiply. As a result in places where the undead roam, sapping spiders can often be found in great number as well.

Sample Encounters[edit]

While exploring the cursed graveyards, a group of PCs keep noticing spiders everywhere. Thinking it nothing more than spooky atmosphere, they stop to rest in a "safe" spot, but come morning they find their healing failing them when they need it most. They've been infested!


Environment: Sapping spiders, while able to be found in any environment suitable for common spiders, largely inhabit graveyards and places of the dead due to their unique biology and association with negative energy. It is rumored as well there is a literal moon-sized ball of sapper spiders floating somewhere on the negative energy plane, a result of sapper spiders overloading and turning into a terrible monstrosity.

Typical Physical Characteristics: Sapping spiders appear as normal translucent black spiders with a vague darker blue pattern on their backs resembling a ski mask. Very small and light, a close up inspection reveals their bodies have "bone spurs" and large forearms designed for digging. While not a form of spider which creates webs, they do possess web producing organs, which they use to stitch up the entry wounds they cause during infestation. When exposed to negative energy or infesting a host, they take on a faint red hue and act aggressively.

Alignment: Utterly mindless, sapper swarms are always true neutral.


Sapper Spiders are often confused with causing a disease known as Sapping Sickness. In truth, this disease is not a disease at all, for the sapper spider is a parasite which digs into the body of a host, "infesting" it. They feed of the host's blood and are generally harmless, if disgusting, were it not for the fact their presence inhibits magical healing through positive energy. Even worse, they reproduce asexually through the exposure of negative energy, which means each time the user is injured by negative energy, the "infection" spreads until.... it all spills out. Violently.

Typical Treasure[edit]


Curing "Sapping Sickness"[edit]

Curing an infestation of sapping spiders is difficult, as it is not a poison or a disease, though many believe it to be. It is immune to remove disease but is pushed out by the effects of a heal spell (after reducing the healing amount), and by physically removing them with a knife. Make a Search check against a Hide check (+22 to hide as they are small and little more than a tiny bump on the skin). If successful, a DC 20 Heal check will remove it safely, dealing 1 point of damage regardless of success or failure.

Advanced Creatures[edit]

As a swarm, rather than advancing growth is created through the production of additional swarms which intermingle with each other.

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewMonsters

Eiji-kun's Homebrew (5343 Articles)
AuthorEiji-kun +
Challenge Rating6 +
Identifier3.5e Monster +
NameSapping Spider +
RatingUnrated +
SizeFine +
SummaryThe sapping spider burrows into the flesh of its hosts, disrupting their healing, and multiplying in the presence of negative energy. +
TitleSapping Spider +
TypeVermin (Swarm) +