Faerûnian Prestige Class : Arachne

The Demon Queen of Spiders is a cruel, capricious deity who delights in pitting her worshipers against one another. Arachnes are priestesses of Loith who have risen to the pinnacle of drow society, worshiping Loith only for the power she grants.

Clerics or cleric/fighters are the mostly likely characters to adopt the arachne prestige class, although other class combinations, particularly those including sorcerer, ranger, and wizard, are not unknown. Arachnes are only very rarely non-drow.

Arachnes are commonly found in drow cities of the Underdark in which priestesses of Lolth reign supreme, such as Menzoberranzan or Ched Nasad. Many arachnes are matriarchs of drow noble houses or the daughters of such matron mothers. Arachnes encountered outside drow cities are often young and less powerful, seeking to make a name for themselves in hopes of establishing or seizing control of their own noble houses some day.


To qualify to become an Arachne, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The arachne's class skills are Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Heal, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), Ride, Sense Motive, and Spellcraft.

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

The following are class features of the arachne prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: An arachne gains no weapon or armor proficiencies.

Spells per Day: At each arachne level, the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in a divine spellcasting class to which she belonged before adding the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (such as an improved chance of turning or rebuking undead). If the character had more than one divine spellcasting class before becoming an arachne, the player must decide to which class to add each arachne level for the purpose of determining spells per day. The caster level, of spell-like abilities is equal to the arachne's divine spellcaster level.

Familiar (Su): All arachnes can obtain a hairy spider familiar. For purposes of this ability, an arachne's caster level is considered to be her highest divine caster level.

Spider Affinity (Ex): All arachnes are immune to the venom of spiders and spiderlike creatures. Moreover, arachnes can communicate with arachnids and spiderlike creatures of all kinds as long as the creature has an Intelligence score of at least one. Normal spiders never attack or harm arachnes unless magically controlled.

Spidereyes (Su): At 2nd level, an arachne can see though the eyes of her familiar as long as it is within 400 feet + 40 feet per divine caster level. As long as the arachne and her familiar remain on the same plane, she can see and hear as if she were standing where it is, and during her turn she can switch her perception from its location to her own or back again as a free action.

Webspinner (Sp): At 3rd level, an arachne can ignore web spells and spider webbing as if affected by a freedom of movement spell. She can walk along webs as if on solid ground (no Balance check required). The web spell becomes part of her spell list as a 2nd level cleric spell.

Spider Mount (Sp): At 5th- level, an arachne can call an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal spider to server her as a steed. Such mounts are always monstrous spiders, with medium-size (for a Small arachne) or large (for a Medium-size arachne) being most common. In all other respects, such spider mounts are identical to a paladin's mount. Should the arachne's spider mount die, she may call for another one after a year and a day. The new mount has all the accumulated abilities due a mount of the prestige class level of the arachne.

Dominate Male Drow (Sp): At 7th level, an arachne can cast dominate person once per day, affecting only male drow.

Zin-Carla (Su): At 9th level, an arachne can create a special form of undead called a zin-carla; see the sidebar on this page. A spirit-wraith cannot be made to cast spells without the arachne losing control over its mind entirely, but can fully use its combat abilities and any skills possessed in life.

The arachne maintains a telepathic link to the spirit-wraith over any distance (as long as both remain on the same plane) that allows her to communicate with it and control it. The arachne must make a successful Concentration check opposed by the spirit-wraith's Will saving throw once per day and whenever the spirit-wraith enters combat in order to continue to maintain control. Control is also severed if the arachne and the zin-carla are on different planes or if the arachne dies.

If control is ever lost for any reason, the telepathic link between arachne and spirit-wraith ends immediately and cannot be restored. The zin-carla then becomes a free-willed undead, seeking only vengeance against its creator, and gains the supernatural ability to know the direction and distance to the arachne that animated it. If it manages to slay the arachne, the zin-carla crumbles to dust. In the rare circumstance when the arachne dies without the zin-carla killing her, the zin-carla becomes a free-willed undead.

The zin-carla ritual requires 8 hours and the intact corpse of the creature to be animated. The arachne must expend 50 XP per Hit Die of the creature to be animated.

Transcendence: At 10th level, an arachne becomes a creature blessed of Lolth, transcending her mortal body and becoming a divine creature (native outsider). Her type changes to "outsider (chaotic, evil)," which means she is forevermore treated as an outsider rather than a humanoid. For instance, charm person does not affect her, but she can be affected by spells such as banishment.

Yochlol Form (Su): Once per day the arachne may take the form of a yochlol, a Large black monstrous spider, or a cloud of noxious gas (as a yochlol does), as if using a shapechange spell. She may change form among these shapes or her own shape for a period of 1 minute per caster level.

ArachneHit Die: d8
CLBABFortRefWillSpecialSpells per Day
1st+0+0+0+2Familiar, spider affinity+1 level of divine spellcasting class
2nd+1+0+0+3Spidereyes+1 level of divine spell casting class
3rd+2+1+1+3webspinner+1 level of divine spellcasting class
4th+3+1+1+4+1 level of divine spellcasting class
5th+4+1+1+4Spider mount+1 level of divine spellcasting class
6th+4+2+2+5+1 level of divine spellcasting class
7th+5+2+2+5Dominate male drow+1 level of divine spellcasting class
8th+6+2+2+6+1 level of divine spellcasting class
9th+6+3+3+6Zin-carla+1 level of divine spellcasting class
10th+7+3+3+7Transcendence, yochlol form+1 level of divine spellcasting class

Translated from Undercommon, zin-carla means "spirit-wraith." Lolth only grants the zin-carla ritual for the completion of specific tasks and these may never be purely to work revenge or bring harm on other drow. Failure in the task brings on the disfavor of Lolth.

The soul of a spirit-wraith is forcibly returned to its body by the will of the arachne who summons it, and it resents this act.

If the zin-carla's creator loses control of it for any reason, it becomes a free-willed undead, seeking only vengeance against its creator. It gains the supernatural ability to know the direction and distance to the being that animated it. If it manages to slay its creator, the zin-carla crumbles to dust.

Creating A Zin-carla

The zin-carla template can be applied to the body of any formerly living creature with Intelligence 3 or higher. The base creature's type changes to "undead." It uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Special Qualities: A zin-carla retains all, the special qualities of the base creature and those listed below, and also gains the undead type.

Damage Reduction (Su): A zin-carla's undead body is tough, giving the creature damage reduction 10/+1.

Turn Resistance (Ex): A zin-carla has +2 turn resistance.

Abilities: As an undead creature, a zin-carla has no Constitution score.

Skills: Same as base creature.

Climate/Terrain: Any land and underground.

Organization: Solitary

Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +1.

Treasure: Same as the base creature.

Alignment: Always neutral.

Advancement: -

Although it acts as an extension of the arachne's will, a Zin-carla is an independent monster. Unlike summoned monsters, which are considered part of an enemy's CR (see DMG Chapter 3), a zin-carla counts as a separate creature and player characters that defeat one earn experience points for that encounter. A zin-carla has a CR equal to that of the original creature +1.

Source: Faiths & Pantheons

Realms Prestige Classes