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Aranea (3pp)

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Large monstrosity, chaotic evil

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 39 (6d10 + 6)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

14 (+2) 16 (+3) 12 (+1) 16 (+3) 12 (+1) 6 (–2)

Saving Throws Int +5
Skills Stealth +5
Senses blindsight 10 ft., darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Common, Deep Speech
Challenge 3 (700 XP)

Special Traits
  • Shapechange: An aranea can use its action to polymorph into a Medium beast or humanoid creature of CR 2 or lower, or from another form back into its own form. The aranea retains its Int, Wis, and Cha scores and its current hit points while polymorphed; otherwise, it takes on all the attributes of the adopted form. It can cast spells if the adopted form can provide the spell’s verbal and somatic components, and it retains its paralytic poison trait if the adopted form has a bite attack. A shapechanged aranea reverts to its natural form when slain.
  • Spellcasting: All aranea are 3rd-level wizards. They use Intelligence as their casting ability (DC 13, attack +5) and require no material components for their spells. Typical known spells are listed below, but individual aranea can know different spells.
    • Cantrips (at will): dancing lights, poison cloud, shocking grasp
    • 1st level (4 slots): charm person, sleep
    • 2nd level (2 slots): invisibility, mirror image
  • Spider Climb: Aranea can climb any surface without making ability checks.
  • Bite: Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage, and the target must make a successful DC 11 Con saving throw or become poisoned (see Paralytic Poison, below).
    • Paralytic Poison: The poisoned creature has tactical disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks. At the end of each of its turns, the poisoned creature must attempt a Con saving throw. On a result of 16 or higher, the poisoned condition ends and the character becomes immune to this aranea’s poison. On a result of 11–15, the poisoned condition continues. On a result of 10 or lower, the creature becomes paralyzed and no more saving throws are needed. Paralysis lasts for 1 hour or until the poison is neutralized.
  • Webs (recharge 5, 6): Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit (range 30 ft./60 ft.; one creature). Hit: The target is restrained by webs. A webbed creature can use its action to attempt a DC 12 Str (Athletics) check to escape. The web can also be destroyed by 5 points of slashing or fire damage against AC 10.

As the monstrosity approaches across its web, you notice that unlike other giant spiders, this one has a pair of diminutive arms and hands, and an oddly brain-shaped hump on its back.

An aranea is an intelligent, shapechanging spider with sorcerous powers. In its natural form, an aranea resembles a typical giant spider, with a humpbacked body a little bigger than a human torso and venomous fangs. Although considered a Large creature, an aranea’s mass is no more than a typical human’s; its size comes from its long legs. An aranea can be distinguished from other giant spiders by the hump on its back that houses its brain and by the fact that, in addition to eight legs, it has a fifth pair of limbs, each about 2 feet long, located ahead of the first pair of legs. These limbs end in hands, each equipped with three clawed fingers and a double-jointed thumb.

When aranea are encountered in groups, some might be young: identical in all respects to adult areanea but without the spellcasting trait.

Aranea often use their shapechanging ability to lure unsuspecting victims into ambushes. Less often, they assume humanoid form to infiltrate human societies, where they conduct research and gather information for their inscrutable purposes.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Fifth Edition Foes, Copyright 2014, Frog God Games, LLC.