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Alignment Chaotic Evil
Type Aberration
Image Wizards.com image
Stats Open Game License stats
Publication history
Source books Monster Manual ver.3.5
First appearance Monster Manual II (1983)

In the Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying game, a drider is an aberration that was formerly a drow (dark elf). Driders are centaur-like creatures in the game, appearing as drow from the waist up, with their lower portions replaced by the abdomen and legs of immense spiders. They are most commonly found in the Underdark.

Publication history[edit]

The drider was introduced to the D&D game in the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. In the game, they are drow which have been transformed from the waist down so they have the lower body of a spider. The transformation is typically a punishment for offending their goddess, Lolth, or failing one of her tests.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)[edit]

The drider first appears in the module Queen of the Demonweb Pits (1980).[1] The drider is reprinted later in the Monster Manual II (1983).[2]

An article in Dragon #129 (January 1988) further detailed the drider.[3]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)[edit]

The drider appears in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989) under the "elf, drow" entry,[4] and is reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[5]

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition (2000-2007)[edit]

The drider appears in the Monster Manual for D&D 3.0 (2000).[6]

Savage Species (2003) presented the drider as both a race and a playable class.[7]

The drider appears in the revised Monster Manual for D&D 3.5 edition (2003).

The drider was detailed in Dragon #312 (October 2003), in the "Ecology of the Drider".[8]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-)[edit]

The drider appears in the Monster Manual for D&D 4th edition (2008), including the drider fanglord and the drider shadow spinner.[9] Unlike in other editions of the game, the 4th edition Monster Manual says that being turned into a drider is a blessing, not a curse.


In Dungeons & Dragons, only high-level priestesses in good standing with Lolth are able to initiate the transformation of a dark elf into a drider. This transformation is very painful, and lasts at least 12 hours. Driders develop a poisonous bite. Their digestion changes and they must drink blood of living creatures for sustenance. Driders still maintain the spells and special abilities they had developed as a drow. There can exist any character class of drider. They retain intelligence and memories. This usually makes them bitter, spiteful creatures. Some hunt for magic powerful enough to undo the transformation.

In previous editions, driders appear sexless due to bloating, but able to magically reproduce. In Dungeons & Dragons edition 3.5, driders seem to retain their gender and characteristics after the transformation, but fertility is debatable.


In the Dungeons & Dragons world, driders play many roles in drow society. The dark elves both fear and are revolted by driders. After transformation, they are usually pushed to the wild area around a drow city. Driders are usually found in company with tiny, huge and giant spiders. Driders speak Common, Elvish, and Undercommon. In the first and second editions of the game, Driders spoke Drow. Driders are almost always Chaotic Evil.

In the Fourth Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, becoming a drider is actually considered holy and a blessing from Lolth.

In other campaign settings[edit]

In the Eberron campaign setting, driders exist as creatures independent from the drow society. Because Vulkoor, the principle drow deity in Eberron, has an affinity for scorpions rather than spiders, the conceptual role occupied by driders in other settings is instead filled with the scorrow, a tauric race hybridizing drow with scorpions. Primary differences lie in that scorrow are not outcasts, instead they are revered by the drow, but form independent communities, rather than scavenging on the fringes of drow society as in driders. They are also a true-breeding race.[10][11] Scorrow also replace the similarly centauroid scorpionfolk within the setting.[12]

In the Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting, the campaign setting used by Paizo Publishing's Pathfinder products, driders are not drow punished by any deity but have instead been punished by other drow through a method known as "fleshcrafting."[13]

Driders in other media[edit]

In the Drowtales universe, driders come in three "breeds":

  • Ne'kalsaider — Civilized driders that were actually born as driders. From the waist up they are attractive drow, but have 4 pairs of red eyes, and fangs.
  • Waelinder — Cursed newborn driders. At birth, they are sane yet neutered. They look like drow, except they have 7 eyes (the normal 2, a large central eye, and 4 crystal sized ones, all red) and no hope. Few survive and 99% of them go mad, alone in the tunnels.
  • Streekaider — Wild driders who have fallen to madness. Their simple minds still remember the cruel treatment they received. They are some of the most dangerous creatures of the Underdark. Even their upper halves become more spider-like at this stage.

Driders also appear in the popular webcomic series Spinnerette in the role of supervillains.


  1. ^ Sutherland III, David C; Gygax, Gary (1980). Queen of the Demonweb Pits. TSR Inc. ISBN 0-935696-20-2. 
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983)
  3. ^ Misso, Ches. "Entering the Drider's Web." Dragon #129 (TSR, January 1988)
  4. ^ Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (TSR, 1989)
  5. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  6. ^ Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  7. ^ Eckelberry, David, Rich Redman, and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes. Savage Species (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  8. ^ Leach, Paul. "Ecology of the Drider." Dragon #312 (Paizo Publishing, 2003)
  9. ^ Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  10. ^ Collins, Andy (2004-07-09). "Scorpions". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  11. ^ Baker, Keith (2006). Secrets of Xen'drik. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3916-8. 
  12. ^ Wyatt, James (2005). Player's Guide to Eberron. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3912-5. 
  13. ^ Paizo blog, September 2008.