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AlignmentChaotic Evil
ImageWizards.com image
Publication history
Source booksMonster Manual ver.3.5
First appearanceMonster 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), by Gary Gygax and David C. Sutherland III.[1] According to Gygax, Sutherland was the person responsible for creating the drider.[2] The drider is reprinted later in the Monster Manual II (1983).[3]

The article "Nienna & Friends" in Polyhedron #30 (September 1986) details a male drider named Day-Ron. The article "Entering the Drider's Web" in Dragon #129 (January 1988) further detailed the drider, and provides an expanded origin story, and a more complex presentation of drider abilities.[4]

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

The drider appears in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989) under the "elf, drow" entry,[5] and is reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[6]

Planes of Chaos (1994) states that driders number among the legions that serve the goddess Kiaransalee in the Abyssal city of Naratyr.[7] The Rod of Seven Parts boxed set (1996) details a group of driders led by a "particularly charismatic and forceful" drider mage.[8] On Hallowed Ground (1996) mentions one of Kiaransalee's proxies, a female drider named Anista of Eight Eyes.[9]

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

The drider appears in the Monster Manual for D&D 3.0 (2000).[10] Monte Cook's article "Revenge of the Spider Queen" in Dragon #279 which details a powerful group of Lolth's followers known as the Hand of Vengeance. According to the article "Monster Mayhem: Drider Template" (2001) on the Wizards of the Coast web site, some driders consider themselves specially blessed by their goddess.[11]

Savage Species (2003) presented the drider as both a race and a playable class.[12]

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".[13]

In Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), Kiaransalee had lost control of the entire layer of Thanatos to a reborn Orcus, and the animated corpses of drow and driders once loyal to her were now the majority of the residents of Naratyr.[14] In Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (2007) one of the planar doors in the Demonweb leads to a place known as Truegard, where driders have overrun the entire plane and enslaved a nation of dwarves.[15] Drow of the Underdark notes that younger drow consider the possibility that Lolth might be creating the powerful driders as a favor to drow communities (in addition to punishing them as individuals).[16]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–2013)[edit]

The drider appears in the Monster Manual for D&D 4th edition (2008), including the drider fanglord and the drider shadow spinner. 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.[17]

Revenge of the Giants (2009) includes the Drider Battlelord. In Monster Vault (2011), the Fanglord and Shadowspinner are reprinted, and the role of driders in drow society expanded upon. The adventure "Hall of the Fire Giant King" in Dungeon #200 (March 2012) contains a Drider Assassin. In "Denizens of the Demonweb" in Dungeon #204 (July 2012) a more powerful variation of drider, the Drider Ghostwalker, is formed from a male drow who betrays Lolth. In the War of Everlasting Darkness season (November 2012) of D&D Encounters, PCs have the opportunity to witness the transformation of Danifae, Lolth's avatar, from drow into drider form.

Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (2014–)[edit]

Driders appear in James Wyatt's "Wandering Monsters" column, titled "Scum of the (Under) Earth" (March 2013), as feedback for the development of 5th edition.[18]


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]

Dragonlance features driders in DLS4: Wild Elves (1991), where the story of Jiathuli, an imprisoned Princess of the Abyss is told; the driders are not native, but visitors from another world sent by Jiathuli as part of an invasion. Another servant of Jiathuli, an undead drider, features in DLT1: New Tales: The Land Reborn (1993).

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.[19][20] Scorrow also replace the similarly centauroid scorpionfolk within the setting.[21] Five Nations (2005) mentions a drider missing a leg (and hence known as "The Seven") living in the Copse Impenetrable in the Whisper Woods of Aundair, and Races of Eberron (2005) confirms that Eberron's driders are specially chosen servants of the Mockery, much like the scorrow.

The Forgotten Realms commonly features driders. FR3: Empires of the Sands (1988), driders are found in the Forest of Mir in Calimshan. According to FOR2: The Drow of the Underdark (1991), the drider transformation process is overseen by yochlols and performed by priestesses of Lolth. In the novel The Legacy (1992), Drizzt's sister Vierna transforms his brother Dinin Do'Urden into a drider; Dinin is eventually killed by Bruenor Battlehammer. The City of the Spider Queen adventure (2002) contains a number of encounters with driders, include Jhorganni, a drider vampire. The "Underdark Dungeons" web enhancement (2003) for Underdark describes The Forgotten Ones, a community of drider dwelling near the drow city of T'lindhet.[22]

In the Greyhawk setting adventure WG7: Castle Greyhawk (1988), the adventurers encounter "the Amazing Driderman", who is a huge drider wearing a red hood.

In the Ravenloft setting, the RR1: Darklords accessory (1991) suggests that there may be driders below the surface of the domain of Arak. The Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium Appendix III: Creatures of Darkness (1994) details a drider version of a drow lich, and mentions that driders will worship vampire drow.

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."[23]

In other media[edit]

In the 4th Edition base set of the Spellfire card game, Card #319 depicts a drider.

Driders have appeared in the computer games Pool of Radiance (1988), Pools of Darkness (1991), Menzoberranzan (1994), Neverwinter Nights (2002), Icewind Dale 2 (2002), Dungeons & Dragons Online (2006) and Neverwinter (2013). In an interview in Jon Schindehette's Dragon's-Eye View column, the creative team at Cryptic (developers of Neverwinter) discuss the process of making a drider by combining a humanoid template with a giant spider.[24]

There have been at least six drider miniatures produced for D&D; including a metal Grenadier miniature in 1980, and separate male and female drider blister packs from Ral Partha in the early 1990s. There have also been three different driders produced as part of Wizard of the Coast's pre-painted plastic minis line. A Drider Sorcerer was figure 44/72 in the Giants of Legend set (2004), a Drider was figure 45/60 in the Desert of Desolation set (2007), and a Drider Fanglord was figure 12/40 in the Savage Encounters set (2009).


  1. ^ Sutherland, David C., III; Gygax, Gary (1980). Queen of the Demonweb Pits. TSR Inc. ISBN 0-935696-20-2.
  2. ^ http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?193204-Gary-Gygax-Q-amp-A-Part-XIII/page9&p=3456418&viewfull=1#post3456418
  3. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983)
  4. ^ Misso, Ches. "Entering the Drider's Web." Dragon #129 (TSR, January 1988)
  5. ^ Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (TSR, 1989)
  6. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  7. ^ Smith, Lester, and Wolfgang Baur. Planes of Chaos. (TSR, 1994)
  8. ^ Williams, Skip. The Rod of Seven Parts. (TSR, 1996)
  9. ^ McComb, Colin. On Hallowed Ground (TSR, 1996)
  10. ^ Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  11. ^ Monster Mayhem: Drider Template
  12. ^ Eckelberry, David, Rich Redman, and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes. Savage Species (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  13. ^ Leach, Paul. "The Ecology of the Drider." Dragon #312 (Paizo Publishing, 2003)
  14. ^ Jacobs, James, Erik Mona, and Ed Stark. Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (Wizards of the Coast, 2006)
  15. ^ Baur, Wolfgang, and Gwendolyn FM Kestrel. Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (Wizards of the Coast, 2007)
  16. ^ Marmell, Ari, Anthony Pryor, Robert J. Schwalb, and Greg A. Vaughan. Drow of the Underdark (Wizards of the Coast, 2007)
  17. ^ Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  18. ^ Scum of the (Under) Earth
  19. ^ Collins, Andy (2004-07-09). "Scorpions". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2006-12-11.
  20. ^ Baker, Keith (2006). Secrets of Xen'drik. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3916-8.
  21. ^ Wyatt, James (2005). Player's Guide to Eberron. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-3912-5.
  22. ^ Underdark Dungeons
  23. ^ Paizo blog, September 2008.
  24. ^ Dragon's-Eye View: Neverwinter: Behind the Curtain, Part 4

External links[edit]