Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

Savage Coast Races: Aranea

by Trevor Mellis

The legendary araneas are shapechanging, spider-like humanoids. They are extremely rare and feared, though few even know of their continued existence.

Personality: Araneas take great pains to conceal their dual nature, partly because of the unjust animosity felt toward them by other races. From birth, they are taught that they have two distinct identities. Individuals are forced to keep these two identities separate, never to reveal the secret to other races. Those who do are considered traitors; they are dealt with harshly and quickly by other araneas.

Physical Description: Araneas have three forms. In its natural arachnid form, an aranea resembles a large spider. Its body is 3 feet across, its legs span 7 feet, and it weighs about 150 pounds. An odd-shaped lump on its back houses its brain. A pair of mandibles sprout from the front of its body. Two small arms, each about 2 feet long, lie below the mandibles. Each arm has a hand with four many-jointed fingers and a double-jointed thumb.

An aranea's natural form is arachnid form, but it can assume two other forms, a humanoid or a demi-spider. The aranea may take the form of a Small or Medium-sized humanoid (the exact form is fixed at birth and cannot be changed). In this humanoid form, the aranea gains all the racial abilities of the form (for example, an aranea in dwarf form has dwarven racial traits). The aranea keeps its own ability scores and may cast spells, but it cannot use webs or poison in humanoid form.

In its demi-spider form, an aranea appears as a humanoid with arachnid elements. These elements always include fangs, spinnerets in the palm of each hand, two extra eyes on the temples, and an extra joint on each finger. Still, no two demi-spiders look exactly alike. This form is merely transitional between humanoid and arachnid, and cannot be maintained for more than 2 rounds per level.

Relations: Most araneas feel superior to other races due to their long history and special abilities. They can be cold, calculating, and secretive, but they are rarely evil. They also tend to be suspicious of others, expecting them to have secrets as well. Due to old legends of their purported evil, araneas are almost universally despised as a sort of "bogeyman."

Alignment: Though many araneas are neutral in alignment, other races assume that the giant spiders were evil. This assumption has forced the araneas to continue hiding their natural forms. Aranea are never Good, and are seldom Chaotic.

Aranea Lands: Araneas prefer to live in forests, the natural home of their ancestors, where they can hunt and hide. They are the secret rulers of the Magiocracy of Herath, where the cities and villages resemble those of neighbouring lands.

Religion: The aranea have no native religion of their own, but they typically follow those deities common to their humanoid form.

Language: Araneas have their own language, known as Herathan. All araneas know both Herathan and the native language of the humanoid race they are emulating.

Adventurers: Araneas, because of their magical nature, are almost always spellcasters of some form. Fighters and barbarians are almost unheard of, but rogues and rangers are well known among the non-magic aranea.

Aranea Racial Traits