Monster: Spider-herder

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This creature resembles a hybrid of a mantis and a big grass-hopper, though its head is quite humanoid-like, except for its mandibles.

CR 1; XP 400

LG Diminutive fey
Init +6; Senses low-light vision; Perception +7


AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +4 size)
hp 14 (4d6)
Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +4
Defensive Abilities evasion; Immune poison

Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee bite +8 (1d2–4), and 2 talons +8 (1d2—4)
Space 1 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks dancing sparks
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th; concentration +6)
At Will—commune with spiders (as commune with birds, but limited to 100 feet range and the local spiders provide information)

Str 3, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 15
Base Atk +2; CMB +0; CMD 6 (10 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +17, Climb +11, Craft (weaving) +8, Escape Artist +17, Handle Animal +6, Perception +7, Stealth +21; Racial Modifier +8 Acrobatics, +8 Escape Artist
Languages Common, Sylvan
SQ spider empathy +6

Environment any
Organization single, band (2–12), or tribe (13–50), often accompanied by tamed spiders
Treasure standard (though usually very undersized)

Special Abilities

Dancing Sparks (Su) Spider-herders can create four sparks at will as a standard action. They act like dancing lights cantrip, except spider-herders have to take a standard action to direct and move the sparks, and each spark inflicts 1 point of electricity damage and goes out if it comes in contact with any creature. A spider-herder can choose to inflict nonlethal damage with this ability.

Spider Empathy (Ex) Spider-herders can influence reaction of spiders as if using wild empathy, working on spiders and spider-like monsters with Intelligence of 2 or less. They can use Handle Animal to train and direct spiders as if they were animals with Intelligence score of 1.

Spider-herders are benevolent, if a bit scary looking (for their ten inches of height at least) fey that inhabit various abandoned dwellings and ruins, and occasional spider-infested region of a forest. From time to time, a spider-herder or a pack of them might move in with a sympathetic humanoids, finding shelter in the attic or basement.

Spider-herders can harness static charges generated by movement of their vestigial wings to produce light, shock their enemies, or prod unruly spiders, which they train and breed like herd animals.

A spider-herder can act as an Improved Familiar for a 5th level spellcaster with Lawful Good, Neutral Good, or Lawful Neutral alignment.


A spider-tamer (CR 3) is a particularly powerful spider-herder with AC 19, 35 hp, 10 HD, Dex 20, Int 19, Wis 16, and Cha 21. Spider-tamers can use aggressive thundercloud (one active at a time) at will, and cast awaken on a spider once per year.

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