Aranea | New Monster for Fifth Edition

The aranea is an intelligent, shapechanging spider with sorcerous powers.

In its natural 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.


Medium monstrosity (shapechanger), neutral

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)

Hit Points 39 (6d8 + 12)

Speed 30 ft., (50 ft., climb 50 ft. in hybrid or spider form)

Abilities Str 11 (+0), Dex 15 (+2), Con 14 (+2), Int 14 (+2), Wis 13 (+1), Cha 14 (+2)

Skills Perception +3

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13

Languages Common, Sylvan

Challenge 1 (200 XP)

Shapechanger. The aranea can use its action to polymorph into a spider-humanoid hybrid, or a Medium or Small humanoid, or back into its true form, which is a monstrous spider. Its statistics, other than its speed, are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Spellcasting (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). The aranea is a 3rd-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 12, +4 to hit with spell attacks). The aranea has the following sorcerer spells prepared:

  • Cantrips (at will): dancing lights, friends, mage hand, minor illusion
  • 1st level (4 slots): charm person, silent image, sleep
  • 2nd level (2 slots): crown of madness, hold person

Sorcery Points (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). The aranea has 3 sorcery points. It regains all its spent sorcery points when it finishes a long rest. It can spend its sorcery points on the following options:

Extended Spell. When the aranea casts a spell that has a duration of 1 minute or longer, it can spend 1 sorcery point to double its duration, to a maximum duration of 24 hours.

Heightened Spell. When the aranea casts a spell that forces a creature to make a saving throw to resist its effect, it can spend 3 sorcery points to give one target of the spell disadvanage on its first saving throw made against the spell.


Multiattack (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). The aranea makes two attacks with its shortsword.

Bite (Spider Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) and the target must make a successful DC 12 Constitution saving throw. On a failed saving throw, the creature takes an additional 14 (4d6) poison damage or half as much damage on a successful one.

Shortsword (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.

Web (Recharge 5-6, Hybrid or Spider Form Only). Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 30/60 ft., one Large or smaller creature. Hit: The creature is restrained by the webbing. As an action, the restrained creature make a DC 12 Strength check, escaping from the webbing on a success. The effect also ends if the webbing is destroyed. The webbing has AC 10, 5 hit points, vulnerability to fire damage, and immunity to bludgeoning, poison, and psychic damage.



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Art by Shutterstock (used with permission).

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