Monster Analysis: Giant Spiders (Bazzoxan Tombs)

The first of the Mighty Nein’s three encounters in this episode proved to be the most straightforward, in terms of combat. The temple seems to have largely been in disuse, drawing spiders to it to make it their home. Their physiology also hints that unlike most giant spiders, these creatures aren’t beasts native to the material plane. Whether or not they originate from another plane entirely or have been tainted by the corruption of the Calamity remains a mystery. Their size and numbers would easily overwhelm most small groups or individuals who would attempt to make their way through, but the Mighty Nein isn’t just any group.

Giant Wolf Spider

  • First Appearance: 2-67 Beyond the Eyes of Angels

  • Armor Class 13

  • Speed 40 ft, Climb 40 ft

  • Suggested Average, Max HP: 11, 18

    • Spider 1: 22 damage taken, 15 killing blow by Yasha

    • Spider 2: 14 damage taken, one-shotted by Yasha

    • Spider 3: 16 damage taken, one-shotted by Jester

    • Spider 4: 19 damage taken, one-shotted by Caduceus

    • Spider 5: 23 damage taken, 14 killing blow by Fjord

    • Spider 6: 30 damage taken, one-shotted by Nott

    • Spider 7: 14 damage taken, one-shotted by Beau

    • Spider 8: 20 damage taken, 13 killing blow by Beau

    • Spider 9: 26 damage taken, 8 killing blow by Caleb

There are two different kinds of standard giant spiders in the Monster Manual: giant spiders and giant wolf spiders. Giant wolf spiders are medium sized, and attack by biting only. Most of the smaller specimen seem to use this as a template, with slightly higher HP. The monstrous, possibly fiendish spiders also dealt poison damage automatically as part of their attack; their standard counterparts typically require a constitution saving throw from the victim as a chance to avoid it.

Monstrous Mama Spider

  • First Appearance: 2-67 Beyond the Eyes of Angels

  • Armor Class 14

  • Speed 30 ft, 30 ft climb

  • Suggested Average, Max HP for Giant Spider: 26, 44

  • Mama Spider: 84 damage taken, 8 HDYWTDT by Nott

Giant spiders, on the other hand, are large, and have a web attack, like Mama used on Caleb. What neither of them have is a stinger, which was present on Mama, though she never got to use it (thanks to Caleb’s Shield). Mama spider was also corrupted beyond the point of the “beast” classification, explaining why Caleb could Polymorph into only a creature that resembled her rather than an exact duplicate.

Nott’s critical sneak attack on and subsequent killing of Mama really put the Nein at advantage, allowing the Nein to focus on the much lesser threats and not have to worry about their wizard getting wrapped in webbing, killed, turned to that weird mud mixture, and eaten.