Untapped Aliens?

SpiderDoes anybody know of a gaming background with a race of sentient (giant) spiders in?

I was cleaning the house this afternoon, and came across a mother spider guarding a dozen babies, all wrapped in a fine web. It’s the time of year that spiders come indoors to get out of the encroaching cold and wet, so that wasn’t terribly surprising, but it made me wonder whether the whole creepy-spider thing had been really tapped. Sorry, I should have said I was cleaning the house and thinking about games

I’ve seen giant spiders as wandering monsters in D&D for decades, and there’s a character spider or two in LOTR. Then you have the odd dark elf centaur that’s half elf and half giant spider. Not a lot of actual sentient spiders though.

Is this because they haven’t got a face that you could recognise emotions on, or perhaps they’re just too creepy for them to be anything but animal (insect)? Could it be some sort of anti-spider conspiracy (you never know)? Or, is it that I’ve just missed them?

They make a great starting point for SF or fantasy aliens. I mean, just look at them!

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45 Responses to Untapped Aliens?

  1. Andrew says:

    Well, there are the acromantulas from Harry Potter. They really didn’t play a huge part beyond the second book though.

    Also, are you telling me there are actually people who don’t think about games in the back of their minds at all times!? Mind blown

  2. Bill Powers says:

    The relthoza from Spartan games planetfall series of games

  3. Compel says:

    Driders (half elf, half spider) are a pretty major component of D&D when you’re in the Underdark. – The goddess Lolth is a pretty major thing in general, I believe.

  4. Chris says:

    In the book, Castle Roogna, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Roogna , one of the main characters is a sentient spider. It’s one of the best books in the series.

  5. Joseph Mallen says:

    How about Starship Troopers and their Arachnids. Not techincally spiders I know but close enough. Theres this too:https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/basement-city/how-to-kill-a-spider. But actual miniatures on a table? Can’t say as I’ve seen any. Spiders is a common enough fear that it might actually deter some people from playing.

  6. Andrew says:

    They haven’t appeared in any games, that I’m aware of, but Star Wars has the Harch. We see a couple of Harch generals in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Trench

  7. neef says:

    Exile series from spiderweb software very awesome

  8. Earthquake says:

    Going back to the 70’s, how about the giant Spiders in Doctor Who and the planet of the Spiders?
    These were giant telepathic Spiders…

    John Pertwee’s last appearance as the Doctor before he turned into Tom Baker

  9. The Burning Wheel “Monster Burner” had a series of “life paths” (character creation system) for sentient giant spiders. It was interesting because the details given sounded like a thought out, developed society for them, but I’ve never found a full write up of them.

  10. Chris says:

    You mentioned LOTR, but there was also a colony of sentient speaking spiders in The Hobbit that captured the dwarves in the woods.

  11. Bryan says:

    The Arachnids from Starship Troopers, the book not the movie, come to mind. It’s a single throwaway line but Heinlien mentions that humans had diplomatic relations with the Arachnids prior to the Human/ Arachnid war.

  12. MattG says:

    Maybe a new faction in the mantic universe… Since most of their races are humanoid in nature it would be interesting to see a cross over variant that weren’t humanoid in nature but still advanced in their own way. Maybe more organic tech in nature with different “species” variations like a class system…very interesting idea sir.

  13. Peter Basydell says:

    The Arachnids from Steve White’s Stars at War series: In Death Ground and The Shiva Option

  14. Teskal says:

    Aranea were a sentient spider race from the D&D Setting Mystara.

  15. jgoldenf says:

    Have a friend who benches 300 but can’t stand spiders. I don’t think it’s a conspiracy, people just don’t like them!

  16. Grzegorz Gacek says:

    From a brilliant computer game Star Control 2 (there is an open source version called The Ur-Quan Masters), the Ilwrath:
    http://wiki.uqm.stack.nl/Ilwrath

  17. Quirkworthy says:

    Some great stuff here guys. Interesting that they should appear so much more often in computer games than on the tabletop as models.

    I’ve got a follow up for today’s post. Maybe you can help there too 🙂

  18. Pingback: More Untapped Aliens |

  19. Torkel says:

    It’s because they are creepy!
    I had to turn off pictures in my web browser to read the blog today -_-

  20. Kevin Riddle says:

    Not sure if you check this one anymore, but the most alien creature would be the Mantis Shrimp and Cuttlefish
    Cuttlefish is kind of done because it looks like a Cthulu face, but cool creature
    Mantis Shrimp is just bizarre on a lot of levels

  21. Greg Kourik says:

    Hmmm… there is this one game about futuristic sports that has these eight-limbed beasties called Koris…….

  22. Michael says:

    Can’t believe no one mentioned the Shadows from Babylon 5, it’s even Sci-fi. The amount of disappointment I am feeling hear is palpable.

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