The drow cursed by Lolth is transformed into the half-spider form and despised from now on by other drows. The spider is a hallowed animal and killing a spider is punished by death in drow's society. Shouldn't the drider then be considered as sacred as well?

I should have probably asked why Lolth had chosen such a form to be a punishment if she is herself a half-spider (after being banished by Corellon Larethian) and she adores spiders.

  • 2
    Lolth is known for betrayal so she can consider any drow fallen at her whim and perhaps even, at random. Dec 6 '14 at 16:15
  • As Nu'Daq mentions, the mental state of a drider was undesirable. They were reduced to a near animal state. Oct 12 '17 at 1:50

Driders are not spiders, so just because they combine elements of spider physiology does not make them automatically revered.

The origin and societal roles of driders hasn't been terribly consistent in D&D settings, but generally a drow gets turned into a drider specifically as a punishment, either by Lolth or by more powerful drow.

Spiders are revered because they are seen as favored children of Lolth. Those specifically punished by Lolth by being turned into drider are not going to be revered. If Lolth intended it as a punishment, honoring driders would invite her wrath.

Note, however, that in 4th edition AD&D being turned into a drider was changed from being a punishment to a blessing of Lolth, so in some instances, you are precisely right, and they are revered.

  • 6
    yet another reason us old-schoolers utterly despise 4e... :P Dec 11 '14 at 19:42
  • 1
    @ThorinSchmidt Amen!
    – Beofett
    Dec 11 '14 at 19:43

I should point out that in the novels Homeland (first in Dark Elf Trilogy), Legacy, and the short story Fires of Narbondel (Realms of the Underdark, written by Mark Anthony but focuses on Drizzt and House Do'Urden) Driders were depicted as mindless, sexless (in FoN at least), blubbering, pitiful wretches- not something you'd want to become. Also it was implied in one of the novels set after the reclamation of Mithril Hall (either Starless Night or Siege of Darkness, I'll have to check to be sure which) the souls of dark elves turned into driders were trapped in Matron Baenre's throne (again, I'll have to re-check).

That's not how they're described in the Monster Manual I realize, but depicted this way within the fiction, punishing unworthy drow by turning them into driders makes more sense.

  • The original (first edition) description of the drider states that their humanoid upper bodies are bloated, making determination of the sex impossible (although 60% are female).
    – Buzz
    Mar 18 '16 at 2:27

As a DM I choose to regard this transformation as a bizarre form of blessing granted in a form of a trial. Since Lolth herself and her worshipers are wicked and cruel - her attention, be it an act of punishment or a granted favor are sacred to all drow. Such a harsh divine interference may result in various outcome however. If a subject of transformation manages to maintain not only their sanity, but full score of abilities and constitution (system shock and all) - such Drider has a good chance to advance on the social ladder of drow community. If their next service to Lolth is successful their status is elevated. This is the time when a priestess that went through the trial is most vulnerable to attacks from the rivaling parties. If a newly transformed drider became crippled in any mental or physical way - their chances to succeed in furthering their dark career within drow society are next to none.

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