5E Encounter: The Stone Spider

I’m currently writing an adventure. I’ve no idea if I’ll eventually finish it and publish it or if inspiration will fail and I’ll throw it into the pile of incomplete blog entries I’ve written over the years.

Anyway, I rather liked this encounter, so I thought I’d share it with you. This is for you, James Introcaso!

The passage breaks apart here into a web of connecting tunnels. A stone statue of a giant spider with its front legs raised is immediately visible as the party enters this area. Exploration of some of the other corridors reveals broken stone statues of snakes and centipedes.

In a dead-end tunnel, the party can find the creator of the statues: a dead cockatrice. A DC 10 Wisdom (Medicine) check will reveal that it has a couple of discoloured puncture marks on its neck: it was poisoned by the spider, but it didn’t die until it had turned the spider to stone first.

Unfortunately for the players, this occurred about 24 hours ago, so that the giant spider returns to life just as they find the dead cockatrice or soon after they leave this area, unless they have previously been able to destroy it. The spider will stalk them until it is killed.

Destroying the stone spider before it reverts is difficult; any damage dealt to it is reduced by 10 and it has AC 18 and 50 hit points.

Part of the point of this encounter is to make players think they’re in for an encounter with a cockatrice or basilisk (and worry them thereby), before you switch the threat. J In any case, it’s a little encounter that you could adapt for higher-level characters. As written, it’s for first-level characters. Enjoy!


  1. Callan

    Makes me think of some kind of species of giant spider who preys on cockatrice – basically always getting turned to stone, but their darwinistic niche involves banking on the poison killing the cockatrice and so reverting them (if I’m understanding what’s happening correctly). Kind of like a beetle in real life that gets swollowed by a frog, but then the beetle eats the frog…

    Perhaps the smell of cockatrice gets on the PC’s when they investigate the corpse, and that is why the spider hunts them relentlessly? 🙂

    Perhaps if they’d just take a damn bath once in a while! lol!


  2. Pingback: RPG Blog Carnival Wrap-Up – Homebrew Holiday Gifts! | World Builder Blog

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