Anansi (5e Race)

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Most races have an inherent, irrationally intense fear of spiders that goes far beyond their actual potential to do harm. Add to that the existential horror of self-aware spider people, and it's no mystery why most shudder at the word 'anansi.' If you can get past the seemingly 'empty' black eyes and the too-many legs though, they're actually decent people.
Drelson Bronzehall, wandering diplomat and cultural anthropologist.

Physical Description[edit]

Credit to Opoterser

Anansi are sentient spiders. They are very light for their size, and their four front-most legs are much more flexible than other varieties of spiders, terminating in two small grasping "fingers" each. Anansi hunt primarily with the potent venom they secrete from their bodies, and can bring down prey many times their size. Anansi can be many different colors, with some even having semi-reflective exoskeletons.


Anansi evolved from simple spiders in the Underdark, apparently from a diet consisting mainly in cranium rats and some other psionic creatures, although they never developed psionic powers of their own. They were forced to move above ground by Lolth, who viewed them as impure abominations. This resulted in the anansi becoming mistrustful of magic and, to a lesser extent, elves. This tension has recently been somewhat assuaged by the elves' dedication to preserving nature, but many of the less-contacted anansi clans are still mistrustful.

After the drow exodus to the Underdark, the Anansi spread out among the forests of the world, and began to acclimate. Recently, some Anansi clans have begun exporting limited quantities of wood, ore, and furs to trade in cities. Citing a need to modernize their living conditions, and to become a new race in a growing world, and to distance themselves from the Lolth's stigma, the broodmothers of the anansi Ax'hi, Ne'ka, Vi'wen, and Ta'geh signed trade agreements with several cities.


Anansi society revolves around the broodmother, a female anansi who voluntarily undergoes metamorphosis to become a large and long-lived matriarch. The broodmother must not only be a voluntary, but will always be chosen by popular vote. This is done because broodmothers have very limited movement and cannot hunt. This makes good public relations incredibly important for any aspiring broodmother, for without the clan's support she would simply be neglected and starve to death. She then chooses a partner, who then fecundates her and is immediately either killed, exiled or forced to become a servant anansi. Her functions as broodmother are both administrative and reproductive: She is the only fertile female in the whole clan and only with her death can another female become a broodmother. Males, on the other hand, are always fertile, but can't reproduce unless the females let them.

The reach of a clan is generally limited to the forest they live in. Unlike Humans, Dwarves, Elves, and other nation-builder races, Anansi are more concerned with the long-term sustainability of their clan forest. For most Anansi, the first step in expanding the clan's influence is to plant trees and preserve the animals that live there. This also means that they will attack with no hesitation lumberjacks and hunters who trespass on their territory.

Fortunately, their terrain is easy to spot. The abundance of web and their fortresses are obvious symbols of an anansi colony.

Their "fortresses" and homes are the branches and hollows of the biggest and sturdiest trees, reinforced and enveloped by giant cocoons of webbing, and reinforced with weaver adhesive and stone. They are nocturnal and only the guards, generally stalkers, are awake during the day.

As their locations tend to be easy to spot, commerce is not completely farfetched, although difficult: They are mostly active during the night, every transaction must be approved by the broodmother and they don't use coinage, as metal has absolutely no value to them. Their silk, limited amounts of wood, feathers they obtain from birds and, ocassionaly, their own poison are great products they are willing to let go in exchange for meat, tree saplings or even fresh prisoners.

Anansi Names[edit]

Anansi are born in large broods, and so are not individually named at birth. Anansi young are nameless until they return from their first independant hunt, at which time they choose a name for themselves. Anansi names are frequently harsh and sibilant; most are composed of two syllables joined by an apostrophe.

Male: Ke'kron, Xe'lak, Vu'ki, Ne'vek, Sa'zi

Female: Vu'Hel, Fe'wah, Do'cek, Um'pex, Qa'sin

Anansi broodmother's are referred to simply as "mother" by their offspring and "Broodmother [name]" by others.

Notable Examples: Broodmother Gu'zel is perhaps one of the most famous anansi; her mastery of illusion magic led her clan's forest to be feared by orcs, bandits, and goblins alike. To this day, many still speak of the "legend of the nightmare wood" around campfires late at night.

Anansi Traits[edit]

Race of evolved spiders.
Ability Score Increase. Dependant on the subrace. Please read each subrace for this information.
Age. Anansi are fully capable of survival at birth. They start hunting in group at 1 week of age, hunt independently at the young age of 1 month old, and mature over the course of 7 years when they are finally considered adults. Anansi males and the females who do not become broodmothers generally live to age 40 or 50. Broodmothers can live for more than 150 years.
Alignment. Anansi are generally true neutral as they spend most of their time simply hunting and gathering to support the current broodmother. They may change their moral alignment depending on the races that frequently contact with them.
Size. With the exception of the broodmothers, anansi are small creatures weighing around 20 to 30 pounds while standing between 3 and 3 and a half feet tall. Your size is small. Broodmothers, on the other hand, are enormous beings almost unable to move, as they are 6 feet tall or more and weight over 120 pounds. Your size is medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Spider Perception. You can see in dim light within 30 feet of you as if it were bright light, and 30 feet in darkness as if it were dim light. You are colorblind in any light. If you are blinded, you can pinpoint exactly where creatures are if both of you are touching the same web.
Fangs. Instead of doing an unarmed attack, you can attack using your fangs. Your fangs are natural weapons in which you have proficiency. In a successful attack, you deal 1d6 piercing damage.
Spider Climb. You have the ability to move up, down, and across vertical surfaces and upside down along ceilings, while leaving your 2 front-most legs free. All your saves for climbing are rolled with advantage. Your climbing speed is half your walking speed.
Spider Anatomy. You can only use weaponry and armors specially designed for Anansi. You can't use metal weaponry or armors. Anansi armors and weapons can only be made by Anansi artisans and are made out of webbing, specially treated wood, spider adhesives, and certain insect's keratin. Even being made out of these materials, these armors comport similarly to their metal or leather equivalents. When you aren't wearing armor, your AC is 10 + your Dexterity modifier. You can use your natural armor to determine your AC if the armor you wear would leave you with a lower AC. A shield's benefits apply as normal while you use your natural armor.
Languages. You speak Common and Anansi. Anansi is a language of clicks and hisses with many harsh sounds interspersed. Anansi are able to speak common, but only very roughly as they have trouble with many sounds. You can't write nor read.
Subrace. Choose one between broodmother, weaver, stalker and mariner.


Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma, Intelligence and Wisdom scores increases by 1.
Altered Body. Your size class is now medium. Your movement speed is now 5 feet. If your servants are carrying you, your speed is 15 feet. You can't climb or jump.
Absolute dependance. You require to be fed, cleaned, defended and carried away by at least 12 servant anansi or 3 small or medium sized creatures. Servant anansi are anansi without a subclass whose only function is to serve the broodmother.
Spawn. Each day, as long as you are being fed, you can lay a number of eggs equal to six times your level per day. Those eggs hatch after an hour. The spawn conceived this way are not considered a servant anansi until a week of being born. This spawn have the same stats as the servant Anansi, but can only bite (Attack: +0 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 1 piercing damage). For every 6 Spawn you need one servant Anansi to take care of them until they become servant Anansi themselves or they can start feeding out of you, dealing 1d4 piercing damage per day per spawn. If the spawn is not fed for 24 hours, it dies.
Pheromone. You may use an action to excrete special pheromones in a 25 feet sphere with the center being your position. Unless behind total cover, each creature in the area of effect except allied Anansi must do a Charisma saving throw with DC equals to 8 + your charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus or being charmed for a minute in a failed save. If the failed save difference is equal or superior to 7 the creature will start defending the broodmother, keeping its initiative. If it gets harmed in any way, it can roll a new saving throw, ending the effect in a success. If the creature rolls a 1 in any saving throw, it can't roll new saving throws and is charmed for an hour. You can't use this trait again until you complete a short or long rest. After the effect ends, the creature knows it was charmed, but it doesn't know who or what charmed it.
Diplomacy. You have proficiency in the Persuasion skill.

Servant Anansi[edit]

Tiny beast, same alignment as the broodmother

Armor Class 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points 1 (1d4-1)
Speed 20 ft. Climbing 20ft

16 (+3) 13 (+1) 12 (+1) 6 (-2) 3 (-4) 10 (0)

Skills Stealth + 4
Condition Immunities paralyzed, poisoned
Senses passive Perception 11; darkvision 30 ft; tremorsense 5ft.
Languages Anansi
Challenge 0 (10 XP)

Spider Climb The spider can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.

Web Sense While in contact with a web, the spider knows the exact location of any other creature in contact with the same web.

Web Walker The spider ignores movement restrictions caused by webbing.


Bite Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 1 piercing damage plus (1d4) poison damage. The target must succeed on a DC 10 constitution check or be paralized for 1 minute.

Immolation Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft sphere, affects all non-anansi targets. Hit: (1d4) poison damage plus (1d4) force damage. After doing this attack, the servant anansi is destroyed.


Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2 and your Constitution increases by 1.
Developed Spinnerets. You have five web points that can only be replenished after having a full meal and getting a long rest.
Spin Rope. You can expend one web point to produce 50 feet of spider silk rope. This rope has similar properties than hempen rope and can be used in the same ways, but the DC to break it is 20. It is naturally adhesive to all surfaces except yourself and up to 3 creatures you explain how to use it without getting adhered to it. It dissolves after 1d4 hours, leaving no residue.
Natural Adhesive. You can expend one web point to produce 1d6 ounces of adhesive. One ounce of this adhesive can cover 25 feet square surfaces. The adhesive hardens into a rock-solid state after being exposed to air for 1 round rotation. This adhesive can cojoin solids for 1d4 hours or until it gets wet. It is unafected by fire.
Web sense. You can expend one web point to cast the Web spell without requiring material, verbal or somatic components. By expending an extra web point you don't require to keep concentration on mantaining the spell.


Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2 and your Wisdom increases by 1.
Predatorial Hunt. You can designate any creature you can see, hear or smell as your prey. For the next hour, you have advantage on Wisdom (survival) checks to track their movements.
First strike. When using a ranged weapon in which you have proficiency, in a surprised creature that is at full health and before you roll your attack throw you may choose to coat the ammunition with your anansi venom. In a successful attack, the base damage of the weapon is doubled. You can't use this trait again until you feed and finish a long rest.
Natural jumper. When jumping, you can use your Dexterity modifier instead of Strength


Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution, Dexterity and Strength scores increases by 1.
Water Strider. Movement increases to 50ft when in water that is at least 1 foot deep. You have now a 20 feet swimming speed.
Water breathing. You can breath air and water.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

General anansi

2′ 11″ +1d8 16 lb. × (1d2) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)


6′ 0″ +2d10 120 lb. × 1 lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

(0 votes)

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