The cave rolls ahead of you, endless and quiet. Only the drip of the damp nearby and the scrape of your boots. Then you see it; an enormous web. Far larger than it should be.
Instinctually, a shiver runs up your spine, the creepy-crawling feeling trickling down your arms and filling your psyche with ghastly images. Then the cleric drops the torch, and you are plunged into darkness. You curse in the quiet, trying to summon another light source...
Then you hear them. Chittering clicks and tiny echoes. The feeling of being watched... With a flash, another torch is lit, just in time to illuminate the path ahead. You see...nothing. No foes lie in wait. And yet, something is not right, as you hear a chorus of bow strings being pulled back. You dare to look up.
Spider legs. Elven torsos. Longbow and sword. You have only a moment before the first arrow enters your head...
Inspiration and Lore
Gary Gygax often had a thing for strange juxtapositions. Take the Owlbear, for example. A cute, cuddly bear with the face of a freaking owl. I mean...why? Other than the fact that it easily captures the hearts of every adventurer I play with, even as its powerful claws rend the onlookers in twain, its rhyme and reason are nestled in the grand plans of its creator.
However, some beasties follow a logical evolution. If elves, then what about dark elves? If these "Drow" exist, what do they worship and why? How can such worship be rewarded, or scorned? This is more the case of the tragic Drider.
In Faerun, the mystical canonical realm of Dungeons and Dragons's published materials and adventures, the Drider is a product of chaos and evil. Tied directly to those scorned by Lolth, the Spider Queen, a Drider is the result of a Drow insulting or betraying the deity. Driders are cursed reminders of the power of Lolth, and are equally feared and scorned by the Drow population.
Traits and Features in 5th Edition
A Drider is a terrible juxtaposition of a Drow warrior and a giant spider, where the upper half is a humanoid elf and the lower, well, is a freaking giant spider. Powerful and dangerous, driders are accomplished fighters that make use of their versatile movement and superior size. Walking on walls, trapping foes, and some even casting spells, a Drider is a deadly opponent against an unsuspecting party.
By the book, these entities enjoy only the standard boons of their elven nature, but have a pretty decent AC (19 on most). Innate Spellcasting is helpful, and with three attacks to spare, they can cut down a Player Character pretty quickly. In packs of 2 or more, with a Drow strike team on the ground, a tactical group of Drider can overwhelm a party from the safety of the ceiling and the distance of their longbows. Do not underestimate them; to do so might just be the TPK you're looking for.
Drider In Io
1) The Concept
Small, but mighty they call me. And when they say cute and cuddly, effervescent and mirth, I shall call the lightning upon their hubris and laugh maniacally in their wake.
Small, but mighty indeed!
2) Heroic Array = 17, 15, 14, 12, 11, 10
3) Racial Traits
Slight and sly, Gnomes are smart and charismatic, doing what they can to slip by unnoticed (if they want).
So YAY, +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma.
Fey Ancestry - I'm fey when it counts.
Master Trickster - Ghost Sound cantrip for free.
Reactive Stealth - stay hidden when initiative starts.
Trickster's Cunning - extra bonus to saves vs. Illusions.
Fade Away - Racial Encounter Power that allows me to go invisible when I take damage!
4) Class Traits and Abilities
STR 11 (+0)
DEX 12 (+1)
CON 16 (+3) = 15 + 1 at Level 4.
INT 16 (+3) = 14 + 2
CHA 20 (+5) = 17 + 2 + 1 at Level 4.
Being Small, my speed is only 5 squares, but it helps to have some Low-Light Vision too.
Armor is Cloth and Leather only, but my Defense Bonuses are +1 to Reflex and +1 Will.
Weapon Proficiencies: Simple Melee, Simple Ranged
1) ELDRITCH BLAST - Your At-Will powers are intrinsically tied to your class choice by theme and pact, so Eldritch Blast is an automatic At-Will power. Your Eldritch Pact decides your other At-Will power...
2) ELDRITCH PACT - You get three choices: Fey, Infernal, Star. This selection decides your second At-Will power, as it is mechanically tied to the flavor of the pact. Star punishes movement toward you with Dire Radiance (Movement), Fey makes you Invisible with Eyebite (Buff), Infernal channels additional damage to a target when I take damage with Hellish Rebuke (Offense). Each one is still an initial attack roll, with the appropriate follow-up bonus. I'm going with Hellish Rebuke, because the language specifies that the target doesn't have to be the one that damages me; I could take damage from something else entirely, and still automatically deal 1d6+3 fire damage to my chosen target. That's nice. Also, I get Dark One's Blessing, which grants me temporary HP when a creature under my Warlock's Curse (see below), dies.
3) PRIME SHOT - As long as I'm the closest to my target (so no ally is closer than I), I get a +1 to all ranged attack rolls against that target. Nifty.
4) SHADOW WALK - As long as I travel at least 3 squares on my turn, I gain Concealment until the end of my next turn. Which is great, because I plan to keep my distance whenever possible.
5) WARLOCK'S CURSE - once per turn, as a Minor Action, I curse a dude. That dude is more vulnerable to my nasty attacks and takes extra damage (+1d6 for now). So there.
6) IMPLEMENTS - Warlocks make use of specific powerful wands or rods or pact daggers that add extra powers or bonuses to their spells. Cool beans.
5) Powers (Spells)
1) Eldritch Blast - you can choose your Charisma or Constitution to help out with this spell, but you can't change later. Charisma is my OBVIOUS CHOICE with a +5 modifier. With the added benefit of this spell counting as a basic ranged attack, allies that grant such opportunities open up a world of hurt against our enemies.
2) Hellish Rebuke - Constitution-based ranged attack vs. Reflex, so 1d6+3 fire damage if I hit. The added bonus is they take an extra 1d6+3 fire damage if I take ANY damage before the end of my next turn.
Racial) Fade Away - We've talked about this. Take damage, go invisible!
1st Level) Diabolic Grasp - Another Constitution-based power that hits nice for 2d8+3, and will move the target 4 freaking squares!
3rd Level) Fiery Bolt - 3d6+3 fire damage, and burst 1 with 1d6+3 fire damage, with another +3 for my Intelligence. Ouch.
1) Armor of Agathys - Gain some 13 Temporary Hit points and any enemy that starts its turn adjacent to me takes 1d6+3 Cold damage until the END OF THE ENCOUNTER.
Utility - Daily
2nd Level) Fiendish Resilience - Minor Action to give myself 8 temporary hit points. Meh. No choice in the matter.
1) Improved Initiative - the earlier I go, the better. +4.
2) Improved Dark One's Blessing - when a Cursed enemy drops to 0, I'll gain 7 temp HP instead of 4.
4) Magic Of The Mists - retain Fade Away when I attack. Booyah.
6) Gear and Overview
Basic Ranged = Hand Crossbow; +5 to hit, 1d6+1 damage --- Hand Crossbows have +2 Proficiency + Dex (1) + 1/2 Level (2)*
**I don't plan on using this, as my Eldritch Blast counts as a Basic Ranged Attack. 1d10+5, with a +9 to hit is way better.**
Implement: Magic Tome = +1 Attack and Damage rolls, but on a Critical add 1d6 damage.
At-Will Powers: ELDRITCH BLAST, Hellish Rebuke
Encounter Powers: Fade Away [R], Diabolic Grasp, Fiery Bolt
Daily Powers: Armor of Agathys
HP: 30 (15 at level 1, +5 per level )
Healing Surges: 9 (6+3) Surge Value: 7
AC: 15 --- (10+1/2 level +Dexterity Mod +Leather Armor 
Fortitude: 15 --- (10+1/2 Level +Con Mod )
Reflex: 16 --- (Int +3 + 12 + 1)
Will: 18 --- (Cha +5 + 12 + 1)
Trained Skills: Arcana, Bluff, Intimidate, Streetwise
Gnome made. Let's blow some stuff up.
See you at the table.
Professional Game Master musician, music teacher, game designer, and aspiring fiction author.
In short, I'M A BIG NERD.
DM's Book Club
Drinking And Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons
Monster Of The Week
Star Wars Saga Edition