So full disclosure I've posted this race before with setting specific fluff and a non-sense name instead of a play on an old word for spider. I've made some nerfs (I made them before 4e came out when I still bought into Small size = -1 LA as Savage Species said). So I guess one big question is: are they balanced at +0 LA, too weak, too strong?


Spider-like aberrations atterken crawled forth only recently from forests where in magical energies had been allowed to run wild, magical energies which had worked to awaken the monstrous spiders of the forest to intelligence. The early generations of these spiders became almost totemic gods to their much smaller offspring, offspring that were forced to band together and form colonies to survive the terrors of their woodland homes.

Personality: Atterken vary to an extent based upon the conditions of their individual colony. Those that have had dealings with the more intelligent threats of their homeland tend to be wary of others, if they are alive and have their freedom. Otherwise they are predominately free spirited and curious. In vast contrast to elves atterken are impatient and rarely, if ever, put off till tomorrow what could be done today. They have a drive to live their lives quickly, perhaps because their lives are in all great likelihood short.

They make quick friends, but their loyalty is still to be tested. They cannot understand all of humanity’s ideas. One is money, the atterken come from a land without gold or much in the way of metal and while iron is valued for its strength they cannot find value in gold which seems to be nothing but shiny rocks. Another is marriage; the oxzerin lay unfertilized eggs wrapped in a web like membrane which are then later fertilized by the male (somewhat like fish) and while they can understand trying to attract certain mates because of visible cues they cannot understand possessiveness of them. Surprisingly males are extremely devoted to the wellbeing of females they are currently pursuing, and any atterken will usually raise any immature member of the species they find. These traits might be capable of change, it is as of yet unknown what the toll of centuries will do to these creatures.

Physical Description: They look in many ways like a giant spider roughly the size of a dog. They have eight legs, but the front two are fully functional manipulators bearing a thumb and three fingers each. While they occasionally use these front legs to walk they suffer no penalty for not doing so. Their many eyes are faceted like a spider’s and humanoid creatures find their facial features hard to read due to their insect-like faces, with their mandibles and pedipalps, they are actually quite expressive, movements of said mandibles and pedipalps being used to convey mood and emotions. Unlike true spiders they have an extended segment between head and thorax, forming a sort of neck with limited flexibility. Most notably, though, is while their body and legs have fur like a tarantula’s the lower portions of their manipulator arms are completely hairless and in females so too are their necks and heads. Conversely males have thicker, longer hair around their necks almost like a lion's mane, and among males length of their mane is a primary sign of good looks and wisdom (although it doesn’t actually reflect on the second). Like true spiders they do have poison sacks although their fangs are underdeveloped. Unlike true spiders atterken are vertebrates with internal skeletons in addition to their soft carapaces.

Their fur can be brown, black, grey, red, orange, or white depending upon the colony. Their skin, which is soft unlike a true spider’s chitin, is usually white, black or somewhere between, although cream and brown are not unheard of. Their eyes can be a myriad of colors from red to grays and black to in rare instances green.

Atterken reach adulthood at 10 years old, and middle age at 20, it is rare for an atterken to last to be sixty years of age. They are about 3’-3’ 6” long from their nose and up to 2’ 3” high at their backs. They weigh around 50 lbs on average.

Relations: The atterken as a new race have not yet had time to create many biases or opinions about other races and those that they do have often vary highly from colony to colony. They tend to be in awe of the elves, perhaps because elves were the first true civilizations they encountered. Like elves they value creativity and freedom meaning that those atterken that also value kindness and the liberty of others can get along very well with elves. The difference in lifestyles, though, will always put some damper on things because atterken live even more moment to moment than humans.

Dwarves seem to think the atterken monsters, a sentiment they do not share or approve of. Gnomes are perhaps a better match for atterken, although even the friendly creatures are a bit taken aback by giant, talking spider creatures as one might expect, still they are friendly enough creatures. Humans and halflings have had fewer dealings with the spiders.

Atterken feel a certain kinship with ettercaps who inhabit the same woods and in fact may be a cousin species, a feeling the ettercaps seem to return. Sometimes where the ettercaps have worked with neogi this kinship has been turned against them but usually the two races can exist in peace even if they have very different moral or ethical beliefs. In general the atterken escape the sadism that ettercaps often show, and are tolerated where other races would not be.

The great spiders which spawned the atterken sometimes take paternal interest in the lesser creatures. Although some colonies are left defenseless (just as the great spiders have always been apt to leave their young), some colonies have a gigantic “grandfather” who protects them in times of danger. The term grandfather is only sometimes literal, and many times (perhaps as often as not) the spider that protects the colony has no genetic relation to the colony.

Alignment: Atterken value personal freedom and the ability to adapt and change with circumstances, loving self expression and self exploration, coupling it with an urge to live each moment to the fullest for they are short, and they tend towards chaotic alignments. They have no tendency towards either good or evil, the two being determined by sentiments inborn in the individual or by conditioning they receive when young. Those that fall in with ettercaps are more likely to be evil. Those that fall in with the elves will probably pick up many elven ideals.

Atterken Lands: The atterken were born of spellwarped forests, places where magical energies allowed to go uncontrolled warped and reshaped the creatures within. There they live in loose tribes, or colonies, usually high within trees and only rarely on the ground. They gather fruit and berries and where they live these edibles become abundant as the woods bend to their needs. They sometimes eat small game and meat is considered an incredible delicacy to them. In reality, though, they are rather low on the food chain. While most of the intelligent giant spiders leave them be seeing them as kin of sorts, there are carnivorous species that eat them.

Atterken found in human lands are there to explore and discover. Having just entered human and elven lands they have yet to find their niche there.

Religion: Atterken tend towards simplistic nature worship, sometimes hailing their colony's 'grandfather' as a living god. Some turn, however, to the ettercap deity the Dark Spider, and others have been lured into the worship of Lolth. Even so when introduced to deities beyond merely those who tend to spiders they typically gravitate towards deities of nature, or none at all.

Language: Atterken speak Sylvan the language of the woods and the great spiders from which they evolved. Some also speak Common, Elven, or other languages they have learned from the outside world.

Adventurers: Atterken are adventurers by nature. Few true wizards are found, or other classes that require specialized training, but some aganokoks do exist having picked up their study from the spellbooks of dead adventurers. They take to magic with an innate ease especially wizardry and druidism and druids are very common amongst their villages as leaders and healers. Rogues and barbarians are other common classes, with barbarians often wielding clubs, staves, great clubs, stone and flint weapons, but whenever able they equip themselves with iron weapons knowing that the material has a good edge and keeps it too. Unfortunately rarely do they find iron weapons of an appropriate size generally having to make do with elven longswords wielded as greatsword and the like.

Atterken Racial Features
  • Ability Scores: +2 Dex, -2 Str, -2 Cha
  • Aberration: As an aberration an atterken is immune to any effect that targets or specifies humanoids, but is vulnerable to those that affect aberrations.
  • Small: Atterken are of small size gaining a +1 to AC and Atk, +4 to Hide, and a -4 to Grapple and certain other checks.
  • Bite: Deals 1d2 damage and is always considered a secondary weapon, also inflicts poison.
  • Poison: Fort negates (DC 10 + Con modifier), 1d3 Str/1d3 Str.
  • Darkvision 60-ft
  • Speed: 30-ft, climb 15-ft; they gain a +8 racial bonus on climb checks due to their climb speed.
  • Skills: Atterken are naturally silent in their movements gaining a +2 bonus to Move Silently checks. In addition their multiple eyes grant them acute vision and a +2 bonus to Spot and Search checks.
  • Quadruped: technically a six-legged creature, atterken gain bonuses to resist bull-rushes and can carry more weight, but armor for them must be specially fitted. Even through they have 6 legs they cannot use more than 1 set of magical boots. Their front two legs (which would make 8) are actually hands and have full manual dexterity.
  • Automatic Languages: Common, Sylvan.
  • Bonus Languages: Elven, Gnomish, Goblin, Orc, Undercommon.
  • LA: +0.