N Small vermin
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +5
AC 13, touch 12, flat-footed 11 (+2 Dex, +1 size)
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft.
STATISTICSStr 10, Dex 15, Con 12, Int —, Wis 12, Cha 11
Base Atk +0; CMB -1; CMD 11
Feats Weapon FinesseB
Skills Climb +10, Stealth +10, Perception +5; racial +4 Stealth, +4 Perception, +8 Climb
Frequency 1/round for 5 rounds
Effect 1d2 Wis damage; Cure 2 saves
Environment tropical forest or any urban
Organization solitary, pair, or nest (3-8)
Treasure special (see below)
Dream spiders lurk in dark places. In the jungles they spin their webs in the thick branches of the canopy above, skulk under mossy growths, or hide among fungal shelves jutting from giant trees. Dream spiders lay egg in lightless places and prefer to plant their brood in books above all. Libraries are often infested with dream spiders.
Dream spiders are a treasure unto themselves. A live specimen is worth 50 gp, while a typical egg cluster is worth 100 gp (young dream spiders are difficult to raise in captivity, though). Dream spider webbing is worth 50 gp per nest, although care must be taken in handling the stuff. Silk spun from dream spider webs is particularly valued in the crafting of clothing intended to bear illusion magic.
The primary value of a dream spider, though, is to an alchemist who has mastered the craft of brewing shiver from dream spider venom. A single dose of shiver is worth 10 gp, although actual street value can sometimes exceed five times that amount in areas where drug trades are tightly controlled or illegal.
Several sub-species are known to exist—the specimen described above is merely the most populous breed, and the easiest to catch.
Perhaps the next most common variant is the deatheye dancer. These mottled black and purple dream spiders are usually bulkier than the common breed, and their fangs are noticeably larger as well (bite damage 1d6). The bite of a death-eye dancer also causes a victim to shuffle and spasm wildly, almost as if dancing—this venom deals 1d4 points of Dexterity damage in addition to the normal Wisdom damage.
Rarer are the much larger and more dangerous nightmare spiders—Medium-sized dream spiders with black and red markings whose venom causes three times the amount of Wisdom damage on the initial save and paralysis for 2d6 hours if the secondary save is failed.
Enigmatic and eerily beautiful, dream spiders are a hot commodity on the streets, where it’s said their venom shows some the future.
Venom milked directly from a dream spider is potent, but not particularly habit-forming. When the venom is boiled in a mixture of water, alcohol, and webbing gathered from dream spider nests, the result is an addictive drug called “shiver.” The process of creating the drug is complex, requiring a DC 22 Craft (alchemy) check to produce a single dose.
Shiver is taken by mouth, and its effects are swift. The drinker must make a DC 10 Fortitude save to resist taking 1 point of Wisdom damage. A minute later, he must save again or lapse into a comatose state for 1d4 hours, during which he experiences vivid, bizarre dreams. Each additional dose of shiver taken within 24 hours increases the DC to resist by +1 and the duration of the coma by 1d4 hours.
Shiver is extremely habit-forming. Each time a creature takes the drug, he can resist addiction with a DC 10 Fortitude check. An addicted character must make a DC 15 Fortitude save each week he doesn’t use shiver to avoid taking 1d10 points of Wisdom damage. A character who makes two of these saving throws in a row recovers from his addiction.