This adventure is designed for a party of 4 to 6 players, ranging from level 1 to level 3.
In the humble Village of Cresthaven, nestled amidst lush forests and rolling hills, a chilling rumor has been spreading like wildfire. Tales of giant spiders lurking in the woods have struck fear into the hearts of the villagers. Crops have gone missing, and livestock has vanished without a trace, leading some to believe that the eight-legged monstrosities are responsible.
Word of these sightings has reached the local Adventurer’s Guild, and it has drawn the attention of a group of aspiring heroes looking to make a name for themselves. The party, intrigued by the rumors, sets out to find the spiders. That’s the last thing they remember.
Dungeon Master Tips
By following these tips, you can create a memorable and immersive experience for your players as they brave the dark and treacherous “Giant Spiders of Cresthaven” dungeon
- Lighting the Way: As the dungeon is completely dark, the party’s light sources become crucial. Encourage players to think strategically about using light spells, torches, or lanterns. Describe the shifting shadows and the eerie play of light in the darkness to maintain a mysterious atmosphere.
- Time as a Resource: Emphasize the importance of tracking time using the Time Tracking Worksheet. Remind players that time is of the essence, and they must make decisions wisely to avoid running out of time or risking being caught by spiders.
- Webbed Obstacles: Describe the sticky webs in vivid detail. Use sensory descriptions to convey their thickness and how they cling to the players’ skin and clothes. Players may decide to cut through them or burn them, so offer creative options for dealing with this sticky challenge.
- Use Surprise and Stealth: As the dungeon is occupied by spiders, leverage their ability to surprise and ambush the party. Use Stealth checks and Perception checks to determine if the players spot or are spotted by the arachnids.
- Web Traps and Environmental Hazards: The spider cave can contain hidden web traps that entangle players, slowing them down or alerting nearby spiders. Describe the sounds and sensations as webs ensnare them.
- Limited Resources: The dungeon’s dark and challenging environment should drain the party’s resources. Encourage players to think conservatively about their spell slots, consumables, and other limited resources.
- Spider Tactics: When controlling the spiders in combat, remember their natural instincts. They may attempt to grapple players with webs, retreat to dark corners, or try to isolate individuals from the group. They will not stay still or go toe-to-toe with the players. They will climb walls, jump, and even disappear into the darkness.
You wake up entangled in sticky webs, feeling disoriented. The air is thick with the scent of dampness and decay. You hear faint skittering sounds echoing around you, but it’s too dark to see anything.
DM’s information: The party is currently restrained by the giant spider’s webbing in the deepest part of the cave. To escape, they must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity check or use a Strength check against the web’s AC of 10. If they fail, they’ll remain restrained.
2. Raised Dias
As your eyes adjust to the dim light, you notice a raised dias nearby. On it are your gear and some scattered treasures, glinting invitingly.
DM’s information: The party’s equipment and some random treasure are displayed on the raised dias. The treasures consist of 50 gold coins, a potion of healing, and a vial of spider venom. However, there’s a hidden tripwire in front of the dias that activates a concealed poison dart trap (1d4 poison damage, DC 13 Constitution save for half damage).
3. Blocked by Webs
Ahead lies a passage completely blocked by thick, sticky webs, making it impassable without some effort.
DM’s information: The passage is blocked by a thick web, and it requires a successful DC 14 Strength check to force your way through. If the party attempts to cut through the web, they’ll trigger a spider ambush: a giant spider descends from the ceiling and attacks them.
DM Tip: When the party encounters the blocked passage, describe the thick webs barring their way. Offer opportunities for creative solutions, such as burning the webs or using magic to clear the path.
4. Trip Wire and Ambush
The passage opens up a little. The room is very quiet. Too quiet.
DM’s information: A trip web is crisscrossed all over this cavern, if the player’s notice the web (DC 15) they can avoid the ambush. If not, then the trip wire activates an ambush of three smaller giant spiders, which drop from the ceiling onto the party. The spiders attack with surprise, gaining advantage on their first attacks.
The next chamber is dominated by a massive, pulsating egg sack guarded by a hungry, hissing female giant spider.
DM’s information: The egg sack contains valuable, gem-like spider eggs (worth 200 gp each) and a magic scroll with an insect-themed spell. The female spider is hostile, and if it’s killed, the egg sack will attract two more giant spiders after 1d4 rounds.
DM Tip: Make the encounter intense and suspenseful. Describe the pulsing egg sack and the hungry female spider guarding it. Use visual cues to invoke feelings of danger and urgency.
6. Web Bridge
A bridge of thick webs stretches across a dark chasm, leading to the other side.
DM’s information: The web bridge requires a DC 15 Dexterity check to cross safely. Failure results in a fall, taking 1d6 bludgeoning damage and attracting the attention of a lurking giant spider.
7. Cave with Large Pillar
A huge pillar stands in the center of the cave, surrounded by dense webs.
DM’s information: The webs provide full cover to the cave’s resident giant spider as it waits to ambush the party. The pillar’s nooks and crannies hide treasure: a magical dagger and a piece of enchanted armor.
8. Room of the Goblin Chieftain
This chamber is filled with the remnants of the goblin chieftain’s possessions and a mysterious, eerie presence.
DM’s information: The room contains an undead goblin chieftain, reanimated by a cursed magic ring. The chieftain’s +1 magical sword of illumination and a hidden, secret compartment with a potion of invulnerability and a scroll of protection from undead can be found here.
DM Tip: Make sure to detail the ancient goblin chieftain’s remains and his belongings. Maybe make the chieftain not move until the players reach out to touch the treasure. Utilize vivid descriptions to evoke curiosity and perhaps fear of the undead chieftain.
The tunnel finally opens up into a broader space, and you see a faint light ahead.
DM’s information: The exit leads out of the cave, and the party is free to leave. The party gains 400 XP for surviving the spider-infested cave and the potential rewards obtained throughout their journey.