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Monster Vault Peek: Tales of the Valiant presents . . . ettercap!

Monster Vault Peek: Tales of the Valiant presents . . . ettercap!

The Tales of the Valiant roleplaying game is out! But we’ve got time for one more—not really a preview, but a post-view maybe?—of the Monster Vault. On sale now!

As the creators of the Creature Codex and the Tome of Beasts series, we wanted to give the same love and care for the earliest 5E monsters that we gave to our other monsters. To accomplish that, we noted a few key points we wanted for each monster:

  • Clear Identity. For each creature, we worked to answer, “What makes this creature special? How is it thematically different from other creatures of its type, terrain, or niche?”
  • Unique Features. In clarifying identity, we set ourselves up for better creating unique features. We worked to answer, “What mechanics make this creature different from other creatures? How can we fold its identity into its game mechanics?”
  • Streamlined Statistics. The most obvious change to monsters in Monster Vault comes in our streamlining of the stat block, making a monster’s statistics and features easier to parse at-a-glance. The stat block presented here should give you an idea of some of the changes we made. Compare them to the creature you’ve been using from other source!

Today’s example creature is the ettercap, a spider-like monstrosity that inhabits deep jungles. From the art, to the lore, to the stat block, we wanted the ettercap to scream “spider!”

As caretakers and leaders of spider colonies, ettercaps might be encountered alongside spiders, might come to the rescue of a giant spider that is being attacked, or might work to spread the territory and reach of its colony, overtaking parts of the forest previously untouched by spiders. Their ability to spit poison and webbing from a distance can ensure a safe retreat or allow them to provide ranged assistance to spiders in melee combat, while their sharp claws and poisonous bite ensure they are no pushover when faced up close.

With regards to the art, a lot of earlier depictions of ettercaps show them as more human-like or even ogre-like with two legs, two arts, and a bulky body. For Monster Vault, we wanted to keep the ettercap recognizable but unique, and the artist knocked it out of the park, giving it additional spider-like legs, making the face more spider-like, and giving it spine/hairs similar to spiders.


Webbing trails from the body of this arachnid humanoid. Its elongated limbs are tipped with chitinous claws, and its mandibles drip with foul liquid. Four additional spider legs sprout from its torso, helping it cling to the wall.

Cursed Druids. Millennia ago, a sect of druids that revered spiders sought to create a closer bond between themselves and the spiders they loved. They performed a weeks-long, forbidden ritual that called on magic from the deity of insects. The ritual was intended to give the druids magical bonds with spiders and even allow them to adopt some spider‑like features. Incensed at the audacity of the druids, the deity gave the druids what they wanted—and more. The druids were transformed into spider‑like monstrosities, stripped of their druidic magic and much of their intelligence, and left in the depths of a jungle far from home or anything familiar.

Spider Friends. Now known as ettercaps, the descendants of those ancient, cursed druids spend their days protecting and nurturing spiders in the jungles and forests of the world. Each ettercap acts as a clan leader of a collection or territory of spiders of all types, shapes, and sizes and ruthlessly defends its charges. Ettercaps exposed to humanoids often pick up enough of the local language to communicate basic ideas and needs. Some ettercaps even broker minor trade agreements of spidersilk in exchange for food, sustaining their colonies and maintaining peace between the spiders and locals.

ETTERCAP                  CR 2

Medium Monstrosity
Armor Class 13
Hit Points 54
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
Perception 13               Stealth 13
Resistant Monstrosity Resilience
Immune poison | poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft.


Monstrosity Resilience. The ettercap is resistant to exhaustion and to the frightened condition.

Spider Climb. The ettercap 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 ettercap knows the exact location of any other creature in contact with the same web.

Web Walker. The ettercap ignores movement restrictions caused by webbing.


Multiattack. The ettercap makes one Bite attack and one Claws attack, or it makes two Spit Poison attacks.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage plus 4 (1d8) poison damage. The target must succeed on a DC 13 CON save or be poisoned for 1 minute. The target can repeat the save at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) slashing damage.

Spit Poison. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d8 + 3) poison damage.


Web (Recharge 4–6). The ettercap launches a gob of webbing at one creature it can see within 30 feet of it. The target must succeed on a DC 13 DEX save or be restrained. A creature, including the restrained target, can take its action to free the target from the webbing by succeeding on a DC 13 STR check. The webbing can also be attacked and destroyed (AC 10; HP 5; vulnerability to fire damage; immunity to bludgeoning, poison, and psychic damage).

The Tales of the Valiant Monster Vault is here! Over 400 classic monsters from 5E history (and some surprises)!
Get your copy in PDF here!

4 thoughts on “Monster Vault Peek: Tales of the Valiant presents . . . ettercap!”

  1. Out of curiosity, I compared this version of the ettercap with the one from the ADnD Fiend Folio. This one is a lot more spider-like and there’s no mention of it using its webbing to form weapons and devices.

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