Spiders in sieges

Spiders can climb walls. What are the appropriate rules for using a unit of spiders during a siege?

Why wouldn't you just treat them as if they aways had Siege Ladders of infinite height (D@W: Battles, pg. 56)?

That's what I was going to default to, but I thought I'd doublecheck to make sure there wasn't a more elegant solution than magic ladders.

Are we sure that being a spider is equivalent to having the spell Spiderclimb? I don't doubt they're exceptional climbers, but i'm not sure it's trivial to climb up a castle wall with someone mounted on your back.

That being said, now I want to figure out how feasible it would be to make a spell of "Mass Spiderclimb" and cast it enough times to affect an entire unit.

As long as the spider's load capacity isn't being exceeded, I don't think it'd be too bad to assume they can carry those loads vertically. Just subtract the height of the wall from their movement rate, and let the boiling oil drop.

A spider is the same size category as a horse, but has over twice the carrying capacity of a horse, at 100 stone to the horse's 40. 

As for difficulty of climbing, I mean, spiders can climb pretty much anything thanks to their microhair grips. Which wouldn't work if you scaled one up to horse size, but fantasy spiders can totally climb anyway, so magic I guess?

And the whole issue with being able to breathe properly in the assumed default oxygen concentration levels and a whole host of structural issues with being an invertebrate.

so basically, by accepting a giant spider can exist at all, we're sort of implicity accepting that they would also be able to climb. works for me.

This thread is amazing.

In case anyone is interested, monster carrying capacities were determined by starting with a real-world carrying capacity; calculating the linear size increase, and then multiplying the real-world carrying capacity by the linear size increase squared / linear size increase cubed.

So for instance, a stag beetle can carry 120 times its body weight. A giant tiger beetle is about 14 times longer than a stag beetle. Therefore a giant tiger beetle can carry (120) * (14^2) / (14^3) = 8.5 times its body weight. 

This is not *realistic* but it was reliably formulaic and it gave outcomes that "felt right" for a fantasy world.

Giant spiders absolutely can crawl up walls during sieges. Nom nom nom.


Just so noone misses this one either, while we're talking about sieging castles with monstrosities:


Some discussion of sieges with incorporeal units - unintelligent ones in this particular case.

I love the smell of fried spiders in the morning.

Question: I noticed that pixies are listed as "man sized" and also permanently invisible. This seems odd- Given their extremely small size, I would've assumed a greater density (240 to the unit?)

There also doesn't seem to be a rule for invisible units. I can imagine an invisible unit being devastating for morale, perhaps inducing Disorder even when their attack fails as men flail at nothing? Is the pixie's natural AC the result of being invisible? I feel like invisible units are something that my players will deploy at some point for sure because that's the kind of groupthink they achieve.

I did not create rules for "smaller than man-sized" units for various reasons, largely stemming due to my desire to avoid having magically tiny creatures be the dominant force on the battlefield.

ACKS ignores lots of factors, such as momentum and inertia, that would prevent a unit of tiny creatures from actually being effective, so application of the rules as written + huge unit sizes would have led to overpowered silliness.

Feel free to adjust it, but don't be mad at me when the Auran Empire is soon ruled by the Pixie King.


Sounds like it's time to break out the Adventurer's Guide to Pixie Fairies from Hackmaster 4e.

It's actually a good supplement, to be honest. I read the damned thing thoroughly and was suitably impressed.

But HELLS NO for my personal ACKS campaign.