Giant Spiders have an ability to restrain their prey. I'm adding a custom ability (for the sake of the storyline) to wrap a player in web cocoon. Part of the storyline during the battle with the spiders. The spiders will attempt to restrain the players and cocoon (wrap their entire body) them in spider web then put them in a nursery room to be fed upon by the hatchlings.

If I want to cocoon a restrained (webbed) target in a spider web, do I need to grapple him first even if he's restrained with web?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Be sure to take out tour to find out more about how we work! \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10, 2018 at 15:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking if the existing Giant Spider is able to cocoon a victim or how to home-brew such an ability? \$\endgroup\$
    – PJRZ
    Sep 10, 2018 at 15:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you:). Giant Spiders have an ability to restraint their prey. I'm adding a customer ability (for the sake of the storyline) to wrap a player in web cocoon. Part of the storyline during the battle with the spiders. The spiders will attempt to restrain the players and cocoon (wrap their entire body) them in spider web then put them in a nursery room to be feed by the hatchling. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10, 2018 at 15:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ the cocoon bit is homebrew. the web restraint is an effect of their "Web" ability \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10, 2018 at 15:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ With your edit, this isn't really answerable as you're proposing a custom rule and asking us on the procedure for it. We can't answer that because it's your rule and the answer is whatever your rule says. What we can answer is the balance issues associated with a fully developed house rule. I recommend writing out how you want this to function and posting that and ask if it's balanced. The more detail, the better. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10, 2018 at 19:00

3 Answers 3


No homebrew needed - just use the spider's bite ability

Your goal with cocooning the PCs seems to be to completely immobilize them such that they cannot escape and are ready to be fed on by the spider. However, the spider already has the ability to do this.

Using the giant spider's bite attack and reducing the PCs' health to 0 HP will trigger this effect:

If the poison damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, the target is stable but poisoned for 1 hour, even after regaining hit points, and is paralyzed while poisoned in this way.

Once paralyzed, they will have the following effects:

A paralyzed creature is incapacitated [...] and can't move or speak.

(among other effects). This seems to be what you were going for with the cocooning.

One paralyzed, you can simply narratively describe the spider wrapping more web around them and placing them in their web. Do note that this will not work on PCs that are somehow immune to poison, but if this is the case it will be a great place to have the PC's ability shine through and save the day.

In case it wasn't clear, using bite in this way also wouldn't require any sort of grappling.


By RAW, the Giant Spider does not have the ability to completely cocoon an enemy - at least, not in combat. It can only web an enemy as stated in the Monster Manual description.

If you want to add to that, then we're into home-brew territory.

Personally I would say this would take several minutes and could only be accomplished on a completely paralysed or otherwise incapacitated victim. But leaving an enemy alive for the purposes of cocooning and feeding to hatchlings sounds like a perfectly reasonable thing for a giant spider to do!.

(And, as per Rubiksmoose's answer - the giant spider is perfectly capable of paralysing a victim in this way).


Raw No, Thematically...Maybe


Lets have a look at the Giant Spider From the monster manual:

On the bottom of it's stat block it states:

Web (Recharge 5-6). Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 30/60 ft., one creature. The target is restrained by webbing As an action, the restrained target can make a DC 12 Strength check, bursting the webbing on a success. The webbing can also be attacked and destroyed (AC 10; hp 5; vulnerability to fire damage; immunity to bludgeoning, poison, and psychic damage)

Thus as the target is restrained they are under the following conditions:

  • A restrained creature’s speed becomes 0, and it can’t benefit from any bonus to its speed.
  • Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature’s Attack rolls have disadvantage.
  • The creature has disadvantage on Dexterity Saving Throws.

As you can also see there is no 'Cocoon' ability.

Now the point of your question is, does the spider need to make a Grapple, in order to begin cocooning the restrained creature. When looking at Grappling it states:

When you want to grab a creature or wrestle with it, you can use the Attack action to make a Special melee Attack, a grapple. If you’re able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this Attack replaces one of them. The target of your grapple must be no more than one size larger than you and must be within your reach. Using at least one free hand, you try to seize the target by making a grapple check instead of an Attack roll: a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the target’s Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (the target chooses the ability to use). If you succeed, you subject the target to the Grappled condition (see Conditions ). The condition specifies the things that end it, and you can release the target whenever you like (no action required).

Therefore in order to grapple the restrained creature the Spider would have too spend an action, (one action to web and another to restrain).


I, in my opinion, would rule that if a creature is 'Webbed' you could still state that they are cocooned but just have the same effects as webbed.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why was this downvoted? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 11, 2018 at 7:26

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