You're likely already terrified of spiders. Now just imagine if they were half your size and exploded on contact.
In all likely-hood you, like everyone else, completed the Dragonborn DLC without even once considering adding these little guys to your arsenal. These seldom used scrolls have the potential to be the deadliest instruments of destruction this side of Tamriel, and I;m here to show you how. Below I go over the many advantages of each type of scroll.
The Imbuing Chamber inside White Ridge Barrow gives the ability to craft a variety of spiders from Albino Spider Pods (either whole or damaged), assorted gems, and other ingredients. Damaged Spider Pods will produce a dead spider, which we will go over in more depth later.
In most cases, three spiders will be created from a successful combination; however, the amount is doubled if a gem of flawless quality is used instead of a standard gem.
Cloak Spiders emit a constant cloak of their respective element once deployed. Up to six of these things can be summoned at one time, they have no time limit and will fast travel and follow you anywhere (except into the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary for some reason).
Individually these spiders are weak. They have health and little to no damage resistance against anything outside of their respective element. Despite this they make great decoys, as an enemy will have to contend with 6 individual targets with a combined health total of +700 health spread out and coming at them from all directions.
What makes cloak spiders especially deadly is when they converge on a closely huddled group of enemies or a single enemy. Each cloak will stack with the next, so when an enemy stands next to multiple spiders their health will melt at an astonishing rate.
Jumping Spiders will follow you everywhere and last forever just like cloak spiders. When they sight an enemy they will jump at them and explode like little kamikaze bombers. These spiders are much hardier than their cloaked cousins and actually level with the player (to unknown extents). So there's little chance of these guys being killed before they've suicide bombed their target.
What these guys are in essence are rapidly deployable, set-it-and-forget-it homing bombs. Upon hearing that, youre thinking why not just do that with the flaming familiar. Well, unlike the flaming familiar these buggers dont cost any magicka and come in packs of 6. Their jump is surprisingly accurate. They almost always hit and enemy dead on even if the enemy is moving. 6 of these things bombarding a single enemy can cause some pretty high damage.
These can be made even deadlier by tagging an enemy with weakness to magic and/or weakness to <insert element here. Imagine shooting an enemy with a weakness to magic/element poison, and then sending 6 of these spiders to seek and destroy the enemy you tagged.
Even if you invest in spider scrolls you may be tempted to write these little guys off as useless. Nothing in their in game description really does them justice. When you toss these guys on the ground, their lifeless bodies will sit there lying in wait for an enemy to cross their path, at which time they will explode dealing 50 damage.
Like all other spider scrolls up to 6 at a time can be in play, so already these things are viable replacement for runes. If you're going to use these guys as land mines it is best to place them in narrow passage ways and choke points the enemy would be forced to traverse through to get to you.
But why stop at land mines? Did you know you can chuck these bastards like grenades? By adjusting your aiming cursor upward you can get a throwing arc and some distance when you chuck these spiders. Like runes these guys will do more damage the closer the enemy is to the center of the explosion. With this in consideration, one example of a viable tactic would be to huddle enemies together with Throw Voice, confuse them with a frenzy spell, and chuck a bunch of these spiders into the crowd and watch the fireworks.
These unique buggers latch onto and enemy, take control, and force the enemy to fight on your side for 30 seconds. These can be thrown exceptionally far, but only work if you hit your intended target, otherwise they'll explode uselessly like duds. Mind Control Spiders have no effective level cap, so they will work on any enemy vulnerable to its effects regardless of their level. Already you can see how these guys can potentially replace the frenzy line of illusion spells. Unlike other spiders only one of these can be in play at a time.
But wait theres more. By throwing another Mind Control Spider onto another enemy, the previous Mind Control Spider will die instantly along side with the enemy they had control of. This presents a potentially very effective means of taking the strongest enemy in any group out of the fight right away.
Im going to cut right to the chase as to why these guys are so dangerous - You can rig these things to explode with the fury of a thousand suns. When these things are in combat they secrete continuous pools of oil wherever theyre standing. Cast flames on the pool theyre standing on and once the flames react with the oil and engulf the spiders watch them explode with such ferocity that they literally erase anyone in range. That anyone can and will include you if you stand to close to stand clear of this.
The more oil thats spilled, and the more oil spiders that are standing on them, the more powerful the explosion will be. Basically more time + more spiders = bigger booms.
If high explosives arent your thing (whats wrong with you?) just know that Oil Spiders will level along your characters and have a little under 3 times the health of the cloak spiders. They dont deal much damage, but with so much health, they make sturdy decoys.
Dont believe me? Just watch this video by ponty.
- Duplication -
You're no doubt thinking "why the shit does any of this matter if spider scrolls are so rare?". Well it just so happens theres a way to duplicate spider scrolls, pods, and jewels. Watch this video below.
1. Get a home and a follower.
2. Make your follower wait in your home.
3. Drop the items you wish to duplicate in your home one at a time.
4. have your follower pick up everything you drop
5. As soon as everything is picked up leave your home.
6. Some say fast traveling helps. I have found that that is not necessarily required.
7. Walk back into your home and talk to your follower. They should have additional copies of whatever you made them pick up.
Cautions and Warnings -
Spiders are incredibly potent tools but they should be used with caution....
- Be cautious of how many you summon in tight spaces as they will get in your way same as any follower or NPC.
- Don't attack them. It only takes one attack to tick off a spider and make it aggressive towards you.
- Whatever the hell you do, DO NOT be anywhere near oil spiders when they explode. You'll be dead before you even realize it if you do. Do not summon oil spiders against enemies with fire based attacks. Any fire based attack will cause them to explode.
All in all spider scrolls are much more useful than you may have been led to believe. I write this in the hopes that this inspires new build ideas.