I proposed doing a Drow druid whose wild shape was a spider swarm. Here’s the mail:
With the whole spiders thing it sounds like your character will need to have a seriously good reason to be working for bahamut, I’m very interested to hear what you come up with!
Also the powers sound very lolth-centric. Being a drow that turns into spiders isn’t going to help his reputation any. He’s going to be chased by many an angry villager mob!
Hmm … ok. If having a Drow in the party is just going to be infeasible in the campaign setting, then that’s the way it is (unless he can have a free hat of disquise). However:
Azroth was taught to venerate the Spider Queen and her tiny avatars from an early age, of course. Like any drow, “Lolth” was his first word, and he learned the litanies for children: a test both of faithfulness and intelligence, as any child unable to memorise the formulas suitable for their age is put to death.
However: Azroth took it all a shade too seriously. He watched the spiders weave their webs and hunt their prey, he learned their behaviour and the cycles of their lives, and over the years began to understand them not merely as ruthless predators, but as a necessary part of the whole weave of life. He escaped death because the drow around him simply assumed him to be more than ordinarily pious – but the truth was just the opposite. It came together suddenly, the insight that was to define his life: Loth did not own the spiders, they were not hers. They belonged to themselves, to life itself, to the world. He pledged himself to them, and through them to all the world of living things.
It was not long before he first assumed his wild shape, and understood what he had become.
He fled that very night.
Lolth has some … rather specific punishments for drow that turn to primal power. Those that repent might have the relative good fortune to be made into driders – horrible mockeries of the druidic change, wrought with alchemy and her divine will. Those that don’t repent tend to live long – days or weeks too long. And more: his own form, that of the swarm, is rare. Not for him the brief but horrible transformation into drider, but months or years of systematic experiment.
And so, a life of hiding and fleeing when discovered. And a life of service. Poor Azroth! He does not expect to be understood – not even by other druids. Caught between the drow and their zeal for Lolth, and the surfacers and their instinctive fear and loathing for spiders, either would torture and kill him (if for different reasons).
But war is coming – the trees and low things whisper that Tiamat and Bahamut are set to rekindle their ancient enmity, and places to hide will become more and more difficult to find – every fallen log lifted, every stone turned. And so Azroth considers. If there is no escape from conflict and war, if discovery by one or the other side is inevitable, then the followers of Bahamut would be relatively merciful, and would spare him being handed over to the horrible and unnatural experiments of the drow – both Tiamat and Bahamut hate Lolth, but the hate of Bahumut has no treachery in it.
And so he chooses his course. He will seek out the followers of the platinum dragon, hoping to find an ally, or a swift and relatively merciful death.