Maybe it's the unseasonably cold and wet spring and summer we've been having this year, but, whatever it is, there have been a lot of spider about my house and I hate spiders. More precisely, I am terrified of spiders. There are lots of creepy crawlies I don't much care for and that I'd rather not have wandering around my home, but spiders are the only ones that induce fear in me. It's silly, of course, because most -- most -- of the spiders I've been finding in and around my house this year are quite small and harmless. Despite that, the very sight of them sends a shiver down my spine.
It's completely irrational, I know, but there it is. Perhaps that's why I've regularly used spiders as baddies in my games. Dwimmermount, for example, is infested with giant poisonous spiders and I've been contemplating the creation of a new, spidery race to serve as antagonists later in the campaign. My fear of spiders certainly explains why, unlike so many other gamers, I've never found the drow or Lolth to be the least bit appealing. Beings who live with and emulate the habits of spiders are nothing to admire in my book.
They say that the best way to scare other people is to be able to scare yourself. There's definitely some truth to this, which is why arachnids hold a strange fascination for me, despite my fear of them. I regularly find myself reading about these nasty things and their habits, cringing all the way, but still never stopping. Heck, I'm cringing now as I write this, merely thinking about spiders. That's just how much I hate the beasts. It's not for nothing I heartily approved of Gygax's having made giant spiders Chaotic Evil in the Monster Manual, something subsequent iterations of D&D did not continue, treating them as mere animals without the malevolence I know they possess.