Should Spider be a trait?


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I noticed the following discrepancy while scouring the PACG wiki, so apologies if I have been mislead (I dont have my card on hand). Apparently:

- The SPIDER trait is present on Leng Spider (RotR), Blink Spider (SS), Paeta (SS Villain) and Mistress Anemor (WotR Villain)

- Meanwhile, the ALLIES Spider (both pre- and post-Core), Dream Spider and Stancrush, as well as the monsters Monstrous Spider and Spider Swarm have as a trait VERMIN.

So, should the cards in the first category be FAQd to say Vermin as well, so they can interact with the numerous powers that care for the Vermin trait?


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

In principle, yes, I agree; all pre-Core Spiders should be FAQed to have the Vermin trait. It may as well replace the Spider trait, which is overly specific and so narrow that no power has ever referenced it.

In practice, it's very rare to be a meaningful change. There was no Vermin-matters powers printed until Mummy's Mask and Class/Character decks that came out later. But it certainly doesn't hurt.


For background, in the RPG Vermin is typically a non-intelligent being type that is used for insects and small animals. None of the non-Vermin you've listed above are Vermin in the RPG: Leng and Phase Spiders (Blink Spiders) are extraplanar Magical Beasts, Paeta is a Phase Spider with class levels, and Mistress Anemor is a Drider (a drow+spider Aberration).

Dream Spiders are a type of spider and thus Vermin, as are regular Spiders in all sizes, large groups, and even Chuffy's pet Stankrush.

In other words, just because it looks like a spider doesn't mean it's a Vermin. :)

There's at least one example of an intelligent Vermin in the Card Game: Xanthir Vang, a Worm That Walks. Watch Reepazo order him around!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Parody wrote:

For background, in the RPG Vermin is typically a non-intelligent being type that is used for insects and small animals. None of the non-Vermin you've listed above are Vermin in the RPG: Leng and Phase Spiders (Blink Spiders) are extraplanar Magical Beasts, Paeta is a Phase Spider with class levels, and Mistress Anemor is a Drider (a drow+spider Aberration).

Dream Spiders are a type of spider and thus Vermin, as are regular Spiders in all sizes, large groups, and even Chuffy's pet Stankrush.

In other words, just because it looks like a spider doesn't mean it's a Vermin. :)

I hear you. So, basically, the "normal" spiders are indeed Vermin and correctly trait-ed as such. OTOH, some of those other monsters that got Spider trait in fact do so only in the meaning of... "spider-like looking creatures that have nothing in common with spiders"?

So, Leng, Phase and Paeta should NOT have Spider (which, from your explanation, has exactly as much sense as "humanoid" or "bipedal" as a trait??). What SHOULD they have instead though? To me, "extraplanar" sounds like they should be trait-ed as Outsiders (which, in RPG may be a different thing, but perhaps the distinction is not big enough to warrant disambiguation in PACG? Are there any precedent examples of RPG Extraplanar being trait-ed as PACG Outsiders?). It doesn't sound to me like they warrant an Aberration, as you make them sound exactly as "normal" to their native plains as a human is on Golarion?

Anemor (and Drow, by extension) seem to be another matter. Now, it can be argued that devs should just let them be an Aberration and call it a day - much as a Zombie Giant is just an Undead and not a "giant" anymore, a Drow is probably no longer an Elf OR a spider - but something else entirely (I'm spitballing here, I don't know how this *actually* maps to the RPG mechanically).

However, the dev DID give the Drow an Elf and a Spider trait, so apparently there's a goal of these respective parts being reflected and affected by powers that would influence the constituent "monster parts". And if we assume a Drow is at least partially a *biological spider* -it only makes sense that it should get the Vermin trait.

As you say, there's the precedent of Xanthir Vang, who - to my understanding- is *literally* a bunch of maggots with a hive-mind. HOWEVER, there's also a much more proiminent example in none other than Deskari, Lord of Locusts himself... and one that probably should NOT actually have that trait!

For reference, in this thread Vic confirms that Derakni should LOSE the Vermin trait, as opposed to the Locust Demon gaining it - there's no reasoning given, but it seems like a confirmation that the Locust Demons - and by extension the Lord of Locusts himself- are only "insect-looking" as opposed to being part-insects (much like the Phase and Blink Spiders are not even partially a regular spider). Granted, this makes Swarmlord's jar even more useless than it was, but at least it should still work against those AD6 Dragonrider Armies (which, judging by the art, seem to be a sentient swarm of *actual* locusts, but YMMV).

So, back to the Drow-ing board (I'll see myself out, thank you) - it seems to come down to if lore-wise a drow is just spider-looking, or if it is *in fact* at least partially an actual spider?

So, in light of the above, without demanding any FAQ, I'd appreciate any official ruling on the following:

- Should Leng Spider, Phase Spider and Paeta lose the Spider trait and gain Outsider trait instead?
- Should Mistress Anemor gain Vermin *instead* of Spider, or should it lose the Elf trait instead?
- Should Deskari lose the Vermin trait (and if not - should Vic's statement be overruled and the Locust Demon gain Vermin instead?) and why?

Thanks in advance.

PS: And yes, apparently I have too much free time on my hands, but I assume most people on this forum can emphatise with game minutia-induced OCD to one degree or another :)


Longshot11 wrote:
...

Technically, driders originated in Dungeons and Dragons, where they are actually drow who were punished by their main goddess Lolth (Lloth) and cursed to be half-spider half-drow monstrosities. As such, they really are Spiders in part, but are definitely not Vermin like rats, cockroaches and such.


FWIW:

Longshot11 wrote:
Should Leng Spider, Phase Spider and Paeta lose the Spider trait and gain Outsider trait instead?

I was wrong about the Phase Spider (Blink Spider); it's a Material Plane creature that goes between planes when hunting, not an Ethereal Plane creature that comes here sometimes. So they're not Extraplanar at all. Sorry about that.

The Leng Spider could be an Outsider, if they wanted. I don't think they'd have to remove the Spider trait to do it.

Longshot11 wrote:
Should Mistress Anemor gain Vermin *instead* of Spider, or should it lose the Elf trait instead?

I think Mistress Anemora is fine as-is.

Longshot11 wrote:
Should Deskari lose the Vermin trait (and if not - should Vic's statement be overruled and the Locust Demon gain Vermin instead?) and why?

I'd maybe remove Vermin and add Locust to both of them; they're not mindless creatures and shouldn't be affected by powers that affect them. However, I'm sure the devs wouldn't want to review every card with the Vermin trait and either replace or add a "species" type to them. Sometimes we have to accept that the Card Game is an inexact abstraction of an inexact abstraction of a fantasy multiverse. :)

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