Lightning snare , snare specialist, free snares "decay"


Rules Discussion


Does lightning snare applies to the "free" snares given by snare specialist?

The RAW is a bit confusing on this...

Bonus question: am i blind, or "free" snares do not "decay" at the end of the day like alchemist reagent do? To me it seems a gross oversight and clearly needs an errata.

Imagine a ranger trapping his homebase with multiple "infinite duration" traps per day!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Raw they don't "decay" not really a big deal though they're just snares


I've actually brought up this issue in the past, along with a whole bevy of other issues I've found with Snares. Lots of house rules to consider.


Yes, lightning snares works with your daily snares. They are snares that normally take one minute to craft. They have to be for you to make them as daily snares.


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I guess I'll just quote myself from the other thread.

Setting aside those considerations, the snares work fine as written (doing a single snare with each craft activity, one per square.) Snares do hit really really hard, but they require extensive planning to actually use. If you deploy them in front of an enemy they almost certainly won't step into that square, and even if they don't you have to lure them there. You could rig your home base with them, sure. But you almost never get attacked at home. PCs are almost always the Invaders, so setting snares is going to require careful scouting and planning to utilize.

Will they be crazy good when you get those stars aligned. Hell yeah. But it isn't game breaking anymore than having a sorcerer with fireball fight a whole mass of tightly grouped enemies, a druid wild striding around the battlefield, or other such things.


Snares are strong, but not out of line for their levels and drawbacks.
Snares you can mass produce between adventures and stash in a Bag of Holding would be ridiculous. Yet since snares don't decay, the rules could be interpreted like that. It'd be like getting free scrolls every day that don't go away. Which would be broken.

Which is why I'd cite that sidebar (not handy to give page number) which says if a rule seems ridiculous, it's probably not meant to work that way.
A straightforward interpretation is the Ranger gets that many traps per day and that's it. So snares would have to decay (or at least take up a use the next day). Otherwise game balance goes out the door.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Castilliano wrote:

Snares are strong, but not out of line for their levels and drawbacks.

Snares you can mass produce between adventures and stash in a Bag of Holding would be ridiculous. Yet since snares don't decay, the rules could be interpreted like that. It'd be like getting free scrolls every day that don't go away. Which would be broken.

Which is why I'd cite that sidebar (not handy to give page number) which says if a rule seems ridiculous, it's probably not meant to work that way.
A straightforward interpretation is the Ranger gets that many traps per day and that's it. So snares would have to decay (or at least take up a use the next day). Otherwise game balance goes out the door.

Not really seeing how game balance "goes out the window" by having lots of snares, it's an incredibly niche situation for them to impact the game.


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Snares are damn near useless as printed, so I don't really see an issue with a PC having 50+ of them. Sure, they're great if you are in a defensible position and know you are going to be attacked ahead of time, but that almost never happens. They are basically going to be completely dead until level 12, as until then, they take your entire turn to deploy. Even once you get lightning snares, basically the only time they will do something is if you start close enough to an opponent to deploy the snare adjacent to them, move behind them, and then successfully shove them into the snare.

How hard they hit is irrelevant if you basically never get to use them.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Even less useful at higher levels when you start encountering enemies with exotic movement modes like flight or teleport that allow them to bypass snares.


I still am of the opinion that the Snare rules in general and the Ranger snare rules in specific need a lot of help. They are a nightmare to parse for a GM and require more "figuring out" than any other class niche ability.

Quick Alchemy clearly spells out what you can make and when. Focus Spells are clearly defined, even in their own corner cases like the Bard's Focus Cantrips.

Snare Specialist doesn't follow the same design principles or wording found in any other feat that provides an ability like it. And this causes issues, issues that can lead to an inconsistent use of the feat.

Can some snares be placed together? Can they be batch crafted in place? Do they degrade? Do you have to place them adjacent to you in encounter mode?

In a perfect world, snares and Snare Specialist would be written in a way that fits with the rest of the game system and makes them an interesting upgrade path for a Ranger. As it stands they can be hilariously broken to hilariously useless depending on how each GM rules on those questions.


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Most encounters will react to you, even chase you. Ravingdork makes a good point about exotic movement, but many creatures will still pursue overland, falling into your traps.

Traps (well, most everything actually) have to be tuned in power for those who can use them effectively. If you cannot, then don't take the feats (nor buy them, since they're way overpriced). If I felt I could only push enemies into traps or set them up while non-mindless creatures watched me, then I'd agree snares had dubious value.
But I love me a good ambush, and playing with parties that can execute them. There have been people on the boards saying how surprisingly powerful there Snare Rangers have been. They'd leap at the opportunity to carry bushels of them after every downtime.

Also, what would stop a Snare Ranger from selling their trap services?
If snares don't decay then the Ranger should be able to set up traps to make income. And NPC Rangers, especially Kobolds, could line their burrows with traps that don't add to CR/XP. They're only a part of the Ranger's powers, right? Better not take too long getting to the lair.
And if you think you'd have to rein any of that in, maybe it's because there's a foundational flaw.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Castilliano wrote:


Also, what would stop a Snare Ranger from selling their trap services?
If snares don't decay then the Ranger should be able to set up traps to make income. And NPC Rangers, especially Kobolds, could line their burrows with traps that don't add to CR/XP. They're only a part of the Ranger's powers, right? Better not take too long getting to the lair.
And if you think you'd have to rein any of that in, maybe it's because there's a foundational flaw.

Nothing stops them from selling trap services, Earn some Income with traps sounds fine to me.

Kobolds don't have any snare crafting ability?

If you gave them snare crafting abilities and then have them set up traps and don't adjust the XP budget that's a failure as the GM since snares should be pretty obviously hazards and should be part of the encounter budget.

I don't think I'd have to rein any of that in, most likely the ally kobolds all die to the snares the fictional Ranger Kobold created and it's 1 single Kobold left in a lair of corpses since everything else died to all the snares they set up.

PC's having to advance slowly through a trapped lair sounds pretty standard adventure to me.


Vlorax wrote:
Castilliano wrote:


Also, what would stop a Snare Ranger from selling their trap services?
If snares don't decay then the Ranger should be able to set up traps to make income. And NPC Rangers, especially Kobolds, could line their burrows with traps that don't add to CR/XP. They're only a part of the Ranger's powers, right? Better not take too long getting to the lair.
And if you think you'd have to rein any of that in, maybe it's because there's a foundational flaw.

Nothing stops them from selling trap services, Earn some Income with traps sounds fine to me.

Kobolds don't have any snare crafting ability?

If you gave them snare crafting abilities and then have them set up traps and don't adjust the XP budget that's a failure as the GM since snares should be pretty obviously hazards and should be part of the encounter budget.

I don't think I'd have to rein any of that in, most likely the ally kobolds all die to the snares the fictional Ranger Kobold created and it's 1 single Kobold left in a lair of corpses since everything else died to all the snares they set up.

PC's having to advance slowly through a trapped lair sounds pretty standard adventure to me.

Why couldn't a Kobold have a snare crafting ability? Eventually they will probably be a PC playable race like Goblins. Goblins can be rangers, why not a Kobold?

And you would not adjust the XP budget for snares crafted by such a Kobold. You would adjust the budget for the Kobold itself. Castilliano means is that this gives the Kobold's a "free" set of Hazards.

Now whether this will ever come up is on any given GM. I wouldn't make a dungeon full of snares just to gotcha my players. Instead I'd use Hazards since that is what they are intended for. But I could see a snare specialist enemy as being a unique encounter. And that unique encounter has a bunch of questions tagged onto it that I would have to answer to use that encounter.

I still don't think it's unreasonable to want more clear rules on how snares work.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So many children were killed and maimed out in those fields, even after the great war ended. When the refugees returned home, their enemies long gone, they thought it safe to play in the light again amidst the beautiful blossoms. Nobody plays in those fields anymore, and the light has gone from here.


Ravingdork wrote:
So many children were killed and maimed out in those fields, even after the great war ended. When the refugees returned home, their enemies long gone, they thought it safe to play in the light again amidst the beautiful blossoms. Nobody plays in those fields anymore, and the light has gone from here.

The new chaotic evil is picking up ranger's free traps and just placing them at random.


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beowulf99 wrote:
And you would not adjust the XP budget for snares crafted by such a Kobold. You would adjust the budget for the Kobold itself. Castilliano means is that this gives the Kobold's a "free" set of Hazards.

I don't know if PF2 specifies this, but I've always been of the opinion that anything that happens off-screen to change an encounter should be considered separately when setting up that encounter. That is, if a caster has bound a fiend to serve them, that fiend is considered their own thing for the purposes of encounter design. But if you summon something once the encounter has begun, that uses up actions and resources within the scope of the encounter, and thus is considerd part of the original creature's abilities.

I would apply the same to snares and hazards. If the kobold sets up snares before the encounter, the snares should be considered as hazards. But if the kobold has a method of creating snares in the encounter, they should already be accounted for in the kobold's level.


Staffan Johansson wrote:
beowulf99 wrote:
And you would not adjust the XP budget for snares crafted by such a Kobold. You would adjust the budget for the Kobold itself. Castilliano means is that this gives the Kobold's a "free" set of Hazards.

I don't know if PF2 specifies this, but I've always been of the opinion that anything that happens off-screen to change an encounter should be considered separately when setting up that encounter. That is, if a caster has bound a fiend to serve them, that fiend is considered their own thing for the purposes of encounter design. But if you summon something once the encounter has begun, that uses up actions and resources within the scope of the encounter, and thus is considerd part of the original creature's abilities.

I would apply the same to snares and hazards. If the kobold sets up snares before the encounter, the snares should be considered as hazards. But if the kobold has a method of creating snares in the encounter, they should already be accounted for in the kobold's level.

I don't know either whether PF2 has been as explicit as 3.X/PF1 where there was at least one Paizo adventure where an evil temple/dungeon had numerous high level casters with an ample supply of gem components which they'd burn through making zero-XP traps (i.e. glyphs) if you left (which given the difficulty, you were expected to). They'd also use them to Raise Dead, make undead, bind outsiders, etc. Some of those dangers didn't give XP either because the NPCs burned slots and allotted wealth in what is essentially a multi-day war.

Yep, the worst kind of villain, as they were burning through your (not so) rightfully (soon to be) earned treasure! (Admittedly, given so many NPCs carrying so much pure loot (not 1/2 for selling), the treasure begins way above norms to begin with.)
Oh, and they were mainly awakened primates so it's not like you expect so much spellpower and strategic acumen.

Either way, you could have the Kobold encounter the party a month or so prior then run back to base to set up traps. Of course, that's unreasonable, right? Which supports the point: These free Ranger snares do have consequences, so perhaps shouldn't be allowed to accumulate past the daily allotment. Many campaigns do feature such time gaps, and they could be built while traveling or exploring too.

I could also imagine loyal Ranger followers spending all their allotment building traps. "Never go left. Or every-other right. Or walk around the perimeter. Or behind the king. Or anywhere not shaded in green." Suddenly Rangers become all the rage among those building fortifications, as there are no raw materials, only labor.
(Meanwhile, Glyph of Warding, now free, maxes out at your casting stat.)
(I hadn't actually noticed this until now, which makes me want to exploit this. As I said, I love a good ambush.)

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