Definition of creature?


Rules Discussion


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Is there a definition of what qualifies as a "creature"?

Is it just any non-PC animate object/organism?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'd say that PCs are creatures too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Megistone wrote:
I'd say that PCs are creatures too.

That's what I was thinking as well but wasn't sure if it was specified anywhere.

Mostly was thinking about in light of this post

https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42xvq?Lightning-snare-snare-specialist-free-sn ares

because if PC's are creatures as well it seems like an extraordinarily bad idea to set up tons of traps in your home base unless you want to be rolling to not die every time you enter a square.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

PCs are definitely creatures. Otherwise there would be a huge range of spells and effects that they were mysteriously immune to.

And why wouldn't booby trapping all over you home be dangerous, if you forget where not to step?


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

PCs are definitely creatures. Otherwise there would be a huge range of spells and effects that they were mysteriously immune to.

And why wouldn't booby trapping all over you home be dangerous, if you forget where not to step?

I agree it should be dangerous was mostly thinking that it's a bad idea and that the snares not expiring isn't that big a deal.


Vlorax wrote:
HammerJack wrote:

PCs are definitely creatures. Otherwise there would be a huge range of spells and effects that they were mysteriously immune to.

And why wouldn't booby trapping all over you home be dangerous, if you forget where not to step?

I agree it should be dangerous was mostly thinking that it's a bad idea and that the snares not expiring isn't that big a deal.

You just need someone with the Delay Trap feat to go first.


Your own snares pose no risk to you.

CRB 589 wrote:

You can automatically disarm a snare that you

personally Crafted without triggering it by spending an
Interact action while adjacent to the snare.

You would just automatically disarm it before walking into it, and then re-enable it afterwards.


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

Your own snares pose no risk to you.

CRB 589 wrote:

You can automatically disarm a snare that you

personally Crafted without triggering it by spending an
Interact action while adjacent to the snare.
You would just automatically disarm it before walking into it, and then re-enable it afterwards.

Yes but none of your allies get that benefit, unless you're escorting them around constantly and never split up.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Vlorax wrote:
Aratorin wrote:

Your own snares pose no risk to you.

CRB 589 wrote:

You can automatically disarm a snare that you

personally Crafted without triggering it by spending an
Interact action while adjacent to the snare.
You would just automatically disarm it before walking into it, and then re-enable it afterwards.
Yes but none of your allies get that benefit, unless you're escorting them around constantly and never split up.

Well, that's on them for ignoring the "DO NOT ENTER" sign on the door of my room.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

If you put them EVERYWHERE, instead of just at key points, as some people have suggested before, doing that every time you take a step would also be a massive quality of life issue, in-character.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
HammerJack wrote:

If you put them EVERYWHERE, instead of just at key points, as some people have suggested before, doing that every time you take a step would also be a massive quality of life issue, in-character.

It's basically the same as having kids who own Legos. ;)


Aratorin wrote:
HammerJack wrote:

If you put them EVERYWHERE, instead of just at key points, as some people have suggested before, doing that every time you take a step would also be a massive quality of life issue, in-character.

It's basically the same as having kids who own Legos. ;)

Big bear trap looking legos at that.

Creature is used as a catch all for any "entity", living or dead, in the game that is in some way motive or intelligent. I suppose you could wax poetic about the corner cases like golems and oozes, but a good rule of thumb is if it "seems" alive, it's a creature.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It gets really funny when you compare the line between what makes a creature vs. what makes a hazard. Personally I'm pretty sure there can be no hard rule definition, and it's more of a fluid classification based on guidelines, more like early taxonomy than genetics.

For example, if we take the obviously short-sighted stance that a creature is usually a living being (or living dead being), as has been pointed out not only does that most likely rule out Constructs ("Number Five is Alive!") but it also erroneously includes the yellow mould hazard you found in the dungeon that nearly killed everyone, not to mention the standard non-mobile fungi and trees that populate the landscape.

On the other hand, if you wanted to take what constructs and vampires and goats have in common, but not moulds and trees, you might say that a creature must be mobile, or at least capable of moving around. This is definitely a closer working guideline, even if it also rules out some types of animals which are unlikely to need a statblock (sea sponges, barnacles, etc.), though creates a grey area with regard to some complex traps like the spinning blade trap that moves around on a set routine.

This challenge most recently came to me while converting Carrion Crown Book 4 for 2e:

Spoiler:
Namely trying to convert the already mechanically bizarre Slugspawn into a format I can use; running through the options I decided on a living and mobile hazard, but you could easily make an argument that it should be a creature.


Mobility is a tempting definition, until you look at some creatures in 1st edition that technically have movement speeds but functionally don't (in that most players will never see them move, as they are largely stationary "creatures" that are unlikely to be inclined to move or get the opportunity to move once they meet the PCs). Think things like the assassin vine, hangman tree, violet fungus, ropers, lurkers above, deathtrap oozes, dust diggers, etc.

That the designers gave them (token) movement speeds could imply either that having movement is part of what makes it a creature, or just be there to cover weird interactions and give the gm the option of them moving around off camera (on camera, the violet fungus is unlikely to be chasing anyone down).

Honestly, I think the best definition (rather frustratingly) is a combination of "mouth-feel" and whether being a creature best serves the game.

There are things that are definitely a creature, and things that are definitely not creatures, but it is difficult to figure out the things in between.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The meta definition, a creature is anything either defined by class levels or creature levels.

Random NPCs on the street aren't creatures, they're set dressing until they spontaneously generate stats when the party decides to interact with them.


Aratorin wrote:
Vlorax wrote:
Aratorin wrote:

Your own snares pose no risk to you.

CRB 589 wrote:

You can automatically disarm a snare that you

personally Crafted without triggering it by spending an
Interact action while adjacent to the snare.
You would just automatically disarm it before walking into it, and then re-enable it afterwards.
Yes but none of your allies get that benefit, unless you're escorting them around constantly and never split up.
Well, that's on them for ignoring the "DO NOT ENTER" sign on the door of my room.

I don't know that you can rearm a snare. They can't be collected and resold, implying that tampering with them functionally destroys them. Disable a Device's critical success says " you can rearm the device later, if that type of device can be rearmed." I see nothing saying definitively that this can or can't be done to snares, so at best it is up to your GM. But considering a snares can't be resold and don't have "reset" entry like normal traps do, I don't think this is a reasonable ruling.

Also, while by RAW an undeployed snare made by a ranger with Snare Specialist doesn't degrade, I don't think that is intended. My read has been that you can't have more than the designated number of snares for quick deployment on your person at any given time. You could flavor that as having a bunch of partially assembled snares strung up on your person-- which would be hard to sleep while wearing.

Snares and their materials do seem to exist in this weird quantum state of existence in a lot of ways though, which does seem confusing if you think too hard about it. From a balance perspective, though, snares not degrading after being set seems fine. It is only carrying 30 undeployed snares at the end of a week that is a problem.


The issue with the definition of "creature" is that Strike mentions that you need to attack a creature. So, if you want to hit a door with your axe, cut a rope with your sword or anything like that you are in no-rule territory...


Tender Tendrils wrote:
Mobility is a tempting definition

I think able to take action it's own power is about as good as it gets: I'd say a ropers/violet fungus tentacles are the creature moving it's body even if it isn't chasing things down. It's the ability to take initiative to do things on it's own.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Did any of you check the appendix? :P

CRB page 630 wrote:
creature An active participant in the story and world. This includes monsters and nonplayer characters (played by the Game Master) and player characters (played by the other players).


Ubertron_X wrote:

Did any of you check the appendix? :P

CRB page 630 wrote:
creature An active participant in the story and world. This includes monsters and nonplayer characters (played by the Game Master) and player characters (played by the other players).

I did but the second line only tells you what it included, meaning it doesn't exclude that table over there as a creature. So we have to focus on "An active participant". That'd mean that cat over there ISN'T a creature if it's not actively participating in the game but instead it just lays there... Schrodinger's cat/creature!


Tender Tendrils wrote:


Honestly, I think the best definition (rather frustratingly) is a combination of "mouth-feel"

Do not put the violet fungus in your mouth.


Squiggit wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:


Honestly, I think the best definition (rather frustratingly) is a combination of "mouth-feel"
Do not put the violet fungus in your mouth.

Or a roper... I think we're wandering into an adult japanese animated film... :P


graystone wrote:
That'd mean that cat over there ISN'T a creature if it's not actively participating in the game but instead it just lays there... Schrodinger's cat/creature!

Afaik these days it is called a "ask your GM" cat / creature...


Ubertron_X wrote:
graystone wrote:
That'd mean that cat over there ISN'T a creature if it's not actively participating in the game but instead it just lays there... Schrodinger's cat/creature!
Afaik these days it is called a "ask your GM" cat / creature...

Don't get me started... P


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

Did any of you check the appendix? :P

CRB page 630 wrote:
creature An active participant in the story and world. This includes monsters and nonplayer characters (played by the Game Master) and player characters (played by the other players).

Ha I actually had not, so other PC's would trigger snares then.


Squiggit wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:


Honestly, I think the best definition (rather frustratingly) is a combination of "mouth-feel"
Do not put the violet fungus in your mouth.

But they look so delicious


Tender Tendrils wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:


Honestly, I think the best definition (rather frustratingly) is a combination of "mouth-feel"
Do not put the violet fungus in your mouth.
But they look so delicious

I'd watch out. I hear they are violet offenders... ;)

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Rules Discussion / Definition of creature? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.