Idiosyncratic uses of creature traits


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


So, I'm reviewing the menagerie of available critters as I proceed with updating my campaign setting from D&D3.5 to PF2 and I came across some oddities I am curious about.

Oddity 1: Trolls have the giant trait but, all other creatures with the giant trait also have the humanoid trait. Since trolls nominally seem like bipedal creatures, the lack of the humanoid trait seems weird. Was this an accident or an on-purpose? If the latter, what was the intention for differentiating trolls in this way? (My thinking is that "giant" as a trait isn't really necessary since they're all bipeds [and thereby humanoids] anyway. This would allow the term giant to more narrowly refer to just a creature family rather than a broad category.)

Oddity 2: IRL the word "kami" is frequently translated as "spirit"; however, in PF2, not all creatures with the "kami" trait have the "spirit" trait. Is there some hidden intention behind kaminari and tsukumogami not having the "spirit" trait? Or is this just an oversight?

Tangential Oddity: I've noticed that there are a few NPCs listed as Common/Uncommon in AoN's database rather than the Unique I was expecting. I suspect this might be an artifact of the actual APs the characters were copied over from. (I'm not certain though since I don't purchase/use APs.) This seems to be a non-standard usage of the rarity trait. Is it an on-purpose use or an oversight? If the former, how am I supposed to interpret the rarity trait in this instance (e.g., is it referring to the NPCs base ancestry)?


Oddity 3: The Kashrishi also seem to be a bipedal people but also lack the "humanoid" trait. On-purpose? Or an oversight?


Oddity 4: Petitioners are described as souls but don't have the "spirit" trait. This is unexpected...


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Jacob Jett wrote:
Oddity 4: Petitioners are described as souls but don't have the "spirit" trait. This is unexpected...

Why is that unexpected? They're corporeal souls.

"Spirits are ephemeral creatures defined by their spiritual self and often lacking a physical form."

If it's not ephemeral, then it shouldn't get the spirit tag. Same distinction is probably being made for kami.

Edit: Whoops, mistakenly thought you'd been in PF2 a lot longer. On Archives of Nethys, you can click on a trait to jump to the description, or for a book you can generally look it up in the glossary/appendix. "Spirit" isn't a catch-all for anything not mortal, it's a more specific trait so that if they wanted to do something interacting with spirits, it would generally do interact with what I'd describe as "stuff people could generally mistake for a ghost". An ability that let you, say, trap a spirit in a bottle, wouldn't work with, say, a giant boulder kami, so the spirit tag would be actively unhelpful to apply. I believe petitioners are generally solid creatures, not much more or less a "spirit" than a demon or angel.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jacob Jett wrote:
Oddity 3: The Kashrishi also seem to be a bipedal people but also lack the "humanoid" trait. On-purpose? Or an oversight?

They have the humanoid trait in AoN, so I think it got fixed if it was missing in the source.


Which source(s) are you using?

You may not be aware that each reprinting of the Core Rulebook (for example) has had errata added with each new printing.

If you have a question about precise wording of something, it's best to check the most recent version (which Archives of Nethys is usually the fastest way to find).


QuidEst wrote:
Jacob Jett wrote:
Oddity 3: The Kashrishi also seem to be a bipedal people but also lack the "humanoid" trait. On-purpose? Or an oversight?
They have the humanoid trait in AoN, so I think it got fixed if it was missing in the source.

It's missing from the Kashrishi Evaluator (https://2e.aonprd.com/Monsters.aspx?ID=2410)

Dancing Wind wrote:

Which source(s) are you using?

You may not be aware that each reprinting of the Core Rulebook (for example) has had errata added with each new printing.

If you have a question about precise wording of something, it's best to check the most recent version (which Archives of Nethys is usually the fastest way to find).

I'm compiling from AoN.

QuidEst wrote:
Jacob Jett wrote:
Oddity 4: Petitioners are described as souls but don't have the "spirit" trait. This is unexpected...

Why is that unexpected? They're corporeal souls.

"Spirits are ephemeral creatures defined by their spiritual self and often lacking a physical form."

If it's not ephemeral, then it shouldn't get the spirit tag. Same distinction is probably being made for kami.

From an information retrieval perspective this is less than ideal. Since petitioners remain absent from relevant sets of related creatures, i.e., spirits (from my perspective it doesn't matter if it's "corporeal" or not), fiends, celestials, monitors, etc.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jacob Jett wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Jacob Jett wrote:
Oddity 3: The Kashrishi also seem to be a bipedal people but also lack the "humanoid" trait. On-purpose? Or an oversight?
They have the humanoid trait in AoN, so I think it got fixed if it was missing in the source.

It's missing from the Kashrishi Evaluator (https://2e.aonprd.com/Monsters.aspx?ID=2410)

Dancing Wind wrote:

Which source(s) are you using?

You may not be aware that each reprinting of the Core Rulebook (for example) has had errata added with each new printing.

If you have a question about precise wording of something, it's best to check the most recent version (which Archives of Nethys is usually the fastest way to find).

I'm compiling from AoN.

QuidEst wrote:
Jacob Jett wrote:
Oddity 4: Petitioners are described as souls but don't have the "spirit" trait. This is unexpected...

Why is that unexpected? They're corporeal souls.

"Spirits are ephemeral creatures defined by their spiritual self and often lacking a physical form."

If it's not ephemeral, then it shouldn't get the spirit tag. Same distinction is probably being made for kami.

From an information retrieval perspective this is less than ideal. Since petitioners remain absent from relevant sets of related creatures, i.e., spirits (from my perspective it doesn't matter if it's "corporeal" or not), fiends, celestials, monitors, etc.

The Kashrishi Overseer is definitely a slip-up, then.

Petitioners are basically nine creatures lumped into one. They have the traits of creatures of their plane, but because that's lumped into one entry, those variable traits aren't listed. (Didn't realize that they did actually get those traits.)

It does make retrieval harder, yeah.


QuidEst wrote:


Petitioners are basically nine creatures lumped into one. They have the traits of creatures of their plane, but because that's lumped into one entry, those variable traits aren't listed. (Didn't realize that they did actually get those traits.)

It does make retrieval harder, yeah.

I'm not going to begrudge them some consolidations. But am I to understand that some Petitioners should then have the Fiend trait, some the Celestial trait, and some the Monitor trait?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

One of the main problems with using AoN is that you lose all the contextual information given by page design: you can't tell what is sidebar, what is introductory paragraph for a subsection, etc. when you're only looking at an isolated sentence on a webpage.

Often, the information above, below, or beside the snippet you're reading is useful in understanding hierarchical relationships and parallel importance.

If something doesn't make sense, it's often useful to look at the actual page in the book to see what else you're missing about the context.


Jacob Jett wrote:
QuidEst wrote:


Petitioners are basically nine creatures lumped into one. They have the traits of creatures of their plane, but because that's lumped into one entry, those variable traits aren't listed. (Didn't realize that they did actually get those traits.)

It does make retrieval harder, yeah.

I'm not going to begrudge them some consolidations. But am I to understand that some Petitioners should then have the Fiend trait, some the Celestial trait, and some the Monitor trait?

Yep. It's stated in their entry; I had forgotten that myself.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Spirit trait actually has a few rules around it; like the Spirit Sense feat. So the devs have had to decide which creatures are detectable via that ability.


QuidEst wrote:
Jacob Jett wrote:
QuidEst wrote:


Petitioners are basically nine creatures lumped into one. They have the traits of creatures of their plane, but because that's lumped into one entry, those variable traits aren't listed. (Didn't realize that they did actually get those traits.)

It does make retrieval harder, yeah.

I'm not going to begrudge them some consolidations. But am I to understand that some Petitioners should then have the Fiend trait, some the Celestial trait, and some the Monitor trait?
Yep. It's stated in their entry; I had forgotten that myself.

Thanks for confirming. That is quite helpful.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't think anyone has addressed the kami thing yet, so I'll take a stab. Kami are often translated as spirits in English bit this doesn't make them identical to spirits. Indeed a diverse array of terms and connotations tends to be favored including gods and phenomena.

Regardless, what a kami actually is in Pathfinder has a couple meanings from the actual kami family, to the creatures covered by the kami trait--which indeed are different things. Tsukumogami are a class of kami that are bonded to physical objects and so no longer have a spirit form. Seemingly their spirit body is now inseparable from their physical one, making them like any other creature whose spirit inhabits a body.

As for the Flying Mountains Kaminari, since it came from an AP the odds are not bad that there was some oversight. Kamimari as a general creature doesn't exist yet, and it isn't included in either the kami or tsukumogami families.


QuidEst provided a brief explanation. But thank you for this.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, we covered everything but trolls. I've double checked my Bestiary (which was purchased in February and should be a more recent printing) and trolls have the giant tag but not the humanoid tag. However, the trait index in the Gamemastery Guide's section on making creatures lists the humanoid trait as one that (should) accompanies the giant trait (it's humanoid and Jotun language as the only implications for giant trait). So trolls missing out on having the humanoid trait seems like an oversight.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / General Discussion / Idiosyncratic uses of creature traits All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.