Last Updated: April 18, 2023
It’s hard to ignore the fact that Anadi are magical spider people. And, while I hate that about them, I’m going to set aside my fear of spiders long enough to write this handbook. If you, like me, can’t handle spiders, take the Skyrim route: they’re bears. Do not question it.
Mechanically, the Anadi’s biggest draw is the ability to turn into a spider and bite stuff. While they do have some feats around using webs, around shapeshifting, and around innate spells, few of them are worthwhile. The heritage and feat options make it easy to build a Strength-based grappler or a Dexterity-based Striker, but little else.
Table of Contents
- Anadi Racial Traits
- Anadi Heritages
- Anadi Feats
RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks.
- : Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
- : OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
- : Good options. Useful often.
- : Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.
Anadi Racial Traits
- : 8 hit points is low, and with a Constitution Flaw, it’s even worse. Don’t plan to build a Defender without some serious effort.
- : Medium. Medium and small size have few functional differences in Pathfinder 2e.
- : Standard. Weirdly, you don’t get a climbing speed despite being a spider.
- : Dexterity, Wisdom, and a Free Boost are a great combination for a wide variety of classes and builds. However, a Constitution flaw is difficult, especially on an ancestry with just 8 hit points.
- : Anadi and Mwangi. In a campaign taking place in the Mwangi Expanse, Mwangi is better than Common. In other parts of Golarion, you’ll want to learn Common, so starting with 12 Intelligence is likely worth the effort.
- : No special senses.
In your spider shape, you get to use your fangs and you’re not flat-footed while climbing. Unfortunately, you still need to use the normal rules for climbing since you don’t get a climb speed. So, while you’re better than a comparable average human, you still move glacially slowly while climbing. Being a spider also means no fingers, so you can’t do things which require hands like holding a sword or turning a door knob. Technically, climbing also requires two hands free, but I think that’s mostly intended for humanoids.
In your humanoid form, you look and function like a human.
: Change shape between your
natural form and your humanoid form as an Action. The low cost is nice, but
it should be rare for you to change forms in combat. Generally you’ll either
build to be good at fighting as a spider or build to be good at fighting as
- : 1d6 damage and Finesse. Most ancestries need to spend a feat to get natural weapons this good.
- ME: Adopted ancestry is really good and opens up a lot of very interesting build options, but the Anadi’s best feats are all about being a spider and it’s difficult to find ways to synergize being a spider with feats for ancestries which aren’t spiders. You could lean into innate spellcasting from gnomes or kobolds, but at that point why not just play one of those ancestries instead?
- ME: Trained in Performance (which is borderline useless for anything except downtime activities) and a skill feat which relies on Performance. The flavor is awesome, but it’s not very strong simply because Performance doesn’t do very much for anyone except bards (In-spider Courage anyone?).
- ME: If you want a Strength-based build around fighting with your fangs, this is the way to go. If you want to rely on Dexterity, consider Venomous Anati instead.
- ME: More speed is always nice, but it won’t really change anything about your build.
- ME: A damage boost that you can use several times per day, but the damage scaling isn’t fast enough to keep it relevant beyond low levels. Disorienting Venom can improve the benefits, but there’s still a big level gap where you’ll look and your poison and consistently decide a second Strike is a better us of your actions.
- ME: Crafting is nice, but Survival is only situationally useful.
- ME: Used as a Reaction with no check required. Fear effects are common, and this will absolutely see repeated use in most games. Fear does go down by 1 every round, but removing (or reducing) that -1 penalty on everything could rescue an attack or a save which would have failed otherwise. Remember: each +1/-1 has a 10% chance to change the degree of success.
- ME: How useful this is depends heavily on how prevalent your DM decides to
make spiders. You might think “giant spiders aren’t a common enemy beyond
low levels”, but Skittertalk notably doesn’t limit you to giant
spiders/arachnids: you can talk to the little critter eating bugs in your
garden. Spiders are horrifying omnipresent, so in the majority of
environments you can find spiders, scorpions, and whatever else qualifies
hanging around doing spider things.
Of course, once you find a spider you need to deal with the fact that spiders aren’t especially smart, and your sudden ability to befriend them doesn’t grant them any newfound ability to remember and repeat information or to do tasks on your behalf.
- ME: Arcane cantrips are really good. It’s frustrating that this cantrip is still Charisma-based, but anadi don’t get a Charisma increase (you do get a Free Boost, of course). If you’re not going to use it offensively, you can still benefit from options like Guidance and Shield.
- ME: Too situational.
- ME: Very cool conceptually, but basically no mechanical impact. You get to craft and maintain 10 threaded items of no more than 1sp value each. You can literally replace this entire feat with a single gold piece and a quick trip to a market.
- ME: Illusory Disguise provides the same bonus, and it’s a 1st-level spell. Unless you’re in a campaign where your friend’s appearance is uniquely and consistently useful (maybe a party member is a government official and you need to stand in for them frequently), you can replace this feat with scrolls or a wand of Illusory Disguise.
- ME: Critical Specialization Effects are really good, and not all martial classes get them. The Anadi’s fangs are in the Brawling group, which applies Slowed 1 on a crit, which is really good.
- ME: If you’re relying on your fangs in combat or doing any climbing, you’re giving up the simple benefit of finders, which is an alarmingly important feature. This allows you to have the best of both worlds at the horrifying cost of looking like you got stuck half-way through animorphing yourself. Among other benefits, you can use items like potions and shields, both of which are great for martial characters who might enjoy biting stuff with spider fangs.
- ME: One action to use your venom suddenly becomes something similar to a Feint, and you still get the damage bonus, too. The target gets a Fortitude save, which may be a high save for many enemies, but your DC will be consistently high regardless of your class since it’s based on your Class DC/Spell DC, which is based on your Key Ability Score.
- ME: Finally! You’ve been climbing using Athletic for 8 levels to climb at a glacial pace (10 feet per Action on a Critical Success) with the frustrating possibility that you roll a Critical Failure and fall off of a wall or whatever. Now you can actually climb (mostly) like a spider.
- ME: Neither spell is especially impressive.
- ME: Tremorsense is great, but it’s only an imprecise sense and the range is short.
- ME: Web is a bad spell and you’re getting it fully 10 levels after spellcasters looked at it and picked something else.