Vermin Icon

Cranjis

Unique Build and Cosmetic Connoisseur
I would like to make a suggestion for a very minor edit. While picking a favored enemy on a ranger character, the icon for vermin depicts a rat, and rats in DDO fall under the animal category. I would like to make the suggestion that the vermin icon be changed to a spider, as the favored enemy feats lack descriptions as to what enemies fall under each grouping, and it would avoid some confusion. Maybe add lists of the types of creatures as well.
 
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PurpleSerpent

Monster Hunter of Moderate Renown
Rats are classified as Animals :(........
Yes they are
This is something DDO inherited from D&D 3.5E, not a decision Turbine or SSG made themselves. Per the 3.5E SRD, the Vermin type includes "insects, arachnids, other arthropods, worms, and similar invertebrates" while the Animal type covers vertebrate creatures such as mammals and fish. So the distinction between the two categories is based not on whether society considers a particular species "vermin", but whether that species has a spinal column.

To be fair on D&D, the word "Vermin" is itself a bit inexact, largely because any animal can technically be classified as vermin in an environment where favourable conditions and a lack of predation allow them to become an invasive species. As an example, cats are generally considered a domestic animal, but on the Prince Edward Islands (part of the Republic of South Africa), they were considered vermin for two decades after a small wild population, itself introduced to regulate an earlier infestation of house mice, bred out of control and started decimating the islands' population of seabirds.

As a counterpoint, the 3.5E definition for Vermin includes all insects, and while the definition works nicely for mosquitoes, ticks and suchlike, it also includes bees, which aren't considered vermin anywhere, on account of how they're kind of vital to the global food chain.

Given that the first Vermin and Animal type monsters were added while everything in DDO was still an explicit attempt to adapt 3.5E, as it was still the current ruleset, sticking to the SRD's definition makes sense because if you start making exceptions for, say, rats, then it's difficult to know when to stop.

The potential for confusion between Vermin and Animal types was itself addressed by Wizards of the Coast while writing 4th Edition, which combined the two into the new type Natural Beast (now simply Beast as of 5th Edition.)

Putting all that aside, though - yes, it is weird that the Vermin icon shows a creature which isn't itself Vermin type, and replacing it sounds like a good call.
 

Cranjis

Unique Build and Cosmetic Connoisseur
I did edit it to maybe throw in descriptions of what each enemy group contains, if previous lookers missed it. Sort of like a two-part suggestion post
 

Aelonwy

Well-known member
It is confusing. I wish we could get more vermin in the Monster Manual too. We have crabs, crayfish, fire beetles, and insect swarms now.
 

Dunspartacus

Well-known member
Huh, so I've been playing this game for a LONG time and uh, I not until this moment knew rats were not considered vermin, so thats embarrassing. Dunno if it was because of the favored enemy thing, or just because I think vermin (varmint) in terms of like small pest animals, like rats and spiders.
 

droid327

Well-known member
Crabs and crawdads are more of an animal though

It sounds like a more accurate delineation, as a taxonomist, would be "vertebrate" vs "invertebrate"

However, thats too scientific to really fit into the D&D aesthetic, so a more colloquial term for "invertebrate" might be "bugs". But that's a little too colloquial, so I guess "vermin" was the compromise as a more archaic-sounding version of "bugs"
 
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