Cutlass spider

From PathfinderWiki
Cutlass spider
A cutlass spider.

Source: Bestiary 6, pg(s). 69

Cutlass spiders are constructs built primarily from weapons. These golems can add magic weapons to their bodies, and in so doing gain the properties of that magic weapon in their natural attacks.2


Cutlass spiders resemble a lethal cross between an arachnid and a pile of swords large enough to supply an entire army. A typical cutlass spider stands eight feet tall atop eight triple-joined, razor-sharp legs and weighs at least 1,500 pounds, though its flexible design can result in substantial variance.3 Its design causes it to constantly move and sway.2

A cutlass spider's body is composed of hundreds of weapons attached to wooden planks or bound to each other with potent magic. Despite their name, a cutlass spider can be constructed from any type of weapon, bladed or otherwise. This frame is then typically coated with urchin and crustacean oil and several dozen additional weapons.3

While many cutlass spiders are built from makeshift materials, they can also be built from finer quality materials and purpose-designed weapons. Such customizations and details are typically cosmetic in nature rather than functional. Some creators also order their cutlass spiders to hide in water in the belief that adding rust to the weapons makes the constructs appear deadlier or enhances their danger by introducing tetanus.3

While dormant or deactivated, a cutlass spider resembles little more than an inert pile of wood and weapons. In this form it can be rearranged to camouflage its appearance, for instance as a wall of weapons on shelves in a shop.4

Habitat and ecology

Cutlass spiders are generally built by magic users in remote locations who lack access to the exotic, esoteric ingredients necessary to create more powerful or complex constructs. As such, cutlass spiders are most often found in ramshackle fortifications of scoundrels, such as pirate lairs of the Shackles or bandit keeps in the River Kingdoms.3

Within these lairs cutlass spiders fulfill roles that can range from guardian and enforcer to assassin. Cutlass spiders do not require food or supplies and are well-suited to such tasks, sometimes outliving their creators or masters while continuing to execute their last instructions. They can also steal weapons from those who confront them to add to their frame.3

Cutlass spiders are also built in the golemworks of Magnimar, where they are sometimes purchased as security devices.4

Construction methods

Cutlass spiders have two documented arcane methods of creation:3

Principal Design
A standard design that requires more expertise and materials but is more stable.
Varghant's Gamble
A riskier design that can cause the cutlass spider's animating energies to occasionally malfunction and send the construct on an uncontrollable rampage of injury and destruction.


A cutlass spider can collapse its body into an avalanche of sharpened swords that damages its opponents. It can also share the enhancement of any magical weapon it absorbs amongst all the weapons that comprise its body, and can wrench away an opponent's weapon and absorb it into its body before the opponent can react.2

Intelligent cutlass spiders

When consuming a sufficiently powerful intelligent magic weaponry, a cutlass spider can gain sentience, an unusual condition for an otherwise mindless construct.3

Upon absorbing an intelligent weapon, the cutlass spider collapses for a brief period as the intelligence overpowers the construct's former commands. The intelligence then grants the construct a new sense of purpose and its personality. However, this persists only as long as the newly intelligent construct incorporates no magical weapons that are more powerful than its intelligence, the conflict of which then causes the construct to fully deactivate.3

Known intelligent cutlass spiders


  1. The Armageddon Echo stated "Any land" but Bestiary 6 takes precedence for monster statistics.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Bestiary” in The Armageddon Echo, 84. Paizo Inc., 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Jason Bulmahn, et al. “Bestiary” in The Armageddon Echo, 85. Paizo Inc., 2008
  4. 4.0 4.1 James Jacobs. Sandpoint” in Sandpoint, Light of the Lost Coast, 20. Paizo Inc., 2018