PDA

View Full Version : interesting/underused Fey



Vire
2011-12-06, 09:12 PM
Hey guys, plotting out a game i'll be running in a few weeks for my group, got most of the basics cooking in my head, and looking for a suggestion or two.

i'm looking for a (preferably) interesting fey creature that isn't often used or seen, that might make for a good antagonist-type. preferably not overtly evil (though i can play with/tweak it as need be for my purposes). doesn't even have to be a crazy challenge-rating, i can raise/lower whatever it is to suit my needs

all suggestions are welcome :D

Shadowknight12
2011-12-06, 09:25 PM
Verdant Prince, from the MMIV. Best fey ever. Only flaw? Rampant evil tendencies. Sigh. WotC, you will never learn.

Hyudra
2011-12-06, 09:52 PM
Frostwind Virago. Think Jadis from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Coidzor
2011-12-06, 09:55 PM
Verdant Prince, from the MMIV. Best fey ever. Only flaw? Rampant evil tendencies. Sigh. WotC, you will never learn.

Evil tendencies and fey do tend to go together like bread and butter though. :smallconfused:

Shadowknight12
2011-12-06, 09:56 PM
Evil tendencies and fey do tend to go together like bread and butter though. :smallconfused:

I think you're confusing Evil with Chaotic. That's okay, it happens all the time. WotC did the same for 4e, even.

Pokonic
2011-12-06, 09:56 PM
Mirage Mullahs are always forgotten, and they want it to stay that way.:smallamused:

Coidzor
2011-12-06, 10:26 PM
I think you're confusing Evil with Chaotic. That's okay, it happens all the time. WotC did the same for 4e, even.

We must've had very different fairy tales growing up then. :smallconfused:

Beleriphon
2011-12-06, 10:39 PM
We must've had very different fairy tales growing up then. :smallconfused:

I doubt that, Shadow just has a unique perspective on Good vs Evil and how that plays out.

That said, I do agree with Coidzor, by and the large the fey are pretty nasty bunch. They aren't baby eating monsters, for the most part, but they definitely tend towards the morally objectionable.

Steward
2011-12-06, 10:44 PM
Yeah, I'm actually used to thinking of fey as being, if not evil, then hostile and predatory.

I kind of like the insoril / joystealers. They're evil too (:() -- essentially, they feed on passion, fear, and other emotions that they steal from others. They used to be noble though; they felt that they were acting as 'release valves' for the otherwise destructive emotions of mortals but some other evil beings enslaved them and warped them into the creatures they are now. There's no reason why you couldn't feature a Chaotic Neutral insoril though -- they're not irredeemable, after all!

Another interesting (non-evil, but definitely menacing and dangerous) is the Ocean Strider. These are like giant half-elf half-killer whale creatures who protect vast stretches of the ocean from threats (ie anything that isn't native). If your campaign goes over water at some point, these guys could easily pop up. They're not evil though; they can be reasoned with and placated but if you disrespect their ocean (even by throwing your trash overboard or fishing too much in one area) they'll smack you down.

If you think that the campaign won't go near water at any point, there's a land-based version of them called the Spirit of the Land. These fey are neutral as well and play pretty much the same role as Ocean Striders. They're basically invisible, intangible, and primal forces of nature but don't let that trip you up -- they can take the form of any Huge elemental that is represented in their territory (ie if they control a lake, they can turn into a water elemental, or if they control a mountain or something, they can turn into an earth elemental). They can also shapeshift into animals, plants, or even humanoids, so there are a lot of options out there for you to play with if the players aren't at the level where they can literally make war against nature itself!

I'm pretty sure these guys are all in Monster Manual 2.

Mando Knight
2011-12-06, 11:35 PM
There's always Baba Yaga. She might not be underused, but she's certainly interesting.

Also, for the fey, you can usually just wing it. A funny little gnome who'll spin straw into gold in return for your firstborn, a hedonistic queen who will give you whatever you desire in return for your love (all of it)...

Conners
2011-12-07, 09:11 AM
I think you're confusing Evil with Chaotic. That's okay, it happens all the time. WotC did the same for 4e, even. I think, "Evil through selfishness and chaotic nature" describes fey well enough. Most of them are known for doing pretty nasty things, and often need to be appeased by leaving brandy or milk out (I think that was for brownies?).

From what I remember, it was a lot of stuff about killing travellers, stealing babies, and causing general mischief for their own amusement. Can't remember much generosity on the fairies part... aside from being forced to do good turns (Leprechauns give you gold, if you catch them).

lunar2
2011-12-07, 09:22 AM
don't know how much they are used, but redcaps are nasty little creatures. every time they advance an RHD, they gain +1 str, dex, and con, as well as some other stuff. they're small, but they have powerful build.

Maryring
2011-12-07, 12:07 PM
Eh. Not all fey are evil, but all fey are dangerous seems more an apt description. Several Scandinavian fey would bestow gifts upon those who knew to treat them with respect, such as Fossegrimen whom could teach you how to play the violin, or Huldra who was quite sociable to those who satisfied her, to Tomte/Nisse who would take care of the farm during night as long as those living on the farm acted properly.

Anyway, a fey to use that isn't seen too often could be the Selkie. Seals able to shed their skin and take human form. Not quite were-seals, as the skin they shed is a tangible object that when stolen from them prevented them from returning to their seal form. I don't know if it exists in any of the monster manuals though, but they're rather versatile.

Yora
2011-12-07, 12:14 PM
Slkies are in fiend folio. The problem with them is, that they don't pose a threat to anyone. In fantasy worlds where aasimars, tieflings, and genasi are relatively common, the realization that the woman living at the beach is in fact a shapeshifting spirit doesn't cause a drama anymore.
So they can turn into seals. So what? Druids and wizards do so as well.

Hyudra
2011-12-07, 12:24 PM
Way I interpret it, Fey morality is warped by the fact that they're essentially immortal beings. You're a fey. You live forever, more or less, and cognitively, that can be hard to deal with.

So the fey deal in different ways - the flightier, lesser fey generally just have decades-long parties, nastier lesser fey abuse small animals or torment/gaslight farmhands. The ones with more human appearances and drives? That gets a little more complicated. The political fey of the faerie courts are swept up in Machiavellian backstabbing and betrayal and Xanatos gambits a thousand layers deep, because that's the only way to keep it interesting. Screw up, get too deep into your schemes and forget something? You drop from nobility to slave or a fate worse than death in heartbeats.

And there's the Fey that withdraw to remote areas and amuse themselves with music, art and architecture, waiting for someone to happen by.

So as a fey, how do you see mortals? They're like the fall leaves. They're there, fresh and green but uninteresting, then there's that briefest moment of beauty, and then they dry out, wither and rot. That's ultimately all civilization is; an endless cycle of the same pattern over and over, one generation (or season) almost impossible to distinguish from the next. That isn't to say individual mortals can't be amusing, and they can be useful if you need something done, if you want to expand your courtly schemes to include a chaotic element, if you're a fey on a windswept mountain that wants some company or if you decide you want to try raising a child (and are unable to breed, forcing you to... borrow). But as much as any given fey can appreciate and be fond of an individual, all it takes is one capricious moment and that same fey metaphorically crushes the mortal in the palm of their hand, as you and I might impulsively destroy (or pick at, or carelessly harm) a flower we've been carrying around for days or weeks.

Coidzor
2011-12-07, 01:24 PM
Eh. Not all fey are evil, but all fey are dangerous seems more an apt description.

Hence tendencies, the aforementioned wanton murders, general abuse of power, kidnapping, and occasional rape/identity theft.

Nepenthe
2011-12-07, 09:32 PM
A mermaid found a swimming lad,
Picked him up for her own,
Pressed her body to his body,
Laughed; and plunging down
Forgot in cruel happiness
That even lovers drown.
-Yeats

Pretty much sums it up.

Vire
2011-12-07, 11:30 PM
thanks for all the replies guys! if nothing popped up, i was just gonna go ahead and make up something fey-ish to toss in, but the Verdant Prince seems like something i can work with.

also looking at the Wild Hunt (MM5), but that seems more of an "enforcer" kinda guy, rather than a "let's manipulate the party and get them to do stuff" kinda guy.

DoctorGlock
2011-12-08, 06:22 AM
thanks for all the replies guys! if nothing popped up, i was just gonna go ahead and make up something fey-ish to toss in, but the Verdant Prince seems like something i can work with.

also looking at the Wild Hunt (MM5), but that seems more of an "enforcer" kinda guy, rather than a "let's manipulate the party and get them to do stuff" kinda guy.

Nah, less of an enforcer and more "I'll manipulate you into a situation where the old ways/my honor/tradition dictate that I hunt you. You have 30 minute head start"

Yora
2011-12-08, 07:28 AM
The wild hunt are the Great Green Hunter. They don't do it for the money, resources, or power. They do it for the challenge and the trophies. There is nothing as difficult to hunt as intelligent beings that use tools.

Eldan
2011-12-08, 07:33 AM
While the Pixies are mentioned as good-ish tricksters in the book, in my experience, they have a lot of other uses if you use the fluff liberally. They can be absolutely vicious.

INDYSTAR188
2011-12-08, 08:03 AM
So, this isn't to say that these aren't overplayed, just that I've never seen them in game...

- Treeant
- Awakened Dire Wolf/Bear/Boar/Tiger whatever
- Bralani of autumn winds
- Ghaele of winter
- A group of mischevious pixies, satyrs, or dryads

... and my last and best suggestion is (much like the greek gods) you could have a major river enviornmental object (river, waterfall, mountain, giant white tree of doom) have a 'spirit' or elemental form that is somehow on the rampage.

Lorn
2011-12-08, 08:14 AM
As far as the fey/evil thing goes, I find it easier to think about in terms of fey being immortal, incredibly powerful beings.

Compared to them, we are like cattle.

They don't understand the concept of death, or the end. They don't understand us. They can't. They're so utterly alien to us that they will never, ever be able to liken themselves to us in any way, shape or form.

They're not "evil." They don't have any understanding of the word. They're just.. different.

TechnoScrabble
2011-12-10, 02:16 PM
The way I see it (and how I was raised to see it in rural Ireland), you have Seelie (good) wild (chaotic neutral and usually weak) and Unseelie (evil) fey. The problem is, the fey are all sort of mentally tortured over the years by their magics, making them emotionally unstable, and don't usually understand that what they're doing is wrong or harmful as most of them are immortal.

Jayabalard
2011-12-13, 02:41 PM
Hence tendencies, the aforementioned wanton murders, general abuse of power, kidnapping, and occasional rape/identity theft.Generally, it's more that they're amoral rather than immoral.

JellyPooga
2011-12-13, 03:23 PM
Grigs.

They're right there in the MM, but I've never seen one used. They're perfect for mischief because they're small (well, Tiny in game terms), have some excellent SLA's and the Grig Fiddle is nasty for low-level adventurers. That combined with a pretty boss Spell Res (for their HD), AC, DR and a Fly speed makes them perfect antagonists of a non-evil bent. Tricky to conquer, but not impossible.

They're the prototypical fey, so you don't need a reason beyond "they felt like it" and they have the potential for some really nasty consequences of their boredom. For example:

The adventurers walk into a village to find everyone dancing to a quick-stringed jig. At first they assume it's some kind of country fair, but upon closer inspection the adventurers notice that some people have bleeding feet, they all look exhausted and they seem incapable of stopping. When they investigate, the music stops and the culprit flits away, unseen, into the undergrowth...
The adventurers go on their way, only to find their path choked with weeds where only moments ago it looked clear. When they set up camp for the night, the fire explodes into a cloud of smoke and goes out. When they try to re-light it, it only happens again. Looks like it's going to be a cold night...
The next morning, small things are missing; the Wizards spellbook, the Rogues favourite magic dagger and the Clerics holy symbol. The Fighter swears he didn't see anyone come into the camp...

This is all with a single baseline half-a-HD Grig, by the way. They're the perfect "ghost" for a forest setting. Start adding class levels and things could get very nasty indeed.

Prime32
2011-12-13, 03:25 PM
The way I see it (and how I was raised to see it in rural Ireland), you have Seelie (good) wild (chaotic neutral and usually weak) and Unseelie (evil) fey. The problem is, the fey are all sort of mentally tortured over the years by their magics, making them emotionally unstable, and don't usually understand that what they're doing is wrong or harmful as most of them are immortal.I thought Seelie/Unseelie was a Scottish thing. :smallconfused:

And "fey are mentally tortured by their magic" is something I've never heard before. Sounds like something that would be accompanied by "because magic is inherently evil".
(vaguely related link) (http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=108)

CodeRed
2011-12-13, 03:56 PM
As far as the fey/evil thing goes, I find it easier to think about in terms of fey being immortal, incredibly powerful beings.

Compared to them, we are like cattle.

They don't understand the concept of death, or the end. They don't understand us. They can't. They're so utterly alien to us that they will never, ever be able to liken themselves to us in any way, shape or form.

They're not "evil." They don't have any understanding of the word. They're just.. different.

You've pretty much hit the nail on the head. Much like Cthulhu, fey creatures are the poster children for blue/orange morality. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlueAndOrangeMorality

They don't have the moral code that we do and operate in a completely alien manner. The ideas expressed so far in this thread are all pretty good. Some fey can be more human-like in their needs/desires but getting involved with one is always a risky proposition at best. The same fey that is your best friend today can become your worst enemy for even the smallest slight that you don't even comprehend.

begooler
2011-12-15, 04:10 PM
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/MM5_Gallery/106278.jpg

I like these guys. Especially if you play them as more spiteful than overtly evil, and play up the 'cursed because they did something wrong in the past' aspect.

Feddlefew
2011-12-15, 06:40 PM
Nucklavee(s) are fun, especially in murky lagoons. They're evil, plague-spreading centaur-like creatures.

TheStillWind
2011-12-17, 12:14 PM
Saw this the other day in another thread MurderJacks (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fw/20040828a)