D&D’s fey game is weak, and I blame the humanoid goblin (and gnome, and elf). But it didn’t do itself any favors; compared to the 1e MM, the 5e MM (and followup volumes!) still haven’t printed the brownie, leprechaun, nixie, nymph or sylph!
At half-a-hit-die and described as half-halfling, half-pixie at 1-1/2 feet tall, the brownie is a sprite which casts the following 1 each per day:
- protection from evil and good
- ventriloquism (minor illusion)
- dancing lights
- continual flame
- mirror image
- dimension door
They are explicitly never surprised and have an 18 dexterity; they use “natural cover and speed to become invisible” which sounds very like either cloak of elvenkind, mask of the wild, or similar powers.
Verdict: the pixie is pretty close; it’s hard to complain that this is missing, since it’s really only slightly a different spell list. It’s a little more manageable, since it lacks polymorph, but not by a lot, since it still has confusion. All-in-all, this would have made a good sprite sidebar IMO. Swap out the spells and have done.
Another nonstandard hit die. Call it 1-1 hit die, or 1/2 a hit die +1. They are two feet tall, and can:
- polymorph (non-living) objects
- create illusion (major image)
- ventriloquism (minor illusion)
Unsurprisable. Has a one-off stealing technique using percentiles. “At will” is distinguished from “as often as they like”, so it’s very likely that it’s supposed to mean “without an action”. So that’s kind of cool.
Once again, the libel that they are pixie/halfling crossbreeds is repeated. Why is it that we think the gnome is so magical when this sort of keeps cropping up? Where do these couples keep meeting?!
You could probably make this a sprite leader; sprites already have invisibility. I don’t mind adding silent image which is probably what create illusion should translate to; adding major image instead gets to be a problem. A racial trait to duplicate the Wizard Illusionist’s Illusory Reality would finish it off (“When you cast an illusion spell of 1st level or higher, you can choose one inanimate, nonmagical object that is part of the illusion and make that object real. You can do this on your turn as a bonus action while the spell is ongoing. The object remains real for 1 minute. For example, you can create an illusion of a bridge over a chasm and then make it real long enough for your allies to cross. The object can’t deal damage or otherwise directly harm anyone.”), to replace the polymorph thing, which is cute but even more terrifying than what I suggested.
Pretty explicitly “just” a half-hit-die water sprite. 10 nixies can charm, individuals grant water breathing. That’s about it. I guess I want this printed, but not very much.
Interestingly, I think this is the same thing that I want out of a Sidhe or other high-fey creature. They’re beautiful and terrible to behold, they are highly magical individuals, and they are a real-world easily-pronounceable name.
For their gaze, I would take inspiration from the medusa:
Blinding beauty: Any humanoid that starts its turn within 30 feet of the nymph and can see the nymph’s true form must make a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the creature is charmed for 1 minute and, if charmed, instantly blinded or set to 0 hp (nymph’s choice). Otherwise, the creature is charmed for 1 minute. (Repeat saves; failure blinds/kills, ending makes immune, you can avert your eyes)
For their spells, I’d make them actual mages, not innate casters. I think you could easily have woods nymphs, high nymphs, sea nymphs, dark nymphs… easy peasy.
And I didn’t have to say “nude”.
Winged nymphs, apparently — still 7th level casters, invisibility (again at will!), and a friendly air elemental.
No description on the blinding or killing front. I’m guessing they lack that.
And that’s not all! The 2nd edition of the game added yet more mythological fey to the roster, also not brought forward into 3e. I can’t say I miss them overmuch, but it’s still weird.
Another kind of sprite. My guess would be a desire for a faerie halfway between sprite and game-ruining-pixie.
A subtype of sprite, a sort of cricket centaur. They have satyr-pipe-like fiddles. I guess that’s fine. Note these did make it into 3e, so… whatever, I guess.
An early stand in for “gremlin”, and filed under this name because kobold was already taken. The description makes them pretty kobold-y, but they’re still not super magical, so what was the point? By the way, I am assuming this isn’t just a made up name, and giving it credit for “gremlin” and “kobold”. If this is just made-up, I’m disappointed.
I can more or less see why the 2e additions (except the Hybsil, a sort of elf-centaur, which should be a player race) got dropped. But those 1e missing fey are just a tragedy, and with 2 MM “extensions” behind us, we still don’t have them.
Fey adventure when?