Illyrian Denizens

There aren’t actually great 5e stats to use for enchanted fairy fey noble critters.

We’ve got the pixie and the sprite — good start — and the satyr etc. But: nothing that I can just whip out and use for the wild hunt, or a fey swordsman, or a faerie princess.

The drow listings aren’t bad, but they’re not great either; they are thematically all darkness and poison, when I want charm and psychic and radiant and thorns.

So: let’s talk about these “unaligned” “eladrin” type fey, as though they were a faction, just like demon or devil.

First: what unifies them? Whats their hook? Fey can, after all, mean a lot of things.

I’m going to say:

1) They’re fanciful. They should be overwrought, wonderland, madness. I had been going to reflect that in two ways: firstly, I wanted them to change into fanciful chimeric creatures; a pig with wings or a fish the size of a horse says wonderland to me. Secondly, I want to theme them after card- and board- game pieces, like the Queen of Heart’s cards.
I listed this first, and I’m actually having great luck with this theme… but frankly, it might not be necessary.
My faerie are no longer necessarily shapeshifters. I’ll hold that in reserve. I liked some of the forms I came up with, so maybe I can do some different monsters for that.
2) They’re not solid. They’re hard to land a blow on, slippery, and changeable. They stand in two worlds. I’ve wanted to do something with Blink Elves since 4e; now’s the time. I also like the Rakshasa’s spell immunity, though they’ll need a trimmed down version. The touch of iron suppresses both — but magic weapons won’t cut it.
3) They have only the best gear, and you can’t have it. Fairy Gold means I can outfit them with elven cloaks, elven boots, mithral chain, even oathbows. They work in the hands of elves beneath elven moons. The sons of Adam and the suns of Cathule are a different matter!
From this: fey can generally faerie fire and detect magic once per short rest. They can create food and drink and creation once per long rest, generally requiring multiple simultaneously cooperating. Their gear is the semi-permanent result of these powers.

I want a good spread of CRs, while I’m at it. I’ve listed some reference monsters at the same power level similar to what I’m going for. Let’s say:

The peontry aren’t statted; they’re farmers and craftsfolk, but basically just commoners with Illyrian traits (fading, magic resistance,  innate spellcasting).
The fool (CR 1) are the maddest Illyrians, dangerous capering simpletons whose infectious laughter makes mortals do dangerous things. Quite deadly in packs. Analogous to the ghoul, dryad or harpy.
The knave (CR 2) is a general-purpose ruffian. They’re rough around the edges and destructive, in addition to appealing to various emotional states in mortals. Analogous to the azer or berserker/druid/cult fanatic/monk/priest, nothic, or wererat.
The page (CR 3) is a general noble-born fey courtier. They’re sweet-voiced envoys and graceful dancers. They practice riding, hawking, and fencing. They’re broadly skilled and, frankly, somewhat boring. But tough and well armed. Analogous to doppelganger, knight, kuo-toa monitor, werewolf or wight.
The red bishop (CR 6) is a magically potent foe; difficult and slippery to pin down. It focuses on movement and attack. Analogous to drider, kuo-toa archpriest, mage.
The stag knight (CR 6) is the straightforward martial equivalent of the bishop: it focuses on leaping charges. Analogous to cyclops, hobgoblin warlord, invisible stalker, wyvern.
Finally, the rook (CR 10) is a fey elemental against whom few can stand. It is deeply tied to the land, fearsome in its anger and immensely strong, fast and tough. Analogous to death slaad or deva, maybe stone golem.

The crowns are those royal fey who command even greater powers. The example crown is the CR 14 Dream Lord. Sort of a vampire-y solo type, but slightly lower.

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About lackhand

I was born in 1984 and am still playing games, programming computers, and living in New York City. View all posts by lackhand

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