Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pixies Reworked

Danny Perdue, one of my longtime players, started playing with me as a pixie named Ilarion. I was new to playing D&D on IRC and inclined to be lenient and let people play strange and unpleasant things that I would never otherwise. Together, we worked up a strange pixie society and gave them a real place in the setting. Since the death of Ilarion, I have never let anyone play a pixie. All that may be about to change... as Danny has created an updated and expanded racial breakdown of the 10th Age pixies. Rather than confine them to the strange custom class we originally made, this allows them to be fighters, thieves, or fighter/thieves as well as have access to a pool of natural magical powers without overbalancing them one way or the other (I think).

Enjoy, all work by Danny Perdue.

Pixie Player Characters of all stripes may be classed either as Fighters (in which they can progress normally to the 7th level of ability), Thieves (in which they may rise normally to 12th level), or Fighter/Thieves. Their relatively low level limits are the result of a combination of reliance on their potent natural abilities and their congenital lack of strong commitment. For these same reasons, they require double the amount of experience points (2,500 for thieves, 4,000 for fighters, and so on) to advance in level.

All pixies may, once per day, produce the effects of Polymorph Self (which also automatically renders them visible for its duration), Know Alignment, Dispel Magic, Dancing Lights and ESP, cause Confusion by touch, become visible for any length of time*, and produce an illusion of auditory and/or visual nature, all of which function as if cast by an 8th-level wizard. One in ten pixies can also produce Otto's Irresistable Dance, and are considered 'noble' or afforded special respect and admiration, but these are never Player Characters.

Pixies of either class have hit dice of one step lower than normal: Fighters roll for HP on 8-sided dice, and thieves on 4-sided. Neither may wear armor nor use shields of any non-highly magical nature - indeed, armor in pixie proportions would not be sturdy enough to offer much protection - and may use only a limited range of weapons - small bows which they make themselves, darts which they will use spears and javelines, and daggers and knives, which they wield as swords. They can only use magic items suitable for their class and which can conform to their dimensions - ruling out a great deal of worn items that don't magically resize to fit a character even smaller than a halfling.

Because of their quasi-divine nature as a natural, uncreated race, all pixies have some latent spellcasting ability: at 5th level for warrior-pixies and 7th-level for thieves, they gain Minor access to the priest spheres of All, Plants, Elemental Air, Necromantic and Charm and operate as priests of their own level (minus four and six, respectively).

The vast majority of pixies live in the Barrowlands and pay fealty (nominally, unless some threat comes to invariably spark the intermittent pixie sense of community) to the King of Dust and Shadows who reigns there and functions as a kind of theocrat and living psychopomp. In idyllic woods all through the north, however, tiny claves of pixies (generally no more than twenty or so at any given time) are known to exist which function autonomously and some may pay homage to some Aelio (Aloran, Eminea, Aros/Anunia, Raya, or nightmarishly Sernis or Rhamna), Vinthar (Beryl Ironfoot, Pogrilius Tosscobble or Arina Songster), or the gigantine gods Omiros, depending on where they live and who they have come into contact with. In any case, all pixies of any alignment operate in essentially the same way, and all are beholden to a sort of 'code of honor', honor here used loosely.

All pixies oppose agents of Night - trolls, shadows, pact magicians, etc. that they discover with whatever means they may, and must operate against them to the fullest of their abilities, though not to the point of suicide.

Pixies all must oppose the destruction or debasement of natural things, and generally oppose new settlements near their lands, though they will gladly reclaim and inhabit constructions that have become abandoned and overgrown.

Pixies of all stripes scorn ideas of ownership and only keep what they may carry or personally oversee. In practice they may hide things for the pleasure of seeing others (nonpixies particularly) seek them, if such caches are found, or items taken, they are considered fairly won.**

Pixies can be warlike and must never suffer claims of cowardice - in pixie societies, such an allegation is made with uncharacteristic gravity. A pixie may NEVER forfeit a challenge fairly issued, though he is bound by no means to adhere to the 'spirit' of any such contest.

Those who do not cleave to these ideals generally lose their magical powers (they remain invisible, however - they lose the ability to become visible), any spellcasting ability they may have, and gain the mockery or emnity of all their kin.

*pixies can always see one another, but cannot necessarily see through any other kinds of invisibility - though it is rumored that pixies are not fooled by Dust of Disappearance produced from their ground wings, and may react very poorly indeed to individuals employing or carrying such a thing.

**pixies are aware that nonpixies DO truck with these ideas, and generally refrain from endless games of "What of yours is mine now?" with, for instance, adventurers they have taken to travelling with.

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