Eclipse – Building the Fair Folk

   First up for today, we have the Lesser, Greater, and High Fey Races (or, like all Eclipse races, Templates).

   As might be expected of a race – or perhaps an order – of shapeshifters and illusionists, there are many stories of the origin of the fey – but where they come from isn’t really important. Some are malevolent, and some benevolent – but none of them understand “normal” creatures very well, make allowances for them, or reign in their behavior on behalf of such lesser races. The more malevolent examples usually see normal creatures as prey, while even the more benign fey tend to see them as pets and amusements.

   In general, the fey are best seen as nature spirits – an imperfect reflection of mortals forged from magic and the energies of the wilds. As wonderful, as terrible, as potentially beneficial, and as potentially destructive, as a storm. Do not ask them for sympathy, and do not expect them to change. They will do as is their nature, without let or hindrance.

   In appearance, they are most often childlike or adolescent, may be strangely twisted, and are often on the small side of the Medium size category. Outside of that, they may have a variety of strange personal attributes – scales, horns, animalistic features, long noses, strangely-jointed limbs, and so on – although it is uncertain which ones are illusion and which ones are real.

   Outside of their racial abilities, fey commonly develop spontaneous druidic or bardic spellcasting, skill with swords and bows, and – very, very often – witchcraft abilities. They usually don’t acquire talents as ritualists, wizards or in any other field that requires extensive study. Most rely more on surprise and magic than on combat skill.

   Lesser Fey or Feyblooded Powers (62 CP [not counting Disadvantages and Duties], +1 ECL Race or +2 ECL Template).

  • Template Limitations:
    • Duties: The Fey are bound by tradition, custom, and their promises. They must offer hospitality, keep their words, and respect their pacts. They cannot directly lie, although they may tell only a part of the truth or evade questions. They thus gain +2 CP/Level – including level zero).
    • Disadvantages: Accursed (the Fey have True Names, by which they can be bound), Compulsive (every fey has some sort of obsession, whether it’s good manners, punishing evildoers, protecting a forest, or skinning people alive and making leather goods while they watch), and Healing Resistant, for a +10 CP bonus).
  • Template Abilities:
  • Channeling, 7 Uses Per Day, Specialized/only for spell conversion (6 CP): Unseelie fey normally tap into negative energy, and seelie fey into positive energy – although they normally only use it only to power their natural magics.
  • Occult Sense/Low-Light Vision (6 CP).
  • Immunity/Aging (Uncommon, Major, Minor, 4 CP): The fey can expect to live for many centuries or thousands of years without aging past adulthood.
  • Immunity/Fey Powers (Uncommon, Major, Major, 6 CP): The fey find each other hard to affect with magic, since they get a +6 bonus to saves against each other.
  • Augmented Bonus (6 CP): May add their (Cha Mod) to their (Dex Mod) when determining their AC.
  • Damage Reduction 5/Cold Iron (8 CP).
  • Returning, Specialized/may require a month and usually comes with partial amnesia (3 CP). Unless they are entirely slain by cold iron, they fey are always reborn from the forces of nature.
  • Innate Enchantment (14 CP): All effects usable at will at caster level one. Detect Magic (1000 GP), Detect Life (2000 GP), Disguise Self (2000 GP), Immortal Vigor I (adds two d6 hit dice at maximum and +2 x Con Mod hit points, 2000 GP), +2 Enhancement Bonus to each of two selected attributes (4000 GP), may add +1d6 of a selected type of energy damage to all HTH attacks and is always considered armed (2000 GP).
  • Immunity/the experience-point cost to activate their racial Innate Enchantments (Uncommon, Minor, Major, 3 CP).
  • Immunity/Dispel Magic and Antimagic effects (Common, Minor, Epic, Specialized/only protects personal enhancements, not projected abilities, Corrupted/racial inherent spells only, 6 CP).
  • Immunity to the hit-die requirements for using inherent spells, spell conversion, and similar effects, (Common, Major, Minor, Specialized/Conversion effects only, adds +3 to the level of effects usable, 3 CP).
  • Fast Learner (Specialized in Skills, for +2 SP/Level, 6 CP)
  • Channeling/Conversion, a set of four level three “spells”, Specialized and Corrupted/no more than three times per day and once per hour each, external effects may be Dispelled with an opposed caster level check by an opposing-aspect channeling attempt directed at a particular effect, 3 CP). Save DC’s are (13 + the user’s Cha Mod).
    • Chain of Obligation: This simply allows the user to call upon the services of someone who owes him or her a favor (usually from their acceptance of a Feygift) without them having to be present or even nearby. A will save will allow a victim of this spell to remember their actions later on, otherwise they will fade like dreams or be carried out in a light trance. Sadly, while the user may request a service of greater value than the favor they are owed, the target is both free to refuse or to only carry out part of the service and will clearly remember the request.
    • Feygift: The user may present his target with a gift, or perform a service for them. If they accept such a gift or service without direct compulsion, and offer nothing of similar value in exchange, they will be bound to return a favor of similar value at a later date when the gift-giver calls upon them. There is no save against that effect, since such acceptance constitutes renouncing it. Victims need not know that they were dealing with a fey, the effect has no outward signs, and – unless they succeed on a Will save – victims will find it impossible to recall the details of such an encounter later on. Break Enchantment will remove the effects, but victims are unlikely to know they need such a spell in the first place.
      • It is possible for less scrupulous fey to arrange for someone to be require their services, such as by placing them in some serious danger (say, from a collapsing bridge or sinking boat), aid them, and then later demand some perilous service, one of their children, or great treasure in exchange – one reason that the “Fair Folk” are so widely feared.
    • Mastery of the Named: All fey have true names, and another fey – or anyone with the correct spell – who knows such a name can invoke it while confronting them, and demand from that creature three services, although these are subject to the same general restrictions as a Geas spell. One request – and a most wise one to demand as your third service – is to “depart and seek no revenge against me or mine henceforth”. For good or ill, a given Master can only use this effect against a given target once – although the True Name will remain a valuable commodity to others. You should beware if one is freely offered (see Feygift, above).
    • Weave of Glamour: The user may create a Major Image.

   More powerful fey – whether fortunate enough to have been born with more power or having worked their way up by gaining levels – may become Greater Fey. Such fey are usually closer to average size for a medium creature, are usually less twisted, and are more prone to aping human habits and social conventions. They’re still anything but human, but it’s oddly easy (if hardly advisable) to forget that fact.

   Greater Fey Powers: (+30 CP, +1 ECL over the Lesser Fey race).

  • Spell Resistance, at (5 + Level) (6 CP).
  • +4 Bonus Uses of Channeling, Specialized/only for Conversion (3 CP).
  • Occult Sense/Nature Sense (6 CP).
  • Shapeshift with +2 Bonus Uses (9 CP).
  • Conversion, a set of four level three spells, Specialized for double effect or level six base effects, Corrupted for reduced cost. No more than three times per day and once per hour each, external effects may be Dispelled with an opposed caster level check by an opposing-aspect channeling attempt directed at a particular effect, 6 CP). Save DC’s are (16 + the user’s Cha Mod). Note that these require a minimum of five hit dice to use even after applying the Immunity to hit dice requirements from the Lesser Fey template.
    • Dispel Magic, Greater: The fey can usually counter magic quite effectively.
    • Elfshot: The user may unleash a malevolent necromantic or enchantment effect of up to level four, increasing the range or other factors of spells with lesser bases appropriately. For example, the user might employ Animate Dead (at short range), Bestow a specific Curse (at medium range), send many low-powered targets to Sleep, invoke Enervation, inflict a Lesser Geas, or cause some sort of misfortune – men being thrown by mounts, a bridge collapsing, or whatever.
    • Glamour: The user may invoke an emotion-controlling or memory-altering effect of up to level five – utterly fascinating normal people, charming more powerful creatures, or inflicting a variety of powerful emotions.
    • Steed of the Moon: The user may summon a steed equivalent to a Nightmare – although it’s color changes with the phases of the moon – to serve him or her for one hour per level, provided that he or she is of at least fourth level themselves.

   The High Fey tend to be impossibly good looking, if a trifle chill and distant – and usually act a lot like mortal nobility. While they’re often better at understanding mortals than their lesser brethren, they are – if anything – even more arrogant. They’re also terribly powerful; their favor can be a boon, and you really don’t want to know what can happen if they’re upset.

   High Fey Powers (+33 CP, +1 ECL over the Intermediate Fey race since it was a couple of CP short):

  • +8 Bonus Uses on Channeling, Specialized/only for Spell Conversion (6 CP).
  • Leadership with Beast-Lord (9 CP). The High Fey will gather an entourage of lesser fey, and of both awakened and unawakened animals.
  • Spell Resistance increases to (Level + 10) (6 CP).
  • Upgrade Immunity to the hit-die requirements for using inherent spells, spell conversion, and similar effects to Major, still Specialized/Conversion effects only, adds +5 to the level of effects usable, +1 CP).
  • Privilege/fey nobility, gains access to the various fey courts and courtesy and respect from the lesser fey (3 CP).
  • Conversion, a set of four level five spells, Specialized for double effect/level ten base effects, Corrupted for reduced cost (8 CP), No more than three times per day and once per hour each, external effects may be Dispelled with an opposed caster level check by an opposing-aspect channeling attempt directed at a particular effect, 6 CP). Save DC’s are (20 + the user’s Cha Mod). Note that these require a minimum of none hit dice to use even after applying the Immunity to hit dice requirements.
    • Beyond the Walls of the World: The user may cause co-existent planes to overlap within a thirty foot radius for (Cha Mod) minutes. For the duration, all creatures, effects, and objects within the area exist simultaneously in the Astral, Ethereal, Material, and all other co-existent planes. At the end of the effect, or when they depart the area, sapient creatures may choose the plane they wish to remain on. The user may also opt to open (or hold closed) any gates, or potential gates, to or from the realms of the fey which exist in the area of effect. If such opening or closing is opposed by another user of this power, opposed will checks are in order.
    • Fey Token: The user may imbue an item with a temporary enchantment, which will replicate the effects of some magical device when it is activated. Only permanent items, with continuous functions or uses per day, can be duplicated in this fashion; charged items are not eligible. A given fey may personally hold up to three of his or her own tokens, and may give up to four more into the keeping of the same number of other characters – but tokens only last for twenty-four hours once activated and the user’s active tokens may not exceed a total value of 5000 GP per level of the user. If a new token is activated that raises the total above this limit, old tokens will be deactivated in the order of least remaining duration until the total is once again beneath the limit.
    • Grandeur: The user may cast a complex veil of illusion over an area and the creatures within it, drawing on the energies of shadow to grant his or her recreation a limited reality. In general, the user may affect a radius of up to twenty feet per level, either from dawn till sunset or from sunset until dawn. A barren cave filled with animal followers and some crude basic foodstuffs might thus become a warm and well-lit banqueting hall, decorated with rich tapestries, well-supplied with the finest foods, equipped with comfortable tables and chairs, and populated by strange knights, lovely ladies, and eager servants – the altered forms of the various creatures that had been within. The noises of the night might become a charming orchestra and the sounds of beasts an entrancing conversation – even if nothing much is ever actually said. A handful of leaves might become a great sack of gold, and a simple cart become a grand carriage. Such illusions are anchored on the items and creatures involved once generated, and travel with them. Simple touch and interaction will reveal nothing, since the energies of shadow grant them a partial reality. On the other hand, no statistics are actually changed outside of the general environment (in this case, cold, wet, and uncomfortable cave to warm, dry, and comfortable). Characters who are suspicious may attempt Will saves to detect something wrong with the illusion.
    • Metamorphosis: The user may transform creatures and objects. This can duplicate the effects of Polymorph Any Object or Animate Object (with the advantage of a ten-minute per level duration and the ability to alter the superficial appearances of the animated objects), utterly transform a willing subject (this has an instantaneous duration, and so cannot be dispelled. The target retains the same character point total, general abilities, and basic personality, but can be rewritten with a new race, new templates, or other major modifications – even if it requires the loss of some of it’s original abilities to pay for such things), or be used to reshape large amounts of wood and stone, to create simple vessels, caverns, and structures.
      • A polymorphed stick of wood, or small and sickly animal, is often left in the place of someone who’s been taken by the fey. In most cases, such a replacement will shortly “die” – and thus will likely be burned or buried before the duration of the metamorphosis runs out.

   The fey are mysterious, and somewhat fearsome, but most of their tricks are somewhat limited. In traditional terms this is, of course, because they (like so many other villains) always try a new tactic on the assumption that, if someone resisted once, they can probably keep on doing it. This doesn’t hold in the game, where you can simply keep repeating something over and over again until the target fails to save – so I’ve built it into their mechanics, rather than having them behave in that fashion without a good reason.

Eclipse: The Codex Persona is available in print HERE and in a shareware .pdf version HERE.

3 Responses

  1. […] The Lesser (+1 ECL), Greater (+2 ECL), and High (+3 ECL) Fey. […]

  2. […] Fair Folk Templates use Channeling to produce some classical fey effects. This actually stretches the rules quite a bit […]

  3. […] A part of the Lesser Fey template – the Channeling / Conversion ability it used to produce some spell effects – without the immunity to the level requirement that allowed it to work for fey of below fifth level. This power would not function in a racial template. […]

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