Monday, February 25, 2019

Fairies are the Elf Spell List

Fairies, as in the Tinkerbell variety (or the GDGD Fairy variety if you're weeblord like me),

and they said there was no good cgi anime
 are anthropomorphized spells. High Elves are behind this, of course. More on them later. That's why fairy personalities lean one note and its never really clear what their society is or what they do all day. Because what they do all day is whatever their creating elf mage told them to do, filtered through their dim-bulb artificial minds of rune-logic 2 suns out of date.

Elves have reasons for turning their spells into fairies beyond elvish weirdness, of course. For one thing, it allows them to delegate the casting of useful but low impact things to their fairies, and to adjust the purpose and scope of a spell via plain-elvish instructions rather than involved and expensive thaumaturgy. For another, it appeals to their vanity to have slavish minions. And non-elves are likely to interact with fairies as though they were people and not anthropomorphized spells, which gives Elves a vague advantage via the power of misinformation and deceit. (There's a reason all elves were sentenced to eternal imprisonment within the Iron Moon, after all- they're dicks. But worry not, 99% of the elves you meet aren't real elves).Anyway, fairies don't cast very powerful spells, but they can cast them at will, forever.
Fairies, and also the Elf Spell List (that is probs partially stolen from someone(s) but I initially wrote this list on the back of a scientific research paper I dug out of a university dumpster 6 months ago so don't expect any citations)
They tend to be encountered in groups of 1d8, have 1hp, AC as plate +3, and about can fly as fast as a horse, while others must slowly creep about like mice (and have AC as chain). They can use their own spell at the lowest power setting infinitely, or one step up if they work together in a group of 3 or more.

Lower numbers tend to all know different spells, while larger groups tend to all know the same spell. Use a d8 to determine which, the 9th and 10th spells were never mass-fairyfied.
Wizards can eat them to learn the spell, and swatting them with a rolled-up-newspaper equivalent causes them to revert to spell-form and turn into a scroll. Their cute appearance and desire to continue living may be nothing but elvish self-preservation rune-programming, but at the end of the day its up to you if you really want to be this guy.

  1. Glamour
  2. Mirror Image
  3. Eye Game
  4. Fairy Gold
  5. Elvish Override
  6. Slumber
  7. Jewel Wings 
  8. Elf Shot
  9. Elf Shield
  10. Fairify

1. Glamour- Clothing and makeup becomes awe-inspiring, providing your choice of a bonus to reaction checks, friendly morale, or a penalty to enemy morale. +1 hour and bonus/malus per spell level/MD expended.

+2. Also go read dungeon meshi already jeez
+3, obviously in the 'intimidation' sense

at +4 things get kinda weird but it's all illusion don't worry about it
Glamour Fairies
These are basically the fashion police. If you don't accede to their demands to change out of your armor and into whatever garments they have on hand/are already making minutes after seeing you, they will be forced to go to increasingly extreme lengths to make you fabulous. Tricking you into a garbage pit and stealing your clothes while they're hung out to dry is plan A, after that things start to involve rust monsters, slandering your identity to local townsfolk by describing your clothes so you have to adopt a disguise, hiring mimics to turn into your clothes then leave you naked later, and if need be, stripping your corpse and dressing that up instead, possibly allying with a dread necromancer to make your newly adorned corpse walk down a fashion catwalk.
Or you could just put on the clothes. And the ones after that. And after that. And...

2-Mirror Image- Though the obvious combat use is creating a mirror image of yourself, you can create a mirror image of anything you can see. It is silent and insubstantial, but otherwise totally visually convincing... at least in terms of what you can see. If you copy a castle, the side you can't see and the interior will be nothing but fuzzy static. Once touched, the illusion pops like a soap bubble. Whip up up to 1d6 copies per dice/spell slot level.

Mirror Fairies- These replicate via mirrored surfaces, and don't tolerate the poor copies. Mirror fairies are frequently to be found hunting down choppy 'puddle fairies' that were reflected from a puddle, viewed from below, or 'grey bulge' fairies, reflected from overly shiny breast plates. They will go to any length to acquire quality mirrors, and are intelligent enough to extort adventurers for gold via neverending mirror tricks to bedevil them, or assist them only to demand payment later. Mirrors are expensive and heavy, after all, and fairies are poor and small, so it's up to you adventurers to secure them their perfect reflection. Subsequent generations of mirror fairies are invariably slightly dimmer and off-color than before, preventing infinite replication, but a few generations of difference from a good quality mirror are tolerated. A final quirk of behavior is that mirror fairies never admit that they are anything but an illusory reflection. No matter what.

3-Eye GamesSemi-permanent invisibility to a target, but with a random twist.
1-Only invisible so long as you hold your breath. So long as no one sees you doing it, you can take a break to breathe visibly, and then become invisible again by holding your breath.  
2-Clothing and equipment not made invisible. You become visible once you get the invisibility dust rubbed or washed off from the friction of movement and so on, in a day or so or if you put on clothes/get splashed by water.
3-Only invisible so long as you keep your eyes shut. If you can see through your eyelids for some reason this won't work- it's operating on the 'they can't see me if I can't see them' principle.
4- Piece of cloth, usually a cloak, is made into an invisibility cloak that is itself invisible as is anything beneath it. Ends once you drop it or somebody not under the cloak touches it.
5-Only invisible so long as you don't hurt anybody or break any laws.
6- While standing still, you're invisible.

No See Ums- Tiny people more often invisible than not. Get super shy and tongue-tied if their location is known and they know its known, otherwise cheeky devils. Incorrigible thieves, eavesdroppers, voyeurs, and gossips of course, but you already could have guessed that. Their favorite game is hide and seek, and they often have the assistance of a scary monster to raise the stakes of the games. They'll assist you with their magic, but if you aren't a good sport, they'll assist the monster instead.

4-Fairy Gold
A trick that turns leaves and acorns into coins and gems. The transformation only lasts until midnight and is ended prematurely by contact with iron or seawater, and the bigger your scam the bigger the ensuing fallout, of course.

Typically working in tandem with other fairies, providing fake gold to tempt you into going along with various fairy shenanigans. Initially quite friendly, they will munificently buy you whatever you wish, with predictable results in a few days and one leprechaun that is just shocked and appalled at how cheap human gratitude is. They will hint at having great treasure hoards that they draw from rather than admitting their trickery, and will quickly go from friend to foe if their generosity is met with suspicion or greed. If their ruse is revealed, they will defend their actions as that of a freedom fighter, expanding upon the virtues of a gift economy and the vices of the marketplace.

5-Elvish OverrideCompels a group of fairies to perform a specific number of tasks for you. The exact number is irrelevant because if the fairy likes the task it won't keep track, and if it doesn't like you or the task, it will declare things like 'breathing is a task' and hold its breath until it falls over and passes out. They will also inevitably get bored and wander off after an hour of cleaning or carrying the lantern or whatever you set them to.

Unbeknownst to many, this works on any elf-created magical being with the proper safety overrides in place. Goblins, Ogres, guardian golems and of course any undead raised by an elvish necromancer. If they make their save vs spell they can never be affected by that copy of elvish override, but if they fail, they will immediately become nonhostile, and maybe even helpful.
Against humans, elves, and dwarves, this functions as charm person and charm person is in fact a misunderstood elvish override.
Unbeknownst even to True Elves, There is a Snake Override that works on Alfs and Svarts.

idk who this is but they came up when i searched 'pixie lord'

Fairy Lords- Inherently respected and obeyed by other fairies. Expect that respect to be found in all other living beings too, and will sic their fairy posse on those who do not show proper respect to the lord. They are inevitably found with some extra minions, and they work tirelessly to create warped imitations of royal life, demanding palaces, courts, royal balls, etc.
1- Goblins- nameless, shadowy, only able to own what they steal.
2- Ogre- Cruel, stupid, flesheating. Able to change into animals of equivalent HD they have eaten.
3-Impressionable Humans- Naive, gullible, easily overawed.
4- Cu Sidhe- Huge, intelligent green dogs with silky flowing hair. Also know an innate spell, but use them for hunting.
5- Assorted small animals, half-trained.
6-Roll twice/other

6- Slumber-  Max HD of target must be equal or less than [sum]. All allow a saving throw as usual.
If using vancian spell system, Dice=Spell Slot Level used and max HD affected is Spell Slot Level x4
1 Dice- Target falls asleep. Can be woken by shouting in ear, splashed water, slap upside the head, etc, but will be content to ignore the current sound level and mild jostling such as being carried or tied up.
2 dice- Target falls VERY asleep- will only awaken upon taking damage (from attempted murder or dehydration)
3+ dice- Target falls into enchanted slumber. Progression of aging, hunger, poison, disease, etc halted. May only be woken by a specific conditional, like the kiss of royalty or the crow of a hen.

Sleepmaid-These diminutive, moth-like fairies are used as guards, medics, assassins, and sleep aids in about equal measure. Their go-to response to an uncertain situation is to put everyone to sleep, rummage through belongings, then decide what to do from there. They do not kill unless specifically ordered to, as stab-happy fairies are likely to create more diplomatic incidents than they solve, but they will occasionally send people into sleep-stasis and await further orders from command (and command has probably been trapped in an iron moon for a few hundred years, so they may be waiting a while).

7-Jewel WingsTransforms the caster and up to 6 others into hummingbirds for a day, or into hummingbird moths for a night. Equipment is not transformed, and HP is 1 and AC is as Plate+3 in these speedy but fragile forms. It is unlikely spells can be cast in this form if gestures and incantations are required, but maybe you got lucky and had a spell that was originally developed in the squeaks of hummingbirds/moths, I don't know your spellbook.

Flitfey- The joy of flight is to be shared! Flitfey are forever trying to get people to fly with them, even if that means leaving out the details of what 'the gift of flight' will actually entail. While the spell only works on the willing, ignorance is no object. Any wingless fairies traveling with Flitfey companions will likely be transformed into hummingbirds or moths when encountered.
Their wings have worth as per gems if recovered, too, you fairy-eating monster
8-Elf Shot
This is magic missile by another name, dealing 1d4+1 damage and manifesting as a bow of light that fires unerring arrows of arcane energy that tweak their effects on the fly to harm anything with HP that is not explicitly protected from magic missile.

There is a human cultural impression that elves are excellent archers and that elvish archery is the best on the planet. This has some truth- elves have good vision and lots of time to practice silly trick shots. In fact though, this impression comes from historically vague depictions of fairy killswarms, deployed in ancient times to hunt and kill anything that threatened the elvish empire. Killswarms(and the many, many variants of magic missile used by humans) are also anti-fairy countermeasures, instantly popping the hard to hit but easy to slay mobile spell platform that is a fairy. Killswarm fairies are angular, lean, and deadly paranoid- in their war, whoever is seen first by the enemy is dead. Whoever falls for bait and fires their Elf Bows at the wrong target, is also dead. As such, they are considerably less trigger-happy than you might expect, and will usually ask questions first and shoot later, and scatter for cover in a mad panic after focus-firing one unlucky target down- they're always expecting the counter-attack from a rival killswarm.

9-Elf Shield
This spell can be cast with a single exhalation of air, not even a full word. It is far from a perfect defense, but it is a VERY fast one, and it is pretty as well, a sort of opalescent shimmer, a rainbow seen only in peripheral vesion. It gives +4 AC to the caster or target, and does not stack with armor. This explains how elves can fight in such ridiculous getups and not die. Most importantly, it blocks Elf Shot, and indeed all variants of magic missile, and it falling into the hands of the Witch-Queens was a big part in the ultimate imprisonment of the high elves in the Iron Moon.

Shieldswarm- Shieldswarms were an attempted counterplay to killswarms that failed for obvious reasons- if the shieldswarm protects itself, a valuable target dies instead. If the shieldswarm protects the target, the shieldswarm is obliterated by elf shot and the shields drop. It was easier to bait out killswarm attacks with Mirror Image, or avoid them with Eye Games, or commandeer them with an Elvish Override. As such, Shieldswarm fairies are basically extinct.

10-FairifyThis spell removes a spell from a book (or whatever the permanent abode of the spellwisp is) and turns it into an adorable fairy that looks fondly upon its creator and can cast infinite uses of a spell. Unlimited power will soon be yours, right? Well...

One of the many downsidesis that the fairy is not particularly intelligent, is overly enthusiastic about using its spell incautiously, and must be treated fairly well (or constantly micromanaged with Elvish Override) to ensure its continued cooperation.
this is you trying to get out of paying your fairies
Treat it as a retainer in terms of getting half-shares of XP and treasure- the treasure goes towards keeping the Fairy happy(their tastes are exotic and varies based on the spell), and the XP is lost from the inevitable consequences of delegating adventuring instead of doing it yourself..

Fairies cast spells with 1 magic die that always rolls a 1/as a level 1 spellcaster with any variables also always rolling 1, and will almost certainly  be subject to many nerfs that the GM finds appropriate, such as Polymorph only affecting one limb at a time or Light manifesting as the fairy glowing as a candle.


  1. This is such a neat idea and I think the basic concept will become canon with elf race-as-class in my game - even though they work off the standard list. Leveraging deals with the wee folk to summon slumber sprites, illusion pixies, magic-sniffing brownies, etc.

    1. I really like the fairy-tale feeling from wizards bargaining with magical creatures. Here's hoping your elf players will too!

  2. This is just... Just perfect. It brings to mind images of an elf with a small entourage of fairies, tending them with their little magic powers and creating a whole miniature culture of fey predilections and fancy.

    1. Exactly! Though some (probably megalomaniacal supervillain) elves definitely travel in what is practically a swarm of wings and magics.