[Let's Read] AD&D 2e Monstrous Manual [Part V, Spr~ ?]

Which are the best Nasty Lower Planar Entity Gang?

  • Baatezu

    Votes: 31 29.5%
  • Tanar'ri

    Votes: 35 33.3%
  • Yuguloth

    Votes: 39 37.1%

  • Total voters
    105
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noisms

Booze Hound
Validated User
#1
[Contd. from here.]

The last leg of our mystical and wondrous journey? Perhaps. I'm going to miss these threads. :(

Sprite

Sprites - the easy going, pleasure loving, gossamer-winged, goody-goody fairies that we all know and, er, love[?]. I daresay you know the deal: they dislike evil, and will attempt to drug and then either kill or remove unwanted trespassers in their glades. We're also told they dislike "ugliness", which seems a bit harsh - then again in the un-PC world of D&D, ugliness is generally a fair indication of evil, so you can't blame the Sprites for using it as a yardstick.

A number of varieties are listed:

Sprite (Standard)

Sprites possess many of the abilities that can make a monster extremely annoying - invisibility at will, sleeping-potion-darts, and a willingness to attack on sight if they find you unattractive. But of course, they can also fit into that "other" rarely-played variety of D&D - the more mysterious, fairy-tale-esque variety which is perfectly possible with the system as it is. In such a game Sprites could be responsible for all manner of strange goings on in the forest, with the PCs investigating, perhaps.

Sea Sprites

These Sprites live in coral reefs, and are a little like environmental avengers, killing those who damage the reefs but leaving other trespassers alive on nearby beaches. They are the sworn enemies of Sahuagin - as everybody in the ocean seems to be.

Pixie

Pixies possess are like Sprites writ large - with huge potential to be annoying and huge potential to be mysterious, depending on the DM. Not only can they put you to sleep, they can also make you lose your memory, make you dance irresistibly, use ESP, polymorph themselves...essentially, they possess the entire arsenal of the tricksy D&D creature.

The MM describes Pixie behaviour as being somewhere between a Knocker (making noises in the night) and a kind of moral policeman, tricking misers out of gold and generally pricking the noses of the self-important. People who come searching for Pixie treasure are mercilessly hounded, but if they can show a good sense of humour they might be rewarded.

Nixie

An underwater Pixie, which can charm human trespassers and enslave them, which I rather like - it's nice to have capricious and somewhat sinister fairie folk about.

Nixie society has a surprising level of detail:

Nixie tribes are ruled by the Acquar (water mother), a hereditary position held by a direct descendant of the original founding ancestor. She decides major disputes and chooses the most apt warrior to be the S'oquar, the warlord responsible for hunting and defense. The Acquar is advised by a council of elders, whose spokesperson is called the L'uquar, the keeper of the tribe's oral history. Treasures, whether the spoils of war or the results of work or luck, are divided equally by the Acquar. Intertribal rivalries are often fierce, and females are sometimes kidnapped as brides, for nixies are polygamists, keeping 2-3 wives. Nixies worship water and nature powers.
There's so much information in the MM that it's a little depressing sometimes. I'll probably never use a Nixie tribe in one of my games, simply from want of time. Sad, isn't it?

Atomie

This is the smallest Sprite of all. As well as the usual Sprite powers it can also summon insects.

Atomies live in treetop villages that are a little like those of the Ewoks. They sometimes grow mushroom pets, and take care of lost children. To be honest, I find them the least interesting Sprite variety, although there is potential in the idea of their tendency to hoard magical items. What if they get their hands on something the PCs need? etc.

Grig

Another variety of trick-players, with long cricket legs and a greater tendency towards violence. Amusingly, we are told they speak "atomie, brownie, pixie, sprite, and Common" - more candidates for the Elven Cat list of lesser-known languages!
 

Kakita Kojiro

IL-series Cylon
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#4
A number of varieties are listed:

Sprite (Standard)
Somehow, I'm now envisioning Sprite (Diet) and Sprite (Lemon-Lime) as well.

I'm torn on the Nixie titles, though. "Acquar", "S'oquar", and "L'uquar" are all kinda nice for having that obvious element in common. On the other hand, they're afflicted with the Meaningless Fantasy Name Apostrophe, and so should probably be purged with fire...
 

Sleeper

Red-eyed dust bunny
Validated User
#5
I'm torn on the Nixie titles, though. "Acquar", "S'oquar", and "L'uquar" are all kinda nice for having that obvious element in common. On the other hand, they're afflicted with the Meaningless Fantasy Name Apostrophe, and so should probably be purged with fire...
Whaq iq wronq witq 'qa qon'sistent letquer anq quae ocquasional a'pos'tro'qhe?

Oh. That.
 

noisms

Booze Hound
Validated User
#7
Somehow, I'm now envisioning Sprite (Diet) and Sprite (Lemon-Lime) as well.

I'm torn on the Nixie titles, though. "Acquar", "S'oquar", and "L'uquar" are all kinda nice for having that obvious element in common. On the other hand, they're afflicted with the Meaningless Fantasy Name Apostrophe, and so should probably be purged with fire...
I'm currently working my way through The Malazan Book of the Fallen, which is possibly the most egregious example of the abuse of apostrophes in the fantasy literature canon. It seriously mars an otherwise enjoyable experience.
 

demiurge1138

Registered User
Validated User
#8
Somehow, I'm now envisioning Sprite (Diet) and Sprite (Lemon-Lime) as well.
Oh, those were the days. Back when I did a silly dungeon crawl game, the PCs found the pantry of the legendary kobold sorcerer Kojark. In it were cans of Sprite.

Oh, how they screamed when they were opened...
 

JRM

Registered User
Validated User
#9
Sprite

Sprites - the easy going, pleasure loving, gossamer-winged, goody-goody fairies that we all know and, er, love[?]. I daresay you know the deal: they dislike evil, and will attempt to drug and then either kill or remove unwanted trespassers in their glades. We're also told they dislike "ugliness", which seems a bit harsh - then again in the un-PC world of D&D, ugliness is generally a fair indication of evil, so you can't blame the Sprites for using it as a yardstick.
Well they may claim to be all good-goody butter-won't-melt-in-my-mouth but their stat entries say differently. See for yourself:

Sprite - Neutral (good)
Sea Spirite - Chaotic Neutral
Pixie - Neutral
Nixie- Neutral
Atomie - Chaotic Neutral
Grig - Neutral (good)

So, at best two out of six varieties have Good tendencies, while another two are strongly Chaotic.

I think these creatures work best as amoral trickster-types, not evil per se, but you want to tread carefully about them. Not only are they bored and mischievous, but they never forget a slight and can be endlessly inventive if when they want to be vindictive.

Also, I think you missed a trick by not mentioning this titbit from the Pixie entry:
The most famous by-product of pixies is pixie dust, also known as dust of disappearance. Crushing 50 pixie wings into a fine powder creates one dose of dust of disappearance. Naturally, pixies frown on this use of their wings.
Doesn't that just scream "adventure seed"?

The pixies played their pranks on the wrong guy, a Lawful Evil wizard and her adventuring party who have access to copious detect invisibility spells and absolutely no sense of humour. The party proceeds to track them down and trap them in little iron cages, to harvest their wings for pixie dust and let them regrow. Then an escapee wingless pixie tries to recruit the player characters to rescue them.

For some reason I fancy giving the evil wizard a Lawful Evil pseudodragon as a familiar. Maybe he or she used to be CG but put on a helm of opposite alignment.

Hmm, maybe the pixies knew the wizard before they were evilized, so thought it was safe to play japes of him or her. Now I'm spinning off a alternative plot were the helm becomes a "crown of evil" (created by an covey of hags who hate the pixies?), and if the player's manage to destroy this magic item the wizard reverts to their original niceness.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
#10
I have the Spiderwick art book and it shows how much better he has become with such critters.

As for sprites themselves, they never made it into 2e, did they? (I mean true sprites, not the sprite fey subtype)
 
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