Unseelie Fey

As a prequel to my September adventure, here is a little something I cooked up for Pathfinder RPG, my take on the unseelie fey as a creature subtype and how to apply the unseelie template to a creature. Now you have a hint about what to expect in a couple of weeks. 

Le Belle Dame Sans Merci by John William Waterhouse.
Le Belle Dame Sans Merci by John William Waterhouse.
‘And see not ye that braid braid road,
	That lies across yon lillie leven?
	That is the path of wickedness,
	Tho some call it the road to heaven.'
-The Child Ballads: 37, Thomas Rymer

The Unseelie Court
Most of the fey presented in Pathfinder RPG seem to fall within the seelie court; fey who are often passive or even helpful toward humans. Less well-mannered than their seelie cousins, fey of the unseelie court are in general more mischievous and dark-natured. Many unseelie fey are downright malevolent.

The wealth of myths and legends surrounding the fey could inspire creatures with a variety of abilities and personalities. The fey creature type is wonderfully representative of fairy lore in general, but there are darker tales. These stories of nocturnal fey that snare unwary travelers, malicious sprites that lead humans to their doom, and cruelly sensual fairy queens who toy with other creatures’ lives and spirits on a capricious whim are the inspiration for the unseelie subtype.

Unseelie Subtype
Unseelie fey represent the darker side of nature. Some believe these fey have been perverted by a corruption of the place they are tied to, while others know that unseelie fey have always existed as a foil to their seelie kin. Unseelie fey typically possess darker, stronger magic than other fey. An unseelie fey has the following traits.

  • Darkvision 60 feet.
  • Additional spell-like abilities (see chart below).

Creating an Unseelie Fey
“Unseelie” is an inherited or acquired template than can be added to any living, corporeal creature. An unseelie fey retains the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here. If the base creature is a fey, abilities and traits that are granted by both templates do not stack.

CR: 9 HD or less, as base creature +1; 10 HD or more, as base creature +2.

Alignment: Non-lawful evil.

Type: The creature’s type changes to fey (unseelie). Do not recalculate HD, BAB, or saves.

Senses: An unseelie fey creature gains darkvision 60 feet and low-light vision.

Armor Class: Reduce the creature’s natural armor, if any, by 1 (minimum of 0).

Defensive Abilities: A fey creature gains a +4 bonus on saves against mind-affecting effects, resist cold and electricity 10, and DR 5/cold iron (if 11 HD or less) or DR 10/cold iron (if 12 HD or more).

Speed: Unless the base creature flies better, the unseelie fey creature flies at 1-1/2 times the base creature’s land speed (good maneuverability), rounded down to the nearest multiple of 5 feet. If the creature already has flight with a maneuverability of good, it increases to perfect (unless being applied to a creature that is already of the fey type).

Special Abilities: An unseelie fey gains one of the following abilities for every 4 HD or fraction thereof: Camouflage (Ex), Change Shape (Su), Energy Resistance (Ex), Evasion (Ex), Long Step (Su), Spell Resistance (Ex), Trackless Step (Ex), Vanish (Su), Woodland Stride (Ex)

Spell-Like Abilities: An unseelie fey creature with an Intelligence or Wisdom score of 8 or more has a cumulative number of spell-like abilities depending on its Hit Dice. Unless otherwise noted, an ability is usable once per day. Caster level equals the creature’s HD (or the caster level of the base creature’s spell-like abilities, whichever is higher). These spell-like abilities replace those granted by the fey creature template.

HD Spell-Like Abilities
1–2 charm person 3/day, darkness
3–4 dust of twilight, heat metal
5–6 deep slumber
7–8 suggestion
9–10 greater invisibility
11–12 nightmare
13–14 envious urge
15–16  project image
17–18 maze
19–20  binding

Abilities: An unseelie fey gains a +4 bonus to Dexterity and a +2 bonus to Intelligence and Charisma. An unseelie fey receives a –2 penalty to Strength. Unseelie fey derived from creatures without an Intelligence score gain an Intelligence of 3.

Skills: An unseelie fey with racial Hit Dice has skill points per racial Hit Die equal to 6 + its Intelligence modifier. It gains Acrobatics, Bluff, Fly, and Stealth as class skills.

Languages: Unseelie fey speak Sylvan as well as any languages spoken by the base creature.

Don’t forget to stop by my Patreon! 🙂

Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary. © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 3. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Jesse Benner, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, James Jacobs, Michael Kenway, Rob McCreary, Patrick Renie, Chris Sims, F. Wesley Schneider, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.


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