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Gremlin

by Jamie Baty

CO, X2 25, RC 181, PC2 16
Small Fey
Hit Dice: 1d6 (3 hp)
Initiative: +1 (+1 Dex)
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armour Class: 12 (+1 size, +1 Dex), touch 12, flat-footed 11
Base Attack/Grapple: 0/-5
Attack: Small dagger +0 melee (1d3 -1)
Full Attack: Small dagger +0 melee (1d3 -1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Chaotic aura, fumbling foes
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, mental resistance, unwieldy magic
Saves: Fort +0, Ref +3, Will +1
Abilities: Str 8, Dex 13, Con 10, Int 9, Wis 8, Cha 15
Skills: Disable Device +3 (+7)*, Hide +11, Jump +6, Listen +2, Move Silently +3, Spot +2, Tumble +8
Feats: Stealthy
Environment: Any land
Organisation: Solitary, Pair, or Gang (2-5)
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Always chaotic, usually neutral
Advancement: 2-5 HD (Small) or by character class
Level Adjustment: +2

Gremlins are 3ft tall humanoids with pasty grey-green skin, large saucer-shaped eyes and pointed ears. They are whimsical and have a playfully malignant sense of humour.
Gremlins always live in and around settled areas. They parasitise other "civilised" creatures. They move around from place to place and rarely collect treasure as such. They will have a number of secret places (attics, paths below floorboards, the eaves of barns, even sewers) to which they can escape and hide. A large number have found their way onto the flying city of Serraine, much to the displeasure of the predominantly gnomish population.
Gremlins love to meddle. They want to mess up things that work, and laugh at the outcome. While they are chaos personified, they are rarely evil and generally do not intend serious harm. As a result of this meddling instinct, gremlins can easily be distracted by anything unusual or new. An intricate device or contraption can keep them occupied for 2d6 hours trying to figure out the object, and ultimately how to make it malfunction.
Gremlins like to pick up things, squint at them, and poke fingers into places that shouldn't be poked. They like to make little exclamations of surprise and interest. They express displeasure by poking out their tongues, screwing up their faces, and rasping. They squeak and chitter a lot and are quite rude.
Despite their endless tinkering with the inanimate and mechanical, what is actually learned by the gremlin is minuscule- the knowledge is gone in the time it takes to cause one malfunction and start working on the next. While they are experts in messing things up, they know little of why and how things work.
Gremlins speak their own language, a derivative of Sylvan and Gnomish. It is a very disjointed language and hard for any non-gremlin to understand and speak. Most also speak Common. Exceptional gremlins may pick up Auran (especially if on Serraine), Gnomish, and other local languages.

Combat
Gremlins usually do not fight. They prefer to cause as much chaos with their aura as possible and flee if physically threatened. They can use simple weapons if they need to, but their chaotic auras tend to make armour useless in no time at all.

Chaotic Aura (Su): A gremlin radiates a Chaotic Aura. Any creature within 10ft of a gremlin must make a Will save vs DC 15 (Cha based, +2 racial bonus) each round or something that can go wrong for the creature, will. These misfortunes will be average difficulty or less (see below). In addition, as a standard action, the gremlin may focus this aura on a single foe or object, raising the save DC to 17 (+2 bonus) and allowing for a more elaborate misfortune (see below).
The nature of the aura is to be playfully malignant. The effects of the aura are never directly harmful. Gremlin magic usually affects mechanical devices before non-mechanical devices. A crossbow might break in half, axe heads might fall off the shaft, armour straps might break, bowstrings fray... The exact effects of gremlin magic depend on the DMs imagination.
It is also of note, that this aura functions constantly, and any object within the aura is subject to malfunction- chair legs break, food spoils, bottles break, chandeliers fall... A gremlin can, overtime, completely wreck an area by its mere aura. For every minute a gremlin is in an area, there is a 25% chance that a malfunction will occur within 10ft of the gremlin.
For more specific or complex malfunctions, the gremlin can make a Disable Device skill check vs the difficulty of the task. If the check succeeds, any targeted unattended object is immediately affected, while any malfunction involving a creature or items in their possession receive a save.

Difficulty (DC) Example
Very easy (0) Unravel basic knot or undo simple fastener, turn off a tap
Easy (5) Bowstring breaks, Axe head falls off, cause someone to stumble and drop something, sheath falls off, armour strapping breaks
Average (10) Backpack spills equipment out, stopping a water clock, making a wood plank pop into the air
Tough (15) Cause a wagon wheel to fall off, weapon to break, cause someone to trip and fall, making a plank pop into the air and hit someone, souring a keg of beer
Challenging (20) Cause a person to trip and spill drinks on a specific target, cause the legs to fall off a chair
Formidable (25) Cause a person to trip and crash into another object, making a plank pop into the air and hit a specific person in a specific way
Heroic (30) Make bars fall away from a metal cage, make an entire wagon undercarriage fall off, making the legs fall off a bed and have the frame then collapse.
Nearly impossible (40) Make a small building collapse on itself.

Other gremlins may assist another gremlin in causing a specific malfunction. Each assisting gremlin adds a +2 bonus to the Disable Device skill check. Groups of gremlins are thus able to perpetrate some truly magnificent malfunctions.

Fumbling Foes (Su): This gremlin ability has two effects: First, any creature that attacks a gremlin and misses, must roll an attack against himself, taking normal damage if the roll indicates a hit. This roll receives a -3 penalty.
Secondly, anyone within the Chaotic Aura casting a spell or using a spell-like ability of a magic item must make a Will save vs DC 15 (Cha based, +2 racial bonus). If successful, the magic works normally. If failed, the magic doesn't harm the gremlin and the effects of the magic target the caster.

Mental Resistance (Ex): Gremlins may have a sieve for a brain, but hey are very resistance to mental effects. A gremlin has a +2 bonus against all mind-affecting spells and spell-like abilities.

Unwieldy Magic (Ex): A gremlin has difficulty using magic items. Each time a gremlin picks up a magic item, there is a 10% chance that the item will deactivate or malfunction. A malfunctioning item will return to normal 10-30 minutes after a gremlin has put it down.

Skills: Gremlins have a +4 racial bonus to all Hide skill checks. They also have a +2 racial bonus to all Jump and Tumble skill checks. *The gremlin receives a +4 racial bonus to all Disable Device skill checks made in conjunction with its Chaotic Aura.

Gremlin Advancement
Gremlins can advance by character class, or may gain up to 5HD in the Fey type. Gaining HD in Fey causes the following changes to a gremlin's stats:

Chaotic Aura: For each additional Fey HD the gremlin possesses, the range of the aura increases by 5ft. At 2 HD, the racial bonus to the save DC increases to +3. At 3HD, it becomes +4, and at 5HD it becomes +5. This ability does not improve with character levels.

Fumbling Foes: At 2 HD, the racial bonus to the save DC increases to +3 and the attack roll penalty is -2. At 3HD, they become +4 and -1, and at 5HD they become +5 and no penalty. This ability does not improve with character levels.

Mental Resistance: At 2 HD, the increases to +3. At 4HD, it becomes +4, and at 5HD it becomes +5. This ability does not improve with character levels.

Unwieldy Magic: The chance of malfunction is 10% per HD. In addition, each time a HD is gained, every magic item in the possession of the gremlin must be rechecked. This ability is not affected by character levels.

Skills: For each Fey HD gained, the gremlin's racial bonus increases by +1 (for a total of +8 at 5 HD). At 4HD, a gremlins racial bonus to Jump and Tumble increases to +4.

Leg Whip (Sp): At 3HD, the gremlin gains this ability.
As a standard action, the gremlin can cause a shimmering green magical force to whip around the targets legs, binding them together if a Reflex save vs DC 14 (Cha based ) is failed. A bound target cannot move more than 5 ft per round by hopping, which takes a full-round action. If the target is moving in the round it is affected by the leg whip, it falls prone, suffering 1d3 damage. The effect has a range of 20ft, and lasts for 2d4 rounds. It may be 2/day.
Against targets that cannot be tripped up in the above manner, it will cause an elaborate malfunction to befall the target.

Side-Splitter (Sp): At 4HD, the gremlin gains this ability.
This ability affects a single creature, which must be able to see the gremlin. The gremlin leaps out, makes a rude or absurd gesture/grimace/pose, and sticks its tongue out as far as possible (farther than you might think). The target must make a Will Save vs DC 16 (Cha based, +2 racial bonus), or drop all carried items and fall to the floor laughing. The victim cannot take any actions while laughing. The victim is allowed a save each round to break the effect. Once broken, it takes one round for the victim to compose themselves and gather up any dropped items. This ability has a range of 20ft and can be used 2/day.

Confusion (Sp): At 5HD, the gremlin gains this ability.
1/day the gremlin may cast the confusion spell. CL 5, Cha based save.

Gremlins as Characters
Gremlins have a favoured class of rogue. Gremlins are capable of both arcane and divine magic. In addition, some gremlins have become bards, rangers, and fighters. Due to their chaotic nature, Gremlins cannot be paladins or monks. Gremlin clerics often worship the Trickster, or may choose two of the following domains: Chaos, Luck, or Trickery. Gremlin characters possess the following racial traits:
+2 Dexterity, -2 Strength, +4 Charisma, -2 Intelligence, -2 Wisdom..
Small size. +1 bonus to Armour Class, +1 bonus on attack rolls, +4 bonus on Hide checks, -4 penalty on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits 3/4 those of Medium characters.
A gremlin's base land speed is 40 feet.
+2 racial bonus on Jump and Tumble checks.
+4 racial bonus on Hide checks.
+4 racial bonus on Disable Device checks made for the Chaotic Aura.
Scent Special Quality.
Low-light vision.
Special Attacks (see above): Chaotic Aura, Fumbling Foes
Special Qualities (see above): Mental Resistance, Unwieldy Magic
Automatic Languages: Gremlin, Common. Bonus Languages: Auran, Gnome, other local languages.
Favoured Class: Rogue.
Level Adjustment: +2