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Wood Imp Racial Write-Up

by Jamie Baty

Wood imps are a race of malevolent fey, degenerated from fairy folk. They are cruel, greedy and senselessly violent, warping the forests into lands of rot and decay.

Personality: Wood imps once were fairykind like pixies and leprechauns. However, generations of degeneration have all but totally obscured the heritage of the race. They are incapable of arcane magic, and have learned divine magic, serving the Lords of Entropy (although this is often a way to increase ones power, rather than any true religious belief.)
Wood imps care nothing for nature, and are driven by greed, senseless violence, and general wickedness. They have a tremendous hatred of fairykind, going to great lengths to torment and torture any fairies that cross their path. They also do not get along well with other forest races as they tend to corrupt and destroy the woodlands. They will chop down the trees of dryads and hamadryads, raid the caves of treants, and kill animals for sport; they'll even damage healthy trees and introduce disease and parasites to a forest.
Civil strife among the various tribes is common, and within a tribe as well. This strife is bloody and vicious. Power is held by the strongest, and those in power must watch for plots against them at all times.

Physical Description: The wood imps area a diminutive, humanoid-like race; they are typically between a foot and a half and two feet tall. Their skin is green, and their long hair, which is green, brown, or black, is usually a tangled mess holding leaves twigs, lice, fleas, and other assorted parasites.
Wood imps are proficient with all simple and martial weapons; they prefer to use shortbows and greatswords. They are proficient with light and medium armour and shields (excluding tower), bearing whatever they put together and afford. Outside of combat, they tend to wear little clothing, shrifts and loincloths being common.

Relations: Wood imps do not get along well with any creatures save their spiders. Mystaran Fairies regard them as an embarrassment and annoyance to fairykind. Other forest creatures despise them because they seek to warp the forests into places of disease, decay and rot. Wood imps, for their part, go out of their way to torment and torture the fairy races, and to harass, attack, and destroy other woodland creatures and their homes.
Wood imps are generally ambivalent about other humanoid races as long as they don't interfere with wood imp territory. One exception to this is the recent diplomatic relations between the wood imps and shadow elves aimed at mutual cooperation.

Alignment: Wood imps are almost always chaotic, and most are evil as well.

Wood Imp Lands: Wood imps are relatively rare throughout Mystara. The reason for this is they were initially native to the region of Alfheim around Stalkbrow. They have slowly expanded outwards through Alfheim, Darokin and Karameikos (even further in small groups), corrupting woodlands as they go.
Wood imps are at home in the forest, and will establish lairs nowhere else. They prefer tangled woodlands full of rot, death and decay; if a tribe wishes to settle and no such area is available, they'll do their best to establish one themselves. If this means war with the other forest races, all the better.
Wood imps tribes are kept in line only by the personal strength of its tribal chief and or tribal shaman. Those that prove weak are often dispatched by numerous power struggles. Wood imp tribes that have powerful leaders that keep tribal unrest at a minimum are very dangerous to the lands around them, as they can focus on harming others.

Religion: Wood imps are very unusual in that, despite their distant Fairy heritage, they do worship Immortals. Granted, they see the Immortals as a source of power and a means to an end. Shamans simply know how to tap that power, and use it to further their own goals. In return, they give their Immortal patrons whole tribes willing to help further mutual goals and interests.
Wood imps clerics associate themselves with Entropic Immortals; those that do not choose a specific Immortal may choose two of the following domains: Chaos, Destruction, or Evil.

Language: Hsiao speak their own language, Sylvan, Elvish, Treant, Fairy, and the predominate local language. They can communicate with other avian creatures as well. They may also know Celestial, Common, Giant, Gnomish, and Halfling. The hsiao are very learned and may know ancient languages long forgotten.

Names: Wood imps names are ancient sounding and difficult to pronounce. They do not use surnames or clan names.
Male Names: Cohrulach, Halyk, Maelgwn, Porrigh
Female Names: Brythonig, Elysteg, Rhonwen, Sherralil

Adventurers: Wood imps by nature tend to involve themselves in adventuring. Some seek out new lands to corrupt for their tribe, and engage in open hostilities to take over those lands. Others seek to increase their personal power and take over their tribe. On the other end of the spectrum, some renegade wood imps seek to help fairykind and the forest races fight and resist the wood imps in atonement, or seek a means to redeem their race
A wood imp's favoured class is fighter. Wood imps also are excellent barbarians, rangers and rogues, and a few have even become blackguards. Clerics are also found among wood imp tribes. Wood imps are incapable of arcane magic and cannot be wizards, sorcerers or bards. Due to their chaotic and malevolent nature, they are not good monks or paladins.

Wood Imp Racial Traits:
Wood imp characters possess the following racial traits.
-2 Strength, +4 Dexterity, -2 Charisma.
Tiny size. +2 bonus to Armour Class, +2 bonus on attack rolls, +8 bonus on Hide checks, -8 penalty on grapple checks, lifting and carrying limits 1/2 those of Medium characters.
A wood imp's base land speed is 20 feet.
Low-light vision.
Skills: Wood imps have a +4 racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks made when in a forest or area of heavy undergrowth.
Weapon Proficiency: All simple and martial weapons.
Armour Proficiency: All light and medium armours, and all shields but tower shields.
Special Attacks : Envenomed Arrows (Ex): Wood Imps often coat their arrows with the venom of their wood spider mounts. The venom must be fresh to be effective. The wood imp must spend a full-round action to coat up to 6 arrows. The venom will keep its potency for 6 rounds.
Any creature hit by an envenomed arrow must make a Fort save vs DC 14 or suffer 1d4 Con damage and become sickened for 2d4+2 rounds.
Special Qualities: Communicate with Arachnids (Ex): A wood imp can comprehend and communicate with spiders. He is able to ask questions of and receive answers from them, although this quality doesn't make them any more friendly or cooperative than normal.
Arcane Anathema (Ex): Wood imps are incapable of wielding arcane magic and may never take levels in classes that grant arcane spellcasting.
Automatic Languages: Wood Imp, Sylvan. Bonus Languages: Common, other local languages.
Favoured Class: Fighter.
Level adjustment +1