On Pixies in 4th Edition Dungeon and Dragons
by Anthony Pacheco
by Anthony Pacheco
In Wizards of the Coast 4th Edition Dungeon and Dragons role-playing game, the pixie is curiously missing from the monster compendium.
I find that odd, and let me tell you, as a Dungeon Master, I cannot have run a proper game without pixies. If we’re all going to get our geek on, geek is going to include the mostly invisible flying trickster fey making the much needed appearance during the woodland trek.
In D&D, when you don’t have published materials to support your game, you’re supposed to make it up yourself; otherwise, you are a bad nerd.
So I did.
Now, pixies have a long tradition in D&D. The Advanced D&D pixie was quite the prankster, traveling in packs and pulling jokes on innocent woodland travelers, or, in the case of some evil critter despoiling their woods, going all pixie-Rambo, usually with the help of elves or gnomes. They carried tiny bows that shot arrows that would put you to sleep: Save vs. Sleep or wake up with a really bad hangover and in some precarious position, such as wearing your old lady’s panties.
But I digress.
To understand my custom 4th Edition pixie, one needs to be somewhat versed in current D&D cosmology.
D&D 4thEdition Cosmology: The Quick and Dirty Version:
The Primordial Powers That Be from the Elemental Plane of Chaos created “the world.” The gods of the Astra Sea said “Whoa, that be cool shiznit, let us play with your creation by putting intelligent life on it so we can be worshiped.”
The elder primordials said “No way, no how. In fact we’ll just destroy the world rather than share.”
Then the gods said, “Um, I don’t think so, roll for initiative,” and then kicked the crap out of the primordials.
The Elementals didn’t go down without a fight. During the struggle, bits of the gods’ home and the world intermingled and got torn up a bit, creating the Feywild, and the Shadowfell. Or perhaps they already existed, left over from the creation of the world. No one can remember.
Also during this time, the Abyss was created from the Elemental Plane of Chaos, but that is a completely different story.
The Feywild and the Shadowfell are somewhat mirror images of The World, but not quite. Suffice it to say pixies, as all fey, originated from the Feywild.
And thus we come to the real reason pixies don’t appear in 4th Edition D&D: Wizards of the Coast hasn’t released a Feywild compendium yet. See, it’s all about the money.
Anyway, there are fey that appear into the world because the Feywild is closely connected to the world. For example, this is where elves originally came from. They were eladrin that made their way into the world and decided to stay, eventually becoming another race.
Pixies, on the other hand, were brought to the world by a bunch of drunk wizards.
And boy-howdy (and boy-howdy is a technical term), this really pisses pixies off to no end.
On the Origins of Pixies in The World
See, in the Feywild, pixies were a diminutive, all-female species of fey that minded their own business. They spent most of their time alternating between trying to improve their tans, engaging in snowball fights, and occasionally hunting big bugs, mice or other vermin in exchange for beads, baubles and other shinny things like polished stones or the occasional gem. Each pixie was born pregnant, and had a single daughter or twins, depending on how much raw magic she had been romping in while flitting about the Feywild.
At least, that’s the way it used to be.
Unfortunately, for the pixies, the world is a dangerous place. Over time, the races that lived on the world grew in power. Sometimes, this power touched into the Feywild.
Long, long ago, a society of wizards gathered in the great Vestole forest. The Vestole is a big place; these wizards lived because the natives of the forest left them alone, and the peoples surrounding the forest left the natives alone. Mainly, because if these neighbors poked at the natives, the natives went all barbarian on their asses and would spend a couple of months doing the rapine and pillaging cha-cha.
As wizards left to their own devices were wont to do, they gave themselves a fearsome name so nobody would bother them. And lo, these wizards called themselves The Anachronistic Society of Tree Hugging Wizards.
Well it was catchy at the time.
But I digress.
Anyway, as wizards who enjoy relative safety are wont to do, they got bored. You can consider one of their “meetings” going like this:
“These damn barbarians are too uppity about their women,” said the Human Wizard.
(Uppity = “cut off your head”)
“Indeed. Another brandy?” answered Another Human Wizard.
“We could try to conjure up another homunculus companion,” Another Wizard added.
“Oh, Gods, that thing was terrible, about as feminine as a squishy rock,” replied the Human Wizard.
“Actually, I think it was a squishy rock,” said Elven Wizard, suddenly interested in that conversation. And drunk.
“We need something with spunk. Something playful. Feminine, easy, and in no need of commitments.”
“Oooo, that sounds like pixies!” said the Elven Wizard.
“What’s a pixie?” asked Human Wizard.
“A small, diminutive naked feminine fey that flits about the Feywild. They’re not too bright and easily distracted with shiny objects. And they are mono-gendered. They have no need for commitments.”
“Are they horny?” asked Another Human Wizard.
The elf scratched his head. “Not really. But they are naked.”
“Do they drink?” asked Human Wizard.
“Oh, Gods,” said Elven Wizard, “everybody in the Fewild knows you never, ever give a pixie booze!”
“So what you’re saying,” said Another Human Wizard with a gleam in his eye, “is we need a summoning ritual, with a temporary enlargement spell, some beads, and a whole lot of booze.”
“Pretty much,” admitted Elven Wizard.
“You males are disgusting!” said the Half-Elven Wizard.
Human Wizard snickered. “Said she who’s had a beefcake apprentice aged seventeen to twenty-two for what, a hundred years?”
“Shut up,” said Half-Elven Wizard.
“Does the current one even cast spells?” asked the Elven Wizard.
“Men!” said Half-Elven Wizard, stomping off.
Thus, the Great Vestole Pixie Debacle was born. It took the (male) wizards over a year to work out the finer points of the ritual. Most of the time spent drinking and giggling, much to Half-Elven Wizard’s annoyance.
The (male) wizards cast the spells, and a summoned a gaggle of pixies. After the initial shock, they were amazed at the world in which they arrived. The wizards were charming, gracious, and invited them to a party, in which there were beads, dancing, and, more importantly, booze.
Everyone knows that the party was about as debauched as wizard parties ever were. Indeed, “debauched” is an elvish word derived from de’banoico, which roughly translates to “night of lost wizard pants”.
What is not known is what exactly happened to the pixies, which woke up back in the Feywild with a hangover, shiny beads, various bent wings and sore in places a pixie was not meant to be sore. Some say it was the combination of the spell and the fact that a pixie had never left the Feywild. Some say it was the Half-Elven Wizard’s passive aggressive disproval by tinkering with the rituals. Some say it was all of that and too much dwarven brandy.
Regardless, those pixies were suddenly unable to have daughters. Worse, whatever affliction they had, they spread to the other pixies, and suddenly pixies could not reproduce.
It took the pixies almost a year to link the party to their current problem, but the sudden portals that opened exactly a year later were the last piece of the puzzle. Hurried plans were made. Knives were sharpened. And the wizards greeting the pixies that answered the summons had no idea they were coming face-to-face with a full flight of one of the most dreaded fey in existence: the pixie warrior.
It was a battle all right, and the wizards lost. They were expecting more of the same. Indeed, they were all already drunk. What they got was angry 59 inches of armed pixie snit. There was blood. Lots of blood.
To say that these pixies had a temper would be a gross understatement. They demanded answers, and to prove to the wizards that they were serious, they spent some time dancing with the Half-Elf’s apprentice. In the air. With knives.
The wizards labored all evening the next day, concluded that while it was not possible to put the pixies back the way they were, they could modify the summoning ritual to make them fertile while in the world. Able to breed, that is, with males. Human, elves and half-elves, in particular.
This re-angered the pixies. They spent several hours taking their frustrations out (again, with knives), on Another Human Wizard, and drinking the rest of the booze.
The (drunken) pixie warriors told the wizards to proceed. Casting such a powerful ritual under pressure was fraught with peril, and the Elven Wizard died. Exploded, actually. From within.
The mighty ritual was finished. Flushed with arcane power and certainly no pushover by any means, Human Wizard did what humans have been doing when faced with pixies in a snit:
He apologized. Profusely. Begged forgiveness, even.
Now Human Wizard was not a terribly bad looking man. Some said he was even cute in a bookish kind of way. The pixies, being fast to anger and fast to forgive, accepted his apology, which seemed sincere given the fact that he had great magical power flowing through his veins and yet declined to re-engage the drunken pixie warriors.
Then they descended on him after putting away the knives.
They say he lasted an entire week before he died of exhaustion—but he died with a smile on his face.
Over time, the pixies mellowed out a bit, and stopped killing wizards whenever they found them. But to this day in the Vestole, every week around midsummer, a cute male will find himself in a fairy ring with his pants missing and beads braided in his hair, along with a terrible hangover. Everyone also knows if a male is especially, um, skilled (at flattery)—the pixies let him keep his memories.
Then again, some say that is a pixie curse.
And nobody never, ever, gives a pixie booze.
The 4th Edition Dungeon and Dragons Pixie Warrior Description
Pixies, like most fey creatures, can fey step. Pixie warriors are very skilled in fey stepping in combat, using the dreaded pixie snit Encounter power to decimate groups of enemies.
Pixies appear as tiny, flying naked feminine humanoid with multi-colored, diaphanous wings. They can also appear as a svelte, small humanoid female roughly 4’11” in height, also with wings. In either form, the pixie warrior has the same combat statistics.
A pixie warrior uses Coordinated Pixie Melee Foo when attacking with another pixie warrior, immediately flying into a pixie snit at the first opportunity. On enemies she is not trying to slay, the pixie warrior will use her Pixie Smooch power or flee the battlefield in order to reassess her combat options.