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Rumpelstiltskin Rumpelstilz

Old, Old Fairy Tales: "Rumplestiltskin" by Anne Anderson. Rumplestiltskin is my name...
Old, Old Fairy Tales: “Rumplestiltskin” by Anne Anderson. Rumplestiltskin is my name…


Rumpelstiltskin is a character in a fairy tale of the same name that originated in Germany. The tale was collected by the Brothers Grimm, who first published it in the 1812 edition of Children’s and Household Tales. It was subsequently revised in later editions until the final version was published in 1857.

Plot synopsis

In order to make himself appear more important, a miller lied and said that his daughter could spin straw into gold. The king heard of this and called for the girl, shut her in a tower room with straw and a spinning wheel, and demanded that she spin the straw into gold by morning, for three nights, or be executed. She had given up all hope, when a dwarfish creature appeared in the room and spun straw into gold for her in return for her necklace, then again the following night for her ring. On the third night, when she had nothing with which to reward him, the strange creature spun straw into gold for a promise that the girl’s first-born child would become his.

The king was so impressed that he married the miller’s daughter, but when their first child was born, the dwarf returned to claim his payment: “Now give me what you promised”. The queen was frightened and offered him all the wealth she had if she could keep the child. The dwarf refused but finally agreed to give up his claim to the child if the queen could guess his name in three days. At first she failed, but before the final night, her messenger discovered the dwarf’s remote mountain cottage and, unseen, overhears the dwarf hopping about his fire and singing. While there are many variations in this song, the 1886 translation by Lucy Crane reads:

“To-day do I bake,
to-morrow I brew,

The day after that the queen’s child comes in;

And oh! I am glad that nobody knew

That the name I am called is Rumpelstiltskin!”

When the dwarf came to the queen on the third day and she revealed his name, Rumpelstiltskin lost his bargain. In the 1812 edition of the Brothers Grimm tales, Rumpelstiltskin then “ran away angrily, and never came back”. The ending was revised in a final 1857 edition to a more gruesome version where Rumpelstiltskin “in his rage drove his right foot so far into the ground that it sank in up to his waist; then in a passion he seized the left foot with both hands and tore himself in two.” Other versions have Rumpelstiltskin driving his right foot so far into the ground that he creates a chasm and falls into it, never to be seen again. In the oral version originally collected by the brothers Grimm, Rumpelstiltskin flies out of the window on a cooking ladle (Heidi Anne Heiner).

Name origins

The name Rumpelstilzchen in German means literally “little rattle stilt”. (A stilt is a post or pole which provides support for a structure.) A rumpelstilt or rumpelstilz was the name of a type of goblin, also called a pophart or poppart that makes noises by rattling posts and rapping on planks. The meaning is similar to rumpelgeist (“rattle ghost”) or poltergeist, a mischievous spirit that clatters and moves household objects. (Other related concepts are mummarts or boggarts and hobs that are mischievous household spirits that disguise themselves.)

Originally Posted by

Stycotl of the Giant in the Playground Forums.

On this Thread

Rumpelstilz
Tiny fey (Earth)
Hit Dice 8d6+40 (64 hp)
Initiative +12
Speed 40 feet (8 squares), Climb 30 feet
Armor
Class
28 (+2 size, +8 Dexterity, +5 natural, +3 armor), touch 20, flat-footed 18
Base Attack/Grapple +6/+5
Attack Claw +14, or weapon
Full Attack 2 claws +14 melee (1d4+1 plus poison), or weapon
Space/Reach 0 feet/5 feet
Special
Attacks
Eldritch Blast, Exploit Mortal Temperament, Invocations, Maddening Cackle, Poison, Rend, Rituals
Special
Qualities
Damage Reduction 10/cold iron, Evasion, Exceptional Reach, Fast healing 4, Immunity to acid, energy drain, and poison, Lowlight Vision, Nature of Phantasm, Puissant Build
Saves Fort +6, Reflex +14, Will +9
Abilities Strength 13, Dexterity 26, Constitution 18, Intelligence 17, Wisdom 16, Charisma 25
Skills Bluff +10, Climb +20, Craft (Trap) +8, Hide +9, Intimidate +9, Jump +8, Listen +14, Move Silently +13, Search +14, Spot +14, Tumble +19
Feats (B) Lingering Venom, (B) Potent Venom, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Environment Any land, and underground
Organization Solitary, pair, family (3-8, plus 1-2 charmed guards/slaves—generally humanoids’ and 1-2 wraiths), or clan (9-30, plus 4-8 charmed guards/slaves, and 6-10 wraiths)
Challenge
Rating
12
Treasure Standard
Alignment Usually chaotic evil
Advancement By character class
Level Adjustment +6 (ECL 18)

Naturally visible only to those that are already bound by fear and superstition, rumpelstilz appear as tiny goblins, slightly larger than upright foxes. With feral green eyes, black fur over pebbly, gray skin, and large mouths curved into wickedly fanged grins, these creatures seem the embodiment of a child’s nightmare. Wiry and lean, they are incredibly fast, and despite their stature, stronger than the average dwarf or man. They wear strange armor made of still-living ash-black vines and thorn-infested ivy. rumpelstilz wield large weapons in their long-fingered paws, but are just as apt to strangle their victims, or rend them with their black talons. Their voices are rough and hoarse, and they screech and cackle with laughter, finding the darkest and most horrid things perversely humorous.

Rumpelstilz are related to goblins, though they are deeply rooted to their fey origins. Some say that the rumpelstilz were the first goblins, fey earth spirits born of eldritch magic. Others whisper that the rumpelstilz are the blight caused by fiendish presence within the faerie realm. Either way, the rumpelstilz are vile, corruptive fey that delight in enslaving mortals to their will—if they do not destroy them outright in their malicious whimsy.

Rumpelstilz are potent invokers, and can summon intricate phantasms and charms with which to snare their mortal prey. They are fond of bonfire revels beneath the moon and starlit nights, and have no qualms with luring mortals to their celebrations, though their intentions are always lethal. Nearly immortal, the rumpelstilz pass the millennia by, content with their never-ending nomadic journeys, enacting their small role in the cycle of the world. A skratta-sker is not considered an adult until it has been around for at least four centuries, and truly ancient rumpelstilz are often as old as the greatest dragons.

Rumpelstilz speak their own tongue, known simply as pophart, as well as Common, Draconic, Sylvan, and Terran. Some patriarchs and matriarchs speak Abyssal, Celestial, and Infernal as well.

Rumpelstilzchen was a rumpelstilz, though questions have arisen as to why he decided to bargain for the maiden’
child rather than simply charm it or take it by force.

Combat

Rumpelstilz are amazingly ferocious little creatures, capable of tremendous speed and brutal strength. They relish melee combat, though they are also comfortable with their spell-like abilities, and far reaching eldritch blasts. The little fey are quite fond of applying their natural poisons to the striking end of their preferred weapons. But the rumpelstilz are just as fond of the hunt’and the fear produced by that last moment of looming destruction’as they are of the kill itself. They will often harry their prey for days before moving in for the kill or rapture, harassing their target with tricks and illusions in order to unnerve and demoralize them.

Rumpelstilz capitalize on the fact that their opponents cannot see them, playing games with them for as long as they desire, hunting them and startling them, knowing that until they actually outright attack them, their prey will never be able to see them. Even against a foe that can see the rumpelstilz, its ability to cast any illusion up to 2nd level means that it can still disappear from view unless that creature has the means to defeat normal invisibility and other minor illusions.

Rumpelstilz are proficient with simple and martial weapons, as well as light armor.

Most Rumpelstilz wear what they call Bloodmoon Weave, an ivy wrap that acts as elven leafweave masterwork studded leather (Arms and Equipment Guide), except that skratta-sker ignore maximum Dexterity bonus and arcane spell failure penalties in this kind of armor. Bloodmoon weave armor can be worn by other Tiny creatures, though they still suffer the +6 maximum Dexterity bonus and 10% arcane spell failure, and rumpelstilz are less than friendly to outsiders wearing their specially cured and prepared armor. It is generally the clan patriarch or matriarch that creates these suits of armor, and he or she often possesses levels in a class (generally warlock, though some druids, sorcerers, and wizards also exist) that allows their enchantment. The creation process is a secret that not even the charmed servants are privy to, and no suit of bloodmoon weave has ever been made for any non-rumpelstilz.

Eldritch Blast (Su): 4d6 damage (8th-level invoker)

Exploit Mortal Temperament (Su): The rumpelstilz have perfected the use of their magic by playing with the instincts and presuppositions of what they consider lesser creatures, in order to either destroy the minds of their foes, or to urge stubborn resistance in order to extend the game a little longer. A foe that has been subject to the skratta-sker’s pranks (usually illusions, the command spell, and minor telekinetics) at least three times during the last 24 hours receives either a +2 bonus or a -2 penalty to its enchantments, illusions, invocations (not eldritch blast), and Maddening Cackle saving throw, as the rumpelstilz sees fit. The bonus comes as the rumpelstilz unloads a multitude of minor, poorly crafted illusions and unsubtle enchantments, and the creature’s mind automatically tries disbelieve and to make sense of the illusory nature of this harassment. The penalty comes when the rumpelstilz finally decides that it is time to reveal itself to the creature, and assaults it with more potent attacks, such as eldritch blast, ray of frost, or curse of despair, and the creature is overwhelmed by the cruel tricks and begins to jump at every shadow and cringe at every unexpected noise. A single rumpelstilz can never produce a bonus or penalty greater than +2 or -1 respectively, though it can do so for days on end. But a group of rumpelstilz working together to harass a foe can give a cumulative bonus or penalty up to +6 or -6 respectively, manipulating and crippling their foes with ease. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Invocations: A rumpelstilz invokes as an 8th-level warlock. Though they do not advance by racial hit dice higher than 8th level, their invoker level always equals their racial hit dice; this is pertinent in order to determine the ability of any juvenile or infant rumpelstilz.

General Invocations:

  • Least: eldritch spear, leaps and bounds, and see the unseen;
  • Lesser: charm (every patriarch or matriarch has charm, whether through racial or warlock levels), and curse of despair.

Other Common Invocations:

  • Least: beguiling influence, darkness, frightening blast, hideous blow, and summon swarm;
  • Lesser: eldritch chain, fell flight, and voracious dispelling.

Maddening Cackle (Su): As a swift action, a rumpelstilz can hoot and laugh maniacally, requiring a target within 30 feet to make a successful Will save (DC 20) or suffer the effects of a hideous laughter or scare spell with no maximum level restriction. Treat both abilities as the equivalent of 3rd level effects. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Poison (Ex): Bite (Note: bite is too insignificant to cause normal damage, though it can be used to transmit venom) or claws, injury or contact; Fortitude DC 20; initial effect is 1d4 Intelligence and 1d4 Wisdom damage, and secondary effect (4 extra secondary effects, one minute apart each) is confusion as the spell, for 1 round/hit dice
of the rumpelstilz. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Venom Feats

Originally Posted by

Stycotl of the Giant in the Playground Forums.

On this Thread

Venom feats are meant to be a way for creatures to specialize in the use of their poisons.

Abhorrent Venom (Venom)(Evil)(Vile)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 19 ranks, or natural venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +10, Potent Venom and Enervating Venom feats

Effects: Your venom infects the victim with the most corrupt, dark recesses of your soul, doing 2 vile damage on initial, and 2 vile damage on secondary damage.

Blinding Venom (Venom)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 15 ranks, or natural
venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +8, Potent Venom feat

Effects: Your venom sears the eyes of your victim (whether it was applied directly
to the eyes or not) for one round per point of Constitution modifier. If you
already possess a blinding component to your poison, the duration is doubled,
unless the duration is permanent, in which case, the save DC is increased +2.

 

Caustic Venom (Venom)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 15 ranks, or
natural venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +8, Potent Venom
feat
Effects: Your venom eats away at the flesh and blood of its victims,
dealing an amount of acid damage on the round of the initial and secondary poison
effects, equal to your Constitution modifier.

 

Debilitating Venom (Venom)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 15 ranks, or
natural venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +8, Potent Venom
and Taxing Venom feats
Effects: Your venom does more than just wear a foe down. It completely
drains it of the energy to fight or flee, exhausting the victim until it receives
magical healing, a Heal check with DC equal to the poison DC, or rest for at
least one hour per point of your Constitution modifer, and dealing a number
of nonlethal damage equal to double your Constitution modifier on the initial
damage, and on the secondary damage.

 

Disorienting Venom (Venom)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 15 ranks, or
natural venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +8, Potent Venom
feat
Effects: Your venom destroys the spatial sense of its victim, checking
its movement, and causing it to become flat-footed for one round per point of Constitution modifier. If you already possess a disorienting component to your
poison, the duration is doubled. Creatures with Blindsight, Tremorsense, or
no aural senses are immune to this effect.

 

Draining Venom (Venom)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 19 ranks, or
natural venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +10, Potent Venom
and Enervating Venom feats
Effects: Your venom steals the very life force of your victims, dealing
two negative levels. The DC to remove the negative levels is the same as the
DC to resist the venom.

 

Enervating Venom (Venom)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 15 ranks, or
natural venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +8, Potent Venom
feat
Effects: Your venom carries a strong essence of necromancy, dealing an
amount of negative energy damage on the round of the initial and secondary poison
effects, equal to your Constitution modifier.

 

Incapacitating Venom
(Venom)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 15 ranks, or
natural venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +8, Potent Venom
feat
Effects: Your venom is much stronger than normal, doing +1 to each kind
of damage listed under its initial and secondary effects.
Special: This feat may be taken multiple times; its effects stack. Each
time the feat is acquired, there is a +1 Base Fortitude prerequisite.

 

Infectious Venom (Venom)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 15 ranks, or
natural venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +8, Potent Venom
feat
Effects: Your venom carries with it bloodcurdling disease and filth.
If the victim fails its secondary saving throw, it contracts any one of three
diseases (chosen upon taking the feat) and takes the prescribed damage after
the incubation period. Further saves to resist damage are made at the DC of
the poison, not at the DC listed for the specific disease in the SRD. The diseases
that can be chosen are Blinding
Sickness
, Filth
fever
, or Red
Ache
.

 

Lingering Venom (Venom)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 7 ranks, or
natural venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +4, Potent Venom
feat
Effects: Your venom has a bonding quality that allows it to linger in
the blood of its victims for a longer period of time. It deals its secondary
damage one extra time per point of Constitution modifier, one minute apart each
time.

 

Malicious Venom (Venom)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 19 ranks, or
natural venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +10, Potent Venom
and Tenacious Venom feats
Effects: Your venom is so potent it systematically annihilates any further
resistance to its effects. As an additional initial and secondary effect, the
victim takes a cumulative -1 penalty to all Fortitude saves to resist poison
until it receives magical healing, a Heal check with DC equal to the poison
DC, or rest for at least one hour per point of your Constitution modifier. This
penalty is cumulative with multiple poisonings, and with the multiple secondary
effects offered with the Lingering Venom feat.

 

Mordant Venom (Venom)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 19 ranks, or
natural venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +10, Potent Venom
and Tenacious Venom feats
Effects: Your venom weakens even those who have are normally unaffected
by such attacks. Even creatures with immunity to poison, who are living beings,
are affected by your venom, taking half damage, to a minimum of one for each
type listed. A successful Fortitude save negates all damage however.

 

Paralytic Venom (Venom)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 15 ranks, or
natural venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +8, Potent Venom
feat
Effects: Your venom sends the victim into a paralyzed stupor for one
round per point of Constitution modifier. If you already possess a paralytic
component to your poison, the duration is doubled, unless the duration is permanent,
in which case, the save DC is increased +2.

 

Potent Venom (Venom)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 5 ranks, or
natural venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +2
Effects: Your venom, whether alchemically extracted and brewed, or produced
by your own body, is hazardously concentrated, giving it an extra +2 DC to resist
its effects.
Special: This feat may be taken multiple times; its effects stack. Each
time the feat is acquired, there is a +1 Base Fortitude prerequisite.
Note: Base Fortitude requirement, and effects based off of your Constitution modifier in Venom feats apply to naturally venomous creatures only. If you are
a nonvenomous creature, with the Use Poison class feature and alchemical or
magical poisons, use Base Will save, and Intelligence modifier respectively.

 

Taxing Venom (Venom)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 7 ranks, or natural venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +4, Potent Venom feat
Effects: Your venom overloads the endurance of its victims, fatiguing the victim until it receives magical healing, a Heal check with DC equal to
the poison DC, or rest for at least one hour per point of your Constitution modifier.

 

Tenacious Venom (Venom)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 15 ranks, ornatural venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +8, Potent Venom and Lingering Venom feats
Effects: Your venom insidiously courses through a victim’s body, ruining even those of the halest heart. Your venom becomes a Fortitude save partial effect, dealing half damage, to a minimum of one for each type listed, even on a successful Fortitude save.
Normal: Poison is a Fortitude negate effect and does not deal any damage on a successful save.
Note: Feats such as Mettle can now influence the effect that this venom has on a victim.

 

Unnerving Venom (Venom)

Prerequisites: Poison Use class feature and Craft (alchemy) 15 ranks, or natural venomous and Great Fortitude feat, Base Fortitude Save +8, Potent Venom feat
Effects: Your venom sends the victim into a fit of pain and fear-filled distraction as it burns through its blood, causing it to be shaken for one round per point of Constitution modifier. If you already possess a fear component to your poison, the duration is doubled.

 

Rend (Ex): A rumpelstilz that hits an opponent with two or more claw attacks in a single round latches onto that opponentÂ’s body and tears the flesh. This attack deals an extra 2d4+2 damage.

 

Rituals (Su): The
rumpelstilz has an effective caster level equal to its hit dice. Rituals performed
by multiple rumpelstilz have an effective caster level of the highest-level
rumpelstilz performing the ritual.

 

Cuwléeajl: If a rumpelstilz wants a creature to become aware of its presence immediately without resorting to physical violence (which is admittedly very rare), it will touch the creature on its forehead—or whatever body part the rumpelstilz figures to be similar—and speak its own family name in the rumpelstilz tongue. This is dangerous for the rumpelstilz, who are suspicious of magic and
the potential to steal oneÂ’s name to begin with, so they very rarely utilize this ritual, and only under dire circumstances, or with a creature that they respect or see as equals. This ritual has the verbal component. Note: This name is not the personal truename of the rumpelstilz, though it is a component of such, and someone learning this family name would receive a +2 bonus to any future attempts to learn a rumpelstilzÂ’s personal truename.

 

• Darkakul-skroekja: If three or more rumpelstilz within 30 feet of each other spend two full rounds
using their Maddening Cackle, at the end of the second round, they produce an
effect similar to wail
of the banshee
, though it is a tumult of screeching,
ear-piercingly terrifying laughter, not a ghostly wail. The save DC is Charisma-based. fey are immune to this effect. This ritual has the verbal component.

 

• Horenotknaa: If six or more rumpelstilz wildly dance widdershins around a bonfire together
for two hours, screeching and hollering, they will enjoy 24 hours of the heroism spell. This ritual is common only among clans, and families with enough rumpelstilz
to perform it. It is also the source of many of the legends and rumors that
are circulated about the witchery and ghost hauntings within deep forests and
mountain passes. This ritual has the verbal component.

 

• Liswenskadi: By spending standard action in Concentration, hissing and coercing minor
nature spirits, a rumpelstilz can reproduce any 0th-level spell effect, the
spell command, or any illusion up to 2nd level. They use this ritualÂ’s
magic, especially prestidigitation, minor image, mage hand, and ghost sounds,
to great effect, causing all sorts of mischief and mayhem, and spurring already
scared or superstitious creatures to even greater levels of unease. This ritual
always requires a verbal component, no matter what spell to be cast.

 

• Morubegja: If
a rumpelstilz eats the eyes of a fallen foe (generally a full-round action),
it will receive the benefits of the bullÂ’s strength and bearÂ’s endurance
spells for 24 hours. Generally this ritual is reserved for the rumpelstilz that
felled the foe. If the rumpelstilz eats the eyes of a fallen friend or family
member, it will receive a +4 insight bonus to armor class and saving throws
for 24 hours. Generally this second ritual is reserved for the rumpelstilz with
the closest relationship to the fallen ally. This ritual is sacred, and when
performed upon a fallen ally, shows deep respect, not desecration.

 

• Sheothac-fjall: If a patriarch or matriarch of a family or clan spends eight hours to prepare
a bitter herbal brew and gives it to a willing supplicant (generally a servant)
to be imbibed at a crossroads, on a night of a new moon, that supplicant will
be granted one Least and one Lesser invocation that he or she can use at will,
at an invoker level equal to half of his or her hit dice, until the rising of
the next new moon, or 30 days, whichever comes first. The invocations are chosen
by the rumpelstilz performing the ritual, and can be revoked as a full-round
action that forces the supplicant to make a successful Fortitude save (DC is Charisma based), or suffer the effects of a power
word kill
spell. Both the
ritual and the revocation have verbal components. Obviously this ritual is reserved
for those servants that have shown their worth, and is not given—or revoked—lightly,
though there have been supposed instances of a supplicant given the ritual simply
to enact an elaborate execution for earlier betrayal or disappointment.

 

• Ztatn: If
a rumpelstilz utilizes its Maddening Cackle within one round after felling a
foe that had succumbed to its Nature of Phantasm ability, a death
knell
effect
is immediately enacted, and if the foeÂ’s life force is snuffed out by the
effect, it rises as a wraith under the control of the rumpelstilz that killed
it. A rumpelstilz cannot control more hit dice of undead in this fashion than
2x its own hit dice. The rumpelstilz make particularly good use of this ritual,
and utilize the spirits bound to them as guardians for their campsites, roving
scouts, nightmare-inspiring haunts, or horrifying, incorporeal combatants. This
ritual has the verbal component.

 

Exceptional Reach (Ex): A rumpelstilz has an amazing reach for a creature so small, owing in part to
its overlong arms and big paws, and in part due to its frenetic, lunging strikes.
It has a reach of 5 feet despite its Tiny size.

 

Nature of Phantasm (Ex): Rumpelstilz are naturally invisible, though not in the same way as pixies and
similar creatures. Rumpelstilz are the essence of phantasm and eldritch enchantment
given life. They represent the most basic magical talents and affinities of
the faerie realm, and as such, are made of equal parts illusion and enchantment.
Until a creature has found sufficient reason to believe in the skratta-sker,
he or she will never be able to see it. This kind of invisibility is near-absolute.
Nothing short of a wish or miracle will reveal the skratta-sker to a nonbeliever.
However, there are ways in which the nonbeliever can become a believer, and
there are ways in which a skratta-sker can make an immediate believer out of
one that earlier could not see.

 

In order to automatically
believe in and see the skratta-sker, a creature must be targeted by a melee
attack from the fey (not a melee touch attack, eldritch blast, or various other
methods by which the skratta-sker can hurt or influence other creatures), or
the creature must be targeted by a rumpelstilz’s Cuwléeajl ritual,
or the creature must purposefully fail its Will save against the skratta-skerÂ’s
charm or Maddening Cackle effect. Any of these methods automatically open the
creatureÂ’s eyes to the existence of the rumpelstilz, and he or she will
forevermore be able to see them.

 

Generally, however, the
rumpelstilz favor a deeper, more dramatic and traumatic unveiling, one that
they can control and manipulate in order to seed the greatest chaos and terror.
Normal—sane—individuals are hoping to overcome illusions and phantasms,
to realize that they are not real, in order to not be affected by them. It is
instinctual to creatures that reside in a high-magic world. But the rumpelstilz
are created by the magic of enchantment and illusion. For this reason, disbelieving
in the rumpelstilz in order to overcome them is counterintuitive. One must actually
lower his or her defenses against the creatures, to throw away all presuppositions
of the immaterial nature of phantasm, and to realize that the rumpelstilz are
indeed real, in order to finally see them. Mechanically, a creature must fail
its saving throw against the rumpelstilzsÂ’ charm or Maddening Cackle in
order to have the fey creatures revealed to them.

 

Children are most likely
to see rumpelstilz, as their minds are still open and willing to believe. The
mentally infirm are also capable of seeing the rumpelstilz fairly consistently,
and it is probable that such a fact gives ‘normal’ people even more
determination to resist the illusion.

 

Puissant Build: The
physical stature and tenacity of a rumpelstilz lets it function in many ways
as if it were two size categories larger, giving it a greater form of Powerful
Build. Whenever it is subject to a special size modifier for an opposed check
(such as during grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attempts), the
rumpelstilz is treated as two size categories larger if doing so is advantageous
to it. It is also considered to be two size categories larger when determining
whether a creatureÂ’s special attacks based on size (such as improved grab
or swallow whole) can affect it. The rumpelstilz can also use weapons designed
for a creature two size categories larger without penalty. However, its space
remains that of a creature of its actual size, and its reach is modified only
by the Exceptional Reach ability. The benefits of this racial trait stack with
the effects of powers, abilities, and spells that change the subjectÂ’s
size category.

 

Skills: A rumpelstilz
receives a +8 bonus to Intimidate checks because of its hideous laugh and aggressive
personality. It has also a +8 racial bonus on any Climb check to perform some
special action or avoid a hazard. It can always take 10 on a Climb check, even
if distracted or endangered. Even against those that can see a rumpelstilz,
it enjoys a remarkable ability to alter the colors and shades of its surroundings,
as well as its own form, giving it a +15 racial bonus to Hide checks.

 

Society

 

Traveling in nomadic families,
rumpelstilz are remarkably loyal to each other, showing love and affection in
ways that surprise and confuse those few that have ever been allowed to witness
the spectacle. They will go out of their way to protect each other, and to exact
retribution for crimes against one another.

 

Though chaotic and irrational
by nature, rumpelstilz exhibit an astounding reverence and ritual behavior toward
their hierarchy and clan relations. Families are led by the eldest of their
number, whoever that might be, and clans as a whole are led by the family with
the oldest patriarch or matriarch. As there have never been larger documented
groups than a clan made of 20-30 individuals—roughly two or three families—it
is unknown as to how the hierarchy would function for larger groups, though
it is theorized that they would follow a similar suite. Rumpelstilz have never
been known to share the answers to such musings with outsiders, and their servants
are not talking either.

 

Another of the quirks that
make these otherwise impetuous and whimsical creatures seem dogmatic and rigidly
lawful, the rumpelstilz are intolerably superstitious, and follow rituals and
daily patterns that cater to these superstitions. They always seek out ley lines
(nodes of natural eldritch power) for their camps, though when none are available
they will make do without. For this reason, they rarely frequent villages and
cities (though they are notorious for their quick raids and burglaries into
such areas), preferring to stay close to the natural magic of the land. Many
of their most solemn ceremonies, whether they be weddings, birthings, funerals,
or executions, must be enacted at a crossroads of some sort, and always within
the influence of a ley line. Though superstitious, they are not religious, per
se. They recognize divinity, and occasionally offer their services—or are
compelled into service—to a higher power. However, all rumpelstilz recognize
the authority of a faerie court somewhere in the planes that holds their affection
and allegiance.

 

Rumpelstilz
are terribly infamous for stealing children, whether from their cribs, or while
playing in the yard, and such children are never seen again by those that knew
them. It is said that the children are warped and befouled until they no longer
remember their own lives, and then persuaded or coerced into signing over their
own souls to the sadistic little goblins. These unfortunate waifs supposedly
become warlocks, witches, and sorcerers of great power, but are bound to the
rumpelstilz by their pacts. Though they are considered inferior beings, a rumpelstilzÂ’s
familial affection extends to the slaves—no matter their race—that
it has charmed into its service. Those charmed servants that prove to be exceptionally
devoted are often released from the charm in order to facilitate more rational,
natural loyalty and affection.

 

Encounters

 

A single rumpelstilz is
not much of a challenge for high-level characters, though they operate in an
unorthodox way that might cause a few moments of panic and confusion. It is
when they are together in their tight families and clans that they become a
formidable force. Not even counting the fact that larger groups tend to have
leaders with levels in character classes, the rumpelstilz enjoy a great number
of abilities that are only accessible when in groups.

 

The rumpelstilz have long
ago realized their Nature of Phantasm, and they know how to take advantage of
it. Facing formidable foes that might benefit too much from being able to see
them, the fey will use guerilla tactics, assaulting with their eldritch blasts
and various other tricks, so as never to allow their opponents the opportunity
to see them.

 

Just because they are naturally
invisible does not mean that they cannot be affected by others. As with any
other invisible creature, they might be hard to target, and foes might not know
exactly what it is that they are facing—or where they are—but they
can still be slain by a randomly tossed fireball, or an errant throwing knife.

 

These fey make for a tense
single encounter, but they make even better long-term protagonists or antagonists.
Some of their greatest abilities are of more use out of combat than in combat.
Their ability to exploit the mortal mindset through days of pranks and mischief
is a tool with which the canny GM can frighten or exasperate even the most confident
players, and can be used to create the atmosphere and build the plot needed
in order to advance the story.

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