Pooka are wardens of natural order with innate shapeshifting and magical powers. Fey creatures by birth, they feel more akin to animals as they often spend long periods of time in other forms; pooka are the wildest of the Fair Folk and often the most aggressive and territorial. They use their powers to keep threats to their forests at bay, and are often part of the Unseelie Court, agreeing on its less tolerant policy on outsiders.
A pooka in its natural form looks like a short, slender humanoid covered in thick, soft, dark fur. While the fur can take a variety of colors, it is so dark that, in all but the brightest of illuminations, it looks black. The darkness of their bodies only makes their vivid-colored eyes look even more brilliant. While pooka have claws and fangs, they are not big or tough enough to serve as weapons. Still, it is rare to see a pooka in its natural shape, as they prefer to stalk prey and people they are evaluating by keeping the semblance of animals, plants or other woodland creatures. Most of the time, they keep their natural appearance only around other pooka or members of the Fair Folk, therefore for a pooka to show themselves in their real appearance is a symbol of trust and respect towards another person. While most pooka disregard clothing as a whole, the rare ones that try to live inside civilization are likely to wear clothes suitable for their economic position.
- Hit Die: a pooka uses a d6 as Hit Die at every pooka HD he or she gains.
- Ability Score Modifiers: a pooka’s small size makes her weaker than other creatures, but she has great endurance and keen senses. They gain –2 Strength, +2 Constitution, and +2 Wisdom.
- Size: pooka are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, a +2 size bonus on Fly checks and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
- Type: pooka are fey.
- Base Speed: pooka have a base land speed of 20 feet.
- Languages: pooka begin play speaking Sylvan. Pooka with high Intelligence scores can choose any language they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic). See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.
- Terrain: forest.
- Saving Throws: Wisdom-based.
- Starting Wealth: 1d6 × 10 gp (average 35gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
Defense Racial Traits
- Bond to the Land: pooka gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC when in forests.
- Hardy: pooka gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, spells, and spell-like abilities.
- Illusion Resistance: pooka gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against illusion spells or effects.
Feat and Skill Racial Traits
- Camouflage: pooka gain a +4 racial bonus on Stealth checks while within forests.
- Quick Reactions: pooka receive Improved Initiative as a bonus feat.
- Silent Hunter: pooka reduce the penalty for using Stealth while moving by 5 and can make Stealth checks while running at a –20 penalty (this number includes the penalty reduction from this trait).
- Sneaky: pooka gain a +4 racial bonus on Stealth This bonus stacks with camouflage, becoming a +8 in forest environments.
Magic Racial Traits
- Enclave Protector: pooka add +1 to the caster level of abjuration spells they cast. Members of this race also gain the following spell-like abilities (the caster level is equal to the user’s character level):
- Treacherous Earth (Su): once per day, pooka can will the earth to rumble and shift, transforming a 10-foot-radius patch of earth, unworked stone, or sand into an area of difficult terrain centered on a square they can touch. This lasts for a number of minutes equal to the pooka’s Hit Dice, after which the ground returns to normal.
Offense Racial Traits
- Hatred: pooka gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against aberrations.
- Kneecapper: pooka gain a +4 racial bonus on combat maneuver checks to trip an opponent.
Senses Racial Traits
- Low-Light Vision: pooka can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
A pooka’s class skills are: Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Fly (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Swim(Str).
Skill Ranks per Level: 4+ Int Modifier
|Level||Hit Die||BAB||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells Per Day|
|1st||1||+0||+0||+0||+2||[Feat], Orisons, wild empathy||1||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||3||+2||+1||+1||+3||[Feat], Nature sense||3||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||4||+3||+1||+1||+4||[Ability Score Increase], Hex, pooka’s toughness||3||1||—||—||—||—|
|5th||5||+3||+1||+1||+4||[Feat], Wild shape 1/day||4||2||—||—||—||—|
|6th||6||+4||+2||+2||+5||Resist dark forces||4||3||—||—||—||—|
|8th||8||+6/+1||+2||+2||+6||[Ability score increase], Pooka’s toughness, Wild shape 2/day||4||4||2||—||—||—|
|9th||9||+6/+1||+3||+3||+6||[Feat], Enhanced shape||5||4||3||—||—||—|
|10th||10||+7/+2||+3||+3||+7||Wild shape 3/day||5||4||3||1||—||—|
|12th||12||+9/+4||+4||+4||+8||[Ability score increase], Wild shape 4/day||5||5||4||3||—||—|
|13th||13||+9/+4||+4||+4||+8||[Feat], Powerful shape||5||5||4||3||1||—|
|14th||14||+10/+5||+4||+4||+9||Hex, major hex||5||5||4||4||2||—|
|15th||15||+11/+6/+1||+5||+5||+9||[Feat], Wild shape 5/day||5||5||5||4||3||—|
|16th||16||+12/+7/+2||+5||+5||+10||[Ability score increase], Hex||5||5||5||4||3||1|
|17th||17||+12/+7/+2||+5||+5||+10||[Feat], Wild shape 6/day||5||5||5||4||4||2|
|18th||18||+13/+8/+3||+6||+6||+11||Hex, resilient shape||5||5||5||5||4||3|
|19th||19||+14/+9/+4||+6||+6||+11||[Feat], Wild shape 7/day||5||5||5||5||5||4|
|20th||20||+15/+10/+5||+6||+6||+12||[Ability score increase], Grand hex, Hex, wild shape (at will)||5||5||5||5||5||5|
All of the following are class features of the pooka.
Pooka are proficient with all simple weapons.
A pooka casts divine spells drawn from the druid spell list, as well as the enchantment school of the sorcerer and wizard spell list. She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time, assuming she has not yet used up her allotment of spells per day for the spell’s level.
To learn or cast a spell, a pooka must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level.
The difficulty class for a saving throw against a pooka’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the pooka’s Wisdom modifier.
A pooka can cast only a certain number of spells of each level each day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: Pooka. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Wisdom score.
A pooka’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A pooka begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of her choice. At each new pooka level, she gains one or more new spells as indicated on Table: Pooka Spells Known. (Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a pooka knows in not affected by her Wisdom score. The numbers on the table are fixed.)
Upon reaching 5th level, and at every three pooka levels thereafter (8th, 11th, and so on), a pooka can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the pooka loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least one level lower than the highest-level pooka spell she can cast. A pooka may swap out only a single spell at any given level and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level.
Pooka learn a number of orisons, or 0-level spells, as noted on the Table: Pooka Spells Known. These spells are cast like any other spell, but they are not expended when cast and may be used again. Orisons prepared using other spell slots, such as those modified with metamagic feats, are expended normally.
The pooka rolls 1d20 and adds her pooka level and her Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.
To use wild empathy, the pooka and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.
Pooka learn a number of magic tricks, called hexes, that grant them powers or weaken foes. At 2nd level, a pooka gains one hex of her choice. She gains an additional hex at 4th level and for every 2 levels attained after 4th level, as noted on the table above. A pooka cannot select an individual hex more than once. Unless otherwise noted, using a hex is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The save to resist a hex is equal to 10 + 1/2 the pooka’s level + her Wisdom modifier. For the list of hexes, see the witch class. [Witch – Hex]
At 4th and 8th level, a pooka’s natural armor bonus improves by +2.
At 4th level, a pooka gains the ability to turn herself into any Small or Medium animal and back again once per day. Her options for new forms include all creatures with the animal type. This ability functions like the beast shape I spell, except as noted here.
The effect lasts for 1 hour per pooka level, or until she changes back. Changing form (to animal or back) is a standard action and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. The form chosen must be that of an animal the pooka is familiar with. A pooka loses her ability to speak while in animal form because she is limited to the sounds that a normal, untrained animal can make, but she can communicate normally with other animals of the same general grouping as her new form. (The normal sound a wild parrot makes is a squawk, so changing to this form does not permit speech.)
A pooka can use this ability an additional time per day at 8th level and every two levels thereafter, for a total of seven times at 18th level. At 20th level, a pooka can use wild shape at will.
As a pooka gains in levels, this ability allows the pooka to take on the form of larger and smaller animals, elementals, and plants. Each form expends one daily usage of this ability, regardless of the form taken.
At 6th level, a pooka can use wild shape to change into a Large or Tiny animal, or a Small elemental. When taking the form of an animal, a pooka’s wild shape now functions as beast shape II. When taking the form of an elemental, the pooka’s wild shape functions as elemental body I.
At 8th level, a pooka can use wild shape to change into a Huge or Diminutive animal, a Medium elemental, or a Small or Medium plant creature. When taking the form of animals, a pooka’s wild shape now functions as beast shape III. When taking the form of an elemental, the pooka’s wild shape now functions as elemental body II. When taking the form of a plant creature, the pooka’s wild shape functions as plant shape I.
At 10th level, a pooka can use wild shape to change into a Large elemental or a Large plant creature. When taking the form of an elemental, the pooka’s wild shape now functions as elemental body III. When taking the form of a plant, the pooka’s wild shape now functions as plant shape II.
At 12th level, a pooka can use wild shape to change into a Huge elemental or a Huge plant creature. When taking the form of an elemental, the pooka’s wild shape now functions as elemental body IV. When taking the form of a plant, the pooka’s wild shape now functions as plant shape III. [Druid – Wild Shape]
Starting from 6th level a pooka gains a +4 bonus to saves against curses and death effects.
While in wild shape, a pooka of at least 9th level gains an enhancement bonus to her natural armor equal to one third her Hit Dice (rounded down).
While in wild shape, a pooka of at least 13th level obtains the benefits of the Power Attack feat (if the Strength score requirement is met in the chosen form), and her natural attacks count as silvered and magical weapons for the purposes of overcoming damage reductions.
Of Stranger Bonds, © 2019, Alessandro Passera