Pooka

Curious visitors, ever-shifting fey tricksters

Sketch depicting a typical pooka, sporting curling ram horns, wearing a rustic garment and wielding a shepherd's crook.

Pooka Heritage Traits

Average Height: 4’2”-5’6”
Average Weight: 90-110 lb.
Ability Scores: +2 Charisma, +2 Constitution or Wisdom
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Vision: Darkvision
Languages: Common and Sylvan, plus any one.
True Fey: Your species is native to the feywild, not yet fully accustomed to the material plane. Your origin is fey.
Shapechanger: You have the shapechanger subtype
Pooka Tricks: You have the many masks and pooka’s pursuit heritage powers.

Pooka’s PursuitPooka Heritage Power
You slip outside time’s flow to harry a retreating foe or accompany an advancing ally.
Encounter ✦ Teleportation
Immediate Reaction ✦ Melee 1
Trigger: A creature in range moves or teleports away from you.
Target: The triggering creature
Effect: When the target ends its movement or teleportation, you teleport to a square adjacent to the target.

Many MasksPooka Heritage Power
In the blink of an eye, you take the shape of a mortal creature—but your true nature shines through in your gleaming golden eyes.
At-Will ✦ Polymorph
Minor Action ✦ Personal
Effect: You take on the form of any natural animal no more than one size category larger than you. The animal form need not be immediately recognisable as you, but it always has some suspicious characteristic that clearly sets it apart from a normal animal (typically, sharing your fur and eye colour). The animal form lasts until you take an extended rest, or until you dismiss it as a free action.
Each time you assume an animal form, choose one of the following movement types. Until you dismiss the form, you gain the benefits associated with that type below.
Terrestrial: You gain a +2 bonus to speed.
Aerial: you gain a fly speed equal to your movement speed. Your land speed then becomes 1.
Aquatic: You gain a swim speed equal to your movement speed and can breathe underwater. Your land speed then becomes 1. 
Subterranean: You gain a burrow speed equal to half your movement speed. You cannot burrow through solid stone or other rock-hard substances.
Arboreal: You gain a climb speed equal to your movement speed.
While in an animal form, you cannot use any attack powers, although you can sustain such powers. Your equipment becomes part of the form, and you continue to gain the benefits of equipped items, but you cannot activate their item powers. While your equipment is part of the form, it cannot be removed, and anything in a container that is part of the form is inaccessible.
You otherwise retain your normal game statistics.
Special: You can only use this power once per round.

Of all the true fey, few spend as much time on the material plane as the pooka. Gifted shapeshifters and intractable tricksters, they are often found around mortal settlements—at least, when they choose to show themselves. They are said to be a nuisance even to other fey, but their truest delight seems to be meddling in the lives of material creatures.

Whimsical and nonchalant, pooka are often regarded as aimless hedonists. However, they are in truth among the most ancient of the true fey, as feral and callous as they feywild itself. They delight in the befuddlement of meat creatures, but should their mirth be extinguished, there are other ways to enjoy meat.

Play a pooka if you want…

  • to be a charming (or terrifying) fey trickster
  • to take on animal forms at your whim
  • to delight in spreading mischief, for good or ill

Physical Qualities

In their true forms, pooka look like short humanoids with a dark, mossy pelt and a mish-mash of animalistic traits seemingly picked at random. Some have tails or hooves, some have long furry forelimbs, some have claws or muzzles or fangs. Almost all share goatlike horns or antlers, sharply pointed ears, and huge golden eyes.

A pooka can also take on a wide variety of animal forms, but none of these is their “true” form, and they have no particular connection to material animals. Instead, the skins of mortal beasts are disposable masks, used to perpetuate their neverending game. Their animal forms are invariably wrong, whether in a subtle way—such as sharing the pooka’s golden eyes—or an obvious one, like an owl wearing deer antlers.

Inasmuch as fey creatures can be measured, pooka seem to have existed for as long as anybody can remember; some are unfathomably old, even by fey standards. Like other true fey, they live ageless lives on the feywild and have limited time on the material plane. However, where most true fey cannot gain nourishment from the material world’s foodstuffs, pooka also have the unusual ability to consume the essence of such items—provided they were, at some point recently, alive.

Playing a Pooka

Pooka are renowned for insatiable curiosity toward—and willingness to visit mischief upon—material creatures. This is perhaps because unlike most true fey, a pooka can stay on the material plane indefinitely if they have regular access to fruits and vegetables, meat, or other fresh produce. Many even take up residence near a farming village as a “protective” spirit, convincing the locals to leave them regular offerings from the harvest.

Pooka are reluctant to become adventurers not because they fear mortals, but because they care little for any kind of responsibility. Traditionally, their culture is one of playing games and making merriment, with the meat creatures being no more than objects of mirth. Even to those who do not wish them harm, forming a fellowship with such creatures is strange indeed. And what kind of pooka would do something so dreadfully material as having a career?

Nevertheless, a pooka adventurer is a deadly and unpredictable presence, mostly to their enemies. Although they are content to be seen as tricksters, all songs and whimsy, their souls are as wild as any true fey; they come by empathy only through deliberate effort. Threatening them is a sure way to discover the limits of their goodwill toward meat.

Pooka are perceived as… curious, fickle, clever, jovial, untrustworthy, mean-spirited, independent, hedonistic, capricious, smug.

Names: Arawn, Gwyl, Aneurin, Syvwlch, Llacheu, Samlet, Caledfwlch, Myfanwy, Bleddyn, Ninian, Marged.

Last updated: 29 August 2021
First added: 1 March 2021