Magical Mondays: Luck and Leprechauns   Leave a comment

This week’s Magical Mondays will have a hard time avoiding the relatively obvious subject at hand.  It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and the magic of Leprechauns might be of interest to gamers tonight.  From the luster of illusory gold to the seemingly limitless amount of luck, Leprechauns have a lot that can appeal to the standard adventurer.  For players and game masters of Pathfinder or D&D, there are already plenty of spells and magical items that can thematically emulate the abilities of Leprechauns.  Just to name one example, Obscure Object is a level 1 spell absolutely perfect for hiding things (say, pots of gold) from magical detection.  If you want something new, however, here are two quick options for magical items that players might be able to find…




Lucky Clover

Aura faint divination; CL 1st

Slot -; Price 25 gp (1 charge), 50 gp (2 charges), 75 gp (3 charges), 100 gp (4 charges); Weight

Description: A Lucky Clover is exactly as it sounds: a four-leaf clover that imparts a bit of good luck upon one who uses it, typically by removing and consuming one of its leaves (though different subspecies may be used in different ways; ultimately, it removes one of its four charges when used.)  The creature using the charge of the clover gains a +1 competence bonus on a single attack roll, saving throw or skill check.  The choice to use the +1 bonus must be made before the roll.  This effect lasts until the +1 bonus is used, or until one minute has passed.

Generally a Lucky Clover of this sort counts as a use-activated device (like a potion).  By a curious twist, however, a character with magical training can choose to use it instead as a spell trigger item (like a wand) if they prefer.  As long as a charge remains in the Lucky Clover, the plant remains vibrant as if it had only recently been plucked from the ground.  Unlike many magical items, a Lucky Clover cannot be created.  Finding a Lucky Clover generally requires a DC 30 Profession (Herbalism) or Survival check that represents a week’s worth of searching, along with the expenditure of magical reagents and divinatory unguents used to detect the magic of the plant (costing 35 gold at most apothecaries).  If found in a collection of treasure, some of the charges may already be used (as represented by the different possible market prices above.)


Pot of Gold

Aura strong conjuration; CL 9th

Slot -; Price 50,000 gp; Weight 20 lbs.

Description: Created by wizards wishing to emulate the strange ability of Leprechauns to secret away their belongings, the Pot of Gold appears to be a standard (though finely made) iron pot.  In spite of its appearance, the Pot is capable of containing nine cubic feet of material.  However, if the contents are limited entirely to golden coins then the capacity appears to remain limitless.  The contents of the pot are actually secured within a folded pocket of space in the ethereal plane.  Only the pot’s true owner (determined as being one who has maintained ownership of the pot for a week or longer) may successfully remove objects from within the Pot of Gold; anyone else has his or her hands pass through the pot’s contents as if it were empty.  When and if this happens, the would-be thief must pass a DC 15 Will save or believe the object has been successfully removed.  Once failed, the would-be thief automatically fails any future Will saves caused by the Pot of Gold for the next twenty-four hours.

Leprechauns do not take kindly to imitation, especially if it means that mortals are using it to keep wealth that could be theirs.  The Pot of Gold is a secure storage space for two months, but after that period ends there is a cumulative 5% chance per day that the contents of the Pot of Gold will be stolen (including everything put into the chest since the first item that began the two-month timer.)  Once items are removed from the Pot of Gold by its owner, it cannot be used again for a period of one week.  If the Leprechauns steal the contents of the Pot of Gold, then they are lost forever; not even a Wish spell will be able to retrieve them.


Requirements Craft Wondrous Items, Secret Chest; Cost 22,500 gp, finely crafted iron pot worth (at least) 5,000 gp, 45 days.




Thematically, it’s possibly to go deeper with Leprechauns if you want to put them into your campaign for more than a single session.  If you use a system that doesn’t make use of d20 conventions, it’s easy to take a rules-light approach to Leprechauns: make them jealous but not envious, which is to say that they’re fiercely protective of their own belongings without necessarily having a desire to steal the belongings of others (though your story needs may alter this distinction a bit.)  As an enemy, a Leprechaun would excel at misdirection, possibly blurring the lines between the physical world and another dimension, turning a relatively harmless forest trail into a bewildering maze.  When a Leprechaun of this sort wants to hinder the progress of players, cause the forest trails to go in different directions.  If a player drops an item or marks a tree to make the path easier to navigate, the Leprechaun will gradually add this mark or duplicates of the item to the area to make it confusing (and if the players take too long to realize it, the Leprechaun may make the mark appear on every single tree that the player finds just to drive the point home.)  This form of Leprechaun would almost certainly avoid physical confrontation, relying on its trickery to keep away from the players.  Used in this fashion, a Leprechaun almost stops being an enemy and starts being an environmental hazard with personality.

For players who want to have some Leprechaun fun, it might be hard to convince your GM to just let you “be a Leprechaun.”  After all, the most obvious creature type for them would be either Fey or Outsider (either with the Native subtype or without), and both of these options give some automatic bonuses to players that GMs might find uncomfortable.  To make it easier on your GMs (and yourself) when creating a custom Leprechaun race, another option would be to go with two underused creature subtypes: gnome and halfling.

Halflings provide more alternate racial features for comparisons about the kinds of things that Halflings can gain without gaining the dreaded Level Adjustment, but Gnomes are probably the closer direct comparison.  To make a Leprechaun using a Pathfinder gnome, make the following changes:


-Fast Speed: Despite their small size, Leprechauns have a land speed of 35 feet, outpacing not only their gnomish kin but also most other humanoids.

-Defensive Training: Leprechauns gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC against creatures of the human subtype due to centuries of practice in dodging greedy humans.

-Leprechaun Magic: Identical to Gnome Magic, but with the following changes: the spell-like abilities may now be used at will instead of once per day (except for Speak With Animals, which is still usable only once per day), and Leprechauns gain no bonus to the DCs of spell schools.

-Hatred: +1 on attack rolls against humanoids of the reptillian and goblinoid subtypes.

-Outrageous Liar: A Leprechaun gains a +2 racial bonus on Bluff checks.

-At Home In The Wilds: A Leprechaun gains a +2 racial bonus on Survival checks.

-Remove all other racial skill bonuses.


Otherwise, keep the stats the same.  Leprechauns of this sort would have the same ability modifiers, the same small size, the same basic languages (with a possible Leprechaun language at the DMs approval (though Sylvan would probably suffice for that)), still have low-light vision, and keep their familiarity with gnomish weapons (unless you wish to devise new exotic weapons just for the fun of it.)  This rare and unusual breed of Gnome is very comfortable in the woods and wilds, but still seems relatively up to date on modern society’s customs and practices.  It’s hard to say just where they get their fine clothes out in the woods, but they seem remarkably clean of the dirt and debris that you’d expect such garb to accumulate.

That’s all for this week.  Have a happy St. Patrick’s Day, and we’ll see you next time for Magical Mondays.


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