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Gremlin

Source Bestiary 2 pg. 141
Well known for their mischievous natures, their nasty senses of humor, and their destructive habits, the fey creatures known as gremlins rightfully earn their reputations as cruel pranksters and sadistic saboteurs. Ranging in size from 3 feet in height down to barely over a foot tall, numerous types of gremlins stalk the world's dark and unseen reaches, tending to linger near thin spots in reality between the Material Plane and the realms of the fey. The smaller a gremlin is, the stronger its ties to the realm of the fey remain, and the stranger and more potent its powers.

Gremlins understand that they lack physical power, and thus are usually encountered in large groups that work together to defend each other and their lair. While all gremlins share certain traits in common, such as a resistance to damage from weapons save those made of cold iron, a cruel and sadistic sense of humor, the ability to use prestidigitation to enhance their mischievous plans, and their slight statures, the single trait that gremlins are most well known for is their ability to break, curse, and otherwise ruin the works of other creatures. Gremlins take great delight in ruining and breaking things, and while each gremlin race has a particular “specialty” (be it magical auras, complex machinery, coordinated tactics, or even luck itself), all gremlins are fascinated by complex devices and intricate social constructs. Nothing pleases a gremlin more than being involved in the collapse of something complex.

Although gremlins originally hailed from the mysterious realm of the fey, they have lived upon the Material Plane for countless generations. In that time, they have become natives of this realm, both in body and soul. Yet not all gremlins have managed to retain their strange powers to disrupt and destroy—the most unfortunate gremlins are not even commonly known as gremlins at all. These bizarre creatures are known as mites. While they retain the gremlin ability to use a few spell-like abilities, mites represent to their fellow gremlins the ultimate shame and horror—a fall into pathetic self-loathing and pitiful cowardice. As a result, gremlins grow particularly sadistic and violent when presented with an opportunity to torment a tribe of mites, abandoning their more subtle methods of disrupting communities and machinery in favor of all-out war, invading mite homes and lairs with tiny knives in hand and murder on their minds. Only mite tribes that have managed to ally themselves with particularly dangerous vermin generally have any chance at all to withstand an invasion of this sort, and most tribes quickly surrender to the gremlins. In some cases, the wholesale act of surrender can cool the gremlins' rage, and the attackers simply take steps to subjugate and enslave the tribe of mites, using them from that point on as a slave class to serve their whims, but in other cases not even the mite tribe's complete surrender can save them.

Against larger creatures, particularly humanoids (whom gremlins particularly love to torment and vex), gremlins adopt a much more subtle approach. Gremlins know that they lack the physical strength to withstand a fight against even the weakest humanoid societies, and thus keep to the shadows when moving through cities and villages. Gremlins seek out regions within urban areas where the “big folk” don't bother to visit often—places like sewers, dumps, graveyards, and abandoned buildings make for perfect gremlin lairs. Once a gremlin tribe establishes itself in the shadows of a humanoid society, it begins its work. Operating in pairs or even alone, the gremlins move out into the society, seeking ways to undo anything that can be undone. If a gremlin can arrange it, it prefers to leave an object, relationship, or situation in such a condition that it may seem stable and undamaged to the casual observer, but falls apart or fails spectacularly the next time it is used or encountered. A gremlin often waits in hiding nearby so it can observe the calamitous results of its mayhem, but takes pains to be well out of reach when such a disaster occurs. Gremlins know that it's not good to be in arm's reach of an angry humanoid once it realizes it's been visited by a gremlin.

In areas where gremlin activity is well established, many societies have developed unique and clever ways to both protect themselves from gremlin-related mayhem and root out the little monsters from their lairs. One common method of dealing with gremlins is to use objects known as gremlin bells. Crafted from bronze, brass, or other semiprecious metals and measuring no more than an inch tall, gremlin bells are hung from delicate chains or silken cords over door frames and windows, or affixed to precious objects. The belief is that the presence of a gremlin bell sickens the creatures and even renders their supernatural and spell-like abilities useless. Strangely enough, many gremlins believe this as well, and even when the gremlin bells aren't magic, gremlins won't risk tinkering with most objects that seem to be warded in such a manner.

Other communities take a much more active path in ridding themselves of gremlins, training small animals like cats, dogs, falcons, or even weasels to seek out and attack gremlins on sight. Tiny trained animals can pursue gremlins into their cramped warrens with ease and, when their claws are fitted with cleverly constructed cold iron spikes, can inflict significant damage on a tribe of these creatures. Many gremlin tribes have learned from such tactics, however, and utilize trained (or not) animals in their own lairs for protection.

Creatures in "Gremlin" Category

NameCR
Drexin2
Erinat2
Fuath1
Grimple1/3
Haniver1/2
Hobkins1/2
Jinkin1
Monaciello1
Nuglub2
Nuno1/2
Pugwampi1/2
Vexgit1

Gremlin, Hobkins

This small, blue-gray humanoid has glowing eyes and huge ears on its round, oversized head.

Hobkins CR 1/2

Source Bestiary 5 pg. 131
XP 200
NE Small fey
Init +2; Senses low-light vision; Perception +6

Defense

AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 11 (+2 Dex, +1 size)
hp 9 (2d6+2)
Fort +1, Ref +5, Will +4
Defensive Abilities out of phase; DR 5/cold ir

Offense

Speed 30 ft.; minor levitation
Melee 2 claws +4 (1d4–1)
Special Attacks collateral damage
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 2nd, concentration +4)
At will—dancing lights, ghost sound (DC 12), silent image (DC 13)

Statistics

Str 8, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 15
Base Atk +1; CMB -1; CMD 11
Feats Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +7, Bluff +7, Intimidate +11, Knowledge (local) +6, Perception +6, Sense Motive +6, Stealth +11; Racial Modifiers +4 Intimidate
Languages Aklo, Common
SQ frightener

Ecology

Environment any
Organization solitary, gang (2–5), or infestation (6–30 plus 1 hobkins malefactor)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Collateral Damage (Su) Whenever an attack fails to damage a hobkins, whether due to the attack result being too low, a miss chance, or a failure to penetrate DR, the hobkins can redirect the attack to any target that was in range of the original attack (if any). The attack can’t be redirected against the original attacker. The attacker rolls a new attack and damage roll against the new target, and is considered to possess the Improved Critical feat for the redirected attack. Hobkins delight in using this ability to force creatures to destroy their own prized possessions.
Frightener (Ex) Intimidate is always a class skill for a hobkins, and it never takes a penalty on Intimidate checks due to being smaller than its target.
Minor Levitation (Su) Hobkins generally float 1 inch above the ground. A hobkins can levitate up to 20 feet straight up as a move action, but at the end of the movement, unless it’s found something to cling to, it returns to 1 inch above the nearest flat surface below.
Out of Phase (Su) Hobkins are slightly out of phase with the Material Plane, causing all ranged attacks against them to suffer a 75% miss chance, including spells that require ranged touch attack rolls. Anything that prevents the blink spell also prevents this ability from functioning.

Description

Like many gremlins, hobkins enjoy destroying things that others cherish, but unlike their jinkin cousins, hobkins delight in manipulating people into destroying their own belongings. Their favorite strategy is to use their spell-like abilities and their Intimidate skill to frighten a family. A hobkins may wait at a child’s window during a storm so that it appears pressed up against the glass when the lightning f lashes, only to hide away when they check again. Once its victims work themselves into a frenzy, the gremlin gives them time to arm themselves, then reveals itself, leaping and f loating out of reach to force panicked victims to throw anything at hand.

A hobkins stands 3 feet tall and weighs 15 pounds.

Hobkins Malefactor

Ordinary hobkins are threats to common folk or careless adventurers with more offense than defense, but hobkins malefactors can mold a group of hobkins into something much more terrifying. Possessed of eerie psychic powers, hobkins malefactors can command countless hobkins telepathically to ensure perfect coordination.

Hobkins malefactors possesses the psychic magic ability, with a variety of psychic spells at their command, different for each malefactor. Malefactors are usually advanced by hit dice, but sometimes have levels in psychic or mesmerist.

Hobkins malefactors are rarely content with the destruction of prized possessions; instead, they seek nothing less than the massacre of innocents at the hands of their own protectors. To accomplish these goals, they calculate each of their moves carefully, with an endgame of an entire small settlement gathered together and prime for redirected attacks from the hobkins’ collateral damage ability.