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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, Nuno

This withered, eyeless little creature has a mushroom cap for a head, and a stringy fungus beard frames his toothless grin.

Nuno CR 1/2

Source Bestiary 5 pg. 132
XP 200
NE Tiny fey
Init +2; Senses tremorsense 30 ft.; Perception +6

Defense

AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 size)
hp 3 (1d6)
Fort +0, Ref +4, Will +4
Defensive Abilities ant affinity; DR 2/cold iron

Offense

Speed 20 ft., burrow 10 ft.
Melee slam +0 (1d2–2)
Space 2-1/2 ft., Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks nuno’s curse

Statistics

Str 6, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 15
Base Atk +0; CMB +0; CMD 8
Feats Ability Focus (nuno’s curse)
Skills Bluff +6, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +6, Knowledge (nature) +5, Perception +6, Sense Motive +6, Stealth +14, Survival +3; Racial Modifiers +4 Knowledge (dungeoneering)
Languages Aklo, Sylvan, Terran
SQ wax locator

Ecology

Environment any warm land or underground
Organization solitary
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Ant Affinity (Su) Ants will never attack a nuno. A nuno can control ants and ant swarms as a druid’s wild empathy, with a +4 racial bonus on their checks. While ants are normally mindless, the nuno imparts to them a modicum of implanted intelligence, allowing nunos to train ants to perform tasks as necessary to suit the nunos’ fancies.
Nuno’s Curse (Su) A nuno can curse any creature it touches unless the creature succeeds at a DC 14 Will save. A creature that harms the nuno, damages the nuno’s home, or steals the nuno’s belongings must also save against the curse with a –2 penalty. A creature that succeeds at its save is immune to that nuno’s curse for 24 hours. A creature under the effects of the nuno’s curse experiences horrific swelling and hair growth in a location the nuno touched or that was associated with harming the nuno (for instance, a creature’s foot if that creature kicked over the nuno’s anthill). This swelling imparts a –2 penalty to Dexterity and causes the affected area to occasionally ooze or expel black pus. The DC to remove a nuno’s curse with spells and abilities like remove curse is 10 higher than normal (24 for a typical nuno). A nuno can remove its curse as a standard action, and when a nuno dies, all its active curses end immediately. The effects of multiple nuno’s curses don’t stack. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Wax Locator (Su) Any creature cursed by a nuno can spend 1 minute pouring molten wax into a spoon and then into a container of water, causing the wax to run in the direction of the nuno. This allows the accursed creature to find the nuno no matter where it hides and attempt to put an end to the curse.

Description

Nunos are fungus gremlins that live in anthills. Even young nunos appear as wizened old men, and the creatures are solitary hermits, living among ants in anthills and burrows in tropical regions. Though nunos are as spiteful as any other gremlins, they tend to keep to themselves and reserve their enmity for those who bother them—especially those who dare to harm a nuno’s anthill home.

Due to the relative difficulty of removing a nuno’s curse via magic, the best options for a creature cursed by a nuno are to slay the nuno or parley with the creature. Since the curse could have triggered while the nuno wasn’t present, both approaches are made easier by the nuno’s wax locator ability. Though inherently grumpy, nunos are easily bribed with offerings of fruit or valuable objects, and can at times be swayed by a particularly well-constructed argument. They can also usually be persuaded by humanoids and fey they find beautiful, though a nuno’s predilections are unpredictable at best, and they tend to loathe conventional beauty.

Nuno Ascetic

Rarely, a nuno’s isolated existence allows it to unlock secrets of reality unknown to others. These nuno ascetics still value their privacy, but they are sometimes willing to accept lavish bribes from pilgrims in exchange for sharing their wisdom. Nuno ascetics advance by class level, usually either as either monks or occult classes. They each develop a unique variation on the basic nuno’s curse, which acts as a signature of sorts. Unlike most monsters with class levels, nuno ascetics add half their class level to the DC of their nuno’s curse ability.