When exploring the Feywild or forested areas of the Material Plane, adventurers may stumble upon the small and elusive fairyfolk.
If you are good of heart, then step forward!
But be warned: despite their tiny size, many creatures with bad intentions have been led astray by these creatures.
In today’s article, we’re taking a closer look at Pixies and Sprites in D&D 5e.
With fluttering wings that resemble that of a dragonfly, Sprites are a noble and proud warrior people.
These fey build secret villages within the forest. In the high boughs of trees or in a small nook in a glade, Sprites live in tight-knit communities. Sometimes, they might even build their homes on a treant (with consent, of course!)
There, Sprites work diligently to protect nature and their communities. They take this responsibility very seriously and can be seen by others as severe, stubborn, and even confrontational!
Because they are so slow to trust outsiders, the Sprites have learned how to deal with intruders in their territory. They will usually make noises to distract intruders and lead them away from the Sprites’ settlement. If that doesn’t work, tiny arrows delivering a powerful sleep poison will usually do the trick.
As gifted brewers of various potions, poisons, and antidotes, Sprites are remarkably knowledgeable about herbalism.
For particularly rare ingredients, they might find themselves venturing far from home and into dangerous territory to acquire some specific herbs. Whether braving a hag’s garden, an encampment of goblins, or some other danger, the bold Sprites show no fear on their quest.
It’s rare to receive a proper greeting as most of these Fey don’t care for warmth and compassion. They are fine to “live and let live” so long as their territory is respected. Most of the time, anyway. A particularly powerful evil (and not so much a careless intruder) would spur them to take more decisive action.
Still, Sprites are good creatures who have dedicated themselves to opposing evil. Don’t let their lack of social graces fool you, these are creatures with a great deal of conviction! If you are a good person who has earned their respect, you are unlikely to find a stauncher ally!
Sprites’ Ability to Read Your Heart
Rare as a meeting with Sprites may be, there is one way to find friends among these Fey…
As proud defenders of nature, Sprites have learned how to judge others’ hearts. Based on the sound and feeling of a creature’s heart, they can tell a great deal about them.
If your heart reveals you to be a good person, you might find strong allies in the Sprites. But if your heart shows signs of greed, malice, or other evil, they will not give you a second chance. Even the smoothest of talkers should be careful: the heart never lies.
“Oh come on!” chimes the party’s Rogue as he wonders what treasure the Sprites have in their village, “What do I care about their opinion of me? I’m a good guy! Promise!”
The Sprite, having read the Rogue’s heart, flies back and readies a sleep arrow.
Sprites in Combat
Sprites are proud warriors and protectors, unlike their Pixie cousins. They are no strangers to combat and will certainly be very tactical in how they deal with a threat.
Tactic 1 is numbers.
Sprites don’t have much HP and deal a whopping 1 point of damage with their attacks. But, much like we covered when talking about Action Economy in 5e, a swarm of sprites can be a terrifying thing.
In a single round, they can unload a volley of arrows before turning invisible to reposition themselves for their next attack.
This gets even trickier when you consider their second tactic… poisons.
Sprites’ arrows are covered in a powerful sleeping poison. While the Constitution save DC of 10 is pretty low, a character getting hit by ten arrows (and having to make ten saves) is bound to fail eventually in most cases.
If a character fails the save, they are poisoned for one minute. If they roll a 5 or less, they are knocked unconscious.
Lastly, their size, flying ability, and ability to go invisible can greatly help them outmaneuver an enemy.
By keeping 40 feet away, they can avoid most attacks while still peppering their enemy with sleep arrows. Especially if the enemy has no way of flying, there’s no reason for them to not stay up in the air and rain down the pain.
In any case, Sprites aren’t looking to fight to the death.
If they successfully put their enemies to sleep, they may deem it appropriate to relieve them of some of their gear.
If the Sprites can’t get the upper hand on their enemy, they aren’t above cutting their losses and fleeing. They’re a proud folk, but they aren’t stupid.
Not to be confused with the warrior Sprites, Pixies may also be discovered by adventurers trekking through deep forests.
Bright, twinkling, and dressed in sparkling silk clothing that would suit Fey royalty, Pixies are much more social and fun-loving than their Sprite cousins. If you really want to make fast-friends with a Pixie, complimenting their regalia is a surefire way to do that!
Most Pixies get incredibly excited when they spot newcomers to their forest home. They have an incredible urge to fly up and make introductions, but have learned to be slightly more cautious.
After all, legends of the power of pixie dust have resulted in many of these friendly creatures being captured by mages and creatures who wish to harness their magical abilities! While the dust can only be fully used by Pixies, this hasn’t stopped others from trying.
Fortunately, there is one way that Pixies can determine if an adventurer is kind or not…
Pixies Love Playing Tricks on People
Pixies have found that you can tell a lot about someone based on how they take a joke.
More often than not, a Pixie will watch newcomers from afar to get a sense of who they are. With their spellcasting abilities, they’ll then play a trick or two on the stranger.
This might be something as simple as creating illusions of someone or something important. It might be something a little more slapstick like tying someone’s shoes together or leading a lost party in circles through the forest for a couple of hours.
If the prank’s victim reacts poorly or in anger, the Pixie will usually scamper off. If they stay calm or laugh at the joke, the Pixie is much more likely to reveal themselves and make introductions.
They will likely have no problem helping their new friends at this point. Navigating the forest, finding a legendary item or location… whatever the party is attempting to do, the Pixie will likely be eager to come along and help as possible.
While they tend to be curious and naïve, Pixies are good-natured creatures with a love for merriment and meeting new people. It’s fully possible that your new Pixie friend may even take you back to their home to meet their other friends and throw a (tiny but good!) banquet for you!
Just take note that Pixies absolutely hate violence. Unlike their cousins, Pixies will be very quick to turn invisible and fly away if things are escalating.
Pixies in Combat
There is only one reason to ever be in combat with a Pixie.
And that is to be a jerk of the highest level.
Ok, ok, ok… maybe that’s a bit severe, but, seriously, how could you even think of hurting something so friendly and adorable?!?!
Pixies aren’t fighters by any stretch of the imagination. If they feel like they’re being threatened, they will use any means possible to escape.
This will pretty much always entail their ability to go invisible. From there, the Pixie has several spells that can subdue an enemy long enough for them to get away.
They can drop a Sleep spell to incapacitate weaker characters if necessary.
If the point needs to be made further, using polymorph to turn a PC into something harmless like a snail or mouse is totally an option.
Pixies have a large amount of spells that they innately know. If the party has decided to pick on a Pixie, there are plenty of ways for the Pixie to shut them down.
While they aren’t typically the types of creatures to go seeking vengeance, a Pixie might decide to reappear later and play a few “poorly-timed tricks” on a group that attacked them.
Barbarian calling out to the Cleric for healing as the party is fighting some big, nasty creature? It would be a real shame if the Cleric decided to take a quick nap…
Conclusion – Pixies and Sprites in D&D 5e
So there you have it, the Pixies and Sprites in D&D 5e!
Any trip to the Feywild should absolutely include some interaction with these creatures. They are fun and interesting with an incredible amount of potential for roleplay.
I feel like most people think of Pixies when they think of fairies in D&D. I’ve never seen a group that isn’t at least a little excited when they end up meeting one.
Likewise, forming a friendship/alliance with a group of Sprites can create awesome scenes of mobilizing with an army against the quest’s villain.
That said, I’ve become overwhelmed with the sudden urge to go watch FernGully: The Last Rainforest.
Until next time!
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