Talk:Pooka (4e Race)

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Balance Issues[edit]

Do you think there are any balance issues relating to the availability of both Gnome Feats and Satyr Feats for Pooka characters? I thought this was thematically appropriate, given that Pookas and Satyrs are essentially both goat-people from Celtic and Greek mythology, respectively. I figured creating a set of custom feats for the Pooka would be wasteful when the Satyr feats cover the same areas (goring with horns, pipe music charms) quite neatly.

Also, do the Wild Shape and Wild Soul racial powers seem appropriate? I could think of no better way to illustrate the folkloric animal shapeshifting abilities of Pookas than to give them the Druidic Wild Shape power. If there are any alternative suggestions, they would be welcome. --Akherontis 09:47, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Although I have not looked too much into Pooka (Púca) folklore I think maybe having a static list of things which the Pooka can shapeshift into would thematically fit them a bit more. For example "... may appear as a horse, rabbit, goat, goblin, or dog. No matter what shape the púca takes, its fur is almost always dark. It most commonly takes the form of a sleek black horse with a flowing mane and luminescent golden eyes. [1]." Also on the other power: maybe adding a ritual or two which goes around the idea of doing something magical related to hurt someone's agriculture production so only they can use it could fit them into the folklore more and help them survive as a species better. Your thoughts? --Green Dragon 21:29, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
A list of preferred transformations would be a good idea. I've studied Celtic folklore extensively so I have a rather comprehensive list of all the animal forms one would expect to see a Pooka, Bucca or Kelpie to appear in the guise of. I'll find somewhere to include that.
Referring to the rituals; Gnomes possess the Ghost Sound Wizard Cantrip as a Racial Power, but I decided to give Pookas the option of choosing Prestidigitation instead of Ghost Sound. Prestidigitation involves powers that ruin produce, which I think fits nicely enough into the Pooka folklore regarding their habit of spoiling crops and curdling milk. Other applications of Prestidigitation can also be related to various infamous tendencies of (folkloric) hobgoblins, such as creating phantom noises in the night and leading folks astray with will o' wisp lights. I don't know if there would be a need to include agricultural damage as a specific and defined magical ability, since there wouldn't be much use for it, really. I was also trying not to give them too many available powers so as not to make them seem overpowered.
As for surviving as a species, Pookas are likely to treat food the same way most Fey do; by consuming (breathing in) the nutritious non-material essence of a bounty (the 'Toradh' or 'Foyson' in Celtic). I would have included that on the page, except I'm not quite sure how Fey physiology works in 4th edition, and I'm too afraid I might contradict Wizards of the Coast if they ever release a Book dealing with the Fey. None of the books I've looked at (Manual of the Planes, Monster Manual, Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide) include any detailed information on Fey physiology thus far. --Akherontis 01:03, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
My question to the list of transformations you added was should they be absolute and binding or just an example (as you added them)?
And if the rituals cover many or all or the folkloric things they do then that should cover that part of them.
And I have never heard of Fey not having to eat in D&D. I mean Satyrs are Fey and they have to eat at the least. I don't know if you have that on this page however that comes off as strange.
About the feat selection you mentioned above: I think having options of both does not necessarily overpower them however I feel with all the things added (natural attack, two powers, etc) they could off as a bit overpowered. Maybe if you just had one ability score adjustment it would help tone them down and make it so things like having both feats would not be overpowered. Dunno. --Green Dragon 00:59, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I would imagine Pookas were at least as versatile as Druids in their shapeshifting arts, considering that most Gaelic Druids learned their transformative powers through consulting with the Faerie Folk. The specific animals don't really figure much into gameplay at any rate, since Wild Shape doesn't alter statistics, unless a Pooka takes Druid levels in order to access powers like Skittering Sneak (Tiny size) or Black Harbinger (Flight). So really, Wild Soul is the more useful power. It's also worth noting that I removed the Gnome racial power Fade Away precisely because three racial powers are one too many.
I'm not quite sure how the Fey work in D&D with regards to sustenance. Their method of stealing natural energy to replenish themselves comes mostly from Celtic and Gallic folklore, although it was included in an old third party supplement awhile back (The Complete Guide to Fey, I think). Regardless, I haven't included this aspect in the Race description. It's likely that in 4e, Pookas ought to eat just like Satyrs and Gnomes do.
I think removing an ability score adjustment would be too much of a handicap, however maybe I should make their natural attacks weaker, since it would tone them down and also give them incentive to take the Gore feat for an improved horn/antler attack. --Akherontis 03:49, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
A few things which I noticed. One is the Fey World really entirely different from the Mortal World in 4e? Or is that just written wrong? How does one go between the two if so? If not those parts need to be fixed.
The part "Pookas don't often live in familial or communal groups. Due to ... ... pounce on travellers venturing near their sunken territories." makes their relationship to other species very confusing. They can become domesticated however they always have a heart for tricks? Or do you mean a deceiving domestication? Also why are all the "specific" Pooka types (subterranean, water-related, etc) not specific types or more detailed with the subraces?
With the "famous" Pookas I would recommend you add them to the adventurers section (same idea — just a little "larger"). Also some of the adventures just don't seem... tricky enough. Maybe their adventure paths could be re-thought out or at least made a lot trickier. Your thoughts? --Green Dragon 05:25, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
According to the Manual of the Planes and most 4e info, the Feywild is a plane in close proximity to the mortal world, and touching upon it in several places, where travel between the two can occur. This article isn't really the place to discuss intra-dimensional travel, however.
Pookas are just like humans. They vary widely in habit. As mentioned in the fluff at the top, beyond being mischievous and avid shapeshifters, no two Pookas are alike. Originally I was planning on writing Kelpies as a separate species, a counterpoint to Pookas. However, after consideration, I realized that apart from their habits and customs, Pookas and Kelpies are statistically identical creatures, as are Buccas. So I decided to conglomerate them into one species, and the puzzle pieces have actually fit together quite well upon reflection. Gruagachs are rabbit Pookas, so associating them with burrowing Buccas was an easy decision. Likewise, Glaistigs are well suited to Kelpie habits. The subraces represent the distinct physical breeds of Pookas, while designations like 'Kelpie' or 'Bucca' simply refer to their preferred habitats and modus operandi. I've gone through several variations on all these concepts, but the current ones are those which I felt best conveyed the flavor of the race.
The adventurers are written to easily accommodate a player character background, while mischief is more of an implied trait which a decent roleplayer should pick up on and utilize, depending on their tastes. Enough has been written already about Pooka pranks, so I'm sure they needn't be covered for each individual character. As for converting the Amadan and Robin Goodfellow into adventurers, I would strongly advise against it. Those two are not made to be playable (Shakespeare would protest!), but could feature as NPCs. I included them more to give a sense of history and celebrity to the Pooka race, as well as integrating them more into Feywild society. --Akherontis 05:42, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I do not really know Celtic and Gaelic folklore however I do hope that you do not add too many great Celtic and Gaelic folkloric creatures into this one. As you said you know quite a bit about Celtic and Gaelic folklore however something like Klepies, although can become/are horses I do not know if they also hold the mischievous aspect of these which make them unique. Do you know?
I now know that about the Fey world, thanks for clearing that up.
And I see what you mean with the adventurers section. I do not know what the standard is for WotC; meaning are standard adventurers comparable to a characters background or are they just famous adventurers of the race? Do you know?
I also see what you mean by this race laying out the species and then having specific words describing specific Pookas based of environment and mode of operation. My only issue with this is maybe you should make it more clear that if a player is, for example, a Gruagachs Pooka living in subterranean environments he would refer to himself to others who know a Gruagachs Bucca Pooka; or do you mean something else? Also I wish some of the wording in that area was cleared up. For example "Domesticated Pookas who help around the household or work in the fields aren't unheard of, although it would be a mistake to label them 'tamed'." comes off to me as very contradictory in itself since domesticated refers to being tamed by humans. Your thoughts? --Green Dragon 06:42, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
Oh, don't worry, I'm pretty much finished with this race, so there won't be any more additions to the admittedly rather crowded classifications of Pookas. Kelpies possess largely the same traits as Pookas in folklore, although they tend to be more destructive and have an association with water(they are goblins rather than hobgoblins, in the traditional sense). They also appear in more forms than just horses; examples abound in literature of the water-bird Boobrie, the humanoid Dark Man o' the Loch, the otter/dog hybrid Dobhar-chu. So yes, all in all, I feel comfortable with my decision to combine Pookas and Kelpies into one race.
From what I've seen of other racial write-ups, the adventurer section seems to exist in order to give people an example of how to go about making an adventurer for that specific race. I included examples of what I thought would make good Pooka adventurer archetypes with a variety of class options.
Ah, I forgot to answer your question about the 'Domesticated' issue. This does not mean that a Fey has been tamed by humans, but it's a term in folklore referring to faeries who live in human territories instead of the wilderness. An example would be the brownies and boggarts that inhabit households, or the Bean Sidhe/Banshees, who are always associated with a certain human family. But now that you mention it, I suppose that term would seem strange to people unfamiliar with faeries. I think I'll revise that statement. Thank you. --Akherontis 07:02, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
Oh, also, a Pooka of the Gruagach subrace who lived underground would call himself a Bucca, although his race would be Pooka and he'd profess to any of the other names as well. Pookas tend to accumulate names. The best example would be Robin Goodfellow himself. He's also referred to as Puck (a derivative, like Pooka, of the Old English Puk; goat), and Will o' the Wisp, Jack o' the Lantern, and various others. His name Robin is often shortened to 'Hob', so he is the original Hob-goblin, as well. And the Christians associated him with the Devil, so Satan was also referred to as 'Old Hob' or 'Old Nick', which is where the horned and goat-flanked imagery of the Devil came from (In addition to confusion with the Greek satyr god Pan). --Akherontis 07:18, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Stub[edit]

Discussion moved from User talk:Green Dragon/Archive 18#4e Race Pooka. --Green Dragon 00:58, 30 December 2010 (MST)

Sir, the rituals available for Wild Soul have always been listed there: "You can use any of the following rituals as if they were at-will powers, with no component requirements and without a ritual book: Animal Friendship, Animal Messenger, Commune with Nature, or Speak with Nature." —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Akherontis (talkcontribs) 05:30, 6 January 2010 (UTC). Please sign your posts!

Sorry. I didn't notice that when I added Template:Stub. The template was removed to reflect. --Green Dragon 00:58, 30 December 2010 (MST)

Possible Improvements[edit]

This race looks just fantastic! The only improvements I could think of right now, regarding amount of information present or ease of use, is you could make the adventurers into NPCs and include a link on the adventurers description area or add some links throughout (see other articles with links). --Green Dragon 20:16, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Thank you, sir. I will add some appropriate links forthwith. I'm not quite sure what you mean about the adventurers, but I'll look into it. --Akherontis 01:03, 7 January 2010 (UTC)
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