The Leaf Men of Spiritwood

Photo by Natalie Thornley on Unsplash

The Leaf Men of Spiritwood

The idea for Leaf Men is an inspiration from the excellent children’s book, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs by William Joyce.

Pits & Perils monster stat:
Leaf Men: 1 attack, 1-6 level, move 50′, side N, size S, number 10-60, treasure B/I

Leaf men are fairy warriors that live in fey touched forests such as Spiritwood. They are smaller than most fairies (at 3″), wear oak leaf armor, and are green in coloration. Alone, the typical leaf man is weak, but as a fighting unit they are formidable.

Any number of leaf men that fight as a group should be considered as one enemy. Every 10 warriors will add +1 to their level. 20 warriors would be considered a 2nd level enemy. 30 warriors would be 3rd level.

60 leaf men (level 6) is the largest fighting unit that they will form. If a larger number of warriors are encountered, they will form into additional units.

Leaf men have 2 hit points per level.

When a group of leaf men take damage, their level will decrease as well. It will take 2 hits to reduce their level by 1.

So, if a fighting unit of 60 leaf men take 2 points of damage, it drops to level 5 (and will have 50 warriors).

As a fighting unit loses levels, it also loses fighting effectiveness. For example, 60 leaf men would be a 6th level enemy and have a +2 bonus to hit. If they take 2 points of damage and are reduced to 5th level (and 50 men) they will only have a +1 bonus to hit.

Leaf men cannot cast spells. They are excellent jumpers and can jump as far as a grasshopper. They can speak with animals, ride sparrows, jays, other birds and also bats and large flying beetles. Leaf men can hide in natural surroundings with a 5 in 6 chance if they remain still.

Due to their size and camouflage, leaf men gain a +2 to initiative. If they win the initiative, they have surprised their opponent and also gain a +1 for the first attack.

Leaf men use tiny bows to shoot arrows similar to porcupine quills. They melee with razor sharp rapiers. One arrow or sword cut would be little more than a nick, but the combined attack of greater numbers of leaf men can cause greater damage.

Their first attack is usually meant demoralize their enemy. If an attack hits, the leaf men may forgo doing damage and instead cause one of the following to happen.

  • The buckles and straps on the armor or shield are cut causing a -1 to armor protection until repairs can be made.
  • The target’s bowstring is cut.
  • The target’s backpack, purse, or water skin is slashed.
  • The target’s hair or beard is cut off.
  • If they wish to inflict harm, they do 1 point of damage on a successful hit and 2 points for an outstanding hit (12+).

If they wish to inflict harm, they do 1 point of damage on a successful hit and 2 points for an outstanding hit (12+).

Leaf men speak the language of forest animals, elvish, and goblin.

They may carry small bits of gold and silver jewelry (treasure type B/I).

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