Leshy is a fey or god (the difference can be hard to distinguish) from Slavic mythology. A shape- and size-shifting hairy and/or green man, sometimes depicted with horns, Leshy is the protector of the forests and a spirit with dominion over animals. Hunters beg for his favor, or at least to assuage his wrath; in general, he doesn't care about humanity either way, but if you harm the forest, watch out!
In Pathfinder, on the other hand, Leshys are a strain of neo-construct crafted by druidic rituals, which call upon nature spirits and ritually bind them to plant seeds, causing them to grow into the form of diminutive humanoid plants based on whichever that plant type was. Despite this artificial manner of creation, leshys are not true Constructs (they have the Plant type instead), and thusly they aren't compelled to serve their creators. Still, they feel an instinctive drive to look after unintelligent plant life, and this gives them enough common cause that they usually get on well with their creators. You know, providing those creators aren't abusive idiots! The exception are Vine Leshys (see below), which are renowned for their free-will and determination - to the point that Ultimate Wilderness presents them as a playable race!
Once accepted into a body, a leshy’s spirit remains within unless the body is destroyed. Leshys do not fear death as many other creatures do, knowing that should they fall, their spirits merely return to the natural world and can be called to inhabit a new leshy body at some point in the future. As a leshy’s body dies, the magic animating it unravels in a burst of life energy that infuses its surrounding and quickens the growth of any plants in the vicinity. Some leshys even voluntarily discorporate to save the lives of ailing plants, knowing that their sacrifice may mean the continuation of countless otherwise helpless flora. Regardless of how a leshy dies, leaving the body traumatizes the spirit, and the leshy retains only faint memories of past corporeal existences. Leshy spirits need not return to the same form if bound again to a body. During the course of its existence a single spirit can inhabit any number of different types ofleshys. A leshy without a body has no power to affect or contact the material world.
As a group, leshys share certain common attributes. They resemble plants but with vaguely humanoid appearances, and are always Small. While leshys of the same species share the same general shape, leshys have all the diversity of the plant world in appearance. For example, one fungus leshy may have a classic red, white-dotted mushroom cap, while another might have the spongier and darker contours of a morel, while a third might have the coloration of a pale gray cave mushroom.
Leshys appeared for the first time in the Pathfinder Bestiary 3, but new strains have popped up since then.
Leshy Creation Ritual
The process of growing a leshy has some similarities to making a construct, but doesn’t require the Craft Construct feat. Typically, the creator of a leshy must be a powerful druid, but anyone capable of making the required Knowledge checks and casting the required spells may attempt the process.
Growing a leshy body takes 2 weeks per Hit Die, during which the nascent form must be well fertilized, watered as needed, and kept safe from harm. During this period of growth, certain rare nutrients and fertilizer must be used to prime the leshy’s transformation from a normal plant into a sentient one—the cost of these components varies according to the leshy, but is never less than 1,000 gp. The cultivator must make a successful Knowledge check at this time (usually a Knowledge [nature] check) in order for the plant body to be properly formed—the exact check as well as the required DC varies according to the leshy. If the check fails, the plant withers and dies and the cultivator must begin anew. If, on the other hand, the skill check is successful, the cultivator must then step in and perform a 24-hour ritual within a day of the leshy’s cultivation. During this ritual, the cultivator must cast a number of spells (see each individual leshy for a list). At the ritual’s climax, there’s a flat 50% chance that the attempt to create a leshy succeeds—if this final check fails, no appropriate spirit is close enough to answer the call. The plant body rots and the creator must begin anew with fresh materials if he wishes to try again. At the GM’s discretion, this final chance for success might increase to 75% or even 100% for particularly magical areas where leshy spirits are much more common than normal. Discovering such a rare and magical site should be the focus of its own adventure.
If the ritual is successful, the leshy awakens fully formed and able to serve as a minion. A freshly created leshy is under no particular compulsion to obey its creator, but most regard their makers as friends and allies.
Plant creatures are particularly adept at growing leshys. Such creators gain a +5 racial bonus on their Knowledge checks, halve the time required to grow the leshy, and reduce the cost to create the creature by 25%. A plant creature is always successful in luring a spirit into the body, and need not make the final percentile roll for success.
Leshys with more Hit Dice than normal can be created. Each additional Hit Die adds 2,250 gp to the cost of creating the leshy (and thus 4,500 gp to the overall price), increases the DC of the Knowledge check by +2, and requires an additional 2 weeks of growth. Attempts to create leshys larger than Small always fail—the strange spiritual energies that animate these creatures are only capable of doing so to a body no larger than that of a human child.
Leshy Creation Summary
- Time: 2 weeks per HD. Plant creatures take half the time required to grow the leshy.
- Cost: never less than 1,000 gp. Plant creatures reduce the cost to create the creature by 25%.
- Skill: Knowledge (usually Knowledge [nature]) DC varies by leshy. If the check fails, the plant withers and dies and the cultivator must begin anew. Plant creatures gain a +5 racial bonus on their Knowledge checks.
- Additional Time: 24-hour ritual within 24 hours of successful cultivation.
- Spells: Spells vary by leshy and must be cast during the ritual indicated under “Additional Time.”
- Chance to Embed Spirit: Flat 50% chance of success to embed a spirit after completion of ritual. At GM’s discretion, this chance might increase to 75% or 100% if performing ritual in magical areas where leshy spirits are more common. If successful, the leshy awakens fully formed and able to serve as a minion. A plant creature need not make the final percentile roll for success. A freshly created leshy is under no particular compulsion to obey its creator, but most regard their makers as friends and allies.
- Tougher Leshys: Each additional Hit Die adds 2,250 gp to the cost (and thus 4,500 gp to the overall price), increases the Knowledge check DC by +2, and requires an 2 additional weeks to grow. Attempts to create leshys larger than Small always fail—the strange spiritual energies that animate these creatures are only capable of doing so to a body no larger than that of a human child.
Most cactus leshys prefer a quiet, slow-paced life under the hot desert sun, where they tend to other cacti and conserve their energy until the rains return. Their first response to visitors tromping around near them is often a terse warning, or even an insult. While they are initially surly and taciturn, cactus leshys may befriend travelers who show them respect and are willing to put up with their bitingly sarcastic sense of humor. These leshys are fiercely loyal allies, willing to drain away the vitality of their own bodies in order to protect and nourish allies who are less capable of surviving in the unforgiving desert.
When rainfall comes to the desert, cactus leshys become active and cheerful. On these rare occasions, they welcome visitors and help travelers find places where the water is likely to linger. That is not to say that these creatures would prefer to live in a wetter climate—after a few weeks away from the desert, cactus leshys complain vociferously about how hard it is to stave off rot in mushy soil.
A variant cactus leshy called a pesh leshy, or peshy, thrives in deserts, where cacti that produce the drug pesh are a prized crop. These leshys’ fruit provides the effects of a dose of the drug instead of a goodberry spell. Peshys are more social than typical cactus leshys, and they work in harmony with farmers who tend their own small farms. Large commercial farms are more divisive, with some peshys supporting the proliferation of their charges and others seeing the industry as a perversion of their gift.
The shapes of cactus leshys’ bodies are as varied as the shapes of cactus plants themselves, but they all have two or more branches that they can use to carry objects and to stab their enemies. A typical cactus leshy is between 2 and 3 feet tall and weighs up to 120 pounds when fully hydrated.
Growing a Cactus Leshy: Cactus leshys grow best in arid deserts, but can be cultivated in any climate as long as they are given sandy soil in which to take root and provided water only sparingly. Ritual Requirements: CL 7th; Price 2,500 gp; Spells goodberry, plant growth, summon nature’s ally II; Skill Ranks Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks; Skill Checks Knowledge (nature) DC 14; Cost 1,250 gp
Cactus Leshys debuted in the Ironfang Invasion Adventure Path, specifically in the module "Trail of the Hunted".
Most leshys are peaceful creatures that focus their efforts on tending the natural region around them. While flytrap leshys do not leave their homes to pick fights, they relish the opportunity to attack intruders. These carnivorous plants tend to attack before asking questions. While they rarely work together with other creatures, the aggressive creatures eagerly collaborate with others of their kind.
They fight best in teams, and coordinate with each other so seamlessly that a group of flytrap leshys is nearly indistinguishable from a single creature—an illusion that the similarity between a flytrap leshy’s head and hands only compounds. While a typical flytrap leshy has one head and two hands, more powerful flytrap leshys exist with greater numbers of heads and hands.
Cantankerous flytrap leshys represent the harsh and seemingly cruel aspects of the natural cycle that are ultimately needed for the greater well-being of all creatures. When necessary to protect their homes, flytrap leshys start controlled fires, relying on their fire resistance to wade through the flames.
Unlike most of their kind, flytrap leshys eat flesh and are not picky about the kind of meat that they consume.
They particularly savor insects, and one of the few ways to placate a flytrap leshy is to offer it a rare or unusual insect to consume.
A typical flytrap leshy is 2 feet tall and weighs 20 pounds.
Growing a Flytrap Leshy: A flytrap leshy is usually grown in swampy or marshy terrain. A flytrap leshy will only emerge if it is given a small pile of freshly killed insects to eat. Ritual Requirements: CL 10th; Price 6,500 gp, Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks; Spells burst of nettles, plant growth, summon nature’s ally IV; Skill Knowledge (nature) DC 18; Cost 3,250 gp
Flytrap Leshys debuted in the Bestiary 5.
Keepers of cavernous mushroom forests and rotting compost pits deep within the swamp, fungus leshys preside over subterranean growth and the rot that fertilizes new life. Among the most alien and monstrous-looking of all leshys, these tiny rot farmers’ frightening appearance has more to do with the asymmetrical eeriness intrinsic to molds and fungi than an outward expression of evil. Like all their kin, fungus leshys vary widely in form, often adopting the colors and shapes of the mushrooms and other large fungi common to the areas they tend.
Fungus leshys are spawned from realms of underground wonder or the rotting places of the natural world. They perform an important service in the lands they keep, encouraging the growth of fungi, transporting rotting material to fertilize other plants, and making the most use of growth that has died off. Fungus leshys are most active at night and spend the day in the forms of plump fungi amid their ripest compost heaps or fungal glens.
Fungus leshys are 2 feet tall and weigh 25 pounds, their spongy interiors full of hollows and fluffy spores.
Growing a Fungus Leshy: A fungus leshy is usually grown amid the compost of a treant’s groves, in dens of mold deep underground, or in eerie hillocks at the heart of dense swamplands. Ritual Requirements: CL 8th; Price 2,500 gp, Skill Ranks Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks; Spells obscuring mist, plant growth, summon nature’s ally II; Skill Check(s) Knowledge (dungeoneering or nature) DC 14; Cost 1,250 gp
Fungus Leshys are part of the initial wave of leshys, debuting in the Bestiary 3.
Superstition and love of rituals run deep in gourd leshys. They do their best to exactly reproduce what worked before with every trivial activity, and change seemingly random details when attempting tasks they previously failed. Gourd leshys collect random odds and ends as good luck charms, ranging from polished stones to bird feathers to tarnished coins. Credulous to a fault, gourd leshys believe nearly anything they hear from those they trust. However, their admittedly hollow heads still hold memories, and a gourd leshy betrayed rarely forgets.
As gourd leshys aren’t particularly strong, they often fight dirty. One favorite trick is to wait for an enemy to come within striking distance while in gourd form so that they can assume their true form and make a sneak attack in the same round.
Growing a Gourd Leshy: Gourd leshys grow best in small vegetable patches or in sunny meadows. Carving eyes and a mouth into a growing gourd leshy’s “face” is an important part of the growth ritual, for neglecting to do this robs the gourd leshy of its ability to see or speak. The exact nature and appearance of a gourd leshy’s features can vary wildly between individuals. Ritual Requirements: CL 6th; Price 1,500 gp, Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks, entangle, plant growth, summon nature’s ally I; Skill Knowledge (nature) DC 13; Cost 750 gp
Gourd Leshys are part of the initial wave of leshys, debuting in the Bestiary 3.
Leaf leshys tend to the well-being of trees, whether natural stands or cultivated orchards. In appearance, they have soft, pulpy-looking bodies and wear clothing made of dozens of leaves. Larger leaves cover their shoulders, often giving them the appearance of wearing cloaks, and most adorn their relatively featureless heads with helmets made from pine cones, nuts, or fruit rinds. This leafy layer of clothing functions as masterwork padded armor for a leafleshy, but not for any other creature.
Leaf leshys love to play at war. When not laboring on their trees, they wheedle any companions to engage in mock duels with their twig spears, resorting to private weapon drills when they must. In actual battle, they are much more cautious, sticking to cover and harrying their foes with hit-and-run tactics, as they have a strongly developed sense of self-preservation.
Growing a Leaf Leshy: Leaf leshys are usually grown under the shade of fruit or nut trees. To grow a leaf leshy, the maker plants an acorn and pine cone together, then mounds up leaves, sticks, and needles around them. When first born, a leaf leshy has no armor, leafy cape, or weapon, but can construct them from available materials given a day and left to its own devices (no Craft check required). Ritual Requirements: CL 5th; Price 1,000 gp, Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks, magic stone, plant growth, summon nature’s ally I; Skill Knowledge (nature) DC 12; Cost 500 gp
Leaf Leshys are part of the initial wave of leshys, debuting in the Bestiary 3.
Like the curious plantlike organisms from which they’re composed, lichen leshys are rugged creatures able to survive in unforgiving climates. Unlike most leshys, lichen leshys are rarely content to stay in one place for long, instead using their survival skills to reach the grandest vistas, harshest environs, and most daring heights. There, they rest in quiet contemplation and awe, slowly breaking down inhospitable rocks into nutrient-rich soil that can sustain new plant life.
Lichen leshys almost always wear cozy rain cloaks that they use to blur their outlines and better camouflage their forms. They often secret away tiny mementos within their garb to remind them of their greatest achievements, and one can earn a lichen leshy’s ready assistance if willing to listen to its rambling tales of how it found each trophy.
This mossy clothing functions as masterwork padded armor for a lichen leshy, but not for any other creature.
Growing a Lichen Leshy: A lichen leshy can grow nearly anywhere that’s exposed to clean air, though most creators prefer large, rocky escarpments. The creator prepares an unguent of spores, aromatic salts, and pure rainwater, which she uses to paint an image of the leshy-to-be on the growing surface. Once the leshy has matured, it peels itself off the prepared surface. Left to its own devices, it can construct its rain cloak and other gear from available materials within a day. Ritual Requirements: CL 10th; Price 4,500 gp, Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks, plant growth, soften earth and stone, summon nature’s ally III; Skill Knowledge (nature) DC 15; Cost 2,250 gp
Lichen Leshys debuted in the Ironfang Invasion Adventure Path, in the module "Fangs of War".
Enigmatic lotus leshys are wise guardians of secluded ponds and lakes. They spend most of their time in meditation as lotus flowers, sometimes for decades at a time. Although lotus leshys spend most of their time floating in solitary reflection, they do not shun the company of other creatures, and take humanoid form whenever they wish to speak. They find discussions of religion and philosophy particularly fascinating, and delight in fresh perspectives. Although they study deities of self-perfection and contemplation extensively, they do not revere such beings.
Lotus leshys speak indirectly rather than providing specific answers. They maintain that contemplation and discussion are far more valuable than concrete answers, whose usefulness is limited to the question at hand. In addition, they believe those who receive direct answers are more likely to blindly accept the words of others rather than thinking for themselves. When confronted with impatience, lotus leshys return to their lotus form rather than engaging further. They avoid combat whenever possible, preferring to calm tempers with their tranquil auras or lull violent creatures to sleep with their soporific pollen.
A typical lotus leshy stands 3 feet tall, and weighs 15 pounds.
Growing a Lotus Leshy: Lotus leshys grow best in warm ponds and lakes in quiet areas. To grow a lotus leshy, the maker must plant a lotus seed by the water’s edge, and sit in quiet mediation by the seed until it sprouts. Ritual Requirements: CL 12th; Price 9,000 gp, Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 5 ranks; Spells lily pad stride, plant growth, summon nature’s ally V; Skill Knowledge (nature or religion) DC 19; Cost 4,500 gp
Lotus Leshys debuted in the Bestiary 5.
Often found near dryad’s trees, in nymph’s groves, and elsewhere close to fey creatures, poppy leshys serve as guardians and friends to creatures from the Fey World.
They do their best to hide from humanoids and other creatures of civilization, but their distinctive perfume often gives them away unless they hide in patches of fragrant flowers.
Poppy leshys care for sweet-smelling flora, often but not always poppy plants. They look like small humanoid creatures with flowers for hair and leafy or flowery growths covering their legs and feet. In truth, these leshys do not have legs, but rather use flexible roots to move along the ground or up trees.
These creatures often carry slender rapiers or daggers with them, which they keep hidden among the leaves on the lower half of their bodies. They only rely on these weapons as a last resort, knowing most creatures that attack them can overpower them. If fighting in self-defense, they rely on their innate sleep ability to subdue their opponents and escape.
Some druids and fey creatures use the otherwise peaceful leshys to help neutralize intruders in their groves.
Many dryads find friendships with poppy leshys mutually beneficial, as their ability to cloud memories can help the dryads divert potential threats that may have otherwise learned the location of the dryads’ trees. The creatures seem drawn to nymphs’ innate beauty and often migrate toward a nymph’s grove if left on their own. Satyrs also sometimes seek out the company of poppy leshys, albeit for slightly selfish reasons; they deliberately expose themselves to the leshys’ memory-clouding spores as a way of “enhancing” the experiences they feel during their feasts and parties. Regardless of the fey’s motivations, poppy leshys often seek out the approval of creatures from the First World, often going to great lengths to keep potential friendships intact.
Growing a Poppy Leshy: Poppy leshys are usually grown in the early spring, planted with poppy seeds soon to sprout. When first born, a poppy leshy does not have a weapon, but can construct one from available materials given a day and left to its own devices (no Craft check required). Ritual Requirements: CL 5th; Price 1,000 gp, Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks, animal trance, plant growth, summon nature’s ally I; Skill Knowledge (nature) DC 12; Cost 500 gp
Poppy Leshys debuted in Wayfinder #18.
Seaweed leshys usually dwell along coastlines, happily splashing and playing in tide pools, but they are equally at home at sea, floating among large kelp beds. Although perfectly capable of existing out of water indefinitely, seaweed leshys prefer to limit their time away from the sea almost out of a sense of pride. Most seaweed leshys take a dim view of freshwater plant life, to the point of mocking such plants in the same way an urbanite might talk down to folk who live in more rural areas. Rumors of freshwater leshys are a sure way to bring peals of mocking laughter from a seaweed leshy.
Seaweed leshys resemble miniature, waterlogged green humans grown from leafy green seaweed, with skinny arms and legs, webbed hands and feet, and long strands of brown, green, or red seaweed for hair. They wear armor made from a pair oflarge clam shells or from several smaller shells tied together. This armor functions as a suit of masterwork padded armor for a seaweed leshy, but not for any other creature.
Patient and thoughtful by inclination (save for matters associated with those silly freshwater leshys), seaweed leshys believe that in time nature brings what is needed by the ebb and flow of the tide or the steady flow of the river. They counsel against hasty decisions and rash actions, always preferring to wait and see what another day might bring.
Growing a Seaweed Leshy: Seaweed leshys must be grown in seawater. The leshy’s maker plants a strand of kelp or other seaweed in the water and treats it daily with bone ash to encourage algal growth. When first created, a seaweed leshy has no armor, but can construct it from available materials given a day and left to its own devices (no Craft check required). Ritual Requirements: CL 10th; Price 4,500 gp, Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks, plant growth, summon nature’s ally III, water breathing; Skill Knowledge (nature) DC 16; Cost 2,250 gp
Seaweed Leshys are part of the initial wave of leshys, debuting in the Bestiary 3.
Whereas most leshys are reclusive and content to quietly nurture the natural world, snapdragon leshys are consummate extroverts. They often find their way into settled areas, where they caper and gab at those around them. When their neighbors are slow to laugh, snapdragon leshys sometimes resort to juvenile pranks to elicit a reaction. These escalating exploits often prompt townsfolk to chase off the plant people, which the leshys are quick to forgive so long as nobody comes to harm.
Growing a Snapdragon: Leshy Snapdragon leshys grow best in rocky, well-drained soil. To grow a snapdragon leshy, the maker must plant the seeds and visit several times a day to tell stories and jokes. The leshy emerges at last only if it has an audience of at least a dozen bystanders to applaud its arrival. Ritual Requirements: CL 10th; Price 6,500 gp, Spells plant growth, speak with plants, summon nature’s ally IV; Skill Knowledge (nature) DC 18; Skill Ranks Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks, Perform (comedy, oratory, or sing) 1 rank; Cost 3,250 gp
Snapdragon Leshys debuted in the Ironfang Invasion Adventure Path, in the module "Fangs of War".
A circle of petals radiates from a sunflower leshy’s head, ranging in color from soft butter yellow to bright orange to plum with white tips. Serrated green leaves sprout like a ruff beneath its head. A sunflower leshy stands 4 feet tall and weighs 75 pounds.
Among the most social of leshys, sunflower leshys serve as the ambassadors and diplomats of leshykind.
They enjoy socializing and interacting in groups of leshys or with other creatures. Solitary sunflower leshys are rare, as their need for companionship compels them to find others with whom to interact. Leshys who lack companionship for 1 week lose their petals and heliotrope aura as a result of being depressed. Being welcomed back into a group restores the aura in a day and petals after 1 week.
Sunflower leshys are peacemakers and shun martial activities and conflict unless forced into confrontation.
To avoid altercations with unfriendly creatures, they band together and trust that the presence of their heliotrope aura protects them.
Other leshys look to them to serve as mediators and help resolve differences.
Growing a Sunflower Leshy: Sunflower leshys grow in open fields under bright sunlight. To grow a sunflower leshy, the maker plants a seed from an extant sunflower leshy and waters it daily. The maker must talk to the seedling daily to encourage the leshy’s growth. The conversation must be upbeat and positive; otherwise, the leshy emerges with withered petals and a permanent frown. Ritual Requirements: CL 5th; Price 1,000 gp; Spells light, plant growth, summon nature’s ally I; Skill Ranks Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks; Skill Checks Knowledge (nature) DC 12; Cost 500 gp
Sunflower Leshys debuted in the Ironfang Invasion Adventure Path, specifically in the module "Trail of the Hunted".
The last of all the leshys so far, Vine Leshys debuted in Ultimate Wilderness. These leshys are created from spirits with an unusual fascination for humanoid culture, civilizations and races; they yearn to know more about the strange meat-creatures that rule the world, in comparison to the monomaniacal focus on just looking after plants of other leshys. As such, rather than sticking around a single area to guard it, vine leshys are natural nomads, wandering freely across the world, stopping to care for many different wards for short periods throughout their lifetime. Druids create these leshys mainly to get more nature-loving allies in their parties, it's implied, and in that, they do quite well. But one must remember that, even though no leshy is a servant, vine leshys are particularly independent; their creators are seen as friends and allies, not parents.
As you would expect, a vine leshy’s body is made of masses of twisted vines and leaves, sometimes incorporating flowers and fruits as well. Their appearance is mostly determined by the species of vine used in their creation, but most have a large cluster of leaves that forms a face with round eyes, a small mouth, and no visible nose. Consistent with the plant species from which they derive their bodies, vine leshys recognize a spectrum of genders. Some vine leshys are exclusively female or male, while many vine leshys are both. The biological features of a leshy’s flowers do not necessarily indicate its gender, as the nature spirit that inhabits the leshy plays a strong role in determining the leshy’s identity.
Because of their ritual-based genesis, vine leshys obviously do not have a traditional family structure. They form strong friendships with those who accompany them on explorations or who assist them in protecting a natural site. Unlike most leshys, vine leshys usually feel a strong desire to seek out the one who created them.
Vine leshys love storytelling, but they place more importance on the meaning and message of the story than the details, both because they can’t always remember the details and because they find many details to be unnecessary. A story that has passed through several vine leshys is likely to undergo significant changes in characters and setting but usually retains its core message.
Vine leshys are, as mentioned above, deeply interested in learning about the cultures of many other races. Their initial attitudes when they encounter new races are based on biases from the nature spirit’s past incarnations, but they evolve over time through the leshy’s experiences. In unfamiliar situations, vine leshys prefer to blend in with vegetation to observe before venturing out and introducing themselves.
Vine leshys have an unusual relationship with other leshys, for unlike standard leshys, vine leshys are not grown to be servants. They are free-willed and individualistic creatures. Whether or not an individual vine leshy views the servitude other leshys endure as akin to slavery or as something more like an honorable tradition of service to a powerful druid depends on the vine leshy’s opinion and alignment. While it’s unusual for a vine leshy to take on another leshy as a minion in the traditional way, it’s not unusual to see vine leshys take on sponsorship of a sort over other leshys, treating them almost as adopted children or wayward exiles in need of guidance and protection from those who would force their servitude.
Vine leshys see themselves as part of the ancient cycle of nature. They care for their friends and any natural areas under their care, but rarely feel compelled toward either charity or malice. Most vine leshys are truly neutral, and they almost always have at least one neutral aspect to their alignments. Religion is not particularly important to vine leshys. Those who do find faith tend toward worship of Gozreh, a green man (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 6 152), or one of the Eldest of the First World, but the Green Faith is the most common philosophy followed by vine leshys.
Like most leshys, vine leshys typically do not fear death (but don't actually have any special protecting from fear effects aside from the +1 will save their high wisdom gives.). They know that if their bodies die, their spirits will return to the natural world and may someday find themselves in new bodies. This lack of fear combined with their curiosity leads them to take risks. However, they typically avoid excessively dangerous activities, as they would rather gather a story from their adventures to tell later. Vine leshys gravitate toward classes that let them use their connection to nature, such as druid and ranger.
Vine leshys’ names change throughout their lives. A young vine leshy typically names herself after her physical characteristics or a natural feature that she particularly enjoys. As vine leshys age, they modify their names to better reflect their personality and experiences. A leshy may even have several names that she cycles among, such as one name for each season. Most vine leshys select names that are at least two words long. Example vine leshy names include Burbling Waterfall, Lovely Triple Leaves, Masterful Sun Drinker, Snowy Pine Branches, Verdant Taleweaver, and Vibrant Tree Climber.
Vine Leshy Stats
- +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, –2 Intelligence: Vine leshys are hardy and insightful, but sometimes forgetful.
- Leshy: Vine leshys are plants with the leshy subtype but lack the immunities to mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep, and stunning that the plant type usually grants, and they lack the immunity to electricity and sonic that the leshy subtype usually grants.
- Small: Vine leshys are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty on combat maneuver checks and to their Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
- Slow Speed: Vine leshys have a base speed of 20 feet.
- Darkvision: Vine leshys can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
- Low-Light Vision: Vine leshys can see twice as far as humans under conditions of dim light.
- Pass without Trace: Vine leshys have pass without trace as a constant spell-like ability (caster level 2nd).
- Change Shape: Vine leshys can transform into vines, with results similar to tree shape. In this form, the leshy appears as a particularly healthy Small vine. The leshy can assume plant form or revert to its true form as a swift action.
- Plantspeech: Vine leshys can speak with vines as if subject to a continual speak with plants spell.
- Verdant Burst: When slain, a vine leshy explodes in a burst of fertile energies. All plant creatures within 30 feet of the slain leshy regain hit 1d8 points, and vines quickly infest the area. If the terrain can support vines, the undergrowth is dense enough to make the region into difficult terrain for 24 hours, after which the plant life diminishes to a normal level; otherwise, this plant life has no significant effect on movement and withers and dies within an hour.
- Unassuming Foliage: Vine leshys gain a +4 racial bonus on Stealth checks in forests.
- Climber: Vine leshys gain a +2 racial bonus on Climb checks.
- Languages: Vine leshys begin play speaking Common and Sylvan. Vine leshys with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Aquan, Auran, Aklo, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, Terran, or Undercommon.
Alternate Vine Leshy Racial Traits
Agile: Agile vine leshys are quicker but less tough than a typical vine leshy. Replace the leshy’s +2 racial bonus to Constitution with a +2 racial bonus to Dexterity.
- This alters the vine leshy’s ability scores.
Poisonous: Vine leshys made from poison ivy vines carry natural poison in their bodies. As a swift action, the leshy can imbue its vines with this irritating substance. The next time the leshy hits a creature with an unarmed strike, the creature is affected by the following poison:
- Vine Leshy Toxin: Unarmed strike—injury; save Fort DC 10 + half the vine leshy’s Hit Dice + the leshy’s Constitution modifier; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect sickened for 1 round; cure 1 save.
The leshy can use this ability a number of times per day equal to its Constitution modifier (minimum 1). A vine leshy is immune to its own poison, but not to those of other vine leshys.
- This replaces plantspeech and change shape.
Swamp Leshy: Some vine leshys are made from plants that naturally grow in swamps. These leshys gain a +2 racial bonus on Swim checks and a +4 racial bonus on Stealth checks in swamps.
- This replaces climber and alters unassuming foliage.
Grapevine: A vine leshy made from a grapevine can produce magically infused fruit that can heal her allies. She can cast goodberry once per day as a spell-like ability, with a caster level equal to her character level.
- This replaces pass without trace.
...and Then 2E Happened
Perhaps in an unsurprising move, Leshys were added in Pathfinder Second Edition's Lost Omens Character Guide splatbook alongside Hobgoblins and Lizardfolk, and unlike before these could run a gamut of leshys. These leshys aren't quite as dependent on spell effects, though you can regain them through racial feats.
- Hit Points: 8
- Size: Small
- Speed: 25 ft
- Ability Boosts: Constitution, Wisdom, Free; Ability Flaw: Intelligence
- Languages: Common, Slyvan. If you have a positive Intelligence Bonus, you can select an amount of bonus languages equal to the bonus: Draconic, Elven, Gnomish, Goblin, Halfling, Undercommon, and any other languages to which you have access (such as the languages prevalent in your region).
- Low-Light Vision
- Plant Nourishment: You gain nourishment in the same way that the plants or fungi that match your body type normally do, through some combination of photosynthesis, absorbing minerals with your roots, or scavenging decaying matter. You typically do not need to pay for food. If you normally rely on photosynthesis and go without sunlight for 1 week, you begin to starve. You can derive nourishment from specially formulated bottles of sunlight instead of natural sunlight, but these bottles cost 10 times as much as standard rations (or 40 sp).
- Fungus Leshy: Gain Darkvision
- Gourd Leshy: Your head is a carrying case that can hold 1 bulk of items. If only one object is in here, it can be pulled out as part of another action using that object.
- Leaf Leshy: You take no damage from falling.
- Vine Leshy: You can climb without using your hands. Passing an Athletics check to climb always counts as a critical success
|The Races of Pathfinder|
|Player's Handbook:||Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human|
| Aasimar - Catfolk - Changeling - Dhampir - Duergar |
Drow - Fetchling - Gillman - Goblin - Grippli - Hobgoblin
Ifrit - Kitsune - Kobold - Merfolk - Nagaji - Orc - Oread
Ratfolk - Samsaran - Strix - Suli - Svirfneblin - Sylph
Tengu - Tiefling - Undine - Vanara - Vishkanya - Wayang
|Bestiaries:|| Android - Astomoi - Caligni - Deep One Hybrid - Gathlain |
Gnoll - Kasatha - Munavri - Naiad - Orang-Pendak
Reptoid - Rougarou - Shabti - Trox - Yaddithian
|Adventure Paths:||Being of Ib - Kuru|
|Inner Sea Races:|| Ghoran - Monkey Goblin - Lashunta - Skinwalker |
Syrinx - Triaxian - Wyrwood - Wyvaran
|Ultimate Wilderness:||Vine Leshy|
|Blood of the Sea:||Adaro - Cecaelia - Grindylow - Locathah - Sahuagin - Triton|
|Planar Adventures:||Aphorite - Duskwalker - Ganzi|