Love 'Em Or Leaf 'Em

Friday, August 30, 2019

When we first started brainstorming the three new ancestries we intended to put into the Lost Omens Character Guide, leshies weren’t even on the list. We knew we didn’t want to overlap with the ancestries that are going to show up in the recently announced Advanced Player’s Guide, but that still left us with far too many contenders for the mere three ancestry slots we had available. Options included simple and popular choices such as the grippli, ambitious but potentially rules-contentious ideas such as centaurs, and even the relatively obscure mortics that appeared in Tyrant’s Grasp. As we debated, Mark Seifter came in with a message from himself and the rest of the Design Team: “What about leshies?”

Well, what about leshies?

Much like their introduction into Pathfinder 1E, leshies gained incredible traction in a short amount of time, and they managed to cinch the last, coveted spot as an early ancestry for Pathfinder 2E. We know leshies aren’t for everyone, but we recognized their presence was an opportunity to emphasize some of the truly unique aspects of the Age of Lost Omens as a setting. While many ancestries have unique and challenging viewpoints by the standards of humanity, leshies are separated from both flesh and mortality as we understand it.

A tall, graceful humanoid composed of tree branches and leaves cradles a huge seed pod in its hands.

Illustration by Ksenia Kozhevnikova

Leshies are a combination of the physical and the supernatural. The true heart of a leshy is a nature spirit, but these spirits don’t have bodies and can't easily affect the material world on their own. It’s only when a master of primal magic creates a suitable vessel for a spirit, and a spirit accepts that vessel as a body, that a leshy is born. Once a leshy is created, they could theoretically live forever—though the dangers of Golarion mean this rarely occurs—and leshy souls don’t go to the Boneyard upon death like those of mortals. Instead, destroying a leshy simply frees their primal spirit back into nature; that spirit could even be summoned into another leshy body at some point in the future. Reincarnated leshies tend to put most of their memories of their past lives aside, but that doesn’t mean they forget everything, and a newborn leshy might choose to pursue a particularly treasured friend or important cause from a previous existence.

Like hobgoblins, leshies are an Uncommon ancestry. In the case of leshies, this is because many leshies don’t travel beyond their homes, instead staying to protect and tend to the natural places they sprung from and treasure. I often envision leshies to be something akin to the kodama from the film Princess Mononoke, or other strange creatures from Miyazaki movies—regular townsfolk aren’t going to stab such a mystical forest spirit on sight, but it would still be very strange to see one come into a shop and ask to buy some rope! Big changes have come to Golarion of late, however, and that means more and more leshies are starting to venture out from their forests and caverns, shyly investigating the cities and towns of other peoples as they set forth to hold back a spreading darkness.

A humanoid with tree-branch limbs, a mantle of leaves and flowers across its shoulders, and a decoratively carved gourd in place of its head.

Illustration by Ksenia Kozhevnikova

Leshies get 8 Hit Points from their ancestry, are Small, and have a speed of 25 feet. A leshy speaks Common and Sylvan, plus any additional languages they might pick up. Leshies lack vulnerable organs and veins, giving them an ability boost to Constitution, and have the tranquility and experience of an immortal nature spirit, getting another ability boost in Wisdom. They also get one free ability boost to put in any score. Leshies don’t cling to old memories and can be a little empty-headed—in the case of gourd leshies, literally! —so they get an ability flaw to Intelligence. In addition, leshies don’t eat like most PCs do, instead gaining sustenance from the sun or from rotting matter (though leshies have discovered a way to create bottled nutrients for themselves if they find themselves needing such a precaution).

Leshies can also do fun and unusual things with their crafted plant bodies, such as the ability granted by the following ancestry feat:

SEEDPODFEAT 1
LESHY

Your body produces a nearly endless supply of hard seedpods. You gain a seedpod ranged unarmed attack that deals 1d4 bludgeoning damage; these Strikes have the manipulate trait. On a critical hit, a seedpod bursts, issuing forth a tangle of vegetation that imposes a –10‐foot circumstance penalty on the target’s Speed for 1 round. Seedpods do not add critical specialization effects.

The leshy ancestry entry also suggests some common Core Rulebook backgrounds appropriate for leshies. Nomad or scout might be unsurprising rules and roleplaying recommendations, but be sure to also check out specific backgrounds from the Lost Omens World Guide for other appropriate options such as the Wildwood Local background!

Eleanor Ferron
Developer

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Tags: Lost Omens Character Guide Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
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Liberty's Edge

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I’m surprised that Leshy were chosen over Ghoran. In the past, Leshy were associated with druids, often as a plant-based replacement for animal companions, so I’m sure my perspective is skewed. Having just run PFS 7-05 School of Spirits, I would have loved to have seen them opened up, especially this early into the development of PF2. So much lore to explore!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gaulin wrote:
Mystic Lemur wrote:

If you don't actually play PFS why would boons matter? If you set your games to only allow what PFS allows, then they wouldn't be able to play them, would they?

And boons seem to work differently now. You don't have to find a way to go to a convention just to get a special race. Playing and GMing PFS seems to be enough.

Well yeah, that's the whole point of what I'm saying. If I went by pfs rules, only allowing what they normally allow (for the sake of balance mostly) then no one would be able to play leshies. I was hoping they'd be a race that anyone could play without boons or the like, as that, to me, makes it seems like devs feel they aren't any stronger hang core races. And I might dabble in some society scenarios but I prefer ap's and Homebrew.

That's not the intent of the PFS restrictions nor the Boons that around said restrictions.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

So is anyone willing to spill the beans on what sorts of heritages leshies have in the Character Guide?

I mean, I presume we will eventually get all the various Leshy types as heritages (Cactus, Gourd, Flytrap, Fungus, Leaf, Lotus, Lichen, Poppy, Snapdragon, Sunflower, Seaweed with new ones possible). But we're not likely to get them all in one book.

I see what you did there.


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Gaulin wrote:
Mystic Lemur wrote:

If you don't actually play PFS why would boons matter? If you set your games to only allow what PFS allows, then they wouldn't be able to play them, would they?

And boons seem to work differently now. You don't have to find a way to go to a convention just to get a special race. Playing and GMing PFS seems to be enough.

Well yeah, that's the whole point of what I'm saying. If I went by pfs rules, only allowing what they normally allow (for the sake of balance mostly) then no one would be able to play leshies. I was hoping they'd be a race that anyone could play without boons or the like, as that, to me, makes it seems like devs feel they aren't any stronger hang core races. And I might dabble in some society scenarios but I prefer ap's and Homebrew.

The Common/Uncommon/Etc. divide has zero to do with how strong something is, especially in PFS where things have been banned or restricted for little discernible reason.


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Man, I'd be really excited if Centaurs and Mortics got added as playable races.


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Centaurs pose unique challenges, but with size being less meaningful mechanically, it'd probably be way easier than in 1E.

Maybe we'll get Large (and Tiny?) races at some point, the way Starfinder does. It certainly seem more doable now.

Edit : also, yay for leshies. Always liked the look, some of my favorite art. Grumpy leshy knight still amuses me.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I, for one, will be glad to see the leshy heritages so we can learn more about their roots.


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ulgulanoth wrote:
Sweet we get Leshies, I wonder if there will be leshy ancestral feats for different kinds of plants to base of the leshy

I believe that if they different types that would fall under Heritages (that every other Ancestry has).


5 people marked this as a favorite.

My army of leshy characters will expand into 2E and beyond :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lady Ladile wrote:
My army of leshy characters will expand into 2E and beyond :D

Y'know, I was hoping you'd be here to see this...


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Cole Deschain wrote:
Lady Ladile wrote:
My army of leshy characters will expand into 2E and beyond :D
Y'know, I was hoping you'd be here to see this...

My reputation precedes me :O

I don't have a problem! I only have um....three...vine leshys in PFS 1.0....and a Gnome Leaf Druid in 2.0~

>.>

<.<

Leshys and Catfolk. I'd probably have more than one Catfolk if I had enough trading collateral to get more boons.

But I know what I'll be saving my PFS2 AcP points for! My character list will be nothing but a mass of vegetation and fur! :3


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Arachnofiend wrote:

The note on leshies getting sustenance from rotting matter immediately got me thinking of shroom leshies. A bit more interesting to my personal tastes than the more traditional types. Is this supported by the lore as a thing that can happen? If so it'd make for a pretty cool heritage.

RE: the ancestry feat I'm glad we finally got official Paizo support for playing a Deku Scrub. It's about damn time

Personally I hope not, I have lingering resentment towards people calling funghi plants in rpgs.

Right up there with bucklers and "long swords"


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PF1 had fungus leshies.

I don't think the thing about leshies is that they are nature spirits in plants, precisely, but that they are nature spirits in living bodies that were grown for them. So you can probably make a leshy out of any sort of living material that doesn't move around on its own (so no slime mold leshies I guess.)


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:

The note on leshies getting sustenance from rotting matter immediately got me thinking of shroom leshies. A bit more interesting to my personal tastes than the more traditional types. Is this supported by the lore as a thing that can happen? If so it'd make for a pretty cool heritage.

RE: the ancestry feat I'm glad we finally got official Paizo support for playing a Deku Scrub. It's about damn time

Personally I hope not, I have lingering resentment towards people calling funghi plants in rpgs.

Right up there with bucklers and "long swords"

Sure is convenient that I don't care

Gonna play a shroom leshy and there ain't a damn thing you can do to stop me


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I mean, there are lichen leshies in PF1 as well, and lichens are a symbiosis of a fungus and an algae, neither of which are plants (current taxonomic thinking puts algae in kingdom chromista, separate from plants).

That is, if we're interested in approaching maximal pedantry.

Alternatively we can just conclude the "serves as an appropriate vessel for a leshy" test is:
- Is it alive?
- Is it not an animal?

If yes, go forth and leshy it all ye druids.


Leshie Alchemist would be interesting to me, or even a barbarian named Groot.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Totes adorbs!


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But... aren't Leshy's druids' familiars ? Like, creatures druids litteraly garden to create ?

So you can have a Leaf Druid Leshy with a Leshy familiar ?

........ Am I the only one seeing the problem here ?

The more I see of the Age of Lost Omens, the more I want to keep working on my homebrew setting. Now I'm waiting on the playable Necrocraft, Eidolon and wolf...

I do love leshys and I was happy to see them being full-fledged familiars for druids. But they are familiars. Who need a druid to be created.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Leshies were able to make others of their kind in P1, they didn’t have to have a Druid. Nor were they all Druid’s familiars.

Dark Archive

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Yeah, and wasn't only way to get leshy familiar a druid specific archeype released after the bestiary entries?

(there also was leshy race in 1e)


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Well... Anyone is technically able to create leshies if they have the right knowledge, but it is stated in their descriptions that they most of the time were created by druids. From what I red most of the time druids create leshies, and then older leshies help them create more leshies, but the druid is still the main actor of the creation process.

Also, regardless of how easy or hard it was to have a leshy familiar for a druid, leshies are druid familiars in PF2. I sense awkward situations happening x)

(I never heard of a leshy race in 1e. Are you maybe talking about Ghorans ? If the leshy race does exist in official Paizo 1e material, I'm curious to see it)

(PS : not sure of who you are agreeing with here Corvus, your post is a bit confusing to me @_@)

Dark Archive

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Umm, sorry?

Anyway, the playable leshy race in 1e was the Vine Leshy. Link to Nethys here, it is from Ultimate Wilderness


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I was saying that I did not understand if you were agreeing with my post or Rysky's post (sorry, English isn't my mother language, so maybe I am missing something on your last post ^^")

Oh, Ultimate Wilderness, that explains why I did not hear about it. Well, thanks for the link ! This page still states that leshies need druids to be created, though... The Vine leshy is just really weird to me as an adventurer. I see leshies as the nature equivalent of constructs, golems and necrocrafts, since they have to be created by someone else, and that someone else must have a purpose for them in mind.

I guess I'm just gonna "leaf 'em" =/

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There's so much confusion about those leshies, I guess they should hand out some informative

*shades*

leaflets.

*exits stage right*


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Rek Rollington wrote:
I AM GROOT!

I am groot!

Silver Crusade

Ardent wrote:


But not going to lie would of much rather had Centaurs

Yeah none of the ancestries in the book attractive to me, but I would be absolutely on board for a centaur ancestry.


I love the drawing of the Leaf Leshy. It looks adorable and sinister at the same time.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I can hardly wait to make a Leshy Monk whose ranged alternative is a flurry of seedpods.
What do you mean alternative I am going to make a deku scrub monk work and nobody can stop me
The second one is giving me some Odolwa vibes.

There is a monster in the newest Starfinder bestiary that is pretty much an evil fey moon. Paizo is really setting things up to get me to make the Majora's Mask adventure I've always wanted.

Liberty's Edge

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this is great, anychance for an additional resources for PFS - PF2 anytime soon, I love having these options, but what can I use in PFS????

Liberty's Edge

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Leshies are probably the best solution to marking the "plant race" check box I've seen. The name has mythological origins and they look distinct and varied. And they evolved a place in the setting and world.

They're better than D&D's Killoren and Wilden. Or the weirdness that was ghoran.


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Jester David wrote:

Leshies are probably the best solution to marking the "plant race" check box I've seen. The name has mythological origins and they look distinct and varied. And they evolved a place in the setting and world.

They're better than D&D's Killoren and Wilden. Or the weirdness that was ghoran.

Hey, I loved Wilden! "The primal world's defense mechanism against outside threats like aberrations" was a cool concept, and I liked them being a young race.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
I have no idea what a mortic is.
Humanoid creature infused with necromantic energy who is not undead. You can become one by being exposed to too much negative energy (and not dying, most things will just die in this situation, but some will become mortics.)

Similar to a revenant then?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
I have no idea what a mortic is.
Humanoid creature infused with necromantic energy who is not undead. You can become one by being exposed to too much negative energy (and not dying, most things will just die in this situation, but some will become mortics.)
Similar to a revenant then?

No?

Revenants are a specific type of undead.

Grand Lodge

ulgulanoth wrote:
Sweet we get Leshies, I wonder if there will be leshy ancestral feats for different kinds of plants to base of the leshy

Oh I'm sure that's exactly what the Leshy heritages will be. But heritage specific ancestry feats? That would be fun.


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My fungal leshy is going to be shaped like a gnoll. He will be a Fungnoll.


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My kids LOVE Leshys. Please work them into the official miniatures, it can be really hard to find minis for characters like Leshys, Gathians, Gorhans, and Wrywood that are somewhat exclusive to Pathfinder.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Also, kitsunes plz

Don't make us wait years before we get a Tian Xia book :(


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Paladinosaur wrote:
Not my cup of tea.

Drop them in boiling water and they will be.

Liberty's Edge

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keftiu wrote:
Jester David wrote:

Leshies are probably the best solution to marking the "plant race" check box I've seen. The name has mythological origins and they look distinct and varied. And they evolved a place in the setting and world.

They're better than D&D's Killoren and Wilden. Or the weirdness that was ghoran.

Hey, I loved Wilden! "The primal world's defense mechanism against outside threats like aberrations" was a cool concept, and I liked them being a young race.

The problem with new races is they're often forced. Tacked-on. They didn't exist in the lore or game and just appear one day, but are meant to be somewhat common and found throughout the Inner Sea/world so they can be used in most campaigns.

To me it always invokes this trope: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RememberTheNewGuy

Which is awkward if they're not tied to existing or monsters. There's less backstory. Especially given there's so many "deadly plant" monsters already.

The wilden have that problem, but don't even *try* to fix it and add lore or make them fit the world(s). They're just brand new. Which is weird. People should be treating them like monsters.
Their origin as a response to the Far Realm and the world fighting back is neat. But there's not a lot of "why". Why now? What's changed?


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Uchuujin wrote:
Paladinosaur wrote:
Not my cup of tea.
Drop them in boiling water and they will be.

Terrible, but funny - but terrible!

It would certainly be another way to make hags & ogres even nastier!

Carry on,

--C.

. . . Still terrible!!
>:D


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I mean, the best tea comes from the very young leaves or buds from the Camelia sinesis plant, and Leshies continue to grow leaves more or less constantly if the amount of shedding in the art is to be believed.

So you could totally have a Leshy that is grown out of a tea shrub whose druid pal harvests (sustainably) for high quality teas.

However, keeping your leshy pal under a tarp for 3 weeks to promote chemical changes in the leaves to affect tea flavor is almost certainly an evil act.


So...

Leshy druid of the leaf with leshy familiar..

Lil overkill?


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MagnusPrime wrote:

So...

Leshy druid of the leaf with leshy familiar..

Lil overkill?

Don't talk to me or my son ever again

Shadow Lodge

So, you can have a leshy druid who wants to sort of propgate the species, I guess?

I always wondered if, because of how they worked, raising/resurrecting them worked differently from how it usually works.

Also, this is more a gripe about players than leshies themselves, but I'm bracing myself for a bunch of "Chaotic Neutral" PFS leshies who insult the other PCs' players directly for, say, daring to be so mean as to fight back against the hungry undeads who're just desperate for lunch! They should play the scenario over! (preferably without belligerent players)

Though I expect some Good-aligned leshies would feel sorry for meaty people having to eat one another to survive.


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Very cute. I liked the old cute little Final Fantasy Mandragora looking designs better than these more humanoid ones though. They kind of lost some of the old charm.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Subparhiggins wrote:
Very cute. I liked the old cute little Final Fantasy Mandragora looking designs better than these more humanoid ones though. They kind of lost some of the old charm.

They still have those too.


A leshy can look pretty much however the hell you want, given that it seems they can be made out of anything that's alive and isn't an animal.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Cthulhusquatch wrote:
My fungal leshy is going to be shaped like a gnoll. He will be a Fungnoll.

Trying to figure out how to pronounce this aloud is giving me a headache, I hope you are happy. :P


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:
Cthulhusquatch wrote:
My fungal leshy is going to be shaped like a gnoll. He will be a Fungnoll.
Trying to figure out how to pronounce this aloud is giving me a headache, I hope you are happy. :P

Funnel. On its birthday it gets Fungnoll cake.


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Well, Leshies look like perfect monks. Seedpod finally allows a monk to flurry with a ranged attack and wis/con/free boost and flaw int are a great monk starting stats.

Ki strike [flurry of seedpods]
Tiger/wolf/dragon stance still allows other unarmed past the stance strike.
elemental/stunning fist on seedpods.

Now if we can just figure out a seedpods range...

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