Some monsters are hot messes, and this makes them stupid. Some monsters are hot messes, and this makes them awesome. A shapechanging, child-devouring porcupine-man whose quills raise the dead as zombies…? What’s not to love about that!?! (In a monster I mean. Public service announcement: Kids, eating babies is wrong. Don’t eat that baby.)
I’m surprised the pukwudgie isn’t considered fey, but maybe that’s because of its origin—it’s a Native American creature from New England rather than some kind of English bogey. That said, I don’t think anyone will complain if you put one in a faerie-focused adventure. Given their necromantic abilities, maybe they are fallen fey instead—porcupine or hedgehog spirits whose attraction to dark powers cost them their connection to the natural world.
Also, pukwudgies have a host of abilities that let them weaken characters—and monitor that weakness. A PC who goes down fighting a cult of pukwudgies is not going to be ignored—he’s going to get a death knell. Players, you’ve been warned.
Children are going missing. Dead men shamble through the streets at night. Townsfolk blame the Witch of the Woods, a local menace though driven off. Investigation reveals that the witches cabin is empty and ruined—in fact, the shattered shack looks like it fell from the sky. A pukwudgie has taken up residence inside, and it is responsible for the deaths and the zombies. Worse yet, the cabin was magical in nature, larger on the inside than out, and as the enchantments decay strange extradimensional things are beginning to emanate from somewhere else…
A village’s orange stands have been cut down, as if by giant beavers or porcupines, and the logs used to block up the local wells. Three homes have burned to the ground. And only hardened gunslingers and fighters will leave town due to undead attacks. A cult of pukwudgies riding zombie antelopes and mountain lions is on the loose. But what foul goal or necromantic rite is making them move so brazenly?
Decimated by illness and bulette attacks, a tribe is not able to pay the wampum levy to the Fireheart nation. They recruit adventurers to seek out the wampum bird, a kind of magical roc whose feathers rain shells. But a pudwudgie sees an opportunity to ruin the tribe for good, and seeks to kill the adventurers before they can harvest the purple shells.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 3 223
Prompted by A.A. yesterday, I tried to strike a conciliatory tone re: 4e and D&D Next. The ever-feisty filbypott was having none of it.