a fey druid species for dungeons and dragons

m. werneburg, 2012.12.12

I'm adopting the Dungeons and Dragons game "Labyrinth Lord" to suit my tastes—the changes have required a fey druid race of tall thin giants. Here's why: Tolkein elves are fine as a nominally distinct species from men. But high-born hauteur, powerful magic use, metal-smithing, and stunning architecture don't jibe with communing with nature and immunity from weather. They're just to super, too Mary-Sue. Something had to give.

So my elves are long-lived know-it-alls who live in small but stately cities and study the same eye-of-newt magic as humans. That leaves a lot of ground uncovered, a space suited for a people disinterested in cities and trade, but passionate about the natural order and natural magic. By the time I'd done roughing out that species, I realized that what I had designed was a taciturn, reclusive species of faun-druids.


The Erdei are a fey race, expanding in the great boreal forests and moving into lands abandoned by humans or halflings. They differ from other demi-humans in having the horns and cloven feet of goats and naturally commanding druidic magic. Far taller than humans, they are also much more skinny. Stern and aloof, they regard humans and the other demi-humans as defilers of the natural order.

Erdei weave magic that comes from the great trees of the world, the high peaks and the western winds. The sun, the moon, the earth, the elements, and all things associated with these forces are their guidance. Their ambitions and methods are often not understood, which makes them objects of both fascination and fear. Erdei can be seen as "holy warriors" in allegiance to nature.

Erdei can speak Common, the Erdei tongue, Gnolltalk, and Goblish.

They are also averse to steel, and will not use steel weapons and armor. They frequently pursue bronze weapons fashioned specially for them by the dwarves. They can make use of wooden shields.

Additional abilities

Wilderness Survival: All erdei have learned to harvest the bounty of nature to survive. They may use this ability in untamed lands to forage in order to supply food and water for themselves and up to three other creatures with normal appetites. This takes four hours a day.

Erdei may hide in forests and scrubland as easily as halflings hide in shadows.

Tracking: The Erdei may determine if a creature has passed through an wilderness area recently, and track it. On a particularly successful roll, the Erdei may glean more specific details about their target (at the referee's discretion). The DC on the Erdei level progression table is 2d4-1.

3rd level: Beginning at third level, for each level of experience druids may select an additional language from the following list: Dryad, Dwarvel, Elvese, Lizardfolk, Manticore, or Treant.

From this level, any party that camps in the wilderness with a druid heals 1d6.

5th level: Erdei gain the ability to identify animals and plants. In addition, they may discern whether water or food is pure, safe, or poisoned. Erdei gain the ability to pass through thick vegetation with neither a penalty to movement rate nor any evidence of their passing.

7th level: Erdei may assume any normal animal form three times per day, from as small as a bat or rat to as large as approximately twice human size, such as a bear. A specific animal shape may be taken only one time per day, for unlimited duration. While in the form of an animal the Erdei has all of the physical properties of that animal, while retaining his normal mental state. Transitioning from one form to another allows the druid to heal 1d6x10% of any damage that has been sustained to the previous form. At 7th level Erdei become immune to Charm or charm-like effects from sylvan beings.

9th level: May create magic potions. See the wizard skill of crafting magical items.

11th level: May speak with animals. May receive visions from the spirit world. When the druid has spent at least eight hours in a location, they will be granted a vision of significance. Roll 2d6: On a 10+ the vision will be clear and helpful to you. On a 7–9 the vision is unclear, its meaning murky. On a miss, the vision is upsetting, frightening, or traumatizing.

13th level: May speak with plants.

15th level: No longer requires food and drink.

17th level: Any die roll on a vision below 9 is now treated as a 7-9 as from 11th level.

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