View Full Version : Adrift in Faerie - Help with Classes for a D&D 3.5 E6 Fairy Tale Game!

2008-10-06, 09:33 PM
I'm co-DMing a game with a friend of mine, and he's created a campaign setting that is best described as fu- er, fouled-up fairy tales. He's taking on the story and setting, whereas I have a bit better head for the rules system, so I'm coaching him through that and trying to fit some races, classes, and feats to his world. The system we're using is E6 (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=352719), which, as a quick summary for the uninitiated, works exactly the same as vanilla D&D with a level cap of 6, after which the character gains only feats. As a result, the character archetypes I am trying to create are not necessarily required to be balanced up to 20th level, rather, I want them to be able to function well in a 6th level party without overpowering other classes or not contributing. I've got a fair handle on the theme of each, but I want a little advice on them. Classes that are being taken out are Monk and Paladin, because neither really fits the flavor of the world correctly. Everyone else is staying in, plus two new additions: The Woodsman and the Feral Brute.

First up, we have The Woodsman. He represents the archetypical heroic woodsman who shows up at the end of the story to stop the witch, slay the wolf, protect the princess, or save the children. While rangers are still in the world, we thought that Drizzt style two-weapon rangers were a little off-flavor, so we decided to remove them and split the Ranger class. Rangers still exist as written, they're just called Huntsmen and can only take the archery path. The idea we had for the woodsman was sort of a slightly heavier, woods-wise character with a few defensive abilities evocative of the Paladin. He's also really, really unfinished up for evaluation - I think he's balanced, at least..

The Woodsman
Hit Die: d10
Skills: 2+Int/Level
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

+0|Favored Enemy, Track, Wild Empathy


+1|Aura of Courage

+1|Animal Messenger, Woodland Stride

+1|Trackless Step

+2|Cleaving Smite [/table]

Ok! Here's version 1.0!
Favored enemy: As the first-level ranger ability, except the woodsman only receives one. The Woodsman can use a ritual to change his favored enemy, but it comes at a (yet-to-be-determined) cost.
Track: As the feat, the Woodsman can employ his knowledge to track his foes.
Wild Empathy: As the first level ranger ability.
Cleave: Flavorwise, we see the Woodsman as primarily an axe wielder, so he gets Cleave in the place of Rapid Shot or Two-Weapon fighting at second level.
Aura of Courage: At third level, our plucky hero gets Aura of Courage, behaving exactly like the paladin ability of the same name. This represents the Woodsman's long training against the horrors that lurk in the wild places.
Animal Messenger: At fourth level, the Woodsman truly becomes a part of the fraternity of Woodsmen, and gains the spell-like ability to use Animal Messenger once per two class levels per day, using his class level as his caster level.
Woodland Stride: At fourth level, the Woodsman gains the extraordinary ability to pass through tangles of wild growth freely, as the 2nd level druid ability.
Trackless Step: At fifth level, the Woodsman's skill and prowess as a tracker renders him untrackable by normal means, as the 3rd level druid ability.
Cleaving Smite: At sixth level, the Woodsman gains the ability to perform a cleaving smite with a normal melee attack once per day. He adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his attack roll, and deals an extra 1 point of damage per Woodsman level. If this attack reduces his target to 0 or fewer hit points, the Woodsman's cleave feat is activated. The target of the Woodsman's first cleave attempt is also subject to a smite.

The next class is the Feral Brute. His theme is someone touched by madness or by fey - often the same thing in this campaign, really. They've lost a bit of their humanity, and gained animalistic power and wariness. Monks are too lawful, too strange, and too off-flavor for this setting. Someone who gets a little too back to nature, or is cursed to be that way, is a bit better.

The Feral Brute
Hit Die: d8
Skill Points: 4+Int/Level
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

+0|Brutal Strike(-2), Unarmed Attack(1d6)

+0|Evasion, Fearsome Bellow(+/-1, 1/day)

+1|Unchained Mind, Swift Agility(+2)

+1|Unarmed Attack(1d8), Fearsome Bellow(+/-2, 2/day)

+1|Brutal Strike(-1), Armor Bonus(+1)

+2|Fearsome Bellow(+/-3, 3/day), Swift Agility(+4) [/table]

As you can see, this one's a bit more done.
Unarmed Strike: Performs exactly like the 1st-level monk ability of the same name. May be used in light armor (as may everything below).
Brutal Strike: Rather than the monk's flurry of blows, the Feral Brute specializes in single, powerful strikes. Similar in concept to the monk alternative class feature from the PHBII - Decisive Strike. As a standard action, make one attack with an unarmed strike, using the brute's highest base attack bonus but at a -2 penalty on the attack roll. If the attack hits, it deals double damage. At fifth level, the penalty on the attack roll decreases to -1.
Evasion: As the monk ability of the same name.
Fearsome Bellow: My attempt at a buff/debuff ability. At second level, the brute gains the ability once per day to demoralize foes and empower allies within a 30ft burst centered on himself. This is a sonic, mind-affecting, fear ability. As a standard action, the Brute makes an Intimidate check. Enemies within the burst make a will save vs his check result. If they fail, they take a -1 penalty on attacks and damage for a number of rounds equal to the Brute's level. At the same time, allies within the burst gain a +1 morale bonus to all saving throws for the same duration. At 4th level, the bonuses and penalties increase to +/-2, and the Brute gains an additional use/day. At 6th level, the bonuses and penalties increase to +/-3, and the Brute can use the ability 3 times/day. The Brute can activate Fearsome Bellow only once per encounter.
Unchained Mind: Like the Monk ability Still Mind, at 3rd level the Brute gains a +2 bonus on saving throws vs. enchantment spells and effects.
Swift Agility: At 3rd level, the Brute gains a +2 bonus to Swim, Climb, and Jump. At 6th level these bonuses increase to +4.
Armor Bonus: At 5th level, the Brute gains a +1 dodge bonus to armor class. This works with light or no armor.

Looks like people like the flavor and power level of the brute. Any suggestions or comments on the finished Woodsman?
Again, thank you for your suggestions!

2008-10-06, 09:37 PM
Hello all. The other co-DM here (with my first forum post!)

The OP asked me to fill this space with some world background and flavor text. It's going to come in waves, so bear with me, there's a lot!
One of the big things I need help with is names, especially for cities. Anything would be great!

*Completed(ish) - Intro; Races and Classes; Religion; Whitefield, Langland, Briarwood, The Southern Empire, Catalan & Rus
Next update - Rema, The Northern Waste, The Wilds*

The section of the world that we're dealing with is dominated by The Seven Great Kingdoms: Rus, Whitefield, Catalan, Briarwood, The Southern Empire, Rema, and Langland. Each is ruled by a royal family and each is in a tenuous peace with the others, with the exception of Catalan and Rus, which are currently at war with each other. There are other, mysterious and exotic places in this world (which, if I ever develop them will correspond to Arabic and Asian folklore) but the focus is on The Seven Great Kingdoms (and European stories/lore).

Races and Classes


Humans are the primary inhabitants of the world. So ... yeah, I didn't feel any need to mess with them.
Dwarves are known to exist within the mountains and in a few, secluded, locations above ground. They are very insular but mostly unchanged. Some Dwarves will come to the surface either on a specific mission or on a general "do good" mission. Everything Dwarves do, they do with passion and zeal.
Dwarves are former Fey, but were cast out of the Otherworld due to some unspecified crime at some point in the past. They are constantly trying to make-up for their ancestor's error. Thus, their few adventurers.

Elves and Gnomes are types of Fey. Meaning they are immortal demi-gods dwelling in the mysterious and fluid Otherworld. As such, they are unfit for PCs.
Halflings come from an island nation somewhere to the west. They range from a few inches tall to a few feet. Almost all of the travelers to The Seven Kingdoms are of the few feet variety (and therefore, any PCs will be unchanged, mechanically). They travel because they are curious about the "big-folk" and generally seek to enhance themselves and their culture, to various degrees, depending on temperament. They are eternal tourists.
The half-breeds (elf, orc, etc.) take hated and feared to a whole new level. Almost always the result of rape, these extraordinarily rare beings posses unearthly blood and bizarre abilities. Very rarely, a hero of sorts will arise from their numbers, but this is usually a result of their inhuman parent possessing a certain level of benevolence towards the mortal world. Which. by itself, is VERY unusual among the Fey.
Orcs, Goblins, et al Essentially, all the goblinoids and trolls and ogres and such are considered variations on one race. Certainly one tribe may be fighting with another but they're just different kinds of the same thing (much like there are different kinds of humans) Different tribes dwell in the mountains or the forests or the plains, so these things can be found anywhere. They are believed to originate in (and to have been caused by) The Wilds. Not a PC race.
Flying Monkeys mostly dwell in the mountains and forest regions bordering the mountains. We're borrowing the race from Stormwrack for this purpose. As such, they mostly glide. Curious and playful, the Monkeys don't usually doing things out of malice, but because they think it will be fun. They will often attach themselves to a powerful leader, turning that person into their "alpha." This alpha is not always another Monkey. Their mindset is close to human, but not quite.
Constructs from Tiktok soldiers to Pinocchio, this covers any humanoid creature that is made, not born. Using Warforged (from MM3) stats. Primarily the property of their creators (of buyers), some have worked to purchase their freedom (as any other slave within The 7 Kingdoms could do). Depending on the creator, materials and process, each Construct could have any number of personality quirks. Mass-production is usually not possible, but there are exceptions. Possibly more human than the Flying Monkeys.
Jacks are technically a sub-race of humanity. Every now and then, a child will be born and, as they grow and mature, will become identical to any other number of children in the world. Of course, if this happens in an isolated village, no one will notice anything. These are the Jacks (though they each have the name their parents gave them). Aside from a penchant for mischief and their appearance, they have no unifying trait. Mechanically identical to humans. It is extremely rare that two Jacks will work together, since the physical presence of each other is unpleasant and can become physically painful. Note that most people in the world are unaware of the phenomenon of Jacks.


Barbarians, Fighters, Rouges and Bards stay unchanged. Though most people in this world who fight are Warriors, the occasional elite military member or tribal leader will appear. Rouges are ... rouges. Bards are the same, however their flavor is different. Their magic comes, not from music, but from bits of spells that they've *ahem* acquired or pieced together. Which leads us right into ...
Wizards are almost entirely nobility. Meaning that those born noble can become Wizards. The social elite are the only ones who can afford training in a world where magic is mysterious, precious and dangerous. Most Wizards are in the direct employ of their government. Some Kingdoms maintain "Warlock Corps" within their armies, though these are usually small units.
Sorcerers on the other hand, are those touched by the Fey. Tapping directly into the Otherworld. These beings (some don't even consider them human) turn their dreams into reality through some arcane mean. This is not without its dangers, since ANY contact with the Fey and the Otherworld can result in madness, abduction or worse.
Paladins and Monks don't really fit into this world. While there are soldiers of The Church, they are Fighters or Clerics.
Rangers are being split into two classes, the Huntsman and the Woodsman. The Huntsman is identical to the Ranger except that he must take the archery path. The Woodsman is up for review above!
Clerics are the servants of God and The Church. See the Religion Section for more information on this world. Mechanically they are unchanged.
Druids are still undergoing their flavor overhaul but I don't want to scrap them altogether yet, since I feel like I could use the mechanics. They will probably get folded into the Woodsman and cut out.
Any others are rare and subject to approval for PCs. Some might be from "Other, Exotic Realms" TM


The Church is a power in and of itself. The Patriarch's Seat is within the Catalan capital city. Teachings revolve around The One True God with a number of heroes and local minor spirits being venerated as saints. All celestial beings are God's servants. The demarcation between devil and demon doesn't exist, all such creatures would be called demons, when someone in The Kingdoms talks about a devil, he is talking about The Devil. Due to the universal nature of The Church's teachings, clerics can draw from almost any domain. Of course, different orders within The Church stress different messages, and as such, their clerics have specific domains that they focus on.

The church welcomes and trains druid-esque and shaman-esque priests that deal with "God's creations" and "God's special children" respectively, allowing the more mundane clerics the freedom to tend to the people.

There are other religious groups but they are mostly minor cults. Usually these will worship demons, Fey or local spirits.

The Realm of Whitefield

Pronounced wit-field. This land is ruled by King Charmant (shar-mont) and Queen Blanche, Whitefield recently became a major power. Blanche is Queen by birth of Arborfield and Charmant is King by birth of Whiteland. Their marriage unified the two kingdoms, causing it to now become the third largest nation in terms of geography and the second largest in terms of population. Of course, the government is having a hard time integrating and keeping up with this increase, but the kingdom as a whole is doing just fine.

Whitefield is the single largest agricultural producer in the 7 Kingdoms, as well as having fine industries of foresting and mining, with some fishing as well.
The land is bisected by a river (the former demarcation between Arborfield and Whiteland). To the west of the river (formerly Whiteland) is mostly farmland, with the capital city of Whitefield (as of yet unnamed) on the western coast. In the former Arborfield, it is mostly wild forest, while there are a number of small, scattered settlements, the only city is the former capital or Arborfield (again, still unnamed). The kingdoms eastern boarder made up of mountains. Here be dwarvess. To the north of Whitefield lies Briarwood, to the southwest is the Southern Empire and to the Southeast is Catalan. Whitefield also borders The Wilds.

Charmant and Blanche are Charming and Snow White, plus a decade or so. They are still very in love and comparatively good rulers.

This is the land where the players will start their adventure, in the village of Hamlin, located in the north-west edge of Whitefield.

The Kingdom of Briarwood

100 years ago, the royal family of Briarwood vanished (taking their castle and it's inhabitants with them. Terrified of what would happen to their kingdom, the people turned to Duke William, the King's cousin, to take the throne. Which he did. Now, his grandson Nolan rules. Recently, Nolan's eldest daughter married the Marquis de Carabas, a charming young man with a charming feline adviser. Unfortunately, Prince Cole, Nolan's younger brother, went off adventuring and claims to have found the lost castle and to have awakened the lost royals from a curse. Now the land is torn by civil war. As if this wasn't enough, the northern boarder of Briarwood is swamped with refugees from Langland.

The Marquis' feline adviser is Puss In Boots at the end of the tale and ready for more adventures. Cole has awakened, or claims to have awakened, Sleeping Beauty. Nolan is a fair king but, if this girl is legitimate, the crown is rightfully hers. And in a world where the connection between king and country is a literal one, this is very important.

While Briarwood has its own agriculture, fishing, forestry and mining, they are the undisputed masters of trade among the 7 Kingdoms. As the only Kingdom with anything resembling peaceful relationships with the Fey, the Feycraft that Briarwood can sell is unique in the world.

Briarwood is bordered by mountains to the east and northeast, Whitefield to the south, the ocean to the west and Langland to the northwest.

The Ruins of Langland

Langland was once a relatively nice place to be. Anyplace bordering the Northern Waste has it's dangers but it's inhabitants were happy. Then the Prince got married. The new Princess was fine, if a little odd. And when the couple became King and Queen, her eccentricities were overlooked. Then she began implementing "plans." At first the plans where to defeat the Ice Giants coming from the North, but then the plan was to punish tax-evaders and other crimes and then, the plan was to go hunting. All the plans were the same, fire. By the time anyone with the power to do anything realized the depths of the Queen's insanity and pyromania, it was too late. The King was dead, with most of the Capital City and all of the surrounding wilderness totally gone. And more of Langland is consumed, those outside the kingdom who have heard of this have now taken to calling the ruler of Langland The Ash Queen. It is unclear who, if anyone can stop Mad Queen Ella.

Cinderella, gone mad with power, has become Queen and has begun to destroy the land and its people. Seeing the fireplace from her old home as a surrogate womb, with the fire itself the only thing that gave her company, she has been giving her "friend" her kingdom. Needless to say, many people have fled south to Briarwood.

Langland, or The Ashlands as the names are now interchangeable, is bordered by the ocean and the mountains to the west and east, respectively. To the south lies Briarwood. To the north is The Northern Waste. The Ashlands maintain The Western Shield Wall at that northern boarder, repelling the Ice Giants and other monsters that attempt to attack from the north. The Shield Wall is primarily maintained by the Langland military and The Church, though there are soldiers from all of The Seven Kingdoms present. They have not fled Queen Ella's rampage, in part because of their duty and in part because they would have to travel the entire length of Langland to escape.

The Ashlands have to current economy to speak of. It has cut off trade with the outside world and Queen Ella doesn't care how her subjects get food and supplies, she only cares out the fire.

The Southern Empire

Ruled by King(Emperor) Jacob, the Empire is a collection of lesser fiefdoms that banded together so as to become a major player. Their council fell, as such councils will, to petty infighting and was eventually usurped by the current royal family. The descendants of the original nobles still rule their lands but all answer to Jacob. The Empire is incredible prosperous at the moment, and its citizens are enjoying the peace and wealth! Such that no one but the nobility has noticed that the King's eldest son has recently gone missing. Not that anyone minds though, the Prince was always a selfish brat to begin with, and with the heir out of the way ...

While the Empire has both agriculture and forestry, it doesn't have a great deal. With the largest landmass in the Empire jutting out into the ocean, the salted winds make for poor crops and poor wood. Any fishing and trade that might occur is offset by a large number of pirates that prey upon the Empire. This economic situation is stable, but not one that could promote wealth. Those who look at such things wonder (though not loudly) where the Empire's money is coming from.

Shortly after Jacob married his wife, she confessed that she had obtained his hand through trickery, she could not spin straw into gold. Jacob, far from being upset, was impressed by his wife and instantly formed a plan. They sent their most trusted servants to find and capture the Fey creature, Rumpelstiltskin. They were successful and the King's most powerful Wizards have bound the creature to Jacob's service. He works day and night, providing the Empire all the wealth it will ever need. Jacob thought he was secure, his place in history all but assured. Then, his son pissed of a woman who may have been an enchantress (read: independent Wizard), may have been a Fay or may have been something else altogether. The Prince has, of course, been transformed into a Beast and been subsequently squirreled away by his parents to a remote castle, while they, and the royal Wizards, look for a cure.

The Southern Empire is surrounded on the northwest, west and south by the ocean. To the east lies The Wilds and to the northeast is Whitefield.


Catalan exists in a bizarre duality. Sliding back and forth from prosperity to near poverty and back again. Being the smallest nation, geographically speaking and under constant danger from The Wilds takes its toll on the kingdoms agriculture and fishing industries. However, as the seat of The Church, Catalan is reinforced by divine power and trade from pilgrims. It is also helpful that no one would dare attack the capital city (and by extension, The Church). Coming off a fairly successful few years, Rus has declared war with Catalan over a disputed piece of territory known only as The Pass. The Pass is the only strip of land between the Mountains and the Ocean and, as such, is the only link between the western and eastern kingdoms. As such, King Gregory has gone off to war.

Catalan is bordered on the south by the ocean, on the west by The Wilds, on the north by Whitefield and to the east by the disputed territory.


Rus is mysterious and foreign. The only kingdom with it's own language, Rus has always been seen as a potential threat by the western kingdoms. Now, with their war on Catalan, many worry that the threat is being realized. Ruled by King(Tsar) Ivan, Rus is the single largest country in the known world. However it's population is not. Most people in Rus are contained. In part because the bitter cold coming off the mountains and the north. But mostly because the dangers of the forest are greatly increased in Rus. A large chunk of the land is controlled by a woman believed to be the world's most powerful witch, Baba Yaga. Rus maintains the Eastern Shield Wall. Mostly populated by Rus military and The Church, it does contain soldiers from all Seven Kingdoms.

Rus gets by primarily through forestry and fishing. Unofficially, Rus employs several sailing ships that, under other circumstances, might be called pirates.

Rus is bordered to the north by The Northern Wastes, the east by the ocean, the west by the mountains, the southeast by Rema and the southwest by the disputed territory, which has become the battleground with Catalan.


Seriously, I've got stuff to put here! :smallbiggrin:

The Northern Wastes

What? Every great fantasy setting has a "North"

The Wilds

An area of untamed forest overrun by magic.

The Ocean

I might put a bit here about the Ocean and various islands.

The Mountains

I need a name for them!

The Otherworld

This is a big maybe

2008-10-07, 07:54 AM
As mentioned, Smite seems good for L6 Woodsman. Trackless Step and Woodland Stride (the Druid abilities) might fit in those L4 and 5 holes.

2008-10-07, 02:17 PM
I agree with AstralFire on the abilities.

That's a really cool idea for a campaign setting, though I admit I'm a bit biased. Some others and I have been doing a lot of conceptual development on fey material that I hope you'll consider borrowing/adapting for your world. Called Songs of the Sidhe (http://dicefreaks.forumz.cc/viewforum.php?f=13), it includes some new low-level fey which would probably suit the style of your setting quite well, especially the child-impersonating huldrebarn (http://dicefreaks.forumz.cc/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=251).

I haven't had time to read through the whole thing, but I think Whitefield sounds like a good starting locale, and the concepts behind the two new classes are solid. The progression of the brute's bellow seems awfully fast, but shouldn't be an issue so long as you're capping at level 6.

2008-10-07, 04:17 PM
I'm sorry, but to me "Knight in Shining Armor"/"White Knight", just SCREAM paladin... or is the setting too fouled up to have those?

2008-10-07, 08:58 PM
Thanks everyone for the input so far!

@AstralFire: Jedi and I will discuss! I'm always a fan of Druid stuff.

@MythMage: Why thank you! I will defiantly look over Song of the Sidhe. It also looks very cool! I can already see some stuff to work in if/when my players encounter the Fey. That huldrebarn looks awesome! I might have to build a reason for the PCs to meet it. Yeah, if the Brute were to go to 20, there would be some overhauling but as it stands I think we'll be fine (and I don't think any of the players will build a character with it anyway, it's mostly for a couple NPCs I have)

@DracoDei: In retrospect, I totally agree. And the setting does support White Knights et al. Jedi and I have decided to go through and make some minor changes to the Paladin in terms of mechanics (since flavor is comparatively easy to change). The biggest change will come because there is no such thing as "Detect Evil" in this world. That spell/ability doesn't really fit in, since this setting is low-fantasy, based more on actual medieval life and folklore than DnD might otherwise be. But I am defiantly going to try and re-work the Paladin into the setting. Well, mostly Jedi will be doing that part ...

2008-10-07, 11:48 PM
@AstralFire: OK, I took your suggestions to heart and finished off the Woodsman. I'm a little leery of Cleaving Smite - I know the wording is off, I'll fix that tomorrow. Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

That said, next I'll be checking over the current list of base classes for any tweaks that need to be made to better suit the campaign setting and the E6 system in general - the beauty of E6, though, is that most of the broken shenanigans *can't* start that early.

First target, the Ranger Archer Huntsman!

@DracoDei: We had discussed the matter a little bit. I was originally in favor of dropping the paladin and shifting his abilities onto the Woodsman and the Fighter - in the fighter's case, as a feat tree. The basis for this was that someone as well trained as to have levels in Fighter was also likely to be a candidate to be a knight, and that in this world divine power is not necessarily a requirement for knighthood. It still isn't, but the paladin does fit the flavor after some tweaks.

Grey Watcher
2008-10-08, 12:19 AM
Well, some quicky and dirty tweaks to the Paladin that I've heard of in the past are as follows:

1: Replace Detect Evil with Discern Lies. It fulfills a similar role, without painting everything in quite such starkly black and white terms (after all, you don't know why they're lying, or even necessarily what the truth is).

2: Change either the Paladin's specific ability, or even the spells in general from Protection from/Magic Circle against [alignment] to Protection from/Magic Circle against [type]. Thus, your knight in shining armor can still protect himself or an ally from an ill-natured fairy, but this protection works because said fairy is a fairy, and not because she's ill-natured (read: evil).