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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Back in 2006, Dragon Magazine #339 featured a variant druid called the Sidhe Scholar, which was flavored as a civilised soul who acquired druidic magic not through the "old ways", but by perusing ancient tomes until they made contact with the Sidhe - nature-aligned fae. As a consequence, they had lower hit dice (D6 to the core druid's D8) and worse combat proficiencies (only proficient with simple weapons, light armor and shields), but they gained Skill Focus (Knowledge [Nature]) as a bonus feat, a fae-blooded animal companion who was more powerful but also hated civilisation and so wouldn't come to you in cities, a bonus to Knowledge (Arcana) and Survival checks, increased bonus spells, a vague "your wild shaped forms don't look natural" fluff-flaw, the Evil domain bonus spells added to their spell list, and Craft (Staff) as a bonus feat.

    For those wanting to see the class exactly how it appeared in 3.5, check the link below:
    http://alcyius.com/USRD/srd/classes/...#sidhe-scholar

    Anyway, my reason for coming here is simple: with the new Circle of Dreams subclass out for Druids, I was reminded of this class, and I was curious: how would people play a Sidhe Scholar using 5e mechanics?
    • Circle of Dreams Druid?
    • Druid (Circle of Dreams)/Wizard multiclass?
    • Fey Pact Warlock?
    • Homebrew Druid subclass?
    • Homebrew Wizard subclass?


    ...Honestly, whilst the Circle of Dreams Druid with perhaps some Wizard/Feylock multiclassing seems the best way to do it as an "official" class, looking over the fluff, I cannot help but feel that the Sidhe Scholar would work best as a Wizard subclass that gained some druidic traits and spells - I mean, seriously, their whole fluff is that they are scholars whose study of the fae amused the Sidhe into bestowing magical powers on them. That feels more like an Int caster than a Wis caster to me.
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Player in my campaign is playing a druid with the scholar background. He's passing the more scholar of nature and less the priest of nature thing because of that and stone of his skill choices.
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    So, I was just drifting back by this topic and I thought I'd give it a once-over to see what a "Sidhe Scholar" as a Wizard Tradition might be like, drawing upon the original variant class for inspiration.

    Bonus Spells: I'm not really sure what spells Druids get relating to faeries that Wizards don't get, but those definitely need to be first and foremost in the bonus spell list. Otherwise, spells relating to animal and plant control... actually, maybe go for something like you get a small list of "fae-themed" bonus spells, plus the ability to swap Wizard Spells for Druid Spells, ala the Theurge getting Cleric Spells at the cost of giving up Wizard Spells?

    Intelligentsia: I don't know if free Nature proficiency is really viable as a class feature. Maybe this can be worked into some other form of idea. Likewise, Blessing of the Fey (+2 to Arcana and Survival checks) probably doesn't really make a lot of sense for a 5e class feature.

    Wild One: Now, this is interesting. Druids don't get Beast Companions anymore, that's right off the table. But, maybe something kin to the Warlock's Chain of the Pact? You get a Fey typed "free" familiar that's beefier than that available to typical wizards. It helps that Pathfinder actually has a range of interesting fae Improved Familiars I want to convert over to 5e, like the Al'miraj, Pipefox and Pooka.

    Sylvan Gifts: This ability to cast spells as if your Wisdom was +2 points higher is... I doubt that the old idea works perfectly in 5e, but maybe there's something we can do here.

    Otherworldly Shifting: This is interesting. I'm actually not a huge fan of the Wild Shape mechanic, but, the ability to take on the form of faerie beasts and maybe full-fledged fey seems like it should be an important feature for the Sidhe Scholar, yes? Though I'd love to talk with folks to figure out how to pull it off without making it overpowered.

    Dark Moon's Secret: Awesome name, but this feature would need to be redone from scratch. The bonus spells it granted in 3e don't even exist anymore in 5e, at least for the most part (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Evil_Domain).

    Sylvan Craft: Making magical staffs? Yeah, that's not on the table anymore.

    Just going completely into scratch territory for a moment, a class feature where you become more fey-like in terms of racial abilities feels very appropriate to me. Maybe as a side-effect of Otherworldly Shifting, maybe as its own thing.

    Still... I do think that the Sidhe Scholar tradition could work for wizards. But I really need somebody willing to talk in order to hammer out the kinks.
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow_in_the_Mist View Post
    But I really need somebody willing to talk in order to hammer out the kinks.
    You expect me to talk, Shadow_in_the_Mist?

    I mean, this is my sort of thing. I'd be happy to help hash something out; it seems like there are some workable ideas here. One thing I will say is that arcane traditions are, as a rule, short on power. The wizard's power is heavily concentrated in the base class and the subclasses are mostly about flavour. To that end, I really don't think there's enough room for Wildshape in there, beyond what the transmuter already has.

    Instead, I'd focus on the familiar and druid spells. A quick check tells me there are 71 druid spells not on the wizard list from the PHB and EE. The 'important' ones are Animal Friendship, Faerie Fire, Goodberry, Speak with Animals, Animal Messenger, Locate Animals or Plants, Conjure Animals, Plant Growth, Speak with Plants, Conjure Woodland Beings, Dominate Beast, Commune with Nature and Tree Stride. That's probably more than you can actually give away in a subclass, so I'd pick out two from each level as a starting point, then maybe build a higher-level feature around giving another one away at-will (probably one of the 'speak with' ones).
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Well, as you said, the default for bonus spells tends to be "two spells per spell level, chosen based on the subrace's theme", as shown in the Warlock and some UA versions of the Sorcerer - who really should get bonus spells, but that's another topic.

    However, the Theurgist tradition for wizards presents an alternative way of handling "cross-class" spell lists:

    Arcane Initiate:
    Beginning when you select this tradition at 2nd level, whenever you gain a wizard level, you can replace one of the wizard spells you add to your spellbook with a cleric domain spell for your chosen domain. The spell must be of a level for which you have spell slots.

    If you add all of your domain spells to your spellbook, you can subsequently add any spell from the cleric spell list instead. The spell must still be of a level for which you have spell slots.

    Any cleric spell you gain from this feature is considered a wizard spell for you, but other wizards canít copy cleric spells from your spellbook into their own spellbooks.
    Obviously, a Druid doesn't have domains like a Cleric. But, I do think that maybe starting with some bonus "nature fae" spells like Commune with Fey being automatic additions, plus an adaptation of the above at a higher level which lets you replace wizard spells with druid spells of your choice, might just work. What do you think?


    As for Wildshape... yeah, it's not really appropriate to give it to the Wizard as a subclass feature. Hmm... Pathfinder has a bunch of different "shapeshifting" spells like Animal Shape and Tree Shape; I don't recall off the top of my head if 5e has anything like that, but maybe converting them and just letting the Sidhe Scholar pick up spells like that would work best - still lets them dabble in fae shapeshifting shenanigans, but assuming beastform isn't as natural to them as it is for a proper druid?
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow_in_the_Mist View Post
    Obviously, a Druid doesn't have domains like a Cleric. But, I do think that maybe starting with some bonus "nature fae" spells like Commune with Fey being automatic additions, plus an adaptation of the above at a higher level which lets you replace wizard spells with druid spells of your choice, might just work. What do you think?
    I think that mixing the systems is overly complicated. I'd stick with one way or the other. Or just make a blanket statement that 'all spells on the druid spell list are added to the wizard spell list and count as wizard spells for you'... might create a bit of a tyranny of choice, but at least it's easy to understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow_in_the_Mist View Post
    Animal Shape and Tree Shape... letting the Sidhe Scholar pick up spells like that would work best - still lets them dabble in fae shapeshifting shenanigans, but assuming beastform isn't as natural to them as it is for a proper druid?
    The 5e answer to this is Polymorph. It's already a wizard spell, and the transmuter already has a Polymorph-based Wildshape substitute as its level 10 feature. You could copy that for this tradition, but I'd try to look for other avenues to explore, purely for the sake of originality.
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Hmm... what to do, what to do... should I bother with fluffing the Sidhe Scholar first, or should I just focus on the crunch and handle that later?

    ...Eh, crunch first, I think. Here's a very early draft of abilities for the Sidhe Scholar as a wizard subclass: what do folks think?

    Faerie Friend is vague about the extra forms this "improved familiar" feature grants because I want to talk about what would or wouldn't be appropriate. For example, I could easily see a Sidhe Scholar having a Sprite, Boggle or Tressym as a familiar, or a Pooka, Skvader or Pipefox if those were converted from PF.


    Level 2: Sylvan Craft
    Beginning when you select this tradition at 2nd level, whenever you gain a wizard level, you can replace one of the wizard spells you add to your spellbook with any spell of your choice from the Druid spell list instead. The spell must be of a level for which you have spell slots. Any druid spell you gain from this feature is considered a wizard spell for you, but other wizards canít copy druid spells from your spellbook into their own spellbooks.

    Level 2: Faerie Friend
    You add the Find Familiar spell to your spellbook and can cast it as a ritual. When you cast Find Familiar, the resultant familiar always has the Fey typing, but it gains some extra benefits. Your familiar can assume the form of certain extra creatures. When you take the Attack action, you can forgo one of your own attacks to allow your familiar to make one attack of its own. Even when taking the form of one of the default creatures available as familiars, a Faerie Friend always appears strange and alien in comparison to mundane members of its kind. This means they cannot pass for anything other than the magical creatures that they are.

    Level 6: Wild One
    You gain Proficiency in Intelligence (Nature) and the ability to cast Speak With Animals and Animal Friendship at will, without needing to use a spell slot to do so. If you already have Proficiency in Intelligence (Nature) when you gain this class feature, it is upgraded to Expertise in Intelligence (Nature).

    Level 10: Dark Moon Secrets
    When you target an enemy with a Wizard spell cast directly by you that requires either a Constitution saving throw or a Wisdom saving throw, you can impose Disadvantage on that enemy's saving throw. This feature does not empower magical effects generated by other casters or from magical items being used by you; only spells that you directly cast. You can use this ability once, and then cannot use it again until you have completed a short rest or a long rest.

    Level 14: Otherworldly Shifting
    You gain the ability to cast Alter Self at will without needing to use a spell slot to do so. Additionally, you gain the Fey Ancestry racial trait, if you do not already have it, and your lifespan increases tenfold; your maximum age is multiplied by factor of 10 and you only age one physical year for every ten chronological years. Finally, if you are slain, you can choose to invoke the power of the faerie immortality: doing this means that once time equivalent to a long rest has passed, you become the target of a Reincarnate spell, which functions even if your body was physically destroyed. After reincarnating through the power of this class feature, you suffer from resurrection sickness, taking a -4 penalty to all attack rolls, saving throws and ability checks. Each time you finish a long rest, this penalty is reduced by 1 until it disappears. You cannot make use of this self-induced reincarnation again until you fully recover from your resurrection sickness (penalty is removed completely).
    Last edited by Shadow_in_the_Mist; 2017-03-31 at 02:30 PM.
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    So, does nobody have any opinions on my last post? Does it make that little sense? Is it that overpowered? I really could use some feedback here.
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Sylvan Craft-Seems okay.

    Faerie Friend-What extra forms? Overall though, seems okay.

    Wild One-Seems okay. One thing I would add is that you either gain a free skill if you already have Nature, or gain Expertise.

    Dark Moon Secrets-WHOA! No no no no no! That is a good once per short rest ability, NOT an always on feature!

    Otherworldly Shifting-You become literally unkillable. Alter Self, Fey Ancestry, and extended lifespan are all fine. Reincarnate WHENEVER YOU DIE? No. Maybe-MAYBE-once per month or something.
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Sylvan Craft-Seems okay.

    Faerie Friend-What extra forms? Overall though, seems okay.

    Wild One-Seems okay. One thing I would add is that you either gain a free skill if you already have Nature, or gain Expertise.

    Dark Moon Secrets-WHOA! No no no no no! That is a good once per short rest ability, NOT an always on feature!

    Otherworldly Shifting-You become literally unkillable. Alter Self, Fey Ancestry, and extended lifespan are all fine. Reincarnate WHENEVER YOU DIE? No. Maybe-MAYBE-once per month or something.
    As I said in the post, I actually want to talk about what extra forms would be appropriate for Faerie Friend, because I do kind of want to bring over a lot of PF stuff and/or update Improved Familiar as an option.

    Making it that Wild One upgrades your Nature Proficiency to Expertise makes sense; many thanks.

    Changing Dark Moon Secrets to a 1/encounter power does sound fitting; I'll change that.

    Is becoming unkillable, at a level when you would have access to Reincarnate and Raise Dead on a regular basis anyway, really make that much of an impact? But, 1/month does sound fair - I was actually wondering if maybe it should be "once in your lifetime", but I think that's honestly underpowered.

    I'll edit the original version with these changes now.
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Well, the issue is, Reincarnate is instant. I'm actually fine with immortal characters-but the issue is, that ability allows you to come back the instant you die.

    Perhaps make it once per long rest, but it takes eight hours to Reincarnate?

    Edit: Although actually, you probably don't even NEED the Reincarnate bit. There's quite a few abilities there already.
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Ah, I see your point. Hmm... what if it takes time equivalent to a long rest before you are revived, you suffer from "resurrection sickness" as per Raise Dead, and you cannot reincarnate on your own again until you get over that resurrection sickness?

    The inspiration was Van Richten's Guide to the Shadow Fey, a 3.5 fey sourcebook which talks about how fey creatures aren't as bound by death as mortals, reincarnating as new kinds of fey whenever slain unless dispatched with sunlight or necromancy. As for whether or not it's needed... well, at that high a level, Alter Self is kind of unimportant, and the longevity is more of a flavor thing than anything.
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow_in_the_Mist View Post
    Ah, I see your point. Hmm... what if it takes time equivalent to a long rest before you are revived, you suffer from "resurrection sickness" as per Raise Dead, and you cannot reincarnate on your own again until you get over that resurrection sickness?

    The inspiration was Van Richten's Guide to the Shadow Fey, a 3.5 fey sourcebook which talks about how fey creatures aren't as bound by death as mortals, reincarnating as new kinds of fey whenever slain unless dispatched with sunlight or necromancy. As for whether or not it's needed... well, at that high a level, Alter Self is kind of unimportant, and the longevity is more of a flavor thing than anything.
    That'd be good.
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Alright, reincarnating has been rewritten. How does it look now?
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow_in_the_Mist View Post
    Alright, reincarnating has been rewritten. How does it look now?
    Tis good. I think this is a pretty well balanced subclass.
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Thank you. I don't suppose you'd be willing to talk about what possible options for Faerie Friends there are?

    I would love to update Improved Familiar as a whole, but figuring out how to do it is a pain. If I can get a better understanding of what is actually fair for a "super" familiar by working here, it might help me in that greater project.

    Just going by kneejerk reactions and beliefs, these are the critters I think make sense as being appropriate for a Faerie Friend...

    5th Edition:
    Pixie (MM): It's the most iconic "little fairy" in D&D so far, and at challenge 1/4, I'm pretty sure it's not too imbalanced. But then, I think the Peryton would make an excellent "familiar you can ride" sub-category Improved Familiar, based on the Complete Warrior in 3.5 letting you take worgs and hippogriffs as familiars, so what do I know?

    Sprite (MM): Warlocks can already take this as part of the Pact of the Chain, so why not the fae-aligned Sidhe Scholars?

    Faerie Dragon (MM): It's one of the most iconic faerie familiars in all of D&D, I don't get why it's not already allowed.

    Tressym (Storm King's Thunder): It's a flying cat that can detect invisible things and poison. Sounds pretty "faerie" to me. Plus, it already comes with an official "this is familiar material" note in the adventure.

    Boggle (VGTM): It's a small, weak fey-typed creature whose fluff already includes a tendency to serve magical masters like hags and formorians, which are basically faerie witches and warlocks to begin with.

    Chitine (VGTM): It is small, weak and fae in origin (Fey Ancestry), plus they do have a history of being willing to work alongside other races... but, on the other hand, they've actually been playable in their last two appearances, so that might be kind of weird.

    Redcap (VGTM): Really unsure of this. It's not that powerful (Challenge 1), and I'd feel confident in letting the familiar bond replace the need for murder, plus there's actually histor-mythical precedent in having redcaps serving evil wizards in the real world. Still, definitely can be talked out of this one.


    Pathfinder:
    For reference, check this handy-dandy link: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/genera...oved-familiar/

    Al'miraj: It's a carnivorous unicorn bunny that had teleportation abilities when it appeared in D&D and has a petrifying stab ability here in PF. The 5e version would need some tinkering to work, but still, it feels "magical" enough to be a Sidhe Scholar's companion to me.

    Brownie: Rounding out the trinity of small fey alongside the Pixie and the Sprite, I'm not too sure what the Brownie would actually look like in terms of stats in 5e, but that's a matter for later - focusing on figuring out what critters do and don't sound "fey enough" for the Sidhe Scholar.

    Carbuncle: As with the Al'miraj, this just sounds very fae, although I do admit that carbuncles were always a pretty jokey race and I'm not set on them returning in 5e.

    Cat Sith: These are faerie cats in the real world mythology, and they just fit the motif of being fey, I think.

    Nycar: I'm kind of torn on whether or not "tiny, snake-dragon" actually sounds like the sort of thing you could find in the Feywild...

    Pipefox: ...It's a furry snake with a fox's head that loves books. How does that not sound like a Feywild denizen?

    Pooka: This one does worry me in terms of its challenge rating (2), but at its core, a shapeshifting beast-sprite is just so fae that it feels like an obvious choice.

    Pyrausta: Like the Nycar, it's technically a dragon, but a tiny little spark-spitting mantis-dragon does sound the kind of weirdness you'd meet up with in the Feywild, don't you think?

    Skvader: It's a flying bunny. Perfect "faerie companion" material in my book.

    Wolpertinger: It's a Skvader with horns and fangs. What more needs to be said?

    Xioa: A flying monkey; what more can you expect of a faerie?
    Last edited by Shadow_in_the_Mist; 2017-03-31 at 04:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow_in_the_Mist View Post
    Pipefox: ...It's a furry snake with a fox's head that loves books. How does that not sound like a Feywild denizen?
    I'm afraid I've been too busy to help out much lately, but I will contribute this:

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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    I'm going to offer an idea, having given little forethought. What if you have the druid spell list, and took away the wizard list? Then the additional spells you get could be from the wizard list instead.

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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Hmm... I don't know, truth be told, D&D fae have always sat on the borderline between nature and magic so much that I'm honestly not sure if "Wizard Spells with Bonus Druid Spells" or vice-versa is the way to go. In fact, I'm not sure a subclass can legitimately switch around its spell list like that.

    Also, I appreciate the statblock, Ninja_Prawn, but... I don't recognize the creature. Is this a 5eification of the Pipefox?
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow_in_the_Mist View Post
    Hmm... I don't know, truth be told, D&D fae have always sat on the borderline between nature and magic so much that I'm honestly not sure if "Wizard Spells with Bonus Druid Spells" or vice-versa is the way to go. In fact, I'm not sure a subclass can legitimately switch around its spell list like that.

    Also, I appreciate the statblock, Ninja_Prawn, but... I don't recognize the creature. Is this a 5eification of the Pipefox?
    You can probably get away with whatever you want. But as an alternative, you could go the route of the Theurgy UA - give a list of required spells, and after allow other druid spells to be added to the spellbook. This would allow access to druid spells I higher power.

    But at the moment I'm just brainstorming ideas, and I'm uncertain of their usefulness. I think this is a fine subclass, and I'll be keeping an eye on it for when finished.
    Last edited by zeek0; 2017-04-09 at 12:57 AM.

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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Only problem with that is that I don't really have any ideas what should be "required spells" for the Sidhe Scholar before it can start adding more general Druid spells to its list. Any suggestions?

    But, seriously, thank you for the vote of confidence. This started as idle curiosity, but I'm growing more and more interested in it as it works.
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow_in_the_Mist View Post
    Also, I appreciate the statblock, Ninja_Prawn, but... I don't recognize the creature.
    Kuda-gitsune is Japanese for pipe-fox, yes. Given that the creature comes from Japanese mythology, it seems more appropriate to use the original name.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Ah, yes, I did double-check the name afterwards, and I'm sorry I didn't grok to it right away. Thank you for submitting those stats, Ninja_Prawn.

    Since the "free reincarnate" feature came to pass, I was wondering... do folks think it maybe makes sense to give the Sidhe Scholar a custom "fey-themed" Reincarnate table? After all, they're invoking faerie magics to anchor their soul and reconstitute themselves, so it kind of makes sense that they'd be more likely to turn into something more "fey" afterwards. Even just reflavoring conventional races - dwarf bodies that are more Redcap inspired, for example - would help.
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    I'm having a hard time seeing this as an Arcane Tradition. The original translates to the current Fey-pact warlock. Honestly, you could probably achieve the desired effect with some well worded invocations. That said, your work looks good.
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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    I like this thread. Thank you all.


    The thematic element that seems missing to me, is a tie to Sidhe lands. Sidhe freedoms are mostly paid for with fealty to a court or some other mechanic.

    I think reincarnation should require a previously created link. If you return you should have to get back from fey realms, it is their magic that is recreating your character.


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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Following the thread as well :D interesting stuff!

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    Default Re: Sidhe Scholar in 5e

    Much appreciated. But, at this point, unless somebody brings up complaints that've been missed, all that remains is to discuss a proper set of "faerie" familiars for the Sidhe Scholar, their stats, and the viability of a fey-themed Reincarnation table. So... yeah, I've gone as far as I can in this on my own; I need people opinioning on both the draft list I posted and the idea of the Reincarnation table.
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