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Dryad Racial Write-up and Progression

by Jamie Baty

Dryads are the materialisation of the auras of forest trees. They are always female. They are often very beautiful, with hair and a complexion that changes with the seasons. Hamadryads are tied to a specific tree, dryads are not. PCs may not become hamadryads.

Personality: Dryads are more sociable than the more isolated hamadryads, preferring the company of fauns, treants and other forest races. They are quick to fall in love elven and human males and will seek out the company of those that are respectful of the forest. They often take the appearance of peasant girls, shepardesses, and followers of the hunt as a way to interact with humans and elves. They may even secretly assist those living in the woods. Their interests are often music, dancing, and sport.

Physical Description: Dryads are incredibly beautiful female fey, about the size of an elven female or petit human female. Their appearance often mimics the seasons- dark brown hair and eyes and very fair skin in winter; bright blonde hair with a tinge of green, bright green eyes, and rosy complexion in spring; strawberry blonde hair, deep hazel eyes, and golden complexion in summer; light brown and red hair, amber eyes and rosy complexion in fall. If one looks at their skin closely, one will notice it vaguely appears similar to the bark of a tree.
Dryads when alone or with the forest races tend to dress very lightly, often wearing just a loosely tied tunic. However, they will dress as needed to create the appearances they like to project to outsiders.
Although they prefer to avoid combat if at all possible, dryads are proficient with all simple weapons and with light armour.

Relations: Dryads tend to have good relations with elves, humans, and fauns, as well as with other forest races. Of course, those that defile the dryad's lands will be treated with open hostility by a dryad.
Dryads dislike orcs and goblinoids as they are brutish and destructive, and seem wholly unnatural to them. They are not immediately hostile to them, but are very wary of their presence.

Alignment: Dryads are often chaotic and good. They can be passionate, and are fond of merriment. They are the embodiment of change inherent in nature. They often secretly help those living among their forests, and think nothing of helping those in need and befriending strangers.

Dryad Lands: Dryads can be found throughout the Known World, usually residing in great forests.

Religion: Most dryads do not follow a religion in the same sense as other humanoids. They "worship" the concept of nature as a whole, as they are a manifestation of nature itself. Those that choose to follow an immortal often choose to follow Ordana. Dryad clerics who do not follow a specific immortal may choose two of the following domains: Plant, Protection, and Sun

Language: Dryads speak Sylvan, Elven, and the predominant local language. They may also know Common (if not the local language), Gnome, Halfling, other local languages.

Names: Dryad names often draw upon the naming styles of the Milenians and Thyatians, though they can seem a bit more pastoral in nature. They do not use surnames, though some do gain epithets
Female Names: Balanis, Dryope, Karya, Lotis, Morea, Phoebe, Ptelea, Syke.

Adventurers: It is not uncommon at all for dryads to head out adventuring. They are excellent companions in natural setting, though they do not like cramped dungeons and caves. Often dryads view adventures as a way to help protect their forests, and learn new things. It is often a way for them to meet new friends. Some dryads adventure as a way to remain with an elf or human they have grown fond of. Most dryads eventually return to their home forests and become hamadryads, although this is not always the case.
Dryads have a favoured class of druid. Dryads are capable of both arcane and divine magic. In addition, some dryads have become bards, rogues or rangers. Dryads are generally not suited to be barbarians, fighters, monks and paladins.

Dryad Racial Traits:
Dryad characters possess the following racial traits.
-2 Strength, +8 Dexterity, , +8 Charisma, +4 Intelligence, +6 Wisdom.
Medium Size.
A dryad's base land speed is 30 feet.
+2 Natural AC bonus
Low-light vision.
Spells (Sp): A dryad casts spells as a druid of a level equal to her HD.
Communicate with Plants (Ex): A dryad may communicate with plants as if she were permanently under the effect of a speak with plants spell.
Spell-like Abilities (Sp): 3/day: charm person. CL 2nd. Save DC is Wisdom based.
Wild Empathy (Ex): A dryad can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The dryad rolls 1d20 and adds her HD, her Charisma modifier and a +6 racial bonus to determine the wild empathy check result.
The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.
To use wild empathy, the dryad and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.
A dryad can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but her racial bonus to the check is only +2.
Weapon Proficiency: Dryads are proficient with all simple weapons.
Armour Proficiency: Dryads are proficient with light armours.
Automatic Languages: Sylvan, Elven, Local Language. Bonus Languages: Common (if not the local language), Gnome, Halfling, other local languages.
Favoured Class: Druid.
Level Adjustment: +3


Dryad Racial Progression
The table below gives an optional level progression for dryad players. In this system, starting ability score modifiers and other abilities are granted later or partially granted. At the end of the progression, the dryad will be the same as if created normally.

Table: Dryad Racial Progression

Class Level Hit Dice Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Special
1st 1d6 +0 +0 +2 +2 (6+ Int Mod) x4 -2 Str, +4 Int; Spells; Communicate with Plants; Low-Light Vision; Starting Feat.
2nd 1d6 +0 +0 +2 +2 --- +2 Dex, +2 Cha, +2 Wis; +1 Natural AC Bonus
3rd 1d6 +0 +0 +2 +2 --- +2 Dex, +2 Cha, charm person 1/day
4th 2d6 +1 +0 +3 +3 6+ Int Mod +2 Dex, +2 Cha, +2 Wis; +2 Natural AC Bonus
5th 2d6 +1 +0 +3 +3 --- +2 Dex, +2 Cha, +2 Wis; charm person 3/day
Below are levels for advanced progression
6th 3d6 +1 +1 +3 +3 6+ Int Mod Spells (3rd lvl druid); Alternate Form (1 form,1/day); Feat
7th 4d6 +2 +1 +4 +4 6+ Int Mod Spells (4th lvl druid)
8th 5d6 +2 +1 +4 +4 6+ Int Mod Spells (5th lvl druid); Alternate Form (2 forms,2/day)
9th 6d6 +3 +2 +5 +5 6+ Int Mod Spells (6th lvl druid); Feat
10th 7d6 +3 +2 +5 +5 6+ Int Mod Spells (7th lvl druid); Alternate Form (3 forms,3/day)
11th 8d6 +4 +2 +6 +6 6+ Int Mod Spells (8th lvl druid)
12th 9d6 +4 +3 +6 +6 6+ Int Mod Spells (9th lvl druid); Alternate Form (4 forms, at will); Feat
13th 10d6 +5 +3 +7 +7 6+ Int Mod Spells (10th lvl druid); Erysichthon's Curse

Advanced Dryad Abilities
Spells: For each additional Fey HD the dryad possesses, she gains an additional level of druid spellcasting..

Alternate Form (Su): At 3 HD, the dryad can assume the form of one specific type of plant or tree of her choosing 1/day.
At 5HD, she may choose a second plant form and use this ability 2/day
At 7HD, she may choose a third plant form and use this ability 3/day.
At 9 HD, she may choose a fourth plant form and may use this ability at will.

Erysichthon's Curse (Su): At 10 HD, the dryad can place a terrible curse upon those that would harm her or the woodlands. This curse causes the victim to receive no nourishment from food, regardless of how much he eats. What's worse is he is struck with insatiable hunger as well. He will eat whatever looks edible to sate his hunger; towards the end of his suffering this may even include his own flesh. However nothing will stop the hunger.
Additionally as a side effect, any magical effects that require drinking or eating (such as a potion) will not work on the victim. After the first 24 hrs, the victim is subject to the effects of starvation.
The victim is allowed a Will save vs DC (1/2 HD + Cha modifier +4 racial bonus). Erysichthon's Curse may only be removed by a wish or miracle spell, or a remove curse and atonement spell cast by a cleric of greater level than the dryad.
This ability may only be used once per month.