No matter what flavor of Dungeons and Dragons you play, the game is rooted in fantasy. I’m willing to bet that most of us were introduced to the world of fantasy in the same way, through Fairy Tales told to us when we were tiny children.
Witches casting spells on innocent little girls. Magical beasts frolic in mythical forests. Animal monsters prowl the countryside looking for a tasty meal. Players Option: Heroes of the Feywild capitalizes on these themes beautifully.
I will admit, for the longest time when I heard ‘Feywild’ I would just think fairies and cuteness, but flipping through the introductory chapter really got my creative juices flowing with awesome ideas for both characters and adventures.
The book serves to give the player more options to creating a compelling character, similar to the Heroes of Shadow book that came out a few months back. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
This hardcover tome offers the expected crunch in the form of new races, classes, paragon paths, epic destinies, feats, gear and magic items. Of the three new races offered to players two are iconic, the Pixie and the Satyr. Some players may be more excited to play their version of Tinker Bell. Personally I’m happier to be one step closer to an all Manos: the Hands of Fate adventuring party. You knew Torgo was supposed to be a Satyr right?
The race that is newest to me was the Hamadryad. Mix an elf and a nymph together, sprinkle in some ent and this is what you get. These races fit nicely into a campaign set in or heavily influenced by the Feywild but I would have a hard time seeing one in a ‘standard’ D&D campaign. Then again I said the same thing about the assassin class and everyone wants to play one of those.
There are also new builds for the Barbarian (Berserker), Bard (Skald), Druid (Protector) and Wizard (Witch) along with new powers or abilities available to all the parent classes. All these classes are fairly straightforward given their titles. Bards are my preferred class to play and the Skald class does seem like a fun twist on the standard Bard, giving it more martial powers so they do not have to shrink away from the front lines.
What Feywild excels at is sprinkling fluff thought its pages. There are over a dozen half-page size “Bard’s Tale” stories that not only give you a feel for what the Feywild is, but also starting ideas for your own adventures.
Something new in this book is the “Build Your Story” section. It gives you an alternate way to generate your character. Everyone has a race or class that they love to play. Like I mentioned, mine is the Bard. But, when I am at cons or game days I always like to run something I have never played before. If you chose this method of character generation you can truly have a unique character and a rich roleplaying backstory.
You start with your characters upbringing. If you have an idea of what you want to play you can choose, otherwise you can roll randomly for anything from ‘Eladrin Nobility’ to ‘Cruel Foster Parents’. This stage is where you also select your race from the options given.
Your upbringing is linked to which location you started your life in the Feywild. You could find yourself in such places as the civilized Astrazalin, the capital city of the eladrin, or the terrible Fortress of Frozen Tears in the Dark Lands. Now is when your character will face an aptitude test for something that happens at that location. This amounts to a skill check which means you also get to assign at least one of your abilities now. You aren’t yet certain what class you are going to be so it may end up being counter intuitive to that eventual selection, but that adds to some of the whimsy of the Feywild.
The final generation stage is an event that helps define why you became an adventurer. There are ways to bounce back and forth between stages, but once you have enough trained skills for virtually any class the process concludes and you can select your class and finish the rest of character generation as normal.
Just in case the new “Build Your Story” doesn’t give you enough backstory you can also add on one of the four new Themes available. You can be any of the following: Fey Beast Tamer, Sidhe Lord, Tuathan or Unseelie Agent. Each of these themes offer even more roleplaying opportunities involving your characters Fey origin in addition to a handful of alternate powers.
tl;dr If your game feels like it’s been getting a little stale, or you have just always wanted to play a character from the Feywild, you’ll get plenty of great ideas here.