At Home in Faerie – Fey themed Backgrounds for D&D 5th Edition

The domain of the faerie folk is a seemingly endless realm of equally endless sights and sounds to behold.  It is rich with diverse creatures and potent magic.  While noble creatures traverse the plane with decedent splendor, vicious beasts prowl near by in search of their next meal.  In a sense, it’s a world as diverse and colorful as our own… perhaps more so.  It should come as no surprise that such a boundless plane has influenced your life in some manner.  Perhaps you have an ancestral history of dealings with the fey, manifesting in your very bloodline or means of worship.  Maybe you were taken from your home dimension as an infant or child, escaping at some point later.  Perhaps your research of the esoteric has drawn you towards all things faerie.  The possibilities are much like the demiplane itself, they seem quite limitless.

Here are some backgrounds for your PCs to explore a world of Faerie in one way or another.  There’s a background for researchers, for those snatched away and many others.  While the fey themselves are elusive and mysterious, it’s an all the more interesting subject for your characters to explore!

Author’s Note:  The last post for my fey theme draws near, I’m afraid.  However, I’m still eager to craft up a variety of themed content in the meantime.  This time, I’m doing a direct collaborative effort with Brynvalk, who helped to pitch the fey theme in the first place!  With that, here’s a handy list of PC backgrounds for players who want the fey to be an aspect of their characters.  I tried to keep this entry more setting generic.  Sure, I usually mention my fey inspired dimension of Arcadia; but for the purpose of collaboration, I decided to downplay it a bit.  That said, I’ll probably write up more on Arcadia itself.  In short, it’s my take on wonderful worlds of the fair folk.

Please check out Brynvalk’s fey themed backgrounds as well!

——

Arcadian Archivist – The creatures of faerie have been a subject of study for quite some time now.  As far as you’re concerned, they’re one of the progenitors of magick as we know it.  With that, it’s your goal to crack as many of their secrets as you can… especially without them noticing too much.  You’re a scholar first and a combatant second, perhaps not at all!

Skill Proficienies – Arcana, Religion

Tool Proficiencies – Cartography Tools

Languages – Sylvan

Equipment – Scrolls for maps, leather bound journals detailing all sorts of research, commoner’s clothing, candles, writing supplies, 18 gp

Feature:  Clairvoyant Scientist – You have a grasp of how the fey work, finding access to their own worlds.  You can find the resources you need to conduct a study with relative ease as well.  You have very little issue with traversing worlds of faerie, as well as finding contacts there too.

Personality Traits (d8)

  1. I am shy and bookish, preferring studies over social interaction.
  2. I have sampled from the charms and strangeness of the fey, incorporating it into how I portray myself towards others… even if it’s a bit flamboyant.
  3. In depth knowledge of the occult and worlds unknown makes me a bit fearful towards others.
  4. I am at peace when communing with nature over civilization.
  5. My obsession with appeasing the subjects of my research leads others to believe I’m superstitious or eccentric.
  6. I tend to inject some aspect of the arts into my work; song, dance, fine art, forms of praise!
  7. I like to correct others when they get information of the fair folk wrong.
  8. I have a pretense to me, as I aspire to be as noble and regal as the most powerful of the fey.

Ideals (d6)

  1. The powers of Faerie can be utilized to greatly enhance countless lives. (Good)
  2. Think about the realms I can control, the enemies I can render mad, the armies I can amass!  The powers of spiritual forces magical mysteries will be mine. (Evil)
  3. Hopefully, I can educate the public on how such powers can and should be used. (Lawful)
  4. Think of how I can harness such strange energies for scientific pursuits!  I speak not of spellcraft, but all sorts of innovations. (Any)
  5. Perhaps I can help introduce aspects of their realm into our world!  (Chaotic)
  6. If the fey plan to launch an attack, I’ll use my knowledge to ready the proper defense. (Neutral)

Bonds (d6)

  1. I keep my research a secret, in case I stumble upon a great breakthrough.
  2. For my own safety, I tend to be wary of others knowledgeable of the fey.
  3. Everyone should know the glory of their mystical magics and spiritual splendor!
  4. Everything was a mistake!  I can’t possibly part with my knowledge, but I must prevent anything drastic from coming to fruition.
  5. I consider my work to be another step towards uniting the greater multiverse!
  6. I can utilize my knowledge and personal craftiness to get a foothold within the Fey world itself!

Flaws (d6)

  1. Knowing more about fey customs and taboos than local ones has given me a very strange sense of humor and awkward demeanor.
  2. I have many sleepless nights in fear that the Fey don’t appreciate me taking and sharing their secrets.
  3. My obsession with chasing after fae beings goes too far.  I might mistake various people for creatures of fey, if I’m not careful.
  4. I’m not really careful with what I do, I’m overconfident that nothing can go wrong… or get brought into this world.
  5. My appreciation for the realms of the fey has extended into either a radical anti-modernity or anti-technological viewpoint.  My views tend to be rather aggressive.
  6. Dark revelations involving unseelie excursions, druidic dark cults and unholy practices have turned my mind inside out.  I’m a bit on the insane side.

——

Lost One – Long ago, you were kidnapped.  The culprits may have had righteous motive for your capture; whether it be retribution, revenge or offering a better life.  Perhaps they had vile motives of slavery, deranged trickery or outright maliciousness.  No matter what happened, you fought your way back to the material world.  Unfortunately, your life has been stolen by another.  For the safety of friends and family, old and new, you keep a secretive network.  You speak with few and trust even fewer.  Your old life is dead and your new copy will likely want you dead if too much is revealed.

Skill Proficiencies – Deception, Stealth

Tool Proficiencies – Disguise Kit

Languages – Sylvan

Equipment – Important and nostalgic trinket to remind you of home, tattered old clothing, modest clothing, a bag of 15 GP

Feature: Shelter from the Fair Folk – The world has changed, the home and family you knew may have moved on or continued to seek you out.  Perhaps a double tried to take over your old life.  No matter, you formed a network of people you could trust; fellow victims of the fey, those who learned your secret, rebellious fey who had come to dislike what was done to you, etc.  Perhaps your family found out and are trying to help however they can.  You can almost always find a contact who can aid all of you and help to shelter you and your friends away from harmful fey influence.

Personality Traits (d8) –

  1. I’ve learned staying calm and reserved is the best course of action.
  2. I like reading up on my original world while researching the world of my captors, next time I’ll be ready.
  3. A carefree lifestyle has rubbed off on me.  I have suffered the worst, time to try to live the best.  I fear no danger!
  4. I’m home, but life will only get worse.  What’s the use in trying to improve things?
  5. I don’t want to think about what happened, I’d rather move on and rebuild my life however I can.
  6. Others remark that I’m bigoted towards the faerie folk, I have a good reason to be.
  7. My life is one wrought with worry and fear, what if they return?
  8. I accept that life can become horrific at any moment, but I don’t actively seek danger.

Ideals (d6) –

  1. I seek to aid other victims of fey trickery and torment, helping them to cope. (Good)
  2. The fey must be purged from this material plane, if not the multiverse. (Evil)
  3. I only act out of proper motivation, much like the nobles of the fair courts.  To act out of emotion is savage and unjust. (Lawful)
  4. I must warn others, lest they suffer a horrible fate like I did (Any)
  5. As long as the fey mean no harm, I will try to avoid conflict. (Neutral)
  6. After all that’s happened to me, not having too many expectations is a good thing (Chaotic)

Bonds (d6)

  1. I tricked my oppressors in an effort to gain my freedom, they’re still angry about it.
  2. I’ve waited this long to get my old life back, perhaps it’s time.
  3. I’ve learned a lot about one’s place and the ability to move up in the world, time to test it out in the Material Plane.
  4. Even though my family and friends found out and stopped my double, I can’t bare to show myself to them.  They’re probably still looking for me.
  5. I seek ways to protect myself from incursion of the fair folk, I will go to extremes.
  6. I have devoted myself to a different divine force as a means of restoring my sanity.

Flaws (d6)

  1. I’ve become dour and lost my creativity, I hate expressions of whimsy and strangeness.
  2. I’m paranoid of who I can actually trust.  Those who express traits I think are similar to the fey are not to be trusted at all.
  3. Because of my influence within fey courts, I’ve become pompous and arrogant.
  4. If anyone tries to defend those who stole and ruined my life, I might just snap out of rage.
  5. As a result of this world and the otherworld, I feel ugly and offbeat.
  6. I’m afraid that if I’m not constantly mobile, the fey will find me again.

——

Sylvan Emissary – You and first and foremost a speaker for the fey.  You aim to bridge the gap between our world and theirs’.  Perhaps you are in service to them through a contract, perhaps you are paying back a patron for their gifts to you, maybe you’re a slave doing what you can to earn your freedom, perhaps you are secretly an expansionist looking for either to take bits of the other side’s land.  No matter the truth, you seek to have two worlds collide.  Whether you’re an ambassador, advocate or resolver of conflict; your interests remain somewhere between the fey and the mortal folk.

Skill Proficiencies – Insight, Persuasion

Languages – Undercommon, Sylvan

Equipment – Noble and regal clothing, books on diplomacy and etiquette (both fey and mortal world), legal documents and relevant passport information, writing supplies, 10 gp

Features:  Diplomatic Privilege – You can gain access to important places within the Courts, whether or not they’re light or dark.  As long as you or your comrades present yourselves as friendly, you can use your connections to gain entry to various places.  Once your intentions are revealed, it’s possible that hostilities could form.  However, you can receive your patron’s pardon for minor crimes or other consequences.  Abusing this is not recommended.

Personality Traits (d8) –

  1. I represent my actions, so I should always be on my best behavior.
  2. Adding a sense of humor to my conversations lightens the mood and eases tensions.
  3. Even though many of the subjects are below me, I deal with diplomatic matters with the dignity and grace of my patron.
  4. I’m driven by success and this career has been my best bet to a wonderful life.  I want to be as powerful as the Fey Lords themselves.
  5. The mystery, tension and intrigue that comes with my job is always fascinating.
  6. I tend to stay out of Court politics as much as I can.
  7. It’s against my nature to turn down a request.
  8. Violence is distasteful in my opinion, except self-defense.

Ideals (d6) –

  1. I wish to bring peace between nations… and worlds. (Good)
  2. I could help to topple an empire or regime and expand my reach, my patrons’ reach! (Evil)
  3. Lesser fey and voiceless citizens deserve a voice too. (Lawful)
  4. I want to witness the fall of the old and rise of the new. (Any)
  5. I want to bridge gaps between two worlds, keeping knowledge high and ignorance low. (Neutral)
  6. The truth is out there!  Believe me, I know the “out there.”(Chaotic)

Bonds (d6)

  1. I am to be used by my patron, it’s why I became a diplomat.
  2. Uniting both worlds in some way will improve lives.
  3. There is nothing better than signature upon paper; contracts, treaties, deals, etc
  4. I’d gladly volunteer my time to a place that put forth time and funds towards a project I support (i.e. defenses, religion, arcane research, innovation, etc)
  5. I know where my loyalties lie
  6. I do all I can to ensure that those I survey get the protection they deserve.

Flaws (d6)

  1. I’m cold and calculating, seeing those I encounter as a means to an end.
  2. I honestly hate one of the sides I work for; maybe it’s resentment towards the fey, maybe it’s the pitiful mortal beings.
  3. My training within fey nobility has made me full of myself, feeling I’m far above the beings of the prime material.
  4. I’m horribly afraid of fighting, I used diplomacy as an escape from it.
  5. I’ve failed more than once, especially for my patron.
  6. I don’t care who I hurt in order to accomplish my goals.

——

 

IMAGE CREDIT: The Gate – Cristophe Vaucher

 

Made by Doctor Necrotic, for Doctor Necrotic Media.

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3 thoughts on “At Home in Faerie – Fey themed Backgrounds for D&D 5th Edition

  1. Pingback: Faerie-themed Content Masterlist | Daemons & Deathrays

  2. Pingback: Marvelous Tales from the Feywilds: Faerie-Themed Backgrounds – Pitfalls and Pixies

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