Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Fey class for Labyrinth Lord

In my planned Labyrinth Lord game, that I'm now spending a lot of time ruminating over, I'd postulated that I wanted Elves to be somehow distinguished from Magic-users, and not just end up as a kind of multi-classed Fighter / Magic-user. I wanted them to be a more innately magical race.

At the same time I was thinking about the campaign setting, and quickly decided that I'd love to run a city based campaign. The combination of these two ideas culminated in the conception of a huge decadent city which is dimensionally co-existent with a Fey city. During the day time the two cities are separate, but at dusk a great bell is rung, and doorways between the two worlds open.

Adventurers from this other world use the class presented below, my adaptation of the Elf class for this campaign. (I've also got variants of the Dwarf and Halfling classes planned, coming soon...)

(Note that while the class refers to spells from the Advanced Edition Companion, this is a race-class for use with basic Labyrinth Lord.)

(Update: I've now uploaded this class as a PDF.)

The rest of this post is designated Open Gaming Content according to the Open Gaming License.
Requirements: INT 9
Prime Requisite: STR and INT
Hit Dice: 1d6
Maximum Level: 10

Tall, thin and ephemeral, the Fey are a race native to a magical dimension which exists in parallel to the world of men. They are of diverse appearance, and always have one or more unusual features that mark them as obviously non-human, such as: pointed ears, silver or violet hair, cat-like eyes, sharp pointed teeth, extra fingers, etc. They typically weigh about 120 pounds and are between 5½ and 6 feet tall.

Often Neutral in alignment, Fey are fickle, mysterious and mischievous. They enjoy music and song, as well as fine food and drink - but all their pleasures have a strange otherworldly quality, which other races can find both intoxicating and eerie. Fey are excellent fighters, being able to use any weapons and armor, and are naturally magical. A Fey must have at least 13 in both prime requisites in order to get the +5% to experience. They must also have an INT of 16 and a STR of 13 to get the +10% bonus. They advance in level according to the Elf Level Progression chart.

Fey have infravision of 60 feet, and have keen eyes that allow them, when actively searching, to detect hidden and secret doors with a roll of 1-2 on 1d6. Because of their magical nature, Fey are completely unaffected by the paralysis ghouls can inflict. Fey can speak their alignment language, common, elvish, pixie and goblin.

Although they do not study magic, Fey are able to use all magic items available to Magic-users, with the exception of scrolls.

Fey Spell Progression
Fey cast spells according to the Druid spell progression chart in the Advanced Edition Companion, and gain spells from the lists given below. However their manner of spell casting differs from that of other spell using classes. As Fey are naturally magical they do not need to pray or study books to be able to use their spells. The spell progression chart represents both the number of spells a Fey can cast per day, and also the number of spells he or she knows. For example, a 1st level Fey knows two 1st level spells, which he or she can cast once per day each. Fey regain their spells automatically after a night's rest. Upon gaining an experience level, Fey automatically learn any new spells allowed to them. Fey's known spells are usually determined randomly.

Fey Spells
(Spells marked 'C' are from the Cleric spell lists, 'D' are from the Druid spell list in the AEC, those marked 'I' are Illusionist spells, and those marked 'MU' are drawn from the Magic-user spell lists.)

1st level:
  1. Auditory illusion (I)
  2. Color spray (I)
  3. Dancing lights (I)
  4. Detect illusion (I)
  5. Detect invisible (I)
  6. Detect magic (MU)
  7. Detect snares and pits (D)
  8. Doppelganger (I)
  9. Entangle (D)
  10. Faerie fire (D)
  11. Protection from evil (C)
  12. Resist cold (C)
  13. Speak with animals (D)
  14. Wall of vapor (I)
2nd level:
  1. Augury (C)
  2. Blur (I)
  3. Charm person or mammal (D)
  4. Fire trap (D)
  5. Heat metal (D)
  6. Hypnotic pattern (I)
  7. Invisibility (MU)
  8. Mirror image (I)
  9. Obscuring mist (D)
  10. Produce flame (D)
  11. Resist fire (C)
  12. Stumble (D)
  13. Ventriloquism (MU)
  14. Warp wood (D)
3rd level:
  1. Blink (MU)
  2. Dispel magic (MU)
  3. Haste (MU)
  4. Plant growth (D)
  5. Protection from fire (D)
  6. Pyrotechnics (D)
  7. Rope trick (MU)
  8. Snare (D)
4th level:
  1. Confusion (I)
  2. Create food & water (C)
  3. Detect lie (C)
  4. Implant emotion (I)
  5. Protection from electricity (D)
  6. Speak with plants (D)
  7. Sticks to snakes (C)
  8. Temperature control (D)
5th level:
  1. Greater confusion (I)
  2. Phantasmal door (I)
  3. Teleport, Fey
  4. Transmute rock to mud (D)
  5. True seeing (C)
  6. Wall of fire (D)


  1. I like this - and the two cities co-existent idea is opromising. Good stuff!

  2. There's a book called The City & the City, by China Miéville, which deals with a similar double-city. I've not read it, but it's had good reviews.

    I was just thinking about elves myself the other day. There's a possibility that the group might be playing some Swords & Wizardry in the coming weeks, so I was musing on changing the elf class a bit. I'd settled on a mix of druid and illusionist spells as you have here, but I'm still thinking about the fighter/mage dual-class thing.

  3. @kelvingreen: I could see the standard Fighter/Magic-user style Elf working alongside the Fey style Elf. Perhaps the former is more like an Elven noble, with training in fighting and arcane lore, while the latter would be more of a natural woodland type Elf.

    Good to hear you might be getting old-school with the group! You're gonna be DMing I presume?

  4. Yes, for some reason Ben is very keen for me to run an old-school game using Swords and Wizardry, which would be fine, except I've been trying to get him interested in old-school games for over a year with no success at all, so I gave up! Sigh.

  5. God bless you for this! I have been seeking a way to differentiate elves from mu's as well -- consider this excellent class horked!

  6. @Carter Soles: Glad you like it! Tis an honour... :)

  7. I just stumbled on this, but I disagree about the Fey using the Druid spell progression chart. Considering they use the same XP chart as the Elf, they simply become overpowered with the extra spells/level. I've thought the Elf was always a little too overpowered anyway, so this would just make him absurdly powerful. Using the new spells on the MU progression chart works better methinks.

    Other than that, this is awesome! Thanks.

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      I also had the same thought as you at a later date, and changed it. You can find the latest version of the class (including some new spells... and tons of other stuff besides) in Theorems & Thaumaturgy.

      I just noticed how long ago this post was -- 2 years almost!


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