UA Analysis: Folk of the Feywild(Fairy)

Hello to everyone of the Internet! I realize it’s been far too long since I’ve actually posted anything, so let’s try to remedy that.

Recently, Wizards of the Coast came out with an Unearthed Arcana that I couldn’t help but to pay immediate attention to. Titled ‘Folk of the Feywild’, this gathers me around it’s light like a moth attracted to the source of magic within. Am I predictable? Yes. Am I excited to see what this means for the game in the future? Also yes.

‘Folk of the Feywild’ focuses on four new races, using the templates established by the recently published Tascha’s Cauldron of Everything (I have my own gripes with that but that is neither here nor there). FotFW, which is the shorthand I’ll be using for this article, gives us playtest material for Fairy, Hobgoblin of the Feywild, Owlfolk and Rabbitfolk. So let’s dive right in to the content, focusing on the race that has gotten my immediate attention.

75 Male Elf Ranger ideas in 2021 | elf ranger, male elf, d&d dungeons and  dragons

Fairy

Finally, now WotC is listening to some of us who enjoy this under-represented creature typing!

Using the new flexible rules for abilities for playable races, the Fairy gets the following:

Creature Type. You are a Fey.
Size. You are Small or Medium (your choice)
Speed. Your walking speed is 30 feet.
Fairy Flight. You have a flying speed equal to your walking speed and can hover. This flight is
magical and does not require the use of your wings (if you have them).
Fairy Magic. You know the druidcraft and faerie fire spells. You can cast faerie fire without expending a spell slot, and you must finish a long rest before you can cast it this way again. You
can also cast this spell using any spell slots you have. Your spellcasting ability for these spells is
your choice of Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma.
Fey Passage. You can squeeze through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide.

Now, let’s walk through the entire thing for this.

  • Creature Typing: Fey. This makes perfect sense, though calling it Fairy as a race is a bit bland. Call it something like the Fair Folk instead to cover a wide variety of sylvan beings.
  • Size category Small or Medium. Neutral, as many Fey creatures are usually on the smaller side but not all of them.
  • Walking Speed: 30 ft. The average. No harm here.
  • Fairy Flight: 30 ft. This checks out with other Fey creatures, though may seem odd in comparison to other creatures with a fly speed. Dragon Wings racial for Dragonborn only get a 25 after all, and I am sure that the variant Winged Tiefling gets the same. The fact that it is inherently magical instead of biological is a bit strange though in terms of ruling for the ability, meaning it can be countered by Dispel Magic and other similar effects.
  • Fairy Magic: Innate spellcasting of Druidcraft and Faerie Fire. Nothing impressive here, though the typical formula for Innate Spellcasting pre-Tascha’s is a cantrip at level 1, a level 1 spell at 3rd level and a level 2 spell at 5th level. Still, it stays in the same format as the new Innate Spellcasting in Gothic Lineages
  • Fey Passage: I would think this to be fine if the Fairy was a size Tiny instead of a Small. Even if you are a Small size creature, it is still hard to squeeze your way through such a small space unless you don’t have bones.

While on the surface, you would expect me to be screaming in joy over all the things the presented here, I do have my gripes. The largest being how the Fairy race does not have an ability akin to Fey Ancestry and Darkvision like the Elves and the Hexblood from the Gothic Lineages Unearthed Arcana. There is also how there is no strict limit to the flight speed and how there are no armors that restrict a character’s usage of flight if one wears something heavier then light armor. Fey Passage is also weird, in that if they also give it to the Fairy, then they may need to do a reprint of Gnomes and Halflings with the same trait (though they may eventually re-print all the current races with the Tascha’s guidelines). There is also the how they don’t inherantly get Sylvan as a racial language but again, new format that it falls in line with.

My recommended fixes to the Fairy race are as follows:

Male Faerie by djmidori on DeviantArt
  • Creature Type. You are a Fey.
  • Size. You are Small or Medium (your choice)
  • Speed. Your walking speed is 30 feet and you have an additional fly speed of 30 feet. The flight is both magical and physical at the same time, giving you a hover speed as well.
  • Darkvision: you gain darkvision up to 60 feet, where you can see in shades of grey in that range.
  • Trueborn Fey: you have advantage on saving throws against being charmed and cannot be put to sleep. You also can trance for four hours instead of needing to sleep for a full eight to gain the benefits of a long rest.
  • Sylvan Know-How: you gain proficiency in one skill from Arcana, Nature, or Perception.
  • Fairy Magic. You know the druidcraft and faerie fire spells. You can cast faerie fire without expending a spell slot, and you must finish a long rest before you can cast it this way again. You can also cast this spell using any spell slots you have. Your spellcasting ability for these spells is your choice of Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma.

What do you think of the UA Fairy race? Agree or disagree with what WotC has presented us here? And what does this mean for Dungeons and Dragons content in the future? Discuss in the comment section!

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