Shadow of the Weird Wizard
A Closer Look at Ancestries
A Closer Look at Ancestries in Weird Wizard
When you crack open Shadow of the Weird Wizard, you might be surprised to find that the only option for ancestry in the character creation chapter is human, especially when the cover shows an assortment of interesting characters swarmed by goblins. Have no fear, the game has twenty additional ancestries tucked into the book’s one appendix. Making human the default helps keep character creation streamlined by reducing the number of decisions starting players must make to just one: the novice path. However, there are plenty of other choices for more experienced players to make your characters wholly unique.
Now, the humans you play have a bit more going for them than do the ordinary folks in the world. Humans start with an extra combat token and magic token, and have a trait called Extraordinary Effort that lets them roll with 1 boon every minute. These advantages gave me some mechanical weight for these characters, which became the tools I used for balancing the other ancestries.
In Demon Lord, I presented just a few ancestries in the main book and gradually expanded on the choices in supplements released for the game. In Weird Wizard, I am aiming to broaden the options to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. Here’s the list full of ancestries included in this core book.
Sprites, sometimes called the children of the forest, remained in the mortal world when the other faeries left. They chose to stay for they would not owe a debt to the elves who fashioned these new realms and would instead go their own way. By necessity, sprites have remained hidden in the mortal world, leading secretive lives to avoid encounters with the foolish, short-lived peoples who seem bound and determined to spread everywhere and make a mess of everything.
Sprites build nothing, make nothing that lasts. They have accidental communities where multiple gather to frolic and play, love and laugh, all while singing, playing music, and telling outlandish stories about the people they meet, places they visit, and the foolishness they encounter as they explore the world. Sprites have a reputation for being silly, empty-headed faeries without a care in the world, but for all that they love jesting and play, they become quite serious when it matters most. They can be stalwart companions, reliable and courageous. They never make oaths because their word is worthless, but when they feel a bond growing with someone, they do everything they can to avoid letting them down.
A great many sprites cause trouble for mortals. They steal, rile up horses, free livestock, lead children astray, leave insulting messages, pull on hair, and more, but they might take pity on some mortals, being moved by their grief and suffering. This is why many sprites have come out of the wilds to help the newcomers become settled in the borderlands, for they see in their faces loss, pain, and sorrow, and no sprite likes those things, not in others and especially not in themselves.
In their normal forms, sprites stand 2 feet tall and weigh about 20 pounds. They have slim bodies and appear in all the colors of the rainbow. Sprites make their clothes from found things, a scrap of cloth, a garland of flowers, a skirt of woven grasses, but have little interest in wearing the skins of dead animals.
Sprites have natural magic that lets them change their shapes. They can become small birds the size of wrens, butterflies, or motes of light that float over the ground, looking ever so much like fireflies. Although they can flutter about, they lack the means to attain any kind of real altitude.
Typical sprite names include Acorn, Berry, Joy, Leaf, Ribald, Squirrel, and Wix.
Languages Common, Sylvan
Faerie You are immune to infection, but are weakened while you carry or wear an iron or iron-alloy object.
Wild Speech You can communicate with normal animals such as cats, dogs, pigs, and horses. You can interpret the noises animals make, as well as their body language to get the gist of what they say to you.
Wee Form (action) You, along with everything you wear and carry, shrink down until you are three inches tall adopting an appearance of your choosing when you gain this trait. You remain at this size until you use a minor action to return to your normal size. If you drop an item reduced in this way, the item remains at its reduced size until this effect ends. While under the effects of this trait, you make the following modifications to your character:
- You impose 1 bane on rolls to attack you, but you take double damage from attacks.
- You are Small and harmless. No activity you undertake can directly deal damage, cause loss of Health, or impose an affliction on another creature or object. You can, however, indirectly harm a creature, such as by pushing a rock so that it falls on something underneath it.
- You make little noise. When you speak at an ordinary volume, your voice carries as a whisper.
- You are too small to move far. If you are in a zone, you can walk to the edge of the zone. If you are on the edge of the zone, you can walk into the adjacent zone.
- If you are not injured, you can fly, though if you fly more than one zone above the ground, you fall until you are one zone above the ground once more.
- Unless a creature is specifically looking for you, you count as if you were invisible.
Wild Escape (reaction when harmed; 1/hour) You gain a move which you must use immediately or lose it. Your movement does not enable enemies to make free attacks against you.
Sprite Distinctive Features