I’ve written a whole lot about the fey and Archfey here in Tribality, and I’d like to package it all into a PDF for your delectation. There’s just a few little problems. First off, the Archfey Patron is not in the OGL, and I don’t really want to deal with the DM’s Guild for this (for a whole set of reasons that I’m not going into here). Secondly, I don’t actually like several features of the Archfey Patron, as I have discussed at length in the past. My solution is to create a new warlock patron called the Fey Highlord, serving the same story role but with a different set of mythic themes.

Fey Chivalry | Fey Huntsmen and Leashed Terrors | Faerie Tales: Naiads, Pixies, and Sprites for 5e | A Visit to the Shadowfell – Shadar-Kai & More | In a Goblin Market | Fey of the Elder Starlight | Fey Enchanters and Their Lairs | Treasures of a Fey Market | Archfey Patrons | Archfey Patrons, Part Two | Archfey Patrons, Part Three | The Schemes of the Archfey | The Schemes of the Archfey, Part Two | The Schemes of the Archfey, Part Three | Fey Weapons | Alternate Fey Courts | The Fey Highlord Patron


Fey Highlord Patron

Your patron is one of the fey Highlords, or one of the Eldest. Discuss your choice of a Fey Highlord and your character’s relationship with the Highlord with your DM, as this can have a major impact on the story and your experience of the game. Many Highlords replace one or more of these features, including individual spells on the Expanded Spells list. Other Highlords offer exclusive Eldritch Invocations.

Highlord Expanded Spells
1st – animal friendship, faerie fire
2nd – animal messenger, pass without trace
3rd – bestow curse, blink
4th – freedom of movement, tree stride
5th – geas, modify memory

At 1st level when you choose this Patron, fey influence makes you something more than mortal, if still less than fey. You can use your Charisma modifier in place of your Dexterity modifier for initiative checks. You can choose to affect beasts and fey with your spells as if they are humanoids. When you are the target of an effect that affects your creature type but not fey, gain advantage on any saving throw you make against it.

Law of Hospitality
Also at 1st level, you are both protected and bound by the laws of hospitality. There is no magic older than this: that the host must protect the guest, and the guest must do no harm to the host. Even the vilest of the Unseelie honor such a rule. If you breach hospitality, you lose all Pact Magic slots for 1d10 days, and all Eldritch Invocations for 1d6 days. If you are the victim of a breach of hospitality, the violator receives a bestow curse effect and fails the saving throw. Creatures with Legendary Resistance can still choose to succeed instead. This spell does not require Concentration, and you choose the nature of the curse on the creature.

Fey Fortunes
Starting at 6th level, you can lightly touch the tapestry of fate. When you complete a long rest, roll 1d20 and record the number rolled. You can replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check made by you or a creature you can see with this die result. You choose to do so after the die roll.

Record the die roll result that you negate. You can replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check made by you or a creature you can see with this die result. You choose to do so after the die roll.

If you begin a long rest having used the first die roll result without using the second, some of its good or ill fortune passes on to you. If the die roll result is 10 or higher, you gain 1d10 + your Charisma modifier temporary hit points at the end of the long rest. If the die roll result is 9 or lower, your current and maximum hit points decrease by 1d10 until you complete another long rest.

Mantle of Glamour
Starting at 10th level, you are mantled in glamour like the Highlords themselves. You can weave this mantle about yourself as part of a short or long rest. While the mantle remains, you can replace any Dexterity saving throw you would roll with a Charisma saving throw.

As a reaction, you can end this mantle to deal psychic damage equal to your warlock level + your Charisma modifier to a creature that makes an attack against you.

As a bonus action, you can end this mantle to regain a Pact Magic slot when all creatures affected by the spell succeeded their saving throws against it or were immune.

Fey Soul
Starting 14th level, your soul becomes more deeply entwined with the fey and the Hidden World. You cease aging and can’t be aged magically.

While a creature within 60 feet of you is charmed or frightened by you, you can add 1d8 to your spell damage and weapon damage rolls. Gain this damage bonus no more than once per turn per creature.


Design Notes

I have not explored compatibility issues between this Patron and the alternate Patron features I proposed in the three Archfey Patrons articles, linked above. That’s the next step (and the compelling reason for you to eventually pick up a PDF that I plan to release, ahem). I’m also still working on a Favored of the Highlords feat; here’s what I have so far.

Favored of the Highlords
One of the Archfey has granted you great favor. Increase your Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20, and gain the appropriate feature below.

  • The Silver Knight: As a bonus action, teleport to a space within 60 feet. Your destination space must be threatened by more creatures than the space you are leaving. Once you do so, you must complete a short or long rest before using this feature again.
  • The Good Fellow: When you would roll a Dexterity check for initiative, you can instead choose to roll Charisma (Deception) for initiative.
    • When a melee attack misses you, you can spend your reaction to teleport to an empty space on the other side of the opponent who made the attack, and you can make one weapon attack. Once you do so, you may not use this feature again until you complete a short or long rest.

Two down, twelve to go. Feat design is hard, and spare time for this project has been at a premium for the past few months. (If you’d like to see one of the other things I’ve been working on, the Kaiju Codex is available from Rite Publishing on DriveThruRPG.)

I’m interested in critique of the Fey Highlord patron, but if you think I should not bother and publish all of my fey-related content through the DM’s Guild, then you’ve missed the point (that this is about expanding into a full third-party setting that I plan to publish), and you can keep that to yourself. I’ve tried to emphasize a different set of mythic notes here than the Archfey Patron does, because it’s hard to break away from a pre-existing text: the imagination is drawn to its gravity.

The Law of Hospitality feature is as much a restriction on the warlock as it is a benefit, but it’s such a part of Celtic and Greek myth (among a whole lot of others) that I just couldn’t pass it by. Fey-Friend and Fey Soul particularly explore the ways that any extended contact with the fey changes mortals, so I would retain these features even for contentious or unknowing warlock/Patron relationships. Fey Fortunes is both better and worse than the Diviner’s Portent feature – better in that you don’t declare this feature until after you see the die roll (oh yeah, it turns out I’ve been playing that wrong as my tiefling Diviner, whoops), and worse in that you get just one initial roll, so there are going to be days where this feature doesn’t give you a lot of freedom to maneuver.

  • Dave(s) 4 Goombella

    I love the Law of Hospitality feature. 5e’s design philosophy generally leaves that kind of Patron/Warlock interplay up to the DM’s discretion, but as you said, it’s such a huge part of mythology that it’s hard to ignore.

    The wording of the third feature of Mantle of Glamor is a little unclear. I think it’s saying “as a bonus action, you can end this mantle to regain a pact magic slot if that slot was expended on the casting of a spell where all targets of that spell succeeded on their saving throws or were immune”

    • I’m glad you like Law of Hospitality! We don’t get a lot of non-numeric features connected to the social interaction pillar of play, and that’s a design space I’d like to do more with.

      You’re spot on with Mantle of Glamour. If you don’t mind, I’ll be adopting your wording.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  • Manos Ti

    OK, I do really want that PDF to come out.

    Also I really like what I see here. OK, FeyFriend is as bit OP if you ask me, but then again this is when you encounter beasts and/or fey.

    I really like Law of Hospitality and Fey Fortunes.

    At the moment I collect third party settings and at some point would like to present them. I would also like to play in most of them, but hey, time is an issue.

    • Glad you like it! Can you talk a little more about your concerns with Fey-Friend? It’s always possible I’ve overlooked something.

    • Manos Ti

      Well, spells that would normally affect monsters instead of humanoids (hold monster comes in mind) are more difficult to get. So, you grant the boost of the minor spells for Fey and Beasts with a first level power. But still, this is only for the aforementioned types of creatures, so I believe that it is more situational than not.

      The same goes more or less for the last feature of the said power; if I understand correctly, you get advantage on all throws against an effect if in the effected area there are no fey. Well, that could be the 99% of the adventure.

      The rest of the features of this power are fine (actually, I love the idea of Cha instead of Dex for initiative).

    • Okay, you’ve understood the first part (Cha for initiative) and second (____ person spells affect fey and beasts) correctly, but I’ll need to reword the third (advantage on saves) part. The point here is that you are not fully of the Fey type, but you’re partway there – so things that cannot affect creatures of the Fey type (again, ____ person spells) grant you advantage on the save.

      Considering how few Spells Known warlocks actually get, I don’t feel too bad about broadening targets for a few of them (charm/hold/dominate person, mainly). Obviously, I can still be wrong about this, but that was my thinking.

    • Manos Ti

      Thanks for the clarification. So yes, this makes much more sense and now it feels more balanced.

      Yeah, the broadening of spells is not that big an issue. It IS pretty strong when against beasts and fey, but then again this probably does not happen in all of the adventure.

  • Colin McLaughlin

    I mentioned it to you in passing, but the Law of Hospitality feature is one I apply to all of Al-Qadim due to the Binding of Salt that exists within the setting. I opt for Bane rather than Bestow Curse, but I like Bestow Curse , here.

    • I like Bane as a “passive” world-law effect, and Bestow Curse as a class feature or special effect, since resolving BC is a step more complicated, as well as more effecacious.

  • Craig Cormier

    Love this whole subclass. I’ve been a fan of your whole Fey article series. I’m definitely going to pick up the finished product.

    My only comment that hasn’t been touched by other people is the wording on the second feature of Fey Soul. Is the intention that the Warlock receive an extra 1d8 damage for *each* creature within 60 feet that is frightened of charmed? Meaning that having 3 frightened guards within 60 feet would grant 3d8 extra damage on a single spell damage or weapon damage roll?

    Or is the “Gain this damage bonus no more than once per turn per creature.” meant to mean that you only deal the extra damage to the creatures that are frightened or charmed?

    • I am so glad you’ve enjoyed the series!

      I’ll work on rewording Fey Soul for clarity. The intent here is that you need to charm or frighten one creature (who doesn’t need to be a target of the thing you’re getting a damage bonus on). As long as that creature is charmed or frightened by you and within 60 ft., you deal extra damage. If you deal damage to two different creatures in the same turn – through a shatter spell, maybe – you can deal your extra damage to each of them. If you deal damage to the same creature twice in the same turn, let’s say through a Blade Pact warlock’s Extra Attack, you deal your extra damage only once.

  • Tim Baker

    I really like the flavor of the abilities granted by this patron. They *feel* very fey, to me. I look forward to the PDF.

  • Fourth Estweet

    So, where do I sign up for more information on this setting in the second to last paragraph? I want it. I covet it. I read through the comments here and I don’t have anything to add, but man! I dig all this so much. I’m going to spend a little while digesting all the articles linked here, but I really want to know when there is a finished product.

    For my own homebrew setting I envision the “prime” world, Shadowfell, and Feywild as all having been one world long ago – fairly standard trope, but I’ve wanted MOAR Feywild in my D&D for, well, ever. If forever is since whenever I first saw Labyrinth. This is so in my wheelhouse.

    • Tim Baker

      This is an awesome comment. I just wanted to say that.

    • Your excitement for this project means a lot to me! I’m working on it as I can; look for another article in the fey series this week, probably.

      The full setting is called Aurikesh. I’ve written about bits and pieces of it in Harbinger of Doom, and it’s the source of a lot of the game content I post there. Check it all out here: http://www.brandesstoddard.com/category/aurikesh/

      In Aurikesh, the Feywild (called the Hidden World) and the Shadowfell (called the Ghostlands) are reflections of the Living World (the in-game translation of “Aurikesh”). Emanations, really. The fey already control the Hidden World, and want to unseat the gods from control of Aurikesh and impose their own cosmic rules – poetic justice in place of moral law, aesthetics over quasi-rational magical physics, that sort of thing. At the same time, there are other enemies – such as the (Lovecraftian) Abominations and the avatar of death called the Nightwalker – who the fey and their agents ally with the gods and their agents to fight. (Which lets me have fey-serving PCs and god-serving PCs on the same team.)

    • Manos Ti

      Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!!! This is really promising.

      I had followed some of the stuff in the Blog and seeing it all come together makes it even better.

    • Your support means so much to me. Thank you!