Dryads as a PC/NPC RaceI've always been a big fan of dryads, probably because one of my first exposures to epic fantasy was the Belgariad by David Eddings, and a dryad figures into that series as a major character. Official dryads in Pathfinder have certain limitations that prevent them from being a usable character race, most notably the fact that they are essentially 'tethered' to their tree and straying too far from it is eventually fatal. Dryads are mysterious and insular by nature, but the dryads presented below are somewhat more worldly than their Pathfinder-canon counterparts. Due to their fey nature, they have certain special racial traits and abilities, but I've tried to balance those out with disadvantages that I believe make sense.
- +2 Charisma, +2 Wisdom, -2 Strength: Dryads are wise, beautiful, and subtle, and tend to prefer magic over brute strength.
- Medium: Dryads are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Normal Speed: Dryads have a base speed of 30 feet.
- Fey Immunities: Dryads are immune to charm effects and get a +2 racial saving throw bonus against other enchantment spells and effects.
- Fey Magic: Dryads get a +2 racial bonus to their caster level for enchantment spells.
- Aversion to Metal: Dryads get a -4 penalty to skills, attack rolls, saving throws, and ability checks when touching metal or carrying metal anywhere on their person. However, metal weapons have no special bonuses against dryads.
- Treebound: A dryad's life force is bound to the tree of her choosing. She may undergo a 24-hour ritual to bind herself to a different tree. If a dryad's tree is cut down or otherwise killed, she becomes sickened and takes 1d6 points of Constitution damage per day until she is bound to a new tree.
- Forestbound: Dryads become sickened if they are ever more than 1200 yards from the nearest tree. In addition, after every hour spent in a polluted, blighted, or densely populated area (anything larger than a small city), dryads must make a DC 15 fortitude save or become nauseated for the next hour.
- Natural Armor: Dryads receive a +3 racial bonus to their natural armor.
- Tree Meld: A dryad can meld with any tree, similar to how the spell meld into stone functions. She can remain melded with a tree as long as she wishes. Dryads must Tree Meld in order to rest. Tree Meld is a supernatural ability.
- Weapon Familiarity: Dryads are proficient with longbows (including composite longbows), quarterstaves, and shortbows (including composite shortbows).
- Wild Empathy: This works like the druid's wild empathy class feature, except the dryad has a +2 racial bonus on the check, and an additional +1 for every 4 class levels. Dryads with druid levels add this racial modifier to their wild empathy checks.
- Woodcraft: Dryads receive a +2 bonus to all craft checks involving wood, and an additional +1 for every 4 class levels.
- Languages: Dryads begin play speaking Common and Sylvan. Dryads with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Celestial, Draconic, Elven, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, and Orc.