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[Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Thu May 10, 2018 8:41 pm
by Havard
I was just reading Tim Brannan's Blog today where he mentions Dragon #155 and the article The Folk of the Faerie Kingdom which also includes Rhiannon the Faerie Queen goddess and the "Druids of Rhiannon".

Fairies have been a part of D&D since the beginning. In Dave Arneson's Blackmoor, the Wizard of the Woods commanded Pixies and Ents (later Treants), even before D&D was published. But how much has D&D delved into the world of the Fairies themselves?

In BECMI (Mystara), PC1 Tall Tales of the Wee Folk mentions a world called the Feywood, and details some of the Fey court such as Oberon and Titania.

What other sources across editions go into detail on the realm of the fairies? Is it possible to combine this material? Where does this get problematic?

-Havard

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Thu May 10, 2018 8:58 pm
by Tim Baker
Your subject asks about Faerie before and after 4e -- are you interested in the way the Feywild was described in 4e as well?

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Thu May 10, 2018 9:22 pm
by Havard
Tim Baker wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 8:58 pm
Your subject asks about Faerie before and after 4e -- are you interested in the way the Feywild was described in 4e as well?
Well yes. I wanted to use Feywild in the title, but I also wanted to make it clear that I am looking for sources outside those that normally use the Feywild label. But I am interested in the realm in general :)

-Havard

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Thu May 10, 2018 9:26 pm
by ripvanwormer
Faerie has been a lot of different things over the various editions. In the adventure "Legacy of the Lisosalfar" in Dungeon #42 it was considered to be a parallel Material Plane. In published Greyhawk the closest thing is the Fading Lands detailed in From the Ashes, which include the Faerie Court of Rings, a Stonehenge-like capital of the Seelie Court accessible through a portal in the Welkwood.

This is complicated somewhat by the Seelie Court described in Monster Mythology (which Carl Sargent wrote at around the same time as he wrote From the Ashes; the two books share a lot of references), which is maybe identical to the Faerie Court of Rings even though it's said to move through the outer planes of good and chaos. The Unseelie Court, its wicked counterpart, is in Pandemonium (according to Monster Mythology).

The Fading Lands are defined as demiplanes coexistent with the Prime Material Plane and associated with specific geographical areas there. It wouldn't be difficult at all to redefine them as something like 4e and 5e's Feywild, though, a parallel plane where Oerth's geographic features have Feywild equivalents. So the Faerie Court of Rings exists in the Feywild version of the Welkwood, and the Mines of Dumathoin in the Feywild version of the Stark Mounds. I'd probably move the Crypt of Iron Souls and the Blood Obelisk of Hextor to the Plane of Shadow, though (the former paralleling the Glorioles; the latter paralleling the Gull Cliffs).

Another thing to consider is the Kingdom of Caer Sidi in Q1, which is based on (ripped off from) the Faerie in Poul Anderson's novel Three Hearts and Three Lions. This could be part of the same Feywild as the Seelie Court, but it might be the Feywild of another world.

Still another reference to maybe include is UK1 Beyond the Crystal Cave, which details an otherworldly garden paradise populated with leprechauns, dryads, and other fey creatures. Porpherio's garden could exist in the Feywild version of Sybarate Island, especially considering the oddly flowing time effect.

Finally, consider making EX1 and EX2 part of the Feywild (and even the Isle of the Ape).

For what it's worth, Paul Kidd's Greyhawk novels mentioned the plane of Faerie by that name (one of the protagonists, Escalla, is a literal fairy princess).

As Havard mentioned, PC1 Tall Tales of the Wee Folk was a basic D&D (BECMI) accessory with rules for creating PC versions of the various sylvan races.

Bastion Press's d20 book Faeries is one of the better takes on a Plane of Faerie, written to be very compatible with extant D&D lore. It also has a Stonehenge-like circle in the center of the faerie realm which could be assumed to be identical with Greyhawk's Court of Rings.

Beyond Countless Doorways from Malhavoc Press included a faerie plane called Faraenyl. It appears to be a standard fey land, with oddly flowing time and realms divided by season, but there's a major twist that means it's not exactly what it seems and its inhabitants play a stiff price for maintaining it.

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Fri May 11, 2018 10:35 am
by Havard
Great summary Rip!

I will also add a link to my map of Mystara's Fairie Realm.

How compatible are all of these pre-4E versions compared to 4E's Feywild?

-Havard

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Fri May 11, 2018 11:37 am
by Sturm
Indeed impressive and very useful list of resources and informations!

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Fri May 11, 2018 12:31 pm
by night_druid
The Demi-plane of Faerie popped up in the Darkwalker on the Moonshae series (I forget which book in particular) and has appeared, off and on, in a couple of FR products.

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Fri May 11, 2018 12:32 pm
by Big Mac
I did see a video with Chris Perkins or Mike Meals (it might have been one of the various teasers building up the Tome of Foes hype) where they spoke about the cosmology.

They basically said that the various cosmological models of D&D are all different points of view on the same thing. So everyone is correct. I'm not sure if that goes for the BECMI cosmology, as well as the Great Wheel, the 3rd Edition FR cosmology, the 4th Edition FR cosmology, the Eberron cosmology, the Dragonlance cosmology and the Nentir Vale cosmology.

I do know that Rich Baker's Blades of the Moonsea trilogy had a character who stated that the Shadowfell was just a new name for the Plane of Shadow.

So, it doesn't seem unreasonable to line up the Feywild with a bunch of other planes, demi-planes and realms that serve the same function.

Who knows, maybe a plane could have split in the past or merged in the past. That could be a way (for 5th Edition) to get various versions of the Feywild and other Fey-based planes to play well together.

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Fri May 11, 2018 4:19 pm
by Havard
Big Mac wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 12:32 pm
I did see a video with Chris Perkins or Mike Meals (it might have been one of the various teasers building up the Tome of Foes hype) where they spoke about the cosmology.

They basically said that the various cosmological models of D&D are all different points of view on the same thing. So everyone is correct. I'm not sure if that goes for the BECMI cosmology, as well as the Great Wheel, the 3rd Edition FR cosmology, the 4th Edition FR cosmology, the Eberron cosmology, the Dragonlance cosmology and the Nentir Vale cosmology.

I do know that Rich Baker's Blades of the Moonsea trilogy had a character who stated that the Shadowfell was just a new name for the Plane of Shadow.

So, it doesn't seem unreasonable to line up the Feywild with a bunch of other planes, demi-planes and realms that serve the same function.

Who knows, maybe a plane could have split in the past or merged in the past. That could be a way (for 5th Edition) to get various versions of the Feywild and other Fey-based planes to play well together.
With BECMI it is always tricky, especially if you want to treat BECMI/Mystara with some respect for the uniqueness of that world instead of nerfing it. I am not sure the Fairie World is the most problematic here though since most versions do build on RW Fairy myths.

Personally I have always liked the idea that the Fairy Realm is largely made up of ever changing illusions, Chaos and Energy. So having it change and have different people see it differently really works quite well with this realm. Down to people having different names for it and being confused about who is ruler of what parts of the realm at any time.

I like the idea of the Shadowfell being a new name for the Plane of Shadow and the Feywild simply being yet another name for the Plane of the Fairie. 4E did introduce new concepts such as Ravenloft now being part of the Shadowfell and adding a version of the Isle of Dread to the Feywild along with some races that were not previously identified as Fey.

Does HR3 Celts offer more insight on the realm of the Fairies BTW?

-Havard

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Fri May 11, 2018 10:25 pm
by willpell
The 3rd Edition Manual of the Planes mentions "Faerie" as an optional realm. I'll try to read up on it at some point.

5E carries the 4E Feywild forward more or less unchanged, except that it's now in addition to the Upper Planes rather than largely in place of it.

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 2:50 am
by The Dark
Birthright has an alternate take on the Faerie lands, where they've been corrupted by evil and become the Shadow World that halflings emigrated from. This would clearly be problematic with other versions if all of Faerie is a single plane; it's less problematic if one allows for multiple planes (or demiplanes, semiplanes, semihemidemiplanes, whatever) of Faerie, where one can be corrupted without affecting the others.

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Tue May 22, 2018 11:26 pm
by ripvanwormer
Havard wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 4:19 pm
Does HR3 Celts offer more insight on the realm of the Fairies BTW?
It doesn't treat Faerie as a single realm, but instead has a section, beginning on page 35, on "Magical Places." It's a series of randomized tables listing different qualities and magical effects associated with magical islands, lakes, springs, wells, fortresses, and hidden places that Celtic characters might discover. They're not treated as a separate world, but as intensely magical places located on the same world as mortals. But then, the mortal and faerie worlds may not have separated as firmly in that time period; the advance of technology, cold iron, increasing human population, and perhaps the influence of the Red Death may have caused the worlds to separate more firmly in later centuries.

Regardless, I think it's a very useful series of charts for detailing Faerie, and you could imagine that characters who stumble into such places have actually crossed over planar borders through what the 4e Manual of the Planes called fey crossings and worldfalls, or through what the 3e Manual of the Planes called outpockets and planar bleed.

HR2 Charlemagne's Paladins also has a section, beginning on page 48, on supernatural spirits and the realm of Faerie, which it considers to be a parallel Material Plane.

The 3rd edition Manual of the Planes considered Faerie to be an outer plane (for some reason), but coexistent with the Material Plane in the same way the Plane of Shadow was, with features that matched their Material Plane equivalents, and travelers could move from the Material Plane to Faerie without needing to cross the Astral Plane. Without the seelie and unseelie templates introduced later in Dragon #304, the MotP suggested using the celestial and fiendish templates to represent members of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. The flowing time trait meant that time did strange things between the planes. Portals between the material plane and Faerie were associated with the phases of the moon, the equinoxes, or other significant dates.

See also Fey Feature, a series of articles on Wizards of the Coast's website. Fey Feature built off (without directly referencing) the Seelie and Unseelie templates that author Gwendolyn F. M. Kestral had introduced in Dragon #304 (reprinted in the Dragon Magazine Compendium), interpreting the two courts not as a struggle between good and evil but instead one between the "pure" elite of the faerie realm and mongrel outcasts.

The 4e Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide also has some useful material on the Feywild and how to reach it.

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 9:20 am
by willpell
ripvanwormer wrote:Fey Feature built off (without directly referencing) the Seelie and Unseelie templates that author Gwendolyn F. M. Kestral had introduced in Dragon #304 (reprinted in the Dragon Magazine Compendium), interpreting the two courts not as a struggle between good and evil but instead one between the "pure" elite of the faerie realm and mongrel outcasts.
That's an interesting take, but not one that I agree with. To me, the Seelie are staid conservative traditionalists, but they're not any more elitist than the Unseelie, who are basically anarchists. Given that the fae are creatures of chaos more or less by definition, it would be fair to say that the seemingly virtuous Seelie are denying their truth to an extent, and the Unseelie might well hate them for the hypocrisy of imposing order upon Faerie, using glamers to disguise the ugly truth behind how the Fae came to exist.

(As a side note, I dislike the fact that the ruler of the Unseelie in canon is called the Queen of Air and Darkness. I prefer for her to have an actual name, such as Mab or Oona or Brausig, maybe Ganon or something if you make it a male. Contrasting such a short, primal-sounding moniker with a seelie court full of highfalutin Gwynyfredds and Titanias appeals to my poetic sensibilities.)

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 10:18 pm
by Havard
ripvanwormer wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:26 pm
Havard wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 4:19 pm
Does HR3 Celts offer more insight on the realm of the Fairies BTW?
It doesn't treat Faerie as a single realm, but instead has a section, beginning on page 35, on "Magical Places." It's a series of randomized tables listing different qualities and magical effects associated with magical islands, lakes, springs, wells, fortresses, and hidden places that Celtic characters might discover. They're not treated as a separate world, but as intensely magical places located on the same world as mortals. But then, the mortal and faerie worlds may not have separated as firmly in that time period; the advance of technology, cold iron, increasing human population, and perhaps the influence of the Red Death may have caused the worlds to separate more firmly in later centuries.

Regardless, I think it's a very useful series of charts for detailing Faerie, and you could imagine that characters who stumble into such places have actually crossed over planar borders through what the 4e Manual of the Planes called fey crossings and worldfalls, or through what the 3e Manual of the Planes called outpockets and planar bleed.

HR2 Charlemagne's Paladins also has a section, beginning on page 48, on supernatural spirits and the realm of Faerie, which it considers to be a parallel Material Plane.

The 3rd edition Manual of the Planes considered Faerie to be an outer plane (for some reason), but coexistent with the Material Plane in the same way the Plane of Shadow was, with features that matched their Material Plane equivalents, and travelers could move from the Material Plane to Faerie without needing to cross the Astral Plane. Without the seelie and unseelie templates introduced later in Dragon #304, the MotP suggested using the celestial and fiendish templates to represent members of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts. The flowing time trait meant that time did strange things between the planes. Portals between the material plane and Faerie were associated with the phases of the moon, the equinoxes, or other significant dates.

See also Fey Feature, a series of articles on Wizards of the Coast's website. Fey Feature built off (without directly referencing) the Seelie and Unseelie templates that author Gwendolyn F. M. Kestral had introduced in Dragon #304 (reprinted in the Dragon Magazine Compendium), interpreting the two courts not as a struggle between good and evil but instead one between the "pure" elite of the faerie realm and mongrel outcasts.

The 4e Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide also has some useful material on the Feywild and how to reach it.
Great overview of useful sources!

I am surprised that HR2 and HR3 go so much into the Fey lore, but on the other hand it makes total sense to bring that elemet into those campaigns.

Hmmm...and now I have to buy the 4E FR campaign guide? :D

-Havard

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 10:52 pm
by ripvanwormer
Havard wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 10:18 pm
Hmmm...and now I have to buy the 4E FR campaign guide? :D
I'm not sure if the information on the Feywild there is different from what's in the 4e Manual of the Planes, so maybe not.

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Thu May 24, 2018 6:43 am
by Zeromaru X
Havard wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 10:35 am
How compatible are all of these pre-4E versions compared to 4E's Feywild?

-Havard
4e Feywild is backwards compatible with any Faerie lore that has existed. The lore is basically the same (world of fairies and magic) and 4e Feywild is scarcely mapped. Only a region equivalent to the Nentir Vale. The rest of the world is yours to fill.
Havard wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 10:18 pm

Hmmm...and now I have to buy the 4E FR campaign guide? :D

-Havard
Only if you want to play in the Forgotten Realms, as the section is really specific to that world. I recommend you to buy Heroes of the Feywild instead, as that book includes a lot of general lore you don't find in the MotP.

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Tue May 29, 2018 2:49 pm
by timemrick
Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary (for v.3.5 and later Pathfinder) includes Seelie Creature and Unseelie Creature templates. The background for both describes Faerie as the portions of the Ethereal Plane corresponding to Material Plane locations of ancient, unspoiled wilderness. (That's the version I've adopted for my "Time of the Tarrasque" game, though it hasn't come up in the campaign yet.)

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:58 am
by Big Mac
timemrick wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 2:49 pm
Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary (for v.3.5 and later Pathfinder) includes Seelie Creature and Unseelie Creature templates. The background for both describes Faerie as the portions of the Ethereal Plane corresponding to Material Plane locations of ancient, unspoiled wilderness. (That's the version I've adopted for my "Time of the Tarrasque" game, though it hasn't come up in the campaign yet.)
Interesting.

If that has not been defined as Product Identity, that means that it could be converted to 5e and other OGL rulesets. :)

Re: [Feywild] The Fairie World Before 4E? And after?

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:25 am
by Tim Baker
Big Mac wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:58 am
If that has not been defined as Product Identity, that means that it could be converted to 5e and other OGL rulesets. :)
I just double checked both versions, and the content hasn't been defined as Product Identity in either.