Magic is the lifeblood of fantasy. Arguably the dividing line between fantasy and other types of fiction, magic can be strange, mysterious, frightening, comical, or anything in between. And if you’re looking to explore the applications of magic in a fantasy roleplaying campaign, you want to visit the Sorcery Stop! 

HEDGE WIZARD

You have a way with plants and animals and a fascination with anatomy. You spend most of your time at the edge of a settlement and are considered eccentric at best by its residents. Working with the physiology of living creatures comes naturally to you, though your knowledge is not always understood or welcomed by others; you have learned to either flaunt and overstate your skills or hide them, depending on your audience.

How did you come by your knowledge? Are you truly a natural, self-taught, or did you have a mentor? You are not necessarily a spellcaster, though it is likely you have picked up a few minor magic tricks over the years. The source of your proficiency likely also informs your reasons for remaining isolated; were you taught by a fey creature in the wild? Did you learn at the feet of a village healer or midwife? Did you study with a druid, only to find you lacked the rigor necessary to follow in their footsteps? Perhaps you were the assistant to a necromancer, required to learn the ins and outs of anatomy, or perhaps you were needed as a field medic in a military operation.

Skill Proficiencies: Performance, Medicine.

Tool proficiencies: Herbalism kit, one other tool kit of your choice.

Equipment: An Herbalism Kit, a vial of antitoxin, 5 candles, a set of common clothes, an iron pot, and a belt pouch containing 10 gp.

FEATURE: MINOR CELEBRITY

As an herbalist, healer, and sometime instructor, you cannot help but be well-known to your neighboring settlement – possibly even to several nearby settlements. While you may not be fully trusted, you are definitely respected, and even those who devote their lives to greater magicks than you possess will often seek you out for advice on esoteric topics they lack the time or inclination to study. You get along as well with animals as people – possibly better – and generally have little to fear from even the wildest of creatures.

As long as you are conscious, a beast, fey, monstrosity, or plant that can see you will never behave in a hostile manner toward you unless you or one of your companions attack it.

SUGGESTED CHARACTERISTICS

Hedge wizards are shaped by their experiences both in rustic and wild areas as well as in dealing with the people who live there. Their mannerisms and ideals are developed around basic knowledge of physiology and medicinal treatments, as well as other applied sciences.  Their flaws might be antisocial or even misanthropic ideologies, or possibly even empathetic causes such as healing, healthiness, or the protection of weaker creatures, taken to extremes.

Hedge wizards have a lot in common with acolytes and hermits, and players who select this background may wish to choose from among the traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws provided for those options. Given a hedge wizard’s role as a community resource, aspects of the Folk Hero or even Entertainer background might apply as well. In addition to those options, Hedge Wizards can choose from the list below

Personality Trait
I identify strongly with a common forest animal and seek to emulate what I see as its better aspects.
I believe the world around us speaks the truest secrets of all, which we can understand if we learn to listen properly.
I believe that every ailment has a remedy, and I will be the one to find it.
I take my role as an advisor to my community very seriously and will do nothing to jeopardize it.
True power has eluded me, but you’d never know that if you asked the rubes who live nearby.
I believe the old ways are best and have no tolerance for those who lack the patience to learn them.

 

Ideal
Decency. All creatures deserve comfort and care (Good)
Development. I must learn all I can to develop my abilities (Lawful)
Hubris. The study of anatomy will lead me to important breakthroughs. (Neutral)
Calculated. Those I aid fall deeper and deeper into my debt. (Neutral)
Obtuse. There is no need to learn anything more advanced than the basics. (Neutral)
Narcissistic. The secrets of the hidden world will be mine and mine alone. (Evil)

 

Bond
My secrets are few but must remain obscure to others.
I will carry on my mentor’s mission until the day I die.
No one needs to know the effort I put into keeping them healthy.
I will never allow harm to the animals who cared for me as a child.
Those who underestimate my abilities will live to rue their ignorance.
I will aid the fae of the deep glens in retaking the lands stolen from them.

 

Flaw
I prefer the company of animals to that of my own kind.
I burn with envy for those with greater skills or power than I have.
My social skills are atrophied form years spent in the company of animals.
I deride practitioners of magic as lacking the drive for practical study
I refuse to see civilization as anything but a blight on the natural world
I give everything to those I seek to aid, even to the point of my own ruin.

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