In going over the upcoming Feywild adventure book, The Wild in the Witchlight, we found that they were giving it the DOMAIN treatment much like Ravenloft has sported for over two decades. Only, instead of Domains of Dread, Chris Perkins and his whimsical pixies over at Wizards of the Coast are treating us to Domains of Delight, quite literally. Only one is mentioned in the write-ups and interviews with the books creator, but, you know us. We can’t help ourselves.
This all started on our COLD BREW stream on saturday nights (around 7 pm). We were actually talking Druids and Peter Pan came up. Well, in the end, we decided that he was closer to a Warlock; although I have seen some impressive builds online that multiclass him as rogue, fighter and one of the magic using classes. I had to table the discussion until details about The Wild in the WItchlight got me thinking again.
Obviously Neverland is in the Feywild. Where else could anyone live out their lives as ageless children? Also Tinkerbell being a Fairy (one of the races you can play in this set) screams FEY! See my write up on this set and what domians can mean including some suggestions.
But if Neverland is a domain in the Feywild. What is the flavor? What creatures live there? And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, who is the Archfey who lords over it?
Well, Neverland is a refuge for the ‘lost’, the abused and forgotten. It is a monument against bad parenting. It is this way due to the power that looks over this land. Known only as the Happy Thoughts, this entity can’t stand to see children sad or suffering. But, instead of sitting back and doing nothing, this Archfey views these things as a call to action.
The Archfey of Happy Thoughts is a formless, faceless power that protects Neverland and its charges. It is never seen as being, only as those thoughts that prevail against the terrible past lives of these children. In Neverland, this Archfey is represented by a powerful child warlock who has taken up its cause and rallies the ‘Lost Ones’ as their leader. This child is known as the PAN. There have been many Pans throughout time as some sadly perished, others lost their Patron’s vision and even others moved on to the Prime Material Plane to become one of the many scouts on the many worlds where children are in need of, not only, a happy thought, but a place to live free of the dark, violent influence of adults.
Not being a deity, it can’t possibly know all planes at the same time, so it enlists emissaries to scour the planes in search of children who need its protection. These SCOUTS are warlocks of varying power who take up the charge of the Archfey and live their lives finding those in need and whisking them away to Neverland to join the other ‘Lost Ones’.
These scouts try and spend as little time on their plane of choice as not to age too old. They would rather stay with the other ‘Lost Ones’ and play, but they are usually a bit older and mature (but not much) and know what must be done. As stated above, those who spend too much time in the Prime Material may grow too old and find themselves allured by the adult life.
WARLOCK PATRON: ARCHFEY of HAPPY THOUGHTS
You have come into contact with a powerful Archfey who never reveals its form, but speaks to you in the most whimsical terms. This contact can come in many forms (see list below for ideas). Only the young can hear the call and gain access to the happy thoughts that power their mission. You probably spent many years playing and living an incredibly happy life in Neverland. But there came a moment in your young life that you realize either the necessity of aiding the Archfey or maybe you just wanted to be like PAN.
POINT OF CONTACT WITH THE PATRON (usually through an emmissary)
- After suffering the abuse of an intoxicated parent, you spent the night crying yourself to sleep.Once asleep, you have a powerful dream of happiness about a place where kids like you play all day and never grow up. When you wake up, a young, playful scout is waiting to take you away.
- You have lived your life in the cruel environment of a badly run orphanage. You don’t know much about your parents or why they abandoned you. One night, while running away from that terrible place, you are met in the woods by another child who offers you a chance to visit a magical place far away from all of this pain.
- Your parents always loved and cared for you, but the world is a dark and dangerous place. One night, your village is besieged by a band of warring Orcs and your parents are killed in front of you. You flee into the forest with these monsters in hot pursuit. Suddenly, another child takes your hand and leads you to safety.
- Being the child of royalty isn’t always fun and games. When one regime overthrows another, either the former regents are outright executed or imprisoned. You were fortunate enough to escape death by the hands of the new ‘royal family’. You’ve enjoyed Neverland ever since, but there’s always a nagging thought about revenge and/or salvation for your family.
- Your mother died when you were young and your father disappeared long ago participating in a quest or crusade. After a few years of living with your next closest relative who obviously didn’t want you and doesn’t care, the scout appears and offers you a way out.
- You were always a rather mischievous child and always getting into some kind of trouble. Venturing too far into the thick wood as you were prone to do, you find yourself lost. Surrounded by the dangerous wild, it was only a matter of time before you are devoured by one of the many beasts who live here. On one such night, while you were being hunted by a dark beast, a child grabs your hand and leads you not into the woods, but into the sky.
ARCHFEY EXPANDED SPELLS
For the most part, this list is pretty complete; touching upon a myriad of Fey options. You may make a substitution of POLYMORPH for DOMINATE PERSON, although both are very useful. ENTANGLE seems like a good substitution at first level, but SLEEP and FAERIE FIRE are pretty solid. Of all the spells on the list, PLANT GROWTH is my least favorite. Maybe substitute FLY, so your warlock can fly on it’s own by third level.
FEY PRESENCE (1st LEVEL)
Whether or not your original base is Fey, this way they get the presence which can be either fearsome or whimsical. I see the latter being a go to for a Scout of Happy Thoughts; trying to keep things light and happy. But, if faced by adults who try your patience, it’s totally allowable to come at them with the frightening power of the Feywild.
ELDRITCH INVOCATIONS (2nd LEVEL)
The invocations are a real Warlock class special feature allowing you to access more spell-like abilities and special moves that other classes do not offer in such a form. You pick two at 2nd level and can exchange them at level ups. The number of Invocations known grow as you do (see the Phb class progression).
There are lots of great options here including increasing your eldritch blast damage via AGONIZING BLAST, add pushback with REPELLING BLAST and upping the range with ELDRITCH SPEAR. You can gain access to spells from other spellcaster lists like MAGE ARMOR, SPEAK WITH ANIMALS, CONFUSION, COMPULSION, DETECT MAGIC, FALSE LIFE, POLYMORPH, BESTOW CURSE, LEVITATE, BANE, DISGUISE SELF, CONJURE ELEMENTAL, ARCANE EYE, SPEAK WITH THE DEAD, SILENT IMAGE and SLOW.
Some of the best Invocations for our Fey powered Warlock while serving the HAPPY THOUGHTS would be the MASK OF MANY FACES, SCULPTOR OF FLESH (7th level), DREADFUL WORD (7th level) and WITCH SIGHT to see though illusions and invisibility (15th level).
The special invocation, GAZE OF TWO MINDS, works with any creature even your familiar. And the invocations specific to the PACT OF THE CHAIN are highly useful here, also. VOICE OF THE CHAIN MASTER gives you more options with the Familiar and CHAINS OF CARCERI gives you a special HOLD MONSTER but it is limited to celestial, fiend or elemental.
PACT BOON (4rd LEVEL)
Obviously, you can’t have a proper Pan-like character without Tinkerbell. So I suggest you choose PACT OF THE CHAIN. It gives you the find familiar spell which doesn’t count against your ‘number of spells known’. But this is where you may have to do some substitution. As always, this is one of those moments you need to talk to your DM.
The options for familiar of the Fey Patron are Psuedodragon and Sprite. These are both fine, but we want the option to fly to come rather early in your adventure. Now, all according what kind of game your DM is running, this may be a bit OP and it might be prudent to just substitute FLY on the expanded spell list and call it a day. But, if your DM is in agreement with us, possibly PIXIE is a good alternative.
BUT, although PIXIE is the same challenge rating, there are some obvious problems here that can derail and flip the balance of a game. The main issue is the Pixie’s once a day spell list. Even limiting this list to once a day, spells like POLYMORPH could just be too much for a fourth level party. SO we either give the Sprite FLY once a day or create a special Pixie that has all of the stats of the original Pixie minus all of the spells but FLY. But, once you look over the comparison of stats you see taking away the many spells of the Pixie makes it defenseless, so the first option of our adjusted SPRITE is the best option.
MISTY ESCAPE (6th LEVEL)
This is always a great spell for a Warlock. They aren’t the tanks of the party and being able to disappear from danger especially after taking damage is an amazing option. Your character may use it in name of whimsey and go to frustrate the attacks of your opponent by blinking out in a playful way. And speaking of BLINK, you get access to that spell as a part of your expanded spells.
BEGUILING DEFENSES (10th LEVEL)
Being immune to charm is rather handy, but being able to reflect that back at the enemy who attempted it is priceless.
MYSTIC ARCANUM (11th, 13th, 15th and 17th LEVEL)
Although your Warlocks normal spell list is limited to not higher than 5th Level, this options allows you basically a free spell slot of higher levels.
11th level gets a 6th level spell. Great Options for this Fey powered warlock are CONJURE FEY and MASS SUGGESTION.
13th level receives a 7th level spell. Great Options: Escape spells like ETHERALNESS and PLANE SHIFT.
15th level receives an 8th level spell. Great Options: DOMINATE MONSTER, DEMIPLANE, FEBBLEMIND, POWER WORD STUN and, even, GLIBNESS.
17th level recieves an 9th level spell. Great Options: Any really.
DARK DELIRIUM (14th LEVEL)
This option gives you a full on attempt to charm or frighten you enemy. Get creative. It says, if your target fails the save, they are plunged into the illusion of your choice and can only see the illusion, you and themselves. This is one of those cinematic moments where you get a little ‘alone time’ in the mind of an enemy. Use it wisely.
ELDRITCH MASTER (20th LEVEL)
This allows you to spend 1 minute to regain expended spell slots given by your Pact Magic Feature once per long rest. Nothing more to see here.
Along the way, your Warlock, of course, gets access to spells of the Warlock spells list. Although not as extensive as the studied Wizard or the natural power of the Sorcerer, it can still be quite powerful and helpful to your party.
MINOR ILLUSION is a good spell for a Warlock of the Happy Thoughts. Creating images from the imagination of your character, can become useful in or out of battle. This brings up a question that your DM will have to answer. Many DMs feel that attempting to distract during battle with MINOR ILLUSION (say with an image of another attacker) is not allowed because the spell is not powerful enough. I, however, don’t see a problem. The target of the illusion gets an intelligence (Investigation) check to get a chance to see through it. If they don’t, their distraction should act the same way as being engaged by another attacker. This way, other attackers would get advantage but only once since the image doesn’t move. It would be figured out after that, I think unless your opponent is dumber than a bag of hammers. And, if attacked, it would dissipate. BUT it’s creative thinking and I like to reward that.
Other illusionary spells like INVISIBILITY, MIRROR IMAGE, FEAR, HYPNOTIC PATTERN, MAJOR IMAGE, HALLUCINATORY TERRAIN, and DREAM are also good options.
Enchantment would be another school rich in spells that compliment the Fey power you’re working with. CHARM PERSON is a 1st level spell that can get you through doors if you don’t have that heavily persuasive Bard around. ENTRALL and SUGGESTION can work in most noncombat situations also.
HOLD MONSTER is good for preventing a fight, momentarily. Oddly, it says nothing about coming out of the spell if attacked, so you may be able waylay it until it makes its save. But I, as DM, might give the poor creature advantage on that save if it’s being beaten to death. But that’s up to your DM.
TRAVELING TO NEVERLAND
This could get a bit tricky. This should only be possible if your warlock has found a child that needs to be transported. Your character may escort the new ‘LOST ONE’ or simply allow your familiar to take them. This begs the question: HOW?
Your DM may allow your warlock to have in their possession some magic item that will activate when the need arises. It will only open the portal with a new LOST ONE present and only allow themselves access on occasions that the Patron allows. Possibly, the Archfey of HAPPY THOUGHTS wants to reward his scout in some way or, maybe there is a special mission it needs the warlock to take one. OR the Archfey and/or the PAN is calling a special meeting. The DM can make the rules per story. I think it will give your DM the tools to build an amazing story for your character.
Your DM can always just allow your familiar to own the object or spell that can only be activated by permission of the Patron. Either way, it must be controlled and not end up being the warlocks free ride to the Feywild. He or she has, after all, made an agreement for the power they are wielding. Serving the Patron by saving LOST ONES is priority number one. You are dedicated to it and gladly allow yourself to act as savior to so many sad, abandoned and abused children.
Speaking of this, it doesn’t have to be the focus of the group. Wherever your party goes, your Warlock can spend a bit of off time doing his duty without derailing the adventure. But it could SO be part of the focus of the story; finding your party fighting many evils that add to the sadness and pain of so many children.
- Your party and your Warlock find themselves tracking a most dangerous Fey; the dread HAG. Saving children from Hags and her minions would totally be in the agreement between the warlock and the HAPPY THOUGHTS. Either the Hag is devouring them and replacing them with their own ‘child’ or maybe a NIGHT HAG is collecting souls for their soul bag.
- Disappearances of children across the land set you and your party against a group of slavers that specialize in children. For what purpose is unknown. You just know that you and your Patron will not stand for it.
- You hunt a creature who has been devouring children who you find is a Barghest. When you catch up to it, it’s in the process of destroying a goblin encampment and devouring its children. Surely, your quest includes ALL children, right? Do you save the goblin children or just focus on killing the beast?
- A child you are trying to save is apparently promised to an Archfiend in contract. How do you save the child without bringing your patron in direct conflict with the fiend?
- You trace a traveling orphan collector to a dark keep and a powerful Lich who is feeding off the souls of the children.
- A shadow has cast itself upon the land and people are dying to some kind of plague. Those that don’t die are drained and sickened. There is also an infestation of ghouls and ghasts. The children in this area are scared, some alone and others infected leading your Patron to call upon you to look into it. The culprits are a whole cabal of Nabassus who mean to devour everything in sight.
- A cleric of BANE who has found a peculiar use for souls: powering his magic armor and energizing his spells. He’s particularly fond of children’s souls; thinking them to be more pure and full of power.
- A necromancer has found a way to keep their youth by stealing the life essence of the youngest mortals they can.
- Following the pain and sorrow of many children, you and your party find yourselves up against a most dangerous BBEG: A child sorcerer fueled by rage who is dead-set on destroying EVERYTHING.
There’s so much more to explore in Neverland as a Domain of Delight in the Feywild, Pan and his scouts as Warlocks and the whole Archfey of Happy Thoughts. SO much to flesh out here. But I have to cut this, for now. I’ve probably went on too long. Leave your ideas and things you’ve used in YOUR games in the comments. Check out the stream on Saturday around 7 PM only on twitch. Look for videos of that stream on Youtube or Twitch. Look for themagictavern on all forms of media.