Over a year ago, we published one of our most popular articles concerning new subclass options for your Genasi PC; giving you a chance to play a Genasi of smoke, Ice, Magma and a number of other Paraelemental options. Today we bring you one of the results of various magical corruptions in the Genasi bloodline.
There are many ways that the elements can be infused with dangerous magical pollutions. One such corruption may be just under the feet of your party. Deep within the Underdark where the Drow live and sneak, there is a mysterious and unpredictable seepage of magic that defines how and where the Drow actually live.
In fact, the magical radiation called Faerzress by the Drow is a leftover from the very beginnings of the separation or the Underdark Elves and their surface cousins. There are no tomes spelling it out, but the oldest translation of the very word FRAERZRESS ends up meaning DOMINATION MAGIC. Most of the eldest scholars, both above and below the surface, feel that its creation was about keeping the Drow IN the Underdark.
Strangely enough, it had the opposite effect. Instead of fearing it and settling as far away from it as possible, it come to define Drow culture and where they built their cities ie. as close to the Faerzress as possible. Why? Well, let me expand.
Instead of a punitive effect, the mystical radiation tended to protect the Drow. First of all, its magic interfered with certain Divination spells like Scrying making it difficult for the surface dwellers to spy upon them. On top of that, it interfered with the magical ability to teleport near their cities. One could still attempt a magical jump near one of the Drow cities, but at your own peril. It made the travel dangerous to predict, thus keeping unwanted eyes and ears and, as far as that goes, the rest of their enemies away from them.
FAERZRESS’ EFFECT ON EARTH GENASI IN THE UNDERDARK
Even more unpredictable was this magical radiation’s effect on those born in its vicinity with a Genasi bloodline, especially of the element of Earth. In some form or fashion, these beings descended from the Dao bloodline being born with a unique connection with the Earth around them. Now most, although born and raised near the Faerzress, find no complications. But a few are directly affected to the point that there are changes both to their physical nature and the way they respond to certain magical stimuli.
These ‘earth-blooded’ individuals may only show a slight change in their appearance; giving off a faint greenish glow, especially when they cast spells. Others may grow to the extreme. These wild mutations may have veins of neon green faerzress running throughout their body. In fact, their hair may seem to flow from their head, running like many bright rivers. Their eyes may unnervingly glow with the same bright emerald light making them look unearthly (which is ironic).
The Faerzress-Infused Genasi will learn at a young age to be careful around magic. Whether they learn to cast it or not, having spells cast near them is more than dangerous, it’s totally unpredictable. But, still, some walk the dangerous line and either learn magic or, gods help them, they begin to show a natural affinity for magic. Whether Wizard or Sorcerer, they will have to live a disciplined life with their magic or face very dire consequences.
FAERZRESS INFUSED GENASI
Being born with deep roots in the land surrounding you, you could not help but grow changed by the magical radiation of the Fearzress. It’s brought your life nothing but chaos. You have come to the conclusion that you will either grapple with this chaos in hopes of controlling it or unleash it upon the world.
ABILITY SCORES: +1 increase to Constitution
WAVES OF CHAOS
Every spell cast around you brings the possibility of mishaps. With every spell cast, both from you or a subject within 5 feet of you, you roll on the Wild Magic Surge Table (either found in the DM’s guide or homebrewed). If you are already rolling on the Wild Magic Surge Table due to a subclass or other feature, you do at disadvantage, adding to the potential of a Wild Magic Surge happening.
RESISTANCE TO SCRYING AND TELEPORTATION
All attempts to scry you meet with resistance. Wisdom saves against any divination spell are at advantage. Also, spells that move an enemy within 5 feet of you or away from you while being within 5 feet also are troublesome. Attempts to do so have a 50% chance of failing.
Unfortunately, any attempts you make to scry or move magically will also have a 50% chance of failing.
HARD TO HURT
You know either the Resistance or Guidance cantrip. Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the Silvery Barbs spell once with this trait as a 1st-level spell and you regain the ability to cast it this way when you finish a long rest. Constitution is your spellcasting ability for these spells.
USING THE FAERZRESS INFUSED GENASI AS A PC
Playing this type of character as a caster whether full or part, of course, comes with its problems. However, a few of the ready-made subclass options make total sense with this racial choice.
First of all, obviously, this Genasi option would make a great Wild Magic Sorcerer. It would make them more dangerous, but also more fun to play. Your exposure to Faerzress may be all the explanation you need for where this wild magic comes from.
The other easy fit is the Wild Surge Barbarian. Your PC living around the Faerzress could explain your Barbarians ability to see magic and it feeding into your rage and the wonderous and dangerous magic it unleashes.
You could build your NPC as the Wild Magic Sorcerer or Barbarian as stated above or go off the beaten track. Could you imagine a dark Rogue Assassin who can’t be scryed or magically snuck up on easily? If your Genasi grew up among the Drow, you could build them as a chaos cleric of Lolth. Possibly, the NPC is a Warlock answering to a Genii warped and enhanced by the magical radiation who wants to spread it to the surface.
Now, although Genasi is the actual race, using another Underdark denizen to flavor your PC is a bad idea. Drow seems like an obvious choice, but Tieflings make as much sense as any since the Drow are known to cross bloodlines with the Fiends. Other great choices are Underdark favorites Deep Gnome, Goblin, Kobold or Duergar. You will, of course, only get the racial benefits of the Genasi, but I think making your character even more unique is never a bad idea.
FAERZRESS INFUSED GENASI AS NPCs AND MONSTERS FOR YOUR CAMPAIGN
Not all Genasi of this sort have to be naturally bred. A Faerzress-Infused Genasi may be the result of magical experimentation. If there’s one thing Wizards love is more knowledge. And some could care less what they unleash upon the world in the process or who they torture. Your PC or your games NPC may have been actually infused with experimental treatments to create something truly horrifying. Bred to be a walking magical timebomb, there are many organizations and evil geniuses that would not hesitate to use such a being as an assassin or weapon of mass terror and destruction.
Using the above subrace template and building them as enhanced sorcerers who draw off the radical energies flowing through them. They could be used as bombs, inserting themselves into combat with the party and threatening to destroy them and itself with dangerous Wild Magic explosions. The DM could produce a wild surge table that is quite a bit more deadly turning a simple combat into a struggle for survival. As far as that’s concerned, a Wild Surge Barbarian would make a much better raging bomb.
If you, as Dm, want to go a bit farther and make something much more challenging, maybe create an actual Faerzress Elemental. Using the above stats for the regular Earth Elemental, you could easily use something akin to a legendary action. Causing a damaging Wild Magic Surge off the table and possible having to be recharged like Dragon’s breath weapon.
If you want to make it even more deadly an encounter, give them some sort of wild surge every turn, but the more you add, the higher the CR and more experienced the party will need to be.
Of course, any of these infused elementals would have the same effect on Scrying and teleportation of any type the same as the para-genasi making them hard to cast magic around or to escape magically.
What are your thoughts on this type of PC, NPC or creature? What would you do? What HAVE you done? We are always interested in what you have to say as we do not brew our games in a vacuum.
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