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Spirits dwell in all corners of the world, from lost souls mourning their own ends to natural spirits frolicking under the sky. At times, some spirits become aware of the mortal races out of fascination or jealousy, and in this awareness these spirits gain a sense of attachment to the mortal realm. Once this attachment is made, the spiritfolk fashions or inhabits a body and starts an existence to explore it.
Supernatural within the Mundane
As a spirit, a spiritfolk is a supernatural entity. When it took on a mortal form, it assumed one that was close to those who originally caught its attention. From a distance, a spiritfolk looks like any other member of the race its body is based on, be that elf, human, gnome, or any other race. However, when observed closely, something about the spiritfolk is different. It could be a gleam in the eye, a subtle smell, or just the passage of air around it. For those who favor the spirit, these eccentricities are appealing, while in those who shun it, these qualities are unsettling.
Attached and Defensive
Spiritfolk try to lead a normal life among mortals. The facets of their attachment drive them to such mundanity, and spiritfolk will go to lengths to maintain the illusion that they are normal folk.
The attachment depends on the particular spiritfolk. Some become attached to an individual through curiosity or love, while other attach to communities or ideas. Some spiritfolk are also attached to goals and objects, and may feel compelled to follow such when they are relocated from the spirit’s domain. Regardless of the source of the attachment, it is what causes the spirit to forsake its true existence to mingle amongst creatures of flesh and bone. In no case is the attachment an obsession, it is a catalyst to explore life anew.
The spiritfolk is aware of its true nature, even if it can’t recall everything, but the attachment is so strong that it will do what it feels it must to guard the secret of its nature. Common legends report spiritfolk who hold certain conditions for those around it to never forsake, such as not touching a certain object or broaching a certain subject, and when these conditions are broken, the spiritfolk surrenders its mortal shell and abandons its attachment, sometimes cursing one who forsook it.
A New Lease on Life
When a spiritfolk adopts a body, it surrenders much of its spiritual existence and memory, creating a new identity of a sort. From the moment of this new “birth” it seeks to immerse itself in the attachment that spurned it to abandon its nature and cohabitate with mortals. The attachment gives the spiritfolk a sense of newfound wonder in exploring the world with a new perspective. It isn’t unusual for a spiritfolk to take up adventuring in further exploring an attachment or traveling with those who it has become attached.
Spiritfolk tend to take names that are common among the people it becomes attached to, but some prefer names after objects or concepts they adore. In some cases, a spiritfolk had a name before becoming a spirit and takes on that name again. In rare cases, a spiritfolk may use the name its spirit is known by, but this often results in its nature being uncovered, and forcing it to depart its attachment.
Your spiritfolk character has several abilities inherent to its true nature as a spirit.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2.
Age. Spiritfolk have lived lives in the past, reborn as free-willed spirits with a connection to humanoid civilization. When they take to the flesh again, they abandon much of their past and lose access to much of their distant memories. While the age of your soul can be great, your body is likely new. You can expect your mortal form to endure for 150 years of normal wear and tear, your appearance aging as you feel fit.
Alignment. You are anathema to the order of the universe and tend to value freedom, but you also favor attachment, as attachment is what caused you to forsake your spirit nature and live among mortals. You can be selfish or altruistic, most likely suffering the same flaws from your previous existence, and possibly doomed to repeat the same misfortunes.
Size. You adapt your form the people you choose to live among, you are your choice of Small or Medium.
Speed. Your movement speed is 30 feet if you are Medium, or 25 feet is you are Small.
Spirit Form. When you are reduced to 0 hit points, you can animate your body, regaining 1 hit point and a number of temporary hit points equal to twice your level. When these temporary hit points are depleted or after a number of rounds equal to your proficiency bonus, your hit points are reduced to 0, but you are stable. You can’t use this feature again until your finish a long rest.
Supernatural Nature. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened, and magic and psionics can’t put you to sleep. You are vulnerable to effects such as protection from evil and good, magic circle, and spirit ward*.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one languages of your choice.
Subrace. Four common spiritfolk subraces can be found among mortals: dryads, forsaken, ondine, and wisps.
A dryads is a woodland spirit likely to have an interest in the affairs of humanoids, and it is common for a dryad to become infatuated with humanoid culture and customs. Such a dryad creates a humanoid body composed of transmuted plants and wood to mingle among the mortal races.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
One with Nature. Plants recognize you as one of them. A plant creature won’t attack you unless you or an ally attacks it first. When a spell, power, or other effect uses plants against you, you increase your AC by 2 or add 2 to your saving throw against the effect.
Woodland Guile. You are supernaturally beguiling. You know the friends cantrip and can cast it without spell components. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the charm person spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so again when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the entangle spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Your spellcasting ability for these spells is your choice of Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma.
Supernatural Tell. A dryad frequently adorns itself with flowers or reeds it grows within itself, or has the scent of pollen or bark.
The dead taken form, a forsaken spiritfolk has abandoned the grave and afterlife for a newfound attachment to the living world. Love and duty are common causes for the betrayal of the cycle of life and death. Many of these spiritfolk are stoic, as they wish to conceal their true natures.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Invoke Curse. Having suffered in a previous life, you can release your pain. As an action, you incite a curse against one creature you can see that can hear you. It doesn’t need to understand you. It must make a Wisdom saving throw against a DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier. On a failed save, the creature makes attack rolls and ability checks with disadvantage for 1 minute so long as you can see it. Once you incite a curse, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest.
Timeless. Having lived a previous life, you retain some knowledge of the past. You gain one skill proficiency and one language of your choice. When you make an Intelligence ability check connected to a past life, you do so with advantage.
Supernatural Tell. A forsaken commonly has certain qualities that make it seem unusual such as darker eyes, pale skin, cold breath, or a slight smell of death.
A spirit connected to the water infatuated by life ashore, the ondine is a curious creature. They tend to be collectors of some form or another, whether of baubles and trinkets, mementos, or tales. Ondines also relish keeping secrets, no matter how small or trivial, if only to keep their friends guessing. They are the most sociable of the spiritfolk.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Pure Waters. Through your nature as a water spirit, you can cast purify food and drink at will, but can only affect water. Curiously, when you prepare meals containing water or fish, such meals have clean and smooth qualities.
Reed Walker. You can breathe air and water, and have a swimming speed equal to your walking speed. While swimming, you can move through a space one size smaller than you without squeezing.
Supernatural Tell. An ondine has trouble holding still, preferring to keep in motion. It is also common that an ondine’s sweat smells of fresh water and that water tends to roll off their skin.
Wisp spiritfolk are disembodied spirits of the wind taking form from dust, leaves, and pollen. They are playful and capricious, often finding it hard to walk among mortals for long before their fancies take them elsewhere or they betray their natures.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Sylphid. You can discorporate your body, becoming like the air. For 1 minute, you can hover. During this time you can use your action, to gain a flying speed equal to your walking speed until the start of your next turn. You can use this trait a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
Wind Passage. Strong winds blow pass you. You never need to spend additional movement when moving against the wind.
Supernatural Tell. A wisp has an exotic look, including larger or tweaked eyes, ephemeral hair, or a soft breeze that randomly blows in its presence.