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The Dryad Evelyn De Morgan (British, 1850-1919) The Dryad Evelyn De Morgan (British, 1850-1919)

Female tree spirits, Dryads are specifically the nymphs of oak trees, though the term has come to be used for all tree nymphs in general.

The nymphs of ash trees were called the Meliai. The ash-tree sisters tended the infant Zeus in Rhea's Cretan cave. Rhea gave birth to the Meliai after being made fertile by the blood of castrated Ouranos.

Dryads, like all nymphs, were supernaturally long-lived and tied to their homes, but some were a step beyond most nymphs. These were the hamadryads who were an integral part of their trees, such that if the tree died, the hamadryad associated with it died as well. For these reasons, dryads and the Greek gods punished any mortals who harmed trees without first propitiating the tree-nymphs.

Exquisitely beautiful tree sprites found deep in secluded woodlands. They sometimes aid adventurers and can prove useful as a source of information. A dryad’s has delicate features and her flesh is like bark or fine wood, and her hair is like a canopy of leaves that changes color with the seasons.

Although they are generally solitary, up to seven dryads have been encountered in one place on rare occasions.

Size/Type Medium fey
Hit Dice 4d6 (14 hp)
Initiative +4
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class 17 (+4 Dexterity, +3 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple +2/+2
Attack Dagger +6 melee (1d4/19-20) or masterwork longbow +7 ranged (1d8/×3)
Full Attack Dagger +6 melee (1d4/19-20) or masterwork longbow +7 ranged (1d8/×3)
Space/Reach 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks Spell-like abilities
Special Qualities Damage reduction 5/cold iron, tree dependent, wild empathy
Saves Fort +3, Ref +8, Will +6
Abilities Strength 10, Dexterity 19, Constitution 11, Intelligence 14, Wisdom 15, Charisma 18
Skills Escape Artist +11, Handle Animal +11, Hide +11, Knowledge (nature) +11, Listen +9, Move Silently +11, Ride +6, Spot +9, Survival +9, Rope Use+4 (+6 with bindings)
Feats Great Fortitude, Weapon Finesse
Environment Temperate forests
Organization Solitary or grove (4-7)
Challenge Rating 3
Treasure Standard
Alignment Usually chaotic good
Advancement By character class
Level Adjustment


Shy, intelligent, and resolute, dryads are as elusive as they are alluring—they avoid physical combat and are rarely seen unless they wish to be. If threatened, or in need of an ally, a dryad uses Charm Person or suggestion, attempting to gain control of the attacker(s) who could help the most against the rest. Any attack on her tree, however, provokes the dryad into a frenzied defense.

Spell-Like Abilities

At will—entangle (DC 13), speak with plants, tree shape;

3/day— charm person (DC 13), deep slumber (DC 15), tree stride;

1/day—suggestion (DC 15). Caster level 6th.

The save DCs are Wisdom-based.

Tree Dependent (Su) Each dryad is mystically bound to a single, enormous oak tree and must never stray more than 300 yards from it. Any who do become ill and die within 4d6 hours. A dryad’s oak does not radiate magic.

Wild Empathy (Ex) This power works like the druid’s wild empathy class feature, except that the dryad has a +6 racial bonus on the check.

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