I like the race you've built, but it doesn't feel like the sylvari to me. I feel like I'm being a dick saying this, but I'd change a fair bit of it, in fact I'd pretty much gut out the parts of this interesting race you've made that make it interesting.
Keep in mind I've not gone out hunting their lore, but my first character at launch was a sylvari thief. So there may be some specifics I've not heard about, but I know them fairly well.SpeciesSylvari
The sylvari are a young, inquisitive race of botanical humanoids, born fully grown from the fruit of the Pale Tree. Common Personality Traits:
Honest, direct and focused, taking most things at face value Common Physical Traits:
Green Example Names:
Sylvari names are generally inspired by Celtic (Irish and Welsh) names. Sylvari do not have surnames, as they're all part of the same "family," though to each other they are more like distant relatives except in special cases. Splinter Race Feats:
Dawn Cycle, Noon Cycle, Dusk Cycle. If you do not possess one of these feats, you were born during the Night Cycle. Requirement:
Alignment (Pale Tree) or Alignment (Nightmare Court) Type:
Medium humanoid fae plant (1x1, Reach 1). Your maximum wounds are equal your Constitution score. [4.0]
Common Physical Traits:
-2 Constitution [-0.5]
- Base Speed: 30 ft [0.0]
- Cold Resistance: You gain an amount of cold resistance equal to your starting action dice.
Damage Vulnerability (Fire): Each fire die inflicts a minimum of half its highest face value in damage and you are sickened for 1/2 damage rounds. [-0.5] Limited Proficiencies: You begin with play with 2 fewer weapon proficiencies (minimum 0). Mark of the Dream: You take the first step on either the Path of the Pale Tree or the Path of the Nightmare Court according to your alignment. When you gain a feat from your Career Level you may instead take another step along the chosen path if after selecting class abilities your step will be no greater than one-half your Career Level, rounded up. [3.0]
- Natural Camouflage: Choose forest/jungle or swamp. You gain a +5 gear bonus with Blend checks while in that terrain. [1.0]
They're very obviously made of plant matter, they could not easily pass as another race. But they can be all sorts of colours. Mine is mostly purple with shades of red and black thrown in here and there, and she has thorns for hair
They do usually have some sort of pattern of not too bright bioluminescence as well. The patterns and colour vary with individuals. Also, they have no irises, they have a pupil, and then the "whites" of the eyes are coloured, again they can be variety of colours.Example Names:
I just wanted to add to that, that a community is another good way to describe how they see each other. Somewhere between that and family. I suppose family still kinda works, just not the sort that minds in breeding?
The sylvari can't have children (they're all born of a tree), so inbreeding is a non-issue but they do still form couples and have lovers. As they're based on human physiology, they have human sex organs, but for obvious reasons, homosexuality is a not even a consideration, they're omnisexual.Splinter Race Feats:
Which cycle they're awakened into has a bigger effect on personality than anything else (it wouldn't be a leap to argue that their personality in the dream triggers/influences/is the reason for when they're awakened). If you wanted to give actual effects based on which cycle the character is born into I think a better way to go would be something more akin to Morgenstern's Shifter race mechanic. Give a list of the choices and you must choose one. Instead of having to spend a feat to not be Night Cycle. Having to spend a feat implies that Night is the default or most common, something I've not seen a hint of.
Actually, a watered down version of the Human Talents idea could work well. Have some mild stat adjustments and a small bonus or two.Damage Vulnerability:
Yes they are plants, but the lady in charge of the creation of the sylvari has flat out stated they're only as afraid of fire as the other races and they burn no more easily. They aren't like rootwalkers, they're more living vine and plant flesh than wood and it's all green wood. Even the leaf clothing some wear is actually still alive, it grows out of them. In fact they've probably got the same heat resistance as they do cold. I'd give them basically an environmental resistance (heat and cold).Limited Proficiencies:
They are a very combat capable race, no more fragile than the other races. In fact at one point a sylvari comments that human skin "feels so fragile". And their contribution to the war effort against the dragons is one of the largest and fiercest. They are "born" into the world fully grown, but they live a sort of childhood inside the Dream before they're born. And they can be weapon proficient before they "wake". Sylvari still within the Dream in this state are one of the forces stopping the Nightmare Court's corruption, the corruption manifests as creatures in the dream, ones which "unborn" sylvari sometimes fight. That's actually the beginning of the game as a sylvari.
They are still somewhat childlike at "birth", but it's all in a "ways of the world" naivety kind of way. The First Born of the sylvari didn't understand fear, but were skilled warriors. Mark of the Dream:
It's not something I'd liken to a religion in the usually fantasy style. Not with prayers and a bestowing of power. It's a moral choice, a way of life (actually, most sylvari don't even question this issue till they come across/hear about the Nightmare Court). They are taught the teachings of Ventari, and it is a little religion like, but beyond a moral code it's very unstructured.
Having said that, switching to either the NC or the Soundless (those that leave the dream altogether) is a major, life altering choice. The dream is a constant ephemeral connection to their family/community. Those who choose the Nightmare Court cut themselves off from the normal dream (the nightmare court has it's own called the Nightmare
and is trying to corrupt the Dream of Dreams), and therefore the connection they've had with those they knew since before "birth". And once they embrace the Nightmare, a sylvari cannot reconnect to the Dream. Not sure about the Soundless, they must practice and block out the Dream, I don't know if they can let it back in later.
It's essentially choosing sides in an idealogical war, they don't gain any powers from it either way. It would influence those things they then went to learn, and Paths based on which side of the Dream you're on could be great for a sylvari priest, but not a common sort of thing.
Blah. I really feel like I am raining on your parade, and I don't want to. As I said, I like the race you made.
I just know the source material fairly well and I feel I'd be remiss to not pass on what I know. I love interesting worlds and lore, and I think the sylvari are very interesting. Especially questions about the race's origin, but I won't go into that here, as it's part speculation and involves some spoilers from the game.
I am not good enough at FC stuff to whip up a replacement example species, but here are few extra tidbits that might be useful for ideas:
While they can and plenty do wear ordinary clothes, they can also grow clothes out of themselves, designed as they wish. Both simple ones all the way up to heavy armour.
They cannot be raised as undead or corrupted into monsters (NC are an exception and can corrupt them, sometimes forcefully converting them).
They have a vague empathic link with each other and other plant life.
They can with much skill use the empathic link to manipulate plants to grow buildings and weapons as well as healing plants.
While they don't necessarily normally heal faster than other races they can regenerate limbs. Their plant healing works on sylvari too, though in both cases it can't overcome every illness.
They do not appear to age (the First Born have not appeared to age in the 24 years since awakening).
They have golden sap for blood and are very different internally.
They need to eat and breathe, don't appear to photosynthesise, and are omnivorous.
Subsequent generations since the First Born understand the world more. All experiences of sylvari still connected to the Dream of Dreams flow into the Dream. This knowledge is taught to the Dreaming sylvari in a vague non specific way. They Awaken not remembering specifics of the Dream, but with a full personality and knowing how to talk, walk, use a weapon, ride a horse, etc. They don't know how to do everything sylvari before them have done, but a selection of that knowledge. Some some sort of skill bonus, or extra skill points/origin skill perhaps?"
They're very openly very affectionate with people they like, and they don't understand modesty. Clothing for the sake of covering is an adopted custom to not offend the other races.
Aaaaand that's a big enough wall of words. I hope it's helpful. I've attached a picture of my sylvari in an example full sylvari medium armour (was just previewing the armour, so excuse the boring background).