The Half-Dryad is a racial concept created from the Dungeons & Dragons interpretation of the Dryad. Basically, whilst not the overt horndogs that satyrs are, D&D dryads traditionally like to use their innate Charm Person powers to bewitch good-looking men and keep them as boytoys until they die or the dryad gets bored and sends them away. These unions often bear fruit (geddit), and whilst most accept that this just produces new dryads, occasionally, you get a halfbreed; partly fey and partly mortal.
Much like their Half-Satyr cousins, half-dryads fall into a huge logical snarl in that, despite the fact that dryads are characterized by being all-female, so you'd expect any daughter of a dryad to be a full-blooded dryad and for the sons to be the half-breeds, half-dryads are always assumed to be female. At least in their initial appearance back in Dragon Magazine #109, this was justified; back then, satyrs and dryads were two sexes of the same race, so human + dryad produced both half-dryad daughters and half-satyr sons, and the same happened to human women impregnated by satyrs.
Still, the whole idea is rather bizarre, and arguably owes more to the perception that "men can't be charming, seductive and manipulative" - which anyone with brains or access to fanfiction.net will tell you is flat-out bullshit. Much more likely, it was probably decided that, since they'd run with the idea of women being "naturally" more charming and such for dryads, they may as well lie in the bed they'd made.
Described as resembling a beautiful human, elven or half-elven woman with green hair, mechanically, the half-dryad looked like this when it appeared in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1e:
- Ability Score Range: Strength 3/18, Dexterity 3/18, Constitution 3/17, Intelligence 5/18, Wisdom 3/18, Charisma 8/18
- Ability Score Modifiers: +1 Charisma, -1 Constitution
- Class & Level Limits: Druid 9, Fighter 7, Ranger 8, Magic-User 7, Thief 12, Bard 14
- Thieving Skill Adjustments: +5% Hide In Shadows, +5% Hear Noise, Listen At Doors 15%
- 50% chance to identify plant types, animal types, and the purity of water.
- 90% resistance to Charm spells cast by creatures associated with nature.
- No resistance to spells cast by music and singing.
The half-dryad never appeared in any subsequent edition. The 3rd edition 3rd-party sourcebook "Bastards & Bloodlines" by Green Ronin Publishing did include a thematic equivalent in the Spring Child; resembling incredibly beautiful half-elven women with strikingly bright eyes (pale sky blue, fiery red, gold or silver), and hair that changes color with the seasons, Spring Children are defined mostly by their sensuality, their wanderlust, their love of nature, and their inability to mentally mature fully past childhood. These had the following statblock:
- -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, +4 Charisma
- Medium sized Humanoid
- Base speed 30 feet
- Low-light Vision
- Increase the DC of mind-affecting spells they cast by +2.
- Speak with Plants spell-like ability as a Druid of the same level, usable 1/day or Charisma bonus times per day, whichever is higher.
- Ageless: As an extraordinary ability, Spring Children do not physically age, neither suffering the penalties of aging past Adult nor gaining the bonuses.
- Favored Class: Wizard with the Enchantment speciality school.
- Level Adjustment: +2
The Half-Dryad's concept as a "PC-friendly Dryad" may have inspired the creation of the Hamadryad race in 4th edition.
|Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Races|
|Core:||Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human|
|Dark Sun:||Aarakocra - Half-Giant - Mul - Pterran - Thri-kreen|
|Dragonlance:||Draconian - Irda - Kender - Minotaur|
|Mystara:||Aranea - Ee'ar - Enduk - Lizardfolk (Cayma - Gurrash - Shazak) |
Lupin - Manscorpion - Phanaton - Rakasta - Tortle - Wallara
|Oriental Adventures:||Korobokuru - Hengeyokai - Spirit Folk|
|Planescape:||Aasimar - Bariaur - Genasi - Githyanki - Githzerai - Modron - Tiefling|
|Spelljammer:||Dracon - Giff - Grommam - Hadozee - Hurwaeti - Rastipede - Scro - Xixchil|
|Ravenloft:||Broken One - Flesh Golem - Half-Vistani - Therianthrope|
Book of X:
|Alaghi - Beastman - Bugbear - Bullywug - Centaur - Duergar |
Fremlin - Firbolg - Flind - Gnoll - Goblin - Half-Ogre - Hobgoblin
Kobold - Mongrelfolk - Ogre - Ogre Mage - Orc - Pixie
Satyr - Saurial - Svirfneblin - Swanmay - Voadkyn - Wemic
|Dragon Magazine:||Half-Dryad - Half-Satyr - Uldra - Xvart|