New Arcane Tradition Beardomancy was Only the Beginning

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Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted share a video inspired by Beardomancy from Chance’s D&D Spellbook. In the video within the video Chance creates an animated short and goes over a homebrew spell for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, the wizard cantrip beard whip from our Beardomancy product. Ted and I worked on the project together for our April Patreon rewards in 2019. We wanted to do something fun to celebrate April Fool’s Day and over the years no small number of people proposed we come up with some beard related content. Beardomancy grew from these sentiments. It got unruly at times but with proper care we tamed the tangle of content and came up with a new Arcane Tradition and school of magic and replete with magical lore and mundane enrichment for beardomancers ready to drop right into your game.

Mystical world of beardomancy

Beardomancy’s finest moment came at D&D In A Castle 2019, where one of our own Nerdarchy community played a School of Beardomancy wizard for an epic three day campaign at Lumley Castle. Seeing a tongue in cheek April Fool’s Day subclass bringing to bear their beard based spells and features in a fantastic setting like the castle was a real thrill. When Ted and I brainstormed ideas we had a few specific goals and a fun player experience certainly topped the list.

But Ted and I also love puns so we brought out our best. Most if not all a beardomancer’s spells and features are borrowed from existing Fifth Edition open license material. Many abilities key off a beardomancer’s beard, which all School of Beardomancy practitioners accept as a sort of mystical companion when they choose the Arcane Tradition. A beardomantic beard possesses a degree of sentience, acting independently to keep you safe. Your beard also acts as a spellcasting focus and can can manipulate material components or perform somatic components of a spell.

As a beardomancer gains levels their mystical beard becomes more powerful, inspiring allies and offering greater protections — even against death.

Along with the Arcane Tradition beardomancy spells borrow concepts from other classes and add some beardomantic flair. Beardgury offers possibly familiar premonitions you can glean by reading whisker trimmings while transport via beard presents an interesting way for beardomancers to travel. There is, of course, power word beard.

beardomancy new arcane tradition hirsute horror
A hirsute horror comes from the darkest tangles of the Beard Dimension, where it’s kill or be killed. [Art by Nelson Vieira]
Beardomancy isn’t only about wizard traditions though. Two feats integral to beardomantic culture could be adventurers’ first exposure to the strange new form of magic. The barber feat explores the the complex relationship between physical health and the power of beards, giving you an ability score bump, a benefit to a skill and proficiency in grooming hair. And Beardic grants you access to the secret language of beardomancers.

Magic and mundane items are all beard themed too, no surprises there. Only a beardomancer can attune to a gem of magnificence, a powerful boon for their spellcasting. But tonic of hair growth and cream of color change I’m certain would find space in any adventurer’s backpack. On the mundane side any creature can weave concealed cylinders into their hair and those with spectacular beards might consider investing in beard girding. Protip: when preparing for an encounter with a beardomancer get your hands on some mithril balm and work it into your hair before meeting.

There are dangers associated with beardomancy too. Most notably the hirsute horror. This large creature made entirely of a collection of hair and braids originates from hirsute horror comes from a place where it is kill or be killed — the darkest corners of the Beard Dimension. They aggress in particular at those whose hair and beard are untidy and therefore offensive to the horror. Under rare circumstances, a hair clump in the drain of a beardomancer’s wizard tower can, over time, absorb enough beardomantic energy to spontaneously become a hirsute horror. Even worse, hair clogs in an alchemy lab drain can spontaneously become flaming hirsute horrors. The stench alone requires greater restoration to remove completely. Powerful beardomancers can command these elemental creatures themselves, even summoning them with the conjure hirsute horror spell.

But perhaps my favorite thing about Beardomancy isn’t any of the puns or lore. Because the book was created to celebrate April Fool’s Day I wanted it to have a silly visual look to it, and after a lot of tinkering with graphics and browsing commercial use backgrounds I found one that nailed what I hoped to achieve. So if you’re flipping through your copy of Beardomancy and stop to appreciate the wispy whisker like tendrils along the border, I salute you.

Now, it’s February and we’ve already posted this month’s Patreon rewards, a mystery to solve at the Forgotten Oasis. And March’s Death Pits is well on its way to completion too. That means April comes next and we feel like we owe it to ourselves and funny shaped dice enthusiasts to top ourselves this year. We plan to explore the boundaries of the Beard Dimension and we’re not leaving it only to wizards anymore.

If you want to add some beardomancy to your game with a new Arcane Tradition check it out here. Patreon supporters get all our new products first every month, plus new supporters get immediate access to past monthly rewards, over two years worth! Visit us here and check it out.

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Nerditor-in-Chief Doug Vehovec is a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio, with D&D in his blood since the early 80s. Fast forward to today and he’s still rolling those polyhedral dice. When he’s not DMing, worldbuilding or working on endeavors for Nerdarchy he enjoys cryptozoology trips and eating awesome food.

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