Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted spread their wings and come up with a new Arcane Tradition for wizards in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. Order of the Peacock began with a funny meme and Dave came to our video planning meeting pitch in hand for a new subclass. Nerdarchy’s experience at D&D In A Castle 2019 already gave us a head start with all the research we did for our triple connected epic campaign, so let’s get into it and show off the plumage of this Order of the Peacock wizard subclass for 5E D&D.
5E D&D character option — new wizard Arcane Tradition
While Dave and Ted share their ideas for Order of the Peacock in the video, I thought it might be useful to provide the features of this homebrew Arcane Tradition here in writing. In addition I’ve got a few ideas of my own to share, which I’ll include here too.
Order of the Peacock
At 2nd level you incorporate a special arcane focus into your spellcasting representing your peacock flair. Choose or randomly select one of the following items. This item becomes an arcane focus you can use as a spellcasting focus for your wizard spells. If your Peacock Flair is destroyed or lost you can craft a new one during a process that takes one hour to complete. This process can be completed during a short or long rest and you lose your connection to your previous flair.
d6 Roll — Flair
- Robe, Cloak or Cape
- Boa or Scarf
Starting at 2nd level your incorporation of precise movements and presentation into your magic allows you to apply those principles to more mundane pursuits. You gain proficiency in the Performance skill, and your choice of the Deception or Persuasion skills.
Starting at 2nd level your mastery of flair captivates onlookers. As an action you can perform a dance displaying your flair targeting one creature you can see within 30 feet. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw against your wizard spell save DC or be stunned until the end of your next turn. You can use this feature a number of times per day equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum one).
Beginning at 6th level, you add the hypnotic pattern spell to your spellbook if it is not there already. You can cast hypnotic pattern without expending a spell slot. Once you cast hypnotic pattern in this way, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest, though you can still cast it normally using an available spell slot.
At 10th level, whenever you cast a spell with material, somatic and verbal components that uses your flair as an arcane focus your form becomes indistinct, shifting and wavering to all who can see you. Attacks against you have disadvantage until the start of your next turn. Creatures that don’t rely on sight, such as those with blindsight, and creature able to see through illusions, such as those with truesight, are immune to this effect.
Eye of the Peacock
At 14th level, when a creature you can see within 60 feet makes an attack roll against you, you can use your reaction to force the creature to make a Charisma saving throw against your wizard spell save DC. On a failure the attack fails and the creature is charmed by you until the end of your next turn.
Alternative ideas for Order of the Peacock Arcane Tradition
While I enjoy the concept of this 5E D&D wizard subclass, something about it didn’t click for me during video planning. My feeling regarding Arcane Traditions is they represent much more than a singular approach to magic or even a thematic collection of features developed by a specialized organization in a campaign setting. These are Arcane Traditions, which I interpret as specific new approaches to magic and spellcasting deeply rooted in the arcane magic itself. The difference is subtle for sure, but I can’t help get hung up on this part.
“The study of wizardry is ancient, stretching back to the earliest mortal discoveries of magic. It is firmly established in the worlds of D&D, with various traditions dedicated to its complex study.”
My take on Order of the Peacock focuses on the components — the physical requirements you must meet in order to cast a spell. We already established these wizards begin their journey through this Arcane Tradition by developing a very special piece of flair they use as an arcane focus. This covers the material component. I’m of a mind to develop subclass features incorporating the other two kinds of components, somatic and verbal.
Would you like to see an alternative Order of the Peacock wizard Arcane Tradition for 5E D&D focusing on interactions with spell components? Let me know in the comments and I’ll get to work refining my ideas for you. Until then, stay nerdy!