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I am looking for some input: how fair is it to play a pair of characters in a single unit, and what effect does it have on the gameplay?

Essentially my idea is a druid who is inept at using his own magic, who has a faerie partner that channels his magic through her. She will only speak to him so there will be no immersion breaking with the whole dual characters. He fights, she is the one with magical prowess. They can occupy the same space, they share stats, she can cast magic from herself or from him, they can act independently (though she cannot physically attack, short of with a toothpick) and either can shape-shift though not both at once. Our current campaign is short on characters (2) so its not like it will be unbalanced for now but in future with more players would this be too powerful?

I am new to D&D, but I am experienced in playing RPG's — I love play by post forum RPG's and I am used to a variety of characters simultaneously.

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    \$\begingroup\$ One caveat you need to be warry of is the player wanting to have both of its "characters" take an action. So Druid mauls someone as a bear while the faerie casts a spell. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 5, 2016 at 17:13

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I don't see any problem with this from a mechanical perspective. In effect you're just using a custom race for your PC with a significant amount of flavor elements. I would model it on an existing race (probably the race of your druid), and modify the flavor rather than the mechanics (or maybe one racial feature). It's appealing that this is mechanically one PC, and not you playing 2 when everyone else is playing 1 (playing 2 PCs without a specific commission to do so from your group can be problematic)

However, this is a concept that will take a lot of work for both you the player, and also the DM to support, make sure you talk to him (and the other players probably) and that it will be a good fit for the game that you are collectively playing.

One of the important things, I think, is to design this guy to be a functional PC. No one likes a party mate who doesn't pull their weight, especially when he's got a complicated back story that might be difficult to role-play with.

So if you have a race to model your PC after, have DM and player buy in, and build him to be a reasonably effective PC, I see no problem with it mechanically or at the table.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the help. I am sure the DM will be fine with it but I just wanted someone to weigh-in. I was mostly concerned with the the ability to have two positions from where I can cast and be shape shifted/human at the same time. His story is not that complicated really. He was just a failure of a druid that out of desperation made a deal with a tricky fairie that ended up needing him more then he needed her. Thanks again! \$\endgroup\$
    – A.Zander
    Aug 29, 2014 at 12:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @A.Zander you might consider that either only one of them is valid for a point of origin, or the Pixie hangs out on his shoulder in combat. I would not try to derive mechanical benefits like that directly from a story thing. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Aug 29, 2014 at 12:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ So if I make the Druidic focus used to cast what she sits on (His shoulder) so she cant cast from elsewhere would work? Should I work shape-shifting the same way in that they can shape-shift together into one beast? \$\endgroup\$
    – A.Zander
    Aug 29, 2014 at 12:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @A.Zander seems reasonable to me. Lots to talk to your DM about! \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Aug 29, 2014 at 12:29
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This is like a wizard's familiar

Some spellcasters can have familiars (see the spell Find Familiar, PH p. 240) that function a bit like the faerie you are describing. Using the Find Familiar rules could provide a good starting place to help ensure the character combo would be play-balanced.

Shared stats roughly equals "worn or carried item"

You mention wanting the faerie shares stats with the druid, instead of having her own hit points. This is roughly equivalent as treating the faerie as a "worn or carried object" that isn't damaged when the druid is hit. (Actually, I don't know if it's RAW that familiars can be protected by the "worn or carried" clause, but as a DM I allow it, because not giving a familiar this protection lets just about any area-of-effect spell kill them easily.)

Sharing Play Time

Familiars can be like a second character for a player. They can scout out locales or let the spellcaster listen in on conversations inconspicuously. This can give a player additional time, and that can sometimes be a problem (where other players get bored). It's just something to watch out for.

Vulnerabilities

Far from being overpowered, this arrangement might actually be a weakness, if powers can target the faerie or separate the druid and the faerie. (Although that does sound like great story opportunities.) You'll want to talk to your DM about this. If they are negative about the idea, think twice - the DM might make life difficult for the two of you. If they are generally positive, then go for it.

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