Author Topic: How to be a good druid  (Read 1366 times)

YellowGin

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How to be a good druid
« on: June 21, 2019, 08:09:56 PM »
Hi, I think I'm a bad druid.

So like, ok. I play a character called Vind Evra. He's just another random elf thrown into the mists and comes out the other side. His alignment is chaotic neutral, and he's really paranoid, a little less so now, but he was really paranoid before. I feel like my backstory doesn't make any sense.

I visualized him as sort of a PTSD or panic ridden military officer who did terrible things in his past life that gives him a reason to be afraid of what people might do to him.

This doesn't sound like any druid I can think of.

When I think of a druid, I think of a quiet, calm person who takes things slowly and meticulously, using the powers that be to accomplish what's best for most. This guy, this guy isn't that. He's xenophobic, he's impulsive, he's rude, mean, etc. He's too headstrong and arrogant, and views himself above others. He's also a wood elf, and since I don't read instructions, I also didn't read that they're accepting of other races, which I find to be a little irritating for me.

In order to fix this racial thing and somewhat unorthodox occupation for a elf druid I was thinking I would:

<<character spoilers for those who care, it's not like I'm acting as if it's so paramount to the lore of the server that you SHOULD care, it's just that I like twists and it's kind of a twist>>

Spoiler: show


Somehow make it that he was actually born a wood elf but was raised as a wild elf, such as the mists messing with his mind thinking that he's a wild elf, somehow, I don't know.

Same thing with his occupation, turns out he was part of a tribe but did such terrible things to other rivaling groups that he's sort of went delirious OR the mists have screwed with his memories, if that's even a thing.



But I feel like that sounds A) too ridiculous or B) too self important, I mean come on, I just got here like two weeks ago.

There's also a ton of stuff I have questions about:

1) Can I cut down trees? Can I even use bows because they're made of wood?

2) Can I hunt animals? Can I even wear leather?

3) Can I eat meat?

4) I have a metal gauntlet as a sort of guarding thing for my character, he favors a rapier so he'd grab/block the strikes of the enemy by getting it caught in it's openings of the gauntlet or just grabbing it with his metal glove, but since I just learn druids can't wear metal, can I not keep the metal-looking thing? (I like it a lot but I want to stay IC in a way that makes sense)

5) Since druids are usually restrained to certain weapons as a sort of "code" can I even use a rapier, can I use anything other than the druid-based proficiencies, even if I have the elven proficiencies?

I know I can look some of this stuff up, but I'd really just want the input of the server because that's mostly what this pertains to.

Thanks so much,

Yellow Gin

Ken14

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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2019, 10:10:33 PM »
I can't speak for every druid ( or every druid leanings), but in general:

Cutting down trees is fine, if it's a necessity for you to survive. You need a bow to fight and it can't be made out of anything else?  Not to mention that some trees are better off cut down. Incredibly old trees overshadowing younger trees could actually weaken the soil and so on.
Druids don't -like- the practice, but they understand it's necessary.


Same with hunting. Don't do it in excess or sheer greed, but otherwhise, it's perfectly natural to hunt your food or create clothing to survive. Circle of life and all that.
 
Eating meat is.....varied. Some druids certainly eat meat. Others prefer to use vegetarian alternatives.

Metal and weapons are in general avoided by druids. There's some orders that allow it, but overall, it's a negative. Maybe go for some chitin-plated gloves? Not entirely sure that's possible, though.

Sidhel

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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2019, 11:24:30 PM »
The key feature to remember about druids, from any setting, is that their key two tenets are the following:

:arrow: Uphold the Balance
:arrow: Protect Nature


Upholding the Balance

Druids believe that the forces of Good, Evil, Law, and Chaos are all equally relevant to the functioning of the cosmos. When any of these grows more powerful than its opposing force, the druids will carefully consider the situation, and if deemed necessary, they will aid the "losing" force to the extent that balance is somewhat restored. For example, if Lawfulness is bordering on tyranny, and individualism is being threatened on a mass scale, they will work to promote chaos until a balance is somewhat restored, and vice versa. If Evil is growing in great power and threatening to overwhelm good, they will aid the forces of good until such a time as things are more evenly balances, and vice versa. Thus, a druid who willfully neglects to pay attention to the Balance, or who works to swing things in an even more lopsided direction, could lose druid powers. For example, the nearby lands are dominated by an ultra lawful cabal of rulers, who are oppressing all and sundry in the area. If a druid then works to maintain the status quo by enforcing the laws, or say, joining forces with the ruling powers, they would lose druid powers. If they did the exact same actions in an area fraught with anarchy, they would be maintaining the balance, as per their oaths. This ever-changing nature of these four extremes is why druids are always neutral in some way, hard to make friends with larger agencies because one day their efforts might benefit a particular party, but weeks from now the Balance calls for something else.


Protecting Nature

Druids are charged with being the defenders of Nature, and swear to protect nature when they become a druid. This does not necessarily mean slaying people out hunting for food, or clearing wildlands to grow crops. Whereas certain more psychotic druids may very well take this stance, it is not the norm. Druids generally oppose damaging the natural world for unnatural reasons. Hunting for food is natural. Hunting for skins to sell and make a profit trading them is not. Clearing land to grow crops is natural. Razing the land as an act of war is not. Likewise, druids will enable no callous harm to animals. Thus, they will oppose casual slaughter, torture, or any unnatural act forced upon an animal (such as being forced to fight in cage event, or even taken out of it's environment to serve as prowling attack creature in an estate). This extends to their own animal companions, who are considered equal beings to the druid, and often their closest friends. A druid who neglects to protect the natural world, or does something to actively harm it, will no longer be considered a druid.

And their other oaths and concepts

:arrow: Druids may not wear metal armor or shield, or brandish non-druidic metal weaponry. (Druids wouldn't weapons that are clearly weapons of war, but rather, conventional tools that 'may' be used as weapons.)
:arrow: Druids may not take up permanent residence in a city, castle, temple, etc, as this is considered a concession to the unnatural world.
:arrow: A druid may not teach the secrets of the druidic Order and/or their own Circle, to any non-druid. Be mindful of this, druids do not cast verbal components of spells in druidic. The nature of the language is often extreme-metaphors, anyways!
:arrow: When Druids take their oath, they are expected to respect the traditional structure of druidic society. Simply put, there is typically one Great Druid leading a circle, which oversees a large portion of land. Issues such as band and edicts, are often voted on by the entire Circle, with majority decision being the verdict. As such, even if a druid is a loner who refuses to partake of the Circle's meetings, the druidic fellowship is expected to be respected by all who have taken druidic oaths.



As far as some of the concepts in discussion, what people/druids eat is merely a matter of personal character, not a tenet of druidism. The acts of cutting trees, hunting animals, and wearing leather is certainly allowed, but the motivations behind them is where druidic morals apply. You can feed yourself, make tools and clothes to survive. You can't open up Druids-R-Us and slaughter animals and forests for profit. The very nature of gold and economy is an abstract concept for a druid to participate in.
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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2019, 07:19:00 AM »
A druid worshiping Malar would almost certainly eat animals, being a god of hunters, predators, and the hunt in general, so as was said by others, most principles your druid would adhere to really depends on what sort of druid you're playing as.

I would say that what unites all druids is either contempt or wariness for civilization and its trappings. The natural world is eternal and everlasting; empires rise and fall, cities grow and then are sacked, but barring existential threats, life will continue, as will the world in which it exists. Temporal power and worldly influence has no real meaning, save as a means to an end. It doesn't matter how much gold you have or how many people you have as subordinates. In the face of the natural world and its power, all are made small and insignificant.

Consider a mighty storm, such as a hurricane, typhoon, or even just a particularly nasty thunder-boomer. A druid worshiping Talos would recognize that in the face of such raw destructive power and potential for devastation, the civilized world is ultimately at its mercy. While the city-dwellers may try to make dams and levees to hold back the flood-waters, these are largely exercises in hubris. You cannot hope to tame the storm, or rein in its power, only beg the Stormlord that you're away from its trajectory.

I'm using mostly evil druids as examples, and so I would look at a druid worshiping Silvanus next. These trees are ancient and they've seen much. They would be fine, perhaps, with one or two trees being felled, but rampant deforestation? For what purpose? To feed one short-lived man's ambitions? The natural world was here before all of us, and it will be here long after. It is worth preserving, worthy of reverence.


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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2019, 07:51:02 AM »
Just to clarify metal use, you can't have it in the armour, helmet, shield, gauntlet or boot slots. If you're caught by a DM with it in these slots, you get slapped with fallen status matching the offense. Weapons are fine, though you should be able to justify it relevant to the druidic background of your PC. This is a ruling that has historically applied to all druids on PotM, regardless of order (even followers of Mielikki).

Druids are really as wide and varied as most other classes, so these can be difficult questions to answer. It's similar to asking if a Cleric or Paladin needs a vow of poverty; some, maybe. When you look into a specific order or path of devotion, it becomes more clear how your PC would react and what oaths they would value.

SardineTheAncestor

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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2019, 11:56:48 AM »
Lots of good points posted above. I play entry level Druid (it's been a serious "culture shock" after my years of experience with them in different settings), and have discussed the topic long with Deceit, Sidhel, and some others. Here are some of the conclusions I have come to.

1) You can justify the trees as being nature's excess. Not a problem. You will not lose Druid status for participating in the crafting system.
1a) You can use bows. They came before civilisation, and you need no real justification for using a hunter's implement if your Druid occupies himself with hunting. You can also use ironwood armour but there's only a few types unfortunately. I don't think you're allowed to RP using ironwood if the item doesn't exist in your possession, unless maybe a DM approves.
2) Hunting is natural, both for meat and hides. Sidhel describes that your Druid would ideally not be selling these things but taking only what they need and that's a good way to look at it. However, if you're out killing worgs by the pack, which clearly dominate the Barovian wilderness come winter, and selling their hides for money you need to further your adventures, you're not going to lose Druid status, and you're not threatening the balance by killing a bunch of hostile magical beasts that are known to devour entire sections of the game world's prey at a time. The key here is for your Druid to use everything off the body that they are capable of, without discarding the importance of scavengers feeding, too, and generally not being wasteful. Get into the mindset of, "I don't need to kill this deer for its hides worth 12gp. I need the antlers to practice making bows to supply myself and other hunters I favour, the meat to feed myself on long forays away from civilisation, and the hides for warmth."
3) Yes, you most certainly can. Not participating in the consumption of meat is a totally individual choice and it's based on, like Deceit said, your character's deity (you've got to have one edit: if your character is Forgotten Realms or Dragonlance, it's a shame but it's a rule), their particular oaths, their own views, and so on. Look at it this way, my Cleric doesn't eat meat, my Druid does.
4) Deceit's answer covers this. No metal in that slot and a few others.
5) Same as above.

I looked over your character background in the post and I find nothing wrong with it. Not all members of a particular race will act the same way. Druids can argue over this oath and that ingame and it can produce conflict, change, and above all else, entertainment. If a Wikipedia article said, "Wood elves accept other races," you can still make a xenophobic wood elf. If another said, "Druids live at harmony with the natural world," you can still roleplay a Druid who cooperates with civilisation and the people who are beholden to it. If it doesn't offend the deity (if they have one) you selected for your character, and it doesn't break the oaths they have taken on, then all that's left is how they react individually, which is where you come in, and you get to make your Druid someone who has their own opinions. You can be consistent without RPing an NPC. You can even be predictable, and still a delight to RP with. The Druid class is no exception to that, and in fact, it presents many unique opportunities that other classes might not as regularly be able to.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 01:43:01 AM by SardineTheAncestor »
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MAB77

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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2019, 12:35:07 PM »
Something important to remember that is often ignored, the druidic language is a secret one, many druids consider that it should never be used in the presence of non-druids ever, even if among friends. Speaking it in public is risking for some linguist to decipher the language and many will go to great lengths to avoid that.

Obviously there is no server rule against speaking druidic in public, it's an in-game stance only, but it's important to know that their can be real consequences to be heard speaking Druidic when non-druids are present.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 12:37:41 PM by MAB77 »
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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2019, 01:48:54 PM »
I get a lot of my inspiration from Bernard Cornwall’s warlord series. His version of druids wasn’t much like tree hungers with forest friends, but more a pagan medium between the spirits and old gods and humans. They were wild and tribalistic but that had more to do with being primitive and savage than any “love of the land” they didn’t give a rip about trees or animals save that they believed there were powerful spirits and gods that dwell in such places but would very frequently sacrifice animals (and people) as offerings to the gods. Basically they considered the gods to be feared and respected. If you’re from faerun, maybe that means hugging squirrels and nursing sick bushes back to health because of Silvanus, an earth-based Druid could be a whole different animal. A savage primitive raving about the old gods who considers the beasts to be his slaves.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2019, 01:53:05 PM by Hypatia »

Dextan

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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2019, 04:11:49 AM »
About the metallic object, I though wearing those were just conflicting with the spellcasting ability. So just to be sure, are not suppose to have a google of minute seeing, using it for identifying objects, and then unequip it ?

I was doing so, but if its not fitting, I'll stop.

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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2019, 06:36:21 AM »
Druids are supposed to lose their abilities for 24 IRL hours whenever they use a metal item in those slots, regardless of intention or duration.

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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2019, 08:58:57 AM »
What of jewelry? 95% rings made of metal or metal + gem?

Deceit

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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2019, 09:28:38 AM »
Rings, belts, amulets and cloaks have always been fine; we don't really have enough alternatives there to justify enforcing purism in those slots.

Iyer

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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2019, 12:01:17 PM »
Too bad the system doesn't support the "blighter" prestige class. They're like a druid version of a black guard. Instead of healing nature they consume its life. It would make a great antagonist for did characters as they would try to find out why the plant life in the countryside is dying. But, existence of the blighter class is evidence that druids are actually really versatile if you know how to play them right.

CorruptiveAries

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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2019, 10:37:06 PM »
Everyone else has pretty much said what I would say in regards to playing a druid and tips on how best to roleplay them accurately. Religion (if a druid follows a specific deity) or druid circles and traditions will paint the druids perception on things and how they see the civilized world and the world of nature and in regards to weaponry, eating meat, and types of armor (though metal weaponry and armor is usually a big no amongst druids). Most druids are chosen at a young age, either because of an event that shows them their calling or guides them to such, or by a more experienced druid taking them under their wing. It's possible for one to become a druid later, but it's not common and finding a willing teacher can take time as it is much easier to teach someone the ethics and codes of a druidic circle and path, the language, and more at a younger age than someone in their later years. But again, not impossible, just difficult.

Druids are different in that they often are subtle with their powers and abilities. They do not feel the need to flaunt their spells and animal forms as to them, this is an extension of their connection to the land (or their deity), not as a form of entertainment or for pranks. They do not see their magic as mastery of the elements and nature as something to control, but as a symbol of their devotion to the natural world and how it can be used to protect it against those that would threaten it.

As for why a druid would even interact with the outside world, there are different roles druids play with the civilized world such as;

- Showing and teaching prospective farmers how to utilize the land for crops and irrigation in ways that do not harm the land permanently.
- Taking up a role as a local herbalist to heal the wounded or sick though they would not set up a shop and do this for profit but out of the need and genuine care to help (And to pass that knowledge so others will learn). This is more common in rural areas and the druid may never even reveal themselves and who they are, using mundane methods for healing unless in extreme cases.
- Acting as a liaison for which trees or areas would be okay to cut down so as not to offend the druids or harm a specific animal that may use those plants as homes and which areas would need to be culled anyway such as invasive species.
- Acting as a local guide to show or accompany travelers through places so that unwary travelers stay clear of animals, fey, or others that inhabit the forests (good and bad) and arrive safely.
- Some druids may watch over a small village or hamlet either as an official, or unofficial guardian (either of their own accord, or by direction of their druid circle) to act as needed and may be open about their druidic abilities or hide them until the time is right.

Of course, there are reasons why druids adventure, and while their reasons may be somewhat the same as a "typical" adventurer, it will still be vastly different. Gold and glory are not the motivation for a druid to adventure. Often it is because their circle directs them to so they can learn about the world and report back to their circle of the things they have seen. It could also be as a test of sorts, to prove themselves when being exposed to those who are not of the tradition and see how they hold and if they still stay true to their oaths. It could be to experience different landscapes to see how they fare in harsh climates than they are used to, or to learn about the wildlife (if any) there. It may be because of the threat of undead (which druids will never abide to let walk as they make a mockery of the circle of life), or aberrations (as they are unnatural creatures and often created in weird and horrific ways) Or of course as a reaction to a threat in the area, whether it be large or small.

(Bear in mind this is for your "typical" druid, as evil aligned druids will behave much differently)

As for evil druids, many of them become so because of religious reasons, or their mindset is such an extreme in which they feel that mankind is a blight on the world and should be extinguished so that animals and nature can rightfully take over (whereas most druids seek to have a peaceful coexistence where civilizations and nature can work together, or strive for this ideal anyway). They  will use their spells and abilities to wreak havoc and destruction. Unleashing storms and severe weather, fires, packs of animals, awakening plants, hunting down people while in animal form, and more against any and all forms of civilization they find. Or, some evil druids (Druids who follow Auril for example do this often) may threaten townsfolk with bad weather, failed crops, and the wrath of their god/goddess, or wildlife unless they are given tribute in some form to "avoid" this threat that will most likely have been created by the druid anyway.

Now in the world of Ravenloft, the perception of druids is negative and they are seen as witches, much like wizards and sorcerers are because their ability to manipulate the forces of nature and transform into animals is seen as unnatural. Many druids in Ravenloft unfortunately do succumb to this evil, mainly because of the inherent corruption soaked deep in the land makes it extremely difficult not to succumb due to their connection. For Outlander druids, this may take longer for them to feel the effects but eventually they will have that same internal struggle.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 10:41:50 PM by CorruptiveAries »

zDark Shadowz

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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2019, 10:45:10 PM »
How to be a good druid:

Follow your druidic oaths, adhering to default druid rules over alternate ones where they conflict.

Always revere nature.

Not too hard.
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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2019, 10:48:39 PM »
With regards to the Blighter mention above, please keep in mind the Blighter class is not supported on Potm, and as such you cannot claim to be playing one, for the purpose of cheesing rules. 

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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2019, 10:02:43 AM »
As I said "Too bad the system doesn't support the "blighter" prestige class". I was just reminded of it.

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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2019, 11:49:29 AM »
The only thing I would add to the suggestions above, is remember that you are not a cleric. While you do have a patron deity, remember that you are a DRUID first, and then the dogma of that deity might sway what you focus upon, and how you go about your duties and oaths. But the Druidic Oaths are priority.
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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2019, 12:49:20 AM »
I got a couple messages about this, so thought I'd post it up here too.

Not all druids need a deity, it depends on which setting you're coming from. Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance druids do need to follow a deity.

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Re: How to be a good druid
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2019, 01:40:50 AM »
My bad. I edited my post to fix that.
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