The druid is one of the more adaptable spell casters with a power that comes from the natural world. A druid ‘s magic focuses mainly on the four classical elements. If you’re looking to play a character that can adapt to any situation and support his fellow party members, then look no further than this arcane spell caster!
In this article, Jared Emanuel, explores the druid class with ideas and tips for bringing this unique character to your favorite tabletop RPG. Whether you’re playing Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) or other tabletop RPGs, the druid is a versatile and adaptable that is always there to support their party.
Magic is one of the cornerstones of our favorite TTRPGs. But with only 5 or 6 differences in mechanical design between these magical classes, and the large overlap of spells and feats that any spell caster can use; begs the question: what is the difference between a Wizard and a Bard? Or a Druid and Warlock? Attitude is the answer!
The following prompts are meant to get players and GMs thinking about characteristics that you can apply to your magical warriors!
What is a Druid?
A druid is a mysterious and powerful entity. The druid is typically portrayed as a bedraggled hermit or a member of a secret and ancient order of magicians devoted to nature. Usually surrounded in the company of animals and plants. However, druids can establish themselves just as easily within civilization as they do in nature.
A druid is a master of primal forces. Earth, Air, Water, Flame, Flora and Fauna all heed the call of these powerful casters. They are shepherds of the environment, the stewards of nature. Druids are very wise, and value the present and the past. Druids are private people, and typically don’t share their secret language or objectives with outsiders.
Druidic orders dedicate themselves to preserving the natural order, and will become aggressive towards forces attempting to destroy the environment. Woe to any that cross their path.
A Druid’s Strength
A Druid draws their strength from mysterious, powerful, and ancient primal rites. Druidic orders and hermits keep this knowledge secret, and only share their knowledge to the fully initiated in their secret language.
Their spells are certainly crafted in this enigmatic tongue, and taught from one generation to the next via an oral tradition. Knowledge is power, and keeping that knowledge among a few initiated members keeps it consolidated.
A druid can communicate with birds, beasts, and plants, assume their forms, and even bind them to their service. They have many ways to spy upon their enemies, stalking them until the trap can be sprung.
Their knowledge of the wilderness and fieldcraft is second to none and this is supplemented by a deep knowledge of healing and natural remedies. Druids have deep capacity to love and often reflect and the beauty of nature and the miracles of creation.
A Druid’s Weakness
Druids are by their nature are aloof and secretive; Therefore, when thrust into a situation that places them out of their element, such as a city, or a new landscape alien to their own, they may struggle.
A druid can become easily jaded toward technological advancements, especially if they appear to threaten the ecosystem. Druids will often grow up in a clandestine order of secretive magicians.
As they age they might choose to live in isolation. Therefore they may struggle to connect with new people. Their lack of social skills may cause other people to find them atavistic and odd at best, and at worst threatening. Druid’s would be slow to adopt new customs, or outright reject societal expectations.
A Druid’s Folly
A druid becomes a fish out of water when they leave the wilderness. They typically lack the charisma or patience to handle complex social rituals. While the rest of the sapient species have instinctually progressed to an urbanized state, druid culture expressly rejected that in order to maintain a primal status quo.
Druids view byproducts of civilization as anathemas, creating a conflict between their ancient orders and modern standards. A more stoic druid may chose to live in isolation, and can become easily overwhelmed when thrust in a group. A druid will offer simple solutions to complex problems.
If you are unhappy with how much money you are making or spending, a druid would suggest to not use a thing that makes you stressed. A druid would not be sympathetic with urban problems. Druids recognize that urbanization has serious repercussions for the spirit and the environment.
A Druid’s Fear
The mission of most druidic orders is conservation. Therefore a druid’s biggest fear is literal and spiritual pollution. Nothing enrages a druid more than the destruction of nature.
Druids fear any technology or civilization that is destructive towards natural resources like earth, air and water–Especially if those forces gravely harm the plants and animals that depend on those resources.
Druid’s also fear pollution of the spirit. Institutions like the economy, government, and church are meant to make life easier for people. However, when these institutions become too large (or too many) they have the opposite effect. A druid will easily spot the problems in these institutions and attempt to avoid or fix them.
A Druid’s Fight
A druid has deep love for nature and creation itself. They will fight or isolate themselves from forces that are destructive. A druid would never willingly participate in a system that harms nature or the spirit.
The druid’s wisdom is a source of their power. A druid is tune with the moment. The past and future are afterthoughts to a druid because for generations they have fought hard to not change with the times.
A druid has simple solutions for complex problems. They will apply the laws of the wild to disputes complicated by things like politics, technology, economics and religion. Depending on the challenge this “dog eat dog; eat or be eaten” approach to conflict can cause more problems that it fixes; But the druid would handle the next challenge with the same approach, because they are very resilient fighters.
Druidic relationships with religion is an interesting one. Though certainly aware that deities shaped the universe–Druids set themselves apart from extraplanar conflicts that the gods participate in. They recognize that even though the gods are responsible for the creation of the universe, the gods do not own it exclusively.
Once the artist makes the work public, it is not theirs anymore. Druids are stewards and defenders of creation. Druids would not hesitate to confront priests or churches that were encouraging violence against the environment.
Conclusion: A Druid’s Dream
Overall, druids are an interesting class that can offer many unique things to a party.
A druid loves creation and nature. They are powerful casters, capable of commanding the wind, waves, fire, and earth and the creatures that dwell in those elements.
Druids are secretive and would rather isolate themselves than participate in society. This attitude makes them excellent at surviving the the wild. Even though they fear pollution, they will fight hard to stop it.
They are wise and therefore live in the moment. They are easily not distracted by modern comforts and quick to offer blunt advice, even if it is not sought. It can be hard for druids to make friendships with new people. But, once a druid makes a friend, they will be fierce defenders and loyal companions.
Are you playing a Druid? Do you have that supernatural streak in TTRPGs? I’m always looking for new ideas so please share them with me in the comments below!
About the Author
Jared Emanuel is a hobby enthusiast that loves high fantasy, science fiction, and everything in between.