Why druids are so unique

Image
Any topics concerning TSR's 1st edition Dungeons & Dragons (Gygaxian Era)

Moderators: Cole, Stik, Brightmantle

Why druids are so unique

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:54 am

Something I especially liked about 1E was how illusionists were a totally different class from magic users and how druids were a distinct class from clerics. In each case the classes had separate spell lists, different powers, etc.

What I liked most about the druid (my favorite class) was that unlike other clerics, the druid worshiped a universal or elemental force - the force of nature. Not a god like Thor or Zeus or Ra. A force. It made the druid very unique compared to clerics of other religions. I never did like the idea of druids worshiping "gods of nature" as opposed to nature itself. The former makes them more a specialty cleric, the latter a distinct class.

Ive always argued though (as I mentioned in the other thread) that druids, being dedicated to nature and natural cycles, would be highly offended by undead and consider them the druid's worst enemies. They exist outside the cycle of life - of conception, gestation, birth, maturity, death, and rebirth. Undead would be considered an abomination to druids, more so than any other monster. Even so, I'm not sure the druid's inability to turn undead should be changed. Their inability to do so makes undead, in a way, even more hated by druids. Being unaffected by their powers, they would be even more intent on destroying undead than perhaps even Good aligned clerics.

But bottom line, that's one reason I love druids, because they truly are a unique class unlike any other.
User avatar
Halaster-Blackcloak
Guildmaster
Guildmaster
 
Posts: 781
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:35 am
Favorite D&D Edition: 1st Edition

Re: Why druids are so unique

Postby Billy_Buttcheese » Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:43 pm

I, too, have always liked the druidical differences, making them unique from clerics. That said, they are also, IMHO, one of the most difficult classes to justify as a PC. Unless you're involved in a campaign where there is a lot of interaction with forests and/or nature. A druid, played correctly, would be extremely selfish about his/her motivational goals and likely unwilling to set aside those goals for a chest of gold, or the killing of any, even generally evil, creatures unless those creatures are directly involved in the destruction of nature or other beings the druid holds dear. In my experience. most players that want to run druids generally play them as clerics that use mistletoe as a spell component as opposed to the nature priests they are supposed to be. Face it, they would (or should) have very little interest in searching a dungeon for the gain of wealth or the killing of monsters unless there was ultimately some goal involved in furthering their interest in helping nature or similar. FInally, True Neutral is perhaps one of the most difficult alignments to adjudicate correctly: with all alignments being balancing forces necessary for life to continue. They would (or should) treat someone that is Lawful Good the same as someone that is Chaotic Evil and vice versa. As a DM I reserve certain classes (druid, paladin, et al) to those players that I feel are able to correctly play them the way there are supposed to be played. As always, YMMV.
User avatar
Billy_Buttcheese
Vagabond
Vagabond
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:32 pm
Location: Florida
Favorite D&D Edition: 1st Edition

Re: Why druids are so unique

Postby garhkal » Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:35 pm

Billy_Buttcheese wrote:I, too, have always liked the druidical differences, making them unique from clerics. That said, they are also, IMHO, one of the most difficult classes to justify as a PC. Unless you're involved in a campaign where there is a lot of interaction with forests and/or nature. A druid, played correctly, would be extremely selfish about his/her motivational goals and likely unwilling to set aside those goals for a chest of gold, or the killing of any, even generally evil, creatures unless those creatures are directly involved in the destruction of nature or other beings the druid holds dear. In my experience. most players that want to run druids generally play them as clerics that use mistletoe as a spell component as opposed to the nature priests they are supposed to be. Face it, they would (or should) have very little interest in searching a dungeon for the gain of wealth or the killing of monsters unless there was ultimately some goal involved in furthering their interest in helping nature or similar. FInally, True Neutral is perhaps one of the most difficult alignments to adjudicate correctly: with all alignments being balancing forces necessary for life to continue. They would (or should) treat someone that is Lawful Good the same as someone that is Chaotic Evil and vice versa. As a DM I reserve certain classes (druid, paladin, et al) to those players that I feel are able to correctly play them the way there are supposed to be played. As always, YMMV.


Very true.. Many players i have seen run druids seem to regard them more as neutral (good) clerics, not truely neutral followers of nature..
User avatar
garhkal
Lord
Lord
 
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:00 am

Re: Why druids are so unique

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:34 am

Billy_Buttcheese wrote:

That said, they are also, IMHO, one of the most difficult classes to justify as a PC. Unless you're involved in a campaign where there is a lot of interaction with forests and/or nature. A druid, played correctly, would be extremely selfish about his/her motivational goals and likely unwilling to set aside those goals for a chest of gold, or the killing of any, even generally evil, creatures unless those creatures are directly involved in the destruction of nature or other beings the druid holds dear.


Yeah, that's always a challenge. I've been lucky...of the players who've played druids in my various campaigns over the years, most of them have (for the most part) played the in line with how I see druids, with true neutrality. It helps that I've explained to players how I see certain classes acting and how I envision them, and they work off that. One of my most oft-told story about the various druid PCs was the one who decided to spread appreciation and reverence for nature by "bringing nature to the city". He would go into towns and cities and convince the general populace, farmers, and the leaders of the cities that he could teach them better farming methods and help their crops be healthy if they agreed not to unnecessarily cut down trees (he taught them to use stone and mud/straw to build buildings), protect animals, observe the cycles of nature and their related rituals, plant trees, etc. If the people had reverence for nature, then he would cast plant growth on the crops. If they did not, he would send insect plagues and what not.

He also (often) convinced the city officials to build grand parks, areas of nature, inside the cities as places of meditation and solace, filled with flowers and public gardens. But gods forbid if you crossed him! :twisted: One village cut down a sacred tree and was assaulted day after day with insect swarms that practically destroyed the village. One kingdom really suffered for their betrayal...the druid did all the stuff mentioned above and helped the kingdom become rich and prosperous due to the sheer amount of food they could produce and export. However, the king decided to give one of his son-in-laws a barony and a castle and decided that one of the somewhat sacred groves needed to be cleared to make way for the castle. The druid warned against it and the king had the druid arrested for insubordination. The druid turned into a bird and escaped. He then cast earthquake and dropped the king's castle into the earth, burying the king and all his high ranking family members! 8O

Druids will always be motivated against undead anywhere, since undead are abominations that exist outside the wheel of life, the circle of existence, the balance. So any adventure with undead will get the druids excited. If a powerful dragon is dominating the forest and killing off all the animals, that would be a situation needing correcting. A lich or evil wizard who clears all the land around his castle, creating a zone of unnatural monsters (owlbears, undead, golems, etc.), would incur the wrath of the druid. An army of orcs being led by a powerful orog that marches through the forest and threatens the nearby kingdom that has been respectful to the forest would be opposed. There are plenty of ways to motivate a druid. Admittedly, not nearly as many as there are for most other characters though. Druids are definitely harder to motivate, probably the hardest of all classes.

As a DM I reserve certain classes (druid, paladin, et al) to those players that I feel are able to correctly play them the way there are supposed to be played.


I agree. I think it takes a certain type of player to play the more difficult classes. The game suffers when a player plays the character too stereotypically, or worse yet, uses the character in the wrong way (druids not being neutral, as mentioned by you and Garhkal), paladins turning a blind eye to torture, monks not being disciplined, etc.
User avatar
Halaster-Blackcloak
Guildmaster
Guildmaster
 
Posts: 781
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:35 am
Favorite D&D Edition: 1st Edition

Re: Why druids are so unique

Postby Billy_Buttcheese » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:31 am

Druids will always be motivated against undead anywhere, since undead are abominations that exist outside the wheel of life, the circle of existence, the balance. So any adventure with undead will get the druids excited. If a powerful dragon is dominating the forest and killing off all the animals, that would be a situation needing correcting. A lich or evil wizard who clears all the land around his castle, creating a zone of unnatural monsters (owlbears, undead, golems, etc.), would incur the wrath of the druid. An army of orcs being led by a powerful orog that marches through the forest and threatens the nearby kingdom that has been respectful to the forest would be opposed. There are plenty of ways to motivate a druid. Admittedly, not nearly as many as there are for most other characters though. Druids are definitely harder to motivate, probably the hardest of all classes.


Agreed. I didn't mean to imply that there weren't any adventuring situations that a druid would not be interested in. Obviously, you've named some excellent examples. My point was that in a "typical" (if there is such a thing) adventuring scenario (i.e. search the dungeon, kill the beasties, haul off the loot, etc) would hold less than zero interest for a druid, unless the end game involved one of your examples or similar.

In my 35+ years of playing and DMing, I've discovered many players with any amount of playing experience will be thumbing through the PHB and say to themselves, "Hey! I think I'll play a druid next time because they get extra healing spells." Not truly understanding the purpose of the life of a druid and how restricted they're supposed to be. When I explain my logic to the potential player I usually get the same results; crestfallen face and protruding lower lip. Mature players understand and usually opt for something less restricted or attempt to play the druid within those strictures.

I don't restrict druids to an NPC only class but I can certainly see how some DMs might.

Great discussion, BTW
User avatar
Billy_Buttcheese
Vagabond
Vagabond
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:32 pm
Location: Florida
Favorite D&D Edition: 1st Edition

Re: Why druids are so unique

Postby RPG Dinosaur » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:52 pm

Halaster-Blackcloak wrote: Even so, I'm not sure the druid's inability to turn undead should be changed.

But bottom line, that's one reason I love druids, because they truly are a unique class unlike any other.

If you keep the Druids inability to turn undead the way it is, you maintain the line between them and Clerics better. :)
_Matt_
User avatar
RPG Dinosaur
Artisan
Artisan
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:35 pm
Location: WA state
Favorite D&D Edition: 1st Edition, with some 2nd

Re: Why druids are so unique

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:58 pm

Billy_Buttcheese wrote:

Agreed. I didn't mean to imply that there weren't any adventuring situations that a druid would not be interested in. Obviously, you've named some excellent examples. My point was that in a "typical" (if there is such a thing) adventuring scenario (i.e. search the dungeon, kill the beasties, haul off the loot, etc) would hold less than zero interest for a druid, unless the end game involved one of your examples or similar.


Oh, I understood what you were saying, and agree completely. It's very hard to have typical or standard adventures that would truly motivate the druid. The druid is a really tough case because he has such different motivations from all other classes. One thing I started doing with my groups when someone wanted to play a druid was to explain what a druid is and his outlook, what True Neutral means. Then I'd ask to player to come up with motivations along the lines of: "Why would your druid character want to go adventuring with the rest of the party? Why does he want to do that?". I figured the motivation was up to the player to figure out. All I could really do is explain what druids are and what they're like generally.

One player decided that while adventuring per se wasn't a high priority of his druid character, he realized that he needed gold (and lots of it!) to buy up large tracts of land in order to convert it back into wilderness. He was buying developed or cleared land from a particular kingdom and converting it to forests and orchards. His idea was that if the area was beautiful and bountiful and afforded plenty of food for the locals, the king would never have reason to clear the area to build castles or cities.

Another reasoned that due to the presence of orcs, goblins, owlbears, and other destructive forces in the area, adventuring would allow him to gather magic items to help equip his druid followers and help them succeed against these destructive monsters.

Another simply wanted to travel the world, seeing all the wonders of nature in various settings (forest, desert, arctic, etc).

But I would say that a properly run druid is perhaps the hardest of all PC classes to play.
User avatar
Halaster-Blackcloak
Guildmaster
Guildmaster
 
Posts: 781
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:35 am
Favorite D&D Edition: 1st Edition

Re: Why druids are so unique

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:59 pm

RPG Dinosaur wrote:

If you keep the Druids inability to turn undead the way it is, you maintain the line between them and Clerics better.


An excellent argument for keeping that limitation! I think that's even more important than it would seem at first glance.
User avatar
Halaster-Blackcloak
Guildmaster
Guildmaster
 
Posts: 781
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:35 am
Favorite D&D Edition: 1st Edition

Re: Why druids are so unique

Postby Billy_Buttcheese » Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:39 pm

Halaster-Blackcloak wrote:Billy_Buttcheese wrote:

Agreed. I didn't mean to imply that there weren't any adventuring situations that a druid would not be interested in. Obviously, you've named some excellent examples. My point was that in a "typical" (if there is such a thing) adventuring scenario (i.e. search the dungeon, kill the beasties, haul off the loot, etc) would hold less than zero interest for a druid, unless the end game involved one of your examples or similar.


Oh, I understood what you were saying, and agree completely. It's very hard to have typical or standard adventures that would truly motivate the druid. The druid is a really tough case because he has such different motivations from all other classes. One thing I started doing with my groups when someone wanted to play a druid was to explain what a druid is and his outlook, what True Neutral means. Then I'd ask to player to come up with motivations along the lines of: "Why would your druid character want to go adventuring with the rest of the party? Why does he want to do that?". I figured the motivation was up to the player to figure out. All I could really do is explain what druids are and what they're like generally.

One player decided that while adventuring per se wasn't a high priority of his druid character, he realized that he needed gold (and lots of it!) to buy up large tracts of land in order to convert it back into wilderness. He was buying developed or cleared land from a particular kingdom and converting it to forests and orchards. His idea was that if the area was beautiful and bountiful and afforded plenty of food for the locals, the king would never have reason to clear the area to build castles or cities.

Another reasoned that due to the presence of orcs, goblins, owlbears, and other destructive forces in the area, adventuring would allow him to gather magic items to help equip his druid followers and help them succeed against these destructive monsters.

Another simply wanted to travel the world, seeing all the wonders of nature in various settings (forest, desert, arctic, etc).

But I would say that a properly run druid is perhaps the hardest of all PC classes to play.


Wow! Would that my players were as creative and thoughtful. Sadly, most of my "campaigns" have been essentially sandboxes with the PCs jumping from one dungeon to the next. Most of my players had very little real interest in my campaign world, even though I took great pains to provide them with plenty of alternatives and world "happenings". Usually they just wanted to know how much gold & XPs they got and how to get to the next adventure. To be fair though, a lot of this had to do with our weird playing schedule and length of time between sessions. I am always jealous of DMs with groups that play regularly and have players that are interested in something other than collecting loot and magic items.

But getting back to the druid, those all sound like plausible and very real motivations for a properly played druid PC. It sounds like your players took your instructions to heart and tried their best to comply. Kudos!
User avatar
Billy_Buttcheese
Vagabond
Vagabond
 
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:32 pm
Location: Florida
Favorite D&D Edition: 1st Edition

Re: Why druids are so unique

Postby RPG Dinosaur » Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:38 pm

Halaster-Blackcloak wrote:One player decided that while adventuring per se wasn't a high priority of his druid character, he realized that he needed gold (and lots of it!) to buy up large tracts of land in order to convert it back into wilderness. He was buying developed or cleared land from a particular kingdom and converting it to forests and orchards. His idea was that if the area was beautiful and bountiful and afforded plenty of food for the locals, the king would never have reason to clear the area to build castles or cities.

Another reasoned that due to the presence of orcs, goblins, owlbears, and other destructive forces in the area, adventuring would allow him to gather magic items to help equip his druid followers and help them succeed against these destructive monsters.

Another simply wanted to travel the world, seeing all the wonders of nature in various settings (forest, desert, arctic, etc).

I have to agree with Mr.,ah,Buttcheese :D that you had some very creative players playing the Druid with creatively appropriate motivations. However Hal, my favorite of your examples is the first one, that being the one of the player who strove to bring nature to the city! That's very good.
_Matt_
User avatar
RPG Dinosaur
Artisan
Artisan
 
Posts: 318
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:35 pm
Location: WA state
Favorite D&D Edition: 1st Edition, with some 2nd

Re: Why druids are so unique

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:40 pm

RPG Dinosaur wrote:

However Hal, my favorite of your examples is the first one, that being the one of the player who strove to bring nature to the city! That's very good.


Thanks! Yeah, that one will stick with me forever. I bet 50 years from now if I ask any players (who are still alive! 8O ) from that campaign what they remember, that druid is going to be one of the first things they recollect.
User avatar
Halaster-Blackcloak
Guildmaster
Guildmaster
 
Posts: 781
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:35 am
Favorite D&D Edition: 1st Edition

Re: Why druids are so unique

Postby Lyrwik » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:01 am

Billy_Buttcheese wrote:They would (or should) treat someone that is Lawful Good the same as someone that is Chaotic Evil and vice versa. As a DM I reserve certain classes (druid, paladin, et al) to those players that I feel are able to correctly play them the way there are supposed to be played. As always, YMMV.


I've played a few druids over the years (they're my favourite class too), and I've developed a slightly different take on their views of other alignments. If we consider them as actively pursuing neutrality, then what you say is true, that they should be opposed to the zealous LG character in much the same way as they oppose the dangerous CG character. However, I think the "right" way for them to be played is closer to being unaligned, rather than true neutral (particularly given the obscurity over what true neutral actually is).

This is because to me alignments (in particular the humanoid concepts of good and evil) relate much more to how a humanoid interacts with other humanoids, sentient creatures, and society in general; rather than how they interact with nature. In addition, a character's alignment and the threat they pose to nature, don't necessarily correlate. For example, a chaotic evil character may be happy to burn down a forest to destroy an enemy (mind you, a lot of supposedly good PCs would probably do the same), but a lawful good community would be happy to clear lands to expand the town, grow crops, or build a decadent castle. While the latter serve a beneficial purpose (to humanity), they can also be much harder to undo, compared with the burning forest example.

Because of this, I don't really think that a character's alignment is really what a Druid should care about - as it's mostly a measure of how that character interacts with humanity. Instead, they would judge (and pass judgement) on characters based on how their actions affect nature, which could go either way, irrespective of their alignment.
User avatar
Lyrwik
Vagabond
Vagabond
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:18 am
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Favorite D&D Edition: AD&D 2nd Ed

Re: Why druids are so unique

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:01 am

Lyrwick wrote:

I've played a few druids over the years (they're my favourite class too), and I've developed a slightly different take on their views of other alignments. If we consider them as actively pursuing neutrality, then what you say is true, that they should be opposed to the zealous LG character in much the same way as they oppose the dangerous CG character. However, I think the "right" way for them to be played is closer to being unaligned, rather than true neutral (particularly given the obscurity over what true neutral actually is).


I'd say that being True Neutral is essentially the same thing as being unaligned. In a sense, TN is pure neutrality. Sorta like how an electron has a negative charge and a proton has a positive charge while neutrons have no charge. Druids have no alignment, technically. They are Truly Neutral towards other alignments. They're not concerned with alignments, only with balance and the natural world.

A druid would not necessarily oppose another character simply because of alignment. Alignment means nothing to a druid. He's concerned with balance, with making sure no single force becomes overly dominant. As an example, imagine a kingdom near a forest which is becoming infested with orcs. The orcs are breeding like rabbits and threatening to overrun the humans. That's not good in the druid's eyes because if the human kingdom falls, the orcs will be free to overbreed and destroy the flora and fauna of the forest. The human kingdom sends rangers and knights into the forest to destroy the orcs. The druid would help the humans to beat back the orcs in order to protect the forest. However, he would not necessarily want the orcs exterminated. In his eyes, better to leave some orcs there to pose a potential future threat. This will discourage the humans from cutting down the forests to expand the kingdom. As long as the orc attacks against the humans stop, the humans will be satisfied. The threat is gone, for now at least. But the forest still holds potential danger, which discourages the forest being leveled.

This is because to me alignments (in particular the humanoid concepts of good and evil) relate much more to how a humanoid interacts with other humanoids, sentient creatures, and society in general; rather than how they interact with nature.


I agree. The other alignments are all about how humans, demihumans, humaoids, and other creatures interact and how they behave towards one another. Druids are True Neutral though, meaning they don't subscribe to any particular aligned belief. They know that without evil, there can be no good because good would have nothing to balance or contrast itself against. Good would eventually become tyrannical in its zeal to find contrast. Without good, all freedom would fall to evil and suffering. Without law, there would be only chaos and therefore no rhyme or reason, no stability, no ability to grow or evolve or create anything of value or longevity, no lasting peace, nothing. Without chaos, there would be no change and thus only lawful stagnation to the point of boring sameness and ennui. So the druid sees how all these things do and must interact.

In addition, a character's alignment and the threat they pose to nature, don't necessarily correlate. For example, a chaotic evil character may be happy to burn down a forest to destroy an enemy (mind you, a lot of supposedly good PCs would probably do the same), but a lawful good community would be happy to clear lands to expand the town, grow crops, or build a decadent castle. While the latter serve a beneficial purpose (to humanity), they can also be much harder to undo, compared with the burning forest example.


So very true. Druids though are not just worried about threats to nature, but to the natural balance of things in nature.

Too much law and every forest will be cut into perfectly sectioned wilderness areas, all bushes and trees trimmed to exacting measurements, all animals bred in exact numbers. It would become so excessively regimented and regulated that everything would be crushed into a tyrannical dullness of conformity that would literally destroy all sense of wonder and take the "wild" out of "wilderness". Every painting would have to fit a preconceived standard of composition, color and depiction. All music would eventually sound the same, as standards for songs and music become codified. Stagnation would cripple the world.

Too much chaos and on a whim the king may decide that all horses are evil and thus must be exterminated, only to have mules bred to take their place. Until it's decided that mules should die. On one day the forest would be seen with a sense of wonder and beauty, the next it's being leveled to build cities. There would be no standard. A sword worth 100 gp today might sell for 2,000 gp tomorrow and then 50 gp the day after. Apples would become the fruit of choice while oranges are left to rot - until a short time later when oranges become passe, bananas are the new rage, and the orange groves are left to die. Nothing stable would ever come into existence as the constantly changing nature of things (laws, desires, beliefs, "truths", values etc). There would be no security, no preparation, no assurance of living through another season. The world would bounce from bounty to famine, from peace to war, from wealthy to poor, from free to enslaved, in an unpredictable manner from day to day.

Too much evil and depravity would rule. Raping and killing and robbery would become acceptable. Might would make right. Those with power would enslave those without. Happiness would cease to exist as everyone abandons any thought for the welfare of others with no compunctions about using any means necessary to attain their own selfish goals. It would be neighbor against neighbor, brother against brother. As things become worse for everyone, everyone necessarily becomes more self-centered and concerned with survival to the exclusion of any concern for anyone else or anything else. Death and destruction would become common tools to attain every day goals. You're hungry? Go murder the family down the road and take their food. You have a right to eat, no? And while you're there, why not steal the clothing and rape the women? And since there are no laws to restrict you and therefore no disincentive, it becomes every man for himself and damn everyone else to hell.

Too much good and soon everyone and everything becomes over-regulated. Eventually, there would be no mercy even with extenuating circumstances such as a waif stealing a loaf of bread to feed the family. A crime is a crime and punishment needs to be blind. If you don't contribute to charity, that's bad because it makes it harder for everyone else to feed the poor. Now you'll be fined or jailed for the "crime" of not generously donating some of your food. Forget saying anything that isn't polite or kind. That's not good. It hurts people and we can't have that! Jail time! Soon everything will be judged on its "goodness" and there will be pressure to be "more good" than the next guy. If it's good to give 10% of your crop to the poor, then isn't giving 20% twice as good? Where does it end? Soon, goodness becomes tyranny, especially when coupled with excess law.

So the druid is concerned not only with protecting the wilderness, but also with protecting the cycles of nature, the big picture.

Because of this, I don't really think that a character's alignment is really what a Druid should care about - as it's mostly a measure of how that character interacts with humanity. Instead, they would judge (and pass judgement) on characters based on how their actions affect nature, which could go either way, irrespective of their alignment.


Agreed, although I don't know many people who played druids as reacting to other people's alignment the way paladins might, for example.
User avatar
Halaster-Blackcloak
Guildmaster
Guildmaster
 
Posts: 781
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:35 am
Favorite D&D Edition: 1st Edition

Re: Why druids are so unique

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:12 am

This got me thinking - all this brings up another very good reason for druids to worship nature and not "nature gods". Druids are concerned with balance above all else. The natural world has a natural balance. There are sunny days, there are rainy days. Crops thrive, crops fail. Some animals are peaceful, some are violent. It all fits together without anything becoming dominant. Gods are by their very nature obsessed with their own portfolio. A god of war cares only about war. So what if there are stormy oceans or calm oceans? As long as people are going to war, that god is happy. Likewise a god of healing would not be concerned with stormy oceans or peaceful seas. Spreading health and eradicating sickness is his goal. In essence, each god has an area of interest which he or she pushes to become more powerful. A god of healing would want to wipe out disease, whereas a god of disease would want disease to spread into pandemic levels. A god of peace would want the whole world to share a Coke and sing kumbayah (god, I'll never forget that commercial! :roll: ), whereas a god of war would love to start a world war where every nation was fighting.

What god would want every other god to be equal? That sorta goes against the concept of gods. A god of True Neutrality would not want power. It would literally be the only god not acting like a god - that is, trying to expand its portfolio. Even true neutrality would unbalance things, in that no one would care about good or evil, law or order. Ennui would consume the universe. Ultimately, a god of neutrality would not even be able to exist. Either the good gods would team up and destroy him for protecting evil and not allowing the good gods to wipe out evil, or the evil gods would assassinate him for getting in the way of their plans to kill goodness.

So it's better for a druid to remain a worshiper of nature, of balance, than of a god who professes something that no god would really profess and that no god could survive professing.
User avatar
Halaster-Blackcloak
Guildmaster
Guildmaster
 
Posts: 781
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:35 am
Favorite D&D Edition: 1st Edition

Re: Why druids are so unique

Postby garhkal » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:00 pm

Lyrwik wrote: For example, a chaotic evil character may be happy to burn down a forest to destroy an enemy (mind you, a lot of supposedly good PCs would probably do the same),


Heck one of the groups of mostly NG/LG pcs i had, were MORE than ok strip burning a woods outside an enemy camp (barbarians), along with poisoning wells, salting crop fields and the like, as they saw it all as part of 'sieging the enemy'.. And what's worse is the player of the druid in that group had a shit fit when i smacked him, cause he not only didn't try to argue against what the party wanted to do but seemed to GLEEFULLY join in! I Hit him with loss of all 8 of his animal familiars, loss of all spells and none of his other inate powers (det water, id plants etc) for a FULL MONTH in game time..

I'd say that being True Neutral is essentially the same thing as being unaligned. In a sense, TN is pure neutrality. Sorta like how an electron has a negative charge and a proton has a positive charge while neutrons have no charge. Druids have no alignment, technically. They are Truly Neutral towards other alignments. They're not concerned with alignments, only with balance and the natural world.

A druid would not necessarily oppose another character simply because of alignment. Alignment means nothing to a druid. He's concerned with balance, with making sure no single force becomes overly dominant. As an example, imagine a kingdom near a forest which is becoming infested with orcs. The orcs are breeding like rabbits and threatening to overrun the humans. That's not good in the druid's eyes because if the human kingdom falls, the orcs will be free to overbreed and destroy the flora and fauna of the forest. The human kingdom sends rangers and knights into the forest to destroy the orcs. The druid would help the humans to beat back the orcs in order to protect the forest. However, he would not necessarily want the orcs exterminated. In his eyes, better to leave some orcs there to pose a potential future threat. This will discourage the humans from cutting down the forests to expand the kingdom. As long as the orc attacks against the humans stop, the humans will be satisfied. The threat is gone, for now at least. But the forest still holds potential danger, which discourages the forest being leveled.


Exactly Hal. I've had some druid PC's who actually ACTED against the local LG townships cause they WERE more of an out of balance factor to the native lands than the monster hordes were (cause they were almost depleted.)..
User avatar
garhkal
Lord
Lord
 
Posts: 1229
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:00 am


Return to 1E AD&D - Classic Editions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest