... now with 35% more arrogance!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Druids Without Spells

Taking spells away from clerics was easy. Taking them away from druids requires a little thought.

First: Do you really want to do it? Part of the justification for taking spells away from clerics is that an impromptu prayer from a saint fits legendary sources better than priests selecting spells they want to cast today. Druids, on the other hand, are reputed to be masters of forgotten lore. Spells fit their image better than they do the cleric's image. However, druid spells could be given to an alchemist variant class; this would be a good Witch class, for example.

Second: Do we just want to fix druidic powers? I was never happy with the way druids gain specific named powers at various levels. I like the simpler class descriptions that you can sum up in a paragraph and improvise with as needed. The abilities to identify pure food and water and pass through undergrowth could be implemented as a "Turn/Command Nature Spirits" ability. I consider the shape-change part problematic.

Here's a tentative redesign of druids which make them more like a true cleric variant: "Druids are clerics with power over nature and nature's spirits. They have no power over the undead or demonic forces, but can use cleric-like miracles for defense, warning, or command over plants, animals, wood, fire, and elementals."

I'd take away the shape-changing as a guaranteed ability. Instead, druids would be able to learn how to shape-change into a specific animal from a sacred version of that animal, or from another druid with that ability. They would only be able to learn the shapes of animals with the same hit dice as their own or less, and must learn each shape separately; once learned, the ability uses the same miracle mechanic as the other druid abilities.


  1. What about a full write up on your cleric and druid, so we can plug and play and add to the Links to Wisdom?

  2. It'll take a while, but it will happen...

  3. These druids might end up like the shugenja in the Legend of the Five Rings RPG, with their free abilities to "sense" and "commune" with the elements that lead to very interesting player-GM interactions ...

  4. I'm not familiar with Legend of the Five Rings (not a big orientalist.) Are these player-GM interactions a good thing, or a bad thing? What are you imagining?

  5. They're mostly good; basically, you entreat the local spirits of air, fire, earth etc. to give you information. It can be fun playing the very limited perspective of these minor elementals.