Druids are part of a mysterious religious order of priests and priestesses who worship and serve the powers of nature. As a Druid, you have great reverence for the natural world, and are more comfortable with plants and animals than with other people. You can cast spells to talk with wildlife, or enlist animals and even plants as your allies; but you are also an able fighter in defense of your forest and your friends. You share some characteristics with Fighters, Clerics, and Magic-Users, but are not as strong as those classes in their own specialties. However, you are better in physical combat than a Magic-User, while still having some healing ability and offensive spell power. Some of your nature spells are unlike anything a Cleric or Magic-User can cast. You are ready to extend the balance of nature to human affairs, and have little tolerance for those who go to excess either for good or evil, Law or Chaos. You keep your rituals secret, and prefer to live in the wilderness rather than in cities. Your ability to control fire helps to protect your sacred groves, but also can be effective in battle. One day, when you gain all your powers, you might choose to leave the life of adventuring and retreat to the ancient forests, never to be seen again. Or you might choose to establish a druidic citadel in a forest, around a newly-raised henge of stones. The decision is yours.
Prime Attribute: Wisdom and Charisma, both 13+ (a druid character gains a +5% experience bonus only if both their Wisdom and Charisma are 13 or higher.)
* Druids were capped at 13 levels of ability in the Original Game.
** Hit points shown for levels after the character no longer gains full hit dice are the total combined number. An 11th level druid has 9HD plus 2 hit points total, not 9HD plus one hit point gained at 10th level and another 2 hit points gained at 11th.
*** Druids continue to gain spells after 21st level according to the same pattern. Note that no more 6th- or 7th-level spells are added after the Druid is 13th level.
Druid characters must begin with a Neutral alignment. Separate druidic-oriented orders might exist, but these would draw their powers not entirely from nature and not entirely from the powers of Law or Chaos. A trade-off of some kind would have been made, resulting in something druidic but not Druid. Chaotic “druids” conduct human sacrifices and their deeds are dark indeed, drawing strength from ancient and best-forgotten Cthonic chaos beings steeped in earth and blood. Lawful “druids” are even less common, for Chaos has a stronger link to the wild places of the earth than do the powers of Law, but such Lawful “druids” also exist, often setting themselves against the darker, fallen druidic orders. Again, however, the members of such orders are merely druidic – they differ in subtle ways from the true Druids represented by the character class.
A sprig of mistletoe serves for Druids much as a holy symbol serves for Clerics, but is even more important. A Druid can barely cast spells at all without the mystical or symbolic connection provided by the mistletoe sprig. The connection of a Druid to nature is not the same as the Cleric’s connection to a divine being; it is inherently more inchoate, less focused, and more diverse. Although Druids are considered a sub-class of Clerics, their magic bears some partial similarities to that of Magic-Users: they require more of a symbolic focus, more of a ritualistic style of casting, and rely to a greater degree on learning and lore than upon the faith, devotional, and crusading aspects which are so crucial to the power of a true Cleric of Law or Chaos.
The Druid character is a member of a Druidic Order (or the Druidic Order, if there is only one), a hierarchy of power and authority – essentially a pyramid – culminating in the person of the Grand Druid. This august and mysterious personage is the ultimate leader of aldruidsl Druids in the Order. There might be more than one Grand Druid, each ruling different far-flung regions, but in the specific locale where a Druid character begins play, there is, and can be, only one. Moreover, in this area (however large or restricted it might be) there are limited numbers of Druids who may serve in the less-lofty positions of the hierarchy as well. The levels of druidism represent the sequential introduction to higher knowledge – secrets that are dangerous for those of lesser power to know – and also the initiation of the Druid into increasingly smaller “circles” of higher-ranking druids. Once a Druid reaches eleventh level, having learned the full scope of the mysteries of druidism, the character gains the title of Druid. (This is just a title in the order; obviously, the character has been a “druid” since the beginning.) Gaining the position of an Archdruid, or rising to the highest authority of the Grand Druid, requires more than just gaining the necessary experience points; it requires supplanting the current holder of that position. If the Druid character cannot challenge and defeat one of the current Archdruids (to gain 12th level), or the current Grand Druid (to gain 13th level), the character cannot advance to the higher level without departing from the true order of druids and becoming an outcast. The nature and “rules” of the druidic challenge are kept a deep secret from all non-druids. Losing a druidic challenge causes a loss of experience points to beginning of the level of advancement below the challenger’s current level, so it is a grave setback. (For example, an unsuccessful challenger for the rank of Archdruid would be reduced to the beginning of 10th level.) However, a determined Druid may gain more experience and then return to challenge again, as many times as he or she needs or desires.
The Grand Druid himself may continue to gain levels, although the progression and benefits gained from these levels are minor – the character has already learned the significant mysteries, and all that remains is to refine and polish the use of this knowledge. A Druid who has lost a challenge, regained the necessary experience to make another, and then declines to make that challenge, becomes an outcast. Such druids can continue to advance in levels, but those who forgo the challenges and strike out on their own path are forever separated from the protection, assistance, and community of the druidic hierarchy. They are considered, for all intents and purposes, to be renegades. In rare cases, a Druid who declines to challenge may be accepted into the hierarchy instead of becoming a renegade if the Druid swears an oath never to further seek a place in the druidic leadership. At that time the Druid would become a counselor, and/or an agent of the Grand Druid, and gain a title such as “Counselor of Forests” rather than becoming a renegade.
Druids cast spells from a specific list, with numbers as per Table: Druid Advancement. Each day, the Druid selects and prays for a particular set of spells, choosing any spells from the standard Druid spell list. Once a spell is cast, it cannot be cast again until the next day, unless the Druid has prepared (prayed for) the spell more than once.
Druids gain a +2 bonus on saving throws against fire.
At 2nd level a Druid learns the “First Mysteries.” These grant a variety of abilities to the character. The second level Druid can determine whether water is pure; identify any type of normal plant by sight, smell, or taste; and move easily through non-magical undergrowth, including thorns or heavy vines.
At fifth level, a Druid can change shape into the form of an animal. The animal’s size can range from that of a crow to that of a black bear (but not a huge bear such as a grizzly or polar bear). The druid can change into as many as three different animal forms per day – one from each category of reptile, mammal, and bird – but only once for each form within a single day. When the Druid shapeshifts, 1d6 x10% of any lost hit points are cured in the transformation.
At 5th level, a Druid becomes completely immune to the charms of dryads, naiads, satyrs, and other such fey creatures of the wild woods and rivers.
Druids are able to use any magical item Clerics can, with the exception of Clerical-spell scrolls.
The druidic hierarchy speaks a secret language known to all true (neutral) Druids.
Upon reaching 11th level, a Druid may build a stronghold in the wilderness, usually comprised of a stone circle and/or other megaliths, one or more groves, and a fortress redoubt of some kind to protect the area. Such isolated strongholds often serve as informal academies for aspirant Druids in training, or as fortresses sited to defend wilderness areas threatened by Law or Chaos. A Druid who establishes such a stronghold will gather supporters and followers, although many of these will not be human.
Druids may pray for and cast the following spells at the appropriate levels.