Why do druid levels seem a stretch? Only because he didn`t turn into any
other creature? I`ve played druids before, and I never used anything much
more than a bear either. Since Beorn is an affable fellow who cares deeply
about the land and its animals (and actually allowed his own home to be the
home of animals) it is more fitting that he would be a Druid...even animals
scared of bears lived in and around his home. The original incarnation of
the Werebear in AD&D was inspired by Beorn...true; but I think (just my
opinion) that Beorn was not a Lycanthrope as anyone on this list might see

The only animalistic shapechanging creature put forth by Tolkien as similar
to a Lycanthrope was the Werewolf, and even they were actually spirits and
not the D&D version of Lycanthropes. Even Sauron took the form of a beastly
wolf-like creature at one time, but was defeated/thwarted.

If you go strictly by Middle-Earth lore, Beorn was a type of Wizard perhaps.
Not a magician (someone with little understand of the petty magic they
used), but someone who had an inherent understanding of the magic of
Middle-Earth and could freely communicate with animals. We should all
realize that when Tolkien wrote his books, there was no thought in his mind
as to what "class" a particular person was...just what they were and what
they could do.

When we try to apply a character from a book into class specific abilities,
then Beorn most closely resembles a Druid. He is even described at one
point as a "protector of the wild places" I believe; but don`t hold me to
that quote as I am not really pulling it from the book.

I have read the Silmarillion, the Hobbit, and the Lord of the Rings at least
once a year each for I guess over two decades now (the first book being the
hardest to get through); and all those years as an avid player of D&D (in
its many forms) I have never once thought of Beorn as a Lycanthrope. He
likes the daytime too much. ;-)


----Original Message Follows----
From: Gary <geeman@SOFTHOME.NET>

At 06:43 AM 6/22/2003 -0600, The Magian wrote:
>How about a druid and his focus is on shapechanging?

Does he ever take on any form other than a bear? He has, apparently, many
animals enthralled, but those could be nature oriented cohorts/followers,
not the result of Animal Friendship or charms. Ranger levels I think are
appropriate, but druid levels seems a bit of a stretch.


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