Daring the Druid
Main Page » Player tips » Daring the Druid
OK, so your DM has said you are playing a Birthright campaign (congratulations), you want to play a druid. Now what do you do?
Birthright is a bit different to many other campaigns - it's got a good amount of world history and culture and may have a fair bit of intrigue - not something that most druids need to deal with. This page is designed to help you build a druid who fits into the setting well and can handle various matters, and also has space for comments and the like on playing what can be a very interesting class in D&D - the druid.
The first thing to do is find out which nation in Birthright the setting is based in, and decide on your character's nationality. Some nations favor druids, some do not, but a druid can be a fun character in any of them.
Anuire wilderness is rare, although the borderlands of Talinie, Mhoried, Cariele and Dhoesone are still wild in parts. Erik has a strong following across Anuire, although little political influence. In Anuirean theology Erik is subservient to Haelyn, and he is followed mainly by peasants though nobles will often sacrifice to the god of nature if the harvest appears likely to fail. As such a druid of Erik could be a prominent member of a Haelynite church (although barred from the highest ranks), a wild man who defends the folk of Mhoried from goblin raiders, a peasant hero who seeks to turn the people away from obedience to the nobility in favor of self-rule, or almost any other role.
Oaken Grove of Aeric - One of the strongest churches of Erik in Anuire
Brecht are noted for trade, in particular sea trade. They shun the forests and prize farmland and cities - not wilderness. As such druids in Brechtur have a fairly traditional D&D role as outsiders, protectors of nature, and ill at ease in company. The faith of Erik is notable mainly in the form of the Old Father of the Forests which gives guidance to several of the Basin states. A small number of druids are also found in Treucht where the ehrshegh Aurichlacht (Hap Prechlen Thelma) reveres her lands and leads a church which includes priests of Ruornil and druids of Erik both.
Brecht druids could be traditional druids of the Old Father of the Forest, missionaries from Treucht, members of a junior order within a temple of Sera, or true folk of the wild. Druids who are focused on the sea not the forests are very possible, for all Brecht look towards the sea for sustenance, travel and trade.
Khinasi are often thought of as a desert people, thus condemning druids to the barren land as hermits and other rootless vagabonds. The eastern Khinasi land is however verdant forest, prime druid territory. Commonly forgotten is that Erik is married to Avani, indicating that his druids may be welcomed by her priests - at least as long as they act as fertility/nature priests rather than seeking to lead or guide the people as Avani does.
Khinasi druids could be leaders of forest communities in Djafra, Min Dhousai, Kozlovnyy, or the Lamia's realm. They could be a sub-order within a church of Avani, or found in isolated areas such as the Tarvan Waste or eastern mountains.
Erik hold druids as sacred, the druids have guided and protected the land since inception, preserved it in the face of the expanding Anuirean Empire, and again after the Empire fell. Elsewhere in Cerilia druids may be near outcasts, wanderers who talk to trees more often than people and consider their flock to be comprised of wildlife not people - this viewpoint is likely to be rare in druids of the Rjurik. The druids are at the heart of every community, guiding it in all ways and as inseparable from the people as Haelyn from Anuire or Avani from Khinasi - if not more so.
A druid in the Rjurik highlands is therefore automatically a revered leader - whether they have any leadership ability or wisdom. Those wishing to play a more 'feral' druid than the Rjurik default of community wise-man should discuss this with their DM - perhaps the Emerald Spiral would be suitable, or one of the nomadic clans, otherwise even the Oaken Grove could have an order of nature's guardians empowered not to lead the people, but to root out Shadow World beasts, undead and the like and thus protect Erik's land.
Emerald Spiral- The traditional church of Erik
Oaken Grove of Erik - The more open-minded church of Erik
Kriesha as the Winter Witch, or more generally as the incarnation of the danger of nature, is a possible source of druids, although in canon only Erik is strictly given to creating druidic orders. Allowing Kriesha to create druids encourages a view of her as part of nature's cycle - winter to Erik's summer perhaps, this makes her more welcome in Rjurik lands, and more useful in Vosgaard where nature is probably the most deadly foe of all.
Erik's faith in Vosgaard is small, but unlike Haelyn or Sera he is unlikely to be seen as a real threat to the Vos way of life. Vos driven from their clans, or the survivors of battles left without a home to return to are likely to be forced to wander the land, as such there are several possible sources for druids in Vosgaard - though competition from Kriesha is certain.
karamhul may be the most civilized people of Cerilia, but they still interact with nature, their lands are as much below the surface as above, and therefore if karamhul are permitted to worship Erik by the DM, or revere nature/Cerilia directly, there is a clear place in karamhul society for druids - albeit in a secondary role to the faith of Moradin.
sidhelien are infamous for their godlessness, older than the new gods of humanity - possibly older even than the old gods - the sidhelien have no interest in praying to Erik or any other god that might empower druids. This causes some game-play problems (in particular regarding healing magic), and so some DMs permit sidhelien to become druids who revere nature or Cerilia itself rather than Erik.
If this is permitted, then the druids are the only source of clerical magic in sidhe lands, giving them significant influence and thus power. Whether druids can form temple holdings in sidhe lands is then another question for your DM, with the canon rule being a clear 'no.
Goblins tend not to have great understanding or love of civilization, and many live in inhospitable lands. Druids with their ability to shapeshift allowing them to spy or fight equally well, and array of woodland skills are unsurprisingly quite common amongst the goblins - if your DM permits one of the goblin gods to create druids or considers that Erik could be worshiped by the goblins.
halflings generally have priests not druids, but Erik is certainly a possible god for the Halflings to revere as they have a natural love of the land.
So, where do you put your stats, and what feats do you need? What multi-class combo's and prestige classes should you consider? A druid needs high Wisdom, of course, but in the Rjurik Highlands Intelligence and Charisma are expected if not necessarily found in all his faithful. A battle-druid will want high Constitution and Strength, while Dexterity is beneficial to martial druids and mediators both.
Birthright campaign the need for skills is great - they determine the regency points that a regent collects almost as much as does bloodline and dictate the success of diplomacy between domains to a to a great degree.
As such a druid player who intends to be a regent, or take on a role outside combat, should seriously consider putting one of their better attributes into Intelligence to ensure a reasonable supply of skill points.
Good skills and ways to use them:
- Diplomacy - In the Rjurik Highlands the druids oversee all serious diplomacy, bind the nation together, and encourage the jarls and kings to refrain from economic activity that would harm the forests - all of which requires great diplomatic skill.
knowledge of D&D 3.5e than me.
- Druid/bard is a possible combination as Erik's daughter Laerme is patron of bards, however the social setting in Rjurik gives different social roles to the two classes in canon.
- Druid/fighter is a combination for warlords in isolated areas or druids who want to be that little bit tougher. Lapsed druids who have turned to mercenary ways are also good.
- Druid/guilder is a difficult combination to see but a druid of the sea might could welcome trade, particularly in Brechtur.
- Druid/noble is a combination that makes a lot of sense in Rjurik, and possibly Treucht, but not much sense elsewhere. The extra skills of the noble make a druid/noble of Rjurik likely to rise high in the ranks of the Oaken Grove or Emerald Spiral where diplomacy, and knowledge of history and geography is highly valued.
- Druid/rogue is a combination for those who see druids as nature's assassins, army scouts, and wandering folk who prefer to talk their way out of trouble than fight. A rogue's skills and sneak attack mix well with the druids shapechange ability to make the matchless scout or infiltrator.
- Druid/wizard is a fairly natural combination in much of Cerilia as wizards gain their power from the mebhaighl of the land. The Rjurik however distrust magic so would likely find a druid / wizard confusing - not that such folk might not work well as a sub-order of one of the druidic faiths charged with ensuring that the mebhaighl of the land is not depleted - or perhaps even tapped - by those deaf to Erik's ways.
Sundry other comments about druids in Birthright.
- As a druid regent, you may find that temples see you as less of a threat - much as Nesirie's temples are expected to stick to the coasts, druids are expected to stick to the isolated provinces. As such you may be able to snap up numerous low level holdings without triggering a strong response, particularly if you loudly proclaim your respect for the dominant faith. Diplomacy with rulers encourage them to accept Erik as a counter balance to the dominant faith - no noble wants to be utterly dependent on a single faith!
- In the Highlands there are just two (2) churches, the Emerald Spiral and the Oaken Grove. These huge sprawling temples cover large territories, and accordingly can give little attention to any of them. A key risk is therefore not foreign gods, but modernizing rulers who wish to have the undivided attention of a priest and so seek to set up their own national church. This is socially hugely divisive, and the DM may intervene, but otherwise the problem is for the regent to handle. One solution is a vassal order splitting out some of the circles of the land (less than half in any given province for safety), another is to remove the offending regent either directly or by seeking aid from the 'loyal' realms. Failing to deal with the problem risks every king seeking their own church and the dissolution of one of the faiths which has guided the nation for millennia.
, 01-25-2010 at 03:26 AM|
Last edited by , 02-05-2015 at 09:34 AM
0 Comments, 903 Views
Loading Selected Tab - Please Wait
Tags for this Page
By BRadmin in forum MainComments: 0Last Post: 04-11-2009, 05:01 PM
By Arjan in forum Birthright Campaign Setting 3.5Comments: 0Last Post: 07-16-2008, 06:11 PM
By BRadmin in forum MainComments: 0Last Post: 06-15-2008, 11:58 PM
By AndrewTall in forum CategoryComments: 0Last Post: 08-15-2007, 09:54 PM