Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Green Lands - Druids


Druids are members of the Druidic Order, one of the most powerful in the lands. The order is found everywhere. A druid is found in every king’s hall, serving as prophet, advisor, interpreter of law and
lore, giving judgments, spiritual guidance, and casting spells. Druids see the world and the universe as
a riddle, or series of riddles, to be solved. They generally answer questions with questions. One riddle usually is answered by a new riddle … and on and on. Druids may live simply or lavishly. Many are drifters, roaming from place to place. Others settle and manage or help manage a sacred grove. They never take positions
of kingship themselves, though a few have been known to appoint themselves de facto rulers.

They are the intelligentsia and academia of the society. They teach the children and serve as wise men. As judges, they hear legal cases and make decisions based on the laws, justice, and impartiality. As priests they lead worship ceremonies and know the ways of the gods. As magicians they are the spell-casters, soothsayers, and wizards of the world. They protect their communities from the forces of the invisible world.
They are highly respected and more than a little feared. Most people think druids meddle with things best left alone.

Druids oversee the rituals and ceremonies of the harvest, birth, death, and those things inbetween. They influence kings, can stop battles (no battle will take place if a druid declares on the battlefield that it cannot), prophesize, and give magical and clericial service to the community. Some druids work only for a specific
deity. Others serve all the gods, and others are only nominally concerned with them. Druids work for the common good of the community – even if working for that common good may seem painful for harsh
– they will sacrifice the one for the many. The welfare of the people of the community is always pre-eminent. They also serve as teachers of the community, educating children in basic and more esoteric lore.


There is no real organization to the druid order, though the Archdruid of the grove at The Holy Island is the nominal leader of all druids. Each grove is effectively independent, with the most senior druid as the de facto leader. Free-roaming druids are autonomous. In groups, deference is always given to the most senior
druid. The Holy Island is therefore the center of power of the Druid order, as much as there is one. All druids make a pilgrimage there at some time in their life. There are many holy groves there, some with trees centuries-old.


All places of worship are sacred groves. These are tended by settled druids in a quantity appropriate to the size of the grove (which is appropriate to the size of the community).


There are four degrees within the order: Initiates, Bards, Ovates, and Druids. The only members of the highest degree call themselves druids, to lay people any member of the order is a druid.

Requirements to join as an Initiate

Most druids are recruited. In their role as teachers, druids keep an eye out for potential new applicants
among the children. People may also voluntarily join at any time. Applicants may be of any age or gender
An important component of being a druid, and it factors into their spell-casing, is Combined INT and POW.
This is exactly what it sounds like: INT + POW.

• Combined INT and POW of 25 or better
• Successful POW+CHA/5 roll on d100
• POW sacrifice of course
• Take part in a ceremony in which the initiate is accepted by the spirits of the sacred grove (POWx3% to
• Sacrifice 1 point of POW to the grove
• Pledge a minimum of 10% of all time and monies to the grove
• Sacrifice a further point of POW at each sacred festival


• Training in skills and magic at ½ cost
• Automatic 20 Allegiance points to deitie(s) of choice
• A druid mentor to guide and educate
• While druids are not above the law, they are not subservient to any kings
• In any assembly, druids always have the right to speak first


• Sacrifice 1 point of POW at the sacred festivals
• Scout out new druids
• Druids serve their society by interacting with the invisible world. They perform healing, entertainment, and
memorize the laws, histories, and genealogies of their people.

After seven years as an initiate, you may be able to move up to the next degree, of  bard.

Requirements to become a Bard

• Be an initiate in good standing for at least seven years
• Have a combined INT and POW of at least 28
• Demonstrate at least 35% in Carthan Lore, Druid Lore, Law Lore, Perform (Sing), Perform (Play Instrument), Perform (Poetry), Perform (Storytelling) and Craft (Poetry)
• Pass the Bard Ordeal
• Sacrifice 1 point of POW

The Bard Ordeal

Seven hours before dawn, the aspiring bard is placed in a stone coffin filled with water high enough to barely cover his face. A lid is placed on the coffin and heavy stones placed on the lid – sufficient to guarantee he can’t escape. Before entering the coffin, the aspirant is given the subject, meter, and length for an original poem he is to compose, memorize, and perform when he emerges. He is left in the coffin until dawn. Each
hour, the aspirant must make a Stamina roll. On each failed roll, he loses a hit point.

At dawn, the lid is lifted. He must successfully Perform the poem. If so, he’s now a bard. If not, he can try again in a year.


• Bards learn the stories and traditions to teach and entertain the people.  Their role is to disseminate knowledge. They are expected to demonstrate their knowledge upon command from a lord at any time.
• Teach children of the community
• Scout for potential new druids
• Judge cases


• As for initiates
• Generally have a mentor or series of mentors
• Get a POW gain roll – every year at New Year, the bard makes a roll of POW x 1 on d100. If successful, he gets 1d4 points of POW.

After seven years as a bard, one may attempt to move up to Ovate

Requirements to become an Ovate

• Have been a bard in good standing for at least seven years.
• Have a combined INT and POW of at least 30
• Demonstrate 45% in at least three skills from the list below
• Sacrifice 1 point of POW to the grove
• Pledge at least 50% of time and monies to the grove
• Take part in a ceremony in which the aspirant spends a night in isolation in a sacred grove. During this time he will experience a dream of the gods. In this dream, he will be tested (abstract this as a roll of POWx3). If
he succeeds, he is now an Ovate.


• As an initiate or bard
• Another 20 points Allegiance to deities of choice
• Access to Divine Magic: may receive divine magic on a one-use basis from their deity at a cost of 20 silver pieces and the sacrifice of a point of current POW per level of spell. Limited use divine magic may be cast only once after having been sacrificed for; to be renewed the initiate must wait for the next monthly holy day, when he may regain 1d6 points worth of divine magic by leading a successful Worship Ceremony. At this time the initiate may also choose to sacrifice additional POW for additional spells, as well.
• Access to greater spell power
• Magic and skills at ½ cost
• Each year, at the new year, he automatically gains 1% each in Perform (Orate) and Read/Write Ogham, as
well as 1% in Perform (Ceremony).
• Each year is entitled to learn for free one point of Basic Magic.
• POW Gain roll – every year at New Year, the Ovate rolls POWx2 on d100. If successful, he gets 1d6 points of POW.


• Provide education and priestly service to community, including prophecy and divination
• Due to most time being spent in priestly duties, all Combat and Physical skills drop to DEX x5 max

After seven years as an Ovate, one can advance to the final degree of…


Requirements to become a Druid

• Be an Ovate in good standing for at least seven years
• Have a combined INT and POW of at least 32
• Demonstrate at least 55% knowledge in at least three skills listed below
• Take part in a ceremony in which the Ovate is accepted by the spirits of the sacred grove (POWx3% to succeed)
• Sacrifice 1 point of POW to the grove
• Pledge a minimum of 80% of all time and monies to the grove


• As for Ovates
• Taught the Wizardry Skills of Spell Manipulation (see below)
• Opportunity to make an INT increase roll once every five years.
• Each year receives 3% in Perform (Ceremony), 2% in two other skills.
• A druids position gives him the support of his community and great social status.
• Druids get all the Divine Magic spells they are willing to sacrifice POW for.
• Druids gain a power outside that of normal divine magic, that of spellpool. Rather than sacrifice POW for specific spells, they may sacrifice POW to form  a 'pool' of power which they may later call upon in the form of any common or special spell granted by their deity. This 'pool' of power grows with each fresh sacrifice of POW, unless called upon to fuel a spell which is normally one-use for priests. Points used for reusable divine magic are regained as soon as the spell duration has ended and they have followed the standard practice for recovering reusable divine magic, i.e. going to a grove and sacrificing POW.


• As for Ovates

Skills Taught and Supported By the Order

Craft (Poetry)
Fast Talk
First Aid
Knowledge (Animal Lore)
Knowledge (Tree Lore)
Knowledge (Carthan Lore)
Knowledge (God Lore)
Knowledge (Law Lore)
Knowledge (Spirit Lore)
Knowledge (Stone Lore)
Knowledge (Tree Alphabet)
Language (any)
Perform (Ceremony)
Peform (Instrument)
Perform (Orate)
Perform (Poetry)
Perform (Sing)
Read/Write Ogham

Druids As Priests

Druids lead worship at the holy festivals. They are knowledgeable about the gods and automatically have 20 points Allegiance to the Carthan gods when they become Initiates. They are sought out for spiritual advice and interpretations of the gods’ intent. They establish and maintain sacred groves (treat as Temples). Druids may choose to dedicate themselves to a particular deity, automatically gaining 20 Allegiance points to that deity. They may choose to serve that particular deity and be a priest to that deity. Whenever a druid achieves 40 Allegiance points to a given deity, he can have access to Divine Magic from that deity. Alternately, druids may choose not to seek stronger Allegiance to any deities.

Druids As Magicians

Druids are the most powerful magicians found in the lands. Not only do they have access to Basic Magic, they have many Basic Magic spells which are unique to them, and are taught only to druids and only to those who have achieved certain degrees within the order. Druids with Allegiance to deities have access to unique
Divine Magic as well. Finally, druids have Wizardry Skills as described in The Magic Book pages 49-50,
with the following modifications:

Note: these skills can only be applied to Basic magic spells, not Divine spells.

There are five skills. Two are described in The Magic Book and three are new.

Great Shapeshift  Used in conjunction with the Shapeshift Self spell, allows the druid to perform multiple,
fast, repeated changes of shape, gaining powers appropriate to the new form, and allowing for the Shapeshifter’s Duel. The caster can change shape at will as long as the Great Shapeshift is
maintained, taking on MR to change shape and at no further loss of POW. If he returns to his natural form, the Great Shapeshift is ended. The skill is immensely flexible, limited only by the imagination of the
user and what the GM is willing to accept. The druid may even assume a form with multiple parts – a collective of creatures only one of which actually holds his soul/consciousness – such as a swarm of
bees. The druid retains normal hit points, POW points, etc. Clothing, jewelry, and armor vanish
when the druid shapeshifts and reappear when s/he returns to normal form. Carried equipment and
items simply fall to the ground. A druid may assume the form of a non-living thing, such as a cloud, a
fire, or a grain of wheat, but will have only the appearance of that thing, not the abilities (thus a fire
that is actually a druid gives off no heat and can’t burn anything). In animal form, the druid can use
the creature’s natural weapons. It’s innate abilities (such as a fish’s ability to swim) cannot exceed twice those of the druid. He cannot assume a form more than twice his SIZ. Innate skill abilities (such as superior hearing, sight, or smell) can be used, but at –10% of the animal ability. In animal form, the druid may still cast
spells as long as he has enough available  Combined INT & POW.


Training in the skills is handled as per skill training in BRP, pgs 184-185

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