The Archdruid

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Ossian's Swansong (ca. 1782) by Nicolai Abraham Abildgaard (1743-1809)
Date1782 Ossian's Swansong (ca. 1782) by Nicolai Abraham Abildgaard (1743-1809)
Date1782
Originally written by

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The Quintessential Druid
Author Robin O. Duke
Series The Quintessential Series
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2002
Pages 128
ISBN 1-903985-46-6
OGL Section 15 qdru
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The material below is designated as Open Game Content
Class Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Spellcasting
1st +0 +0 +0 +2 True Grove, Archdruid’s Staff +1 spell-casting level
2nd +1 +1 +1 +2 Awe aura ; Druidic authority +1 spell-casting level
3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Recognize the Otherworld +1 spell-casting level
4th +2 +1 +1 +3 Master’s Freedom +1 spell-casting level
5th +2 +2 +2 +4 Nature’s Presence +1 spell-casting level
6th +3 +2 +2 +4 Spell secret ; Timeless body +1 spell-casting level
7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Wisdom of the Wild +1 spell-casting level
8th +4 +3 +3 +5 Otherworld Travel +1 spell-casting level
9th +4 +3 +3 +6 One with Nature +1 spell-casting level
10th +5/+1 +3 +3 +6 Spell secret ; Reincarnation +1 spell-casting level

Archdruids are druids and filidh who achieved a high level of knowledge of the secret ways of nature and of the mystical Otherworld.

An archdruid has left his original circle and been initiated into one of the inner circles. These individuals retreat into the shadows from where they can rule in silence. Though sometimes recognised as druid, they are not members of any recognised druid circle and can be mistaken for a solitary druid. Archdruid spend much of their time travelling the world, collecting information about the workings of lesser circles and advising circle Leaders. Able to travel quickly to the true grove through The Otherworld, most archdruids do not feel the need to physically meet with the other members of their circle. Usually, this is only done during a solstice or equinox. Among druids, these wise and mysterious figures are awarded unequalled respect. Their word is law among all druids.

They have a thorough understanding of the supernatural and the divine, and thus hold a special status among the druids, and then among the Celts in general. Archdruids focus most of their efforts and researches in piercing the secrets of the creation, and thus eventually cross the boundaries between this world and the other, and between life and death. As such, archdruids tend to live aside from others, yet are given the greater respect and authority by the Celtic society as whole.

It should be noted that the Celtic druids (who include bards, filidh, and druids) are not organized in a worldwide religious structure, and therefore have no hierarchy of command of their own. Hence, archdruids do not represent the leaders of their order, only the most respected members of their kind. They likewise do not hold more power (magical or otherwise) than other druid, but certainly gain more respect as they are supposed to be the epitome of accomplishment in the druidic fields.

Candidates for this class are obviously always Celtic priests. As such, they could be druid, but also clerics and filidh of Celtic deities. On the other hand, the class is not available to priests (including non- Celtic druids if any) of other cultures. In any case, this class is a demanding path, and only those priests who devoted all their life to religious matters will be eligible for archdruid status.

Requirements

To qualify to become an archdruid, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
Diplomacy: 10 ranks.
Knowledge (nature): 16 ranks.
Feats: Skill Focus (Diplomacy).
Spellcasting: The character must be able to cast 7th level druid spells.
Sacred Grove: The character must have a link, or have had a link to a sacred grove in the past year.

Special: Must be initiated into an inner circle by a current member. Most members of the inner circles have at least one level in this prestige class, allowing them quickly travel to their true grove for circle meetings. Decisions for initiating a new member must be discussed with the group and are traditionally dealt with during the summer solstice.
Special: Must have traveled to The Otherworld and returned.

Class Skills

The archdruid's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Animal Empathy (Charisma, exclusive skill), Bluff (Charisma), Concentration (Constitution), Craft (Intelligence), Diplomacy (Charisma), Disguise (Charisma), Handle Animal (Charisma), Heal (Wisdom), Intuit Direction (Wisdom), Knowledge (any) (Intelligence), Profession (Wisdom), Scry (Intelligence, exclusive skill), Spellcraft (Intelligence), Swim (Strength), and Wilderness Lore (Wisdom).
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 (six) + Intelligence modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the archdruid prestige class:

Hit Die: d8

Weapons and Armour Proficiency: The archdruid gains no additional weapon or armour proficiency when he joins the inner circle. The character must still abide by normal druid strictures against the uses of certain weapons and armour.

Spellcasting:An archdruid continues to study druidic magic. An archdruid continues training in magic. So, when a new archdruid level is gained, the character also gains spells as if he had gained a level in a spellcasting class he belonged to before he added the prestige class (i.e.: fili or druid). He does not, however, gain any additional benefits a character of that class would have gained, only the new spells per day. This essentially means that he adds the level of archdruid to the level of another spellcasting class the character already has (that must be druid, fili, or cleric) and then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly.

True Grove: All archdruids have a mystical connection to their true grove. They always know when someone has entered the true grove in The Otherworld. The druid can always travel to his true grove and back again in what seems an instant. By using this ability, the druid can meet with the other members of his inner circle at any time of the year.

Archdruid’s Staff: Among druids, archdruids are renowned for their staves. These plain-looking oak staves are formidable weapons, invested as they are with the potent magics of an archdruid.

An archdruid may imbue his staff with magical energies, using it to store a spell. This functions in all ways as a spellstaff spell cast at the archdruid’s highest divine spellcaster level except that the staff may contain up to two spells per class level so long as the total level of all the spells does not exceed twice the archdruid’s character level. An archdruid’s staff may be broken to cause a retributive strike. The breaking of the staff must be purposeful and declared by the archdruid. An archdruid may only trigger a retributive strike using his staff. The spell energy contained within the staff is released in a 20-feet-radius globe. All within 10 ft. of the staff take 1d6 hit points of damage per spell level contained within the staff at the time the strike is triggered and those between 11 and 20 feet away take half this damage. A successful Reflex save (DC 10 + ½ the archdruid’s highest caster level + his Wisdom modifier) reduces the damage by half (or ¼ for those between 11 and 20 feet from the archdruid). Unlike a retributive strike from a ‘’staff of power’’, there is no chance the archdruid will be carried away to another plane of existence, nor will the strike affect any nonanimated plants within the area. Instead, using his staff in this fashion automatically destroys the archdruid.

Druidic Authority: When dealing with other Celts, Archdruids thus get a bonus to their Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Information and Intimidate skill checks, equal to their archdruid level.

Awe Aura: druids are usually seen untouchable in the Celtic culture, but this is even stronger with a figure like an archdruid. Archdruids are thus protected at all time by an aura of taboo that affect most people who understand who they are. Provided that the archdruid doesn't perform any obviously offensive action against them or their allies, Celts and related peoples cannot attack him unless they succeed a Will save at DC = 20 + Archdruid's level and Charisma modifier for other Celts, or 10 + Archdruid's level and Charisma modifier for non-Celts who yet live near Celts (dwarves, etc.). Other creatures aren't affected. Once a save is failed, a creature cannot attempt a new save until the next day.

Recognize the Otherword: At 2nd level, archdruids may recognize that something is in fact related to The Otherworld and its inhabitants. This requires a d20 roll + Wisdom modifier + Archdruid level; if the archdruid has 5+ ranks of Knowledge (the planes), he gets a +2 bonus for these checks. DC varies for situations:

DC Task
10 Identify a creature as coming from The Otherworld.
15 Identify disguised, or polymorphed creatures from The Otherworld (such as Sidhe traveling incognito).
15 Identify an item or building as having been created by Otherworld creatures.
15 Identify a gate to The Otherworld.
20 Recognize that a spell has been cast by a creature from The Otherworld.
20 Detect that a place is linked to The Otherworld.

Spell Secret: At 3rd and 5th levels, an archdruid can choose one spell that he can cast, so that spell becomes permanently modified as though affected by one of the following metamagic feats: Enlarge Spell, Extend Spell, Still Spell, or Silent Spell. The spell's level does not change, and once the choice of spell and modification are chosen, they cannot be changed. As the archdruid goes up in level, he can choose either a new spell or the same spell to be modified in different ways with multiple metaspell. He does not need to know the feat he applies to the spell.

Master’s Freedom: The archdruid may use any ‘’wild shape’’ ability that he possesses as a move-equivalent action instead of a standard action.

Nature’s Presence: The archdruid may invoke his presence at any time. Doing so is a free action. The character stands up straight and reveals in his gaze the ages of Wisdom that he has acquired through his communion with nature. A druid witnessing the use of this ability may make a Will saving throw (DC 15). If the druid is successful, he recognises the character as an archdruid but still suffers from the effects of this ability. The character using this ability receives a +6 sacred bonus to Diplomacy and Intimidation checks.

Timeless Body: At 3rd level, archdruids no longer suffer ability penalties for aging and cannot be magically aged. (Any penalties they may have already suffered remain in place.) Bonuses still accrue, and archdruids still die of old age when their time is up.Wisdom of the Wild: The

4th level archdruid develops an intuitive understanding of nature, providing him a +5 insight bonus to his Wilderness Lore and Knowledge (nature) checks.

Otherword Travel: At 4th level, archdruids who discover any gate that brings into The Otherworld, any place where the boundaries between the mortal world and The Otherworld are weak, any magical item that transport into The Otherworld, etc. may use them to actually travel to The Otherworld even if they don't know of an appropriate command word or what not. This requires a Wisdom check at DC 15, with failure meaning the archdruid cannot attempt another crossing for one hour (bad timing). For every additional person / creature that the archdruid want to bring with him, that DC increases by 1 (Unwilling passengers are entitled to make a Will save with a DC equal to 10 + the level of the archdruid). Otherwise, when using spells such as plane shift to go to The Otherworld, they go exactly where they want and don't suffer any risk of being lost or arriving at the wrong destination.

One with Nature: The archdruid who attains the 5th level of this class is essentially one with nature at all times. As a standard action, a number of times each day equal to his Wisdom modifier, the archdruid may cast commune with nature. Except for the casting time, this spell-like ability operates as per the spell.

Reincarnation: After reaching 5th level, archdruids are automatically reincarnated when they die, whatever may be the cause of their death. That is, if they are not raised from the dead or resurrected before one week has elapsed, they return to the world of the living in a new body whose race they choose. This otherwise works as per the Reincarnate spell.

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