Character Concepts

To Druid Base Class

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Druids Bringing In The Mistletoe ca. 1890 Edward Atkinson Hornel

Druids Bringing In The Mistletoe ca. 1890 Edward Atkinson Hornel

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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A character concept is like a character background. It provides adventuring and roleplaying suggestions as well as a small mechanical bonus and small mechanical penalty to help further define your character. Character concepts are an optional mechanic and should only be used with the approval of your game master.

Child of the Wild

La femme Préhistorique Date (1895) James Joseph Jacques Tissot (1836–1902)

La femme Préhistorique Date (1895) James Joseph Jacques Tissot (18361902)

In worlds where the cities are far apart and the wilderness rages untamed beyond their walls, travel between civilised areas can be dangerous. Except for a handful of druids, bards, barbarians and rangers, few dare to travel and, when they do, the journeys are long and arduous. Often these journeys are once-ina- lifetime affairs that take whole families away from everything they knew and, when things go wrong, leave them alone in the wilderness. For one reason or another, the child of the wild was left alone, without any to help him, while still a child. He wandered for days in search of his mother or father and found no trace of them or what trace he found he refused to see for what it was. Often, such children simply die but there are many myths of children being taken in by animals and raised as feral. Wolves, apes and even herds of horses have all been known to take children in down the centuries. Often, a mother who recently lost her own fragile offspring to the horrors of the wild takes in the child.

By the time the child of the wild is discovered by the druid order, he is already proficient at living in the wilderness. From his ‘parents’, he has learnt to hunt or scavenge. He knows the ways of the wilderness, how to be silent and how to show respect to those higher in the pack. With their natural affinity for the wild, these children can make the best druids. Once found, the druid order sets out to teach the child to live among humans again. They often take to the druid understanding of the world with ease but find even other druids difficult to deal with on a personal level.

Benefits: The child of the wild receives a +2 inherent bonus to his Animal Empathy, Handle Animal and Wilderness Lore checks due to his extensive familiarity with the wilderness and its inhabitants.

Penalties: The child of the wild suffers a –4 circumstantial penalty to interpersonal Charisma checks and skill rolls when dealing with humanoids or other more civilised races.

City Dweller

Oleg meets wizard Date (1899) Viktor Vasnetsov (1848–1926)

Oleg meets wizard Date (1899) Viktor Vasnetsov (18481926)

The city dweller heeded the calls of the lone remnants of the once great wilderness and has chosen to remain in the walls of the city to guard it. Though he knows it will never be as it once was, the city dweller is persistent. They are found in the back streets, peddling herbal remedies and simple plants. Often they know a city as well as any rogue, having haunted its corners and hidden places, where few tread, searching for those fading embers of nature’s power. On rooftops, in sewers, they grow plants and small shrubs. They hang bird feeders by the well and leave morsels for foxes, rats and other animals. They can even be found active in the city’s politics and underground, petitioning the burgomaster to plant small gardens and open parks. A city in which the city dweller works is greener and more alive because of his contribution, more prosperous as the ancient ties to nature bolster the spirit of even the city’s human inhabitants.

Benefits: A city dweller has learnt many of the city’s ways in an attempt to survive. He may add Gather Information (Charisma) to his druid skill list.

Penalties: A city dweller must start the game with an animal companion suitable to a city environment, a rat or fox etc. In addition, the character suffers a -2 penalty to all Animal Empathy checks made with creatures that do not make their home in a city, as they can smell the humanity on him.

Oak Brother

John Maler Collier (1850–1934) Title : The priestess of Bacchus

John Maler Collier (18501934) Title : The priestess of Bacchus

Oak brothers are dedicated to the mastery of the quarterstaff. They form one of the most martial groups within the druid order and are widely believed to have originated the oakheart fighting style. They aim to be close to nature and to transcend the limitations of their mortal form like most druids, but have martial tendencies and aspire toward physical and martial perfection, becoming one with their quarterstaff. The oak brothers take only the uninitiated into their ranks. They form their own circles, though they are dedicated to supporting the druid order as a whole. They are secretive with their martial knowledge, even when dealing with other druids. Some druids have, as a result, look upon oak brothers as aloof and overly introspective.

Benefits: The oak brother receives extensive training in the use of the quarterstaff. When wearing light armour not prohibited by his druidic oaths and using a quarterstaff, the oak brother receives all the benefits of the Ambidexterity and Two Weapon Fighting feats.

Penalties: The oak brothers believe that the only weapon is the quarterstaff. Not only do oak brothers not receive proficiency in any other weapon but they also take oaths that prohibit them from using any other weapon. In addition, they are forbidden to use armour heavier than light and only receive the Light Armour Proficiency feat at 1st level.

The Oakheart Style

The rules for fighting styles are detailed in full in the Quintessential Fighter. The following only provides a basic outline so that players without that book might play oak brother characters.

To learn the oakheart fighting style, a druid must achieve all the list prerequisites and train for one week. The druid must purchase his training from other members of the oak brothers, usually in the form of services. A character using this style is restricted to using a quarterstaff and wearing light armour. Only medium size characters may learn the style, they must have a Constitution of 14+, a Wisdom of 12+, have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher and have access to the following feats; Ambidexterity, Expertise, Weapon Proficiency (quarterstaff), Two Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (quarterstaff).

Initiate: Defensive Whirl

The oakheart style teaches its initiates that just staying alive in battle is more important than winning and its basic lessons centre around blocking attacks, not striking. They learn to maximise their efforts when concentrating on defence, allowing them time to retreat or wear out their enemies.

Benefit: When using the total defence action, the initiate gains an additional +2 bonus to his Armour Class.

Adept: Stunning Jab
Most strikes with a quarterstaff are done with the haft of the weapon but occasionally adepts of the oakheart style will use the ends of their quarterstaffs in jab attacks, often catching their opponents completely off guard. The adepts are also trained to aim these jabs with great control, striking at specific locations to stun their opponents.

Prerequisites: Power Attack, base attack bonus +2, Wisdom 14+.

Training Time: 2 weeks.

Benefit: As a standard action, the adept may make a Stunning Jab attack. This functions as the Stunning Fist attack described in Core Rulebook I with a –4 circumstance penalty to the roll.

Journeyman: Foot Sweep
The oakheart style dictates any advantage must be taken, even if it is considered a dirty trick. This stems from the fact that peasants are often completely outclassed in terms of equipment when they give battle. Journeymen of the oakheart style learn that an enemy on his back is an easy target and the quarterstaff is an excellent tool to send a foe to the ground.

Prerequisites: Combat Reflexes, Improved Trip, Weapon Specialisation (quarterstaff), +4 base attack bonus, Wisdom 16+.

Training Time: 2 weeks.

Benefits: When making a trip attack, the journeyman gains a +4 bonus to the opposed Strength or Dexterity check to determine his success.

Champion: Vital Strike
A strike to the eyes or crotch is often an easy way to win a fight and champions of the oakheart style specialise in such dirty tactics.

Prerequisites: Improved Critical (quarterstaff), base attack bonus +6 or higher, Wisdom 18+.

Training Time: 1 month.

Benefits: A champion may use this ability as a standard action. He makes an attack roll with a -4 penalty against his opponent. If this attack is successful, the victim suffers damage as normal and must also make a Fortitude check (DC 25) or suffer a -4 circumstantial penalty to al attack rolls and saving throws for a number of rounds equal to 10 minus his Constitution modifier. Vital Strike does not affect creatures immune to critical hits.

Master of the Staff: Blur of Oak

Those who master the oakheart style become whirling blurs of wood, striking at their enemies with amazing speed.

Prerequisites: Improved Two Weapon fighting, base attack bonus +8, Wisdom 20+

Training Time: 2 months.

Benefit: The master of the staff gains a free attack whenever making a full attack action.

Ollave

Druids often scoff at clerics for spending far too much time catering to the whims of people and the divine powers. Druids, like wizards, prefer to draw their power from an immediate source and they claim to both understand their magic and to have complete control over it. No supreme power can ever take a druid’s spells from her (unless you count the druid order). The ollave, though, has found people who need his spiritual guidance and, where no cleric has come to their aid, he has taken up the burden of administering to these faithful.

Benefits: The ollave has a congregation to look after and the respect of others for doing so. The ollave receives Knowledge (religion) as a class skill.

Penalties: The ollave’s congregation is a responsibility. He must look to his congregation as a cleric would and has to shoulder the congregation’s spiritual burdens. He cannot spend as much time as he would like in the wild and can never truly dedicate himself to the principles of neutrality. This combined with the ollave’s strong principles means he may not have a true neutral alignment. The details of the congregation, and the druid’s requirements to them should be developed by the Games Master.

Rescued Soul

Francisco Collantes (1599 – 1656) Title Saint Paul of Thebes (or St Onuphrius) 17th century

Francisco Collantes (1599 1656) Title Saint Paul of Thebes (or St Onuphrius) 17th century

For centuries, exile into the wilderness has been a punishment in some towns and cities. Forced to survive without the luxuries and support of the local community, with all forbidden to aid him in any way, the convicted would often die of starvation or exposure. For some, though, salvation could be attained. Druids, knowledgeable above all others and often respected for their Wisdom, have been known to take these men and women in, should they so choice. Often, the druids watch dispassionately as the forces of nature punish these wayward individuals but sometimes, when their powers reveal a spark of regret in the hearts of the wretched souls, they offer a helping hand. The aid of the druids is never an easy thing. They offer only to instruct in the ways of the wilderness. To survive, the criminal must not only repent but must become a druid.

Benefits: Due to his colourful history, the rescued soul has some knowledge of criminal activity. The character may choose any one skill from the following list and treat it as a class skill; Appraise, Bluff, Disguise, Escape Artist, Forgery, Innuendo, Move Silently, Open Lock, Pick Pocket, Search or Spot.

Penalties: The rescued soul is a known criminal and has been intentionally exiled from a specific nation or city in the world. His reputation may even have drifted further than that one place. The Games Master and player should discuss where it is the rescued soul was exiled from. Should he return to his place of exile, he will surely be arrested and perhaps executed. In other towns and cities, the character has a -2 penalty to Charisma checks for determining the initial reaction of Non-Player characters as they may or may not recognise the rescued soul from his past life.

Nature’s Philosopher

She went along, and went along, and went along. Arthur Rackham, from English fairy tales, retold by Flora Annie Steel, New York, 1922.

She went along, and went along, and went along. Arthur Rackham, from English fairy tales, retold by Flora Annie Steel, New York, 1922.

Druids pride themselves on having a very strong connection to worldly affairs. Unlike clerics, with which they are often confused, they do not spend their time contemplating the heavens but rather the very real effects of nature and their own personal interaction with it. Still, within the order, there are those that would be distracted by more lofty affairs. The nature’s philosopher is not satisfied with the facts that the cheetah is faster than all other animals or that the lark sounds this way when it sings but would know why these things are as they are. The philosopher will spend hours staring into the heavens or mapping the passage of rivers or ley lines in The Otherworld.

Benefits: The nature’s philosopher adds all knowledge skills to his skill list.

Penalties: The nature’s philosopher has no added prohibition against using weapons but he rarely has the time for even the limited martial pursuits of the druids. The character may choose one weapon from the druid weapon selection to retain. The character is not prohibited from using the other weapons but he is not proficient in using them either. The character must attain proficiency with these weapons elsewhere.

Unrebuked

Not all druids recognise the druid order or their place within it. The detached methods of initiation used by the order lend themselves to making newcomers feel unwelcome. Though most druids simply do not care whether they are official members of the druid order or not, simply going about their private meditations alone, some druids actively reject the concept of the druid order, refusing to learn its methods and traditions and instead developing their own very unique connection with nature.

Benefits: The unrebuked actively rejects the power of the order but they do not reject him. The unrebuked can use any simple weapon but must still abide by the druids’ limitations on metal armour.

Penalty: The unrebuked must use one of his starting bonus languages to learn Ogham. If he does not do this at first level, he never learns the language and will find it difficult to weave spells. The unrebuked does not have access to any druid feats.

Wandering druid

A fanciful drawing of an Arch-Druid (archdruid) in his full costume, judicial presumably meaning that he is ready to judge over people. An old and stern-looking man with a long flowing beard wears a robe fastened    about his chest with a buckled belt. One bare foot protrudes from beneath his robe, showing him to be barefoot. His right hand is raised, although whether in benediction or to request a cup of mead is unclear. He has an elaborate headdress and at his left hand is a jug and I think a drinking horn. There are some baskets on the floor.

A fanciful drawing of an Arch-Druid (archdruid) in his full costume, judicial presumably meaning that he is ready to judge over people. An old and stern-looking man with a long flowing beard wears a robe fastened about his chest with a buckled belt. One bare foot protrudes from beneath his robe, showing him to be barefoot. His right hand is raised, although whether in benediction or to request a cup of mead is unclear. He has an elaborate headdress and at his left hand is a jug and I think a drinking horn. There are some baskets on the floor.

During there early careers, many druids are expected to undertake long journeys, relaying messages between distant druid circles and soaking up the environment, learning all they can about the wilderness. For some, this is a terrible chore, although it ends quickly enough but for others, these journeys are why they became druids in the first place. The wandering druid has taken to travelling the roads with such abandon and dedication that no circle has ever felt the inclination to take him away from his ventures. He is far more useful to them as he is, collecting and learning of the world and relaying this information back to them.

Benefits: The wandering druid has no specific advantages. The character will often have a reputation as a wandering druid among the druidic order. This comes with a certain degree of respect and his stories will be welcome in any grove but he will not be a member of the circle and, though he will be welcome to stay a few days, he will not be expected to stay any longer. If there is any benefit to being a wandering druid, it is that he will likely know the location of several druid groves across the country.

Penalties: The wandering druid has no home to call his own. He has no circle and no sacred grove where he is always welcome. Other than this, there is no penalty to being known as a wandering druid.

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