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Old 10-02-2016, 07:41 AM   #11
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Default Re: [DF] Where Do Druids Get Their Power From?

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I think the premise was one of maturing to proper womanhood, Inanna, and losing wild uninhibited "juvenile" femininity, Lilith.
I see, the social and biological interpretations coming from modern anthropology, psychology and so on.

Under a metaphysical point of view, instead, "wild feminity" may be related to a dynamic aspect (unbounded, creative and also destructive) of the Infinite (and not the mathematical one, which is only quantity).

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OK a DF-esque that I occasionally bring out and tinker with is notable in that it doesn't have any gods that span the entire world, those that do exist are very regional, low powered and have little ability outside of their domain or portfolio
Also gods doesn't need to be tied to "universalistic religions", so you can use them as you're saying here, as cultural specifications of the divine under multiple and regional aspects (hence "pantheons of gods", like "compartmentalized mind" (Basic Set, p. 43) but applied to the divine essence).

Even if gods point to universal principles, the way in which they are present in different cultures is "particular", which has to do with the notion of dunamis as well (effective divine efficacy), which is a different instance in each culture (for instance, for Vedic civilization it's the Shakti, for Judaism it's the Shekinah, for Christianity it's the Holy Spirit, etc.): this way Thor can be a diminished god in a culture with a nearly exhausted dunamis, while in other its instanced and approximate equivalent, like Indra, can be vigorous.
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Last edited by demonsbane; 10-04-2016 at 09:20 AM. Reason: added Basic Set reference
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:51 AM   #12
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Default Re: [DF] Where Do Druids Get Their Power From?

In my games there are no Gods. Druids get their magic from Nature itself and local spirits.
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:59 AM   #13
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Default Re: [DF] Where Do Druids Get Their Power From?

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In my games there are no Gods. Druids get their magic from Nature itself and local spirits.
That is, then, nature naturata.
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Old 10-02-2016, 11:50 AM   #14
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Default Re: [DF] Where Do Druids Get Their Power From?

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OK a DF-esque that I occasionally bring out and tinker with is notable in that it doesn't have any gods that span the entire world, those that do exist are very regional, low powered and have little ability outside of their domain or portfolio, which means that playing a straight cleric a less then stellar idea.
I have always taken the approach that the clerics are the most powerful of the various spellcasters regardless of the rules I use. Neither approach is inconsistent with how clerics are depicted in Dungeon Fantasy. The fact is that clerics are not free agents in the way a warrior, mage, or thief is. Whether a priest of a deity with limited abilities, or a priest of a universal deity they are constrained by the philosophy of the religion they are part of.

As a historical footnote, the Cleric class originated in first roleplaying campaign, Blackmoor, because on of the bad buys players, David Fant, was a high level vampire. The player were hard pressed with fighting against him. Because Fant's vampire was based on Christopher Lee's Dracula, Dave felt it was only fair to have a "Van Helsing" class as his nemesis. Throw a few other things and the cleric was born.

So as to what clerics are? They are monster hunters with divine powers for the forces of good (or law as the case may be).

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Which brings me to druids, in DF (And D&D) they're sorta like clerics in how their powers work, so do they get their powers from some sort of nature god or do they get it from nature itself?
The origin of the D&D druid

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In Wisconsin, we started playing D&D before there were even thieves (i.e., before Greyhawk was published). We were experimenting with classes other than fighters, clerics and magicÂ*users, though, and I thought a druid would be interesting, as a nature cleric that had some combat ability. I drew up a set of rules for us to playtest, and mimeographed them for our group (pre*Xerox days). After some playtest, I modified them in a second version of mimeo, but only distributed them among our players. Since we did go to early sessions of GenCon, one person in our group showed them to Gary, and with my permission (and some further editing), they were published in the Eldritch Wizardry supplement, in April 1976. The Chariot of Sustarre was added by Gary (or perhaps by Tim Kask); it was not in my original rules. I believe the changed spelling of my name was deliberate. I did not get paid in cash, though Gary did give me some freebies; I was just happy to get the new class added.
Given the origin of the D&D cleric, I would say that the Druid is a monster hunter with nature powers.
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Old 10-02-2016, 01:30 PM   #15
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Default Re: [DF] Where Do Druids Get Their Power From?

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Given the origin of the D&D cleric, I would say that the Druid is a monster hunter with nature powers.
I'll check those links later, thanks for sharing them.

For the moment just to say that the Druid term still needs to have some kind of link or resemblance at least with its meaning beyond the usual take of fantasy RPGs, and if that link were to be simply destroyed or entirely distorted we would be calling them . . . "whateverists" or something, instead of druids.

In the second place, about the "monster hunter" aspect you mention, the attack on dharma (not in the specific sense of Buddhism, but as divine law or cosmic order) is strongly related with monsters of all kinds (corporeal or not) and with the malefic in general, which in a way or another always makes its best effort to bring it down (for the regression into chaos), while some meanings of the word "druid" have connotations of strength and upholding.

For instance, in the Veda some combats against demons are won by means of the usage of the right rituals and mantras, which can be transposed to the domain of "monster hunting" action you mentioned (like it can be seen in the epic of The Ramayana, sacred mantras can be translated as supernatural weapons for warriors).
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Old 10-03-2016, 09:38 AM   #16
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Default Re: [DF] Where Do Druids Get Their Power From?

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For the moment just to say that the Druid term still needs to have some kind of link or resemblance at least with its meaning beyond the usual take of fantasy RPGs, and if that link were to be simply destroyed or entirely distorted we would be calling them . . . "whateverists" or something, instead of druids.
"Nature priest" covers it. I am pointing this not to be flippant but to illustrate there is nothing more to it than that. Which means any thing beyond that has to be added as result of referee fiat for his campaign and/or setting.

For me, I opted to revert back a bit to historical druid of the Celtics. Druids in the Majestic Wilderlands are part of a group known as the Trehaen. The Treahan are a significant aspect of one of the dominant human cultures of my setting, the Elessarians. The Trehaen are part priests, part judicial system, part scholars. The Druid class is the training that those focused on the religious side of the Trehaen get.

In terms of religion, the Trehaen believe themselves to servants of The High Lord and that the Forest Lord Silvanus is their patron. Their core belief is to serve as the heart of Elessarian culture. To guide, teach, and act as judges for the Elessarian people.

Elessarian civilization developed as result of contact with the Elves. The first Trehean were trained by the Elves and because of that. And because of the fact that Elessarians at the time were a wandering pastoral nation of tribes, the Trehaen developed a strong connection with nature. Once that is emphasized by them choosing Silvanus as their patron.

While they are not just nature priests, that how other cultures stereotype them.

There more to it than the above that relates to how the cosmology of my setting works, but that the ten cent version. The key thing to remember is that I bake in a lot of stereotypes in there so that newcomer can make valid assumptions. The idea Druid as nature priest being one of them.

So I agree with your sentiments but if you want to make Druids have a deeper meaning than you have to supply the detail. And that more you diverge from the typical stereotypes the more you have to explain so the players explicitly understands what going on.


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Originally Posted by demonsbane View Post
In the second place, about the "monster hunter" aspect you mention, the attack on dharma (not in the specific sense of Buddhism, but as divine law or cosmic order) is strongly related with monsters of all kinds (corporeal or not) and with the malefic in general, which in a way or another always makes its best effort to bring it down (for the regression into chaos), while some meanings of the word "druid" have connotations of strength and upholding.

For instance, in the Veda some combats against demons are won by means of the usage of the right rituals and mantras, which can be transposed to the domain of "monster hunting" action you mentioned (like it can be seen in the epic of The Ramayana, sacred mantras can be translated as supernatural weapons for warriors).
That not how I handle it but I seen that approach work out*. I recommend you start with that and expand it from there. Just remember to keep in mind how are you going to fill in a person that is a novice to your campaign
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Old 10-03-2016, 12:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: [DF] Where Do Druids Get Their Power From?

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Originally Posted by robertsconley View Post
"Nature priest" covers it. I am pointing this not to be flippant but to illustrate there is nothing more to it than that. Which means any thing beyond that has to be added as result of referee fiat for his campaign and/or setting.
I'd say "nature magician" myself. The magic is important to the concept, and the religious elements aren't particularly.

And I think the D&D version is the primary definition these days - the fantasy fiction and computer games that use it that way are way more mainstream than the new-age and neo-pagan uses, and given how little we actually know about historical druids, you can't even make much of a case those are more authentic.
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Old 10-04-2016, 08:55 AM   #18
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Default Re: [DF] Where Do Druids Get Their Power From?

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So I agree (. . .) but if you want to make Druids have a deeper meaning than you have to supply the detail. And that more you diverge from the typical stereotypes the more you have to explain so the players explicitly understands what going on.
Many times stereotypes are starting points, and nowadays often people destroys or subverts them because a lack of awareness of their reason to be.

BTW that summarization of the Treahan looks good to me.

I agree that isn't possible to bring Druids into a RPG without bringing in a meaningful portion of background and specific assumptions in a given setting.

But my point for distinguishing the aforementioned "two natures", along with the rest of nuances, is for not enclosing the notion in ways that end stifling or even killing the Druid: as notion, the usual fantasy take on it can be a starting point for more detail, if a particular group of players is looking to it, and thus is good to have the possibilities open.

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That not how I handle it but I seen that approach work out*. (. . .) Just remember to keep in mind how are you going to fill in a person that is a novice to your campaign
Yes, it works. It never is a problem for new players, since these things don't need to be explicitly stated, remaining in the underlying background inherent to fantasy elements even if they aren't noticed. Also they can notice them later, if they do.

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(. . .) and given how little we actually know about historical druids, you can't even make much of a case those are more authentic.
Even if there isn't a lot to check about Druids, between other things it's clear that they had gods —which doesn't fit with pantheism (also it would be entirely anachronistic: Baruch Spinoza requires waiting until the XVII century), that the Celts and its priestly class shared many traits of other no-so-different civilizations, and "nature" being part of the Celtic environment, it provided some immediate symbolic supports (esoteric names for trees, plants, and such), while many other civilizations of the past also had natural or mostly natural environments —in contrast here with urban ones— without it implying to make an idol of nature naturata, which Abrahamic religions call "creation".
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