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Old 09-23-2014, 02:45 PM   #1
Lameth
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Shaman verses Druid

Hello all

Recently I introduced a PC shaman into my fantasy world. The game had been dominated by the concept that a Druid is the king of the elements, animals, and nature realms. In the past games my druids claimed these realms and I mostly played them like your D&D druid meets Arthurian/Celtic druids. They transported via standing stone circles, Protected the "Old Ways" and "old faith" and protected the "Wyld" from others invading it and overusing it, as well as other things. They also communed with nature and the elements, as well as greater abilities like weather control and shape shifting. Basically your fantasy druid.

But now i have introduced a Shaman as well. Basically pulling heavily on suede-native American ideas and mythos, as well as one of my favorite comic characters, Marvel's "Shaman". Also, I stole heavily from the spirit concepts of the WW game Werewolf the forsaken, I love the way their spirits/spirit worlds are and the overall concept of them. Essentially, they “serve” and make deal with the spirits of the world and in exchange they acquire various powers as they gain more and more "respect" and service and deals. They may call on a local spirit of fire to light a camp fire, or a regional spirit of Conflict and war to crumble a wall, or a kind spirit of nature to heal a wound. Many take on a single Totem animal and they gain minor abilities in human form from this totem, and then the ability to alter into that totem if they wish to. Later they could “acquire” more favors from each “animal spirit” to take on more forms later on, but they only have one Totem. They can become very attuned to nature, weather, animals, elementals, and the spirit world itself.

1.Ways druids and shamans interact and treat with each other.

2.And yes the ways are different, but the overall "feel" is very similar to each other, correct? So what makes them different in the worlds eye since they appear in many ways the same. Why go to a Druid over a Shaman for X, or vice-versa? Is one more powerful in Nature then the other? And way

3.Essentially the differences and statuses of the “classes” and how they differ and how they are similar in the world, and what they both mean to the world and its people.

Thank you!
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:44 PM   #2
Stripe
 
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Default Re: Shaman verses Druid

Just some ideas off the top of my head for stereotypical fantasy Druids and Shamans.

Druids have strong plant and animal skills/powers/spells. They are forest friends and protectors. Likely to be vegetarian. Won't use animals "against their will." Animals behave as if the druid was a "friend" rather than a "master."

Druids ask, "How can I be of service to nature?" The answer might be to cultivate gardens, heal sick or wounded animals, protect the forest, etc.

Shaman's skills and powers are often animal-themed, but they are more heavily spirit-oriented. They are more into the dead and the beyond. Animals and plants should be respected, but used as part of the cycle of life (e.g., A Shaman might kill a buffalo and use it's hide, whereas a Druid might skin a carcass, but not kill for it). Animals are treated well and the Shaman will be a "natural" at training and understanding them, but not necessarily to supernatural levels like the Druid.

Shamans ask, "What does nature suggest I do with my life?" The answer might be to go on a quest of self-understanding, be a medicine man or a good warrior, things like that.

Both would have standard animal handling skills, Herb Lore, naturalist, esoteric medicine—skills like that. They both would be able to read omens and such, but the Druid will look at the stars and the leaves while the Shaman would listen to the wind (wind voices are common in Native American lore) and perhaps cut open a goat and look at his entrails. Or, toss bones. Things like that. A druid won't harm or really use animals "against their will" whereas the Shaman will ask things of nature. He'll tame a wild horse or wolf. He'll ask a lot of his horse or animal companion, just as he would any comrade, human or otherwise.

A Druid might be able to speak with plants and animals whereas the Shaman will be more conventional in that manner. However, the Shaman can act as a medium and speak with spirits and such.

Just some thoughts!
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Old 09-23-2014, 03:56 PM   #3
Lameth
 
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Default Re: Shaman verses Druid

[QUOTE=Stripe;1817294]Just some ideas off the top of my head for stereotypical fantasy Druids and Shamans.

Wow, thank you.. good help. Do you see a Shaman able to "ask" the spirits of the trees in a local area to produce something like "tangle foot"? or "ask" a local plant spirits to "clear the path for her", or a "wall spirit to crumble it? The reaosn i ask, is there a spirit in everything, and almost everywhere... or is it hit and miss most times and the shaman could be s.o.l?

Fundamentally i see it like the spells in the Summoners book, but to do them you are "asking" and not just casting a spell, someone else is doing it through you [or for you ?].

Also, in the role playing, is the FP drain the drain of using these powers or the cost to the spirit that takes your FP?
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Shaman verses Druid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lameth View Post
Also, in the role playing, is the FP drain the drain of using these powers or the cost to the spirit that takes your FP?
If the spirit is doing all the work, it makes sense for the FP drain to be the price paid for their service. Perhaps a small amount of it is the effort needed to contact the spirit, but that should remain relatively fixed regardless of the magnitude of the spell (fluctuating instead with how easy or difficult the spirits are to reach).
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Old 09-23-2014, 07:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: Shaman verses Druid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lameth View Post
Wow, thank you.. good help. Do you see a Shaman able to "ask" the spirits of the trees in a local area to produce something like "tangle foot"? or "ask" a local plant spirits to "clear the path for her", or a "wall spirit to crumble it?
Not in my vision posted above, no. That's the Druid doing those things. In relation to the physical world, the plants and animals, the Shaman is not very supernatural. The spirits are more the (human/goblin/elf/dwarf/orc/etc.) dead. The spirits might also take the form of an animal (e.g., a "spirit wolf") or voices in the wind, etc. Their influence on the world is much more subtle than a tangle foot spell and often comes in the form of advice or information.

Quote:
The reaosn i ask, is there a spirit in everything, and almost everywhere... or is it hit and miss most times and the shaman could be s.o.l?
To differentiate between the Druid and the Shaman—the goal of this exercise as I see it—no. The spirits I'm talking about are the once-living who have went to the great beyond. They could also take the form of spirit animals or voices in the wind, stuff like that, be a Shaman isn't magically using the Force or whatever. That's the Druid.

If using the standard spell system in Magic, the Druid might use spells from the Plant and Animal Colleges. The Shaman, Necromancy and Divination.

The Shaman might have traits like Channeling and Medium and the Druid might have Speak With Animals an Speak With Plants.

I'd make the Druid, not the Shaman, able to change into animal form (bear, deer, eagle, cougar, etc.). The Shaman, I'd give animal allies (wolf, horse, hawk, etc.) Beastmaster style.

Wherever a Druid goes in the wild, there are always animal friends to help in some small way. Birds flutter around. Bears don't attack. Foxes trot by unafraid.

The Shaman, on the other hand, has one or more trained animals serving him. He probably has an esoteric Talent for animal handling and riding, etc., but it's not really supernatural.

Quote:
Fundamentally i see it like the spells in the Summoners book, but to do them you are "asking" and not just casting a spell, someone else is doing it through you [or for you ?].
Is this for Dungeon Fantasy? If so, then are you just using the templates in the books? I was under the impression this was your own brand of fantasy and that's how all my advice is directed.

Quote:
Also, in the role playing, is the FP drain the drain of using these powers or the cost to the spirit that takes your FP?
If using Magic, yes. If not, I'd represent everything with advantages and skills.
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Old 09-23-2014, 07:19 PM   #6
Lameth
 
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Default Re: Shaman verses Druid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
Not in my vision posted above, no. That's the Druid doing those things. In relation to the physical world, the plants and animals, the Shaman is not very supernatural. The spirits are more the (human/goblin/elf/dwarf/orc/etc.) dead. The spirits might also take the form of an animal (e.g., a "spirit wolf") or voices in the wind, etc. Their influence on the world is much more subtle than a tangle foot spell and often comes in the form of advice or information.



To differentiate between the Druid and the Shaman—the goal of this exercise as I see it—no. The spirits I'm talking about are the once-living who have went to the great beyond. They could also take the form of spirit animals or voices in the wind, stuff like that, be a Shaman isn't magically using the Force or whatever. That's the Druid.

If using the standard spell system in Magic, the Druid might use spells from the Plant and Animal Colleges. The Shaman, Necromancy and Divination.

The Shaman might have traits like Channeling and Medium and the Druid might have Speak With Animals an Speak With Plants.

I'd make the Druid, not the Shaman, able to change into animal form (bear, deer, eagle, cougar, etc.). The Shaman, I'd give animal allies (wolf, horse, hawk, etc.) Beastmaster style.

Wherever a Druid goes in the wild, there are always animal friends to help in some small way. Birds flutter around. Bears don't attack. Foxes trot by unafraid.

The Shaman, on the other hand, has one or more trained animals serving him. He probably has an esoteric Talent for animal handling and riding, etc., but it's not really supernatural.



Is this for Dungeon Fantasy? If so, then are you just using the templates in the books? I was under the impression this was your own brand of fantasy and that's how all my advice is directed.



If using Magic, yes. If not, I'd represent everything with advantages and skills.

No it's not DF, it is my own fantasy game, more high fantasy meets epic/dark. I see what your saying, and thank you, but on my world spirits have never been alive, that's a ghost. A spirit is a Essence, as in white wolf. So you have greater bear spirit, or a single sprite that inhabits a tree, or elementals are really just spirits that are attuned to a element, therefore when they show up they occupy that element on earth. And so on. So a shaman communes with these entities. A Druid communes with the All Nature of the world to get things.
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Old 09-24-2014, 07:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Shaman verses Druid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lameth View Post
but on my world spirits have never been alive, that's a ghost.
Spirit is just a word. Change my suggestion to ghost if that fits your in-world definition of my description.
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Old 09-24-2014, 09:21 AM   #8
Lameth
 
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Default Re: Shaman verses Druid

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Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
Spirit is just a word. Change my suggestion to ghost if that fits your in-world definition of my description.
hehe, no what i meant was that on my world Shaman's speak to "spirits", who are entities that have never been alive. But thank you!
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Old 09-24-2014, 07:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: Shaman verses Druid

To me the main difference is attitude and methodology.
Shamans talk to and negotiate with Spirits to get them to do things.
Druids use magic and spells to do things themselves rather then bargain.
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