Tips on roleplaying druids and rangers
As we have a pretty large and mature player base here I thought I would start a discussion asking players (and dms) their thoughts on what makes a good ranger or druid. I have a rough concept penned in, a ranger-druid of Mielikki, but before I get too deep into the character I thought I would ask for some pointers. Plus I imagine this thread could be useful for anyone else who is thinking of playing a ranger or druid.
This is a general heads up asking people about any cool bits and pieces they might have on ranger and druid : -
Background (The more the better)
General activities they can do on a day to day basis (which preferably gets other players involved)
Set broad goals rangers and druids can be involved in which are non plot specific to any major plots going on now
Specific plots a ranger/druid could follow with the known (public known) plots that are happening at the moment
Anything else which might make this thread interesting not covered by the first four points
P.S. If the player of Eliphas can say a few bits about what made his druid so successful that would be great.
Lamancha last edited by
As a starting point, have a look here. it helped me a lot when I created my druid.
Seekers of wisdom: clerics, druids, & monks
lillesmurfen last edited by
I think very much boils down to what sort of deity and philosophy your druid/ranger choses. In my opinion, rangers can be everything from a common man accustomed to the wilds, a forest stalker that militantly protects the forest he lives in, a peaceful pacifist who wishes to live in harmony with nature to a fanatical hunter of Malar.
Druids can be protectors or peace and balance, much like the harpers, but with more focus on the balance of life and not just politics. Then you have people like Helmar Bloodchurn, who take a completely different approach. Also the classic arch-druid type that dwells peacefully in the wilds, in harmony with himself and his environment, promoting peace between visiting adventurers and the local residents, be they orcs, bears, fish or birds. A person who wishes nature to go on its way, without human interference. Lastly, there are the likes of Shadow Druids, that exploit nature and its powers to drive all civilization away and to restore the world into a complete wilderness.
To answer your questions:
- This depends on whether you want ranger or druid to be your main focus class. It could be a woodsman who at young age met an old druid, or a circle of druids and spent time with them. Eventually gaining their trust and then tutelage in their ways. (with your chosen god and all)
2/3) Quests that involve stopping destruction of nature, killing undead, rooting out necromancers, hunting orcs/giants (since they cut down woods, pillage cities and burn crops and towns), working to prevent overzealous paladins from percecuting (no idea if its spelled that way) innocents or executing criminals of minor offenses. Teach people of the cycle and natural way of things, to think in long-term perspectives and the consequenses of their actions, avoid short-term gains, incorporate these ideals into your characters behaviour and try to spread them while talking to people.
Not as in: "You must adhere the circle of life! Don't kill things!", but more of a careful aproach. Your high wisdom is supposed to let you understand peoples intentions and reactions after all. Also, Druids would think that patience is a virtue, so taking your time and being careful with everything could be one trait. (once again, there are several ways to look at this)
Uh… I'm not entirely updated on this atm, but any plot you involve yorself in, you have to be IC aware of first, so if you see a plot that you feel would be right for your PC to get involved with, go for it.
I feel I've written too much already.
--lizard-man-- last edited by
Patiance is something that would depend on the druid, I think. WRT the OP though:
1) Background: I almost always go for some event important to the character that drove them away from civilization and brought them into some manner of "cooperation" with the natural world - whether it's a pilgrimage, being forced out of your home irreversibly for whatever reason, or something less peaceful like seeing the evils of civilization and deciding you want no part of the dens of corruption it brews, seeking to reduce civilzed lands to moss-covered ruins.
2) Day-to-day activities: I feel more comfortable doing out-of-town quests with a druid/ranger. With rangers, there really is quite a lot of demand for good "trackers" and you can sign up to just about any faction in long-term or short-term if you approach them about getting a commission. As a ranger I sometimes teamed up with travellers and walked with them to various destinations - though rangers are all about exploration and any alignment can justify trekking around the server in search of new lands and secret caves (with others, I mean)
3) Player/personal goals: The big one is protecting the woodlands/wilderness - even a CE ranger dedicated to destruction (so a non-nature diety ranger, chances are) because at the end of the day these environments are where they thrive - though how various characters achieve this is what sets them apart. The goodly ones may seek to nurture plant and animal life foremost while the evil ones seek to destroy civilization foremost.
4) DM-plots: For druids, keeping outsiders out of Toril is a big thing, and there's plenty to do in DM plots for anyone looking to challange infernalists and their masters. For rangers, as said, a tracker is welcome in almost any party that intends to delve in a non-quest area and you can more or less dictate your terms if you're evil, or find a niche to snuggle in if you're good.
wow some really good stuff so far, my thanks to all the contributions that have presently been made. Keep em up.
Eliphas last edited by
What made me successful? Its actually hard to explain but I will try my best:
Firstly, you need patience while playing a druid. Things can be slow and can take their time, and more often than not many players get bored and quit their druids because of this.
Wisdom played a key role for my character. Always viewing the world, situations and people around in in many different ways. That said, Gurm and I would go through hours of roleplay with each other, and others we involved just on determining and preparing which way was the right way. If a problem was before us, we would be prepared for nearly every possible outcome because we viewed it in different ways.
I would also get my nose in everyone elses business - always knowing what was going on. In doing so not only do you gain access to so many plots (I had more than I could handle - which is a good thing), but the roleplay went in all directions. And when you have many plots, you can then involve other players to help you with these plots.
Another thing I use to do was to use people, be it with or without their knowledge that you were doing what you wanted them to do. Wisdom is about how you percieve the world? What about changing the perception of others so that you guide them to a path you want them to walk, whether its in their interests or not.
I absolutely loved watching what people would do with the plots I gave them. Sometimes people took initiative, others not. Though because you were the one to give them it, you will for the most part always be involved in it directly or indirectly.
The above to me is how I used my VERY high wisdom. Other pointers is the balance itself. You get can burn tree's, you can help protect the trees. Keeping out of the city can be a bad idea as well. Most druids may despise it but 1. It is a part of the balance and 2. Most of the problems also occur from cities/civilisation. That said, staying away or out of a city is silly, because you won't learn how to deal with said problems. Few rare cases like the Multitude made it work, but you are one person.
I'll probably give more pointers later. This was on mostly how to use wisdom and have fun with others. I wrote this at 1:15am so I apologise for mistakes.
Edit: If you have many plots, you will have plenty of goals. Plenty to involve others with. Just take the Initiative to get those plots, get roleplaying with anyone and thing. Druids are seekers of wisdom, so go out and get all the godamn wisdom you can find from everyone.
karandil last edited by
well, I've only ever played one druid and no ranger, so there's little variety there, but I've seen tons ot he same, and really, I'd say anything goes that fits your idea of having fun.
There is a text in the journal of all druid characters which does insist on the variety of possibilities for playing a druid.
background is something that you just need a vague idea about, and add things to it as you go, chiefly to explain the character's choices and actions. Just make sure you stay consistent, which does not mean a given character can't have contradictions. My golden rule is "if no-one else than you sees it, it's not worth putting effort in it". Since few other PCs will ever ask about your past, you only need a rough sketch. This being said, I've met excellent druids with almost no explained background, and some with detailed stories. I've seen a reluctant druid who'd taken his oath under duress, one who had been tricked into becoming a druid and did not really know what it was about, and one who had received a revelation from a god of nature while he was tilling his fields.
The one point of your druid's background that is important is their understanding of the oaths and their relation to their patron deity. There were discussions on druids in the past, and yet more discussions. The important point about gods is explained in the post Lamancha quoted, though.
About day-to-day activities, there is one thing your character is supposed to be especially adept at: surviving in the wilds. I don't have much to add on top of what was already said here except that you at least need to know how to handle travelling the module outdoors solo. Having various other PCs teach yours about that, and later returning the favour, can be a nice activity in itself.
There also is a preaching dimension to the druid, although it is less important than with clerics, and certainly can be a secondary focus, but I'd say you need at least to have a view of what your druid speaks when talking about defending balance.
Although there are goals that are typical to druids, and others that are forbidden to them, they're still folk with all the spectrum of folk's emotions and desires. However, the Oaths (see links above) will be the chief influence, or constraint, in what they can and cannot desire. When designing your goals, you have to match them with the oaths, and see how they match in this relatively broad frame.
No spoilers, but to add to Lizzie's post, hunting necromancers also can be a big thing with druids! The best policy here is to find the other druids (there still are some left) and the groups of nature-oriented folk. Rangers have an even broader spectrum of interests, since they could be interested in city politics, which druids could have a tendency to neglect.
O-louth last edited by
First thing I wish to make clear. Rangers can be just about everything. It is much like the class fighter, a class, not en identity.
I played in my eyes a rather succesful ranger in the past, of Shaundakul, meaning i saw the char as a dedicated caravan guide and guard, rather than a woodlander.
Rangers of Mask also exist canon wise, meaning they are either bandits, or Urban rangers.
From my point of view, rangers get their spells as a benefit from their deity to whatever chosen field they have, rather than a blessing from nature. A ranger of Mask, for instance, learns these spells to be able to assault caravans or travellers, and be able to blend in with the surroundings, rather than because they seek to perserve nature.
Loonayaa last edited by
Background: Could be anything really, as long as it makes sense. Could be as simple as being the child of a druid/ranger and continuing in that line. Could be an orphan taken under the wing of a druid, could be anything. My druid's (on of the Multitude) background was simple. As a child, she saw a swarm of wasps kill her brother and was both facinated and traumatized by that. She became obsessed with the powers of nature and eventually met with the others of the Multitude and they found themself a druid mentor. Then they came to the Arabel region.
General activities,day to day: It was mentioned, survival. Explore, learn how to survive outside the city in group or alone. Learn the land, explore, know your way around the region. More specific to a druid, you can hunt down aberations, undeads, outsiders and destroyers of nature (in other word, quests related to that). As a ranger, you can become a guide to the region. As a druid, you can tend to a region in particular. A garden.
For druids, i got a bit more ideas, having played one. If you're an evil druid, your long time goal can be the utter destruction of the city.
OOCly you know you cant really destroy the whole city but ICly, you sure can make a mess :twisted: With the Multitude, we once turned a war wizard into a white stag and had him hunted by greedy hunters (back then, there was a bounty of 500 gold on white stag meat kekeke) because he had done something against nature and the druids. Then some of the druids got caught and we organized one of the coolest prison break. We used a bulette to dig right in the middle of the jail and got em out! Long term goals, you can do all you can to get folks out of the city and out exploring. We did a lot of that with the Multitude since we had a goal of never entering the city. (sewers didnt count! >> cause its -under- the city <<). If your druid is moe on the goody side, you could try and find ways to bring nature to the city while bringing intrigue and adventure.
Specific plots: Anythin that strenghten nature, eliminates undeads, aberations, outsiders, infernal and abysal. Basically, help kick out anything that does not belong in nature or the material plane. For a ranger, you can help out any plot where you have to find something of importance like say the staff of allmighty goodness. Depends on your ranger since they dont need to be as close to nature as druids.
Find your own quirks to make things interesting. Habits, traditions your char may have, make up ceremonies and rituals, either the daily sort or specific. The Multitude was inspired from the pagan talk from the game Thief. We talk in a strange manner and some of that talk grew on the other druids that were with us and you can still hear some of it even today! Get other nature loves involved in small stuff and eventually it becomes a plot or a big event.
hope this helps.
karandil last edited by
And remember, druid is just a name that city-dwellers give us…
We are the initiated.
My smelly opinion:
Rangers have a lot of diversity in character/background. However they are based around the fact that their skills/talents are rural/wilderness based. Urban rangers donâ€™t exist in my view, thatâ€™s a rogue. A ranger can spend time in cities/towns thatâ€™s not a problem, but their talents and skills(not just mechanical) are rural/wilderness based, so their path would lead this way. That doesnâ€™t mean they are raised by wolves(could be heh), social aptitude isnâ€™t effected by being a ranger; they can be travellers, caravan guards, hunters, bounty hunters, explorers, etc. But all based around your talents which are wilderness based, otherwise you are a rogue or a fighter.
Druids: personally I think they are boring on CoA. Because technically they would favour spending most of their time outside the city, and often there is no one there or they are just passing through. Urban Druid can work but it is a very rare thing and very circumstantial, and likely very goal orientated. The upside to Druids is its very easy to get involved in conflict, even just as a mediator. You can always put your smelly opinion into just about any plot/event. Its easy to come up with goals(dunno if the Zoo is still there but thatâ€™s an easy target). Everything you do is based around nature, how you view things can be quite different depending on your alignment. Druids like balance but balance isnâ€™t in reference to compromise, its their own view of balance. Most cities and their inhabitants would be viewed as disturbing the balance and Druids would work endlessly to rectify this. Weather thatâ€™s by abolishing a zoo, stopping city expansion and logging, or destroying the city so nature can take back control of the lands its up to the character.
Thatâ€™s about all I got at the moment..
Man in the Mist Storyteller [DM] last edited by
I don't know about that, I veiw urban rangers to be something like that new Sherlock Holmes. A rogue investigator without the sneak attack.
I've played two… one was a ranger because the background was having had to escape through forest for weeks as a young teen, and had always been a tomboy.
The other was a army-type scout/tracker.
Neither used spells or companions.
TheBlueFlute last edited by
Best druid guide ever imo: /topic/291
Think outside the box. Already been hundreds of druids and the druid is probably the most narrow class in FR and D&D - it doesn't mean your druid has to be narrow.
Black Rose last edited by
Druids don't have to be feral uncivilized dudes. At one point prior to becoming one, it's entirely possible they were normal folks of one type or another, and didn't suffer some brainwashing identitity loss. There's extremes of course, but many will freely walk in the city, though they obviously prefer the outdoors.
The other one is to keep your personality separate from your class. It's a common pitfall with barbarians, clerics, paladins, and druids, especially if you choose your class before you characterize out your guy.