This take on the Druid Class was built for my Panzoasia setting, but would be useful for anyone who wants a Druid class that hews a little closer to Celtic legend. This conception of the Druid is less a “nature priest”, and more a magician and sage who draws their power from observing the kinds of mysterious bans and compulsions that are called “Geasa” in Irish mythology. It’s built on the same “5 Special Abilities + 2 Weaknesses” framework that I use for all my OSR Classes, allowing for easy customization by swapping characteristics.
Prime Requisites: Intelligence and Wisdom.
Special Abilities: Assume Animal Form, Druidic Spells, Friend of the Forest Dwellers, Nature Lore, Sylvan Languages
Restrictions and Weaknesses: Mysterious Ban, Mysterious Compulsion.
Hit Dice: d6 per Level, until 9th. Add 2 Hit Points per Level thereafter.
Alignment: Neutral or Good
Starting Age: 20+d4
Starting Language(s): Western Common, Fairy. (See the Special Ability “Sylvan Languages”)
Alternate Ability Generation: Str: 3d6 | Int: 1d8+10 | Wis: 1d8+10 | Dex: 3d6 | Con: 3d6 | Cha: 3d6
Druids are adventuring mystics who practices the Old Ways of magic. A Druid knows the secrets of the wilderness, and is learned in the lore of plants, animals, and minerals. They are the especial friends of the Fairy Folk.
Typical Starting Equipment for Druids
- Linen robe (may be undyed, dyed green with weld and woad, or dyed red with madder).
- Cloak of rabbit fur.
- Wide leather belt.
- Crown of leaves and antlers.
- Metal torc.
- Staff (doubles as fishing pole).
- Sickle (1d6 damage).
- Hand Axe.
- Haversack of deer leather.
- Carved wooden mask.
- Bag of blue body paint, made of woad and bear fat.
- 50’ of tree fiber rope.
- 10 feet of catgut string.
- 6 fishhooks.
- Flint and pyrite stones (to start fires).
- 2 rushlights (rush stalks dipped in bear fat, which burn like a candle for 1 Turn).
- 1 pound of dried venison, wrapped in leaves.
- 8 ounces of dried berries.
- Wolf companion.
- 1d4 gp.
Assume Animal Form
Beginning at 3rd Level, your character can assume the form of an animal of their own Hit Dice or lower, with the following conditions:
- The maximum amount of time your character can remain in animal form is equal to 1 Turn per Level they posses.
- A Druid can freely change between animal forms, so long as they haven’t exceeded their maximum time for that day.
- At 3rd Level, your character can only assume the form of a non-predatory, terrestrial mammal (such as a rabbit or deer).
- At 5th Level, your character can assume the form of predatory, terrestrial mammal (such as a wolf or bear)
- At 7th Level your character gains the ability to assume bird or fish forms, as well as those of aquatic mammals.
- At 9th Level, your character can assume the form of a reptile or insect. If they assume the form of a venomous reptile or insect, they can use (but not collect) its venom.
- The first time your character Assumes Animal Form for that day, they are healed of 1d4 points of damage per Experience Level they posses.
- All equipment your character carries becomes part of their Animal Form, and cannot be accessed until they resume their Human shape.
Your character begins the game knowing two 1st level Druidic Spells, of your choice.
- With each Level they gain, your character automatically acquires the knowledge of two more Druidic Spells of your choice, of a maximum Level equal to half your character’s Level.
- The Total Level of Spells a Druid can cast per day is equal to twice their Experience Level.
- Your character can gain additional Spells from enchanted Forest creatures, Elementals, or Fairies, who are able to teach those effects corresponding to their own Special Abilities.
- The total number of Spells your character knows cannot exceed the sum of their Experience Level and Wisdom score. Example: A 6th Level Druid with a Wisdom of 15 can never know more than 21 Spells in all.
Friend of the Forest Dwellers
All forest-dwelling creatures are naturally predisposed to like your character – including Monsters of Evil Alignment (such as Green Dragons and Bugbears).
- You roll all Charisma Checks with a +1 Bonus when your character is dealing with forest creatures, and they will never try to use any Charm powers they might posses on your character.
You may roll a Wisdom Check (with a +1 Bonus) for your character to do any of the following:
• Identify a natural plant, animal or mineral (but not a magical or unnatural one).
• Identify a Fairy or Elemental (but no other type of Planar Spirit)
• Find a source of pure water (or know that that no pure water is present).
• Find game animals (or know that no game animals are present within a mile).
• Gather enough berries, leaves, nuts, lichens, and fungus to eat for 1 day (or know that there is no food to find).
• Find true North.
• Predict the next day’s weather.
Nature Lore can be useful in any natural environment – including caves and caverns.
At 1st level your character can speak and write the secret language of the Fairies. With each Level past 1st, your character learns the language of another type of forest dweller. Some possible languages they might learn include:
- The Songs of Birds
- The Howls of Wolves
- The Growls of Bears
- The Signals of Deer
- The Hissing of Snakes
- The Bugbear dialect of Goblin
- Draconic (Green Dragon dialect)
Your character is subject to a mysterious prohibition that mystically maintains their powers. If they violate their Mysterious Ban, they will lose all of their Special Abilities for one full lunar month. Thereafter, they must thereafter sacrifice treasure and food (equal in value to 100 times their Experience Level squared) to regain their powers.
Some possible Mysterious Bans (d20):
Cannot wear metal armor.
Cannot use metal weapons.
Cannot use missile weapons.
Cannot wear any clothing or jewelry that was not once alive.
Cannot wear or bear any red item.
Cannot wear or bear any blue item.
Cannot wear or bear any yellow item.
Cannot wear (or bear) dyed cloth.
Must not touch a dead man (or woman).
Cannot carry silver.
Cannot carry gold.
Cannot touch iron.
Cannot eat mutton.
Cannot eat beef.
Cannot eat pork.
Cannot destroy or disturb mushrooms (including monstrous mushrooms, such as Shriekers).
Cannot touch pure crystalline salt.
Can never enter the sea.
Can never accept payment for any services.
Must remain celibate
There is an action your character must regularly perform to maintain their powers. If their fail to perform their Mysterious Compulsion, they will lose all of their Special Abilities for one full lunar month. Thereafter, they must resume observance of the Compulsion – and sacrifice treasure and food equal in value to 100 times their Experience Level squared – to regain their powers.
Some possible Mysterious Compulsions (d12):
- Must always bear a sprig of mistletoe.
- Must always rhyme when speaking.
- Must wear blue body paint made from woad.
- Must wear a cloak of feathers.
- Must wear piece of meteorite.
- Must wear a specific type of quartz crystal.
- Must wear a headdress of feathers.
- Must wear a necklace of bones.
- Must wear a wolf skin (or the skin of some other animal).
- Must always bear a snake.
- Must offer milk and unsalted bread to the Fairy Folk.
- Must be married.
Destiny at 9th Level
Your character will attract 1d4 1st Level Druids and 1d4 1st level Bards who desire tutelage, as well as 1d6 ordinary people who desire to be initiated into the ways of Druidism. All will be of your character’s Alignment (either Neutral or Good).
Destiny at 14th Level
Once they become eligible to become either Grand Druid or Grand Druidess, your character will have a dream directing them to the great Stone Circle on the Isle of Testing. There, the reigning Grand Druid or Grand Druidess will test the worthiness of your character. If they pass, the reigning Grand Druid or Druidess will confer their title upon your character – afterward wandering off to pursue Immortality.
Permutations and Variations of the Human Druid
- Special Abilities: Druidic Spells, Friend of the Forest Dwellers, Nature Lore, Nightvision (as per Elven Warrior-Wizard), Resist Paralysis (as per Elven Warrior Wizard).
- Restrictions and Weaknesses: Mysterious Ban (Can never wear armor), Mysterious Compulsion.
- Special: Unlike other Elves, Elven Druids do not incur the Enmity of the Bogeymen – and are, in fact liked by forest-dwelling ones!
Human Druid Advancement Table
|Hit Points||Level Title||THAC0
[Attack Roll Bonus]
|Forest Languages Spoken||Max. Level of Druidic Spells Known||Total Levels of Spells Cast per Day|
|0||1||1d6||Brother of the Earth /
Sister of the Earth
|2||2d6||Brother of the Wind /
Sister of the Wind
|18 [+1]||Fairy, + 1 additional||1st||4|
|3||3d6||Brother of the Waters /
Sister of the Waters
|18 [+1]||Fairy, + 2 additional||2nd||6|
|4||4d6||Ovate||17 [+2]||Fairy, + 3 additional||2nd||8|
|5||5d6||Brother of the Moon /
Sister of the Moon
|17 [+2]||Fairy, + 4 additional||3rd||10|
|6||6d6||Brother of the Sun /
Sister of the Sun
|16 [+3]||Fairy, + 5 additional||3rd||12|
|7||7d6||Brother of the Stars /
Sister of the Stars
|16 [+3]||Fairy, + 6 additional||4th||14|
|8||8d6||Brother of the Celestial Flame /
Sister of the Celestial Flame
|15 [+4]||Fairy, + 7 additional||4th||16|
|9||9d6||High Druid /
|15 [+4]||Fairy, + 8 additional||5th||18|
|10||9d6+2||High Druid /
|14 [+5]||Fairy, + 9 additional||5th||20|
|11||9d6+4||High Druid /
|14 [+5]||Fairy, + 10 additional||6th||22|
|12||9d6+6||High Druid /
|13 [+6]||Fairy, + 11 additional||6th||24|
|13||9d6+8||High Druid /
|13 [+6]||Fairy, + 12 additional||7th||26|
|14||9d6+10||Grand Druid /
Human Druid Saving Throws
|Level||Poison / Death Ray / Disease||Wands / Psionics||Paralysis / Petrification||Dragon Breath / Explosives / Firearms||Spell /Staff / Rod|
|2 – 3||12||13||14||15||11|
|4 – 5||11||12||13||14||10|
|6 – 7||10||11||12||13||9|
|8 – 9||9||10||11||12||8|
|12 – 13||7||8||9||10||6|
The Druids of Panzoasia
Once, Druids were widespread across the Ultimate West, feared and respected by all. Indeed, before the rise of the Depradators, Druids and Bards were the primary practitioners of magic among Humans – arcane Magic Users being few in number, and existing only in the Seven Cities. Despite their spells, however, the Druids could not stop the Monsters and Depradators from overrunning Panzoasia. But, the Druidic tradition ultimately survived the Reign of the Monsters, and Druids are far from extinct. Their kind are still numerous in Maeland, and roam the enchanted woods of Corthis. Many villages in Edister still extend hospitality to traveling Druids. Many Druids have found a new home in the religiously tolerant Free March. And while Druids are few in number in Bythebia, Ombratia, and Ydez, there are sacred groves yet remaining in those nations.
Most Druids are still Neutral in Alignment, but in Maeland there is a splinter order of Good-Aligned Druids who have adapted the practices of the Old Ways to serve the Powers of Light. Both kinds of modern Druids continue to wear the sacred “torc” – a rigid, collar-like neck-ring open at the front, and never removed from the neck once it is twisted into place. Both Neutral and Good Druids retain the same system of gradual initiation into the mystery of the Old Ways. There can be only a maximum of four Druids of 14th Level in the Ultimate West at any one time – a Grand Druid and Grand Druidess of Neutral Alignment, and a corresponding pair of Good Alignment.
Druids (both Neutral and Good) share symbols with the Neutral-Aligned Congregation of Life – the Tree, the Labyrinth, the Pentagram, the Spiral, and the Ouroboros (a serpent swallowing its own tail and forming a circle). Like the settled Priests and Priestesses of Life, Druids tend to dress in either undyed cloth, or else clothes colored green, red, or brown with natural plant dyes. While non-adventuring Priests and Priestesses of Life are almost always married couples, some Druids are actually under Mysterious Bans that prohibit them from taking permanent mates.