Finding Strength in Nature



"By discovering nature, you discover yourself." — Maxime Lagacé


As it is frequently seen here in the real world, the power of nature (or Mother Nature, if you please) is always a force to be reckoned with. Between all of the plants, animals, insects, environmental diversity, and frequently unpredictable (currently) weather patterns, it is very easy to see that humankind is at a very significant disadvantage.


And this same disadvantage translates over to the world of tabletop roleplaying games as well, in particular the game Dungeons & Dragons, for example.


What is a Druid?


In games like Dungeons & Dragons, there exists a character class which derives its strength and powers directly from that very nature. "In role-playing games, a druid is a character class that is generally portrayed as using nature-based magical abilities and striving to protect nature from civilized intrusion. Druid characters tend to have abilities that involve healing, weather or plant related spells, summoning animal allies, and shapeshifting, [among others]." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druid_(character_class))


At this point you might be asking yourself, what exactly is a Druid in the first place. Well, "a Druid was a member of the high-ranking class in ancient Celtic (think northern and western European) cultures. Druids were religious leaders as well as legal authorities, adjudicators, lore-keepers, medical professionals and political advisors. Druids left no written accounts. While they were reported to have been literate, they are believed to have been prevented by doctrine from recording their knowledge in written form. Their beliefs and practices are attested in some detail by their contemporaries from other cultures, such as the Romans and the Greeks." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druid)


Now that we know what a Druid is, let's take a look at some famous Druids in popular culture.

  • Keyleth (Critical Role - Campaign 1, portrayed by Marisha Ray)

  • Radaghast the Brown (Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkein)

  • Poison Ivy - Pamela Isley, PhD (DC Comics)

  • Swamp Thing - Alec Holland, PhD (DC Comics)

  • Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy - Marvel Comics)

  • Merlin (Arthurian legends - described as both Druid and Wizard/Sorcerer)

The Story of Your Druid


From these examples, it looks like your Druid character is in some pretty powerful company. In examining these other famous Druids, it is exciting to think that someday soon your character is going to become just as famous, but for possibly very different reasons.



Keyleth - Cosplay by Marisha Ray (Critical Role)

Speaking of your character, let's explore the roots of why they chose to become a Druid in the first place. Here are a few questions you might consider as you unravel the depths of who your Druid is:

  • Did your character become a Druid in order to follow a familial legacy or community culture?

  • Does your character take part in all aspects of nature, or is it limited to certain aspects (e.g., plants, animals, weather, minerals, the moon, etc.)?

  • If your character utilizes a shapeshifting ability, what was the first animal or creature they shifted into?

  • If there is a particular path or circle of Druidism that you character follows, which one is it and why did they choose that particular path?

  • If not from their family or community, where did your character learn to become a Druid and why did they choose to become a Druid?

As these questions, and others like them, are answered, they will begin to uncover a more complete picture of the person that your Druid character has become. Of course, each answer may also lead to more questions which will hopefully also lead, in turn, to more answers.


Another bonus to unraveling the history of your Druid is that you can then have a clearer picture of how to play them at the game table (this includes the virtual tables). It will also help you to learn why they might make certain choices in a given situation, whether it be interpersonal communications or combat encounters or any other situation.

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