View Full Version : Nature aligned Clerics versus Druids

2007-01-26, 10:59 PM
Does anyone ever really choose playing a cleric of a "green" diety over playing a druid. I'm just curious. Druids seem better characters from both a mechanics and a fluff standpoint (unless you plan on fighting a whole lot of undead).

2007-01-26, 11:06 PM
I'm running such a cleric in one of Gamebird's games. Dwarven cleric of her homebrew nature goddess, Animal and Plant domains. Assuming we ever run across some Plant creatures, I intend to make use of my rebuke plant creatures domain power to get some meatleafshields.

2007-01-26, 11:10 PM
In a Forgotten Realms campaign I'm playing in right now, one of the major NPCs is a cleric/sorceress of Mielikki. (Actually, there's a few clerics of Mielikki there... Silverymoon has a very powerful church of Miellikki.)

2007-01-27, 12:17 AM
I disagree with you that druids are better from a fluff standpoint. Some people would prefer to be a cleric to the god, rather than a druid. Certainly, they would both be devoted to nature, but I imagine a druid as more devoted to nature and the divinity of natural things while clerics are devoted to a god in particular. Perhaps you like playing a character who has a strong religious attachment and seeks wisdom from his god.

Or, you might prefer being a druid. I think it would be hard to definitively say that one piece of fluff is better than another.

Mechanically, I'm not going to argue.

2007-01-27, 12:39 AM
I see the difference as clerics are more involved in the church organization, and thus are more involved in applying the god's doctrine to the people and society. They bring the faith to the people (at least, the non-contemplatives or non-cloistered priests do). A nature cleric would be a priest ministering to a rural community, or a farm community, or a logging camp chaplain, or bless fishing boats, that sort of thing.

Druids, while not necessarily solitary, don't involve themselves in a church, or necessarily even society. They practice their faith for its own sake, or to benefit the land (or sea or whatever their focus is) rather than the people. Their god has given them a mission, and it doesn't involve Sunday homilies.

So it depends what sort of character you want to play.

Thinking about it, it might be very difficult to tell the difference between a druid and a contemplative nature priest.

2007-01-27, 12:41 AM
Thinking about it, it might be very difficult to tell the difference between a druid and a contemplative nature priest.

That would make a great gestalt character, a druid-cleric.

2007-01-27, 06:39 AM
That would make a great gestalt character, a druid-cleric.
By the gods, no. I can just imagine a cloistered cleric//druid

Divine metacheese + wildshape + heavy armour, etc. One man party.

2007-01-27, 06:46 AM
Except that the druid's armor restrictions still apply. No full plate for you.

But other than that, I agree. A combo like that would make all of creation cry.

2007-01-27, 06:56 AM
Except that the druid's armor restrictions still apply. No full plate for you.

There are always alternatives like the Ironwood spell.

I'm glad I don't play gestalt. I don't want to end up with a CaDzilla.

2007-01-27, 07:38 AM
There are always alternatives like the Ironwood spell.
Or Dragonhide armour. It's not like a CaDzilla's going to have any trouble killing a dragon.

2007-01-27, 02:35 PM
Oh please, stop the zilla-ing, will ya? :p The original post was an interesting question.

I have thought of that myself. As someone said, the main difference would be that the cleric would be working within an organised religious framework, whereas the druid would take things more personal.

As a matter of fact, I think there's a difference of commitment to the deity's dogma. The druid is going a step further than the cleric, getting his hands dirty and practicing what a cleric would only preach. That's how I see it.

2007-01-27, 03:24 PM
Except that the druid's armor restrictions still apply. No full plate for you.

Cloistered clerics can't wear heavy armor, so the point is a bit moot.

2007-01-27, 05:40 PM
[quote=Maxymiuk;1902394]Except that the druid's armor restrictions still apply. No full plate for you.

That's why you dip a level of Monk. Cloistered Cleric 19 / Monk 1 // Druid 20 for ultimate Gestalt cheese.

Bears With Lasers
2007-01-27, 05:43 PM
Or wear a Monk's Belt.

2007-01-27, 08:49 PM
I hate the mechanics of Druids, Just about always have. Clerics don't really fit Nature Deities in 3.x. I kind of miss all the speciality Priesthoods of the past...

2007-01-27, 09:06 PM
I played a nature aligned cleric in 3.0 when you could get animal friendship out of the animal domain. It was enough nature power for me thematically, the animal was nice to have wandering around, and I had the clerical healing. With the travel domain that covered Knowledge:Nature and Wilderness Lore.

2007-01-28, 02:18 AM
You guys broke me with the discussions on a gestalt character. That's not the original intention. I wanted to compared and contrast the differences which the slim majority of you posted on. I don't want to talk about druid-clerics and I certainly don't want to read about cleric/druid/monks, just because they all use d8s doesn't mean they should be combined. Thread Hijackers be warned, I am changing my signature in protest.

Back to the thread at hand. The idea of druids being primal and isolated and clerics being an organized part of the community. Helping the crops grow and blessing fishing vessels and the like makes sense though it's not necessarily very exciting. That works to a large extant, particularly for Good and Lawful aligned Nature dieties. Where it doesn't work is if you have clerics who aren't not in a rigid heirachical system. I have a fair number of gods whose clerics tend to be recluses living on the fringe of society (and not just Evil dieties). The Fates (their clerics are cloaked in mystery and periodically emerge to expound on prophesy) and Dionysus (his clerics show up to lead festivals on his holy days and lead riots on random days). It's nice to know a few people have tried Nature aligned clerics but it just seems to me that nature aligned dieties will have disproportionately few clerics relative to their counterparts of similar alignment. Perhaps I shouldn't have created 21 dieties. heh


Looking back on my 21 homebrew dieties, with the exception of Gaian clerics (which would be the epitome of druid-like clerics), the nature domains are pretty well spread out. I tried to give most of my dieties one of the four elements, Plant, Animal, or Sun to give them a tie to nature. Now that I see the SRD has more Domains than the PHB, I may revamp my dieties again. Weather can now be added to the list of nature-linked domains and a case can be made for Darkness, Creation, and Skalykind too. Sub-dividing the aspects of nature among several dieties. Is that the answer to differentiating nature aligned-clerics from druids? I could imagine this would make druids less tolerant of clerics in general if the reverence for nature gets watered down into sub-facets of dieties linked to civilization (Vesta the Hearth Goddess has Fire as a domain but most focus on community building aspect of her worship, Thor may grant some clerics the Weather domain but he is mainly seen as a patron of warriors, etc)

2007-01-28, 02:21 AM
in an old campaign we had a cleric of mielikki/sorcerer/geomancer.
he sucked
really bad
but we had him

2007-01-28, 08:17 PM
I don't think that isolation/insertion in the community can be a defining element. I know it's normal for FR druids to assist villagers with their farming, crops and nature-related affairs.

I just think that clerics would work to mantain their institutionalized religious practices. Offering healing and blessing services, scheduling worship encounters (not sure how it works, but something like mass every sunday; not a religious person myself, mind you).

You know, organised religion is like that in the end, it has to do with working in the organisation. You could say that it's a bussiness on its own.

Druids are just there, as part of nature, or as a link between society and nature.