View Full Version : Shannaran Druids

2007-06-12, 12:16 PM
Hey guys, please forgive me if this has been posted before. I did a few searches using different terms and nothing like this came up so I thought I'd go ahead and ask the community.

I was running a campaign for a while that had an npc that was basically Allanon from the Sword of Shannara series. He was the all around party leader, but just like in the books he'd show up for only a little while, do something impressive and then leave letting the party do what ever they thought they needed to after hearing his advice. Pretty standard stuff, right?

Well for his stat block I went with the normal D&D druid class. As we all know this is actually nothing like the Druids are described in the Shannara books. So basically my solution was to have him in all ways act like the Druids of that series, for example using Druid Fire and the like, but when ever he interacted with the PC's I used his normal character sheet. Obvioulsy this was less than ideal.

It's been years since that campaign and I find myself still wanting to run that type of a character but this time as a player instead of a DM. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a decent class progression for this. I've seen the one presented in Dragon #286 but I have a lot of issues with it. I like how they handled the druid sleep and things like that, but Druid Fire being usable only once a day per every two class levels of Elder Druid is a little, well, retarded. Also, Druids were presented in the novels as being trained in that one discipline from day one, and it seems out of place to take 7 levels of a spellcasting class and then prestige.

So, without further ado, I was wondering if I could pick the collective brain of these forums and see if we could come up with some decent ideas for a class progression for a different, Shannara-setting based Druid that one could start taking at 1st level.

I would think that it would basically be similar to the Warlock class in that Druid Fire should be an at will ability. However, it would start of weak and increase in power over time, and I love the idea that using it excessively causes one to age rapidly and possibly lose con.

If you got this far, I thank you for taking the time to read all of my blathering and I look forward to your responses.

mabriss lethe
2007-06-14, 12:43 AM
I've read most of the series...

OK. Distaste for making it a PrC aside, I think that might still be the way to go.

In terms of power levels, I think your best bet would be to start the character as a warlock, you might have to tweak some invocations here and there for a different flavor, possibly alter or remove alignment restrictions from the class. at this point they'd more closely resemble Bremen's first group of apprentices from The First King of Shannara. They might be called druids the entire time, but are effectively still apprentices. After they'd advanced a few levels in warlock, have them attain a Shannaran druid PrC.

Some ideas:

Druid sleep: Don't have the mechanics worked out, but would effectively keep the character from dying of old age, would accumulate age bonuses but not penalties... things like that. when you're in top form, you're perpetually in your prime, looking something like mid 30's at the oldest. A druid's special powers tap directly into that force though, causing aging that can only be corrected by more uses of the sleep.

Druid's Fire: A special essence invocation would cause the warlock's eldritch blast to deal extra damage dice based on PrC level. Every use of this ability requires a fort or maybe will save on the part of the caster. Failure means that you "age" by one degree on the chart. gaining the penalties for aging without gaining the bonuses. (or showing your true age if you'e been a druid for a very long time.) you get the drift.

2007-06-14, 08:22 AM
Seems to me as if it should be based more off of the Wizard or Sorceror classes than the D&D druid. Use Con and Wis as primary stats, perhaps use Psionic abilities in place of arcane or divine casting. Druid fire would be an expanded version of Aganazzer's Scorcher, or Burning hands, working without an upper limit to it's power. So that by the end game, he's doing 15-20d6 damage with a casting, but have it do some con damage to him every time he uses it, to account for getting tired.

Druid sleep is a weird one. Mr. Brooks never describes the active periods of the druids in sufficient detail to know how long you they can go before requiring the Sleep. But I'd say that a Shannaran Druid doesn't need sleep, but must meditate for one hour each day to regenerate his usages. Perhaps have the Druid Sleep occur for one month every six? With it accumulating if he goes past the six months? Perhaps add a couple of days for each use of Druid Fire.

2007-06-14, 01:49 PM
First of all, thanks for responding guys!

Secondly, I agree with the comment about sorcerors/warlocks most fitting the concept. In the novels, it seemed very much like the Druids were those that had magic in the blood. However, it manifested itself very differently depending on the individual. For example, some had control over the elements, some could imbue their weapons with magical force and so on. So I'd recommend keeping this going, basically making their powers an at will, inherent ability like the Warlock/Sorceror. In that sense, they could chose from a list of abilities as they went up in power like the Warlock would chose invocations. The difficulty here is that some minor arcane spells do seem to be warranted. I'm going to give an actual progression a shot here in a few days, but I'd ask that if you guys are interested maybe you could keep tossing up ideas and or progressions of your own. Thanks!