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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    I'm running a Stone Age/Early Bronze Age Pathfinder campaign. The system isn't super important, but what I'm wanting help with is coming up with the villains.

    All classes are allowed except for the Gunslinger (obviously), the occult stuff, the vigilante, and Druids.

    The reason I've disallowed the Druid is because I want them to be the villains pulling the strings behind everything. The players don't know this yet, but the world isn't really "Stone Age", it's actually post apocalyptic. The Druids put a massive spell over the world to return everything to nature, killing billions in the process and causing the world to regress entirely.

    So what I want help with is coming up with ideas for a multitude of NPC's that are druids, they just can't be good guys or passive neutral like a lot of druids are. I'm thinking that the Druids the player's encounter will act like avatars for a larger group with epic level Druids in it, but that's a long ways away, as the players are only level 7.

    Two examples I've come up with thus far are a Barbarian/Druid multiclass NPC that is the "King of the Boars", and a Blight Druid with a raven familiar (using the feat), and the Death domain (from the class feature).

    What else can you guys come up with? I'm fairly lax with mechanics, so if you have a cool idea, feel free to post it.

    EDIT: Level doesn't matter too much, but it has to be higher than 6, and I'd prefer if it was lower than 15, though that's a soft cap as ideas for the future are appreciated as well.
    Last edited by inuyasha; 2016-08-29 at 11:55 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuldarinar View Post
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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    I just have a name and its malfurion( from warcraft) probably druid 8, warlock 2, eldricth discipline 10 uses unique shapeshift as main form instead of his own form

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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Quote Originally Posted by khadgar567 View Post
    I just have a name and its malfurion( from warcraft) probably druid 8, warlock 2, eldricth discipline 10 uses unique shapeshift as main form instead of his own form
    As far as I know of, Pathfinder doesn't actually have the Warlock (and I never used it in 3.X either), but that basically makes him an evil, fiend-binding Druid that specializes in shapeshifting right? That's definitely doable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuldarinar View Post
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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Quote Originally Posted by inuyasha View Post
    As far as I know of, Pathfinder doesn't actually have the Warlock (and I never used it in 3.X either), but that basically makes him an evil, fiend-binding Druid that specializes in shapeshifting right? That's definitely doable.
    yep counter opposite of warcraft one

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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Awesome! Thanks for the reply.

    I'm thinking maybe straight Druid (enough to make Wild Shape be awesome) with a few levels of Shaman to simulate the demon-binding aspect of this character.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuldarinar View Post
    ..What have I done..? What have you done? That poor lantern archon..

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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    your world your game

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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Interesting & I like the idea!

    Are the Druids come off as morally grey? Or did they simply do what was right for nature given the **** happening to the planet? Did the gods A-OK this given that Druids are divine spell casters? Or was this a world ending plot that some group of adventurers didn't stop? =P

    As for Druid ideas, I would suggest keeping it to straight up druids with flavor coming from their archetype, personality, spell/wild shape choice, etc. Prestige Classes typically make them less powerful. Of course, if you're not worried about that -- plenty of options!

    Lion of Talisid is a neat one.
    You get: An extra animal companion, No breaks in spell progression, Supernatural abilities (Leonal's roar, Lion's Swiftness) Pounce, Exalted Companion as a bonus feat (Making your animal companions even better)
    Lose Elemental & Plant wildshape, but allows for some kind of Pack/Pride/Shepherd thing going on. Pride Master? The Shepherd?

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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Honestly, I've had similiar ideas in one of my campaigns, although the druids aren't TOTALLY evil. They're mostly just pissed that one of the players recently became an Urban Druid homebrew.


    On topic, I think a Druidlock could be done for some sort of blasty lighting druid? I suppose Mountain could work...

    have you considered refluffing Draconic ancestry, and having a Druid/Sorceror? I'm not sure how well that'd work mechanically, but the flavor could be well done if you choose the right element and spells.

    (edit)

    I see, on a second reading, that this is pathfinder. I don't have much system mastery in that, so not sure I can help much...
    Last edited by comk59; 2016-08-29 at 03:28 PM.
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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    That's fine, it's basically 3.5 but with a few missing classes and a whole bunch of new ones. A lightning blasty druid would be pretty cool.

    As for them being morally grey, pretty much. They're just altogether not good.

    I'm not quite sure about their ritual thing, but the idea that it was a world-ending event that some adventurers failed to stop is pretty cool, I might take that idea.

    I'm totally cool with them not being powerful/optimized due to multiclassing or PrCs, but you're definitely right about Archetypes

    I love these ideas though, thank you guys so much for responding!
    Last edited by inuyasha; 2016-08-29 at 03:44 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuldarinar View Post
    ..What have I done..? What have you done? That poor lantern archon..

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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Well, how did the druids wreck the world? One would imagine the two go to methods would either be disease or infertility. So why not keep at these methods if they worked so well to begin with? The former could be a singular (or a group) of plague themed druids that far prefer to use minions to wear down others while their diseases take their toll. The later could be a druid that seems to be friendly and uses their magic to feed people, but is secretively only allowing certain bloodlines to continue and is limiting populations due to magic on the food they give out.

    I would go with some sort of water themed druid as well. Maybe some river or sea based druids that only allow people to take resources if they sacrifice some of their own by drowning or the like. A marsh druid (Maybe by bending the rules and granting the shaman class additional witch hexes to pick up the swamp themed ones) could also work in this role, especially given that some cultures did chuck people into swamps as a sacrifice. I believe the Mayans also sacrificed people with water if you want a real life comparison.

    Expanding on the animal theme with Rage Pig, perhaps some druids worship animal totems? The animal totems themselves could be giant versions of the animals with various templates. The various totem groups could be at war or in conflict with one another, dragging the unsuspecting party into their squabbles.

    If you have an animal spirit that might work as a protector of dead spirits (You don't want undead wandering around and getting negative energy on your nice, pristine world! You just cleaned up after all!), they could be Menhir Savants. I would make this totem the vulture because it'd be an interesting to see those birdies being represented as a helpful (even if it is only surface level) force, as opposed to cowards or the Beatles.
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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Shaman-lords who rule over man and beast alike, imposing natural order within their domains in a bid to keep mankind from destroying the world once more. It is rumored the very birds and beasts in the locale are spies for the shaman-lords' underlings.

    While dedicated to their cause, these rulers are not immune to the corruption that such power brings. A handful have grown decadent and tyrannical, growing fat on civilized comforts even while they tax the common people who forage and hunt from wattle huts.

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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Thank you for even more ideas! I hadn't even thought of the second one, with the druids enslaving people. And the vulture idea is awesome!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuldarinar View Post
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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Every single Druid's Freudian excuse: "Well I've seen civilized humans kick puppies. I never saw puppies kick any civilized humans. Ergo civilization is bad. QED."

    Snarkasm aside, it's refreshing to see more Evil Druids. It's always kind of bothered me that they have to have a Neutral component to their alignment, when they strike me as more Chaotic- and Evil-leaning. Not saying they'd all be Chaotic Evil, there are plenty of Lawful and Good concepts that work within the Druidic ideal, but I'd expect a solid majority of them to have at least one of the CE alignment components, and fairly commonly both.

    As for the villainous group you've got planned here...

    Hm. Maybe one of them has spells that focus on making civilizations' tools useless? Stone-affecting versions of the spells that penalize people using metal equipment, for example. Just a thought from somebody who's been disillusioned with d20 games for a while.

    Oh! It isn't really about abilities, but here's a fun thought for a personality/goal combo - maybe the PCs can play some of the group against each other because there's a Druid who's starting to feel like the whole council is too organized and acting too much like the civilizations they sought to remove from the world. Bonus points if she has a point and isn't just being delusional about it.
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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Quote Originally Posted by Remedy View Post
    Every single Druid's Freudian excuse: "Well I've seen civilized humans kick puppies. I never saw puppies kick any civilized humans. Ergo civilization is bad. QED."

    Snarkasm aside, it's refreshing to see more Evil Druids. It's always kind of bothered me that they have to have a Neutral component to their alignment, when they strike me as more Chaotic- and Evil-leaning. Not saying they'd all be Chaotic Evil, there are plenty of Lawful and Good concepts that work within the Druidic ideal, but I'd expect a solid majority of them to have at least one of the CE alignment components, and fairly commonly both.

    As for the villainous group you've got planned here...

    Hm. Maybe one of them has spells that focus on making civilizations' tools useless? Stone-affecting versions of the spells that penalize people using metal equipment, for example. Just a thought from somebody who's been disillusioned with d20 games for a while.

    Oh! It isn't really about abilities, but here's a fun thought for a personality/goal combo - maybe the PCs can play some of the group against each other because there's a Druid who's starting to feel like the whole council is too organized and acting too much like the civilizations they sought to remove from the world. Bonus points if she has a point and isn't just being delusional about it.
    I thought this would be pretty cool too, because I'm sick of basically every druid being something like a fairy princess of the woodlands or a true neutral oracle.

    I also plan to have some Lawful Neutral and Chaotic Neutral members, and I was thinking maybe the Lawful Neutral ones could act like loyal spies and inquisitors, possibly taking the Urban Druid archetype to blend in better. The Chaotic Neutral ones could work really well with the hindering people's tools thing, and perhaps one of them could rebel against the council in some way. I hadn't considered rebellion before.

    Thank you for the cool ideas! I wish I had something awesome to give to the rest of you guys.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuldarinar View Post
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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    I may be rambling more about world creation now, but how's are the Druids divided among the world? Is it an enclave of elite working behind the scenes to ensure nothing bad happens again? Maybe they take turns coming out of hibernation to check on the world? maybe a one of them made the ultimate sacrifice and after multiclassing arcane became a lich so he could oversee the new world? Maybe he discovered a Druidic lich form, some kind of ability to not age at least.

    I love the idea of totem based cultures, or at least sub cultures. That or biome based (lord of deserts, Arctic enclave, the jungle King, etc). Maybe both groups? Perhaps there have been divisions among the Druids focusing on the life of the planet versus the life of the creatures... And now the party will work with "good Druids" who understand what real balance should be?

    Maybe the Druids are trying to achieve godhood by having civilizations worship them as beast totem/biome Druids?

    Sorry, I'm probably not helping, but I really like this topic!!

    Would the under dark or equivalent thereof be impacted, or did they manage to hide from the blight/cataclysm somehow? Some bizarre deep gnome/drow city deep underground banded together with magic to survive, now fearing rest of world, or knowing it's not safe to leave their bubble due to the Druidic magic?

    Other Druid ideas though....
    Splice a Druid with a Rogue, tons of sneak and interesting back stab combos with shapeshift.

    Splice a Druid with other divine spell casting PrCs. Maybe entropomancer? Entropy based divine caster from 3.0 I think. Easy enough to convert.

    Have a Druid focused on vermin and swarms?

    Have a Druid focused on undead, basically responsible for keeping undead in check? Maybe he/she thinks undead are a part of the natural world so he lords over a little realm telling other Druids to piss off?

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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Quote Originally Posted by Remedy View Post
    Every single Druid's Freudian excuse: "Well I've seen civilized humans kick puppies. I never saw puppies kick any civilized humans. Ergo civilization is bad. QED."
    A druid who thinks like this, is a druid who's never seen wolves. Those puppies can kick civilized humans like it's nobody's business.

    Or at least they eat the civilized folks' livestock. There's a reason people like hunting them so much.
    Last edited by Slipperychicken; 2016-08-29 at 05:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Rambling is totally accepted in this thread, I have no problem deciphering rambling notes. And your ideas are pretty great!

    I was thinking that the druids divide themselves thusly

    The very powerful druids tend to live in either remote locations or pocket dimensions with access to scrying to keep tabs on the world and other druids

    The druids that are somewhat powerful live in slightly less remote locations, but still tough to get to, such as the tops of mountains or in certain caves.

    Other druids below them tend to be more open, still being confident in their abilities, but relying on animals/slaves for help

    And then the least powerful druids aren't truly detailed NPCs, they're just powerful minions that can arise with little definition, just like how you treat orcs and goblins at low levels.

    As for how the underdark was affected, I've decided that the Drow have become a mayan like society with humanoid sacrifice, and they tend to keep the Duergar as slaves. Svirfneblin are practically unknown due to their magical abilities, but they do exist, but all in all, the underdark races are definitely more xenophobic than before, fearing the great burning fire in the sky more than anything else.

    I'm thinking LN Druid/Rogues and Druid/Inquisitors would make fun spies for the Druids.

    The vermin/swarm idea is a fun one, and I'm glad that Pathfinder has rules for vermin companions for this very reason.

    The Druid that's focused on undead might be an interesting one, that generally goes against what I think of druids as doing, but at the same time a Chaotic Neutral Druid may very well go off the beaten path.
    Last edited by inuyasha; 2016-08-29 at 05:28 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuldarinar View Post
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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Not a mechanical concept, but since it looks like an epic-level spell, what about "Druid who participated in the spell, but is really uncomfortable with the results." Like, sure, he's very wise, but he didn't have the full spell, and didn't realize that it would kill everyone.
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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Not a mechanical concept, but since it looks like an epic-level spell, what about "Druid who participated in the spell, but is really uncomfortable with the results." Like, sure, he's very wise, but he didn't have the full spell, and didn't realize that it would kill everyone.
    There might also have been druids who did not participate at all, or were opposed to the casting. Some of those guys could be living in remote caves, plotting retaliation where the bigger druids can't find them. They might serve as allies to PCs if they find themselves aligned against the druid-lords.
    Last edited by Slipperychicken; 2016-08-29 at 11:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Not a mechanical concept, but since it looks like an epic-level spell, what about "Druid who participated in the spell, but is really uncomfortable with the results." Like, sure, he's very wise, but he didn't have the full spell, and didn't realize that it would kill everyone.
    Oh my gosh my thread got mod's attention, Be cool.

    I hadn't even considered that one either! That would allow me to introduce NG or TN Druids that don't really want to oppose the players (but may be berated into doing so by their superiors).

    And about the players being aligned against the Druids, this will probably happen as the party is mostly chaotic good or neutral with good tendencies except one (who's secretly Lawful Evil), meaning that they very well could attract the Druids' attention, being a powerful group of ten people.
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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Depending on the specifics of your "Techocide" spell, you might also have odd ducks floating around... a nobleman who was swimming at the time of the spell, and came out to find that he's the sole scion of his house. He's got lots of loyal peasants, and he's looking for revenge.
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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    The Swarmwalker:

    Druid that lived among hive species of insects, such as termites, bees, orb spider colonies, and ants. Being familiar with massive collaborations of organisms to develop artificial buildings, stockpiles of resources, and occasionally domesticated species, he has become incredibly annoyed at the destruction of the large insects' progress. He has accumulated a lot of technology from the old age, and may well donate them to the party if they seem particularly inventive and driven.

    The Floodcaller:

    A Druid enamored with the time long before humans, during the explosion of life at the start of the world. When the world was roughly Japan-sized islands full of their unique developing ecosystems, when the world was full of volcanoes and ash, and the world was a crucible of new forms of life. He believes the epic magic wiping the humans' progress was a good start, but it didn't kickstart the development of life; to that end, he's going about flooding lands, trying to split continents, and causing islands to drift further and further from the mainland to see what happens.
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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Depending on the specifics of your "Techocide" spell, you might also have odd ducks floating around... a nobleman who was swimming at the time of the spell, and came out to find that he's the sole scion of his house. He's got lots of loyal peasants, and he's looking for revenge.
    Survivors on the surface are something I need to put more thought of, my idea is that it happened a long time ago, in the sense that young men then would probably be pushing 100 or a little more. Mostly what the spell did was animate the plants and exaggerate all of the four natural elements, so huge hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and wildfires, and the earthquakes and constant batterings from the trees and everything else caused stone buildings to crumble and be absorbed into the ground. Some stronger ones, like specially treated dwarf stone, may be more intact than others, but they'd be deep under the earth as strangely constructed dungeons, even if they were on the surface before.

    As for your idea of the nobleman, the age wouldn't be an issue if he were nonhuman, but if he was human, the large amount of loyal servants could benefit him in ways that would keep him alive, such as helping perform evil rituals to expand his lifespan maybe? Is there an evil murder requirement for becoming a lich or something?
    ---

    And with the character ideas just above, those are both awesome! I'm going to compile a folder of these ideas sometime soon, as well as any I come up with, or anyone else.

    The idea of the swarmwalker being familiar with technology from the previous age is a really cool.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuldarinar View Post
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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    You need to go for much longer than 80 years ago if you want to have any believability to the PCs not already knowing that things were different before. Just my two cents.

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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Quote Originally Posted by Vrock_Summoner View Post
    You need to go for much longer than 80 years ago if you want to have any believability to the PCs not already knowing that things were different before. Just my two cents.
    You're very right. To be honest I'm not sure about the time frame, but I wanted something other than "many millenia ago, ancient history blah blah blah"

    Maybe something that will make it so young elves are now very old? Like six hundred to a thousand years ago?

    (in my settings elves can live much longer than 750 which is the maximum in pathfinder)
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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Quote Originally Posted by inuyasha View Post
    You're very right. To be honest I'm not sure about the time frame, but I wanted something other than "many millenia ago, ancient history blah blah blah"

    Maybe something that will make it so young elves are now very old? Like six hundred to a thousand years ago?

    (in my settings elves can live much longer than 750 which is the maximum in pathfinder)
    Simple solution:

    The technocide spell destroyed infrastructure and all that as planned, about 120 years ago, as its most obvious effect. The less immediately obvious effect was that 'tools' began to act a lot like 'spells' for everyone but the Druids. Once you built something above a certain level of technology, you forgot how you did it and even what it was called. You could re-study it, but it would take a while, and chances are that it would get destroyed at some point and you'd never have a chance to memorize it again. Now, funny thing is, the people who were born after the spell was cast aren't affected by this. You do have Dwarves and Elves and so on that remember that the world was different and full of tools... but they would never be able to make them to show their descendants, and would rapidly fall into myth.

    Elves and dwarves would talk to each other and agree that they lived in a mythical age where wonders that could command fire and deflect all blows existed, but couldn't for the life of them remember how they were made. There would be legends of this time among the humans and even among each other, but only the Druids would know the full truth.
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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Quote Originally Posted by Fable Wright View Post
    Simple solution:

    The technocide spell destroyed infrastructure and all that as planned, about 120 years ago, as its most obvious effect. The less immediately obvious effect was that 'tools' began to act a lot like 'spells' for everyone but the Druids. Once you built something above a certain level of technology, you forgot how you did it and even what it was called. You could re-study it, but it would take a while, and chances are that it would get destroyed at some point and you'd never have a chance to memorize it again. Now, funny thing is, the people who were born after the spell was cast aren't affected by this. You do have Dwarves and Elves and so on that remember that the world was different and full of tools... but they would never be able to make them to show their descendants, and would rapidly fall into myth.

    Elves and dwarves would talk to each other and agree that they lived in a mythical age where wonders that could command fire and deflect all blows existed, but couldn't for the life of them remember how they were made. There would be legends of this time among the humans and even among each other, but only the Druids would know the full truth.
    Whoa... this is an amazing write-up. I don't think that could have been worded more awesomely.

    Considering the total lack of heavy armor, normal tools functioning as ancient and amazing artifacts could be awesome!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuldarinar View Post
    ..What have I done..? What have you done? That poor lantern archon..

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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Prominent Druids from my gaming history that could be adapted to this purpose.

    Remus: Raised by wolves, and now directs them in their nightly raids. Specialized in spamming Summon Nature's alley.

    Itch: Orc druid with terrible charisma and personal hygine. Low charisma and kinda meek in terms of personality, pushed around by larger villians. Specialized in healing magic, spreading disease, and crafting wands.

    Izzy: Stoner with a pet velocaraptor he'd trained to get drunk with him. Married to a werewolf who is also a druid. Not agressively evil, but does spread druidically enhanced hallucinogens to keep people complacent. Shirks serious responsibility where possible.

    The Brothers Wolfhammer: Half-orc druid and his ranger brother that exploited the hell out of that Complete Divine spell that added caster level to damage with wooden weapons (Thorns, I think) wielding wooden mauls. Supremely arrogant adrenaline junkies that loved to travel and hunt. Cannibals. Lacking in subtlety, but extremely good enforcers.

    Yadella: halfling druid with a passion for breeding carnivorous plants. When her garden in one area gets full, she moves to another area and sets up shop in a new area. Teams up with a harpy to lure people into the trap. Dislikes dragons.

    The Eternal Queen: The leader of the druids, supposedly immortal. Actually a series of people (not all of them born female) using A Thousand Faces to pretend to be the same, immortal individual. Actual builds varied. This concept can work well with your druids in a roll as schemers.
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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    Those are interesting and hilarious, I think my group might enjoy a comedic bend like that on some of the villains. Thanks for posting!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuldarinar View Post
    ..What have I done..? What have you done? That poor lantern archon..

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    Default Re: Druid Lords: Emissaries of The Council

    For your catastrophe, you could go the SM Stirling route. In the novel series that starts with Dies the Fire, the premise is that one day several of the laws of physics simply changed and destroyed the underpinnings of modern technology.

    Electricity is not well conducted by metals, or at least not well enough. Steam pressure does not build up to levels that would make it useful. And most explosive compounds now react more slowly, making them flammable rather than explosive. This resulted in billions dead and technology regressing to swords and bows very quickly.

    In addition, the first generation born after the Change thought their parents and grandparents stories about Before were fantastical.

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