The material below is Open Game Content
The Druidic Order
On a higher level, the druidic ‘order’ is divided into five rough factions, each of which has its own ultimate goal and tries to influence the selection of the grand druid. These factions stem from different aspects of the druidic philosophy.
The Green Path (True Neutral)
The green path is by far the largest faction among the druids, but it is also the most passive. The green path consists of those druids who simply wish to commune with the green world, with nature in all its forms. They stand apart from the world of mortals, caring only for the green. The green path is itself divided – some advocate that the druidic order should be a force for balance in the cosmos, and should ally itself alternately with the forces of good and evil or law and chaos to ensure that neither side is ultimately victorious. Others believe that any involvement in anything other than the green is a distraction from the druidic way. The green path druids are sometimes swayed by the arguments of their fellows, and gaining the support of the green path is key to becoming grand druid. The only arguments that matter to the green path, though, are claims that the druids must act, or risk injury to the green.
The Shepherds (Neutral Good)
The shepherd faction believe that the divide between wilderness and civilisation is an artificial distinction, caused mainly by the loss of druidic influence due to the decline of the old faith and the turning of the common folk towards other religions. The shepherds argue that druids should work in concert with the ‘civilised’ races, building gardens and farmlands instead of venerating only the wilder lands. The members of the shepherd faction are seen as either hopeless idealists or spineless apologists, although they have many supports in elven, gnomish and halfling societies, all of whom venerate druidism to a degree. The shepherds also have strong ties to the various gods whose beliefs and portfolios are acceptable to nature.
The Hunters (Neutral Evil)
The hunters have set themselves up in direct opposition to the shepherd faction and are often referred to ironically as the wolves. The ethos of the hunters is that civilisation and industry are dangers to the true natural order of the world. They point to all the fallen nations and broken cities of the world as evidence of a cycle as ancient as life and death, claiming it is right and proper that civilisations should rise and fall. It is now time, they judge, for the current civilisations to be thrown down. Some Hunters genuinely believe this and use their powers to shatter cities and sow ruin. Others merely use this belief as an excuse to build their own power bases and justify acting in barbaric and depraved ways.
The Lorekeepers (Lawful Neutral)
The lorekeepers are the second or third largest faction within the druidic order (depending on how much of a distinction can be drawn between the green path and the wilder). The lorekeepers are the tutors and scribes of druidism; they developed ogham and use it to record the teachings of the great druids of yore. The basic structure of the druidic order, from local circle to grand druid, is a product of the lorekeepers.
At its heart, though, druidism is a path towards personal enlightenment. While the loremasters might prefer that druids in general were more accepting of tradition and established teachings like wizards, the truth is that instinct is a more important guide to the green. The druids respect those masters who have gone before them but each must find his own way through the green. Still, the lorekeepers are very influential and are obviously the most organised of the factions.
Wilder Druids (Chaotic Neutral)
The last faction of druids is the loosest faction of all. While the green path consists of the great mass of unaligned and uncaring druids within the order, the wilder druids can barely be considered part of the order at all. Most wilder druids are either wandering adventurers or spend all their time in animal form. Either way, they are both unconcerned and unaware of the political divides within druidism and are even unconvinced of the need for an order at all.
Generating a Druidic Circle
Either roll or select an option on each of the following tables. The magnitude of the circle is how important the circle is, which also helps determines the level of the druid’s present.
Nature of the Area
|Roll||Terrain Type||Beginning Magnitude|
Size of the Area
|Roll||Size||Effect on Magnitude|
|1||Diminutive (a garden, farm or cavern)||One-twentieth normal|
|2||Tiny (a few square miles of land, no more than 5 miles in diameter)||One-tenth normal|
|3||Small (between 6 and 15 miles in diameter)||Half normal|
|4-5||Medium (15 to 50 miles in diameter)||Normal|
|6||Large (50 to 100 miles)||One and a half times normal|
|7||Huge (100 to 300 miles)||Three normal|
|8||Gargantuan (300 miles or more)||Five times normal|
|Roll||Quality||Effect on Magnitude|
|1||Especially ancient or influential circle||One and half times normal|
|2||Magical spring or other supernatural holding||+2d6 Magnitude|
|3||Special duty||+2d6 Magnitude, half normal number of druids|
|4||Major earthwork||One and half times normal|
|5||Major sacred grove||One and half times normal|
|6||Leaderless circle||No master druid|
|7||Wilting circle||Half normal number of druids|
|8||Decaying circle||–2d6 Magnitude|
|9||Roll again twice|
|10||Roll again three times|
The level of the highest ranking druid present is determined by rolling 1d20 on the following table and adding the circle’s Magnitude.
Highest Level Druid
|41+||Games Master’s choice|
As druids tend to stay in the same circle as their apprentices, the rest of the circle is generated as follows – start with the highest level druid and roll 1d6+1. Subtract the result from the druid’s level to get the level of the next most powerful druid. Now, take the new druid and any remaining levels from the first druid and repeat the process over and over again to generate the levels of any other druids in the circle. Treat any result of less than zero as either no druid, or a commoner apprentice who has not yet gained any druid levels.
For example, assume the highest level druid in a circle is 15th level. The Games Master rolls 1d6+1, gets a result of six and finds the next druid in the circle is 9th level. He now rolls twice, once for the new 9th level druid and once for the master druid. The results are a seven and a five, so there is also a second and a 4th level druid. The second level druid cannot have had any apprentices (as the minimum result of 1d6+1 is two, and two minus two is zero) but the 4th level druid might, so the Games Master rolls one final time and gets a total of four – four minus four is zero, so there are no other druids. The circle consists of the following druids – one 15th level, one 9th, one 4th and one 2nd. The 15th level druid taught the 9th and 4th level druids, while the 9th level druid later taught the 2nd level druid.
Finally, roll on the Random Druid Quirks Table to fill in the personalities of the druids
Random Druid Quirks Table
|1||Neutral||Badger||No||Spends all time in animal form|
|2||Neutral||Dire rat||No||Talks to the trees more than people|
|3||Neutral||Dog||No||Fanatical defender of nature|
|4||Neutral||Riding dog||No||Curious and inquisitive|
|8||Neutral||Owl||No||Very protective of animal companion|
|9||Lawful Neutral||Pony||No||Expert in unusual skill (max. ranks in some obscure or cross-class skill)|
|10||Lawful Neutral||Snake||No||Grove seneschal|
|11||Lawful Neutral||Wolf||Bard||Uninterested in circle politics|
|13||Chaotic Neutral||Boar||Ranger||Active in one of the druidic factions|
|14||Chaotic Neutral||Wolverine||Ranger||Adventuring druid|
|15||Neutral Good||Roll again, dire||NPC Class||Skilled craftsman|
|16||Neutral Good||Roll again, dire||NPC Class||Popular among local animals|
|17||Neutral Good||Roll again, dire||Fighter||Strong ties to local human community|
|18||Neutral Evil||Roll again, dire||Rogue||Unusual race (orc, bugbear, fey etc)|
|19||Neutral Evil||Unusual companion||Cleric||Owns a powerful magic item|
|20||Neutral Evil||No companion||Sorcerer or Wizard||Has a special duty in the circle|
1 The druid has some levels in another class, in addition to the character’s druid levels.
Old Track Druids
The so-called old track druids are a sect of renegades who have left the druidic order; they are beholden to no circle or master. Despite having no direct link to the Archanix, they can still cast spells normally – indeed, as most old track druids are self-taught, they tend to have a deep understanding of the green world and great master over its magic. They are even more solitary than ‘normal’ druids – many of the tales about vengeful druids driving trespassers out of the wood with green fire and magic have an old track druid at their heart. Without the moderating influence of the rest of a circle, the old track druids often become twisted and sour.
An old track druid does not have Diplomacy as a class skill, nor does he learn Druidic or ogham. However, he gains a +2 insight bonus to Hide and Move Silently checks when in the forest.
Druid spells are woven from the green threads of life that connect all living things by the Archanix, who place the woven patterns in the Otherworld. Individual druids then prepare these patterns and draw the life force of the world through them to cast their spells. This is how magic works.
However, the weaving of magic can be accomplished in other ways. Instead of shadowy patterns in the misty Otherworld, the druids can make their spells from stone and dirt, from tree and plant. This method of magic is slow, but powerful. The Quintessential Druid I contains details on the sacred groves of the druids, which can be imbued with all sorts of magical abilities. However, druids can also mark the land with vast magical patterns known as earthworks or ritual landscapes. These are essentially magical constructs that are several miles across.
An earthwork must be physically constructed; either through labour or through multiple applications of move earth. A full casting of move earth can pay for 500 gp worth of labour. The stone items cannot be constructed using move earth spells, although stone shape can help .
At minimum, an earthwork consists of a power source and a ritual circle of standing stones. However, most earthworks are much more complex – they are huge patterns of ley lines, old straight roads and ceremonial standing stones, a magical landscape of dozens of linked sites.
An earthwork is not used to enhance a druid’s magic – a druid can draw spells from an earthwork and cast them entirely separately from his own magic. Even a 1st level druid can try to cast the most prodigious spells from a sufficiently powerful earthwork. See Casting From Earthworks on page 116.
The various components of an earthwork must be carefully aligned and arranged if they are to function correctly. This requires a Knowledge (architecture and engineering) or Knowledge (geography) check. The DCs for each component are listed in the component price list at the end of this section.
If the Knowledge check is failed, then the component is misaligned and must be demolished and replaced.
The magic of the green must be drawn from a power source of some kind. There are two forms of power source – natural and unnatural. Natural power sources are the forests and mountains of the landscape, the same features used by the Tap Natural Feature feat. Unnatural power sources include sites such as tombs, glades where the fey have danced, magic pools, haunted areas and other places of power.
A power source provides magic from one or more schools. It also has a rating, which shows how much magic it can provide.
|Mountain||Evocation or Divination||Sea||Transmutation or Enchantment|
|Plain||Abjuration or Conjuration||Volcano||Evocation or Transmutation|
|Forest||Conjuration or Enchantment||Desert (hot)||Evocation or Illusion|
|Swamp||Transmutation or Necromancy||Desert (cold)||Evocation or Conjuration|
|River||Divination or Transmutation||Glacier||Abjuration or Conjuration|
|Size of Natural Feature||Modifier|
|Average example of the type||+0|
|Notably large or healthy feature||+3|
|Legendarily large and famous||+6|
|Magical or supernaturally potent||+12|
Unnatural features tend to be more powerful (or, to be accurate, their power is more accessible) than natural features. Those that can be tapped in this fashion include:
- Tombs: A tomb provides necromantic magic. The power level of a tomb is equal to the level of the highest level creature buried within, minus five.
- Fey Glades: Anywhere the fey touch is blessed with Enchantment and Illusion magic. The power level of such a place varies depending on the number and strength of the fey who visit there – a few pixies might have a power modifier of +0 or +1, while a court visited by the queen of the fey might have a bonus of +10 or more.
- Druid Groves: The sacred groves of the druids can be tapped for Conjuration and Transmutation magic. The power level of a grove varies from +5 to +20.
- Magic Pools and other freestanding supernatural phenomena such as portals to the elemental planes can be tapped. The form of magic available in such places varies; their power level tends to be quite high (+3 to +15).
Stone Circles & Standing Stones
Once a power source has been located, the next step is building a stone circle or a standing stone. A stone circle is the ritual site where the power of the earthwork is used. Every earthwork must have a stone circle to be useful.
Instead of building a stone circle directly on the power source, a single standing stone can be erected on the site. The magic can then be drawn up using the standing stone and transmitted along a track or ley line to another circle. As the stone circle is the major expense of building an earthwork, most earthworks have a single circle connected to several different power sources.
A standing stone costs 1,000 gp.
Adding more standing stones can increase the effective strength of a power source. Each extra stone increases the power of the power source by +1, to a maximum increase of +5.
A stone circle costs 25,000 gp, while a masterwork stone circle costs 100,000 gp. A circle is composed of a ring of standing stones surrounding a ritual site. If the stone circle is masterwork, then the druid may add or subtract three from the casting check (see below).
Ley Lines & Tracks
Energy gathered by a standing stone may be transmitted along a ley line or track to another site. A ley line is a natural line of energy between two significant points, such as mountain peaks. Transmitting energy along a ley line is ‘free’, but it does restrict what power sources can be used and where the stone circle can be built. Attaching components to a ley line is also rather difficult – if the Knowledge check to align the component fails, the component must be rebuilt.
When there are no suitable ley lines, a track must be used. A track is either a ritually built and blessed roadway or an earthen mound – either way, it costs 750 gp per mile.
Multiple power sources can be ‘chained’ along a single track or ley line.
Casting From Earthworks
The magic drawn from the power source is channelled into the stone circle. A druid standing in the stone circle may make a Spellcraft roll to cast a druid spell of a school powered by the earthwork. The DC of the check is calculated as follows:
DC = 5 + desired caster level + level of the spell + strength of the power source
The strength of the power source must be at least equal to the level of the spell (but see Tapping Multiple Power Sources).
The best result for a casting check is to roll the DC exactly – if this is done, then the spell is as natural as breathing, an exhalation of the living earth and perfectly aligned with the cycle of life. If the result is below the DC, then the druid could not successfully draw enough power from the earthwork and the power is simply wasted.
If the result is too high, however, the character has drawn too much power and the excess energy is grounded through the druid. Massive arcs of green fire and lightning erupt from the stones of the circle and blast the druid. This damage is applied directly to the druid’s cells and spirit, so magical defences cannot stop it.
Other druids (characters with at least one druid level and at least one rank in Spellcraft) may participate in the casting. If this is done, each druid uses an Aid Another action to give a +2 bonus to the main caster’s Spellcraft check. If the result of the casting is an overspill, half the damage goes to the main caster and the other half is divided evenly among all the other druids.
If a power source is drained, it can slowly regenerate itself. Every week, roll 1d20 + the remaining strength against a DC of 20. If the check succeeds, the strength of the power source increases by 1, until it reaches its original level again.
Obviously, using an earthwork is rather dangerous – there is a great danger of either draining the power source dry for weeks, or else blasting the druid with a major backlash. Therefore, most earthworks are more complicated than just a power source and a few standing stones connected to a circle.
|Result of Check||Earthwork Casting…||Details|
|Failed by 11 or more||Total power drain||The power source is drained of all its magic.|
|Failed by 5-10||Major power drain||The power source is drained of one point per level of the spell cast +1d6.|
|Failed by 4 or less||Power drain||The power source is drained of one point per two levels of the spell cast (round up).|
|Succeeded||Spell cast||The spell is cast successfully.|
|Succeeded by 4 or less||Spell cast, power drain||The spell is cast successfully but the power source is drained of one point per two levels of the spell cast (round up).|
|Succeeded by 5-10||Spell cast, power overspill||The spell is cast successfully but the character suffers 1d20 points of damage per point of difference between the strength of the power source and the level of the spell.|
|Succeeded by 11+||Spell cast, major overspill||The spell is cast successfully but the character suffers 1d20 points of damage per point of strength of the power source.|
Mounds of loose earth serve to absorb and buffer green magic. By putting a mound at the end of a ley line or track, the amount of energy drawn from a power source can be reduced. Each mound reduces the strength of the power source by –1. An earth mound costs 500 gp. The track carrying the energy can be split in two, with one branch going straight to the circle while another branch goes through one or more mounds. Each extra branch costs 250 gp.
When the druid activates an earthwork, he may choose which branch the power will take at each step in turn from the power source to the circle. For example, if a track had an arrowhead glyph (+1d4 strength) followed by a branch line leading to a mound, the druid could wait until he had rolled 1d4 for the extra strength before choosing whether or not to channel the power through the mound.
Earth mounds in the shape of more complex glyphs can further help channel and control energy. There are four major glyphs available.
- Circle: The circle glyph protects the stone circle at the heart of earthwork. It cuts the damage from overspills in half. Building a circle glyph around the circle costs 2,500 gp. A stone circle can have only one circle glyph.
- Double Spiral: The potent glyph of the double spiral has the same properties as the circle glyph but also stores power and becomes a power source in its own right. For every die of damage absorbed by the spiral, its effective strength increases by +1, to a maximum of +5. The double spiral’s power bleeds away at the rate of one point each week. Extra standing stones can be used to increase the strength of the stored power source but when the ‘real’ strength of the spiral drops to zero, the standing stones stop working. The double spiral is made by placing small stones atop a circle glyph, so it is made of both stone and earth. It costs 2,500 gp to build, and requires a circle glyph to be built first.
- Arrowhead: Placing the arrowhead glyph on a track quickens the rate at which the magic is drawn from the source. Each arrowhead glyph costs 2,500 gp and increases the effective strength of that source by +1d4. Reroll each time the druid attempts to draw on that power source. Only one arrowhead glyph can be attached to a track.
- Tree: The tree glyph has connections to life; putting the tree glyph around a power source improves the speed at which the source regenerates. Attaching the tree glyph decreases the DC for a power source to regenerate to DC 15. The tree glyph costs 2,500 gp.
Icons are large figures carved into the soil. They align the earthwork with the Otherworld, encouraging the spirits to aid the druids in drawing magic from the earth. The various icons available correspond to the various spirit patrons listed in the Magical Druid chapter. An icon must be connected to a stone circle by a separate track or ley line; the same track cannot be used to connect an icon and a power source to a stone circle.
Having an icon attached to a stone circle gives the druid the ability to adjust his casting result up or down by five, as long as the spell being cast is one of those that can be cast using that spirit patron.
If all twelve spirit patrons are present in iconic form, the pattern form is referred to as an earth zodiac.
An icon costs 5,000 gp to carve from the earth.
|Component||Cost||Design DC||Made From||Effect|
|Power Source||—||—||—||Provides magical power|
|Standing Stone||1,000 gp||15||Stone||Taps Power Source|
|Extra Standing Stones||1,000 gp||15+1 per extra stone||Stone||Increases effective strength of source by +1, max. +5|
|Stone Circle||25,000 gp||20||Stone||Provides a ritual centre to use the earthwork|
|Improved Stone Circle||50,000 gp||30||Stone||+/–5 to casting result|
|Ley line||—||20||—||Connects power source or icon to circle|
|Track||750 gp/mile||10||Earth||Connects power source or icon to circle|
|Split track||250 gp||15||Earth||Allows the use of mounds or arrowhead glyphs on a track|
|Mound||500 gp||20||Earth||Reduces effective strength by power source –1.|
|Arrowhead glyph||2,500 gp||25||Earth||Increases effective strength of power source by +1d4|
|Circle glyph||2,500 gp||25||Earth||Protects circle from overspill|
|Double Spiral glyph||2,500 gp||30||Stone||Allows overspill to be stored|
|Tree||2,500 gp||25||Earth||Quickens recovery time for power sources|
|Icon||5,000 gp||25||Earth||+/–5 to casting result for certain spells|
In the woods at Frosthaven, the ground rises in strange shapes to the east of the Bay of Broken Ships. Brush away some of the undergrowth, and you find rune-carved stones and figures of a bear and an eagle cut into the chalky soil. This is the Frosthaven Earthwork.
There are four potential sources of power here – the woods themselves, the cold wastes to the north of the forest, the icy bay, and the watery tombs of those who died with the Broken Ships, as follows:
|Frosthaven Forest||Conjuration or Enchantment||+6|
|Cold wastes||Evocation or Conjuration||+0|
|Icy bay||Transmutation or Enchantment||+3|
When they built the earthwork, the long-vanished druids of Frosthaven chose the three most accessible sources. A stone circle was built in the wood, connected by a single standing stone to the magic of the forest. A mound runs from the circle to the bay, where two more standing stones connect the earthwork to the tombs and the bay.
The cost of this earthwork is:
Stone circle: 25,000 gp
Three standing stones: 3,000 gp
Track (between bay and circle): 750 gp
Branch (to connect two stones: 250 gp
Total: 29,000 gp
If a druid stood in the centre of the stone circle and wished to cast control weather, the working would be done as follows. Firstly, control weather is a Transmutation spell, so it can be cast by drawing on the bay. However, the bay on its own is too weak, so the forest must also be drawn upon. The DC for the
Spellcraft check is:
Caster level: 1 +1
Level of the spell: 7 +7
Power source (bay): 3 +3
Power source (forest): 6 +6
Extra power source: +3
Total: DC 25
The druid using the circle has a Spellcraft of +12. He rolls a 15, for a total of 27. The spell is cast successfully but one of the power sources used is drained of four points.
Tapping Multiple Power Sources
The strength of a power source must be at least equal to the level of the spell being cast from it. As many power sources are either too weak or too drained to provide all the power to cast a spell, it is common for an earthwork to be connected to two or more power sources. The type of one of the power sources used must match the school of the spell being cast but the other sources involved may be of any type. Each extra source drawn upon increases the DC of the check by +3. If the result of the casting check is a drain, then the druid may choose which power source is drained.
Damaged and Misaligned Earthworks
Destroying an earthwork is rather difficult – most of the structure is simply piled earth and stone, and will endure as long as the hills. Often, earthworks can lie dormant and overgrown for centuries, blending into the landscape and lying unseen by those who lack the vision to see the land of the land all around them. However, small changes to the alignment of a track or mount can disrupt the careful balance of an earthwork. Such misalignments cause penalties to the Spellcraft check (from –1 to –10), depending on the amount of damage. Using different tracks to channel the power can avoid these penalties.
Toppling the various standing stones at each power source or in the stone circle temporarily deactivates that site until the stones are put back in place. Toppling a stone requires a Strength check (DC 30), while raising a stone is DC 40.