Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Forbear! The World is the Stranger's Repast: the GLoG Druid

Why are we tired in the middle of the day, but not as tired in the evening?

Grimlucis on a GLoG discord server has assigned me homework: one GLoG druid. This is tricky, because depending on who you ask a druid is:
  1. A wizard in communion with nature, who can shoot vines out of his wrists and turn into a bear.
  2. A priest who likes calendars and sickles.
  3. A cultist who does blood sacrifices and invents Halloween.
And none of those really interest me. (Though I suppose "Chick Tract Druid" would be a fine microclass for a one-shot.) This seems like an opportunity to seize at an ethos, a lens through which a coherent version of the druid can form. I like the religious aspect here, and the connection to nature, but I don't want that to feel like the abrupt command of a typical wizard spell or the blase certitude of many cleric-concepts.

This druid is, at their core, concerned with nature. They're baffled and amazed by the world unworked by mortals, and they are desperate to understand it, both to ground their increasingly unmoored society and because they are consumed by this intense personal animus. Because this class needs to be appropriate for PCs, it should comfortably fit into stories about exploring, journeying, and straying from your community. It will also take inspiration from the Unanswered Questions ability of Squigboss's Sage. Unlike the sage, the emphasis is on asking small questions about how the world works, not finding the answers to important mysteries.
Why do trees do that? Art by Claus Stefan
Green Pilgrim
Starting Ken: Listening, Climbing, or Questions
Starting Equipment: light tunic, leather netting, comfortable belt, ash staff, and a Mark of Distinction
  • A: Wonder, Wander
  • B: Foster, +1 save
  • C: Minister
  • D: Improved Foster, +1 save
Wonder: You have an additional stat called Wonder, which starts at zero. Whenever you observe something natural doing something odd, write down what you're wondering about and add 1 to your stat. (This might be an animal doing something unique to its species, or the quality of a stone that lets it support more weight than it otherwise would. The sort of thing that might up in a dungeon.) After wondering for at least an hour, you can roll 1d6. If the roll is less than your Wonder score, reduce it by that much and get insight into the odd thing. This insight helps you to use that knowledge yourself, perhaps letting you imitate an animal or undermine a weight-bearing stone.

Wander: On any journey longer than four days, it takes you 25% longer to arrive per Green Pilgrim template. Also, natural random encounters have a [level]-in-4 chance of receiving you favorably as an itinerant mediator, and may try to set out their problems for redress, if they can be somehow communicated to you.

Foster: With a gentle touch and a round of focus, you can accelerate natural cycles, causing trees to grow 1d6 feet, bees to construct a new hive, a spearhead to dull, and the like. However, this unbalances the affected cycle, causing the entity to shrivel or disintegrate over the course of the next hour unless you tend to it for that time.

Minister: When your Wonder ability gives you insight into a living thing, that thing will not initiate violence against you or your friends. If your game has long downtimes, for every season spent teaching, you impart 1 Wonder to your pupils that they can use to gain insight-- though they won't be able to increase their Wonder themselves unless they become Green Pilgrims.

Improved Foster: You've learned how to foster sudden growth without unbalancing a natural cycle, allowing you to do so repeatedly without taking an hour to tend your target.

d20 Marks of Distinction
1. your face is green, your lips are red
2. antlers, neither gaudy nor over-proud
3. footsteps of dew and petrichor
4. blood ambern and sticky
5. voice echoes too much or not at all
6. the water you drink is always sweet and clear
7. your teeth and nails brightly glister in the light
8. thin down along your stomach, thighs, and arms
9. hair ever smelling of fire and ash
10. detritivores lick clean your wounds
11. laughter like rustling leaves
12. layered onion-like skin
13. rhino-incisor-handled trail knife, never dulling
14. donated +1 hickory staff, carefully grown
15. snow goggles which minimize the disadvantages of blindness and of sight
16. Dried weed which floats in water, holding up to 300 pounds
17. leathery esophagus which minimizes harm from ingested poisons
18. calloused feet which suffice for boots
19. insect-repelling sweat
20. The friendly acquaintance (though not guardianship) of a godparent

Where is this dungeon anyway?

1 comment:

  1. This is remarkably peaceful to read. As soon as you said "beehives" I spotted the shenanigan opportunities for chaotic and violent players though, nice save!