♦ Behavior and Alignment: Druids are servants of nature, and their decisions and actions reflect this, no matter their race or alignment. Though they may serve and protect nature in different ways, using different methods, they tend to remain neutral regarding issues that do not affect the welfare of the forests and its inhabitants. In extreme cases Druids may strive for balance and assist the underdog, but more commonly they would choose not to get involved. A Druid would avoid, if at all possible, combat with another Druid, as there will be penalties.
Alternately, Druids may choose the role of Ambassador, Mediator, or Judge. In (RL) lore Druids were allowed to cross battle lines as completely neutral parties. They served as Mediators and often sought to end conflicts, though at times this role would change to Judge if they concluded that either side of the conflict was wrong, or acting against established principles. These roles will be very difficult to RP and it is suggested they only be attempted by experienced players.
In all cases Druids MUST be of a neutral alignment, as shown below. If Druids wander from a neutral alignment in thought and deed, they lose ALL of their Druidic abilities.
Lawful Neutral True Neutral Chaotic Neutral
This is not to say that Druids are passive. If their domain, their brothers and sisters, their racial kin or their allies are threatened they can be very aggressive. To help them protect nature and the things close to them, they are granted special abilities. These are attained by walking a path, studying, practicing, and attaining the grades. It is not an easy path to walk, but the rewards are great.
♦ What’s the difference between a Cleric, a Shaman, and a Druid? Which, if any, of these classes is right for your character?
At first glance it may seem like there is little difference. They have very similar spells, even some that may be exactly the same. Though the spells may have the same result, the vehicle by which the result is achieved can be very different. The ideology would be something like what follows (with a little added info on mages, in contrast). Please refer to the definitions of terms as you read this.
• Clerics are typically monotheists¹ or polytheists². Even though some of them might believe there is more than one “God”, they will still devote themselves to, worship, and draw their power from a single deity. Less commonly, clerics may devote themselves to a single pantheon of related deities. A cleric’s deity is directly related to their alingment.
• Druids tend to be polytheists² or pantheists³. Divinity is everywhere, and most splendidly represented in nature. Different gods are simply different faces of the divine, or the underlying principal of all life. Druids tend to draw their power from nature, or at least feel a strong connection to it. However, most druids will feel a connection to a certain deity, or feel one deity represents their concept of nature, which is usually affected by their alignment.
• Shaman tend to be animists⁴, or totemists⁵. Rarely a shaman may be a pantheist³ but they tend to view gods as great spirits. Shaman can see and commune with these spirits, whether they be spirits of things, animals, deceased people, or of unknown origin. Shaman tend to draw their power from spirits by asking them for favors, blessings or curses. A shaman’s alignment usually has little bearing on what spirits they talk to, though the shaman’s intention, which is highly affected by their alignment, may have.
• Mages tend to vary a lot in their religious ideology since a mage’s religion is usually unrelated to his craft. Mages draw their power from the elements, spell components, and sometimes spirits, however they usually don’t revere the spirits, only use them.
• Clerics are primarily concerned with their religion, then their order, their race, or rarely mankind as a whole. Foremost, their duty lies with their religion. They may see other religions, orders, races, as unworthy or even enemies. Nothing is important as serving their deity, even to the detriment of all else, if their deity dictates this.
• Druids are primarily concerned with the Cycle of Life, then nature (life as a whole), then their order, trickling down to races and possibly humanity. They have a practical viewpoint of life and death, and no single life is as important as preserving the Cycle. Indeed, death is a necessary part of the Cycle. In this way druids often consider themselves protectors of all life.
• Shaman are primarily concerned with their tribe, and this trickles down through race, and allies, if the allies aid their survival or purposes, but does not go much farther. The shaman would not have a “world view”. Their own survival depends on the survival of their tribe, and not on any god or religion. They, too, have a practical view of the Cycle of Life, and may try to understand and use it, but not really seek to preserve it for the sake of preserving it, like druids.
• Mages tend to be reclusive, bookworms, concerned solely with their craft. This varies a lot from mage to mage depending on their personality and alignment, but they tend to be selfish. Impressive displays of their power, a craft they have devoted years of study to, are much more satisfying than acts of kindness.
¹Monotheism: The belief there is only one “God” and this god is responsible for all creation. All other gods are false gods. No other religion is worthy, and everyone should be converted to the one true religion.
²Polytheism: There may be many gods, and some may be more powerful than others, but no single god is the MOST powerful. The gods of other religions will usually be considered as lesser or unworthy gods, but still gods.
³Pantheism: This kind of world-view doesn’t believe in individual, given deities, but only in an all-encompassing divine principle that is present in the whole Universe. For the pantheists, there is no difference between God (or whatever the name) and everything else, since everything is comprehended by the divine.
⁴Animism: This is a kind of religion that’s common among “primitive” people. Animists believe that everything has a soul, not only that, but also that there are several spirits that wander around and can be contacted for favors, blessings or information.
⁵Totemism: This, alongside with shamanism, is the other kind of religion that’s common among tribal societies. This kind of religion assigns a totem to each clan, which usually is represented by some animal or plant, and stands for a kind of spiritual/supernatural being which the clan is faithful to. It is not quite the same as animism, since there’s a permanent bond with the totem rather than the convenience-based “contracts” shamans make with spirits. It’s not quite the same as theistic religions either, however, since the totem is considered as being “one” with its correspondent clan, even synonymous with it, rather than above it as a deit