Saturday Potpourri: The Derwydd (Druid Archetype)

The Derwydd

The two little armies formed their lines. Each man knew those he faced. They were neighbors and had fought side by side in the past. Now they stood sweating in the noon sun, shields raised, summoning their courage. Soon the lines would crash together and the blood would flow. From out of the forest, the druid entered the field. He swept his icy blue stare across the men as he moved to stand between them. He shook his head. “Go home,” he commanded. There would be no battle today.

Shapechanging and animal friendship are the standard tropes of fantasy RPG druids. Nature is their sole source of power. The druids of Celtic legend were not so limited. They commanded the elements and influenced the natural world, but were also priests, judges, and prophets.

The derwydd is an archetype of the druid class.

Seers Bond (Ex)

At 1st level, a derwydd must choose the domain nature bond ability and select from the following domains: Air, Charm, Death, Earth, Fire, Good, Knowledge, Water and Weather.

This ability alters nature bond.

Well-Trained (Ex)

A derwydd adds Diplomacy and all Knowledge skills to his list of class skills.

This ability replaces nature sense and alters the druid’s class skills.

Peacekeeper (Ex)

A derwydd adds half his class level (minimum 1) to Diplomacy and Knowledge (local) checks.

This ability replaces wild empathy.

Spontaneous Casting

A derwydd can cast any spell he knows without preparing it ahead of time.

This ability replaces spontaneous casting and wild shape.

Daily Divination (Su)

At 3rd level, once per day, the derwydd may cast an augury spell by spending 5 minutes performing a divination ritual. He must, as part of the ritual, sacrifice a living creature, such as a bird or mouse. He must perform the ritual beneath the canopy of a living tree.

At 7th level, the derwydd may use the ritual to cast divination instead of augury.

This ability replaces trackless step.

Natural Arcana (Su)

At 4th level and every 2 levels thereafter, a derwydd chooses two spells from the wizard/sorcerer spell list and adds them to his druid spell list. The chosen spells must be at least 1 level lower than the highest level spell he can currently cast. At 20th level, the derwydd can choose wizard/sorcerer spells of any level.

This ability replaces resist nature’s lure.

Commanding Presence (Su)

At 13th level, four times a day, a derwydd can, as a swift action, call upon the power of nature to imbue his voice with supernatural authority. For a number of rounds equal to his Charisma modifier, the derwydd gains +2 on all Charisma based checks. For the duration of commanding presence, he may, as a standard action, use diplomacy to subdue a creature, as with the spell calm emotions. If successful, the target is calmed for 1 round plus 1 round for every 5 by which the derwydd beats the DC. The target of the diplomacy check must be able to see the derwydd and hear his voice.

This ability replaces thousand faces

About mmiller

Mike Miller first discovered RPG’s in the days of TSR. The mention of a beholder or mind flayer still twists his guts with nervous dread, though now with a tinge of nostalgia. He had no publishing experience prior to writing for the OGN, but has long enjoyed creating histories and legends for his homebrewed worlds.

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