Regardless of whether you’re playing Pathfinder Second Edition (PF2) or another tabletop roleplaying game, magic is almost always divided into categories. For example, a wizard who has studied for years at one of the finest universities acquired her spell-abilities differently than a cleric who was gifted her powers by devotion to her deity.
With PF2, magic is separated into four major groups called magical traditions: arcane, divine, occult, and primal.
- Arcane – logic and knowledge are learned through study
- Divine – power comes from faith, beyond the Material Plane
- Occult – spells derived from bizarre and mysterious practices
- Primal – connection with the natural world through instinct
In the previous entries in this series we’ve already encountered divine spellcasters in the Champion and Cleric classes. Today we finally get to spend some time working with a new spell list by exploring the wide world of Druids!
By now you know the drill; I’ll list out five broad concepts complete with questions for you to think about when building a character. After that, I’ll list a sample ‘Pathmap‘, which is a possible mechanical direction you might consider when filling out your character sheet and preparing for future levels.
Let’s hop to it!
Pathfinder 2nd Edition Druid Class
Just like Clerics, Druids are full of utility. They use their connection with the natural world to cast spells that aid their allies and ensnare their foes. Place them in an environment that matches their druidic order, and you had better watch out. They’re a fun and versatile class that can fit a variety of playstyles.
Because druids have such a deep relationship with nature, they have some of the most strict anathemas. Druids cannot sabotage or spoil natural places, use metal armor or shields, or teach the secretive Druidic language to anybody who isn’t a Druid. That’s just the base level; each Order has its own additional anathema.
Druids are generally passionate about nature, preservation, and change. Since ‘nature’ can encompass so many different aspects of the world (i.e. weather, plants, animals), druids have an extensive range of inspiration to build upon. They can be associated with something as granule as a type of seed, or with something as far-reaching as the sea.
If you want to build a character that immerses themselves in their surroundings and can communicate with nature, you can’t do much better than a Druid. Think about how they might react to someone torching a forest, or over-fishing an area for sport. Image the possibilities of what they might learn through communicating with animals and plants.
With the surge in Golarion adventurers thanks to the release of Pathfinder Second Edition, it also means there’s an influx in animal companions. Cuts, bruises, splints – they need someone with a steady hand and caring heart to keep them fit as a fiddle.
You are an expert in treating animal wounds, probably more adept at it than you are at treating people. When you heal animals, you can sense their outpouring of gratitude. You are familiar with the proper methods to calm your patients down and make them comfortable with the situation.
Are there any animals that you find particularly difficult to treat, or any that are incredibly simple? How did you get your start as a veterinarian? Did you practice on your own pets growing up? What techniques do you employ to calm animal nerves? Do you utilize treats or toys? Do you have any pets or companions of your own?
What do you wish people understood about pet companionship? Have you ever encountered someone taking their companion for granted? How did you handle the situation? Have you rescued animals from cruelty? Who was your most memorable patient? Do you train animals on the side?
- Druidic Order: Animal
- Ability Scores: Intelligence, Charisma
- Skills: Animal Lore, Medicine, Survival
- Sample Spells: Electric Arc, Guidance, Stabilize, Tanglefoot, Produce Flame, Heal (1st), Summon Fey (1st)
- Druid Feats: Animal Companion, Poison Resistance (2nd), Mature Animal Companion (4th), Steady Spellcasting (6th), Incredible Companion (8th), Healing Transformation (10th), Primal Focus (12th), Specialized Companion (14th), Effortless Concentration (16th), Primal Wellspring (18th), Hierophant’s Power (20th)
WASTE MANAGEMENT OFFICER
Sustainability is your middle name. You understand that growing communities have growing resource needs, but you’re not about to let that get in the way of nature’s ability to thrive. Industry brings waste, and you know the best ways to deal with it. People respect your direction and input, specifically because you have nature on your side. It takes a bit of effort, but people can live in harmony with nature.
Your connections with the leshies give you a unique insight into incorporating biological degradation installations in large cities and tiny hamlets. Sometimes communities can get out of control, causing massive damage to the surrounding area. Whether its over-foresting or filthy waterways, you help get nature back on its feet.
Do you have any engineering experience? How did you become accepted by the leshy folk? Have you always lived in nature, or do you have experience living in a city? Is that where you picked up your knowledge of infrastructure? What is your primary focus when helping communities deal with waste? Are there any places that wouldn’t listen to your vast wisdom? Did you ever have to bring in backup to help others see the proverbial light?
What is your favorite locale? What characteristics vault it to the top of your list? What is your specialty as far as waste management? Are you a “dumpster diver”? Have you ever found anything really interesting in the trash? What are your methods for determining places that need your help most? Have you received any notable rewards or payment for your services?
- Druidic Order: Leaf
- Ability Scores: Wisdom, Constitution
- Skills: Urban Terrain Lore, Society, Diplomacy
- Sample Spells: Detect Magic, Sigil, Know Direction, Acid Splash, Ray of Frost, Hydraulic Push (1st), Pest Form (1st)
- Druid Feats: Leshy Familiar, Call of the Wild (2nd), Woodland Stride (4th), Green Empathy (6th), Fey Caller (8th), Plant Shape (10th), Green Tongue (12th), Verdant Metamorphosis (14th), Impaling Briars (16th), Primal Wellspring (18th), Hierophant’s Power (20th)
Not all druids are happy-go-lucky balls of sunshine. Some of them harness the terrific powers of nature as their own, tapping into near-infinite reserves of potential. You are a champion of the volcanic regions of the world, practically godlike to those who understand your capabilities. In fact, some outlying communities may even revere you as some kind of god. You might even have something of an anger management problem.
You are in tune with the volcanoes to a point where you can predict eruptions with a high level of certainty. You even possess the ability to tap into the lava flows to speed up the process if necessary. You are hard-edged, forged in the natural fires beneath the earth. Relentless and unyielding, you don’t tolerate when people don’t follow through on their commitments or don’t take responsibility for their actions. Your passion defines you.
Have you always been associated with a single volcano or have you tapped into multiple? What happens when people disappoint you? How do you control the ‘fire’ within your soul? What animals or plants are native to the region where you’re from? Are you muscular? Do you see your volcanic power as a curse? Are you from a clan of warriors who tap into similar sources of power?
Do you see volcanoes as nature’s way of recycling an ecosystem? How do you explain the innocent casualties associated with disasters? Are you a beacon of hope for communities by serving as an advance warning system? Do you experience fatigue after an eruption, or are you filled with adrenaline? Have you incorporated ash into your spells? Are there any rituals that you perform? What about your ability to tap into other parts of the weather cycle? How do you train in the mountainous terrain?
- Druidic Order: Storm
- Ability Scores: Strength, Constitution
- Skills: Volcanic Lore, Intimidation, Athletics
- Sample Spells: Dancing Lights, Prestidigitation, Acid Splash, Produce Flame, Disrupt Undead, Shillelagh (1st), Grease (1st)
- Druid Feats: Widen Spell, Order Explorer (Wild) (2nd), Order Magic (4th), Storm Retribution (6th), Soaring Shape (8th), Overwhelming Energy (10th), Dragon Shape (12th), Timeless Nature (14th), Effortless Concentration (16th), Primal Wellspring (18th), Leyline Conduit (20th)
You have wares if the people have coin! Although you don’t agree with a ‘civilized’ lifestyle, you understand the importance that larger communities play in the economic structure of the world. Your wares aren’t flashy and innovative; they are products of nature that everyone needs. Don’t get it twisted – your methods are humane and you reinvest your earnings in efforts to revitalize nature. Or you tell yourself that you’ll do that someday, at least.
Resourceful and cognizant of your raw material sourcing, you’re not selling for sport. And even though you associate yourself with the trappings of civilization, you’re careful not to fall to its temptations. You are familiar with the best game trails, outpacing local hunters and perhaps even thwarting their efforts. Competition is all well and good, but you tend to make less money when there’s more of it.
How do you separate your work life from your natural-based beliefs? Do you sell natural-based solutions like oils, herbs, or roots? Are you constantly traveling? How long do you typically stay in one place? What is your reputation like? Do you talk quickly with a pronounced and practiced patter or do you abhor high-pressure sales tactics?
Are there any natural or animal companions that assist you with your business? Are you well-spoken or do you tend to have trouble communicating in local dialects or slang? Have you taken over the market on a particular item? How do you dress? What do you do with the money that you earn? Is there an aspect of civilization that you find hard to resist? Are you viewed as more of a witch doctor than a respectable salesperson?
- Druidic Order: Wild
- Ability Scores: Charisma, Dexterity
- Skills: Mercantile Lore, Diplomacy, Crafting
- Sample Spells: Read Aura, Sigil, Detect Magic, Ray of Frost, Tanglefoot, Mending (1st), Charm (1st)
- Druid Feats: Wild Shape, Call of the Wild (2nd), Form Control (4th), Insect Shape (6th), Soaring Shape (8th), Elemental Shape (10th), Dragon Shape (12th), Timeless Nature (14th), Monstrosity Shape (16th), Perfect Form Control (18th), True Shapeshifter (20th)
When you hear the thunder, you had better start running because it’s a sign of something else to come. You harness the power of tempests and storms, which you believe give you prophetic insight. They may call you crazy, but you consider yourself to be something of a visionary. It’s hard for everyone else to understand when they haven’t seen through the eye of the storm like you have.
You are odd and eccentric, insisting that you’re correct in all of your assumptions and predictions. Nature has given you this gift, and you will not squander it. Over time, you’ve forsaken the comforts of civilization. Why wouldn’t you? You’ve always been more of an outsider looking in. This way, at least, you can focus on what the storms are telling you. Every raindrop, every flash of lightning, every squall has a story to tell. And you, my friend, know that the future is just a rehashing of stories that have already been told.
What sorts of prophecies do you tell? Are you usually correct, or have you ever been correct? Do you keep documentation of everything that you’ve foreseen? How long have you possessed the gift of prophecy, and how did you acquire it? What is the scale of your prophetic powers? Are they grand and world-changing or more mundane?
How do storms play a role your abilities? Do you stand out in the middle of a raging thunderstorm to hopefully catch a flash of insight? Do others see you as a raving lunatic? Are there others who claim to be like you? What are you most fearful of? Is there anything that you’ve seen that you are desperately trying to alter? How succinct and clear are your visions? Do you often share your prophecies with others?
- Druidic Order: Storm
- Ability Scores: Intelligence, Wisdom
- Skills: Weather Lore, Deception, Religion
- Sample Spells: Prestidigitation, Detect Magic, Guidance, Ray of Frost, Electric Arc, Gust of Wind (1st), Shocking Grasp (1st)
- Druid Feats: Storm Born, Order Explorer (2nd), Order Magic (4th), Storm Retribution (6th), Wind Caller (8th), Overwhelming Energy (10th), Primal Focus (12th), Timeless Nature (14th), Effortless Concentration (16th), Invoke Disaster (18th), Leyline Conduit (20th)
Pathfinder 2E Druid Class – Time to Grow!
Druids have the ability to fill whatever role your party needs. Healer? Check. Tank? Check. Door-to-door salesman? Double check. They adapt to their environment, giving your party a much-needed boost at opportune times.
And with that, we are officially at the halfway point of this series! That’s right – six more weeks and this entire thing is going to be over. By now, I hope you’ve gotten the chance to get your feet web with some of these concepts.
To kickoff the second half of the Character Concepts series, I’ll be talking about the Fighter! Human Fighters are often cited as the most basic of all tabletop classes, but I’m going to try and spice things up and show you that even a human fighter can be presented in a multitude of ways.
Until then, don’t fight over who gets to be the Druid!