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Justifying a druid from Candlekeep

I'm curious how you could justify being a druid when you spent your entire life behind the walls of candlekeep. I'm having a difficult time justifying being a druid or ranger from Candlekeep. Mind you, theres always the "I wanted to be one so I am one" excuse, but I'd like something a bit more immersive.

I'm also just pondering RPing some other class and dual classing into druid soon after leaving candlekeep. Perhaps claiming Jaheira as a mentor and inspiration. Any other ideas?

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Comments

  • bdeonovicbdeonovic Member Posts: 86
    When you start out you are level 1 druid or ranger. Perhaps you were intrigued by some adventure tales you were told by Winthrop or some wonderous passerby's you saw last year at Candlekeep. And of course you have always wanted to explore nature and the world being locked up in an ivory tower your whole life!

    and yes of course Jaheira could have given you more of the rigourous training

    SylphNecomancerfranco
  • SylphSylph Member Posts: 210
    I always figured a place like Candlekeep would get a decent bit of traffic from travellers of various scholarly pursuits, since there's an inn and all. So between scholars and whoever is accompanying them, I think it's likely Charname could have met a wide range of woodsy folks and been inspired by them, despite his/her sheltered upbringing.

    SCARY_WIZARDNecomancerfrancothe_spyder
  • francofranco Member Posts: 507
    edited May 2013
    They have an education system in Candlekeep. As is usual, the more liberal and open the society becomes, results in more ideas being expressed in the school system, some of which are a bit conflicting with what the normal society around them may need. Teen agers and young adults are often quite open to idealistic concepts.

    The more things change, the more they remain the same.

    Post edited by franco on
  • IkMarcIkMarc Member Posts: 552
    Well you start level 1 so you pretty much still have to become one

    typo_tillyQuartzrdarkenthe_spyder
  • TinterTinter Member Posts: 152
    edited May 2013
    Bhaal power did it. (jokes)

    For some of the above explanations, I don't think just plain book learning is really enough to explain these classes. Level 1 means having some skills and practical experience.

    As well as your generic nature druids, druids are also the main "clergy" of some nature gods. So, you could become one comparably to a cleric, perhaps (that is a druid of a specific god thanks to religious experience). Then, you can get the spells and religious skills and just be a druid who really doesn't know jack about nature in reality. Which I suppose might be a fun roleplay- the neophyte clergyman of a nature god seeing rivers and forests for the first time.

    I actually think ranger or barbarian are harder to justify. The whole point of a ranger is having this practical knowledge (how on earth would you have a favoured enemy?). The barbarian is the same, but with the exact opposite cultural experience from that which you have actually had (though I suppose can just say "bhaals taint" again...).

    Necomancerfranco
  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,409
    It's a calling more than training, maybe? From the childhood your pc is attuned to the nature and animals. Can predict when the weather turns sour, can feel the pain of animals around, can communicate with the plants, etc. Maybe even had a small animal companion, like a squirrel or something. (Not a familiar!) Imoen was creeped out by your skills at first, but then you two enjoyed it when Imoen was busy trying to get some baked pies from Winthrop's personal stash and your squirrel was keeping watch to warn her if someone approached. One day, when some kobolds attacked you and Immy just outside the keep, you two panicked and ran, and in terror and confusion, you found the plants nearby listening to your plea and holding the kobolds with their wines and branches as you made your escapes. (You have just casted an entangle spell!)

    francoBelgarathMTHMajoca
  • TinterTinter Member Posts: 152
    I figure I will post the bios the game gives here... so you can all see what a better job the random ideas in this thread are.

    Druid:
    Set as they were against the sounds of the sea crashing against the rocks outside the keep, you have always been drawn to your foster father's tales of the unspoiled wilderness. You have occasionally found exotic flowers pressed and long forgotten between the pages of tomes, and often spent long hours studying Nature's varied forms in some of the library's many journals. It is your foremost wish that someday you will leave the sterile walls of Candlekeep, and worship the Earthmother in her own presence.

    Hearing the waves and pressed flowers? Wheres my druidic magic!

    Ranger:
    Inspired by your foster father's tales of adventure amidst the barrens, hills, and forests of Faerun, you have learned to appreciate the power and challenges of the wilderness. While you cannot remember ever venturing further than the outer walls of Candlekeep, you are a welcome and frequent visitor to its stables and pens. Much of your time is also spent atop the great towers of the citadel, where birds often seek shelter from both predators and the chill of the ocean winds. Still, you yearn to reach beyond, deep into the meadows and forests that you behold from your lofty perch.

    You see some birds and muck out a stable. Please select your racial enemy!

    One thing that does seem to be clear though is that CHARNAME did not leave candlekeep before the start of the game.

  • francofranco Member Posts: 507
    After reading this thread I think I've come to agree with everybody elses post but mine.

    Great forum. We grow and learn as we go.

    NecomancerBelgarathMTH
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,019
    edited May 2013
    This is my shapeshifter one. (Probably is riddled with comma splices since I wrote it while half-awake many months ago)

    Growing up in range of the sounds of the sea crashing up against the rocks of the Sword Coast, you have always been drawn to your foster fathers tales of the unspoiled wilderness that lay outside Candlekeep's barred gates. Your discovery of more than a few flowers pressed between long forgotten tomes in Candlekeep's vast library has, over the course of your childhood, only made you yearn to explore the realms for yourself.

    Your origins steeped in mystery. Though your foster father Gorion, himself a mage of considerable power, raised you, you have no memory of either of your parents. He has told you that he was friends of your half-elf mother, who, while alive, resided somewhere north of Silverymoon. Beyond this you know nothing of her, and apart from an understanding that your father was himself a half-elf you have learned nothing of him.

    Though as a boy Gorion encouraged you to learn of nature's magic through the teachings of Silvanus, Forest Father and god of druids, in the last few years your interests have turned towards finding another god who respects your unique heritage. Guiding your decision was a terrible secret revealed to you at a young age. You were born cursed as a lyncanthrope, specifically a Werewolf, and though you can control your transformations this knowledge has changed your view of the universe. Though you are not sure which of your parents gave you the curse, having read of other lyncanthrope in the tomes of Candlekeep your interests in finding more of your people has only grown as you've gotten older. You hope that in time you will find both the funds and the companions needed to safely travel the realms in search of a clan to call home.

    Post edited by elminster on
    SouthpawBelgarathMTHtypo_tilly
  • KaltzorKaltzor Member Posts: 1,050
    Well, I think the fact that you start off at level one is easier to justify it all, as one could say that CHARNAME was interested in that stuff, but all he/she knows about being one is what's in books about them... and when he/she gets out of Candlekeep he keeps on that path to become one.

  • SouthpawSouthpaw Member Posts: 2,026
    I agree with @Tinter and @elminster that justifying a Berserker, Barbarian or a Shapeshifter might be much more interesting. (long years of captivity beyond high walls of Candlekeep made you turn to harness your inner rage)

    And what about the Avenger? I am wondering, where did that druid sect hide on the cliffs of the town.
    or Necromancer (Gorion: Tell me my child...where did that dead body of Dreppin's other cow go?)
    or Blackguard (Imoen: Heya! Who was that big black demon you were talking to?)
    eastern-style,monk (I'm not like all these mnks in cowls around. It's far east. You have probably never heard of it.)

    and what about the Wizard Slayer? ( domestic violence from Gorion- a mage. He probably used Bigby's Slapping Palm a lot on you to turn to hate mages)

  • TinterTinter Member Posts: 152
    I think a beserker is fine- I mean, taint of bhaal works fine for that, and ordinary fighter is easy to justify.

    Barbarian is difficult because of the wilderness/ uncivilized blurb, given where you are from.

    Avenger... yeah thats hard. I quite like the lycanthropy background above- "You were born with it" actually makes total sense for that one.

    Happily I don't play the hippy classes anyway ;)

  • KaltzorKaltzor Member Posts: 1,050
    Southpaw said:

    or Blackguard (Imoen: Heya! Who was that big black demon you were talking to?)

    Well, I suppose that since you are a child of Bhaal... A blackguard could just be that you're a fighter who got special powers like a blackguards...

  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,763
    Southpaw said:


    eastern-style,monk (I'm not like all these mnks in cowls around. It's far east. You have probably never heard of it.)

    About a monk, here's in-game biography for the class:

    "Your youth was shaped by two major influences: your foster father Gorion and a group of monks in the service of Bahamut who spent several years within Candlekeep. While Gorion worked to grow your intelligence and kindness, these seemingly strange monks fostered your wisdom and discipline. After they left, you adopted their ways as your own and can now rightfully call yourself a monk. While you treasure the years spent in Candlekeep, you now feel the urge to pursue spiritual wisdom."

    Is that good enough?

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,595
    @Elminster, I like your shapeshifter bio. It sounds like he would have wanted to join one of the tribes on Werewolf Island instead of killing all of them, though. Too bad the game won't let you roleplay that - although, if you could, the game would end there. Also too bad that the Werewolf Island module was written before the shapeshifter class was implemented, since those npc shifters ought to recognize one of their own and comment on it.

    Btw, I did not realize there were different class-based bios written into the game. I should check out those screens more often. I usually forget to read them for the npc's, too, but I never thought to look under the bio tab in my own character sheet.

    There are still things to learn about this game, after all these years.

    elminster
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,019
    edited May 2013

    @Elminster, I like your shapeshifter bio. It sounds like he would have wanted to join one of the tribes on Werewolf Island instead of killing all of them, though. Too bad the game won't let you roleplay that - although, if you could, the game would end there. Also too bad that the Werewolf Island module was written before the shapeshifter class was implemented, since those npc shifters ought to recognize one of their own and comment on it.

    Btw, I did not realize there were different class-based bios written into the game. I should check out those screens more often. I usually forget to read them for the npc's, too, but I never thought to look under the bio tab in my own character sheet.

    There are still things to learn about this game, after all these years.

    It wouldn't necessarily end there. Karoug doesn't give you a chance to really say much anything and dismisses your efforts to join him. He might be more receptive since you are (or can shapeshift into a Werewolf but in any case its not certain. I kind of like the idea of a mod that would add in extra convo with him if you are a shapeshifter, especially if you have Jaheira or Faldorn in your party (who could give their own opinion on the matter). The mod could still end in Karoug attacking you, maybe for alpha male reasons or the fact that he has been stuck on an island for hundreds of years (slightly mad) and has no interest in an outsider joining.

    Now that I remember, its been awhile since I've played, Karoug is a Greater Wolfwere. So I guess it would be the villagers who would be inviting you to join. Considering though that they seem like the secretive type they probably wouldn't be big on an outsider joining. Plus there are other considerations like the whole Gorion dying thing (you've gained new priorities since leaving Candlekeep). Maybe Kaishas would just want to use you to kill the wolfwere's regardless of your heritage and then feels threatened by your strength?

    Post edited by elminster on
    TinterDanacm
  • TinterTinter Member Posts: 152
    @elminster -thats true. Really, Werewolf island (and the Coran/Safana BG2 encounter) should be filled with nice roleplaying options for shapeshifters. I mean, you'd think thanks to smell ect they would just be able to figure everything out on arrival?

    Plus, actually, as a shapeshifter the whole end of the quest chain needs to change really. Logically, Charname wouldn't be able to be cursed with lycanthropy, so presumably you could just let all your buddies die and then continue on.

    I mean, I'm not sure why you would do that... but in principle!

    elminster
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 16,019
    Tinter said:

    @elminster -thats true. Really, Werewolf island (and the Coran/Safana BG2 encounter) should be filled with nice roleplaying options for shapeshifters. I mean, you'd think thanks to smell ect they would just be able to figure everything out on arrival?

    Plus, actually, as a shapeshifter the whole end of the quest chain needs to change really. Logically, Charname wouldn't be able to be cursed with lycanthropy, so presumably you could just let all your buddies die and then continue on.

    I mean, I'm not sure why you would do that... but in principle!

    They could just change it so that all of your companions turn into Werewolves and go hostile on you. You'd still be dead in all likelihood.

  • TinterTinter Member Posts: 152
    I like to think I could take them!

  • CoM_SolaufeinCoM_Solaufein Member Posts: 2,603
    With both hands tied behind your back.

  • IkMarcIkMarc Member Posts: 552
    edited May 2013
    Tinter said:

    You see some birds and muck out a stable. Please select your racial enemy!

    One thing that does seem to be clear though is that CHARNAME did not leave candlekeep before the start of the game.


    Yeah well, tell my girlfriend about spiders and it will suddenly seem viable...

  • Officer_HotpantsOfficer_Hotpants Member Posts: 14
    I figure charname has always spent his free time sneaking out of Candle keep to enjoy nature, because he got sick of all the restrictions of living there. He managed to get a very basic understanding of druid or ranger concepts, but just enough to be level 1, and progressed from there. I also imagine that he had to hide his basic knowledge from everyone, and he could never develop any further than just liking nature. I've never really played those classes, but that's what I've got for you. I didn't read most of the other explanations, but they look a lot more in-depth, so do what you want with this.

  • SchneidendSchneidend Member Posts: 3,190
    Gardening, reading books about nature and druidic magic, tending to animals in the stables.

    Done.

    elminster
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    I guess I don't understand this thread. to me, there is nothing that indicates that Charname has never been outside the walls of Candlekeep. he/she may live there but it is a more or less agrarian society and the food would have to come from somewhere. It is reasonable to assume that Charname has lived his/her entire life "in and around" Candlekeep and therefore would have reasonable access to nature in most of its forms.

    Secondly, 1st level characters would have trained in their given professions. This does not mean that they are worldly and fully conversant in every single aspect of that profession. it is possible to take several years of accounting classes and never enter into an accounting firm during that time. Equally, the number of scholars that pass through Candlekeep would be plenty enough to teach anyone interested in the subject all you need to know about being a 1st level Druid without ever having made it to a Druid's grove. That comes later.

    I guess I have to use the example of an Assassin. Living in a cloistered environment such as Candlekeep does not preclude this class choice. As a 1st level Assassin, you probably haven't had a lot of experience killing people, but you can certainly learn the basics. Same with Druid or any other class combination you choose. As a novice in any class, you have the foundations of that class, all of which can be gleaned from books and tutors, without ever having 'Practiced' that profession. Candlekeep is supposed to be the beginning of your journey, not some midway point where you are experienced.

    To answer the OP's question, just assume that all of the basic tenants of faith have been taught by various tutors over the years. The basics of herbology and animal husbandry were taught either through second hand experience or in the day to day performance of chores in and out of the keep itself. Expand your thinking to include daily or weekly forrays into the woods and even to the stone circle where Gorion was eventually killed. And hey-presto you have your 'justification'.

  • thespacethespace Member Posts: 1,039
    It is fairly common for my rangers to travel with Kivan for at least several levels at the beginning. I figure he could have been my mentor for rangerhood, combined with studying wild plants, practicing archery and such at Candlekeep.

    Tinter
  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,683
    much harder will be justify how charname became a priest of Talos in Candlekeep, an paladin without an order to take the char name votes around or a monk by the way (a martial monk) without a proper teacher or an monk order nearby.

  • MajocaMajoca Member Posts: 263
    After reading this thread I have came up with few good back story ideas.
    Indecisive Half elf Fighter/Cleric/Mage and an Enchanter who is obsessed with mental domination and becomes the queen of xvarts after charming the entire xvart village, haha I make myself laugh sometimes.

  • NifftNifft Member Posts: 1,065
    IkMarc said:

    Well you start level 1 so you pretty much still have to become one

    This.

    In 1e, you weren't a real member of your class until you reached "name level" -- usually around level 10.

    A guy with one level of Magic-User wasn't a Wizard, for example -- he was an Apprentice. Being a level 1 druidic Initiate? Sure, why not, you can get there by reading books.

    Level 15 Grand Druid? Yeah, you'd better have some mud on your boots.

  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,018
    I kind of want to point out Bilbo Baggins. He is a 'Burgler', yet left home without ever being trained to be one. He knew how to walk quietly and hide in shadows merely out of his own desire to walk in nature and not disturb it. he figured out how to pick pockets on his journey (pretty poorly I might add). he is a level 1 thief in 1e/2e terms.

    Druids/clerics/monks and just about any other class you care to mention at 1st level have very little to go on than their basic tenants of faith. This alone gives them some 'Learned' skill at minor cantrips but little more.

    That is why fighters can just barely hit the broad side of the barn, thieves can just about pick a pocket, wizards gain 1 single spell, etc... They are true novices at their profession.

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