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So do druids have to be fruitarians?

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  • WittandWittand Member Posts: 54
    No druids do not need to live a vegan lifestyle.
    There are even druids worshipping gods like Malar , who embodies the survival of the fittest to the extreme.

    For more information you can check the forgotten realms wiki

  • VishnuVishnu Member Posts: 66
    Druids embody nature and nature is cruel and ruthless. I guess that some could avoid hunting animals and try to survive on a vegetarian diet, trying to lean more on the grass-eater side.

  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,255
    I'm quite sure that Jaheira , Faldorn and Cernd would have different answers to that.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,607
    edited August 2013
    1) The reasons of becoming a druid differ from person to person. But after becoming a druid, the character still requires to enter one of the 8 druidic branches: the arctic druids, desert druids, gray (subterrain) druids, forest druids, jungle druids, mountain druids, plains druids and the swamp druids.

    2) Gardening, praying, wild dancing, hosting festivals, counseling with monarchs of countries, hugging trees, nursening wounded or diseased animals, as well as hunting and fishing.

    Druids do not only defend nature against civilisation. They also need to keep the balance between flora and fauna, death and life, and much more important: the balance between work and their days off! Of course, having do all this work alone is a bit of a hassle. So druids employ a vast quantity of "eyes": be it animals, plants, or even stones. After all the key to their business still is centered around reliable sources of informations and early knowledge of possible threats.

    3) While most wood elven druids may favour such diet, druids are not required to be vegetarians, vegans or fruitarians at all. It would be logical to assume that their food sources changes with the natural enviroment they reside in. As an example the arctic druids would therefore eat more meat than a forest druid, but at the same time less plants.

    4) Each druidic branch has their own, restricted dress code. But as a rule their clothes are indeed made of animal furs, bones, feathers, scales, chitin, stones, wood, bark, farn, moss and pretty much everything else they run into while strolling through their own little natural territory.

    5) Nope. See 3) for more.

  • CalmarCalmar Member Posts: 688
    Druids are archaic priests of the powers of nature. Technically, they protect humanity *from* nature, not the other way around. They divine natural forces and worship the powers of the land and the elements to appease them and to turn them favourable towards humans. They are wise and their knowledge gives them power. Merlin, for example, would be more precisely be depicted as a powerful druid than a mage.

  • rexregrexreg Member Posts: 292
    edited August 2013
    a druid would have no issue hunting a buffalo for sustenance...& then using all the rest of the animal for other things, as the American plains Indians did.
    Trophy hunting is right out...this sits in the back of my mind when I go bear-hunting in BG.

  • Morte50Morte50 Member Posts: 161
    I'm not sure a druid would be quite so enamoured with the indians' habit of stampeding an entire herd of buffalo over a cliff, though.

  • ZanathKariashiZanathKariashi Member Posts: 2,867
    edited August 2013
    No, druids understand the cycle of life. Their own concern is to strike a balance with their actions. Only take what you must to survive. If you must slay an animal for food, so be it, but only do so if the population is able to sustain the loss, and use as much of the body as you can so that there is no waste and you won't need to hunt again so soon.

    Even over-indulging in plants can be harmful to nature and is often overlooked. Especially if efforts are made to give preferential treatment to one type over another upsetting the natural eco-system.

    Druids try to live with nature, living their own lives, but trying to have as little unnecessary impact as possible on their surroundings.

    As far as ideology are concerned, druid gods are split roughly 50/50 between promoting mutually beneficial existence with nature, while the other half believes that protecting nature is more important then anything else.

    Mielikki and her subordinates and Chauntea are in the first group, while Silvanius and Malar are in the 2nd group. (but Malar is hyper extremist and believes that survival of the fittest is the truest law of the land, and parts of nature that deserve to live will have to strength do so regardless (though they do understand the cycle of life and won't hunt to excess) and that people living in cities in the like are weak and should be culled as often as possible. While Silvanius is more moderate, believing that protecting nature is more important, but isn't totally opposed to co-existence, but simply believes it can't realistically happen, at least not on a large scale).

    An interesting note....Faldorn and Jaheria both worship Silvanius, but have VERY different outlooks on that worship. Jaheria is from of a more moderate sect, while Faldorn is a shadow druid.

    Post edited by ZanathKariashi on
    [Deleted User]BelgarathMTHKamigoroshiDJKajuru
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  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,538
    edited August 2013
    I always see druids and rangers as the D&D analogues to our modern environmentalists. Just like with the environmentalists in our society, they all have different takes on what constitutes a "balanced" environment, what the human relationship to that environment should be, and how far they are willing to go to reify their visions for the environment.

    Extending the analogy, consider the differences in philosophy and in strategy among the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (in the U.S.), Greenpeace, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

    I have a second analogy for how I sometimes imagine them: they can be seen as nature shamans, who practice a spirituality similar to that of the Native Americans, as @Rexreg mentioned above. A tribe of barbarians peppered with a couple of tribal druids and rangers, living in one of the untamed wildernesses of the Sword Coast or the Cloudpeaks, would make perfect sense to me.

    The 1st edition AD&D Player's Handbook that I grew up with also mentioned that peasant farmers often appeal to the druids to grant them favorable weather and conditions for their crops. It's not implemented that well in Baldur's Gate (Call Lightning, Insect Swarm, and Insect Plague are about it), but the original AD&D druid spell list had "Control Weather" as a 7th level spell. The druid could summon any weather he or she chose over a very large outdoor area. Thus, the druids could flood a city with unending rain, cause a drought, sink ships with thunderstorms, and all kinds of cool stuff. The shapeshifting was also limited only by the player's imagination, much like the illusionist school of magic. (AD&D had illusionist as its own character class.)

    I believe that a Google search could turn up lots and lots of source material about druids in the various releases of D&D. And, as this thread is demonstrating, every player has some personal ideas about how they imagine the "outdoors" character classes.

    CaptRory[Deleted User]
  • Nic_MercyNic_Mercy Member Posts: 398
    edited August 2013
    Shandyr said:

    Thanks for the answers so far. It helped to grasp that concept of a druid a little bit more.

    I still do not understand their concept of "keeping the balance" though.
    How do they define the scope of the balance?

    Do they mean the balance of the forest they live in for example?
    That would be possible to maintain I think.

    The balance of the country, continent, planet, galaxy, universe, multiverse however?

    How can they exactly tell the state of the balance of the multiverse and which actions are necessary in order to keep it?

    In a small scope like a forest I could imagine that, like they have animal spies, and can probably talk to them etc. But what about the "greater balance" of all that is? Isn't that impossible?

    I see there is not just the druid. Druid doesn't equal Druid.
    I guess that's part of my confusion.

    Keeping balance is something like a druid helping a village to survive by showing them more efficient ways to grow crops while at the same time protecting the nearby woods from being over hunted by that same village's hunters. The druid would let the hunters hunt to a point but not past the point where the amount of hunting would threaten the animals ability to repopulate. The druid kind of bridges the gap between the world of civilization and unbridled nature and tries to keep both in balance so neither side overwhelms the other.

    This philosophy can apply to macro balance as well. Like stopping a city from polluting the oceans and threatening the ecosystem and its inhabitants which in turn could cause famine and disease across great swaths of the world. It doesnt have to be a forest. Any place where man and nature converge is probably a good place for a druid to do their work.

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  • HeindrichHeindrich Member, Moderator Posts: 2,959
    I kinda associate animal sacrifices with druids... so no, I don't think they need to be vegan.

  • CaptRoryCaptRory Member Posts: 1,660
    If a druid personally had the power to maintain the balance of the multiverse, they probably would.

    If they had to choose between destroying a single forest or risking the entire world being destroyed they'd probably choose to destroy the forest. On a global scale one forest isn't as important to the balance as stopping the world devouring evil.

    "Where does "keeping the balance" end?" It doesn't. This is what druids DO. It is who they are. They don't keep the balance in church one hour a week then go home and park their SUV on an endangered species. The scope involved depends on the druid. Most focus on their local area, like their home forest and the nearby town and might cover the whole region or kingdom with their brothers simply because one man can only do so much.

    [Deleted User]nano
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,607
    Druids are amongst the most informative folks in the Realms. This is because they not only have private spies in both the wilderness and near settlements, but also because they share all relevent informations they aquired with other druids from various groves all across the lands. Icewind Dale also included the Hearth Stone, an ancient artifact created to share exactly such informations with other druids.

    Many powerful druids also become planar travelers in order to widen their horizon of understanding in their grand quest of protecting the Greater Balance. I've also read of a group of planar druids who wanted to cover places of the Plane of Earth with great forests by connecting them with portals from both the Positive Energy Plane and the Plane of Water. Although, I currently can't remember if they were successful or not. Probably not. But that's beside the point.

  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    @Shandyr Druids don't have to be vegans/fruitarians. Nature itself has plenty of species that eat meat, and Druids are a part of nature. They do help people, but if they believe that humans are being too overwhelming on an area (overfishing, overgathering from the woods, etc.), they will refuse to help or even work to deny the humans resources/work to cull some of the herd (as it were).

    Druid motivations are many. Some see the earth as larger and more important than mere humans, and so it needs defending from human overuse/exploitation. As long as humans work with nature and take no more than excess from nature, druids will support them. However, when humans start clearcutting parts of a forest, hunt nearby animals to extinction, or do things that threaten the safety of various animals/trees/nature itself- Druids will take action, through various means. This may start as a warning, and will eventually grade up to something deadly, though that may take a while.

    Druids are kind of like Forest Service Rangers- they attempt to preserve animal and plant species, but their focus is on the earth rather than what people may want or need. Most people would say a forest fire is a bad thing. But if the fire is burning out harmful invasive species and/or clearing out deadfall and other forest trash that winds up on the forest floor, it may be healthier for the forest to let it burn. Humans might want to put it out, while the Druids will monitor it, and only end it when it has done its job (according to them). As I have said on other threads about Druids, they can seem both good to humans (when the actions of the Druids help them) and evil (when the Druids refuse to help/work against what they are doing), but they are neutral to humans- to Druids, humans are just another species, due no special considerations. If humans are harming the earth/forest/whatever area the Druid oversees, s/he is going to rein them in, no matter their opinions about him/her.

    Some Druids are more fanatical, and some see humans as more "children to be guided" (primarily about humans because other races live much more closely to nature- only humans tend to destroy nature with overuse), so individual Druids vary. The Complete Druids Handbook from 2e has all sorts of Druids- from sea druids to mountain druids, Druids who grew bark and became much more plant-like, and so on.

    [Deleted User]BelgarathMTHlunar
  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    I also need to add that Druids can wear clothes of leather and cloth. They can't wear metal armor, though, though they can wear Hide armor (AC 8- is an actual animal hide or hides crudely sewn together, like wearing a bearskin rug or two).

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,538
    @LadyRhian, I've noticed that the author of the Divine Remix mod felt so strongly about that, that he even restricted fighter-druids to leather armor in BG.

    I didn't really like having Jaheira gimped like that, though. It kind of took away any reason to make a fighter-druid at all, since any toon restricted to no better than leather has to stay out of melee combat. Just as well to make a true class druid under those rules, the better to get over the level 14 blockade all the sooner.

  • SapphireIce101SapphireIce101 Member Posts: 866
    @Belgarathmth - You're probably going to laugh when I say...I've had Jaheira tank in Studded Leather Armor when I have that restriction from Divine Remix, or level one npcs set. Then, when you get into BG2 you get Iron Skins and you set her loose.

    As for the original question. No, I don't think druids have to be fruitarians. In the BG1 NPC Project, Jaheira actually tells you that grubs are an essential food if you run out of food because they're filled with protein. I also believe that if a druid has to, they'll kill an animal for food, while thanking said animal for being their food, and not forgetting their sacrifice.

    . . . Well, that just gave me an idea for roleplay.

  • CaptRoryCaptRory Member Posts: 1,660
    Ankheg Armor isn't metal. Can she still wear that?

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited August 2013
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  • LadyRhianLadyRhian Member Posts: 14,694
    @CaptRory She should be able to. Dragonskin armor as well.

  • CaptRoryCaptRory Member Posts: 1,660
    @LadyRhian I agree. I'm just wondering if its accounted for in the mod or not.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited August 2013
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